Monday, December 21, 2015

So Here's The Thing: Local Book Reviews

Okay, so here's the thing. Next year I've got a few goals lined up for myself to work towards, and they include making more videos and reading more books. So naturally, I figured some of those videos are going to be book reviews. Cool? Cool.

Here's the thing tho. I'm going to be making a conscious effort to read books from both international and local authors. I won't be reviewing all the books I read (because I lazy liddat, and I oso want to make videos talking about other stuff oso), and I feel that if I were to review these books from international authors, I'd be just another grain of sand on the beach (since so many people should already be talking about those books already because they're international bestsellers and whatnot). There's not enough people talking about books written by local authors, especially in video form, so I want to be a person who provides a place to talk about local books in video form. The thing about that is that the audience for those kinds of things aren't really that big. Not as much people read local books compared to international ones, and that's a bit disheartening. So I won't get as many views, I suppose, but that's the thing Anwar, you shouldn't be doing it for the views. You should be doing it because it's worth doing. Because you'll be providing representation for discourse on local books. Because you'll be showing to local authors that people do give a shirt. Who knows? You might even end up being the catalyst for bigger and better things. And that's reason enough to do it, yes? Yes.

So here's the thing. I have to start reading books.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Sadness In Listening To Hujan

This morning I had another listen to the Hujan acoustic showcase that they did a few years back because of all the #Hujan10tahun pictures that were taking over my instagram timeline. I wrote a paragraph when sharing the youtube video as a facebook status a couple of years back, and I reread it yesterday.

I said some stuff about how Hujan are not just a band, that they are a symbol of possibility, growth, maturity, passion, creativity, entrepreneurship, dedication, fun, and drive. I also said that I would be a very different person today if they were not as big a part of my life as they were, as they are.

And while listening to the showcase, I couldn't help but feel a deep sense of sadness. It made me realise how time changes us, our circumstances, and as a consequence, our relationships with people. Throughout listening to Hujan, I've been fortunate enough to have met and become close friends with so many wonderful people, people that have been and are so integral to shaping who I am today. And for that I am deeply grateful.

But also, those relationships, as do all relationships, I have learned, have evolved throughout the ten years of Hujan's existence. For better or for worse, they change, because people and their circumstances change, and as a result, relationships change, and a lot of them fade.

And I guess the sadness that I felt throughout the day as a result of re-listening to the showcase stems from being reminded of this fact, the fact that people and relationships change, no matter how much you want them to stay the same. And it's not like I dislike that fact or that I don't want to accept it. Rather, it's just me being sad about those things, and that's okay, to be sad about things that make you sad. You don't have to be happy with something to accept it. You can accept things with sadness too, I think.

About a month ago, one of my friends' life was changed because he got married, and as a result of that, our dynamic inevitably changed. I was, I am happy for him for being able to unite with the person he treasured the most in his life. And at the same time I was sad that a certain phase of life seemed to close on us right before our very eyes. There's that saying that goes, don't be sad that it's over; be happy that it happened. I feel like it should be: be sad that it's over AND happy that it happened. We shouldn't negate sadness to the realms of weakness. It's what makes us human. It's what adds to our humanity.

I have this feeling that these coming couple of months will be dynamic-changing as well for me. And I honestly don't know what to expect in that regard. And I guess I'm being sad because I'm aware that these few weeks that I have left (this is assuming that I have these few weeks to live, but questioning my mortality will have to be saved for another time) will be the closing of a chapter for me, and for the people close to me.

I am thankful that I have the set of people around me right now, with the relationships that we have right now. May we be set on the straight path in whatever we do.

A Good Weekend Reflected

So I've just had a pretty good weekend, in my book. Went to Kuala Terengganu for a forum where I was a panelist alongside a close friend, got to hang out a bunch with good people, wrote a couple of poems, and to top it all off, I got to witness New Zealand winning the 2015 World Cup. All in all, smiles by the time I got back on the plane back.

But as I was scrolling through the twitter and the instagram, I felt a feeling slowly creeping onto me, a feeling of sadness, more than anything else, really. I blame Twenty-one Pilots' acoustic rendition of Tear In My Heart for this.

I got to sort my thoughts out when I got back to my apartment room, and I ended up with the question: am I doing enough good in the world to make it a better place?

And the answer to that is: rasa macam tak cukup. Far from enough. And I guess that's what made me sad. That even on good days, they weren't good enough, at least not for me. And I started thinking, "wouldn't it be great if we knew when we were doing good enough? There'd be a meter we can check to see if the stuff we did through the day or even throughout our lives were enough to be called good, and we can physically see it so that it could guide us in our daily lives."

But then I thought, hey, maybe we don't know how much good is good enough because we're not supposed to know. Because if we knew, no, if I knew, then being the lazy human being that I am, I'd keep my deeds to a bare minimum. And if everyone who did good only did the bare minimum, then that'd suck for the world because there's a whole buncha other people who don't really care all that much about doing any good. We'd be doing just enough for ourselves, and unfortunately, that's nowhere near enough for the world in general.

I came to thinking that maybe feeling like I'm not doing enough is a good thing. Maybe that by having this feeling that I need to do more will drive me to do exactly that: more. And the more good we give out to the world, the better it gets. it's idealistic of me to think this, but I'm a naïve person, so yeah.

And I think that if ever there came a time that I felt like I've done enough good in the world, then that would be when I'm at my lowest, since I would feel content with myself. And I don't want that. At least not the me right now. The me right now has this burning urge to prove to myself that I can do good things in the world, and can be useful to the people around him. I look at myself and see this lowly useless piece of faeces and everyday is just a struggle to prove myself wrong, to be able to say to myself that hey, you're not a good for nothing after all.

So feel insecure Anwar. It's alright.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


This piece is meant to be spoken.

You call me lame
as if I'm supposed to be ashamed.
If I could,
I would put lame in my name,
and use it with pride.
I'd be like
"Hi, my name is Anwar Lame Hadi,
nice to meet your acquaintance!"
You see the word lame
like it's used to describe a lamb with three legs.
I take that as a compliment, if you know what I mean.
I mean, lame isn't a derogatory term, no.
It's a frame of mind
out of which I find
the world to be unconfined.
While you're looking through windows,
I'll look through Apples.
I don't find the humour in being
the same as every other human being.
You may be comfortable with conformity,
but I have trouble keeping a straight face when I hear a fart.
And that may indicate
that I'm not as sophisticated
as you grown ups up in here.
It may even point towards me
and my supposed inability 
To grow out of immaturity.
But if growing up means being the same as everyone else then I may as well stay seven forever.
I also have trouble staying on topic, aparently.
What you call lame, I call unique.
What you call lame, I call needs more brain power to process.
What you call lame, I call me maybe.
Wait, I just met you. This is crazy.
What you call lame, I call awesome.
And in response to my lameness, 
you might say "but I'm confused!"
To that, I can only say
"Hi confused, I'm Anwar Lame Hadi."

Friday, July 31, 2015

First Verse

Firstly, I'll only think about you on two occasions:
When my eyes are closed, and when my eyes are open.
I'll try to fix stuff for you, even if it's me that's broken.
I'll provide you with distractions and an ocean of emotion.
I'll tell you your lines are flames
And that all my ones are lame.
Our kids will have my name
But i hope they get your brain,
Coz for real you're off the chain,
Your beauty drives me insane,
What were we talking about again?
Sorry, i got distracted by your eyes.
I will not tell you lies.
I'll bake you some apple pies.
I'll hold your hand through both the lows and the highs.
I'll even go get kitchen supplies.
Cross your t's and dot your i's.
So in summary,
I hope you stay right here with me,
Bringing my life some melody,
Some peace love and harmony,
Until we're over seventy,
That sweet old couple we're gonna be,
Kissing and calling each other baby, sayang and honey bunny.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Settle (PART 5)

“Nak settle macam mane?” Razak said when he regained a straight face. The solution to this problem cannot come out of his mouth. That would be bad for him.

“Tak tahulah tuan, tapi tak perlu lah panggil JAKIM,” Faiz pleaded. This guy wasn’t stupid, Razak could see that. He wanted to tease it out of him. Whatever the situation, Razak needed to keep his cool and make him provide the offer.

“Tapi masalahnya sekarang, korang buat salah. Salah tetap salah dan memang aku patut pun bawa korang berdua pergi balai, tunggu JAKIM datang je. Memang kalau kes-kes macam ni, memang kene denda tiga ribu punye,” Razak was still very much relieved that this little fib of his was not caught out by the couple. They obviously have never been in this position before.

“Eh tuan, kita settle ajalah cara lain tuan. Tak boleh ka tuan?” Faiz was really trying reluctant to make the first move towards what it had to be.

“Nak settle macam mana lagi? Bawa pergi balai?” Razak needed to keep patient, but he also knew that if they were processed the way these cases were supposed to be processed, no monetary transaction would take place whatsoever. The only thing that would happen was that they’d have to go for counselling, and he couldn’t have that, having gone this far into the plan.

“Eh, tak perlu pergi balai lah tuan. Kita settle sini-sini ajalah tuan. Kita-kita ja,” Faiz dropped the biggest hint. To Razak, that line was good enough.

“Sini-sini je? Nak settle berape? Tige ribu tahu kalau hantar pergi pejabat agame,” that was almost twice his paycheque, and if they could get away with that, then a new smartphone would definitely be in order.

“Aa, tiga ribu tak boleh la tuan. Saya baru start kerja ja tuan.”

“Alah, ni kereta ni mahal ni, takkan perempuan kau tu takde duit?” Razak looked at the girl who has been quiet this whole time, obviously terrified. Azrai was standing right behind her, keeping quiet as well, just like he’s supposed to.

“Dia student lagi tuan. Ni kereta parents dia bagi. Tolonglah tuan,” Faiz was still speaking on behalf of both of them.

“Habis tu nak buat macam mane ni sekarang?” Razak didn’t like where this was heading.

“Saya baru start kerja ja tuan. Dalam bank saya ada lima ratuih ja. Kalau tuan nak, kita pi ATM sekarang, saya withdraw, bagi kat tuan semua.” Faiz pointed towards the nearest ATM outside of the parking area.

“Lime ratus je? Kalau macam tu, baik saye hantar ke pejabat agama je! Daripada tige ribu jadi lime ratus je!” Razak also pointed his finger towards the outside of the parking lot, but had no idea if he was actually pointing towards the department of Islamic department.

“Saya tak mampu tuan, tiga ribu tuan. Saya cuma mampu lima ratus ja tuan, pasai tu ja yang saya ada dalam bank saya. Minta maaf sangat-sangat tuan, tapi itu ja yang saya boleh bagi tuan. Lepas saya bagi duit tu kat tuan, saya dah habeh takdak duit dah dalam bank saya tuan. Tolonglah tuan,” Razak could see the desperation in Faiz’s eyes, but he couldn't accept the fact that he went through all this trouble just for five hundred bucks.

“Ni, Sharifah ni. Takkan dalam bank takde duit langsung?” Razak pointed his finger to the girl, almost touching her nose in the process.

“Er, saye pun takde banyak sangat encik. Saye ade lime nam ratus je.” The girl couldn’t even bring herself to look at Razak in the face.

“Hah, jadi lah. Korang pergi ke ATM, withdraw duit tu sekarang. Kitorang tunggu sini, jage kerete. Datang sini balik cepat-cepat!” Razak shooed them away like stray cats. He was feeling hot under the collar, and he also realised that he was running out of time because ATMs close before midnight, and that hour was fast approaching.

About half an hour passed before they came back. Razak was starting to get worried that they had run away or something, so when he saw them walking back towards their direction, he breathed a sigh of relief. 

“Sorry tuan, boleh bawak keluaq lima ratuih ja. Bila Sharifah cuba bawak keluaq, dia asyik failed ja.” Again, it was Faiz doing the talking. Sharifah showed all the receipts they had got from the ATM. There must have been at least five of them.

“Hm,” at this point Razak was no longer in a mood for words. He took the money from Faiz and pocketed the whole wad without counting the banknotes. Azrai was already on the started motorcycle, so Razak just climbed onto the seat behind him.

“Eh tuan!” Faiz almost yelled. Razak reluctantly made eye-contact with him. “Nak IC kami balik tuan?”


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Settle (PART 4)

After going to the booth to explain to Azrai roughly what he had in mind, both of them got on the motorcycle quickly towards the red Swift, feeling confident that it would still be there, and true enough, it was. The couple inside were still going at it. They sure were going for it. It must’ve been half an hour since they started their session. Razak smiled to Azrai who was behind him on the motorcycle to signal that their operation was a go.

Razak parked the motorcycle right in front of the car, close enough so that the car had no way of going anywhere. They could see that the couple suddenly parted and they sensed what seemed to be panic going on inside the car. Razak was feeling pumped. He got off the motorcycle and immediately banged on the hood of the car. “Keluar! Dua-dua, keluar!” He was sure that his voice could be heard throughout the floor, the parking lot having that echo effect parking lots had.

He made his way to the guy’s side of the car and knocked on the window a little harder than was necessary, but at the same time entirely necessary to bring out the desired effect from the guy. The guy in the blue shirt opened the door and asked “Ya, ada apa tuan?” all innocent and defiant. Razak immediately felt like punching the guy in the face, this pompous prick. 

“Keluar kereta sekarang! Bagi IC! Keluar kereta! Bagi IC!” Razak was improvising his lines at this point. “Dah kawen belum kamu dua ni? Belum kan? Ha, keluar kereta, bagi IC!” He glanced over at Azrai who was at the girl’s door saying more or less the same things as he was. Good, he’s following my lead, thought Razak.

The guy in the blue shirt slowly stepped out of the car. “Nak buat apa dengan IC saya ni Tuan?” the gall of this dude.

“Okay, kalau taknak takpe, jom ikut saya pergi balai,” Razak grabbed the guy’s wrist with his left hand and with his other took out his handcuffs and placed them on the guy’s wrist.

“Okay, okay, saya bawa keluar saya punya IC! Okay?” Ha, tahu pun takut, thought Razak while suppressing a smile. He wanted to pat his own back for how ingenious that spur of the moment action must have been.

“Betul ni? Ke nak ikut saye pergi balai je senang? Bagi IC kat sane je?” Razak couldn’t resist having a little bit of fun with the guy now.

“Betul, saya bagi IC sekarang! Tak perlu pergi balai,” Razak felt sufficiently satisfied by the panic that leaked out of his voice, and let go of the guy’s hand. The guy took his time taking out his wallet from his back pocket and handing over his identity card to Razak. Faiz Hilmi bin Walid was the guy’s name. The address on the card showed that he was from Perlis.

“Ni katanya kau daripada Perlis? Kenapa datang jauh sangat ke sini nak buat maksiat ni?” Razak really wanted this guy to feel guilty, and it seemed to be working.

“Saya kerja kat sini,” Faiz said without even looking at Razak. He stole a glance to the girl.

“Ha, tu yang perempuan tu pun, bak IC.” Razak signalled to Azrai to take hers as well. Azrai brought it over along with the girl, and now both of them were having an audience with Razak. Sharifah Shazana was the girl’s name, and she was from Shah Alam. “Ni yang perempuan ni pun kerja jugak ke?”

The girl hesitated to answer. She looked at Faiz, hoping to get some help from her boyfriend. “Ni, nawab ajelah soalan! Bawak pergi balai kang!” This threat seemed to work well on these two people.

“Cakap ja,” Faiz said to Sharifah.

“Tak, student,” the girl replied meekly. 

“Mana student card?” the question came right from the top of Razak’s head. It seemed like the legit thing to ask, something that a policeman would ask for, right? He looked towards Azrai, and got a nod from him, encouraging him to go on.

The girl handed over her student card from her purse to Razak. She was a student at the private university alright. Razak took a moment to look at the three cards in his hands and thought about how he was about to say what he needed to say next. This was the most important part.

“Ni nak buat camane sekarang?” Razak started. “Saye boleh panggil JAKIM sekarang, diorang bawak pergi pejabat diorang, kene denda dalam tiga ribu ringgit, tahu tak?”

“Tuan, tak perlu lah panggil JAKIM tuan,” Faiz was almost begging, fear shining brightly from his eyes. Razak sighed an internal sigh of relief and proceeded.

“Habis tu?! Korang nak buat sangat benda-benda tak senonoh kan kat tempat macam ni? Ingat orang tak nampak? Eh, berani buat berani tanggung lah!” Razak had to suppress the desire to wink at Azrai. He could feel Azrai nodding for him to go on.

“Ya, kami buat silap tuan, kami mengaku. Kami minta maaf sangat-sangat, kami bersalah, kami mengaku, tapi tak perlu lah panggil JAKIM tuan.” Faiz was even putting his hands together and doing that thing that Thai people do when greeting people.

“Ya lah, tapi minta maaf je tak selesai masalah ni sekarang!” Razak dropped the bait.

“Ya tuan, kami sedar tuan. Tapi tak perlu lah sampai panggil JAKIM tuan. Kita settle cara lain tak boleh ka tuan?” The magic words that Razak was waiting for all along finally came out. Razak had to turn around to hide the grin that had formed on his face.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Settle (PART 3)

He knew he didn’t mistake what he saw. It was definitely a tallish Malay guy wearing a blue long-sleeve shirt making out with a considerably shorter Malay girl with long hair wearing a black cardigan. He was so shocked by this revelation of events that it took a minute for him to digest it all. He had never seen a Malay couple kissing on the mouth before. Well, at least not in the flesh. Those clips from xvideo didn’t count. The best he had been able to witness up until now were two separate events involving Chinese couples, and they took their action inside their cars, so they didn’t make for very good viewing. 

He was now way on the other side of the parking lot to have another good look at the couple, so he circled round and to his luck, the couple were still hanging out at the same spot, talking awfully close to each other. Razak decided to park his motorcycle not too far away from where the couple were, up against the side of a wall.

From where he sat, he could see the couple still going at it, although all he could really see were the back of the guy’s head. They didn’t seem to notice anything that was going on around them, let alone Razak who felt like he was sufficiently hidden from sight. From time to time they guy would bend his head down and put his face onto the girl’s face. They would stay there for about twenty seconds and then the guy’s head would go back up again and they would seem to talk for a bit before continuing their actions.

Aren’t these people ashamed of themselves? thought Razak. It would be different if they were a Chinese couple, or maybe even an Indian couple, but these people were so obviously Malay that it made him feel ashamed for his own race. If only JAKIM or JAIS came right there and then and took them away, baru padan muka. Maybe then they’d know some shame. Maybe then they’d think about their religions and their races and be more careful about tainting what they represent.

Razak imagined how scared they would be if that were to happen. The guy would probably try to run away, leave the girl behind, because he could tell that the guy was a coward. If he was a real man, he would have asked for the girl’s hand in marriage la kan? Then they wouldn’t have to mess around with making out in a parking lot when they could just easily go to the privacy of their own home and get it on as much as they wanted over there.

His train of thought was interrupted by the guy in the blue shirt taking a few steps back. The girl went inside the car into the driver’s seat, and before closing the door, said a few words to the guy before closing it. Razak thought it might be over, but then the guy walked around the car, opened the passenger door and went inside the car as well. The car engine was started and it seemed like they were going to drive away. Please don’t go, thought Razak. For some reason he hadn’t had enough yet. 

Luckily for Razak, they didn’t seem like they were in a hurry to go anywhere. From where Razak was sitting on his motorcycle, they seemed to be talking. After about a minute of that, He could see the guy leaning over to be very close to the girl. It looked like they had decided to continue their make out session. Without really noticing it, Razak exhaled a sigh of relief.

Just then, Razak had an idea. He texted Azrai: Jai, ko bgn lom? Ad cple tgh wat projek ni. Aq igt nk ajr diorang skit.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Settle (PART 2)

After buying himself a box of cigarettes, Razak decided to take a ride around the parking lots. It was nearing 8.00pm, so it was as good a time as any. All that sitting around playing CoC started to make him feel a little guilty, but his phone was in need of charging, so it couldn’t have been avoided. Azrai was the one who should be feeling guilty, since all he did was sleep for the past half-hour.

Riding around on the motorcycle during those times didn’t leave too much to behold. Heck, any time at all was just about the same thing: people going to or from their cars to wherever they needed to go or had just been. 

The people who parked there was a mixture of private university students, office workers and employees of the shops along the block. There were quite a number of foreign workers as well who worked at the various nasi kandar restaurants as cooks or waiters. Razak always thought that if any trouble was to happen, they would be the primary suspects. They always made Razak feel uncomfortable, speaking in their native languages, speaking funnily even when they spoke in Malay. Razak always had a laugh whenever Azrai makes fun of their accents from time to time. He does it so well that it was hard not to laugh. Bodoh punya Azrai.

The parking lots were well-lit. The management invested in fluorescent lighting throughout to floors and floors of parking spaces that made it that much safer for people to park in. Because of this, there were rarely any surprises for him to chance upon. He’s even noticed that some couples, upon seeing him riding towards their direction on his motorbike, let go of each others’ hands, mostly Malay couples, those girls that wear headscarves especially. 

Maybe they saw him as an authority in Islam too. That made him feel good about himself. He did get a B in his Pendidikan Islam SPM papers, so he did know quite a bit about his own religion. Plus, he had been watching (and sharing) Ustaz Azhar Idrus videos on Facebook, so one could say that his knowledge in Islam was pretty extensive. He’d usually just stare down the couple while riding slowly past them. They would usually avoid eye contact.

It makes him shake his head, that these people can be afraid of him, but aren’t afraid of The Almighty, that is always watching. Don’t they know that even when he’s not watching, God is? These people, don’t even have the basics of religion. What good is your high paying job, your fancy cars and your private university education if you don’t even know the basics? Razak sighs for what his generation has become.

Razak snapped out of his deep thoughts when he noticed a couple by a red Suzuki Swift. They couple were making by the side of the car. The girl wasn’t wearing a tudung, so they must be a Chinese couple, thought Razak. Even so, this wasn’t something that happened everyday, so he kept his eyes on them when passing them. As soon as he did zoom past them, they became wary of the motorcycle, so they parted. Razak could now see that they were a Malay couple.

Settle (PART 1)

This is a work of fiction.

“Lenguh sial punggung,” complained Razak in his mind as he stood up from his chair and half stretched the lower half of his body. He had been sitting behind that desk in the small police booth in Kota Yarra for a good hour or so, playing Clash of Clans on his phone. Now that it was fully charged, he unplugged his S4 from the charger and stepped around his desk and made his way outside, just barely avoiding being tripped by his asleep colleague’s feet.

Once outside, Razak took out the last cigarette from his box of Dunhills, crumpled the empty box and chucked it to the side, not really caring about where it landed. His left hand placed the cigarette in between his lips while the other hand patted his pockets for his lighter. It wasn’t there. 

Upon remembering where, or rather, to whom he left it with, he went back inside and kicked Azrai’s feet to wake him up. “Hoi, lighter,” his voice strained more than he would have liked, cigarette still safely secured between his teeth.

Azrai took his time waking up, which ticked Razak off so much so that after the third time he asked, Razak took it upon himself to take the lighter from Azrai’s left breast pocket. Once he got the yellow Cricket in his hands, he flashed it a little too close to Azrai’s face for him to be able to see it before walking out the booth while lighting up the cig.

It was just another boring day for him at the Kota Yarra shophouse complex. It may have been called that, but 80% of the complex was dedicated to parking spaces, so what Razak and Azrai do during their 10 hour-shifts is basically ride around the floors of parking lots on their motorcycles. They’ve been on this location for three weeks now, and they were decidedly bored out of their brains since day one.

People seem to paint parking lots as a really dangerous place, where people get robbed and cars get smashed up regularly. But whatever action that people seem to be so scared about doesn’t seem to apply to this particular parking area. And Razak has all but lost all hope in him ever being able to nab a burglar here in this uppity place where parking costs six ringgit per hour. Azrai reasoned that the crooks couldn’t even afford to stake out the place, what with the exorbitant rate and not to mention the presence of a police booth smack dab in the middle of it all.

Whatever the reason, Razak still wished for somebody, anybody to be stupid enough to pull something dumb around here. A little bit of action wasn’t so much to ask, was it?

After finishing his cigarette, he crushed it under the sole of his shoe and decided to ride the motorcycle to the nearby 7-Eleven to restock on his Dunhills. Good thing he was still single. Most of his friends that have married could only afford those Indonesian contrabands that taste even cheaper than they cost. Some even quit smoking altogether, those chumps.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Malaysia's Resumé

This is the month of Raya. Celebrations are going on and I took some time off to reflect over my life. It’s during this season we ask our parent for forgiveness and thank them for everything they have done for us.

Through my self-reflection time I realised that in a year how many times we actually take the time to express our appreciation towards our parents. We are often too busy with work or our own activities to remember that our folks are the people who love you no matter what happens. They may not ask for much but we forget to thank them anyway. Or at least I do.

As I was browsing through the internet looking at how different people expressed their thank yous to their parents, I stumbled upon a website called Malaysia’s Resume. The website seems like a great platform for people who are shy like me to communicate my gratitude and love for my parents. 

I decided to try my hand at submitting a story at the site. So I wrote a thank you post for my parents, because when I had a think about the people who have been the most influential to me, they were the most obvious choices. The story might be a bit cheesy but if you happen to have the time, do check it out at I kept it pretty short and sweet.

Of course, we all know that thanking our parents should be a constant thing, but special gestures like these once in a while doesn’t hurt, no? I would say if you find it tough to express your gratitude to your parents face to face (like me), then this is a great way to show them and tell them how you feel. You could even show your post to them as a present (now, that’s actually a pretty nice idea). 

Besides that, your submission could be in the form of writing, or pictures, or even a video, get creative guys!  So why don’t you guys try it out on Malaysia’s Resumé and share it with your friends and family too.

May you have a blissful Raya.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Quite the hiatus, huh? More than a month of not posting anything on here. Dahla the project I said I would be working on throughout the month didn't even get halfway done. I continue to amaze myself with how disappointing I can be.

Ramadhan went alright, I guess. Like I said, I was supposed to put in more time working on the project of mine, but what's done is done. 40% completion isn't so bad, I guess. If it was an exam paper in my school, it'd be a borderline pass. 

Raya was alright too. I got to meet up with friends and catch up and stuff and things. Settled some problems I've been going through, learned a couple of new things about myself. I'm just glad I didn't have to go through the raya traffic on the way back to KL that is still crawling right now. The perks of living outside of Klang Valley, I guess.

So Ramadhan's rama-done, and aidilfitri has already gone "selamat hari raya, nice to see ya". It is now back to business as usual here on le blog of mine.

For this second half of the year, my goal is to focus my energy a lot more on writing fiction. There's still going to be non-fictional pieces whenever I feel like it, but as far as the ongoing "write everyday" struggle goes here on this blog, it's going to be a battle to come up with works of fiction. The frequency of posts should be the same as in the first half of the year. As unrealistic as it sounds, I'm going to go ahead and shoot for 20 pieces a month.

But as it is with yours truly, I'll be playing it by ear and see how it goes. I won't rush any pieces through. If I feel like the piece requires more time and developing, I'll hold off on posting it. Or maybe I'll post the longer stories in parts. That sounds more manageable.

I look forward to getting back on the horse and put myself through the struggles of a disappointing writer. I still believe it'll make me a better writer, for some reason.

We have to have faith in something, I guess.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Dealing With Haterz

So the other day (probably yesterday), I tweeted something to the effect of "I wish teaching were as easy as non-teachers think it is." Because it was a tweet, it had to be succinct, and I was in no mood to explain the tweet any further, since it was at the end of a particularly bad teaching and learning session. Plus, it would have taken definitely taken up more than 140 characters. The blog here allows for more space, so I'll explain here.

By the tweet, I meant that it was my desire for teaching to be an easy, "clock-in, sit in a few classes for a few hours a day, clock-out, go back early and nap the rest of day away" kind of job. It was my desire that I didn't feel guilty and useless every time I go out of a class gone wrong (it happens more often than anyone would like), that I didn't give a toss about allowing my students to grow to become their own person while still equipping them with the tools to navigate their way through the oft-unforgiving and tough world outside of the school gates, that I didn't allow my temperament to take over me, that I didn't find myself practicing things that were against my ideals, that I didn't feel like an incompetent buffoon who has no idea what he's doing in class. I was taking the side of the non-teachers there. I liked their view of what teaching meant. It was clean, clear-cut, free from frustration, doubt and depression. It wasn't grimy, tough and tiring (oh, so tiring) as it was looking at it from the inside.

So that's what I basically meant. 

A person on twitter called me out on it, though. The person (may God bless the soul) said something along the lines of "yeah teaching isn't easy, but you get a lot of perks. No job is easy, all jobs require the worker to work hard. Quit your whining. Bitch." And sure enough, I agree with the person. I was definitely whining. Not the best of qualities to have in a person, especially when displayed on social media.

Now, a person who calls someone else (especially if that someone else is a stranger) a "bitch" on social media is usually referred to as a "hater". And because I've had my fair share of questions that sound like "how do you deal with the haterz?" I'm going to answer the question by revealing how I dealt with this person right here.

I replied "Sorry for being bitch :(". The person didn't reply after that.

Maybe that person was too busy beribadat pada bulan puasa to reply my tweet. That is a definite possibility. But I also want to talk about the other possibility, which is: they had nothing to say after that.

Imagine, if you will, you're on a badminton court. You're on your side of the court, then there's a net, then on the other side of the net is your opponent. This opponent of yours is the one that invited you over to the court, because they really want to beat you in this game called badminton. So they smash the shuttlecock in your direction. Here, you have the option of returning the shot. If you do, the game continues, the opponent gets a kick out of it because they are the ones that instigated the game, and if they win, they'll feel good about themselves. And let's remember, they are the ones that invited you over, so they are pretty confident they can beat you. But if you end up winning, they'll leave the game bitter and will resent you for beating them. Jatuh air muka, you know?

Then, you have another option, which is the one I prefer. When that opponent delivers a smash towards your court, you walk on over to their side of the court, join their side and congratulate them on scoring a point against an empty side of the court. Pat them on the back (not literally) and tell them what a good job they've done, scoring against an empty court. The response may vary, but I would like to think that the smasher just now would feel underwhelmed by this turn of events, and would walk away from the game altogether because they have no intention of scoring against an empty court. It's too easy, there's no challenge, and they can't take any pride away from winning against no one. Nobody set any rules to the game, so you're free to do whatever you want, really.

That's the analogy, anyway. So in a real situation, a person spews hate in your direction. Instead of spewing hate back at them, agree with them. Even if you don't actually agree with them, say that you agree with them anyway. Say, "you know what? You're right! MashaAllah you're an amazing human being for being right about that!" Provide them with no opposition whatsoever, and even go on their side and root for them. They, more often than not, walk away from their attempt to instigate conflict feeling baffled and empty. Or at least, that's the results I've seen so far from handling haterz in this way.

This is in no way intended to put yourself down. It's to diffuse conflict, to baffle and confuse the instigator and neutralise the situation so that it isn't so charged with negativity and animosity anymore. It's been working for me, so far. It might work for you too. Who knows?

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Under The Tudung Saji

Hey there. What's up? What's happenin'? How's it hangin'? How we doin'?

So Ramadhan's here. Do I hear cheers? Nope, just the sound of the ceiling fan choppin' up the air real good.

Wow, beating around the bush much, Zanzwar?

It's been about two nights of Ramadhan now, and I have a vague idea of how it's going to be for the rest of the month. It's going to be tough, with a lot of delegation of (limited) energy and time having to be done, so I have to really focus on what I want to achieve this month. So I've been doing some living and thinking, and I've got a semi-solid plan of what I want to do this coming month.

Unfortunately for this blog and for the writer in me, consistently writing on the blog hasn't made it to the list. I do my writing at night, but Ramadhan nights here at home are a lot different from Ramadhan nights spent alone in a rented apartment (as was the case last year), so adjustments have to be made.

I'll be working on other things and other projects (specifically one project) throughout this month, and as soon as I can, I'll share it with the world, but for now, I'll have to put in the work and ensure that I'm happy with the quality of the work produced, and keep it under the tudung saji until it's ready.

That doesn't mean I won't be writing at all throughout the month. Sometimes I'll need to let some stuff go in the form of writing, here specifically. It's just that I just won't allocate as much time to doing just that.

I wish for a good month ahead to all of you who are reading this. May we all find what we are looking for.

Monday, June 15, 2015


It has become really like me to vanish for a longer time than usual from the blog right after I write about how much I like or want to write, kan? Oh wellz.

This time, however, was for a good reason (aren't they all?). I went to KL for the weekend to volunteer for EnglishJer's HundredHundred exhibition at the Cooler Lumpur Festival in Kuala Lumpur (of course).

Technically, HundredHundred was a writing competition where people from ages 15-26 were asked to submit their written pieces for an exhibition at the Cooler Lumpur Festival. The catch was that each piece of writing needed to be exactly one hundred words long. Only the top one hundred pieces were displayed at the exhibition. Some examples pieces from the exhibition are provided for you below:

Like I said earlier, that's the technical explanation. The reality of HundredHundred is to provide the youth a platform to craft their own narrative and share it with the general public. People in general have a perception towards the youth (that they are petty, juvenile, don't think about stuff at all, hidup mau enjoy saja, etc.) and although they might be true to some extent, the HundredHundred aims to expose the passer-by to a wider array of stories that the youth have to share. Their concerns range everywhere from not having anything to write, to missing their mothers, to wanting to forget their experience of being raped. Heavy stuff.

Providing this platform and having people care about what young people have to say, because whether one likes it or not, older people are going to die and these young people are the ones that are going to take their place. They are the ones that are going to be the adults and make nation-changing (if not world-changing) decisions. They are the ones whose opinions will be reported about in the newspapers, and the ones that people will soon write about and read about and look up to or disagree with. It's worth taking a look and paying attention, because they're going to get there someday, and when they do, you'd be glad to know what kinds of thoughts put on paper became their stepping stones to bigger and greater things.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Really Want To

I get asked "so you're not making any videos anymore?" Often nowadays, since it's been quite a while since I last uploaded a video on the youtube channel. I usually answer with a "too tired from work" or "don't got ideas oredi" or even "everything I have to say now would end up getting me thrown in jail". While they're all somewhat true, they're all not the main reason. The main reason is that I don't really want to make videos right now.

If I really wanted to do it, I would. I would disregard all the alasans I give myself, or work my way around them in order to make it happen anyway, because that's what people who really want to do something would go about it. What I seem to really want to do nowadays is write, and I try to do it almost everyday, regardless of whether I'm tired from work or if I don't have any ideas. I just do it anyway, because I really want to do it.

So if I really wanted to make videos, I'd pick a time when I'm not too tired to record, edit and upload (most realistically on weekends), and I could just write whatever I want that doesn't get me thrown in jail as a topic if the script, use the phone to record the video and audio, use the lights I have at my disposal and just go ahead and do it. I know how I would go about doing it, but I don't. And the how isn't really the struggle. The struggle is answering the why

Why do I write? Because I really want to. Why don't I make videos? Because I don't really want to. Quite simple, non?

What you really want to do is not reflected in what you say you want to do. It's reflected in what you're actually doing. So if you say that you want to jog half-an-hour every day, but you all you do is watch Youtube videos all day, then you don't really want to jog. You want to watch Youtube videos. Whether that's good or bad is up to you. But that's the reality of it.

So are we living consistently with what we preach? Do we say we want something yet do some other thing? Let's be honest with ourselves by actually doing the things we say, or at least don't say what we aren't doing.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Contemplating Dimensions And Quantum-ness

So today was great. I had an interview session in which I squeezed in a half-verse of rap, went to a meeting talking about some exciting new things that might happen in the not-so-distant future, hopefully. And I got to reflect upon how small and weak we are as human beings with the bestfriend.

Did you know (and I'm sure you do) that even though we're physically three-dimensional, we see in two-dimensions? Like when we see a car from the back, we can only see the back of said car. We can't (simultaneously) see both it's sides and it's front all at once. We'd have to more around and change our view in order to see those other sides, and one (or two, at most) at a time, and we can't go beyond that (unless you put a mirror somewhere there, but then again, the image on the mirror is also two-dimensional, so yeah).

This revelation by the bestfriend made me feel so small and weak, like, I'm a human, and as perfect as I tend to think I am, I can only see in 2D. I can only be in 3D, not see.

And this feeling of inferiority was only enhanced when we later talked about the Fermi Paradox (you and I should google that) and how it is very possible that for each grain of sand on all of Earth, there is another Earth out there in the universe (because it's just THAT vast), and how only 5% of the universe is observable, and how small we are as individual human beings when compared to a whole town, whole state, whole country, whole continent, whole planet, whole solar system, whole Milky Way, in comparison to the whole universe (that only makes up about 5% of existence). 

How do you not feel like even less than a speck of dust on the vast, vast windshield of life? How is existing significant? How do we bring meaning to ourselves and all the things that we hold dear to us? These are questions for everyone to dwell upon, and that pursuit has to bring some kind of meaning, no? 

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Of Writing And Originality

Of late, I've been feeling like I've run out of things to write about. Or, more specifically, I feel like I've already written everything that's on my mind in one way or another in some post that I've written in the past. I feel like if I were to write anything else now, it'll either be some form of plagiarism of something I've read elsewhere, or it'll be me repeating something I've said already on the blog. 

Of course, this is in some way both absolutely true and not true at all. Everything I have to say or have said in the past has been in some shape or form a regurgitation of what I've consumed in the past. Nothing about me has been completely original, and nothing I produce in the future shall be completely original, since I can't isolate myself - and consequently, my writing - from my environment, no matter how hard I tried. I am a product of the amalgamation of my environment and my influences. Me and what I have consumed up until now are inseperable.

The only thing original I have to offer is what it looks like from my eyes. If anyone else in the world were to take my place and grow up as me and go through exactly the same things I've been through, I'd like to think that they'd have the exact same points of view as me right now.

But the fact of the matter is, no one is capable of living as someone else so completely, so everyone has a unique window from which to see the world from, and that's the only bit of originality one can offer. When one tries to convey how the world looks like from someone else's window, now that's the only truly unoriginal thing one can do. 

But when one uses other peoples' view of the world to inform them of the world to enable them to have a clearer (or at least, more colourful) picture of the world and relay to everyone else what it looks like from their perspective, then it should be alright, no?

Quite the detour I seem to have taken from my opening sentences to this post. Which just proves (to myself, more than anyone else, really) that I haven't run out of things to write about. I can't possibly run out of things to write about, no matter how much I tried. If I ended up believing that, then it'd just be a signal for me to read more things and interact with more people, and think about more stuff because seriously, if I were to combine all of those topics in a list, it'd be limitless. Or rather, more realistically, I'd die before I'd have a chance to exhaust that list of possibilities in the form of the written word. It's just a matter of me wanting to do it enough or not. If I'm anywhere serious about being a writer, then I'd better start writing, yeah?

Friday, June 5, 2015

The Teachers Who Don't Comment

A couple of weeks ago (or was it just one?) a celebrity came under (online) fire when she said in a forum about education (in which she was a panelist) that caning was no longer relevant in schools. Let's talk about that for a bit, shall we?

When she said that can is no longer relevant in schools, it does imply that she believes that there was a time in the past when caning was relevant. It's just that little humans have now moved past that amd are ready to not be physically harmed for the sake of education. She may or may not believe that, but it is certainly what was implied with the way she put it.

But of course, I doubt that she was drawing from any empirical data when she said this. I, personally, have yet to come across a research paper that studied students' achievements based on the rate of being caned (maybe I should look into that). More probable is that she feels like it's no longer relevant. Parents that she's come across probably hardly lay a finger on their children, and they've turned out just fine, probably. Teachers in the Western world have abandoned the cane and they seem to be doing just fine as well. So it's a reasonable thing to believe that caning is no longer relevant in today's classrooms.

But then we have the Facebook commenters on the matter. The people that say things like "let's see how you fare in a classroom of 30 kids and no cane!" and "who's this uppity woman to say how teachers should and shouldn't do their job? The teachers know what they're doing! Leave them alone!" or maybe even "if I hadn't been caned (belted, chaired, hangered, etc.) when I was a kid, I wouldn't be the person that I am today". 

They have strong reasons to believe that the cane is the way to go. They can only see disaster coming from the banning of canes in schools. Kids will lose their sense of discipline, will become spoiled and will lack focus to excel in the classroom. They'll only play around and not take the teacher at all seriously and will grow up believing that they can get away with anything, since the worst that'll happen is probably a "time-out", whatever that means.

The biggest reason for them being as "successful" as they are at life now is because their teacher didn't spare them the cane. If it weren't the case, they argue, they'd probably be sniffing glue and asking strangers for money to buy more glue and be sleeping in some ditch somewhere. They believe that if they aren't caning their students, then chaos would reign in the classroom and their students wouldn't learn anything at all. It is what is called tough love. They don't do it out of spite. They do it out of the care in their hearts, to not see these kids ruin their own lives because they don't know what's good for themselves. They really do believe that, and who can blame them? That was how they were raised, and that is the only environment they were exposed to, so how could one expect life to be any different for anyone else?

But then, there are the teachers who, upon reading the news article of said celebrity, just shrug it off as a person saying whatever they want to say, and having every right to do that. The teachers who don't leave any comment because they know that their struggle isn't in the comment section. The teachers who don't try to seek validation in the form of likes on a Facebook status. The teachers who, when the bell rings, go right back at it in class and give it their best to do what they think is best for the students. The teachers who realise that they are only capable of making the tiniest of significant change in the lives of the students that they teach (if they're lucky), but it's that tiny significant change that bring them joy and fulfillment and strength to go through another day of helping others, inspiring others to be better than they were the day before and develop a love towards knowledge. The teachers who are more interested in having their names inscribed into their children's hearts than in the comment section.

Those are the teachers that deserve the most likes, and yet, so often are overlooked because they didn't bother posting a comment.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Mesin Gan

So my brother came back home for the weekend, and we ended up making a song. If you want to hear the song, click here to open it in a new tab. The lyrics to the song are as follows:

Petiklah sejambak kata
bina suatu yang belum wujud dalam dunia
gerakkan badan dan minda semua
yang sedang tekun menadah telinga
ceritakan kepada mereka
apa yang terbuku dalam sukma
pastinya tak mudah
tapi dalam pergelutan ada rahmatnya
bila difikirkan ditanya
apa tujuan aku berada
disini di alam fana
dimana semua sementara
kumasih disini menunggu untuk kembali kepadaNya
biar apa terjadi pun ku tetap berserah

Izinkanku keluar semua
alangkah mudahnya jika kita
semua diberi peluang kedua
biar putih tulang
curahkan, tempuhlah
kutetap tebalkan
poket ku kebal dan
iman pun nak kental
nak lawan kan dajjal
biarkan tertinggal
kuambil mesin gan
tewaskan sikap melepas batuk di hujung dunia.


I like making songs with my brother. He's one of the more talented people I know when it comes to writing songs and lyrics. He's definitely miles ahead of me, at the very least. Just look at his part compared to mine. So much more poetic and creative in his choice of words and the way he manipulates phrases. I especially like the "melepas batuk di hujung dunia" bit at the end there. A stroke of brilliance, that. He even made up the guitar parts. All I did was hit record and write my own weak piece of lyric.

As far as lyric-writing is concerned, my brother's the benchmark I put for myself. I have to be able to write as well as he does. Anything less is just plain disappointing. I do understand that I don't want to write like him. There's no fun in trying to make the same stuff other people do. I just want to write as well as him. It won't be easy, and it'll take a lot of practice for someone as untalented as I am, but I'll have to go through all that if I'll ever hope to be any good at this thing I've set my sights on.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Frog Classroom

So recently an initiative called the Frog Classroom (twitter handle: @FrogClassroom15) tweeted to me what they were working on, and after watching a video about it (click here to open the video in an new tab), I've been interested in the good work they're doing.

They go to target schools and they pick a class that is in dire need of a makeover, and turn that classroom into a really cool classroom with laptops and a smart-board and air-conditioning. Even a punching bag was installed, which was a nice touch, in my opinion. 

What I like about the project is that it empowers students to learn for themselves. It takes the teacher out of the picture, and even though I am myself a teacher, I always find students who are capable of finding things out on their own to be ahead of the pack and show a hunger for knowledge that is always welcome in any living person in the 21st century. Not to say that the teacher is unimportant, but because knowledge can be acquired so easily nowadays, students shouldn't wait to be spoonfed everything by their teachers anymore. Teachers are there to facilitate learning and guide the students in the right direction.

If students really utilise that room well, a lot of potential can be realised. It's a conducive learning environment, where comfort and ease of learning is emphasised, so it shouldn't be too hard for students to get used to it. Of course, it is still up to the teachers to show them the way and help them learn how to learn. Having this room will indeed help tremendously in that regard.

Some of the more predictable challenges that this initiative will face is the issue of sustainability (in regards to cost, especially), as well as how freely students shall be able to use the room. It is, after all, only one room for the entire school. I'm sure they're addressing (or at least trying to address) those concerns and more as we speak. 

What is more important, however, is that such an initiative exists, and it would be in the best interest of the general public if they were to get behind the project and support them in any way they can. Besides that, other such initiatives should follow this example. If this movement inspires others to do something similar, if not better, than that'd be most beneficial, to the school-students, if nobody else.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Majlis Persaraan Thoughts

So earlier today there was this "majlis persaraan" thing for a teacher at my school. The usual stuff ensued (cue sad music, sad-sounding MC, the life-story of retiree). The retiree couldn't make it to the assembly, but we held it anyway, in memory of his long service to the school.

What caught me about the whole thing was the life-story bit. The person on the mic started with something clichéd like "dilahirkan pada bla bla bla di bla bla bla didalam keluarga yang bla bla ba" and I zoned out to have a little swim with my thoughts.

It's usually the same old same old when it comes to majlis-majlis persaraan in schools. Through my 10 years spent as a student in Malaysian schools and couple of years in school as a teacher, it's more or less like what I mentioned above. The template doesn't vary very much. And there'll always be the listing down of the retiree's life achievements while they were in the work force. And when I thought about this, I asked myself "when people read out your life highlights in your majlis persaraan, how many points will they have to talk about? Will it be something like: lahir, belajar, kerja, kawen, bersara then tunggu mati? What am I going to do with my time here while I'm still young and able? How is my life story going to inspire others? What will be my legacy?"

These questions are all ambitious ones, and I think that reveals me to be somewhat of an ambitious person. I can only attribute that to my surroundings and the people I have been exposed to and that have inspired me. I aspire to be somewhat like them in a sense that I want to work towards making this world a better place and help other people feel like they can achieve things if they really put their minds to it and work hard towards achieving their goals.

And I do understand that some people find that the lahir-belajar-kawen-kerja-bersara-mati lifestyle to be the one they are most comfortable with, and to that I say more power to them. Different people look for different things in life, and no one's inherently better than anyone else in that regard. As long as we strive to contribute positive things to our surroundings, that's a massive thumbs-up already.

May we all find what we are looking for.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Sembang Kencang Dua Kawan (Part 2)

To read PART 1, click here.

"Bro, aku pi hantaq petikan buku tu kat ex aku. Of all the things yang dia boleh cakap, dia kata:

Awak bile awak banyak berfikir, perkara ni akan timbul persoalan, dan bile tak dapat solve, soalan lain pulak akan timbul, dan seterusnye. Kite muhasabah diri. Bile awak asyik berfikir bende ni, sampai bile nak habis? Saye faham tu semue, tapi saye takleh nak describe and tak tahu macam mane nak cakap. Hati saye sakit sangat. Saye rase saye lelaki yang dayus bile saye sendiri takleh nak cube ubah ape-ape pade awak. Yang saye rase cume lelaki bodoh. Tapi dah tu hak awak dan awak berkeras dengan ape yang awak nak. Tu pade hati awak sendiri untuk berubah.

I told him that I didn't want to change him. Yet, he still talks about changing me. Help me give a punch to his face, please? Sigh. One part of me kata memang patut pun aku break up dengan dia. Another part kata .. jahat sangat ka aku ni?"

"Ada orang panggil benda tu keras kepala. Ada orang panggil benda tu berprinsip. Ikut atas orang nak tengok macam mana. The way I see it, thinking constantly has become part of your character, your identity. Denying that – or trying to change it – would be denying you as a person terus. Not that I'm saying that change is a bad thing. But imposing your will on others, in this case, making other people change their identity because they don't feel comfortable with it, then that's not positive at all. It's wanting a person to do something they don't want to do, or are incapable of doing. Macam asking a fish to stop swimming. Tak syok ah macam tu."

"I guess. Macam Hlovate kata: I don't say 'take a bite from my plate, chew, telan, then talk' for no reason. Aku mungkin justify tindakan aku as prinsip and nampak dia sebagai keras kepala. And vice versa for him."

"Yeah, the issue is perselisihan pandangan, essentially. Thing about it is, takdak masalah apa pun kalau we find out that we're uncomfortable with the way someone is. Kalau tak suka sangat, jauhkan diri ajalah. No need for animosity. All that's required is the acceptance of the fact that you weren't made for each other, and then moving on with your lives."

"Aku move on, sebab aku dah tak rasa terkilan apa-apa. I've tried my best untuk cari titik persamaan tu, tapi tak jumpak jugak. So I'm kinda happy ja sebenaqnya. Cuma petikan daripada buku tu ajalah that caused an uproar. Haha."

"Indeed it did."

"Hm. Benda yang kita percaya ni bukan terlalu idealistik kan? Possible ja kan untuk capai level of understanding yang macam tu?"

"I think so."

"Aku risau sebab being this idealistic person, kadang-kadang aku takut aku terlalu positive and tak sedar hakikat dunia yang terlalu disgusting. Tapi, at the same time, aku rasa, salah ka ka nak have faith in humanity?"

"It is possible, but it takes time, and it takes trust. Tapi dalam manoeuvring the world ni kita kena set benda-benda yang kita tak akan tolerate. Limits, so to speak. Contohnya, I won't tolerate orang yang anggap perempuan ni ialah inferior to men dan hanya layak dijadikan objek seks semata-mata. An extrem example, but still an example lah. And dalam hal ex hang ni, thing about him is that he isn't willing to grow and be more mature when it comes to matters of the mind. Aku takkan kisah kalau dia sekadar classmate aku ka, jiran ka apa. Tapi sebagai pasangan hidup, takleh. Aku ada my own set of standards, and – after acknowledging that nobody is perfect, first and foremost – aku hanya akan marry to a person that will, at the end of the day, make me feel good berdamping dengannya, and help me become a better person. Realitinya, manusia yang macam tu wujud ja dalam dunia ni. It's not idealist to accept the fact that they exist. Realist ja, sebenaqnya. Cuma realitinya ialah orang macam tu, orang macam the ones we look up to, tak ramai. Dalam Malaysia lagi al jarang aku jumpak. Tapi ada ja. People, for the most part, do suck. But it;s a question of why you're going to keep on holding on to and working towards what you believe in. Selagi that why is strong, you'll be heading in a positive direction."

"Wah, kita memang kalau bab sembang ni kencang ja noh? Haha!"

"Taw takpa! Haha!"

"Well, to respond, the reason kenapa aku nak percaya ada orang yang se-level pemikiran macam tu lagi ialah sebab aku nak jadi manusia yang better. Kalau aku nak baiki diri, aku kena duduk dalam environment yang positive. Then aku boleh bantu orang untuk cuba tengok dunia dari pandangan yang positive jugak. Aku tak suka dunia yang pernah aku rasa. Nak create dunia baru. Tapi aku sedaq, bukan senang. So I need to think of the small steps. And finding a great husband and building a great family is one of those steps. Hahaha!"

"That's a very positive thing to hold on to. I hope you find that great husband and are able to create that great family with him."

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Sembang Kencang Dua Kawan

"So ada petikan daripada buku ni yang aku dok baca ni. Nah aku bagi hang baca:

You're so immature, Daniel," she mutters. She flips the visor down and pulls her lipstick from her purse, then begins to reapply it. "I'm beginning to wonder if you'll ever change."


What the hell is that supposed to mean?

"Why would I change?" I ask, cocking my head out of curiosity.

She sighs and drops her lipstick back into her purse, smacks her lips together, then turns towards me. "So you're telling me you're happy with the way you act?"

"This is me," I say, gesturing towards myself. "If you don't like all of me, then we've got serious issues, Val. I'm not changing and honestly, it wouldn't be fair of me to ask you to change, either. I would never ask you to pretend to be something you're not, which is exactly what you're asking of me right now. I'm not changing and I'll never change."

Hang rasa, kan, ex aku rasa macam ni ka bila aku mintak dia berubah? Haha"

"Mungkin. Tapi realitinya, change is the inevitable product of growth. If you want to grow, you're going to have to change, in one way or another. A refusal to change — by saying things like "I'll never change!" — shows a refusal to grow."

"Kan? Siapa betul, siapa salah? Or perlu ka ada persoalan betul atau salah? Justifikasi ka yang menentukan? If so, apa standard justifikasi yang tepat? Or dalam hidup ni, kita memang akan hadapi situasi camni and you just live with it as long as you love that someone? If that is so, valid ka cinta yang macam tu? Wouldn't it be like you're just enduring each others' bullshit sebab takut single? Atau akan ada satu level where walaupun perangai macam apa lagi, tapi sebab sayang, i tak kisah? Kentut pun jadi wangi? Haha. But then, those kinds of relationships, depa akan bergaduh besar bila dah married over silly things, possibly leading to a lot of unhappiness. Tak gitu? I guess my question is, what is right and what is wrong?"

"Bagi aku, there is no real right and wrong. Or at least, it's not the same for everybody. Different people find different things wrong — and right. And for the same people pun, it's not the same for every context. Orang yang sama akan find the same thing both right and wrong, depending on the time, and the place they're in, or the situation in which the issue arises. I think, especially in a marriage, both parties need to have an understanding of where dia punya pasangan nak pi, apa yang depa nak buat dengan each others' lives, and to take on the responsibility of helping their pasangan achieve what they want to achieve in life – both this one and the next – to support each other in times of trouble, to encourage and help each other punya life. Kalau ada satu pihak yang tak mampu atau tak sanggup nak buat camtu, then it won't work. Ni pandangan peribadi aku ja, seorang yang belum berkahwin, so aku sembang kencang ja ni sebenaqnya. Haha."

"Tu biasa bro. Sembang kencang memang kerja kita. Haha. Hm. So, pada pandangan hang la, okay ka tak okay keputusan aku to break it off dengan dia? Betul ka salah? Aku maw jawapan honest as usual. Jangan menipu, tak baik."

"Takdaknya aku nak menipu!"

"Haha, mana taw, kot-kot walaupun dah 8 tahun kenai, hang dok buat rasa serba salah nak jujurlah padakuuu~ Peringat ajalah, suruh jujur."

"Okay ja. Aku rasa you made the right choice. He wasn't right for you. Or at the very least, not yet. Pandangan aku sebagai kawan: you deserve better."

"Thanks atas kejujuran hang. I find it weird when some people rasa tak selesa terima honest answers. How do they live, half knowing that people are lying straight to their faces?"

"Yeah, aku pun takmaw orang tipu aku. Especially kawan. Tu yang aku cuba sedaya upaya untuk tak tipu orang. Especially kawan."

"Okay, aku taktaw pasai pa, tapi aku rasa macam nak gelak. Hahaha!"