Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Dua yang sama, dua yang berbeza

Bulan Syawal semakin hampir melabuhkan tirai, namun jamuan sempena Hari Raya Aidil Fitri masih meriah diadakan.

Jamuan 1
Venue: Dewan Banquet, Kuala Lumpur Golf & Country Club, Bukit Kiara
Date: 24 Oktober 2008, 8.00 pm
Host : Yayasan Nurul Yaqeen

Yayasan Nurul Yaqeen ialah sebuah badan NGO yang beribu pejabat di Wangsa Maju, Kuala Lumpur. Pengerusinya, Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, dalam ucapan aluan memaklumkan Yayasan Nurul Yaqeen telah ditubuhkan 17 tahun yang lalu. Saya baru mengenali yayasan ini selepas menghadiri seminar Wanita Cemerlang pada awal tahun ini.

Jamuan dimeriahkan dengan dendangan lagu-lagu irama padang pasir dari Kumpulan As-Samrah yang didatangkan khas dari Johor Bahru. Namanya panjang, tak berapa ingat. Pertama kali mendengar dan melihat persembahan kumpulan ini. Kira lain dari yang lain, dah lama tak dengar lagu-lagu ghazal ni. Walaupun tak faham bahasa Arab, layan jugalah. Buat menghilangkan stress kerja.










Kumpulan As-Samrah



Pada majlis ini juga, tarian zapin Johor oleh Tan Sri dan tiga lagi tetamu telah dipersembahkan. Eksklusif untuk para tetamu.













The men waiting in line and the men in action.

Ahli Kumpulan As-Samrah juga mempersembahkan tarian Arab, nama tarian tidak ketahuan pulak.

Empat lelaki tengah menari tarian Arab. Dua orang move forward, dua lagi menari style reverse ...gamaknya macam tu kot chreography nyer..hmmm..sehati berdansa..






Makanan yang dihidangkan: lemang & rendang, nasi impit & kuah kacang, nasi tomato & ayam masak merah, roti jala & kari, sate, kuetiau & mee goreng, kambing bakar, mee rebus, ABC, kek, kuih raya, buah2an and a few types of drinks.

Alhamdullillah, diatas jemputan. Terima kasih daun keladi. Gendang gendut tali kecapi, kenyang perut, senang hati.


Jamuan 2
Venue: Food Court, PPR Desa Rejang, Setapak
Date: 25 Oktober 2008, 8.30 pm
Host: Penduduk PPR Desa Rejang



Jemputan dari seorang sahabat diterima pada pukul 7.00 pagi, satu permulaan hari yang baik. Pukul 9.30 malam, baru bergerak menuju ke destinasi. Ingatkan majlis sahabat itu, rupa-rupanya majlis jamuan Parlimen Titiwangsa, anjuran cawangan PPR Desa Rejang. Ahlan wa sahlan...










Kain rentang memaklumkan majlis pada orang ramai.

Ketika sampai sekitar pukul 10.00 malam, kebanyakan tetamu sudah pulang. Namun, bukan itu tujuan utama untuk hadir ke majlis ni, tetapi adalah untuk bertemu sahabat yang menjemput yang sudah agak lama tidak ketemu. Tambahan pula, jemputannya dulu untuk majlis berbuka puasa tidak dapat dipenuhi. Beberapa kenalan juga turut berada disitu, menambah kemeriahan majlis. Berjumpa sahabat lama ibarat terapi minda dan rohani..










Kaum muslimat sedang bersembang sementara menunggu tetamu VIP.

Tetamu VIP, ahli Parlimen Titiwangsa, YB Dr Lo' Lo' hadir sekitar pukul 12.00 tengah malam. Kami faham dengan hambatan tugas beliau sebagai wakil rakyat yang perlu menyelesaikan masalah rakyat. Sementelah beliau baru melawat mangsa kebakaran di kawasan Kassipilay.












YB Dr' Lo' Lo' bersama seorang sahabat saya (baju hijau)

Makanan yang dihidangkan: Bihun sup, lemang, nasi impit, kari ayam, kerepek ubi dan air teh O ais. Yang lain, dah habis. Sudahlah dijamu, diberi pula juadah untuk dibawa pulang.

Alhamdulillah, diatas jemputan. Terima kasih daun keladi. Orang berbudi, kita berbahasa. Orang memberi, kita merasa.

Friday, October 17, 2008

"Intermission"

Aku berdiri di beranda tingkat 3 rumah pangsa 5-tingkat itu. Hembusan angin petang lewat waktu Asar terasa begitu nyaman, bagaikan membawa pergi lelahku mendaki anak-anak tangga bangunan yang sedikit usang itu. Pintu rumah tertutup rapat namun deria pendengaranku dapat menangkap suara-suara menerobos melalui bilah-bilah tingkap.

"Oh ada orang rupanya" hati terasa gembira. "Ini rumah dia ke? Dia tengah buat apa? Nanti mengganggu pulak" Diri bermonolog sendirian, timbul rasa ralat di hati kerana tidak memberitahu terlebih dulu. Sedikit alpa dengan adap-adap berziarah. Diri ingin berlalu pergi, namun kotak ingatan memutar semula ajakannya yang begitu beria-beria beberapa hari yang lalu.

Sedang berkira-kira tindakan selanjutnya, satu kepala menjengah di sebalik tingkap.

"Cari siapa?" satu suara garau melontar soalan dari sebalik tingkap. Suami kakak tu agaknya.

"Cari kakak ni. Ini rumah dia ke?", balasku penuh harapan.

"Ya. Masuklah, kakak baru lepas sembahyang. Tengah baca Al-Mathurat, dah nak habis dah..masuklah", serentak daun pintu dibuka lantas menampakkan ruang tamu yang kecil tapi sedikit berselerak.

"Minta maaf, mengganggu petang-petang begini", rasa bersalah menyelubungi diri.

"Takpe. Baru balik dari kenduri. Anak saudara kahwin. Ni barang-barang dari sana," jawabnya sambil tangan pantas mengemas ala kadar.

"Duduklah dulu. Akak dah siap ni" laungan suara dari dalam bilik. Dia keluar dari bilik, bersalam denganku terus langsung ke dapur. Menjerang air sambil bersembang-sembang hal kenduri tengahari tadi. Lelaki tadi sudah tidak kelihatan, menghilang disebalik pintu bilik utama.

"Minum teh ke? Kita buat teh 'O', boleh makan dengan bahulu" ujarnya.

"Apa-apapun boleh", balasku, telus. Tanpa menegah, membiarkannya mengutip sedikit pahala di petang-petang begini.

Dia kembali dengan sedulang air teh 'O' dan kuih bahulu. Rancak berbual sambil tangan mencapai gelas teh 'O' dan meneguknya sedikit. Tiba-tiba mata memandang, hati berkata-kata, otak memberi signal "Berhenti minum".

Gelas kaca tertera perkataan "Carlsb**g" itu kuletak kembali diatas dulang. Adakah ini satu ketidakperasanan yang tidak disengajakan? Atau satu ketidaksengajaan yang tidak diperasankan?

Diri tiba-tiba berada dalam situasi yang tak keruan. Dia pula tidak berhenti bercakap. Bagi menutup kekalutan diri, kuih bahulu kujamah dan kutelan jua. Tekak terasa perit dan kesat, namun nak kuteguk air tu kembali, rasa lain sekali perasaanku. Air itu tidak bersalah.

Aku seperti berada dalam duniaku sendiri. Tiba-tiba memikirkan bagaimana gelas itu boleh berada disini, didalam rumah ni. Mereka cuma bertiga sahaja. Mungkinkah ini, mungkinkah itu, segalanya mungkin...Butir-butir suaranya kedengaran sayup-sayup dihujung telinga.

"Macamana nak beritahu kakak ni? Perlu ke? Bagaimana nak ku ucap dengan kata-kata?" Dia cuma kukenal begitu-begitu sahaja. Sekadar bertegur sapa ketika berjumpa di jalanan atau di surau.

Tiba-tiba satu ketukan kedengaran di pintu beserta salam dari satu suara yang lembut. Dia bangun serta-merta sambil menjawab salam. I am saved by the voice? Dari butir-butir perbualan, kudapat rasa yang dia terpaksa pergi lantas aku cepat-cepat meminta diri. I am saved again, ahh leganya...

Perkara ini tergantung begitu sahaja, biarlah kutepis, kupendam dalam hati cuma, hmm..lemahnya iman....

p/s: Peristiwa ini berlaku tahun lepas, jarang terjumpa kakak tu lagi.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Boosting Your Brain Power

The Brain – is wider than the Sky –
For – put them side by side –
The one the other will contain
With ease – and You – beside
- Emily Dickinson

Weighing in at a little over three pounds and possessing some 10 billion neurons, the human brain is a remarkable organ whose mysteries scientists and philosophers have been trying to unravel for nearly 2,500 years. So intricate and complex are its functions that even the most sophisticated computer can’t begin to stimulate the thought processes. By understanding more about how the brain operates and what enhances and inhibits thinking, however, you can use your own gray matter to the better advantage. For starters, try a few of these strategies to boost your brain power.

Use it or lose it. Yes, there is something to this old adage. If you want to avoid brain atrophy, you’ve got to exercise your mind on a regular basis. The mechanism by which the brain is able to learn, remember and think is the synapse, the connection that allows one brain cell to communicate with another. Apparently, the more experiences a person has – regardless of age – the more connections are formed, and having more synapses creates an intellectual reserve or storehouse. Those who have earned doctorate degrees, for example, seem to possess more complicated neural webs than high school dropouts and have more “oligodendroglia”, helper cells that speed communication among neurons. (Albert Einstein, by the way, was one of the heavyweight champs when it comes to oligodendroglia: He had four times more than the brains of 11 gifted people studied by a University of California Berkeley, researcher!) To increase our own synaptic quotient, it pays to read widely, enroll in classes, wander through museums, learn to play a musical instrument, or take up scuba diving – anything that keeps those neuron firing!

Sleep on it. Adequate sleep contributes to overall mental health as well as the ability to function effectively during waking hours. Afternoon naps and even periodic catnaps have been shown to improve alertness. Studies of the human brain also reveal that, when we sleep, the subconscious mind is still hard at work solving problems and generating new ideas. A good night’s sleep and a short nap during the day will prevent debilitating fatigue and help you maintain your creative momentum.

During the early stages of sleep you can also take advantage of your more free-wheeling, imaginative theta waves. These brain wave patterns tend to occur most frequently during the hypnagogic state, a twilight zone bordering on sleep where dreams and reality mix. Thomas Edison relied on this state as a way to connect with his own creative faculties. He often rested in a chair with his arms draped over the side, a ball bearing in each hand. As he dozed off, the ball bearings would drop and awaken him, and he’d jot down any ideas that popped into his head.

Maybe you won’t discover something like the incandescent light bulb during one of your hypnagogic states, but, who knows? It might just pay to keep a pad and pencil on your nightstand.

Tap into your intuition. “Intuition means relinquishing control of the thinking mind and trusting the vision of the unconscious’, say Daniel Goleman, Paul Kaufman and Michael Ray, authors of The Creative Spirit. Unfortunately, because it can’t be quantified or rationally justified, they say, intuition is often regarded skeptically in the workplace.
Mounds of paperwork, meetings, incessant interruptions caused by telephones, and personal responsibilities deprive people of one of the most critical resources for intuitive thought: time! In spite of the myriad demands imposed by work and family life, try to reserve a quiet interlude each day for meditation, reflection and yes, daydreaming.

Play a little Mozart. The next time you head to your favourite music store to purchase the latest country and western , jazz or rock release, you might want to throw in a Mozart CD, too. In a recent study reported in the British science journal Nature, brain researches discovered that listening to classical music can actually make you smarter!

Just what it is about Mozart that turns on the brain is still under investigation. According to Gordon Shaw, a University of California, Irvine, physics professor involved in the study, the answer could lie in the stimulation of the organ’s intricate neural network. He believes that the structure of Mozart’s music may trigger a series of neural firings in much the same way that a vibrating piano string causes neighbouring strings to also vibrate.

Avoid “downshifting.” Fear is a powerful inhibitor of rational thought; in fact, brain researchers have identified a phenomenon called “downshifting” that occurs when we find ourselves in fearful or threatening situations. The brain engages in a defensive maneuver and abandons the neocortex – the region where language, creative thinking and decision-making capacities reside – and reverts to more primitive parts of the brain governed by “fight or flight” survival responses. In this state, you may be able to lift a car off an injured person but find yourself unable to utter a single intelligible sound in front of an audience.

One way to avoid the thought-crippling effects of downshifting is to use visualization techniques. The mind, for all its wonders, is easily deceived: When you experience the real thing, the brain responds as if you’ve already done it before. Practice – even when it occurs in your imagination – makes perfect.

Couch potatoes: repent and relent! The long period of physical inactivity that characterize our lives today – whether we’re trapped behind a desk or entrenched in front of the television – have a decidedly negative impact on our ability to sustain mental effort. Such inactivity often results in “oxygen-starved fatigue,” a term coined by Peter M. Miller, author of The Hilton Executive Stamina Program. He recommends taking periodic “oxygen breaks” by relaxing and breathing deeply for several minutes.
Physical exercise, too, helps increase blood and oxygen flow to the brain and may contribute to changes in the neurotransmitters. “While you’re improving your body’s metabolism through exercise, you may also boosting your cerebral metabolism,” suggests Charles Emery, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychiatry at Duke University and an exercise and cognition teacher.

Finally, activities like jogging, walking and aerobics increase the brain’s production of endorphins, a natural chemical that possesses pain-killing qualities, enhances the immune system and generates a feeling of euphoria. People who exercise at least three times a week for 30 minutes typically experience fewer illnesses and are less prone to fatigue and depression.

Think twice about what you put in your mouth. The forgetfulness and fuzzy thinking we often attribute to overwork or aging may be a function of what we choose to put in our bodies. The smokers had cloudier memories and shorter attention spans than non-smokers. Apparently, nicotine lowers the level of the brain chemical required for short-term memory. The effects of alcohol are even more dramatic: Alcohol actually destroys brain cells. Finally, it pays to belly up to the water bar. Because the composition of the brain is about 75 percent H2O, water intake is essential for energy and peak performance. Dehydration can contribute to fatigue, headache and mental confusion.

As the French mathematician, physicist and philosopher Rene Descartes once said: “It is not enough to have a good mind. The main thing is to use it well”.

This article was written by Deborah Flores, California.

p/s: Sebagai seorang Muslim, menghafal Al-Quran dan berzikir dapat menguatkan minda dan mengekalkan kesihatan mental. Wallahu’alam.

“Ya Rabb, sungguh sempurna ciptaanMu…”

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...