Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Faith and Belief

So here's the deal. One fine Wednesday afternoon, I've decided to walk down the hills of Bristol, to one of the halal meat shops in Stokes Croft, one of the few around this vicinity. It was raining like hell, but since I figured I have no other days to get my halal meat, so I just went through with rain, obviously drenched and soaked by the time I reached the shop. I waited around 15 mins since the lady in front of me was purchasing quite an amount-load of chickens and meat.

When it was my turn, one English guy came from my back, asking whether there's any chicken breasts left, which surprise surprise, what I was aiming for as well. I wanted 2 kilos of them, which was apparently what was left behind the counter and another batch is gonna come in about 2 hours time. Since my biggest weakness is hiding my emotions, I'm pretty sure the word "Darn it" was written all my face. The exhaustion from walking all the way didn't help either to curb my frustration.

So I decided to bargain, I'll take one kilo, and that lad could take the other 1 kilo. Slightly defensive, and after a few exchange of "Are you sure, are you sure" we settled with the agreed bargain. At the back of my mind, takpelah, mungkin inilah ujian harini. He could have possibly rang earlier in the morning to reserve some, and I could understand someone as well built depend a lot on such lean protein and etc etc.

But as I was walking back home, I was reminded of Andrea, a Spanish friend of mine who happen to really love buying meat from the very same shop as well. She complimented as the meat there are fresher, and cheaper than the ones at Sainsbury. But I still remember her very first visit there, she continuously asked me whether its okay for her to purchase the meat there, in case its specially for Muslims and its difficult for us to get halal meat around here. Assuring her, and at the same time touched by her sensitivity, I assured her it was perfectly fine.

Coming back, two things kept on lingering in my head :-

1) If that lad wasn't a Muslim, I honestly and humbly thought that was very selfish of him. I do not have the liberty to pick any meat from the shelves of Sainsbury, or Waitrose, or Morrisons for my consumption as he does. I understand he might love the freshness of halal meat, and in a way thank you for strengthening the economy of the Muslims, but in such circumstances I honestly felt he could have backed down and wait for the next batch of meat.

2) If he is and alhamdulillah, a Muslim, I hoped I have demonstrated whats best and a win-win situation for both, especially if he is a newly converted brother. At the same time I admire his pursuit, and hopefully Allah ease his way of becoming a better Muslim.

Maybe its because I didn't wear hijab, maybe it would have been instantly different if he knew from start I'm a Muslim.

But whatever it is, I believe Allah promises one thousand and one hikmah from what I've gone through today.

Have a good day folks :)

E Azmi

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Kindness

Like any other day, yesterday I took the LRT home from my workplace. (I'm currently intern-ing at Persada PLUS fyi). So as usual, upon approaching KLCC station, its always among the most packed station during peak hours.

What happened was that there was an old Chinese lady standing in front of me, obviously exhausted from the pushings and crowded LRT coach. We were standing in front of one of the seats, so it happened to be that one of the ladies were about to leave, leaving the seat vacant.

Another standing lady gestured to the Chinese lady to have a seat, as how it always supposed to be. I just nodded, assuming she would just sit down, and that's it. But it struck me when the Chinese lady replied, "Aiya eh no laa you sit down leh, you're fasting!"

Thump, another struck in my heart.

I mean, I do acknowledge the fact that Malaysia is a multi-racial country, and its a common sense in our everyday life to respect other races, just as much as our own. But to have such tolerance and understanding happening to your own self, its a totally, way different story man. So we insisted on the old Chinese lady to sit, even after quite a few polite declines to have the seat for ourself.

And I'm not even remotely lying when for a split second I saw the old lady wiped the corner of her eye. I guess she was just as touched as I do.

Somehow it made me see living together harmoniously is a beauty beyond words to describe. Made me see racism is a bullshit analogy made by people who never had the chance to see for themselves how perfectly fine it is to live together, despite different skin, and hair colour. Nevertheless, taught me that kindness too, goes great length when passed from one to another.

Malaysia is amazing, Malaysia is beautiful in so many ways.
I just wish we could together keep it safe and sound for our people, and for the future generations to come.

Malaysia tanah tumpah darahku.

xx,
Elin

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Throughout First Year

I guess I would say it as really, really interesting.

Im doing Economics and Accounting in University of Bristol you see. Pretty much away from home. But thing is, Ive never actually quite stayed at home. My whole life has been a series of independent journey away from home. SSP, five years. KY, two years. Now for the remaining three years, in the UK. No make that two, since Ive finished my first year. So yes, away, but I guess things are rather different when you have it with a different culture, different background, and different ways of seeing things.

If I were to put it simply, my first year has been about new things. Me trying new things and new things happening to me for me to learn. I did cool things though. Belly dancing, ballroom dancing, COOKING. Omg cooking yes cooking. My whole life Ive never literally stepped foot in my kitchen to cook anything. When in the UK, not cooking simply means digging a hole in my pocket. Gotta cook on my own man. Thats how you save money studying abroad. By the end of the year, Im not so bad myself. Except during exams la. You just simply lose all the mojo to do house-keeping things. Duh.

Of course, I made new friends too. Thing is, Ive never been the kind that keeps friends. Im good with acquaintances, but on the most part, Im pretty much on my own. Been pretty much that way since way before. So surviving on my own in uni has been quite a normality. Of course, you do need to go out. Night outs, travelling, Spring and Summer Balls, you can't go alone man. Friends are pretty useful during those terms. I still haven't figured it out anyway. Who really are my friends when I need one. But then again, it gives me the edge of not sticking to any particular people. So I guess Im happy that way.

And.. Ive kinda changed too. I speak my mind out more than before. I hate, super hate arguing because I can't put my thoughts in words for me to say it out loud. But Im not sure which part of the whole living in the UK thing, but it kinda helped me to vocalize my thoughts more.. Smoothly. Yeah. English proficiency as well. Maybe that's why the cliche saying of - don't stick to Malaysians - is in itself cliche. Because its true. Ya think people got time to wait for you to say things all the time. They'll get bored over time. Might as well you do something to help you fit in faster.

Surviving on your own, trust me, above all makes you closer to God too. Ive seen the good gone bad, the bad gone good. Whenever I felt empty, lonely, I knew I must have at least done something wrong. Reciting the Quran then pretty much gives the calm to my heart again. I have my ways of enjoying life, and I believe everyone else too. Ive been judged by humans, be it mildly or violently. It hurts sometimes, but if weren't for them, I might doing the same too. Ive learned to not, NOT judge anyone before I know em. Boy, you have no idea how many times Ive made that mistake. Need to keep learning all the time. Trust me, God works in the most mysterious, amazing ways we would never knew or expected.

First year wasn't so bad, adapting and learning most of the time. By the end of the day (year), all iz well.

Good day!

xx,
Elin