Alhamdulillah my family and I are safely back home from Raya celebration at the kampong.
My two sons, Syafiq and Anas, have also been sent back to their boarding schools today. But not after an arduous eight hour journey through heavy traffic jams and rain. They could have taken the public transport, or take a lift with some of their friend's parents. But, a man's got to do what a man's got to do. And their safe journey back to school is the most important thing to me. So I shall endure even worst challenges if necessary.
This year's Hari Raya celebration has been low-key, but a joyful and happy one nevertheless.
The first day of Raya we were in Sungai Petani, the Mem Besar's kampong. It rained and rained till water seeped through into my old car and wet the carpet inside - must be leaking somewhere!
But right after solat Aidil Fitri the rain stopped and out came the sunshine with all its glory. Subhanallah.
It has been quite sometime since we last celebrated first day of Raya in Sungai Petani. So it's a nice change. Plus, this year I got to celebrate it with two new "biras" (two of three that I shall have by end of this year).
One of them is a fan of English soccer, although not a Liverpool supporter I must say. Mamat told me that he supports Arsenal. Okay...I can live with that. As long as its not another one of those Man United guys, we'll get along fine :-)
On the second day of Raya I was in Ipoh with my parents and siblings.
We did not travel much because Apak is not doing too well. He can't walk that much due to his weakening legs and he also tires easily. So we stayed at home and received visitors instead, including one from a Pakistani friend of mine now teaching at the Universiti Teknologi Petronas in Tronoh.
But on the third day of Raya my siblings and I managed to make a convoy to six houses in and around Ipoh. These were visits to close relatives, some of whom we have not met for almost a decade.
To me, nowadays, this is what Aidil Fitri is all about. It is the occasion and opportunity to visit relatives and strengthen the bonds that exist between family and friends. Long gone are the days when Aidil Fitri is the time when I would don my new baju raya and make the rounds kutip duit Raya. That I leave it to my children now.
But I hope and pray that when their time come, my children too will hold up this tradition of visiting relatives - and friends of mine - in the name of establishing and strengthening silaturrahim.
Selamat Hari Raya and do not forget to start your Puasa Enam.