Irfan's birthday gift wrapped

21st Birthday

Once upon a time, Irfan learned how to walk. It was an evening at the 10th floor many centuries ago. He had been trying to stand and walk, I guess, in the interim. Suddenly, he was able to ambulate in what later became his own room, on the brown parquet floor. Some minutes later, he was racing around the round dinner table in the dining area between the hall and the kitchen. Ain was cooking. I was also pacing Irfan though across the table from him. I then stopped at the kitchen threshold and said, “Hi, Ummi!” to Ain, then bolted to continue my orbit. Right on cue Irfan, who was barely able to speak then, also mimicked me. He halted at the kitchen threshold and also called, “Hi, Ummi”. Then we took turns circling the table and calling, “Hi Ummi” to Ain for some time, laughing and giggling. Here […]

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The home team

Two Decades of Irfan

It seems incredible. Our son is twenty years of age today. Where did the time go? Oh, I forgot. Time was sucked in and consumed by the singularity known as the Covid-19 quarantine, also known as the plague year. In any case, our mic testing, Vietnam roll making, galactic smuggler offspring has been alive in this space-time continuum for two whole decades. In any case, here are some photos of the celebrations tonight.  

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Birthday cake

Nineteen Years of Irfan

It’s that time of the year again! In the morning, Ain made telur bungkus for breakfast with French fries. Later that evening, we went to the cafe at a hotel in town for a birthday dinner. We ordered something nice. I liked the ice cream cheese cake that Ain got at a bakery earlier, plus I love peaches. The best part was that there were not many others with us. So our little celebration was undisturbed by Guavian Death Gang. Before we left we gifted half the cake to the staff of the hotel’s cafe. We think they stored it in the refrigerator and devoured it at the end of their shift. Because of the pandemic, Irfan still lives with us. I do not know how much longer we have together before we would be unable to celebrate like this in the future. In the meantime, I am grateful for […]

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Happy birthday, Irfan

18 Years of Irfan

I still remember the day of Irfan’s birth like it was yesterday. When we left for the hospital, when she was wheeled into the labour room, when I went to see his birth and when I recited the azan in his ear. I cannot believe it has been 18 years since the day. For his 18th birthday, we had dinner at a local restaurant called Watanabe. It was the site of the old Burger Republik. Throughout an odyssey that took us through 12 years in Kuala Lumpur and 6 years in Perlis, Irfan has done nothing but make us be proud of him. I say it every year, but he has come a long way, and I wish him a blessed future and the strength to undergo upcoming tribulations with goodness and dignity. We love you, son.

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The birthday man

A Seventeen-Year-Old Irfan

Many years have passed since we were blessed with Irfan. He came into our lives and made it much better than it could have been. He still gifts us with this. Today, this young man turned 17. Although we had an earlier birthday celebration with his grandparents the previous week, we had our own little commemoration at a restaurant nearby. Here are some photos from the evening. Happy birthday, Irfan. We love you very much and we will continue to be proud of you.

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Godzilla on the shoulder

Early Irfan Birthday Dinner

Atok and Opah came a week before Irfan’s 17th birthday to celebrate it early. For that purpose, we visited their favourite Thai restaurant in Padang Besar. As usual, Godzilla and the Rubik’s cube came along for the ride. Here are Irfan with his grandparents reviewing the menu beforehand. Here are Ain and I posing for a photo. This former infant will be 17 next week. Thanks to Irfan’s grandparents for the dinner.

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Cake cutting time

Irfan is Sixteen

Once again, the arbitrary day based on an arbitrary timing system returns after a long cycle known as a year. Because we appear to honour the system, it was time just like last year to celebrate Irfan’s birthday. He turned 16 today. Atok and Opah visited from Perak to celebrate their grandson’s birthday with him. Irfan’s birthday cake was an ice cream cake with lychees, peaches and cherries on top. The thing about the cake during his birthday was that Irfan also shared it with other patrons of our eatery. He would have shared it with the local cat if cats ate cake. We went to a restaurant whose name could be translated as “The Cafe Beside Our House”. This was our second time at this restaurant. Earlier, we tried going to the pizza parlour that we celebrated Irfan’s 14th birthday at, but it appeared to be closed or undergoing […]

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Caked in frosting

15th Birthday Plus One Nia

In a blink of an eye, Irfan is now 15 years of age. He is more or less an adult, as I myself do not remember 15 being any different than 25 besides more experience by dint of being the latter. Even when he was much younger, I tried listening and talking to him as though he was an older teen. These days we are able to converse with each other in a multitude of subjects maturely – even if Irfan, Ain and I are prone to sudden infantile jokes and giggling like babies. It so happened that on the day of Irfan’s birthday, Nia, Cikma and Ayah Cik Farid came a-visiting and it was a far better day with their presence.  Nia even wore a cap! The last time Nia was here she saw a cat. She awaited for the appearance of Abang the Cat from next door at […]

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Cake cutter of doom

And Then It Was His 14th Birthday

Irfan’s fourteenth birthday came and went. So did Irfan’s grandparents from Perak. It would be easy to say “I can’t believe how tall and how far he’d come” but the truth is that I am not surprised. With the opportunities and facilities available to him here – as opposed to the Klang Valley where he would have to fight with the sheer number of students in school for available teaching and learning resources – Irfan is surely and gradually turning into a young man with the powers and abilities of a teenager. What would be best for us to celebrate a fourteenth birthday? I have no idea, so we decided on going our for pizza! When the pizza arrived it looked appealing and it was quite delicious. My personal criteria for “delicious” was fulfilled thanks to onions. We took a group photo with our prey, before we finished it off […]

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13th Birthday Gift

Is that 13 Solar or Lunar Years?

And just like that, our once-newborn son is a teenager. As Irfan is so fond of reciting, “Masa berjalan begitu saja.” Although Atok and Opah had treated us to an early birthday dinner with Irfan back in Sitiawan, we went to Burger Republik once more to commemorate the day. From the urban inner city streets of Pandan Indah (which we rarely allow him to be on unsupervised) to the more relaxed conditions of Perlis! Happy birthday and may you continue to grow and burgeon with wisdom and positivity. His birthday present, by the way, is a book.

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12th Birthday Boy

A Birthday Once More

It’s Irfan’s 12th birthday. We were supposed to set something up for him, like allowing him to invite his friends over. But because of low resources, we had to cancel. But Cikma and Ayah Cik The Younger came with a cake anyway, so we held a small gathering. I was not even in the right frame of mind to take photographs so we do not have photos of the cake. The GOKL group did pass the gift they bought for Irfan, which was the boardgame Tsuro. I did however take a picture of Irfan unboxing and playing Tsuro. We love you Irfan. It’s been a rough year what with – among others – the UPSR fiasco and the absolute unreliability of this country’s education system at this point in time, but we will strive for a better year for you next year. Also, many thanks to everyone who wished him […]

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Roll for melee combat

Irfan’s Eleven

Irfan’s eleven now! It started when we thought about inviting Emma’s forthcoming family-in-law for dinner. It just so happened that it was on Irfan’s weekend’s birthday! So unlike other years, Irfan had more people over for his birthday than before, including the aforementioned forthcoming family-in-law of Farid’s, Irfan’s cousin Aiman and Zara, and his schoolmate Fikri our neighbour from the next tower (but the same arcology – so to speak). Irfan sliced up his cake using his melee weapons skill. I got a photo of Ain with Irfan. But because everyone was busy with guests, no photo of me was taken. Irfan taught Aiman and Fikri to play Small World! If they had more time, Irfan would have also taught them Ascension and Star Wars The Card Game. In the meantime, Zara was practising her piano skills. Irfan got a cool totebag for his books from Cik Su and an […]

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Spaghetti consumer

A Decade of Irfan

Once upon a time, this baby thought it’d be a good idea to come live with us. Ten years later to the day – last night, he’s celebrating his birthday with his parents and aunt by having dinner at a restaurant. He’s been wanting spaghetti and meatballs for some time now. We thought we’d put a candle on a slice of cake. The restaurant provided the cake, but no one had a match or a functioning lighter. To tell you the truth, I could do without lighted candles on cake. Many thanks to Cik Emma for treating us all at Secret Recipe. I had the chicken salad and Ain had the black pepper chicken with corn by the way. After reaching home, Irfan opened up his presents. He now has a microscope set – along with prepared and empty slides – because SCIENCE! Thanks to Atok and Opah Irfan for […]

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Weapon and shield

Birthday Cake Transforms Into…

Well, the birthday cake was transformed into digested matter submerged in digestive fluids in our stomachs. However, the box with which the cake was transported was transformed into… …Captain America’s shield, after an unscheduled crafting session. The Nerf gun was the one he bought from Richard Chua’s booth during the Kids’ Fair exhibition earlier this year. I did not take a lot of photos myself, and was unable to transfer files that Atok Irfan had in his camera because of a malfunctioning card reader. The above is one of the few photos I took of Irfan posing as his grandfather takes his photo. Click here to see Irfan playing with the birthday present his grandparents gave him.

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Some Kryptonian symbol

After Eight Years, Irfan Reaches Eight

Irfan’s eighth birthday occurred when Alya, Vin and Sila were visiting at the Tenth Floor. I was happy they were around for the birthday bash, seeing that they don’t usually have a direct train or bus line from Ohio to come regularly. We ordered a cake that was in a shape of the number 8, because having a cake in the shape of the number 9 would make absolutely no sense. Moments after this photo was taken, Alya joined Irfan and they both held the knife together (under supervision) to further cut the cake. Irfan and Alya showed off their still-wrapped presents from Atok and Opah. Irfan was really into unwrapping his presents, though he needed some adult help to take apart the wrappings and open the boxes. Alya played with the wrapping ribbons. Atok and Opah got Irfan a chess set. What does Irfan have to say about chess? […]

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Watching the Artoo Network

Eid Mubarak & Happy 7th Birthday

Aidilfitri greetings to everyone from us who are spending the holidays in Pasir Mas this year. This year, our family was garbed in black on Aidilfitri morning. The next day was Irfan’s seventh birthday. There was no place in the fridge to store the cake so we cut the cake that morning. Irfan’s cake was very nicely decorated by the cake shop, complete with edible Donald Duck, Doraemon, Ultraman, some funky cat and for some reason, an unidentifiable Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle with a goatee. He must be evil. Meanwhile in the kitchen, Ain was leading the team to cook her nasi dagang, which I sampled quite a lot of before the end of the day. Later that afternoon, Aiman came to visit from Salor with his parents, so Irfan and Aiman did their regular things together, watching TV, chasing each other all over the house and playing with the […]

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