Posted by: Ibrahim | 20/06/2010


Dad never forces us to become whoever he wants us to be. However, it doesn’t mean that he is not doing his responsibility. He guides us, still. As a matter of fact, he is the one who introduces us to multiple-intelligence tests (the theory that I only learnt in my 3rd year of degree!).

The test reveals our strengths and weaknesses. My decision to join TESL programme is based on the result. I’m not that excellent at language, but I’m slightly better at it compare to other intelligences, mathematical especially. As a matter of hard facts, it’s on the top of my application list and I only went to its interview. Until now I have no huge regrets (despite some irrelevancy and redundancy of its subjects). I want to become a teacher, because I just don’t have heart for any other profession.

I can’t imagine if Dad ever forces me to join A-Level and become a Physics lecturer like him. It must be deadly and I might have committed suicide. It’s just not my cup of tea. I barely scored my math tests, and Physics is my most hated subject. My Physics lecturer once commented that I didn’t have imagination because he believed it’s all about visualizing. I told him you just wait and see till I write a great fiction. I just don’t like to imagine momentum, power, speed – they’re so fixed.

So, I’m grateful and happy to be in this programme, although at times I have to deal with grammatical rules (which I perceive as algebra, Pythagorean Theorem and algorithm, in language).

THE WINGS OF THE DOVE is a novel by Henry James

Posted by: Ibrahim | 20/06/2010


I happened to watch a reality TV series.. something like Akademi Fantasia or Malaysian Idol. But the contestants were children. I enjoyed watching the performers, they looked so adorable. But I felt disgusted with their parents. Very much. I don’t know what’s on these parents’ mind (who happened to be Malays and from the dress, apparently, Muslims).

I would understand if they cried because their children received excellent results in examination. Or win somekind of IQ or Physical games, or managed to recite the Holy Quran wonderfully. But they were basically crying because their children were singing some kind of distorted love songs which have no value to them. If the songs were carefully chosen to emphasize on familial relationships, friendships, or nature or whatsoever comprehensible to their age (not necessarily nursery rhymes), that would be different.

Worse, the children were made (read: nurture) to act as if they felt in love, and then fought for their love, got jealous, betrayed.  What happened to the beauty of childhood where children were being given freedom to talk and play about so many things rather than restricted to the ‘love/lust-hate relationships’ in adults’ world? I believed that these parents actually wanted to be a celebrity once, but they just didn’t have the chance (read: looks and talents). Haven’t they realised that they’ve been taking advantage by the entertainment industry?

So, instead of educating their children to become useful people, they’re dangerously risking their children to the problematic, futureless ‘glamour’ life. But I don’t blame them completely. They might as well want to see their children on TV. But there is no alternative. The so-called academic or Islamic kids TV programmes are rather passive and unattractive. The way it delivers the subject matters are so unnatural and complex, that I sometimes believe that these shows adhere to adult viewers.

Besides, do you see much ‘movements’ in these TV shows? Hardly. They treat children as adults and the kids are ‘made’ to listen and even if they ever ask questions, we notice that it is heavily scripted. From what I learnt throughout my teacher training, children have short attention span. They love activities that require them to move and to make use of their senses! I don’t know what is wrong with singing and dancing to the children if the songs and dances are appropriate.

DELIVERANCE by James Dickey

Posted by: Ibrahim | 20/06/2010


One of my seniors has told me that one day she wanted to find her family’s tree. To get to know her ancestors. The other day, I watched an Oprah Show where they discover some people’s root. And it happened that a Jew is related to a Muslim according to their DNA, which are impressive. Well not that impressive because we all come from Adam and Eve (Peace be Upon Them). Only those religions, races have diverted us from acknowledging our oneness.

My uncle has plotted our family tree as well. But I don’t know whether they’ve put them online or not. Our parents must know their ancestors. For me, they’re merely unknown names. Perhaps YOU and I are relatives without me knowing it.

I want to make the family tree larger by finding somebody who cannot possibly be related by blood. From the book that I’ve finished reading (God, Genes and Destiny), it stated something like.. if you get married to your close cousin, the possibility that your children inherit genetic disease is higher. It makes me realise why Islam doesn’t allow close kinship marriage. The Chinese, even.

I don’t feel like knowing my ancestors.. I want to create the future! By that I’ll be the ancestor.

BLOOD MERIDIAN is a novel by Cormac McCarthy

Posted by: Ibrahim | 20/06/2010


I thought I was the only person who could communicate with my late brother’s apparition. It happened that my other siblings were able to talk to him, too. But it seemed like everybody has kept quiet when he came, thinking that nobody wished to be labeled as crazy.

On the spur of the moment, I couldn’t help telling him that I’ve loved him. He said he loved me too. I told him that I appreciated it very much that he made it to my theatrical drama. I never thought that he would attend the event that has no importance to him, but he did. I felt appreciated.

My other siblings started to talk to him as if he was alive. But I couldn’t really remember anything they said when I opened my eyes. I could only remember mine. It was so real and close that I could actually touch him. Now I realize that ‘moving on’ is actually beyond than two words, which I can’t possibly comprehend.

A FAREWELL TO ARMS is a novel by Ernest Hemingway

Posted by: Ibrahim | 18/06/2010


In our Counseling Course, we had to learn Sigmund Freud’s theory of psychoanalysis. I still remembered the moment when we’re being exposed to Oedipus complex (unconscious sexual desire for parent). We were so overwhelmed by its ridiculousness. However, we had not been taught that it was alright to say “NO.” What we did was living dual personality by memorizing the theory while doubting its relevancy and truth.

So, few weeks ago I happened to read Dad’s old book title “Psychology and Muslims dilemma”. The author revealed the shocking news that the theory was not approved by most psychologists. And from my research, I just knew that Freud was a Jewish, and he was, apparently, the only person who suffered such mental disorder!

Now, I wonder how come such theory was explicitly taught (read: burdened) to us, when we could possibly focus on the reliable ones? When was the last time our syllabus being reviewed, by the way? What if some of us have been ‘convinced’ by the shallow theory? I think that’s why people are throwing their babies (they’re afraid to be seduced by their own blood). Just kidding.

OF HUMAN BONDAGE is a novel by W. Somerset Maugham

Posted by: Ibrahim | 18/06/2010


You have the best intention at heart. To make your parents’ life easier. To bring so-called sense of modernization. Only to know that you’re actually not helping.

Few days ago, it was raining while I was about to go to my sister’s house. So I stopped by PLUS centre next to the highway. I happened to see people reloading their ‘Touch-N-Go’ card. I was thinking that I would be going back to Sabah sooner and wasn’t going to use the card anymore. But I was thinking that perhaps, just perhaps, Dad could make use of the card to pay toll. At least he didn’t have to have a long que like before. So, I topped up RM50 to the card without giving much thought.

I returned back home and told Dad the benefits of using the card. Only to know that he barely travelled far thinking of how old the van was. And we couldn’t do much with the card. But he paid me RM50 anyways for the card. He planned to give away the card to my other siblings who stayed in KL. Thank God that the card didn’t have expiry date. If it wasn’t so, I would be contributing to the unbeneficial agenda.

And few years ago, Mom planned to have a handphone since we always had problem with our home’s line. So I bought Mom a good prepaid number with lots of credits. Only later to be ‘enlightened’ by my brother that Mom would face trouble to buy the credit at town whenever we’re not around. He told me that Mom didn’t care about money, as long as it would make her life easier. So he bought the postpaid plan for Mom instead. (still, I asked him to transfer the previous credit to me)

The best intention at heart is not always the most beneficial one. I have learnt that never to put my shoes in other people’s shoes. It wouldn’t fit.. We might be different. And I should have discussed before doing any additional ‘good deeds’.

A HANDFUL OF DUST is a novel by Evelyn Waugh

Posted by: Ibrahim | 18/06/2010


I once commented on my friend’s post. Her response is filled with enormous joy. I could feel her. You know when people can relate to you, have been feeling you. It makes you feel that your time and idea are worthwhile. The feeling of victory!

I write simply because I need to release things in my brain. I think too much. If I don’t share it with people, you will sometimes find me talking by myself. There is a sense of relief when I am able to put my thoughts in words, and people can understand it without having to read it all over again. It’s even rewarding when people can relate it to their own! I will be very happy if people leave me comments, be it constructive or destructive – I don’t mind. Make it long, please.

I will always try to write direct to the point for each post because I know we are all busy people. We want everything to be short and sweet. Thus, I avoid bombastic, flowery language that I usually use for my literature course (right). To be honest, I hate my lengthy post. There is a feeling of dissatisfaction for having more than 5 paragraphs per entry (because I know people will read and comment less!).

I also learn that writing in anger, although sounds authentic, will only reflect my emotional unbalance. And the points are spilled all over (which are better replaced by one single swearword). But I do share personal stuff, only after it’s being filtered. I write because I want my grandchildren to read mine one day (so ambitious?). Or in case I die before that time, at least this writing will keep me alive.

UNDER THE NET is a novel by Iris Murdoch

Posted by: Ibrahim | 17/06/2010


I personally don’t understand these people. If they want to draw a portrait of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), please do so convincingly. We would really appreciate that, because as Muslims we are just too busy following his teachings and admiring his personalities. We just don’t have time to imagine him by physical.

Anyhow, we have been told from authentic resources that he is a hunk. So where do they get the idea that he is an ugly, fat person? They could only imagine their own Dad? Too bad, it just doesn’t make sense. I tell them that if they ever want to draw his picture, please put a little more creativity.

And it is even funnier when they draw a picture of pig or dog which is wearing turban. Are they too consumed by the Darwin’s evolution theory that ape is magically able to transform into human being? I don’t get mad at these people; I in fact feel sympathy towards their lack of knowledge about the Adonis!

I empathized my brothers and sisters in faith, even more. You DO know that Prophet Muhammad is neither an animal nor some ugly Arab, yet you still publicize (read: share) the boring websites and pictures which only give them (the provider) higher rates! They got paid for every visit, you make them rich!

Thus, as civilized and educated Muslims, let’s just stay away from these ignorant (unless they’re ready to learn). We must bear in minds that these people have so much time to waste. As a matter of fact, they’ve drawn the naked photo of Adam and Eve, pictures of some verses of Bible that they claimed to be pornographic, make fun of Jesus (Peace be Upon Him). I have no idea where do they get so much hatred, and how do they actually have the heart to hurt.. But I know they just don’t have respect!

Let’s ignore them and make them feel that it’s just not working. “Hold to forgiveness; command what is right; But TURN AWAY from the ignorant.” (Holy Quran, Al-Araf 007:199)

The title is inspired by James Joyce’s novel.

Posted by: Ibrahim | 14/06/2010

Fifth Business

I barely watched Oprah Winfrey’s Show. Not that I distaste her, we just didn’t have an ASTRO at home. However, I happened to watch an episode at my sister’s house.. Due to numerous house chores, a wife whined that she had no time anymore to hang out with her girlfriends. Oprah pitied her, and would like to gratify her needs by asking one guy to take her role as a housewife.

I didn’t know who that guy was, but I could guarantee that the episode had become my own (with totally different incident and, ahem, more handsome person, apparently). My sister texted me asking whether I would be available this weekend. She planned to go to KL as she had received their break. However, she wouldn’t be able to bring her husband together as he needed to take care of their family business at laundry shop. If only I could..

I was thinking that it would be more meaningful if my nephew and niece could have a vacation with their father as well. So, without second guessing, I said “YES”. So, this made my 5th work after working at Petrol Station, 7-Eleven, Tuition Centre and as an Editorial in the past semesters. She wanted me to go there sooner, so that I could start my training earlier, but I only arrived two days before the charge date due to my so-called hectic schedule.

I didn’t know how you liked this, but my brother in law left me alone in the shop after only 1 hour training. I thanked him, though, for trusting me and giving me the golden opportunity to really experience it. If he was around, I would feel restrained and stressed of fulfilling his expectations. I always believed that in order to be competent, making mistakes (and learning from it) is a must.

By the day I started working, I believed I was skillful enough. I felt like a boss already with no one watching. But I kept praying that nobody sent me their clothes for dry-cleaning! That was the only technique that I have not been trained. I was lucky that nobody did.

I was nervous, still. Very nervous to think that I had never sent my clothes to any laundry shop, and I didn’t know what to expect. The only evidence I could remember was when my friend said, “it smells good” after he received his dresses from a laundry shop. But my day was a complete tragedy. There was this serious auntie provoked me whether I had actually washed her bedclothes. I was like, “didn’t you see how clean they were, folded nicely in the plastic bag?” I wish I could say that but she continued saying, “they didn’t fragrance.” And by that, I knew I’ve failed. Later, I doubled the softener.

And there was another incident where I accidentally put someone’s garments in the wrong plastic bag. The guy didn’t come back, yet he sent his friend instead to pick up the clothes. He must be really mad to pick on his own. I was so confused because there were about 3 pants, yet he only asked for two. You know what he did? He sniffed the pants, rationalizing that he knew his perfume. I was amazed that these Arab people had a strong brotherhood between them, that they even know each other’s odour! Now don’t imagine the fat, hairy sweaty Arab. They look good and smell good, though. Must be the elites.

And some people also put me in wonder. They had nicely washed and dried their shirts. But they sent theirs to be ironed at shop. It’s a big wonder that the man has never turned up. It’s either his mother, or wife who sent the shirts. And last time I noticed that they had a maid, too!  They didn’t seem to look like career women either. Afterall, they only sent man shirts to be ironed. And why they didn’t iron it by themselves? Yeah, their rights.

The title is a novel by Robertson Davies.

Posted by: Ibrahim | 13/06/2010


I went to my sister’s house and I realised there’s something that my sister and I share.. simplicity! Especially when it comes to home items. Only basic things were in her house. It looked almost empty, but it was effortlessly neat. I still remember that when she was at our parents’ house, she would throw away unnecessary things. Mom and Dad, are different. They usually keep these stuff, in case that they, or us, or the relatives would need them in the future.

However, rather than keeping, as instance the academic books, we would recycle (read: throw) them all because we believe although we have younger sister/brother, they will definitely get another latest ones. It’s certain from my experience that nobody is hardworking enough to review the piles of books. Hence, these items, although might be useful, would definitely gave sore-eyes especially when it was placed at an open book-racks.

To avoid more ‘rubbish’ in house, I never brought back my TESL academic books, not even the originals. Instead I sold them all to my junior. My friend  told me that I should place them at home and be proud of those.. Who knows, I might be using them in the future. I told him, “fat chance.” I’ve been witnessing these thick, hardcover books which either belong to Dad or the other older siblings. And by times, the contents become outdated, and the 1st edition that we have at home, is now at 7th-10th edition at current market. And you expect me to refer to those? Fat chance!

The same thing went to my old t-shirts which Mom planned to donate to the needy. But as she said that, I knew for sure that it would remain forever in my room and suffocated me every now and then. So, I packed them all and delivered them safely in the store. I didn’t blame Mom, though, for keeping her promise that way. I wished for the same thing. To have a center where we can donate or recycle these things.

The title is inspired by E.M. Forster’s novel.

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