Saturday, 14 January 2017

"Home"

They don't originally belong there
Yet they have to call it 'home'
With the notion that it is 'safer' than their own

They must have gone through a certain life episode
Which we may not experience
Nor are we able to fathom how they went through

They are still young
Some are so bright
While some may act a little bit different from others
Breaking our perception of how kids should be behaving
In a certain way and manner

It pains my heart
Seeing a few of them
Responding harshly towards one another
Verbally and/or physically
Unknowingly,
tears started to gather
I glanced away
Not able to look any further

How did their fate turned out this way?
What made their parents or guardian come to a decision of sending them to this 'home'?
Why do they have to depend on their friends of the same fortune?
How do they manage to live on, one day after another?

Having to look after each other
Going through the same routine everyday
Knowing that they are socially different from other kids out there
Pretending like they were having so much fun
But at some point of time they looked like they were doing it because they had to
Because there are no other options
Because they are one of the residents

How fortunate are we to have a house we call home?
To have parents taking care of us since we were small?
Yet sometimes we take these blessings for granted

We bid them goodbye knowing that we were leaving
They waved us goodbye acknowledging that they have to stay for another day

"Bile kakak nak dtg lagi?"
Today's programme left me with a whole new perpective.
I sincerely am affected,
real deep...

P/s: Be well. Study well.
I pray that Allah will lift off this adversity from you adik-adik,
and grant each one of you a successful future.
Learn, and let history not repeat itself.

14/1/17
16:57

Friday, 25 November 2016

The jadegrey-eyed Russian

Holding a cup of white coffee in one hand, I walked towards a vacant bench near the library entrance, aware of a middle-aged guy sitting on the other bench next to it.

"Hi.. Can I ask you a question? You're a Malay right?", he asked while I was adjusting my sitting position.


A lil shocked by the sudden voice, I answered, "Yea, sure...", glancing at the jadegrey-eyed guy.

"Can you explain what's the difference between 'Kak' and 'Kakak'?" At first I didn't get what he was asking because the 'k' at the end was silently pronounced. Then he said "I was calling a Malay sister 'Kak' but the the brother said "Don't call her 'Kak' . Call her 'Dik' because she's younger than you". "..ButI was told that 'Kakak' is for older ladies, while 'Kak' is for younger ladies". Only then I was able to comprehend the confusion that's going on his mind. He looked quite disturbed trying to figure out this Kakak-Kak-Adik for ladies, and I find it funny.

So I went on explaining in simple words until he get the idea that "Kak from 'Kakak" is similar to "Sis from Sister" which is normally used on older ladies while "Adik" is more suitable for younger-aged boys or girls.

The conversation didn't stop there. Soon I got to know that he's a Russian, from Cherkess Republic to be exact. He's almost done with PhD, just had his viva last week and currently doing some minor revision. His research is on the History of Islam in 1980s. He's been in this research field for so many years. He also shared that it's really hard to practice Islam in Russia. If they found someone going to the mosque everyday, they are perceived to be the extremist Muslims or Wahhabi. They will get arrested and will never return D: that is so so sad! One more thing, if Muslims read certain verses from the Quran that "condemns" the disbelievers, they will also be arrested! Russia don't like Muslims because the non-Muslim majority over there viewed Islam as a strict and conserved religion which is against secularism and freedom -- which Russia do not need. T^T He said that these info never came out in media, but that's the reality of our religion over there; which is so in contrast with the freedom that he (and us) get in practicing Islam in Malaysia. 😢

Then the conversation went on.. and he found out that I am from Singapore.. Aha!

"How much is S$1 to RM?" ------ RM3
"What's the population of Malay/Muslims in Singapore" ------ 11-12%
"So the Chinese control most of the businesses over there?" ------ Yes
"What's the salary like?" ------ Basic salary $2k (more or less)
"Singapore is a very nice and clean city... (yada yada yada)..."
Then,
"What's the price of 1kg meat over there, is it expensive?" PAP! I grinned wryly.
......
"I'm.. not too sure about that... I... don't go to the market...😬".
He smiled and two seconds later we both laughed hahahahah omg I feel so paiseh at that moment.
Apparently he found out that I'm 25, doing my masters and still under my parents care 😂

[!] Disclaimer: Haha ok kejap. This is not at all a flirty-kinda-conversation if you've been thinking so okay. He has that 'Ayah2' kinda vibe, just initiating a conversation in a situation that didn't make me feel awkward at all. ^^

Then he asked, "So what are you going to do after you finish your Masters?"
In my most relaxed tone, I said, "I'm going back to Singapore and find a job, and.."
"No no no, wait, stop", he cut me off.
"What, what? Why?", alarmed.
"After you finish your Masters, don't return" (I'm like... OOOKAYYYYYYYY? O_o)
"Stay here and continue your PhD". (O_o.... that's far from what I planned. ceh ingatkan die tak kasi balik sebab nak suruh travel around the globe dulu ke ape hahaha >_>)
"..Because you're still young. You're just 25. Say, writing for PhD requires around 3 years... by 28, you'll be a Dr! You know why? Because at this level, you are already in 'that stage' of academic level. If you go back and find a job, in 2-3 years you might lose your academic skills. When you take PhD at this young age, you still have that energy and determination. Unlike when you do it in your 30s or 40s. After you're done with PhD, you have everything. You can do whatever you want. You'll be Dr. Nadiah."

At that moment, it felt like a pile of cold water just splashed onto my face. I was awakened by his encouraging advise. It felt like an advise from a big brother. It sparked some spirit deep within even though his advise wasn't 'that' successful enough to convince me. Why? Because I have my own mission (for now) and after I finish my Masters I plan to go back, work, and carry the responsibility of the youngest grown-up child in the family. It is time. I've spent 6 years in KL pursuing 2 degrees and I think it's best to go back home to face life's real challenges. 😌😌😌

Nonetheless, I was totally (and still am) enlightened by his honest advise. Well of course I wish to have the freedom doing whatever I want to chase my dreams and my travel goals. But hey, we are not living this life as an ignorant individual. We cannot be self-centered. We have to think about other people and matters that revolve around our own tiny personal compound. Whatever we do and all of our intentions will be questioned. 😔

Faisal (pronounced FaiSal not FaiZal --- he claimed that everyone here calls his name with a tint of 'Z' hah) is his name. I'm thankful to have met this brother (or uncle?) today. Amazing how a 30-minute conversation with a stranger would leave a mark on my soul. And mind ya (again), I did not develop any feelings towards him okay, except that his beautiful Russian eyes caught my attention! Hahahahahaha astaghfirullah tak ghaddul basr hahahahahah.

Side note: Nadia is a common name in Russia. 😄
Cheerios!


Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Aim and mission.

I've got people questioning me
- Oh kenape tukar course?
- Why amek masters kat UIA?
- Isn't Malaysian degree (ICT specifically) not/less recognized in Singapore??

I'd smile before I answer such questions. Sometimes I ask myself the same questions too..
and... Why am I still here?

I changed my course because I want to work in the industry that I know I would enjoy in the long run. No, I'm not saying that I what I studied for four years in my Bachelor years were a waste. Not at all. I truly am thankful that I took IRK in UIA, receiving all the ilm from respectful and knowledgeable lecturers. At the same time, I took ICT as my minor. And I found joy in learning something very new which surprisingly reflected in my grades. I developed more interest in that field, and the intention to develop myself in IT grow bigger.

I never thought of going back to IIUM to further my masters after my graduation. I looked into local institutions for possible chances to pursue a totally different degree. I also looked into other Malaysian institutions which ranked better than IIUM. But later on I found myself filling up the application form, once again, in IIUM. Well, partly because it's more economical and affordable here than in Singapore, and due to the fact that I've developed a sense of belonging in this campus.

I do acknowledge the fact that Malaysian certifications are less recognised (in SG) than local or other international certs but why does it matter? I believe if we truly know our purpose and give our best, we'll be able to get the best from this knowledge-seeking journey and later on we'll still get a place somewhere. On the other hand, I'd lie if I say I'm not jealous of those who further their studies overseas or in better institutions. But you know the saying that goes "semua orang dah ditetapkan rezeki masing-masing" right? Cliche, but true.

I also have other aims and goals. I'm keen to learn something new no matter where I'm situated at. I want to break free from the stereotype that "madrasah students habis belajar nanti jadi ustazah". I want to help myself and my family. I want my dad, and mum especially, to stop working. They're getting old and its time for them to relax. My sister and 2nd brother got married to Malaysians and they both now live in Mekkah and Selangor respectively. I'm now my family's hope. I've yet to repay my parents sacrifices for giving me all-round supports to date. I don't know why this is getting emotional. But this is the burden I'm carrying on my shoulders. I'm away from home, shaping myself to be a better person who's able to contribute back to the family and society.

But why do people question so much.........?






Dear self,
Don't be disheartened by words that may break you apart
Don't be affected by the negative and passive surroundings
All is well. Heads up, and smile.
Hold on to your ground and prove them wrong.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

When?

Are there any right or wrong choices?
No reason in particular had influenced my decision
We set so many restrictions on ourselves
Not realizing that when we lower down our ego
and wake up from selfishness
We make other people around us happy
With such kindness

Creating the best from the last
Very much hopeful
Everything will settle down
with tranquility.. and peace

"Its not the matter of time
The question is: when?"

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Rinjani Travelog

Bismillah.. a throwback to a dreamland I never thought of reaching. :)

It was initially planned 3 months ago. It was initially planned for 5 person. Arep, Cipeng, Azam, Ami, and myself. Small in number that I thought Ayah wouldn't approve this trip. Small in number that some friends would think it would be too dangerous, especially when they hear "Lombok", and they'll start to talk about its old dark secrets hehs. But, that was the past. That was the old Lombok, though I am not too sure if nowadays people would still escape to Lombok to kahwin lari. But one thing for sure, our main purpose was to hike Mt Rinjani. :) It was only 2 months before 'the day', and only after the bookings were done that we started our own training; alone, or together. We planned, and planned.. but He has other plans for one of us. Thus, from 5, it became 4 at the very last moment, just a week before the day we fly. Tapi nak buat macam mane? Hikmahnya ada untuk dia, insyaAllah. Countdowns from months, to weeks, to days, and in disbelief, suddenly we were left with only a day. Excited, but more of an anxious. Glad I wasn't the only one feeling so. Aha.


12 June 2015, it was. The four of us. Embarking on the journey to reach our self-proclaimed Dreamland. Hakhak. Felt rather excited with a tinge of thrill to travel with only friends, for the first time, though it was only Lombok, Indonesia. But at this kinda age, I guess that's when your parents really entrust you in His care, so long as we do not put a stain to their trust. :)


It was a tiring 3-hour flight, plus a 1-hour flight delay. So instead of reaching on time, we landed safely in Lombok an hour late from the expected arrival time. Plus immigration queue and procedures, it took nearly two hours from the initial planned time. And the person in-charge to fetch us already waited for two hours -- Mas Memes. Kesian dia. He said, "Saya sempat tidur tadi". Haha. It was only 8pm then. So he drove us to some restaurant for dinner. One of the good restaurant known for its spicy cookings. It was good and tasty, and not to forget, pricey. Hahha.



We reached our lodge - Rinjani Base Camp -  located at Senaru, around quarter past 11pm after around some 2-hour drive from the restaurant. The road towards Senaru during that time was so quiet, very quiet, that it woud send chills down your spine, macam drive kat kampung2 pukul 2-3 pagi. But I was too sleepy, I just slept anyway haha. As soon as we arrived, Mas Haerul Azmi - the owner/organizer - welcomed us. I think he's in his 30s. We quickly checked in our rooms before we went out again for a short briefing on the next day's hiking plan.

From the restaurant open view, in the dark of the night, we could see the shadow of Rinjani. That, already sparked some excitement in me. Moreover when I saw multiple dots of stars above. Mas Azmi said that we'd be able to see galaxies, and shooting stars and even more stars when we reach Rinjani later on. After some brief but compact overview of what the route to Rinjani was going to be, we head back to our room for some rest.

In the morning of 13 June, we woke up, all fresh and all prepared with our stuffs to bring for hiking. Lempeng pisang with hot tea were served.


It was a 1-hour drive from Senaru to Sembalun. Breezy morning along the way, moreover when we were reaching Sembalun, as it is already about 1000m above sea level. With drove past the Sembalun village, with fresh air to breathe in, and beautiful scenery to look at along the way. 

---------p/s: Whatever I wrote above was written 1 mth after the hike (july) and only today (5 months later, final day of 2015), I shall continue with my story haha. Pardon the delay. Probably by now I've lost some memories of the journey but I'll try to share whatever I can retrieve from my internal memory. :) -------

At the starting point of Sembalun route. Approx. 9am when we reached. Applied sunscreen before we start off our journey. That's our guide, Mas Adit.






The route was fairly easy and flat (at first) that I was confident enough to say: "Kalau jalan camni je boleh je ni sampai atas". Haha that confidence only lasted for the first half hour hahaha we were already panting heavily by then. Anyway the view that we get along the 3-hour hike before reaching our lunch pit stop was amazing. You get the feel of being in some foreign country like India/NZ's mountainous area like in the movies.





Lunch at Pos 2. Didn't expect to have a complete set of meal like this. This is not packed food but the porters cooked for us at that point of time. Buah pun sampai 3 jenis. Aha. A hearty meal to fill up our tummy and boost our energy to continue with the journey after 3 long hours of walking.






At this point of the hike, we've already reached mist level. Cooling and refreshing. We had quite a lot of quick stops to catch our breath and take some photos. It would be a waste not to capture. :) and this was just before we started the "7 Bukit Penyesalan" as mentioned by Mas Azmi the night before.








The first 3 hills were o-k-a-y but tiring enough. We stopped for a quick rest as we reached every hill to catch our breath yang macam kura-kura semput. We met a group of Malaysians here who were going down and guess what? They were encouraging and at the same time discouraging us hahah sabar je.
But the 4th to 7th hill was the most challenging. Slippery tracks, annoying pebbles and steep terrains. The night before Mas Azmi told us while pointing at the route map, "Di bukit ini ramai yang rasa yesal, tapi mau patah balik tu udah terlalu jauh". I had to agree kahkah. The altitude was getting higher. We had to use our trekking poles to get a good grip and support. Furthermore, the dust from the terrain got into nose and mouth as we breathe. We didn't saw that coming thus facial mask was not in the list of things to bring.


But what amazed me was actually seeing the porters walk past us with all the stuffs placed and tied onto a pole and carried on their shoulder. Some of them weren't event wearing shoes or proper hiking clothes and equipment. They are just sooo katang. :(


Towards the end of bukit penyesalan. Faking the smile.




A short rest before the final hike before reaching the basecamp. Enjoying the view and feeling the mist.


Motivation haha.



Aaaaand we reached basecamp! :D

Let the rest of the pictures do the talking
(cos I'm tired typing)
haha.