Dec 28, 2009

A confession of a broken-hearted photographer...

Yes Datuk, I did not put this in the 'Terms & Conditions' when we made the agreement of me taking photos for your engagement day, and I think I should have mentioned this anyway:

"The photographer shall take the best pictures for the event covering the best lighting, best posing, best angle and best subject composition with his best effort, but the photographer shall also be given the exception should the quality of work is defected by the inner factor such as emotions. Client is advised to consider viewing the pictures as 'another way of expression'. "

-- In this clause, 'another way of expression' is free from the client's expectation, as it's heavily dependent on the mood of the photographer.

In other words, you should not blame me for some weird pictures I've taken which were not up to the standard of Ms Fatma The Ultimate Diva Behind Lens.

OK let put it straight -- If you find the pictures are a little bit gloomy, sorrowful, lonely or perhaps sensing the smell of heart-broken, you should, according to the clause, just accept it, because --

-- well, I hate to say this, you've got one of the finest lady in this world as your fiance.. and my heart was hence broken into pieces just because she's yours now.

Congratulations, heartily from your (heart-already-broken) photographer.

1. Wakakakakka... psycho x?
2. Datuk, remember the conversation we talked about photo-editing? These photos are purposely touched up, just because of the ambiance I want -- so, though sometime photo editing is 'kinda' against a photographer's 'integrity', but for the sake of 'expression', feel no guilty.

Dec 25, 2009


I guess I stumbled.
Just think that standing up after stumbling -- that would be a little bit childish here..
Want to, but not really afford to...
A thread of old life, how would you pick up? How about that of new one?
Normal may it sound - but how'd you go on when your heart begins to understand there's no going back?
Life, and its many many layers, were your choice initially, but not your options anymore once you'd decided...

... ...........

1. Pardon my awkward writing, I called it 'hide-and-seek'.
2. IGNORE it if you don't want to understand. Really, it doesn't really matter, so don't shout at me.
3. 03:31:54, I'm tired.
4. Happy holiday, if the mood matches yours.

Dec 16, 2009

Inspire. Inspired. Inspiring.

A young reader of my blog, Cheer, decided to start off blogging after following my little 'lEft.nothingbehind' for quite some times. She sent me a message telling me how nervous she was.

...and I did not reply Cheer's message. I only smiled and wished her all the best, in my heart.

Another young reader of my humble blog, Zafirah, sent me a little note telling me how she was 'inspired' by the approach of me telling a story.. and hence practiced it in her SPM trial of English paper essay writing, and managed to get a 47/50 high score, equivalent to 91% for the paper. In her email, she told me how excited and how thankful she was..

....and until now I do not know how to reply her email.

Across the South China Sea, an English teacher in China, Xiaorong Li, sent me a note asking permission to use one of my blog post for her (his?) class. In the note, teacher Xiaorong Li told me she wished to let her students perceive a 'transcultural perspective' from my post...

...and I think I replied something but I forgot..

.... ...

...and now please tell me how should I react to all these feedbacks. Overwhelmed? Proud? Excited? Motivated? What?


I showed the email from Ms. Zafirah to my mentors, hoping I would get some words from them but I did not. Of course they are happy for me for being good enough to inspire someone else, but that was not the feeling I was getting.

Instead, I somehow felt worried.

'To inspire' is a big word, and I don't think I'm right to carry it.

I know what's the feeling of 'getting inspired' like, and I would proudly say that there are great people around me who are truly inspiring... and listen carefully, inspirational people can be people who seems to be tiny and down-to-earth. I've seen too many so called 'great leaders' talking on the stage of 'inspiring people', but they only talk craps and cliche, and pathetic enough, while they thought they are gaining worships and admirations, they never realized they are actually making themselves an on-sale product with cheap promotions.

Seriously, when you find yourself trying too hard boosting what you are and who you are, with some old memories of track records and medals and awards, then you are loosing crowd.

..cuz a man would know well enough what's the feeling of being truly inspired.. and a man, too, should know well enough when and why they are being truly inspiring, and when and why they are not.

..because 'to inspire' is a big word -- I just think that one should at least be righteous and sincere enough to carry the noble task, achievements and glories are only the next factors that count after the integrity and modesty, no?

Ps.. Zafirah, yes you are right, it feels amazing to know I somehow helped out at the end of the day through my humble writings, but I don't think mine is able to affect people as what you've said. I'm glad I've unintentionally provided you some kind of references or perhaps an idea for you to write better, and your feedback is definitely alarming for me as I now really really have to watch out what I write and what I said. :) thanks again.

Dec 8, 2009

In pursuit of knightship.

I'm back. Last night, while you were asleep.

Pardon me for the sweat and blood, it was a lot of try-and-error I've done.
Pardon me for the wounds and scars, it was a lot of huff-and-puff I've gone through..

..and pardon me for failing, if you expect any win.

I'm back. Last night, and I sneaked into your room.

I still have my sword with me, more importantly I still have my name with me. "Your name is a given," she said, "use it to fight rather than your sword.."

..and I left, for this journey, carrying my name and her last words, I brought it to you...

I'm back. Last night. And I kneed beside you and observed.

I could tell you my wildest tales of my journey, tell you how I fought the dragon and escaped from a bursting volcano.. ; or perhaps how I lost in the jungle of lies and almost drowned in the river of dilemma...

..and of course sometime I exaggerate, but my dear, every story I've told is part of me... ..

I'm back. Last night, when you were dreaming of an adventure.

How I wish you'd learn to stand tall, and live righteously; but living righteously is more than what people around you might have told you...

"Always check your intent before you draw your sword," she made me to remember this when I was given this sword....and now I'm giving it to you, and promise me to use it as a separator.

A separator between one right intent and those bad ones..

... as one right intent is already a beginning of righteous living..

I'm back. Last night, and I kissed your sleeping eye...

.. and I'm leaving, perhaps before dawn..

How I wish to take you along, but I choose not to. As you will have your own journey one day... a journey like mine, or even greater, and as adventurous as your dream, in your pursuit of knightship.

Nov 7, 2009

The curious case of the disloyal order and the disorder loyal of a writing bug in a disturbed mind..

(There comes November, prescribing a death penalty onto my blog posts for October.. )

(... and I apologize to those who waited. In fact I'm surprised and thankful to know that there are actually people waiting.)

Yes, my writing paused. It just jammed like the photocopier in my office. And when I thought I was stuck because of the chaos in my life throughout the month of October, a friend of mine came to me and ask a simple question:

"Can I look at what's in ur pocket?"

There's a little notebook inside my pocket. I do a lot of drafting and quick jotting inside it. But lately, it's filled with sketches.

... hence I realized, I wasn't stuck, I was just unintentionally switching to another way of expression -- I don't write, but I sketch -- in the middle of a wait, inside LRT, after-work walking alone, midnight awake -- whenever I'm alone, whenever the disorder state of emotion haunts me, whenever a heavy press of my pen onto the paper or a random line helps in expressing my desperation or chaos better than words.

Post-post note....

"You don't seem OK..." She gave the notebook back to me after flipping through it..

"I'm OK.." I smiled, kind of regret for lending her the notebook.

".. a spider's killer instinct is actually its self-protection... for they got hurt, they get defensive... I understand where you are coming from... " she explained.

I was stunned.

".. but don't build up the walls around you... " she continued.

I was stunned.

Thank you, Shunza.

Sep 13, 2009

My Ruku' & Sujud..

I just realized that I always got something to say in every Ramadhan.

In 2006, I perceived Ramadhan as an endurance test, hence I wrote this;
in 2007, I celebrated Ramadhan on a Norwegian vessel, and had a thought about self-discipline, hence I wrote this;
in 2008, I came back from my Europe grand tour, with the musing from the tour I celebrated Ramadhan with a perception of faith, hence I wrote this.

In 2009, I entered Ramadhan with a new breath... and I find myself speechless.

Ramadhan doesn't feel the same anymore.

Too many things happened on me in this Ramadhan. I almost lost my hope in front of a musibah, I lost patience on my stupidity and inadequacy, I lost my temper and threw it to my dear brothers, I broke down and crumbled in front of God;

..but then, things changed. Along with my prayers, my ruku', my sujud, my re-composed belief towards Qada' and Qadar, things changed slowly in the same Ramadhan.

When I look back, this Ramadhan doesn't feel the same anymore -- when all about you before was shredded off, and all about you previously was redefined, what left behind is a naked core... the one you have nothing to hide but to face all your weaknesses, the one that will make you shamefully fallen on your knee, to ask for forgiveness from The Almighty..

This Ramadhan taught me the meaning of bertaqwa;
This Ramadhan offers me a month of self reflection, a month of inner self cleansing..

.. but it's just me being too dumb-witted, not picking up any drops of holiness of Ramadhan, but wasted, day after day, this only-one-month holy month.

When Ramadhan is approaching to its end, I find my desperation worsened -- I'm still on my way searching for the true meaning of Ramadhan, I still find myself stuck in a pressing urge when realizing my inadequacy in reciting Quran, I still failed here and there when come to bertaqwa, I still have the deep guilt-feel to think of my dosa...... -- but when Ramadhan is approaching to its end, missing any Terawih, or even a thought of missing one night of Terawih makes me feel guilty; loosing focus in my prayers makes me feel guilty; loosing grip on my Taqwa and patience makes me feel guilty; fall into the trap of desires makes me feel guilty....

Perhaps yesterday I was only a passenger walked by the door, hoping I could have a glance at what's behind it, and I thought I've learned well by peeping through the keyhole;

Today when I walked into the door of Ramadhan, my heart shivers and I'm blank baffled. There're more than what I thought I've learned, there're much heavier than what I thought I've enjoyed, and there're more sweetness than the fasting pain that I thought I've borne with..

Ramadhan doesn't feel the same anymore. My ruku' and sujud wouldn't feel the same anymore..

Aug 19, 2009


Wake up. I caught a grasp of cold air.

Where am I? My eye started searching around. Deep dark. In a cave. I could hardly move my body. I felt pain, but I couldn't moan -- my slight instinct alarmed me to not make any noise.

The boy's sleeping beside me. Peacefully. I look at him, listening to the noise made by another scouting troop. Things never turn right. Things never turn right.

I looked west. The bridge's still there.


Wake up. I heard somebody weeping.

My body was laying on my bed. I'm still here, inside the cell. The little boy on next bunk was crying , I need to get him out of here, before the worst.

"....before sunrise.." I read the message written on my arm..

He's the precious. He's the hope. I looked out. The bridge's there, but there're guards around. I moved to him, held his little hand. I could feel him shivering, and he's weak.

"Hey boy, be strong, OK?" I whispered, ".. you're not a coward.. be strong.. everything will be fine, we'll get through this one day.. " I see him nodded.


Wake up. I heard people cursing, and the chaos triggered by angry crowd. Realizing something had gone terribly wrong, I looked for the little boy.

..but I was too late.. the boy was captured and tied up. He was still trying hard to breath when I reached him. I saw the bruises on his body, and the stones of blame and humiliation were scattered around him.

"Wake up, buddy.." I shook his little body.

"Hey... look what I've done to this land..." he answered, slowly opened up his eye. I looked around. This land used to be a wonderful place... but it's now full of anger and despair..

"...hey..." the boy continued, ".... I'm a coward, right?" I see tears in his drained eyes.


Wake up. I had a nightmare. In it, I lost him.

I can't afford to lose him. I need to bring him cross the bridge. There are helps there. All my brothers across the bridge will protect him, all my sisters across the bridge will give him food.

Eyeing on the bridge, I know I just need to wait for another few hours for the guards to switch shift. He's still breathing. Thank God. Outside of this cave, the scouting troops were still searching around.

I put my hand on this forehead to feel the warmth. He looks so fragile when he's sleeping, but I know he's a strong little boy. He's a gift from God -- a gift that should be guarded till death. Falling on my bended knees, I pray to God. I pray for strength and guidance, so that I can protect him better, so that I won't let him get hurt anymore; I pray for a way out, from all these chaos, from all these misunderstandings; I pray for a better tomorrow; I pray for two lands that is linked by a bridge, not separated by a bridge...


Wake up. I caught a grasp of cold air.

Where am I? My eye started searching around. Deep dark. I'm still in the cave.

I looked west. The bridge's still there, and it's cleared. I heard Azan from the other side.

It's time. Fajr Azan is a signal for me and my brothers at the other end. They must be waiting now.

I woke up the little boy, "we gotta go now.." I put him on my back, recalling the message -- the last message left by my brothers earlier, written on my arm --

"Bring Faith back... before sunrise.."

I patted on the boy who's riding on me now, "ready?" he nodded. I turned my head and kissed him, "I'm bringing you back, Faith..."

Faith hold his arm around me tighter. We sneaked out the cave, towards the bridge.

Jul 26, 2009

With or without..

With or without,
with or without,
with or without,
with or without

White Water Rafting: Sg. Sedim, Kulim.

With fresh and rapid and swift and #$%&*# water;
Without high-up climb but straight down dive.

With insanity.

Mountaineering: Mt. Sweetenham, Cameron Highland.

With fresh and moisture and chill-to-your-lung air;
Without water -- no, not even a little tiny drain.

With insanity.

White Water Rafting: Sg. Sedim, Kulim.

With the meaning of 'Reunion' for old+new KOMAites;
Without the full understanding of what 'World's 6th toughness' mean.

With fun.

Mountaineering: Mt. Sweetenhem, Cameron Highland.

With the meaning of 'Induction' for new KOMAites;
Without having any idea about the mountain, actualy... huhu..

With fun.

White Water Rafting: Sg. Sedim, Kulim.

With only scream and shout and yell and moan;
Without singing except 'Pulang, marilah pulang, marilah pulang, bersama-sama.."

With laughter.

Mountaineering: Mt. Sweetenhem, Cameron Highland.

With (bi)siiiiingiiiiiiiiiiiing, also moan and shouting;
Without giving up or cry-baby-cry from newbies
KOMAites. (Well done!)

With laughter.

White Water Rafting: Sg. Sedim, Kulim.

With 210% energy in me, for an unknown reason;
Without kia-si (Singaporean local Hokkien: kia - takut; si - mati..) in me... (although there was an almost 'si' moment..)

With adrenalin rush and mental psycho.

Mountaineering: Mt. Sweetenhem, Cameron Highland.

With -10% energy in me, for a known reason;
Without any patience and control in me, on tackling this mountain.. (failed.. big time..)

With mental psycho.

White Water Rafting: Sg. Sedim, Kulim.

With Angah, my big brother and KOMAotai, after months of 'outdoor fasting' in his new office;
Without PapaJai, although he was physically not 'floating' as he usually be.

With parental control. (oops..)

Mountaineering: Mt. Sweetenhem, Cameron Highland.

With PapaJai, my big brother and KOMAotai, after weeks of 'quarantined' offshore;
Without Angah, who was using up his monthly permit from his maharani.. (one minutes of silence, please..)

With parental control... (double opps..)

White Water Rafting: Sg. Sedim, Kulim.

With Daus my twin - hey dude finaly we get outdooring again!
Without lari-lari dalam hutan -- well of course not, we only rempit-rempit atas jeram jer!!

With newcomer Marikh Boy Kerel stealing away hanuman's limelight. (Blueek!)

Mountaineering: Mt. Sweetenhem, Cameron Highland.

With lari-lari dalam hutan -- this time with Zana the Iron Lady, so I was guaranteed not to be scolded!
Without Daus, but still with Ijoi the Mr 'No x5', laughing from bottom to top then back bottom of the mountain.

With newcomer Mek Dila stealing away Huda's limelight. (Blueek!)

White Water Rafting: Sg. Sedim, Kulim.

With a lot of durians and rambutans to feast;
Without mohawk or sweeper or porter to help to carry your OWN stuff including your own TRANSPORTATION..

With smile in pain.

Mountaineering: Mt. Sweetenhem, Cameron Highland.

With mohawk AND sweeper AND kura-kura sakti to carry stuff for you;
Without durians but only duri (thorns), but with post-mountain ABC promised.. (not bad..)..

With smile in pain (when hooked by thorn on your forehead..)

With KOMA's flag: komane banderuola.
Without compromise.

With family.
Without question.
(Without birth control/ family planning intention at all..)

Jul 4, 2009


A young reader of this blog send an email to me and this is her little request:

"Can you please elaborate more on a comfortable zone? does it mean that we should not just satisfy with current situation, have to explore more?

I would like to read your blog about this ..if you are free to write.. thank you ^^ "

I thank her for the email, although I don't really understand why she chose me to be referred to such a question. If the email dropped into my mailbox years earlier, I might have quoted some saying about being 'adventurous', and telling her that getting out from your mama's embrace and yada yada, end up arrogantly writing a lengthy notes showing off my belief , but not now -- --

-- now, I'm rather worried and perhaps careful to answer her request.

-- cuz' you could ruin someone's life if that person take your advice in a very superficial way. And I dare not do that.

Going out from a comfortable zone can be extremely disturbing, to the extent of heart-tearing and it can crumble you down into pieces at any time. But there's one thing about getting uncomfortable despite of all the fears and insecurities -- You just need a drive. A strong drive.

A strong, strong drive, called 'Faith'.

We all are children of God, and we all are meant to shine according to God's will. Stayed surrounded by everything that you are familiar to, and stayed pampered by the feeling of secured will not help you to see God's will.

Let's try think in this way: God created us and God created the world far bigger than where we stand, isn't His will that want us to go out and explore, and ultimately found the reason to shine?

.. Yes I know, my 'answer' does not really help to explain what the young reader wants to know -- and in fact, I don't really intend to give any answer or advices. I still have to say, that none of us know what's outside our comfortable zone and none of us wouldn't feel terrified when challenges come -- None. It's you who will decide and chose your own path --

-- so if you're not sure, please stay, until you perceive that ultimate vision, God willing.

Jun 11, 2009

Mirror talk.

We’ve seen a lot of classy hotels that provide lifts with mirror inside, but have you ever thought about the function of those mirrors?

Well, some might say it’s another cliché interior design which have been copied-cat over and over again in most of the hotels;

..and, maybe some might say it gives that little lift a roomy and spacious feel by putting the mirrors inside;

..erm, some might say it’s a little friendly touch provided by the hotels for their guests, in order to check their appearance before going out of the lift and meeting somebody important in lobby..;

.. some might even say it’s something about Feng-Shui or perhaps a ‘Ghostbuster’ trick.. etc etc etc.

So what say you?

Mirrors inside a lift are put up for a reason. It’s for the sake of conveniences of our wheel-chaired friends, so that they don’t have to turn around, and still be able to keep an eye on the level of the lift which would appear on the digital board near the entrance.

Most of the time we think and speak and act on behalf of ourselves, sometime we just have to re-look things from somebody else’s perspective, and every time –every minutes and every seconds -- is the time to quit egoism and quit being self-centered.

Jun 6, 2009

Thousand islands. thousand sunshines..

Pictures explain thousands words. True -- so I'm not going to say more than 1000 words here to explain how cozy my recent 'geological field trip' was in Pulau Seribu, Indonesia, especially when ONE WHOLE ISLAND is only 15 of us -- just imagine, or if you can't, click here to visit Fatma's blog, or just click down there to look at my Tabblo.

Tabblo: It's only fishes and us, and thousand of islands.. ..... -- 19 to 21 May, 2009.. Pulau Seribu, Indonesia..

The day I was snorkeling among the thousands islands, a blue star fish greeted me, and he said, "hey biggie.. swim away, I'm enjoying the sun shine.. and why are u floating? Star fishes are not supposed to float like u.. " ... Here to see my tabblo.