Followers

Mighty Jacksparrow is an Earth-based sub-intergalactic blogger who enjoys writing and in the same time entertaining his ever-amusing will-kill-to-read fans with sensationally hilarious and at times dramatic musings. This blog offers endless ideas and results; they might be charming most of the times but could be offending in some others. Therefore, it is always noble to remind that if you enjoy the pieces, carry on reading, but if they upset you, do quietly leave like the evening breeze and not like exploding diarrhea, which exactly what you will look like if you ever lose it on me. Enjoy! :D

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

GST?

Ada orang tanya (baca: cuba hasut) saya berkenaan implementasi GST hari ini, dan adakah saya sudah bersedia menghadapi kenaikan harga.

Saya kata sudah. Habis saya nak kata apa lagi? Kalau kata tak sedia lagi, benda dah nak jadi. Jadi saya kata saya dah sedialah. Mau tak mau kena bayar juga. Dia tarik muka.

Dia kata, yalah kau orang kaya, duit banyak.

Saya kalau bukan fikir yang dia ini kawan saya sendiri, saya dah hempuk kepala dia dengan kerusi.

Sejak bila saya orang kaya. Saya tak kaya dan saya bukan anak orang kaya. Mak ayah saya pencen gomen. Saya tak ada kerja tetap serta masih belajar, dan bergantung hidup hanya kepada biasiswa pelajaran semata-mata. Kalau saya ada dapat projek engineering kecil-kecil, dapatlah saya duit saku sedikit. Kalau tidak, tak ada.

Saya sedar saya tak banyak duit, jadi saya pun kurangkan makan di luar. Kalau gula pasir dan gula perang di rumah, boleh tahan 3-4 minggu sepeket. Setin susu pekat tahan seminggu. Beras yang saya beli awal tahun hari tu 30kg, sampai ke hari ini berbaki. Nescafe, kopi, teh pun tahan lama.

Yang selalu habis, makanan kucing. Saya beli Tesco punya makanan kucing. Satu beg 3.5kg baru dalam RM25. Satu bulan satu beg, itupun kalau tak ramai warga kucing gelandangan dan separa kebuluran yang datang bertandang. Kalau tidak, 2 minggu dah habis.

Tuhan kata, Aku yang beri kamu rezeki. Nabi kata, bersedekahlah dan beri makan. Saya buat saja. Nabi kata apa yang kita syukuri dan kita sedekahkan akan kita dapat balik berkali ganda.

Pasal rezeki, insya Allah saya tak kusut. Kereta saya yang dah 15 tahun umurnya tu pun masih boleh berjalan jauh. Perbelanjaan saya teramat kecil, setanding dengan pendapatan saya yang sekelumit. Paling mahal pun rumah sewa sajalah.

Alhamdulillah isteri saya pun tak banyak songeh. Makan tak memilih. Apa dihidang atas meja, dia sapu. Dia lagi suka pergi kedai jual plastik dan barang pelik-pelik macam Daiso dan Mr DIY berbanding untuk ke shopping complex. Baju mekap dia, dia pandai cari diskaun.

Jadi hidup saya mudah, alhamdulillah. Hutang pun belum ada. Lagipun saya jenis yang kalau saya tak ada duit, saya tak berbelanja. Ada hikmah saya belum kerja lagi, jadi bank pun tak bagi saya pakai kad kredit. Mungkin kerana itu saya tak terasa sangat beban GST. Dan dengan adanya GST ini jugalah saya kini ada sebab nak berusaha kuat sedikit cari rezeki.

Kawan-kawan dah ada kereta besar, rumah besar, barang mahal-mahal. Saya cuma ada kebun kecil tempat saya bercucuk tanam bila lapang, seekor kucing kecil yang tempang kakinya, seorang isteri yang awesome dan tugas dan tanggungjawab yang saya minat buat di universiti.
Hidup sekadar mampu, beli apa yang perlu.

Percaya dengan yakin rezeki Tuhan yang bagi. Ada satu kali saya makan nasi lauk ayam di kedai mamak, dan ayam itu saya bagi pada seekor mak kucing yang dah sarat nak meletup sangat dah. Saya sempat gigit sikit saja ayam tu. Tak apalah, dah rezeki dia. Tiga hari berturut-turut selepas tu, ada saja saya dijamu makan. Orang belanja lah, makanan lebih mesyuarat lah, kenduri lah apa lah. Semuanya berlaukkan ayam. Satu sen pun saya tak keluar belanja.

Sama ada berkait dengan mak kucing tadi, wallahualam.

Sekiranya GST ini baik ataupun tidak untuk kita, kita pohon agar Tuhan permudahkan perjalanan hidup kita, agar kita tidak sesak dan pening kepala, semoga kita tidak lupa bersedekah, dan semoga kita sering dihujani dengan rezeki yang tidak disangka-sangka. Amiin.


Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Mesyuarat

Kita ini banyak sangat mesyuarat.

Minum pagi, mesyuarat kedai kopi. Masuk kerja, bos panggil mesyuarat. Keluar mesyuarat dah nak tengahari. Periksa emel, dapat peringatan tentang mesyuarat waktu petang. Karang lepas kerja, mesyuarat kedai kopi dengan kawan-kawan sampai ke malam. Baru nak tidur, dapat SMS daripada bos berkenaan mesyuarat esok pagi. Hujung minggu, mesyuarat parti/NGO/rukun tetangga/kelab dan sebagainya.

Ada kalanya, kita bermesyuarat hanya untuk memilih hari, masa dan tempat untuk mesyuarat akan datang.

Dan selalunya bila ada mesyuarat, ada lah makan-makan sikit. Itu pun nak kena buat mesyuarat lain untuk bincang apa jenis makanan dan siapa yang kena uruskan makan-makan semua tu.

Kadang-kadang bila kita tak ada mesyuarat, bila kita talipon kawan/kekasih, dia balas pula, "maaf, dalam mesyuarat".

Masa di tempat kerja paling banyak terbuang dalam mesyuarat. Kadang-kadang benda yang tak melibatkan kita pun, kita tetap dipanggil masuk mesyuarat. Paling sakit jiwa, bila orang yang kena ada dalam mesyuarat tu tak datang, maka terpaksalah tunda mesyuarat sampai ke mesyuarat yang akan datang.

Punya banyak mesyuarat, sampaikan kita kena tanya kawan kerja kita bila dia soal sesuatu yang dibincangkan dalam mesyuarat dengan, "mesyuarat yang mana satu?"

Sampaikan dalam mesyuarat pun, boleh ada mesyuarat kecil lain di kalangan puak-puak berlainan di dalam mesyuarat tersebut, yang mana satu pihak bermesyuarat berkenaan pihak satu lagi yang juga bermesyuarat berkenaan pihak pertama tadi, di dalam mesyuarat besar yang disertai dua pihak tersebut.

Dan ini setentunya akan mengundang ketegangan antara dua pihak atau lebih, yang mana isu ini hanya akan selesai apabila dibincangkan bersama di dalam satu sesi khas yang juga berbentuk mesyuarat.

Sudahlah. Cukup sampai sini saja dulu. Dah lewat ni. Saya ada mesyuarat.


Friday, March 27, 2015

Stupid


The one thing that the education system of this country has achieved is to produce the so called highly qualified graduates with no spare for comments on entirely everything.

While it is acceptable to give out opinions on certain things, it is also customary to keep the mouth shut at times. Despite this otherwise very easy knowledge and skill, it seems that it has become common that many people will point out many others' mistakes in public in return for credits for being somewhat sharp, insightful and knowledgeable. 

Often times the posts in Twitter and Facebook and other forms of social media slam on a certain individual or a group, both in polite and impolite ways. It is not very difficult to scroll down the timeline and see someone posting something saying that a certain someone is at wrong (the writer with hopes to be seen as all time right) and the likes. 

Ranging from certain issues, from love spats to trivial and repeating events, the political posts are by far the worst. When you see a political post in your timeline, chances are that there will be vulgarities and a whole handful of bashing from one side to another and in reverse. Strangely enough, some of these come from individuals who are 'highly' educated.

Let me recall this one phrase I learned back in the days: no wise man would call other men stupid.

Bear in mind that being educated does not mean one can belittle others. After all, just how high is highly educated? I am at the highest point in the pillar of academics, and still I have doubts to call others as stupid, bodoh, dumb, bloody fool whatsoever. Because it occurs to me that, the more I learn the more empty I feel. There is no end and barrier in knowledge. When I think I have gained enough, there seems to be more to dig for. 

Therefore, those who easily throw the word bodoh to everyone else, in my opinion, must be the most educated person ever. Such a person must posses a highly genuine and sophisticated amount of excellent far-fetched knowledge that no other, or only a few others, have, therefore he can easily call others as stupid, because apparently he is by far more educated than others. 

That point discussed, our education system must be so successful that everyone is calling every others as stupid. And these people who confidently call others as stupid, with presumptions that they are by all means, presumptuously, more educated than others, are my idols. Oh such confidence, such arrogance! 

Well, they are my idols, at least until I read and listen to their (often times negligible) piece of mind. In the end they become the living proof of the phrase 'empty can rings the loudest, empty man speaks the most'.

The only thing we're missing in our education system, is teaching and enforcing basic manners. Please, educators (and parents, who mostly clean their hands by passing the educating responsibility to educators these days, let's not deny it), despite this not featured among the important academic syllabus, please do something about this. Nurture manners in our kids, and make this country not only highly educated but fascinatingly mannered. 

Act now, or it will be too late. 


Wednesday, March 11, 2015

How to Make a Budget Outdoor Fire Pit



I've always liked fire. I have the history of playing with fire (both literally and figuratively) since I was only a little boy. My master's and PhD studies are about fire -- combustion, technically. I have set a numerous things on fire, including myself for some reasons over the long, fiery years of my life. 

So one day I was lingering around the backyard and suddenly I had the urge to have an outdoor fire pit. This is pretty common. I've always had the most awesome and in the same the baddest ideas when I lingered around the backyard. One of these days if I linger a little bit longer there, it is possible that I might come up with a blue plan for a long distance artillery that automatically sets men in tight pants on fire.



Anyway, the fire pit I was thinking of looks like in the above image. But here's the thing: I'm renting this house so I can't pretty much build any permanent structure up. That explains why the observatory tower and swimming pool plans I had in mind were turned down long before they even get to the drawing board. For this pit, it has to be:
  • a temporary structure (so my land lady won't hack me down with saw for ruining her yard)
  • cheap (because I'm economical, like that)
  • able to serve its intended purpose as an outdoor fire pit.

So here's what I did.


* * *




First, I identified the suitable location for the fire pit. The place I chose below was next to a wall (my land lady's concrete fence for she lives next door, to be exact) and surrounded by my little curry tree and a lemon grass bush. The curry tree can stay but the lemon grass has to go.




Next, I cleared the land surface and levelled it with a plastic garden rake.




And then, I took some unused cement bricks at home and started laying them on the ground with a straight lumber to achieve a straight arrangement. For this fire pit, I decided to have a 3 x 3 brick configuration. 




And now the pit now took shape. Because I my perfectionist quality is bordering on psychotic, I needed to make sure that the geometry of the pit was within my requirement, so that involved with a lot of soil levelling, remeasuring, reconfiguring, relevelling and all those jumbled up not necessarily in that order. Just maddening, really.




Moving on. I removed all the bricks but before that I drew out the inner and outer outlines using the bricks as my guide. I didn't need the inner outline but I drew it anyway 'just to be sure'. Don't mind my obsession. The outline depicted the exact layout section to be removed, because I wanted a sunken fire pit instead of a raised fire pit. 




So you can now see how I dug up the area using a small hoe and a hand scoop. The entire yard is filled with sand (this was a mining place anyway) so digging wasn't that difficult. I started laying down the bricks and check for straight continuity and levelling.



There, all in. With the base ready, it's time to lay down the upper walls with more bricks. I didn't cement any of them together and wholly depend on the static friction at each touching surface of the brick to keep them in place and from falling apart.




First level.




Second level.




I took some of the sand that I dug up and filled it up in the voids around the structure. And then I raked them flat and level with the garden rake to give it a smooth finish.




There, the fire pit is complete. I found that solid wooden post at the bottom of the image lying somewhere around the corner of the house so I made it into a small bench.




I collected some woods and placed them in the pit and left them in the open under the sun for a few hours to keep them dry and smoke free when consumed in fire. 


* * *

So here are the results! Pretty neat, eh?
















I went to the hardware store and bought a small light bulb and some length of electrical wire and created an outdoor lamp post. Need a cover for the entire setup though but so far they look great in action. The rustic wall and the ambient added up to its majestic value.

Here is the entire cost of the project:

Cement bricks: RM 0.20 x 40 unit = RM 8.00
Light bulb + socket + 3 pin plug: RM 5.00
Wire: RM 5.00 (10 meter)
Manpower: 3 sticks of cigarette and a jug of cold Sunquick (negligible cost)

Total: RM 18.00. 

The happiness it gives me? Priceless.

Kosong Kepala


Waktu pagi, buat kopi, buka FB.

Scroll, scroll, scroll.

Seperti biasa, kisah-kisah tipikal harian keluar di susur masa. Gambar orang jalan-jalan, gambar orang kemalangan, gambar orang kena tangkap, kisah pemakanan sihat dan larangan makan yang tidak tahu hujung pangkal, gambar orang jual produk mekap dan menguruskan badan, dan tak kurang status-status meroyan berkenaan pelbagai hal kecil dan besar (yang banyaknya hal-hal kecil yang tak berbaloi dibincangkan pun). 

Buka tabloid harian. Cerita-cerita hangat yang ada kalanya malu bila dibaca. Cerita onar golongan terkenal dan golongan biasa. Juga ada kisah perbalahan politik yang tidak berkesudahan. Macam-macam cerita.

Dan ramailah yang memberi komen. Lebih panas sesuatu topik yang dimuatnaik, lebih panaslah komen-komen yang tertera. 

Perkataan bodoh, bangang, macai, cabar-mencabar, pelbagai jenis carutan menghiasi ruangan komen. Yang mana setuju, yang mana tak setuju. Berbalah sama sendiri. Betapa mudahnya melemparkan kata-kata hinaan kepada orang lain, hanya kerana mereka tidak bersetuju dengan kita. Sakit mata.

Kata orang, orang yang bijak pandai tidak akan menggelar orang lain 'bodoh'.

Saya tidak pandai. Saya masih lagi belajar, mencari ilmu yang kadang jumpa kadang tidak. Terus-terang, jumlah ilmu yang saya hadap setiap hari buat saya takut. Betapa kecilnya kepala otak, betapa besarnya lautan pengetahuan. Lagi banyak saya belajar, lagi banyak yang saya tak tau. Terasa jahilnya. 

Jadi terlintas di hati saya, sedangkan saya yang kini merangkak ke tahap teratas aras akademik pun masih lagi takut-takut untuk menggelar orang lain bodoh, maka saya fikir mereka-mereka yang dengan mudah dan yakinnya menggelar orang lain dengan pelbagai gelaran mestilah lagi pandai, hebat, berinformasi, beradab sopan dan lebih berfikiran jauh, panjang dan tajam daripada saya.

Itu belum lagi mengambil kira orang yang dengan lantangnya mengatakan bahawa si polan dan si polan ini adalah ahli syurga manakala yang si polan dan si polan itu adalah ahli neraka. 

Dosa dan pahala kita, ramai yang tahu?

Lihat, betapa ramainya bijak pandai di FB. Pakar sains politik, pakar ekonomi, pakar kebajikan, pakar kejuruteraan (yang ramai dalam bidang automotif dan aeroangkasa serta avioniks kebelakangan ini), pakar undang-undang, pakar perubatan dan pelbagai lagi jenis pakar yang tinggi arasnya. 

Sayangnya, tak ramai yang ada kelulusan dan pengetahuan asas yang diperlukan untuk memberikan pendapat dalam bidang-bidang di atas dengan efektif dan berintegriti. Kalau bercakap tak ada inti, siapa mahu percaya? 

Lebih sayang lagi, semuanya bangsaku sendiri. 

Orang lain dah jauh ke depan, kita masih bergaduh di sini lagi.

Dan bila ada cerdik pandai kita yang memilih untuk menetap saja di luar negeri, kita gelar mereka pengkhianat, tidak kenang budi dan lupa daratan. Tapi kita tidak pernah nak tanya diri kita sendiri, mungkinkah kerana orang macam kita yang mereka ini sampai pergi membawa diri? Eh mana mungkin, bukankah rakyat negara ini lebih bijak pandai belaka?

Maaf sekiranya status ini mengguris hati siapa-siapa. Saya kini kan sedang cuba menghabiskan pengajian saya. Kenalah berfalsafah serba sedikit. 

Sudahnya, saya tengok saja gambar gerabak dan lokomotif keretapi. Depa bising-bising juga, tapi kerja jalan macam biasa. Daripada bising bergegar dunia, buka kepala isi pun tiada. 


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Kicker Lelia


So here's the thing.

My wife Lelia has been going for this Original Bootcamp series where a bunch of people sign up to undergo some twice-a-week high intensity physical training for three months at KLCC. It has been going on for almost two months plus now, where she trains on Tuesday and Thursday for an hour each in the evening every week. 

I fully support this activity.

For the fact that we both live separately at the moment due to work commitment, it is very possible for me to say that I have began to notice some very significant physical change on her each time we met. 

Before that, I believe it is necessary to tell you that Lelia was once a state hockey player during her younger days and she runs a lot. She is really into physical training and all these healthy habits, from which I suffered from every now and then, especially when she pulled me along when she needs to undergo her training or forced me to eat some punched out vegetable and fruit extracts that taste like moss juice. I did not physically suffer to begin with, but the pain was more on my pride. Seeing my wife running 5km made me feel as if I was the couch potato. So naturally, in order to preserve my male dominance and supremacy, I would run much further than that. You see, a man's hurt pride makes him do unbelievable things, that in the end will take toll back on him. In my case, I would normally lose a leg, lose my vision, or be visited by the death angel after I complete my run. But of course this doesn't stop me from competing with my athlete wife, albeit the fact that I am no longer the sportsman I once was. Long story short, my wife's physical ability hurts my pride and in order to avenge my pride I will end up hurting myself physically. Altogether it's a pretty messed up story.

But that's not the essence of this writing. 


* * * 


Here's the thing. Ever since Lelia has been attending the bootcamp, well it's easy to spot that she has put off a few pounds while gaining some pretty toned up muscles here and there. I could actually see the bumps on her muscular arms. But what is more unnerving is her leg. 

Lelia is an avid runner, so it's pretty expected that her legs would be all big and muscular, and they are. You see, a runner's legs are really toned up and in such a way, beautiful. They are solid, strong, springy, all those. They are just perfect. And now with this bootcamp thing, her Kayla movement thing, those squats and all other moves to curve up the perfect ass, it is much anticipated that the end result would be exciting to see. 

Recently I compared my thighs with those of Lelia's and to my own amusement they were bigger than mine, but not at all in a bad way. They were not only bigger but more muscular looking than mine. Imagine the hind legs of a fit and strong horse. Yes, that kind of legs. 

So it occurred to me that, God damn, if one of these legs kick me, intentionally or otherwise, it would send me right to kingdom come and back. It could turn me into a bowl of mashed potato in just three kicks. Or maybe it could kick me back into the future; a kick so hard, it ruptures the very fabric of space and time, hence acting as the only working time machine, thus promising a prominent expansion in the future of quantum physics. It could even kick an infant elephant right into adulthood. It could be used to maintain peace, or unleash a long episode of terror. It could start and end a war. Well exaggerated, I know, but you get the picture.

So from that moment on, I try hard not to cause trouble at home, or if I somewhat did, I try hard to stay out of the kicking distance from my wife. Not that she's going to kick me or anything, but the thought of it was frightening enough. Just overnight, I saw myself winning the Most Patient and Forgiving Husband award. 

But it's not her intentional kicking that scares me the most - it's the unintentional one. There was one time she (I thoroughly assumed) dreamt of swatting a fly and I got slapped so hard, my soul came out half way on the other end. Also it is worth to mention that one time she (again, I assumed) got into a boxing ring and punched me right below the diaphragm before resorting into a deep, snoring sleep later on, while I cried at the edge of the bed from the devastating pain. But despite all these unconscious bullying, I still like her though. 

Oh the fear, that one day when we are both asleep in the bed facing each other, and Lelia dreams of taking a game-changing and ultimately winning penalty in the game of soccer (she is now growing interests in the sport) and this gets translated into an actual physical movement. Oh, the fear!

Maybe it's time I put on a hard shell turtle suit and curl in it the next time I am in bed with her. Anyone's selling?


* * *


Hey baby, sorry for opening up on your sleeping behaviour. I love you, please don't kick me.


Dat ass!



Friday, January 30, 2015

So long, Pak Sahak


In my life, the number of close friends I have can be represented by all the ten fingers on both my hands. 

After the members of the family, these ten people are most important to me. They are the people who have spent years with me, who really understand my actions and behaviour, who could easily predict my moves at any given situation, who offer unlimited amount of advice and assistance whenever required and by all means, the people who truly have won my absolute, border-less trust in my whole life so far,

They are the people who solidify the liquid meaning of lifelong camaraderie.  

These ten close friends of mine come from different backgrounds. Some are my age, some younger and some older. Some with the government while some from private sectors. Some are wise while some are still learning. 

But when we meet up, there will be no gap of age, background and other differences. Each man equals another. We hold greatly to the symbolic brotherhood, and we hold it up with pride. These ten men mean the world to me.


However, a few days ago, there are only nine left. 


* * *


Pak Sahak, during our early days. Kuala Tahan, Pahang

Haji Sahak bin Mohd Amin was the oldest member in the group of my most trusted associates. He was the wisest, the most strong-willed, the most hard-working, and by all means the most respected among all. He was a close neighbour at home, and I have known him since I was a little boy. It was only five years or so back that we became close, to a point we were more like father and son than just close friends.

At home, the entire neighbourhood knows him for his strong social networking, kindness, easy-going and most importantly his cooking. Since many decades ago, he has been an active member of the community, particularly at the community surau, where he was the main member of the kitchen and also the muazzin, until he was removed from that place he loved most after the takeover of the state of Selangor government by the opposition.

He was an active UMNO member as well. In fact, one of the most vocal I ever knew along my participation in the grass-root party movement. It was him who nominated me to hold one of the leading positions in the Youth movement. 

Our nightly activity - Rumah Pak Sahak

He was kind enough to let his home to be a meeting place, where his neighbours will spend time with him playing cards, listening to radio or just discussing current issues at night. We shared laughter and we exchanged thoughts. He sometimes recalled the memories of moments past, where he would later advise us all about love, life and everything in between. 

Since twenty years ago he has been cooking his much-awaited-for special dish during the annual fasting month of Ramadhan for the neighbourhood: his famous bubur lambuk. Born in Kampung Baru, he spent his times as a child mostly at the Kampung Baru Mosque where the particular cuisine first originated, and so he knew the recipe at the back of his head. He normally shared the ingredients with those who asked, but he never revealed its details. Every year he will be cooking a large pot of bubur lambuk in the morning, from which he then packed in small plastic bags for distribution to anybody who happened to pass by his house later in the evening. Usually he will be doing this all alone.

It was only last year that he invited me and three others to come and help him in the entire process, from which for the first time he revealed all the main ingredients and their specific quantities. He just sat down on his chair and ordered us around, "just so that you will remember the recipe and how it is done," he said, and continued, "because this would be the only thing I have, that I will ever teach you in great detail."

That year we completed our course with him and we managed to cook six pots overall, or around a thousand packs of bubur lambuk in total.


I made this for the distribution poster last year. This now is his trademark.

I happened to be the lucky one - he also taught me, in secret, his secret teh tarik recipe. Go to my neighbourhood and ask around. Who doesn't know and crave for Teh Tarik Sahak? The only thing I didn't manage to learn from him was his 8-hour rendang recipe. That was the best dry rendang I ever tasted my whole life.  

I happened to visit him a few times during his last 40 days on earth. He did not show any sign whatsoever, only that he told me to remember his bubur lambuk recipe and to cook them for the people, and he bought us satay when he received his BR1M some two weeks back. I even helped him out preparing some food for the people at the surau last week (his first time doing that at the surau since 2010 that I myself witnessed) and he started praying again at his beloved surau following that event. He was, since so long, the happiest then.

In the morning of 28th January 2015, his eldest son contacted me and informed me about Pak Sahak to undergo an emergency bypass operation at the IJN. I was in Tronoh at the time, so I wished and prayed him all the best. However, Pak Sahak passed away during before the procedure began, at 10.20 am the same day, exactly a week after my birthday. He was 63 years old. 


"He cited the syahadah, and just like that, he's gone."


And around 250km away from him, I fell on my knees in full disbelief.


* * *

Mixed feelings.

His passing was an easy one, but only for himself, not for the people who surround him when he was alive. His sudden passing impacted us all greatly, for he was the best we ever had.

I rushed back home, driving. Along the way, memories of him played before my eyes. All the laughter and cries we had. All the experiences, after all these years. As much as I would want to weep, I could not. Holding back was a painful thing to do, but letting go was even more. At the time, all that occurred to me was that it was all a joke.

But soon as I arrived at Surau Al Mustaqim AU5C, there were people gathering around. My heart exploded when I saw the curtains were up at the pool area, where normally people will prepare the dead. I walked pass the curtains and there he was, lying on top of the body rack, being washed up and prepared for burial.

For many long minutes, I just stood there, not knowing what to do, what to say, what to feel anymore, anyway. 

It was only after that that I approached him. His son was there, bathing his still body. I placed a hand on his head and he was still warm. And almost automatically, I wept for him. 

There he was, the person whom I call my best friend, who was still very much happy and alive only days before, lying lifeless. 

I rolled my sleeves and I helped with the body. I carried him up the stairs to lay him down on the burial shroud, wrapped him up and brought him into the surau for prayer. At the time when his family members were called upon to see him for the last time before the shroud was closed, I tagged along and queued up. Everyone cried, sobbing was heard everywhere. When my turn came, I kneel before him and all that I could say when I stared at his, Allahuakbar, smiling face, was "terima kasih banyak Pak Sahak (thank you so much for everything, Uncle Sahak)." 

And then I kissed his forehead, signalling my final goodbyes. 

All the men in the gang gathered around after his face was covered for the last time, and we carried him up into the van and followed on to the cemetery. 

And I suppose all of us will remember forever that evening when we buried our best friend. The weather was calm, the sunset was extremely beautiful, and Alhamdulillah, everything went well. May his soul be blessed, and may heaven be his final destination. Amiin.



May we meet again, Pak Sahak, and thank you for everything. 






-Wipes tears-

* * *



This was the last photo I had with him, during his last pot of bubur lambuk for the month of Ramadhan last year. Next to him is his eldest son, Amin, and the one holding the small pot is the young muazzin of the surau, the position that Pak Sahak once held. He taught all of us his bubur lambuk recipe. 



Monday, December 15, 2014

Happy


It has been more than a year since I last wrote in this little space of mine.

And my God has it been so dusty in here.

I recently spoke to a few who have been following this blog since its very beginning, and the conversations I had with them can mostly be summarized to questions that began with the word 'why'. There have been many speculations of why I stopped writing. Best guesses are 1) I have already gotten what I asked for, and 2) therefore I am no longer miserable. 

I write best when I'm miserable. And for all you know I had best been miserable for a series of solid ten years. The rising of this blog was owed much to that.

Looking back, I wasn't much of a happy man. Perhaps the main source of my miseries was my own doings, if not my pride and ego. Over the years and thousands of mistakes after, I finally found the peace that I had since been searching continuously for from everywhere I had gone to and among the people I knew. And there it was. There's the biggest mistake I have ever done in life so far, in my own endless effort to find a handful of solace: I searched around and wide, but never I searched for it in my own tiny self. And the price paid was way more than I ever bargained for. 

I paid the price dearly, and for that, all my mistakes I will always remember. And most of these stories can still be found in the archive section of the blog. I have no intentions to remove them (except for some sensitive ones) just so that my readers can investigate my path, to which will mostly answer to the question how I became myself today. They were all there for you to see. 

It was only at one point along in the timeline of one year back, that I finally put down the pen and called for a long hiatus from writing. Perhaps I have written so much, that I have nothing else to write about, to write for, and by all means, to write to. Perhaps I was too disappointed with life, that it forced me to give up the one thing I did consistently for years. 

And within that one year, many things happened. I got married. Monty died. I started gardening. I opened up a business. I went to places. I made new friends and I lost old ones. Many things happened, and it's going to take me some time to dig them up one by one. And most importantly, I totally forgot about all the things that I used to pour out in this blog.

And now, many years after, here I am, staring back at all my past writings. And all the long lost, locked-up memories broke their way out of the forgotten vaults from deep inside my otherwise very peaceful mind, come crashing one after another. Some were good ones, while some others were just plain hurtful. Some made me smile, while some just gave me the most senseless beating of my times. The familiar faces, smiles and curses, love and hate, joy and pain, came down like evening rain.

Revisiting can be both good and bad. And that explains the mixed feelings I'm experiencing as this is written.

Mixed feelings. 

To some, facing back the past may be one of the most frightening moments in their life. It becomes a complete taboo. It becomes something that can break one down into half and bring them down to their knees, begging for mercy, begging for forgiveness, begging to be forgotten. But how can one forget, when there is always something associated to the things one wants to forget?

It is remarkable, just how some old songs stir up our calm emotions, just how some places remind us of some forgotten memories, and just how the facial features of people in random remind us of certain somebody. And these effects last a life time. 

Ironic, that the more you try to forget, the more you will remember. 

That being said, I remember the reason why I abandoned this beloved blog a year ago, and it was the same reason why this entry finally became void to my application. It was happiness. I was, and still am, too happy to write. No more the mind-shaking, heart-gripping miseries in my long nights. No more interrupted sleeps. No more reasons to explore the hidden, twisted, often terrifying side of my weatherbeaten mind. And still the solace I found wasn't in me, but it was in you. I previously said that finding own solace and happiness in others is the wrongest thing, and if that is just another mistake I did, then it must be my most favourite mistake ever. 

I shall thank you for that, my wife

And for all I have lost, for all the long years of suffering, I am finally happy.




Absolutely happy.




Rusila beach, Terengganu, Oct 2014.


* * *


This signifies the revival of this blog. I won't let my happiness stop me from writing again. I have so much to tell, so let's do it one entry after another, yea?




Saturday, July 20, 2013

Mad Lelia is Mad



Had a fight with my lady today.

Come to think of it, the reason was pretty hilarious. It's even embarrassing to speak about it here or anywhere in the universe, at least when I'm still alive. Anyway a crybaby she always is, I made my lady mad and, therefore, hid in an isolated space of her own, refusing any contact with outer world whatsoever. 

Sounded like I'm the bad guy but hey she started it. And if the part where she cried made me look bad, take a listen to this: she even cried once when she saw an old fella cycling along the road we took sometime back. My lady and her paperheart syndrome are inseparable. I won't be surprised at all if she cries whenever she sees me smacking a mosquito flat on my arm anytime soon. 

Anyway, I was mad as well. So I went shopping. Not for bag and shoes. 

I took a stroll to a furniture shop this afternoon and browsed through their vast collection of latest furniture and home accessories. So I bought a bedroom set: a queen-sized bed, a super-thick Dunlopillo Orthorest II (ultra firm, pocket spring type with memory foam) mattress, a 5-feet wardrobe, a makeup vanity table, and two bedside cupboards. The free items that came along with the set are a pair of Masterfoam super-plush synthetic latex pillows and a bolster of the same material. I've gotta tell you that the mattress is super awesome and the pillows are extremely comfortable. 

Also, I took the liberty of constructing a bed lamp from junk materials I found lying around my home. And so my otherwise very dull bedroom now looks like this:




I still need to find the mattress top and the sheet, though. And a curtain. Tomorrow then. Moving on, I also bought myself a set of dinner table for six as shown in the picture below. Gone are the days where I had my dinner in the polymer-table for two, as also shown in the picture below. There's just so much food and so little space. With this new additional item in the house, I'd be more comfortable having my dinner like a boss. 




I bought a Phillips 11-Watt eco-bulb with warm ambient feature and installed it at the living room as an addition to the existing two fluorescent bulbs, just to put some mood in the place. Now I can sit down at the sofa while doing my work on the laptop with a cup of coffee and a box of cigarette while listening to jazz on the radio and feeling great all in the same time. In the picture below is my current living hall setting. It's a big hall so it looks pretty empty. You can see the batik painting I received as a token of appreciation when I attended Twtup Campus last year, and also an unused steering lock, just in case I need to resort to beating anybody up for legit reasons. Alternative to the steering lock is my golf set, but I won't be needing that for the lock itself is pretty murderous. Just in case. 




I think the house is pretty much livable for two. And I'm just preparing the nest for the arrival of the mother bird once we get married. 

I'm doing all these for you, so wipe your tears up and calm your sobbing ass down already. I'm sorry, and I love you. 

I'm enjoying all these tonight Lelia. U mad? #lol



Iron and Ball




Ever since I placed myself in the list of PhD candidates in UTP, subjecting myself to endless amount of mental torture, sleepless nights, fear of supervisor and other forms of psychologically-related disorders, I have nearly abandoned one of my most favorite pastime activities -- golfing. Although mostly my time in golf was spent at the driving range, I've surely missed the kicks of hearing the knock on my iron against the ball at the right spot, however sexually-suggesting this sentence may be. The urge to send the ball flying at the right projectile motion and traveling curvature to the 100-yard island in the middle of the driving range lake of Clearwater Sanctuary golf makes the activity go raging with adrenaline punches. Like a drive to achieve something. Getting some sense of achievement. I'm looking forward to get to the driving range again to practice some swing, now knowing that my dear lady used to play golf. After all, nothing feels more liberating than to imagine the faces of some people in the middle of the floater golf balls before hitting the crap out, sending them flying across the minimum range and into an enormous crater filled with water, the result of tin-mining in the earlier years. Gotta watch my back though. I'm getting old. Seriously.