Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A Taste of Heaven

I was about 4 or 5 then, but I remember the day my mother brought me to the school she was teaching. Why she had done so I cannot remember. Nor can I remember whether I had been more than a handful in her class that day. But I must have been.

Sometime during that day, she led me to a bench in the school canteen and later handed me a snack and a carbonated drink. I remember that part so clearly even now as though it was only yesterday: on my right hand, I was holding a kacang epang and my left a bottle of ice cream soda. Both, had the taste which would appeal to any kid of that age and I was no exception. Though the very meaning of the word was lost to me then, it was, a heavenly experience.

As time pass by and along with it, the age of innocence, I began to learn that heavenly experience is not within an earthly grasp, but that heaven is.

Somewhere along the line between then and present, I also learnt that when the Prohpet Adam (a.s.) came out of heaven, he brought along with him 3 heavenly items: an Olive tree, a Date tree and Honey. While the fruits of the olive is not well known nor easily available here, the date and honey are in abundance especially during the month of Ramadhan.

Is not only norm but encouraged for muslims to break their fast with dates. This is not only in following the tradition of the Prohpet Muhammad (s.a.w.) but also for the nutritious effect of the fruit itself. Throughout this whole month the date is eagerly eaten, only to be equally and easily forgotten when Ramadhan draws to an end. It is as though the month of Syawal is the much more eagerly awaited month - a month of joyous festivity and endless television entertainment?

True, it is the month of Syawal we muslims celebrate. But the celebration is meant for the dedication in and for the month of Ramadhan. To be precise, it is only the 1st day of Syawal the celebration is called for.

In the month of Ramdhan, muslims are to self-impose restrain and discipline against the lust and temptations of this world. In reward for these acts which if performed in sincerity, Allah bestows the faithfuls His forgiveness, mercy and bounty. It is then I find it neither strange nor surprising that several friends weep with the departure of this month as though one would with a lover.

Try as I might I constantly find myself falling and failing to attain the platform they have. Perhaps, though I may not taste heaven here on earth, I hope and pray, I may even if just, grasp it. InsyAllah.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

A Belly Dancer No More...

Got home late afternoon yesterday. As per my normal routine, the first thing I would do once I shut the gate is to look at the fishes in the water tank. To my horror, the Big Momma, I found her floating sideways like some floatsam or debris of a shipwreck. Almost as quickly I pulled her out with a net and placed her in a pale of water.

Now, a House or Becker I am definitely not. But, eventhen I could tell she was not well and wondered if I should administer CPR on her. Then, on second thoughts, I decided to wait till tomorrow and send her to the vet.

Later that evening, I walked out to check on her, and she was gone! No, I mean she disapeared! A quick lookaround the bushes and drain failed to show any signs of criminal activity by those feline creatures that regularly visit my house since the water tank was brought over. A tinge of sadness crept in and daylight too failed to show any signs. Nothing I can do now, except mull over her disapearance.

The Big Momma, she's a belly dancer no more.

Sunday, October 09, 2005


The more the world revolves
the older it gets
With old age
it inevitably dies
To defer death
it stops revolving
Only to die an abrupt
and violent death
"Why then," it ask

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Of Fishes, Life and the ISA

Used to hate rearing fishes as pets. Not for any other reason, but that most people some years back would keep several fishes in a bowl no larger than the size of well, one's head. Then, there's the type of fish itself: in all probability it would be a fat goldfish wobbling its way around as though its the aquaworld version of a belly dancer. Except that if I were a fish, I would not be caught dead paying to watch the, er, bellydance. But time passes by and so do circumstances of one's life.

When we shifted to this new place, my brother sent his aquarium over as he needed to make some extra space. Measuring somewhat 3 feet by 2 feet and with a depth of about a foot, it's more like a water tank rather than an aquarium. But contained within this tank is a small universe of life that now holds me spellbound: several Tiger Barbs and Mirror Fish lives alongside some 20 other fishes and their mother, a wobbly big momma which is humongous in comparison to the newly-hatched fries of the eggs she lay every 4,5 days or so.

A Jacques Cousteau I will never be, but I've come to observe the life and am amazed at times at how these fishes adapt to changes within their environment brought about by birth and death of not only their kins, but also the plants that occupy the space within; I cannot help but wonder how these very fishes would react were they to be released into a river: would they still confine their lives to the same width and length of this tank, or would they travel span of the river?

Life, whether aquatic or not, is a journey of discovery. Whether one choose to take the fateful step each day, is a choice one makes from a choice one has and the freedom to make such choice.

For the fishes in the tank, the freedom to make such a choice may never avail itself - life to them, is meant to be within this confined space. And unless God gives them the ability to think as human, they may never know another world outside this tank. But that itself is another trap. For the very ability to think and comprehend, that life do exist outside the tank, and that very ability to think and comprehend, that it is doomed to live within the confine of a space which can be suffocating, is a sad notion I'd rather not explore anymore.

It is on the same platform that my tought drift to the people incarcerated for crimes which they may or may not have committed. And it is not the criminals convicted of civil or war crimes that I refer to; for having been convicted means due process of the law was followed and that their incarceration is meant for the good of the many. The people that my heart goes to are those held in detention without trials to convict or vindicate.

Nik Adli Dato Nik Abd Aziz, Solehan Abdul Ghafar, Mohd Lothfi Ariffin, Mohd Rafi Udin, Mohd Zulkifli Mohd Zakaria Zainon Ismail and Zid Sharani Mohd Isa, are names of 7 individuals I have never met. However, having read several accounts with some rather humiliating I question their 4 years in detention which the government have just extended to another 2: what are their crimes? If true they are guilty as the authorities so asserts, then, by all means, put them on trial and let the judgement be passed by the judiciary system. Let they not be waiting in vain for the freedom which they are denied. Let not their family suffer in loneliness of absence of a father or a husband that is rightly theirs.

Each morning as we sip our coffee or tea alongside our loved ones, imagine the families of the detainess who sit through the hardship of life without theirs.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Let's Bring Back Singapore

Johnson Fernandez's column in Sunday Mail today has a good point: Let's bring back Singapore to compete in Malaysia. I could not but agree with him. If we were to reflect back, Malaysian socer fortune did begin to take the tumble since Singapore and Brunei's exit from the Malaysian soccer scene. The intense rivalry created Singapore's presence seemed to exude the best not only for Selangor, but also all the other teams then; each bent on wanting to scalp Singapore (and Selangor) for the glory it brings.

I am certain that there'll be arguments about bringing Singapore back. For one, the matter of Malaysia Cup honours should stay within the boundary of Malaysia. Agreed! Back then, the only honours available WAS the Malaysia Cup. All teams compete in a single league format where the top eight then qualify for the Malaysia Cup play-offs. That was then. Now, we have 4 honours: League Champion, Charith Shield, The FA Cup, and the presigeous Malaysia Cup!

If the above argument does stand true, then let Singapore and Brunei compete in the Premier and Super League only. To spice things further, let there be another honours: The Champions Cup. Here, the winner of each honours battle it out against each other.

On an off-note, I sure would like to do something stupid one of these days, and this is for all the MU fans out there: if God give me the foresight to the rare defeat MU suffer, I would like to be sitting amongst them screaming and yelling "Yes!, Yes!, Yes!" Except that, I'll need to purchase a Medical and Hospitalisation Insurance beforehand :)

FA Cup Final

Saw the FA Cup Final between Selangor and Perak. I must say, though the game was patch at times, it nevertheless was an exciting match and perhaps one of the best local soccer games I've watched in a long time.

As a Selangorian, off course I am happy. But I would be happier had the scorers of both Selangor and Perak, had been a local player. I have nothing against the imports for their presence certainly helped lift the local games. But I also believe that the imports should serve as a support for the locals and not the other way around. It is only in that manner would our locals shine.

Friday, September 23, 2005

An Uncommon Sense

Just prior to stepping into this CC, I had, in my mind, planned several things to write about. But soon as I stepped in, whoosh!, everthing disapeared like smoke and I am now left wondering what to write. But write, I must, for my soul is screaming like a bald eagle. Only, the eagle does that when he's soaring high while I'm on an all-week low. Maybe I should just join the 'Screaming Eagles' of 101st Airborne. Afterall, any fool would be screaming their lungs out when they're forced to jump out of a plane several thousand feet in the air! Then again, as much as I admire anyone who's able to do that, no thank you; a steeplejack even with a parachute I am not. At my age now, I need the feel of solid ground under my feet. Now, this brings us to...

Hey Annonymous and Rhumbaaddict! Glad to see you both dropped in and thank you for the comments. I must admit though, when I first read them, I did not know how to reply and almost withdrew myself. To be honest, I very seldom ever received kind words. Verbal abuses however, are aplenty as Totally Depleted would testify. And, Annonymous, don't mind him, he's just trying to help me along here. By the way, do people write as I did in this para on their blog?

Had a lunch meeting with several people the other day somewhere near KLCC. One of them, a young non-practicing medical doctor, presented a vision he has. What the vision and the business associated with it, I am unable to disclose here out of respect and privacy for the doctor. However, what he mentioned afterwards is what I would like to share.

"The world is changing too rapidly" the Dr said.
"Though this may pretty much be a cliche, not many realise the effect of the statement" he added.

Now, what happened next may not be savoury to some, so please be warned.

With the hot sun and a heavy lunch settling in nicely in my tummy, I was prepared to be serenaded to a nice afternoon nap by his talk. This however did not come true when he asked me how I relieve myself in the toilet. Seem a pretty stupid question, I thought. However I replied I do it like anyone else, sitting on the bowl. Er, that is the norm, is it not? Apparently no.

Sitting on the bowl, it seems, is only the norm when you are trained to do so and within the confines of the environment that avails itself. A man raised in the modern environment of an urban area may grow up thinking that such is the norm and should only therefore be common sense. But he forget or could not conciously remember that he was trained for such environment. The situation would be different were he brought up in a rural area, say 20 years ago.

Then, many rural communities were still using the 'squat'. A boy from the rural area sent for secondary schooling in an urban area would face this question: How on Earth do you use the sitting bowl? As though to strengthen his story, he admits to having had to face this dilema when he was 13 and came to a decision which made perfect sense to him: he squatted on the sitting bowl!

Ok, I was begining to wonder, what's his point?

A country, in reaching for development, should teach its people what the development is and how to use them. People - the mass, he means - are largely an ignorant lot. They need to and want to be taught how to use even the simplest of items at times. To emphasise on this he mentioned the humble mobile phone.

Mobile Service providers have been running countless promotion especially on the television, trying to teach and encourage the public on ways which they can use their mobile phone even if it is just for the short-messaging (sms). The fact that there is a financial gain is not the matter here. There matter is, people began to understand that one can do more than just talk on their mobile phone.

Hmm...sounds like a real advertisement already :)

Likewise with simple trust, love, courtesy and respect. All religion and beliefs share a common ground on these. Yet youth of today seem to misplace their trust, love the wrong thing and have no courtesy nor respect. If a child is left to grow in the street environment of today, he would grow up thinking that profanities and other undesirable elements are a common thing; an uncommon thing becomes common when the society allow it.

Phew! Heavy stuff, I thought to myself. Where are we heading to?

A man in part of the community. The community part of the society. It is the society that makes the nation. Therefore it is the duty of the man to help steer his community, the community its society, and the society their country to the desired direction.

When you encounter an unruly behaviour, do the uncommon thing: befriend the poor soul. If he gives you the rebuff, well, that would be a common thing, wouldn't it? If we do it to the point of it being a common thing, chances are the rebuffs would slowly become uncommon.

Let's change, bring back the society to what is commonly good for all and not for individuals only.

Yeah, sure...along with a common black eye! But, he does have a point. For too long I've heard my friends lament about the youths of today. Day in day out the media report moral decay and what not. Yet, who or what have had the galls of, not telling these very youths of their so called misdeed, but showing them how to do what is morally right? In a world where common sense is limited to a particular environment, the Dr's uncommon sense does relate. Problem is, where do we begin?

Here and now!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Two of A Kind?

I'm still trying to put things in perspective here. When Totally Depleted persuaded me to get my own blog, I thought he's as crazy as they come. I mean, who the heck would want to read from a nobody? I wouldn't! Well, truth is, I'm just to lazy to be searching for any nobody out there. Most especially from a nobody who has not written anything decent for the past 3 years.

Not that it was excellent or even near it, but my English has deteriorated way beyond salvage. At the time when I need it most, I am now constantly lost for the correct words to use. So, here I am, like a scuba diver trying to rescue the (uuurgh!) Titanic and getting sucked into deeper water every single second.

But hey! I do love writing, if anything just to be able to pour my soul out onto the paper...er, screen, keyboard...whatever. Just that, for the present moment till - hopefully - sometime in November 2005, I have to do my pouring in the voluminious and sometimes horrifying din of a cybercafe. For a guy who's used to being cocooned in the solitude of what Totally Depleted would call 'a cell in an assylum', this cc is proving to be more than a culture shock for me. In fact, its damn irritating and downright maddening here.

This CC has about 30 consoles or so. Now, imagine yourself immersed deep in blissful thoughts of er, whatever :), with the screen and keyboard infront of you at your dispose, the Sprite can in your left hand and the index finger of your right hand sms-ing away to friends who somehow pick this exact time to be bugging you. All of a sudden, boom! The nearly empty cc burst to life with, now, let's count: 1) Some form of music - Malay, Chinese, Japanese and English, in a cacophony of Malaysian culture? 2) Some very loud sound effects eminating from some 7 consoles 3) Laughters of several kids as they battle out in a make-believe world they desperately want to believe its real 4) Shouting and screaming of profanities and abuse by the very same kids thinking that such language is a portrayal of their close bonding. 5) The welcome sound of Yahoo Messenger (just because I was a Chatter in it bring back memories).

You put all those in a single sheet of A4 paper and hand it to Leo Burnett or some reputable advertising advertising agencies and voila!, they'll turn it into an excellent masterpiece of an advertisement. Only thing is, they've got to find a cc with RM1,000,000 to spend! Good luck to them, me, I'd rather my cocoon anytime. Except, I can't :(

Just like Rhumbaaddict, my mum and I have just moved into a new area. Don't get me wrong, I really do not have any complaints at all about this new area. In fact, I would rate it close to an excellent neighbourhood minus several notches. My main setback here is that there is no ficed-line yet! Hence, there's no Streamyx or any other internet service providers at all! Sitting in this cc, I cannot even hear myself think at all!

Rhumbaddict, wherever you're shifting to, I pray you'll have internet access there. Otherwise, we're really two of a kind :)

Hmmm...another Dawn?

Hmm...this seem to be another begining for me, of sorts. Here I am, infront of the screen, I must add yet again, in another attempt at relieving my tormented soul of the small displeasures of life. Hey, right or wrong, it is my point of view. And, like those many other tormented souls out there with a blog of their own, we write what we feel...or think!

I used to be a copywriter; then I thought I was in heaven, happily tapping the keyboard to try and fit into the customers' brief. That too, had the suits - those Account Executives - got it right. But that's an old story. Now, a friend has inflenced me to put my own blog, for whatever its worth. I'm quietly hoping that it will be a new start for me. Dawn, are you there?