Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wedding Tag

1) Take a recent picture of yourself or take a picture of yourself right NOW!.
2) DON’T change your clothes, DON’T fix your hair…just take a picture.

3) Post that picture with NO editing.
4) Post these instruction with your picture.

ok, so I might have straightened my hair a bit. It was a tangled mess.

1.How old are you?

2. Are you single?

3. In what age do you think you’ll get married?
Probably between 31 to 35. Allah may have other plans though.

4. Do you think you’ll be marrying the person you are with now?
I dont understand the phrase "the person you are with now". Friends? Special someones? If it's the former, maybe. If it's the latter, then I am still unlucky in that department.

5. If not, who do you want to marry?
A woman who shares the same goal and vision in life as me. A person whom I can understand & appreciate, and vice versa.

6. Do you want a garden/beach wedding, or the traditional wedding?
Garden wedding.

7. Your ideal motif?
Colour theme is white and light blue. Dashes of peach would be nice. Scent of lilies and lavender.

8. Where do you plan to go on a honeymoon?
Japan, under the sakura trees. Or wherever my wife preferred.

9. How many guests do you think you’ll invite?
around 500 to 800.

10. Do you want an extravagant wedding or a simple wedding?
Somewhere in the middle ground, not too extravagant as to be wasteful, and not as simple as to be meaningless.

11. Do you want the traditional vows or something you’d make up on your own??
Something of our own creation.

12. How many layers of cake do you want to have?
5 layers.

13. Do you prefer having your reception at a hotel or at a simple place?

Simple place. A hotel usually will render the atmosphere to be soulless.

14. When do you want to get married, evening or morning?
Morning. At the break of dawn. Signifying a great beginning of hope.

15. You’d rather have your reception outdoors or indoors?
Outdoors is the preference.

16. Do you like a grand entrance for your groom/bride?
If she consented to it. Probably try to convince her anyway. Would like to make her feel special.

17. Name the song/tune you’d like played at your wedding?
I Hear You Everywhere by Tanaka Rie, Tercipta Untukku by Ungu, Destiny by Jim Brickman & Jordan Hill, Super Trouper by ABBA, I Dont Wanna Miss A Thing by Aerosmith, When You Say Nothing At All by Ronan Keating, You'll Be In My Heart by Phil Collins, Keabadian Cinta by Anuar Zain, Belaian Jiwa by Innuendo, Kau Ilhamku by Man Bai, Rumahku Syurgaku and Selamat Pengantin Baru by Hijjaz, and Cari Pasangan by Rabbani.

18. Are you a morning person or a night person?
Morning person.

19. Do you want a solemn ceremony or a light one?
Solemn ceremony.

20. What age do you want to get married?
Repeat question..Refer no.3..Ideally will be 26.

21. Describe your ideal husband/wife.

A woman who shares the same goal and vision in life as me. A person whom I can understand & appreciate for what she is (warts and all), and vice versa.

22. Do you prefer fine dining or just the normal spoon & fork/knife?
Never a fan of fine dining anyway. Its too much of a hassle. Normal please.

23. Champagne or red wine?
Hehe. Apple juice?

24. Honeymoon right after the wedding or days after the wedding?
Right after.

25. Money or household item?
No preferences. Appreciate all gifts.

26. Who will pay for the bills?
Going Dutch here.

27. Are you ready for married life?
I am not a good judge as to that. Having said that, I think that I have lots of thing in myself that I have to work upon and change, before embarking on the road to matrimony.

28. Do you think you will still be a virgin until u get married?

29. Will you always be true to your wife/husband?
God-willing, yes.

30. How many kids do you like?
4 or 5 would be nice.

31. A new house for a newly wed or an old one?
No preferences, so long as it's nice, cozy, and manageable.

32. Will you celebrate silver wedding, gold wedding, or diamond wedding?
God-willing, yes.

33. What kind of cuisine would you like for your wedding?

34. Will you record your honeymoon in a cd or dvd?

Yes, I will. For future memories.

Life of the Morally Grey

Assalamualaikum & good evening,

In the fictive world, writers are wont to delineate their integral characters into clear-cut personalities of good & evil. White againsts black.

Rowling gave us the opposing forces of Harry Potter & Voldemort, Tolkien fleshes out the antagonism of Aragorn & Sauron, Lucas spun a story of Luke Skywalker against the Emperor.

But what strikes me is, us real-life characters, are not easily classified into black & white. More often than not, it is likely grey. That is why sometimes I find it hard to relate to these black or white characters. Because they may at times seemed unrealistic in the real setting. The white characters are sometimes holier-than-thou, uptight, preachy. The black characters are hell-bent on destruction, & being evil for evil’s sake.

Perhaps realizing this, the aforementioned writers did include grey characters in their literary works. Rowling dishes out Snape, an ambiguous character, whose true intentions are only revealed towards the end of the magnum opus, in The Deathly Hallow. Snape’s actions was mainly motivated by his undying love to a certain character. Tragic doesn’t even describe Snape’s story. Tolkien put forth the character Boromir, the son of the Steward of Gondor, who was seduced by the power of the One Ring, believing that he can wield it to destroy the evil that is Sauron. Lucas introduced to us the tragic Darth Vader, who was turned into a monstrous being to save his wife.

Maybe, because in these grey ones, I see the most correct way to describe humanity. These grey characters stumble in their lives’ path, make mistakes. But at the same time, they sometimes do acts of good. There is always the question of redemption.

Which is actually similar to the stories of most of us, right?

Because in the end, Snape eventually helped Dumbledore & Harry to bring about the downfall of Voldemort, Boromir died at Amon Hen defending the Hobbits, & Darth Vader threw the Emperor to his death by the core reactor. These men have sinned, because they make choices that they thought was the best. But they turned out right in the end.

So, don’t be hard on yourself if you make mistakes. At the cost of sounding a bit lame, “to err is human, to be perfect is divine”. What is more important, you learn from your mistakes.

Wassalam. Happy Eid Adha to all Muslims.

p/s: Sorry Dayah. I made your tag later. Been a bit busy now.

Monday, October 27, 2008

My Bedrock

Assalamualaikum & good evening,

I wonder why I never posted about my family before. They are such an integral part of my life. I am what I am, because of their continued love & support.

Ayah, you have taught me to stand up for myself, and never flinch at life's challenges. You are the source of my admiration. If I even have half of your qualities, I will become a greater person than I am now.

Emak, words cannot express the sacrifice and love you have given to me all these years. There could never be a more understanding, a more loving Mom. I hope that I can repay your deeds by becoming a very good person.

Angah and Adik, thank you for being such good sisters. Over the years we have gone through so much. It has always been my greatest fear that I have not played the part of a big brother as good as I had envisaged. I hoped that my fear is baseless. I hoped that I have been a good role model for you, my dear sisters.

I just arrived in Jogja yesterday.

Somehow, my farewell with my family this time weighs heavily on my heart. Greater than usual. There's more than the usual tinge of sadness.

There's a heartfelt longing for them this time around.

Ya Allah, tempatilah mereka dalam kasih sayang-Mu.

Today is A Gift

Assalamualaikum & good evening,

There comes a time when a person pulls all the stops & examine how his life has been going up until that point.

If it was my case, I have pulled all the stops countless times.

Friends have said that I am fretful, that I think too much.

Too burdened by past regrets, too mired with what's too come.

Like Master Oogway say to Po in Kungfu Panda, "You are too concerned with what was & what will be." but Oogway then continued, "Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. But today is a gift. That's why it is called the present."

Once heard during a Friday sermon:
"The most successful person is he who has no regrets of his past actions, is contented with what he is now, and doesnt worry about the future"
I guess I am not successful then. Terribly not successful.

If I had done things differently in days past, would I change for the better?

The challenges of the future, will I be ready to face them head-on?

Have I accomplished what I always dream of?

Ya Allah, tabahkanlah hatiku. Tunjukkanlah aku ke jalan yang Kau redhai.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

15 facts about me...

Assalamualaikum... & good day,

Well, in the spirit of satiating my dear friend NK, and at the risk of my blog becoming another time-forgotten blog *hint hint*wink wink*...well, here goes...

Rules :
1. Each player of this game starts off with 15 weird things/habits/little known facts about yourself.
2. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 15 weird things/habits/little known facts as well as state this rule clearly.
3. At the end, you need to choose 10 people to be tagged and list their names.
4. No tags back!!

Okay here we go:

1. I like cute animals. Cats, rabbits, hamsters, ...even puppies!

2. My room's neatness is the outward expression of my state of mind. Neat = good state, messy = demotivated, I-dont-care-anymore attitude.

3. I am a sucker for romantic comedies, which are hard to come by these days. Oh yes.. Sleepless in Seattle, You've Got Mail, While You Were Sleeping, My Best Friend's Wedding!

4. Having said that, I dont dig horror movies. Or sickening stuff. You know. Saw and Final Destination series for example. Or Child's Play. 'Coz my brain will replay the sickening moments for weeks.

5. I give names to my things that I'm really attached. Oh yes. I am typing this on Athena, & I go to campus with my Humaira'. Oh yes...

6. I sucks at drawing things. Wouldnt make a good partner in Win, Lose, or Draw.

7. I recalled that I watched M.A.S.K cartoon as a child. Nope, not the green face Mask. I am talking M.A.S.K with T-Bob the robot, a baddie named Mayhem, n vehicles which could change to weapon systems. Weird, none of my friends seems privy about the show.

8. I was never involved in a fist-fight. Not ever. Weird...

9. First having major dislocation of my bone or tendon, was when I was 4 I think. Was trying to reach for the remote while standing on my tricycle. Hey, I was 4....

10. Lime juice rulezzz.....always...

11. Back when they were young, my 2 sisters were always bickering, even in the family car. So I will always sit in the middle of the back seat, on family outings. Yup, Big Bro / Berlin Wall. They made up now.

12. Never received a love letter. Never been on a date. Never been in a relationship. (Do all these count as one? haha.)

13. Like to memorize movie lines, book lines, song lyrics, esp the ones which rivet my mind. Capture my attention. Fascinates me. & it's not a conscious effort. It just happens.

14. Had my first crush when I was 7. Since then, must have gone through like 20 crushes. 1 love letter. 1 rejection.

15. I am actually a lazy-bum & not studious. But most of my friends have these weird notions that I am a nerd (which is the only true part) who buried himself in books 24-7. My close
associates will beg to differ. But I do want to be studious & hardworking. haha.

There. . After reading them myself, I realized, not such an interesting person after all. Oh well.

Monday, August 18, 2008 Malaysian film in years...

(disclaimer : the pictures are taken from Mr Fadz's blog, tontonmovie.)

Assalamualaikum & good morning,

During my recent holidays in Malaysia, I managed to catch Kabir Bhatia's latest offering, Sepi. By a unique turn of events, I end up going alone to see it. Prior to coming back to Malaysia, I don't know that Mr Kabir was working on a new movie. So, a few days after I arrived home, when I first noticed the vibes about Sepi, my interest was immediately piqued. Adding the fact that it has a strong ensemble cast, a who's who of the Malaysian industry, really drives me to see it. And the fact that I never went to the cinemas to watch a Malaysian movie is saying something. (Not even Cinta, Mr Kabir's previous work, which I only watch on cds).

If I am not mistaken, the production team is similar to Cinta. Back in screenplay, is Mr Kabir's wife, Nik Samira Nik Yusoff and ARA (Abdul Rahman Ahmad), & Madnor Kassim handling the camerawork.

Cinta, for me, is a good movie, but its weaknesses (not-so-flowing-storyline, uneven quality of acting, some implausible plot keys) manage to drag down its considerable strengths (stellar performance by Rahim Razali, Fatimah Abu Bakar, Nanu Baharuddin, Rashidi Ishak; excellent soundwork & camerawork), so that the end result is only good, but not excellent.

I am happy to say that Mr Kabir has improved by leaps and bounds in Sepi. The storyline as a whole, is tight, with less plot holes & occasional leaps of logic this time around. For the most part, the flow of the story is smooth, unlike Cinta, which does has some cringe-moments. (snatch-thief scene for e.g.) The dialogue is not wooden, and the cast, from the main characters right down to the supporting cast (which include the likes of Louisa Chong & Dian P Ramlee) perform their roles admirably. At the very least, they act adequately.

If the cinematography in Cinta was excellent, then the camerawork here will blow you away. The shots are very beautiful, and I sense a Malaysian aura permeates the whole movie. For once, I am proud of the way that the Malaysian way of life is portrayed by the movie. The wedding scene at kampung, the back alleys of low-cost houses, the KL cityscape from a glass window, the kitchen romantic scene between Afdlin & Vanida, the jogging tracks at the park... some scenes dont even have dialogues..because such is the strength of the camera shots...that the message is already conveyed to the audience..kudos to Kabir & Madnor.

The sound department dont disappoint either. They provide a nice complement to the story, & sometimes sets the mood for the scenes. Evocative, stirring, the movie will lost most of its charm & drive if not for the music. The use of Malay songs is also heartening, which shows that you dont have to rely on foreign songs, esp Westerns, to give an emotional impetus.

Sepi paints three story arcs, which progresses independently throughout most of the movie, but they do meet at a certain pivotal point, i.e. a car accident. 2 of the stories lead up to the accident, while one story starts from the accident. After the accident, the stories continues on their separate ways. Each of the story involves a love triangle (sort of), with one character being the focus of attention.

The first story revolves around Adam (Afdlin Shauki), a 30+ successful chef working in Kuala Lumpur (KL), who are unmarried and still single. His far relative, Suzie (Nasha Aziz), which is a bit eccentric & crazy, has always chased after Adam since childhood, but he didnt reciprocate that feelings. One day, he has a chance meeting with Ilyana (Vanida Imran), a wedding planner. Could she be the one that he has longed for so long?

To me, this story arc belongs to Afdlin. His acting is the best in the movie. He can portray humour and sadness in the same sentence. You can really feel his frustations, his sadness of being lonely. Vanida & Nasha's actings are good too, but dont leave an impression. Vanida's character seems a bit aloof sometimes, but there's no denying that she has a good chemistry with Afdlin. Their scenes together, pulls at the heartstrings...elicits feelings of longings.. Some reviewers praised Nasha's acting. To be fair, I am not adept in assessing eccentric characters (like Johnny Depp's characters), but she's a joy to watch.

The second story concerns about Sufi (Tony Eusoff), who lost his wife in the car accident. He blames himself for his wife's death, & for not expressing his love to his wife, and taking her for granted. Wrecked by guilt, he jogs daily to forget the pain, and he neglected his son. But a chance encounter with a mysterious lady,Marya (Eja) at the park, gives him hope again, and made him care about his son. Will Sufi ever find a second love?

If compared to Adam's storyline, Sufi's story is morally challenging, esp in a Malaysian context. The issues thrown about includes, whether you should be faithful to your spouse, if you really think you are meant for another. Marya is sad, because her marriage to Zain (Riezman Khuzaimi) is childless. Sufi make some overtures to Marya, but Marya still loves her husband. They decided eventually, that they will wait. For the time when they can be together.

For me, this story has the most leaps of logic, and some jarring or cringe-moments. Initially, I was taken in by Sufi, sympathizing in his plight, but midway through the story, I was a bit disgusted by Sufi's actions, which includes trying to pry another man's wife. However, the story redeems itself in the later parts of the story, which casts Sufi as a selfless man, and maybe, tragic. Acting-wise, Tony's performance is adequate, but not stellar. He doesnt portray the part of a widower quite well. Riezman's acting is adequate. He lacks screen time for me to make a connection. Eja could have the best acting in this story, but her scenes doesnt flesh her out too much. If only there were more of her.

The final story, centers around Imaan (Baizura Kahar) a college student, who writes a play named Sepi. She has a steady boyfriend, Khalif (Pierre Andre), who is an introvert. A "casanova", Ian (Syed Hussein), irks Imaan when he belittled her play. Trying to make up for it, Ian woos Imaan to teach him how to act, so that he can play the main act of reciting the poem in her play, titled Sepi. Ian finds himself smitten to her. Imaan slowly find herself falling slowly head over heels for Ian, who is sincere in his feelings toward her. Needless to say, Khalif is not amused.....

At first, the story doesnt seem engaging. The storyline is OK, but it seems to me like on of those run-of-the-mill stories of college puppy loves. The acting is top-notch however. Eventhough to me, Afdlin is the best actor in this movie, but Vanida's character is a bit serious. Baizura & Syed's characters on the other hand, has more playful banters and sweet exchanges between them. Baizura's acting has always been a charm, esp after seeing her for about 4 minutes in Cinta. She can portray child-like charm, sweetness, and seriousness in one go. Syed is also another good actor. He seems to be made for his role, a playboy who renounces his ways when he meets Imaan and is sincere in his love. You can sense that he's a playboy once, but has turned over a new leaf, and is really fighting hard to win Imaan's love. Pierre Andre, on the other hand, returns as another morose and introvert character, like his character in Cinta, Taufik. I guess his acting is adequate, because it is difficult for me to gauge his character, which is one-dimensional.

What makes the third story really ticks, is the last third of the story. What has been hitherto unremarkable storyline, changes into a shocking conclusion. (SPOILER ALERT: spoilers in red)

It is revealed that the reason Khalif was morose and introvert all the time is because he is already dead. He was only the imaginations of Imaan in the movie, who refused to accept the fact that he has died in a mugging. Suddenly, all the weird things in Imaan's storyline is explained, such as why a fellow passenger in the train was gazing pityingly at Imaan when she was "talking" with Khalif, and why Ian also puts on a sad face when Imaan remarked "My boyfriend is waiting to pick me up."
Khalif was being morose, because he wishes for Imaan to let him go, so that she can have a new life. When the truth is revealed, the revelation feels a lot like The Sixth Sense. You also feel sorry for Imaan, because she turns out to be the loneliest character in Sepi.

Sepi ultimately has a simple story to tell, which is encapsulated in its nebulous tagline...."Cinta tak datang hanya sekali."
I went to see it with the impression that it will be a sad movie thru and thru (with a title like that, surely the main theme will be "loneliness" to the hilt, rite?).

But it was not so.

The movie IS about loneliness, but it is foistered with a message of hope.
In Adam's story, it is about not giving up, always believing that the person who is meant for you is just around the corner, waiting for you.
In Sufi's case, it is about patience to wait for the right time to be together, undying love, and sincerity for the well-being of the person you care for, even if your love is not returned.
And in Imaan's case, it is about letting go of the past, and living for the present, and finding love again.
And the conclusion of all three stories is good. It might not be all happy endings, for some people, but it is the best way to end things, if the stories is taken to consideration.

But even a simple story, with good execution, good acting all around, stellar cinematography, and nice sounds, will translate into an excellent movie. And Sepi is one. A romantic movie which can make me cry many times during its length is a good one in my book. The best Malaysian movie in years, P Ramlee ones not withstanding.

And when the credits roll, with the outstanding Anuar Zain belting out Mungkin, IMO was the best way to end it all.

All is not lost for the Malaysian film industry.

See Sepi if you has its CDs.

You wont regret it.


Drive to succeed...

Assalamualaikum & good morning,

The new semester has just started, which practically means that I have only less than 6 months before entering the hospitals. Gosh! Time really flies. Having enough knowledge about the workings of the human body now is wishful thinking!

My nature has always been governed by my current will & strength of conviction. That's why I have moments of youthful energy & exuberance (akin to the Renaissance) , and then it flips to downright shocking periods of extreme laziness. (the Great Depression?hehe)

Now, the key for me to become a beneficial & achieving person, is to harness the energy of exuberance when it appears, & try to prevent myself from flipping to the Dark Side again.

Ramadhan's peeking around the corner. O Allah, please let that be an impetus for me to really change for the better.

And hopefully the change is permanent this time around.


Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Tagged by dear Phaik Hsia

Assalamualaikum & good day..

Taking a cue from Kepam, who am I not to say yes to Phaik Hsia, one of the dearest human to ever walk on Earth..? (^^)

Well, here goes...

tagged by Phaik Hsia!

So,here goes:

TAG #1
The rules:
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. List eight (8) random facts about yourself.
3. Tag eight people at the end of this post and list their names.

Eight random facts about myself

1. I like cute animals, cute here is subjective to my interpretation (^^), e.g. cats, rabbits, hamsters, Wisterian white mice, etc.

2. I like to memorize trivial things and oddities, such as movie lines that piques my interest, e.g. Batman Begins' : Why do we fall sir? We fall so that we may rise again. or Iron-Man's: Proof that Tony Stark still has a heart. or Lion King's: Gee, he looks blue. I say brownish-gold. No, no, I mean he's depressed. O. So, what's eating you, kid? Nothing, he's AT THE TOP OF THE FOOD CHAIN! THE FOOD CHAIN!! (laughs weakly) The memorization is not an active effort, it is subconsciously done. ( I wish I can do the same thing about my studies though )

3. Never had a girl friend. ( but lots of great woman friends, of which I am grateful for their friendship )

4. I have a phobia of creepy-crawlies (insects, arachnoids, etc) especially big ones.. and a mortal fear of heights.

5. All time favourite actors include: Tom Hanks, Robin Williams, Jack Nicholson, Anthony Hopkins
If actresseses include: Meg Ryan, Sandra Bullock, Meryl Streep, Resse Witherspoon

6. I don't have a well-defined or set personality. My personality is influenced by mood and my state of faith.

7. Like musics which soothe my head, and having a message is a plus. Again, 'soothing' here is subjective. Favourite songs include Sebelum Terlena-Hijjaz, Reflection-Christina Aguilera, Lelaki Ini -Anuar Zain, Manusia Bodoh-ADA Band, etc.

8. I like to eat. And I am partial to most foods, with only a few real dislikes, e.g petai.

TAG #2
Remove 1 question from below, and add in your personal question to make it a total of 20 questions.

1. What do you want the most now?
To be a pious Muslim (bertaqwa), and a human being which benefits others.

2. If you can have one more dream come true, what would it be? choose one: cure the environment from global warming and pollution, a cure for cancer, end wars and violence..
End wars and violence. Humans should not be killing each other. It is a sad situation.

3. What are you afraid to lose now?
My faith to Allah.

4. Do you believe in being in love forever?

5. If you meet someone you love, would you confess to him/her?
Yes, when the timing is right.

6. What would you do when you're feeling down and depressed?
Pray, take a walk, talk to friends. listen to music...

7. Which type of person do you hate the most?

8. Do you cherish every single of your friendships?
Each and everyone. Every human has positive sides, we just have to look for them.

9. Do you believe in God?

10. What do you think is the most important thing in your life?
My loved ones.

11. Do you find it necessary for you to have a boyfriend/girlfriend?
Not necessary. I don't think I am ready for a relationship anyway. I still have many weaknesseses that need to be addressed and improved upon. When the time is right...

12. What do you want your friends to be like?
To be themselves. To love and accept who they are.

13. What kind of friend do you hope to be in your friends' eyes?
A kind, considerate. loving friend.

14. If you can have a change, which part of your character would you like to change?
To always love myself, and seek to improve on my negatives, and strengthening my positives.

15. Would you die in order to save the ones you love?

16. What would you do if you've lost everything in one shot?
Accept is as God's decree, and believe whole-heartedly, that there is a silver lining in it. God (Allah) knows best.

17. What would u do if your 'friends' are not really your friends anymore?
Life goes on...

What do you see yourself as in the next 5 years?
A tired, overworked junior doctor. But content and fulfilled. Might be a doting uncle. Filial son.

19. When do u think is the best time for you to set up a family?
The best time is relative. Set up a family whenever you feel that you are ready, in terms of maturity and financial.

20. My question: What are your most poignant/memorable childhood memories?
The 8 random people I want to tag:
1. Zaid Hakim
2. Gunaseelan
3. Re-an
4. Kak Fied
5. Njo Njo
6. Ravi
7. Shen Yew
8. Sujen

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bipolar disorder

"Bipolar disorder is not a single disorder, but a category of mood disorders defined by the presence of one or more episodes of abnormally elevated mood, clinically referred to as mania. Individuals who experience manic episodes also commonly experience depressive episodes or symptoms, or mixed episodes in which features of both mania and depression are present. These episodes are normally separated by periods of normal mood, but in some patients, depression and mania may rapidly alternate, known as rapid cycling."
(From Wikipedia)

I may have discovered my problem. All these years, flip-flopping between personalities which are polar opposites, these might be the condition.

I have bipolar disorder.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Man Inside His Dreams

He lay slumped against the wall. His demeanour, sluggish. His eyes, listless. His face, solemn. His heart, heavy. Slowly he felt that the hands of Morpheus are taking him..into the dream world....

"Wake up!" An urgent voice. A bit ironic, he thought. Wasn't he sleeping just now? Waking up inside your own dream? Absurd...

He opened his eyes. Beside him stood a man, not a day older nor younger than he. But that man was very thin, emaciated, has the aura of an incarcerated person, not unlike Monte Cristo (from Dumas' work). For now, let us call this strange person in his dreams, as the Man.

"Who are you?" cliched it may be, that was the only question that springs to mind. "I am a friend. You have known me since ages past." said the Man, with a smile. "Come, share with me your miseries, your problems. Unburden yourself." continued the Man.

He felt strange. As if with this Man, he can say anything. Anything that has been troubling him. "I am always haunted by my sins. I am a perpetual sinner. I hate myself because I always wear masks in my life. My family and friends, they see the other side of me all the time. My true character is not readily apparent to them. Secretly, I am rotten inside. I have done many things that I am not proud of. Things that my family & friends will never associate with me. They will be shocked if they ever found out my true self." A bit expository, perhaps, but maybe because he didn't say them out loud to anyone.

The Man said: "So, do you want to change, to become a better person? A kinder person?" He answered: "I really wanted to." "What is holding you back then, from taking the first step to redemption?" "My sins have ingrained themselves, inside me. They have become an integral part of my psyche. Many times that I have tried to subdue this dark side of me, to put it on a leash. Maybe I will succeed to suppress this dark side for a moment, but only for a moment. Then I will be consumed by the darkness again. As if I had never have any control over it." His eyes are baleful, sad. "I am just tired. I have been fighting this darkness for more than a decade, & I didn't seem to be winning this battle for my psyche. It's a losing streak."

"Maybe, you are not sincere in your motives. To the question, why are you embarking on this journey to change yourself?, what will be your answer?" The Man throws a suggestion. "Is it because of God? Or because you only want to please other humans? What if you are the last man alive? What will it be then?"

He pondered this suggestion. The Man continued, "And remember, my friend. Your predicament is not unique to you. If you have the power to peek into people's minds, then you will find that everybody is struggling to be good. Life is a constant struggle. To be good, that requires a lot of sacrifice. The way I see it, you are actually running away from your problems, right? Let us be honest for a second. You have never tried hard enough to conquer you dark side. It has always been your habit, of running away from your problems. My friend, stop running. Running away will never solve anything. If you try to run away & forget, the problems are still there. God decreed us to have problems, so that we may grow & become a better person, should we are able to solve them. Remember, you are not alone. And should you stumble along the way, should you veer down that dark path again, just get up & walk again in this road of life. Humans are not perfect beings. We are not perfect beings. Stop being hard on yourself. Stop wallowing in self-pity. You will never grow up this way. That's another one of your worries, right? You feel envious that your friends are able to face life's struggles head on, emerging more mature & more strong after the encounter, whereas you are still stuck in a rut. Your mind is still stuck in a stasis, for more than a decade. Be strong, take the bull by its horns. Tanpa keberanian, mimpi tidak akan bermakna. " The Man said.

"I will try, no I must do it. I will be brave. I will not run anymore. May God guide me in my struggle." He said.

The Man smiled. "I am glad to hear that conviction. Me being able to talk here to you, is proof that you are heading on the right path now. May you be strong, & may God guide you always."

The Man stood up to leave.

"Wait, you haven't told me your name!" he said.

"I am your Conscience..finally freed from the shackles of Lust."

"Remember God always...& you will never be led astray."

He woke up. And his heart is heavy no more.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Thoughts in the dead of the night...

Assalamualaikum & good nite,

Usually I set a topic to blog about in each posting, but tonite I want to do a little experiment. I just want to set my mind free & see what comes tumbling out of it, trying to do uninhibited posting.

Sometimes I think I am so selfish. I only think that I am the only person with problems in this world, that other people can handle their own problems, but not me. It never occured to me that each & every one of us might be tested by God, in their own way. Simply put, everyone has their own problems to face. Everyone has their own demons that need to be exorcised.

So, maybe I should not be too negative hehe. I think that my previous posts are so full of negative thinking. & only about myself. I rarely talk about other people...or the world. It is always about me. me. me. Never about other than "me".

So much is happening in the world right now. Back at home, Malaysian politics has never been more fragile. So many uncertainties. So many denials. So many hateful, spiteful feelings. So many people who only care about their own interests, their own pots, their own importances.

Globally, there are so MANY conflicts. People kill each other day by day. Humans are such sad creatures. They have brains & reasoning, yet they still kill each other. They alienate each other. They hate each other. They ostracize each other. They hurt each other. The strong oppress the weak. Only because of difference in race, religion, culture, nationality.
Even Meowth from Pokemon has more sense.

"Why should we hurt each other? We all live under the same sky, breathe the same air. If only we realize that we have so many things in common, & not focusing on the few things that we differ in, well, who knows (what might happen)?"

Yes folks, we might be different, you & me, but fundamentally, we are all the same. We all want to be happy. We all want to be loved. We all want to have friends. We eat. We breathe. We die. So, what's all this fuss about you are Chinese, she's a Muslim, & he's a Russian? That's why there are countless conflicts in this world. Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Thailand, Phillipines, the list goes on.

World economy is showing signs that it may be on the verge of collapsing, at least a few weeks back. Rice distribution has decreased in some countries, some of the usual rice exporters has suspended their rice export. China is under fire about the perceived mishandling of the Tibetans, what with the Olympics is around the corner, this is certainly the last thing that the government of China wanted to happen. But there are some views that say that there might be biased reporting about this against China. Since some of the mainstream media are owned by governments & business entities which might have a vested interest in seeing China having bad press, so they might play this thing up. It is said that the riot in Lhasa, Tibet, might have been instigated or started by the Tibetans themeselves, & while there are Tibetans who, sadly, died, cases of Tibetans who hurt or kill Chinese citizens in Tibet might go unreported.

Well, everything is not rosy in the world right now it seems.

Haha the irony. Just realized that I have broken my promise in the same posting. This posting is turning out to be a post full of negativities too. Sorry.

As for the Sabine Chronicles, I have bits of idea here & there, but haven't had the time to write it & to arrange the plot. Dear, dear me.

This post is too long, it seems. So, nitey nites.


Friday, April 4, 2008

Downward curve mode...

Hi everyone!

I am very happy that there are some positive responses to my mini-project here, The Sabine Chronicles..especially the latest installment. It was just a brainwave on a Saturday morning, and frankly, after reading it myself, I surmise that there are lots of room for improvement. But I am happy that you guys like it. Just wait for Sabine's (and her master's) next footprints!

My life has always been a roller-coaster ride since 15 years ago. Sometimes, my manners will be good, life is a bed of roses, I am very optimistic. But turn the next corner, round the next bend, then my life will go downhill. I will be full of negative aspects. Lazy, irresponsible to myself, God, family, friends; doesn't take good care of myself, indifferent, not being nice to people, life is a bed of thorns, etc. etc.

Which is my current mode now. What I will call the Evil mode. The Destructive mode. The Damnation mode. The Downward Spiral.
Which is a shame. Just a few weeks back, I was polar opposite. I was in a Good mode. The Enlightened mode. The Beneficient mode. The Upward Curve. What Mr Hirata will say, "Ekstrapolasi kurva yang menanjak..."

So I am waiting for the surge again. The spirit inside me. The drive to be good. The flames of faith to be re-ignited. May Allah still smiles upon this unworthy soul.

"Hidayah is a visitor that we must cherish, lest She goes away again"


Saturday, March 29, 2008

The Sabine Chronicles 2: Not taking his own medicine...

Previous part of the story...Lonely broken heart

"Love is a complex thing, isn't it?" asked Fauzan. "You hit the nail there, my friend.." Adnan agreed.

These two friends are sharing a cup of tea in downtown Ampang. A small terrace house..small but nice and neat. Adnan's house.

"Sometimes I can't figure out what are the women are thinking about! They befuddled me!" Fauzan's air of exasperation is palpable. "Sigmund Freud also said as much. Years of analyzing the female psyche, the poor thinker still can't crack the women mind. But to be fair to the womenfolk, we are also an enigma to them." Adnan rambled on.

Fauzan grinned. "I guess you are right. I mean, really, Manihah is a dear, but sometimes, I just can't understand her behaviour, her feelings. I wanted to understand her so badly, but it's like there is a wall or something!" Adnan smiled in return. "You are in a male's familiar territory. Just relax." A pregnant pause. "So have you told her yet? You guys have been going out for months now, but you never really told your feelings about her.."

Fauzan heaved a sigh. "I wanted to, but part of me is holding back. I am afraid that she will reject me, or that I am not good enough for her. I mean, maybe the reason she agreed to hang out with me is because I am good as a colleague, but not good enough to be with in a long-term relationship."

Adnan reflected a bit, & countered, "Well, being rejected is part & parcel of one's love life. My friend, see it this way. If you don't be honest with Manihah about your feelings, then she will never know it. Your relationship will never go anywhere. It just ends there, period. You must be willing to take the plunge. Especially in our culture, the man is supposed to make the move, not the girl. & even if she's not interested in you,take that as a learning experience. Improve you strengths, suppress your weakness. There is somebody out there, for everyone. It is Allah's promise. And His promise is always true."

Fauzan pondered, then, "Yes, maybe you are right. But still, it will not be easy. The confessing part, I mean."
Adnan said, "Yes, it is hard. But just relax." Then he hummed a tune, "If things go right we're meant to be.."

"Haha. What is it this time? Which song is that?" Fauzan is curious. "Norwegian guy. Sondre Lerche. Song name is Modern Nature. The message is about letting a relationship runs it course, not restricted by too much plans, & accepting whatever the outcome: be it separate ways, or together forever." Adnan explained.

"Ok then, I think I have to go. Graveyard shift today. & Dr Leo is not fond of stragglers." Fauzan rose. "Yeah, nice chat we had this evening. Tomorrow I have to check on Mrs Lim. Hope her leg is better now." Adnan is leading Fauzan to the door.

"All in a day's work, eh? I see you when I see you." Fauzan is starting the Waja. "Ok. & Fauzan." pregnant pause. "Remember, love is not just feelings. It is also an ability. Tell Manihah about your feelings, ok? Best of luck!" Fauzan laughs. "& that line would be from...?" Adnan answered, "Dan In Real Life. Steve Carell. Old movie."

"Alright mate. see ya. salam." Fauzan waved. & he's gone. Adnan waved to the distance, then went back inside.

Something white & fluffy darted across the patio. "Sabine, where have you been?" Adnan scratched his cat's chin playfully. But Sabine still has her eyes fixed on her master. Accusatory eyes. Adnan said, "So, you think that I didn't walk the talk, eh? I am only able to fix other people's love lives, but my own. Kinda like Hitch." Adnan smiled. Sabine nodded.

Adnan carried Sabine up his lap, & rested on the couch. Flashes of past events in his life passes thru his mind. Then, one face sprung up. A lovely face, pretty, & always fill his heart with warmth. "That was a long time ago. She is probably married now." He opened his eyes. Sabine's lamp-like eyes are staring back.

Minutes passed by. "You know what, Sabine? Maybe I will be taking my own medicine from now on. I'll give it a try." Adnan rose up. "After all, love is also an ability, isn't it?"

Sabine yawned.

"Where is she now, I wonder?". Adnan smiled.

continued in It was a cold night...

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Not enough time...

Assalamualaikum, good day...

I have shied away from blogging for a while these past few weeks. IMO, there's three axis that is crucial for all bloggers...namely, ideas, mood, & time. Let's just say that I am fairly brimming with the former two, but alas..time is not my ally these days.

I have to clear up many deadwoods over the past fortnight, not to mention exams & organizational work, that even if I am currently in a four-days holiday streak, I am still not finished with my responsibilities. But Alhamdulillah, some of the things that I have been meaning to do for days / weeks are finished. (mopping & dusting the room, etc). But it's not all work folks haha. Still managed to enjoy the break a bit, what with some of my friends are March babes! ( happy birthdays to Nadiah, Swarna, Aida, Dayah, & Phaik Hsia!) & there's a slew of birthday bashes!

Simply put, when I have time constraints..blogging have to be put in the back burner, coz I am such a slow typer...take me ages to type a paragraph, hehe. My dream was to blog vignette-style (short & concise), but it seems that I cannot adapt to that least not yet.

Oh yes, the reason why suddenly I am drowning in a lot of because some of this work or responsibilities are actually things that I should have finished months or weeks ago (organization reports, house cleaning, studies)...but because of my laziness & foot-shuffling, they have accumulated to a great extent, that I just can't gloss over them any longer hehe. & Alhamdulillah, in these past recent days, I am getting a bit hardworking, so I am tackling my mounting workload, bit by bit, one at a time, slowly but surely. Hopefully I will be able to finish them all haha. & hopefully I will not be afflicted by laziness again. :) So the lesson, peeps, never procrastinate! Get the job done! haha.

As the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said:
"The two blessings that are usually forgotten by mankind: good health & free time."

Till next to wash the bathroom this afternoon....Insya Allah...
Toodles! wassalam.....

Saturday, March 8, 2008

For the next 5 years...

Assalamualaikum & good day...

Today Malaysians go to the choose the State & Federal governments for the next 5 years (or less)...

As has been the norm in Malaysian polls in recent years, the spectre of cheating in the polls loom over the horizon. Vote-rigging, phantom voters, vote-buying, etc. are just a number of possible ways to cheat, especially for the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN). It is really sad that the BN has to resort to this dirty & underhanded tactics to preserve their power base. At the eleventh hour, the Election Committee decide to shelve the plan of using the voting inks (special inks which stay on your skin for a few days, applied when you have voted, so that you can't double vote). .

& any sane Malaysian, regardless of political alignments, can see that the mainstream media in Malaysia is totally controlled by the BN government. They lavish praises & showed the ruling government in positive light, while highlighting only the negative aspects of the Opposition. Do I hear responsible reporting? Sadly, apparently not. & I roll my eyes when I see in the news that the BN politicians are whining that the Malaysian blog community in general is Pro-Opposition, & labelling the Opposition as cowards when they express their views in blogs. If the BN has been fair in giving ample media coverage to the Opposition, the Opposition wouldn't have resorted to underground methods in the first place. Well, if the Opposition are "cowards", well what can we call the BN politicians then, hiding behind the lopsided media coverage? Maybe "wussies". :)

I have a moderate inclination in politics, but I just can't stand people who fight dirty. Let the people vote accordingly. There's no need to tamper with the results. & equal amount of airtime for everyone please!

May justice prevails...& may the politicians who have the peoples' interest in their hearts win (regardless from BN or opposition)...

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Counting your blessings...(bersyukur)

Assalamualaikum & good day,

Lately, I've been catching myself doing a lot of complaints &"medical life is hard"..."I am officially broke"..."I am not good-looking enough"....

While at the same time forgetting that I am truly blessed, it's just I doesn't realise it...because you's so easy to complete the above sentences with...

medical life is hard...but at least I am given the opportunity to learn & have an education..
I am officially broke...but at least I still have enough money to eat square meals every day...
I am not good-looking enough...but at least I am in good health & dont have any disabilities...

Aren't we all like that sometimes? We think that Allah/God is being unfair.....that life is being unfair to us...

But take a break & count your blessings..sometimes it is so important yet we dont realize it, we tend to overlook it..

for can you read these writings? Because you have eyes that gives us the lovely gift of sight...which begs the question: how many of us has been grateful to God for our eyes?

& that's just one example of overlooked blessings...there are many more blessings that we never take the time to appreciate...our friends..our health.. our healthy psyche..

& yet we always seemed to want more...we are always jealous of other people's lives...but maybe we should remember too..that the grass always seemed to be greener on the other side...

It is stated in the Koran, chapter Ibrahim, verse 34:

"And He giveth you of all that ye ask for. But if ye count the favours of Allah, never will ye be able to number them. Verily, man is given up to injustice and ingratitude."

True, right? If we are to sit down & try to count our blessings..we will never be able to count them. God has given us so much, yet we are being ungrateful & asked for more.

So, my friends, the next time you are feeling down in the dumps, feeling that God has given you a hard deal, or anything is giving you a hard time...remember to count your blessings..& smile...& your life will not seem so bad, in fact, not bad at all....

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

On turning 23...

Assalamualaikum & good morning,

So I am finally 23 years of age. Alhamdulillah, through Allah's grace I managed to stay alive up to this point. I am really glad.

Hopefully, this will finally be the year I made good on my unfulfilled promises of yester-years, & I will be able to achieve my dreams, & I can be the man that I always hoped to be..
( I seem to be using these words often, didn't I? :) )

Insya-Allah, with His mercy & guidance...I will change myself for the better...& be on the right path..all the way...

Friday, February 22, 2008

Political upheavals...

Assalamualaikum & good day,
It seems that thru out the world, politics in many countries are undergoing changes.

*My own country Malaysia is holding her latest general elections come this March 8.
*Kosovo has break away from Serbia and have declared their independence.
I hope that the new leaders who will be elected will do their job well, serve the people, and not just concerned with their own honeypots.
But sadly, that's the norm these days. Politicians are giving politics a bad name due to their antics. Involved in corruption, implicated in sexual cases, hoarding money from trust funds, saying stupid things or unbecoming things in the public, displaying total lack of knowledge & disregard to sensitivities...
It's so hard to find a decent politician these days. The ones who genuinely care for the well-being of the people under their care, the ones who are willing to go the extra mile in helping his subjects...
Well, well, look who's rambling. I also must repair my faults first haha. All the best for the election nominees in Malaysia. May the best (caring) politician wins...
p/s: I havent' registered to be a voter....I am already 23...why oh why I haven't had the common sense...

Monday, February 18, 2008

Why am I blogging again...?

Assalamualaikum & good day,

Don't know what drives me to do it, but today I went blog-hopping. Haha, dunno whether such a term exist, but what yours truly is referring to is, I went thru some established blogs in the world of blogging to learn some pointers or too. Well, let's just say it's an Eye-opener.
I realized that I still have lots to learn in this art of blogging.

I like some of the experienced bloggers ways of presenting their ideas..easy to digest..funny..colourful without being garish..factual without being preachy..haha

& I looked at my previous posts..& urgghhh...makes me want to throw up!..haha..not all of the posts anyway...but seriously...haneef, go figure!

Well I guess it takes time & effort..I be really good in blogging..haha time & effort..2 things that I am notoriously always have in short order..

Oh well, maybe I should examine why I want to blog again...
*I want to sharpen my literary wit (English esp)...since sages always say that we must improve
our strengths right?
& sadly my only identifiable strength in this world, is my *passable* command of English.
*To meet other people, from which I can learn new that we can all be better persons.
*To blow off some that I will not sunk into depression
*To teach myself the art of communicating your ideas to the people, to the masses..

There! I think that's about it...haha..lofty ideals...the problem with being me is...I always make plans, but never acted upon them...

As John Lennon said,

The world is what happens to us, when we are busy making plans.

Oh, btw, I tried to test my blog on one of those readability test for a 2nd time, (the 1st time around I get junior high school), & guess what I got this time around!? an elementary school status!

My days are complete...

As-Shahid Imam Hassan Al-Banna..Anniversary of death


Just want to share a posting by my friend Ustok, about a Muslim individual, whose works should never be forgotten...Imam Hassan Al-Banna.

Here is the link.

Updated: A kind Indonesian couple, who currently resides in Kuwait, shared with us here an Indonesian translation of a letter written by Imam Hassan Al Banna's father, in conjunction with Imam Hassan's martyrdom, here.

Thank you. May Allah bless u.

Thx for the Feb Party guys..

Last night, some of my batchmates band together to celebrate friends whose birthday falls in February, at the local Pizza Hut. I am also a member of this happy little group.

Happy Aisyah KG. Shah KG, Ida, Nani, & Azra..may God bless u all.

Thx to my friends who have organized the event: Nadiah, Pong, Toy, Kuden, & others that I may forgot to mention..

Thx for all friends who managed to attend..& for friends who are unable to come..thx for the heartfelt wishes...

Thx for the presents too...will cherish it always..

If there's only one regret...I hoped that I was the one who won the musical chair haha...but I wasn't a competitive person anyway...

Thx guys...

What is your brain gender...?

Assalamualaikum & good day...
I have always wanted to post this...just haven't had the idea how best to put it..
Last year I watched this documentary titled "Brain Sex" (part of the BBC series: Secret of the Sexes), its main idea is about that although humans can be males or females, our brain might be the opposite 'gender'. That means that you might be a guy with a 'female' brain.

The theory goes that in the 10th week of gestation, each fetus will be exposed to a testosterone surge (I forgot whether it's from the mother or the fetus). The amount of testosterone to which the fetus is exposed will determine the gender of the brain, i.e. the more testosterone amount you are exposed to, the more 'male' your brain will be, & vice versa. This means that if a human's brain is put on a straight line, one end would be 100% female brain, going along the line to 1% female brain. & the midpoint will be 0%, meaning that you have a 'neutral' brain. Then the line will arrive at 1% of male brain, going further down the line, with the other end is 100% male brain.

The amount of testoterone surge theoretically influences the growth ratio of the index finger to the ring finger. The more testosterone you are exposed to, the longer your ring finger will be relative to your index finger. That's why men usually have a longer ring finger relative to their index fingers..while women usually have index fingers & ring fingers of the same length.

Apparently, your brain's gender will affect your personality & strengths. 'Male' brains tend to be good in spatial & visual ability, mechanics, while 'female' brains are better in understanding face emotions, emphatizing, & verbal ability. Usually, males will have predominantly 'male' brains, & vice versa for females.

However, sometimes a person can have a brain of the opposite gender. E.g. a female can have a 'male' brain. This explains why some women are really good engineers. In the documentary, there is a female aeronautics engineer. Based on the tests, she is predicted as having a 'male' brain. She managed to perform visual & spatial tasks on the same level as the men. & yes, her ring finger is longer than her index finger.

If you guys are interested in checking the gender of your brain, here is the BBC website for the tests. But do it when you connection is good, because it might take about 30 minutes.

What is my brain gender? I suspect that I have a female brain, (yeah, no joking!)...well, let's just say I am half correct. I have a 50% male wonder I am single haha, I am not manly enough...

Do tell me your results ok? That is..if u are ok with that...(^^)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Past-dweller no more...

Assalamualaikum & good day,

I am currently reading Sang Pemimpi (The Dreamer), by Andrea Hirata..courtesy of my friend Toy (it's a short form of Tahira btw, not the way she wants to be treated)..& one of the few lines that piques my interest was..

"Ajaibnya sang waktu, masa lalu yang menyakitkan lambat laun bisa menjelma menjadi nostalgia romantik yang tak ingin dilupakan"

(So miraculous is Time, the painful past can eventually be a romantic nostalgia that we wouldn't like to forget)

Mr Andrea hits the nail here. I mean, haven't we always heard in the course of conversations..."Oh I wish I was back in the days when I was so & so..."
Some retirees want to go back working...working people wants to go back to university students like me wanted to be back in their school days...adults wanted to be children...

In short, most people will occasionally resent their present situation & thinks of the past as more exciting or happy days...maybe its due to aging bodies, crumbling idealism & youthful outlook..weary of life..

& we seemed to forget that in the past, our life was also not always sweet & rosy. Life being what it is, it will never be easy. It will always pose us with challenges, that in the end...we will better persons because of them..

Haha...I don't say it's wrong to reminisce with a wistful sigh, but dwelling in the past will not do anyone any good.
You must live in the present, the past as lessons, the future as dreams that you want to achieve.

I am posting this because I realized..that all my life I have been a past-dweller, unwilling to forgive myself of my past sins..& running away from the problems at present, unwilling to face them..

We can cherish our pasts, but we must also learn to move on with life...
I hope...that I am a past-dweller no more....

These past 23 years...

Beside a garden pond, sat a young man..lost in thought...
Not for the first time in life, but this was different..
His next birthday is less than a week's time he will reach 23...

He was a bit sad..because it dawned on him that he 'might' have wasted his life...ever since he can reason...on each of his birthday he always make a pact, or promise, with himself, that
"this year, is the year that I will finally be good, that I will become the kind of person that I have always wanted to be"

He looked back, & he saw 10 broken promises..and dreams shattered..
On each birthday..he realized that along the past year...he have failed to realize his dreams.. again...

He thinks that he has been a failure..that his existence in this world is not justified..because in his eyes...he sees that everyone in this world is important...has a role to play...everyone but him..

As a son, he has failed to fulfill his parents' wishes & in repaying their the eldest brother..he has failed to become a loving & model brother..
As a friend, he has failed to be a good be caring & considerate to others...
As a human being, he hasn't contributed anything worthwhile to the human society..

& what is worse, he thinks that he has sinned too much in God's be given His forgiveness & His blessings...

For you see, the man harbours deep secrets...unseen his friends he might appear kind & good...but he is not good...his friends might be shocked if they really know him..
He feels dirty & ashamed with himself because he has fooled other people with his acting "nice & good"..
He likes & identifies himself with the song
Reflection by Christina Aguilera... "Why is my reflection someone I don't know...When will my reflection show who I am inside..."

Every day of his life has been a constant struggle..he always want to be good..but everytime he will be lead astray by his lust & bad habits..

But this time..on his 11th promise..he intend to fulfill make good of the promise..
He wanted to become a better person & a kind person, this time for real, no more false pretences ...
& this time, he hoped that God will smile for him, help him in loosening the Devil's hold on his poor self..& forgive him for his mountainous past transgressions...his past mistakes...

Maybe he is feeling that this year the winds of change are upon him..

& to the God above he recite this solemn prayer, with the pond as his witness:

O Allah,
Please help me:
in finding the right path..leading away from this darkness in my heart
in being a good servant to you, a good son, a good brother, a good friend, a good human
in loving myself & being grateful for what you have given me
in realizing my true improving on my strengths & minimizing my weaknesses

He gets up & walked home, smiling...for he believed & truly hoped that..there won't be anymore broken promises...& the eleventh time is the charm...

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Health & Free Time

Assalamualaikum & good day...

The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon Him) once said:
"Two of the blessings that are most always forgotten by Man: Health & Free time."

Last week I got really's been a while since I last fell sick..& when God gave it to me...He gave it quite bad hehe...

Well, the fault's mine anyway...wasn't eating right, so my stomach was filled with air...& I wasn't sleeping time I know...I woke up the next day feeling very nauseous...& vomit about 3 times that day. I think I haven't vomitted that much for 4 years now. Later in the day I developed diarrhea & slight fever. The diarrhea took me 3 days to clear out.

During my sickness, I truly appreciate being healthy all this while. I was unable to eat, unable to move freely, feeling dizzy, chilly, & what nots.
For 4 days my productivity dropped. So after I get better, I have to finish all my work in reduced time...& at that time I really appreciate my free time...& wish I hadn't wasted them...

Thank you God for reminding me of the importance of health & free time..... (^^)

& thx to my friends who helped me & wished me well through my sickness. There could never be better friends.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Sabine Chronicles 1: Lonely, broken heart...

"It's happening again...!"...the young man muttered.
He was referring to that pain in his chest. Somewhere over the heart region, to be precise.
"Guess it's true what they say about heartbreak, eh? Heartbreaks do exist"... he mused again.
What was the trigger to that pain now worming through his chest?.....
He just saw a loving couple holding hands. & this is not, by all means, the only possible trigger, no, heavens no!
Whenever he sees a family, especially parents with young kids; or any couple who looks happy with each other, or watch (or read) any love stories, heck..any signs of affection...
he will feel that's like someone stabbing a knife, lightly, to his chest...just above the stomach...& that dull, aching pain runs it course to his heart...ending with a thud..

Don't judge him wrong. He's not anti-social. Far from it. He likes humans. Has many friends.
He's happy for all the loving couples, loving families of this world.
He cheered when Sally Albright finally made it up with Harry Burns, cried tears of joy when Joe Fox kisses Kathleen Kelly at the Riverside Park, and clapped when Lucy Moderatz married Jack Callaghan on the Chicago train.
He's happy seeing his friends, with their wives or husbands, or their couple, & also his friends' childrens, happy in just seeing them happy, sharing the happiness & making them his own happiness.

It's just that, seeing all these things reminded him, time & again, "Where is my own happiness?"

Because for him, there's no one to go home to.
Every time he gets back from the hospital, drives back home, opens the door, ...he repeated Michelle Pfeiffer's line from Batman Returns.."Honey, I'm home....owh, I forgot, I'm not married"...over & over, every single day...
Thank God for Sabine, who shares his apartment.
Now before you get all worked up ("there, you said he has nobody? Who's Sabine?") , bear in mind that Sabine's scientific name is Felis domesticus. "Well, it's you & me again for tonite, Sabine."....he will say, absent-mindedly patting Sabine on the head, or scratching her chin...watching re-runs of The Simpsons on cable tv.
He knows, of course, that Sabine can never truly replace human companionship. But, Sabine's all that he got on a daily basis.
He does have his family, his parents, & his sisters. But he doesnt want to trouble them too much.
His parents live within 30 minutes' drive from his place. He's a filial son. He loves his parents so much, & tried to visit them every weekend, or at least once a fortnight.
His parents also love him dearly, but whenever his back is turned, his mother would gaze sadly at his back, sensing that her only son is really lonely & unhappy, deep down, but she choose not to say anything, so as not to hurt his pride.
& his sisters already have their own families. He adores his brother-in-laws too.Approved of them. Angah now have 3 doting angels now, Adik is expecting her 2nd child.
His nephew & nieces always greet him happily, on his occasional visit once or twice a month, asking "Uncle, Uncle! What do you bring us this time?"...and for a moment he forgot all his worries, & treat them like his own children..but then the time comes for the visit to end, & with a peck to his sisters' cheeks & "see u later Sis" & bidding goodbye to their husbands..the pain resides again in his chest, like it was meant to be there all along. & his sisters' gazes are similar to his mother's.

Time is running out for him. Did I mention that he's not the youngest of his siblings? No, in fact he's the eldest of the three.
Yes, in a Malay society, he's the Pak Long (eldest uncle), albeit a weird Pak Long, because you would expect that as a Pak Long, he would have the most kids. Not in this story, no.

His gaze is distant, as a man who is resigned to his fate.
If you see into his dark eyes, they will feel bottomless.
As if his eyes has the power to suck you into a vortex. A black hole.
The eyes of a man who is weary, who has weathered a lot of heartbreaks.
The eyes of a man with a lonely, broken heart...
How does he become like this?...a story for another time...perhaps...

continued in Not taking his own medicine

Suharto's Death: Let Bygones Be Bygones?

Assalamualaikum & good day,
Last Sunday, 27 January 2008, Indonesian time, Suharto died due to multiple organ failure. He was 86.
I grew up practically knowing him as the leader of Indonesia. Then, he was forced to step down during the political & economic upheaval in 1998. He was president of Indonesia since 1967, so at 31 years of reign, many quarters said that his reign as a country head was the 2nd longest in the world, next only to Fidel Castro, the Cuban leader. He was the 2nd one after Sukarno.
He has been hospitalized for nearly a month..and during that period, many Indonesians are not happy that he's dying...not happy here can have 2 meanings actually.
His supporters mourn the passing of a great man, while his detractors are wondering why Suharto can escape scot-free from his crimes in this the peace of death.

Suharto's reign was controversial, to say the least.
True, his reign marked a period of stability and economic growth for Indonesia, the likes of which his succesors have struggled to emulate.
But, it was also marred with myriad of problems.
The stability is achieved by using military might, & since Suharto is anti-communist & anti-Chinese, it is alleged that there are many pro-Communists & people of Chinese descent who lost their lives during his rule.
& the economic growth? It was not enjoyed by all Indonesians. A lot of them is embezzled by Suharto & his family. It is alleged that Suharto inducted a number of economic policies that enriches his family, e.g. by forcing the people to do economic transactions only through corporate entities that are manned by his family members. It is alleged that the embezzlement is worth around 35 billion USD.

So, when Suharto stepped down, he was put on trial for embezzlement charges, & human rights violation charges. But the trial never take flight. His lawyers managed to prove that by that time, Suharto was too ill, & was not fit to stand trial.
So even when he's nearing death, the victims of his rule still want justice to be served. They thought that it's not fair that he can get away with his heinous crimes.
This situation is...sensitive. As a foreigner studying in Indonesia, I have no right to be supportive of him in the public, nor to be critical of him, since I never experienced Indonesia under his rule, nor I was the victim of his policies.
So, I just voice out my opinions here. I think that in death, a person should be forgiven. Because, if all the allegations are true, then even if he can escape the judgment of humanity, he has still God to answer to for his deeds. (unless you are an atheist or an agnostic, dear reader).
I hope that Suharto will be given due punishment by God, & may his wrongdoings be absolved as a result...

Friday, January 25, 2008


Assalamualaikum & good day...

It's been nearly a month since 2008 arrives...& about 2 weeks since the new Islamic year of 1429...

I scribbled a list of resolutions a few weeks back...
Not all I can list down here...due to personal reasons...but some of them would be...

*Trying harder in my studies...not being a lazy-bum anymore...loving the learning process
*Be more mature & dependable
*Be more responsible with regards to my duties
*Be more confident & assertive
*Be more street-wise & have more common sense
*Cherish my family more & be a really good son & brother
*Be more cheerful to families, friend & strangers alike, & less of a wet blanket
*Be a lot kinder, & treat EVERY people with love & respect
*Not being envious of other people, & happy being me
*Be more pious & closer to Allah
*Be more upbeat & optimistic
*Be more humorous
*Be a good planner & a good executer of plans

Some of the things in the list has been there year in year out for the last decade of my life....will this year be the year that I finally can achieve them?

I hope so. It's tiring to have to carry the same old baggage year after year...ameen...

Happy (belated) New Year & Selamat (belated) Maal Hijrah evry one...