Saturday, October 29, 2005

HAPPY DEEPAVALI & SELAMAT HARI RAYA


I would like to take this opportunity to wish everybody a Happy Deepavali and Selamat Hari Raya. Once again the Muslims and Hindus are celebrating our respective festival almost at the same time this year, i.e. a day in between.

Let us take this rare occasion to celebrate together and stay united. Let us show the rest of the world that people in Malaysia could still live in harmony and liking each other in regardless of our differences.

Tomorrow is Deepavali, I will be working as usual because there is no such thing as public holiday for me starting this year onwards. And I will be working on the first day of Hari Raya as well. Somehow it does not bother me much because all of my relatives are in KL and Selangor area. I could always see them after work and I will make sure to ask forgiveness from my parents and siblings in the morning of Hari Raya before going off to work.

Looking at the bright sight, I will be spending meaningful Hari Raya with the rest of my staff in Botani Garden. Some of them are from Sabah and Sarawak which makes it even harder for them. We are going to have our own celebration together in the garden. I will be bringing them the kuih raya and the ketupat from my house so that they will feel like real Hari Raya.

For Deepavali tomorrow everybody is going to wear Indian Costume. I've bought mine yesterday :) I feel so wonderful and I can't wait to wear it. It's going to be fun and wonderful for everyone.

Well ok, till then, have a nice Deepavali and Hari Raya.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

BE GOOD


Hibiscus Rosa Sinensis

Alright, I know I’ve been neglecting my blog for quite awhile now. It’s not because of lack in ideas; it’s just that I am juggling my time in between my work and my family. My life is changing and I am adjusting to it. I am terribly sorry to those who regularly frequented my blog and got disappointed to see the same posting over and over again.

I’ve started working full time again for almost a month now. I am no longer involved with the entertainment world or doing any freelancing stuff as I mentioned earlier. I just figured it out that it didn’t fit me to be in that world. I don’t belong there. I believe in fate and that is what I followed. For those who are curious to know why I posted things about Hibiscus, Mickey Mouse plant and Tunbergia, well it is because I am now working in a botanical garden somewhere in Putrajaya (Malaysia’s Federal Government Centre). My new job requires me to work on Saturday and Sunday on a rotating basis which explained why I haven’t updated my blog as often as I would have. It is surprisingly a challenging job, not as simple as I anticipated which of course just perfect for me. I hate anything simple.

If not pushed by certain people, I wouldn’t have written anything until Ramadhan ends. I feel that this holy month which is very special is a time whereby we all need to stay low. I deeply feel that this is a month whereby we would like to reassess our past and our future. Be more spiritual and closer to Allah s.w.t. As a Muslim, this is a time for us to see good in everything. I feel the need to be good and think good.

However blogging is a good thing to share my thoughts and concerns although I have to admit that I filtered some of it in order to be respectful towards others. I saved my worst thoughts for certain people to read. You will not find it in my blog. That’s one of the etiquettes of good manners in blogging. We shouldn’t write anything that will cause damage to a person or a country. We must keep our peace.

Following the bad news of the world lately, it terrifies me to see so much disasters, so much violence, so much hatred and misunderstanding within our world. This is really sad, like the world is coming to its end. I stopped myself from seeing all these for it depressed me. I wouldn’t want to write anything that will give me further depression.

When your stomach is empty, your mind becomes active. It makes you more alert and think better. Fasting teaches us to empathise with the suffering of the poor and the less fortunate. Now, having said that, here are some of the good things that we could do for those who suffer:

MERCY Malaysia is appealing to the public to send only cash donations. Cheque contributions can be made out to MERCY Humanitarian Fund. Donations can also be deposited directly into MERCY Malaysia Maybank Account No. 5621 7950 4126. All donations to the MERCY Humanitarian Fund are tax exempted.

or

Donors can send their cheque or cash to the MRCS Headquarters at Jalan Nipah off Jalan Ampang or the NSTP at Jalan Riong or TV3 at Bandar Utama. Cheques should be made out to the “Malaysian Red Crescent Society with the words “South Asia Earthquake” written at the back or bank in into MRCS Account Maybank No – 5144 2210 37 – 88. Donations to the MRCS are entitled to tax relief.

"There has come to you Ramadaan, a blessed month, in which Allah has made it obligatory to fast. During it the gates of Paradise are opened and the gates of Hellfire are closed, and the rebellious devils are chained. In it is a night (Laylatul-Qadr) which is better than a thousand months. He who is deprived of its good truly has been deprived."

(An-Nasaa'ee, authenticated in Takhreej al-Mishkaat) Reported by al-Tabaraani, 7/267; Saheeh al-Jaami`, no. 6344.


Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Hibiscus Walk


Hibiscus mutabilis (Native: China)

If you have a passion for gardening, you will want to know the name of each species and everything related to it. Especially plants with huge flower, this one as shown in the photo above surely will give pride to the garderner. This is from a hibiscus family called Hibiscus Mutabilis, originally from China. It changed colours throughout the day time. It is pure white in the morning and will dramatically changed to deep pink in the afternoon. This change is caused by exposure to the heat. If the white flowers are kept in a refrigerator, they will stay white, but when taken out, they will turn to pink. The photo above was taken around 11.00 a.m.

African Collection


Mickey Mouse Plant (Native: South Africa)

This is not actually the flower, it's the sepals and flower bases which turn red and fleshy when all the petals fall. The actual flower is yellow in colour and the petals only last for a day after which it will fall off. A round black fruitlets will develop in the middle of the sepals, usually around 1-3 fruitlets. It is called Mickey Mouse Plant because if looked from the right angle, the fruitlets look like the eyes and the sepals look like the ears of the cartoon character Mickey Mouse.

Interesting, isn't it? I fell in love with the garden right from the very first flower I encountered.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Vine Garden


Purple Thunbergia (Native: Malaysia)

Beautiful thunbergia from the Vine Garden of Putrajaya Botinalcal Garden. In the forest, vines are supported by tree crowns, high above the ground, which make them difficult to be seen and appreciated from below. However, in the Vine Garden of Putrajaya Botanical Garden, the vines are supported by pergolas made of local hardwood. I can't resist taking photos of this beautiful flowers of thunbergia which very much gives the surrounding a romantic mode. Hmmm....

Significant Ramadhan

I would like to take this opportunity to wish a blessed Ramadhan Al-Mubarak to all the Muslims. Time really flies. I feel like we just had our last fasting month recently but then, it's been a year. Ramadhan is really a special month to all the Muslims. It’s a month whereby we renew our devotion to the religion, whereby we check our understanding and practices as well. It is a month to seek forgiveness, a month of cleansing of the body and the soul.

Apart from that, Ramadhan holds special meaning to me personally because I was born on the 13th of Ramadhan. Hah! Another 13th but it’s special and lucky for me. Ramadhan will always remind me of my late friend, Mohd Ridwan Yusuf who had passed away in the 90s. So long ago but the memories still remain, reminded again and again in Ramadhan Al-Mubarak. This is a story why the month is so significant to me.

My mother used to tell me that she had me on the month of Ramadhan but she forgot what date it was. I never bothered to check. Later I found out the exact date from my late friend who had a birthday on 18th October 1973 three days earlier than mine. We were talking about it during a camping trip in Pantai Merdeka, Kedah where we had our training camp while we were still in KEMBARA. Ever since then, we were bonded and we often went camping together as senior members with another two of my best friend; Bibi and Mona.

Bibi and Mona, if you are reading this, surely you all could remember and know what I am talking about. It was a tragedy in the history of our KEMBARA. Our friend died of drowning while doing his duty as Assistant Coach to the junior training camp group. Most of us will never forget it because he’s such a good friend. We were stunned with disbelieve when we got the news. Usually we like to go camping together as a group for it is so much fun to go with your own clique but unfortunately Bibi, Mona and I couldn’t go on that fated camping trip because we had assignments and datelines to submit to our lecturers. He begged and pleaded for us to go but we just couldn’t. I noticed he was acting strangely that night. He was too aggressive with his jokes and I remembered Mona was upset with one of his silly acts. We were there to see him off as always our custom in KEMBARA. Who would have known that that was the last time we were to see him in liveliness.

The next time we see him, he was lying on the hospital bed in a state of comma. Friends and families came to visit him with clear realisation that there’s no more hope. So still and motionless with very little heart beats. It was so sad, sad, sad…. I have no words for it. God loves him more; he passed away not long after that.

I know most of the KEMBARA or PERBARA as we are called now, together with all the KEMBARA Coaches surely will remember him, Mohd Ridwan Yusuf @ Vogey. May Allah bless him for the life in the hereafter ….amin.

Now back to Ramadhan. To all my non-Muslim friends, Ramadhan is the holy month whereby Muslims will abstain from eating, drinking and other indulgences beginning from dawn till dusk. There are good reasons why we have to fast for one month. Most all the religion in this world has their own ways of fasting but the Muslims fasting month is very significant because it is one of the pillar of Islam which is compulsory to men and women. For more information, read this
and this.

SELAMAT BERPUASA

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