Monday, November 2, 2015

Sadness In Listening To Hujan

This morning I had another listen to the Hujan acoustic showcase that they did a few years back because of all the #Hujan10tahun pictures that were taking over my instagram timeline. I wrote a paragraph when sharing the youtube video as a facebook status a couple of years back, and I reread it yesterday.

I said some stuff about how Hujan are not just a band, that they are a symbol of possibility, growth, maturity, passion, creativity, entrepreneurship, dedication, fun, and drive. I also said that I would be a very different person today if they were not as big a part of my life as they were, as they are.

And while listening to the showcase, I couldn't help but feel a deep sense of sadness. It made me realise how time changes us, our circumstances, and as a consequence, our relationships with people. Throughout listening to Hujan, I've been fortunate enough to have met and become close friends with so many wonderful people, people that have been and are so integral to shaping who I am today. And for that I am deeply grateful.

But also, those relationships, as do all relationships, I have learned, have evolved throughout the ten years of Hujan's existence. For better or for worse, they change, because people and their circumstances change, and as a result, relationships change, and a lot of them fade.

And I guess the sadness that I felt throughout the day as a result of re-listening to the showcase stems from being reminded of this fact, the fact that people and relationships change, no matter how much you want them to stay the same. And it's not like I dislike that fact or that I don't want to accept it. Rather, it's just me being sad about those things, and that's okay, to be sad about things that make you sad. You don't have to be happy with something to accept it. You can accept things with sadness too, I think.

About a month ago, one of my friends' life was changed because he got married, and as a result of that, our dynamic inevitably changed. I was, I am happy for him for being able to unite with the person he treasured the most in his life. And at the same time I was sad that a certain phase of life seemed to close on us right before our very eyes. There's that saying that goes, don't be sad that it's over; be happy that it happened. I feel like it should be: be sad that it's over AND happy that it happened. We shouldn't negate sadness to the realms of weakness. It's what makes us human. It's what adds to our humanity.

I have this feeling that these coming couple of months will be dynamic-changing as well for me. And I honestly don't know what to expect in that regard. And I guess I'm being sad because I'm aware that these few weeks that I have left (this is assuming that I have these few weeks to live, but questioning my mortality will have to be saved for another time) will be the closing of a chapter for me, and for the people close to me.

I am thankful that I have the set of people around me right now, with the relationships that we have right now. May we be set on the straight path in whatever we do.

A Good Weekend Reflected

So I've just had a pretty good weekend, in my book. Went to Kuala Terengganu for a forum where I was a panelist alongside a close friend, got to hang out a bunch with good people, wrote a couple of poems, and to top it all off, I got to witness New Zealand winning the 2015 World Cup. All in all, smiles by the time I got back on the plane back.

But as I was scrolling through the twitter and the instagram, I felt a feeling slowly creeping onto me, a feeling of sadness, more than anything else, really. I blame Twenty-one Pilots' acoustic rendition of Tear In My Heart for this.

I got to sort my thoughts out when I got back to my apartment room, and I ended up with the question: am I doing enough good in the world to make it a better place?

And the answer to that is: rasa macam tak cukup. Far from enough. And I guess that's what made me sad. That even on good days, they weren't good enough, at least not for me. And I started thinking, "wouldn't it be great if we knew when we were doing good enough? There'd be a meter we can check to see if the stuff we did through the day or even throughout our lives were enough to be called good, and we can physically see it so that it could guide us in our daily lives."

But then I thought, hey, maybe we don't know how much good is good enough because we're not supposed to know. Because if we knew, no, if I knew, then being the lazy human being that I am, I'd keep my deeds to a bare minimum. And if everyone who did good only did the bare minimum, then that'd suck for the world because there's a whole buncha other people who don't really care all that much about doing any good. We'd be doing just enough for ourselves, and unfortunately, that's nowhere near enough for the world in general.

I came to thinking that maybe feeling like I'm not doing enough is a good thing. Maybe that by having this feeling that I need to do more will drive me to do exactly that: more. And the more good we give out to the world, the better it gets. it's idealistic of me to think this, but I'm a naïve person, so yeah.

And I think that if ever there came a time that I felt like I've done enough good in the world, then that would be when I'm at my lowest, since I would feel content with myself. And I don't want that. At least not the me right now. The me right now has this burning urge to prove to myself that I can do good things in the world, and can be useful to the people around him. I look at myself and see this lowly useless piece of faeces and everyday is just a struggle to prove myself wrong, to be able to say to myself that hey, you're not a good for nothing after all.

So feel insecure Anwar. It's alright.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


This piece is meant to be spoken.

You call me lame
as if I'm supposed to be ashamed.
If I could,
I would put lame in my name,
and use it with pride.
I'd be like
"Hi, my name is Anwar Lame Hadi,
nice to meet your acquaintance!"
You see the word lame
like it's used to describe a lamb with three legs.
I take that as a compliment, if you know what I mean.
I mean, lame isn't a derogatory term, no.
It's a frame of mind
out of which I find
the world to be unconfined.
While you're looking through windows,
I'll look through Apples.
I don't find the humour in being
the same as every other human being.
You may be comfortable with conformity,
but I have trouble keeping a straight face when I hear a fart.
And that may indicate
that I'm not as sophisticated
as you grown ups up in here.
It may even point towards me
and my supposed inability 
To grow out of immaturity.
But if growing up means being the same as everyone else then I may as well stay seven forever.
I also have trouble staying on topic, aparently.
What you call lame, I call unique.
What you call lame, I call needs more brain power to process.
What you call lame, I call me maybe.
Wait, I just met you. This is crazy.
What you call lame, I call awesome.
And in response to my lameness, 
you might say "but I'm confused!"
To that, I can only say
"Hi confused, I'm Anwar Lame Hadi."

Friday, July 31, 2015

First Verse

Firstly, I'll only think about you on two occasions:
When my eyes are closed, and when my eyes are open.
I'll try to fix stuff for you, even if it's me that's broken.
I'll provide you with distractions and an ocean of emotion.
I'll tell you your lines are flames
And that all my ones are lame.
Our kids will have my name
But i hope they get your brain,
Coz for real you're off the chain,
Your beauty drives me insane,
What were we talking about again?
Sorry, i got distracted by your eyes.
I will not tell you lies.
I'll bake you some apple pies.
I'll hold your hand through both the lows and the highs.
I'll even go get kitchen supplies.
Cross your t's and dot your i's.
So in summary,
I hope you stay right here with me,
Bringing my life some melody,
Some peace love and harmony,
Until we're over seventy,
That sweet old couple we're gonna be,
Kissing and calling each other baby, sayang and honey bunny.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Settle (PART 5)

“Nak settle macam mane?” Razak said when he regained a straight face. The solution to this problem cannot come out of his mouth. That would be bad for him.

“Tak tahulah tuan, tapi tak perlu lah panggil JAKIM,” Faiz pleaded. This guy wasn’t stupid, Razak could see that. He wanted to tease it out of him. Whatever the situation, Razak needed to keep his cool and make him provide the offer.

“Tapi masalahnya sekarang, korang buat salah. Salah tetap salah dan memang aku patut pun bawa korang berdua pergi balai, tunggu JAKIM datang je. Memang kalau kes-kes macam ni, memang kene denda tiga ribu punye,” Razak was still very much relieved that this little fib of his was not caught out by the couple. They obviously have never been in this position before.

“Eh tuan, kita settle ajalah cara lain tuan. Tak boleh ka tuan?” Faiz was really trying reluctant to make the first move towards what it had to be.

“Nak settle macam mana lagi? Bawa pergi balai?” Razak needed to keep patient, but he also knew that if they were processed the way these cases were supposed to be processed, no monetary transaction would take place whatsoever. The only thing that would happen was that they’d have to go for counselling, and he couldn’t have that, having gone this far into the plan.

“Eh, tak perlu pergi balai lah tuan. Kita settle sini-sini ajalah tuan. Kita-kita ja,” Faiz dropped the biggest hint. To Razak, that line was good enough.

“Sini-sini je? Nak settle berape? Tige ribu tahu kalau hantar pergi pejabat agame,” that was almost twice his paycheque, and if they could get away with that, then a new smartphone would definitely be in order.

“Aa, tiga ribu tak boleh la tuan. Saya baru start kerja ja tuan.”

“Alah, ni kereta ni mahal ni, takkan perempuan kau tu takde duit?” Razak looked at the girl who has been quiet this whole time, obviously terrified. Azrai was standing right behind her, keeping quiet as well, just like he’s supposed to.

“Dia student lagi tuan. Ni kereta parents dia bagi. Tolonglah tuan,” Faiz was still speaking on behalf of both of them.

“Habis tu nak buat macam mane ni sekarang?” Razak didn’t like where this was heading.

“Saya baru start kerja ja tuan. Dalam bank saya ada lima ratuih ja. Kalau tuan nak, kita pi ATM sekarang, saya withdraw, bagi kat tuan semua.” Faiz pointed towards the nearest ATM outside of the parking area.

“Lime ratus je? Kalau macam tu, baik saye hantar ke pejabat agama je! Daripada tige ribu jadi lime ratus je!” Razak also pointed his finger towards the outside of the parking lot, but had no idea if he was actually pointing towards the department of Islamic department.

“Saya tak mampu tuan, tiga ribu tuan. Saya cuma mampu lima ratus ja tuan, pasai tu ja yang saya ada dalam bank saya. Minta maaf sangat-sangat tuan, tapi itu ja yang saya boleh bagi tuan. Lepas saya bagi duit tu kat tuan, saya dah habeh takdak duit dah dalam bank saya tuan. Tolonglah tuan,” Razak could see the desperation in Faiz’s eyes, but he couldn't accept the fact that he went through all this trouble just for five hundred bucks.

“Ni, Sharifah ni. Takkan dalam bank takde duit langsung?” Razak pointed his finger to the girl, almost touching her nose in the process.

“Er, saye pun takde banyak sangat encik. Saye ade lime nam ratus je.” The girl couldn’t even bring herself to look at Razak in the face.

“Hah, jadi lah. Korang pergi ke ATM, withdraw duit tu sekarang. Kitorang tunggu sini, jage kerete. Datang sini balik cepat-cepat!” Razak shooed them away like stray cats. He was feeling hot under the collar, and he also realised that he was running out of time because ATMs close before midnight, and that hour was fast approaching.

About half an hour passed before they came back. Razak was starting to get worried that they had run away or something, so when he saw them walking back towards their direction, he breathed a sigh of relief. 

“Sorry tuan, boleh bawak keluaq lima ratuih ja. Bila Sharifah cuba bawak keluaq, dia asyik failed ja.” Again, it was Faiz doing the talking. Sharifah showed all the receipts they had got from the ATM. There must have been at least five of them.

“Hm,” at this point Razak was no longer in a mood for words. He took the money from Faiz and pocketed the whole wad without counting the banknotes. Azrai was already on the started motorcycle, so Razak just climbed onto the seat behind him.

“Eh tuan!” Faiz almost yelled. Razak reluctantly made eye-contact with him. “Nak IC kami balik tuan?”


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Settle (PART 4)

After going to the booth to explain to Azrai roughly what he had in mind, both of them got on the motorcycle quickly towards the red Swift, feeling confident that it would still be there, and true enough, it was. The couple inside were still going at it. They sure were going for it. It must’ve been half an hour since they started their session. Razak smiled to Azrai who was behind him on the motorcycle to signal that their operation was a go.

Razak parked the motorcycle right in front of the car, close enough so that the car had no way of going anywhere. They could see that the couple suddenly parted and they sensed what seemed to be panic going on inside the car. Razak was feeling pumped. He got off the motorcycle and immediately banged on the hood of the car. “Keluar! Dua-dua, keluar!” He was sure that his voice could be heard throughout the floor, the parking lot having that echo effect parking lots had.

He made his way to the guy’s side of the car and knocked on the window a little harder than was necessary, but at the same time entirely necessary to bring out the desired effect from the guy. The guy in the blue shirt opened the door and asked “Ya, ada apa tuan?” all innocent and defiant. Razak immediately felt like punching the guy in the face, this pompous prick. 

“Keluar kereta sekarang! Bagi IC! Keluar kereta! Bagi IC!” Razak was improvising his lines at this point. “Dah kawen belum kamu dua ni? Belum kan? Ha, keluar kereta, bagi IC!” He glanced over at Azrai who was at the girl’s door saying more or less the same things as he was. Good, he’s following my lead, thought Razak.

The guy in the blue shirt slowly stepped out of the car. “Nak buat apa dengan IC saya ni Tuan?” the gall of this dude.

“Okay, kalau taknak takpe, jom ikut saya pergi balai,” Razak grabbed the guy’s wrist with his left hand and with his other took out his handcuffs and placed them on the guy’s wrist.

“Okay, okay, saya bawa keluar saya punya IC! Okay?” Ha, tahu pun takut, thought Razak while suppressing a smile. He wanted to pat his own back for how ingenious that spur of the moment action must have been.

“Betul ni? Ke nak ikut saye pergi balai je senang? Bagi IC kat sane je?” Razak couldn’t resist having a little bit of fun with the guy now.

“Betul, saya bagi IC sekarang! Tak perlu pergi balai,” Razak felt sufficiently satisfied by the panic that leaked out of his voice, and let go of the guy’s hand. The guy took his time taking out his wallet from his back pocket and handing over his identity card to Razak. Faiz Hilmi bin Walid was the guy’s name. The address on the card showed that he was from Perlis.

“Ni katanya kau daripada Perlis? Kenapa datang jauh sangat ke sini nak buat maksiat ni?” Razak really wanted this guy to feel guilty, and it seemed to be working.

“Saya kerja kat sini,” Faiz said without even looking at Razak. He stole a glance to the girl.

“Ha, tu yang perempuan tu pun, bak IC.” Razak signalled to Azrai to take hers as well. Azrai brought it over along with the girl, and now both of them were having an audience with Razak. Sharifah Shazana was the girl’s name, and she was from Shah Alam. “Ni yang perempuan ni pun kerja jugak ke?”

The girl hesitated to answer. She looked at Faiz, hoping to get some help from her boyfriend. “Ni, nawab ajelah soalan! Bawak pergi balai kang!” This threat seemed to work well on these two people.

“Cakap ja,” Faiz said to Sharifah.

“Tak, student,” the girl replied meekly. 

“Mana student card?” the question came right from the top of Razak’s head. It seemed like the legit thing to ask, something that a policeman would ask for, right? He looked towards Azrai, and got a nod from him, encouraging him to go on.

The girl handed over her student card from her purse to Razak. She was a student at the private university alright. Razak took a moment to look at the three cards in his hands and thought about how he was about to say what he needed to say next. This was the most important part.

“Ni nak buat camane sekarang?” Razak started. “Saye boleh panggil JAKIM sekarang, diorang bawak pergi pejabat diorang, kene denda dalam tiga ribu ringgit, tahu tak?”

“Tuan, tak perlu lah panggil JAKIM tuan,” Faiz was almost begging, fear shining brightly from his eyes. Razak sighed an internal sigh of relief and proceeded.

“Habis tu?! Korang nak buat sangat benda-benda tak senonoh kan kat tempat macam ni? Ingat orang tak nampak? Eh, berani buat berani tanggung lah!” Razak had to suppress the desire to wink at Azrai. He could feel Azrai nodding for him to go on.

“Ya, kami buat silap tuan, kami mengaku. Kami minta maaf sangat-sangat, kami bersalah, kami mengaku, tapi tak perlu lah panggil JAKIM tuan.” Faiz was even putting his hands together and doing that thing that Thai people do when greeting people.

“Ya lah, tapi minta maaf je tak selesai masalah ni sekarang!” Razak dropped the bait.

“Ya tuan, kami sedar tuan. Tapi tak perlu lah sampai panggil JAKIM tuan. Kita settle cara lain tak boleh ka tuan?” The magic words that Razak was waiting for all along finally came out. Razak had to turn around to hide the grin that had formed on his face.


Sunday, July 26, 2015

Settle (PART 3)

He knew he didn’t mistake what he saw. It was definitely a tallish Malay guy wearing a blue long-sleeve shirt making out with a considerably shorter Malay girl with long hair wearing a black cardigan. He was so shocked by this revelation of events that it took a minute for him to digest it all. He had never seen a Malay couple kissing on the mouth before. Well, at least not in the flesh. Those clips from xvideo didn’t count. The best he had been able to witness up until now were two separate events involving Chinese couples, and they took their action inside their cars, so they didn’t make for very good viewing. 

He was now way on the other side of the parking lot to have another good look at the couple, so he circled round and to his luck, the couple were still hanging out at the same spot, talking awfully close to each other. Razak decided to park his motorcycle not too far away from where the couple were, up against the side of a wall.

From where he sat, he could see the couple still going at it, although all he could really see were the back of the guy’s head. They didn’t seem to notice anything that was going on around them, let alone Razak who felt like he was sufficiently hidden from sight. From time to time they guy would bend his head down and put his face onto the girl’s face. They would stay there for about twenty seconds and then the guy’s head would go back up again and they would seem to talk for a bit before continuing their actions.

Aren’t these people ashamed of themselves? thought Razak. It would be different if they were a Chinese couple, or maybe even an Indian couple, but these people were so obviously Malay that it made him feel ashamed for his own race. If only JAKIM or JAIS came right there and then and took them away, baru padan muka. Maybe then they’d know some shame. Maybe then they’d think about their religions and their races and be more careful about tainting what they represent.

Razak imagined how scared they would be if that were to happen. The guy would probably try to run away, leave the girl behind, because he could tell that the guy was a coward. If he was a real man, he would have asked for the girl’s hand in marriage la kan? Then they wouldn’t have to mess around with making out in a parking lot when they could just easily go to the privacy of their own home and get it on as much as they wanted over there.

His train of thought was interrupted by the guy in the blue shirt taking a few steps back. The girl went inside the car into the driver’s seat, and before closing the door, said a few words to the guy before closing it. Razak thought it might be over, but then the guy walked around the car, opened the passenger door and went inside the car as well. The car engine was started and it seemed like they were going to drive away. Please don’t go, thought Razak. For some reason he hadn’t had enough yet. 

Luckily for Razak, they didn’t seem like they were in a hurry to go anywhere. From where Razak was sitting on his motorcycle, they seemed to be talking. After about a minute of that, He could see the guy leaning over to be very close to the girl. It looked like they had decided to continue their make out session. Without really noticing it, Razak exhaled a sigh of relief.

Just then, Razak had an idea. He texted Azrai: Jai, ko bgn lom? Ad cple tgh wat projek ni. Aq igt nk ajr diorang skit.