Wan Farah Diyana Fusil talks about the many sides of her mother Datin Jude Khadijah including her infectious laughter, disciplinary tactics and culinary prowess.

Winner of the Malaysia Tatler Most Gracious Hosts 2013 award, Datin Jude Khadijah is not an unfamiliar face. Many have come to know her as the wonder lady who is always bubbly and energetic with a great gift to throw extravagant parties.

Armed with grace, style and an incredible knack for cooking, this lady is also an exemplary mother who raised two fine daughters, Wan Farah Diyana and Wan Natasha Fusil.

In celebration of the coming Mother's Day, we talk to the newly wedded and soon-to-be mother Farah Fusil about Datin Jude's unconditional love and how her mother's ever vivacious and caring personality made Farah the fine lady that she is now.

(Farah Fusil and Datin Jude Khadijah at Farah's wedding)

What is your favourite way to spend time with your mother?
I always enjoy the times we spend around the dinner table with our whole family. We always put aside our mobile phones and any other distractions, so that we can all catch up over a good home-cooked meal.

My mum is a very good cook and cooking is something I’m very interested in. I have a long way to go before I ever achieve her standard of cooking!

What is one of her habits that you’ve always found amusing?
It would definitely be the things she says and the way she laughs. My mum has a very unique perspective on things and when she voices them, she mixes in Johor-ian words that we’ve never heard of and it always turns out to be incredibly hilarious.

Her laugh is also very distinctive because she’s so loud and bubbly.

What are your fondest memories of her?
Whenever she came over to visit me and my sister while we were studying in Melbourne and London, she would bring along giant box of amenities that would remind us of home -- like sachets of white coffee and packets of Maggi!

She'd also freeze rendang and sambal tumis for us to keep for later and cook nasi lemak and meehoon goreng, just so that we wouldn’t be too homesick.

(Natasha Fusil, Datin Jude Khadijah and Farah Fusil)

Growing up, how did your mother discipline you?
She didn’t really punish us much because we were far too afraid of the threatening look on her face or her classic “counting down” tactic before we got into any real trouble. The most she’d give us is a good telling off.

What is the most extravagant gift you have ever given to your mother?
It would probably be the portrait session my husband and I gifted my mum for her birthday this year. My mum really watches her diet and exercise well; and she’s never looked better.

So what better way to immortalise all that hard work than with a good portrait session?

How did she play a role in shaping you to be the person you are now?
My mum has taught me the importance of being resilient and patient. She’s also very resourceful and manages to execute plans well, especially when we’re organising an event.

Above all, I’ve learnt the importance of being there for your family, whether it’s preparing a nourishing meal or just being around for a chat and a laugh.

(Natasha Fusil, Datin Jude Khadijah and Farah Fusil at Farah's wedding reception)

What do you have planned for this Mother’s Day?
This year is special because I’ll be celebrating it as a mother-to-be. My husband and his brother-in-law will be treating the women in their lives to a nice dim sum session.

Like last year, it’ll be a big group affair, where my mum, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, her mother-in-law, her sister-in-law and I will be the guests of honour!

What is the one thing about her that you are most proud of?
I’d say it is watching my mum discover her creative side through her chocolate-making, baking, cooking and flower arrangement.

She always turns her talents into beautiful gifts for her friends and family. One time, she actually made personalised headbands as doorgifts for her birthday party. For my recent Mexican-themed baby shower, she even made me a floral head wreath.

She will be reading this, no doubt. What would you like to say to her?
I probably don’t say this enough but thank you, Mummy, for everything you’ve done for me, given me and taught me.

And okay, you were right most of the time while I was growing up!



(Photos courtesy of Wan Farah Diyana Fusil)

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