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I turned around to find you standing in your cot

16 Feb

Alhamdulilah, you’ve managed to stand on your own!

I was busy clearing some toys to make space for new toys. I suddenly turned around to find you standing on your cot while holding the railing.

Just like that!

@ 8 months and 2 days

Ouch! Your first fall from the bed

8 Jan

It was horrible!

After ummi put you down for bed, we’ll go have our dinner and spend some time outside the room and you’ll be sound asleep. I’ve always been happy with your night sleep, most of the time, you’ll stir when you’re hungry then you’ll travel back to deep slumber after some milk fills your tummy.

After our dinner, we heard this loud cry and we ran to the room to find out missing from the bed and crying while on your tummy on the floor next to the bed.

The more I imagine how you ended up on the floor, the worse I feel. I know it’s sometimes inevitable but I blame myself for taking things for granted.

Alhamdulilah you don’t seem to have any bumps.

A funeral

16 Dec

It’s the first funeral for my baby but I’m sure he knows nothing of what’s going on but when he’s older I’ll sure remind him that he met a grand uncle who passed away of cancer. He is the first in my family to suffer and die of cancer – rectum cancer. He was a man of strong character and lots of determination to move on, to recover, to live a life. He loved life. He had plans. He was in denial. He was not prepared. He had to go. His time was up. He has been called. His life was taken.

We were sleeping when we heard an urgent knock. My brother was at the door, “mama Nasser passed away.”

“Inna lillah wa inna ilahi raajiun,” I exclaimed with a hand tapping my chest lightly still in a state of shock.

My mind went straight to my mother, ” will she be devastated?” I wondered. I tried to put myself in her shoes ad I thought definitely. How about my aunt, she would be a widow now, a title laden with stigma and negativity, in my mind. Is she prepared? She has her sons and mother-in-law. BUT…it’s a huge loss nonetheless. How would it feel for the mother who gave birth to him, to see him leave before her? Is it worse for a mother whose child leaves her less than 2 weeks after she gave birth to him? Is it worse for a mother to have miscarried the child? I don’t know but what I know is that the pain is like no other. Allah remind us to be grateful when we are faced with difficulties in accepting losses so he will give us more, insyAllah .

I was thinking of the living. What about the dead?

My eyes wandered to a poster on my wall,

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Indeed everything is for Allah but we often forget and live life full of many things but the remembrance of Allah.

May Allah grant my uncle peace and bless him, insyAllah. Ameen.

Delhi – Traveling to Agra to see the famous Taj Mahal.

21 Sep

The options were to travel by express bus, private taxi or express train.

Private taxi by road would take around 5 hours. Based on prior experience, I thought it was boring and the way rich tourists travelled. When you stop at the traffic lights or in a traffic jam, beggars would knock on your windows begging for alms. The road is also very noisy with all the honking and the dust. Your nose and ear would be very dirty after a days travel by road.

I didn’t consider express bus because I didn’t want to travel by road and be stuck in a jam.

Train travel it was then! I have always wanted to travel by Indian rail. During my past 2 visits to India I never had the ‘opportunity’ to travel by rail like the locals did and as showcased in Indian films. I read that there were a few trains headed for Agra in the morning from both Nizammudin and Delhi railway stations. Since Nizammuddin railway station wasn’t walking distance from the metro station, we decided to go from Delhi railway station.

“….after queuing up at the platform tickets queue, we realized that it was the wrong queue. We found out that the reserved tickets had to be bought on the 1st level which is actually the second level, India is complicated that way. There were around 4 long queues so we waited our turn at one. Eventually when it was or turn, we bought 2 general tickets at Rs106 in total. We didn’t buy reserved tickets because it wasn’t available…

…waited at platform 3 for our train to arrive at 8am. Husband went to buy water but there was only the rail brand and we didn’t want that. Husband heard the announcement that the train to Agra arrived at platform 11 instead. We grabbed our stuff and headed to platform 11 in a haste. There was no train there! The morning sun was shining so brightly and I felt like i was melting. Perspiration broke all over me. We asked the person siting in the std phone booth at platform 11 and he told us it was platform 4. We ran all the way there only to see the train pulling away. We missed it! I wanted to cry because I felt so helpless. I scanned through the faces of the locals and didn’t find any friendly one instead they stared at me. We eventually asked a few policemen and other guys in the std phone booth but no one could help us. The policemen only spoke Hindi. Most locals we met only spoke Hindi as well. Maybe it’s not that they don’t want to help but they couldn’t help.

We eventually went to the enquiries counter and there was a long queue even there. We checked with the guy behind the counter and he told us 8.30am train at platform 2. We rushed there. Quickly boarded the train and sat down. The carriage was full of people. Some nicer people just asked us to sit. We were separated. Husband confirmed with a young man opposite him whether the train was going to Agra and the duration of the journey.

We realized that the women there often argued with one another and they are vey strong. A lady came to my place and asked me to move in. The seat can take up to 4 and there were already 4 people. The girl next to me refused to move her bag so the lady carried it and placed it on her so that she can sit there. The girl was angry. Someone asked me to move to the next carriage where I could sit next to husband.

We moved seats a number of times but were still comfortable. At the different stations more people boarded the train and very few alighted thus it became too full. People were sitting on the floor, some sat at the baggage storage area above the seats and others squeezed with those already seated. Those with children are the most pitiful but they manage.

I feel Allah always protects us in ways which we would never understand or expect. There were these couple of young men who sat opposite us throughout the journey and they spoke up for us when the locals were not ‘behaving’ themselves. For instance, the people sitting above us at the baggage storage area spilled some salt/ sugar, they told the people to be careful. Another instance was when the locals wanted to sit in between us where our legs were, he scolded the frail elderly man. They also tried to speak with us in Hindi and tried even harder in English. They were also headed for Agra. When we were approaching Agra, they told us to follow them to the door. It was crazy to squeeze our way to the doors, felt like I was almost losing the battle when I made it through the doors of the train. We bade goodbye to our temporary travel companions and thanked them for making our tedious journey a manageable and enjoyable one.

One of the guys didn’t want us to go, from the body language it seemed as if he wanted to bring us with him. His friend held him back (physically) and I guess told him to let us be on our way. We went on our own and didn’t want to impose others’ hospitality. I wouldn’t have minded going with the locals to the Taj. Oh well…you’d be surprised at how fate works.

While trying to figure out our way to the Taj, we were approached by a taxi driver. It was raining in Agra, he brought us to his auto and showed us the price card for tour Agra, red fort, market and some place else for Rs550. We agreed and went on our way to the Taj.

He couldn’t drive in so we walked on our own towards the Taj. It was a 10 minute walk before we were met with the loooong queue to buy local tickets and an even longer queue to enter the palace. There were a few more queues inside.

A guide told us that he charge Rs1295 for guided tour and it doesn’t include entrance fee which is Rs750 for foreigners and Rs20 for Indians. The guide told us that we can buy the local tickets because we look Indian. Well it’s kinda cheating I know but we ARE Indians 🙂

I told him we didn’t want any tour but to just go in and look around the Taj. He agreed to bring us past the many queues for Rs500. We agreed and went past all queues in no time we were in the Taj. After everything, he asked for Rs500 and for us to pay for the Rs750 each for the entrance fee. We know we were cheated but well he reasons well and we could still not have paid him but we gave him Rs1000 and we told him no more.

While trying to find our way out to the west gate, we got lost and guess who we met? Our travel companions from the train! They went to eat first and were headed for the Taj and urged us to join them but we told them we’ve seen it.

Our driver is one odd guy, he was afraid we will cheat him so he gave us his taxi license and called it his ‘zindagi’ meaning life in hindi. Well I guess it is his livelihood. We brought it back to him safely and he brought us to lunch. The place was dirty but Alhamdulilah food was good and we were well after that. The waiter wanted a tip and we didn’t have any, he was happy to receive a S$5. After the Taj, I had no mood to go anyplace else and just wanted to go back to the comfort of the hotel but we agreed with the other places so we did them.

We finished everything at 3pm and he brought us back to the train station – Agra Cantt. We bought the general ticket to Delhi and waited for the train which was supposed to arrive from Amritsar at 4pm bit arrived earlier at 3.30pm. It was so full!!! People were spilling out of carriages and many more were trying to board. We ended up in front at the very first carriage for the handicapped and disabled, someone asked us to board so we did. The train left at 4pm. We were standing this time and it was FULL of men SQUEEZED with one another. No one squeezed me though. It is a journey I will never forget! Again there was a man who ‘looked over’ me so that people don’t stand too close to me or hit me unknowingly and told us when it was Nizammuddin station, I couldn’t go until Delhi station. The 4 hours of torture was too much to bear, I felt like fainting many times but Alhamdulilah didn’t. Husband took care of me too and luckily we had our bottled water. Alighting was also an experience; people started alighting before the train stopped and I was not brave enough to do it like in the movies. We thought it would be a good idea to wait till the hoards of people squeezed their way down the train and then alight gracefully. Oh how wrong were we to imagine graceful was in the dictionary of the people who took general class trains. When the train stopped more people started boarding, husband was trying to squeeze through but I told him to go first as lots of people were pushing their way in. Husband stood at the door waiting and many pushed past him, I felt sad ad angry but with no choice we pushed our way through the people. If I said anything, the people would pay no heed or look at me questioningly as if I was from a different planet.

Hot. Smelly. Men. Noisy. Crazy. Squeezy. Stares. These would summarize the whole 4 hours which I hope never to experience.

The journey earlier this morning was manageable because we were seated. Getting a seat makes a whole lot of difference.

Delhi Hotel – Ashtan Saravor

It was nice and modern. Good hot shower at all time. Television programmes were good. Breakfast was sumptuous, we had the vegetarian varieties. It is centrally located near Green Park metro.

From Man’s search for Meaning by Viktore E. Frankl

12 Apr

” Man can preserve a vestige of spiritual freedom, of independence of mind, even in such terrible conditions of psychic and physical stress.”

” We who lived in concentration camps can remember the men who walked through huts comforting others, giving away their last pieces of bread. They may have been few in number, but they offer sufficient proof that everything can be taken from man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.

Reflections

13 Mar

It just hit me suddenly how great He is…

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On another note, I hope that I will be utilizing this space for more self reflection. This was what I said I would do more of at the workshop. I’m really excited for more courses, which I hope would come soon so that I will be more equipped.

Ever since work started it has been a roller coaster, like literally. I really need to have time for self care, personal development, family time ( I think this component has quite enough time) and health.

Tranquil escape

17 Feb

A Tranquil Escape

 BY: Adam Mohomed Sait (i got this in an email, alhamdulilah was in sync with how life is now for me)
While tests and trials are an unavoidable part of life, the way we choose to deal with them can either alleviate or further precipitate the situation. One thing that helps me tremendously is making really long sujood. A sajdah that lasts as long as possible with you focussed on removing every inkling of worldly concern from your heart and mind, is an escape that gives you clarity in thought and hope for what has yet to come.

I was feeling really down a few days ago, just from a whole bunch of things going on and more than anything, I was upset that I wasn’t being as patient as I should have been. So that night I decided to elongate my sujood for as long as I could without falling asleep. I began with the usual glorification of Allah and gradually started making du’a. Instead of focussing on the challenges I was dealing with, I made Allah my concern. I thought about His attributes, subhanu wata’ala. He is the One who sees me, knows me, created me, formed me, nurtured me, He knew me long before my parents knew me. He, ‘azzawajal guided me, granted me countless ni’am so that at that very moment, I could turn to Him for help. He tested me, and will test me for as long as I am alive and just the fact that I was able to lower my head in submission is huge blessing in itself. I thought about the ayah in Surah Qaf.. وَنَحْنُ أَقْرَبُ إِلَيْهِ مِنْ حَبْلِ الْوَرِيدِ. While Allah was/is closer to me than my jugular vein, at that exact second, He Subhanwata’ala was running the affairs of trillions of other people and creatures. He was feeding one person, curing another, afflicting someone, giving life and death to whomever He willed, forgiving someone, guiding someone. At that moment, Allah ‘azzawajal was running the affairs of the Jinn, of the Angels as they carried out commands, of those who were being punished in the grave and those who were looking through a window into Jannah, patiently awaiting the Day of Judgement. He was providing for our shuhadaa’ as their souls rested in the hearts of green birds and ate from the provisions of Jannah. He was running the celestial bodies as they went through their precise cycles. He was changing the day to night and the night to day. He had complete knowledge of the before and the after, the manifest and the unseen. No sleep or slumber could ever overcome Him, but he created sleep as a means of rest for His creation. I thought about the meanings of His Asmaa’ was Sifaat.. the meaning of al Hayy, al Qayyum, al Jabbar, al ‘Aziz, as-Sami’, al Baseer, al Ghafoor, al Hakeem, al ‘Aleem. The existence of everything from the depths of the oceans, to the peaks of mountains, to the vast arrays of the universe were all known to Him, jalla wa’ala. Not a single leaf fell, nor did a (seemingly) great calamity occur except by His knowledge and permission. Love, fear, hope, laughter, tears, time, and all the intangibles of dunya were all under His supreme control. He, subahanahu wata’ala was aware of how these intangibles would be distributed amongst his creations 50,000 years before his first creation of our father, Adam (‘alayhis salaam). Allah ‘azzawajal was caring for every single living creature, calculating the rizq of every living being. He determined which leaf was going to fall down onto which animal so it could be a source of provision for a fly. SubhanAllah ‘adada khalqihi.

I thought about the beautiful du’a a bedouin Sahabi made, not knowing the Prophet (‘alayhis salaam) was in his presence listening attentively. He (salallahu ‘alayhi wasallam) heard him say, “O the One who eyes cannot see in this world, minds cannot comprehend His Greatness, people cannot praise Him as He deserves to be praised, incidents do not change Him, He does fear the passing of time, He knows the exact weight of all the mountains in the world, He knows the exact volume of all the oceans in the world, He knows the exact number of drops that fall from the sky, He knows the number of leaves on all the trees in the world, He knows the number and detail of everything that the night hides in its darkness and the day illuminates with its light. One sky cannot shield another from Allāh. One ground cannot shield another from Allāh. A mountain in its deepest, darkest cave cannot hide anything from Allāh. The ocean with its depth cannot hide anything from Allāh.” Then he made du‘ā’ to Allāh and said, “O Allāh make the best part of my life the last part of my life. Make the best of my actions the last of my actions. Make the best of my days the day that I will meet You.”

I became so overwhelmed and engulfed in these thoughts but I continued to think. I thought about all the du’as Allah ‘azzawajal never left unanswered (the ones my memory could recall). I slowly went through every minor difficulty I had faced till now. SubhanAllah, I thought to myself.. if Allah ta’ala was so generous and merciful to me through all those difficulties, what made me so sure that I would have to face my current challenges all alone? Allah was there then and He is always with me now. How could I possibly worry about matters that my Most Merciful Lord has already ordained? After some more reflecting, I lifted my head and sighed a sigh of relief. 🙂

Next time you’re stressed, just make sujood. Let go of your obstacles and make du’a. Think about it – You are transferring a situation from your power and ability to the power and ability of Allah. You are moving obstacles from yourself to the One who has no obstacles.

اذْكُر رَّبَّكَ فِي نَفْسِكَ تَضَرُّعاً وَخِيفَةً وَدُونَ الْجَهْرِ مِنَ الْقَوْلِ بِالْغُدُوِّ وَالآصَالِ وَلاَ تَكُن مِّنَ الْغَافِلِينَ

And remember your Lord within yourself in humility and in fear without being apparent in speech – in the mornings and the evenings. And do not be among the heedless. [7:205]
 
“You don’t know what the future holds, but you know who holds it” 
-Fi Amanillah-

A moving one

22 Nov

The video brought tears to my eyes, Alhamdulilah 🙂 hope you’d spare some time to watch it.

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?desktop_uri=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Ffeature%3Dplayer_embedded%26v%3DIYMKQKSV0bY&feature=player_embedded&v=IYMKQKSV0bY&gl=SG

Highlights of my ‘eventful’ day

7 Oct

I went to the Bukit Timah Campus forth first time to collect a complimentary camera for Mr Q.

Reached after being loss and walking through the sprawling and almost empty campus. Signed. Left to go the in-laws.

With mounting curiosity, i boarded the bus and immediately explored the camera. I wanted to open it up and try it out.
Camera check. Memory card check. Adapter check. Wires check.

Eh where is the battery?

I immediately called Mr Q. He called them. I decided to go back and change.

This time I walked in because I missed the shuttle in, it was a tiring uphill walk.

When she opened the box, she looked through the contents and said, there it is, the battery!

I went oh I thought it was the MEMORY CARD! lol!

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Madrasah pattinam

20 Sep

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Seemed like the epic love story of the century but the ending was not that predictable and sad:(
I loved how the story developed and grow into the climax. It goes without saying that I LOVE the setting; of the 40s.
Thinking about it, I just realized it is a kind of female oppression as the girl was not allowed to marry the man of her choice but to marry another person.

Another thought about the plot: I concluded that she married her fiancé but turns our he died too so I wonder why she couldn’t go back to India earlier and only after the death of her husband.