Thursday, 2 May 2013

Pushing 50: Mixed Feelings

Grey Areas

Aaahh...those tiny little fine lines. Those fine lines that act as signposts that say, "Okay, here's a tricky one. Now THINK!" And yours truly is someone who worships 'the ground those fine lines lie upon.' I contemplate and evaluate. And consider and reconsider. Ponder. Plan. Assess. You name it. Yup that's me! 


when i woke up this morning, i realized that somewhere along the past 30 days *or more*, somewhere between awake and sleep, i have unintentionally AND unconsciously like Oscar Levant said, "erased those fucking fine lines!"

How and why it happened is just beyond me. 

One thing clear is that i just can't tell which is which anymore. My judgment are all wrong. The word 'WISE' had completely vanished from my dictionary and the grey areas have now become... Fifty Shades of Grey. *yeah, I like that! Ahaks*

And you guessed it! ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE!


hellion me,

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Pushing 50: Our dead are never dead to us, until we have forgotten them.

~Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un~

How do i start this one?

My sister called to inform that he was admitted to ICU the day before. "How is he?" I asked. "Pretty bad this time. He was coughing blood the last time I checked." She said but did not persuade me to come home and visit the old man. She, like everyone else in the family has stopped doing that a long time ago. Attempt in making me to come home if there is any, is guaranteed to be undesirably fruitless. The next day she called again and told me that he has left us. "Are you coming home?" I was surprised she even asked. 

How do i do this? What do i write about someone that I hardly knew?

I tried to remember moments with him...moments we both spent together. Did he ever hold my hands when i was growing up? Did he pick me up when i fell? Did he say comforting words when i was down? Was he there to guide me when i lost my way? Was he ever proud of me?

I couldn't even remember the last time I saw him. 

We were never close. He left when i was 10. Even when we were living under the same roof he was hardly ever at home. And whenever he was home, our paths rarely crossed. I never really knew him and neither did he know me. We were total strangers, only sharing the same blood. And i guess inevitably the blood connection made me, whether or not i want to admit it, love him and deep in my heart i know he loved me too. It's just that we both had our funny ways of showing it. 

May you rest in eternal peace dad. I do believe you loved me. 

"Oh Allah, forgive my father. Make him among the guided ones, raise his status and be his deputy among the grieving. O Lord of the two worlds, forgive us and him and make his grave wide and full of light" Aameen Ya Rabb, Aameen.

Senja memanggil pulang Sang Pengembara
Menangis ia
Melihat keperihan zaman pencarian 
Katanya aku sendiri

Perjuangan dulu hanyalah ujian
Hanyalah bayangan
Untuk menghadapi perang yang utama
Hanyalah diriku sendiri
Dan hidayah
Selama ini
Hanyalah Engkau yang kudambakan
Dan semoga sejahteralah
Engkau padaku oh hidayah
Dan tanpamu apalah aku
Apalah aku tanpa hidayah

Video oleh cleibet@YobTualangSekah

Rohani Binti Abdullah 19 April 1937 - 30 August 2005
Edie Ramlan Bin Ramli 20 April 1965 - 6 November 2009
Abdul Rahman Bin Ismail 4 May 1934 - 12 March 2013

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Pushing 50: Small Changes Can Make Big Difference

Despite the fact that it was lunch break the place was relatively deserted. The weather was scorching and even the thick dark canvas shades of the cafĂ©’s smoking section couldn't keep off the heat from making my skin sizzled. I just needed a tall glass of iced Nescafe and a long drag of nicotine to take me away from this insane humidity and l would then be safe and sound in my own small, sweet shell.

“Why is it that the amount of money you have in your bank accounts or in your expensive leather wallets determines the weight of your opinion?”  I had not forgotten that he was with me and that we were waiting for our Aloo Mutters with white rice to be served. The weather however had taken the best of me and the drop-dead-gorgeous creature who was sitting in front of me appeared more like a fata morgana that I chose to ignore for the time being.

 “Huh?” That was the only available response escaped my mouth. The day was disgustingly hot and so was he.

“Why is it that you first need to be rich and then would only your opinion matter?”  He paraphrased his question. His deep set eyes drilled holes into mine. Wait, let me rephrase that sentence. His brilliantly beautiful, deep set, brown eyes were transfixed onto mine and bored deep holes right down into my retinas. For a split second I lost my balance. He was god-damnly good-looking and sinfully hot  ... BUT young. Too bad. *Yeah, leave it alone senah…he’s just a kid for crying out loud!*

“And… your point being?” I said, much too nonchalantly. The fact that a young, good-looking guy WITH a good thinking cap doesn't always come in the same package and in my case, it definitely doesn't happen every day therefore I should and ought to at least, show a bit of interest and concern on the topic. But the weather…the heat was distracting me. Or was it HIM? *Naah, forget it…too young!*

“We are becoming slaves to money. We work hard for money and then we work harder for more money. Why do we become so money oriented? Our basic needs are simple and yet we have created a complex life. We want a better house to live in, expensive clothes to wear and rich in flavour, rich in quality, rich in looks kind of food to eat. And we need more money because we need to have more of those better things in life. And then we complain that we don’t have the time for anything else except work. And we are so dead focused on this ‘Quest for Money’ that we fail to appreciate the wonderful things in life. We fail to see the sufferings of others. We have created a self-centred society. We don’t give a crap about others. We don’t care about poachers hunting down elephants in Africa or the Japanese killing whales. We just care about our own pathetic selves. ” His hands moved about while he was talking; he touched the menu, moved the ketchup bottle, wiped imaginary dust off the tissue dispenser, flipped my cigarette box, rearrange his thick unruly hair and stopped only when his sentence reached an end.

“True, it’s greed.” I know where he was coming from but honestly, I wasn’t interested. I was tired and hungry and sweating like a horse. The last thing on my mind was to indulge in a ‘let’s-save-the-world’ conversation. And as good looking as he was, I preferred him not talking. Not now. Please.

“When was the last time you smiled to a stranger?” He asked as he pulled a cigarette from my freshly opened pack. I watched him placed it at the right side of his mouth between his oh-so-kissable lips and lit it with my RM1.20 green lighter. Did he just jump from one topic to another unrelated topic or was it me who wasn’t paying attention here?

“I smiled at Goo-Goo before leaving the house this morning but the dog didn't smile back. Obviously he was busy thinking of ways to make more money…or dog-biscuits” He got my drift and smiled, a crooked smile, the kind that reminded me of Bruce Willis and Pit Bull…and Mr. Misery, of course not necessarily in that particular order nor for any particularly specific reason. “And yeah…I also smiled and wished good morning to a guy on my way to the office but he gave me that ‘You-Crazy- Woman’ look! End of story.”

“That’s exactly my point. We have forgotten the fundamental rules of living. Be kind to others. Love. Smile. Patience. Peace. Helping others. We’ve known so much of Mother Theresa’s work, Ghandi and his philosophies. Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Buddhism… We know all the great teachings any preachers had ever preached, but we just don’t practice most of the things we already know.”

“True again.” I said as I wiped off trickles of sweat that ran down the sides of my forehead. Given a good day I would have enjoyed this topic. It’s about being humane and humanity and humility. I have an unspeakably soft spot for these matters and could have easily dominated the conversation and turned the table around. But kiddo, you caught me on a bad day, literally, so to speak.

“Why don’t we?” He was determined to make my day a miserable living hell.

“Sometimes we forget, it just slipped off our minds.”

“Not good enough of an excuse”

“I’m saying it as it is, kiddo.” Oh! Can you please STFU?!

He didn’t stop talking when our Aloo Mutters were served. I hate talking while eating and so I let him did the talking most of the time. He went on about capitalism and China, wars in Palestine, Syria and Rohingya. He ranted about hunger in Africa, about media dictating the lives of youths around the world… yadayadayada. I just ate, listened, nodded and chipped in when and if necessary. I must admit that it was the best ‘conversation’ I ever had for a long time but bugger… the heat! It was killing me!

“We should make the world a better place, you know? There should be less hatred, less war, less selfishness. And, we should be more considerate towards others and love one another more.” He continued. Our empty plates were not collected so we used them as ash-trays.

“Utopia you mean?” I suspected that he had been smoking some shit and was being delusional.

“Yeah, exactly!” he grinned, beaming a 1000 watt smile and my heart stopped for a second.

“C’mon, get real!”

“Why not?” He wasn’t going to let me off the hook easily.

“Utopia exists only in your head, silly!”

“So, you mean we should just leave the world as it is now… all fucked-up? Is that what you are trying to say?” he asked, looking at me wide-eyed.


“I don’t believe you. You’re more intelligent than that, that much I can tell”

“It’s not about being intelligent or less intelligent. It’s about accepting things you can’t change. I was more or less like you a long, long time ago. I was unhappy with the world. The unjust, cruelty, abuse, rape, hunger, slavery, the war… all those things upset me big time back then. And I became a rebel. Another character, with or without a cause, the world doesn’t actually need. ”

“And you’re not upset anymore now?”

“I still am but I refuse to let those stuffs bug me. At this age, I’m done trying to save the world. I’m taking it easy and going down with the flow…and smell the roses… and the coffee.”

“So you’re not doing anything to un-fuck the world?”

“That and also I will try not to fuck it up real bad. I mean, I can't do much about the ozone layer part." I cued to my phone and laptop."Look, kiddo, I know these things put questions into your head but as fucked-up as the world may be, it still has countless wonderful things to offer. Why do you get all hung-up on the bad things? Why not start being grateful for… for example…the cloudless blue sky.”

“And the polluted but free air.” He said with a smirk.

“And the beautiful trees”

“And good Aloo Mutters” he said pointing to our plates a.k.a ash-trays.

“And my children and grandchildren.”

“And my mother. Mothers are wonderful creatures you know?”

“Yes, I'm a mother, I know and we definitely are superhuman!”

“And my girlfriend, she’s wonderful too…”

“And coffee…I’m grateful for Nescafe.”

“And champagne.” he added with an evil grin.

“There you go…and why on earth did you get all worked up on things you can’t change when you have plenty to be grateful for, is absolutely just beyond me!”

“Just curious, I guess. I just wanted to know how you think.”

“Cat died now?”

“Yup. Died. Buried.” He answered with a smile that could have easily stopped any woman in her tracks. 

The thing is, as I’m writing this down and the conversation had taken place four days ago, and yet his question floats like ghost in my mind. “So you’re not doing anything to un-fuck the world?”

Just how exactly do we un-fuck the world? Do we reduce, recycle, reuse enough? Do we car-pool? Have we done enough to stop global warming? Do we need to intrude the animals’ natural abodes in the forest just for the sake of development? Did we take part in Earth Hour? Do we know the names of our neighbors? Have we hugged our children enough times? Are we playing the roles of dedicated children to our parents? Are we being kind to our siblings? Did we thank that person enough for being there for us? Have we apologized for hurting someone? When was the last time we told someone that we love them? Do we ever really give a damn?  Just how on earth do we un-fuck the world when sadly enough we couldn’t even think of ways to un-fuck ourselves?

taking baby steps,

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Pushing 50: You Can't Always Get What You Want (2)

Wounded Souls.

"I told her what I needed her to know." He cut in between my "Hello."


"Yeah..." He dragged the one syllable word longer than necessary and it sounded painful.

"Which part?"

"That I've lost feelings for her." Shit, I was afraid of that!


"And...i feel relieved." Somehow I have a gut feeling that his sentence did not end just there.

"Relieved is...GOOD." 

"But..." There, told ya!

"But?! But is NOT good, man! Never." However, an 'and' would be good, i wanted to add but did not.

"But somehow I think I'm being unfair to her. I'm being selfish. How could have i said that to her? That was mean. was mean. She must have felt awful. What kind of a person am I? I'm screwed up big time, man!"

I bit my tongue. He needed to talk and my opinion could wait. Perhaps, not needed at all.

"Never in my entire life had i ever imagined saying anything like that to her. (A short pause) Any sane person wouldn't do that to a woman he had spent 15 years of his life with. What is happening to me? Have i gone mad?!”

I took that as a rhetoric question despite the fact that I already had a few answers popping up like fresh toasts in my mind. So i bit my tongue harder and let him talk.

“How could this happen?” he continued. “How was it even possible that you woke up one morning and you looked at your wife, you saw her familiar face, her beautiful eyes, her warm smile… but you felt empty inside? You touched her, but when your fingers brushed her skin, the skin only you knew so well, and you felt... nothing but hollow... and COLD. How could that happen? How could the feelings just disappear like that... as if they had never been there before?” He uttered his words slowly, taking his time; each new word carried more agony than the last. It was difficult not to miss the accentuated despair during the brief intermissions within his sentences, during the labored intake of fresh air into his lungs. I struggled to remain unruffled.

“Day by day i pretended as though nothing had changed. I tried to convince myself that it was all just a phase, you know what I mean? I told myself this madness would soon leave and things would get back to being normal again. But the pretending, the acting... man, it was choking on me. I couldn't breathe.You know what I mean?"  

Another pause. I could feel his pain cut through the silence like a newly bought butcher knife that chopped my soul into pieces. I quickly swallowed the lump in my throat before it turned into a sob.

"I tried but it wasn't easy. It wasn't easy for me neither was it for her. It was choking on me. I couldn't breathe. I had to tell her. I just had to! I.couldn'”

( I lit up a ciggy. Inhaled, paused. And exhaled. And I knew he was smoking too. I heard him exhaled. Or was he snuffling? Was he crying? Shit!  I struggled for something to say. Something wise or funny but...Mr. Brain had gone out for lunch, at the most inappropriate moments obviously! Shit! )

“ Aren't you going to say anything?” Finally he asked and i didn't miss the sobs he tried to hide at the end of his sentence.

“Do you want me to lie or tell the truth?” I asked back. I didn't need an answer. I just needed time to arrange my thoughts.

“Your lies suck.” 

“You’re an idiot” I said but not in a condescending way.

“Tell me something I don’t know” he mumbled. 

“How’s she doing?” A stupid question, yeah… I know!

“Not good.”

“How are YOU doing?” Another stupid question.


“Listen, you already told her what you needed her to know. If it’s of any consolation, I think you did fine. Most couples, married or not married, will come to this miserable stage at certain point of the relationship. They do realize that somewhere between the familiar touch, the old jokes, the routine ‘i-love-yous’, something has gone missing, something is absent or something has died. But for so many reasons, most of them inevitably decide to avoid the truth and carry on with their daily lives…(sigh)… and succumb to… as you put it, pretense.  Only a few, like you, will take the bold step to come clean and tell the miserable truth. In a sense you're lucky you know? You have escaped the banal Alcatraz.” I wondered if anything I had said ever got through to him. But when the pain is so intense what could ever possibly make any logical sense, anymore?

“Even if it means hurting the kids and your wife and let 15 years of marriage go down the drain?”

“It’s either the truth or back to Alcatraz. Your call but it’s never a win-win situation, kiddo. Everything has a price tag. No free lunches, okay?” I wished I could  be a bit 'girly-like' and offered some sweet mushy comforting words. Or be slightly vulnerable and maybe even cry with him. Naahh... 'vulnerable' is for wimps! 

"If only there was another way of doing it and that no one would get hurt..." 

"Oh, don't bullshit me! You knew there was another way of doing it. You could have stayed in that Alcatraz day in and day out. And not complaining. And not thinking. And not even feeling anything. That was the other way of doing it without having anyone getting hurt."

"Except me."

"And round and round we go." I said, sarcasm intended. "Listen, you've said whatever it was that has been eating you all these while. Done. It's Damage Control time now. You need to pick up the pieces and start anew.  Wallowing in self pity and remorse wont do the trick. Staying in your sadness and sulking won't help. It's time to move on."

The conversation ended shortly after that. Let's hope that  the expensive call he made did justice to his weary soul. I on the other hand felt unsettled with something he said before he hung up.

"You and Tom have got it made. Lucky you, he's a great guy. Tell the old bugger i said 'Hi.' Ciao!"

And as if on cue, the great Tom appeared from the bedroom; wearing only boxer shorts with the famous 'I-napped-for-hours' hairdo, a puffy face and a grumpy mood to match. 

"Was that Stan?" he asked without looking at me and disappeared into the kitchen. 

"Yup." I answered. "He said, 'Hi.'" 

Tom the Great reappeared from the kitchen with a glass of orange juice and stood facing me across the working-table.

"How is he?" He briefly glanced at me before his eyes were transfixed on something interesting through the window behind me. And as though satisfied with what he saw he then chug-a-lugged the liquid like a thirsty hippo.

"Doing fine, I hope"

Tom the Great placed the empty glass on a neatly piled manuscript by the computer, wiped his mouth with the back of his hand and then turned around and made his way to the bedroom. I heard him said, "I'm late. My plane is less than 2 hours away. I got to shower. God knows how I hate these business trips!" He may or may not be addressing that statement to me. It's just Tom. Tom the Great, that. 

He disappeared  into the bedroom, and then i heard the bathroom door slammed and seconds later, opened.Tom the Great reappeared, naked this time, and walked towards the coffee table where his phone was resting like the queen of Sheba on her royal chaise. "Any call? Message?" I heard him mumbling. No,i didn't have to answer, it was not a question, to begin with. As he made his way back into the bedroom with his eyes fixed and index finger wiggling on the screen, i watched the meat on his bare, sagging, aged ass moved lazily upon each step he made until he disappeared again into the bedroom. I flinched!

I remembered the message well enough. The words were imprinted in my mind, just like the rest of the messages before that. And all the messages she had text him for the past couple of years. I flinched again.

"Darling, I'm missing you already. Can't wait to get on the plane and snuggle up close to you. I love you... body, heart and soul. XOXO."

Yes Tom, there was a message a for but oops! I've deleted it while you were sleeping, and probably while you were dreaming of her.

Lucky? No kiddo, I bloody chose to stay in this fucked-up Alcatraz.

The End.

Wounded souls... they totally kill me. 

Yours truly,

You can't always get what you want
but if you try sometimes
well you just might find
you get what you need.
- The Rolling Stones

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Pushing 50: You Can't Always Get What You Want

It's been a long while. Yeah, i know. but fret no more, now i'm back. And i know I've been lazy. 

*ewwww!*what was THAT?!*

*lemme think.!!*

*okay..let's do that again*this time do it like you actually mean it?!*

It's been a LONG while. Yeah, i know. And i know I've been super lazy. Plus, I was mad. Who bloody wouldn't? It was an easy job. Any Tom, Dick and Harry could do it. 

*naaahhh...that didn't sound quite right!*

*fingers tapping*

*now let's start from the top*AGAIN!*

It's been a LONG while. Yeah, i know. And NO, i haven't been lazy. I was mad *Who bloody wouldn't?* and I needed time to deflect. So i ran to House for refuge and drown my sorrow in his  miserable, unhappy life. Either that or i would be reading Twitter's Timeline like a bible. And when that failed to distract me, i would get into Mr. Misery's head and tried to think the way he thinks. Day in and day out. But i was still mad. *VERY* And i was mad for a LONG while!

The thing is, it was an easy job and the pay spelled with an initial big digit and ended with many fat zeroes across my cheque! And already i could think of many miseries that would come to an end when the fat cheque settled comfortably in my starved wallet. *counting chickens before they hatch eh? oh, just SHUT UP!*  And so i spent countless, sleepless nights  *and countless cups of coffee too, but of course!* getting things ready for the stint and after countless sleepless nights I finally submitted the whole lock stock and barrel to Mrs. Boss. She was happy. I was elated. YAYY! 

And then shit happened. 

*fingers tapping crazily*


*i need coffee*

*...and ciggy*

If............... and ............ but ......... because....

*sigh*i bloody give up!*

Losing my marbles,

Monday, 7 January 2013

Pushing 50: If you can't go to sleep...

I'm up to my nose in paperwork and Mr. Acer went into coma several times today. The new cooler pad obviously didnt do a good enough job in bringing his temperature down. He simply couldn't take the work load and finally collapsed!  Poor guy. Typical of Mrs Boss, she wants everthing PRONTO! Chop chop! *sigh* Told her to hold her horses. Either that or get me a new lap-top. That did the trick. She left me well alone after that. Anyhow I managed to cough up a completed module for her to read during breakfast. And I bet my last Ringgit Malaysia her text msg will be waiting for me when I wake up tomorrow. *later this morning*'s almost 4!*

I'm dead tired. Guess I can skip the part where I feel the need to mention that my brain is dead too. I.NEED.SLEEP. As exhausted as I am right now I doubt if I can fall asleep right away. My nervous system is still buzzing around as if there are dozens of overly enthusiastic *and crazy* Formula1 drivers driving ferociously to win the world championship    

Tomorrow will be another long full day, will try to get some sleep now. *fake yawn*

Not-So-Sleepy but dog-tired me,

want you to know i'm a rainbow too.


Sunday, 6 January 2013

Pushing 50: Up, Up and Away!

Mrs. Boss called yesterday with good news, "Yes, the job is yours. You're booked from  ___ to ____, AND from  ___ to ____. AND i may have something coming in March so keep your options open. AND for these two stints you have to...blablablabla..." I did the tribal fire dance while she was yakking on the other end of the line. Alhamdulillah! Yes! YES! YESSS!!! *Fist Pump!*

So today Mrs. Boss heaped me with work. Modules, manuals, reading materials, hand-outs, PP slides, activities etc etc etc. The WORKSLooks like I've got a lot on my plate until mid February. Meaning less time to blog or tweet but hey, I'm not complaining, at all! A workaholic I am  not but I love this job. Yeah, the pay is pretty good but it isn't just about the money. It's that indescribable satisfying, almost-orgasmic *of course i had to add that part in just to annoy you* feeling you get at the end of the day knowing you've given your very best and hopefully your effort does make a difference in someone's life. 
I got to run. Work beckons! 

Sparky Me,

Life is good.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Pushing 50: C'est La Vie

Yesterday was a good day. No drama. No conflict. No pain. Everything was nice and dandy. Okay fine, there was a minor hitch afterall. And it's called Dr. Gregory House. This guy is starting to grow on me like poison ivy only that he doesnt give me rash. However, the thoughts of him made me drool, go haywire and hot all over. *please don't eye-roll me* Seriously, I could hardly get through the day without watching him. A mere 15 minutes was all i needed *a quickie? hey! you naughty liltle devil you* i would then be fine... and high. This addiction is getting pretty absurd. I'm utterly obsessed, with this man, it just simply blew my mind! I think I'm in love. Pathetic. Yes, i KNOW. Let's hope it's just a passing thing. If I'm still talking about House in March, somebody please...PLEASE hit me on the head with a rolling-pin!

So, the first day of 2013 went by smoothly. Did i learn anything new? Anything I haven't already known, perhaps? Okay, i did learn a few new words: encephalitis, myoclonoc jerk, creatinine, porphyria, cardiomyopathy, carcinoid, cirrchosis. No thanks to House. Apart from those? Nah! Same old-same old.

Well probably i did learn something. I learned that wound takes time to heal. It doesn't get better immediately but eventually it will and even the scar will fade over time. It's the memories we carry in our hearts that will always remind us of the pain we want 
so much to forget. 
C'est La Vie

yours sincerely,

 *Somewhere between Twitter, Juanes' A Dios La Pido, House, menthol ciggy and hot coffee, i remembered you.*

*The reason i am still keeping this clip is just beyond me*