Friday, September 24, 2010

rantings 24th september 2010

I really have forgotten how hard it was to get to what I physically am now.

I have just recently resumed my diet regime with the standard workout/food regime. But this time I had to alter it a bit to cater to the unpredictable weather… and I really have to persevere through this. I have forgotten how hard it was to not eat at night, to workout, to basically be cative round the clock.

The weather is very, very unpredictable nowadays – one moment it’s nice and peachy, the next it’s as though the sky is throwing water from pails. It rains a lot especially in the evening. Looks like I would have to take the good opportunities such as the idle mornings/nights as my running time if I am to keep active. For the time being (baby steps, I always remind myself) I am doing body weights and utilizing my under-used resistance band for presses and curls. All these to keep metabolism high. And of course, a little gratitude for me being a young energetic guy goes a looong way… :D


Food is the hardest part – not eating and I will go hungry; eat and I will end up with a full tummy. Thus, choosing what I eat wisely is critical. I try to keep carbs to a minimum, and stock up on proteins… of course, there’ll always be friends who invites me to dinners or lunches, sometimes both (I try to omit one of these); then I will try to offset the meals by reducing hat I eat next. Oh, and water, water, water is important. Other than rehydrating myself in this warm climate, I need it too for flushing out toxins and keeping things clean… a student’s hectic schedule and (sometimes) mindless eating is potentially detrimental for the skin...

The five words that should be my mantra now. Good luck to all others who seek to be healthier after Raya too :D

Thursday, September 23, 2010

of floormates and showers: an observation

The eyes are windows to the soul, as the saying goes. For me, who lives on the similar floor as 12 other students and yet never really seeing them before (save for the Sarawakian dude and the Masters student from the A wing who’s Hairi’s roommate), I might say that I am able to deduce who they are from their little basket of toiletries.

You see, guys here may sometimes leave their toiletries basket out on the communal sink when they take a shower, or leave it in the pantry (it faces the toilet) during other times. Rarely a day goes by without me seeing one of these multicolored plastic containers on my way to filling up my kettle or going to the toilet. And yet, their owners are as rarely seen as the Hope Diamond itself. So I have come up with a little game of guess-the-owner with these holders of personal trinkets.

There is one pale blue basket with locally produced products: Safi Balqis face wash, Safi toothpaste and a bar of soap (brand not known). This may signal the common Malay dude who is just content with the basics, and quite possibly is wary of the Westernization (or specifically for them, the Jew-nization) that is happening subconsciously (sic). Oh, and it also means that he washes his hair with the aforementioned bar of soap. *gasp*

Another one, a purple basket filled with a 600ml bottle of sports body wash, a travel bottle of Rejoice shampoo, and L’Oreal for Men face wash. Obviously these products point towards the jock who takes cares of himself. The physical exercise benefits his lithe/buff/muscular physique (depending on sport) which he would secretly call “the engine”, while these products take care of the hygiene and smell of this “engine”. The miniscule bottle of shampoo also signifies what little hair he has on his shaved/closely-cropped head.

The really rare type: a basket filled with high end products, such as L’Occitane, the Body Shop or any other premium body care brands. This is rare because (a) no one would want to leave such expensive things out in the open and (b) it is rare that guys (specifically, students) would splurge on these products. These baskets signal the financially-loaded student who insists on letting only the best products touch his precious skin. Not that it’s a bad thing; these are the type of owners who leave the bathroom with an exotic and pleasant smell that is different from the standard smell of mildew, L’Oreal and Polo Sport.

Oh, there’s also the type of guy who owns no basket; he is content with going to and fro the bathroom with a shampoo on the first trip, a body wash/soap on the second, and a while later, going in with a face wash. They would leave a tell-tale trail of dripped water and the occasional puff of foam. It’s not surprising to run into these guys with face wash-foam or shampoo (or both) still clinging to the respective body parts.

Whatever these guys own, it reflects the difference that we all have; it adds color to the otherwise mundane and monotonous  life of a student, and it transcends race and religion.  

moving on

Nazri eyed the black dregs in his teacup. The wedding band on his ring finger caught the setting sun’s rays occasionally.

‘So… is this the end?’ Elisa’s voice was barely audible through the din of the café.

Nazri was apprehensive to answer that question. But it was obvious – the wedding band answered it for him. And yet, Elise was being ignorant; it was pretty clear that there was no Elisa in Nazri’s future.

Nazri and Elisa were once lovers; the future was pretty much set. There will be a semi-detached house in Bangsar, three kids (insyaAllah) and they would be both working to support the family; him the successful and renowned photographer and her, the famous chef-cum-author. But that was what Nazri thought; all of a sudden, Elisa disappeared from his radar.


It was the fasting month at that time, and Elisa told Nazri that she would want to have a week of separation in order for her to finish her latest book. Nazri was quick to agree, stating that the separation might make his miss her all the more (always the romantic). A week passed by, so Nazri resumed contacting Elisa. But Elisa failed to reply to any of his messages. Nazri tried calling, but knowing Elisa’s habit of not answering calls, he made the conclusion that she wanted an extra week to finish up the book. Two, three days went by and still, not the slightest news from Elisa. Nazri grew impatient. He called, texted, left Facebook messages and wrote on her Wall, YMed, e-mailed, even going as far as asking Elisa’s best friend Andie about her. But even Andie knew nothing about Elisa’s mysterious disappearance (whether Andie was covering up about Elisa, Nazri would never be sure.)

Nazri decided to leave it at that, thinking and praying for only the best about Elisa. There was no way anything bad could have happened to Elisa; he could feel her. Such was his love for her.

Two weeks passed by. Nazri went online and went to Elisa’s Facebook page to check up on her. Imagine Nazri’s horror when he spied upon the relationship status: “in a relationship with Kieran Faizul”. Who the heck is Kieran Faizul?

Nazri was dumbstruck. He was in love with a woman who was already out of love with him. And for how long has this been going? Since the silence? Since before that? He felt so stupid. And yet he wasn’t quick to sever the tie that was their relationship; he proceeded to send a Facebook message to Elisa.

Subject: salam

No wonder you have been silent all this while. I won’t stand in your way. Have a happy relationship with him.

Another similar text message was sent to her.

A moment later, Nazri’s phone vibrated. It was a text message from Elisa.

What are you talking about?

Nazri was too angry and too sad at the same time to reply that text message.

A few days later, Nazri replied to the text message (and the Facebook message). He stated that he cannot believe that he was still in love with a woman who was not in love with him anymore, and was having an affair. He felt so emasculated by this.

The text messages continued. But it was already over for Nazri. He won’t deal with it anymore. There was no point in showing compassion for someone who obviously doesn’t.  What was utterly unbelievable was that Elisa kept denying everything despite the glaring relationship status (which she never changed till today), and the pictures in her profile that further cemented the relationship’s authenticity. This was Elisa’s statement that struck Nazri speechless:

One day you will change your relationship status back to “in a relationship” with me.


Nazri sat opposite Elisa in the noisy café; he stared into the horizon, thinking about various things: Rosaline, his loving wife whom he had met after breaking it off with Elisa and the most wonderful lover (inside and out) on the planet; how the bitterness of the Kopi O he ordered which was offset by the sheer beauty of the sunset that evening; and of course, Elisa. As far as he knew, she was the least of his concerns now.

‘Yes, it’s the end for us.’ Nazri stood up to leave the café. But not before settling the bill for his Kopi-O and her Teh Tarik.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


i've been an avid reader since i was little - thanks to my parents who instilled this bibliophilia into me. through books, you can go anywhere, be anywhere, be anyone - the protagonist of a fantasy series. to distant lands where you could only dream of setting foot. or be closer to home, but in an alternate reality. or if you fancy, a dashing hero in a romance story, pecs, biceps and all :)

recently i have been touched by three books - they're not the usual english fiction that i go for. i read some magazines like Time, KLUE, et cetera. they feature books in their what-to-read section. frankly, i have never touched a piece of local literature, specifically those cheesy novels. something with more stature, more backbone would be my cup of tea. that is why i am more attracted to english books. plus, i get to improve my english and learn a bit about literature, POVs and so on. but the three books that i currently read (and can never put down) are truly works that are worthy of my money. a fresh POV on malaysia. something that depicts the truth. what really happens in my beloved country, what is the true view. not some idealistic view that some factions put out to convince readers. these books depict what is really going on. reading them is akin to reading a review of a product that was penned by real users - instead of reading product descriptions and claims made by the manufacturers, we have a true view of what is experienced by malaysian. TRUE malaysians. correct me if i'm wrong, which i doubt i am. you can't help but read and affirm what is written in these books, nay, works of art.

some may come to the conclusion that these books as leftists' attempt to make us rebel, hellbent on toppling the incumbent with false claims and slanders. but one can't help but to realize that things are as they say in the book. New Malaysian Essays paints a picture of malaysia that is not false, not theoretical. the writers have made their observations of true, living malaysians and written them as they are. Mr Saharil Hasrin Sanin's Teroris Bahasa (which i have been re-reading numerous times) writes about the language that is Bahasa Malaysia and the problems that surrounds (even threatens) it in such a casual manner we can't help but be amused by it. it is akin to talking to him (which i dream of doing one day). Sonia Randhawa presents her Manifesto For Independence, and tells it as it is. Dina Zaman's I Am Muslim captures what i think are really malaysian muslims. there aren't just one facet of us. malaysian muslims come in all shapes and sizes, from all walks of life. a different interpretation for each of us. What Your Teacher Didn't Tell You by Farish A. Noor, on the other hand, tells of the truth that is our history - the real one.

say what you want about me. but i am still on the fence about politics. i seek point of views, i listen to all, i view all as equal. after all, everybody is entitled to their own opinion. i have friends from the right and the left. and fellow on-the-fence-rs. me reading this book doesn't make me a leftist, or make me love my country less; it just tells me that there are like-minded people who have the same, realist point of view as i am.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

delayed thoughts

Finally, some time and space for me to materialize my thoughts.

Sunday - there were so many things in my mind; fun with friends, inspirations, duties, and of course, blog material. But Monday was just coming in, and with two delayed assignments not done yet, I have decided to act like the 21-year old guy that I am and fulfill my duties first. The inspirations were saved up in random doodles on my notes, and the fun was also stalled because my friends art also busy with their own duties (not to mention those who haven’t returned from their Raya holidays). But the blog materials I have nowhere to save. So I ended up losing a large chunk of it to my human memory. I remember something about the look in one’s eyes (inspired from being in KL), about Raya (I decided to forget about this – so generic) and another about something else. I forgot. I will recover them from my cloud (or rather, storm cloud) of thoughts and perhaps materialize them into material for my blog. But what’s important is that I have someone that I care about, someone else from my beloved family and my dear friends. YOU. Yes, you. You know who you are, my Light. :)

Just returned from a dinner and shisha session with Dyana and Sherry – it is LONG delayed. The fasting month left me (and Sherry too, as she mentioned) yearning for things more important than shisha – hydration!! Thus we were able to forget the yearning for a while and focus on enriching our earthly body in human necessities. Hehehe~

Sunday – what did I do on Sunday…Oh, woke up at around 10.30am. Rolled around on the bed, sniffed my Domo-kun (reminds me of you), read my new book New Malaysian Essay 1 (GOTTA GET THE 2nd EDITION even if it means me having to eat less - the 3rd one I already have on E-Book which is how they distributed it but I have to print it out) and waited for Mimi to come to UTM. Then we headed to Jusco to buy some supplies and to have lunch. I can’t get enough of the Jusco Selections chocolate bar. More fillings than the standard fare (YAY Jusco!)… I also bought shampoo and shower crème and a sponge. I feel SO dirty not being able to scrub myself, especially someone who sweats profusely, like me. Haha… also bought Dina Zaman’s I Am Muslim – the third book I bought in two weeks. I must credit Farish A Noor’s What Your Teacher Didn’t Tell You to spurring my love for local (albeit a bit leftist) literature. They’re the only books worth reading that comes from the local scene. None of those drippy novels for me, no thank you. Eww. LOL~


three books that reminded me of how much of a bibliophile I am :) and also reminds me that there are still bright great minds that are able of independent thought and seeing a different POV in Malaysia...

Monday – submitted my part of the assignment to my group member (I don’t know if I did it right). The English assignment, the curriculum vitae, took almost 1/100 of the time it takes for me to do the database assignment. Thank goodness I already have the gist of what I was gonna say in the CV.

Finished class at 1pm, had lunch. The dream of having yogurt at the steps (Juju, 2010) was dashed due to the brief rain, the inability to get yogurt in UTM, and also partly due to our gluttony. We were just too famished. Maybe we will start the diet tomorrow. I certainly have done my part to increase non-exercise activities (pushups, sit-ups etc) and jogging in the afternoon. insyaAllah, this post-Raya flab would burn right off. It is times like this that I am EXTRA grateful for being a guy, and being a young one at that. :)

Can’t wait for tomorrow – you’re coming here again, but you will certainly be bringing emotional baggage. Don’t worry, I’m here, and I have TWO shoulders to spare. Don’t be sad, my love. It pains me to see you depressed…I love you :)

Can't stop re-reading Saharil Hasrin Sanin's Teroris Bahasa!!

Gosh my thighs are tight. And I went through my first year photos – I wanna be jiggle-free like those days!!!!

p/s: Will be unreachable for meetings and such on Tuesday and Wednesday (non-class times)… Don’t say I haven’t warned you… :P