Thursday, January 28, 2016

A Dream Featuring Kwang-Soo

So I had a dream earlier today. It’s not often that I remember my dreams, but this one turned out to be more vivid than most of my other dreams, so I thought I’d write it down, since I found it somewhat interesting. And may I just add that this was a post-subuh nap punya dream, so I wouldn’t read into it so much if I were you.

So in this dream, I found myself somehow hanging out with Kwang-Soo of the South Korean variety show “Running Man”. We were on a shoot location that was a farm somewhere in Australia if I had to guess, since it was a little chilly and we had jackets and gloves on. We were kicking a small rock to each other as if it were a football. 

He suddenly stopped kicking it and I could see that he was on the brink of tears. After some talking, I got him to let it out. I was a little worried that he wouldn’t understand my English all too well, but it turned out he understood what I was saying perfectly.

After he had cried out for a bit, he expressed what he was feeling. It turned out that he was having some self-esteem issues, saying things like “I’m useless,” and “I’m the most insignificant person in Running Man”. 

I was able to calm him down and pujuked him by saying that “if you’re so useless, then why is it that no one can have as positive an effect on other people as you have? Why is it that whenever you can’t make it to a shoot, it suddenly feels all empty on the set? Why is it that all the fans of the show always say that their least favourite episodes are the ones in which you’re not in? You’re good man. Everyone knows it. The fans know it, the crew knows it, the rest of the cast knows it. You need to know it as well. You’re good man.”

After hearing all that, he cheered up a little and went to wash his face. We went to the briefing session for that day’s shoot shortly afterwards. 

And then I woke up.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Why I Can't Eat Mee Goreng Anymore

So I was eating a plate of nasi kandar just now and thought about picky eating, as in how much a non-picky eater I was. Of course, I do have my preferences (more often than not, I would have nasi ayam over koay tiau goreng), but when it comes right down to it, I could eat most things that your average Malaysian would put on a plate, and I'm always up to try new stuff to see if I like it or not. I tried rabbit meat the other day. It tastes like chicken, forealsies.

But having said that, I do have certain foods that I can't consume. I am allergic to crab meat that's right out of the shell, I don't know how to swallow tempe, and try as I might, I just can't seem to be able to keep petai in my mouth long enough for it to go down my throat. But thinking about picky eating always reminds me of the story of why I don't eat mee goreng anymore. 

I used to be able to eat mee goreng no problem. That all changed when I was 9 years old. As a little school kid, I didn't bring money to buy food at the school canteen (I only started receiving weekly allowances when I was 15, if I remember correctly). For recess, I brought along with me a lunch box that my mother would pack for my brother and me, and we would eat whatever that was provided for us. I guess this helped us in becoming unpicky eaters, since we had to eat what was given to us or go hungry, so we didn't really have a choice.

Anyway, one day what was packed in the lunchbox was some mee goreng. During recess, when I took my first bite, I immediately noticed that something was off about it. I didn't know exactly what was wrong with it back then, since my knowledge of what goes on in a kitchen was too limited at that point (now I know that the mee had a strong taste of kapur about it). Since I couldn't stomach the mee, I stopped after the second bite and left the rest of the mee in the lunchbox and brought it back home.

Being that young, we weren't told to wash our own lunchboxes yet, so as usual, I left the lunchbox that still had mee in it in the sink for my mother to take care of when she got back from work later in the day. I thought nothing of it, really. At 9, I couldn't really think of anything else I cared about more than playing with toys and other kidly things.

When my mother got home and went to the sink to discover that I had not eaten what seemed like any of the mee goreng that was packed lovingly for me, she got mad (understandably so, since she was exhausted from a whole day's work and everything) and told me to eat the whole lunchbox-full of mee goreng or else I wouldn't be having anything else to eat for the rest of the day.

With tears streaming down my face, I gulped down the kapur-tasting mee goreng mouthful by mouthful until it was all finished. I didn't like the experience at all, as one could imagine, but I needed to do it if I was to continue eating under my parents' roof.

I never touched mee goreng again until I was 17, tu pun I can't down a plateful to this day. I can only consume sesuap demi sesuap, bila nak pau orang lain punya makanan. I would never order it at a restaurant, nor put it on my plate at kenduris. I just can't consume mee goreng anymore without being reminded of the story and the taste of kapur in my mouth.

Identity Formation

So I’ve been listening to a lot of this online talk show called “Off Camera” ( lately. It’s unlike most talk shows I have ever seen because the feeling you get when you watch/listen to each episode is that you’re watching or listening to two people having a real life conversation over some tea in the host’s living room or something. I chanced upon it while exploring Youtube, and it’s currently my favourite thing on the internet. Check it out if you like listening to people have real life, in-depth conversations about their passions.

I was listening to the conversation between the host (Sam Jones) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and I found JGL to be such a genuine and admirable human being in the way he talks about his projects and his feelings about things and the way he talks about the people he’s worked with and the people he cares about. They also covered a project JGL was the head of in the conversation, which is HitRECord ( It’s an online community site where people can upload and remix stuff other people have uploaded onto the site in an effort to make stuff collaboratively. It’s been around since 2005, and a genius idea, really. Check it out if you’re a creative person of any kind.

And while listening to JGL talk and stuff, I found myself having this thought of wanting to be like him. Not only do I want to act, I want to explore stuff, ideas and stories and concepts and what-have-yous. I also want to create something that will benefit the society, to provide a platform for people to explore and have fun and create things and discover things about themselves. Ultimately, I guess, I want to make a difference. And I feel that JGL has been able to become a person that has made a difference, and yet, still exploring stuff that intrigues him and might be able to make a positive difference in the world, without him actually saying it out loud.

And as I was thinking that, I also thought about how we build our identities. I remember seeing a t-shirt a dude was wearing that I saw while walking back home from a class in uni which read something to the effect of “Nothing of you is original. You are an amalgamation of everything you have experienced in your life thus far.” Yes, it was a wordy t-shirt, but I think I got the gist of it. Even though I just saw this shirt in passing, it has stuck to my mind ever since, and I was reminded of it again this morning when thinking about building identities. 

The way I see myself making my own identity is exactly that. I build an identity for myself by taking from other people traits that I admire about them, and leaving out traits that I find displeasing, and it’s these bits and pieces of various people that forms my identity. They don’t even have to be real people, mind you. 

I remember reading a Jeffrey Archer book, and in that book there was this scene where the protagonist was waiting for a guest. The protagonist intentionally arrived at the meeting place twenty minutes early and said to himself something to the effect of “a person is either five minutes early, or five minutes late. Never on time.” He wanted to see whether his guest was the late type or the early type. Tengok-tengok the guest came exactly on time, not late, not early, so this threw the protagonist off. I remember thinking to myself after reading that bit “aku pun nak jadi orang yang not early nor late. Aku jadi had jenis on time!” And to this day I try to keep to that trait that I found admirable in that fictional character.

I guess the biggest influence on my identity since the inception of me has been my father (if you couldn’t already tell from this blog’s URL). I’ve always looked up to him and tried hard to live up to the standards that he set while I was growing up. He had his ideals, and he would sometimes voice those ideals, and I would latch on to them pretty good.

But of course, living in the world we live in, it would be pretty hard not to be exposed to other people. I remember being in school and listening to my friends badmouth somebody and saying this that and the other about a certain somebody and I remember making mental notes to myself saying “don’t do that” or “don’t be like that dude”, because being liked was a big thing when you’re a teenager (still a big thing now, I suppose).

By the time the house had good internet, I started widening my scope of influence to include so many people, I can’t even list them down because I don’t know where to begin. The latest one would probably be JGL, but I just finished listening to an Off Camera conversation with Matt Damon, so I found a thing or two to lift from there too.

I don’t know how other people form their identities, but I have a hunch that it’s more or less the same kind of thing too. The difference between people is who they allow to influence their identities and who they don’t. We are all the same in the sense that we’re all amalgamations of our own experiences, and we are all unique in a sense that no two people’s experiences are the same. And I guess there’s some comfort to be had there.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Updates: Book Review, Open Mic, Play

So I went back home to Kedah for the extended weekend, and I got nothing done. I was supposed to, at the very least, read some pages off the book that I’ll be reviewing by the end of this week, but I didn’t. This coming Sunday will also be the first open mic I’ll be going to this year, but did I practice any of my songs? No. I also have a play script to memorise. Did I even take the script out of my bag? You bet I didn’t.

So what did you do Anwar? What I always do, sleep excessively. And there’s really no one to blame but myself. I am just terrible at getting stuff done when at home. Oh well, just one more thing on the infinite list of flaws you have there Anwar.

Anyway, I should write about those three things right here rasanya. I have nothing else to write anyway. So the first thing is book review, I’ll be reviewing Tuhan Bukan Manusia by Zharif Zainuddin. The review won’t be a major in-depth kind of thing pun. It’ll just be me telling whoever is willing to listen what the book is about, what I thought was good about the book, what I thought the book could have improved upon and to whom I’d recommend the book. But I’m about halfway through the book baru, so I really have to speed things up this weekend if I’m going to make my own deadline. I should probably spend as little time at the apartment as I can, since I seem to do very little reading when I’m here.

Second thing is the open mic thingy. Here’s the poster for it:

I’ve been performing at Say It Like You Mean It events for the past year now, and it’s been a very good experience so far. They’ve been wonderful at helping me out with getting me to perform my songs on stage and have helped me in more ways than one. If you’re around Penang and would like to see the show (which, besides my own bleagh performance, include comedy skits, singer-songwriter stuff as well as spoken word poetry), I would totally appreciate it if you come and say hi.

Third thing is the play. I auditioned for a role the other day for a play that’s supposed to be staged in March. I don’t know how much of it I’m able to reveal, so I won’t reveal that much. I play a 17 year-old school kid who has a passion for acting. I guess that part’s pretty settled, but it is quite a hefty script, and we have only five rehearsals to get the whole play done. It’s pretty ambitious, so I’m going to have to hunker down and concentrate on this one until it’s done. I don’t want to do it half-assed, especially since this is one of the kinds of things that I really do want to do more of in the future.

And for this blog, I still have to write five more (including this one) to meet my monthly quota, so I’m going to have to pay attention throughout the week to find things to write about and remember to put things down in the idea bank (aka my twitter drafts). Here’s to working hard towards meeting our self-designated goals.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Simplistic Writing

So I’ve been reading some of my recent posts, and I couldn’t help but feel like my writing ability has been deteriorating somewhat. I feel like the kind of language I use nowadays is a lot more simple, technically speaking. I get surprised when I read some of my older pieces, to the point where I think to myself, “Whoa, I wrote that?”

I talked about this with a fellow teacher at school. I expressed how even as a primary school student, I had always been this person who wanted to write at a level higher than what was typical for my age. I always had this desire to get the best marks in the essay writing section of the English paper, at the very least. And to a certain extent I achieved that. I always managed to be generally happy with my own writing (mainly because I wasn’t exposed to the vast amount of young writing talent that was out there, but hey).

We came to a point where it was theorised that because I had been teaching very basic stuff at school, I had gotten used to using the language in that way. A lot of what I do in school is teach basic vocabulary to 8-9 year olds (words like milk, cereal, bread, rice, alamak terlapaq la pulak), because the majority of my students aren’t capable of constructing full English sentences quite yet. Even if they are, the sentences would be simple stuff such as “I like cereal” and “I eat rice” (Anwar, stop thinking about food).

So as I’ve become more and more accustomed to using a very rudimental version of the language, it becomes more and more tough for me to come up with technically flashy and complex sentence structures. Ideas come and are expressed using more and more simplified language. 

The language-snob inside me is discomforted by this. He wants to write like a multi-million book selling author that strings words together like gems on a necklace, but is limited by this repetition of simplistic primary Year 3 language. He’s screaming in agony, I’m sure.

But I suppose it’s his fault too, for being a lazy douche. If he, I really wanted to keep my language in technical shape, then I would surround myself with such material. I would read Dickens or something everyday. But what do you do Anwar? You read Twitter. Wonderful.

And what’s so bad about simplistic language? If you can explain an idea well enough using primary Year 3 language, then why would you want to complicate it? Sure you want to be poetic and all that, but within limitations there is creativity. Get creative, and pull something out of your ears. You’re not all that bad Anwar. You have read half of a Dickens novel, and some other stuff too, I’m sure. All’s you need is to put in the work. Are you prepared to, though? That is the question.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


So I’m in several Whatsapp group (who isn’t nowadays, right?) and the common thing that happens to whatsapp groups is that people post chain texts. You know, those long text messages that gets forwarded like forever by human peoples.

Earlier today, one such piece of text was posted on a group I’m in, and read something like this:

Aku ina. Aku baru bercerai talak satu seminggu lepas. Aku baru je berumur 22 tahun. Punca aku cerai sebab bekas suami aku curang. Tapi aku tak salahkan dia. Dia stress tengok aku yang pemalas. Tak jalankan tanggungjawab.

And then the text goes on and on about how before they got married she could put on a sweet facade, even though in reality she slept until late, didn’t know how to cook, watched a lot of Korean dramas, et cetera, and could be hypocritical for about three days into the marriage before old habits kicked in and caused the husband to find other, more “mature” women. She even goes on to say “baik bela biawak kan?”

She ended the text with some calls to action. To women: don’t be lazy and be more responsible. To men: Don’t marry a person just because they look pretty. To the reader: pray for her. 

#PrayForIna (ini saya sendiri tambah)

The text angered me. I don’t like responding to people in an angry state, so I delayed my response to the text.

I reread it during recess at school and typed out a response. I said something to the effect of:

If the husband cheats, then it’s definitely the husband’s fault, no arguments. I find it hard to accept that this “Ina” character said “tapi aku tak salahkan dia”. The guy is definitely in the wrong for cheating.

I can commend this “Ina” character for wanting to reflect on something that happened to her and improve upon herself and her daily habits. Efforts to be a better person than you were yesterday should be lauded and applauded, and for her to take from this terrible experience thoughts to become a better person in the future is wonderful. You go girl. Kudos to you.

But at the same time, the husband cannot get off the hook that easily. It’s not all your fault, Ina. Your ex-husband is the person who made the decision to cheat on you. Your husband is the one who made the decision to look for other women. Your husband is the asshole. 

When he married you, he made a promise to be with you (and only you) forever and ever, in tough times and in easy times. If the only reason for him to look for other women was because he needed someone to cook and clean, then he wasn’t looking for a wife in the first place, he was looking for a maid.

And to the ex-husband, if you were THAT stressed, you could have talked about it with her, kan? You could have had a discussion, heck, even an argument about it. You could have come to an agreement, to somehow make it work with your wife. You could have given her a chance to improve, to be better, to be able to make you happier (since this is what she wants too, it seems), but you never did that. What did you do instead? You went and looked for other women terus. More “mature” ones, you say. I guess a woman is only mature in your eyes when she is able to wake up early to cook and clean for you. What a sad, sad way to define maturity.


I guess my rant in response to the “Ina” story was a rant for myself as well. If I were to ever cheat on my wife (being the terrible person that I am, I am not above that possibility), I would definitely be an asshole. Especially towards a person who tries so hard to be a good life-partner to the soil stain that I am. I guess the things that I said to the ex-husband are the things that I have to say to myself in order to become anywhere near a good enough husband. 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Vlog Script: How Did You Know Your Wife Was 'The One'?

So saya ada tanya kat Twitter kalau ada orang soalan nak tanya kat saya yang boleh saya jawab dalam video, and dapat lah beberapa soalan.

So saya try jawab lah salah satu daripadanya disini.

MrZainulFahmi asked: how did you know she (you wife) is ‘the one’?

We have this notion of ‘the one’ that we have to, have to, have to end up with that one single person in the whole wide world in order to even have a chance at happiness.

While this notion is romantic and all, I don’t think the concept is very helpful to us as fickle, tak bersyukur punya human beings.

I feel that we use this idea of “the one” to justify when things go wrong.

We can just go “oh, maybe she/he is not the one after all” and we give up on the relationship just because we made ourselves believe that there can only be one, and if it’s not the one, then it’s just doomed to fail forever.

I think we’re better than that. There’s such a thing as “not meant to be together”, sure, but I don’t like believing in the notion of “the one” because I think it’s lazy.

I think relationships work because we work hard at making them work.

And a relationship breaks down when one or both sides decide to not work towards making it work anymore.

And even when a relationship breaks down, it doesn’t mean we can’t try and fix it.

The key (bless up) is in the effort we put into it.

So I’ve said that I don’t believe in “the one”, but I do believe in “the one that I want to make it work with forever”.

And that one person that I have chosen to make it work with is my wife.

I want to make it work with her because I am most comfortable when I am around her.

I feel like I am most myself when I hang around her.

And I feel like she really helps me become the best version of me I can be.

Plus I think she’s super beautiful.

And a whole host of other positive qualities that I hold in high regard, such as being thoughtful, passionate, talented, smart, compassionate, et cetera.

I have the most interesting conversations with her, she offers me points of views that I’ve never come across.

And I feel like the decision to spend the rest of my life with her is as natural a decision as I have ever made and ever will make, probably.

And like I said earlier, I feel like she wants to make it work with me in the long run too, so I feel like we’re going to make a great team.

And we both readily admit that we’re not perfect, 

she has a few things she needs to work on and I have a whole lot of things that I need to work on for each others’ sake, 

and we’re both ready to accept each other with those imperfections.

So I guess that’s why I feel like she’s the one I want to make it work with for the rest of my life.

That’s all for this video, I guess.

If you have any other questions, you can always tweet me @inianwarhadi

My email is also a thing, iniuntukakusahaja atgmail dot com

And I’ll see uols next time, may peace be upon you!

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Thoughts on Jagat

So the wife and I went out to watch a Tamil movie entitled Jagat just now.

It’s a story about the vicious cycle everyday people are in, and however much they want to break free from that cycle, life always seems to find a way of keeping them in it. That being said, it doesn’t stop the characters from trying, and it is this portrayal of hope that one finds endearing. The story centres around some main characters, namely a boy who’s very good in arts but does poorly in maths; his father who works hard, stays sober but struggles to find money to support his family and is abusive towards his son; the man’s brother who gets involved with a group of gangsters; and some other supporting characters.

The wife and I both pretty much agreed that amongst the movies we’ve seen throughout our lives, it definitely wasn’t one of the better ones. We felt like the story-telling was jumpy and a lot of things seemed to come out of nowhere and ended for no particular reason. The acting left much to be desired and the script seemed too skema for our liking (but these are of course based on the subtitles because we both don’t speak Tamil).

But I definitely find the underlying efforts of the movie admirable. The movie tries to tell the story of the little guy, the ones that have a hard time having their voices heard and highlights their concerns and struggles on the big screen. It’s very obvious that the makers of this movie wanted to contribute something positive in this world, and, personally, I think they have succeeded to that end. 

I appreciate that the movie trusted its audience to take away from the movie what they were trying to say without blatantly telling its audience exactly what to think, and for that again I commend it. They set out to tell a story, and tell a story they did.

Sure it isn’t great, but it is refreshing, because I get to see how a group of people I have very little contact with sees the world, what they go through on a daily basis, what their struggles are, what they value in life, and by doing that, hopefully increases my understanding of my fellow human beings, and hopefully try to be a little kinder to others too. And for that, I appreciate the movie.

If you’re a casual movie watcher, then I don’t think it’s for you. But if you would like a different perspective on what it means to be a person living in Malaysia, then you could probably try watching Jagat. It may not please your senses so much, but it could be the start of something bigger and better. Who knows, right?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Getting Your Shit Together

So the other day I was scrolling through my twitter timeline and I saw a tweet that said “My 2016 resolution: get my shit together” and although I can admire someone who feels compelled to get their life in order, I feel like that resolution standing as it is, by itself is not enough.

I’m not going to assume that the person only had that one item on their resolutions list. I am going to assume that the person who wrote that tweet was my younger self. And it was well within my capabilities to tweet such a thing when I was 18, had I known how addictive twitter was back then.

If that was me tweeting that, I would tell myself to change the word “resolution” to “goal” (cue hashtag goals joke hahahaha okay can we move on now Anwar?). The word resolution has been so associated with a thing you just say you want to do at the beginning of the year and is perfectly acceptable if you don’t achieve it, since hey, it’s just a resolution right? (cue 1080p resolution joke hahahaha 4K dah lani hahahaha please move on now Anwar please?)

Now that you’ve changed it to goal, dear Anwar, look at what you have under it: get your shit together. Now ask yourself the question: how? How are you going to “get your shit together” exactly, Anwar? What would “having your shit together” look like? Be specific about it. And be realistic about it.

An 18 year old Anwar who has his shit together would probably look like this:
- reads regularly.
- does his assignments on time.
- trains for rugby regularly.
- writes songs on the guitar regularly.

Probably. I don’t now what you want, Anwar. But you do, so you decide. But for the purposes of this blogpost, and also seeing that you can’t speak for yourself, teenage Anwar, let’s just assume that that’s what a you that has his shit together would look like, yeah?

So you now have specific goals. Now you have to have specific plans for each of those goals. Again, it’s the same thing. Be specific. Be realistic.

Those plans would probably look like this:
- read ten pages of one book on the bed right before going to sleep. Don’t go to sleep until those ten pages have been read.
- put starting points for each assignment on your phone calendar and pasang alarm (paling lewat, ten days before it’s due). Spend at least 60 minutes on each assignment kat library every weekday after class.
- Training is 6pm sharp every day, 4 days a week. Monday: lactic acid tolerance. Wednesday: recovery speed. Thusday: Strength training. Saturday: Agility work.
- Record one demo song a month on the webcam. Love songs pun love songs lah. Asalkan lagu. Start writing every first day of the month and continue writing until it’s done. By the end of the year, have 12 songs done.

And now you have some goals and plans to achieve those goals. Good job Anwar. But you do have to remember, you won’t “get your shit together” just by writing all these good and wonderful things. You have to put in the hard work. And yes, it will be hard. And yes, it will be work. But it will all be worth it. So, so worth it, dear adolescent Anwar.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Perwira Cakerawala

So I recorded a new song today. 

The beat was provided by one of my childhood friends, Shaheir. It's the first song I've recorded using someone else's beat.

Here are the lyrics:

Perwira Cakerawala by Anwar Hadi

Tidak tahu dimana jarum jam sedang tunjuk
yang aku tahu cuma hari sudahpun suntuk
aku mendekati speaker radio yang buruk
sang arjuna balada sedang khayal melalak
tiba-tiba kesunyian makin terberanak
makin kedengaran suara lembut terkeluar
daripada mesin bunyi tong telingaku bergegar
aku sedar itu bukan suara pengacara
aku sedar itu suara dari luar angkasa
terus ketelinga gagang telefon diangkat
mujur kau dengar juga, jadi kita sependapat
mungkin kita dapat lihatnya di TV 2,
aku ada nampak cahayanya luar jendela
mungkin jika kita lambai dia akan turun
jadi melambailah aku 69 tahun
kepada dia sang perwira cakerawala

Monday, January 11, 2016

A Sunday

I feel like I don’t know what to write about, so I’ll just write about my day for a bit in a bid to stumble across something to elaborate on.

Today started off as a lazy Sunday, with me taking extended naps during the morning and afternoon, in between novel reading sessions (I’m currently reading Tuhan Bukan Manusia by Zharif Zainuddin, a book I hope to make a book review video of by the end of the month). 

As I was planning on recording a video today, I needed to print the script I had written yesterday, but my printer ran out of ink, so I told the wife that I needed to go out to get some ink. Turns out she’d been wanting to get out of the house too (since she’s been glued to a writing assignment for almost a week now), so we went together after lunch.

We first went to a nearby Popular bookstore because I remember seeing printer cartridges being hung behind the counter, but as soon as I discovered that a cartridge costs like RM70, I was like, nope. We decided to look for just ink refill at another spot I knew that sold computer stuff, but it turned out they didn’t have any ink refills.

I told the wife that I only knew of a spot that definitely sold printers, but it was on the island, so she suggested that we get our stuff (for me, my vlogging equipment, for her, her laptop to write) and do the work on the island after buying the ink refill. I could afford to do this since luckily I had posted the blog script on this blog yesterday, so I could just refer to my phone for the script. We decided to go to the island to get the ink refill and subsequently go on a work date.

After getting the printer ink refill, we went to a cafe I knew that had a view that I was fond of and did our respective works there, with her typing away at her laptop and me trying to talk to a camera after having not done that in a while, edited and uploaded the video right at the cafe.

Afterwards we went to the pasembor place on Gurney Drive and had dinner, and finally went back to the apartment.

And now I’m typing this. I suppose today was a good day. Mostly unplanned, but pleasant, nonetheless.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

First Vlog Script of 2016

(You may watch the video here:  )

Assalamualaikum wbt. And hey, what’s up?

So a few quick updates la kot, since lama gila dah tak bust benda ni.

First thing ialah aku plan untuk buat video book reviews lepaih ni.

It’ll be a once a month kinda thing, dimana aku akan bercakap tentang buku yang ditulis oleh penulis tempatan sahaja. Because, reasons.

The main reason being aku rasa tak cukup orang cakap pasai buku tempatan, especially dalam bentuk video, so aku harap dengan usaha hangat-hangat tahi ayam aku ni, dapat menggalakkan lagi orang untuk sembang tentang buku tempatan.

Bila ada lagi ramai orang sembang pasai buku terbitan Malaysia, boleh aku buang masa kat Youtube tengok video review buku daripada actually membaca buku. Hooray!

So buku yang akan disembang pada bulan Januari ialah Tuhan Bukan Manusia, by Zharif Zainuddin.

Februari kita try The Other Malaya, by Farish A Noor.

March saya nak try sembang pasai Terima Kasih Si Babi Hutan by Ismail Ariffin.

April kita try Liberating the Malay Mind by M. Bakri Musa

dan May kita try sembang pasai Badrul Hisham punya Advantura Pulang Ke Malaya.

Kita try lima dulu, kalau nampak macam masih steady by the end of it, kita tambah lagi buku lain plak.

Pasaipa saya habaq awai-awai buku apa yang akan disembang? Well thanks for asking dear live studio audience!

Pasai pertama sekali, nak jinx the whole thing supaya gagal akhirnya.

But secondly and more importantly, aku harap dengan habaq kat hampa awai-awai, hampa akan pi cari buku ni kat kedai dan baca sekali ngan saya.

Then bila video review tu keluaq enam tahun depan, hampa boleh setuju ataupun tak setuju, since hampa pun dah baca buku tu. What enam tahun *tengok skrip*

Saya akan try upload video review tu roughly antara 28 hingga 31 haribulan pada bulan tu, but we’ll see how it goes.

So that’s the main thing, really.

Kalau hampa ada apa-apa soalan yang hampa nak tanya, you can always find me on twitter, @inianwarhadi

ataupun emel saya, iniuntukakusahaja atgmail.

Mana taw, kot-kot saya cuba jawab soalan dalam emel hampa tu dalam bentuk video, mana taw.

Hang bukan reply pun emel hang anwat! What who said that?

Sekian ja kot, may be peace be upon you!

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Branding, And Thank You

So I’ve been thinking about this blog lately and how I treat it as more of a diary where I put anything and everything I’ve been thinking about in and how that approach doesn’t really help with branding.

It’s a somewhat of a douchey term, but a real one nonetheless, where a thing (or a brand) portrays a certain something that is consistent and people can get behind easily enough. Like, say, Levi’s. They brand themselves as a denim maker, and even though they might make other things such as wallets or shirts or whatever, a casual consumer would always associate Levi’s with jeans.

In terms of people, let’s take the brand of Zizan Razak. He’s most known to the general public as a comedian, and even though he does do other things (rapping, for instance), people will always tend to associate him with being someone you want to make you laugh. That’s just the way he has been branded, either on purpose or otherwise.

And I guess branding makes sense in the sense that it allows people to kind of know what to expect from a certain thing or person. It facilitates our need to put people in boxes and label them, because life’s easier like that. Nobody wants to go to a Sephora and suddenly see that they’re trying to sell bedsheets and only bedsheets for a whole week, right?

For myself as a consumer as well, I always go to The Needle Drop to get well thought out, well articulated music reviews from a person who has a good sense of humour but takes music very seriously when need be. If one day I go there and suddenly see that he’s trying to sell cupcakes, I’d click off that video rather quickly (unless it’s a joke lah).

But over here in this blog, there’s a lot going on. In this year alone, here is where I put my rap lyrics, my poor attempts at music reviewing, me expressing my feelings about not being an adequate writer, my insecurities as a primary school teacher, and my thoughts and reflections as a husband. Basically, a branding nightmare.

But I guess this blog doesn’t function as a place to brand myself. I guess this blog is a place where I can be myself, in my entirety. Where I don’t need to fit into any boxes except for the one labelled “Noor Anwar Hadi bin Noor Azman” and whatever that brings. I guess that’s the thing about being human. We’re not brands. We’re not simple beings. We’re complex. There are more than one or two sides to any person out there, and even though branding is convenient, it sure isn’t the best portrayal of people. 

So I guess a thank you is in order for anyone and everyone who has read whatever I’ve been writing here. You might not be interested in everything I have to talk about, but your insistence on reading anyway just goes to show that you are at least interested in me. Dull, incompetent, uninformative me. And for that, I show appreciation. Thank you.

Masa Lepas

So a few days back I started reading this book called "Tuhan Bukan Manusia" by Zharif Zainuddin. I intend to review it by the end of the month in video form.

But I got stuck on chapter four, where the protagonists were talking about regret over the past and stuff like that, and I decided to make a song based on the chapter. The name of the song was decided just earlier today, which is "Masa Lepas". I spent four days making this song, the longest time I've ever spent making a song. This is also the longest song I've made to date. It was challenging, but I'm glad I got it done.

I just finished recording the song a few minutes ago, so if you want to give it a listen, you can head on over to .

Here are the lyrics to the song:

Masa Lepas by Anwar Hadi

Alangkah lebih indah
jika semua masalah
kancah masa kini yang membuat aku gelisah
dapat aku berpisah
pindah juga berhijrah
ke masa silam yang lebih mudah
lebih dijajah dengan segala hasanah
hidup umpama hadiah
mengenangkan betapa bertuahnya hidup aku
tenangkan jiwaku
bebaskanlah aku daripada dibelenggu
hukum alam waktu
sana sini wara wiri
masa kini rasa tiri
ku lebih senang sendiri
dalam alam silam cari
selam rendam dalam memori
aku pergi aku mari
lebih manis setiap kali
jadi jangan kau beriku pandangan itu
tempat ni terlalu asing terlalu baru
biarkanku bercandu dengan masa lalu
biarkanlah aku bercandu

Kita tak akan terlepas daripada masa lepas

Aku tersilap
kalaulah aku tak cakap ku tutup mulut sekejap
mungkin aku tak dilokap sesal-sesalan tergelap
tiap malam aku singkap apa yang patut ku ungkap
aku terlalu cemerkap
kenapa jadi begini?
Dulu aku berjanji nak menjaga tak memaki
kini telah aku bukti bila payah ku lisani
kata yang hanya sakiti mereka yang ku sayangi
terus aku sendirian
temanku hanya rintihan
beriku sebab aturan kejam ini diberikan kepadaku sang cebisan
mungkin aku memang celaka
memang ditakdirkan untuk neraka
dan azabku diawal ke dunia
oleh sebab mulutku yang puaka
aku celaka

Kita tak akan terlepas daripada masa lepas

Sang Adam dan Sang Hawa
buat dosa jatuh dunia
fikirlah. Kamu rasa itu tak disengaja?
Tolonglah. Jangan terlalu naif
setipa perkara berlaku dah tentu ada motif
Lauh Mahfuz dicipta degan komprehensif
Kun Fayakun, ini kalimah tiada kontraseptif
tukar perspektif
Salah tak bermaksud silap
anggap setipa hempap hinggap
demi gilapmu ke tahap
yang lebih dekat ke bahan jadianmu
supaya bau syurga bila kau jadi abu
jatuh kedalam lubang jangan lupa untuk belajar
kau sengaja disungkurkan agar dapat kau sedar
yang engkau cumalah manusia
didalam tanganmu tiada kuasa
sedar luka yang kau terima itu disengaja

tundukkanlah egomu wahai anakanda

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Writer Lens

So I’m in a bit of a rut right now, staring at the laptop screen not knowing what to write.

I remember last year, when I was in that “write every damn day” thing, I saw the world a little differently than I do now. I tried to look at everything from an angle of “okay, so how would I write about that?”

It was a weird lens to put have on, and to have on, and even weirder to have them on all the time too. I remember asking myself that question constantly whenever any stimulus came my way, that is to say whenever a fellow teacher told me something, or whenever a student did or said something (sometimes they don’t even do or say anything and I’d still ask the question), or whenever an interesting tweet came up on my timeline. It was always a question of how I would write about that thing.

Like, I remember this one time, when a teacher was telling me something, and midway through her talking to me, I got lost in my own train of thoughts as I was trying to figure out a way to write about something she was telling me, and I had to say “sorry, what was that?” when I finally snapped out of it and figured out that I had no idea what she was telling me. So it’s like that.

Not to say that I ended up writing all that much, anyway. I always found ways to say that a thing wasn’t interesting enough to write about, and when I did find myself saying that a thing was interesting enough, I still procrastinated on typing the stuff out, eventually leading me to either forgetting about it, or eventually having something else to write about instead.

I don’t ask myself that question throughout my day that much anymore. Heck, today I didn’t ask it even once. I struggle to remember how many times I’ve asked myself that question these past few months. I’d be surprised if the total was more than the amount of fingers I have (I have ten, in case you were wondering). 

And as a result, I think I’m less observant a person. I gloss my eyes over a lot of things, not bothering to ask questions about things, not being critical about things a lot of the time, just float on by living my life from day to day. And I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

On the one hand, constantly being in writer-mode allows me to be critical of things more of the time, and makes me craft words in my head regularly while experiencing the world. But on the other hand, it also makes me feel detached to my surroundings. It’s almost as if I’m trying my best to look at things from afar, seeing life as more of a story of which I have very little part to play in. I cannot vouch for how healthy this may be as a member of a community or society. I might come off (to myself as well as other people) slightly less than human.

And about the opposite thing if I have my writing lenses off. I ask less questions about the world, and am less ready to write about things in general. But it can also be construed as allowing the world to rotate while one fades into nothing, so that something special may happen. Although I do like the sentiment of that, it also doesn’t get me to write much of anything. And if I were a super talented person, then I might be able to not write anything for years and years and then with a kaboom write a Nobel prize winning masterpiece in one go, but I do not see myself as that person. 

I see myself as a person who needs a lot of practice, a lot of hard work just to be as good as the next person, and if I want to be better, then it takes even more work. So I find having that writer-lens thingy to be helpful in the regard that it helps me practice and get better. At least, I hope I do.

So after talking to the wife about it a little, she said something that made sense, which was balance. I just have to find a balance between experiencing life and writing about it. Experience life to the fullest while it’s going on, and have the ability to re-experience those things as a writer when I’m in the process of writing things down. I say that as if it were an easy thing to do. It’s not (I chuckle to myself at this point because every time anyone says “it’s not”, my brain reminds me that it sounds a lot like “it’s snot”). But like most good things, it’s worth doing, even if it’s not easy (lol, it’s snot easy).

Monday, January 4, 2016

Building Relationships Or Increasing Test Scores?

So today was the first day of school. 

Not much to say there, except for probably the fact that this year is the first year I’m being put in charge of a class. I am now the class teacher for a standard two class, and I am unfamiliar with all of the students in it (as I am unfamiliar with the other two classes I will be teaching this year), so today was a whole day of trying to remember people’s names. Not the funnest of things to do, but personally, I find that the sooner I remember my students’ names, the easier it will be for me in the future, not only for classroom management (since I can call out individual names from way across the room if and when a situation calls for it), but also for getting closer to my students. I don’t want them to feel like I’m just there to babysit or even work. I want them to feel like I’m there to help them (because I do want to help them), and if I don’t even bother to learn their names, what would convince them that I would be bothered to do anything else, right? I don’t know, that may be a flawed logic, but it’s my flawed logic, so chill it, skillet.

I remember a TED talk video I watched last year (link: ) that talked about the importance of building a relationship, or rather, a connection with your students, and there was one quote from her that I liked very much which went something like “kids don’t learn from people they don’t like,” in response to some other teacher saying “I get paid to teach, not to be liked.”

Her saying that made me think back to all the times I liked or disliked a subject, and true enough, the subjects that I liked and excelled in were the ones in which I admired the teacher who was teaching it. I also remember the subjects in which I didn’t like and wasn’t motivated to learn in, and they were taught by teachers that I did not like. When put head to head with each other, I certainly learned more from teachers that I liked instead of the teachers I disliked.

So working towards being liked by your students isn’t something “extra” that you do, or one that comes with your “style of teaching”. I think as professional teachers, we should make a conscious effort towards being liked by our students, because it is an integral part of the teaching and learning process. At least in my view, it is.

And so I joke around with my students. Kacau them to lighten their day. Play with them whenever I can (since these are little kids we’re talking about), as long as by the end of it, no damage is done to the teaching and learning process. Sure, I may get through content a little slower, since I take the trouble to come up with games and see them through to the end instead of force-feed my students worksheets, but I think by the end of it the students benefit from all that. They like me more, and so they learn more from me. 

That is the hope, at least. If it is the case, then it sure has a hard time showing itself in the exam results. And maybe that’s why I’m not a good teacher. Because I seem to focus more on building relationships than increasing test scores. I dunno man. I dunno.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

My 10 Albums of 2015

I told myself I’d make this list on the blog, and so I shall, even if it is three days too late. Here are my 10 picks for 2015 Albums Of The Year.

Before I get into the list, I should clarify that these records are only the ones that were chosen by myself throughout the year that was 2015 as the ones that I enjoyed the most. The field was very limited, as only the albums that were released in 2015 that I have listened to were up to make the list. I’m sure there were a lot of other fantastic records that were released last year. It’s just unfortunate that I wasn’t able to listen to a lot of them. 

And the records I include in this list made the list only because I enjoyed and played them more than other records throughout the year. It’s not to say that Lupe Fiasco’s Tetsuo and Youth didn’t make the list because it was lyrically inferior, or that Alabama Shakes’ Sound & Colour wasn’t great, it’s just that I didn’t play them as much, that’s all. I’m putting this list out there in the hopes that you dear reader will be intrigued by any one of these albums (if you haven’t listened to them yet) and would have thoughts on your own regarding an album so that we can talk about it (if you have listened to any of them).

So here we go, my top ten, roughly divided by genre, arranged in no particular order:


To Pimp A Butterfly by Kendrick Lamar

Okay, I confess: I lied about the list being arranged in no particular order. This right here is the undisputed number one of the list. The rest are at number two. It’s just that good. If you ever had doubts as to whether a hip-hop album could ever be taken seriously as a piece of art, this right here will make you believe. Enough said.

The Night Took Us In Like Family by L’Orange and Jeremiah Jae

This album’s use of sound samples from old black and white movies provide a very warm and thematic feel to the album, and it made me feel like I was watching an old James Bond slash mafia movie just by listening to the album. Jeremiah Jae’s cryptic and laid back delivery provides for a compelling listen as he assumes the role of protagonist in this film noir musical experience. He just sounds so good on these L’Orange beats.

Compton: A Soundtrack by Dr Dre

I didn’t expect to like this record as much as I did. Dr Dre did good by getting together some really banging beats and pairing them with awesome features, proving once again that if anyone has an ear for who goes on what song, it’s him. He didn’t skimp out on the songwriting either, with each track giving the listener a different side to what it means to be a Dr Dre.

So The Flies Don’t Come by Milo

I don’t know what to say about this album, really. It’s just Milo doing his thing on some atmospheric, strange beats. He does sound angrier than his usual calm and collected self, and he touches on more political issues than a Milo listener would come to expect, but it’s all good front to back music still. I kept coming back to this one and just couldn’t push stop on it for quite a while.


Currents by Tame Impala

Okay, so this might not be quite as rock-sounding as their previous record, but it’s a good album nonetheless. I enjoyed it loads, and as a listener, it was clear to me that there was a theme to the album: moving on. Putting together an album’s-worth of songs about moving on and making them all interesting from beginning to end is no easy feat, but Kevin Parker of Tame Impala came through with something special. I’m still listening to this one today.

Commemorate! by Dirgahayu

The only local album to make my list, this band has produced a post-rock extravaganza that kept me engaged throughout the album. I’m not the biggest fan of post-rock, since I find myself switching off rather easily midway through a song, but these guys didn’t allow that to happen at all and took me on a roller-coaster ride of a music listening experience in each individual song. I hope they continue to expand and make good music.

Painted Shut by Hop Along

I couldn’t stop listening to this one when it first came out. The first ten seconds of the album kept me on it for the who forty minute ride, and got me returning for more and more. I’m going to be a fan of this band for a while, methinks.


25 by Adele

Again, another album I wasn’t expecting to like as much as I do. When the first single, “Hello” was released, I had my reservations. But the more I listened to the whole album, the more I fell in love with it. Sure, it’s not as good as 21 (as any Adele fan would tell you), but it’ll still have you belting out song after song unashamedly in your car.

Short Movie by Laura Marling

This one is another grower. As a fan of Laura’s work from the beginning, this album felt more like she let go of a lot of things and wasn’t as meticulous as she always seemed to be, so it does provide for a different listening experience for one Laura fan that is me. But the tunes delivered in this album were still strong and still had me wanting to singalong to not only the words but also the guitar play. 

Have You In My Wilderness by Julia Holter

I came into this album no knowing what to expect (since it was described as “baroque-pop”). I stuck to it until the very last track and found out that I actually enjoyed a lot of the songs on it, making me put it on repeat for quite a while. If you want a different kind of pop, a more beautiful, pretty kind of pop, this record is a wonderful start.

So that’s all in my list of Albums of 2015. I hope to listen to more new albums in 2016 and probably have a more comprehensive list by the end of it. If you have any thoughts regarding any of the albums I listed, do drop me a tweet. Here’s to more good music in 2016.