The year has passed too quickly and here we are again, at the end of Ramadhan and near the beginning of Syawal. The fasting month, a month of contemplation, a month of redemption, a month full of holiness will soon come to an end.
For me Ramadhan this year was fleeting, mainly because my team was producing a digital movie for television entitled 3 Cerita 3 Sutradara which wrapped a couple of days back.
As is usual during the production process tempers flared, words spoken that shouldn't have been spoken and acts done that shouldn't have been done. So for a bit, I haven't been really a good Muslim this Ramadhan even though I missed two days due to having to take meds for kidney pains.
To all my friends, colleagues and acquaintances, to my fellow bloggers and readers, twitters and facebookers, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all of you Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and in the spirit of the season, offer my sincere apologies to all and sundry for any wrong that I have done during the last 12 months before Syawal this year. I hope that you would see me as a mere mortal with a lot of failings and weaknesses. It has been a difficult year. A really difficult one, not only for me but for many filmmakers.
And I hope that after Raya, things will pick up for them.
This year, I will be with my parents the day before Raya and the morning of Raya (if Raya falls on Friday). After the family's usual eat-in after prayers at my parent's house in Janda Baik, my family and I will take a slow drive down South to Singapore to spend three nights and to visit my cousins there. Somehow, my family has become very rapat with our relatives in Singapore bar one.
Knowing that some close friends like Ebby Saiful and Hasnul Rahmat, and not to forget Dato Aziz Sattar's three daughters will be in Singapore at the same time, might also make this Raya trip a fun one.
However, I would not forget about my friends here in Malaysia - many of them - Amer Baker, Shukor Karim, Tg Annuar, Radzi Din, Ayoub, Mr Ray, Rusli, Azman, Ruslee Ariffin, Zaidi Mohamed, Dato Nazeri, Halem Mt Som, Wan Sazrudeen, Den Wahab and many others, Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri maaf zahir batin. I hope all of you would have a great weekend.
To the ladies whom I consider dear since schooldays and college days, they include Nurjannah, Asriah, Suharti, Puspayanti, Hatijah, Roslinda, Aida and Rosnah, and my friends from the industry that include Anne Abdullah, Lufya Omar, Adrea Abdullah, Razlina, Rosie Rashid, Juliah Shamsul, Dylla Ahmad and many others in the film industry, I wish you all Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
To my friends in the media, especially former colleagues in NST and TV3, I wish you all a great Raya too.
To my staff Hafiz and Nadhirah, have a great break.
To my beloved siblings and their family - my elder brother Arjunaidi and his beautiful family, my younger brother Asnadi and his wonderful wife Aina, to my only sister Murniaty and her two young boys - I beg forgiveness and wish you all Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
To my parents - Abah and Mak - I wish both of you the best of health and Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri wishes from a difficult offspring.
To my own family, my loving wife Puteh Jerineh Ramli and my four kids, Aidyl Abadi, Aidyl Nurhadi, Adylla Lyanna and Adi Iliya, I love all of you. Please forgive papa for his shortcomings and his failures. As always I try to do my best for all of you. Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to all of you.
To everyone else, especially my friends in RTM, Media Prima, al Hijrah TV, ASTRO, Awani and Muzium Negara, do enjoy the holidays, be with your family, friends and colleagues and spread the spirit of oneness that only Malaysians understand. I remember 30 years ago, we were one. I really don't understand how so much hatred and divisiveness have crept into our lives and around us.
We understand that we do not approve nor condone some of the politically motivated actions that we have seen over the past years, but do not take it out on your fellow friends, neighbours and brothers for whom color nor creed nor religion matter. We have been one and friends for a long while. We knew what true harmony is. Harmony is forgiving, understanding, appreciating, respecting and acknowledging each others' space and rights. Underneath all this, we share the same spirit and blood.
To my Malay brothers and sisters, let the spirit of Raya show us the way to forgiveness and respect - to allow harmony to return to our lives.
Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri Mohon Maaf Zahir dan Batin.