Thursday, December 24, 2009

No, It Is Not The End, Yet.

It is a bit ironic that the movie Muallaf is actually shown after Yasmin Ahmad's death as this movie deals alot on death and religion. As usual, Yasmin incorporated the elements that are abundace in her other movies, such as love and interracial relationship. But no, this is not another sappy love movie.

The characters of the movie, Rohana and Rohani are sisters who are very much into theology. They read and quote not just verses from Quran, but also from holy books of other religions too. Rohani, the older sister, even tried to enroll herself into a theology course but she was told that there is no future in that course by the receptionist. I can assume that this is a critique to our education system where the courses that can help you to get a huge paycheck are very much sought after and overemphasized by the colleges thus marginalizing other self improvement courses. Rohana, the younger sister, likes to quote numbers which are actually verses from Quran. If you want to know what the numbers really mean, try to read this. But I would recommend that you watch the movie beforehand though.

Another character that is prevalent throughout the movie is Brian, a teacher at a Catholic school. He is someone who is not really interested about things associated to religion. But that change though when he meets Rohana and Rohani. I would say that the character Brian is like Mitch Albom in his latest book that I have just finished reading, Have a Little Faith. In that book, Mitch is not really interested into religion, even towards his own religion. But that changes when he meets a rabbi and a pastor. In the book, Mitch, a Jew, meets a pastor who changes his perspective towards religion while in the movie Muallaf, Brian, a Christian, meets Rohani and Rohana who are both Muslims. For me, that shows that change can come from places or people that we least expected. But dont expect any conversion done in the movie as there is no concrete scene which shows any conversion even take place.

It baffles me that this movie is being held by the Censorship Board for more than 1 year. I cant see their justification in holding it from viewing for such a long time. Is it because Rohana quoted verses from holy books of other religions too? I dont see the problem as reading holy books of other religions have been done hundred of years ago. Heck, even people who are not even Muslims read Quran and make researches about the verses. I even read how Muslim scholars read holy books of other religions and it just strengthen their faith about Quran and Islam as they know what they believe in. Or is it because that Rohani works at a pub and uses that money? Or is it because Rohani and Rohana's father drinks beer and goes to nightclubs? I have seen many other movies who are even worst than that. Just watch any movies that feature any motorcycle racing in it and most of them would feature scantily clad women in pubs and nightclubs entertaining the rempits. Dont tell me it is because of Rohani's hair was cut by her father until she is bald? Because that is just plain ridiculous.

There are many scenes that would make you to think of your daily life and what you are actually doing with it. One of the scenes is when they ask us to treat our parents with our utmost respect as we would regret it if we dont and they go away without us having any chance of asking for a forgiveness. Not only that, one of the scenes ask us to forgive anyone who might have hurt our feelings and let bygones be bygones which I assume is easier said than done by some of us. I wont say that this is Yasmin's best movie, but this is certainly one of the most stimulating. Being Yasmin's last movie, though that technically would be Talentime, it is one movie that you can never say no to.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Everything happens for a reason.

Everything happens for a reason. We hear that alot that it becomes such a cliche.

Yesterday I got a text from a friend about our friends who are already married and already have a baby of few months old. My friend told me that our friends' dear baby has passed away. Devastated is such an understatement based on the magnitude of anticipation from my dear friends who eagerly waited for the birth of their first child. I attended their wedding and I knew back then that they would make such a nice parents. I just cant imagine their grief and suffering right now. All that I can offer now are my condolences and sympathy.

My friend told me that the baby passed away because of choking while drinking her milk. I asked my mom, a retired nurse about this and she gave me few pointers. Of her 30 years working as a nurse, she worked in the pediatric ward for 10 years so I can assure you that she knows what she's talking about. Whenever you are nursing the baby, make sure that the baby is breastfed and not using the bottle,eventhough the milk in the bottle is from the breast milk, especially when the baby is about to sleep. This is because if the baby is drinking the milk from the bottle and sleeping at the same time, the milk will still enter the baby's mouth and to the baby's lungs. This can eventually lead to the baby's inability to breathe as the lung is filled with milk whereas if the baby is breastfeeding and fell asleep, the milk wont enter the baby's mouth because for that to happen, it would require the baby to suck the milk and I dont think the baby can continue sucking while he's asleep, cant he? This is the difference in the case of the bottle as even without sucking, the milk can still get out of the bottle and into the baby's mouth as long as the bottle is in the baby's mouth.

For my dear friends who lost their dear baby, I hope you can be strong and remember that God will only give us tests that He knows we can bear. Losing someone that we love is unbearable at times but everything happens for a reason.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The subtle way of saying it.

I have always been a fan of satire. Satire, for me, is a way of presenting our idea in a subtle way. We want to give our opinions but at the same time not wanting to look so obvious. It is literature at its highest level. Satire is not something new. Even the folk tale of Sang Kancil dan Sang Harimau is actually a satire which touches on the aspect of people in power who are very arrogant but can be tricked by someone who is smaller but is definitely wiser. It is about brain over brawn.

Today's satire might not be using animals as the subject of satire as much as it used to but satire is definitely still in use in today's literature. For example, the scene from one of P. Ramlee's movie, Bujang Lapok. Some might argue that it was just a coincidence but we might never know, do we?

Ideas and ideologies are things that are commonly being projected through satire. But these few days, it hit me how asserted ideologies are being taught to people all this while. Lately, people have been talking about the notorious Biro Tata Negara (BTN) course. I have never been to one but others who have been to the course are saying that it promotes racism. A lot have been said about it but I rather let you judge it on your own. Here is the lyric of a song that is taught to all participants of the course, Anak Kecil Main Api.

Anak kecil main api,
Terbakar hatinya yang sepi,
Air mata darah bercampur keringat,
Bumi dipijak milik orang.

Nenek moyang kaya raya,
Tergadai seluruh harta benda,
Akibat sengketa sesamalah kita,
Cinta lenyap di arus zaman.

Indahnya bumi kita ini,
Warisan berkurun lamanya,
Hasil mengalir ke tangan yang lain,
Peribumi merintih sendiri.

Kita rumpun bangsa Melayu,
Menganut agama yang suci,
Semangat bangsa berlandaskan Islam,
Teras capai kemerdekaan.

Masa depan sungguh kelam,
Kan lenyap peristiwa semalam,
Tertutuplah hati terkunci mati,
Maruah peribadi dah hilang.

Kini kita cuma tinggal kuasa,
Yang akan menentukan bangsa,
Bersatulah hati, bersama berbakti,
Pulih kembali harga diri.

Kita sudah tiada masa,
Bangunlah dengan gagah perkasa,
Janganlah terlalai teruskan usaha,
Melayu kan gagah di nusantara.

The lyric of the song is obviously promoting something. For me, if you want to promote something, promote something that touches on justice, hope and truth. Not some ideas about how we must not let other races, who are Malaysians too, to take our country away from us. It is their country too, for God's sake. It is not a country for one race, but for all races. As long as they are Malaysians too, they have the same rights to be successful too. What baffles me is that when we go to other countries, we look at each other and identify each other as Malaysians. But when we are here, in our own country, we identify each other according to our race. I dont think we need any WWIII for us to start identifying ourselves as Malaysians in our own country. Touch wood.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hobin Jang Hobin

I went to the Piala Malaysia celebration the other day. It was organised by the state government and the state FA, PBNS. I'm too tired to write right now so I'm just going to let my pictures do the talking.hehe.

The cultural group that was present at the celebration night.

The team as they made their way to the stage.

The deer who knew to recite his prayers.

Negeri Sembilan's Menteri Besar.

Halim, one of my friends who is in the team.

Menteri Besar holding the cup.

The entertaining Ebby Yus.

The DJ from Negri FM.

The evergreen Hattan.

The sweet Elyana.

The ever rocking Ramli Sarip.

The cup that is hoped to stay here for years to come.

Lastly, the fireworks.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Either one of them.

I was eating my dinner with my parents when suddenly my dad asked,

" Syafiq, do you know Ana Raffali?"

I almost choked my pattaya fried rice when he asked me about her. Of course I know her, I even got a thank you note from her. What surprised me was that my dad knows Ana Raffali. Wow, that was really a surprise. I thought he only knows Mana Corazon Espinoda. So I answered,

" Yes, of course I know her. How did you know about her?"

My dad just smiled without answering my question. Then my mom asked,

" Who is she? Yuna ek?"

What??? Now my mom knows Yuna? It's like I'm in the parallel universe. I never thought my parents know them. They are more hip than I thought they were. What more after this? Wani Ardy?

Hmm...On second thought, maybe they want to marry me to either one of them. Maybe it's just a way for them to get to know the bride beforehand.

" Syafiq, pick me, pick me. I can sing and write too."

" No Syafiq, pick me. Not only I can sing and write, I'm also a businesswoman. Ekin got her tudung Ekin, I got mine too. It's a sure hit la, 'Tudung Yuna'. Pick me Syafiq."

Well, maybe not. So anyone wants to sing me lullabies before I go to sleep tonight?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Piece of cake.

I must admit I havent been to Negeri Sembilan's football games as frequent as I would like to due to studies commitments. But as I have finished my studies this year, I can proudly say that I've been to most of the Malaysia Cup games at Paroi even during the group stages. I must say congratulations to the players and fans for giving their best even when the odds are stacked against them. Just let the unruly fans be them, they are already used to that kind of hooliganism. As Negeri Sembilan has won the Malaysia Cup and I got to be there to witness the historic event, this post is specially dedicated to all my 'waghih'.

English mode off.

"Bukan jauh bonar pun Somban tu...Moh kito naik keto ramai-ramai poie stadium..."

"Bas pun den bawak la poie stadium..Kot drebar tu taknak bawak,den boleh bawakkan jugak"

"Den sajo yo tukar style rambut den camni sobab den peminat hard core Alip Samsudin"

" Kawe nak merusuh...Kawe tak kire...warrggghhhh"

"Ha, kan dah kene mercun.Padan muke penyokong Negri.Kawe memang puas ati.Hahaha"

" Apo ni FRU,takkan biar yo.Dorang baling morcun tu. Pokak tingo den ni ha."

" Eh,ape ni tok. Kawe tak baling mercun. Kawe ni baik-baik belako. Kito kelate bako oghe berani tok. Jangan tuduh-tuduh"

" Den tak kiro. Duduk diam-diam. Den ghembat dengan cota ni kang."

" Defend! Oii defend!!! Takyah wall do.Biar yo dorang sepak.Bukan boleh gol pun.Nenek den tondang pun laie kuek."

" Den sobonar eh orang Negri jugak. Tapi den kono kojo pulak malam ni.Takpo la,domi kojo, berhujan pun den sanggup, asalkan Negri monang."

" Macam Kanye West tak den? Bezo den dongan dio, den ni tak kacau Taylor Swift yo."

"Den ni sanggup kuar dari gua kat Afghanistan semato-mato untuk menyokong team faveret den."

"Mang ai, den yang kepalo botak macam gangster ni pun takut tengok asap banyak-banyak ni."

" Tulah den maleh ni. Apola kojo bakar kerusi stadium plak ni. Tak pornah poie stadium lawa ko apo. Den jugak yang kono padamkan."

" Takpo-takpo. Lopeh game den belanjo teammate den kopi hai-o. Tapi sorang satu goleh yo tau. Den kopak ni."

Ijai ni membor den kat sekolah dulu,duduk sobolah den kat kelas time kat PZ. Dulu selalu gak datang rumah dengan motor honda dio tu. Tapi sekarang takdo laie la datang.Sibuk bonar kot. Takpo la,kang orang cakap den nak tumpang glamer plak kan.

English mode on.

Negri Sembilan jersey colour last night = yellow = the royal's official colour = Yamtuan Besar = Yamtuan Besar's coronation is in 2009 = 09 = 7 + 1 + 1 ( 7th November, date of the final).

Fate already has it that the night belonged to Negeri Sembilan.

Last night was a fantastic game. The players played well. What irritates me the most is the unruly behaviour of Kelantan's fans. They intimidated and provoked the Negri's fans just because we were outnumbered at the stadium. Even when the game had finished, they still provoked us at outside of the stadium. If I had retaliated, I dont think I'll be typing this entry right now. If I had a say in FAM, I would have banned Kelantan from the MSL for next season, without a bit of hesitation. Nevertheless, congratulations to Negeri Sembilan and let's hope that we wont have to wait another 61 years for another trophy.

Disclaimer: If your picture or someone that you know is here and dont wish for it to be published here, just leave a comment and I will take it off promptly. For Negri fans only.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

10 Seconds of Fame.

When I was 6 years old, I was enrolled into a kindergarten near my house. Unfortunately, due to some problems with my friends at that time, I had to quit early, 2 months into my kindergarten year and spend the rest of the year staying at home. So I had no chance of graduating from my kindergarten and wearing a mortarboard. Looking at my friends' pictures when they were just kids and wearing the graduation robe and mortarboard made me promise myself that someday I would be wearing something like that too.

So after 15 years of toiling, finally I got the rights to officially wear the graduation robe and mortarboard during my convocation yesterday.

Imagine me screaming 'yeah!' when this picture was taken.Haha.

When I was in primary school, I was asked by my teacher, what do I want to be when I grow up. I answered traffic policeman. It was because I would pass by the policeman whenever I went to school so that was the first thing that came up in my mind. I guess with this robe and graduation, I wont be a policeman after all. Well, maybe I can be a teacher and holds the signboard in front of the school when the school kids want to cross the street.hehe.

4 years is not a very long time to some but when you are constantly being bogged down by assignments and stuffs, it can be a very long time. But....

when you have friends who can constantly think outside of the box and give their 100% for every assignments and presentations....

when you have friends who are willing to do some charity work just to keep you accompanied for the few days of work

when you have friends who know how to have fun while on holiday

when you have lecturers who wont let you quit so easily and always ask for the best from you

when you have a family who has been supportive of your choices all this while

those 4 years can be a very fun and fulfilling experience. Thanks to my friends and lecturers who have made my days there such a beautiful part of my life. I guess life is a journey and it starts here. So it is now about embracing the future and life while holding on dearly to those who helped you to be where you are right now.

It is not the end, it is just another beginning of a new chapter.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

The questions that you can't avoid.

My friend, Aisyah, got married today. I'm still trying to adapt but it's kinda weird that many of my friends are getting married, the same friends who were childish when I got to know them but are now more mature by the time that I see them when they're married. I guess I just have to get used to it that my friends are getting older and are now settling down. In my 20s, the questions that people usually ask is when am I getting married. That made me thinking, what would be the questions that would be asked in 10 or 20 years time? I guess it would be like this.

In the 30s - how many children do you have now?
In the 40s - where are your children studying?
In the 50s - are your children married yet?
In the 60s - how many grandchildren do you have?
In the 70s - what medicine do you take now?

Whatever it is, I just hope my friends who are already married will be happy with their partners while for those who havent, dont forget to send the invitation cards,ok? :D

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Friends who made it complete.

I was bored and figured that I needed to spend my time with some activities. So I asked my friends for a trip to Penang and because they're oh so obliging, we went for our trip to Penang last weekend.

On the first day, after checking in into the hotel, we went to Batu Feringhi for some Baywatch-esque activity, minus the slow mo actions.

A bad imitation of Titanic.

On the next day, we went for a sightseeing around the town of Georgetown, including the Masjid Melayu Lebuh Acheh Pulau Pinang,

and also Masjid Kapitan Keling.

We also went to the Toy Museum, Gurney Drive, Gurney Plaza, Fort Cornwallis and Queensbay Mall.

From left : Ijan - the most clueless guy during the trip, Haris - the newbie of the trip, guard at the Fort Cornwallis, Taufiq - the driver who likes to SMS while driving, Husin - the Kedah lad who was as clueless about Penang as we were, and last but not least, yours truly who booked the hotel and managed the financial stuffs.

Being unemployed, for the time being, is tiring. But to have friends who will jump and say yes the moment you ask them to join a vacation trip, really makes it all worthwhile.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Men and despair.

A hopeless romantic.

That's what I can conclude of what I am after watching 500 Days of Summer. But the thing is, the movie is not a love story where boy meets girl and both live happily ever after, just like the trailer had forewarned.

It is a story of heartbroken. Heartbroken in a sense of being unsure of where the relationship is heading and getting the result that you have never wanted. It is a story of a boy getting heartbroken which I assume is not covered too much by other movies. The despair of a boy in love doesnt really appeal to the masses compared to the despair of a girl. When you have been through the phases of being heartbroken and faced it first hand, this movie will surely rob the feeling of sadness that has been kept all along. The Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind and the Science of Sleep are two good examples by the brilliant director Michel Gondry that coincide with the theme of this movie. I guess music video directors like Marc Webb and Michel Gondry can really make good feature film that is true to their style of directing.

You will cringe, you will laugh, you will smile. But most of all, you will feel the despair of a heartbroken boy bouncing from an uncertain love.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Finger licking good.

When I heard about the death of Yasmin Ahmad, I told myself, there would be no other filmmakers who could make me feel like what Yasmin did.

I must have forgotten about Afdlin Shauki at that time.

After waiting weeks for Papadom, I watched the film today. The film won numerous awards during the 22nd Malaysian Film Festival 2009, including the best film. The film is about Saadom who becomes an overprotective father after the demise of his wife. A character in the movie Juno said that a woman becomes a mother when she is pregnant while a man becomes a father when he holds his newborn child. Well, in this movie, Saadom only becomes a real father after the death of his wife as he was too busy with his work before that. He missed many important events which eventually led to his wife's death. Ever since that, he made sure that he would be involved in every part of his daughter's life. Well, just maybe too much.

This film discusses few aspects of life on whether should one amass wealth to the extend of ignoring one's family eventhough the wealth was intended to ease the burden of the family's financial woes and also how far would a father go to make sure of his child's happiness (or safety). I guess being a father means more than giving you a present during your birthdays when during other times, he would be flying all around the world and not being by your side when you need him the most. A supportive father is what a child needs. Like in the film, Saadom was too afraid that his daughter would make mistakes and only realised later that mistakes are there to teach his daughter about life. The film shows that being a father is more than whipping the children when they did something wrong or reading the newspaper while drinking some tea. A father must have the emotion connection and being supportive of his children. I know, men are not known to be emotionally expressive but trying doesnt hurt, right?

Papadom includes the joy of laughter and the string of emotions that bond a family together and because of that, it is a must watch movie that should not be missed.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


I was listening to the radio when a caller called the radio station and she was asked few questions about Beyonce. I guess it is a competition for the Beyonce's concert later this month. One of the questions was how Beyonce affected her. Without any hesitation, she answered that she has a higher self esteem now and was not afraid of her looks. She told the dj that she has a big backside so she was cautios at first of its size. But then, when she noticed how Beyonce has a big backside too, she was not afraid of her looks anymore. Beyonce embraced her looks and accepted her size.

I have girl friends who keep on complaining of their weights and sizes when actually they are just a little bit thicker than a plywood. This obsession with model-like body makes people to suffer more, actually. You dont need to have a size 0 dress to feel confident of yourselves. It is ok to weight a little bit but not to the extend your weight hampering your effort to go on with your daily lives. I found that women who are confident of theirselves somehow help people to be at ease with them without other people even bother about their sizes. I guess it's true that the real beauty comes from the inside after all.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

For betterment.

From the window of my room, you can actually get to see more greenery than bricks and stones. The huge tree that I tried to climb when I was a kid and the fruit trees that my parents planted add more scenery to it. But now, development came and destroyed most of it. The new flyovers and the smell of newly-tarred road just overwhelmed the greenery scenery.

The road at the back of my house is just one part of the Seremban Outer Ring Road that would connect the whole Seremban. Flyovers are also built to complement the new roads.

The flyovers led to a huge road where the cars are driven faster than before. Better roads=faster cars=more accidents?

The railway track is the path that I took to go home whenever I missed my bus to go home during my primary school years. It is a short cut that people nearby use to get to my neighbourhood. But the track isnt being used anymore now, as the train from Seremban to Port Dickson has ceased its operation.

On one hand, I'm a bit sad that the places that I used to go to are being taken down and cements and tars are replacing them. But on the other hand, development is a must and there are things that have to be sacrificed in order for something else to prosper. Without some sacrifices, I guess most of us would still live in the 50s.