Against the Clock

Time goes so fast. It orbits my energy pace and may yet accuse me for putting the blame on lucky stars and asking people to have all the time in the world for me. There isn’t so much to tell. I assure you in the name of those who forget to have their priorities set above the water. Don’t ask me what it was, or what it is – it won’t make sense anyway. The way the clock keeps tick-tock-ing echoes all over this empty house, the light that peeks through the curtains makes it obvious for me to slowly pull the sheets over my head and the name my parents would yell off at the top of their lungs – oh, I just figure it out, this house is never empty. It just sounds empty. It seems empty. Somehow I wake up and find myself conquering my mind barely taking off the seat belt that is supposed to secure my sanity.

Go Back to December All the time

Day 63, Thank You.

No matter what you think of yourself, no matter what you have in your mind right now, my feelings for you are still the same. It grows, it keeps getting real day by day. Maybe I just do not know how to show you that I care a lot about you. Maybe I am just afraid that you’ll be sick hearing the same I Love You every day. Or maybe you’ll turn your heart away from me that you may somehow think it is just too much to be said.

Regardless those maybes I have kept to myself, I still want to know if you are OK or not. So I call and text you, asking how your day goes so far. I know you’ll be OK, even after all this time I have not been there for you. I know you will take care of yourself more than I could. Even a simple Hi from you is already enough for me to thank you for still noticing me. Maybe because you are still the same person I had a crush on since Day 1, and you will always be that person I am looking for. We did mistakes in this relationship, lots of. The only thing I can do to fix it – so that you will stay – is by letting you do what your heart wants to. I can say I won’t care. As long as you feel content with everything you do, then do it.

It is OK to feel broken, dear. It is OK. You deserve to have feelings for yourself and you deserve the time and space to heal. Albeit after all this while I know I’m neglecting my own priorities, it is you whom I think about all the time. I want you to be able to smile, at least, regardless what situations you are in. I do not know much about your stories and I do not have any idea if I am even part of them. But if you feel OK to not talk about it, then it is OK. Just so you know it is such a relief to help you face everything that will come and go. Even if you are going to break into pieces for a very long time, I would love to wait and I would hug every piece of you into one. You know what would a broken soul say to another broken soul? Let us break some more. We are broken souls nevertheless. You do no have to trust my words, but you can keep all the things I have said to you. I know I can’t always be there to make you feel less better, but all my prayers and thoughts are with you. All I can ask for in my life is to be part in your life. Maybe we are not even ready yet for that? It is OK. We can take it slow, there is no need to rush because we all accept the love we think we deserve.

— Drafted on 25.12.15

Too Tired for Nothing

Hi there, hopefully, you are doing great with families and friends in your Eid Adha days. It is fun to have the idea of meeting a new family – actually, it is Ainin’s family – kept in my mind for I am hoping to keep in touch with them for a longer period now. If I can’t, then it is alright. I am cool with meeting new families and to actually participate in their conversations talking about cultures, ways of life and norms which have become such an exposure to being more practical.

Honestly, I like being challenged to meet new people every day – especially the people whom I am going to enjoy the ride together all along. But you are going to horribly question my entire existence there if I am starting to smile from ear to ear instead of giving you a more than 5 words reply. You can ask me to fetch you the newspaper or help you in the kitchen or carry the stuff for hours, yet I cannot guarantee you something more than being quiet. I am a late bloomer. Having said that, any possible situations I am trying to confront is also the hardest battle and all I can do is to keep my head above water. That is the least I can take into consideration to protect the idea of who I am as I jump back into the water. I guess I take too much time to fit in this kind of situation before I can barely catch a glimpse of what it wishes for – a companionship for instance. Perhaps up until this moment? But I know by hook or by crook, I gotta fix some gears in my communication skills before it is too late to step out of my comfort zone.

It is crazy to look back and see how far I have struggled from being such an introvert to someone who endeavors to reach another step. Even challenges seem so appealing now. A week has passed since the new semester has begun to unfold its new chapter. It won’t demotivate someone who rebels a lot, like me. Realizing I have meticulously planned this to hit the excellent results, I cannot compromise the mutual feelings others barely wish for. I am eager to get back on the track after having too much break for the past three months, just knocking some sense into my head. But should I know there would be no Labs on the first week, home is precisely where I would spend my Eid Adha.

In short, just another hectic week. I probably need a short getaway for this.

When I’m Around Her

Tumblr @herehk

Some other time, I found myself much problematic at expressing my feelings. Like, is there any way I can go without hoping for someone to actually understand me? I don’t really hope for that, but in most situations, I almost get burst in anger when someone doesn’t get what I meant. I played it nicely, of course, I’m not someone with many words. It seems like many other days when my sister asked me to help her with her Maths or when she wanted to learn the computer. I would usually say No because I don’t feel like it is a must to say Yes to things I won’t bother to do at that time.

Sometimes my parents would simply put up a fight on it for many hours before I finally could lend her my hand. It’s like being in a tug-of-war game anyway. I wasn’t being rude or cold towards others, but just like Melanie Martinez said: whatever, whatever.

As cold as I can be, her favour would always catch my heart. She doesn’t know that much, help her, I would say. It is as if every time I try to pull the rope from her back to help her get up. It is as if I’m reliable enough. What if I let go of the rope while the person holds it so tight?

Maybe I’m just a bit dramatic.

I do care, you do matter a lot, babe.

p/s: Salam Lebaran Syawal. 

Logika

A false analogy is a logical fallacy that occurs when someone applies facts from one situation to another situation but the situations are substantially different and the same conclusions cannot logically be drawn.

—–

That final semester I usually sat in the front row, near the teacher. Not that it was something I could be proud of, yet English classes were the best and most relieved ones after any major subjects. Although the topics were something redundant and regular—nothing as algebraic as other subjects or whatnot—that I could be sleepy listening impatiently to her speeches, I should agree that I like the way Miss Malathi made me impress upon her, or at least I like the idea who she is to me, a great teacher. Once she got into a topic, no one could escape from her pile of questions. Moreover, if the lucky person sat near her while she walked around the class.

Under the table, as always, I was with my phone. Nothing extraordinary. I just had to keep scrolling on the screen as I got easily distracted by the weather. We got English classes at 3 PM and I started to think about foods. Shhhhh, it wasn’t the real deal there. We were up to discuss an essay, about teenagers and the (rise of social) problems among them, stuff like that, until she took one card out of her pile of thoughts, asking “Why did it happen that way?” As if she were pinpointing utterly to the problems, not the doers or other circumstances.

Family ignore their children’s pursuits and emotions..

Parents show them no good characters and role play..

“Curiosity kills the cat”..

Of friends and requests..

And other stereotypical insinuation any students would gladly elaborate them out. She continued talking about beliefs, religions and surroundings as time passed by. “…as to how these all correlate in the atmosphere of being grown-ups yada yada and the lifestyles yada yada we may create.” I remember that word “correlate” and how someone else mistook it as “co-exist”. She then started making comparisons, so I jotted down what I heard. Perhaps later the words would eventually and slowly reappear in my mind.

“You know, back in my days..” she stared at the board, searching for words, then looked back into our eyes. “Parents would pressure and teach the children about religion so that their children would conscious of our actions and decisions. Different from as how it is perceptible as nowadays’ appearances, parents or families rarely put any concern on this matter. You know what I mean, right…”

I pondered over her speech, questioning every solitary piece she mentioned ever since. I wondered why she compared it that way, or why she came up to such conclusions. I wasn’t saying that it is a crime to have such thoughts, nope. If really it was about parents who solely had to watch over their children, then who were to be blamed—the ones who stop the teachings? Oh, wait. It got nothing to do with blaming each other or the teachings. It wasn’t about putting the blames on, I knew. Somehow it just sounded less reasonable to me. I was upset that she really left me hanging between “iman tidak dapat diwarisi” and “siapa berhak ke atas siapa”. Though I guessed kalau dia tanya aku apa definisi iman pun, baik aku tutup mulut kejap. I was sure she had better explanations—or theories at least—on the topic we first talked about if she intended to be quite assertive. Nonetheless, it was her individual opinion from her past experiences and I respected her even for that. Far from that, I knew she was going to say, make your religion as a way of a better life.

“Or.. when you commit bad or good deeds, do you even remember God? That God’s watching over you the entire time? That He knows it either in dark side or bright side?” I heard that too. “How about you, do you fear your God?” She spoke to the class, then repeated it as we got jinxed under her ‘spell’. I had a quite thoughtful moment there, I assumed.

“Because I do. I do fear of my God.”

—–

It wasn’t a mere discussion I got in English classes. It was a lesson for life. That sometimes teachers won’t ultimately give us the damn answers, but they show us how to figure it out for betterment, for concealed purposes. My friend once said, semua orang boleh buat kebaikan for the sake of humanity bila mana dia nak, tanpa perlu dia timbulkan isu keagamaan sekalipun. Sebab agama mana pun akan ajar kita untuk tingkatkan moral values dalam hidup, amalkan yang baik-baik itu ini. By comparing the atmosphere of teachings dahulu, kini mahupun bila-bila, banyak lagi faktor yang memberi impak sebenarnya dari masa ke masa. Environments, social pressure, etc. Cuma generalising it to something like “dahulu dan kini” tu kurang tepat bagi aku. Kiranya kalau ada orang nama Abu suka pakai selipar jepun pergi pasar, tak semestinya semua Abu acted that way. Paling leceh pun, kau tak mungkin tahu orang yang pakai selipar pergi pasar tu nama dia sebenarnya Abu.

Fallacy yang aku maksudkan tak semestinya satu keadaan ni saja. Probably assumed aku tiada hujah kukuh pun untuk nyatakan why is it such a fallacy to me, mungkin sebab aku rasa aku tak boleh terima similarities between two different situations. Takpun how easier it is for me to get pissed off the way bila ada orang cakap “wah muka kau sama macam kawan aku yada yada…” Tu baru mukadimah, lepas tu mesti orang akan tanya some similarities kononnya, before they try to compare something again.

Sometimes these differences are outright ignored by the person presenting the fallacy; other times, they may not be aware of the differences. The fallacy occurs, and is common because real-world parallels are always limited; the differences between things can often overpower their similarities. Analogies and metaphors can be very useful to explain things to people and often play an important part in learning. However, because of the prevalence of false analogies, they’re much less useful in making arguments. Oh, whatever it is we’re looking for in our life, is it enough untuk kita hanya berasa takut?

Stay Outside Your Comfort Zone (ii)

I glanced over the person beside me, as I sat down on the couch that morning, finishing Already Gone for the second time. For some reasons, I was afraid to claim that I’d noticed something had changed about her. It wasn’t something subtly strange on her face or how deep her voice was. I just noticed that she didn’t talk much around me whenever I urged to start a conversation. And only silence was my loyal friend. I don’t know if time has made us apart, but to people, she is still the same her. She always did things—I wouldn’t bear to—with all her heart and soul. She even picked me up when I fell down. I remember her from the bruises I got. “The deeper you may fall, the more you may feel hurt. That’s why the ground is there to stop you from falling deeper so that you will feel less hurt.” Somehow, whenever someone else told me they gave up on life, the words helped me to recall that moment, that pain is not forever. I can’t remember if she ever said that to me, yet the words always bring me back to where she first picked me up.

She couldn’t stand lazing around in the house when she had more time to spend on. There were always some things she planned to do and she would remind us to worry not about her. Even after her husband died, she forced herself that she could do it all without help. Sometimes it could hurt even more when we keep holding on from falling down, couldn’t it? That I reckon it’s run of the mill if we might fall down harder and even deeper. It’s not as if we’re giving up on life. It’s just that life has given us too much to keep holding on something that would ultimately get replaced, that we have to find another something, which would make us more tenacious again. I always remember her from her stories. She has grown up being a farmer her entire life. She would spend a favourable time to help people and her family, which she even worked at the place of her own. At time we had to wake up for Subuh, she was already at the front house, preparing for her tools and then disappeared into the mist of early morning. It was really her routine. Until that day, she stopped. She fell as pain suddenly conquered her.

She began to see doctors more than I could ever visit her. The doctors advised her to slow down her daily activities since the pain has started attacking her muscles and limbs. Although she can no longer be outside the house, she can still treat people with her lovely smile and characters, can’t she? To live each day knowing that people may get older at number, yet they’re always young at heart. Isn’t that beautiful too?

I’ve known that wise woman long enough that I’ve felt terrible whenever we visited her place and she had to solely look after us. Despite our rebellious and illiterate acts, she would come up at us and advise each of us to be better each time we committed something awful. We used to cause her big troubles (which I rather keep it to myself) enough to make people get pissed off and utter lots of bad words. Instead of pushing us away, she lent us her small arms and embraced us under her care. That woman had been there for me since I was little. I was thankful enough to my parents that I could come back there again to look after her and share the stories we both had missed.

Time can’t measure happiness and if only you asked me what I want from Time, I really want to spend more time knowing the best of her and I really want to witness her confessing to our Shahadatain, dua kalimah Shahadah, suatu hari nanti. Dia, atau sesiapa pun.

After all, isn’t family part of society too?

——-

The entire post (i & ii) isn’t about a so-called eulogy. It’s not solely a matter of “two is better than one” or “one is better than none” instead. It’s about staying outside the comfort zone in our own way, (no matter who we are, where we are) there are always some ways for us to make amends and break the walls for those who need help. Give ourselves that space, so that we are conscious of the boundaries, yet never surrender ourselves to exceed them. Though our objectives may have a slight difference from each other—that we lead one project to another project thoroughly and have those priorities set—nevertheless, our top priority is to seek His pleasure.

Adanya biah solehah tentunya lebih selesa untuk kita bergerak bersama sebabnya “two is better than one, at least.” Juga, tidak kira ceruk dunia mana pun kita tercampak, kita masih mampu menghidupkan suasana tersebut atas sebab “one is better than none, at least”. Good things would eventually happen at the right place, at the right time and with the right people. But if it didn’t happen, it doesn’t mean we were at the wrong place or at the wrong time or with the wrong people. Ujian untuk kita tidak datang bermusim, tidak kira tempat atau siapa, dan pastinya semua tu dengan izin tuhan. Being a “coward” or feared is an option. When we stay outside the comfort zone, sure, it’s gonna be a tougher day ever, but hey, why don’t we take the courage out of our pocket and give it a shot? One piece at one time.

——-

I stayed there for three weeks—the daughter and her family were there too—which I thought it had been a perfect time to be away from the city, to enjoy the nature instead. As time goes by, I learn it the hard way to appreciate not only how people made us feel, but to appreciate people themselves too. I even keep the rest pictures for myself, so that when I miss the fresh scent of morning air, the fog I barely touch and the green trees which stand before the hills, I could always tell myself: the memories are always there. Even when everything else in the pictures dies or has gone, there will always be memories.

Stay Outside Your Comfort Zone (i)

School days were already over. At least I’ve got the chance to take a break for some months before I get back at it as a college student. I even planned to take part in any volunteering events (or outdoor activities or whatnot). I just wish that people would appreciate the situation I was in so that they wouldn’t abruptly accuse me of being a “coward”. But, it’ll be fine. At one point in my life, I just realised it’s not only about being physically ready. We don’t wake up anymore each day to watch our favourite cartoons, play our stuff or cry when our parents prepared us for school.

That’s how it made me realise; it’s time to grow up and to stay outside the comfort zone.

———

By early May or so, there was a small event organised by a group of students. While it was only 6 of them, they managed to distribute all collected funds (foods, money, etc.) to several families and lead one “Kem Anak Soleh” there too. It was always my wish to lend a hand. Yet, my family and I had to be at somewhere else in the weekend and I had to solely agree with them. Though it disappointed me a lot, I was relieved knowing there were people who were willing to work on something for society while I sat in the car for hours, writing things I felt sorry at.

I followed my family back to the place we once belong. It was miles away from our hometown, quite tranquil and calm. When the days were bright, people could see the blue sky with its fluffy clouds were layering between each other—up from beyond the sky—and reaching down to the hills. It was always like that, each time and each day to which we grew up becoming a nature-seeker. It’s like when you go back to your home, it would always look the same—the telly, the chairs, the pictures on the walls—and maybe it welcomes you the same way you’ve last left it, deserted and in a state of turmoil. Maybe, for now, there’s no of it anymore. When we didn’t have reasons to stay; it was just a place we were born in. And the only thing has left in our mind is about which part of Earth our body would be buried then.

It was already late in the evening when we drove two hours from home. I always rant about the weather, any weather. It wasn’t an enjoyable day until I needed a cup of tea and cookies from the kitchen. Generally, it puts me in a grouchy one: when the hot scorching noon comes and people rush to get their tasks done, I would rather be in a pool of ice than become all sticky and full of sweat. I hate how the air smells like so… And I hate to even describe it. But it doesn’t mean it really bothers me in all way. For it may not be reasonably accepted by someone else if I solely quoted: “nobody really liked that situation” because it’s a bitter truth that we live in a tropical country. After all, farmers get to grow their crops by depending on the source of light. Students too would walk on their feet to get to school in early mornings. When the evening comes, kids at the field are thrilled to spend their time—kicking and throwing balls—there and hope it won’t rain any sooner.

Heavy rain or light rain, it really matters to people who have planned on any outdoor activities (or for those who want to dry their laundries). As a little kid back then, I knew I wouldn’t get to play outside as I watched our bikes and the road got wet, and parents started telling us to watch cartoons instead. Sometimes we ended up looking out of the window, wondering how long would this rain last? 10 minutes? 20 minutes? The whole evening? It would rain heavier suddenly and kids eventually gave up on it. Nevertheless, it was still exciting to wait for raindrops race along the window glass. You chose your favourite drop and then screamed out loud which one would first reach the edge. You even pointed your finger on the glass, following that tiny drop as it formed a bigger shape when it kept hitting another drop. There were lots of fun stuff to figure out when I was little, which I grew up regretting of not experiencing it. My sister sometimes wished for winter to come, and the only snowy region I could show to her was the freezer in our fridge. It really was cold and icy, wasn’t it, sister? And then I would tell her we could have some tea in the kitchen as Mom was preparing the cookies. She refused to it, she never liked tea.

I smiled thinking about my childhood as we finally reached someone’s place, a home of where an old woman and her family live in almost for twenty years. It had been two years since I last visited them. My parents even decided that I should stay there for a while. Just for a while that they promised to come back during the school holiday, two weeks later. I waited for them to come although I knew it wouldn’t happen. I knew it because my mother had to attend her lectures, while my father got busier each day marking grades on the examination sheets. My siblings? Sure they had to follow “the plans”. It should be fine by me.

My school days were already over and helping out others was something I was looking forward to, too.