Thursday, 31 March 2011

Ticking Seconds

At a sidewalk cafe she waits
A bittersweet cup her scant company
A lone finger lingering gingerly
Her cup, half filled, half empty
Her sights subtly wander
From stranger to faces familiar
Wishing for recognition,
A wink, a smile
A missing warmth.

By her side an unopened tabloid
Hidden masthead inviting passing glances
From strangers, familiar faces
Spying gibberish in meaningless fonts
Recollecting event passed
Of deeds done
Hours, days before
By someone, another stranger

A sigh escapes her lips
A trace, a print fringing the cup’s edge
Luscious red on skin, pinkish smudge on porcelain surface
The shine matching her skin so shy
Hiding beneath a powdered layer
Of tapered thickness
By touches too soft too light

Missing seconds dial ticks away
Invisibly racing past encrusted markers
Oh why does the time rushes?
She silently wonders
Her fingers animating a louder protest
Tap tapping a tuneless crescendo
A bravura performance
Of a solo recital

A sudden silent stillness
A cacophonous wail in the distance
Disturbed, she stood her height
Peering beyond a growing barricade
Of boisterous busy bodies
As beads of sweats
Preludes a growing dread…

Could it be?

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Crystalline Opacity

The edge so close, so near
A jagged line, so clear, so opaque
Ramrod, he stares neither left nor right
Stiff, unmoving, unflinching,

Perhaps he wonders what lies ahead
Inch forward, Yards backwards
Which one?
Thoughts pinging in his mind?
Back and forth?
Or nay?

Beyond an expanse so vast
Pastel clouds pasted on blue so vivid
Pockmarked vibrancy in comforting hues
Reds, greens and yellows interlacing
A chequered canvas in nature's paint

Then again...

A plunge below so deep
Frothing waves, crashing surfs
Naked rusting groundswell of anorexic offshoots
Creeping, whispering silent wails
Of nails scratching on stone cold walls so white

Or maybe...

39 steps of weird zigzags
Unsmooth gradients, random shrubs
Tiniest blooms, flitting butterflies, trailing crawlies
Uneven tracks, loose pebbles, solid soil
Leading nowhere, heading everywhere

Inches or Yards
Which shall it be?

Monday, 28 March 2011

Bluesy Bleats

I should hate Mondays.

A day so promising looking dead set to end otherwise.

I suppose I should look for the silver lining

My day’s seemed right down in the gutter

But its a matter of perspectives

I am here instead of somewhere else

I am a nobody instead of a somebody

(With a permanent crosshair no matter which shirt they wear)

I am penniless instead of having to care for the pockets of many

I am listless instead of a husk, lifeless

I am troublesome instead of burdensome

I am clueless instead of blameless

I am instead of am not

Monday is just a day thus

Like any other

A day

Of grace

Of opportunities

To care, to atone, to love

To live, another fine day...

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Suki Des'u

Tiny sparks flicker in darkened void
In guarded moments he lets his mind wander
How fares his Mayumi?
He wonders
Of his sweet Akemi
Purple ribbons, pony tails
He wonders a bit longer
Seconds passes at a crawl.

The hose a writhing, snarling snake coiling his arms
Aft, steam hissing, a musical interlude of angry cries
He looks ahead
A grim visage of a man stares back
Mere reflections through opaque lenses
A window (his only)
A suit so soft, a reprieve so false
Sticks barricade
Against a crunching invisible onslaught
He stops shorts
Tasukete at his lips' edge.

Iie, he lightly laughs
His mind smiling as his hands suddenly remembers icy rivulets
A stream, so cold, so soothing
Mayumi chuckling in the distance
(Making ramen?)
As Akemi splashes about
Pony tails spraying icy cold droplets
Icy rivulets
The images hazy, the sensations so clear
A sharp pang unnoticed.

Who is that calling?
He hears shouts
All in the fringes
Voices in the peripheral
So distant yet so close

Is that Kami beckoning him a journey,
He wonders
A land he’s heard but never seen,
He sighs
As bluish lips let slip,

Daisuki desu, Mayumi
Daisuki desu...

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Zomba Zombe

I’ve been enjoying some good laff riot sessions with my youngest over Mamat Khalid’s “Hantu Kak Limah Balik Rumah”.

(I know it’s like a gazillion years since Kak Limah’s debut on the silver screen but... )

She knows the movie from A to Z now, but there will still be the occasional question like: “Ayu tu hantu ke Bah?”

Some movies do have the knack for tying your emotions down, and Kak Limah is one such. Kudos to Mamat Khalid for such a gem.

This is not a review of Kak Limah – it’s been done to death (heh. Pun TOTALLY intended) – but more of re-acquaintance of movies which stick to my mind (and interest) longer than others.

Kak Limah is not top in my list, though. No, numero uno is shared between P Ramlee’s Tiga Badul and Labu Labi (The first version).

I laughed at the jokes when watching it as a newly graduated law student years ago with my cousin and still laughing when I watch them these days as a father of two growing daughters.

Whether or not I will continue laughing at the (same) jokes years from now (maybe when I’m loafing away as a retiree?) is uncertain but from the way things are, it looks like a surety.

There’s an Australian film in the list, too, by the way: Strictly Ballroom and a Japanese manga: Crying Freeman (The Mark Dacascos version is a pale cousin in comparison).

Kak Limah is a far enjoyable fare than its predecessor, Zombi (Hussin calls them Zombe and Pak Jabit, Zomba) Kampung Pisang. The man is growing in his directing skills, surely.

I am looking forward to the third installment. I hope there is one, especially with the, ahem, cliff hanging - another intended pun! – scene as Hussin rides off into the horizon.

And speaking of jokes, ya, here’s a lame-o one courtesy of our good old government: The move last month to reduce toll for Petaling Jaya Selatan 2 (PJS2) toll plaza will cause (cost? - my emphasis) the government RM90 million.

Talk about costly discounts, eh?

Funny also in that NST missed out on the spelling error.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Deathly Halo

We read the news, hear the reports, watch the footages, but truthfully, Japan is a land far, far way, isn’t she?

The devastation, the misery is surreal.

Perhaps I am generalizing far too much so let this be in the first person: let me thus replace We with I instead.

I am stunned by my lack of empathy to the unfolding tragedy in the land of the rising sun. It was as if I am merely watching one of the many – far too many, to me – disaster movie, driven by over the top CGI where the heroes and heroines win and hopes restored.

In my mind, I see a man munching away at potato chips, bits falling onto a semi plush carpet, while in the idiotbox, a news caster pays homage to growingly bigger death count (somewhere, the man thinks, not here); the children bickering just earshot away.

It's a cold image.

Maybe it’s just me; but even as I type this, colleagues around me are doing what they (we, really) usually do on any typical working day: fun and frolic, worries kept until towards the month’s ending when the wallet thins.

Japan: too far, nobody we know. We feel pity, but hey, life goes on.

The heart is a cold, cruel world.

When did compassion die, I wonder?

Friday, 11 March 2011

Solicitous Wick

It sure seems like ages since I last posted something in this blog.

Not that there wasn’t items of interests to comment on, just a “Nah…” feeling of "Hmmph... Whatever lo...

So what is different about today, then? Nothing, except for thoughts of mortality.

I learnt from an insurance agent today of a waiver clause whereby you no longer needed to pay for your coverage, but (of course there is a but here) the clincher is that this point is reached when you’re 100 years old.

A centenarian.

When I read of people living past 100, I often wonder what makes them continue ticking? Why are they still around when so many of their compatriots have passed on the mortal coil? Is it due to modern medical wonderment? Healthy lifestyle?

What, exactly?

Often times, I just think that it’s mainly unfinished business.

I hope my own ascent into my, ahem, senior years will be graceful. Rid myself of this horrible debt-culture which our generation and the next have been burdened with through escalating cost of living.

And, I pray, be closer to Allah in all ways.

My once icon (note the word once) published his memoir recently and, while admitting that I will probably not read the book in full, I am beyond aghast that at his stage in life, Dr M is still rattling his sabre.

Why exactly, Doctor? There are both good and nasty words in the books (I’m basing this on reviews, so am pleased to be corrected) aimed at people both dead and living.

I supposed the Memoir will be an enlightening read for fans (and detractors) of the good doctor. There'll be ample divisions and rifts, applauses and jeers, criticsm and praise.

Some will find solace and serenity as their lives march towards the end, while others continue as if their wicks are forever and ever, unending.

As for Dr M? He writes his memoir and welcomes all sullied by his words to take him on.

Like I said: unfinished business.

How sad.

Friday, 4 March 2011

Tearing Away

I am positively bewildered with the “Girl convert no longer a Muslim” news piece in the StarOnline today.

And here we are thinking that people convert due to a newfound faith in religions (whichever it may be).

It’s not supposed to be a flippant act. Today a Muslim, tomorrow a Hindu then a Christian next Sunday. THAT would be beyond blasphemous.

The article seems to suggest that if the legal procedures are not followed, the convert will revert back to whichever religion (if any) he/or she was professing to.

This contention is simply mindboggling.

So what happens if the said convert still hold his/her newfound beliefs? Are they supposed to wait until they reach legal age to proclaim so?

Sure enough, there are cases where children became the unfortunate fodders in a battle between Masters and Missuses.

The assumption is that both parents want the best for their child and that would include being in the faith they believe is the true belief. Sometimes the battle gets nasty and you can easily traumatize a child forever with the tug and pull.

The Penang news itself is unclear on how the girl “had been converted to Islam without her family’s knowledge”. What happened? Who did what? How did the conversion occur?

What color was her kebaya and did it match her tudung?

Okay… Now I am being flippant.

Seriously, for someone to convert to Islam, they have to cite the Syahadah, and from the news article, it could also be deduced that this was done without her parental consent.

If your children wanted to convert to a different religion from the one they were brought up with, would you?



So what now? Where do we go from here?

Or do we sweep in under the carpet as per norm?

Kramer vs Kramer (1979)