That’s What Leprechauns Do!

[Actors: Papa, Mommy & Baby Luqman. Scene: Home Sweet Home]

Papa: “What are you reading for the children this weekend?” He asked nonchalantly.

Thoughts in my head: “Okay, normally he couldn’t be bloody bothered, what’s gotten into him today?”

Me: “That’s What Leprechauns Do!” I hollered excitedly. Luqman stared at me with his two huge “guli” eyes. Perhaps he is thinking “what have I done to deserve a crazy mom like her?

Papa: “Apa dia? Ho ho ho! ha ha ha ha ha! he he he he! kik kik kik kik!” He laughed like an intoxicated cow and he subsequently shook his head in an attempt to humiliate me further.

Me: “Why you laugh? I am reading That’s What Leprechauns Do. You know leprechauns?” At this juncture, I have to shamefully admit to you that I pronounced leprechauns as “lep-re-chons.”

Papa: “Eiiii…. leprechauns lah! As in “laaap – riiii – kons!” He corrected me without mercy knowing that I’d be so humiliated about this. Luqman kept looking at the both of us in utter confusion. And he continued laughing at my stupidity.

Papa: “And you are reading to the children? You can’t even pronounce the words carefully!” He wasn’t quite done yet, was he?

Thoughts in my head: @#$%^&**&^%!cow@#$%^!

Now that I know how to pronounce Leprechauns without my tongue doing the acrobat, I’ ll  see you guys & your children at –

Venue: Borders, the Curve, Damansara.

Date & Time: Sunday 29th July 2007 at 3 p.m.

Book: That’s What Leprechauns Do. Written by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Emily Arnold McCully.

[Image from]


Two Gentlemen of Verona

I loved this prose before, I love it now and I’ ll love it forever –

Act III, Scene  I

“And why not death rather than living torment?

To die is to be banish’d from myself;

And Silvia is myself: banish’d from her

Is self from self: a deadly banishment!

What light is light, if Silvia be not seen?

What joy is joy, if Silvia be not by?

Unless it be to think that she is by

And feed upon the shadow of perfection

Except I be by Silvia in the night,

There is no music in the nightingale;

Unless I look by Silvia in the day,

There is no day for me to look upon;

She is my essence, and I leave to be,

If I be not by her fair influence

Foster’d, illumined, cherish’d, kept alive.”

Sorry folks, bad day at the office today. Calm down Elviza. Inhale…exhale. Meditate. Patience is virtue.

For one more day – Book Review

For one more day is an autobiography rather than fiction. It probably falls under the genre of psychology too. I can never tell the correct genre of Mitch Albom’s books. I think “Tuesday with Morrie” is his true story. Of course, “the 5 people you meet in heaven” is fictional. Albom kicked off his writing career as a sport’s columnist. As to how he managed to write these 3 bestsellers – not relating to sports whatsoever – is beyond me.

The book asked you one simple question – if you were given one more day with your dead parent, would you be brave enough to accept it and make amends along the way?

The protagonist, Charley “Chick” Benetto, is an alcoholic. He started off as a promising baseball star who could no longer hit a home run. Imprisoned in dead-end job as a salesman and bitter divorce, Chick turned to alcohol for solace. When his only daughter shunned him from her wedding, Chick attempted to commit suicide. Caught in between life and death, Chick was transported back to the old house where he grew up and to his utter disbelief, he found his mother cooking breakfast!

Chick was granted one more day with his mother. Albom then moved the story to Chick’s childhood and adolescence and what transpired in between. Faced with a confusing choice of being either “mommy’s boy” or “daddy’s boy” at a tender age, Chick picked the latter. So much so that he would knowingly hurt his mother’s feeling to win his father’s approval.

The inevitable divorce of his parents torn the family apart. Chick never achieved his dream of becoming a baseball star. He neglected his family in futile search of happiness. He reached his ultimate guilt when he lied to his mother on her birthday to go and play baseball. As fate would have it, his mother died. The guilt haunted him for a lifetime.

For that one more day with his mother, Chick was made to understand why certain things happened in his life. He understood the reasons for his parents’ divorce. He understood the sacrifices his mother had made. Lucky Chick was bestowed with a chance to apologise to his mother. He survived the ordeal and lived to tell the tale.

Albom creatively wove the story to include the emotional notes Chick’s mother wrote to him from time to time. Warning: this book can be a tearjerker for sensitive souls. The plot was accompanied with the intermissions of the times Chick didn’t stand up for his mother and the times she stood up for him. I found the intermissions refreshing and stylish.

Albom is a master of simple English. He narrated the poignant story with stlye that is unmistakably his. However, Albom played God in this book. So, if you are a realist, this book is definitely not for you. But, if you are able to put logic aside and bask in realm of imaginations, do read it. For me, this is a story of redemption and letting go of your past mistakes.

[Writer: Mitch Albom, ISBN: 0751537535, Publisher: Sphere]

Image from

It’s my God-given right!

Write Away isn’t a political blog. I don’t give a hoot what Nathaniel’s political affiliations are. Honestly, I haven’t even met him in person. Yes, I met his girlfriend Tikus at NPC not so long ago. She’s lovely.

However, my brother Rocky text me late at night last friday. The news was unnerving. The news was down right disturbing for all the bloggers. Our basic human right is being oppressed.

The media reported that Nathaniel was detained pursuant to Section 8 of the Official Secret Act. This controversial act has been condemned for its violation against our international human rights. Section 8 of the aforesaid act has been clearly defined and explained by my fellow member of the bar, Malik Imtiaz Sarwar.

In 1948, United Nations defined human rights via Universal Declaration of Human Rights. I am of the view that Nathaniel’s human rights spelt under Article 12 & 19, have been interfered with:

Article 12

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

Article 19

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; the right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. 

[emphasis mine]

So, please free Nat unless you have a concrete charge against him. In the words of Malcolm X “human rights are something you were born with. Human rights are your God-given rights. Human rights are the rights that are recognized by all nations of this earth.”

I recalled the Prime Minister reciting a poignant poem titled Damai Abadi –

Aku cari bukan harta bertimbun-timbun,
Untuk hidup kaya,

Aku cari bukan wang berjuta-juta,
Untuk hidup bergaya,
Aku cari bukan kawan-kawan,
Untuk hidup sekadar berfoya-foya,
Aku cari mana dia Al-Ghazali,
Aku cari mana dia Al-Shafie,
Kita bongkar rahsia kitab suci,
Cari panduan,
Kita bongkar rahsia sunah Nabi,
Cari pedoman,
Aku hidup kerana Dia Rabbi,
Dialah teman,
Dialah wali,
Dia mencukupi,
Aku hidup bererti,
Menikmati damai abadi.

If I may pose a question to him, it would be, “have you found your ‘damai abadi’ in light of this oppression?”

[Please click my brothers and sisters, Rocky’s Bru, Elizabeth Wong, Nuraina A. SamadZorro, Shanghai Stephen. Most importantly, click Malik Imtiaz Sarwar

*Picture courtersy of Mob’s Crib*


Terengganuans and Kelantanese seek comfort in groups. Conversation with a complete stranger would go to a different level if both of you come from the same state, a slightly higher notch if from the same district, and of course in ascending order if the person were of the same kampong and knew a mutual friend. The next stratospheric level would be if she or he happens to be “WAREH.

Wareh” loosely defined by Kelantanese and Terengganuan as people who had their great great grandma or great great grandpa sharing same wombs making them a brother and sister to each other in that part of the history before the Japanese drop by or the day Raffles landed in Temasek. It is very important for the people of Kelantan and Terengganu to know both sides of the families and if you are married that would be at least four generation and four family lines that you need to get to know and identify them with their appropriate titles in the family.

Along this huge ‘cengal’ family tree, there would be branches that entwined (married) or untwined (fighting, divorced or just plain ‘can’t stand’ each other for no particular reason) and as part of one big tree, you (if you are a Kelantanese or Terengganuan) are supposed to ignore any negative vibes (esp. the divorced branch) and greet and pay salutation to them just like they are any family members.

The most important event is the ‘khenduris’ for the wedding which all would  gather from all nooks and corners and getting to know each other all over again. The ‘gotongroyong’ would be in full force and something funny does usually happen.

If you were born with big eyes and had been a point of ridicule by your playmates, it will become a sore point in your personality. Over time, you might start to like it and perhaps eventually you would truly believe that you were quite fortunate soul to be born with beautiful eyes.

Come ‘khenduri‘ times your deep believe in your uniqueness may be shattered as there would be invariably one or two similar set of eyes like yours… that would be funny. Then you may notice someone who walks like your sister or have a shrieking laugh similar to your aunt who teases you endlessly, then….it may not sound funny anymore. The worst would be if you were to see some obnoxious looking old lady who says you look like her when she was young. That freaks me out, for sure.

With that in mind, this conversation I had with my mother certainly brought me down to this plain earth. Her priority certainly is noble but then am I not another propagator of a gene in big kahuna scheme of thing called “wareh?”

Mama: “male sabtu nih, gi rumoh tok ayoh so and so deh? Dio buat semaye hajat, anok dio nok gi ITM.”

Mother instructed with confidence only mothers could possibly have.

Me: “dok leh kot, Kak Long ader plan rasonya weekend nih –” I said timidly in a desperate attempt for a swift way out.

Mama: “Hal gapo? Kalu setakat nok gi shopping & dudok keda buku berjam-jam tu, tok payoh lah. Perabih pitih, perabih maso, tak dok sebutir paedoh pon!”

Of course, Mama found my passion with books is a sheer waste of time and money.

Me: “dok eh…..mana ade…

As usual she overpowered me! Typical kelantanese woman! (I mean my mother, not I).

Mama: “Mesti gi, wareh kito tuh. Kirim salam mama, bui pitih ke anok dio sikit. Anok dio nok gi sekoloh ITM tuh.

At this point, I am rolling my eyes over and over again.

Tag oh Tag!

i.The Charity Tag

Raden Galoh tagged me for charity, despite me being absolutely confident that I am untaggable. Click here for the rules.

So here it goes:-

1. Friendship is always sacred.

2. To love is to work out your differences, not reprogramme each other.

3. Money makes me work against my will.

4. I miss the days when I don’t have to pay anything!

5. When I was thirteen I was little bit boyish! He he he….

6. When I was twenty one I lived in the UK, bestnya…..

7. Pick the flowers when no, I don’t pick flowers, I receive them! Muahahahaha!

8. Beauty is overrated.

9. Nothing makes me happier than to make just about enough money, chuck my day job aside and write whatever I feel like writing.

10. The best thing I did yesterday was to read for the children at the bookstore. I love the looks on their faces, their inane questionings and their sheer innocence.

11.Money is not everything but it sure as heaven a lot of other things. Only people with money would say money is not everything. Sungguh!

12. The most touching moment I have experienced was when Doctor Musa came to my side and said “Elviza, this is your baby.” That was the first time I saw Luqman.

13. Nothing can make me happier than to hold Luqman in my arms.

14. To love someone is to put up with their @#$%^&*

15. When I am happy, I dont “kerut” my forehead so much.

16. If I dont have to bloody work, then I would travel the world and narrate the journey in writing.

17. If I ever write a book I will give this title of  “Life or something like that.”

ii. Hi 5 Meme Tag

Lady Patsy tagged me, despite me being completely untaggable. Here it goes:-  

5 things found in your bag

1. A book – current one “Confession of an Old Boy” by Kam Raslan.

2. The sacred moleskin notebook. Given to me as a birthday gift two years ago by a dear friend, Nurul Muhaniza.

3. Money & plastic money.

4. Mobilephone

5. Pencil

5 Favourite things in your room

1. Yamaha Keyboard, it isn’t exactly in my bedroom, it’s in the library but hey! the library is my room too!

2. My bed.

3. Books, books and books everywhere.

4. Luqman’s books and toys – the toys will one day cause a real hazard!

5. Errrr, a dustbin?

5 things I always wanted to do

1. Write a book, write a column or just write about anything.

2. Travel the world.

3. Live in Prague for a year and write about it.

4. Open a bookstore with a little cafe by the side, serving excellent coffees.

5. Play music, just play music anywhere….

5 things you currently into

1. Reading

2. Writing

3. Blogging

4. Play music

5. Of course, adore my son every second of  the day.

5 People I want to tag

1. Ari – (oh! dont roll your eyes!)

2. Sabrina Ali

3. RSZ

4. Daphne Ling

5. No freaking idea what so ever!

The Quiltmaker’s Gift

[Writer: Jeff Brumbeau, Ilustrator: Gail de Macken. Published by Ochard Books, New York in 2001]

Once upon a time, there was a Quiltmaker who lived in a small house on top of the blue misty mountain. She quilted the prettiest quilts in the world from all colours of the rainbow with her magical fingers.

Hordes of people from all walks of life would climb up the mountain with hope of buying those gorgeous quilts. Their hopes soon crashed upon finding out that the Quiltmaker would not sell her quilts to them. She only made it for the poor and homeless. At night, the Quiltmaker wandered around the cobblestone streets and wrapped her quilts around the poor and needy when they were deep in sleep.

The reigning King during this time was greedy and silly. He loved nothing else but presents. He passed a law that warrants him to celebrate his birthday twice a year. He received presents from all corners of his kingdom. Still, he was one unhappy king. Something was still amiss in his life. The Quiltmaker told the King in no uncertain terms that she would only make him a quilt if he gives away all of his priced possession. The King raged as his greed stopped him from doing so.

His anger knew no bounds. He first threw the Quiltmaker into the cage with a huge hairy bear. When the King learnt that the bear formed a friendship with the Quiltmaker instead of eating her for breakfast, his anger escalated. He ordered the Quiltmaker to stand on an island big enough only for her two tiny feet, hoping that she will soon drown. Instead, flock of sparrows flew the Quiltmaker safely to the shore.

The King gave up and after a long contemplation he started giving away his possession by letting go the item he least fond of. When a boy smiled hugely after receiving just a small marble from him, he felt a tingle of happiness in his heart. He soon traveled the world to give away all of his priced possessions. 

Meanwhile, the Quiltmaker kept her promise and began a quilt just for the King. Each day a sparrow messenger would drop a word to the Quiltmaker about the King and what did he give away for that day. The quilt for the King grew more beautiful each day. Finally, the King got his quilt from the Quiltmaker and in return, he presented the Quiltmaker a new house. The King ended up being a happy man.

The quilt was wrapped around the King’s shoulders and it was so beautiful, butterflies and hummingbirds flew around it.  

I narrated the above story for children at Borders Bookstore, the Curve on Sunday 8th of July 2007 at 3 p.m.

*The children story time at Borders is free and you are invited to bring your children along. My next reading session will be on Sunday 29th July 2007 at the same time. See ya there!*