28 May 2014

The shadow of everyday life

اَلسَّلَام عَلَيْكُم وَرَحْمَة اللهِ وَبَرَكَا تُهُ

I am a living embodiment of contradictions. 
I treasure books but I don't read. 
I know time's precious but I often waste it.
I love flowers and greenery but I don't do my part to save it.
I expect trust but I do not give it freely.
I value freedom but I shove myself into a prison.
I hear but I do not listen.
I hear but I do not heed.
I see but I do not believe.
I believe but I lack faith.
I smile but only rarely.
I laugh but only on the outside.
Inside, I cry and weep.
I give with the notion of taking.
I build so that I can one day break.
I say but I rarely do.
I talk but I rarely speak.
I wonder but I do not think.
I yearn for the sun but stay in the shade.
I care but only for myself.
I am man.
And that is (some of) my shadow sides.



14 May 2014

Stars 2.0

اَلسَّلَام عَلَيْكُم وَرَحْمَة اللهِ وَبَرَكَا تُهُ

It has been nearly a year. Yes, one year. Just yesterday, we were newcomers in this land. Strangers then. Strangers still. But familiar strangers now. Is that a good thing? I'm not so sure it is...

So how's it been since that first landing, first face, first place? One thing's for sure, we are not who we used to be. I am not me. For I have learnt much from this alien land. "At least, I hope so." One can only wonder what travelling does to one's mind, one's outlook and one's self. As always, I wish I can document the changes that occur within and around me from day to day, sun to sun (not that we get much sun here) and moon to moon (God, I miss my night walks).

Speaking of those walks, I sort of wish there were more stars in the sky. For one reason or another, the stars have been disappearing bit by bit every night. Whether purely by chance or not, I can't be certain. But it does point out a major weakness of the human race: no matter how much progress we make, we still can't alter the grand designs of the world we live in. If He chose to put out all the stars in the heavens above, who can stop Him?

And if He chose to put out the dim lights on the Earth that represent our lives, who can intervene? 

(written: a few weeks ago)

05 May 2014


اَلسَّلَام عَلَيْكُم وَرَحْمَة اللهِ وَبَرَكَا تُهُ

Before we begin, may I ask you a question? Make that two. How do you imagine yourself to be?

Do you think of yourself as an outstandingly average person? Are you a writer? A musician? An amazingly good friend? A cruel person? A heartless? An introvert? Just another person to be forgotten by time's flow? A leader? A follower? A student? A gamer? A man? A woman? A nerd?

Sorry, but that looks to be more than two questions, I know... But seriously, "How do you see yourself?"

Often we define other people (sometimes effortlessly) as we go about our daily lives. "You know that Asian boy from D-block?" or "...that lazy guy in our Management Accounting lecture..." or even "the very quiet Malaysian who eats a lot" (Yes, all of that refer to myself).

It doesn't really matter what you call it: descriptions, prejudice, presumptions, labels. They all point to a single thing which is an image of a person/object/event. They all mould and shape our understanding of that person/object/event. For now, let us keep the object of our discussion limited to people, shall we?

Yes, it is too easy for us to describe others. But when it comes to defining and describing ourselves, we often place a very distorted picture of ourselves and present that instead of the truth. I can only wonder why... Is it because we say things that we wish for ourselves? Are we dangerously biased whenever we start to examine ourselves under a microscope? What explanations can there be to this baffling phenomenon?

These and many other questions visited me tonight. At first it seems easy to come up with an answer. After all, who would know me better than myself, right? Surprisingly, I can't even begin to answer the first and most fundamental question of "Who am I?"

I have a fairly vague idea of what I look like, how I carry myself. I know my preferences in certain matters. I have twenty years of experience living with myself (no breaks, no holidays!) to help me create a self-image that would closely resemble my entire being. I have laughed and cried, gone through highs and lows with myself. So naturally it should be a cakewalk.

Ironically, it is the very intimacy with myself that prevents me from having a solid grasp on my own image. It is those very information that I've gleaned to add clarity that clouds my vision of myself. I think I'm a good enough guy but then I've done certain bad things in life. So am I good or bad? I help people quite a lot. Then I remember the many times I saw a person in need and walked away blind, knowing that it was within my ability to help. And this process repeated itself for EVERY single aspect of my life.

Frustrated? You bet! :/ This then begs another question: if everyone knows what I know of myself, how would that change the way they think of me? Not so highly I would assume.

(Written: last year)