Uncle Nisar


Uncle Nisar with Ahmad Ali (on his stroller) at Pier 39 at Fisherman's Wharf.

Last Wednesday, we had a special guest for lunch—Uncle Nisar Shaikh with his sister and mother. Uncle Nisar is a very good friend of my dad who lives in Palo Alto, California. He was a professor teaching in University of Nebraska – Lincoln before working in an IT company in Palo Alto.

 

Aeshah (left) and I plucking persimmons at Uncle Nisar's front yard.

All of us love Uncle Nisar! He is really fun to be with. The last time we met Uncle Nisar was in September 2006 also in Palo Alto. I love Uncle Nisar’s former house which was surrounded by a huge garden. Upon reaching it, you could see two big persimmon trees. The trees were bearing lots of juicy fruits when we were there in September 2005. My mother was very fond of them and would always mention the trees whenever we talked about the house. The fruits were not really ripe yet at that time, so we took some back to Malaysia. And how sweet they were!

Ali and me sitting on the hammock with my sisters Aeshah and Anisah standing beside us.

What I love about the house was the huge backyard with a hammock and a big vegetable garden. It was where my siblings and I played during our time there. My little brother Ahmad Ali who was 2 years old at the time would be running to the cherry tomato plants every now and then to pluck and eat the tomatoes. There were lots of fruit trees and vegetable plants around the house and we squealed excitedly when we found two pumpkins in the garden.

 

Anisah stood as Aeshah was showing the pumpkin we 'found'.

Uncle Nisar is a great cook too. He loved to cook apple sauce and spicy tofu dishes. They were really delicious. His neighbor grew lots of organic apples and they are very, very sweet and crunchy. There was also a fig tree somewhere near the house that had lots of ripe fruits at the time.

 

Ahmad Ali reached out as he tried to pluck one of the organic apples.

Uncle Nisar and his families were very kind and nice. They invited us to their houses and his sister and brother in law lent us a red van so that we can drive around Palo Alto.

 

All four of us posing beside the red van.

Uncle Nisar flew to India from Singapore last Thursday but we’ll be meeting him again as he would be coming to Malaysia again next month!

Bedil Hunting


I came back to Kuala Lumpur last Tuesday after a two weeks Eid holidays in Kuala Terengganu. I had a wonderful holiday, doing lots of interesting and even ‘adventurous’ activities; among which were ‘Bedil Huntings‘.

On the 5th day of Syawal, my father drove my mum, sisters (Aeshah and Anisah) and brother (Ahmad Ali) to Bukit Pak Apil. All of us were provided with a camera each to try and snap the best bedil photos.

We arrived at the site rather early and since the view from the top of the hill was breathtaking, I spend the time snapping beautiful photos of it. After a while a ‘bedil’ contractor staff arrived accompanied by a policeman. Since ‘bedil’ is explosive, a policeman is needed to escort the contractor and to supervise the operation of ‘bedil’ shooting.

The contractor staff walking up to the site with a policeman escorting him.

The kind policeman told us about the safety procedures during ‘bedil’ shootings and then directed us to the safe site (just in case the ‘bedil’ did not shoot high up in the air as it was supposed to be; but instead explodes on the ground). He also told us that if that happens the flying debris from the explosion could reach as far as 100m away. There were a few unfortunate accidents in the ‘bedil’ shooting history in Kuala Terengganu. So we went to the ‘safe site’ and waited there excitedly.

The contractor staff walking up to the 'bedil shooting base'.

A few minutes to Maghrib, all of us were busy focusing our cameras towards the blue sky, trying to guess the right location of the ‘bedil’. We were really excited. Then, there was a thunderous ‘explosion’ as the bedil shot up to the sky. It was an amazing sight of a beautiful fiery light shooting up in the dusk sky. I managed to snap a photo of it and so did Aeshah.

The beautiful fiery light shot up in the dusk sky

The fire shot up so high up and went directly above our heads as it exploded into a huge firework display like a gigantic colourful umbrella stretching above us, with an amazing display of colourul lights ‘raining’ down as it faded and vanished into the darkening sky. I was too amazed by its size and beauty and was taken by surprise that I forgot to click on the shutter release. So I missed the shot of the climax! It was just like a dream; it all happened as fast as it ended and left us glaring into the sky speechlessly.

Although I missed the shot of the climax, I managed to get this: the smoky remain

We went back to the Bukit Pak Apil for the next two days until the 7th day of Eid which mark the last bedil shooting of this Shawal. On the second day, the only shot I managed to get was a cloud of smoke after the fireworks display ended and on the last day, I managed to snap a photo of the fireworks before it fully expanded. Anyway, during those ‘bedil’ huntings my dad and my little brother managed to snap beautiful photos of blooming fireworks at its peak.

It was an exciting and adventurous experience for all of us. It was something that when the accuracy of the location and timing is vitally important. Just a split seconds makes the whole difference; we may ended up missing the action and snapping photos of fading smoke in the darkening sky instead of an amazing colourful display of lights in the evening sky!

It was a nice experience to go bedil hunting and I hope that we could go back up there again next year to hunt for more bedil photos.

The return of Bubur Lambuk Kampung Baru


Aromatic smell of spices rose up with the mist

From pots of porridge that you can never resist

Everyday hundreds lined up patiently in the queue

For their share of the well-known Bubur Lambuk Kampung Baru

Ramadhan Mubarak to all Muslims worldwide. Starting from today, we can once again enjoy the Malaysia’s best iftar – the ‘bubur lambuk’. Although this wonderful porridge can be found all over Malaysia, ‘Bubur Lambuk Kampung Baru’ from the famous Masjid Jamek stole the show.

Everyday, hundreds of people from all parts of Kuala Lumpur and Selangor could be seen lining up for some of this mouth-watering delicacy. But for those who are willing to pay RM 2.00 (for a pack of bubur lambuk) to skip the extremely long queue, I suggest that you should buy the ‘Bubur Lambuk Kak Sham’ sold by Aunty Sham who is a good friend of mum’s. As far as I know, Aunty Sham’s bubur lambuk is the best compared to the many other bubuk lambuk stalls around the mosque, with the taste as authentic as the famous Kampung Baru’s Masjid Jamek’s bubur lambuk.

(please click here to read more about ‘Bubur Lambuk Kampung Baru‘)

Today, my dad came home from the mosque with a gigantic bag of bubur lambuk. The aromatic scent immediately spread throughout the house. My little brother (who is trying to fast for a full day for the first time)  was walking down the stairs when he stopped in his tracks. The familiar appetizing smell floated into his tiny nose and forced him to run back fearing of breaking his fast. He announced that he is going to stay upstairs until Maghrib approaches. I once had an experience like his when I was a year older than him. Only that in the end, I had to break my fast after struggling really hard to hold back my hunger. But how could I not when I was in the car sitting right beside packs of aromatic bubur lambuk throughout the whole journey back home from Kampung Baru?

If you are a fan of bubur lambuk and have not yet tried the Bubur Lambuk Kampung Baru, please make a trip to Kampung Baru before the end of Ramadhan. Try the famous Masjid Jamek’s or those from Aunty Sham’s stall and you’ll be back for more! And for the Bubur Lambuk Kampung Baru’s lovers, well, I don’t think that I need to remind you of this incredibly tasty dish. Ramadhan will remind us of the delicious smell of spices and will send us all the way to Masjid Jamek Kampung Baru for this lovely savoury porridge!

MORE photos:

Ahmad Ali’s 7th Birthday


Yesterday, my little brother, Ahmad Ali, turned 7 years old. Early in the morning, we went to Taman Tasik Ampang Hilir for a birthday jog and a birthday playtime at the playground. At the playground, I succeeded to swing on the monkey bar from the beginning until the end for the first time! 🙂 After lunch, we cleared up the dining table and arranged his birthday presents on the table together with his cards. I gave him a 3D butterfly card (I made it myself), a Hot Wheels track with 6 cars (which was previously mine – my 5th birthday present from Uncle Rauf), an Assembly Fun Kit – Forklift (from my mother and I), a personally decorated clock and a turmeric plant.

Altogether, his presents totaled up to 36. His favourite were the Assembly Fun kit ‘Helicopter’ (from dad) and ‘Forklift’. Some of the other gifts were two credit cards, some books, a blue Hot Wheels Chevrolet, a few sets of glittering 3D stickers, Dunkin Donut cookies, chocolate, a set of paintbrushes, a ladybug shaped palette and a pack of ‘Glow In The Dark’ Crayola crayons set. He also received 4 beautiful cards.

After he opened his presents, he started to create his Helicopter but he couldn’t understand the instruction manual (the instruction is really confusing for a child his age). So he left it and generously invite my sisters to join him playing with his Hot Wheels track. They spend an hour and a half playing with the cars. For dinner, we had two Extra Large Meat Mania pizza (bought at Domino’s pizza) at my brother’s request.

That night, he decided to invent something else with his assemble kit and came up with a ‘Hictep ler’. He said that it is a flying machine. He told us that yesterday was his best birthday ever because he had a great time with his Hot Wheels track and enjoyed creating his ‘hictep ler’.

Animals Love To Hear Quran – Video


As I promised all of you, here is the video of our performance (click here to read more) last month. The quality is not as good as the original video since my dad had to decrease the size of the file in order to upload it on YouTube. The video is also quite noisy because of the noise made by the inflatable tent blower which they used as the roof for the stage. If my dad uploads a better version of the performance, I’ll let all of you know. This video shows all four of us (Ahmad Ali, Anisah Afifah, Aeshah Adlina and I) singing the Animals Love To Hear Quran nasheed.

During the performance, we also sang the Khalifah Song and Alhamdulillah. I hope that you shall enjoy the video.

We Are Khalifah Of Allah – Video


As I promised all of you, here is the video of our performance (click here to read more) last month. The quality is not as good as the original video since my dad had to decrease the size of the file in order to upload it on YouTube. The video is also quite noisy because of the noise made by the inflatable tent blower which they used as the roof for the stage. If my dad uploads a better version of the performance, I’ll let all of you know. This video shows all four of us (Ahmad Ali, Anisah Afifah, Aeshah Adlina and I) singing the Khalifah Song.

We performed two other songs that day, Animals Love To Hear Quran and Alhamdulillah. I hope that you shall enjoy the video.