24 May 2013


Been fighting things that I can't see in
Like voices coming from the inside of me and
Like doing things I find hard to believe in
Am I myself or am I dreaming?

I've been awake for an hour or so
Checking for a pulse but I just don't know
Am I a man when I feel like a ghost?
The stranger in the mirror is wearing my clothes

No I'm not alright
I know that I'm not right
A steering wheel don't mean you can drive
A warm body don't mean I'm alive
No I'm not alright
I know that I'm not right
Feels like I travel but I never arrive
I want to thrive not just survive

I want to thrive not just survive...
I want to thrive not just survive...
Feels like I travel but I never arrive
I want to thrive not just survive.....

- "Thrive" by Switchfoot 

18 May 2013

The S.S Sky Blue

اَلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَا تُهُ

Late afternoons? Never the best time for studying. But it may just be the best hour to write and let those creative juices flow. So, here you are:

If you ever asked a younger me what I'd like to be when I grow up, I'll almost immediately say "A pilot! I want to be a pilot!" with a wide grin.

As a child I saw freedom in the skies. I saw greatness in being sky-high, being on par with birds. That unreachable stretch of blue on a background of white and orange intrigued me. What wonders lay hidden in the world up-above? I thought one day I can be the first to unravel it. And I still do.

I've always loved the smell of planes. The general buzz of workers flitting around here and there - some loading luggages and pre-cooked food, others re-fuelling the aircraft while the engineers prowl around doing last minute checks. I've almost always woke up early on the day of the flight, bursting out of bed from pure excitement as if my early arrival can alter or prolong the awaited flight. That was me, as a kid.

I remember the food too. How good it tasted to me. My appetite seemingly increasing with altitude. How pretty much every stranger I feast my eyes upon pass their meals in exchange for sleep or a healthier stomach. Well, I figured not everyone has bowels of steel to match the twist and turns of the plane. And I remembered (somewhat vaguely) how I hoped I can have seconds. And I recalled (this one clearly) how I hated myself if I slept too soundly when the food trays went pass to the point that mealtime's over and done with.

And then there was the evolution of a plane and its passengers, especially on long taxing routes across multiple time-zones. The vehicle becomes a portal for nicely dressed, sharp men and women to a land of messy people, with jutting hairs and crumpled shirts. Perfumes lose their scent, all those aboard smell and look like sleep. Except for the kids. They talk more, they ask more, some even start to jump about.

Of course, I also know that dreadful feeling accompanying the final goodbyes, how I wished I can find a place to hide - behind a seat or inside a compartment or maybe even slip past the pilots and into the cockpit. But when fear gripped me - the fear of being alone (cause I know my family won't want to stay on-board) and fear of being shipped by the next flight to an unknown destination doomed to never set foot on Malaysia again - I too walk off the platform into the terminal.

But the sadness don't stay for long because I treasure the short and fun times I had on aeroplanes. And maybe somewhere, somehow I hoped that when I next come aboard, it would be me announcing on the PA "Welcome aboard everyone. This is Captain Afiz speaking. Please fasten your seatbelts and enjoy the flight"

Present day

I still love all those things I used to like about flying. But nowadays I look forward to meeting new people on-board just as  I look forward to the food. I take pleasure from seeing families travel as much as I like travelling alone. I still love the same things with some new things added to the list.

For example, most of my ideas in writing come from travelling. The experiences, the difficulties, the company I have, the amazing sights we get to see all add up to one large pile of lesson that money cannot buy (well, maybe I'm wrong here).

And, oh, have you ever seen cities in the skies? With pillars and minarets made of fluffy white clouds. The sunlight piercing it here and there. I imagine them as forgotten temples of civilisations long gone. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of a boy peeping through those cracks in the structure. He, too, knew that our eyes met for a fraction of second. But it did not matter because we both agree on the awesomeness of his homeland. Not to mention the trees, the dragons, the fists, the ships and sails - all made up of clouds - surfing on seas of even more clouds...


Though I know my chances of piloting my own crew up in the air are slim, I anticipate there will come a day when I can still say "Welcome aboard! This is your captain speaking. Please fasten your seatbelts and get ready for the ride of your lives!"

Then I'll learn how to navigate a ship. She'll be named the S.S Sky Blue. Maybe I'll even find out how to drive a tank.

Here's to that day when I become the first to be up in the skies, insyaAllah :)

I swear sometimes I have the wildest imaginations...

16 May 2013

No Title

اَلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَا تُهُ

The following was copied directly from Anberlin's video description for the song 'We Owe This To Ourselves':

i was driving home one night, hours from home and my favorite passenger was fast asleep. i rarely turn on music when i drive, most bands i listen to our not good for 3 AM dark, long stretches of highway anyway. i usually listen to some sort of talk radio, (you hear the most random and borderline insane theories on backwoods talk stations). i stopped on a story about an all to familiar character, but this was not about his headlines, but about the low points of his life.

when it comes to the past we often hear of the success, but rarely ever of the failure. if you think about it you never hear anyone at a funeral walk on stage and belittle the deceased or question publicly their character, you only hear the positive even if there is very little to speak of. in the same light i had heard more positive stories than negatives of this american man. i had listened to the speeches, envisioned his dreams, read books, and even wrote several papers on his influence in my own life.

but this radio program was different, it delved into the psyche of a man who, near the end of his life, felt defeated. he even said in a few different speaking engagements how he felt that his dream may never come to pass, he even predicted that he wouldn't be around for long, and that they (the movement) should continue without him. and that is where we pick up.

great men, or women, with great visions, who rebel against the social norm usually end up in a coffin, in a prison, or even a cross. but then what? what happens when the shepherd is struck, do the sheep always scatter? i believe that when the vision, belief, theology, or philosophy is noble and just then it stands the test of time.

the principal of change through non-violence is nothing new to our system, though it goes against everything we as humans feel is in our human nature. it is easier to to punch then to be punched. it is more convenient to shoot than to be shot at. it is in our core to survive. yet look at mohatma ghandi? an entire government was overthrown through such peaceable means.

i have no desire to overthrow the government but i do desire change, not in a system but in 'we the people'. we have to continue to fight to create or more civil union not in a political party but amongst us the diverse races of this world

I strongly agree with the aforementioned observation. But, of course, all of you out there could beg to differ. In my perspective it is the differences in opinions and mentality that make our world so colourful. Or would you prefer a land of uniform colour?

Food for thoughts. For everyone :)

P/S: I like Anberlin but that does not mean I have to like all their songs. Just as I like pretty much everybody, but at the same time disproving some of their actions or reactions.

"When you love, do it for who they are. 
When you hate, don't extend it to the person, limit it to his actions"

08 May 2013

Untuk Sahabat

اَلسَّلَامُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَا تُهُ

For those of us going into battle :)

Semoga terasa~

Final Say