Monday, June 23, 2008

Gratitude

"Salam. s a gratitude of my father's recovery n an appreciation to all who did the bacaan yassin n pray for him, i wud like to invite u all to a simple high tea at my place(mckenzies apt) tomorrow at 4pm-8pm.all deserts are welcome.(mimi)"

That was the transcript of a text that I've sent out to my friends last Thursday (Thank you Vodafone for the txt2000 service). Otherwise I'd spent nearly $10 inviting people through text messaging service.Lol.

The so-called high tea ceremony was basically a 'kenduri kesyukuran'. It was a tribute to all my friends who supported me; mentally and spiritually and pray for my father's health during his crucial moment after his surgery.

On 25th April 2008 my father was sent to the OT room for a bypass surgery led by Mr Mohd Ezani Md Taib in the National Heart Institute (widely known as IJN;Institut Jantung Negara). My father was diagnosed to have three major blocks in his heart, and so expected to have the bypass surgery to clear up those blocks. (I am using the simplest form of medical explanation here because I'm not very well informed to explain them by using the exact medical terms). However, the surgery was not as simple as expected. During the surgery, the doctors found another blockage that needs ballooning. With my father's Diabetes Mellitus disease to be concerned of, they also faced the problem of hypertension of his blood. They needed to do more work than they anticipated and thus took longer hours for the operation to finish.

My family waited anxiously in the waiting room. They waited for someone to call and let them visit my father in the I.C.U (Intensive Care Unit) room. The normal bypass surgery would only take up to 4 hours but my father took 10 hours before he stabilized. That's an extra 6 hours for him! Shortly after my sister visited him, she called me. I was at the High Commission of Malaysia, attending a leadership program (well, I’m not the participant though. I was just helping out with the minutes taking of every meeting they had). She cried and tells me how worried she was after observing the wires crossing all over my father’s body. And I was here, in New Zealand. I could not help but got worried too and only pray for the best. My brother and mother informed me that my father was stable, and that was the only thing that kept me going. I had many commitments here and most importantly, I didn’t have enough money to come home. Only God knows how concerned I was and how helpless I was.

Occupied with the workloads as the minute taker of the leadership program, I also needed to do my assignments. Tests were also just around the corner. Ili called me superwoman then just because I couldn’t complain more but to juggle everything at the very same time. AIO told me that he was in my shoes before and could understand precisely how I felt. I smiled and said “Are you sure? Was your father in ICU as well at times like these?” He startled and said “Well no, that’s different”.

On 27th April 2008, the leadership program came to its end and I finished my job as the minute taker for the meetings. Some of my assignments were also completed or at least half-done. I was relieved and glad that I was able to contribute something to WMSO, yet had everything right on track. However, back in Malaysia my father was suffering with complications after his surgery.

My brother called me while I was still at the High Commission of Malaysia and asked me to take an ablution right away and read the Surah Yassin for my father. He was having an asthma attack and was really really critical. He asked everyone to read the Surah Yassin because he couldn’t withhold the sufferings any longer. I was shocked and cried with all my heart. I went to Auntie Rose and explain the situation. Naturally, she hugged me and lends me her shoulder to cry. Once I calmed down a bit, she asked whether I had enough money to go home, to Malaysia. After getting the respectable answer, he asked Dazriq (the president of WMSO) to arrange my flight to Malaysia, first thing the next morning. Nana offered to send me home (in Mckenzies) and book the flight tickets. My friends came to my house that night and comforted me. My mother called and cried. It was the first time ever I heard my mother cried due to hopelessness since my late great grandfather passed away, 10 years ago. As soon as my decision to go home reached my brother, he whispered to my fathers' ears “Tahan dulu pa, mimi on the way” (hold it pa, mimi is on her way back).

The next morning, on the 28th April 2008, I was on my way back to Malaysia. It was a blessing. I took a three weeks emergency leaves. Yes, I left my tests, I left my assignments, and I missed my classes. Yet, I was never been so sure in my life. It was a good call to go back.

I went straight to IJN after my arrival at KLIA. I missed the visiting hours but my father made a special request to see me right after I arrived. While I was on my way to IJN my brother called me few times to ask where I am. I was really anxious of my father’s situation but I dare not to ask. I was truly afraid. I wasn’t ready. Once I got there, I visited my father with my toughest look. My mother reminded me not to express worry or sorrow over him. My father held my hands tightly and inquired of my studies. I told him not to worry and concentrate on recuperating. I’d be there long enough to see him all healthy again. Nevertheless, what touched me the most was, while I was withholding my own tears, I still could see them but in my fathers' eyes. He cried, silently.

The next morning he was transferred out of I.C.U to H.D.U (High Dependency Unit). Sounds still like ICU to me but a bit less tense. He could speak clearer and he didn’t need respiratory help from the oxygen mask anymore. Things were never been better. It was like magic. The next day, he was transferred to the usual ward. He progressed dramatically; from being bedridden up until he could walk on his own, without in need of other’s help. My mother and I stayed beside him during the days, but I went to prayer room at night to sleep. My mother kept him company. I slept, ate, bathed at the hospital for a week long. I never went back to my own home after I arrived from New Zealand.

On 5th May 2008, I stepped into my house after 6 month leave. My father was discharged. I took care of my father for another 2 weeks at home, while my mother and brother returned to their work. At home, my father recalled his critical moments countless times and told me how grateful he was. During his unconsciousness due to anaesthesia, he remembered a few doctors who panicked and startled to decide who wanted to announce the T.O.D (time of death) to my family. It happened at least three times. Three times of unconsciousness and his heart failed to function properly. A doctor would then ask the others to wait a bit longer and watch carefully the response of my father’s body. T.O.D was never needed then, never existed and never announced because my father eventually survived.

Thankful to everyone who prayed for him, he wished that I would spread his thanks, regards and stories to those around me. He wanted to thank everyone who read the Surah Yassin, who pray, who support him and most importantly, who sent me back home..


“kalau mimi tak balik, papa mungkin tak ada lagi. Papa mungkin tak akan tunggu.Sebab papa dah tak tahan sangat waktu tu. ” (If you're not there, i might not be able to see the world again.I might not waited. Because I just couldn't stand it anymore)


Alhamdulillah. My deepest gratitude to Allah who opened up paths for me for the better consequences. .Thank you for all who supports me, now and then.


Monday, June 16, 2008

What Literacy Has Meant For Me



“Once upon a time, there lived a family of bears in the wood…”

Those were probably the words my father once quoted about The Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ story. Back in my childhood years, my father often read me story books. He even wrote the translation of the stories if it was written in a language other than my mother tongue, Malay. I didn’t remember reading at all that time. I simply just listened to whatever he said. I could only read after my kindergarten year. The stories that I still remember until today were Snow White, Sleeping Beauty and of course, The Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

When I attended kindergarten, I learnt to read, speak and write Malay language and the lingua franca, English. The hardest lesson for me then was writing essays. It was really hard for me to think of words and join them together to form sentences. I couldn’t see the point of writing longer sentences or essays while I already knew how to read, spell and write any words that I wanted. However, being in an education system that demanded highly of excellence in exams, I tried my best and I barely managed to get a B for my Malay writing for my final exam in primary school.

Nevertheless, I didn’t quit learning. In my secondary school I was introduced to literature, a piece of art in linguistics. My teachers fed me with a lot of reading materials for literature. I disliked the classic literature mostly. I was unmotivated to learn because of the difficult words and writing style of classic literature. Yet, I had to study them and make commentaries based on them during exams. However, I still had some interest in reading modern literature. I enjoyed reading the short stories and assessing poetry. Intrigued by how well the writers produce a literary work, I started to write. I wrote diary entries and poems. I discovered a new world where I could actually spread my wings and speak freely. Modern literature was the only part of literature that kept me going and passed through the exams, then.

My college life brought me into a different perspective of writing. I had numerous assignments. In order to complete my International Baccalaureate (IB) diploma I had to submit nearly 50 lab reports, 3 mathematics tasks, and 5 big research papers. Whether I liked it or not, I had to write. During those times, I realized that writing is the fundamental process of studies. Writing was not merely a test of language anymore. It was more like a form of knowledge test whereby I put everything that I knew into words. Even the lecturers then were looking forward to see the gist of my writing rather than the language itself.

World literature subject that I took changed my view on literature a lot. All this while, my literature lesson always came with a textbook where I memorized all the details of the literary research for the exam. In college, I was required to analyze the literature materials on my own and present them in my own words. The materials that captured my attention the most were Things Fall Apart written by Chinua Achebe and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel, The Great Gatsby. Drawn into the culture of Africans and to the vision of American Dreams, the literature taught me to appreciate not only the literary works but to appreciate the message conveyed in the work itself. I began to have an interest to study customs, cultures and values of other people from different parts of the world. Hence, by the end of the course, I managed to write a comparison study between these two novels, particularly about their culture.

The assignment needed me to reflect deeply on people cultures’ and values. Thus, in order to write, I had to read more to understand people. Indirectly, the assignments triggered my awareness of further reading as much as the writing. It was the assignment that I valued most as it contains judgments generated by my original ideas and thoughts.

Meanwhile, most of my other assignments relied on facts and accuracies. My lab reports for example, required me to have definite aims and objectives to be achieved. Whatever results that I got, the conclusion should meet the aim of the experiments. Any misconduct that produced wrong results should be well evaluated. However, for my mathematics assignments, the lecturers expected me to communicate with examiners not solely by numbers and charts but by using words as well. I was blurred at the beginning. I never thought that explanation in words was as important as numbers in mathematics tasks.

Consequently, regardless of what I wrote, either by using facts or presenting my own ideas, writing always aims for the writer to be creative. Thus in my opinion, literacy might mean ability to read and write but being a literate person does not mean just being able to read and write. A literate person should be able to think critically and respond reasonably as well. At the moment I’m grateful that I can read and write. I also have the greatest gift from God which is used to think and ponder. The gift is my brain.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Nanar

Ada apa dengan cinta?
Jika hanya mengguris jiwa
Merobek rasa mengukir sengsara

Ada apa dengan jiwa?
Asyik leka dibuai lara
Tak tersedar ke mana halanya

Ada apa dengan gusar?
Andai semua sudah terpapar
Perhentian-perhentian untuk kukejar

Ada apa dengan kecamuk?
Mengundang amarah menjemput amuk
Tubuh digerak nadi yang mabuk

Ada apa dengan sesal?
Tatkala segunung harapan dikepal
Tiba-tiba terburai dek nafsu yang nakal

Seringkali aku terfikir
Apakah aku terlalu fakir?
Tiada insan mahu memparkir
Membuat aku rasa terpinggir

Ingin sekali aku mendengar
Mereka berhenti omong sebentar
Mengalun irama penghapus hingar
Kerna tak tertanggung runsing yang menular

Simply Me


Kia Ora


My father named me Shamimi Shamsuddin. i was born and raised in a place called Klang, Selangor. I'm a true Malaysian although my roots imply me as Minang or Javanese which are simply Indonesian. However, since i'm the post independence child, i values myself as a Malay truthfully.Currently I'm studying at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand as an undergraduate student. My aim as of now is to get BSc Mathematics(Hons) by the end of my course...