Birthdays in March – mum’s and mine


Both mum and I not only have our birthdays in March but also in the same week. I am 16 this year, Alhamdulillah, and my family members had given me wonderful presents.

Mum gave me a lot of her Australian, American, Canadian and New Zealand stamps wrapped in a lovely silver coloured box. My dad bought me stamps at the stamp fair and an A3 sized document file which I now use to keep my stamps in. My sister Aeshah gave me some Vietnamese stamps featuring dolphins that are missing from my collection and lots of odds and ends that I could use for my craftworks. Anisah gave me a number of her drawings and Ali gave me a hairdryer, a ‘Snoopy’ clock and a watch.

My parents gave me a beautiful birthday card with a picture of a flower drawn by mum (the artist), using soft pastels. Ahmad Ali gave me three birthday cards for he enjoyed card making so much that he couldn’t stop making them… Abang Muhammad sent me a birthday card too, all the way from Chicago together with lots of gorgeous U.S.S.R. stamps.

My mother had a marvellous birthday too. Again, most of her presents were stamps from all of us. I secretly looked through her stamp albums and picked out stamps that I own but is missing from her collection. I’m delighted that she was thrilled to receive the stamps that I gave her. I also gave her some Machin stamps (the British definitive stamps with a picture of Queen Elizabeth’s head – mum simply love them, she has a few pages of those lovely stamps in her stamp album and wishes to own as much as she could). Aeshah gave her stamps too. Anisah gave her an envelope with a picture of a cat that she ‘bought’ for 6 stars (our play-money currency) from my little brother.  And Ahmad Ali gave mum a beautiful egg cup and a special Machin stamp(the 1840 Anniversary Machins) with pictures of both Queen Elizabeth as in other Machin stamps and Queen Victoria as in Penny Black.

That night,we had pizzas from Domino’s Pizza for our dinner. Everyone love Domino’s Pizza and we celebrated most of our birthdays with them. It was only last month when we had pizza for my little brother’s birthday!

Niagara Falls


As I was reading (a poem) “Kemanusiaan” by Usman Awang (from ‘Sasterawan Negara: Usman Awang Edisi Kedua’ by Zurinah Hassan, DBP), I came across a word ‘Air Terjun Niagara’ or The Niagara Falls. All at once, I was transported back to the most magnificent place I’ve ever been to!

The Niagara Falls (consists of The Horseshoe Falls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls) are massive waterfalls on the Niagara River, shared by the USA and Canada. Famed as one of the world’s most famous spectacles, the Niagara Falls are unmatched for their sheer vastness and volume of water; not even by the Victoria Falls!

We drove from Chicago (Illinois) to the Niagara Falls (New York). Along the way we stopped at beautiful parks, lakes and scenic small towns. We spent a night in Holland, Michigan.

We reached the Niagara Falls just in time to watch the Falls Fireworks and Illumination Show. It was an awe-inspiring sight to see the massive falls illuminated in coloured lights over the darkness of night added by the thundering sound of water pounding down the falls.

Just in time for the fireworks at Niagara

Early the next morning we headed to the Prospect Point to see the American Falls. We saw the Rainbow Bridge over the Niagara River and also Canada across the river.

Then we drove across a bridge over the rapids to the scenic Goat Island. The whole area is under Niagara State Park. The park is so clean and beautiful, flowers blooming in flower beds and in the trees, leaves had started to change colour since autumn is just a few weeks ahead.

From the car park, we were greeted by the sound of the falls. Walking towards the Terrapin Point, I was speechless for I’ve never seen such a spectacular sight in my whole life. My little brother, Ahmad Ali was so excited to see a few full rainbows all at once in the morning mist below us over the Horseshoe Falls.

One of the many rainbows forming over the Horseshoe Falls

We walked to Luna Island across a beautiful bridge to have a close look at the Bridal Veil Falls. Along the way, we saw the Cave of the Winds; but it was too dangerous for us to go down to the cave for Ali was just 3 years old at the time. And for the same reason we couldn’t go aboard the Maid of the Mist Boat Tour of the American and Horseshoe Falls.

Crossing the bridge to Luna Island to have a close view of the Bridal Veils Falls

Connected by bridge to Goat Island are three small islands named Three Sisters Island. Next to the third Sister Island is an even smaller island named Brother Island. Three sisters and a little brother – just like me and my siblings! What a coincidence.

The Three Sisters Island

Subhanallah. Allah is the Greatest as only Him can create such a great creation. No rides on theme parks could ever match the feelings of standing by the Niagara Falls. And no words can ever justify the awe-inspiring sight and sound of the Niagara’s water, plunging into the their turbulent rapids! [It can fill up one million bathtubs in one second!!!]

I pray to Allah that I can visit Grandpa Jan in Toronto and have a chance to visit the Niagara Falls from the other side of the river – Ontario, Canada.