1st Week of Ramadhan Has Gone…

Alhamdulillah… We’re into the 7th day of fasting, that’s a quarter of the month gone, since we’re fasting for only 29 days this year. How has it been for you guys out there??? I’m sure that all of you are coping well, no matter what problems you are facing at work, at home, or with anything or anyone for that matter. Hopefully any problems you guys are facing are mere tests from the Almighty, just to test your resolve especially during this holy month. And I hope too that whatever goals you set yourselves to achieve this month will be met and that you are on the right track since day one.

For me, I’ve been diligently visiting the gym on weekdays everyday without fail, about two hours before Iftar. Alhamdulillah I am pleased to say that I’ve lost about 5kg ever since I started my regime about a month ago. The fasting certainly helps to speed up the process as I eat less and drink bottles of plain water to kill the hunger pangs. The only thing I hate is the feeling of being bloated with water especially after Sahur. I have to stock up since I’m using it to aid me throughout the day, especially on weekdays when I visit the gym. The tummy is still quite tubby (perhaps due to water retention) but my cheeks have since gone down quite a bit and I’m able to see the contours of my cheekbones. Can’t rest on my laurels yet, it is still all systems go right up to my wedding day…

Ramadhan too has also made me be more wary and afraid of death. Ever since I received Kak SK‘s forwarded email on the signs of death last week, I kinda freaked out wondering if I were to experience that anytime soon and whether I’m ready to leave the world and meet my Maker. Coupled with attending a funeral on Sunday and hearing a long sermon (Talqin) at the cemetery, life it seems is too short and whatever we do should be worked towards meeting our Maker. During the sermon, we were stressed to look after the most important pillar that we have to uphold, and that is of course our daily prayers and everything else will fall into place automatically. As I was saying in my previous entry, there’s no point fasting if we don’t pray. Yet I see a lot of people skipping theirs as though it’s nothing. Sorry for preaching when I’m not perfect myself but the past few days have made me a chicken when it comes to thinking about death…

Speaking of the funeral I attended, my heart goes out to the family of my colleague Azh who lost his father due to a potent combination of diabetes, heart problems, stroke and kidney failure. Watching my colleague leading the prayers warmed my heart and made me want to emulate his deeds when the time comes in future for me to step forward, moreso since I’m the only son in the family. He is after all someone, who all of us at work respect for his strong religious background and pious character. Another thing that warmed my heart was seeing my female colleagues in hijab and covered when I always see them at work sometimes in sleeveless blouses or short skirts. To me, the physical beauty of a Muslim woman lies in her donning the hijab and I was happy to see them that way. Though being the cheeky person that I am, I couldn’t resist clasping my hands ala those female nasyid groups when they perform, when I saw them. I even called them “Al-Nisan“, a reference to the gravestones but in retrospect, a comedic parody of yesteryears’ famous groups like Al-Jawaher and Al-Mizan. I know I am being bad and sarcastic, but deep down I was very proud of them for covering up.

Saturday was spent on getting myself a new handphone (Nokia 3230) as the current one (Nokia 7200) kept on resetting itself whenever I flipped it open. I thought there was no point trading-it in and instead would send it for repair and act as a substitute if the Nokia 3230 were to act funny on me. As though it had feelings of its own, the Nokia 7200 stopped resetting itself when I was fiddling with the Nokia 3230. And it has stopped playing tricks on me ever since. Aida decided to just take it as one of my wedding gifts, so long as the Nokia 7200 does not try to be cheeky like its owner again.

My Ipod is back at the service centre once again as I had dropped it whilst working out at the gym last week. The damage was not immediate and I only realised it was spoilt when it took me more than 3 hours to transfer my songs into the Ipod. So I’m kinda naked for the next few days as I await for a replacement. Arghhhh can’t leave without my Ipod as that is what I normally listen to the moment Hafeez Glamour & Azlin Ali go off the air at 2pm every weekday.

Saturday was also spent on going over to Jurong West to savour the Ramadhan bazaar delights at blk 729 at Jurong West Avenue 5. The ex-members of Merbuk Platoon (now calling themselves “Happy Family“) have a stall selling Malay kueh and drinks there so Aida and I went down to support them. They can be found at stall 24 next to the kebab stall. It was nice to meet some of the other listeners there as well, not to mention meeting my friend Dew, whom I’ve not met for one and a half years. On the way home, we passed by an even grander bazaar at block 440, Jurong West Avenue 1. It was like Geylang Serai had invaded the area. I’m sure Jurong residents reading this can vouch for that.

Speaking of Geylang Serai, I haven’t stepped foot there this Ramadhan. And I intend to prolong that as long as I can. Just feel that the place is kinda saturated with the same old things wherever you go and turn to. The only thing I like about going there is to meet long-lost friends in case our paths cross and not forgetting the kebabs. Even if I were to go there, it would be to buy food for Iftar, then I’ll be rushing home before breaking fast, when the crowd sets in. But the best food to break fast to me is still the porridge from the mosques. I’ve had my first taste of it on the 3rd day. Ramadhan to me is not complete without it and it is one of the reasons I always look forward to the fasting month.

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Ramadhan Is Here…!!!

Looking at my tight schedule for the coming month ahead, I doubt I will be able to update my blog on a regular basis. The only times I see that I would be free are on Saturdays and Sundays. Even then I dunno what eventful things will happen as basically I’ll be doing basically routine things daily like working out at the office gym during the weekdays (abt 2 hours before breaking fast), do things expected of us in the fasting month, tend to the renovation of my family’s new home, prepare for Hari Raya and prepare for my wedding. Not to mention my daily work. Responsibilities have increased ever since I got promoted last month. So yeah I’m in for quite a busy month. So I hope you guys will understand for the lack of updates in the month to come. Speaking of promotions, Aida too got promoted this month so it’s a double joy for us but I apologise if we are being stingy as we need the extra income for our upcoming wedding, in case certain quarters are expecting a gorging session.

Ok I know this is stale news but I just wanna talk about last Thursday’s Anugerah 2005 Finals. I know a lot of you felt aggrieved that Syed Azmir did not win. The fact was, the best “man” won. Yah I put the word “man” in inverted commas for obvious reasons. Personally I felt it was a toss-up between the 2 Khai-s and Syed Azmir. Though Fauzie is a personal friend of mine, I thought he was too simple and ordinary, vocals and performance-wise. Watching them sing Maroon 5‘s “She Will Be Loved” made me cringed as there was no harmony whatsoever. And hearing Syed Azmir and Khairil sang in their Malay accent and atrocious diction, I had half the mind to throw eggs or tomatoes at them if I had been part of the audience.

The finals was all about taking chances and Khairul certainly took his with both hands. He wanted to win badly and it showed in all his performances. He also sang in clear English diction along with Fauzie. Could they have sung better in English compared to Syed Azmir and Khairil just because they are educationally better off??? Maybe, maybe not. It’s not fair though, to stereotype those who are less educationally-inclined as unable to converse English well. Cos I’ve known of many people who speak in excellent English without the need to hold a diploma or degree.

My other peeve was judge Eddy Ali‘s “blind” (or is it “deaf”???) loyalty towards Syed Azmir even after he bungled during the English segment. He still maintained Syed Azmir was excellent. To me, Syed Azmir was too relaxed and depended solely on his fans to up his sms support. My best judge of the night was Edry, and not because he is also a personal friend of mine. He was quite direct with his analysis and comments and I know if he had his way and not be so diplomatic, he would have been the “Simon Cowell” of the night. I thought of meeting him after the show but since he said he only arrived in the evening and was leaving first thing the next morning, I shelved those plans and let him rest for the night. I told him I knew he was holding back his laser thoughts and he agreed that he was trying hard to be nice. He told me he would be back soon on a social visit so perhaps we could meet up then. Good thing too cos the last time I met him in person was when he invited me to hang out at his studio when I went to KL to visit my Australian cousin who was posted there for 3 months, about 2 years ago.

Last Saturday, Aida and I went to the Malay Heritage Centre at the old Istana Kampung Glam. There was a bridal exhibition cum ideal wedding couples’ competition organised by Manja Magazine. We went there on the invitation of SJ Decors, who are the wedding decor specialists at Aida’s side. We began the day early, first stop was Orchard Cineleisure to watch “The Dukes of Hazzard” (Jessica Simpson‘s simply hot!!!). We arrived at the Malay Heritage Centre at about 2pm shortly after saying our Zuhur at the neighbouring Sultan Mosque. There were a few programmes lined up like cultural shows by renowned group Sri Warisan, a bridal fashion show, a teh-tarik competition as well as performances by Hetty Sarlene and Dayang Nurfaizah. The host was none other than Hafeez Glamour, one of the head writers of Manja.

We were both joined by my cousin Jatt and his fiancee Julie. Julie is also taking up SJ Decor‘s services for her side of the wedding. We managed to catch the bridal fashion show (the models were mostly Caucasians and were very beautiful and handsome, like dolls!!! There was even a guest appearance on the catwalk by Hetty Sarlene, Nurul Aini Ariffin and Rima Melati Sheila Adams…) and a dance performance by Sri Warisan. There was also a guest appearance by Aaron Aziz, who promoted Yew Home Design, his home contractors. And trust Hafeez to announce that Pujangga Malam was in the house when he was doing his random interviewing of the audience to kill time. Luckily I was standing from a distance so no one knew who I was, but people were looking left and right to see who was this eccentric character they hear on radio with his daily dose of laser comments. At 4pm, we watched the “Pasangan Ideal Manja” (Manja Ideal Couple) event albeit only up to the question-and-answer segment. I think this was a competition for recently-married couples to take part. We had quite a few good-looking couples but sadly they did not give smart answers, a bit bimbotic and “himbotic” (is there such a word???) at times. Some of them even tried to take the easy way out by saying they agreed with their husbands’ views.

By 4:30pm, we were off to Sultan Mosque, said our Asar and made our way to Prince / Jade Cinema about two bus stops away to catch “4 Brothers” at 5:15pm. That Andre Benjamin (of Outkast fame) can sure act. Compared to his funnyman role in “Be Cool“, this was his most serious yet and I was kinda surprised by the twists in the movie. You gotta watch it to catch my drift. Show over and we returned to Sultan Mosque yet again for Maghrib. We then went back to the Malay Heritage Centre to catch Dayang Nurfaizah in action.

She sang her English number “Need A Break” and her hits “Erti Hidup” and “Dayang Sayang Kamu“. Before the last song, she made the audience request for songs that she could sing like her old hits “Coretan Cinta“, “Seandainya Masih Ada Cinta” and “Kau Pergi Jua” amongst others. She also sang Beyonce Knowles‘ “Dangerously In Love” in a manner that even Beyonce would have been proud of if she had heard it. Yours truly cheekily requested for Anuar Zain‘s “Rindu Belaian” just to see her reactions, since both of them are rumoured to be romantically-linked. She declined and said that the original singer should be the one singing, which made me wonder why the hell did she sing “Dangerously In Love” when it is not her song in the first place???

After her performance ended, Dayang stayed back for a good half an hour to sign autographs and take photographs with her fans and the audience. One thing I notice about Singaporean audience is that they are generally shy when an artiste on stage coax them to join in the singing or come up on stage to dance with them. But when it comes to taking photographs, they will rush forward and whip out all those digital cameras and cameraphones without the need to inform them. Aren’t we all suckers for photographs??? Hahahaha…

Oh yes as some of you might have heard yesterday on RIA, yours truly finally managed to qualify myself for the grand draw of Jukebox, a game currently being played about 3 times a day. For the uninitiated, this is how the game goes. The listener is required to collect 3 passwords and then sing or say out the first line of 3 particular songs from 15 boxes. Each box contains one song, a current English or Malay hit and these boxes change everyday. The morning segment has never seen a winner. Normally those who win are those who have heard what are the boxes that were opened earlier, which was not answered by the listener who called in. I had got through last Thursday afternoon during lunchtime and when I was in the gym working out on the cross-trainers. However, I only managed to get one song right as I had left my sheet of paper that I had jotted down the answers at my workstation.

So yesterday I was fortunate enough to get through the line again during Azmi Sempoi‘s segment. God knows how excited I was when I got through. I was shivering with excitement as I spoke to Azmi before we went on air. Even when we went on air I was still shivering but I think I did myself proud compared to a large majority who called in and just said out the lyrics. Yours truly sang them with gusto knowing the win is there for the taking. For the record, I sang the first lines of Sugababes‘ “Too Lost In You“, Christina Aguilera‘s “Beautiful” and Maroon 5‘s “This Love“. Oh I forgot to mention that the prize won were the station’s premiums and a chance to qualify for the grand draw that might see the winner win thousands of dollars. I’m not putting my hopes too high but the money, if won Insya-Allah, would certainly come in handy for my wedding.

Looking back at my previous entry on the tags, I did have Mahd and Crab saying my entry was a funny one though after reading it again more than 10 times, I still cannot find head nor tail on what was so funny except the part when I said I can fart in different tones and types. But I think the last part on the celebrity crushes need to be changed cos there’s more than 7. I think I should have classified them under “Malaysian Artistes“, “Bollywood Artistes“, “Hollywood Artistes” etc. Never mind, I’ll save that till Ramadhan is over, out of respect for the month.

Speaking of Ramadhan, rejoice my fellow Muslim brethren for the holiest month in our calendar has finally arrived. This is a month where Satan and his accomplices are locked up and we are free to practice our faith without any disturbances. It’s a matter of whether we want to do it or not. I hope that all of us grab the chance to do as much religious activities in this month than in other months. A good month to kickstart doing so many positive things eg to quit smoking, lose weight, be more charitable, be a better Muslim etc. I hope that we all would fast not just for the sake of fasting, that is to refrain from eating and drinking in the day. Another pillar that we have to uphold is our prayers. I feel sad seeing people fast without saying their prayers, even when they have their prayer mats in front of them. It does happen but I hope it’s not anyone of you reading this.

May Allah grant us all his mercy, showers of blessings and forgive us for all our sins in this coming month. I pray too that we all would meet that one night that is better than a thousand months, “Lailatul-Qadr” or “Night of Power“, Insya-Allah

I’ve Been Tagged… (Yet Again!!!)

I’ve been tagged yet again, this time by sis Nura. Something to keep you guys occupied over the weekend whilst you await for my next entry. So without further ado, here goes:

Se7en Things That Scares Me

1. Death without repenting (Don’t we all???).
2. Losing a loved one.
3. Heights (And to think I love to fly or dreamt of being Superman when I was younger).
4. Cancer and other major illnesses.
5. Failure in life and after-life.
6. That I will not be a good husband and father in future.
7. My weight!!!

Se7en Things I Like Most

1. Playing football (Be it on the pitch / court, playing it on PC or on my Playstation 2 console).
2. Manchester United
3. Eggs (Any form: Poached, scrambled, boiled, half-boiled, omelette etc. My ultimate vice!!!).
4. Potato cutlet (Bergedil): My personal sambal belacan.
5. Admiring pretty girls (Admire only, nothing more!!!).
6. Singing (Not singing for a day feels as though there is an emptiness in my life…)
7. Slurpee Coke flavour.

Se7en Most Important Things In My Room

1. Playstation 2
2. Television
3. Laptop
4. Ipod
5. Handphone
6. Bed
7. Fan

Se7en Random Facts About Me

1. I take football too seriously, even if it’s just a friendly. I hate losing and if I were to score, I will celebrate like a professional player with arms outstretched and screaming at the top of my voice. As a goalkeeper, I’m not afraid to scream at my players if they suffer lapses in concentration. When I was in polytechnic, I cried my heart out when 2 of my players walked off the pitch in protest of the referee’s biased decisions and we were disqualified.

2. I gave Siti Nurhaliza a necklace with her name on it on 24th December 1996 when she was in town to receive 2 awards at Anugerah Muzik Popular held at Suntec City Convention Centre, as an advance birthday present (Her birthday falls on 11th January). She wore it on a television programme on the eve of Hari Raya about a month later on TV1 when she sang “Wajah Kekasih“. (P.S. I wasn’t with Aida during this period. I was a swinging single…)
3. Along with my cousin Jatt and best friend Nizam, we impersonated KRU and won the Impersonation Category when we entered Kriatif 897 in 1997, a talent competition organised by RIA 89.7FM. The guest artiste that night was Siti Nurhaliza. I entered the competition solely to meet her, so to win that night was a double bonus.

4. For veteran RIA 89.7FM listeners who remembered a weekend programme called Siber-RIA back in 2000 & 2001, I was the co-host with the robotic voice in 2001. I sounded monotonous having my voice changed but nonetheless I had a fun time co-hosting the show with Suriani Kassim (S.K.), who is now at Warna 94.2FM.

5. In the past (pre-National Service), whenever I played football, I must be clad in my Manchester United jersey from top to bottom. I saved enough money to buy the original jerseys, shorts and socks (which amounted to hundreds) and felt on top of the world whenever I played football wearing them. Felt as though I was a Manchester United player.

6. I entered the auditions to join the-then Singapore Broadcasting Corporation‘s Malay Children’s Television Workshop (Bengkel Kanak-Kanak TV SBC) back in 1983. The producers found me too hyper for their liking cos before I went into the audition room, I was running around the building when it’s restricted to the general public. Hence I wasn’t picked. There went my first shot at stardom. But Aida got in when they had another audition in 1988.

7. I despise camping sessions by the beach that my paternal side love to organise. They are so fond of camping that we could have about 12 tents at one go, all in different shapes and sizes. They go as far as Australia just to buy the gazebos and tentages. Whenever we have these camping sessions, we’ll have generators and all, complete with television and spotlights. Passers-by will always stop and admire them. Ok actually I love the camping sessions as they are meant to forge closer ties with my relatives and cousins (my dad has 18 siblings and god-knows how many cousins, nephews and nieces I have), but what I despise is the before and after stage. You see, the intention of organising is to rest and relax but we are only tiring ourselves by setting up the tents and cleaning up afterwards. So it defeats the purpose of “Rest & Relax“.

Se7en Things I Plan To Do Before I Die

1. Perform my Hajj at least once in my lifetime and do my umrah at least once every 2 years.
2. Go to the Theatre of DreamsOld Trafford, Manchester, United Kingdom.
3. Teach my kids and later on, my grandchildren to read the Holy Qur’an and see them completing it.
4. To lose this obscene weight and maintain it.
5. See the world – Europe, USA, Australia, Middle East etc. (As though money grew on trees…)
6. Be a better Muslim.
7. Be the best father anyone could dream of.

Se7en Things I Can Do

1. Belch.
2. Fart in different tones and types but the best is still the silent killer.
3. Pick my nose.
4. Sing at the top of my voice and causing those around me to cover their ears when I shrill.
5. Whistle through my teeth.
6. Vary my laughter from a Djinn to a Pontianak. (Those who’ve heard me laugh like a Pontianak had nightmares after that. Wanna try???)
7. The gift of 6th sense. I always have thoughts of meeting someone and ended up meeting them a few minutes or hours later.

Se7en Things I Can’t Do

1. Pull-up. I have a permanent shoulder injury.
2. Convince people. I make a bad salesman.
3. See red and green dots or blue and purple dots together. I’m colour blind!!!
4. Slip into my size 34 pants.
5. Write with my left hand.
6. Play a musical instrument. I can only sing.
7. Fix spoilt household appliances.

Se7en Words I Say Most

1. Sapppppp!!! (a term to show I’m impressed…)
2. Riiiggghhhttt…
3. Fair enough…
4. Insya-Allah…
5. Dol betullah dia ni… (You are so stupid)
6. I**p ah!!! (whenever I’m frustrated at someone when the person is asking me to do an impossible task… See??? Told you I am no angel…)
7. An unprintable Hokkien word depicting a certain part of a female’s anatomy. Said whenever I’m angry especially when driving and I have rude drivers zipping past me or cutting lanes wihtout any prior signals.

Se7en Celeb Crushes

1. Siti Nurhaliza
2. Sarimah Ibrahim
3. Angelina Jolie
4. Jessica Alba
5. Aishwarya Rai
6. Mahima Chaudary
7. (Local artistes I won’t say who. Make your own wild guesses. More than one here…)

Happy weekend people…

Influenza Strikes Again…

I’m down with influenza since Sunday. Something about the air and my sensitive nose. Went to my aunt’s new place at Pasir Ris on Sunday for her housewarming and since she keeps about a dozen cats, I must have inhaled the leftover fur flying around the house, which made my nose itched when I was there thus resulting with this influenza. Though I went to work yesterday, I decided to get an MC today as I woke up with a stiff neck this morning. Good thing too, since I can spend the day working out my guest list for my wedding.

Last Wednesday night, along with my parents, my cousin Kak Uda & her hubby Abang Umar, we went to meet the good people of Shad & Ky, the wedding decor specialists. My mum had been extremely impressed with their workmanship and decor outlook during Abg Faiz’s (Kak Uda’s younger brother) wedding last year, so she insisted on taking them for my impending wedding. Not that I’m complaining since she said she’s willing to fork out the amount, though I kinda baulked at the price since I did not want it to be so extravagant in the first place. We settled for a tropical theme for the wedding dais. I initially wanted a Victorian theme but since Aida is taking up SJ Decors who are known for their Victorian and Modern English themes, we did not want both sides to clash and instead have some variety to it. Even Kak Uda praised their professionalism when they did Abg Faiz’s wedding. She said they left after setting up the decor at 3am back then and were back at 7:30am to ensure that everything was ready and no cock-ups were occured.

I know, I know, some of you might wanna use the opportunity to shove my words back into my mouth when I used to say in the past that I don’t want to “bersanding” nor be so extravagant with my wedding. Believe me, in an ideal world, my idea of a wedding is still the “nikah” and inviting people to my place to introduce my wife, just like a normal “kenduri“. But like I said before in the past before I deleted my previous entries from March to July, this kind of event is not a selfish and one-sided event, dictated by one person. It’s for the whole family and friends to come and celebrate and everything is decided by family. Being the only son and the first to get married in the family, my parents were the ones who insisted on having a “proper wedding“, complete with wedding dais and the whole razzmatazz.

One of the reasons is also to avoid people from talking behind our backs, as my family is known amongst my circle of family and friends as well-to-do and if we were to make a simple event as I had mentioned above, chances are we’ll be ridiculed, such is the tongues of our Malay folks. But things will still be kept as minimal as possible eg. I will not be engaging any kompang / hadrah groups to accompany my entrance during the day event. As much as I wanted my way, I have to respect my parents’ wishes as nothing is more noble in the eyes of God than to abide to your parents’ needs and wants but there’s also give and take here and there too. Importantly, there should be communication and I feel I’ve communicated more with them now than before.

We’ve never regarded this event as a “business” event whereby we reap back from our guests whatever we’ve invested for the wedding. We know of some people who have this mindset that a wedding event is as such and they go all out to have the best hoping to gain a lot in return from their guests. To us, this approach is extremely not sincere and definitely not blessed. My mum clearly spelt this out to me when we first sat down to discuss about the wedding. Her main goal for this wedding is to announce to the world that her only son is getting married and to have it done in proper fashion. She said most weddings are a “lost” (in business terms that is) anyway, unless you are sponsored by the wedding specialists. She kept on stressing to approach it with a cleansed heart and not to think of it in a business sense, which thankfully has not crossed my mind from the start. I certainly hate the idea of making use of my guests to earn back the money I’ve invested. I just want everyone to share my happiness with me and their attendance will definitely make my day, and that includes you reading this.

Aida and me watched “The Myth” and “Brothers Grimm” last Saturday. The former was good, it had a decent storyline, good fighting scenes and of course it had the babes. The latter started off in a draggy fashion, which resulted in yours truly to doze off. Most upsetting was Monica Bellucci‘s short cameo appearance as the evil queen. She only had about 4-5 scenes, just like Mallika Sheerawat in “The Myth“. Speaking of watching movies, I’m kinda disappointed that I will not be able to watch “Into The Blue“, “Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo” and “The 40-Year Old Virgin” as they will be shown in Ramadhan. Nope, I’m not blaming Ramadhan for it, but the timing of the movie distributors to show them on the big screen. Looks like I just have to buy the DVDs from Johor.

I’m actually happy that Ramadhan is coming as I feel it is the month where I can be a better Muslim by doing a lot of things that we are encouraged to do. I’m looking forward to completing reading the Holy Qur’an again as I had done before for the past 4-5 years. God-willing with good health and time-management I will be able to achieve that again. Not to mention losing more weight. Last year I lost 5kg. I’m actually aiming for 10kg this time around but that’s being too extreme so I’ll settle for 7kg instead. I have to lessen answering the invitations of breaking fast with friends if I want to achieve that goal. Oh and I’ll be blogging less during the month as I’ll be busy with work, Tarawih prayers, wedding preparations, renovations at my family’s new home, Hari Raya preparations etc. Phew… That’s a lot of things to look forward to. With such a hectic schedule, if I don’t meet my 7kg target, I’ll be extremely surprised!!!

Oh for those who ask if I’m going to the Konsert Mega-Warna-RIA this Sunday at Kallang Theatre, my answer is “NO!”. Surprising huh since I’m such an avid supporter of the radio station. Well, it falls on a Sunday and my Sunday evenings are always dedicated to my football. I’d rather play football than do anything else on a Sunday evening. Lately I’ve been cooling down from my active role on radio and being present at outdoor events. I just don’t want to be overexposed and be accused of chasing cheap glamour and publicity like some of the listeners out there. Anyway there’s nothing of interest for me to comment on air nor see at the outdoor events, so I’d prefer to just listen and save on my sms-es and do other constructive things during my weekends. Right, I’m off to see my doctor…

2 Years On…

Last Saturday, I celebrated my 2nd anniversary attaining my driving license by driving up to Fort Canning to finalise my registration for my wedding at the Registry of Muslim Marriages (ROMM). Aida and her parents were together with me. We thought that the place was gonna be packed with people finalising their respective registrations so we set off early and arrived at about 7:45am. We were 45 minutes early and I was famished as I had been working out over the past week and looking after my diet (For the record, I’ve lost 2kg in one week. Hooray!!!). We were the first to station ourselves outside the entrance. I was sitting at a couples’ bench by the porch facing the entrance, quite a distance away. To kill time, I was listening to my Ipod and reading the newspaper.

At about 8:20am, another Malay couple arrived with the girl’s parents. From where I sat, I noticed that the groom-to-be was no more than 18 years old and the gal looked as though she was only about 16 or 17. I thought perhaps he would be the brother or something but saw no other males accompanying them other than the girl’s father. The girl was wearing a jubah and hijab but I could see a bump on her stomach which made me sad somewhat thinking of another addition to the rather alarming rate of teenage pregnancies in our community. At 8:30am, the entrance was opened and we were the first ones in.

I was extremely surprised that the so-called interview ended by 8:45am for me, Aida and her father. We had been discussing on the way to Fort Canning the questions that we would be grilled on, like if we attend religious classes or if we recite the Holy Qur’an and if we have completed it. But all those were not asked. The kadi, Ustaz Karim Ahmad, just enquired if the particulars we gave were true and we were made to swear an oath that they were indeed true and that was it. I told Aida perhaps the “tanda sujud” (prostration signs) on my forehead might have spared us from the grillings. The signs are nothing to be proud about actually. In fact it is a heavy responsibility to uphold cos I believe a lot of people have good impressions of people with these signs. But I’ll be the first to admit I am no angel as some of you might have witnessed first-hand when interacting with me.

We had breakfast at McDonald‘s Funan Centre. Then nature called and since I hate public toilets since most of them do not have taps in the cubicles, I drove to the nearby Omar Kampung Melaka Mosque behind the Ministry of Manpower building to do my transaction. We still had a lot of time to spare since we had planned to tailor our baju kurung for Hari Raya and another as a wedding gift at a tailor shop (Surip Enterprise) at Peninsular Plaza. So we killed time by shopping at CityLink Mall. We were surprised when we reached the tailor shop at about 10 minutes to noon to find it closed. Attempts to contact the tailor proved futile as he did not pick up. So we left disappointed a second time as previously we had encountered the same thing about 2-3 weeks earlier. Abg Surip, the tailor, only sms-ed an hour later when we had reached home to apologise and say that he had an appointment to attend to…

As my parents had wanted to go out later in the evening, Aida and I took a cab down to Tampines after Asar to attend an invitation by Mr and Mrs Suhairi (also known as “Pak Kuntet” & “Mak Kuntet” on RIA 89.7FM). The invitation was a celebration of the first year of their son, Md Amerun Aqiff. The event resembled a wedding celebration. A pity when we arrived, there were not that many guests but the food was superb. If only I was not on diet, I would have eaten the “sop tulang”, to top off eating chicken satay and fried rice. I also had to pace myself as I had a wedding invitation to attend later that night. So everything was eaten in very small proportions. I was amazed by the beauty of the birthday cake as I had never seen a 3D cake before. Respect goes out to the bakery shop for a job well done and yes it was an honour and a pleasure to have finally met Esra & hubby in person…

The birthday boy himself, Md Amerun Aqiff…

Our wedding dinner that night was at Jurong West. We had expected a few of our listener friends to attend the birthday celebrations before going to the wedding so we could at least share a cab or hitch a ride in their cars but none of them were there when we left so we ended up taking the MRT. It was a blissful journey no doubt as Aida and I slept our way till we reached Clementi, about a good 40 minutes nap. We alighted at Lakeside then took a cab to Masjid Assyakirin to perform Maghrib. They were having some function at the mosque with renowned Ustaz Ahmad Dahari leading the congregations. From there we took another cab to the wedding venue.

When we reached Jurong West Street 74, we hung around at the adjacent block with Lan Tawei & Mike Perakos, 2 of our fellow RIA listener friends, since the newly-wedded couple, Ronzi and Nurhafizah, had not arrived. When they arrived, they were escorted by a motorcade of their biker friends in black and white shirts. They rumbled into the carpark making such a din but it was all in the name of good fun. We decided to join in along with the other guests. Some of the bikers were also our very own listener friends as well and we sat with them at the frontmost table. The host of the event was local comedian Yusoff Maruwi.

We were treated to a Dikir Barat performance, a magic show by 2 boys as well as a karaoke performance by the bride and her niece. The bride and groom looked radiant, even though there was a tinge of tiredness etched in their eyes. Aida and I just loved the simplicity of the event, the wedding dais, everything. There was even a birthday cake-cutting ceremony for the bride who celebrated her birthday the day before and a few of her friends who celebrated their birthdays around the same time.
Watching them more or less increased the excitement that Aida and I have on our coming marriage. Here’s wishing the newly-wedded couple many blessings and sustenance in their new journey together.

I’m actually looking forward to my wedding dinner cos I’ve always liked to see a groom and the bride in their regalia. But that too is the one that’s giving me the most headache in terms of inviting the guests, as I only have 300 friends to include and most of them are long-time friends who have known me and Aida since secondary school. So to those of you who are not invited to the dinner, I apologise from the bottom of my heart, but you are most definitely welcome to the day reception. There’s not much difference anyway, maybe because people always have this mindset that wedding dinners are more exclusive, grander and more glamourous than the day event. I foresee my day and night event to be almost the same, maybe the only difference is I’ll be singing at night. *wink* So just wait for my email or sms asking for your respective addresses. Or you can just mail me your address after you’ve read this…

Lately, I’ve been quite down, worried even, seeing different sets of friends at odds with one another and I’m caught in between. One even went as far as saying that he will not turn up at my wedding if he knows the other party would be coming. Yes it is that serious but please don’t think badly of him as you might not know the actual problems that hit him. Aida and I have always been approached by friends asking for advice or having people sharing their problems and grievances with us, mostly about other friends. We’ve always adopted a neutral approach and prefer not to take sides. Aida and I value friendship too much to bear any grudges at anyone for whatever problems they have with others.

Whatever problems they have with anyone, we just provide the advice they need but it is always to remove the tensions and make the warring parties come to a peaceful ending. The rest is up to them. Deep down, we just pray that all will be back to normal and the friendship would resume as before. But it is very depressing to hear a dear friend saying that he will not turn up at my wedding just because of conflicts with a few parties. It’s a good thing Almighty God gave us the logic and sense to be neutral in such circumstances and not judge too quickly without hearing from all parties involved. However, being the middle person, you are absolutely torn between the warring parties as each have their own agendas and mindsets. *Sigh*

I’ve Been Tagged…!!!

Ok I know this is so, so belated as I was tagged over at Mahd‘s blog sometime last week and I also just realised that Aliyah had tagged me as well. Did not have the mood to answer the call initially due to the recent happenings in my life but since updating what is gonna happen in my life over the weekend will only be about 5 days to a week later, I’ll just post this as a filler. Nah the tag stops here and I won’t be tagging anyone after this. This is just for fun and perhaps for people to know “3 Facts of My Life“. Here goes:

Fact 1:

This weirdo does not drink hot beverages like Milo, Ovaltine, Hot Chocolate, Nescafe, Hot Mocha, Coffee, Tea, not even if you put ice on them. But I drink Horlicks though. I don’t eat any chocolates, sweets nor candy. I dunno how to eat Malay kueh except Epok-Epok, Jemput-Jemput, Pisang Goreng or your normal Hari Raya kueh. The only fruits I eat are apples, pears, oranges, bananas and watermelon. Durians are an absolute no-no. But the funny thing is that I eat durian ice-cream, Kit-Kat, love mango juice, have a soft spot for coffee cake and adores mango ice-cream just to name a few. The thing is, there’s so many things I dunno how to eat yet I am so fat. Imagine if I love to eat almost anything and everything…???

Fact 2:

Not to blow my trumpet nor be arrogant of my own achievements, but I was the only Malay student in my cohort to get an A* for Malay during my Primary School Leaving Examinations back in 1990. That feat thus cemented my position as my Malay teacher’s pet throughout my 6 years in the school as I was the top boy in Malay for all my years in primary school, save for Primary 2. And because I was her pet, I was always the main star when the Malay Club put up annual performances during the school’s Speech Day. You name it, I’ve done it – Tukang Karut for Dikir Barat, Silat, & Malay Dance. I think the audience got sick of seeing me year in, year out on stage that I was told to rest in my last year.

Fact 3:

I also set a record of sorts during my kindergarten days. I only attended one year of kindergarten before enrolling into primary school. And during Speech Day, I was made the Master-of-Ceremony (MC), a feat no other student had achieved before, prior to that. My teachers had faith in me as they said that I was *quote*the most bubbly and talented kid they’ve come across*unquote* I did well as the MC that night, I did not even need to read my script from the cue cards. I surprised even myself as I had felt jitters before the event began. Honestly speaking I was just like any other kid, naughty and cheeky and since that young age, I’ve always loved the attention and limelight. I even had the cheek to chase after two girls and nearly won the heart of the last one but because I forgot her number since I did not jot it down when she gave me, there went my monkey love. So if anyone knew any gals by the names of Haslina or Mazlinda, born in 1978 and used to attend kindergarten at Boon Teck CC in 1984, tell me. Nah nothing of hanky-panky nature, I just would like to thank them for the memories…

Thank you so much for the kind reminders in the wake of my accident last week. Really appreciate your thoughts. Hope everyone have a great weekend ahead. Till then…

Luck Deserted Me…

Pride Comes Before A Fall“… I’m sure all of you are aware of this old adage and wise saying. But I made a cardinal sin of not heeding it. The past few days had been a nightmare for me and I’m just trying to find my way out of this hell-hole as best I could. A couple of heart-stopping moments came my way almost back-to-back and I kinda felt as though my luck had run out.

Remember in my last entry, I mentioned about being a speed demon and stunt driver??? I dunno how most of you took those comments. Some felt I was bragging, some felt I was being a show-off. When I typed that, I was stating in a matter-of-fact tone rather than blowing my own trumpet. But those words came back to haunt me. Last Thursday I met with a car accident. However it was not due to speeding nor attempting any dangerous lane-cuttings. I was tired after working out at Bugis Junction‘s California Fitness gym and I was on the way home when I hit the car in front of me. I had closed my eyes for awhile but those precious few seconds proved to be crucial and insurmountable. It did not help that I only had less than 4 hours of sleep the previous night, no thanks to playing my Playstation 2 console.

My first reaction when I hit the car was one of horror and shock. Not because of the damage to the other car but I was wondering to what extent was the damage on my father’s car cos he would definitely kill me for it and ban me from driving his car ever again. The car I hit, a Hyundai Accent, was so bad that its boot could not be closed. The amazing thing was, my father’s car only had the front registration plate smashed and the left side of the bumper protruding out. Thanks to my old friend Bazlin, who’s working at Independent Disaster Assessment Centre (IDAC) and the one who tended to my case (to my surprise as I did not know she was working there), certain things were waived away, but a significant burn of the pocket was still ensured. I was just fortunate that I came out of it alive or had no injuries to show for.

Then last Saturday, I lost my Nokia 6260 at Orchard Cineleisure. I only realised it when Aida and me were reaching Al-Falah Mosque to perform Maghrib. I had already lost one handphone on 1st May when I was holidaying in Kuala Lumpur. That’s $398 gone down the drain, not to mention the various video clips of the Singapore Fireworks Festival and that of Nurin Diyanah‘s (Aida’s niece) antics. A good thing I still had my old Nokia 7200 so I just replaced it with a new sim card. But I’ve lost some of the contacts I’ve added between May till last Saturday so that includes some of you guys reading this (Diana Hairul, Aliyah, Silent Mode, Momma Reen etc). So give me a buzz please so I can save your number in my handphone again.

Watched “Herbie: Fully Loaded” and “The Longest Yard” last Saturday. The first movie was so-so, watched it just to watch Lindsay Lohan‘s cute face while the latter was much better as it had an all-star cast in Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Burt Reynolds, Courteney Cox-Arquette, rapper Nelly, James Cromwell and ex-World Wrestling Entertainment wrestlers Kevin Nash, Bill Goldberg and “Stone Cold” Steve Austin. The latter was a riot and for entertainment value, I suggest you guys go watch it. I was laughing so hard till perhaps I forgot about my handphone.

Working out at California Fitness gym is fun. But it’s kinda intimidating for me seeing so many people with beautiful and well-sculpted bodies which I can only dream of but dunno if I could possess. But they have the whole paraphernalia to really work off every inch of your body. The place is also quite full of egos as can be seen by some of the trainers preening away in front of the mirrors flexing their muscles, which is quite a turn-off really cos they don’t have to show-off. I might take a year to reach that kind of trim and fit stage. First things first, I need to cut down the sinful food that I love to consume namely Roti Prata, Kebabs, fast food etc and the ultimate vice: 7-11‘s Coca-Cola Slurpee

Anyway, I was told to look after myself prior to my wedding. My mum was telling me time and time again how prone soon-to-be-brides-and-grooms are to accidents and mishaps. It’s what the old people describe as “Darah Manis“. She was in an “I told you so!!!” mode when she heard about the accident, warning me not to return home so late, exercise caution blah blah blah, and all because of this “Darah Manis” thingy. Seriously I don’t subscribe to this nonsense about the “blood being sweet” thingy cos it’s just some old wives’ tale to scare us into staying home and behave before the wedding. To me, whatever is not in Islam, I can dismiss it away but I still hold her advice dearly and will listen to it and not because of the stupid “Darah Manis” thingy. Shit happens in life and if it’s fated, then so be it. All we can do is to minimise all possibilities, be wary and be cautious of our well-being and surroundings…

P.S. To all of you who had been asking about my father’s health and praying for his recovery, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. He was discharged last Thursday and is slowly on the road to regaining full health. Thank you once again…

Hits & Misses…

Saturday was not such a good day for me. A case of hits and misses. A day I would rather much forget. But first, the reason why I did not go to the “Johor Cultural Extravaganza Featuring Siti Nurhaliza” concert at the National University of Singapore‘s University Cultural Centre. I was told by my informant that it was unwise to spend so much watching Siti sing just a few songs. She was only a guest singer afterall and since we’ve watched her performed a few of her traditional songs during her July concert, the option not to attend the concert fell into place just nicely. Anyway, with the current situations at home right now, I kinda agree that things do happen for a reason and I was needed more at home as I’m the only other driver in the family after my dad…

My Saturday began with an early morning trip to a place of attraction somewhere in the West side, as my company held our annual Family Day event there. It’s been ages since I last been to the place, I think it was back in primary school, so you can more or less imagine how long it was, almost two decades!!! Honestly I could not recall how the place looked like so it was nice to see it after undergoing a major renovation within the timeframe of my last visit to the current time. I did not stay long. Just had breakfast, say hello to fellow colleagues and off I went to Golden Landmark Shopping Centre for the launching of Siti Nurhaliza‘s “C-Tea” product.

Reached there at 11:20am. We were one of the first few people there. What was initially scheduled at 12:00pm, turned out to be a longer wait than expected. In the meantime, I made small talk with some of the die-hards who were there. By 1:30pm, the place was packed to its brim. What do you expect, when the greatest diva comes to town, and it’s a free show to top it off??? My first miss of the day: I had won a lucky draw prize at the Family Day event, a $40 NTUC Fairprice voucher which was rescinded as I was not there to collect in person. Siti, finally appeared from one of the glass lifts in the shopping centre at 1:40pm. She had apparently waited via the hotel concourse at level 4. After the initial introductions had been made by Lokman Hakim, the master-of-ceremony for the day, Mr Liew, the director of CCT Marketing, the company in-charge of distributing the product in Singapore, came on stage to deliver his speech.

When Siti came on stage to deliver her own wise words, pandemonium reared itself from amongst the crowd, cheering and whooping her every move. However, certain individuals spoilt the event by their constant boisterous behaviour just to get Siti‘s attention. I’ll be the first to say it is extremely okay to cheer for her but I certainly felt that it was extremely rude to interrupt her when she was giving her speech through their incessant shoutings and asking her to sing and so on and so forth. Singing, for your information, was not part of the agenda for the day (However, Siti did relent and sang “Seindah Biasa” as a token of gratitude to those who had come to witness the event).

If I were to hit out at this particular individual for his boorish attitude during the event, I run the risk of having my neck hung out to dry, as evident from my slamming of his group in my blog back in March. But when I think back, why go all the way and be unethical and rude just to get someone else’s attention??? At least let the person finish his / her speech rather than interrupting and disrupting the event. This went on throughout the event. I could see a few of the spectators were also irritated by this person’s behaviour. Even Lokman Hakim got frustrated at one point and said, “Kasut aku ringan aje ni…” If that is not proof of the frustrations felt in certain quarters, I dunno what is.

I say, our community still has a long way to go in respecting a formal event. Basic ethics and courtesy are sorely lacking and with such hooligan-ish behaviour, I feel sorry for the state of our community. And to think the tabloids painted a rosy picture on the event. Some people were just out for some cheap publicity, just for their own personal cheap thrills and lacking decorum. If you think I’m jealous and bitter over the fact that Siti called another person up on stage, don’t be cos I’ve met her God-knows-how-many-times to even feel that way. My comments this morning on air regarding the topic was met with equal disdain from my usual detractors, but I too had my fair share of those who agreed with my comments. I could have told the individual/s off that day but I would only be stooping to their level by shouting back at them to shut the hell up.

When Siti took her leave, Aida and I left for Sultan Mosque and said our Zuhur. As we were crossing the road to go to the mosque, a black Mercedes which was turning left into Arab Street honked at us. When we peered at who was behind the wheel, we saw the would-be host of our wedding, the man himself, Mr A.B. Shaik. From the mosque, we then drove to the airport to see Siti off. When we reached there, several of her die-hard fans had arrived and were waiting at the Departure Hall. Aida and I had lunch whilst waiting for her to arrive. The wait turned into a long one and I even fell asleep sitting on the bench. When I woke up at 5:00pm, I felt queasy as she had still not turned up. Then I found out that she had taken the first class SIA flight at 5pm, meaning, she had entered from a different entrance. We were all stationed near the Malaysian Airlines check-in counter, where she normally pass by. So a lot of us were left disappointed. Me??? Well surprisingly I was not disappointed in not meeting her. I was more disappointed I couldn’t have slept longer. Hahahah…

Subsequently, we went to see my father at Tan Tock Seng Hospital. In fact I’ve been running up and down visiting him every day. He’s down with dengue fever for more than a week now. A few of my relatives had come over the weekend to see him. He’s had to undergo transfusion to restore his platelets. Alhamdulillah he’s getting better, the tubes are off, but he still has slight fever and still suffering from chronic coughs. The doctors detected water in his lungs, possibly he’s also suffering from acute pneumonia. If all goes well he should be discharged tomorrow. I’ve been the family driver for the past week and I kinda realised how tiring it can be ferrying people around. No wonder my dad’s hobby is sleeping cos it’s just so tiring having to work the whole day, yet send my sister for tuition at night and send my two sisters to their respective school early in the morning. But the one week or so of constant driving has made me into a speed demon and stunt driver. I can cut into a turn from 2 lanes away at 110km/hr. *Disclaimer* “Please don’t try this if you are not confident of road conditions!!!”

I went to Bugis Junction yesterday to meet one of my good friends, Farid Amir. He’s a Fitness Consultant / Trainer at California Fitness, one of the experienced guys there. I needed his help to whip me into shape before my wedding cos I’m obscenely obese now. They had some high-tech gadget that measured my bone mass, muscle mass, water mass etc. One thing I have going for me is that I already have a ready muscle mass and I have a high metabolic rate, burning at a rate of 1817 kilo calories (kCal) a day. I just need to do a lot of cardio workout to condition myself and most importantly look after my diet. I was issued a VIP Pass which would last me about 6 weeks.

Going to the gym proved to be an eye-opener of sorts. A lot of beautiful people were there working out. One of those I noticed was Nadia Fazlini of Anak Metropolitan fame. She’s drop-dead gorgeous in person, even if she had no make-up on. She was busy carrying weights when I saw her. Seeing the other guys with good-looking pecs and washboard abs to die for, it gave me the drive and impetus to be like them too. But I don’t want to be muscular, just well-toned. Not only do I meet beautiful people but also renewed acquaintances with those I had known before as I know some of the trainers there either from my National Service days or through my interests in the entertainment industry. So I hope the next 3 and a half months would be fruitful for me. The fasting month I hope would also help me lose as much as possible. Hope you guys would see a leaner and fitter me during my wedding… Have a great week ahead…

Weddings, Birthday Gatherings, Etc…

I purposely pushed this latest entry to a later date to honour Aida on her birthday. Hope you all did not mind. Of course you won’t. Cos I believe a majority of my readers are smart, mature and open-minded people, save for a few rotten apples and sour grapes, but let’s not go there again. I would just like to thank those who had taken the trouble to leave your comments in here and also to those who had emailed me your kind thoughts and advice (you know who you are) with regards to that fuming mail last Saturday. I apologise for the 4-letter tirade which I’m sure most of you did not expect to come from me. I can take the abuse but not towards my loved one, who was not in the picture in the first place, and certainly did not want to get involved in any form of altercations with absolute strangers…

Last weekend, I practically stayed away from home from morning till night. So many invitations to answer to. And we were like all over Singapore and even journeyed across to Johor. We began Saturday by going across the Causeway to Taman Perling Utara, Johor, to attend the wedding of Malaysian singer Mazleela with 6 other friends. We went there via a mini van that we had rented for the day. Mazleela (or Kak Maz as how I called her), for the uninitiated is known for her hit song “Tabah” and a few cover hits with the now-defunct group 2 By 2. I’ve known Kak Maz ever since I helped out at Konsert Malam Amal Suria 2002 at the Singapore Expo, a charity concert by artistes from Malaysia’s Suria Records that boasted household names like New Boyz, Noraniza Idris, Liza Hanim and of course Siti Nurhaliza. Kak Maz was also a part of the act for the night. Noraniza Idris, Liza Hanim and Siti have since left the recording company.

As it is with my friendship with other famous names in the industry, I’ve never asked Kak Maz who she was seeing nor asked about their private lives unless they were the ones who introduced them personally or talked about it themselves. There’s a degree of respect for the privacy that they crave for, being in the limelight. So it was a surprise when I learnt she was tying the knot. A pleasant one I might add.

We arrived at the bride’s place about 11:50am. We were surprised to see that we were the first guests to arrive as no one else was sitting down to savour the ready spread. The bride had just finished bathing and greeted us in her t-shirt and pants. She was kinda embarrassed to be in such a state but her make-up artist was only coming at 1pm. Not that we mind though. We were just happy to see her and sharing her joy. We have seen her without her make-up too anyway before this when she came over to Singapore and also when we all went up to Kuala Lumpur to attend Liza Hanim‘s wedding back in March 2003, so it did not matter at all.

The bride greeting us outside her home…

The wedding dais in its full regalia…

The bride told us that the marriage solemnisation which was supposed to be done the previous night, was actually postponed to Saturday morning itself as the Kadi had seven places to go to!!! Embarrassed that she was not “proper” to meet her guests, she told us to help ourselves to the food. When I was serving my food, I noticed the presence of Izzla, a new singer who came into prominence after winning RIA 89.7FM‘s Kriatif competition. Like me, she is also part of the Kriatif alumni. She won the singing category in the year 2000 edition of the competition (while yours truly won in 1997 in the Impersonation Category, if you didn’t know already). Since then, she’s released a few singles but of note is the hit “Ku Kunci Rindu Buatmu“. She sounds a bit like Ziana Zain but I understand she has her new full album out in stores. It would be interesting to hear how she has improved over the years so as not to be another clone of an already established singer. A pity I couldn’t get a photo of her as she left while we were eating. She does look better in person than from what I’ve seen of her in the entertainment magazines.

After we had two rounds of the food (brunch time, hence the two helpings… Hahahah…), we chatted with the bride for awhile in her bridal room as we awaited the arrival of the make-up artist. We were genuinely surprised to find out that the groom is actually the brother of Kak Maz‘s younger sister’s fiance. Hers is an example of age knows no barriers when it comes to falling in love, as she is older than the guy by a few years. So it’s a case of being all in the family. Just that I’m still wondering why they did not get married together on the same day as her sister and his brother, as it would definitely save costs but I guess they all have their own reasons, which we respect nonetheless…

Her make-up artist, “Joanne” arrived at 12:55pm and we had to stifle our laughter and grins as “Joanne” was actually a guy. An effeminate one I might add. Jokes aside, I think he’s a great make-up artist as can be seen from the photos that we had taken of the bride and groom in earlier bridal studio pics that they had taken. We took our leave and then did a spot of shopping at Plaza Angsana Mall. I will never fail to walk into a music CD shop whenever I’m in Malaysia and last Saturday was no different. But I was kinda irritated that every shop I went into was playing songs from the latest Akademi Fantasia 3 winner, Mawi. No doubt he’s a phenomenon, but I guess they are taking things a bit too far. Even Siti Nurhaliza does not get such unwarranted attention when she releases an album… Hahahah…

Did not buy anything other than a birthday gift for a friend’s birthday gathering later that night and a pirated Playstation 2 game, Winning Eleven 9. Managed to walk past the customs without any glitches. Went home to rest before leaving home after Maghrib. My cousin Jatt was away in Kantchanaburi, Thailand and his mum who is the only other driver in the family, was away on a business trip. So my uncle, the famous Dollah Kassim (ex-Singapore international footballer), told me to bring the car out for a spin. Couldn’t have come at the right time as the birthday gathering was all the way at Toh Guan Road and we were from Sengkang.

My friend who invited us to her daughter’s birthday gathering was “Kak Ogy JR“. She’s one of the listeners I got to know through listening to RIA 89.7FM. When we reached her place, some of the listeners were already there but the short prayer ceremony did not start until the ex-members of Merbuk Platoon arrived. It was then that I realised that the birthday thingy was just a secondary thing. Kak Ogy‘s husband who led the short prayer ceremony had said that the purpose of the gathering was to unite the conflicting listeners together, in light of the shameful event that happened at Fort Canning a few weeks ago.

I was taken by surprise but I welcomed the move with open arms. I was initially sceptical what was the reception I would get from the ex-members of Merbuk Platoon as I had slammed them hard in my blog in March. Alhamdulillah, most of them greeted me with genuine warmth and after the prayer ceremony, some of us took the opportunity to mingle around, apologise for past deeds and understood why the other party was peeved at one another. I also got to hear the actual reasons why the majority left the group.

As usual, in any Malay organisation, you’ll have the normal backstabbings, petty bickerings and vengeful characters. So leaving the group was the best thing those guys ever did and they regretted wasting their time with it. The incident at Fort Canning was the icing on the cake for them after months of internal bickerings. Which was why I thought my words in one of my previous entries proved to be prophetic, that due to the exodus, it could provide the spark for the majority of listeners to unite again and be happy as how we were when we all got to know each other last year, albeit for 2 months. I really enjoyed my time there just bridging whatever gaps I’ve made with them. And of course not to forget the cheeky birthday girl, Siti NorJannah, Happy 7th Birthday to you

The night did not end there. “Lynn Riziah“, “Da Rock“, his fiancee “MamaRock“, Aida and me then went to Jurong Point and watched “The Maid“. It had been a good 3 weeks since Aida and me watched a movie. Can you imagine that??? 3 weeks??? Some of you might say, “What’s the big deal???” Well for starters, that’s very unnatural for movie freaks like us!!! I wanted to watch “The Maid” as it had been widely acclaimed in the media and from some of you bloggers who said you were scared out of your wits watching it. My verdict: I’ve seen better and it was evident when I slept halfway through the film. I dunno about you, but being involved with SFOGS.com, I guess seeing the scary stuff in the movie actually proved to be an anti-climax of sorts. I did not find it scary at all and worse still, it was kinda draggy from the start. The first instalment of The Eye was still the best for me in terms of horror and make-belief.

The next day, we went to a wedding in Tampines before going to Changi General Hospital to visit “Lan Tawei“‘s wife, “Finn“, who I had stated in last week’s entry that she’s suffering from cancer of the nose. She’s in the stage 3 process, suffering a recurrence in April this year. I heard from some of the listeners who visited her last Friday that she was fighting for her life so we took the time on Sunday to check on her condition. Alhamdulillah she was up and reading Manja magazine when we came but she could not talk as much as she could. Her condition worsened last Friday as a result of her chemotherapy two days earlier. She’s kinda resigned to Fate but there’s actually a spunky look about her that says she’s not going to give up on living anytime now. Aida and me had nothing but sympathy for her and her family. She said it’s a genetic problem as she has Chinese blood in her and some people had said that Hainanese people are prone to getting cancer of the nose, though she does not know if her predecessors were Hainanese. All we can hope for is that God be merciful to her and cure her of her pains and troubles.

I thank all of you who took the trouble to leave your well-wishes to Aida on her 27th birthday. We both really appreciate all the prayers and the glad tidings that were said. And I’ve never gotten as much comments in my blog before this!!! We did not celebrate other than cut a big birthday cake for her at home. I also had no mood to celebrate as I’m currently having some problems at home, with regards to the health of my father. Even though I had no mood, at least I had Aida’s niece, Nurin Diyanah, to thank for cheering me up with her antics. You see, the memories of celebrating her birthday was still fresh in her mind and seeing the birthday cake made her thought that we were celebrating her birthday again. She referred the cake as “To You” as in “Happy Birthday To You“. She kept on gazing at the cake and couldn’t stop smiling even if the cameras were not focused at her. Cheeky little so-and-so…

A quarter of the cake is safe in my tummy… Hahahahah…

Another reason I had no mood was because I just received a call-up to do my reservist in-camp training 2 days after my wedding. People I spoke to wondered why I did not want to defer to a later date??? Things are complicated as it is. For one, the reservist period is after the wedding and since we are not going on a honeymoon in that period, I had no substantial documents to back myself up. Secondly, even if I get to defer, I have to do a make-up within the same workyear (An Army financial workyear is from April-March). The reservist period also falls during the Hari Raya Haji season and I doubt we’ll get time off, since we’ll be outfield during the celebrations itself. I am also sure I cannot fast prior to the celebrations as every year I make it a point to fast as much as possible on the 9 days leading up to it.

As I’m already planning to perform my Umrah-cum-honeymoon most probably in March or April next year, it is not feasible to defer. Anyway, I’m the kind of person who likes to get things over and done with so like it or not, I have to go. I’m just hoping I can be exempted from going outfield as the last time I went for my in-camp training, I suffered a recurrence of my shoulder injury carrying the fieldpack, rifle and Standard Battle Order. My specialist had already told me to see him again the next time I’m due to serve the nation again, so he’ll recommend the excuse. Next Monday’s the appointment. I just hope things are favourable for me.

Today’s the day Siti Nurhaliza makes another performance here in Singapore, this time at the National University of Singapore‘s University Cultural Centre. You guys must be thinking being the die-hard fan that I am (as was stated in this month’s Manja magazine where I commented on her concert in July), I would be excited all over. Not exactly and I’m not even going to the show tonight. Why??? I’ll tell you my reasons in my next entry. But I’ll definitely go to the official launch of her C-Tea product tomorrow at Golden Landmark Shopping Centre. But I still don’t feel the vibes that I normally get before I meet her. Maybe it’s because of my current problems and work commitments that’s taking my mind off it. But one thing’s for sure, you can expect another report full of pictures on the event in my next entry…

Birthday Wish To My Loved One…

Happy 27th Birthday Darling…
May Allah grant you good health…
May Allah grant you sustenance…
May Allah bestow HIS blessings upon you…
May Allah be merciful and compassionate towards you…
May Allah bless our relationship…
May Allah bless our impending union…
May Allah bless our future…
May Allah bless our destiny…
Amin… Amin… Ya Rabbal ‘Alamin…
Love, (Cyber) Hugs & Kisses…