Monday, August 31, 2009

Happy Independence Day.

It is Malaysia's 52nd Independence Day today. There arent too many celebrations for this year due to H1N1 and the fasting month. Yet, we still celebrate it in our own way. So for this year's Independence Day, I just want to show the pictures that I took two years ago during the 50th Independence Day. It is such a milestone that I just had to take pictures of it. Before that, I never own a DSLR so when I saw some ads about a man taking a video of the independence day and viewing it again 50 years later, I told myself I just had to get a DSLR for myself. Getting to use many digicams and prosumers, I taught myself to use a DSLR. I woke up abit late that day and arrived when the parade already started so these are my noob pictures when I had just started using DSLR.

Last but not least, a picture that I just took minutes ago in front of my house.

I hope I will be able to celebrate Malaysia's 100th Independence Day and grow old just like the man in the ad.

Selamat Hari Merdeka ke 52.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Our blood is red.

And insult not those whom they (disbelievers) worship besides Allâh, lest they insult Allâh wrongfully without knowledge. Thus We have made fair­seeming to each people its own doings; then to their Lord is their return and He shall then inform them of all that they used to do.

Translation of the Holy Quran ( 6 : 108)

I read with disgust the act of so-called Muslims protesting against the relocation of a proposed temple near their neighbourhood.Dont get me wrong,but I believe that they have their rights to protest of something that they do not agree of and in this case the relocation of the temple. But what disgusted me the most is their acts. They took a slaughtered cow's head and paraded it in front of the State Secretariat (SS) building and stepped on the cow's head. For them, that is a symbolic act of denouncing the Hindu's religion as cow is a sacred animal in the Hindu religion. For me, insulting other people's religion is something that is totally inappropriate and just makes people to misunderstand Islam as a religion that condones violence and disrespectful. They could have just make a march towards the SS building and hand over a memorandum just like how a civilized men would do. I dont think they will get the support of other people once they started to resort to something like this. For me, if you want some respect, you have to earn it.

I have many friends who are non-Muslim and I am rather comfortable with it. Yes, we make fun of each other and calling names like 'sepet' and 'itam' but never to a point of degrading other people. It was merely making fun of each other and having few rounds of good laugh. I respect whatever they believe in and in return, they respect the things that I believe in. People, no matter whatever they believe in, believe it or not, are the same like me and you. They feel hurt, happy, sad and joy. So I always make it a point to always treat people of other religions just like the way I want them to treat me.

My friend and I had some discussions on how some Muslims do things that put Islam in a bad spotlight. Things that should have never be done in the first place and are done by people who acted without thinking the consequences. Islam has always taught its followers to do good things and not the opposite. So for me, there is no such thing as bad religions, only bad followers.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The imperfections.

I was going through some blogs and found a video clip of a song that my friends used to play on their laptops. I wasnt very keen on the song yet they keep on playing it day and night, even when we went to karaoke. But nevertheless, the thing like this song is what makes me remember them rather than anything else. Like the late Yasmin Ahmad said in one of her commercials, this imperfection is what makes us remember the people that we hold on dearly. Or something like that.

The song that they like to play on their laptops and sing along with it. Even when they are in the toilet.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Memories of the past.

I have just watched The Butterfly Effect. I know, I am very late considering that the movie was released in 2004. This movie is about Evan who has the ability to travel back through time by reading his journals. His travels through time and the changes that he made in the past had affected his future in so many ways. So many, that by changing one event, it affected those around him 360 degree. All in all, the story tells you not to play God and try to change something that has already happened. It can easily be one of my favourite movies of all time.

Watching this movie, made me think. I have done many things that I'm not proud of in the past. Things that dont even deserve to be mentioned. But if I have the chance to travel through time and change it all for the better, would I do it?

Never in my life time.

For me, the shitty things that you did are there to teach you something. You learn something when you made a mistake. For example, if you have never been involved in an accident and keep on driving dangerously, you might never stop your bad driving habits. The bad things that had happened are the things that shaped me into what I am today so I guess I just have to face the future and hope for the best.Ameen.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Up, Up and away.

Some of my friends prefer to watch movies that usually involve bad-ass fighting scene or horror movies where chopping people is the 'in' thing. These movies that won't require you to think much are easy to understand because, well, they won't need you to. In watching movies, I prefer to watch movies that get you to think of other aspect apart from the usual good versus evil part though I admit I watch that kind of movies once in a while. The underlying theme is usually what gets you to think more, even after you have gone out of the cinema. So, today I watched Up, which is in the latter category.

What is the movie about, actually? It is about an old man, Carl Fredricksen, who worked as a balloon seller going on an adventure with Russell, a boy scout. So what is so exciting about an old man and a boy on an adventure, you might ask.

The theme of the movie.

For me, the theme of the movie is letting go of the past. Carl was married with a woman ,Ellie,who he had known since they were both young. In the early part of the movie, you will see how they fall in love with each other, growing old till to the death of Ellie. Carl continued his life, being a bitter old man. I'm sure many will have teary eyes during this part of the movie. I guess Ellie made an important impact in Carl's life that he couldn't seem to let go of his past with his wife by still holding on to their memories together. He won't even move out of their house even when around it is surrounded by construction site and not even letting the construction worker to touch his mailbox that he and Ellie painted together. The point that I think Carl finally let his past go is during the scene on the airship where there was hesitation of letting go of his house in order to save Russell and the rest yet he still let it go. It was quite symbolic in a sense of letting go of your past. But I guess in the trailer, all that they want to emphasise on is the funny part of the movie rather than the humanity of Carl. Well,who am I to argue, funny stuffs sell a movie, right? Nevertheless, 8/10 for the movie.It's one of the best movie so far.

Watching how loving an old man can be makes me to remember something that I will never forget in my life. It was few years ago at Masjid Tanah where I was waiting for my bus to get to Seremban. While waiting at the bus stop, I watched an old man holding his wife to get into the bus. He was holding her hand so that she wont fall while stepping on the bus stairs. Watching that made me to wonder, how many of us will still be holding our spouse's hands as we get into the golden years? Some would just leave their wife a hundred meter at the back. Another thing that I wish to share also happened few years ago as I was in a train going to KL. A couple in their 40s were arguing in the train though they weren't shouting to each other most probably due to many people watching. Their argument got heated and at one point, the man was holding that woman's head and banging it on the window glass a few times. Nobody dared to go tell him off at that time. So it gives you the idea that you should be loving to your loved ones even towards the end of it. So choose wisely what type of relationship that you want to remember and be remembered for.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Light trails in Seremban.

I have been writing and putting pictures of other places but rarely Seremban. As few days ago I went with out with my new friends and shot few pictures of Seremban at night, I guess I should put them here so that other people will know how Seremban looks at night. So, enjoy :)

It's nothing much, but at least people will know how Seremban looks at night :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Why oh why Juliana Evans?

I woke up extra early today, as I wanted to go to Kuala Lumpur Photography Festival. After checking my emails and stuffs, I read the newspapers while lying on the sofa. Then, I got an SMS from a new friend. Her name is Juliana Evans, the actress. We exchanged texts and told each other about ourselves. She even told me that she was involved in karate when she was in primary school. I changed her name in my phone to 'Julyena Condo' so that people wont know that I'm texting her so that there will be no controversy involved.

"Do you still have the small karate uniform that I gave you?" She asked.

"Yeah. I'm holding it now." I texted her while holding the uniform.

We continued exchanging SMS when suddenly...


A motorcycle came to my house and gave me the parcel that I ordered few days ago. Then, I realized I was sleeping on the sofa and that was all a dream.

Oh well, maybe I should go to the KLPF now and maybe Juliana Evans will be there and I can meet her.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Sometimes, I feel like I'm a big geek.

Ever since I was a little boy, I have been exposed to so many kinds of English movies. I guess that's where I pick up the language from. Among that many movies, I can proudly acclaim that Tron is one of them.

What? You dont know what Tron is? Well, that just shows the difference between our age. Really.

I wasnt born yet when Tron was first released in 1982. I guess I watched it 10 years after its release. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the movie so much that I can still remember the motorcycle that they ride in the movie until now. At that time, the motorcycles with flashy thingy coming out from their back were so cool that I imagined myself getting on the motorcycles and racing against the bad guys. Somehow I think Power Rangers' motorcycle copied the design from this movie. It was an extraordinary design for sure. So for you who have never watched the Tron movie, this is the trailer.

Then, today, I got to know that there will be a sequel to that movie, titled Tron Legacy.I'm so happy!!! Hahaha. I will get to relive my childhood experience again. I guess the movie makers really cater to my generations' childhood experience and turning them into movies. Just like what they did to Dragon Ball, G.I. Joe, Transformers and so many other CGI-laden movies that originate from around that era. So this is the trailer for the new Tron.

Undeniably, this new Tron is better in terms of graphics based on the trailer but I just hope that this new movie wont lack the soul that can make people remember this movie even after 20 years from now.

Sometimes, being a geek isn't that bad after all.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Of Yasmin Ahmad, life, death and beyond.

'Farah, Yasmin Ahmad is in hospital right now.'

I texted my friend who I have known since primary school,Farah, who worked with Yasmin Ahmad in the movie Mukhsin.

She replied, ' Yeah, I know. I just hope that she's going to be ok.'

That was weeks ago. Unfortunately, Yasmin didnt get better and succumbed to the illness.

I have always been a fan of Yasmin. If you have read from my earlier entries, you could see that I wrote few things about her. I didnt care that people say that she's actually a man or practises pluralism. She's not perfect. No one is. For me, we learn the good things that we can from someone and not to follow the bad things that people do. Like I said in previous entries, if we keep on looking at the bad things rather than focusing the good things, then we will go nowhere. I intentionally didnt write anything the days after she died. I waited until everything is calm down as I dont want to write something emotionally. But last night's event prompted me to write this now.

Yasmin got the award as the Best Director at the 22nd Festival Filem Malaysia. She deserves to get the award though some may argue that the juries only gave it to her out of sympathy. As her name was called out, her sister came on stage and took the award. I watched as she went on giving her acceptance speech. I could sense that she was very strong to be on stage and not to break down as my teary eyes last night showed that she is even stronger than I was. Before the award, there was a tribute for Yasmin and shows some snippets of her movie. I dont know whether to be happy or sad with the recognitions that she got now. The same industry that bashed her with cruel criticisms are trying to give their sympathy now. How hypocrite could they be? People never appreciate something when they are here but instead choose to adores something when they are never around. Just like the Michael Jackson case who coincidentally was the same age as Yasmin when he died. So I wondered, what would people remember about me when I'm gone? I asked my friends at Facebook and here are their answers.

I just want to say thanks to all my friend there. Yesterday was also the day that I watched The Departures. It is a Japan movie that tells about an encoffineer and how he deals with his job and his life. Actually, I got to know this movie from Yasmin's blog which recommended readers to watch it. I must say that she really had a good recommendation as this story really makes you think about how we deal with life and death, whether we are ready to accept and embrace them as they are. Other people keep on saying that the encoffineer must find a normal job like other people but he keeps on doing what he loves the most as the job is his passion. For him, normality is too overrated that death itself is normal,everyone lives and dies so for him dealing with corpse is something that is actually normal. The character and Yasmin have the same characteristics, eventhough people say that they are doing something that is absurd and abnormal, they keep on believing in themselves and continue doing their job.

So, what is normal actually?

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Action figures are not dolls.

I watched G.I. Joe today. It was quite ok, not the movie of the year, but it's still exciting nevertheless. It doesn't have all the characters in the cartoon series but as this is their first G.I. Joe movie, I guess there will be some improvements after this. The story gives a bit in depth into the history of the major characters which I think is quite useful for people to get to know the characters better. I was smiling at some parts of the movie as I remembered playing with their action figures when I was just a kid.

I'm kinda a sucker for action figures as I always fell for their advertisements and flashy boxes. Once, I cried at a shopping mall because my mom didnt want to buy an action figure for me. It was the Red Power Ranger complete with its motorcycle. Well, I wont say that Im persuasive, but I got to make her to buy it in the end.Hehe. I also had a G.I. Joe action figure too and remember playing it at the stairs and made it jumping up and down as if it was on a mission. I only bought tough action figures at that time as maybe I wanted to show my masculine side. Maybe now I should buy the Baroness.A hot woman wearing a leather suit with dark black hair and wearing spectacles...Oh, Baroness.....

Well,at least,for me, this movie is a whole lot better than Dragon Ball, a movie which destroyed my imagination for one of my favourite comics of all time, but not as good as Star Trek or Transformers. But watching two hot women fighting was worth the watch, anyday, anytime.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The risk that you take.

I was watching The Soloist the other day. The movie is about a journalist interviewing a cello player who has become a bit crazy. The movie sure makes you to think alot. The effort that the journalist made to get his story and at the same time being the cello player's friend is indescribable. So what does this movie, Coach Carter, The Freedom Writers and Dangerous Minds have in common?

They make extra effort with their work.

From what I observed, to be someone who is remembered for who you are, to be someone who people will look up to you, to be someone great, you need to have the edge that separates you from other people. Once you are in your comfort zone and simply blend in like other people, there wont be anything special about you. Step out of the comfort zone and think outside of the box.

During my first year, I always tried to score the highest mark that I could get. But in second year, this realisation came and I felt that I need something that can give me the satisfaction rather than the marks.When I did my assignments, I always try to take the topic that other people wont take eventhough the topic doesnt have many references. I did that as I feel that I need something that is challenging. So I did what I did, though I didnt get the high marks that I used to get, but I was satisfied with myself being able to do something that other people try to avoid. That is what I told my students, that they dont need to get the highest mark to be good in something, as long as they learned something valuable from it, then that's enough.

Education is what is left after what has been learned is forgotten.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Kuching escapade.

I got a call from my dad last week.

" Do you want to go to Kuching?"

The last time I was on a plane with my family was when I was still in primary school. Considering that I like to travel, I did not hesitate to say yes.

So here are the snapshots from the so-called holiday there.

We stayed at Grand Margherita Hotel which is quite nice, facing the river with a nice view.

For the food, I only got to taste the breakfast buffet. Other than that, I bought the foods outside of the hotel.

Notice the halal trademark there. Maybe they should have stated that the food is halal but the wine is not. It's rather confusing to some. Halal wine anyone? Horrendous.

In front of the hotel, you can see there's a cats statue, as a symbol of the city.

Outside of the hotel, they have set up many booths offering so many varieties of food.

I got to taste Laksa Sarawak though I prefer the normal laksa. Maybe that's because my taste.

Not only that, I got to eat grilled stingray which tastes really fresh and the price is so cheap, compared to the shops here in Semenanjung. The one you're looking here only costs RM16. If you found any cheaper than that, please tell me.hehe.

When you are in Sarawak, you must taste kolok mee, a specialty food in Sarawak. It's almost the same like fried mee or Maggi mee, but better. Trust me.

The booths setup there are in conjunction with the Sarawak Regatta 2009. I never got to experience watching it live so I consider myself lucky to be at the right place at the right time.

It was Friday so we went to a mosque in the centre of Kuching. It's quite cheerful, with the pink paint. We accidentally met with my dad's MCKK schoolmate. His friend is the Imam at the mosque and my dad recognized him by his voice as he was the one giving the sermon for that day's Friday's prayer. This Imam is someone who has a very good skill in language. He can speak standard BM, Kelantan dialect, Sarawak dialect, Arabic and fluent English. I know someone who can speak good English when I see one. The next day, he brought us to Serikin, Bau. There you can buy many stuffs that are imported from Kalimantan and the price is quite nice too. But be sure you know how to bargain. But if you have the money to go to Bandung or Jakarta to buy stuffs, I guess that's a better option. I didn't buy anything except some belinjau crackers.

Here are something for the ladies.

The baju kebaya here is quite cheap too, the price is almost the same if you buy from Pasar Baru Bandung. The price for this piece right here is around RM50-60. Maybe you can get better price by bargaining.

After all the walking under the hot scorching sun, what better to buy than a cold drink, especially one made by a good looking girl.Hehe.

Then we went to Satok market, which has the famous ikan terubuk masin.

You can also ask them to wrap the fish so that they can be put into the cargo area thus eliminating the need to bring the fish into the cabin area.

Like this.

Not only that, you should have a look at the new DUN Sarawak building which is located near the waterfront. It's so huge and I'm sure the inside interior is even better.

All in all, it was quite an experience. But being in the middle of the town, I couldnt really experience the true local culture there. Maybe if I ever go to Sarawak again, I should go to Bako National Park or the Bario Highlands there. That would be wonderful.

"Sarawak nang best gilak!"