Thursday, April 24, 2014

"The one with a mother's birthday..."

To my loving wife - Happy, happy birthday my dear. 

This man loves you so very much, and as endearing as this  wish may convey - my gratitude to God presents for greater magnitudes; of being blessed with the epitome of a wife, mate, and friend one could every dream for. As we grow as a couple, a family, and as a pair, we trickle through joy, laughter, sorrow, and anger. Through each journey we passionately learn and unlearn more things about one another, thankfully becoming wiser from the process.

My dearest wife,

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

"The one with all the knocks and falls..."

I have been very busy, lately. Inundated with my daily routines in the university whilst at the same time juggling responsibilities as a father and husband at home. Undeniably, my respect goes to the many noble parents shouldering a similar honor to mine - albeit making them look trivial and natural.

One would argue, that with proper maintenance of time and space, this proverbial work-life relationship could be balanced properly and order can therefore be restored to ones' sanity. But linking hypotheses to actuality is somewhat lest a prominence towards the truth. I have realised, from my very petite experience as a father and husband - that sometimes, on certain occasion, it is best to throw caution to the wind. The very nature of 'plan, care and preparation' is ones' devotion towards uncertainty, so sometimes it may just be best - to hope for the best.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

"The one with the realizations a birthday brings..."

"Everyone says turning 30 is a scary milestone in life. Everyone, might be (a tad too) exaggerating."

- A 30-year old optimist.

The first of many more birthdays to come (insyaAllah) that I get to celebrate with my own family.

This year I decided to be back in Sabah during my birthday - to pay homage to a place I have spent my childhood and most of my upbringing at. The place embodies a great fraction of my life's journey, and with its forbearance has had a huge influence on the person I am today. This would also be a trip home for Fifah and Ayra, as our last trip here was all the way back in November last year. I made it a point to promise myself, that I would frequent travels here as often as time and money afforded us three to - especially for Ayra since this was her birthplace. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

"The one with simple acts of kindness..."

In our lives we sometimes are in need of heroes for inspiration; to be that blinding light of faith, a symbol that inspires our every actions. Often we turn to God, resolute in seeking refuge of own dwindling humanity in today's world - a different slate compared from the days of our parents and grandparents. Politeness has become so rare nowadays, that people often misconstrue it of flirtation.

But all is certainly not lost, for I still subscribe allegiance in the acts of selfless kindness. And every now and then videos like this remind me that sometimes, we don't have to go in search for heroes or idols - because we can instead be one, and inspire an endless ripple of inspiration for others.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

"The one with the big THESIS submission..."

"Happiness is not in the mere possession of money and physical beings; it lies in the joy of achievement, in the thrill of creative effort."
- Franklin D. Roosevelt 

For those uninformed - I've recently submitted my thesis for examination. Suffice to say, that I am finally DONE with my PhD. It seems a feat so long in anticipation, but I am finally done. I can't emphasis enough the distinct difference between the feeling  of anticipating what's ahead of you, and the feeling once you're at that exact juncture. Many times during my candidature as a PhD student, you build yourself up to these euphoric feelings of one day completing this arduous journey, but the moment you pen down that last commanding statement thus concluding the thesis - that euphoria conjures onto an elevated sense of excitement subjective only to you.

At the end of a PhD journey, no one can understands and could perceive the excitement one feels but the PhD student him/herself. It is a hard-earned, privy accomplishment so personal and intimate, that it in itself can make up for all those sweat, tears and hard work during the entirety of those years of commitment and perseverance.

Yes - only a PhD student can comprehend and appreciate the excitement of submitting  a thesis, which can mean nothing to the layman but mean the world to them.

A thesis that took almost 42 months to finish. It was a long journey, but not without its many meritorious rewards.

Occasionally I look back and reminisce the path I left 2-weeks ago and realize how much it was intermittently made up of both wonderful and not-so wonderful junctures; how organic and cognizant, how nerve-wrecking and dreadful it was. It was as much a journey of self-discovery, as it was an academic one. As Rome was not built under the light of a day, nor did the animation of my PhD endure without the help of colleagues, friends and family. I owe as much to them as I did to my own self accord, and I was (still am) luck to have such inspiring and admirable support systems wherever I go.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"The one with the Eid realization..."

Celebrating Eid is always a merry endeavor, no matter where you are and with whom the occasion is commemorated with. In the earnestness of the celebration, rapports thrive; reticence crumbles and contingency take precedence. Even among strangers, we coup the courage to mingle and pass conversation. That's the spirit of the Eids, and every year I am reminded of how similar we are as individuals - no matter how distant our backgrounds are.

Of course, the very embodiment of the festivities are the younger generation. Children tend to enjoy these moments the most, as their parents did before. That's probably why I love taking pictures of children in their merriment, as I can reminisce the joy in their gaze and the life in their expressions.

Had the opportunity to spend the Eid at a friend's house in Reservoir, so took the opportune stint of rekindling the old passion of photography.

Ayam masak merah, with a serving of Nasi Tomato. An Eid favorite.

It's not the Eids without Nasi Impit (packed rice).

An Arabian addition to this year's Eid - Baklava's for dessert.

Ahh Izhan - It's seems just yesterday that you're still learning to walk. Now you're cheeky as ever!

Cute toddler attractions.

The most joy is experienced within these moments of playfulness.



My mates - Ayob, Bro Zakieo, and Mizie.

Bro Zakieo's angel.

The tech-adept generation of youngsters.

A toddler's favorite.

Little Tiara just turned one..!
I have a soft spot for this year's Eid. It's the first of many more to come, of Eids where celebrate as a father and husband. I guess at this coming of age your perspective on life shifts; they take a more dynamic turn and everything you perceive affects others as well. As the curtains close on my Ph.D journey here in Melbourne, I am acquainted the forthcoming notion of a new challenge - to be an educator and positive role model to society. It's a daunting and otherwise heavy task to burden, but noble nonetheless. I have learned and grown a lot throughout the past three years, an exercise which I foresee will continue to envelop for years to come.

I am grateful for being blessed, very blessed in life. Good and bad, contentment and grief, joy and sorrow. It is my hope that I could share these wisdom and experiences to the benefit of others, so in lieu of that, I could learn from them as much.

InsyaAllah, in due time.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012

"The one where we celebrate as a family (of three)..."

Happy Eid Mubarak, from jepsloci and family. 

May the celebrations that come reflect our victory overcoming our lust and greed, and may the passing Ramadhan leave us a bettered Muslim. InsyaAllah, God wiling we seek another coming of the holy month - and with it a continued passion to strive to be more pious servants.

Our best wishes to everyone in the utmost joyous occasion. We seek forgiveness on all our shortcomings and any wrongdoings imparted on our favor. Have a wonderful Eid, wherever you are and with whomever you're with.

-JeP, Fifah & our darling Ayra

P.S : I'm currently on hiatus since the past month, will get back to regular posting soon after the great thesis submission. Wish me luck! :D

Saturday, July 14, 2012

"The (other) one who becomes a year older..."

As much as I am blindsided by the fact that I'm her son - I concur to having an  absolutely awesome mom.

Ask any mother - they will tell you that caring after small children, while at the same time maintaining a carrier of your own is no walk in the park. Adding towards this already lob-sided role, a mother also needs to balance the responsibilities as a wife, a sister and a daughter to others in her life. It's tough to manage one child, let alone three boys at a time, but this person has taken the challenge in her stride - I am a third of three little rascals thriving on a life he has owed so very much towards her care and upbringing. 

Today July 14th, is her special day of commemoration.

To my dearest mom, happy birthday - you are a year younger today!

On her newfound role of being a grandmother to little Ayra - which she has nailed perfectly.

Allahyarham Dr. Afzal's last entry on his blog was, preeminently, about his gratifying thoughts on his mother. Among all his posts I considered this the most dear and engaging; probably even he himself shared the same presentiment. In reminisce, his last paragraph summarized his own endearment to a person he considers his greatest love, in a post which would befit being his last.

"I'm not exactly sure why I have penned this thoughts down, but I just feel the strong urge to show my deepest appreciation to my mom. My guardian. The one person in life I know will never disappoint. The one person I know who will always provide me with that unconditional love, through the thick and thin. To everyone out there, love your mom and NEVER ever break their heart. Tell them, in your own way, that you love them and that you will never trade your mom with anything in this entire world."
Subhanallah, only Allah knows best.

Like him, I consider my mom to be the epitome of love and endearment in my life. She is that rock which anchors my faith; that north star of which I find guidance, and the mirror I reflect upon as an example towards my life. She labels as not just a mother, but also a mentor, and good friend. Thank you mom for the forbearance of persevering with me through the thick and thins of my life - I pray God will give the opportunities to repay you in kind one day insyaAllah.

My two (grand)mothers.

Today my prayers are for you mom, for Him to appease you a happiest and most gratifying of days. May Allah shower you with His grace and bless you a grand, long life ahead. May He sustain upon you good health, grant you the utmost patience and perseverence to continue being who you have always become - a wonderful mother and a potent role model for us all. 

As you now grace grandmother-hood, I am happy for Ayra and your future grandchildren; because they can now share the same love you showed us while growing up.

Thank you for all that you have done and sacrificed for us, and may you be blessed with many more birthdays to come. 

We love you very much.

- JeP, Fifah & Nur Ain Umairah

Thursday, July 12, 2012

"The one who becomes a year wiser..."

Today my dear sis Aiysha turns (I think!) 23, so happy birthday..!

I was going through a few of my earlier posts and realized that she doesn't usually occupy much blog space over the years. Aiysha is, like Andi definitely one of the more 'down-to-earth, low profile' individuals of the family. And that is normal, considering how much of a limelight-hogger I am!

My mom always wanted a baby girl to accompany her three-boys cast ensemble, and she (my mom) told me that when Aiysha arrived she brought some much-needed, overdued female jubilance into our lives. At last someone my mom could dress up in skirts and gowns and other princess-like get-upsShame that Aiysha had other fashion preferences - her style took more of a boyish-outlook, having been influenced by her three predecessors!

My dear Aiysha,

Sometimes I can still picture you a teenager, still ripe in your years of oogling over Christiano Ronaldo and boybands. While today you harbor still, a penchant for the footballer - your taste in boybands have since favored from the rugged charming Backstreet Boys to the more beautiful boyish Koreans. 

But look at you now - an aunt to our precious Ayra.

Hard to believe - but she is now an aunt to our little Ayra!

Over the years, we have all witness you grow from a girl, into a woman. A rock rough around its edges, now a polished precious diamond. Though you whole life is still ahead of you, and still much to learn from - we know that you possess the hardened spirit, strength and perseverance for success. May the celebration of your birthday today renders you wiser, refresh yourself off life's extremities, and endow onto you a heightened sense of accomplishments. With it, may it also fosters in you a thirst for success.

My best advice to you, is to work hard. Very hard. The best of the achievers run on diligence and hard work, individuals who not only dream big, but whose efforts are even bigger. Pride yourself in realizing that your experiences strengthen you, molds you into the person you are today. Sow in you the seeds of humility and good thoughts of others. Nurture these qualities with the forbearance and guidance of your elders, absorb the good and oust the bad. Our thoughts become our actions, and our actions dictate our being in this world.

Aiysha, with my sister-in-law Ira.
My dear Aiysha,

Many happy returns today. Birthdays are a celebration of the life in our years, and I pray you'll experience more in the years to come. Congratulations on wrapping up your varsity journey, and may this pave greater things for you. May you also one day be graced with someone who will respect you for who you are, and treats with justly. Our prayers are always of good things (and good men) to come your way.

May Allah bless you with a long life, and occupy its length with people who love you, and whom your love can be reciprocated.

Happy birthday from us three, 
-JeP, Fifah & Nur Ain Umairah.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

"The one with the greatest blessing of all..."

"Making the decision to have a child is momentous; it is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body."
- Elizabeth Stone 
The past 6-weeks have been a blur; a roller-coaster ride of screams and tantrums,  yawns and constant headaches, amazement and excitement, adoration and love, devotion and emotions.   Between all the whims, tears and cries, nappy-changing moments, sleep deprived nights, the constant worrying and parenting-coping mechanism; I have never adorned a sense of fulfillment and accolade greater from being a parent. The adage stands true, that a child favors a parents' presence more than their presents.

I have always thought that parenthood is something you prepare for - only to realize that parenthood prepares you, instead.