Thursday, March 29, 2007

Hysteria at Sek Projek

I was shocked by a piece of news in the papers yesterday. About Sek Projek being plagued by hysteria… eee…. Scary.

I seriously do not know what causes hysteria ( ini hysteria lain tau… hysteria yang menjerit2 sakan tu, bukan hysteria beli kasut macam Melia and I ). Psychological or hantu-al or even pura-pura-al sebab saja nak cari publisiti, but when it happens, it is damn scary. Morbidly scary.

It took me back to when our school was attacked (?) by these hysterical people ( no pun intended ). The athletes were back from MSSN and they came home weird. I remember being first made aware of the funny situation during rehat where all these girls were sitting down looking stony. I said hello and none replied. Then the whispers told me what happened.

The first screaming happened after rehat. It was bad but not as bad as the day after. We were having our lab that day when I heard screaming teamed with some mad ramblings that seemed to come from the ERT lab above us. We were shocked. Puan Zahare ( remember her ? Everything she said ended with the vowel E… oreng Perek gameknye ) looked worried. We didn’t do anything but just sat down and listened to the commotion upstairs.

Then we noticed a few movements outside on our left. There were our heroes, all the ustazs rushing to the surau to take wudhu’. I have to say I was swelled with pride when I saw them, rolling up their sleeves as they hurried to the surau. In my head though, is etched the vision of Ustaz Shukry Torpedo calmly walking…. I don’t know why, but I remember that most.

Anyway, we were ushered to our classroom and we waited there. Everybody was nervous. We could hear people screaming everywhere. Then a senior appeared at our door. He looked tired and was sweaty. He ordered us to look at the masjid.

At that moment I got angry. I don’t know why but I felt everything was so absurd and couldn’t fathom how looking at the masjid could help any of us. I questioned his rationale for us to do so. He was pissed off. He said it is really entirely up to me. I then looked at Amelia and told her it is better if we recite Quranic verses.

Then we were asked to go home. School buses were already called and we were instructed to call our parents if they were our means of transport. Amelia and I and our school bus buddies waited for our bus at the usual spot, at gate B. The scene outside our classroom was… well, it was topsy turvy. Total mayhem. People were running, kids were screaming and being restrained. Teachers and the seniors looked harried and tired. Many looked scared.

Then… he he … something funny happened. One girl got loose. And she was fast heading our way. At the same time, one bee was hovering near us and we were dodging it. I screamed for everybody to run and as I ran I turned around and saw my bestfriend Amelia was left behind. She was flapping here and there. The bee was attacking her and the hysterical girl was fast going her way. I screamed and screamed for her to run but she was busy evading the bee. At the end, some other students caught the escaped girl and the bee looked for another victim. Amelia resumed her journey and I waited for her before we crossed the street together.

Phew…. I don’t know what would be worse for her. The bee sting or being at the mercy of a hysterical being. I wonder if the girl was meaning to attack somebody or she was just running away from her captors.

I wonder what was going on her mind. In fact, I won an essay writing competition at school once and my topic was hysteria. I do not remember which hysteria event that prompted me to write on it but I remember enough that I was really intrigued by a story of a girl who got the hysteria. She said she was possessed. I changed the topic of my essay at the last minute without any practice to write on that. In that essay, I imagined that I got the hysterics ( ye ke ? Diserang hysteria ? ) and tried to articulate what happened inside me when I was screaming and ranting.

Anyway, what really happened ? Were they really possessed ? I do not remember the full details or if what I am going to say is even true, but I believe one of those girls do not fully recover. When we left school, she was still sort of in a trance. Ye ke ? I don’t remember. Or maybe it was not anybody from our school but the other school where TV3 made a documentary about.

I remember Anu’s father said that it is all in their mind. But, who would willingly participate in a screaming marathon for long ? I for one would be embarrassed and would be very conscious of my red face and hoarse voice… susah aa nak dapat boyfriend lepas tu dak ?…. He he…..

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

My stupid brother

Mail is sooo stupid.
Dan and I picked him up yesterday at KL Sentral. Since his 2 years stay in India, he came back with a really funny accent. We were catching up and I asked him why he has a very strong American accent ? His abang Dan said “ A-ah, menyampah gila dengar . Kau gi belajar kat mana Mail ? “ Mail laughed and said it is probably because he hangs out with some Indian Americans and he most likely got it from them.

Fine enough.

Then I complained about my tonsillitis firing up again and he started to explain the workings of the tonsils. All the while he was explaining, Dan and I exchanged puzzled looks. It was really funny.

Dan : Mail, apasal keluar accent Indian Mail ?

Mail : Ha ?

Ala : Mail, tadi berabuk speaking American, sekarang awat cakap macam Indian ?

Mail : Ye ke ? ( quite for awhile ) Sebab cikgu yang mengajar aku semua Indian lah kot…

Dan : Jadi, bila kau bersembang keluar accent mat salleh tapi bila cakap pasal medicine keluar accent India ? ( Ala and Dan started to laugh )… Kau bodoh Mail…..

Mail : Aaa…. Abang Dan teruk….

After that, he lost all control and his speech became a mix of Malay, Indian and American brogue… he he…

Then Mail regaled us with a story that further skewered his reputation.

He said one day they had to learn how to do CPR on a dummy. The lecturer’s instruction was to act as it really happened. One by one went and then came Mail’s turn. He was, I should say, a tad ( or much more ) too much.

He pretended that he was walking happily when he saw a man lying unconscious on the floor. He let out a small scream and rushed to the dummy. “ Sir are you okay sir ? Are you okay ? “ Then he looked at an imaginary on looker and barked an instruction to call the ambulance. He then shouted at the dummy to answer him, shook and slapped it a bit and then proceeded to perform the CPR. He was all panicky and concerned. Halfway, he looked at the dummy and pleaded for it to not die on him.

I didn’t know how he finished it because Dan and I were laughing. He said he stood up to a stunned audience and a gawping lecturer. “ Ismail, you are too dramatic, “ was all the afore-mentioned professor said. And my brother replied, “ But you said we have to act like it really happened, “.

I asked him what possessed him to do such thing. I had done CPR training to get Safety Passport to go offshore and nobody did what he did, in my class at least. “Well, I want him to remember me. And who knows, there will be an extra mark for that. Maybe, he was busy admiring my acting, he forgot to look closely at what I was doing,”.

“ Ala, “ he added, “ I am sure they wished they had popcorns in their hands at that time… “

“ Mail, “ I replied, “ were Amitabh Bachan visiting your uni at that time ? “

At that he bellowed a laughter. Dan ?

“ You are sooo stupid Mail….”


Friday, March 23, 2007

RM 1.1 M terrace house

2 – 3 days ago Dan decided to cruise through Sek 9 on the way to Giant. I saw an end lot unit of a terrace house that was for sale. I had always been interested in property and quickly dialed the agent’s number. The price was jaw dropping, tear inducing, hair pulling RM 1.1 M. Could you believe it ?

A terrace house !! Granted it was an end lot but seriously ? My question is this…. Who determines properties prices in Malaysia ? What rationale do they use to warrant such high price ? What is the hope for my children’s property ownership in the future ?

All I can see is this, as more and more houses are coming up, the recent minimum price had been constant at RM 300, 000 – RM 400, 000. Never mind talking about the maximum price !! Where are the affordable ones ? And how livable are the inexpensive ones ?

A fresh graduate starting salary has always been at RM 1 800 – RM 2 000 level ( unless if you are lucky enough to get a job in Oil and Gas where it could start at RM 2 500 to RM 4 000 ) and the raise is slow and extremely steady. When would he be able to buy a decent house ?

The thing that added up high wind ( tambah naik again ) is the recent report about how much Malaysians should save for old age. If your salary is RM 4 000, you need to save RM 1 300 a month to ensure you have a comfortable lifestyle in your senior years. 4 000 – 1 300 will leave us 2 700 to pay for house, car, utility bills, car and kids ? You nuts ? The report stated that we need to have RM 1.6 M to RM 2.5 M to have a comfortable lifestyle, meaning to have roof, food and most importantly health care.

I am thinking how am I ever going to survive my old age, let alone my children ? Do I have to start thinking about doing MLM now ? Do I have to live frugally now and stop ( gasp ! shudder ! ) buying shoes ( Amelia, help ! ) ? So now, let us go back to the ridiculous house price in Shah Alam no less. Who could afford to buy that house ? Where can I afford to live now as apparently even my dear old Shah Alam is out of reach…. Rawang ?

My father in-law bought the land to his house in Sek 7 for RM 1/sf. Now it is about RM 70/sf. Now the question is, what made the price go up 70 times in 30 years. Who determined the price ? What can we do ??? I feel hopeless….

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Cinta and The Wedding

My husband and I watched a good movie yesterday. It was good, we cried ( not buckets lah but a few linangan ) and were thoughtful afterwards. I was pleasantly surprised because it was a Malay movie called Cinta that heavily borrowed one of my favourite movie’s concepts. Although the concept is the same but the little stories are different. Although Love Actually is a feel good movie, Cinta brought tears to our eyes.

The direction was wonderful and the cinematography was admirable. The acting was.. well, not bad. Vaneeda Imran’s husband ( I really have forgotten his name ), Rita something, Pierre Andre, Sharifah Amani, her mom, Rahim Razali and the child actress who played Lis were good. Eizlan Yusof was okay. And the love portrayed was excellent.

I love the scene where Que Haidar and Nanu were little and Nanu was trying to comfort her little brother who was spooked by the thunders. I love the scene where Lis wanted to follow her Dad because she wanted him to be happy like he was before her mom left. I wonder and salute the love her dad ( laki si Vaneeda Imran tu ) has for her mom, willing to let go as long as she is happy. Weirdly I could see the love she has for him although it has turned into brotherly love.

I love my husband for reaching for my hand for comfort. During romantic scenes, he would entwine his fingers with mine. It made an impact on him especially when Rita and that husband of Vaneeda’s who met when they were 18 and she ended up leaving him for another guy… Me ? When Rahim Razali said that “Isteri itu adalah satu anugerah”, I jumped from my reclining position and asked him if he heard that. At the end of the movie he said “ Memang senanglah Cikgu ( Rahim Razali ) tu cakap macam tu sebab dia ada Alzheimer. Esok, dia dah lupa dah perangai bini dia hari ni… “ Cess…..

Although there were some cringe worthy scenes that reminded you that it is a Malay movie after all. Like Eizlan’s over-romantic first date dinner for Fasha that would have had me run a mile a minute if it was done to me and mamat laki si Vaneeda’s romantic dinner at an abandoned restaurant. I keep saying, “ Come on…. !! “ until Umar asked “ Why Mom ? Is it because it is too romantic ? “ I narrowed my eyes at him and said, no…… I don’t want him to think that being romantic is wrong. My mission had always been to make him on of the best husbands in the world. I do not want his wife to come to me and complain. I want to groom him to be a perfect gentleman…. Wish me luck.

Another cause for my tears ( now it is me alone, my husband just pat my head when he found me crying ) is another great book by Nicholas Sparks called The Wedding. It is a continuation of his earlier creation, The Notebook. Now let me tell you about Nicholas Sparks. I didn’t know him at all until this wonderful person I called my boyfriend went to a bookstore in Perth with his brother and sisters. He knew how I love books and went around to look for something for me. He bought me the very book and I will be forever indebted to him.

The Notebook is a lovely, lovely love story that made me cry for days. I especially love the poem at the last page that I still regard as one of the most romantic poems ever ( well, I am not exactly an aficionado of poems ). When we returned to Malaysia, my best friend Amelia excitedly told me she had just read a great book that he borrowed from Shazmi ( which he in turn borrowed from Anu ) and wanted me to read it. It was the very same book I mentioned above. So by admission of 3 of my good friends, it is really a good book.

Now, The Wedding… well… The story is about Allie and Noah’s ( hero and heroine from The Notebook ) son-in-law who is a kayu in the romance department. So kayu in fact that he thought that his wife is leaving him because he had forgotten their 29th anniversary. So, it was his race against time to make his wife fall in love with him all over again. It was so sweet that I feel there is still hope for my husband…. He he.

Anyhoo… Amelia, nak pinjam ? And Dan, thank you so much baby for patting my head when you found me crying in the loo.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Waiting without a book = Sheer boredom

I don’t do waiting very well. At least, the kind of waiting sans any reading material. My friends and family know what degree of reader I am, ardent. Very avid ( can I use the word avid like that ? ) And therefore I found it very hard this morning when I had to wait for 1 and a half hours for my meeting to start without anything to read. Man…..

I had a meeting today at 9.30 am in PJ. Dan and I for 2 weeks now have been surviving on 1 car as Dan has sold his and we are waiting for the new one to arrive…. in August. We have been car-pooling anyway these past few months but still there are times when we need to go separately due to work commitments. My boss was kind enough to schedule this particular meeting early morning so that Dan can drop me off there and I can go to the office with him. But he didn’t take into account that I will be there at 8 and therefore the sheer amount of waiting time I had to endure.

I have anticipated this wait actually and had planned the perfect book to accompany me. But… I have forgotten to anticipate that I might forget the book. Which I did… Man……….

Like I said, I don’t do waiting very well without a book. Luckily there is a little food outlet ( too posh to be a gerai, too skanky to be a restaurant/cafĂ© and too small to be a canteen ), so I had my breakfast there. No matter how slowly I ate, I finished at 8.10 am. Okay, 1 hour 20 minutes to go. Mid-breakfast it started to rain so I watched the rain. Then after awhile, all the raindrops looked eerily the same, so much alike unlike snow, so I grew bored. Wow !! 8.20 am.

Then… well this is where it got a bit dangerous. I started to think. My husband hates that as he is usually the first thing I think about and depending on my mood, it could be tiring for him. You do the math. I was bored. To bits. Of course my thinking of him veered to the unpleasant ones.

Mulalah… pasal si A. Pasal si B buat perangai. Pasal how unfair I have been treated in certain aspects of my life. I once read that orang yang berdendam, doanya sukar diterima Allah. Susah tu. Last time, I had always wanted justice. Now, although I want justice as bad, but I have taken a more calmer approach to it by remembering Allah SWT.

Baca surah al Insyira and surah Dhuha to calm ourself ( baru gained that knowledge semalam ) and my Ustaz once told me that Sembahyang Sunat Dhuha is also meant to keep us composed. Perform this prayer, said Ustaz, bila runsing, susah hati.

As I was seething ( imagine not 30 minutes ago I was tranquilly watching the rain ), when my boss arrived. Nasib baik as I am sure if I had to wait the full 1 and ½ hours alone, Dan will surely get it from me about some minor thing he did eons ago, like forgetting to lift up the toilet seat…. He he….

Never go anywhere without a book. My mom said, banyak kan sikit hafalan… he he…. Yelah….