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.