Eid is here!

I anticipate raya this year would be different than last year. Good and bad.

My heart shrinks just thinking about the number of close cousins who won't be around at Kanchong (my mom's side) because they are all away raya-ing at their in-laws. Most of them are celebrating raya as married couples this year (first time la katakan). And quite a few are away at their paternal/maternal kampungs - the usual turn. I guess it will be the kids (oh dear!) and us.

Since we've moved, there will be no takbir rumah ke rumah like we used to do yearly back in Jalan 5 on raya night. From the looks of it, it would be just our house, our next door neighbour and the 2 houses opposite that will light the whole jalan with our porch and garden lights. It's very quiet here. Not at all in a raya spirit!

But, I foresee a great raya too because I've been informed of a few family gatherings of my paternal side, which I absolutely cannot wait! Ayah's family is all over the place and the globe, mind you. So even when it's raya, it's difficult to get everybody together due to the distance. And ever since both of my paternal grandparents passed away many many years ago, we didn't really have a place to go back to. Ayah's siblings are all scattered, so nobody has really been the one to tie everybody together. We've never strayed, it's just that we don't see each other that much. So to have such gathering means a lot to me and the rest.

I guess the only, ONLY thing that I truly anticipate are the open houses!! Who wouldn't right? As most of my friends are married, it'll be great going from house to house as opposed to going to their family's house like before.

And owh, is it that bad if I say I can't wait for raya to pass just because that would mean I'm getting closer to my wedding? Haha

Happy Eid everybody! And enjoy the holidays fellow teachers because once school commences, prepare for the gushing of headaches and pressures :)

Go knock yourself out with the food!

The Help

Recently, I finished reading Anita Shreve's A Change in Altitude and Kathryn Stockett's The Help.

Shreve has made its way to my favourite list ever since I read Testimony. However, her latest novel left me unsatisfied, unlike Testimony. Not the slightest bit gripping. In fact, it had me yawning all the way, not at all impressed with the suspense it built throughout. I was eager to finish it just because. When I finally did, I was relieved. I don't recommend this to anyone. Do google to find out more about the story.

Now, The Help is another story. It is truly an epitome of don't judge a book by it's cover.

This book is special because it is. It's about something real, about the life of the black maids in Mississippi who raised the white children when anti-integration was prevalent. This book is an antidote of their lives, their experiences working with the whites and raising their kids when it could well be their parents' job. That they are called the help, which aptly described what they are. At times humorous and heart-wrenching, this book is a rejoice for humanity and justice. All the time I was thinking that Oprah Winfrey would be perfect for the role of Aibileen - if ever it's going to be made into a movie. Definitely a good read and you'll be moved by it in some ways.

After reading it, I can definitely relate to what the help does. As teachers, I think we are a big help to the kids. We spend more time with them than their parents do. We discover qualities and weaknesses, and we strive hard to give the best to our clients although at times parents don't quite appreciate what we do with their children.

Teachers get students sharing with them stories and secrets which they don't tell their parents and we become a shelter to some who come from a broken one. Students find solace in us when they feel like their parents don't care. And we help them reach the best. We help them to be literate and make them realise that having a dream can bring them far in life.

Whether we realise it or not, we, teachers are the help. It's ironic really that society/parents depend so much on us but there is also this stigma about us that's not really pleasing. Just as the whites would be out of hand without the help, try imagine a world without teachers.

Quoted : "If you read only one book, let this be it". Very true indeed!


You know what's therapeutic?

Pictures. They always do. They have that special way of making me feel completely relieved. Especially now that I am missing my yesterlife in Australia, I’ve been looking at them pictures and being easily transported to that time of my life each time.

I probably would relive my time there once more because there’s just so much I want to do yet nothing that I want to mend. Mistakes made are the ones I learned best from (and also the ones I remember clearly). So yes, pictures lighten me up and they allow me to close my eyes for a while and dream again. Knowing that I was once there, lived there, breathed the air and walked on that soil, it just puts a smile on my face.

Some pictures do make me cringe, (I once embodied a ‘cool’ sense of style haha) just as bad memories do. But fashion police aside, they all have a story to tell. I remember them all. In fact, I can replay the scene prior to the picture taken and after or events related to that particular photo.

Sometimes, I would have this sudden yearning to look at my family’s really old albums, going back to the time when my parents were still courting. I don’t know about you, but I find it really therapeutic - to see who their friends were, to make out how young and carefree they looked and of course to see a trace of them in me. It’s reassuring, I don’t know why. It’s the same when I look at pictures of me and my friends. The memories and stories start to gush that I find it overwhelming yet comforting.

Pictures are like an elaborated timeline. They are intricate and they have a way of making me feel calm. Just like they say, a picture paints more than a thousand words. And it definitely paints my world.

The Writer

The Writer
I am a wife, a mother, and a teacher by profession. At times a pessimist and one who is easily amused. I find comfort once entering the threshold of my bedroom. I write because I want to and it makes me feel good :)