Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Maznah & her battle with Leukimia

Dear beloved Maznah, this would be my last entry writing down our memoirs. In case in the future I might have memory loss though Sudoku and me is inseparable, I would still be able to refresh our memory by visiting this page that I created. Rest assured that I will never ever leave my thoughts of you. I will always remember you in my prayer. Today, there's few updates on Instagram about another leukemia patients died. She was one of a quite famous blogger, Ami Schaheera, an Engineer turned Journalist/Stylist. She was battling with the cancer since 4 years ago. Just like you were, she did enjoyed her life's to the fullest until God had decided to take her away. Just to update you, a lot of sad incidents happened in Malaysia which saddened the whole nation with the missing MH370 on 8th March 2014 and 6 teenagers died due to overdose drugs in a concert. Blessing with the unfortunate events, the media has slowed a lot of their entertainment activities. The Malaysians are now focusing their attention to the search and towards seeking Allah's guidance for the series of unfortunate incidents. 

Warded in style on 25th August 2012
Looking down the memory lane, you were admitted to DEMC due to prolong fever right after eid celebration in August 2012. I was busy with eid, hence, did not even called you during that trip back home. I saw your status in FB and the above photo. On 27th August, DEMC has transferred you to Pantai Medical Hospital. I was on the plane to Hyderabad from KLIA when Fikri texts me that you were diagnosed with Leukemia, critical stage, stage 4. It was on 28th of August 2012. You were in the ICU, I was devastated.

With God's willing, the medical team saved her on the first trial, given her times to see beautiful world
Fikri sounded worried when I called him the next day. We agreed that we should spoke to you in a very positive state, giving you encouragement and hopes. Therefore, on 29th August 2012, I managed to calm myself and wrote this to you “Babe, I safely landed last night but very much regretful did not pay you a visit. I will send my delegation soonest to cheer you up. I'll take you shopping till drop on my next trip home, ok! So, you better make sure to have shopping list and looking gorgeous as always :) love you so much babe!”. The following day, I wrote again on your wall “Today is your 6th day in the hospital. I hope you shall apply natural oil, olive or badam or moisturisers to moist your skin as hospital rooms is very dry due to AC's. Don't forget to massage all your toes & foot before you put your socks on. Plus, you can meditate (zikr) while doing yoga post to calm your nerves & minds. Put lots of smile while doing it so He (Allah) knows your sincerity just like you put lots of love while cooking :) Stay vogue @ of same post as your picture on 25th August at DEMC ok! Miss u a lot babe!”.

Always in cheerful state, reflecting her good hearts

On 31st August, day 7 I shared another post on your wall: beautiful quote by Harriet Tubman "Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to fight".. I didn't even know who is Harriet Tubman, hehe! anyway pray for your speedy recovery and early discharge. take care, xoxo   ♥. I was relieved when Fikri informed me that you have overcome the critical period of your life. On 7th September 2012, you proceeded with the first chemo.

Loving couple, Fikri & Maznah

When I was demobilised back to HQ, you invited me for lunch at your place. It was on 9th December 2012, you cooked my favorite beef soup. What was noticeable was your skin turned dark as chemo has killed all cancerous cell in your body. You looks perfectly normal. Soon after, you were warded again for your second chemo. Schamil entered school on the following month but in February 2013 you have continued your 3rd chemo and the 4th chemo was in May 2013. I saw you truly in a happy states with your surrounded friends and families. I did not visited you, I was saddened by the facts. Nevertheless, not even once that had any negative feelings about it. We were correspond someways, knowing we love and cares for each others. I was feeling okay with it.  

Who would expect? Seeing how happy she was on 25th Jan 2014??

Leukemia is a disease of the blood where the white blood cells due to some problem started attacking the red blood cell. The older method is by bone marrow transfer wherein a donor's bone marrow is implanted to her bone marrow after all the original bone marrow has been removed. The newer option is by stem cells treatment. The stem cells will have to be donated by a donor (same as bone marrow transfer) which can match the patient. Once the donor is found, the donor will have to take a 5 course of filbrastin injection to speed up the formation on the stem cells so that after a week, the stem cells can be harvested from the donor. After each treatment, she should not be in contact with too many people as her immune system was low and if she catches some other ailment, she will have complication. She will require regular blood transfusion pending a suitable donor for either bone marrow or stem cells. The blood transfusion will enrich her body with red blood cells but it is only a temporary treatment as her WBC will continue to attack the RBC. Thus, the hospital will need sufficient suitable stock of blood to replenish for her.

It was time, Schamil has become very dependent
I was wrong, I was misled by judging her happiness from her social media, I thought she was fully recovered. It was a lapse. She was by that time, too tired with the chemo, she was ready to see Allah. She has made sufficient preparation. Fikri and Schamil were both by her sides, supported her. Her last photo shared was on 10th February 2014 (below) and 6 days after she was very quite with her illness. I will always see you in this state of mind. Farewell my love, today is your 39th days. I will spend times for you tonight. I love you so much, rest in peace my dear.

6 days before her farewell

Monday, March 24, 2014

Lunch with the Girls in Mid Valley

In one of my home passage leave from India, i.e. in May 2012, the 3 of us plan to meet up for lunch. It was on 7th of May 2012, we had a reunion indulging our favorite food, a Japanese lunch in Mid Valley. Ainnie came with Saera, Maznah with Schamil and I took Syahirah & Nazhif along. We had our shopping done in a the Garden Mall, an annexed building to the Mid Valley.

We stand tall, the 3 of us
We were so excited to see each other again after almost 2 years. The first thing that we did was our vogue pose as always. The lunch that day was longer than usual, to catch up with lots of stories. Maznah and Ainni were excited sharing their current daily affairs. It was a bliss that both of them were settled down in KL after a tormenting period in Karachi city. Nothing beats your home, of course.

Another angle for the posers
Not forgotten, my dearest will always takes my handbag and her face lit up sincerely. Both of our faces in fact as we have nothing to hide from. It was a sincere happiness and honest friendship. 

She was in love with my new handbag
The 2 boys shifted to another table after their meals. The 4 of us continuing chatting as if there's no tomorrow. For the record, lunch that day was our last lunch when she was in a healthy state, no cancer, no leukimia without restrictions of food.

Rare occasion where Nazhif agreed to tag along
Last photo of that day is shared below. This will be my second last entry of Maznah, before sharing her fighting with leukimia. I will move on with stories of peoples that touches me personally whenever times permit. Next month I will be continuing with my train journey to other part of the world. I would like to bring my memories of Maznah along as I will be traveling with another 3 important ladies in my life. Counting days for next week, i.e next month's programme. I may be sharing the itinerary before the trip. Let us see how. 

Maznah, me, Syahirah and Ainnie after the meal

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Coffee with Maznah in Mid Valley - 2012

After the trip to Sunway Lagoon in 2010, we visited their house that they just move in to offer some opinion on their proposed house renovation. Shortly after, we left for family vacation to Seoul. As soon as we came back, I was ready to travel again for my new assignment in New Delhi project. After many moons of not seeing her, we met at Mid Valley for coffee to catch up those long lost period. It was on 20th February 2012, a date at the Starbucks Mid Valley.

My good friend, Lady Gaga twin was always looking gorgeous and radiant. Being an ex-stewardess she really know how to carry herself well. At this point she was serious on her business, specializing in party event management. Her expertise was in children's birthday party having had sufficient experience managing fews in Karachi. I was so proud of her as she had a new group of friends in the business. Ainnie was tag along sometimes though she too was busy with looking after Saera. I forgot to mention that Ainnie and family has also return back to Kuala Lumpur.

She posed with my new Gucci
We shared a lot of common interest in handbags, shoes, branded stuff, including the shades. Fikri just bought her a new Rayban shade and I got myself a Salvatore Ferragamo shade. We exchanged our shades that day because I was so in love with hers but she did not really like my shade (we were different by 7 years of age, so, I was trying hard to be in her world..bhahahaa).

Those happy days
If I were given a second chance, I would have send her all my Ferragamo, Gucci, Channel, Burberry, Mulberry, Louis Vuitton handbags for her to use it whenever she wanted to. I knew, she would have done the same for me. Looking back, those material things are no longer a precious item that you would value in comparison with a sincere friendship or the memory that we had during our 5 years together as a close friend.

Both busied on I-pad 2
But I hope, Schamil and my children's will get in touch once in a while, to stay in regular contacts just for the sake of their mothers special friendship. Must keep it close to the heart, for whatever its worthy.

The bangles that I gave her from India

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

A day in Sunway Lagoon with Schamil

Maznah and family demobilised from Karachi in early November 2010. As soon as they have settled down, they paid us a visit. We took them for diner in Kajang, famous for it's satay. In December 2010, we arranged a special trip to Sunway Lagoon as we came to know that Schamil has never been there before. For those who wants to know further the attractions offered at the theme park, may do so by checking the "Sunway Lagoon website". Beside the attractions available at 1 of the famous theme park in Petaling Jaya, you may checked the rates, the promotion, online booking etc.

Maznah's palm for free Sunway Lagoon advertisement, while waiting for Schamil to make his first move getting inside the huge. All of us patiently waited for him while he calmly played his game boy

Schamil used to be extremely shy boy, not willing to look people in the eye nor he willing to conversant fluently. The only person who understand his needs was only his mother. Being the only 1 in the family of 3, a mother, a father and a son, I guessed he was just refused to grow up. I understands that very well as Nasrul was a typical case for me. Nevertheless, Schamil and Nasrul just clicks well. His reaction towards Sunway Lagoon theme park was a bit weirdo. He refused to enter after we passed the gate, hence, we're had to wait for him change his mind.

2 photos showing how passionate she was with Schamil trying to get him into the swimming suit

She packed for the wet area because the children wanted Schamil to have more water experiences

Sunway Lagoon has 3 separate entertainment area, the wet, the dry and the adventures. It is worth to spend whole day at the park by taking a ticket for all areas. Everything is provided inside the theme park, i.e. the food outlets, toilets at every corner, surau (prayer hall) etc. You do not have to worry searching for things that you're looking for as there are sufficient signages and proper direction guided you in a rather huge park, meant for the whole family.

I have a lot to envy Maznah till her funeral day though she was never ever had any jealousy in her. She had a lot of good spirits and attitudes which I have not seen that kind of quality in others, including myself before. That quality in her that made me so envious of her as I wanted so much to match her rank, being accepted by many and seems to be special in God's eye the day He took her to be with Him. She was the most sincere persons on earth. She treated me fairly and sincerely, allowed me to be myself when I was with her, no pretending, no jealousy, not a spot of any evil thoughts crossed in her mind. Her death has changed me a lot. I made a vow today my dearest friend that I will spend the remaining of my life to be like what you are to others. 

It seems like ages before Schamil finally willing to change his clothes to join Nasrul and Naim in the water. The way he played that day was worthy, paid our patience and endlessly waiting. It was a shallow water fountain suited for a small kids for a start.  

Later, we were so amazed that he wanted to follow Naim and Nasrul to play in a deeper beach pools. At first, Maznah was just showing her that the pool was meant for big boys like the 2 abang (brothers). He decided to join in and the mother who was so overly protective of his son, cant help but guarding from the near disctance. I was teasing her as I knew if possible she wanted to be in the pool with his son. How I love the girlish act in her sometimes, a biggest fan of Lady Gaga, who can imitate the way Lady Gaga dance. 

I saw the joy in her face that day when Schamil was finally enjoyed spending his time in the water with Naim and Nasrul. It was reflected in her face (below photo) when we had late lunch at Chilli's restaurant at the Sunway resort city attached to the theme park.

For those who wish to visit Malaysia, the Sunway Lagoon theme park is the place that you shouldn't miss. There's a lot to explore and I assured you that children at all age including parents including people of old age would appreciate the happiness of others who visited the place. This is 1 of the place that you may want to visit with your beloved people.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Siow Yoon Chin's farewell from Karachi land

A memoir with Maznah and Schamil continue trough out the years though the boys had said their farewell with Schamil on 26th December 2009. Their last flight took off on 27th December 2009. As I was alone in Karachi after I officially obtain my demobilization letter, my visit to Maznah's and Fikri  residence becoming more regular. On 6th February 2010, we went to Mohatta Palace taking numerous shot in a lovely cool Karachi weather. A week later I was reporting for my new duty in IJM Headquarters.

As part of my obligation with the Karachi office, I still made a regular trip back to attend important matters. On 25th April 2010, I happened to be in Karachi when it was time for our dearest friend, Siow Yoon Chin farewell dinner at China Town Restaurant. Ah Bay was in-charge to order the farewell menu. It was an excellent choices as we were all enjoying the dinner and the company of the golfers group.

Siow was in Karachi constructing the famous golf course development years before my arrival. I still remember the first time I was at his place in July 2008 having diner where he succeeded training his chef to cook a pure Malaysian dishes. What they had on the dinner table was heaven. I was teasing Siow that the food at his place can actually made me hang out regularly as there's no other restaurant offering a Malaysian like his place. Admittedly, all the groups in this entry made quite numerous hang outs at Siow's place in Defence for diner and karaoke. We were indeed very close.

By May 2010, Siow finally bid his farewell, leaving the land full of excuses, bliss and sorrows behind his past. We remain in a friendship till present day. I revisit China Town often after Siow's left. Ah Bay had introduced me to a steam boat menu during 1 of the diner that I arranged with him and my boss. I became addicted to the steam boat. Last year, I took Hidia to the place and had written about China Town's steam boat in June 2013. Hidia too get addicted to it. 

The photo of Fikri, Latif & Siow, captured by Maznah on 9th December 2012

Siow, Fikri, Latif, Lien, Shah and I are still in good contact though we have return and get busied in Malaysia. On 15th December 2012, Maznah has invited us to her place. She cooked a lot though she just got recovered from her second chemo. Siow, Latif & my family were there at their new house. She was cheerful having had her renovation completed. How I miss her presence till but then again, life has to move on. What stays are nothing but sweet memories. Siow's word of wisdom was "Nothing is permanent in this world. Cherish lives and people around. That's how I should remember Maznah. 

Nasrul 12th @ Last Birthday in Karachi

December 2009 remark our 3rd and final year of residency in Karachi, the city of lights. It was the 3rd year Nasul was celebrating his birthday in the city. The first year, 2007 his birthday was celebrated in a small party at Papa John, Clifton where all our family gathered with only 2 invited guess, uncle Chow and uncle Fadzil from IJM. Both uncles were our housemate in a bungalow plot in Khayaban-e-Hilal, Defence Housing. The 2nd birthday was at the Platinum Residency apartment celebrated with many Malaysian family. We have bigger circles of friend in the second year, hence, the pizza party year in 2008.

The painting, The Apple Boy, The cat & The Goody bags by Maznah
Dilla has offered her place to held our Nasrul 12th years old party, as co-incidentally it was their 2nd wedding anniversary, both falls on 25th December. Her place can accommodate all fellow Malaysian, close to 80 peoples. We were set with the venue and duties distribution. Dilla's mother-in-law who happened to be there in Karachi on visit volunteer to help in the cooking. It was pure Malaysian dishes, soup, hot and spicy sambal ikan bills with other stuffs.  

Maznah with Rizal's mother, Dilla's mother in law
The preparation was like a preparation for an eidhul fitri. Daim, our driver was teasing Nasrul that it was not a birthday party, rather, a wedding party for Nasrul. We ordered the tent, chairs and tables, plates etc from the rental party agency. Julia's daughter were helping with house decoration together with us and Dilla. The christmas tree was decorated a day earlier, all sponsored by beloved Dilla. In fact Nasrul had 2 christmas tree that year, 1 was being place at the food corner (visible in below photo) and another 1 was set near the presents inside the house.

The theme - Red Christmas
A lot of our guests came in red to theme-up with the family. It was on Sunday, hubby could not miss his last few trips to Sunday Bazaar. Hence, he insisted to search for our red attire and accessories though he supposed to help with the busy scheduled.

Nazhif was practicing or tuning to Birthday song in his guitar
The whole preparation went smoothly. When our guests arrived, the foods, the decorations, the games, the presents for those involved in the games were all perfectly set-up. What was a little bit late in delivery was our dearest Lien Chee Kun, who had offered to bring over his special recipe of chicken BBQ. While waiting for his arrival, we started the lamb BBQ first.

Princess Saera looking awesome with her mother, Ainnie
In below photo was Tahir in-charge of attending to the guests need. We were thankful that Tahir (Dilla's house assistant) was there to help that day and night and to clean up the mess the next day. It was hubby in the red shirt serving the guest.

Without further due, the children had immediately started with the games supervised by the grown-up teenage girls. Julia's daughter, Nabila and Nadiah were God sent angels who helped a lot to make sure the party went well successfully. We were greatly indebted to all friends kindness and generosity.

Last but not least, Nasrul birthday's cake below was sponsored by uncle Fikri, Maznah's husband. I was almost in tears seeing my boy's joy and happiness that night. It's priceless to celebrate his 12th birthday and at the same saying his farewell to all his friend before departing for good back to Malaysia. 

Someone just get so jealous… 2 years apart, Naim & Nasrul
We have a photo of uncle Lien Chee Kun, below, was seemingly very busied that night with his finger licking good BBQ chicken wings, the best taste in town. Remarks: I must make sure to ask him for the recipe 1 more time one of these days. Lien, Siow, Ah Bay, Latif, Fikri and Shah were golf mates. When they met, they will talk none other than golf topics. 

We have uncle Fikri and Schamil photo's below. The boys were busy watching the girls had their turns on games. For the record, the prices for the night event was equally shared among all the family, winner or losers.

We captured a moment when Maznah won her first prize. My gorgeous, kind hearted best friend, you shall always remain in our memory. That is my promise to you.

1 of the moment of her blissful moment
Before Nasrul was due to open his birthday presents, well arranged nearby the Christmas tree, we move inside the house for another "mind blowing games". You may see how serious they were in below photo checking their card, thinking and waiting patiently to win. But at the end of the day, everybody was very happy as they went back home not empty handed. 

I'm very lucky that I still have another best friend, Dilla holding on Zara, in below photo. At this point of time, Nasrul was convinced by his mother that he and Zara would be married 1 day. I was hopeful. Poor my baby boy. Last year, Zara and Nasrul was reunited in Nasrul's 16th birthday as what was recorded in Reunion Birthday in Jakarta-2014. A lot of thing happen after 4 years. Zara talks non-stop but Nasrul becoming a quite teenager, speechless to see how Zara has grown into a big girl. We hope there will be another Nasrul+Zara birthday celebration in the years to come.

This was the end of the night, leaving my boy a very special day and night, overwhelmed with himself being 12, turning 13. He received too much toys that night including, his favorite,  the helicopter that got lost in the sky the first day he was playing it. We wanted to thank again all our friends who helped and who came to celebrate Nasrul's great birthday party. Thank you and thank you again.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Schamil's 4 year old Birthday in Karachi

Birthday was a big thing when we were in Karachi. Those occasions were used as a reason for Malaysian to gather, beside shopping spree in Sunday Bazaar. It was a big birthday party, well planned by Maznah for Schamil's 4th birthday, all by herself. The party was held on 22nd October 2009 at their residence in Karachi city. 

Happiness overloads
Maznah was indeed a creative person. She had an extraordinary passion in arts. The gift party pack in below photo was solely prepared by her. It was Schamil's printed foot and palm, mixed up with other arts for the invited guests to choose. Having those talents well displayed during the party, it became her starting point for her boutique business in handling birthday party. I had a memoir of it when she helped Naim finishes painting a vase. I took it home all the way by air plane, though the vase is cheap but her paint is priceless.

When I arrived at her place that day, I found Ainnie and her family has already there helping in the kitchen whilst, Julia's daughters were helping with the decor. The girls were in charge of the games party. When Nasrul birthday was due 2 months later, the same people who helped Maznah were doing the same for Nasrul. 

Ainnie's family
Rafiq, Maznah house helper, seen in below photo was very fond and very helpful in assisting Maznah in her daily routine chores. That day was even special. For some reasons, Maznah has done the cooking all by herself. Rafiq was a big help to make sure all is ready before the guests arrival. He worked as hard as Maznah ensuring everything was perfect.

Ginny Lim and I in below photo. Ginny, a full time housewife cum a mother of 3 and Maznah were very close as their husband played golf together. Ginny never grown up till now though her kids are entering their teenage age. After Karachi, their family moved to Vietnam and now they residing temporary in Hong Kong. Ginny's husband is attached with shipping company, OOCL.

Another family that we always hang out with in Karachi is Dilla's family. Zara and her father, Rizal are seen in below photo before the party started. I have written a lot about them in separate entries. Rest assured that this family will grow old with my family. We will have many years together, I pray and hope that we remember each other deeply in our prayer.

The Malaysian children in Karachi gathered for Schamil's birthday playing musical chair as part of the games prepared by Julia's daughter, Nabila. Schamil doesn't know what was going on nor how to play, thus, he insisted to share the chair with Nasrul that he sometimes called "Adik", "Abang" and Nasrul. They were very close, this 2 boys. 

It was the most cheerful night for Schamil crowded with friends and beloved parent in Kurtha suit, clearly drawn and reflected in his radiant face. He sweat the whole night playing too much. Maznah, there's no way Schamil would forget your unconditional love, your kisses, your hugs, your bonding and feeding times, your adoringly stares when he sleeps at night etc. You may rest in peace my dear as this boy is in a safe hand, being showers of another unconditional love by his grandmother, your mother in law. She will look after both Schamil and Fikri as good as you were. Your mother in law was the 1 who taught you how to cook the best soup and the best sambal belacan in the world. And... you have shown enough love for her too like you did for us all.

Our beloved Maznah, not only kind and sincere in her friendships with her girl friends (ALL included, not only limited to myself, Ainnie or Ginny) but she's been a favorite aunt to the kids no matter what age they were. Her friendly smile which never leave her face when greeted someone is something you would want to remember how she was in hereafter. Her sincerity was clearly shown in her eyes, I mean, only God knows how sincere they were to me.

A group photo of Shamil and his invited guest before the party was announced as over.

It was not over as most children stays back to witness Schamil's ceremony opening all birthday gift that he received that night. Everybody would see the satisfaction on Maznah face watching over Schamil expression "I'm in the moon", unable to decide which 1 that he wanted to open first. It was unbelievable kind of face when his mother assured him that all the toys was his.

Julia, Ginny and my family among the last who left them that night. Schamil was still playing and playing till drop when it was time we said our good night. Hope there will be a reunion birthday party with Schamil someday.