Thursday, January 20, 2011

Flowery lessons~

The last time I ever planted anything with full care, attention and extra love was when I did my degree. Back then, as usual, when you are on your own, di perantauan, you will pledge to do anything to distract you as much as possible. Just to ensure that we won't be tooooooo home sick. 

In my college days, I was actually one of the members of  the GreenThumb Club. Not very much people knew this, including my family members. HohohHOHohOHO... During my time in the club, I did learn laa a few tips here and there as regards to gardening. :P

My first attempt was to purchase two flower plants from ASDA. The one that already have some flowers on it. Nama pokok, I can't remember. Since I have only dealt with plants that live in hot and humid weather, I AM kinda n00b in choosing the best flower that could last all four seasons laa kan. I did not do any background research at all. I was doing my groceries shopping, thought that I had extra cash and voila~ I picked two flower pots, one with pink and the other with purple flowers.

Aaaa.. here's the thing, came early winter, the two plants withered. I was kinda sad jugak laa since I've make sure that I've given enough sunlight and warmth. Bile dah mati baru I did some search and realised that they were both seasonal plant. Sigh~ 

Not too long after my flower pots were left with only its pots and some dirt, I got hold on a tulip bulb. It was a gift from Kak Nadia who just got back from her Europe trip. She told me that I should start planting it soon (it was winter at that time) to prepare it to bloom in Springs.

So tanam I did. 

In just a couple of weeks I could see tiny green shoot coming out  of the bulb. Giler excited I became. It did came across my mind  that just maybe.. maybe I could see my tulip bloom its flower even before Springs.

Because I was desperate to see it's first bloom (ni kes mmg jakun nak tgk tulip laa ni), I thought to myself maybe I could help to speed up the 'flowering' process. At that point, the tulip had grown many leaves. So here was what I did wrong. One morning, I'd decided to to water it with Ribena juice instead of water. Adeh~ yes yes.. you didn't read it wrong. It is 'Ribena'. In my mind, I thought if I watered it with glucose, it don't need to work so hard to produce glucose. And so the tulip could focus more on growing its flower. In just two days, all it leaves turned brown and there were many tiny green insects helping themselves happily with the leaves. Sighhhh~

I did realise that 'gardening' has indeed a strong connection or link to our lives. 

For example, nak masak you need knowledge. Nak take care of kids you need knowledge too. Whether you got it from words of mouth or through reading, we just have to get the knowledge. Without knowledge you can't even beramal correctly. I remember I did some solat sunat right after solat sunat witir simply because at that time I didn't know. Just like my flower plants, I thought they were the best of plant that could cheer me up every morning. But little that I know, they would withered half way through.

And the best thing that I've learned from 'gardening' is - THERE IS NO SHORT CUT IN THIS LIFE. Trust me. Konon-konon nak 'help' the tulip plant laa. But what I did was totally the opposite. Kesian the tulip... Say for example, you want to be rich so that you could help the poor. While there are the easy way to becoming one, apa guna if the money is not halal. And of course, more importantly,to me there is just no easy exit to heaven. In this life, you not only have to fight against your own Nafs, there are the Syaitan to double the trouble. In other words, you just have to work hard to find a spot in heaven. There is just no short cut. It's the price you have to pay for such great reward.
I wonder if I should start a research on how one could fast tracked the speed of a plant to grow their flowers. Hurmmm~ :P

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Flood everywhere...

When I first arrived in Brisbane in 2006, it was drought in Australia. Dirt were everywhere. Little green grass can be seen. Water restrictions was at its maximum which includes not being able to water the garden. Just a few months before we arrived, hurricane Katrina strikes Northern Queensland wiping out most of the vegetation and plantations there. At that time, the price of banana was at its peak at the price of 25dollar per kilogram. Imagine that. Each time when I passed by the banana stack in the supermarket, I would definitely remember the price of seikat pisang here in Malaysia. 

Alhamdulillah by 2008, Brisbane was at its best although I can't argue that some of the food pricing kept increasing. 

In a twist of fortune though, as I am typing this, most Queenslanders are worried and burdened with the thought of flood water kept increasing. We were told by the cabbie when we first arrived that Brisbane was once under water in the early 70s. And she continued telling us that it will happen again in 50 years time. Lest do we know that it has come sooner.

To all my friends in Queensland who are affected especially the Malaysians, I pray for you guys safety. Please take care.

Perrin Park.. the park where I used to bring Insyirah to play in the evening...

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The letter~

To my dearest children,

I hope you are all happy and doing great with work, kids and all that matters to you. I continuously pray for Allah's Blessing on all of you. 

In just a few minutes, it's going to be new year. Not that I urge you all to celebrate like everyone does. It's just that I thought that the new year could be one of the useful time to sit and reflect on what and how much you have done so far. It's always good to have the 'silent moment' or so I call. :)

I have always been doing the thinking on my own. Lest that I would open up myself and share my concerns to any of you. This year, I thought of changing my tradition. Hence, writing this email to all of you. And before you go on calling one another, let me just point it here that I am all fine. There's nothing to worry about.

You see, the other day, I recollects most of the events that had taken place in the past that until today could easily stir my heart and let tears of joy trickling down my cheeks.
When all of you were young, you guys were innocent, always cheery and forgiving. One time your eldest sister came running into my room after coming back from a quick visit to the market with your grandmother only to hug and tell me how much she missed me. And of course the time when all of you came running to the front door only after hearing the car engine to call out for me and waiting impatiently to give me those big hug of yours. Of course, like any other siblings, you guys did fight. From not wanting to share the toys to sharing the ice-cream. But it always was never too long before you would play with one another again.. as if nothing had happened.

Then of course, you guys grew up. From innocent toddlers to rebellious teenagers. Those were the longest years of my life I must admit. I am not blaming any of you for giving me the hard time. It is just a phase where everyone has to go through and I understand that. I might have just done the same too when I were at that age.. only I believe that it must have been less 'aggressive'.
In those years, some of you had conflicts with one another. You refuses to talk or to even smile to one another. Things get worse when you people started comparing and making wrong judgement when I intervened. No matter how many times I tried to convince you guys that I didn't favour anyone or take any side, you all wouldn't take my words. At times during that period, I had always felt that I have let all of you down for not becoming a better father.

But I cannot say that all were sour and bitter. There were sweet moments too. I enjoyed most when we would all sit down eating and talking. I know I never thank any of you for those moments together. And so, here it is, thank you  very much for sharing them with me. I always am happy when you people would open up to me and were not afraid to share anything with me. I hope you believe that I have done my very best to become a good father. You have all grown up now. Some of you even have kids on your own too. I hope you all would be a better parent than I do. If I must repeat everything again, I would do it with all of you and no one else.

Before I end this email, please accept my one advice in case you have forgotten. Always remember that family always comes first. Even after you have a family of your own, never break ties among your siblings. It's normal to have misunderstanding every now and then but remember that no matter how angry or how hard things could be between you siblings, always get around the problem fast. Never keep at heart. Learn to forgive and forget.

You are all dear to me. Thank you for all the memories. I love you all very much... with all my heart.

Ps: whenever you feel like you have no one to listen to, I am always there for you until my time finally arrive...  


Disclaimer: Ini definitely is rekaan semata2.. tiada kena-mengena dengan yang hidup atau yang mati. ;) Sekian... :)