Madame Blossom's Book of Poems

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

me? make this world a better place?

it's quite a gigantic ambition, for a single person like me. On pondering about it, I think it's a lost cause.. to aim to make the WORLD a better place. Imagine all the citizens of the world becoming honest, sincere, helpful, no more poverty, no more greed and this world will be a better place. Right.. I can't imagine.

I can't even imagine a small organisation with no more backstabbing, bad envy, jealousy, greed for power or greed for money. If we can achieve this - that is BIG! masyaAllah.

But what I am sure of is that we can change ourselves, and perhaps 1-2 people who are somehow affected by our actions or words - some we know and some we don't. So when we say 'make the 'world' a better place - I guess, we are referring to the 'world' in the changed person's view. Okay, as I wrote that, I recall all the killings and the horrible things leaders and people do that comes out in the paper It's depressing! Haih.. okay, erase those thoughts. Look forward - to what we can achieve in Hereafter. Focus on the good we, ourselves, can do to help us, and our loved ones achieve. To help whoever we can help, that is within our means. Must remember, it's the niat, and the action - not the outcome. Outcome is in God's hands.

Right.. let's make this 'world' a better place.

*rambling thoughts * unplugged*

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Kandang Kerbau

In the car after lunch just now, the conversation with my colleagues turned to which hospital we gave birth to our children.
The last three of my children was born in KKH - Kandang Kerbau Hospital. Now, we always refer to the hospital as KKH. In the olden days, we always call it Kandang Kerbau. And we'd always shock our Malaysian/Indonesian Malay speaking friends, when we say we were born in Kandang Kerbau.

And just the day before, as we passed by KKH, my youngest daughter Nadhrah said, "Eeeh.. KKH! I was born here. Kak Eema also and Kak Hanaa also right?"
"Yes :)", I said.
"What about you? You were also born in KKH right?"
"No, actually. I nenek gave birth to me at home."
"What?! Really?? So you don't have a health booklet lah?"

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

empty or..

"ummi, what is 'E' there (pointing to d car fuel gauge). 
"ooh.. i thought 'Entirely Full'"

choosing how to learn Islam and from who.

For a long while when I was a young adult, I did not attend any religious class. Perhaps because I was just very skeptical about what they teach and about them.

Then, when I had a 'calling', when I wanted to learn more about Islam, my own religion, I tried to attend a religious class. Being a very skeptical person, who feels that she has more or less, a firm opinion - it's not easy to please me.

I tried one class conducted by an ustazah (a female teacher), halfway through I felt like I wanted to leave. The actual lessons taught was superficial, mostly reading from some simple fiqh book, accompanied by funny examples and lame jokes. Lame to me. And then, I remembered, some kids were running at the back - she almost shouted at them, she said sternly "kids, PLEASE keep quiet! Can the mother, PLEASE look after those kids.. this is a class" - something to that effect. Immediately, I knew I did not want to attend this class already. At the end of the class she was singing to the best of her abilities - and I have to say, she did it well, the 99 names of Allah. But I'm not here for a nice voice or some lame jokes. I want to really LEARN, not be entertained.

Then I tried to attend another one by an ustaz (a male teacher). Again, the lessons were quite superficial, accompanied by some jokes, and then he is always talking about defending ourselves from sihir and he tries to sell his stuff - some things that can heal, or make us clever etc. at the end of every class I can remember. I attended a few weeks - but I am disappointed and almost giving up on learning.

I got quite desperate to find a class at mosques, where I can learn Islam systematically. What is the basis of the rules set in Islam? What are our sources? So far, I've only been learning what we must do or cannot do - with no explanations.

At that point, I realise the only way I can get these kind of information, is to attend a formal and 'certified' Islamic class - that issues certificates or diplomas. So I joined a diploma class with the intention of wanting to learn Islam from scratch and systematically. Get a bit of arabic too, to help me more or less understand the Quran as I read it. Alhamdulillah, my objectives were met.

I realise I am choosy in how I want to learn and who I want to learn from. And shouldn't we all be choosy about the teachers we learn from?

For me, besides the knowledge, they must be broad minded, not arrogant, kind to others, sincere, not threatened by questions from students and one who knows their own limitations in their God given knowledge - and are therefore acknowledges other opinions humbly without necessarily being shaky about their own, if they are sure about their stand.

And I want to be like them also. insyaAllah.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

it's complicated

This country is multi-racial, multi-religious. But I guess it doesn't have much 'self-esteem' and refuse to celebrate this fact. As such, the government has defined 'public places' to be free of any religious activities. They also maintain that this is a secular country, and as such - religious life should be separated from secular life. Going to school, working and attending official gatherings are considered 'secular' activities.

Why can't we be Malays, Chinese and Indians, and still be Singaporeans? Why can't we attend school and go to work as Indians, Chinese and Malays? Why must our kids go to school, dressed in western dress code? Aren't we proud of our own?

Why can't we be taught tolerance, instead of integration? Don't you lose your cultural and religious values when you try to 'integrate'. What the hell does it really mean anyway? The dictionary says it's 1) combine or be combined to form a whole 2) bring or come into equal participation in an institution or social group.

I'm sure we are already a whole. The arms, legs, head, body, face - forms a whole man. The legs, need not look like, or behave like the arms in order to 'integrate'. Chinese, Malays, Indians, Eurasians, as a whole, we're Singaporeans.

Or maybe they meant the 2nd one. But that defeats the whole notion of 'multi-racial, multi-religious' - when everyone is equal. Why is the government trying to kill diversity?

They are such hypocrites. I'm sure they or most of them, have a religion. A religion is a belief that someone subscribe to. When a person believes and subscribe to it, it's not like an extra curricular activity or feeling that you can put aside. How can one 'put aside' religion during 'secular activities'. Why can't we be ourselves, as long as we don't trouble others or cause any harm to others? Why have they made it so difficult for us to live a normal life?

Oh.. how man have made life difficult for man. God made life simple, man go out of their way to complicate it.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


The world is like a dark room, blackened by deceit and greed.
Kindness and sincerity is like a candle,
Warm and welcomed
And painfully insufficient to brighten up the room.

~ madame blossom ~

Saturday, May 07, 2011

Food for thought

I was observing a meal someone was having - rice with chicken and soup and vegetables. And as the food slowly disappears from the plates and bowl, into the mouth, digested and turned into energy for the body, my mind wandered.

That's basically the function of food - to give energy. Quite simple. Food is also actually simple to get, and you don't need that much for your actual biological needs.

But in modern days, food has become a hobby and sometimes an art in itself. People are spending so much money and so much time on preparing and buying food. People making food look like masterpieces.. Food that are far too expensive and the portion too little. Food that take hours to prepare and decorate. All these food, will then be scooped and put into the mouth and all the decorations and arrangements spoiled in seconds. Amazing how much time they put in for that few seconds.

People also prepare and consume too much food, it is a habit and a culture, rather than a physical need. It feels wrong, for most of us, if we don't prepare too much food for any gathering - and it's not unusual for too much leftovers, that we coax our guests to bring home, and which they will throw away after a few days in the refrigerator.

If everyone just eat what the body requires, and food are distributed fairly in the world, there will be no world hunger and everyone will be slimmer and healthier. Right, the utopian thought.

"Oh children of Adam! wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer; eat and drink; but waste not by excess for God loveth not the wasters."
Al Quran - Al Araf, 7:31

As With Most Men - Mark Gonzales

As with most men it is easier for me to give hugs than to accept them
Lest the truth be known that men
are nothing more than emotional skyscrapers built with glass infrastructures spray-painted the color of steel and nicknamed strength.
Strange isn’t it?
what walking contradictions are we called men.
Men are taught to colonize at the age of 5 through gangs like cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians
At the age of 8 we are given helmets, and told to hit each other in the head,
Bleed but do not bleed
Cut but do not cry
Be a man
Join the military
Die for your country
And if death comes to you look it in the eye and say
“bring it on motherfucker I fear nothing…but intimacy.”
When it comes to intimacy men quiver like fault lines, crumble like cities.
What walking contradictions are we called men.
Men sign peace accords while abusing their wives
Accept the Nobel Peace Prize while reducing health care
Pledge to rid the world of terrorism, while simultaneously denying government aid to any country that defends a woman’s right to choose
During the 1970s, the US government forcibly sterilized an estimated 50% of the indigenous population of America’s Midwest
Telling them the process was reversible.
Can you say ‘biological terrorism’?
And in a global war against terror maybe testosterone is the real terrorist
And if so, how many of these star-spangled-singing flag-waving citizens
Would continue to do so if terror was not racialized
But gendered?
Would the US military turns its guns on itself
For its sex crimes throughout Southeast Asia, Africa and the Americas?
Would MTV be firebombed for its objectification, hypersexualization of our women of color’s bodies?
Would we stop looking towards the Muslim world for misogyny and instead turns our sights to Madrid, Montreal,
New York
Los Angeles?
And now I understand my sisters when they say “every woman has a story that’s been told a maximum of once or maybe less”
And that is why you will never hear me call a woman slut, bitch or dyke
No matter what she does
‘Cuz I do not blame her
I blame the men who have emotionally and physically raped her
I blame these corporations whose images tell her they hate her
And I put my arms on her shoulder and tell her how grateful I am to God that she created her.
Men take note this is how you give love
This is how you receive hugs
Press flesh to flesh
‘til breath crumples
Like emotional origami.

Mark Gonzales

Friday, May 06, 2011

flower for a mother

For 2 years now, i'd find a flower on my table for mother's day. From a colleague who is not even close to me. Apparently, she gives it to every known mothers in the company. So sweet of you, Serene Chai :))

So, I asked the young lady, what drives her to do this every year. I mean, surely there must be some strong idea or feeling tha...t makes her do this. There are, I guess..30-40 over mothers in this company? She buys the flowers and she goes around at every mother's table to place them, early in the morning.

She replied :
"Maybe because personally I'm a Catholic and we were taught since young to praise Mother Mary (Jesus's mom). Actually I feel alot ever since I joined this company. I see the management team, mainly women, and they have family with children yet they still fly around, focus on work so well and have a healthy balance with family. This is something that is not easy to achieve hence I thought that it will be nice to give flowers on Mother's day to salute their hardwork between work and family."

Although I don't quite agree with the 'healthy balance' part.. :p but still.. it is such a sweet thought and gesture. It's people like her that makes this world a little more nicer to live in. :)

p.s. Muslims love Mother Mary too! Mary is mentioned in the Quran at numerous places. In fact, there is a chapter in the Quran named after Mary. :)

"Behold! The angels said: 'O Mary! God hath chosen thee and purified thee; - chosen thee above the women of all nations.'"
Al Quran - Ali-Imran 3:42

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Sleep a hundred years

Not Rip Van Winkle but a true story in the Quran:

Or take the similitude of one who passed by a hamlet, all in ruins to its roofs. He said, "Oh! how shall God bring it ever to life after its death?" But God caused him to die for a hundred years, then raised him up again. He said, "how long didst thou tarry thus?" He said, "Perhaps a day or part of a day." He said, 'Nay, thou hast tarried thus a hundred years; but look at thy food and thy drink, they show no signs of age. And look at thy donkey and that We may make of thee a Sign unto the people, look no further at the bones, how We bring them together and clothe them with flesh." When this was shown clearly to him, he said, "I know that God hath power over all things."

Al Quran - Al Baqarah 2:259