April 28, 2017

Many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold

Many people misunderstand the concept of blessing and punishment. Even I was. To us, happiness, wealth and success are the blessings, while sadness, poverty and failure are the punishment. We often have the wrong idea on the purpose of why Allah sends us hardships. Most of the times, happiness is sent not to bless us, but to test us. On quite the opposite way, the sadness, in which many of us usually regard it as His punishment, is actually sent to bless and purify us.

How do we know which one of these things is a blessing, and which one is a punishment? I got this from Yasmin Mogahed’s speech “Hardships and the path to God". She said that a blessing should be able to make you closer to Allah. It is supposed to thicken your faith. Sometimes, it comes as or in a worldly problem such as losing something you love the most. Just because He takes something special away from you, doesn't mean He is punishing you. If after your loss, you find yourself praying to Allah in a way you have never done before, in a way that it thickens your faith and detaches you from the world and its pleasures; it is indeed, a blessing.

On the other hand, a punishment is something that draws you away from Him. It doesn’t matter; it could be a failure and it could also be happiness. I have faced both kinds of punishment; the kind that purifies me, and the kind that blesses me. Maybe it would rather be easier for me to explain it from my personal life examples.

Have you ever sat down and thought, whether what you ask after your prayers is a do’a, or just phrases that you happened to have memorised or practice since you were kids; because you were told by your parents these are the do’a you should recite after your prayers, so you just say the do’a and by the time you realise, you already reach to the last part when you say “Amin”. After that, you fold the praying mat and leave, without really knowing what have you actually asked? That was my mistake. I focus on dunya but no on the Hereafter. Here is a false attachment – my false attachment to this dunya.

The failures I have faced before were the wake-up calls from Allah but I failed to see them in that way. Pain and failures are the wake-up calls from Allah. Allah is trying to tell me, you, all of us… that something is wrong with our attachments; we might have to re-evaluate and correct it before He does.

Now, another way on how to distinguish between punishment and blessing is to look at the results. If the results make you feel ungrateful and make you ask Him “Why?” then it is a sign of punishment. Then again, punishment is not really a bad thing, because punishment is not meant to punish you, but to purify you. I define “purify” as a given chance for you to readjust your intention. When one’s heart has been purified, the person should be able to see what was wrong in his previous doings, where did he put his expectations and hopes on, before he can set it right.

Now, that is a punishment to purify you… but what about happiness sent to test you?

My past experiences taught me that when someone tries to correct us and we feel offended, that hard blow thrown at us is what makes me remember more and eventually, we will learn to accept. As I said earlier, most people tend to misinterpret happiness for being blessing. Again, a blessing is supposed to move you closer to Him

I’m not trying to show that I'm perfect. To be honest, sometimes, I wonder about His plans by keep on asking why this and that, why me?! But now, the more I wonder, the more I believe He has something really special for me. "On those who are patient shall receive their reward in full, without reckoning." Qur'an, 39:10. 

Understanding all this made me realize where does the term “blessings in disguise” come from. The blessings don’t have necessarily come after the hardships but it could also be that the blessings have been with us all this while. Like the quote from Maurice Setter, "Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold”, yea..


April 14, 2017

Oh NO!


Sometimes, I think poetry is just like vegetables.
I remember when I was young and when vegetables (you name it: carrots, cabbages etc) were the biggest enemies I’ve ever known. They tasted like hate and usually came along with either my father or mother’s punch line “Eat it or you’re not getting (insert anything desirable here)”.

April 9, 2017

A Diamond

Every diamond is strong,
never born blind,
whatever comes along.

To be born in this land,
that always shines,
as a gift to humankind.

A sparkling diamond from the mines,
would awaken a sleeping moon,
across all the lines.

Stop all the mourn,
be guided to right path,
every moment you are not alone,
and live a life full of faith.

March 24, 2017

Smile because it happened

I have cried, smiled, wept, and laughed. I have been liked, disliked, loved, and ignored. Some of these experiences will remain forever a flower in my heart, some of them will go and be washed away with times. I have lived a life, not yet long enough to claim for wisdom, but surely long enough to say for certain that five years from now, I will probably forget those that make me cry, weep, feel ignored, and everything else trivial but I will never forget those that make me smile, laugh, feel loved and everything else that even lines of a poem can't do justice. Thank you for those who've wished me wonderful things, warmed me with words, cheered me up with hugs and gifts. And for those who gave me warmed wishes and written notes, you guys really made my day. Terima kasih. I can't thank you enough :)
 
 
 
DKSH (Oct 14- Mar 17)

March 13, 2017

Tenggol Island


 












 
 
Ex UIA reunion katanya :) #UIAbest #tripTenggol17 #TSG #kasijadi #tsgtravelogue #TenggolIsland #panggilanPulau #vitaminSea #beachgurl #beachboy #whyhidewhenyoucanexplore #dungun #terengganu #malaysia #southeastasia #weekendgateway
 
follow tsgkasijadi on instagram for more coming up events and pictures


March 11, 2017

Sacrifice Some Silence

(In the middle of a phone conversation)

“I hate myself sometimes.”
“I don’t think one is capable at feeling so.”
“What? How come? I do hate myself. So?”
“Sometimes. One is incapable of hating something sometimes.”
“Uh…Do elaborate.”
“To me, hatred can occur in split seconds, but take ‘centuries’ to be removed. During the process of removal, hatred will be temporarily permanent. So, your indication of hating yourself sometimes seems unlikely.”
“Well, don’t take it too far. It was just a figure of speech.”
“So, how long do you actually hate yourself then?”
“To be honest, I don’t.”
“That’s a lie.”
“What the..? I actually don’t hate myself in that weird temporarily permanent sense.”
“So, you love yourself, is that it?”
“Uh…I don't really want to put it that way.
"So, you love yourself, right?"
"Err...How do you suggest I answer that without sounding narcissistic?”
“By saying that, you love yourself sometimes.”
“That sounds pretty odd.”
“At least you would sound logical.”
“What?! OK. Whatever. I seriously don’t see the matter of how long one hates or loves or whatever.”
“It actually really matters.”
“Oh, yeah? How so?”
“Intrinsically.”
“…”
“I sometimes measure the length of it.”
“That’s absurd.”
“If you use the right tools, the right methods, sure you can.”
“Are you high?”
“No. Why?”
“Damn it. Don’t ask me back. I was being sarcastic. What’s the matter with you?”
“Conversations should have questions. If not, how can it last?”
“I beg to differ. Won’t it turn into an interview?”
“With you, I mean. Conversations with you will work if there are a lot of questions.”
“Tell me about it.”
“Our past conversations that contained approximately 90 questions last in an average of one hour and twenty minutes.”
“No kidding! And I suppose, you have been measuring this conversation too? Heh.”
“Until now, it has been precisely three minutes and 16 seconds.”
“What the…”
“Yes. Precisely three minutes and 16 seconds.”
“…”
“And now, three minutes and 18 seconds.”
“…”
“Now, I’m counting your silence.”
“…”
“Why did you say you hate yourself, again?”
“…”
 “OK. Now the length of your silence has increased by 1.5 seconds.”
“…”
“Sigh…hello?”
“…”
“Hell-o..?”
“…”
“Your silence now has just increased to 2.5 seconds.”
“You are weird.”
“Your silence is overall, one minute and three seconds.”
“What…?”
“Phew. I thought you’re going to remain quiet.”
“I was about to until I imagine your puppy face turns soppy.”
“Do you still hate yourself?
“Yes, now that I’m talking to you.”
“You can be very mean sometimes.”
“False. I am mean, every time, naturally.”
“Oh, yeah? Give me some numbers.”
“Err…O…kay, I just did. I was being silent for one minute and three seconds.”
“Your calculation is wrong.”
“What? That was your calculation, wasn't it?”
“You were mean, sorry, have been mean for three years, two months, a day, a minute and three seconds.”
“Err… I’m sorry?”
“Apology not accepted.”
“I mean, what did you just said? About the three years thing…?”
“Oh.”
“Uhuh?”
“…”
“Hello?”
“…”
“You are so weird.”
 “How do you feel about one being silent at you?”
“Oh! There you are. To be honest? It makes me want to slam the phone down, makes me hate myself. Well, sometimes.”
“It makes me hate myself too, except, more than sometimes. And for some reason, I don’t want to slam the phone down.”
“…”
“It makes me hate myself more and more, for every second of silence.”
“Alright, alright, I get it. How do you suggest I make it up to you?”
“No, don’t. It’s not your fault.”
“Fine. What do you want me to do then?”
“…”
“…”
"..."
"This may sound ambiguous. I just, I want you not to be silent..."
"That's not applicable. I can't promise you that."
"..."
"..."
 “And your silence is now…”

(Phone is hung up. A long monotonous tone is heard.)

"1, 2, 3, 4, 5...6...7...

March 2, 2017

They are breathtaking

 


I stumbled upon these pictures a few days ago while I was surfing the Net. The moment I set my eyes on them, I literally gasped… These photos were taken by Gregory Colbert, a Canadian photographer in the course of 10 years… Just take a peak at them when you’re down and out. They’ll truly inspire you.

February 20, 2017

Happy Belated Birthday, Ummi

Due to my recklessness in verifying the date (all kind of numbers actually), I miscalculated my mom birthday and my Mom didn't actually say anything when my Sister wished her. Thus, please accept my apology with this poem. It is nothing, and I honestly took quite some time to find for the correct words and wordings. I am pretty sure that this poem will look and sound more beautiful if I were to have a wider knowledge of vocabulary and a better sense of English grammar :)
 
 
----------------

Mom,
Gabriel’s wings’ emerald
Your smiles, galaxies in the outer space,
Your prayers, the seventh heaven’s orders,
Your advice, an ancient Chinese jade of an Emperor.

Mom,
You're the Queen of My Heart,
You're the wisdom of a Raflessia and I am the hopeless insect that stays inside you,
You're a spring and I am the land that you shower, 
You are a recipe book, and I am a lousy learner,
You're the sound of the rain drops on the roof that make me sleep comfortably,
You're the hope like green grass in the midst of yellow summer.
You're the spirit in the morning, like a red ripe strawberry on the pancakes,
You're a life's complementary, like a sprinkle of Indian tumeric powders to the curry.

Mom,
Your teary eyes when you're praying for me, like crystal snowflakes under the microscope,
Your blessings, the vertical sight of a kid's first step,
Your jokes, crispy like golden honey cornflakes,
Your love, flowing Niagara fall.
Your mercy, a soft forehead kiss,
Your beauty, a seven year old's heart-shape carving on a tree.

Mom,
An angel in human disguise.

Mom,
My Everything. my perfection, my reflection, my affection.

 
P/s: I am sorry for any grammatical mistake. I know there are a lot but I just can't put my finger on it. I am still a lousy when it comes to grammar. Tsk :'(

February 13, 2017

Of coffee and pen

Firstly, thank God, someone borrowed me his laptop and now I have got a lot of things to write. I used to dream of being a writer, specifically, a food and travelling writer not so long ago. But for some reasons, I lost interest on pursuing it. For the past couple of years, I came across few things and people that made me ask myself questions like, "Am I talented enough to be a writer?" To speak precisely, I did not think my English was good enough to qualify myself for this job. I did not think my English was eloquent enough for me to write sentences that can draw readers in. I thought, if I wanted to be a writer, by this time, I should already be able to write grammatically; confidently. 


Yes. That's what my real excuse: English. Good English speaks confidence. And my English is lack of confidence.For a while, I withdrew my intention of being a writer. I told to myself, I overrated my writing skill for no good reason. I was being too ambitious. I wanted to be someone of whom shoes are too big for my average-sized feet to put in.I began to doubt myself about many things. There would be a debate going on in my mind whose motion was, "Writers are born; not trained." Most of the times, I spoke on behalf of the Government - explaining to myself  how I was never born to be a writer. And most of the times, the Me in the Government won and the Me in the Opposition lost.


Recently, I was asked by a few friends of mine about whether I am interested in becoming a writer. They said, a columnist suits me very well. Some convinced me, that my English is reader-friendly to people who know, speak and use simple English. One of them said, I have this unique way of explaining things, which, reminds me of the comment written by my Poetry teacher back in my university life, "I love the way you explain your ideas" on my essay paper on A Rose for Emily's analysis. The other one said, my thoughts are inspiring, I should write and make it as a side income, if not as a full-time career.  And I replied their comments with the same explanation I gave to myself, "My English is not that good."

Last week, I wrote an e-mail to a lecturer of mine, sort of a letter actually. I got a reply from her in which she wrote, "Only God knows the satisfaction and joy when I read my students' letters to me. You write beautifully. I'm so proud of you. I see so much improvement in you when I was reading your letter. Keep it up. Stay strong." I was not anticipating for that kind of reply. All I wanted was for her to know what I've always thought about her. The least I expected, was a thank you reply.Deep down, I felt a spark of hope.

Maybe, I was not born to be a writer. Maybe, I was born to be trained to be one.I look back and try to find what is it that I always have in me. And I realise,  writing essay is something I enjoy doing the most ever since I knew how to hold a pencil. When I was in the secondary school, I was known to be the student who always scored well in Karangan Bahasa Melayu. During Bahasa Melayu test, other students would only write two page maximum for one essay question; but me on the other hand, would write three pages and more, for one essay question. Writing an essay is not just a matter of writing down introduction, thesis statement, points, body paragraph and conclusion. For me, writing an essay is about how we tell readers about ourselves through our words, style of writing and way of explaining without having to specifically tell them that we are this-and-that. 

Our introduction; how we make readers feel welcomed without having to lamely say a hello. Our way of presenting ideas; how we make our elaboration interesting. Our point of view; what vehicle we choose to take readers on to a trip and let them see the world from behind our orbit. 

Our ways of organising points. 

The cohesion. That little details we tend to spend time on: the choice of words, the use of adverbials to convey our degree of certainty on issues we address. The reason behind the subject chosen to be in the initial position in a sentence. Are we a "present-tense fan" or a "past-tense fan." I would say, I am a "present-tense fan." I want my readers to notice this fact, that I'm an appreciative person through my choice of tenses. I like present-tense because I believe it conveys appreciation. It makes facts sound convincing. It gives youth and life to our story, sense of being alive instead of dead. It makes things closer to us as well as to our readers, compared to past tense, which makes things so far away from us; old, outdated and forgotten. This whole thing needs a bit of psychology, discourse analysis and of course, one huge bowl of creativity and ample amount of practice.

And there is a reason why I enjoy writing for Literature more than Linguistics; because Literature allows me to be emphatic. It allows me to embody my emotion in my written words. Unlike Literature, Linguistics requires me to be serious and it even disallows the word 'very' which it sees as a form of exaggeration. Where, exaggeration is linked with emotion, and emotion is an opposite of rationale hence the reason why it is discouraged.

I have always been the person who enjoys writing a letter. Sometimes, I could write four to five paragraphs just to thank people. I value handwritten and snail-mailed letters, postcards and greetings cards more than anything.

And as I go on, I'm beginning to believe that to be a writer is an option worth a shot.

If good English speaks confidence, then improving English speaks determination.
And right now, if someone asks me what I want to be, I would answer, 
"I want to be a writer" 
and soothingly sip the cup of coffee in my hand; smiling.



February 9, 2017

Anybody...



The one that you mentioned,

it could be anybody.

Her, her, her or her

but most probably

It would not be me.

Because the one that you mentioned,

It could be anybody

and I am


Nobody.

January 31, 2017

After all

There was this one time I got so afraid of losing you, and there you were, right in front of me, smiling and said, "Oh! Hi. I was just thinking about you." It was during a hot evening, 28 Jan 17, where I was walking home, thinking about you, and you were walking home, thinking about me.
 


January 13, 2017

Remember childhood, when happiness was only a cookie away?

Sometimes, being childish reminds me how carefree I was back when I was five. Lived life to the fullest with the loudest laugh and widest smile on the planet. Nothing to worry and no one to bother; except myself and my teddies. Playing masak-masak with Fasihah, Nurul, Emy etc (my neighbours): figuring out who would play the daughter, husband and wife, making fake wedding rings with grass, story-telling and compete each other who had the prettiest and most colourful Cinderella story and drawing books. We stole Fasihah’s mother’s teapot to make our milo-made-from-clay and broke our other neighbour's lesung batu and I stole my father’s UHU to glue the pieces back. Gosh!

Walked alone behind the alley to Fardu ‘Ain class when I was four. Being bullied by other children due to age disparity made me a loner in the class. They laughed at me when I failed to spell the word angin and the ustazah locked me outside the class for being late. And how embarrassed I was for being too clumsy that my bag fell into the drain together with the Quran.

The nastiest thing I did during my childhood is… I stole a pair of yellow scissors from the ministore in front of my neighborhood. Detective Donald Flack would have handcuffed me if I were to do that now. My father bought scissors for many times, oh I have lost my Mathematics, and I lost the last scissors my dad bought. So I took the courage to steal a pair of the same scissors with the same colour because I was reaaaally scared my father would get angry with me. I returned it two weeks later; that was right after I found the scissors hidden behind the cupboard. That was my own version of Pink Panther: Pink Panther and the Yellow Scissors. HAHAHA!

Went travelling to Terengganu while my father holding me on his shoulders. I pushed my father to drive early to school every morning because I wanted to buy the drawing block from the co-op: not that I was a six year old Da Vinci but because I was excited with the idea of ordering the papers to a voice from the small box (it’s the prefects on duty) where I got only to see the prefects’ eyes. Budak-budak. Blissful!

How I couldn’t wait for Thursday to come because the teachers usually had meetings and two hours before the bell rang, the whole class would sit together, move our chairs closer and bring the best ghost stories on the table. We were nine, I think. Nor Kartini was the best story-teller until we found out she made up her own stories. That happened two years later, when we’re in standard five. Ishk, ishk.

Now that a lot of things have changed. The last time I read Cinderella story book was 3 years ago when I found the book in the university’s library. How time flies and changes almost everything on its path.

No more teddies and princess in fairytales; but real animate human beings and heart broken love issues. Fake rings are not accepted; but real rings with good carats and dowry. No more ugly step sisters and mother to drive Cinderella to insanity but people to turn us into stretched rubber bands ready to snap. No more how the King wants to save his kingdom from the ugly giant but the history of how Napoleon Bonaparte shaped the European politics in the 19th century. No more how the three fairies want to break the spell and save the Sleeping Beauty from the wicked evil witch but how to break the sentence into its correct morphological tree diagrams. No more how Rapunzel uses his long hair to get her prince charming into the castle but which one of these serves better for our hairs: Loreal Pro Nutri Gloss shampoo or Cairol Herbal Essences. Kids are no longer have the freedom to walk alone behind the alleys as kidnappers are everywhere to make our planet the least safe in the universe.

These are all the reality. I ain’t a kid who pee in her pants at nights anymore but I am…hey, look at me. Still clumsy. My body shapes like a woman, my brain digests nearly a hundred of words per day and my hands work the chores 20 minutes per hour. How I missed to be five but I would love to dance to the current music; not to face the music. Hehe.
 
... And how I miss my father (and how I wish I wanna write more about my father, wait till I have enough free time okay :'), he left when I was 7. al-fatihah