Saturday, April 30, 2016

A Strange World We Are Currently Living in...

So I've stumbled upon this one fast-rising band in Malaysia performing their hit song live in studio. I've watched and listened to their song countless times, because my friends love it. Such a manly and powerful they frequently told me. 

I didn't object nor do I agree with them. I became as naive and neutral as Evian natural water (Evian is the most expensive natural mineral water in the market. If you look closely, Evian spelled backwards will be 'naive'. Not that this trivia has any bearing on this topic, but I love this small, insignificant fact).

Their live performance was below par at best...their lead singer unsuccessfully hit the required notes on multiple occasions. But he did try his very best, and that deserved praise. Other than that, they were mediocre and average.

But, lo and behold, the overwhelming response was puzzling. People rained in with outpouring of praises, uplifting their performance to the Godlike status. I am not a professional musician, but you don't need a trained ears to differentiate what's good and what's not. A well played song will always be good to our ears.

To be fair, there were a fair share of dissenting voices who uttered disagreement, but they were swarmed by chorus of supporters who claimed those in disagreement were either stupid or envious. In the end, the comments were crowded with exaggerated praises which overtly defy the actual standard of the performance.

I am not envious of them. Far from it. I am not singer, let alone an artist (my sister once reprimanded me for singing at the back while she was riding the bicycle. I stopped singing since then). What brings my displeasure to the forefront is the sheer hypocrisy on the part of the commentators. 

We can support something but not to the extent of blindly supporting it. Praise where it was due, because some of the band's other live performances were brilliant. If we focused our argument to the band's latest live show, it was vastly inferior. To catapult an inferior performance as such to a great height was akin to deceit.   

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Know The Difference

This is a book ê

This is a selfie album ê

Be smart. Be a book lover. Not a self lover.

A New Hope

Just stopping by to fill some time gap.

I'm waiting for UEFA Champions League semi-final match between Manchester City & Real Madrid, which is due to start in less than fifteen minutes.

I'm Liverpool at heart, but I always have a soft spot for Real for unknown reasons.

So I hope they'll win tonight, albeit without their talisman Ronaldo, who fails a late fitness test just before kick-off.

Even without him, Real have enough class within their team to see off the Citizens.

On another note, I made some drastic changes today.

With this renewed vigour, I hope to open a new book, and start a new chapter in my life.

I'm charting a new course of will be met with some difficulties, so I sincerely hope all is going to end well.

As one African proverb beautifully puts it,

A Calm Sea Does Not Make A Skilled Sailor  

It's about time. Match time.

Thursday, April 21, 2016


I just half-finished the second articles for today. A long way to finishing those two...but I'll bide my time.

It was very tiring for my mind to consistently stringing up all those proses. I wonder how all the great writers of the world (Malcolm Gladwell, Ha Joon Chang, Haruki name a few) come up with their beautiful narrations at the drop of a hat?

That's why they are all great writers. Top of their field. Whereas I am still sitting here. Top of my chair.

My second straight night of insomnia. I don't know what is happening to me, I just couldn't sleep. 

I was thinking...maybe my whole body system is working together secretly in staging a coup against me? Could it be that they wanted to take over me?

I am your master...I won't give up that easily.

Dr Amir abruptly came over just now, in the middle of me cracking my head reading and analyzing what I was reading. He greeted me with his simple word "banyak fikir Mi?"

Of course Dr. I was even thinking how to beat myself to sleep.

Dr Amir left shortly afterwards.

Zila messaged me just after midnight. Due to some circumstances, I wouldn't be able to attend her wedding day.

Of course I feel terribly guilty. Who wouldn't? It's her big day but I won't be there.   

Maybe, I was not a good friend after all.

Now, please sleep. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

My Journey Towards SleepyLand

Insomnia is haunting me yet again.

It's past 3 a.m but not a shed of sleepiness is striking me this very moment. I am as fresh as a junior undergraduate eagerly preparing for his first class of the day.

Or as fresh as newly prepared nasi lemak on display in Nasi Kandar's restaurant early in the morning.

Now, double trouble. I am not sleepy AND hungry at the same time.

I am well aware that the fastest way to fall asleep is to make your mind tired. Mind fatigue is human's simplest route to falling asleep.

I've done my reading for today (reading is the simplest short cut to tire our mind) so I will embark on a different path.

I am going to wear out my energy by walking around USM aimlessly. When my body is exhausted, my mind would tremble in fear. Fearing his master would walk until the end of time, it will activate its survival mechanism by gradually shutting down my whole body's system.

That way, I will feel sleepy. Or at least that's how I imagined it to be.

So I walked down the basement of Biology School. This was where I played ping pong the evening before (less than 9 hours ago).

I am not really into ping pong, but this is the simplest sport to kill time with my friends. If all my friends are enjoying it, so why not jump into the bandwagon?

That evening, after sharing a fair share of wins and losses in ping pong, I went back to my lab to find this:

Milo Ais after a tiring session of ping ping was a great deal. Or was it? Because I bet this Milo Ais was the reason I am still awake right now.

Never mind.

Then I continued my journey to sleepiness. I walked past the small road facing the Biology School. It rained sparsely not long before, so I could see puddles of water in the road.

I glanced towards the parking lot. Amni's car was gone. So Syaher's assertion was true, that Amni was back from her home town.

I hope she brought back some keropok lekor. Because I was hungry.

I headed towards USM mosque. I tried to withdraw some money from the ATM, but it was dysfunctional. Feeling betrayed, I walked towards a drinking machine located not far from the ATM. 

At least I could get a good drink even though I didn't manage to get money, was my inner thought.

But as if fate was playing fool on me, that drinking machine refused to accept my money. Double betrayal.

So I walked back towards my Biology School in utter despair. It was eerily quiet along the way. Darkness was blanketing the night sky. Everybody was asleep but me.

After a brief aimless night walk in search of sleepyland, I failed.


Tuesday, April 19, 2016


A meaningful quote seen recently in one of the Indian shops in Indian Street Penang, while I was accompanying my friend to buy saree.

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed.
Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve.
It doesn't matter whether you're the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you'd better be running.”

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Throwback Sunday

So much for the intellectuals...

"As a young professional and graduate from British university, I am unclear about this I would like to ask some questions..." 
"Even though I possess an advanced degree in English from University of Manchester, I would like to reiterate that I seldom use English as my medium of communication...I prefer Malay"

Ever heard the above phrases? I heard it so many times...and on so many's difficult for me to recall where and when I heard those phrases.

The thing is, is it necessary to mention the above highlighted words? Would it be proper for the projected meaning of the sentences if the above highlighted words be included...or better be left out in the first place? Will it have a different meaning then?

I'm not quite sure about the differences in meaning...but it sure has a difference in their intention. From the above quotes...the speaker's intentions are clear...they bragged about themselves first, before appearing to be 'humble' and 'down to earth' seconds afterwards.

If their purported intentions are to display their humbleness, it's better to leave the highlighted words unmentioned. Just say, for example "I don't understand a few I want to ask a few questions..." or "I prefer Malay". As simple as that...why go the extra length to mention your credentials? Seeking instant recognition?


The above short and unfinished rant was written by me way back in 2007, when I was in my early twenty's. It was never published up to this day, for reasons that I have already forgotten.

As I'm getting older day by day, the anger within me has gradually subsided. But that doesn't douse my feeling of discontent towards these so-called intelligentsia, who rabidly promote themselves by juxtaposing their credentials and apparent ignorance on the same page to the unsuspecting public.

This was to manipulate the public into thinking that they are intelligent and humble at the same time, a rare traits in our modern society.

How I despised this kind of person, even to this day.

Update 24/4/2016
It's called humblebrag. This kind of person whom I first observed and hated more than ten years ago is aptly called humblebrag in our modern term.

I still hate them until today.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Humans the Terrible

I woke up pretty late today. I intended to wake up early, but was interrupted by my room mate's late clear up ( I will only wake up when he's gone to work).

Dr Zamri has been my room mate for the last two months, but I rarely had a word with him. I was already making botany's lab as my sleeping fortress when he stepped into my room last February.

He seems to be a nice guy, a man with few words. He keeps a guitar, which he plays whenever he is bored. Till this day, I still do not know whether he is married or not.

As long as we do not bother each other, I am all okay with it.

I keep my contact with other people to a minimum these days. I want to avoid as many people as possible. I went out only to buy food, then I'll come back to my home.

Humans are problematic. And the problem is, their problems are contagious. They will infect you with their scepticism, negligence, houlier-than-thou shit, pessimism, and a hell of other moronic things. 

If you keep them at bay, you will save yourself a whole lot of problems. Trust me, avoid contact with humans to keep your sanity in check.

No need to thank me.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Tipping Point & Black Swan

I finished two books this week, the highly technical Black Swan and Malcolm Gladwell's Tipping Point.

I first read Tipping Point somewhere in 2008 (barring any mistake on the part of my memory). Malik was the one who was responsible for introducing me to this highly entertaining and insightful writer who goes by the name of Malcolm Gladwell.

I consumed the book in less than a week (or less). Upon returning the book, Malik was very suspicious with me (not his fault, everybody suspected me back then) and promptly asked me to recite the full details of the book to him.

He clearly didn't believe that I had finished the book during that short time span.

For record, no one believed I could read English of that level or even utter a full sentence of English properly during that period (post 2008).

But I held no grudges against him. It was partly my fault. I was too weak to explain everything to everybody. I held my thoughts and feelings closed to myself.

Eight years forward, I still find the Tipping Point as a very entertaining book. Malcolm Gladwell has a knack for explaining his ideas very articulately. He knows what he's trying to convey and he expresses it conveniently.

But that's not the case with the Black Swan.

Although described as non-technical, I find Black Swan as a very challenging book. There are chapters in the book that are leisurely read, but most are technical, both in terms of its scientific and language usage.

I don't think I'll read Black Swan again. Some books are just not for me.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Because Every Dream Comes With a Plan...

Reaching the Sky...

...but for the moment, not with Rayani Air.

Few days ago, a popular Facebook page posted a short satirical piece condemning those who seamlessly aiming their guns towards the newly launched syariah compliance Rayani Air airlines.

Rayani Air have been in the limelight recently for their constant delays and last-minute flight cancellations. This has caused considerable despair and resentment to their unsuspecting customers.

One of the basic tenets of Islam is punctuality. For an airline that professes to adhere to Syariah rule, it is beyond comprehension that Rayani Air came to ignore this basic principle.

This is the reason why most customers are riled up with Rayani Air’s service - they inherently misused the name of Islam and have subsequently painted a very bad image for this sacred religion.

In the snipe posting, that Facebook page openly denounced those critiques as ambiguous and having ulterior motives towards Rayani Air.

They further implied that the critiques were merely masquerading; their true purpose was to denigrate the airlines’ intention to uplift Islamic principle.

I don’t know how constantly having flight delays and rescheduled flight at the last minute can uplift Islamic image.

As far as I’m concern, it was the opposite that is true. Rayani’s Air actions, intentionally or not, have derailed Islam from its supposed original and actual way of being.

I am not against Islam. I am against Islam being misused for financial gain without truly exhibiting the real Islamic value in the process.

On a final note, the Facebook page further stated that in case an airline (other than Rayani Air) explodes, what would happen to the passengers? Being found dead surrounded by beers are not a good ending. How to answer in the hereafter?

This is akin to saying that if we were buying something in a 7-11 shop and the shop accidentally exploded, we would not have a good ending as there were beers nearby.

For me, the above assertion was not sensitive to the feelings of MH370 and MH17 relatives, whose loved ones perished in the unfortunate disaster.

Our deeds and how we observed our religion are what matter most in Islam. How and where we die have little bearings on our hereafter life. If we sincerely hold fast to our Islamic principle, no matter what happens, Allah will fulfil His promise.

The said page have mass followings, especially among young readers. Some of them accept their words as the gospel truth. This is what makes thing more complicated.

Misleading the young minds at such a tender age would have dire repercussions.

I hope our young minds of today could think with a sensible mind when gleaning statements from the internet, especially from popular Facebook pages (I have no Facebook...already deactivated it. I never liked Facebook in the first place). 

Update 9/4/2016
Rayani Air operation was suspended indefinitely until further notice. Personally I think this is the right move for the best interest of all.