Friday, July 5, 2013

Just one word.

A friend asked this question : In a word, how would you like to be remembered?

Immediately, I realised that we are all caught up in worrying about how people remember us, we speculate about what people think of us and we end up second-guessing ourselves most of the time. The question is simple but it differs drastically from "How do you think people remember you?" It urges us to think of what we aspire to be, something we tend to forget to do the older we get.

It's a good question to ask daily and to check whether we've done anything to meet the requirement we place on ourselves. Focusing on a word per day, per week, per month and striving to be who we want to be. InsyaAllah, a constant push and reminder.

So let's ask the question and let's find the answer within ourselves because it sure isn't in anybody else.

So what's your answer? ;)

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Golda Mowe's Iban Dream

A unique work of fantasy fiction based on real beliefs, taboos and terminology of the Iban to weave an epic tale of good versus evil.

The book reads like a fairy tale; descriptive and lacking the intimacy of dialogues. However, I think this is an appropriate tone for a book that targets a younger audience. And yet, the richness of cultural and mythical description keeps a curious adult interested in the book. The story unfolds quickly and I feel that a lot happened in a book that is a few counts shy of 300 pages.

I love finding out about the Iban beliefs, presented in a folklore / legend / myth. I can't help but wish I can be more personally attached to the hero, Bujang Maias, via a more fiction-styled writing. Some parts of the writing did veer towards humanising the characters more and you get a touch of realism in the characters but then the author starts to describe the details of rituals and rites and actions in a somewhat dry manner that washed away the intimacy a reader was beginning to get.

For a fan of myths and culture, I still enjoy the information the book is saturated in but I am not sure people who expect to read a fantasy-fiction would be so entertained by the somewhat dryness of the retelling of this Iban legend.

By the end of the book, I am raring to find out more about the culture and beliefs of our Borneo part of Malaysia but there lacks for me the bitter-sweet end of a literary journey with a hero.

I am, however, duly afraid of Hornbills after reading the book.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

How my late father stays a superhero.

My father passed away back when I was 13. Most people won't ask me about my father once they knew that but I love gushing over him. He remains a hero to me.

I look up to him in all aspects of his life. I admire his achievements, his humility, his silence and even his hobbies. I bought a guitar with my first pay just because my fondest memories of us together were our nightly sessions of playing oldies on his guitar. I took up architectural studies just because he used to have this hobby of designing dream houses.

To me, he was a perfect man. And he stayed perfect because I didn't get the chance to grow up and feel jaded about him. He passed away while I was still a girl worshipping her father. I didn't get the chance to use my critical eye on him.

Thinking back, he didn't really open up about his past to me. That's probably because I was still a child. After he passed away, my mum slowly opened up and tell us stories but she took care to always make sure they were stories that let him remain on this pedestal that I've created for him. Perhaps my mum realised earlier on that my father became the muse in most of my achievements. I fought very hard to become the daughter I imagine my father wants me to become.

Nearing 30, I realise that my father has his flaws. He went through some wild years when he was a student. He was a man with very few friends. When we go back to his hometown, my mum was the more amiable one.

Perhaps, my mum really became both mother and father after he passed away. She kept him bright in our minds, a beacon that drove us towards our dreams and aspirations. This simple housewife, who lost her husband while all 5 of her children were still studying, knew that looking up to a father who was perfect, successful  superlative, is the best way to spur us on.

I love my father for all the inspiration he has left me.

I love my mother for all the aspirations she lets me have.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Back for a bit

I am currently trying to conjure up a new research proposal that will hopefully bring me to a new field (and a new continent) insyaAllah.

I am currently unemployed / freelancing just to sustain a comfortable enough living, pay the bills and meet the loved ones, alhamdulillah.


I'll try to come back with some substance.