Digital photos from my D40 coupled with Arif's Lomo ColorSplash flash. Lokasi, taman depan Amcorp Mall. Siapa tahu nama? Tolong bagi tahu.


Just throw that rule book down the drain for once. Let's not be technical, let's be experimental. Forget what you know and learn again from the start. Nothing is wrong and everything is right. Don't listen to what people think, ask yourself what you want. Stop thinking and start feeling. 

The result is refreshing. 

As refreshing as playing that old CD you haven't listen to in years. As refreshing as discovering a RM10 note in that old pair of jeans that no longer fits. As refreshing as a cendol Lembah after a noisy afternoon at Zai Am. As refreshing as that bottle of Kickapoo once a year.

I should do this more often.


Q: How do I define a good music album?

A: It is the ones that you don't have to skip tracks oh so often. It is Nirvana's Nevermind. It is Goo Goo Dolls' Dizzy Up The Girl. It is Blink-182's Take Off Your Pants and Jacket. Every single track is alive.

Based on that definition, what are your favourite albums?
Posted on Tuesday, July 29, 2008 | 0 comments


The future teaches you to be alone
The present to be afraid and cold
So if I can shoot rabbits
Then I can shoot fascists
Posted on Friday, July 25, 2008 | 0 comments

About writing

About that story down there. I first wrote that story back in 2005 for the English paper in one of the exams. I think the question asked to write a short story starting from "I will always remember that day..." or something. I can't remember.

I was rather flattered that my English teacher, Ms. Sherry loved the story and gave me an A for it. It sorta encouraged me to write better for the upcoming exams though personally I don't think any of them is better than this one, except for maybe the Paris Hilton story. Heh..

Unfortunately though, I lost the original script of the story and this story is basically a rewritten story based on the same framework. I've been aching to write it back for quite a few months already but somehow I only managed to finish it this morning, a few hours before Subuh. This is the probably the first short story I've written since I left College.

Sometimes it makes me wonder why I stopped writing things like this all this while and in my ego, I'm gonna put the blame on someone else. See, back in school we were taught to write creatively where flowery words and clever idioms are rewarded with kudos and acknowledgement. 

However, when I pursued my studies in Limkokwing, among the first classes I attended was called Advanced Business English. Here, I was taught how to write official letters in English and being official, everything was simple and straightforward. Gone were the thousand word essays, replaced by a simple hundred word letter and my idiom bank started to stagnate as my vocabulary drifted further away from creativity into the realms of boring, technical business speak.

Next semester I had to attend another writing class, Professional Writing. Sounds interesting right? Still, professional does not equates to creative. The first day I was in that class, my lecturer Mrs. Rose Chin made it clear that an A in SPM English does not impress her while an A in English Literature might impress her a little bit. Hurmm.. Anyway, what I learnt here revolves around how a professional article is written and the topics given was generally on analytical writing about comparing one thing to another and how to write critically about a subject matter. It was a good class that taught and helped me a lot on how to write my future essays and report as well as a lesson for me to always write a few drafts of a paper before pronouncing it as final. There are always things that you can improve.

Nonetheless, I feel that I stopped writing such things because I don't have anyone to write to you know. Back then I wasn't only writing to get As for the exam but I was writing it for my teacher to read. She didn't like me all that much mainly because of me always being away finishing up the magazine and the fact that I am somewhat dreamy. Haha.. It is just my way of showing her that I am good at something.

I just hope that this is not just a one time effort. I want to write more.
Posted on Thursday, July 24, 2008 | 1 comments


I will always remember that day. The sky was getting dark as a dark cloud marched in from the East. It was probably sundown as the street is yet again clogged with frustrated people, eager to get away from the city before cats and dogs fell from the sky. It was a gloomy day.

I was walking down the road, carrying scraps of fish and food I picked up from the market. It had not always been my job to do this  but since Mother fell sick, the task of putting food on the table is on my shoulders being the eldest of the family. Well, we don't actually have a table in our humble abode behind the lorong there but you get what I mean.

As I walked down this long road home, my mind wondered to a time when life was good. It had not always been this hard for us. I remember a few years back we used to get free food everyday from this nice old lady living near the taman not far from the market. I remember her cooking oh so much. That was the good life up until the lady passed away and her children sold the house. I for one, knew about this only when I was chased away from the house by the new occupants who apparently didn't like me that much...

Now that we could no longer rely on other, we started getting desperate. I remember overhearing Father and Mother arguing at night about how he need to start working to feed the family and how he argued that it would be unfair for him to work while Mother sits at home just looking after the kids. Mother said that he was too lazy, he told Mother that she is too bossy. They went on and on and on until suddenly I heard a slap and soon after, Mother's sobs. I was too scared to even look.

From that day, things started getting from bad to worse. Father would rarely come home and when he does, usually very late at night, he is either drunk 0r angry. Most of the time it was both. Not only did he came back empty handed, often he left with most of our food with him. Our hard earned food. Food we gathered and struggled for. In the morning Mother would try her best to smile and make excuses on how the food went missing. It was already rotten she said, she had to give it to someone who needed it more she said. I know that is not true and deep down I know that she knew.

Mother never looked healthy in those few months. She was not as fast as she was, not as strong as she was and her hair started getting frizzy and dirty. I couldn't blame her. Neither one of us were healthy. The raining season too started to take its toll on us. Imagine living in the alley without a proper enough blankets to keep us warm. The rain would certainly bring fever as well as the endless flu. I hate the rain.. I really hate the rain.

It was on one rainy night when Father suddenly came back. They started to argue as the always do. Being drunk and utterly mindless, Father blurt out that he is seeing another woman. For a brief moment that seemed to last forever, there was quite. Even the drops of water falling from the sky hitting the ground did not produce anything more than a slow thud. I saw Mother stared deeply into Father's eyes.. and in a split second she slapped him. 

What happened after that is very much a blur. I vividly recalled seeing Father's fist lodged on Mother's cheek and his feet on her stomach. I remember Mother on the floor, hands clenched in pain. Seeing Mother in such a manner boiled my blood. As fast as a reflex, I jumped onto Father with my hands outstretched delivering punch after punch, straight into his face. He felt down, knocked out.

I ran to get Mother. I tried to pick her up while asking her is she was okay only to be pushed away. I wanted to ask her why but before my lips could even move, she slapped me on my cheek leaving it burning red in pain. In my confusion, she pushed my chin up and though her eyes were soaked in tears, I felt how serious she was when she said these words to me. "Respect your father".

Well, those time have passed. After he woke up, father left and never returned. To make matters worse, one of my brother went missing last year. He told us he wanted to help us look for food. In our folly we let him go alone. He never returned. Some people said that he was abducted, in our prayers we hope that he was adopted.

Mother's fragmented little heart was shattered even more and when her emotional wall came down, so does her physical will. Looking at her now it is hard to convince people that she was strong, able and happy just a few years ago. How could I make them see? No one is born like that, no one deserved a life like that.

I looked up into the sky as small drops of rain fell on my nose. The sky was getting darker in a bizarre hue of colours, a nice mixture of orange as the sun slipped even more down the horizon and the darkness that is soon taking over its place. I rushed home to get there before the weather got worse. 

I was running down the home stretch went suddenly I saw someone across the street. It was him, my brother. My long lost brother! Immediately I stopped and shouted his name on the top of my small little lungs while my face could not possible hide that big, happy smile. I saw his face turn and gaze curiously as he tried to find where the calls are coming from.. then I saw his eyes sparkle and he smiled. Immediately he ran across the street shouting my name while I was waiting on the other side, my arms wide open to embrace. It was the happiest moment in my life.. up until we both heard that loud honk from that big truck. And I saw him froze, there in the middle of the street, eyes staring straight at Death himself. I turned my face away, dared not to look..

Then suddenly in the corner of my eyes I saw a flash of something, something as it went towards my brother. As my head turned to see what it was, a loud bang hit my eardrums. My mind was still in denial though my eyes saw it clear. There on the road, bloody and dead. Mother. By his side, my brother shaken and shocked but still alive. Slowly I walked to her side and a warm tear flowed down my cheek. There was a lot of people all around but none did more than look away from my Mother, disgusted at what they see. My brother and I, we pushed her body slowly and carefully to the side of the road. Then we sat there by her side, waiting and waiting as the rain fell down more and more. 

Afterall, what else could two little cats do?
Posted on Thursday, July 24, 2008 | 6 comments


I don't have anything to share with you. Maybe it is time that you share something with me.

Maybe it is time to stop and think.. and look and listen.



I want to be Bob Dylan. I don't want to be Jakob. I don't mind being Warhol, gay and all as long as I have Basquiat by my side. I want be David Bowie for a few days, the others being Ziggy Stardust. I want to be happy like Freddy Mercury. I want a life like Fusciante, down to the depths of hell then get up again. I don't want to be Lennon, I don't really admire his music.

I want to be me. Maybe just a little bit more smart and successful.. and charming and know what I am doing. I need a friend, I need a sidekick, I need someone. I need a challenge, I need to compare and compete. I need to talk and be heard and listen and contribute. I am bored with zero output. I need to hate someone. I need an inspiration, a motivation. I need a cause.

I need you. You know who you are. Whoever you might be.


Take me on a Darjeeling Limited. A carefree life in Hotel Chevalier. 

Posted on Wednesday, July 23, 2008 | 5 comments

Flavour of the Week

Yup, my music interest fluctuates a lot. This is the music I listen to when writing assignments. Now, where's that vinyl player..


Seventeen Years, Ratatat, Ratatat (2004)
Posted on Monday, July 21, 2008 | 0 comments

Batman on Bigger Screen

Jargon, jargon..


Almost everything I read on the web these days are either about Obama, Anwar, the iPhone and The Dark Knight. A few days back I read one article about how 40 minutes of the movie is shot in the IMAX's 70mm format while the rest of it was shot in the standard 35mm film. This sole fact got me excited about the movie. Honest.

Personally, I am not a comic book buff. I don't read Dragon Ball, I tak layan anime. I'm also not much of a Batman fan these days. I didn't even watch the last Batman movie, Batman Begins. On the other hand, I love movies. That is what I study in college, that is what I aim as my future line of work. So to quote Marshall McLuhan I guess in my case, my sudden enthusiasm of the movie is not because of the content but the medium. The medium is the message.

So what is IMAX and what is so great about it. An IMAX movie is a movie shot on 70mm films compared to the normal 35mm films. Remember those films you used to put in your camera? Those are 35mm. An 70mm is about thrice as long and twice as wide thus capable of capturing and projecting better detail. It is something like how you compare the quality of a photo taken with your mobile phone to that of a Nikon D3 DSLR. It's not to say that 35mm is no good; they are very good but 70mm is better. It's like comparing DVDs to Blu-Rays. Good, better.

I was rather excited a few days back when I was at the Times Square. There on the ground floor was a ticketing counter for The Dark Knight at the IMAX Theater upstairs and for RM11, it is super cheap! I've always wanted to go watch something there but I couldn't justify spending RM40 to watch dinosaurs and sharks. This is a great opportunity. Nonetheless, all me enthusiasm was rather shattered when yesterday I read the fine print of the IMAX ad in the papers. Apparently what they are screening is not the 70mm print of the movie but rather the normal 35mm print, projected on the 5 stories high IMAX screen. What's the difference? Go ahead and try shoot a video on your phone and then play it on your 19-inch LCD. It's irritating to know about all this isn't it? It happen to me all the time. I get annoyed when the projector is not fully focussed, I get annoyed when I see a rough changeover.. I guess it's true what they say, ignorance is bliss.

On the other hand, I am disappointed that despite having the capability to project an IMAX movie in IMAX, the Times Square IMAX Theater opted for the normal print. I guess it is all business. Not many people knew about what IMAX is and its capabilities and through disinformation, it is labelled as the documentary cinema and I don't think many people like the idea of going to the cinema to watch documentaries. 

I am personally very fussy about the quality of the stuff I consume be it music or movies. I really truly hope that legal means of downloads such as the iTunes Store would be available (legally) in Malaysia. I'm kindof tired of downloading sub par materials. RM3 for a good quality content is very reasonable considering the price of everything else these days. And of course, there is that little issue about karma. Heh..

So anyway, I'll probably go see the movie in a normal cinema soon, though I do plan on taking a chance to see it in IMAX just for comparison sake. I would really like to suggest my friends abroad to go see the movie in IMAX if your city happen to have one.


Click here to read more from Slash Film. Especially the comments.
Posted on Saturday, July 19, 2008 | 0 comments


Ada apa di Lorong Pinang
Sedang anak menggosok mata
Waktu subuh Azan bergema
Sedang aku pulang kerja

Ada apa di Lorong Pinang
Kedai gunting di simpang Jati
Sedang si Tukang di Sri Lanka
Menjamu perut di pagi hari

Ada apa di Lorong Pinang
Hari Jumaat jalannya sesak
Sedang orang khusyuk sembahyang
Diluar sana dia berpolitik

Ada apa di Lorong Pinang
Sungai Ampang mengalir sunyi
Murid sekolah berlari ketawa
Di seberang sana anak mengaji

Ada apa di Lorong Pinang
Ada apa di Jalan Jati
Ada apa di Sungai Ampang
Potret-potret hidup di bandar ini

Lembah Klang ini lebih daripada KLCC dan Bukit Bintang
Posted on Friday, July 18, 2008 | 2 comments

Photos from Moscow

Click on the button next to share to view yang besar punya.


Red Square


I Followed the Moskva, Down to Gorky Park..


Posted on Wednesday, July 16, 2008 | 1 comments

On Moscow

"From Russia with Love"

Long overdue.


I just came back from Moscow a few days back. The family flew there for the long planned trip to visit dearly beloved Kakak Hanan there. It was my first time to Europe and the fourth place I've been to outside of Malaysia after Makkah, Bangkok and Jakarta. A good friend gave me that shocked, kindof worried look when I told him I where I was going. Well yeah, I understood what he was thinking, Moscow, the capital of the former USSR, Communism, Lenin and Stalin. Not to mention the Russian Mafia as well as the fact that it is the biggest city in Europe and the most expensive city in the world. I told him that it's great when you start with the biggest and baddest city in Europe; Survive this and all else should be a piece of cake. Quote that please. Thank you.

Anyway, I like most of you have a mental image of Moscow. Mine is the stereotypical ones you often see in Hollywood movies. I imagine that it would be a big, wet and dirty city with tall, identical and authoritarian-ly organized grey buildings set upon streets that are cramped with homeless people crowding together for heat in the middle of a cold Russian winter.

Well, that's a few years back la actually. Thanks to the Internet and what not, my imagination of Moscow relaxed a bit. I learned about the beautiful Kremlin, the Red Square and St. Basil's. I read about the museum-like Metro stations but still, I was quite sceptical about the other parts of the city. The parts where Muscovites lives and not the tourist areas. It so happened that my sister lives in such a place and that is also where we would be calling home for a week: Konkovo.

At first the area looked somewhat like the Moscow-in-my-mind. Except that it was Summer and it was warm. There were no homeless people around. The buildings on the other hand is old, grey and somewhat undermanaged. It screamed 1960s Soviet Russia to me everytime I look at it. I don't know how 1960s Soviet Russia looks like by the way. Nonetheless, it made me appreciate how lucky I am to have that low-cost flat in Sri Kembangan as a place to call home. Nonetheless, for a while I was sorta happy to experience what it might be like to live in Soviet Russia albeit 20 years after that country ceased to be. Reminds me of Red Alert.. Heh.

The interesting thing that I notice about Moscow is the efficiency of its public transportation. Well, I've never been anywhere else but I still have Kuala Lumpur to compare. I don't know about you but to me, a 40 seconds interval between trains is something to be proud of. Seriously, 40 saat and I'm not talking about trains the size of our LRT. It's probably in the same size as our cherished KTM Komuter. 40 saat. Wow. In KL missing a Komuter would mean that you'll have to wait around half and hour for the next one. In Moscow, the next trains should be in front of you by the time you finish this sentence. Amazing.

Apart for the efficiency of the trains, the stations itself is a sight to behold. Who would've thought of building statues and putting up ornate chandeliers in a subway station? Or cladding the walls with marbles? Furthermore, all station are architecturally unique. It's amazing to see the stations I passed through, from the rather plain Konkovo to the grand Biblioteka Lenina and stopping at the ornate Arbatskaya. There are a few stations too that are dedicated to a particular event such as the Partizanskaya, dedicated to the fallen partisans who fought against Nazi rule during World War 2. To me, there is a very good reason why the Soviets built their subway in such away: The Cold War. In a way, it is presenting to visitors from outside the Union on how great the country was. It's like saying hey, this is just our subway.. wait till you see our museums, offices etc. It is also a great propaganda tool for the public. Imagine being a citizen, traveling up and down the city using the subway. What could be better propaganda then to be reminded of how great your country at every corner of your way? If that doesn't work, it still is a good thing for the commuters to see something. Your a few dozen feet under the ground. A nice architecture is always better than the dark tunnels right? 

"Arbatskaya Station"

I've read quite some on how Germany changed after World War 2 especially in the eradication off all things Nazi and I thought that the same would happen to Soviet Russia after the union collapsed. Again, I was wrong. The hammer and sickle was everywhere. I was waiting for a train, looked up on the ceiling and there it was. I was riding up the escalator from the platform to the ticketing counter and up there on the ceiling, there it was. I followed the Moskva, down to Gorky Park and there it was, engraved on the buildings along the banks. The winds might be easy to change, but it's not the same with stones.

One thing about being a foreigner in a foreign country is that it made you realize on a few things. Back in Malaysia, I am a part of the majority. Moscow made me understand what it feels like being a minority. The way people stare at you, being conscious at whatever people are saying behind you, the way they form a new line when lining up to get on the plane making the line you are in obsolete, the feeling of being asked about things in a language you don't know. It made me feel sorry for all the mamaks from Chennai, being scold at by the oh so mighty majority Malay for being a few minutes late to send a cup of the tarik. Of course there are good Russians like Nina, the host at our bed and breakfast in St. Petersburg, Suleiman the Lomography guy as well as the uncle who guided us to where the busses to the airport are but like everything else, there are the bad ones like that drunkard guy in the Metro that refused to sit next to Arif. Traveling really open up your eyes.

Russian people seems to me to very much inherit their militaristic past, inherited from the union. The way the walk (fast), the way they wait for people to get off the Metro before getting on, they way they organize themselves in the train unlike us who prefer to pile up in front of the door, the way they line up on the escalator leaving one side for people to climb. It's discipline. Nonetheless, I somehow felt that contrary to my mental image of a regimented and strict life in Moscow, what I see there prove to be quite opposite. Everything was quite relax and a bit loose. I see people do things that I don't expect to see both here in Malaysia or elsewhere.. and get away with it. I was quite a shock actually.

Nonetheless, close to the end of  the trip one thing started to annoy me. Overzealous use of language. Okay, this is Europe I understand. You guys love your own language oh so very much, okay I understand that. You guys prefer your language over English. Fine, tapi biarlah bertempat. I am at the effing international airport and you are working at an effing international airport. Why is it that you refuse to speak an international language? It's not like I went to a rural airport somewhere right? Come on.. please. It's perfectly okay to love your mother tongue but not at such a place like an international airport. If those ladies that sold us a bunch of matrioshka at Arbat and Partizanskaya can speak English, why can't a person working at an International airport speak it? That was the biggest thing that annoyed me and made me miss Malaysia oh so very much. I missed KLIA with its quadrilangual notice boards and public announcement system. 

At the end of the day I can reaffirm my belief that the media portrayal and reality are two different things. What I see in American media on the dark and gloomy live in Moscow is not entirely true. What I see in pictures glorifying Russia is also not entirely true. Red Square isn't that big actually. The same goes for St. Basil's Cathedral and the Kremlin. When you live you life bombarded by propaganda, everything seems to look bigger, everything seems to look great. It is amazing of what you can do with media. You can make a country, you can break one.

It also amazes me how our Malaysian students can live and survive in such an environment. I haven't been elsewhere yet but I am willing to bet my money that life in Moscow, the biggest city in Europe and the most expensive city in the World is down right more challenging than elsewhere. Despite all this, it is sad that our country doesn't do much to appreciate the people they send there, citing incompetency and comparing them to those they send to Dublin when the reality is that they are among the least to betray the country and steal our money to remain and work abroad. They spend less on these students in Russia yet when they came back not only they are bombarded with criticism but are also obligated to work with you for the same length as the people you pay RM1 million to educate. I have nothing against those lucky few. My problem is with the people who send you there. Respect people, respect.
Posted on Monday, July 07, 2008 | 2 comments

My Photo
Location: Klang Valley, Malaysia

Rebel, sweetheart.

Me Elsewhere

  • Flickr
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Email