Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Another Magical Evening

So, Mr Designer picked me up from my office on Monday. When he realised that I'd to walk a bit, he reversed the car. I stepped in. It wasn't long before he asked, 'Ngapa pakai baju kurung, Iza? (Why're you wearing Baju Kurung)?' Ehm... normally, I'd changed into jeans and casual top whenever I was going out with him. It wasn't Thursday (the official Batik dress code day) but I just felt like wearing this Batik dress that my mother gave me - bright lime green background and sweet pink design. It was her association's uniform actually, so I have to be careful not to wear it in my hometown. LOL!

It was so good to see him. The jam was pretty bad though. It was a long way to Bangi. We arrived at 6.30pm. I had booked a private table for 2 at the coffeehouse of Equatorial. The hotel is top of mind to him as he had been frequenting Bangi lately. His father just got out from the hospital and was resting at his sister’s place nearby.

I hated buffet but when I called, the receptionist told me there wasn't any other restaurants open for buka puasa. We were shocked to see the crowd, the parking was fully occupied. The coffeehouse garden terrace was beautiful but there were just too many people, absolute havoc and no privacy at all. To our luck, just as we were about to enter, I spot a Japanese restaurant next door. So, we cancelled and decided to sidetrack instead.

Kampachi was cosy, calm, quiet, everything we wanted. We got a section to ourselves, in between 2 partitions. One look at ala carte menu and we became greedy. We wanted Teppanyaki, Tempura and Sukiyaki, we also wanted appetiser on top of that. The waitress advised us to order Set Dinner. Oh, we saw the Set Dinner menu, admired the cover design but didn't think of opening it. So, we ended up with 2 lavish set dinners plus Sukiyaki. The waitress did her best to hide her shock. LOL!

The meal was good. The Teppanyaki was fantastic - Tenderloin beef, tiger prawns and salmon. Next was seafood tempura. Apparently the meals came with chicken terriyaki and California rolls, chawan mushi, salad and grilled mushrooms. Thank god he was really hungry. I was stuff. Oh, seaweed wrap is one other thing he couldn’t stand.

Out of the blue, he suddenly shocked me with his confession. He said he didn't believe in the Sunnah. That really hit me, not so much the claim but rather who he reminded me of. I nearly freaked out but I calmly asked him what he meant by that. Well, 7 months of dealing with ‘Ad’ had prepared me for that kind of confrontation. Coincidentally, Mr Designer’s explanation matched my parents' conversation several days ago. My mother said some people have been questioning the Imam on the validity of the Sunnah Nabi - whether there was anybody who could confirm that it was all Nabi's practices? Oh, that was what he meant. Phew!

He said usually his friends would label him as 'murtad' when he introduced that discussion, especially since he's not religious. Actually, that was the first word that sprang to my mind too. I then realised that he just happens to enjoy debating on religion-related matters, like Muslims in the West. I was impressed that he actually reads and ponders on translation of the Quran. He was right, I did underestimate him.

After Maghrib prayers, I changed into long skirt and casual top. The conversation was getting too heat-y in my Baju Kurung. LOL! He finally showed me the designs he did for our advertisement on his laptop. Oh boy, he is good, one level above the other designers. It's not so much the visual rather than the thinking behind it. It was complete. Rather than only covering the session of the month like the others, he included the sessions' calendar for a year and an inspirational entrepreneur's success story quote. He couldn't wait to see my reaction. I just went 'Aaah...' and he said, "See!":)

Hmm, an evening with him... it carries the magic that usually comes whenever we spend a long period of time together. Only the day before, I was feeling down as he had to cancel meeting me two days in a row, due to work. He said he would clear Friday, put everything aside and make time to see me. So, imagine my surprise when he called to say that he want to buka puasa with me on Monday itself:)

I brought my thumb drive because he wanted to see my book-reading photos, he couldn't make it. He couldn't believe that I trembled, said that I looked calm in the photo. LOL! The thumb drive also carries photos of my recent trip to Egypt and Bangkok. Yeah, we went through all those too, with me narrating my adventure one by one. He knew quite a bit of Egyptian history.

He said many of my amateurly-taken photos are actually good and he would like to use them in his future designs. Especially, the ones I took on the authentic paintings - in frames, on the wall, at cultural sites and... of the skinny horse at the pyramid and making a mummy too. The photo on top is an example. That’s flattering since he is a professional photographer. He said he'll pay me the copyright whenever he used my photos:)

When I was talking to the waitress and wasn't looking, he moved on to my family photos taken during my nephew first birthday. Yeah, my siblings and I looked very different from each other. He copied 2 of my solo photos which he said would be suitable for his portrait sketching of me. I can’t wait to see that.

We’d asked the waitress to reheat the Beef Sukiyaki. We thought of eating that later but I just couldn't. So, we packed it up for Sahur, in 2 separate containers. Surprisingly, he had space for dessert - rolled pancake with ice-cream. Oh, I had one too. It was good:)

He had freed the night but he got a call. He had to get back to work in an hour, unfortunately (or rather fortunately as I really should go home and get some sleep, it was only Monday). Probably my grey bag looked heavy, he offered to carry it and my take-away plastic bag for me. We were so deep in conversation that we missed the level we parked, we had to walk back all the way uphill. I learned that when he was married, his work was just as hectic. His ex-wife used to go to his office after work and sleep there. So, it was more of the nature of the job rather than the fact he was juggling 2 different jobs. His boss had hired an assistant for him but he couldn't progress much in training that guy without a Macintosh. Giving him an upgraded PC is not the same.

On the way back, I shared my science fiction short story, 'Erasing the birds of paradise,' with him. He was amazed that people like the character Shanti existed in real life. He had an idea too. He challenged me to try writing a fiction on 'Adam & Eve' verses the human evolution. That sounds interesting, it would require a lot of research though. He shared his thoughts on the subject for the cover of my upcoming book - baby shoes! Why? Because it resembles 'starting life'. Cool!

He dropped me off a bit after 11pm. I made him an hour late for his 10.30pm appointment. Later, he told me that his business partners were pissed when he arrived. Their irritation didn't ease off when he said he was with a client. LOL!

It took me a long time to fall asleep. Being in his company always makes me fell more and more refreshed, I wasn't ready to retire for the day yet:)


Ailin in Stockholm said...

Erm, what was the sunnah nabi? I did not get it. Would love to hear Imad's take on it, actually.

ps. your word verification is wiwawuw. hahahaha.... wiwawuw

Kak Elle said...

someone is fallinggggggggggg...haha

you have a bagful of clothing eh since you managed to change after the iftar.

Ps what happen to kebaya man?

Hazia said...

Some people argued about the 'genuineness' of the prophets' habits... they said there was nobody to verify what the prophet actually did in private. According to my mother, that was the most current religious topic now.

wiwawuw? LOL!

Kak Elle,
Fallinggggggggggg? Hehe... scary, isn'it? I brought a pair only, normally I'd change into casual before meeting him. He's always dressed in jeans:)

Kebaya Man is gone with the wind. I passed by his boutique often, never stop by though. LOL!

ummi365 said...

I share the same comment wiht kak elle in my mind when i was reading this. Do you feel the breeze air coming? hehehe..

maybe i would like to see a glimpse of kebaya man... hehehe

long time havent' heard from newspaper man too lah..

Hazia said...

Haha... I really have no contact with K man anymore, zero. I think we didn't really have anything special, no chemistry whatsoever. Maybe that's why nothing happened during our students' days either, LOL!

Newspaper Man - Oh, we keep in touch. He still calls / text me but I only call him when I'm stressed - so I can unload all the crap and feel much better. LOL!

Kak Elle said...

nak tau jugakkkkkk sape newspaperman ni huh....hehehe

Hazia said...

Kak Elle,
This link is a bit outdated... but boleh ah:

Also, the character Hairul in my 'Tomorrow's Headline' short story in based on him:)

Hazia said...

Alamak the link above putus la... Just go to my old blog and click Category: 15. Familiar Zone - The Newspaper Man

NBB said...


Hazia said...