Tuesday, August 25, 2009

THE COULD-HAVE-BEEN


Life is full of regret. In retrospect, certain reactions to situations might not be admirable. You may regret eating that extra piece of chocolate cake at your sister’s wedding. But, to err is human to forgive, divine. Everyone knows that it is inevitable for human beings to make mistakes , some bigger than others. And so you would have thought that life would be full of regrets. My life is certainly full with regret.

I regret that I did not put real effort for the A-levels exam recently. I am very sure that I do have a tinge of arrogance deep in the recesses of my mind, etched from getting straight A1’s in SPM. That arrogance manifested itself in the form of laziness and a deep conviction that of my brilliance without much effort (baseless, I see it now).

On the 10th of August recently I received a not-so-brilliant result. Indeed, the regret lies in the knowledge that I could have done so much better in my exams.

I had and still do have I believe, a huge crush on this girl back in college. The identity, unfortunately dear gossip kings and queens shall remain a secret, at least where this blog concerned. I made my infatuation clear to her through actions and presents.

I could never muster enough courage to admit my love for her to her cute face. I bought her presents. I chatted with her whenever the chance came. I asked her to go dinner together etc. the usual clich├ęs that happen when boy meets girl and boy likes girl. You know the drill.

But then, after a long holiday, I heard a news that would break my heart: she was involved with a guy from the same college. Yes. This happened. Initially I felt anger towards her. I thought I was painfully obvious of the fact that I liked her.

But after much contemplation, regret overcame anger. Of course it was not her fault. I could, nay! I should have chased her if I really liked her that much. But I did not. Another regret.

Regret manifests itself in thoughts which entertain what I like to call the “could-have-been”s, which basically means situations which could have been if you did something differently in the past. Sometimes these thoughts attack my mind. Regret will come, then.

IF I was more serious in pursuing her, what would happen?

IF I studied harder, what would happen?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Syazwan, The Ungrateful Brat

See, I’m not the most handsome guy on earth or anything. I don’t look like Tom Cruise. But don’t get me wrong. I’m still thankful with what God has given me. I’m not ugly or anything. In fact, I am ashamed to admit this, sometimes I imagine that I am this really hot guy, the Greek god of the modern world. Yes, I am quite vain.

I certainly am not the most athletic guy around heck! I hardly play any sports, one of my greatest chagrin in life.

I love dancing and music and acting and writing and reading books. But again, I’m not noteworthy in any of those respects. I can dance ok but I’m sure Maryam and Hamidi will testify to this I’m not a good dance student. I’ve imagined myself winning the Academy award but I’m sure I won’t be winning it anytime soon.

And as much as I’ve convinced myself that I have a voice that would rival Siti Nurhaliza’s unfortunately, dreams continue to exist in an alternate dimension.

Writing? Well, let’s just say that it is an impossibility for this blog to win the Pulitzer.

I’m not particularly intelligent like Michelle or Joel. NO teacher will ever predict, I am very sure about this, that I’d be the next Newton or Einstein.

I’m not the most amazing orator. I’m not like Haqqa or Azam or Obama or Anwar Ibrahim. But I can speak in front of people. I can speak ok. Nothing amazing or life altering or anything like that. I doubt that any of my speeches will be featured in a future episode of “Voices in Time”.

i don’t know about you but I long to feel special. Does that make me a selfish, ungrateful brat? Maybe. I think I need to start changing my outlook. To see things with an eye for the bigger picture. I don’t see it now, to be honest. I hope that one day I will be able to see the big picture and realise that life is not just about me, but more importantly about others.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Love and Its Manifestations


We watch movies in cinemas and television everyday. More often than not, the subject matter of the movies would be love or at least variations of it.

At this moment in time ( I am not sure if my friends realise this but) I am witnessing one of the most heart-tugging examples of the manifestations of love.

Just last week, a college mate of mine, Azwan Ariff was involved in an automobile accident. He , as far as I know still has not regained his consciousness. A number of blood clots were found in his brain. Surgeries were done to remove them. The good news amidst this gloom is that he is stable.

But what interest me the most is how most of us KYUEMians (heck practically all) were concerned for his well-being. I myself was never “close” to Azwan but we talked in hallways and classes. We joked around. But I would not consider myself a close friend of his, by all intents and purposes. However, I was struck at how concerned I felt for his condition . There was a general outpouring of support and prayers from many KYUEMians. I personally, prayed for him every time I performed the solat. Solat hajat sessions were done not only in college but also in Bank Negara Malaysia (Azwan’s sponsor) during the Scholars’ Day. These people who showed sincere (or at least apparent) sympathy for Azwan now that he is in a worrying condition, never really knew him before.

Is this love? Or rather, concern? Sympathy? Are these feelings not variations of love?

When Michael Jackson died, fans throughout the world were shocked. He was expected to make a huge comeback tour just months from his death. Many cried. Some posted articles on their blogs expressing their grief. Again, I was boggled by the intense emotions showed by some of his fans. Many of them never even met him but upon knowledge of his death, they cried profusely. They felt a personal connection with someone who has never even made a single contact with them.

Love can be mysterious. It can be blind. It can even be stupid. It can be grotesque and ugly. It can also be beautiful.

The Taj Mahal in Agra, India. The Mogul emperor Shah Jahan was so grief stricken by the death of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal that he built for her a tomb that would to this day become known as one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Whether or not, it was justified of him to embark on such an ambitious project when he could have used the money for the well-being of his people is a different matter altogether.

Annoyance. That is a manifestation of love. I am almost continuously annoyed at my parents. Even though I am known amongst my friends to be quite of an “anak mak ayah” but I do admit that at times I feel annoyed by their actions and words. My father for example would advice me the same things whenever I call him from college. The most annoying thing is that it makes me feel like I am a baby. And right now, I am barred from outings due to the H1N1 scare. The most irritating thing is that I know that the things that he does and say are quite justified and…well I can’t really say anything.

My mom on the other hand can be quite open-minded and less “controlling” (this is too strong a word but you get what I mean) than my dad. But whatever it is, I am aware and I do tell myself that my parents love me. The actions and decisions that they have decided upon are all done for my good in mind. Even though I can be quite hopeless in communicating my love for my parents but I know that they know that I love them with all of my heart.

Can you see now the different manifestations of love? Both my parents love me but they express it in different ways. I tell myself this every day to ensure that I appreciate how parents are human beings and as such they are each individuals in their own right with preferences and ways to communicate with their surroundings and also ways to express their feelings.

Miscommunication happens when individuals do not realise that people communicate in ways that are unique to each other. Manifestations of love is similar. My dad prefers to nag and worry whilst my mum prefers to stay quiet. But I know that both of them love me.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

LONGING...

In the dead of the night

When everyone else is asleep

I think of you




In broad daylight

It kills me that you don’t see

That all my dreams end with you




In secret, I adore you

All the while, wondering

How someone so perfect could be human




In a blurry of colours from a sea of humans

I see only you




Amongst the noise

I long for your voice to calm me down




And yet, still you can not see




And so, I drown my senses

Just to numb the pain.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Of Mortality

Hearing,as you may all the news and statistics on H1N1, have you ever thought how statistics work so effectively at reducing human beings into nothing more than just numbers. We read in newspapers everyday on the latest report about the pandemic, “6 deaths until yesterday morning, confirmed by the Ministry of Health”. I prefer to think very highly of my fellow human beings so I presume that the media never had the intention of committing such disgraceful act as reducing other fellow human beings into numbers but I myself can’t seem to deny that their reporting are becoming less personal and less “human” by the day. And I admit, I fall into the same trap. I never really thought about the value of a human life until it struck me, well at least I thought it did.

I contracted a fever on Saturday. It had all the symptoms of the Influenza A virus. Initially, just the idea of my getting such a dangerous disease was…. well beyond the grasp of my mind. I guess I was in denial. I mean, ANYONE could have contracted this disease. Therefore, the very real possibility that I might have been infected by the virus starts to seep in. I started to see all the different ways that I could have possibly become infected in the first place. I went out a lot. I met many people. Some of whom just recently came back from foreign countries facing H1N1 pandemic. I went to crowded places.

And so the mind started seeing what it wanted to see. I was terrified by the very real possibility that I might have H1N1. Death became imminent. I started seeing death everywhere.

Reading about Yasmin Ahmad’s death tugs my heart terribly. She had a stroke, went into a comatose state and died without gaining consciousness. God bless her soul but all these scenarios about death was all I could think about especially when I was a suspected H1N1 patient.

And so, to set the record straight, my parents sent me to a private hospital in Shah Alam. They took a sample of my blood and saliva for analysis. I had an hour to wait before the result came out.

It’s probably not normal or more precisely, not typical of a perfectly healthy 20-year-olds to be thinking about death but I read in the newspaper that one of those who died of H1N1 is a 20-year-old woman *chills*

It struck me how fragile life is. How death can come at any time, regardless of the place. And how it alters lives and realities.

I received the result and it came out negative for H1N1. It was a typical fever.