Syawal is a the month of remembrance of love ones who have left us. This is true for us too. Infact. this had been our third Hari Raya ritual for the past 12 years.
My missus's father (my father-in-law) passed away when she was barely twelve. Mohamed Said Sulaiman succumbed to ciorrhsis of liver in the morning of 18 September 1979, a month short of my missus's twelve birthday. at their home in Jalan Teck Wye, Bukit Panjang, Singapore. He was interned at Pusara Aman, Jalan Bahar, Chua Chu Kang on the same day.
Ever since we got married, I have never failed to bring her to her father's grave during each Hari Raya. It was a solemn affair for her indeed.
I hope this will ease her missing her father, every Hari Raya morning for the last 28 years. After our annual ritual, we would spend the rest of the day in Singapore for recreation, as such visits to the Mandai Zoo or lately, take the missus and Girl-Girl shopping. And so we did it again this time, especially after completion of annual Hari Raya ritual and the hassle of going across the border. Since we are at the grave on second day Hari Raya, we won't be having lunch at Zam Zam restaurant at North Bridge Road (in front of Masjid Sultan, Arab Street area) for some nasi briyani or the extra large 'murtabak Singapura'.
Soon after doing jama' (combined) Zuhur and Asar prayers at Pusara Aman Surau, we set off to Paragon at Orchard Road, via Kranji Expressway (KJE), Pan Island Expressway), Stevenage Road and Scotts Road. My sister who tagged alone, wanted to get some shopping done for her daughter and our nieces. Metro usually have an array of nice clothes for children.
Then we pushed off to Serangoon ("Little India"), specifically Mustaffa. It is bargain superstore that sells almost everything that one could think of, from latest Omega watches to chromed tail pipes, from latest PDA phones to the best Basmati in town etc. The Deepavali fever can be seen and felt all along Selegie and Serangoon Rd. Of course, shopping experience at Mustaffa was very much different from wide corridored-high ceiling mall like Paragon at Orchard Road.
*I purposely put the photo with the Singaporean Police patrol car because we saw so many Police all over the Island-state, the whole day. From the full battle-geared-MP5 armed-kevlar vested-Gurkhas at all the strategic corners at the border check point, immigration control officers with firearms and two Police cars in the limited space of Mustaffa underground parking, Singapore feels very much like a 'Police State'.
Like my missus quipped a fast joke, "Singapore is a FINE country!". I have to agree!