Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Seni in the City

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Seven days of semester break last week. Khalish's first as a year one student. Naturally, he looked forward to being free from schedules. Lego, story books, Plants vs. Zombies, game reviews, CBeebies, experiments, playground, and sketch pad galore. I let him be. Partly because a child is supposed to have fun, partly because I was occupied with other commitments.

My only concern was the boy's lack of socialising. That was when I received an e-mail forwarded by Kamal. Hey, art programme, registered.

That Thursday, Khalish and I reached Suria KLCC as early as 10:00 a.m. The boy was excited at the sight of Galeri Petronas. At the library, he even joined the other participants as though they had been friends for ages, surprise surprise. Another surprise was my clinginess. I almost asked the facilitators, "may I be here all day long as an extra facilitator?" At that moment, Khalish waved at me, indicating that, firstly, I should proceed with my own activities, and secondly, he was fine. So, instead of the initial question, I asked the facilitators "may I photograph my son during lunch hour, and afterward, at the the end of the program?"

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That clinginess ended there though. As soon as I walked out of the library, a realisation hit. Me time!

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MAESTRO and Earthworks exhibitions still captivated me even after three visits. Alone, I was able to appreciate each masterpiece. The mommy within me thought of Khalish though. For his art to be displayed there one fine day.

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After a walk around the mall, I settled into a spot at Kinokuniya. While browsing through pages at that particular section, I wished to be a millionaire so that I could build a library as vast as the store with books and stationeries as varied as the collection there. As the crowd at the section grew, I moved to the upper level, where there were more artistic elements. 

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Since the art programme provided lunch for the participants, I dined by myself. To me, the best place to do so is always O'Coffee Club, Kinokuniya. Back at Galeri Petronas, Khalish and his new friends relaxed at the library before the next session. 

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About the art programme. For only RM35, each child was exposed to three creative sessions. Free flow of materials as a bonus. With extraordinary works by extraordinary artists around the children, how could they not be inspired? 

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Most importantly, Kamal and I would love Khalish to meet more people. Seeing others' imagination on papers, the boy felt encouraged to freely express his ideas. Too far from the box at times, heh. Thank God for passionate facilitators. 

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At the end of the day, Khalish asked Kamal and I, "what is the next art programme?" He added, "a programme with a lot of friends, please." One that involves the parents as well, perhaps.

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Sunday, March 08, 2015

Chat & Chow

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This, potluck with 9498 chums, started in 2008. Looking further back, a few of us have been close since Seri Puteri days. Some of us became closer because we ended up at the same university. Afterwards, those who lived or worked within similar vicinity occasionally gallivanted about. Then came 2008. 

That year, Tuty and her son, Adam, came to the Klang Valley from Johor Bahru. Since the whole circle had not met for a long while, one of us suggested a potluck. Mainly to make Adam comfortable as the mommy and the aunts anticipated to talk for the whole day. Which we did. Ainul and I, heavily pregnant with our respective first children at that time, also welcomed the idea. Hence our first potluck. Thank you, Ainul, for hosting us.

A series of potluck took place one year after another. We took turns to host it. There were times we held the potluck outdoor. Not everybody from the circle could come, but every time we gathered, those absent would be there in spirit, too. All in all, we always had a great time.

One fine day in February, the chums had our first potluck for 2015. The venue, my place. The food and beverage, from Sate Kajang Haji Samuri to Ribena Longan. The theme, Chinese New Year red. The extra activity, Ninilopa, enough said.

We, including Huda and I, actually decided to be photographed together wearing the tudung that a number of us ordered from Nini. Hence the name Ninilopa. Thus the break from the aforementioned theme. Oh, we even had a different tudung for a different photo. Heh.

Thank you for another fun potluck. My son even requested for the rest of the children to spend a night in Bandar Baru Bangi. See you at the next do. For now, enjoy the recent photos:

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The 9498 Chums
In no particular order:
Fathin, Ainul, Nini, Farina, Huda, Yani, Nana, and I
The juniors:
Khalish, Khalis & Sufiya, Ainul & Alisha, Yusuf & Iman, and Aalya & Aimran
In spirit:
Ibah, Elin, Elis, Tuty, Lat, and the other juniors

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Menyusur Melawi

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Kelantan, to Khalish, is synonymous with i) Ketereh, ii) Bukit Mas, and iii) The Beach. Not necessarily in that order. According to the boy, number iii usually comes before anything else.

On Friday, last two weeks, Kamal and I granted our son's wish to be at the beach. Mok recommended Pantai Melawi, one of her favourite beaches. One of our favourite beaches, too.

Because it was our fourth time there, we decided to venture further than The Ketereh Clan regularly did. At one point, the bridge was too small for our car to cross though. What a fate. We loved the new accidental spot.

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The beach was not only beautiful, but also unique. The latter was because of a pillbox, built by the British Indian Army to defend the state from the Imperial Japanese Army during the Second World War. To think that the serene beach was once a scene of destruction.

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2:00 p.m. Amiable weather. Khalish, dubbed Anak Pantai Melawi by Ayoh and Mok, wasted no time to explore the beach. The boy's excitement coalesced with the whisper of the wind, the melody from a lady's guitar, the conversation between a big family, the bell from an ice cream vendor, and the rhythm of the waves. Harmonious.

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Khalish being Khalish, he soon reached his own wonderland. Curious, my camera and I followed him. Kamal stayed behind to observe the time.

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Within half an hour at the wonderland, the boy transformed into a merman, a plant, and a Buckethead Zombie. I wished my D700 was a D800. Yes, for the video.

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Khalish and I only returned to the reality when both were hungry. It had been two hours since our last meal, which was a red bean bun each. Time for ice cream.

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The smooth sand, the contrast between the warmth of the beach and the coldness of the ice cream, the refreshing breeze, as well as the view of the vast sea were truly divine. Khalish asked, "may we stay here forever?" I answered, "your mind is the best recorder actually, so, yes, you may 'stay' here forever by replaying the scene again and again." (That, from the person who wished for a D800, heh.)

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The beach was full of raw beauty indeed. Kamal and I loved the sight of an old wooden house on stilts, with its traditional roof, made of Singgora tiles, still intact. Nearby was a well, abandoned too. While appreciating the quaintness of Pantai Melawi, a lady greeted us. She seemed fragile, but the way she promoted the various crackers in her hands was spirited. Seeing Khalish's love for one of the crackers, she started an animated conversation about herself and Kuala Melawi. 

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Amidst my new awareness, Khalish roamed the beach again. To and fro the wonderland and the reality. One second, he was himself, and the next second, he was a Snorkel Zombie. Kamal and I let him be. In our hearts, we prayed for another visit. Preferably with more of our loved ones, hopefully with more discoveries. 


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