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.