Sep 20, 2010

The perfect wedding..

"What's the furthest distance for you?" He asked. The time was 1 minute after the silence when she announced a break-up.

"The furthest distance is when I'm sitting close to you..." She finished her drink, ".. but I'm not loving you anymore.. "

He looked at her.



She's a famous wedding planner, but yet to have any plan of 'The Perfect Wedding' for her clients.

He's a famous wedding planner, but yet to reveal his plan of 'The Perfect Wedding' to any of his clients.

She knows she needs to have 'The Perfect Wedding' planned-out. Sir Gomez, her current biggest client gave him 2 years time to lay out the plan -- 2 years -- "sufficient enough", she smirked with a plot drafted in her mind.



They fell in love -- I mean, she made him fell for her, and when the night he kneed down with a ring and made his proposal, she knew she's almost there.

-- What's 'The Perfect Wedding' for the best wedding planner in the world? His own wedding.

That night, in front of the kneeing him, she nodded to the proposal, but smiled to the victory of her plot..



He started to plan his wedding -- the perfect wedding of him and his love. She's totally overwhelmed by the wonderful idea -- the plan of The Perfect Wedding is so gorgeous and flawless she just have to admit his status of the world's best wedding planner.

She rewrote every details of the plan to Sir Gomez in her email. "..only a heart that's deeply in love can create this perfect wedding plan..." Sir Gomez commented in his reply -- she almost can see Sir Gomez's smilling. She knew Sir Gomez was so impressed -- every words in Sir Gomez's replies carried emotions and expressions, she could feel that Sir Gomez was the happiest client on the planet, without the necessary of meeting him at all.

She smirked at Sir Gomez's comment, while thinking of the earliest date to dump his wedding planner fiance.


He looked at her. The heartless silence conquered every drop of air in between them.

"I used to think that, " he broke the silence, "the furthest distance is when I'm standing in front of you, but you don't know how much I miss you, and how much I love you..."

She took off her engagement ring, put it on the table, "I'm sorry," stood up, grabbed her handbag, "'s over." cold-hearted, headed towards the exit of the coffee house.

"..but in the last 2 years I realize that, " he continued, "the furthest distance exists when you know how much I miss you and how much I love you, but you just pretend to do the same, for some reasons other than love..."

She stopped. Turned around to him.

"... the perfect wedding plan is not yet complete," he looked at her, his eye filled with disappointment, "it requires a heart that is deeply in love..."

Her handbag slipped off of her hand. A hopeless weakness smeared from her feet, upward.

".. the furthest distance, " he stood up, "is even though we have been together for almost 2 years, you still don't know who am I -- that's the furthest distance -- " he walked pass her,

"-- ever..."

Jul 3, 2010

Once upon a cloud..

"Such a cliche, man!" I mumbled to myself when I was about to type the word 'DREAM' into the note in my phone.

PapaJai and MatDuang were still behind me, at a distance of not-seen; and the rest of the troop -- Dila, Cecilia, Amie, Zahir, Ijol, Tita, Zeta, Alin, PokDin, Iman, Johan, Fatma, Zana and KakYam -- were way in front of me, at a distance of also not-seen.

So I was alone at that particular of time, somewhere inside the heart of Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain of Southeast Asia..

... and it was the perfect lonely feeling that made me feel like writing something, but of course I called it off after realizing I did not really have something great to actually write about, hence the phone turned from a digital note device into an mp3 player, I plugged my earplug beneath my head buff.. the first song played.

It was an old song. John Mayer's "Bigger than my body".


"Look, uncle.." This little kid pointed far, leading the guardian's eyesight towards a magnificent view that framed with blue sky, green hill, and white clouds.

The guardian thought it was about the colors that pulled the kid's attention, until the kid said,

"...we're standing above the cloud."

The guardian smiled. So it's the altitude that you started to appreciate. He rubbed the kid's head, "jom?"

"Jom!" The kid shouted, high spirited.


Back to cliche -- "Bigger than my body" is a song about dreaming, and dreaming big.

Hey I used to dream about climbing up to Mount Kinabalu, the highest peak of Southeast Asia when I was young.

The dream started to mold when once upon a time someone senior brought me climbed up to a hill. I do not remember which uncle who took me up there, how did he look like, and which hill it was..

.. but I still remember the feeling, the feeling of making your step going up, for another greater top view; and the feeling of standing high, high enough like standing above the cloud; and I remember the senior rubbed my head with a smile...

erm.. perhaps that happened in a dream -- but I did not think too much about it. What I knew was I really needed to put my heavy weighted load aside, and turned back to rescue two old men who I left behind.


Every 1st time experience is perhaps the most vivd experience in one's life. The guardian fully understands what will this little climb bring to this little kid, like what had his first climb long time ago brought to him and his life.

.. and then he saw a little girl wearing striking pink t-shirt, guarded by her uncles and aunties, making her own effort climbing up a steep rock surface which almost all climbers will need a rope to handle.

The guardian knew the girl would make it by looking at the dedication that shined in her eye..

... and if that was her 1st experience of being committed to an effort and dedicated to a promise, that pink shirt little girl is already a grown up.


"This hike, man," PapaJai patted on my shoulder, " for you to prove, to us and to yourself, whether you are growing up to a super-man, or not..."

I was speechless.

Yup, the whole troop celebrated my birthday in my hotel room nights before our hike to the mountain, but that doesn't mean I'm already a grown-up..

..I have to pass this test -- the ultimate test that given by my big brother PapaJai, at least in this trip; a test that will put my patience on stretch, that will challenge my ego, that will make me learn to think in bigger view;

-- a test that will make me learn to be committed to an effort, and dedicated to a promise.

...... .... And of course a test with physical torture and endurance, like --- ".. so you'll be the porter for the troop," PapaJai said it to me, but announced it to everybody, "you'll be carrying most of the troop members' stuff hike up there..."

I sighed like a grown-up.


The guardian realized that the kid's body weight was more than any weight that he had been carried in any hike to any mountain;

... but he also realized that a little reward is essential for any kid after they've given out their best effort in completing something, like a hike up to the top of a hill.

Hence when the kid just climbed up to his back, he'd just happily provide a ride, a downhill ride for his little precious;

... and then soon enough, the guardian found out something that he never realized before....


The first time I realized that clouds mold their shape into various characters and live up in all stories in my fantasy, I knew that I'll be alright staying with the ability called imagination.., and I just want to safe keep it...

.... but safe-keeping the ability called imagination becomes tougher and tougher when we encounter the ability called growing-up..

Yup I mumble about growing up again. Sigh.

The fact that this was my 2nd time to Mt Kinabalu really helped me to be a lot more composed and cooler compared to the first timers like the super excited Ijol, super restless Zahir, and the super worried cum super dilemma (super de-ram-ma) trio Fatma, Tita and Dila.

.. but when I held on the coolness and composure, though they were in fact fragile and shaky, and trying to put on an image signed and sealed with 'Approved Reliability' label, I knew deep inside there's something shaking and questioning me..

..... and that 'something' surfaced when Amie told me her aim for her second chance being here...


"A baby?"

The guardian stopped.

"...A'ah..." the kid on his back pointed something behind them, ".. is that a baby?"

The guardian turned around and looked for what the kid was pointing at. It's a curled fern-leaves.

".. and she's in red color.." The kid touched the fern. There's indeed some reddish spots hided within the curled leaves.

"... and when she grows up, " the kid continued, "she'll become green.."

"......... you like red color?" the guardian broke the silence after he fell into speechless for a few seconds.

The kid nodded and smiled.

"OK.. so where were we just now?" The guardian pushed the almost-falling-down little heavy body a little bit up on his back, " many trees already?"

"22," The little heavy body pointed at another tree ahead of them, "..and that's the 23rd.. "

"Jom.." The wood-touching game continued.


It's heavy. I think.

Amie said she wanted to reach the summit this time, she wanted to get through the spot after Sayat-Sayat -- the spot that she failed to get through few years back, and failed the mission of getting to the top of Mt Kinabalu, few years back.

To be frank I couldn't really appreciate how she was afraid of the spot that failed her, but from the way she put it, it was really something that was heavy for her.

And of course I did not tell her those 'motivational' bla-bla-bla like 'you need to get over it to prove that you can do it' -- THAT would be the toppest classic example of being cliche.. In the midst of me pretending that I was listening and feeling her, I suddenly felt helpless about me myself being in the state of hiking up this mountain.

This hike -- this protocol of hiking up the so-called Southeast Asia Top Roof, of getting through the mental hardship and physical toughness, of reaching the peak of the mountain, of snapping pictures at the top, of feeling proud, of showing off the achievement, of expressing 'Oh My God I felt that human-being are so tiny', of ... etc etc etc all the protocol-ic cliches -- out of a sudden I felt sad about me doing ALL these.

I knew I ALREADY started to worry about the cliche of growing up.


What is that about counting trees in the wood-touching game? The guardian really did not have any inkling of ideas.

The counts continued, with the giggle of the kid, plus some stories shared among them, about trees and baby fern. The guardian really hopes that the kid would keep and safe-keep the most precious treasure that every kids have --

-- it's an ability, a superpower, called imagination...

"See! uncle, this wood has a coarser skin than the last one... maybe he's sick..."

.... and don't worry about loosing it when come to growing up...

"... see, uncle.. this one is soft... but it's not red color.."

... cuz uncle just realized that, the ability of growing-up doesn't harm the ability of imagination.. yup, uncle just realized that -- just -- on the peak of the Southeast Asia highest mountain -- I perceived the real lesson about growing up.. ....

"Number 27! STOP!" The captain of the vessel commanded.

"Huh? Why stop now?"

"27 trees, cukup dah." Giggling.

What is that about counting trees in the wood-touching game? The guardian really-really did not have any inkling of ideas.


I was walking alone after Sayat-Sayat gate. Amie and Cecilia were in front of me, while the rest of the troop were somewhere behind. I couldn't see anyone of them. I was in a dark, in the state of mind of struggling, fighting and frustrating about a loosened me.

It's all about mental game now -- when the air gets thinner and thinner, they wind got chiller and chiller, the peak of the mountain seemed to be further and further away. I started to sing -- hum, I mean. A song that kept on playing in my head throughout this trip.

"Bigger than my body".

A song about dreaming, and dreaming big. A song that reminded me that I used to dream about climbing up to Mount Kinabalu when I was young -- The dream started to mold when once upon a time someone senior brought me climbed up to a hill.

... it was a childhood me with all the grown up fantasy -- so many dreams so many imaginations that built upon a cloud, and I thought I'm going to lose it when come to growing up...

..but then I realized I was wrong when I reached the peak of the mountain, for the 2nd time in my life....

... at the top of the mountain where I finally touched the clouds, I found myself wrapped by the clouds while performing my subuh prayer -- then all of a sudden all my childhood fantasy blended into a grown up me.... I paused for awhile in my doa, recite 'Alhamdulilah' deep from my heart, for making me learnt the biggest lesson that touches straight to the deepest fear of me being myself...


No, 2nd time to the top of Mt Kinabalu doesn't not mean that I'm great enough to brag about...

2nd time to the top of Mt Kinabalu was still an exploration for me.

Besides the mysterious part of the mountain herself, with new friends and rejuvenated bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood, plus my new role and new responsibilities in the troop, nothing seemed to be familiar.

..but I think I had great time being in the heart of this mountain -- it was somehow a mystical experience for me. :)


... and of course another little trip bringing two little ones hiked up the little Broga Hill -- it was, again, nothing to really brag about as we all believe that the trip was all about the kids..

How we wish little Una and Uyin will enjoy the hike, the sweat, the little push from themselves, the great view, the feeling of standing upon a cloud...

...and the imaginations and the fantasy they shared in this little world that mother nature offers to them -- the imaginations, the fantasy, and the mother nature are all belong to them, how we wish they can one day learned something great from these precious things that they already have, InsyaAllah, InsyaAllah.

*The end*

Apr 5, 2010

She who cuts my hair...

"Welcome.. hey, long time no see.." She greeted, and was surprised to see the man who stepped in.

"Yeah.. been awhile... how's business?" I sat on the chair she made up for me, realizing I've asked a question which I shouldn't have asked by looking at the emptiness of the salon.

And she did not reply my question. Saved the awkwardness, indeed.

She covered my body with a white cloth with the word 'Schwarzkopf', get the rest of her tool done, looked at me in the mirror,

"So," with a very pleasant smile, she continued,

"Race? or jungle?"


She's Wendy, my 1st hair stylist when I started working in KL, and unlike the rest of the salon I dropped by to get my hair cut, Wendy's salon made me come back for a few times, for a very interesting reason besides Wendy's being such a cute and pretty girl..

Wendy has been my royal audience to listen to my mountaineering, jungle adventures and of course, my races.


I looked back to her in the mirror, "..this one," I put on a serious face expression,"... is for my intensive training.. "

"Wu~~~~~ intensive~~~" she copied my serious face expression and acted on with a pondering gesture, "..sounds tough.. .. how should I cut it? Let me see..... hmmm ..."

.. and not even 10 seconds, we both laughed out loud.

"So, short?" She checked for confirmation.

"Yup, go short, but you know what's wrong with my ear, right?"

"... I know, I always wanted to cut it off.." She started to work on my side-burn, the sound of the razor started to tickle my ear, "so no race for this month? only training?"

"I've just finished 2 races last week... the first one we climbed up KL-Tower..."

The sound of her razor suddenly paused, "... what??" she looked at me in the mirror, "KL Tower? THAT KL Tower?"

I nodded. She showed a 'OK' face expression, switch on her razor and continued her work, "..but you guys ran up to the top of the hill beneath the tower then took the lift up to the top of the tower, I supposed.. .. or you guys finished at the main entrance of the Tower? " she mumbled.

"No.. we ran up to the top of the tower, 2058 stair cases, no lift. "

The sound of razor paused again.



"So how was it?" Wendy the scissor-hand started to show off her skill on my head.

"..yet to receive the official timing.. but I felt better than last year... and I think timing was about the same..."

"What was your timing last year"

"About 20 minutes."

I felt she paused for half a second before she took a deep breath, ".. so big prize you won then, huh?"

"No," I peeked at her quickly, knowing she's going to get shocked again, "with that kind of timing, my position was like 120th."

Zass~~ she just chopped off that little piece of my hair that she clipped with her fingers, ".. so what's the timing for the 1st place?"

".. I don't know.." It is around 13 minutes, but I dare not to get her shacked again as the scissors are still in her hand.


"Short enough?" She hold my head and lifted a little bit, ensuring me to look straight into the mirror, "huh?"

"hmmm..." I looked at my new hairstyle -- it's my standard type of new haircut -- with my two pieces of astro plate or antenna or wings or wind handles or whatever you want to name it slightly popping out.

"You want shorter?" Wendy seemed to know how to read her customer's mind, ".. you sure? Crew cut might not suit you, you that that right?"

"..then no crew cut for me, just a little bit shorter.. go ahead, for April."

"April? What's with April's training? Like a centralized training type of thing or what? Coool~"

" Nah! Just need to buckle up -- I have to train harder now. I'm not improving.. "

"...hmm... how was your second race? A night race you said?"

"Yup, Energizer Night Race.."



"Your team won the 9th place? WOW!" Wendy was impressed by the achievement made by my team 'Run KOMA Run' in 4x10km relay.

"..This is a great team... sometime I think I hadn't given out the best for my team.."

"..but I can't cut any shorter lah bro..." Wendy smiled. I appreciated her sense of humor, something hanging inside me to think of me myself being in the running team with all my running buddies.

Wendy tapped on my shoulder when I fell in deep thought. I looked at her in the mirror, she showed a 'let's get your hair washed' hand sign.


I was starring at my new image in the mirror while she use a hair dryer to dry my hair. I saw my 2 pieces of astro plate finally popped out from both side of my cheek bone and I felt like looking at a kiddo me, it's just that this one is much more skinnier and pale.

"You should eat more... more handsome if fatter.." Wendy put a non-remarkable remark. I responded with a smile.

"I hope this is short enough to suit your training needs.." she said, "..and don't disappoint your team.." She smiled. I smiled back, thinking that that was another non-remarkable remark that she used to end a conversation with a customer..

..but I was wrong when she continued and said,

"... my senior in our styling team always say this to us, 'believe that you are in a great team and with you in it that make the team greater' ... I hope this also work to a running team.."

She smiled and bid farewell. I waved my hand and left, with a warmth-filled heart.

"Believe that you're in a great team, and with you in it that make the team greater.."