Thursday, December 29, 2011

The calendars are printed!

The calendars are printed on ivory textured paper 220gsm. You can hang them up on the wall like how I did or paste them or pin them or however you can think of. :D

You can order them for RM60 a set (free postage in Peninsular Malaysia) by sending me an email here :

Monday, December 26, 2011

Let's take a walk through the corridors with music.

Calling architecture enthusiasts and appreciators.

I have this idea. Let's choose a building and each have a set of songs / playlist to listen to while we 'experience' the building. I bet the music would influence the paths we choose, the views we notice and the details we admire. Write or sketch the observations made while still influenced by the music.

"Add the present influences of space & music to the past influences of background & lifestyle. Subjectivity in architectural appreciation." I tweeted just now.

It would be an interesting project, won't it? Documenting how differences in immediate influences and subconscious influences shape our perception. :)

So who's interested?

Desperation bordering on depression.

I can't sleep. Maybe it's a mild panic attack, I'm not sure. My heart is racing and all I can think of are how my future seem so blank and how I haven't achieved much in the past. And how I am pathetically stuck in the present, powerless and hopeless.

I think it's sinful to be this pitiful. It must be. This is all close to whining about life and fate. But really, who else is to be blamed but me?

I can't undo my past mistakes -- my wrong tactics, my failed strategies -- and all I can do is just shut up and listen to everybody pointing it out again and again to me. What am I supposed to say? Nothing. It's not like I don't know how I've failed and why I'm failing. And it's not like I can change what I did in the past. But that doesn't stop the voices of blame and it hurts even more when it comes from the people I depend on supporting me. I feel like I've failed as a daughter, as a sister, as a friend.

People always remind each other that their future is their own, be yourself, do what you want. It's not that easy. You have no idea how many people are affected by your decisions in life, how high their expectations of you are and how closely they observe your every step. At times, while you take your steps, you feel incredibly alone but once you reach a point -- of failure or of success -- the observers ambush you with their reaction -- of chastisement or of pride. But your journey is your own.

I am in desperation bordering on depression but I must be strong and do whatever I can within my power. There are some wrongs you cannot right -- this year has taught me that again and again -- and you have no choice but to trudge on and persevere.

My mother keeps pointing out that my mistake is for not sticking to one job for a long time. I know she's right. It shows my lack of commitment. I can't undo that. I can't defend myself about that. And I admit I am suffering the consequences but that should not stop me from sending out my resume like a cry for help right?

Currently, I have 30 active applications on job sites, 10 emails sent to magazines and an application to a PhD fellowship in Amsterdam. I will be sending out applications to more universities and jobs. This is all I can do within my power. This and pray and leave it to God.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Colours and Lines.

I'm open for commission works right now.

Need a gift for a special someone (or even not so special someones)? Your wall looking bare and lonely without some colours and lines? Want some touch of illustration on your products?

Drop me an email at with your requirements and let's do business. ;)

Here's a WIP (work in progress) of a personally commissioned piece. (And my favourite pens inter-framing.)

Buy these ladies!

I'm selling these original drawings sized 125mm by 125mm on 220gsm paper for RM20 each. Drop a comment or email me at if interested. :D

Or check out my facebook page - Xeem Noor Art





Scorpio *SOLD*


Tuesday, December 20, 2011


"May I, can I, or have I too often now craving miracles?"

Sometimes I think I am asking for something unattainable. All I can hope for is to deserve whatever comes.

Friday, December 16, 2011


It's that time of the year again. The end. And the imminent beginning of a new one. It's time for us to start making promises to ourselves. (And feel rotten for not keeping the ones we made earlier this year.)

I've never made new year resolutions but since 2011 proved to be such a blow to my confidence and self-esteem, I think goals need to be set to make sure I am back on track and progressing gracefully. Here are my 2012 resolutions.

Be nicer, be smarter, be stronger, be prettier.

I can get carried away saying spiteful things about people. Sometimes I make the worse assumptions out of something so small. I'm also very temperamental and I need to curb my anger better.

I think I've neglected gaining knowledge ever since I got my dreams shot down by an academician I used to look up to. He turned out to be a sort of academic egomaniac who'd only entertain those with the potential to be his puppets. My research goal did not fit his idea of academic progress and so he shot it down and refused to be open about it. It really got to my confidence. I felt like my dream is too big and nobody is there to support my climb. 

And then a mistake of a relationship happened right when I was distraught and worried about my dreams and future. I let go of my passion for knowledge. I let go of my believes. I did not think straight. I think I refused to think much and just feel, which is stupid and weak. Never again.

Also, don't let somebody use your physical insecurities to play with your heart and mind. I'm done with feeling ugly and shabby and fat. 

At least 20 non-fiction books must be consumed.

Unfortunately, I am very slow at reading non-fictions. That is not good. Reading books other than fiction will help me be smarter.

Tawbah, Tawakal, Sabar. Repeat daily.

Repent all the time, trust Him all the time and face everything that comes my way with more grace. Talk to Him all the time. And be more patient.

Write something daily. Draw something daily.

I need to write at least a paragraph daily, be it in this blog or in a journal. I do not want to lose my writing skill. It could be about anything. Just write.

And draw or doodle. Keep drawing because I love lines and colours, pens and papers. Do it because you need to always give attention to what you love, right?

So here's hoping I keep promises to myself and insyaAllah. :)

Monday, December 12, 2011

Don't use the Quran as your weapon.

الْخَبِيثَاتُ لِلْخَبِيثِينَ وَالْخَبِيثُونَ لِلْخَبِيثَاتِ وَالطَّيِّبَاتُ لِلطَّيِّبِينَ وَالطَّيِّبُونَ لِلطَّيِّبَاتِ أُولَئِكَ مُبَرَّءُونَ مِمَّا يَقُولُونَ لَهُمْ مَغْفِرَةٌ وَرِزْقٌ كَرِيمٌ

"Women impure are for men impure, and men impure for women impure and women of purity are for men of purity, and men of purity are for women of purity: these are not affected by what people say: for them there is forgiveness, and a provision honourable." Quran (24:26)

People tend to quote the ayat up till "for women of purity" and follow up their "quotation" with some judgemental statement about how some 2 people deserve each other. The main point of this ayat, I feel, is really the second part. It is about repentance and we are all in His Mercy.

So really. Who are we to judge? Stop speculating on others. If you can't love them, love Him.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Trust in me.

I have trust issues. It stems from failed relationships, dating men who took advantage of my insecurities. People advise me to find a nice guy. How can you tell if somebody is nice?

A religious background does not guarantee you that. At times, it just guarantees a male-chauvinist's point of view in life.

Nice words are obviously overrated. They are poisonous weapons of destruction.

Nice gestures? Oh if a person can lie with words, it is much easier to be quiet and move with deceit.

Maybe it's not about trusting him. Maybe it's all about trusting yourself.

There is nothing wrong about knowing who you want, what you want. There is nothing wrong with choosing because you know exactly what you want. It just means you trust yourself fully.

At the end of the day, while he sleeps and dream a separate world from you, you are left to your own thoughts and judgement. Do not ignore your own voice, the voice that tells you "He's the one!" or (unfortunately with truth) "What if you're just settling with this one?" Do not ignore that voice because, trust me, it will still be there the next night.

God gives you the ability to love and fate is in His hands. It is just logical to leave love in his Hands as well. The turmoil and doubt you feel when you are in love is a sign to start speaking to Him. Trust in Him. Trust in yourself. Trust in me.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Why I Am Single At The Age of 27.

I'm actually vain enough to think I'm pretty in some eyes. No, I'm actually pretty enough to be called pretty by some guys. (Thank you.) But why am I still single at the age of 27?

You might notice from my photo that I am a hijabi. (That's just a shorter term for someone who wears the hijab.) So I really don't know who invented the stereotype that all Malay girls who wear the hijab are a certain kind of girl. The kind who'd be docile and has a pliable personality. The kind that most Malay men would gladly take under their armpits and be made to follow their every whim. The kind that I am (obviously) not.

It irks me that for the 10 years I've worn my hijab, I've only attracted a certain kind of men. Malay men with Malay ideologies of what a good woman is supposed to be like.

Apparently having opinions are bad. It makes me controlling, even though all I did was voice my principles, not impose my ideas on them. I don't force them to follow my way of thinking, I only demand to be heard. But obviously to be heard means to be obeyed for these men. Funny. Psychologically, I'm pretty sure that just proves that they want me to obey and follow their ideologies. Kena hidung kau balik.

Apparently living in Damansara and being 'anak datuk'  means I do not eat at mamak stall, I roll around with a driver, I shop at expensive branded outlets and I have never stepped into 'dunia orang biasa'. It also meant my kampung is not a kampung, I can't possibly know how to eat with my hands and, well, I basically epitomise the whole stereotype of an 'anak datuk' you see in shallow Malay movies or read in shallow Malay novels (written mostly by girls who have never been to Damansara or know any real 'anak datuk'.)

Whatever I say, it won't erase these preconceived ideas those stupid Malay men have of me. Yes. All of them are Malay. Only they are stubborn enough to still believe in their idea of who I am even after dating me for 3-6 months. Heck, they even try to change me, or hope that I'd change enough for them.

However, I'm not saying all men are like these bunch of idiots. No. Some are incredibly understanding and quick to gather that I am really just like any of their other girl friends but with hijab on. The hijab does not stop me from reading books, having interests, getting ideas or living a life. And being an 'anak datuk' does not stop me from loving budu and ulam, speaking fluent Kelantanese every time I go back to kampung (or just hanging out with my family at home) and frequenting mamaks where cute stray cats jump onto my lap knowingly.

I'm not unique and different. There are many girls like me. It just so happens that they don't wear the hijab or hang out in a very Malay clan right out of a shallow Malay movie.

I haven't answered the topic at hand. I think it's partially because of how my hijab and racial features attract the kind of guys I just described. It's also because I really don't like the kind of guys I attract. And most saddening is how the guys I am attracted to don't go for girls like me. Or they would if I'm not wearing a hijab.

No, my hijab is not the problem. People's perception are. The hijab is worn so that people will not judge from appearance but unfortunately they still do.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Garden I Love.

I wrote this a long time ago.


The colours turn to gray that evening, as the sun melts away beneath the horizon. I miss the orange tinge it has upon my skin moments ago. I miss the smell of the grass while it was warm. I miss the birds calling to each other to come home. I miss everything there is to miss when you have been waiting for the night.

I walk the short pier and try to see beneath the waters. This rippling mirror is so rightly creating an image of how I feel inside. My turmoil is not too abrupt, just a subtle disturbance in my pleasant surface. I take my time to savour my alone. I take my time to feel the wind making fun of me, taunting me coldly. I take my time listening to the rustling of the trees as they whisper about my pathetic figure, low and alone, beneath their gaze. I take my time to see the stars blink in blatant astonishment at my unfortunate story.

And then they change their tune, ever so effortless, as if they’ve been singing in the same note all the while. I hear them say my prayers for me. I hear them caress my heart as if their own babe is hurt. I hear them come near to me, make me feel fine, make me feel whole, as if this gaping wound I carry so hidden beneath my smile is no longer bleeding but is a mere scar I tell stories about at night.

There is a sunken boat waiting by the river bank. There it stays until I feel it is safe to sit in the hole-ridden seat, take up its rotten oar and slowly make my way elsewhere. I am afraid of my journey. I am afraid of the unknown waters, unfriendly constellations and unfamiliar clouds. I breathe in the wet air of this place I like to pretend is home.

The pier I stay on is a polite goodbye to my reluctant body. I look across at the garden. I see the dark heavy trees, saddened by grief. I see the fireflies peeping in and out of the vines, like light signals to a missing person, calling them home. I see the brooding shadows that slowly envelopes the place, a shadow containing memories of sunlit merriment, memories I don’t belong to but wish I did.

I’ve walked that garden a short while ago. I tried to make the flowers grow, where the buds have withered away. I tried to push the branches of the trees to strike a pose that is familiar, like a smile across a beloved face but they deny my touch. I caught those fireflies in my hands and reached out to let them go again but they grew confused and scared and remained still yet lit in my palms. I traced the name upon the tree in the heart of the garden and wish it was mine. I traced the name as if I traced a scar and I feel a familiar pain in my own heart, as if a kindred feeling is calling out.

The garden I love. The garden I have always rowed by again and again, never brave enough to set foot upon, always circling the ones beside but never entering this wonder. I’ve worn my boat down because of you. I’ve rotten my dress as I stand in the waters, catching up courage to climb those cold stone steps to you. I’ve sunk my boat and left myself trapped on your pier.

I stand up and look past the river bank and see the boat. Maybe tomorrow I’ll patch it up. Maybe, if she comes, I’ll leave as fast as I can row away. I can still remember how the grass stayed brown under my feet, the flowers did not smell sweet for my nose and the leaves crumbled under my touch. I know I don’t belong. I know I am not the one with the burning touch, the fingers that etched the name upon the heart-tree, the fingers that made the fireflies burn brighter or the flowers bloom prettier, or that let the branches wave elegantly, or make the leaves whisper names.

But here I sit on the pier, let my legs dangle over the edge, my back to the garden, my sight on the horizon. I can’t leave yet. I won’t leave this garden alone. Not as it pines quietly for the goddess that walked its path. I will not let the trees die, although I will not be able to make it grow strong. I will not let the buds recede, although I will not be able to make the spring come. I will not let the fireflies stop their busy dance, although I will not be able to understand their movements.

I shall be the unwanted gardener in this untended beauty. I shall wait as it waits for the goddess that walked the path, the name that burned the heart, the voice that thrilled the flowers and the smile that lit the sky.

Until she comes, my love is the only tenderness I can offer.

The moon is up tonight. It is smiling at my braveness. I smile back at how wise he is. He shines on my boat, like a soft invitation to save myself from uncertainty, save myself from unwanted conditions. I sit and talk to the moon. I let him know his garden is in good hands until the sun rises again. Until the sun rises, I shall always be here on this pier, scarred but smiling, hopeful without magic.

So here I am in this gray world, waiting for the sunrise with the moon.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Of Life, Work and Play.

I am unemployed. Still.

I am going to apply for M.Phil / PhD in Cultural and Historical Studies in Royal College of Art, UK. I just need to sit for another IELTS because the last one was a bit over a couple of years ago. I already have a research proposal ready. So there. Let's try to get an offer and then go find a scholarship/loan.

I have been procrastinating on some illustration work. Actually, I'm feeling uninspired of late. Or maybe just lazy. I still need to make 9 watercolour pieces for a calendar. And some proposals for my friend's wedding.

I am such a slow reader. I used to be able to finish a novel in a few days but now it's taking me a few weeks. This is terrible.

I am convinced I'm turning into a vegetable. Or a rock.

I need to set goals. Like to write a blog post a day. A doodle a day. A novel a week. And I need to learn to meet my goals.

(Woman, get to it!)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Avalanche of Ideas.

I recently got ambushed by a group of story ideas, all twisted in their own sweet and creepy ways. I've written the synopses down but now I feel like writing proper short stories. Here are the breakdowns of the stories that visited me so far.

1. Nasi Lemak Mak
This story was really a result of brainstorming with my favourite married couple, Neem and Kawar. I think we were all drowsy and tired and hungry and somehow that was conducive to our creative flow. The story centres on a man who did not go through grief for his mother's passing yet he's showing signs of not letting go. He becomes obsessed with Nasi Lemak because it was his mother's famous dish. The story follows his journey throughout the country looking for compensations for Nasi Lemak. During his travel, he gets to observe and meet people who are also going through hardships and troubles but seem to be coping with it while being fully aware. He comes home changed, although not obviously. He finally finds the right balance between acceptance and appreciation, of letting go and retaining memories. I'm quite proud of how the ending turns out. *wink*

2. Susu Kotak
This is more of a short film / short story. It's a love story with a twist. A pair of childhood lovers got separated so young and long ago. The man finds the woman again 15 years later. They meet up and it is not to rekindle a fire like the woman hopes for but to give a final closure. There is a twist at the end that I think should be endearing and tragic for some people. I'll write this as a proper short story soon, I promise.

3. Jendela
I had this idea a couple of years ago. I woke up with a vivid dream about this. It starts off perfectly harmless but develops into a psycho-thriller. I had the idea of making a presentation of story through a series of photos. I won't spoil the story yet. This should be written down properly too. It involves a photo of a beautiful scene framed by a window in a stark white room, a curious woman and an artistic motive.

4. Project O.G.E.
Project O.G.E. stands for Project One Generation Entity. It is such a 'meta' idea, I can't help but get shivers the moment I thought this up clearly. It was actually inspired from a dream I had. Let me just tell you truthfully that I dreamed of Redza Minhat. Yes yes I'm a fan. *sheepish grin* Anyway, in my dream, he was writing a film and asking a bunch of people to help with his experimentation research. Anyway, it's a very long synopsis to write but let's just say it's about viral videos, film-making, propaganda, dystopia and meta. If this idea falls through, it would literally be a dream come true if Redza Minhat plays Uqbah Ahmad, the film-maker. *starry-eyed*

So yeah. Those were the ideas cluttering up my brain. Oh and the reason why I'm suddenly thinking up ideas for films is that an ex-university colleague of mine is looking for good film ideas. If you are interested in sending your stories to her, do drop a comment and I'll pass it on to her.

She also mentioned how there has been too many love stories and unfunny comedies given out as ideas for films and they are looking for something different to further help the film industries. Just make sure the stories won't require an extremely huge budget (like sci-fi with CGI or crazy settings and props).

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Back to where it all began.

I am currently trying to put together a writing portfolio. I miss writing about architecture, about art, about life. I miss being a writer, a capable one.

It is a skill that deteriorates with lack of practice, unfortunately. But perhaps it is something you can regain like a familiar tingle of a waking limb. InsyaAllah.

Hello, everyone. I am Xeem Noor and this is where I will try to write because it is a need and necessity in my life.