Thursday, June 12, 2014

THE HOUSE OF A FRIEND IN JANDA BAIK... and the Reality that you choose, and that has chosen you

"It is so green here, Papa."

After 2 weeks of no-holiday-holiday (according to Mikhail), we finally managed to break the grip of endless tuitions (for him) and work (for myself) to escape the city and make our way up to Janda Baik, that idyllic little village nesting in the hills outside Kuala Lumpur.

Nothing to do but lie in bed with the laptop. But to be honest we just spent a short time
in the room before heading out to explore the resort.
There is a small balcony fronting the lake which is actually pool-sized. But the fishes
make a happy company, coming under the balcony hoping to be fed whenever you
venture out. Can they see us from down there, or do they have another sense
that alerts them to the presence of an obliging human?
The flowers are in full bloom up here in Janda Baik.
This giant yellomindus blimeyidontknowthenamus
is at least 3 inches long from stem to petal.
We headed to a nearby house of a Friend. Another friend is caretaker but he was not
at home. Mikhail tried to make friends with the many(many) cats of the house. But
he observed, "These village cats are different. They are not so friendly.
We got lost looking for the family retreat of another friend, Sheik Feisal Bajrai. With
almost zero network in some parts of the village, it was difficult going. But next morning
we woke up early and found the house. The gate was shut, but Mika opened it and we happily
trespassed in. I walked around the back and found Feisal's mum and dad and a Singaporean
relative having early coffee. Uncle Bajrai invited us in, and they fed us fried rice.
This is what you call Hadramaut hospitality. He he he.
We brought our bow and arrows, so after breakfast we set for some serious play at archery.
For almost 2 hours, I reckoned, we shot arrows, together with Feisal's relations from
Temasek. Balqies, his daughter also joined in the fray. I am happy to say that the new
45 pounder bow excelled! Feisal showed me his 60 pounder whose strings I could
barely budge. What a beautiful morning in their 1.4 acre estate... lovely.
After the easy archery exercise, we bade our gratitude and farewell to the Bajrais
before heading back to the House of a Friend. And again, we missed our custodian
friend, Tutak. But we did not mind much. We sat around under the ancient house and
Mikhail made friends successfully this time with his cats. Nothing better than a little
bribe to seal a friendship, I always believe. He he he.
It seemed a sin not to stop by the streams that run through the village.
So on the way back we took a break by a nice bend of river and Mikhail played
in the shallows. Unfortunately the shorts he wore was not meant for such
aquatic fun and kept dropping down. He was mooning everyone there. And I
was constantly shouting to him without any effect, "Pull your pants up, Mika!!"

Well, that's my short record of our road trip, sunshine. My final observation is the many, many sightings of moths, butterflies and dragonflies through out the trip. They were everywhere, hovering and buzzing about, their wings flapping energetically in the breeze. With each flap of their wing, a dzikr (remembrance) of Allah's (swt) name can be heard, but even more, can be seen. You just need a little of that God-given imagination of yours to realise the manifestation of love that is welling up in your heart. And of course, if you have asked God for your firstborn to be a tasbih (rosary) to ever remind you of Him and His Beloved Muhammad (saws), it is no mere imagination. 

It is the Reality you choose, and the Reality that has chosen you.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

-Notrumi Embun, 12th June 2014

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

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