20170116

Oneself

Dear 19-year old me,

It's difficult, but it's okay. I'm not saying life gets any easier, but you will be better at it. You will trip and scrape your knees, but you will get up and dust it off. You will slip and hurt your pride, but you will learn to let it go. You will fall and break your heart, but you will find the tools to mend it.

It's difficult, but it's okay. 

Truly,
29-year old you.

20160929

Mondays

Uber e-mails me the invoice and prompts me to rate my driver. I consider for a second or two, and rate my driver 2 stars. Click submit.

---

The elevator door opens, and Marley is already inside. She probably got on it from the basement. She holds the door and gestures towards me.

"We're late," she says.

I acknowledge her, walk into the elevator and say 'Yes' or 'Yup' or 'Yeah' or 'I know' or something along those lines. Marley says something else about the client we're about to meet and I pretend like I care. I tell her 'Sure' or 'Uh-huh' or 'That's right' or 'Mos Def' or something along those lines. The elevator door opens at Level 22 and we both step out.

The meeting room looked like a place where ideas went to die. Marley puts on her client-facing face and greets everyone around the table. She makes an unfunny remark (although it was intended otherwise) about KL traffic conditions and apologizes for being a little late. I put on my fake-smile and say 'Sorry' or 'Apologies' or 'Won't happen again' or 'I'm not really sorry' or something along those lines.

"So, let us begin," Marley starts the meeting off.

She starts by spewing a bullshit monologue disguised as something insightful. The client nods. Someone is taking notes. The client has questions. I answer the questions. Someone is taking notes. I spew a bullshit sales pitch disguised as something insightful. Someone nods. The client is taking notes. Repeat steps 2 to 8 for a couple of hours. Meeting ends. I say 'Thanks' or 'Thank you' or 'It was a pleasure' or 'Hell yeah' or something along those lines.

---

In hindsight, I should have rated my Uber driver 1 star.

20160720

Kemurungan

Cuba lagi esok. Cuma esok yang belum pasti.

---

Semalam dan hari ini dah pun berlalu.

20140923

M├ętropole

Sometimes I think of this city as a person, and I imagine what kind of person he or she would be. I look at the row of skyscrapers that forms the city skyline, and the ever-bustling streets of Jalan Ampang, and I imagine that this city is a career woman in a business suit, always on the run, catching a cab to her next big meeting. At other times, I lower my gaze and I look at the blind man busking with his guitar at Plaza Rakyat, and a few meters away, a lady pushes a cart selling cold drinks under the unforgiving afternoon sun, and I imagine that this city is a family man, working day and night to earn enough money to give his wife and child the life they deserve, at the cost of his own.

But on a rainy evening, when I stare out the office windows and see my reflection distorted by the rain and the city lights; I can't help but imagine that this city is a cruel woman in a beautiful dress, toying with the millions of hearts she has kneeling before her.

20131228

Kelmarin



Cover version by Sparklehorse.

20130831

Retrospektif

Anjak ke belakang sepuluh tahun, di sebuah pekan kecil dikelilingi hutan, dan panggung wayang terdekat adalah sejauh dua jam setengah menaiki kereta; dan masalah aku yang paling besar adalah pensyarah-pensyarah yang mengira kedatangan sebagai markah peperiksaan dan hari-hari yang berlalu panjang tanpa sebarang aktiviti seakan-akan takkan berakhir.

Tentunya aku tak tahu pada waktu itu apa yang aku tahu sekarang, bahawa markah peperiksaan cumalah nombor di sekeping sijil dan hari-hari yang panjang adalah sesuatu yang patut aku raikan. Dan pastinya aku tak akan dapat sekarang apa yang aku ada pada waktu itu, sebuah pekan kecil jauh dari riuk-pikuk kemodenan dan acara paling dinantikan adalah pasar malam Sabtu.

-----

Anjak lagi sepuluh tahun ke belakang, di sebuah rumah pangsa di tengah kota, dan aku berlaga bahu dengan kanak-kanak dari rumah setinggan hingga ke rumah banglo, dan meskipun semuanya seakan tak cukup, ibu masih memberikan aku semuanya; dan aku tak ingat kalau aku ada masalah pun, kecuali kadang-kadang aku dimarah ibu dan aku terlalu muda untuk faham kenapa.

Tentunya aku tak tahu pada waktu itu apa yang aku tahu sekarang, bahawa memang semuanya tak akan cukup kalau tak ada pengorbanan, dan hidup tak pernah semudah bermain di taman permainan.  Dan pastinya aku tak akan dapat sekarang apa yang aku ada pada waktu itu, bebas dari berfikir tentang masalah dan kehidupan kelihatan begitu indah di mata aku.

-----

Kembali ke hari ini, di tengah-tengah pusat kewangan kota, dan semua laki-laki dan perempuan memakai kemeja berjalan tanpa henti, telefon bimbit di telinga; dan walaupun semuanya cukup aku tidak begitu gembira, dan masalah aku yang paling besar aku simpan sendiri.

Kerana aku tahu tentunya aku tak tahu sekarang apa yang aku akan tahu sepuluh tahun nanti.

20130827

Prolog

"Bahagian ni yang paling susah."
"Bahagian yang mana?" 
"Bahagian pertama."