Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Tuesday Thoughts (Revised)

View from my window - Kampung Sungai Pencala Muslim Cemetery

The days are getting hotter lately. The rains are no more although the noon sky darkens occasionally. It's the kind of weather that has Pak Abu beaming from ear to ear. I could almost read his thought: "Good day for golf, this!"

Me? I am loathe to leave the comfort of my cosy apartment although I dread to think of the subsequent electricity bills. I think we have chalked up quite a sum so far due to the air-conditioning.

It is fortunate that I ply my trade from home. All that I need as a freelance writer/translator are phone access, computer, printer and the Internet, and I am in business.

The days when I rushed around 24/7 like a headless chicken, kowtowing to the most difficult clients imaginable, who sapped every ounce of energy I had and bled me dry of any creativity, is history.

I am thankful for the respite and I hope it stays this way. I used to think I would go bonkers without a regular job, and that I must tie myself to a workplace to keep me sane.

Now I know I don't have to. Life still goes on. Freelancing is also a good way to earn one's keep without having to commit oneself to a rigid routine like a paid employee.

Now that the kids are grown and gone (err, not really.. they are not likely to abandon their 'mobile ATM' that readily!), I have more time for myself, and it's a boon to this worn soul.

As for the children, they turn up some weekends, to partake dinner together or just to see if the old folks are still breathing. That suits us fine, anyway.

At home, I am left with the 'Big Boy' to care for. But he is easy to manage. Just pack him off to the golf course, preferably with a new set of irons and tubefuls of new dimpled balls, and my life is a bliss.

All these jumbled, inconsequential thoughts came to mind just because I happened to look out my window an hour ago, and saw a fresh grave being dug at the Kampung Sungai Pencala Muslim Cemetery below. Al-Fatihah to the arwah, whoever he/she may be.

It was only last night when I mentioned, while standing on the balcony taking in the lights, that it had been quite a while since someone was buried at the cemetery. [The last burial was almost a month ago].

I am inclined to think that the little patch of God's Acre, peaceful and serene, in no small way had helped turn my life around from a harried PR consultant to a laidback housewife and mother.

It has made me think less of 'duniawi' (material world) and more of 'akhirat' (hereafter). It reawakened something long buried, the realisation that I am, (to paraphrase Kak Teh), already in the 'Maghrib' of my life.

There is only one more 'waktu' to go, if God so much as grant me my 'Isya'. So, there truly is hikmah (merit) in staying in this apartment overlooking a Muslim graveyard.

PS: I have to mention this. This morning's burial was attended by so few, I think less than 10 people. I had never seen such a thin crowd at a burial...


Kak Teh said...

Puteri, now we have everything that we need to work from home. Now I am dabbling with community radio, I interview, edit and put together a programme from the comforts of my bedroom.
Tapi, macam you kata laa, sekali sekala mesti ada peringatan. maklumlah kita semua dah maghrib.
take care. Last few days - spent time dengan Ana Rahman. She was here with husband and sis - tak kering gusi.

Raden Galoh said...

Salam kak...
It's hotter kan? Memang dugaan besar dgn cuaca and with my roller coaster head conditions... Kat umah pulak no aircond so if I stay home cuti mmg mcm cacing kepanasan le... nasib baik weekend kat amcorp mall biz flea market tu...

Hikmah sungguh tu kak... saya pun everytime balik ke rumah akan pass by Tanah Perkuburan kat kg saya tu... sambil bagi salam sambil tu terasa betapa hampirnya waktu... sungguh menginsafkan. Time utk gostan mana yg terlajak ni kan?

take care akak.

p/s: blh jd translator buku saya ka?

jaflam said...

P3 kama,
It's always good to be reminded about death since many people thought that they could live forever. Your writing will remind others who do not live by the grave or avoid passing near graveyard.

Pi Bani said...

I used to do freelancing too. Income tak menentu lah but I did get to spend more time at the comfort of my home - working in t-shirt & kain batik. But my friend pujuk I to help her out at the office as she couldn't cope alone (staff ada la, but dia tak ada qualified company secretary to back her up in case she needed to go elsewhere). I finally agreed dengan syarat... it's only on half day basis and I have flexi working hours. So now I get fixed monthly income AND still have ample time to either lepak at home or to do my voluntary work. I am really thankful for the opportunity to do this voluntary work - banyak pengajaran!

Zendra said...

Kama, time seems to fly doesn't it? It feels like it was just yesterday when my friends and I attended each other's weddings, then celebrated the new-borns, the children's birthdays, weddings, and now the cucus. Yeah rumah dah macam kata pi, kubur pun dah macam kata mai, mai....

Kak Teh said...

puteri, less than a month ago, we buried a friend. only 45 years old. i have been to the burial grounds Garden of Peace several times, but the last time, i walked away feeling not so afraid, and feeling that I shd prepare myself for that 'sleep'. It was a true reawakening time for many of us. and i have never seen so manty people at the grave and every night for tahlil.

kay_leeda said...

Kak Puteri,

I always have this thought "how will it be when the time comes". Painful? Easy or difficult? How? Only HE has the answer kan...

Urgghhh the hot weather!!! Dah take a shower pun still rasa tak comfortable lagi.

ray said...

Komen Pak Malim kucing ray yg alim.

Kucing Kama apa khabar? kata Pak Malim sambil membaca suratkhabar.

Kama said...

Kak Teh - You must have met Ani, Ana's sister. The two of them were studying in London and sharing a flat in the mid 70s. I squatted with them for a brief while when my (ex) hubby went to Germany at the time I was due to give birth to Naj. Btw, Ana's husband Nasir was Pak Abu classmate in MCKK.

Raden & Jaflam - somehow tanah perkuburan boleh membawa keinsafan kan? and also perasaan seriau kalau Allah ambik nyawa cepat kerana tak cukup bekalan..

Pi - I can afford to freelance now sebab commitment towards the children dah takder. When they were all still in school/college, tak berani, takut putus duit to finance their studies.

Zendra - Indeed times flies so fast it's unnerving sometimes. Felt like only yestrday when I turned 40.. and a day later I'm already of that fashionably pensionable age!

Kay - Kita doa agar Dia permudahkan segala2nya. Kay, I mandi no less than 4 times daily now just to cool the body down.

Ray - Our cat Lillie is doing well. She has put on weight since her SPCA days, sometimes she sleeps with Ma & Pa (dia tidur kat hujung kaki, atas duvet). She doesn't scratch the furniture (we taught her not to, by giving her a few lepuks on the head!).. dia ada personal scratching post.

Kak Teh said...

puteri, i met ana laaaa with nasir. they are now back in kl. pi tanya depa.yes, they told us abt the time you gave birth seorang diri - 32 yrs ago?

Anonymous said...

Life is a journey, its final destination is death and the moment for living is NOW bcas tomorrow may never come !
Live life and be ever greatful to the big Boss.
You/me can't get away from this World alive.
The end game is indeed getting closer and closer by the day.
But never be scared to die !!!!.

mamasita said...

Just curious..did you manage to find out why that particular burial ceremony's crowd was so thin? Kesian yer? Sedih lah..
My late mum's grave is beside an unknown the Bukit Kiara side..nobody knows siapa punya.
What was so scary is that there was/is a big hole on it..tanah mendap and I guess takde siapa datang menengokkan.

Ya Allah..kita hanya mohon panjang umur..but our time will come.. mudah2an dipinjamkan Allah nyawa yang panjang.

I am scared..I think I have failed as a mum..anak2 I ada yang rajin sembahyang and ada yang malas..
must call the ustad and ustazah to the house to remind them of the big dosa kejap rajin kejap malas sembahyang!
I blame myself too..bad bad example!

tireless mom said...

Dear Kak Puteri

Semoga when our time comes, Allah permudahkan semuanya and we are placed together with orang beriman. Encouraged to menziarahi orang mati supaya ada keinsafan selalu.

Anonymous said...

To Mamasita,

Puteri, tumpang lalu.

Pay the caretaker to take care of the grave beside your mother's.


Anonymous said...

To Mamasita,

Puteri, tumpang lalu.

Pay the caretaker to take care of the grave beside your mother's.