Thursday, June 11, 2009

nukilan ringkas di hening pagi












Jam sudah menunjukkan pukul 12:47 pagi, aku kira sudah melewati waktu tidur biasa di asrama. Biasanya semasa cuti, waktu tidurku lebih lewat lagi, tetapi pada musim cuti ini, tidak terdaya hendak 'stay-up' biarpun untuk membaca novel mahupun bersengkang mata untuk bertungkus lumus menyiapkan kerja sekolah yang tertunggak.

Rasa letih lesu masih bersisa di tubuh. Maklumlah, cuti kali ini sarat dengan aktiviti, bermula dengan HKSBP di SSP CBJ (yang masih terbayang-bayang di mata), kelas-kelas seminar memandu kereta, ujian memandu, majlis penyampaian hadiah pertandingan esei anjuran Yayasan Kepimpinan Perdana, seminar SPM dan sebagainya. Tugasan yang diberikan guru masih lagi berbaki dan fisiologiku seolah-olah tidak mahu akur kepada tuntutan menyiapkan tugasan, sementelahan diri ini sememangnya sedar akan implikasi-implikasi yang akan menimpa diri sekiranya berbuat demikian.

Perasaan tidak keruan membelenggui segenap ruang pemikiran. Apa yang bermain di minda?
SPM? Muhasabah diri? Kenangan lepas? Atau mimpi kosong semata-mata?

Apakah cuti ini membuahkan hasil, sekurang-kurangnya sudah cukup untuk merehatkan badan agar kembali segar, bertenaga dan bersemangat untuk menempuh hari-hari muka apabila pulang ke kampus kelak, ataupun sekadar masa terbuang yang dihabiskan dengan melempiaskan 'nafsu' di alam maya? Aku menilai-nilai sendiri.

Kini jam menunjukkan pukul 1:00 pagi. Kukira sudah agak lewat, mata pula semakin layu. sepatutnya esok, aku perlu membuat persiapan terakhir untuk kembali ke sekolah.

Ya Allah, berikan aku kekuatan dan kesabaran untuk menempuh cabaran di masa hadapan nanti, ampunilah dosa-dosaku, bukakanlah pintu hatiku agar menerima hidayat-Mu dan ilmu yang diberkati-Mu, berikanlah aku ketekunan dalam pelajaran dan mengerjakan ibadah-Mu, berikanlah aku kejayaan sewaktu SPM kelak...amiiin..

Monday, June 08, 2009

Issues

Returning to the Moorish-inspired buldings of UIA during the SPM seminar, the memories came rushing back into my mind. In my imagination, I saw the debater foursome running down the corridors while deciding the ranks for the motions. As they reached their allocated rooms, they discussed whithin 15 minutes on a motion so alien to them. In 15 minutes, the debate commenced. Both sides then exchanged confusing POI's and in a zip, it was over...Those were the days... well, I've been so nostalgic lately, especially when reading Amin's post of HKSBP. I have yet to write my own account of the events because I have yet to accept the fact that my career as a school debater has come to an end, and soon these debaters will go their own ways, *sigh* oh, the sentimental fool that I am.

I've recently finished reading two novels.

One is my birthday present, Aravind Adiga's Between The Assasinations and my IMPAC essay prize, Adibah Amin's This End Of the Rainbow.

Both novels dealt with issues of their respective nations, India and Malaysia.

The difference was that in This End Of The Rainbow, the issues were treated with a mellower approach. The story-telling was very rosy and humorous, but the main conflict in the story was in Ayu, the main character's inner turmoil. The dilemma of having to make difficult choices, and dealing with the painful past.

The setting was in pre-independance, from the pre-Japanese occupation to the first elections. Racial prejudice emerged after the Japanese occupation because the Malays were thought of to be Japanese cohorts and the Chinese as communists, and there were killings. Inter-racial unity was difficult to be realised because the races don't really know each other enough to cooperate beyond gaining independance, and the suspicions that a certain race is trying to take revenge for another race.

This brings us to a more recent question, are we all ready for a new identity of 1Malaysia? Or will it still remain a distant dream?

In Between The Assassinations, unlike The White Tiger, it features several short stories that touch on many different issues of India based on the demography, the Muslims, the Brahmins, the Western-educated Indians, and other different castes.

The approach was also humorous, but in a darkly satirical way, and the descriptions were rich (Adibah Amin had very rich and Malaysian descriptions) in detail that gives 'life' to the story-telling, but all the same, very honest.

Both of these titles are indeed a gem, a melting pot of diverse identities and cultures, beautifully spun into thought-provoking tales.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Perdana

I got THIS!

I am tempted to spend hours on the computer to start downloading songs onto this baby, but of course, I wouldn't make progress on my homework if I did it. So, I had to surpress my music needs after SPM, then I wouldn't have to worry about anything else.
I have to start studying for my license test and my homework.

Well, anyway, here's a quickie on what happened yesterday.

Dr. M came!!!!!!

yet, he was so busy and people were like swarming around him, I couldn't get a picture with him.
his wife, Tun Dr. Siti Hasmah was the VIP for the prize-giving. I won second place and got that ipod, and RM 300-worth MPH book vouchers.

The first prize winners got a sleek-looking Macbook. Oh, and the most essay participation was from MRSM Kuala Lipis. (Gobsmacked. Where are the SBPians?)

Tan Sri Khoo Kay Kim was invited for the judges' statement, and these were some of his comments:

> on a whole, the judges were very disppointed with the quality of the essays (oh God) which was why the grand prize, a Chevrolet Aveo was to be brought forward as the grand prize for next year because nobody was exceptional enough to actually deserve it.

> the judges were also disappointed with the lack of participation from tertiary level.

> from the essay evaluation, not many entrants knew how to formulate effective conclusions due to the reliance on internet sources, which caused the essay to not be as critical as it should be.

He also commented that nowadays, Malaysian students undervalue general knowledge, and are unwilling to compete and easily satisfied with their achievement. He also said that the Malaysian university ranking has dropped, basically all the stuff he said previously during my interview with him.

Then, Tun Siti gave her speech. She spoke about the importance of writing skills in leadership because writing is medium that can be easily referred to for leaders to express their ideas even after they are gone.

All in all, it was an eye-opener for me, in terms of how the Malaysian education has taught us to merely regurgitate facts in our works instead of writing and thinking critically. I, myself admit that I am also heavily influenced by the Malaysian system.


Well, this is a sure sign that I should just get SPM done and over with and get the hell out of here. = P

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Thinking Of You

Well, why am I blogging everything in one go tonight?

It's part of a deal, see. I finish my whatever business tonight and I let my sis have the computer until she finishes her school projects and only then do I start on my projects.

catch up updates:
> I was the emcee and Inspiration bulletin commtittee member for HKSBP East Zone Drama, before we went to UIA.

Faris won big with seven awards.


We also celebrated Nafis' birthday.


> I participated in the RHB Mighty Minds Challenge with Nafis and Hakim, and yep, the combination was the right one because we beat the NSC team- Syakir, Adah and Che Bak. But, we made the it through to the next round, but we didn't win anything unfortunately.





> and then, there was a visit from STAR, and I met my SKLK schoolmate, Amirul Izzat, strangely taller than before and less cheeky
> I won the children story writing competition for National Hari Guru, the essay titled 'Child of Hope', so I went to Terengganu with Cikgu Razuki (tumpang), Cikgu Muhammad, Cikgu Paridah, Syakir and Pok Cik Medde (driver).
> I also won the IMPAC Dublin essay competition, but my father represented me at the prize-giving ceremony.
> When we got back, I was the emcee for the school Hari Guru celebration.
> Finally, it was the Mid-Year Exam that we had to face. It was like the worst exam ever, and I came down with a 6-day fever before that after Graduation Day(everybody's asking when last year's magazine will finally be published), but I don't know how my results will turn out.

see how eventful it was?


It's that time again for another to-do-list for another busy holiday.

I'm packed.

Tomorrow I have to follow my Pa to his office from morning and then by 2 pm, I have to attend a prize-giving ceremony for the Perdana Essay.

On Friday, I have a driving license computerized test.

On Saturday and Sunday, I have a SPM seminar.

Homeworks:
1. Add Maths
- handout (2)
- catch up on vector, integration and trigonometry
- some folio thingy I've yet to find out

2. Physics
- kertas soalan
- electromagnetic wave folio

3. BM
- Paper 1 essays (3)
- Paper 2

4. Biology handout

5. PAI
- paper 1
- paper 2

what else? I think I might have missed out some things that the teachers gave after 7am at school on Thursday.

I wonder if I have ample time for another essay competition?

dang! It's back to school for me. Though I've been trying my best to avoid posting about the most recent HKSBP, I can't help but feel...well, relieved? I wouldn't have to miss classes anymore.

however

I'm going to miss the fun of it *stiffles tear*

I'd really like to post about it, like, being the last HKSBP and all, but i'm still too sentimental about it.

*sigh*

how to end this on a positive note?



=)

UIA Scenery

Subhanallah..UIA is so beautiful..these are the pictures I took, unedited works..
















goodbye, UIA

UIA Highlights


with teacher Nazlin. Izzat left his baju batik in the bus, which probably found its way to SERATAS for the national drama hksbp. nafis wasn't here because he went for YAA.


duduk kat belakang lagi


Our table



me and Aiman Naim


me and Sharon



BM team do us proud


arguing



aik, gelapla


eiii..buat apa tu?



under pressure?


Izzat, Sharon, Kam & Nafis

IMPAC essay

THE BEST THINGS IN LIFE

By: Nurul Kamilah Binti Mat Kamil


“Tucked in bed with a mug of trickling hot chocolate on a cold night, traveling the distance to watch the sunset at an exotic vacation getaway, or perhaps indulging in a rush of adrenaline bungee-jumping atop the world’s highest cliffs?” I mused. What could possibly be the best things in life?

Let me rephrase that, what could I possibly proclaim as the best things in life? I mean, it is a subjective matter. It can be anything; yet making a choice was difficult. I wanted it to be personal, yet it can be shared and felt by others; others who I will pass down this scrapbook.

This was my latest project: filling up the family scrapbook of the best things in life. I was the fifth generation to be handed down the responsibility of completing the scrapbook.

In my father’s will, he wanted me to have it, of all my siblings; he chose me, the estranged one. “Those who live their lives to the fullest are those who truly enjoy life. One way to enjoy it is to celebrate the best things in life.” Go figure.

As I was short of ideas, I decided to fulfill the second item on my father’s will first, which is to meet my late mother’s relatives in Johor, in hopes that I will discover something out of my mundane life. Here I am now on a train from Tumpat to Johor Bahru. The journey was long and almost unbearable, but it was my decision to travel on a train, and I ought to enjoy it for a change.

With that optimism in mind, I kept my composure, although I had to share a coach with a young mother coaxing her screaming baby and an old man with a hearing problem. Just great, I wished I had hearing problems too, I thought to myself.

After the baby finally slept, I let out a sigh of relief. In the silence, distant memories came flooding back into my mind.

I was five years old at that time. I awoke in the middle of the night; startled by the sound of the cat scraping by the window. I caught my mother with a bag in hand. In my naiveté, I kept quite and watched her head down the stairs, without noticing that I was eavesdropping from behind my bedroom door. I heard the door slowly close. I didn’t know at that time that my mother wasn’t coming back for good.

I should have seen it coming. My mother could never have lasted the pressure from my father’s relatives. They despised her because she was of different race, and she refused to convert to my father’s religion. This had caused a great rift in the relationship between my father’s relatives and my mother’s relatives. In the end, my mother simply gave up and returned to her family in Johor.

I couldn’t understand why my mother left me. Didn’t she love me at all?

I was left with my father, who remarried later on to his relatives’ choice, and I was cast aside like an unwanted child. Ever since I left the house for boarding school and for a local university, I have not had much contact with my father’s relatives.

Out of the blue, I was called back to Tumpat from Kuala Lumpur, after being informed of my father’s death. I was devastated, but I was surprised that he left me with the responsibility of the manuscript. I guess he felt bad about what happened in our family. Probably he wanted me to find happiness. I was even more surprised when he sent me to my aunt. As a peace offering, I suppose, to mend the broken ties.

I shuddered at the thought of meeting my mother’s relatives for the first time. People call it the fear of the unknown. All of a sudden, intense xenophobia began taking me over. Indeed, I was half of their race, but all my life, I have been raised as a Malay. I feared that they would reject me the same way that my father’s relatives rejected me because of my mother’s race.

As I reached the destination, I quickly hailed a taxi and instructed the driver to take me to the address carefully written in my father’s handwriting. I had not even called the relatives in advance, as I do not have their number. They would be surprised indeed.

Throughout the whole ride, I was flipping through the frayed pages of the scrapbook. As I expected, there were many pictures. Holiday pictures, family portraits. There were also bits of tickets, seashells, or other pieces of memento stuck onto the pages, and long entries written in various handwritings on each page. I still thought hard of what to include in the scrapbook.

I gaped as I stood on the doorstep of a huge bungalow. With a trembling finger, I rang the doorbell. Oh, please be home.

An elderly Chinese woman answered the door.

“Hi,” I mustered my courage. “Is this Carolyn Chang’s house?”

“Yes. I am Carolyn Chang. How may I help you?”

“I am Andrea Chang’s daughter.” I paused, waiting for a response.

“Oh, welcome in. You must be my niece.”

I was surprised by the hospitality. Inside, there was a roomful of Chinese people dining at the table. I was lost for words when they began chattering in their language. Suddenly, heads turned and the room grew uncannily silent.

Out of the corner of my eye, I caught sight of a cross hanging on a wall over a piano. I felt uncomfortable. I was in alien territory. I didn’t know what to do next.

“Hello. I must be coming in at the wrong time. I’m Sakinah, I am Andrea’s daughter.”

The Chinese people invited me to sit down at the table. I felt like a fish out of water, unable to understand their conversation. As Carolyn, my aunt, explained my situation to the others in their language, only then did they all began talking in English. I was more at ease.

Carolyn explained that my mother had died shortly before my father did. Before she died, she did convert to my father’s religion and wanted to return to him to see me, but alas, she was killed in an accident. I was sad that I was never told of all of this.

In the end, Carolyn invited for me to stay, and so I did for the next three days. Throughout my stay, I overcame my fear, and I grew more comfortable with my new ‘family’. As the saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt, I got to know them better and they weren’t as bad as I thought. Despite the differences in culture and religion, they tried their best to understand me, and I did not feel the rejection that my Malay relatives imposed on me.

As I returned to Tumpat, I was on a mission to mend the family ties for both sides. In fact, I had already made an entry in the scrapbook. It was a picture of me and my Chinese relatives, and below it I had written: the best things in life are love and acceptance.

Word count: 1 198