Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Watch out for ...

... humanitarian trip to China
... book launch
... next short film

and a new adventure begins!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Of med sch books and green-eyed monster

I bid a teary farewell to all my medical school books. I thought that perhaps Shamir who is preparing for his MCAT exams could use some good literature and prep books that I "lugged" back from the USA. When I was going through the books, my heart felt heavy. I looked at my scribblings, my notes, my mind maps, my flash cards etc. Gosh, I did put in so much effort for med school. Alas, I was disappointed when I was rejected last year and this year, my morale is so low that I'm not confident of acceptance. Parting with my books was very painful. I must really want to study medicine...

My heavy grew heavier with the low morale and throbbing headaches. The green-eyed monster emerged. I couldn't understand why I felt so jealous of this woman who suddenly appeared and seemed rather friendly with a certain someone. How could I feel this way? I'm just a "fool to want you" when you don't seem to like me. God, pls grant me patience, guidance and strength. This old soul needs to take her worn heart far away...

Friday, October 09, 2009

About love and lovers

The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was.
Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere.
They’re in each other all along.

~ Rumi

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Purnama 2

My short film 'Potong Andam' will be screened at the Singapore Malay Film Society's Purnama 2.

Date: 12 October 2009 (Monday)
Time: 7.30 pm (seats are available on first come first served basis)
Venue: The Substation Theatre (there's a min $2 donation to the Substation at the door)
Programme: Screening of 5 short films + Q & A session

*Note: It's a R21 session and there'll be ushers at the entrance to check IDs.

Bohemian night

I don't know why I was feeling blue and negative last night. Perhaps it was the gum surgery I went through on Thursday and the painkillers didn't help much... or the medical school applications staring at me, their preferred MCAT scores sticking out in BOLD or ...

So Erzwin & I hung out, watching 'Boiler Room' and strumming the guitar. Amidst trying to rationalise and making sense of things, we sung our favourite Mat Maintain songs. How I wish I had learned the violin then...

As per Guns N' Roses, "don't you cry tonight, there's a heaven above you..." Perhaps it's time the world sees a cold, un-emo Hidayah...

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Let's Lepak!

I've my own blog column on Singapore International Foundation's Kopitiam website - http://www.singaporekopitiam.sg/

Called "Let's Lepak!" (Let's Chill!), the weekly blog gives insights on Malay culture and heritage and also showcases my musings. I also write articles under the "Places & Heritage" space.

It's "Chill out time culture vulture Hidayah Amin"... so shall we lepak?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Invasion of Indon women

Kak Waty & Yasmine from Fresh Meadows came to visit (one week after Steve & Din left) along with an entourage of warm and nice Indonesian aunts. 

Ahh.... how I miss staying with Kak Waty in New York. How Yasmine has grown! Tears rolled down our cheeks as talked about how we lost our loved ones last year - Pak Rurun to cancer and my mum to heart attack. May Allah place them among the blessed.

Lehigh brothers visit Singapore

Learning to fly
A view to a kill
@ Fish Spa!
What the fish!

Steve & Din came to visit in early August. What fun we had! Jalan2. Makan2. Cakap2. Gaduh2. *LOL...

Come to Singapore again lah! :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Eagle and the Wolf - Part 4

Prairie Rose weeps upon hearing the howling of the wolf which resonates through the canyon. O how sad the eagle must feel when she hears the message. O how miserable Mother Eagle would be if she too could hear the howling from the lands beyond. Prairie Rose whispers to Demon Wind, “Help her!”

The eagle feels weak, her eyes moist with tears. She flies aimlessly, her head hangs low. There's no point to be with one who doesn't want you. How her heart aches! Nothing else matters anymore; not that nest on the mountain top, not even that coveted honour as a messenger of prayers.

O wolf! Why such a drastic act? Why not run the distance with the eagle? Has the eagle not been a source of happiness? Is the eagle not worthy of devotion? Has the eagle not proven her unconditional love? For the first time, Demon Wind lets out a long sigh of disappointment.

The canyon is quiet that day. Demon Wind and Prairie Rose pray in silence. O eagle, lift your spirits and soar high in the blue sky. Soulmates are not for us to decide. O wolf, do you realize what you have let go?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Of Emak & Michael Jackson's passing

The recent death of Michael Jackson reminds me of Emak's passing. Both were sudden and unexpected.

"Verily, with ALLAH alone is the knowledge of the Hour. And HE sends down the rain, and HE knows what is in the wombs. And no soul knows what it will earn tomorrow, and no soul knows in what land it will die. Surely, ALLAH is All-Knowing, All-Aware." Quran 31:34

As we mourn and pray for the souls of our beloved, let's remind ourselves to live life to the fullest, to do good deeds and be kind to one another. After all, this world is but a transient stop. As per Michael Jackson's Heal the World, "If you cared enough for the living, make a little space to make a better place..."

Michael, may the truth be revealed.
Emak, I miss you terribly...

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Seribu Tahun (A thousand years)

"Relaku menunggumu seribu tahun lama lagi
Tapi benarkah hidup aku akan selama ini
Biar berputar ke arah selatan ku tak putus harapan
Sedia setia

Relaku mengejarmu seribu batu jauh lagi
Tapi benarkah kaki ku-kan tahan sepanjang jalan ini
Biar membisu burung bersiulan terlelah gelombang lautan
Ku masih setia"

*1000 years of waiting patiently? Not to the disillusioned and jaded...

Monday, May 18, 2009

S'pore Historic Buildings 101: Gedung Kuning

Venue: Visitors' Briefing Room, Level 1, National Library
Date & time: Sat 16 May 2009, 2 pm

Very little is known of Gedung Kuning or the Yellow Mansion at No. 73 Sultan Gate. Once a stately residence for a Bendahara or Prime Minister, Gedung Kuning was home to the family of Haji Yusoff ‘Tali Pinggang’ or Haji Yusoff the Belt Merchant.

Haji Yusoff, patriarch of Gedung Kuning was a respected merchant who toiled at his business and was recognised as one of the great pioneers of the Malay community. Gedung Kuning has witnessed the seasons of Haji Yusoff’s family through four generations, and its gate welcomed the poor who came to ask for alms. Even to the very last day when the family moved out, Gedung Kuning stood proud befitting its royal colour and stature.

Hidayah Amin, one of Haji Yusoff’s great-granddaughters revisits her childhood home, taking you beyond the gate guarded by stone eagles, through rooms with big mirrors and marble floors and shares interesting anecdotes growing up in Gedung Kuning, the legacy of a Malay family in Singapore.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Potong Andam the Film

Hidayah Amin's first short film! www.potong-andam-the-film.com
Watch out for the screening!

*Potong Andam is an old Malay ritual which brides undergo to determine their virginity. The film gives a glimpse of the forgotten ritual and the life of Nur, a modern woman who struggles with her personal beliefs and that of her elders.

4 generations of women across cultures

I was a speaker at a panel presentation of five women from different communities in Singapore talking about four generations of women in their families.
Date: 29 April 2009 (Wed)
Time: 7.30 pm
Venue: American Club, Claymore Hill

The other panelists:
Kel Yap: English teacher
Ivy Singh Lim: Founder of Bollywood Farms
Pina Marziliano: Professor at NTU
Caitlin Fry: President of the American Women's Association (AWA)

The panel was organised by Marjorie Wheatley (a fourth generation New Orleanean). It was the fourth in a series of panels on four generations of women across cultures. The first was at Cornell University in the early 1990s by a panel of five women; the second and third were done at MIT a decade later, one panel from the female perspective and then the following year, one from the male perspective.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

That Princeton Junction train

Remember Daniel Harray, NY actor and my travelling partner in the Nov 2007 blog entry "The Journey of the Rice Cooker'? Well, he recently invited me to Druids in Hell's Kitchen, NY for his birthday celebration. Alas, since I'm still in Singapore (and not leaving for medical school in the USA anytime soon), I emailed him my regrets.

Dan's reply: "I hope that you will not be discouraged, and will continue to realize your dream of becoming a doctor. And I'll be on the lookout for the Princeton Junction train -- not to mention, Krispy Kreme donuts!"

I remembered writing about the trip on that Princeton Junction train: "...you have to go through arduous journey (be brave to take alternative routes, be patient, maintain that sense of humour, don't give up, encourage fellow passengers along the way) before you can reach the ivy-covered tower. Just ask the rice cooker who endured the hardship and is now in Fadzilah's Princeton..."

So will Redfleece patiently brave the long arduous journey of becoming a surgeon?

Friday, March 20, 2009

18 March 2009

The much-dreaded letter arrived:

"With sincere regret, I must report that the Committee on Admissions has completed its selection of the class entering in August 2009 and has not been able to offer you a place.
We are grateful to have received applications from so many students like you with excellent intellectual and personal qualities. This year, well over 5000 students applied for 165 places in the first year class at Harvard Medical School. With so many more talented and highly qualified candidates than we could admit, the Committee on Admissions faced a very difficult task."

Sometimes, the wait ends tragically.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Return of the Earring

I recently lost one of my light purple crystal earrings. I searched high and low for it. I looked for it in the car, at home, in the office, everywhere. I even asked Rizwana to look for it when she came to visit. I love those simple yet elegant earrings! What good would 1 earring be? Should I just throw it away? What are the chances of finding the other one?

"Did you see it?" Da Jie (Big Sister) Sin Yue asked me last Thursday after my kickboxing exercise.
"See what?"
"I was walking along the corridor and I noticed your earring on the carpet."
"Really? That's great! Wait a minute, how did it end up there?"
Da Jie smiled and said, "Your earring came back to you, Hidayah."

Ah, yes... if it's meant to be yours, it'll be yours.

Friday, February 13, 2009


"Penantian adalah satu penyiksaan" (Waiting is torture)

These past three weeks have indeed been "torturous". Waiting teaches one to be patient and in Islam, patience is half of faith. Alas, my patience is running thin. When will I receive the much-anticipated email informing me to attend that interview? Hundred questions race across my mind. Maybe my application isn't good enough? Maybe my MCAT grades is the sole reason for not being shortlisted? Arghh!! My sleep is often interrupted by images of rejections and uncertainties. Well, I had done all that I possibly could. So now I wait...

I remember an old Malay movie where the hero told his lady, "Kalau sudi katakan sudi, tidak hamba ternanti-nanti" (If you want me, say so and I'd not have waited in vain). Sigh... I'll try to be positive about the long and emotionally exhaustive US medical school application experience. After all, the journey is the reward. Loved ones reminded me not to give up. Que sera sera. God, pls help me!

Monday, February 09, 2009


The water bag has burst! And it is a beautiful baby whom we named http://www.youngamp.sg/

Aww... the labour was certainly worth it! So Young AMP family members, pls. make time to get to know the new addition to our family.

:) 'Surrogate mum' Hidayah

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

new year : new mood : new spirit

How time flies! It's been 1 year since I returned from the USA. Lots of things had happened, lots of adjustment I had to do, lots of tears and headaches but lots of revelations too. The 6 degrees of separation is apparently reduced to 2 in Singapore, especially among the Malays. I recently found out that Alwi Hafiz and me are related through our fathers and that Hamid, one of AMP's Directors is Mama's nephew! 


*photo of Emak and Mama

My new year's resolutions? Embark on new adventures comme toujours, continue my exercise regime, get that book published, go back to school, make that book:cafe idea materialise, etc. Yes, the list is endless. And Emak is still on my mind and heart; going through tedious medical school applications is but a therapy for my grief (knowing that it is one of Emak's last wishes for me). 

I recently watched a Malaysian 3D animation - Upin & Ipin. Like those adorable twins, I'm too without a mother. But life goes on, n'est pas? "Betul betul betul" Ipin nodded.

Ah yes, some have asked if the eagle and wolf story is a reflection of my own. I'm sure Emak would have asked too... Oh Emak!