Tuesday, August 30, 2016

My breakfast - Their breakfast | The Budimas Charitable Foundation


We all woke up to heavy rain in KL this morning. As always my duty is to ask my mother what she would like to have for breakfast. So I drove to the nearby stall across our condo, yes drove as it was raining cats and dogs. I usually walk. Alhamdulillah for my mother, praise be to the Lord for a beautiful day and for a decent breakfast. Like most Malaysians, I had Nasi Lemak and my mother had Fried Koay Teow for breakfast. Like other privileged KL-lites we sometimes have exquisite bread and pastries for breakfast. 

Before I left for office [Alhamdulillah for being gainfully employed] I grabbed a stack of mails and one particular mail from Farah, Ali, Chong & Friends of the Budimas Orion caught my attention and brought tears to the eyes.

The Budimas Charitable Foundation is a non-profit organization which supports orphans and underprivileged children through three key initiatives: 
- home [Budimas Home Charity Fund]
- food [Budimas Food Charity]
- education [Budimas Education Charity Fund]

The Budimas Foundation is under the distinguished Royal patronage of Her Majesty the Queen of Malaysia. Funds are for managing the Budimas Orion (the home where Farah, Ali, Chong & Friends live) and for supporting 20 other charitable homes throughout Malaysia where 1,100 orphans live.

The foundation also does another thing which I myself had benefitted when I was in primary school. I enjoyed free breakfast for several years when I was at Island Girls' School in Penang. The Budimas Charitable Foundation provides breakfast for more than 4800 underprivileged children in rural schools nationwide. Breakfast, no doubt, is the most important meal of the day. It is even more important for school children. Imagine them having to go through lessons and class activities on an empty stomach. 

When you have your breakfast tomorrow, think about the possibility of sharing a bit of your monthly expenses, to "buy" breakfast for some 4800 children across Malaysia.

Malaysians had once helped a child like me have breakfast at primary school. I benefitted from it. I urge you to share your breakfast budget with the young ones. In the video below, you'll get to see their faces and hear their voices. Their story is such a beautiful story. I'm surprised and sad that to date, the video has got under 200 views. 

Please visit www.budimas.org for more information and please consider joining their Direct Debit Donor Program (DDDP).

I came to know about DDDP at a mall in KL. That was after three of the Foundation staffs tried to distract me from shopping. I must have appeared snobbish and selfish to them! You know there are many organizations/individuals out there trying to raise funds. But I am grateful and thankful for the persistent and polite Budimas staffs who pulled me aside to explain about this wonderful charitable foundation.

I hope you'd find time to view the video below and be inspired to sign up for the DDDP.   
Thank you!

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Believe in magic and you shall find it


Hello world! 
Glad we have plenty of foreign visitors, thus I hope you'd appreciate photos from beautiful Malaysia.

I am in JB (Johor Bharu) the southern-most state in Peninsular Malaysia. That's JB clock tower to the right behind that curtain and that not so far away land in the background is Singapore. I can't say I like JB as much as I love Penang cos Penang is my hometown. But our foreign readers should know that JB has got Johor Premium Outlet (JPO) - something worth considering if you intend to visit Malaysia - truly Asia 😆 

Am here for my good friend's wedding. Pray she'll stay happily married until her last breath, spend each day with her husband in ibadah and win Allah's redha every step of the way. Ameen.
[Congrats NY and MY!]

And here's a good piece of advice for those who are still looking for their right soulmate. It's from Roald Dahl: 
"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you
because the greatest secrets are always hidden
in the most unlikely places.
Those who don't believe in MAGIC
will never find it."

But why not reverse it a bit? I say:
Believe in each moment that magic has found you!

My harvest from JPO : )
Buying gifts for your loved ones/friends is sunnah too! And if I recall correctly from Habib Ali, there are three gifts that one cannot reject out of adab, one of them is perfume. A quick google shows a hadith by Tirmidhi:"The Prophet s.a.w said: Three gifts are not to be turned down: cushions, perfume and milk."
Ref: http://www.alminbar.com/khutbaheng/191.htm

When in JB, a must buy item for me is their Biskut Raya (cookies for Eid)
simply the best in the country!
The selections for Eidul Adha is not as wonderful as Eidul Fitri though.

Glad my earlier message has reached the intended audience ; )
Why am I not surprised that some nosy people are speculating who my soulmate is LOL

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Retracing my voice | Make good art


A piece of oyster I consumed last Saturday has made me a little unwell right to this Saturday. But blaming an innocent oyster which had traveled all the way from Aussie is not fair is it? Our body reacts the way it wants to react, there's nothing much we can do, eh?

Anyhow, the point I am getting at is that when we are on the down side, we need a boost and our limbs would instinctively look for a boost - be it a mental boost or a spirit boost.

Thankfully, I accidentally came across Neil Gaiman's keynote address for a graduating class at the University of the Arts. This took place four years ago. I'm pretty sure that his frank words of advice to the class and everyone who listens to it today, is fresh and relevant, even forty years from now and beyond. He is a famous British writer. 

He articulated his advice in a relaxed, undiscriminating and unassuming manner. I liked that. He mentioned six advice altogether and the fourth one was: "I hope you'll make mistakes. If you're making mistakes, it means you are out there doing something. And the mistakes in themselves can be useful."

I am inclined towards anyone who encourages me to be human, that is to make mistakes. These people are real.

[I am no longer inclined towards people who outwardly appear as a religious authority but when they get to know a single and somewhat attractive lady like me, they show the other side of them. They say: "Shhh...let's get married. You are busy with your work, I am busy too, we just get married and meet once in a while!" I wonder if they would say something like that to a widow with half a dozen kids. When this person asked me my age, Oh I wish you were there to witness his reaction or rather frustration cos he thought I was in my 20s! Ahh, you may be a shaykh, but if you dare speak in such a manner, you are not speaking the language of faith!]   

Anyhow, coming back to Neil Gaiman and his advice. Gaiman said we should make good art when things aren't going well and we should make good art on good days too.

He said: "Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do. Make good art. I'm serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it's all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow and eventually time will take the sting away but that doesn't matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art. But the one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision...."

"The moment that you feel that just possibly you're walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself. That's the moment you may be starting to get it right."

"Leave the world more interesting for your being here."


Yes, this mental boost from author Neil Gaiman, has made me come to surface again, grab my Surface and retrace my voice. Hopefully, I will remain truthful and speak my language of faith.

And be wise because the world needs more wisdom. But since I cannot be wise all the time, I shall pretend to be someone who is wise and then just behave like they would. LOL. [This too is Neil Gaiman's advice!] 

The 31st of August is Malaysia's independence day. Pray we will remain free to speak our language of faith and remain free to speak our mind about anything that comes to mind and touches the heart.

Friday, August 12, 2016

From a distance | A little closer


I was delighted to get a little closer to the KL Tower as can be seen in below photo.

I have been sharing many shots of the lonely tower from a distance. It felt good to see her standing so close before my eyes, for once.

It's always good to see things from a different perspective every now and again. It's not good enough to view a thing from a distance because you would surely miss its finer beauty. And the reverse is also true. Certain things appear to have more splendor when you view it from a greater distance. Having been to Mount Fuji, I know this to be true.

But it's not just about catching a thing's beauty. It's about getting to know a thing/person/situation better, be it from afar or near. If you have only seen something from a distance or a certain angle, then you should try to shift your viewpoint. It's always better to have both a micro and macro perspective. Everyone wants to be understood if not loved. Every thing, even the inanimate beings, all deserve an appreciation, regardless from near or far.  

KL Tower - a little closer - August 2016

KL Tower from a distance - Nov 2015

"From A Distance" is one of two inspirational songs by Bette Midler I love. The other one must be your favorite too - "The Wind Beneath My Wings".

Remember to appreciate the one who always walk a step behind us, who is always ready to catch us in case we trip and fall, in case we need to just stop for a moment to take a breather or pause to make sense of it all and have that loyal someone to lend his/her ears. Be thankful for the wind beneath our wings, people whose quiet presence allow us to fly.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Inspiring men | Golden Hearted Beings


Some of you might have read a couple of postings in which I mentioned about the super cool organization I work for and the gifts which our CEO had given to all employees, each one of us e.g. iPhone, Pebble watch, Samsung Tablet, GoPro... in addition to monetary rewards of course. Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.

So here's THE man, a multi-award winning CEO whom we are all proud of and lovvveeee.

It's quite rare to meet inspiring people. People whose impromptu speeches make a lot of sense, give you a renewed energy and a heightened self-belief. At a recent small gathering, we sang two of his favorite songs. One of them was a  Malay song called Kau Ilham ku (You are my inspiration) (see video below). He said, as all the humble successful people have the tendency of saying: "It's not about me. Take notice of the inspirations within your own personal sphere."

He is moving on to manage bigger tasks for the good of the country and the ASEAN region.



Thousands of stars are now vanishing
Thus I grapple in darkness
The moon light has dimmed
Uninspired I've become not knowing my direction

A sight of your face quietly emerge
There's sparkle, there's shine
Could it be a star or is it the moon?
I say thank you

Let me catch a glimpse of your face
Let me steal a fantasy with you

Pardon me, should this song violate your space
Oh would you smile
for the sake of our shared memory in this arena

You are my inspiration
You are my inspiration

Monday, August 1, 2016

Multipli-City | August company


I am secretly liking the fact that this space has got more audience from the UAE and Europe than Malaysia. Yes it's nice to see how people embrace life in different parts of the world.

I love driving up to my hometown Penang conveniently. Was there last weekend - the last weekend of Syawal, Alhamdulillah to go jaunting in multiple cities back and forth. Singapore again soon, Insha Allah. Each city has got its own unique appeal of course.

Chic cafes and vibrant malls aside, my eyes have got a strange attraction to old men on bikes LOL. I think I have got several photos like these captured in Melaka. This one was taken in Penang. In the background is my favourite Nasi Kandar/Nasi Tomato stall. People often talk about Nasi Kandar in Penang, but as a true Penangite, I have a thing about Nasi Tomato (Tomato Rice). I know where to find the three best Nasi Tomato in Penang for early dinner, breakfast and supper : D

I think people who cook great food religiously are highly spiritual people. They do their best and only serve the best. Only people who have got a good zest for life have the passion to cook good meals. Now, do you still wonder why Penang is famous for great food? LOL.

One of my post-retirement project is to share (as in sell) dalcha (dhall with veges and chicken/mutton) the way my mom cooks it because people need to be educated and reminded how a decent dalcha should be LOL.


Praise be to Allah Al Kareem - to be home, randomly switched on the telly and there was this show about beautiful sea-front homes in Scotland! OMG praise the generous Lord - the giver of joy here and there and everywhere. In fact, we should realize that in August and in each and every month, we are in august company always - He the Creator of beautiful moments!


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

I'm possible | Think big


This is a special shout out to my niece S who has been scoring big in her college exams each and every semester, masha Allah : D

A dean's lister she is almost every term. Even if she missed it, it's just by 0.8 or less! I am so very proud of her. Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. Seeing her doing well is a constant "lesson" for me and my family because when S was in primary school, she was way behind in her studies. We never really expected her to come out so strong. There were times when we even joked about the kind of job she might end up doing. LOL. Shame on me, Maths was impossible for me, yet it's super easy for S. She sure is possible. 

We all are possible even if people think otherwise. I remembered about ten years ago, one of the "bosses" thought I was a liability to my team. I hope somebody tells him that I'm now an asset, he might not know cos he quit the race.

What is the lesson here? Methinks, it's part effort and part Allah's decree to grant success to anyone He wishes.

Yes, I'm possible. Me!

Think big! The future is yours to create.

Because some of you have requested to see more of me here on this space, so here I am. I missed you too. I missed this space too!

S - glad you enjoyed and were inspired by the Japan-trip reward!