Tuesday, 27 January 2009

I was browsing the internet as usual when I found this beautiful poem Audrey Hepburn wrote when she was asked to share her 'beauty tips.' I was made to understand that the poem was read at her funeral years later.

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.

For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.

For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.

For beautiful hair, let a child run his/her fingers through it once a day.

For poise, walk with knowledge, that you never walk alone.

People, even more than things, have to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone.

Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.

As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself, and the other for helping others.

Saturday, 24 January 2009

AIDA AMANI, my miracle baby...

This is a true, amazing story about my baby girl, Aida Amani. She was born on Friday, 29th December 2006 at Az-Zahrah Islamic Medical Centre in Bandar Baru Bangi, Selangor. The way she entered the new world was really puzzling. I had never thought she would survive the ordeal, but that's just what happened with God's will.

I was eight months pregnant and was visiting the doctor for my weekly check-up when suddenly the doctor said she detected some pattern of contraction of the muscle. Well, I've had this false alarm for almost everyday now in the past three weeks, therefore I did not suspect that this morning's contraction is stronger than the usual ones. As a result, I was warded. 10.00 a.m. in the morning, I was asked to change my clothes and replace them with the hospital gown, pushed on a wheel chair into the labour room, transferred to a bed and asked to lie down and relax.
At 11.00 a.m. my doctor came to visit me, checked my contraction again and told me that she expected delivery by 6.00 p.m. I told her about my harrowing experience when I gave birth to my second child and wished not to go through the same painful moment of being induced again this time. The doctor then suggested me to take epidural so that I will not feel the labour pain. I agreed. She made the necessary preparation and gave me the injection.
"I will come again and check on you at 4.oo p.m. In the mean time, you can do what ever you like, you can read, eat or watch tv, but dont get off the bed, okay?" the doctor smiled and left me to make her routine rounding at the ward.
About half an hour later, I feel some painful contraction that made me uneasy. My husband called the doctor. She wondered why I still feel the pain after taking epidural shot because rightfully, I should have not felt anything by this hour. After thorough inspection, she made a conclusion that the dose given to me was insufficient. Again, I received another shot of epidural. Strange....

My husband was with me all the time, but he had to leave me for a while for Friday Prayer at 1.10 p.m. He kissed me on the forehead and promised he will be back as soon as the prayer is over. I read some magazines provided in the labour room, then feel bored and closed my eyes. I must have dozed off quite a while because I didnt realise that my husband was with me again not long after that. He bought me a bar of chocolate. Cadbury Hazelnut. My favourite. Hmmm... yummy!
I was enjoying the chocolate when suddenly I vomitted. I didnt know what's the cause, but I kept vomitting untill there was nothing left to throw out. It was such a painful process that it took all my energy and made me flat in bed. The nurses there have been very helpful. My husband asked me to get some rest. He took the Quran, pulled a chair, sat close to me and started to recite some versus in the Quran. I closed my eyes and tried to sleep.

After some times, both of us heard a soft squeaking sound. My husband stopped reading the Quran and looked at me.

"Did you hear what I heard?" I asked him.

"Yes, but what was that and where did it come from?" My husband asked back.

"Maybe there's a bird perching at the window sill" I answered and closed my eyes again.

My husband continued reading the Quran.
Suddenly the same squeaking sound emerged again. This time it was louder and clearer.

"What was that? It's scarying me!" I held my husband's hand tightly.

"I don't know. I think I'd better get the nurse to come and check. You wait here." with that he disappeared behind the door.

A nurse came rushing in to check on me, followed by my husband. at first she stared blankly at me, then pulled the blanket that was covering both my legs.

Astagfirullah hal'azhim! To our surprise, there lied in between my legs, a small figure covered with white flakes and blood all over. It stirred weakly when the blanket was lifted. My baby!!! It was my baby!!! She was born into the world without anybody noticing, not even me!!!! I fainted! I was in total blackness for a while. When I recovered, there was not only one but two doctors in the labour room, together with several nurses. My husband was watching one of the nurses cleaning my baby while the gynaecologist was mending my stiches.

I could see the pale faces of the doctors. I saw clearly sweats running down their foreheads while they worked.

"I am sorry Ati. This had never happened before in my life as a gynaecologist." The doctor was trembling. Her hands were as cold as ice when she touched me.

"How's my baby? Is she alright?" I asked.

"She'll be alright for now. But we need to send her for detailed examination with the paeditrician because she had swallowed a lot of the blood and liquid from your waterbag. Her lungs flooded"

I closed my eyes and prayed God will not to take away my baby from me. Warm tears streamed from my cheeks.

"I need my husband".

The doctor went to get him for me and we ended up hugging each other. I could not control myself this time and cried on his shoulder. He didn't say anything at all.

Later I was sent to the ward. The double shot of epidural started to take effect on me. I felt drowsy, couldn't open my eyes at all. I didn't know for how long I have slept, but when I woke up I saw the anaesthetist was observing me. My husband told me I had breathing difficulty while sleeping.

"Where is the baby?" that was the first thing that came into my mind.

"She's in the intensive care unit." my husband held my hands tightly when he told me this.

Aida Amani was born at about 2.30p.m. on Friday. She was administered at the ICU and then transferred to incubator for almost ten days due to her breathing difficulty. The paeditrician had sucked all the water out of her lungs but she still failed to breath on her own. She had to rely on the breathing apparatus to help her. On the third day, she got jaundice and had to be "tanned" under the light 24/7 with her eyes closed. I was discharged on the second day, but repeatedly visited my baby at the hospital to breastfeed her.

No mother could have managed to see her baby's condition like this at every visit. I cried everytime I held her in my arms. I whispered to her ears that I love her so much and I wanted her to get well soon so that I could take her home. She responded by clasping my thumb with her tiny fingers.
The doctor repeatedly came to apologise to me for what happened. I didn't blame her at all. What happened was something that nobody would have expected.

"I've delivered thousands of babies, but never before in my life I encountered such a case like this. This is truly a miracle" the doctor told me.

"Normally the mother will need to push her baby out or the baby would be stucked at its neck while exiting. This is because the shoulder bone is not easy to get through the exit and a strong push from the mother is needed to help the baby out. In your case, when you took up epidural, you'll not know when you have the contraction, so we have to guide you and tell you the right moment to push. I believe it was with the help of the Angels that your baby managed to come out wholely without injury. That was amazing. The baby is a miracle baby. She is blessed"

And for the next few months after Aida was discharged, the medical centre still talked about the miracle baby. Everytime I took her for a follow-up with her paeditrician, everybody at the medical centre would greet her, gathered around her and touched her and some of them will related the story of the miracle baby to some of the patients. Even the patients took the opportunity to hold her and kiss her.

I took her to see the paeditrician at least once a month. I have been doing this for almost two years of her life. I needed to make sure she has really, really recovered. I don't want any complication to emerge in future.

Aida is a healthy girl. She brings joy to the family ever since she came home from the medical centre. Last December when we celebrated her 2nd birthday, my tears was streaming down my cheek as I recall the frightening moment of her birth. I could have lost her then. I might not have the chance of holding her and kissing her now.
Alhamdulillah, Thank you, Allah.

I believe when we do good deeds, we will be paid back with good deeds as well. God has arranged everything in order, for He knows everything. I am so blessed in life, what more with this miracle baby who makes me laugh always. I am one blessed mother in this world.
Lailaha illa anta. Subhanaka inni kuntu minazzhalimin.

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Respect others on the road, please...!

Yesterday was really tiring. I did my research on the internet, met my supervisor for discussion, went out for lunch with some "lost and found" friends, read some articles and get some ideas for the paper I plan to publish in February and finally attended my class. The class ended at 9.45pm but I didn't go home immediately. I went back to my room and finished some pending works that were waiting for me on the table. By the time I looked at the watch, it was already five minutes past midnight. Gosh, time surely fly so fast nowadays!

The phone battery was long time ago dead. Thinking about my husband who would sure be worried about me coming home late at night, I packed all my things and left. It was a bit scary imagining I was alone at the faculty. Total silent. No one was around.

As I have expected, there were not so many cars on the road at this kind of hours. I turned on the radio and drive home slowly. Later came a four wheel drive from nowhere, tailing behind me so close that I think it could kiss my rear if it came any closer. I do not know what's the intention of the driver to follow me in the left lane when he can actually change to the right lane and speed up. This mad driver continued to follow me closely for about nearly ten minutes!

What irked me so much was this 4WD's head lamp. The driver has modified the car and changed the headlamp to a sort of bright white and blueish colour (like neon) that could light up the road miles ahead of the vehicle! Because that 4WD was modified to be "taller" than my "lowered" MPV, the bright light from its head lamp shot straight into my eyes through the rear mirror and affected my sight. How inconsiderate!

What type of driver that need to have this bright neon-like light to be able to drive at night? A BLIND DRIVER!!!! The answer might be absurd, but it is self-explanatory. This kind of drivers never cared for other people on the road. They think they are trying to avoid accidents by replacing the standard, dim, yellowish light. They claimed they have better sight at night with brighter light. But what about other drivers? The people they are tailing? The drivers from the opposite direction? Being inconsiderate and selfish on the road could cause accidents. They should have known this from the very first time they held the steering and started the engine.

I could not count how many times I cursed him along the way. If I were driving a 10-tonne lorry, I would sure have hit the brake hard and stop abruptly and let the 4WD bang my rear. At least his stupid head lamp would be broken. That would teach him a good lesson. You kiasu, I kiasi! Watchaaaaaaa....!

But I am not that type of driver. I dont support road bully. Though within one semester of my routine driving to the faculty and back home, I received at average 3 to 4 speeding tickets, I've never done any harm to other road users. My more that 20 years driving record is accident-free, because I am not selfish. I think about others too. In other words, I am a considerate driver.

Well, let's get back to the 4WD driver with his stupid neon-like bright head lamp. After a while driving and cursing at the same time, I decided to take alternative route by exiting the highway. Once I've exited, since there was no other vehicle on the road, I slowed down to observe the 4WD driver who continued driving on the highway. Hell, he was on the phone all this while! No wonder why he tailed me at the left lane without even bother to overtake me on the right lane!

Within a night's drive, he made three offences: (1) tailing so close to the car infront (2) using bright light head lamp that could affect the sight of front driver and (3) using handphone while driving. He should definitely be banned from using the road for quite some time.

Think about others when you drive. Think about your loved ones. Nobody would want to be hurt or die in an accident. Be considerate. Dont be a BLIND DRIVER! Have a safe journey always.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

The White House stumbles to the finish: The humiliation of America


(Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration)

"Early Friday morning the secretary of state was considering bringing the cease-fire resolution to a UNSC vote and we didn't want her to vote for it," Olmert said. "I said 'get President Bush on the phone.'

They tried and told me he was in the middle of a lecture in Philadelphia.

I said 'I'm not interested, I need to speak to him now.'

He got down from the podium, went out and took the phone call.

"*"Let me see if I understand this," wrote a friend in response to news reports that Israeli Prime Minister Olmert ordered President Bush from the podium where he was giving a speech to receive Israel's instructions about how the United States had to vote on the UN resolution.

"On September 11th, President Bush is interrupted while reading a story to school children and told the World Trade Center had been hit--and he went on reading. Now, Olmert calls about a UN resolution when Bush is giving a speech and Bush leaves the stage to take the call. There exists no greater example of a master-servant relationship."

Olmert gloated as he told Israelis how he had shamed US Secretary of State Condi Rice by preventing the American Secretary of State from supporting a resolution that she had helped to craft. Olmert proudly related how he had interrupted President Bush's speech in order to give Bush his marching orders on the UN vote.Israeli politicians have been bragging for decades about the control they exercise over the US government. In his final press conference, President Bush, deluded to the very end, said that the whole world respects America. In fact, when the world looks at America, what it sees is an Israeli colony.

Responding to mounting reports from the Red Cross and human rights organizations of Israel's massive war crimes in Gaza, the United Nations Human Rights Council voted 33-1 on January 12 to condemn Israel for grave offenses against human rights.

On January 13, the London Times reported that Israelis have gathered on a hillside overlooking Gaza to enjoy the slaughter of Palestinians in what the Times calls "the ultimate spectator sport."It is American supplied F-16 fighter jets, helicopter gunships, missiles, and bombs that are destroying the civilian infrastructure of Gaza and murdering the Palestinians who have been packed into the tiny strip of land. What is happening to the Palestinians herded into the Gaza Ghetto is happening because of American money and weapons. It is just as much an attack by the United States as an attack by Israel.

The US government is complicit in the war crimes.Yet in his farewell press conference on January 12, Bush said that the world respects America for its compassion.

The compassion of bombing a UN school for girls?

The compassion of herding 100 Palestinians into one house and then shelling it?

The compassion of bombing hospitals and mosques?

The compassion of depriving 1.5 million Palestinians of food, medicine, and energy?

The compassion of violently overthrowing the democratically elected Hamas government?

The compassion of blowing up the infrastructure of one of the poorest and most deprived people on earth?

The compassion of abstaining from a Security Council vote condemning these actions?

And this is a repeat of what the Israelis and Americans did to Lebanon in 2006, what the Americans did to Iraqis for six years and are continuing to do to Afghans after seven years. And still hope to do to the Iranians and Syrians.

In 2002 I designated George W. Bush "the White House Moron."

If there ever was any doubt about this designation, Bush's final press conference dispelled it. Bush talked about connecting the dots, but Bush has failed to connect any dots for eight solid years. "Our" president was a puppet for a cabal led by Dick Cheney and a handful of Jewish neoconservatives, who took control of the Pentagon, the State Department, the National Security Council, the CIA, and "Homeland Security."

From these power positions, the neocon cabal used lies and deception to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, pointless wars that have cost Americans $3 trillion, while millions of Americans lose their jobs, their pensions, and their access to health care.

"These obviously very difficult economic times," Bush said in his press conference, "started before my presidency."

Bush has plenty of liberal company in failing to connect a $3 trillion dollar war with hard times. The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities blames Bush's tax cut, not the wars, for "the fiscal deterioration."Bush told the White House Press Corps, a useless collection of non-journalists, that the two mistakes of his invasion of Iraq were:

(1) Putting up the "mission accomplished" banner on the aircraft carrier, which, he said, "sent the wrong message," and

(2) the absence of the alleged weapons of mass destruction that he used to justify the invasion.

Although Bush now admits that there were not any such weapons in Iraq, Bush said that the invasion was still the right thing to do. The deaths of 1.25 million Iraqis, the displacement of 4 million Iraqis, and the destruction of a country's infrastructure and economy are merely the collateral damage associated with "bringing freedom and democracy" to the Middle East. Unless George W. Bush is the best actor in human history, he truly believes what he told the White House Press Corps.

What Bush did not explain is how America is respected when its people put a moron in charge for eight years.

*Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration.

Monday, 19 January 2009

Absolutely amazing Mathematics

1 x 8 + 1 = 9
12 x 8 + 2 = 98
123 x 8 + 3 = 987
1234 x 8 + 4 = 9876
12345 x 8 + 5 = 98765
123456 x 8 + 6 = 987654
1234567 x 8 + 7 = 9876543
12345678 x 8 + 8 = 98765432
123456789 x 8 + 9 = 987654321

1 x 9 + 2 = 11
12 x 9 + 3 = 111
123 x 9 + 4 = 1111
1234 x 9 + 5 = 11111
12345 x 9 + 6 = 111111
123456 x 9 + 7 = 1111111
1234567 x 9 + 8 = 11111111
12345678 x 9 + 9 = 111111111
123456789 9 +10= 1111111111

9 x 9 + 7 = 88
98 x 9 + 6 = 888
987 x 9 + 5 = 8888
9876 x 9 + 4 = 88888
98765 x 9 + 3 = 888888
987654 x 9 + 2 = 8888888
9876543 x 9 + 1 = 88888888
98765432 x 9 + 0 = 888888888

Brilliant, isn’t it? And look at this symmetry:

1 x 1 = 11
11 x 11 = 121
111 x 111 = 12321
1111 x 1111 = 1234321
11111 x 11111 = 123454321
111111 x 111111 = 12345654321
1111111 x 1111111 = 1234567654321
11111111 x 11111111 = 123456787654321
111111111 x 111111111 = 12345678987654321

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Special dedication to Rajiv Ahuja - How to dance in the rain...

It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80's arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00am. I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would to able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound. On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.

While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife. I inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer's Disease.

As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now..

I was surprised, and asked him, 'And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?' He smiled as he patted my hand and said,

'She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is.'

I held back my tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought,

'That is the kind of love I want in my life.'

True love is neither physical, nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.

The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have. I hope you share this with someone you care about. I just did. Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain.
Introducing myself to the audience...

My name is Normawati Non. I am from Selangor, Malaysia. I am 36 years old, happily married and blessed with three lovely children. I was raised in quite a big family, there seven siblings altogether, 4 girls and 3 boys and I am the eldest. My late father was a tanker driver with Shell and my mother was a house wife.

Because there were so many of us having to stay in the same small living room of our house, we use to have the same hobby to pass our free time - wrestling! Sometimes we bled ourselves, just to feel the satisfaction of winning the fight. Mom couldnt say anything anymore, because once we started fighting, there's no way of stopping us. Dad? He acted as if we were not there at all. Hahaha... those were during our sweet childhood. I was only 15 then. Well, I never won the battle, honestly. My second sister claimed the championship as usual because she's of bigger size.

We had to work hard for a living. Dad was always sick. He had cronic diabetes. I had to earn my own tuition fees and pocket money to continue diploma. My second sister worked at KFC to pay her hostel expenses at the boarding school. My third sister worked at Singer as salesperson. We were all scattered everywhere. Whoever has the skills of survival, will get to enjoy extra money for a bit of luxury.

But we never regret what happened. I believe there's a blessing in disguise. Everything happened for a reason. Had it not been because of our hard working attitude during childhood, we might have been spoilt teenagers and might not ended up as happy as who we are right now. Well, we still fight now, in a different way, as adults, of course, but the sour faces and red eyes and swollen lips didnt normally last long. The bond we have are strong, it's difficult to break.

Today, all but the youngest in the siblings are married. Everyone lead a happy life. Some of us may not be rich and wealthy, yet we are living a comfortable life. Meet up once in a while, celebrate certain special occasion together, organise family outing and get involved in sports, etc. So who said a big family means lots of trouble? I say, the bigger the family, the more 'close friends' we have, the merrier the celebrations we organise.
Dear dad, only if you were with us this moment. You'll be happy too. Mom's a tough woman, she's been through good and bad times together with us. Thanks mom. You're the greatest of all.

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

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