Wednesday, August 31, 2011


The unassuming entrance to Idrus and Asmah's house. What lies behind those gates is a home that's worth millions in terms of the love and toil that went into building and nurturing it. It is a home that welcomes all who enter with a genuine old-world charm and hospitality that's rarely found these days.

I fell in love yesterday on the first day of Hari Raya Adilfitri. With a house. Not just any house, but the one that Idrus and Asmah built. I'm not referring to the brick and mortar structure of the house. That was built by some unnamed workers back in the early 1970s. No, I'm referring to the house, or more correctly, the home that this couple built over the past 40+ years. It is a labour of love, and a lasting testimony of what two entwined hearts and souls can achieve when they share the same vision.

Great idea to add the custom-built verandah and the steps leading up to it - gives the house a rumah kampung look. The front porch or garage is converted into an extended makan area for the open house.
Another view of the porch taken from the verandah.

Pak Idrus, 72, and his wife Asmah, 71, have transformed a single-storey link house measuring 22 x 80 sq feet into a quiet haven that exudes warmth and comfort in every nook and corner. The couple obviously saw the potential in the place when they bought it in 1973. Putting their creative ideas together, they have succeeded in converting the 3-bedroom house into a showcase home deserving of the cover and centre-spread of any prestigious Beautiful Homes magazine.

The living room radiates warmth and coziness.
Another view of the living room from the front door.
The dining area. Don't you love the ambience?

"My husband and I have an understanding about the maintenance of the house. He is responsible for the outside, while I take care of the inside," confides Asmah. With their three children all grown and living on their own, the house has become their dream retirement nest. It also serves as a veritable treasure trove of memories. Mementos from their numerous trips around the country and abroad are displayed in glass cabinets or hanging on the walls.

Idrus takes care of the little garden outside. This is just one corner of the garden that shares space with the verandah. You can tell there's an on-going love affair between Idrus and the plants.
Asmah lovingly maintains the inside of the house. This is the family TV room. Notice the photos on the wall from a by-gone era.

The couple knows they are truly blessed. Not only do they have each other, they are also enjoying their golden years in good health, with the support of loving family members and a wide network of good friends. As Idrus loves to say "You don't need a big house, a flashy car and lots of money to be happy in your retirement." Having been to his 'humble abode' and after chatting with his lovely wife and younger daughter, I can't agree with him more.

Hari Raya open house at the couple's house means lots of good food. There was plenty to go around for the friends who dropped by yesterday to wish Idrus and Asmah 'Selamat Hari Raya'.

Sumptious spread of homecooked chicken, beef rendang, sambal prawns and salad.
Curry taufu goreng, fried meehoon and ketupat with satay peanut sauce to die for.
Who cares about dieting when you have dessert like this. All home-baked. Those cup cakes are out of this world!
From left: Kim, me, Ee Lyn, Kevin and our gracious hosts Asmah and Idrus.

Footnote: I first knew Idrus through his blog Pak Idrus' Post. Yesterday at his open house I met a few of his blogger friends. It was a meeting of like-minded folks. I am reminded of the line on his blog that says "Strangers are friends that you have yet to meet". How absolutely true.


Pak Idrus said...

Lily, thanks; well we are glad that you enjoy been at our home and flattered that you with your writing skill had painted such a colorful picture of our home and our lives. It is just a humble abode of two folks in their golden years trying to make the best of our years as we move on in life. Asmah and I are on our journey of life and we are enjoying growing old together. Along the way we tried our best to do what we could to color our lives with the little we had, thus the house and the way we live our lives. Thanks for the good words. Much appreciated.

Starmandala said...

Gorgeous little home full of warmth and good energy. Well done, Idrus & Asmah! :-)

Alice..... said...

Lily, it was really a pleasure to have met you and the others at Pak Idrus' abode. Thanks to Pak Idrus and Makcik Asmah for having us and thus giving us the opportunity to share a wonderful and memorable afternoon.

seniorsaloud said...

Alice, the pleasure is mine too.

~CovertOperations78~ said...

Lily, it was a pleasure to have met you and we did have a lovely time at Pak Idrus and Makcik Asmah's beautiful home, didn't we? Here's to friends and celebrations!