Thursday, March 25, 2010

Oodice in Wonderland

The best part of a romance, to me is the ‘falling in love’ part, not the ‘being in love’ bit. The falling episode, the uncertainties, the doubts, the ache, the longing – all are great source of adrenalin. Roller coster rides are thrilling because of the sharp drop and then the gradual uplifting after. There is this risk that you may be thrown off course and crash down into an unidentifiable gob, of suffering more than just a heartbreak. Protecting yourself - seatbelts all buckled up, against the hurt that might come, at the same time opening up to the pleasure of taking the ride and hope that it’ll be a great one too – are contradicting, insane in fact!

Isn’t it the same as the courting period? You don’t know the person quite well, you worry that he’ll play you but you want so much to believe him. You worry about getting hurt yet, you are ever so willing to let go off your guard. The heart skips everytime thoughts of him wander through your mind, extra heartbeat means extra oxygen intake kan? So you get giddy from the extra oxygen which explains the idiotic smile you constantly have on your face. And the agony of wondering and pulling out flower petals on whether he loves you or he loves you not. Of looking for hints and clues that the feeling is mutual, of reading between lines and every nooks and corners there are for what you want to hear. He said he has tones of work to do, that must mean he is thinking of none other but you. He said he’s going to make three copies of the report, he must have really meant, he wants to see more of you. Always, looking for signs. He looks at you from across the room, and you start to decipher 1000 messages from that look alone.

Every opportunity to see him, you’ll be at your best. Dresses well starched and ironed, tummy tucked in neatly, cheeks slapped red for that natural blush effect, pout well-practiced. Perfect. And during conversations, you offer the cleverest of opinions, giggle cutely at all the right moments, smile well-glazed with the sweetest nectar.

And when you are there with him, nothing else matters, there seems to be only the two of you in the world. Everything else is just prop or extras to the romantic movie you are starring. Every songs played are written for you, you relate to all the lyrics, even the song ‘we are the world’ is no more about famine or being united to help save the less fortunate, no, it is about you and him, your world.

Falling, Falling.

And one day it all came true. He loves you too. The day that was revealed, fireworks lit the sky! Oh how the stars cheered!

Let’s walk together hand-in-hand towards the sunset like couples always do in soppy romantic movies. This is when, happily ever after started.

What happens after the curtains came down. What happens off the silverscreen? He's well-snared now, so?

Once an Alice has fallen down properly, feet firmly planted on earth, she-you realize that it is Wonderland that she-you have fallen into. It is magical, and eventually, after the proper akad nikah we hope, you will produce magical creatures too. Not necessarily Tweedledeedium type but just as adorable (to you). Being in love, in Wonderland is a great adventure, I don’t doubt. Oh, there are many things to discover, many sweet cakes to sample too. And he’s there with you to unravel the wonders of ‘being in love’ together. Perfect.

But you see, 'falling in love' is a process, a verb. Having done it, it becomes a noun. You have landed, reached the destination. So, now what? 'Being in love' requires a lot of SOPs and maintenance, it requires effort and attention. It gradually becomes a chore. Sooner or later, you’ll be tired of tea parties and the card games. How long can you just sit there, looking at each other basking in love?

What then?

Is there a Wondererland after Wonderland?

I have been married for ten years now, I think (Yamtuan’s the one who remember birthdates and anniversaries). I am still perhaps painting white roses, red. My Wonderland is still full of wonder. Yamtuan is still magical, slaying dragons for me. My Tweedlesun, Tweedledot and Tweedletiga are still delightful little wonders. I am still too short to reach for keys when it is placed on certain tables, I still sometimes swim with Dodos in my tears. When will Wonderland be Normaland? Will it ever?

Yesterday was Tiga’s second birthday. I looked at her sleeping on Yamtuan’s chest and my heart just swelled. May we always be in wonder of each other. If I ever need the thrill of falling again, let it be into the same Wonderland.


Tuesday, March 09, 2010


I am setting up a little library at Taman Pinggiran USJ. I hope it will be a site where kids, whatever age, can hang out. There will be wireless internet there, and a computer. Above all else, there will be books and books and books. I hope to be able to conduct book reviews there and creative writing workshop, once a while, maybe story telling/writing contests, stage a play etc. I hope through the little library, I can help inculcate in the kids, a love for books and a habit of reading. We will have a projector and I plan to play only movies that are adapted from books.

Starting April, the place will also conduct mengaji lessons for free. Kids at nights and adults over the weekend. A certified tahfiz will do it for me at RM500 per month. For this purpose, I have been asking around among friends if they would like to contribute. In any way at all. Money, rehal, marker pens, iqra’, sejadah, telekung, books, pisang, time, advise – whatever. It is not that I am running it on charity basis alone. I will have a side business to help sustain the maintenance cost of the place. But I figured, I myself would jump for the opportunity to do good within my means. It would be unfair of me to deprive friends of that opportunity. If they want to contribute, great, it will help ease my financial commitment tremendously. If they cant, the financial commitment is something that I have prepared myself for anyway. So I tell friends about it.

I have three contributors now for the monthly salary of the tahfiz. One of them is someone that I have never met. Dzul. We went to the same school together but not at the same time. He heard of what I am doing and immediately texted me that he would be contributing a bit on a monthly basis. No questions asked. He doesn’t need to know my CV, or see the place or talk to the tahfiz to know it is real. I am humbled by his faith in me and the fact that in giving sedekah, he expects nothing in return – not even receipt for tax claims. It doesn’t seem to matter to Dzul if I am a cheat, because that will be between me and God. Dzul only gives because he can and he wants to. So easy.

I am not like that. I don’t give sedekah to beggars because I regard them as lazy, and cheats. I wont give sedekah to anyone who imposes certain amount as minimum contribution. I don’t just give, I do due-diligence first. I call it, berhati-hati. But it can also be called, buruk sangka.

First lesson I get from this new venture and Dzul is to have faith. In doing good, just do.


Wednesday, March 03, 2010

The Neighbour

Remember the neighbor who went holidaying in Australia and got me three panties – all oversized (never mind that they fit)?

Well, she called me to drop by at her house the other day. I did and what waited for me was this huge huge pile of clothes. Apparently, her sister is quite sick. She is what you would call, a shopaholic. When there’s a sale anywhere, she’ll buy by the longgok-ful. Thus how she ended up with multiple colours and sizes of a same design. And God, is she sick. There are many MNGs, Peruna, Zara, British India, M&S, G2000 and many other brands, all with their price tags intact. There are skirts and shirts, cardigans and shawls, tees and camisole, jackets and pants. When I say ‘huge huge pile’ I mean like many hundred pieces of garments.

Take what you like, Wendy said.


Do me a favor, take.

So segan, instead of choosing for myself, I helped her choose things that fit her. But the sizes were mostly wrong and the design youngish. In the end, we ended up choosing things that fit MY size and style and they all fit into 3 huge paper bags. Up to the rim.

You know what, you take all lah, I don’t know who to give to. Don’t want to to give strangers, I will be so honored if you take them all – said Wendy not to Peter pan but to me.

How to say no to such beautiful wonderful gifts? Too good to be true, but as true as blue. So I did the only honorable thing to do under the circumstances. Yes, maam.

Too heavy to carry home, we hauled everything into her car and she drove me back (my house is right behind hers).

So here I am, with loads of new things to wear still in the bags downstairs! I still cant get over it.It's not even my birthday!

Don’t you just wish your neighbors are like mine? Best!
Beautiful Mess