That space between

Arif, somewhere between being a present boy and an old boy. A Budak Koleq nonetheless.

Sebenarnya susah jadi abang bila adik kau ada dekat sama dekat Koleq, I guess it's also the same the other way around.

About this time, 5 years ago, I often asks my friends; Macam mana kalau kau tengah jalan-jalan, kau pengsan. Kau sedar-sedar kau atas katil. Kau dengar suara mak kau kejut kau: Abang, bangun abang, hari ni kan kita nak pergi daftar MCKK..

Do you consider that a blessing or a curse? Would you want to go through it all over again, from day one?

Life is indeed a wheel, you're on top for a while only to go back down, climbing up again. I used to have this huge ego in me that I'm a Budak Koleq, dunia ni patut tunduk dekat aku. Many people probably hate me back then. Aku sekarang pun tak suka baca benda-benda yang aku tulis dulu.

Anyway though, university is a humbling experience to me.

Carrying that name, Malay College, is more than just pride. More often than not it is a responsibility. Of course, in my case only a handful know what MCKK is but you know that they'll have their eyes set on you. You screw up, the school screw up. There's that expectation thing that you have to somehow satisfy.

Yeah, why all the fuss kan? It's just a school kan? Nah, not really. It's an identity. Most of the time people don't really care about the whole MCKK thing. Sometimes people forget, but I don't. That's something I've lived with all these years, my self conscience. It gets in the way of things sometimes but there are also instances where it helps.

Like, when I'm feeling afraid or insecure, I'll wear my quadcolours.

Tah pape kan? It's hard to explain and I'm being stupid if I want to make people understand it. Maybe it has something to do with cheering, you know, the feeling being inside that circle in the middle of the field, arms raised high, the fluttering of the flags and that thunderous voice singing in unison: We are proud to be Collegians, how can we ever make you see? That probably affected us more than it did our opponents.

So yeah, Arif. I'm surprised that you favour Biology on Monday morning instead of Manchester United on Saturday night. I used to go to BL, playing Grand Theft Auto on exam nights, or Ipoh to catch a movie. Congratulations, jangan jadi macam abang kau.

Now, what if tiba-tiba kau tengah jalan-jalan, kau pengsan. Kau sedar-sedar kau atas katil. Kau dengar suara mak kejut kau: Arif, bangkit.. hari ni kan kita nak pergi daftar MC..?

Enjoy your last week. How you define enjoy is entirely up to you. Budak Koleq don't like to be told kan?

September 2009.
Yut Loy.
Minolta X700 + Minolta MD 50/1.7 + Expired Fuji NPS 160 + egg on toast and Kickapoo.
Posted on Sunday, November 29, 2009 | 2 comments

The attraction of law

When the pawn hits the conflicts he thinks like a king
What he knows throws the blows when he goes to the fight
And he'll win the whole thing 'fore he enters the ring
There's no body to batter when your mind is your might
So when you go solo, you hold your own hand
And remember that depth is the greatest of heights
And if you know where you stand, then you know where to land
And if you fall it won't matter, cuz you'll know that you're right

Fiona Apple, 1999


Izham Ismail,

For whatever it is, we won't be behind you; we'll be by your side. It probably is a tough decision to make, but you made it nonetheless.

Your journey have always been interesting. Who knows where you'll be off to from here?

In the meantime, welcome home.

September 2009.
Lotus Binjai, aku tak pergi NZ siang-siang.
Minolta X700 + Minolta MD 50/1.7 + Expired Fuji Superia 100 + Aney, kerusi lagi satu.
Posted on Saturday, November 28, 2009 | 2 comments

Love conquers all

This one goes out to the one I love

How sweet was it for Francesco Colonna to write an epic book with deep, hidden meaning to profess his love to Polia, with hidden narratives hidden deep within lines and lines of another narrative instead of just kneeling in front of her or sing to her underneath her window like good old Romeo?

Probably because Love, conquers all.

The Rule of Four taught me that. It was also why I wanted to go to Yale. Why? Smart people go to Yale. I thought that I was smart, or maybe smart enough to get into Yale and be yet smarter there. Alas, places doesn't make you smart, it's either you're smart or you're not. The place is like the apple that fell on Newton's head. It inspired him. He is smart and thus he discovered gravity.

Ar-Pharazon learnt that the hard way when he sailed west of Numenor to the Undying Lands, seeking immortality. The elves are not immortal because they live in Valinor, Valinor is the land of the immortals because immortal elves lives there.

I used to know a bit of Tolkien's elvish back when I read his Middle Earth stories as seriously as I read history. I read history very seriously. I find Quenya to be very pleasing, soothing and appropriate for the immortal beings while Sindarin sounded like an European language; okay, but just okay. At one point I asked myself, if I can be interested with a constructed language with make belief history, why am I flunking French?

Elementary my dear Watson; Tolkien created a place that interest me enough to capture my attention while French is taught in a dark, cramped and hot classroom in Kuala Kangsar. Maybe I could imagine I was dans uné magasin sur la Siene, but there wasn't any motivation. Sigh..

That is one of my life's regret, flunking French.

Oh, did you know Sherlock Holmes never said that? Elementary my dear Watson. Never. It's kinda like Darth Vader saying 'Luke, I am your father'. Nah, our friend Anakin never said that to his kid. Both are misquotations that became sorta acceptable since people are too lazy to find out things for themselves.

Find out things for ourselves. Maybe I'll do that. Fuck Rule of Four, fuck Yale. I want to find out for myself why Love conquers all, and why we kept on letting that happen instead of tearing the chest of that son of a bitch open and feast on his hot, still beating heart with him witnessing it.

That is probably why Francesco wrote that book to Polia. To let her find out things for herself.

"You're smart enough to understand it all my love, or do I still need to say it to you?"

September 2009.
Minolta X700 + Minolta MD 50/1.7 + Expired Fuji Superia 100 + Swing, swing, swing...
Posted on Thursday, November 26, 2009 | 0 comments


I don't want to disappoint anyone.
Posted on Friday, November 20, 2009 | 2 comments

On friends

You know what they say about friend, teman ketawa senang dicari, teman masa susah sukar dijumpa. Or something like that I think.. It's more of a saying that an idiom I guess; the words doesn't quite flow right.


Do you think there's something wrong with someone if he were to tell you that he's having it the other way around. Is it possible for a person to, not have that much of a friend to hang out with and have a laugh over a few cups of tea while having lost count the number of times having people around him or, being around people through severe odds?

Society often praises these kawan masa susah types. Them, sometimes appearing out of the blue without needing to be told and stick around regardless what, expecting nothing in return. Ahh.. the virtue of selflessness. Then again, how many times have we sat down and think about this: are our kawan masa susah also there with us when we are laughing our heads off?

Or do we pick up the phone to call them when the time comes?

Then comes the next question: are we a kawan masa susah to our kawan masa susah? Because, you know it's never a one way street right? It takes two to tango or as someone who liberally use it, bertepuk sebelah tangan.

In the end, I remember my friend, Khalis Nazib (Hi Nageb, hang sihat?) said sometime ago: friendship is like a flower, you have to water it to make it grow. Treat others the way you want to be treated. Sure, there are many jerks and assholes out there but surely there are those few lucky people that you will not regret knowing and will keep on being friends no matter what.

No matter what.

So yeah, thank you. Thank you and sorry. We are all a work in progress.
Posted on Tuesday, November 17, 2009 | 0 comments

To the songbird that came a-chirping

Talking to the songbird yesterday
Flew me to a place not far away
She's a little pilot in my mind
Singin songs of love to pass the time
Gonna write a song so she can see
Give her all the love she gives to me
Talk of better days that have yet to come
Never felt this love from anyone

She's not anyone.

She's not anyone.

She's not anyone.

October 2009.
Kandis, Klang.
Minolta X700 + Minolta MD 50/1.7 + Expired Fuji Superia 100 + a heathen chemistry.
Posted on Tuesday, November 17, 2009 | 0 comments

That dirty mattress

great. We are all
   part of this
   greatness. This
   eternal light is
   ours to capture
   and it will
   burn our hearts
   with spirits of
   goodwill, brotherhood,
   peace, humanity and
   love. Our
   faces don't make us
   different but it's our
   heart. How we treat
   others, how we understand
   others and they understand
   us, how we love others.
   They all play a meaningful
   part of our lives.
   Remember, you make someone smile, someone
   is happy because of you.
   Someone appreciates you.
   They adore you, your
   spirit and ambition. They will
   help you, they want to
   be apart of you. Who?
   I don't know. But
   the time will come. And
   you'll not regret reading
   this. How? I can't answer
   that, because it all
   depends on you, yourself.
So, get out there and
try. See what you
are made of.

Found on a dirty mattress in the Pavilion, The Malay College during SPM Week 2005.

Posted on Saturday, November 14, 2009 | 1 comments


Minolta X700 + Minolta MD 50/1.7 + Expired Fuji Superia 100 + cubaan-cubaan memujuk.
Posted on Friday, November 13, 2009 | 0 comments

The Wrong Beach

The Wrong Beach

Gold Coast Australia ≠ Gold Coast Sepang ≠ Gold Coast Morib.

Late September 2009.
Gold Coast, pick one.
Minolta X700 + Minolta Celtic MD 135/3.5 + Expired Fuji Superia 100 + their unoriginality and my ignorance.
Posted on Thursday, November 12, 2009 | 3 comments

Our schools.

What I want is to create young men who have pure heart and pure body who willing to work hard for upcoming future no matter what. I don't want young men who passed all the exams with high scores and become honor students. I don't want them to be walking textbooks. What I want is them to be young men whose personalities are honest, loyal, have pure pattern and pure mind and I won't feel any grieve if you tell me that a student can't read or write, can't calculate and has no knowledge of mathmatic at all. Only if I know that he was in my school and could compare the differences between a gentlemen and a feminine. At this school I want the meaning of studying is to change young men to good citizens and won't let all the knowledges crush their personalities. And I want the education to be enjoyful for the students, so in their futures they would think back that they had fun when they were in this school. I don't want my school to be compared to other schools which have difference purposes. If I had wanted a normal school, i would have built a day school, not a boarding one."

- King Vajiravudh on The Vajiravudh College, Bangkok.

A vigorous and intelligent race of young men who will be in touch with modern progress but not out of touch with old traditions; who will be liberally educated but not educated out of sympathy with their own families and people; who will be manly and not effeminate, strong-minded but not strong willed, acknowledging a duty to others instead of being a law unto themselves and who will be fit to do something in the world instead of settling down into fops, spendthrifts or drones.

- R.J Willkinson on The Malay College, Kuala Kangsar.

Same difference, no?
Posted on Thursday, November 12, 2009 | 2 comments

To my elegant family

Inside GUM

Abah, get well soon and get some rest. You deserve it and the cats would surely enjoy it.

To Mak and Kakak, you both are my favourite Scorpios. Happy birthday.

Ageh, the soon-to-be third Old Boy, you got a few more weeks left, use it well.

I love you all very very much.
Posted on Wednesday, November 11, 2009 | 5 comments

Yes please!

Yes Please

October 2009.
One Utama.
Minolta X700 + Minolta MD 50/1.7 + Lucky SHD 100 + her first teppanyaki.
Posted on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 | 0 comments

The Fall of The Wall

20 years ago, the people of East and West Berlin tore down the wall that separated their city. Imagine living in Sentul but not able to go to Cheras. Imagine Cheras as a different city, in a different country.

Imagine it goes on for 28 years.

There is a Berlin Wall inside the mind of each and every one of us, constructed by our own prejudice against those we see different, whatever that might be.

Ossi, Wessi, Communist, Capitalist, Fascist, Muslim, Christian, Jews, Melayu, Cina, India, Iban, Serani, whatever.

Let's tear down that Berlin Wall.

In the words of JFK:

"Today, in the world of freedom, the proudest boast is 'Ich bin ein Berliner'... All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin, and, therefore, as a free man, I take pride in the words 'Ich bin ein Berliner!'

Well Jack, Ich bin ein Berliner.

Wir sind alle Berliner.

Now let's tear down that wall.
Posted on Monday, November 09, 2009 | 6 comments

The opera by the harbour


Where women glow and men plunder.

Late September 2009.
Not Sydney.
Minolta X700 + Minolta MD 50/1.7 + magnifying glass + Amirul Hafidz.
Posted on Sunday, November 08, 2009 | 5 comments

Our Swing


October 2009.
Lafarge Quarters, Rawang.
Minolta X700 + Minolta MD 50/1.7 + Lucky Film SHD 100 - You and me.
Posted on Saturday, November 07, 2009 | 2 comments


The Downfall

10 September 2009.
That dark corridor towards the photo studio.
Nikon D40 kit + Adobe Lightroom + Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.

Posted on Wednesday, November 04, 2009 | 0 comments



Early October 2009.
Alfonso's Prize.
Nikon D40 kit + Benjamin Ujang + Adobe Lightroom + Admiration of Monsieur Daguerre's art.
Posted on Sunday, November 01, 2009 | 0 comments

The City

There was an accident today while I was in Cheras. I didn't see what happened but there was a large crowd there. It could possibly be a gunfight, a snatch theft, a demonstration gone wrong but no, it couldn't be. It's definitely an accident. I'm sure of this.

The streets of Kuala Lumpur have always amazed me. Every road, every little street, every corner you take, you'll still get to where you're going. Some are further, some are jam-packed but it gets the job done nonetheless.

People say you don't know how to curse until you know how to drive. One the road we are all every one else's fool, bastard, fucker, babi, anak haram and setan. That is the one thing we share. You can't never be perfect. Sometimes you are too slow, sometimes you are too fast, sometimes you don't signal, sometimes you signal too early. There's always something for someone to complain.

I am reckless. I can only imagine what the other drivers are calling me.

Kuala Lumpur is a very romantic place for me. Have you ever stopped for a while and give that name, Kuala Lumpur an honest thought. Kuala. Lumpur. It kinda sound weird don't you think? Our neighbour's capital, Jakarta means victory, Bangkok's official name, Krung Thep Mahanakhon means The City of Angels. If our city is founded in this age and time, no way they're going to call it Kuala Lumpur. It'll probably be Kelang Perdana or some other fancy adjectives like those that grace the many Damansaras.

We suck at naming places nowadays. How could we change the colourful and dramatic Batang Berjuntai to Bestari Jaya. Bestari Jaya of all things. Just because there's a university there.

So why are we content with a city with mud in its name? Familiarity I guess. Say it often and it'll lose its meaning. Here's a little trivia; before Merdeka, Taiping went head on with Kuala Lumpur in bidding to become the Federation's capital. Taiping lost. It then went on to lose another bid against Ipoh to become Perak's capital. It then lived a happy life as 'the retiree's town', simple and pleasant.

If Taiping somehow trounced Kuala Lumpur in becoming the capital, can you imagine how the country is now? The mighty Klang Valley would be a footnote, replaced by the Kinta Valley. Yes, sure Taiping is outside of Kinta Valley but the same goes for Klang Valley, enlarged beyond its geographical boundaries.

I used to read and collect issues after issues of KLue magazine. This was back when I lived in that small town of Kuala Kangsar. I was that small town kid dreaming of the life in the big city, imagining this and that. What I love about the magazine was the last page (then, I'm not sure about now; haven't picked it up for so long) there will be an interview with the movers and shakers of the city.

My favourite question: What does being a KLite means to you.

Of course, the magazine isn't going to interview me but to me, I want to believe that being a KLite, is more of a state of mind.

Posted on Sunday, November 01, 2009 | 0 comments

My Photo
Location: Klang Valley, Malaysia

Rebel, sweetheart.

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