Monday, October 25, 2010

Advice from Ustaz Rushaidi

"Hello, hello.. Ola!," Vertigo by U2.

"It has all been arranged!" said one of the performers during TESL night. And yeah, you can't help but sigh over that fact, but you learn to accept it and be thankful towards Allah for arranging everything. As the Yang Di-pertua of our Student Council once said, "Sebaik-baik perancang adalah Allah SWT." SubhanAllah..

I woke up early the other day, and got the opportunity to increase my 'amal that morning. However, while doing all that, I fell asleep again, totally unintentional. After a few minutes, les neighboure came and woke me up, and I half-heard him say that Ustaz was coming in that day. Cool, I thought to myself as my eyes closed again.

When I finally finished my very long blink, I was already half-an-hour late for class. Hastily put on my batik and ran to the Surau to face the music. And I got the music alright. No need for details there. All that needs to be said is that I don't like going late to class. I don't like it at all.

Then after some more lecturing, Ustaz gave us some advice for preserving our Iman whilst at a non-Islam country, as well as other things. Here are some of those words of wisdom that I managed to jot down:

1. Always be in a crowd, or to use his word, jama'.
And that crowd should be Muslims who can keep us on the Siraatul Mustaqiim. When we're alone among non-Muslims, we will have a bigger tendency to follow their way and be influenced by their norms and beliefs. This makes sense since not a lot of people like to feel like an outsider. Then the tendency to let go of our beliefs and values will be augmented as the desire to "fit in" and be accepted would also increase. We need to be frequently reminded of where we're from and why we're there, and that is to learn.

2. Give 200% in everything.
We'll be foreigners there. We'll be representing our country there. The whole ra'yat of almost 29 million Malaysians' image will rest on the frail shoulders of 62 Chalkies of Cohort 2. So we need to be excellent in everything. Don't give anyone any reason to look down upon Malaysia. Let them see Malaysians as a productive, hard-working, friendly nation. Plus, we have our scholarships to think about. We will be fully supported by the Government. We shouldn't let that money go to waste. Learn as much as possible, mingle with anyone and everyone, and work like your life depends on it.

3. Read the al-Quran regularly.
Regularly means everyday. If you can't do it after every Solat, then at least once a day, after Maghrib ka, Subuh ka. Remind yourself of your faith. Don't leave the Quran. Ever. Istiqamah, very important. If you haven't started, then start here and perpetuate there. Get a tafsir and read the Quran while knowing the meanings. As long as the message is read and understood and applied, you're going to be just fine. InsyaAllah.

Thank you Ustaz for the advice. I'm definitely going to miss him. I have really come to respect him as a knowledgeable and fair person. To me, he's one of several true teachers I have come to know while studying here in this Institute. Praise be to Allah for letting me meet such people.

May we be under His protection always, Amiin.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

First Official Legitimate Video

"I had ants in my pants and did the boogie dance," First Dance by Never Shout Never.

Alhamdulillah! Yeay! If you have added me on Facebook, then you would know that last month, a bunch of the Cohort 2 Chalkies went to Jerejak Island here in Penang. I saw that as the perfect opportunity for me to make a video. I elected myself as the unofficial director of videography for the trip, and brought along my trusty W380 to capture all the action in beautiful VGA (I didn't know how to edit stuffs in HD yet, boohoo!)

After the trip, the procrastinator in me postponed editing the raw footage for a little more than a month afterwards. One fine weekend, I decided to finally complete the editing, and it's finally finished! So all'a'yall, check it out! My first video!

Thanks to all involved in making the event and the video a success! None of it would be possible if it not were for your cooperation!

May more videos follow! InsyaAllah~


Saturday, October 16, 2010

Malaysian Artistes (Early Morning Rant)

"I wanna be laughed at, laughed with, just because.." Weightless by All Time Low.

First of all, I'm hungry.

Now that that's out of the way, on to the rant!

What comes to mind when you hear "artis Malaysia"? What would usually come to mind are the people on the cover of Remaja or Mangga etc. Put those pictures aside. We'll come back to them in a few.

Now, what is an artist? Well, according to, an artist is

1. someone who paints, draws, or makes sculptures.
2. someone who creates things with great skill or imagination.

I would like to emphasize the second definition. The key words I want to stress here are "create" and "with .. imagination". So an artist must make something out of nothing and that something has to be cool.

Now let's go back to our Malaysian "artists". Do all of them create anything? Do all of them do it with great imagination?

I have to admit, a lot do create some pretty fabulous stuff, but then again, there are also a lot who don't. A lot of singers get songs from so-called composers with lyrics from so-called lyricists. A lot just ride off their fame from the various "reality" shows that are on air to get recording deals, and most of them don't even know how to play a single instrument. Heck, they wouldn't even know what a "crochet" was if it beat up their pet cat and fed it to piranhas. A lot of so-called "actors" get to be on the big screen just because "they know a guy", when evidence of any sort of talent is lacking. Heck, even somebody's spouse can somehow become an "artist", if they play their cards right and get themselves in controversial-enough situations. And what you get is a typical Malaysian (Malay too, I might add with a little racism) "artist".

I would like to stress that there be a distinction between "singers" (whose only function is to sing others' creations), "actors" (who really don't create anything, really), and actual artists (refer to the definitions given above). Malaysians like to label anyone who is famous an "artist", regardless of their contribution towards the art scene. Please people, artists are artists. Please do not mistake "stars" for "artists", because being an artist means actually contributing something.

Any disagreements are welcome. =)

And yeah, stupid ada-kerja-tapi-tak-maw-buat-kerja-lantas-update-blog-post.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Me Is No Good Friend

"I'm sort of lacking certainty," Another City, Another Sorry by The Answering Machine.

"Yes. Me is no good friend. Me stupid dumb-dumb. I is know that me have the best friends anyone could ask for, but me is no good. I is shad. Wuuu~"

Have you ever felt like above persona is portraying? I feel it all the time. And that saddens me. Makes me feel guilty, more than any healthy person should be feeling in "the best years of his life".

First of all, let me just say that I have fantastic friends. They keep me company, listen to whatever I have to say, laugh at my lame jokes, are able to discuss whatever issues that I come across, are very smart, helpful, respectful and funny, provide a shoulder for me to cry on, etc. Suffice to say, they're the best.

However, my treatment of them leaves much to be desired. I forget to say thank you sometimes. I don't say sorry enough. I make mean jokes (which I later regret), I don't invite them to have meals with me whenever I feel like eating, I make a mess and don't clean it up, I can be cruelly inconsiderate sometimes, and the list goes on.

Of course, I don't do these things on purpose. Rather, I usually forget these social dos and don'ts or even fail to notice. This reflects badly on my EQ rating. I really should treat my friends better, and I promise to try very hard to change all these bad habits in myself towards my TRUE friends to become a better friend to them.

If any of you guys are readling this, I'm sorry for all the things that I've done which you guys didn't like so much. Really sorry from the bottom of my heart. Please forgive this ungrateful douche for not treating you like I should.
*no particular event happened. Just something I came to notice.