Friday, October 29, 2010

Ops Bilang - Let's Talk






This is one of the most brilliant forum-performances I have ever been to. There is definitely something for everyone; like Mei Chern singing a heart warming song about death penalty or Fahmi Reza educating us about hak pelajar or Pang giving us a paronomasia step by step guide to sodomy.

I like especially Amir Muhammad's personification of blood types as he juxtaposes them to the different levels of society with a tinge of humor and vivid imagery. Fahmi Reza's slide show on student power is simply inspiring and it makes me want to go back to school to pick up a placard while trying to make my grades. Jerome's poem on federalism is just as beautiful as it is potent. I like also Yati's short skit, which was taken to a heighten level by Ayam, about civil versus syariah law on the proper burial for a muslim convert. Vernon Adrian Emuang talked about his origin and the connectivity to the indigenous community on a musical journey of aesthetic monologue. Like a straight-faced Andy Kauffman, Pang delivered his sodomy guide to an uproarious crowd who just can't get over the fact that he can be as corny as he is a-maze-ing :P And finally, closing the night of fantastic and splendid performances was Jo Kukathas's omnipresent voice interweaving several issues about rape into one solid performance of an installation of a schoolbag and a chair.

What a wonderful night to provoke electrical charges in our heads as we ended it with our usual feast to gyrate our stomachs.

Ops Bilang is held in conjunction with CIJ's launch of the e-forum which can be found at the link below.
http://letstalkabout.cijmalaysia.org/

Monday, October 25, 2010

Today's Lunch


The salad, not the plant:
Tomatoes
Cucumbers
Onions
Garlic
Chick Peas
Raisins
Sugared Melon Strips
Vinegar
Brown Sugar
Olive Oil
Black Pepper
Chili Flakes

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Something's gotta give

Today I felt a little restless, which made me took a very long walk around the housing area in the rain. After sweating out the aches and pains my body had endured due to the unhealthy sitting in front of my laptop I was shocked out of my system and began to recall the times when I was younger and bolder when I used to explore life and venture to frontiers no man has ever gone before. I would spontaneously push out the bicycle and try out smaller routes to find how they are linked to major roads. I would go out anytime of the day or night just to feel alive as I let the breeze baptize me with its energy. I would even pack my bags up and go to where I feel compelled to go.

But as I grow older I began to withdraw from the world where I used to love; the open space and the outdoors. Everything is tagged with danger and caution signboards, leaving us no space to move around except within secured parameters. Is this how we all live these days? Isn't this so pathetic?

I, for one, really miss the joy of being free to do as I please without the fear and anxiety of a grievous world that we know. These days the fear doesn't only come from lurking criminals in the dark but also corrupt governments and perverted authorities. Haven't we had enough of all the nonsense that have been thrown at us? Are we not ready to stand up and make our presence known? What is it going to be now? Take it on the left cheek and then the right?

I am at the top of the world looking beyond the rim of the world. Something's gotta give, I iterate, something's gotta give.

Being Human

Being human
is to be confined in small spaces.
Whether in an area call home
or in a place call office.
We travel from one confinement to another
and call it by many different names.
It could be a shopping mall, a restaurant,
a hospital or a prison.
But they are all the same.
A school, a rest room,
a cinema or a theatre,
they are all some form of trap
to keep us all in.
Why do we do that to ourselves?
Perhaps few do sleep under the night sky
and watch the stars above.
Perhaps few scale the hills and mountains
and sail the seven seas.
But at the end of the day
why do we crawl back into
the holes and cavity,
to sleep, to rest, to find security?
Or is being human all about
hiding in closets,
buidling up fences,
raising up walls
and locking all doors?
If that is all there is to be human
perhaps I shall just turn
into a butterfly and live briefly
but happily.

You are nothing but bullies

I remember how you treated me
like I was of no values and principles,
like I was unworthy of your presence.
I don't want to remember that but I can't help myself
knowing that there are people like you out there
who think nothing of everyone else except yourself.
Repeating your bullying tactics on someone else.
I know you are good at what you do
but you are not great,
you don't move the world with you attitude
you just move people away from you.
All I did was to sit there listening to you
and you betrayed my trust by casting me away
like I was of no consequence.
I wouldn't have bothered if it hadn't hurt.
I am trying to move on
and move apart from people like you
but you come back with your impossible gaze
and your relentless pride.
I know you are being devoured by your own guilt,
by your own ego
but what can I do?
You prefer to keep that as your friend, as your family.
You can hide from yourself in a mask
but everyone knows you are a disgust
in the manner that you think,
in the way that you speak,
in everything that you are.
Just because you have the means
to push and pull everyone around
it doesn't mean you will
be respected and honored.
Not in this life, not in the next.
You are nothing but a coward
because you are a big bully
who has demons residing in your wretched body.
Whatever you have sent out to the universe
will come back to you twice as much.
How many times must I remind you?
Your version of hell is of the worst kind
and you know it.
So don't give me that look!
You know who you are.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I Cry for God's people

When I was a kid I was taught to pray for the heathens, gentiles and pagans because they were not living in accordance to God's will. They needed to be saved from damnation, from the devil who had possessed them to worship animals and plants, elements and the unknown. This new God that worshipers brought was full of compassion and love. This God they recommend was forgiving and nurturing. And everything good will come to those who believe.

But, for those who don't the God will wipe out the unbelievers from the surface of the earth. Although he has the patience of a father he also has the wrath of a man who had been wronged. He takes away all that is bad and rewards the good by ten-fold. He punishes the evil and the wicked. He is a God of war when necessary.

As I grew up thinking I was among the chosen one I too did my part to convert everyone I could to save them. But then I got thinking and asking why do you allow the religious to get away with things? And the worshipers told me, 'God will take care of it.' I asked why are some people condemned for who they are? And the worshipers said, 'God condemns the aberrant.' I asked why are we not reaching out more to the people in the street and give them shelter and homes when the holy places are made of polished marble and scented wood? And the worshipers said, 'Those people chose to live that way and not everyone is worthy enough to be in God's presence.' I asked them why do we not love the trees and animals more? And the worshipers said, 'The have no soul.' I asked why do we come together to pray but stand away from the unfortunate ones who get bullied by authorities and self-proclaimed powers? And the worshipers said, 'God will punish those people only in the afterlife.'

And I walked away crying, crying for God's people.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Be Gentle on Yourself

I've been meaning to tell you this
that you are okay, that you are fine.
You don't need a reason, a nod or a wish
to be the person who has always been on your mind.

Be gentle on yourself if no one will
take a little time off to imagine
that you can fly, or be crazy, be still,
be love, be beautiful, be anything.

Anyone can call make you feel ashamed.
but you know it will all be in vain.
They can even take away your pride and wealth
but always be gentle on yourself.

You don't need to justify your life,
you don't need to clarify your feelings,
you just have to know one thing to strive
and that is to trust your inner being.

Be gentle on yourself and be happy,
Eat heartily and rest your jaded body.
All you need is a little laughter to unfold
and a good helping of love deep within your soul.

Be kind, be courageous,
be compassionate, be generous.
But most of all and above all else
be good, be true, be gentle on yourself.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Doing Time (for the things you never did)

I spent a long time putting this book together and trying to market it for what it's worth. But that didn't happen and I cast it aside for a while and let life unfold itself up until now. It was going to be 101010 today and what better way to share this ebook with anyone who wants to read it, right? Dedicated especially for my former students, who taught me more than I could ever learn on my own, I would like to share this with anyone else who follow this blog.

There comes a time when we realize how lost we are in a world full of options and distractions. Doing Time is about that awakening and about taking back control of ourselves to set things back on track.
 Doing Time (for the things you never did)                                                                   
 

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Dream of the Great Goliath

This friend, who doesn't drive anymore in this world, drove me around like a tour guide to a fantastical humungous industrial place where it sounds like Seri Kembangan or Yunus or something weird. He told me it was a Tesco industrial area.

It was dusty and cars sped by like futuristic flying machines but people looked quite the same as they are now.

 One of the structures that took my breath away was a gargantuan weather-beaten gateway that was leaning to a tipping point but was still standing.

 
Following that was this leviathan building that seemed abandoned and empty sort of like pigeon holes that resembled car parks and the sign said North Korean Laundry.  It felt creepy as though I was here before...


I asked him why he brought me to this monstrous fabrication and he told me his friend wants him to run an educational institution and he brought me in to help. I was excited and thrilled but at the same time feeling displaced. He pointed out to the building where I was going to teach but we couldn't get in yet because the people holding the keys were still asleep.

Our next stop was our new home where an indigenous looking man and his mother were going about their daily routine outside the house. This strange abode had to be opened with from a small door at the bottom, unhook the bolts at the side and then the whole structure opened up to a regular looking door.


It had an oriental feel, like some old Chinese decorated house and the first thing we did was to grab our pillows and rest on the wooden platform. He told me that this had been a good day and it was time to lay our heads down and take a break.

And like wow, I woke up feeling overwhelmed, exhausted and bewildered.