This blogspot is a medium to share my thoughts and adventures apart from promoting my books. Below are the books which have been written or authored and published by myself.

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Mencari Diri dan Erti".

ISBN 983-42031-0-1, Jun 2006

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Membela Syiar yang Asal"

ISBN 983-42031-1-x, May 2007

"Berpetualang ke Aceh: Sirih Pulang ke Gagang?"

ISBN 978-983-42031-2-2, November 2007

It is interesting to note that while these books were written in Malay it has gained enough attention to merit being part of the collections of the American Library of Congress and National Library of Australia. Look here and here.

While the first three books were published by my own company, the fourth titled "Rumah Azan" was published in April 2009 by a company called Karnadya with the help of the Malaysian national literary body Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka. It features beautiful pictures along with stories behind selected mosques which could be related to the history of Islam and the Malays alongside the formation of the Malaysian nation. Look at the article A collaboration of old collegemates - the book "Rumah Azan".

My fifth book "Ahlul Bait (Family) of Rasulullah SAW and Malay Sultanates", an English translation and adaptation of the Malay book "Ahlul Bait (Keluarga) Rasulullah SAW dan Kesultanan Melayu" authored by Hj Muzaffar Mohamad and Tun Suzana Othman was published early 2010. Look here... My 5th book is out! Ahlul Bait (Family) of Rasulullah SAW and the Malay Sultanates... . For more information check out my Malay blogspot CATATAN SI MERAH SILU.

Like my fourth book "Rumah Azan", the sixth book "Kereta Api Menuju Destinasi" is also a coffee-table book which is published by the company Karnadya with the cooperation of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka (the main Malay literary body in Malaysia). Coming out January 2011 it features pictures and stories on the adventure travelling by train to all of Peninsular Malaysia along with the interesting places which could be reached this way.

My seventh book "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah" in turn is a coffee-table book which is written, editted, designed and has pictures taken by me. Coming out of the factory October 2011, this book which combines family history with history of places such as Singapura, Johor, Batu Pahat, Muar and in fact the history of the island of Java and England has been reviewed with me interviewed live in the program Selamat Pagi Malaysia at RTM1. Look at the article Siaran langsung ulasan buku "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah" dan temu ramah di Selamat Pagi Malaysia. Some selected contents have been featured in Sneak peek "Jejak keluarga Yakin : Satu sketsa sejarah".


The "Berpetualang ke Aceh" series of novels could be obtained in e-book form. Enter http://www.e-sentral.com/, click general novel and go to page 4. You can also type the word "Aceh" at the search box. Or click straight Book 1, Book 2 and Book 3.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

From Nilai to Kajang : Reminiscing on how life has changed and such

Still, going on with the current 'idle' flow of stories...

Friday 14th January, after settling some business in Ampang Jaya area, I did the obligatory Jumaat congregational prayers at a mosque which used to be a surau (small praying hall). This reminds me of the time I used to bunk at an aunty's place nearby. She has this house rule that the gates should be all locked at the latest 12 am and that's when the house alarms would be on.

Her whole household tends to sleep by 10. There's the maids who could open the doors for me later but by 12 I wouldn't want to disturb anyone or trip the alarm. For I realise that I was simply bunking at their house as I try to figure out what next in life. I never ask for the keys and I don't feel right about it. It is enough that the aunty and family have accepted me when my life was in disarray and I was having a hard time putting it back to order.

So the simple rule was this. I was allowed to stay but should I spend time late into the night then I should only enter the house in the morning, after 7 am. That should not disturb anyone as by then the whole house would be awake ready for school, work or whatever. At times I need to spend time with friends outside not far from the house. But the conversation tends to go on until the very wee hours... in fact most of them only turned up near midnight. So the surau which is now a mosque was the place I used to rest at while waiting for morning to come.

Well things are different now. I'm married again and have a place to call home. Except this place is some 40 km north-west of Kuala Lumpur compared to the aunty's house 10 km or so east of the city. So I only go to Ampang once in a while when I have business to attend.

After Friday prayers I went to Gombak and then picked up the wife at Jalan Ipoh after work before heading home. The following day Saturday we took baby Al-Rasyid down towards the KLIA quarters at Nilai way south from home. We wanted to visit a friend and his place is not so far from the quarters.

Baby Al-Rasyid in front of the mihrab, the front most section of the KLIA quarters mosque. Boy, life has sure changed. Not that I've never had a kid before, it's just I was not in the right frame of mind when my previous wife gave birth to my daughter more than 8 years ago. I was then in total turmoil. Having lost my job to office politics, a few months later a grandmother died, my dad's mum.

You see I was in the midst of getting to know my roots after 30 years of not caring anything about it. She was the one who had all the answers and I came to her after having a certain dream, after having not seen her for like 3 years or so. We managed to have a few days' conversation before I had to go and then started falling sick, not able to talk until the day she died. A few months later I lost my youngest brother in an accident the night after my daughter was born. Just 2-3 months afterwards or so, I lost another grandmother, my mum's mum.

A look towards outside the mosque. You see, that grandmother, my mum's mum was the one who brought me up until I went off to a boarding school at the age of 12. Funny I found myself getting distant from her as I grew up and left my native state of Johor before going overseas at the age of 21. It's when I lost her that I began to look back at things but in a numb way of sorts. Perhaps I was shocked perhaps I was simply pretending to be not so affected, playing it cool when the fact is my heart was breaking down. At the same time I still felt strongly the lost of the other grandmother which I was getting closer to after practically ignoring her side of the family for three decades.

Actually I went to this friends house at Kota Seriemas, Nilai to get a copy of my latest book. I am the writer and he is the publisher. From there we took the rural road towards Kajang. I then veered right to old town Bangi.

Part of the old road further on passes under the railway tracks. I am writing this piece merely to share some pictures of another day (or 2 days, Friday and Saturday) of my 'idle January' following today's current bout or mood of writing. I have no idea that some old memories would be rekindled or resurface, perhaps because I was trying to explain the signifance of the mosque where I did my Friday prayers at.

The road after passing the underpass. Let's not continue with the reminiscing ya. For after all this years, I still can't help but feel sad about it and tears were starting to well...

Anyway we went to old town Bangi because I wanted to take a route I haven't took for more than 10 years, the route from old Bangi to Semenyih. Here's a pix after we have left Semenyih far behind and entering the town of Kajang.

It has been awhile since we enjoy a meal of satay here. For the record Kajang is very famous for its tasty satay or skewered meat especially under the Haji Samuri brand or restaurant. It's just a pity that they don't have enough onions it seems. I always prefer my satay dish with onions but they said they have ran out of it.

I find it hard to believe that a large restaurant like that of Haji Samuri can run out of onion. It would be logical if I came late at night but just before dusk? Aren't they going to entertain more guests for dinner? How could such a well-recognised establishment ran out of such essential item as onions before prime meal-time for satay? One wonders, were they just simply making excuses to cut up cost?

Like I said before onions are very essential to a tasty satay meal. Apart from that I have been told that it neutralises the carbon present on the meat due to the traditional way it is prepared. Whatever I simply couldn't eat satay without onion. I actually went out in search of some and luckily found a mamak restaurant about 200 metres away with peeled onions ready for cooking and the cook agreed to sell me a bulb.

Hmm. I think this is the first time we brought Al-Rasyid to this restaurant. Lack of onions aside, dining at Haji Samuri is great as it also have relics like this old car to entertain.

Al-Rasyid enjoying a 'drive'.

Many times he tried to grab the wheels from me as I was driving and actually tried to touch the pedals with his feet!

Enough of this story...

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