Sunday, December 30, 2007

Famous Last Words

We're just a little over 24 hours away from a brand new year. So before I step into 2008, I would like to look back on this year and sum it up somehow.

How was 2007? I think that it was arguably the hardest year of my life. So much has transpired, a lot has changed. A family member fell sick. I was forced to switch jobs (I say forced, because the circumstances left me no other option, and I really didn't want to at the time). I lost a few friends, and gained a few new ones. The girl that I adored so much went away, though I am glad I met her, and still remember her even now. So many different challenges took their best shot at me, and I prayed harder and more often than before.

And where did 2007 leave me? Well, I can't say for sure if I'm a stronger person now than before. Or wiser. But I am glad that I'm still here, writing in this little blog that I almost thought I had no reason left to keep.

I'm still not much of a writer. I'm still trying my best to express myself better, to experience more, imagine more, say more. Even for my other blog, I'm not much of a writer. But I find talking about films far more interesting. And learning that there are some people who visit FF. It gives me the will to continue on.

As far as films go, 2007 was the year of the sequels. Most of them missed the mark however. 2008 will see more film sequels come forth, The Dark Knight being the most hyped one. I am all excited about it already.

For the next year, what can I expect? Hopefully, not more of the same. I do realize that I want things to change, but at the same time not courageous enough to be more proactive. I need opportunity, and maybe a little more time. And more will power to do what's necessary. At the moment, where I stand in my life is quite good. The worst is over, but there is more coming. Not knowing what it is kinda scares me, but I'd like to believe that I can survive and make it better, with a little help from the man upstairs.

To all my friends, who are on the links list, who aren't on the links list, to those who've never heard of me, or cared, to those who just stumbled upon FF or this blog, to those that I love and care about who don't even know of this place, I wish you all a happy 2008. God speed.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Guess what day it is today. For those of you who aren't into celebrations, let me inform you that it's Xmas time again. Now, I'm not exactly the kind that celebrates Xmas, not being a Christian and all that. But I do love Xmas, and I do believe that Xmas has a place in everyone's heart, no matter what age, gender or religion. It's just a day to pass along some positive feelings and goodwill. Joy to the world, as the song goes.

I am aware of some people who aren't the celebrating kind, who would scoff at days like Xmas or other celebrations of the same sort. Some are of the opinion that Xmas has become much too commercialised, that it has somehow extended beyond tradition, and the only thing associated with Xmas these days are shopping, gifts and photo ops with Santa.

Well, who could blame them? It is true to some extent. And the world has changed a lot. People these days can get really disconnected from each other. They don't want to spend time with family and friends, exchange gifts, talk about the good old days and all that. Everyone wants to be alone, or are used to being alone.

It's a real pity, because the way the world is today, we need each other now more than ever. I am well aware that hardly anyone ever comes to this little blog of mine anymore, but anyone who reads this will agree that the world is a crazy place. Time is our greatest villain, it just doesn't stop bringing the pain in so many different forms. Crime, violence, hate. It's all out there.

And here we are, trying so hard to survive, and losing the good fight. Letting pride run our lives instead of common sense. What have we become?

OK, I should stop preaching. It's Xmas, not Oprah having Aung San Suu Kyi on her show or anything. The point is, we should all take this day and feel good about it. Celebrate it, for any kind of reason. If you don't believe in Xmas, then celebrate it as a day that you're alive and well. You skeptics would probably tell me that you can pick any other day to celebrate that. Well, I say, pick this day. You don't have to be with someone to celebrate. Just give yourself a nice treat and smile. Can't be too hard, now can it?

Anyway, feast your eyes on some of the pics I took over the past week at some shopping malls in my city. Great decorations, aren't they? I particularly liked the giant toy soldier here, really awesome.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


People are an infection. You, me and everyone around you. Family. Friends. Colleagues. We're all an infection.

We infect ourselves and one another, just by doing what we do every day. We infect each other with emotions. Love. Hate. Sadness. Frustration. Despair. Anger. Rage. We infect each other with kindness. Jealousy. Fear. Envy. Happiness. Tyranny. Malice. Violence. We do this all the time.

But the most important and significant thing we infect each other with, is the need. The need for things. Need for companionship. Emotions. Love. The need for each other. More imperatively, the need to exist.

Because without each other, what are we? Who are we? If you were the only person left on God's green earth, who would you be? Who would know you? See you? Walk with you? Be with you? It is other people who define your existence. Of course, the right to exist lies with you, but if you existed for no one, what good is that?

We infect each other with the need to be with each other. It's something that isn't the basic need of human beings, if you really think about it. But we have come to the point where we need each other, and we can't have it any other way, or we will go insane. No man is an island. No one wants to be alone, even if they have the courage to say it out loud. We need people, to feel alive.

But at the same time, we have so much ability to hate one another. A lot of times for the smallest of reasons. I know this for a fact, because I've felt it so many times. I'm not proud of it, but that's the way it is. We hate the same people we need. We take them for granted a lot. We love them dearly, but we let them down again and again and again. And as much as we want, and as hard as we try, we can't hate everyone forever. Maybe it's because God won't let us. So right now, I don't know if the desire to be alone is worth keeping, because we're not strong enough to refuse reaching out for others at some point. Stuck between the need for company and the desire for isolation.

We are all messed up, aren't we?

Went shopping today. Picked up a few things that I was looking for, while nursing my badly bruised patience. I wish I had more of that. I wish more of us had more patience too. Then maybe we won't try so desperately to be alone while being surrounded by people.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Hellboy II: The Golden Army


I was at the cinema yesterday, watching The Kingdom, a film about the FBI going over to Saudi Arabia to investigate a terrorist attack on Americans there. There's a scene in the film when forensic specialist Janet Mayes, played by Jennifer Garner, examines the bodies of the killed terrorists. When she attempted to take their fingerprints, the Saudi authorities supervising her suddenly started yelling at her, telling her she can't touch a Muslim because she's a woman.

This reminded me of that rule in Islam where Muslim women are apparently not allowed to touch other men. We have that rule here in Malaysia, but to call it a rule seems too harsh. I'd say it's more like the norm, because that's the way Muslim women were raised. In religious school, this is what they learnt. But the odd thing is, not everyone applies this rule. I know this because I've worked with Muslim women before.

I have tried, in the past, to shake a Muslim girl's hand when I greet them. Some of them have no problem with it, some merely extend their fingers to me, while some others will not greet me back. I remember once trying to shake the hand of a colleague, for Aidilfitri (Eid to some of you), and I noticed the hesitation on her face. I remembered the rule at that moment, so I asked her if it was okay. She said, we had better not. So I said "OK, no problem."

I'm okay with this regulation, actually. I am capable of respecting other people's cultures. But I am still baffled by how it is inconsistently practised by the people. Just like some Muslim women wear a headscarf during their day-to-day activities, and some don't. Most people would say the ones who don't are more modern minded, but it doesn't make them any less of a believer in their religion. I believe so too. But like I said, I'm curious. It's a thought that returned to me yesterday, and it has made me more fascinated with the Muslim community. I think I have developed a certain amount of respect and admiration for them.

From my observation, they lead a simple life, despite having to follow certain customs that may seem odd to some. But I guess they're lucky to some extent, because other Muslim countries have even more rigid rules on their religion which we don't practise here. But the question is, are we any different from them? After all, we're all human, and we're all children of God.

Check out the new posters for the sequel to Hellboy, opening next year. Awesome stuff. And by the way, if anyone knows how to use the Slideshow widget to post your own pics in slideshow form on their blog's sidebar, please contact me. Thanks.