From My Heart


August 2010

Angel’s Wings

I know the world is kind of scary these days.
Crime everywhere. People not sincere with whatever they say or do.

But I’m glad that my life has been touched by so many angels around me.
Angels in many forms.

The 84 years old uncle, or 81 years old grandpa.
A group of friends who took me as who I am.

Those angels I met in medical school, some I’m still in contact and some I’ve never seen again.
Those who came across my path for a short while and helped me for something important.
Angels full of encouragement and support you feel that everything in life is beautiful.
That life is worth enjoying every second.

Angels in the form of two tall men, always thoughtful, concerned and full of advice.
There are angels who are so polite that I felt embarassed just thinking about them.
An angel with beautiful eyes with a cheeky twinkle in it.
An angel who looks up to me and won’t go to bed if I don’t go with her.
Angels in the form of two tall men who would be there for me no matter what.
An angel whose smile reaches his eyes and lights up the whole town.

Angels in the name of family, friends, and strangers too.
And of course, my mom who’s above all other angels.

I’m glad my life has been touched by so many angels around me.
In all shapes and forms.
And I promise all of you, I’ll bring it forward too.


My Gentle Grandpa

Listening to the Quranic readings from the radio reminded me of one person.

My grandpa.

I remember those days when we used to go to the mosque for tarawih, and he’s the imam. His gentle voice ringing through the air.

He’s always kept it short. He understood that people were tired from a day’s work, and will need to get to work early the next day.

I remember his soft and tender love and the way he showed it to us, his grandchildren.

He’d smile at us from afar, and gently stroke our hair, kiss our cheeks.

With the same gentleness that I would imagine Rasulullah was to his grandchildren, Hassan and Hussin.

He was one of the most soft-spoken man that I have ever known.

He was so happy when I got a place in medical school. Although it’s so far away from him. But he never got to see me go. He left us first.

He was not a rich man. But he would share his blessing with his loved ones.

He bought us bottles of fizzy drinks for Eid. He knew we loved it, even when grandma disapprove.

He would buy things for grandma to cook, and share with all of us.

A few weeks before I left to Ireland, it was rambutan season.

He was eating rambutan when I came to visit. He said, “Come take these rambutans. There’ll be no rambutans there in Ireland.”

I’d remember that my whole life.

I used to walk to his house in the late morning, when I knew he’d be back from his daily work.

We’d take our morning teas together, with whatever that grandma has cooked.

Then he’d take one couch in the living room, and I’d take one couch. We’d take a short nap.

Grandpa worked very hard.

He worked extra hard when it was Ramadhan, knowing that he didn’t need to take breaks for meals.

He worked until he was very sick – that was when he was 81. And he was sick for only three weeks.

He’s a man full of love.

For his children, his grandchildren, and for nature too.

He would never litter.

He would not waste any food. Extras will go to his chicken.

In the middle of the night, when grandma is asleep, he would open the kitchen door. The cats would come to him when they see him.

He’d feed them milk and rice.

He was not a rich man. But he left us with a big durian farm.

He planted all those durian trees with us on his mind. When we have not even existed.

He was as peaceful as an early morning.

Early morning with its soft breeze, and quiet rustles of the leaves, birds chirping and chicken clucking away.

Leaves heavy with morning dew. The air cool and the ambient calm.

The sun begins to rise.

That is how peaceful he was.

He used to drive my brothers to the mosque on Fridays.

Once he said to my brother, “One day when you’ve got your licence, you can drive me to the mosque too.”

Well, he never made it to the day my brother got his licence.

But even though he did not say those words to me, I could really imagine his soft voice, his gentle words, and his tender face.

Because he’s my gentle grandpa.



Come back from work. Sleep off the lethargy. Wake up and have dinner of bread and serunding daging and buah kurma.

Then study till midnight.


Well, I could have a meaningful sleep now. And then I could have a meaningful simple dinner while watching Monk on DVD. Then I can have meaningful study time with myself.

And then on weekends I can have meaningful time cooking with my sister and mum and doing other things together without anyone stopping me.
I can go out with my brothers til midnight and no one can stop me from doing that too.
I can meaningfully love whoever I want to love.

I can put meaning and soul and energy to anything I want and love to do. Including studying and sleeping.

Singledom or married life.
As long as you put all your heart in whatever you do, it would be meaningful. Then nobody can tell you otherwise.

P/S: Dear boss, thank you for granting me my leave for tomorrow. I will study hard and smart. I’ll come back to work on Thursday.

Lessons from Monday Part 2 – Lucky, Aren’t We?

So here goes.

I came home from work at around 6.15pm. Well, not really going home for real because I was just going to fetch the nasi biryani in the fridge, and get back to the hospital (which is five minutes away); my patient had just passed away so I had to settle the documents.

As I came to the door, the grilles were open, and I thought (or wish) maybe my housemate was rushing in to get something important and get back to the hospital – she was on call.

But then there’s a little scratch on the door frame. Just a little scratch. Then I knew it was someone else. Someone whose job is, well, to break in to people’s house and take things other people buy with their hard-earned cash.

At first I was scared to get in, I was worried that there was someone in the house still. The first thing I looked for was the TV and it was still there. And the astro decoder. And the DVD player too.

But my bedroom door was open. My cupboard doors were open too! My heart has already known without me even having to look……my less-than-a-year-shiny-beloved laptop was gone from its bag!!!!! Just. The. Laptop. Not my speakers. Not my camera.

The cupboard seemed like it was searched in but not too much. As if the person who came into the house purposely did that. Just to add to the touch.

I had to go into my housemate’s room. Same thing. Her laptop gone. Her stuff all over the place. I called her. She said yes, she said her laptop was at its usual place in the morning. We talked and talked. And talked.

Then I grabbed my nasi biryani from the fridge, locked my door (it still functions), and went back to the hospital.

* * *

Yes, we lost a few thousand ringgit worth of stuff.

But we were lucky. I can’t stop thinking how lucky we were that day.

First and foremost, there was no one at home. I can’t imagine what would’ve happened if one of us were here and someone just barged in like that.

Of course, all our other stuff were safe.

Lucky there was no one in the house when I came back. Lucky that he/she/they have done the job by the time I came home. Again, I can’t imagine….

Lucky they didn’t leave anything behind. Any weird talismans or their own…emm…”produce”.

Luckily I had to take my biryani at home despite boss telling me “don’t go home, I think this man is going to die soon”. I said to him, “don’t worry, my house is just around the corner.” If I didn’t go home that evening, I would’ve found this out even later that night, and my brother might have gone home, and I don’t know who else would accompany me to the police station.

I was lucky I have my brother.

So far I’m still lucky that I have a steady job, that I could always buy a new laptop. Although there goes my budget and I can’t shop in Singapore after my exams in September.

I was lucky I have a housemate to share this with, and she’s not the kind of person who freaks out too much. Our parents would, though. Heheh.

Yeah, we were both very lucky indeed.

* * *

Things happen for a reason. It’s a cliche but it’s true.

I started to think.

Maybe I wrote too much on my Facebook notes or my blogs, that my laptop is taken away for the reason of “misuse”.

I don’t think I put too many embarrassing photos but then again….nah….

Maybe I don’t spread enough good with the laptop.

Maybe I should work harder so that my money won’t burn like this.

Or maybe it’s just a test for me. Losing a person I love(d) and losing something this material is way different. But then again, the next day all bittersweet memories kept coming back and I so did not feel good at all. Although I’ve felt a lot worse.

Yeah, it made me think.

Now I have to get back to my studies. There you are, my dear ones, Part 2

Lessons from Monday

No wonder I had bad feelings on Sunday night.

Bad things happened on Monday.

Monday night I found myself sitting in the police station with my dear brother. Numb, a little sad, bewildered. Scared, too. It was daunting to come to a strange place because of an unwanted event.

At that time the last thing I needed was rude police officers. Thankfully they have been nice. Not super nice but they’re ok. They did not ask funny questions or make stupid comments. Just normal.

We had to see two officers before coming home near 11pm. The policeman said he’d come to our place after that. We waited for almost an hour. Luckily it was at the comfort of our own home.

All the time I was imagining what it might be like for our patients. What it was like for me, myself, was it really that scary.

Our patients. Sick, in pain, suddenly something just happened to them and they don’t know what it is. So they come to us.

It must be daunting for them too. Must be scary, isn’t it?

Just imagine suddenly having very bad chest pain, or difficulty breathing. Or just had their car or motorcycle knocked upside down. Or they have been sick and suddenly they become even more sick.

The last thing they need is rude doctors and nurses and other staff.

And they have to wait in the emergency waiting area, or the freezing cold resuscitation bay.

Patient’s family members. At the thought of possibilities of losing someone they love and care so much.

Scary can’t cover all those feelings.

I kept thinking and thinking, whether it’s more scary to sit and wait in the hospital emergency department, or in the police station.

I can’t get an answer.

At least what I had to report about was not so big. I mean, yes, it was a big loss but I could, insyaAllah, always earn more.

But then again just imagine those who had just been robbed, or hit by someone else, or other worse things that I can’t even bring myself to say it here…scary can’t even begin to describe what they might feel.

We health professionals might not be too scared to be in the all-too-familiar hospital walls when we’re sick. But, really?

Like when I knew that 1 litre of blood loss won’t kill me. However if I have to go through the 5th GA in my life – just thinking about it would freak me out.

Easy conclusions. But at times difficult to carry out. With never-ending patients and demands and lack of sleep, food and appreciation, our job really tests our patience.

Still, it would be useful to remind ourselves that if we were in their positions, we may be as scared as they are. And we’ll never know how we’d react to our feelings.


P/S: For Ihab, get well soon! 🙂

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