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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Hari Raya Trip to Penang. Meeting family n friends.

Alhamdulillah! Just got back home from my 5 day Hari Raya Aidilfitri whirlwind tour and got to meet my family members, son and my best friend Wan Ali Mohamad and another kampong buddy of days gone by, Abdul Hakim Kader Sultan.


















We left for Penang just after midnight on the eve of Hari Raya as a last minute decision. We had first thought of spending Hari Raya at our home here in KL but then those Hari Raya blues got to us and changed our minds about winging it here.

So, just as has been our norm, we decided to follow our hearts and go for it. We left KL at 12.30am and after a series of stops to rest and sleep intermittently at the main PLUS Highway R&R's, we reached Penang at 7.10am on Hari Raya morning, safely.

Along the journey home, we saw several reckless ones zoom past us at breakneck speeds, totally oblivious to all safety rules and etiquette of good driving. I think that such kinds of menace on our highways will always be there till kingdom come. Many will end up obliterated as roadkill and statistics that will continue to haunt us forever.

Anyway, thanks be to Almighty Allah Subhanahu Wa Ta'ala, me and my spouse got to reach my niece's home in Telok Kumbar safely and after a shower and slight breakfast, I managed to perform the Aidilfitri Sunat prayers with my nephew in law Azmir and my grandnephew Aiman at the Masjid Jamek Sg.Batu Teluk Kumbar in time.


















After prayers, we gathered for a hearty breakfast of delicious Penang fare and our customary Aidilfitri forgive and forget 'salam-salaman' between us family members, we posed for a few snapshots in commemoration of the festive day of successfully completing our month long fast in Ramadan.

We then went visiting my sister in Kg.Binjai, Bayan Lepas and after that to Sg.Dua, near USM.

After Sg.Dua, we proceeded to another family member's home in Medan Tengku, East Jelutong, besides my kampong in Jalan Kota Giam.

My son, Muhammad Zikri came to see me at my elder sister's place in Medan Tengku and after the usual Hari Raya customary greetings and 'Duit Raya' offering from me to him, had some Raya special food prepared by my sis and posed for this photo with me.

Being a teenager, naturally, he had plans to join his friends in their Raya outings and later left same time with me as I headed to other family member's homes. I bade him farewell and wish him the best in his undertakings.

He's a good son and he has my blessings to be the best that he wants to be especially in his studies and business ventures. He's running a food business with his partner there in Penang awaiting his recommencement with his studies in a private college in Business IT.

Development has taken place rapidly in my home island and many old kampong houses have given way to high rise apartments that has changed the face of the places I grew up in.

A spanking multi lane coastal highway cuts across reclaimed lands from the once muddy flats of the Jelutong foreshore and makes travel to and from Georgetown to the southern villages of my home island just a matter of minutes compared to the days of old.

As much as I wanted to go fishing like in the good old days, being married and aged now, somehow proved to be fruitless and I was resigned to sigh in despair and just gaze longingly at my fishing spool and other paraphernalia, lie unused in my bag. Hmmmphh...maybe next time!


















I got to meet my brother Omar Khan, a martial arts enthusiast and master collector of priceless antique Malay weaponry. He has an outstanding extensive collection of precious authentic Malay and Indonesian weapons that took my breath away.

Here I am holding an antique 600 over years old keris from before the Malaccan Sultanate era.

He has been offered hundreds of thousands of ringgits for this keris by Western kris enthusiasts but has declined the offer as he loves it too much to want to even consider selling it.



















Omar also happens to run and manage a thriving restaurant business in Bayan Lepas with my youngest brother Nasiruddin at the former Restoran A.Moosa now renamed Cargas Cafe at 978, Main Road, Bayan Lepas, Penang.

Man, how they have transformed my late stepdad's old restaurant into the bustling dynamic modern restaurant they have running in two shoplots there now.

Their special fusion of good old Malabari Mamak food with traditional delicious mouthwatering Penang Malay food has the crowds lining up to get their plate of sumptuous glorious steaming hot super finger licking food that I had to forgo any thought of ever getting in line to taste their sought after food!

I salute both Omar and Nasirudin for their success in making Cargas Cafe a truly # 1 best Muslim Halal restaurant in this part of the island! Their restaurant is such a hit that even the Star Newspaper featured them in their publications recently!

If you are living in Penang, go check out my brothers restaurant in Bayan Lepas old town. It's just opposite Jalan Kolam Ikan is the extended corner shoplots on the left hand side of the main road of Bayan Lepas heading to Georgetown.

I was extremely delighted to see my youngest brother Nasiruddin running such a bustling kitchen and even more surprised to see his customers make a beeline to the kitchen at the back of the restaurant to get their steaming hot delicious fried chicken and fresh fish curry as the counters were fast running out of food as the hungry customers snapped up whatever dishes were being served!

Fuyoo!!! You need to see it with your own eyes! All races were there. Chinese, Malays, Indians, Sikhs, Caucasians, etc....Alhamdulillah! I'm so grateful to Allah to see my brothers business thriving like that! May their business keep on booming forever! Ameen.

Back to my Raya visiting. I got to meet my nephew Kamaruddin's firstborn, Muhammad Shafik. The little fella was simply so cute and a delight to behold.

More after this.