Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Di Meja Yang Sama

Not really in the mood to blog properly, sorrryyy. But I shall leave you with this poem I wrote in Malay language. It was for this small publication, KATA-KATA and was published somewhere in July '11. Based on a true setting. Semoga tiada yang terasa hati ;)


Penuh meja makan tengahari itu,
Biasanya geng yang sama selalu,
Duduk makan dan berborak,
Kekadang hura hara bunyinya,
Penuh sindiran dan gelak tawa,
Paras muka setiap seorang tak banyak beza,
Tapi selebihnya,
Hanya mereka yang di meja itu akan tahu.

Di kananku, 
Biasanya yang lembut pertuturan,
Solat lima waktu pun jarang ketinggalan,
Mudah dipercayai dan diharapkan,
Di kiriku,
Biasanya yang lepas percakapan,
Solat lima waktu pun tunggang langgang,
Memang susah hendak buat ditumpang.

Ideologi yang di kiri dan di kanan sering bercanggah,
Diskusi sering kali naik amarah,
Tapi tak lah sampai parah berdarah,
Hanya idea dan kata-kata jadi senjata.

Tengahari itu sambil makan nasi berlauk daging halia,
Yang di kiri sibuk berborak tentang minggu mereka,
Changkat Bukit Bintang, Vodka dan Malboro sini sana,
Yang di kanan menyuap sambil mendengar,
Senyum dan gelak bila perlu,
Jika tidak senyap tegar. 

Yang di kiri dan di kanan memang tak akan bertemu,
Di meja itu jarang bertemu ruas dan buku,
Tapi kawan tetap kawan,
Walaupun kekadang berlawan,
Perbezaan lebih dari persamaan,
Namun tak bermaksud perlu bermusuhan.

Tengahari itu berakhir dengan jenaka lawak tentang
si Helmi yang lupa mandi pagi,
Dan seorang demi seorang bangun meninggalkan meja,
Yang di kanan belok ke kiri hendak ke surau untuk Zuhur,
Yang di kiri belok ke kanan hendak ke bilik sambung tidur.

Kita bertemu lagi di meja sama tengahari esok. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Soldier On

Been away for quite some time from this space huh? Apologies, been busy trying to figure things out. After my less-than-stellar AS results in August, it has forced me to consider and reconsider my options as well as my future plans.

When I first came to KY, I was an enthusiastic dreamer. This place gives you power to dream big. Great facilities, experienced teaching staff, brilliant college mates that are willing to help you if you need them, minimal distraction from the outside world and an impressive track record of former students going on to do amazing stuff at university and afterwards.

Ask any fresh KY students where would they want to go after A-level and many would have Oxford, Cambridge, LSE, Imperial etc on their lists. Many aspire to get good grades and offers from these top universities. After all, that's what most of us are here for in the first place.

But as months and semesters passed by in this college, you would be forced to reflect back on your course and university choices. If you thought you've always wanted to be a doctor since you were 6 years old, you'll be surprised how that plan will change into something very different when you're here. And if you've always wanted to go to Cambridge to do Law or Medicine, well, be prepared to face the fact that you might not be good enough for it.

Having said that, it shouldn't deter any of us from dreaming big and working towards that dream. But have a reality check from time to time, just to see where you are and what are you really worthy of. Should you come upon a stumbling block while you're here, don't be disheartened just yet. Take deep breaths, step back and look at the bigger picture. Seek help and advice from your seniors and teachers. Teachers, especially. They've seen things like this happen year in, year out so they should know what's the best advice to give you. Some may be harsher by dissecting your plans and show you what are possible and what are not. But trust me, you would need that.

God knows how many hitches I've been through this semester, especially with my university application. AS results la, switching courses and university choices just because my sponsor wouldn't allow my initial ones which then led me to rewriting my Personal Statement and researching more on the 'approved' universities. Yes, the path has slightly been altered and narrowed, but I try to keep it close to myself as much as possible. So, I could still say the path is 'mine'. Three-forth of my initial choices are still on my list and I'm still doing Economics despite other people advising me to abandon it.

And time really flies too over here! Third semester is already coming to an end in a few weeks' time and we'll be entering our final semester very soon. The 'fun' part in KY is largely gone by now. It's all about striving and studying harder while hoping for good offers. Chats with friends in the first two semesters on where we dream to study or what we would do over our summer breaks had been watered down to worries of whether or not we would get offers from these universities. Grey hair were also beginning to find their place on our heads!

I don't know what's coming ahead but all I know is things will get tougher and I've to work so much harder. There are times when I feel so overwhelmed and worried about the uncertain future. Gotta keep reminding myself to 'soldier on'. I'm lucky I've parents who won't stop believing in me and that helps, really.

Come to KY but come with a strong heart. Because this place is not for the faint-hearted.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Bangsawan Experience

They say apart from Samurai Night, you are not a true KYUEM-ian if you have not experienced Bangsawan Night. And after last night's Bangsawan I can assure you there is great truth behind those words.

We only had 3 weeks to prepare for our stage performance for the big night and well, let's just say it wasn't easy...AT ALL. Practices ran everyday from 4.30pm to 6.30pm and later at night up to 10.30pm. For the past 3 weeks, I don't think any of us could manage to sleep before 2am while we tried to keep up with our classwork and readings despite the exhaustion after long hours of practices. Teachers were getting slightly weary of our sleepy heads in classes too.

But I think we had an amazing time going through the Bangsawan journey. We got to bond with the other House members and it's the perfect timing to get to know the newly-arrived Batch 14 juniors better. We got to see our friends unleashed talents and creativity we never thought they had. And we learned the essential elements that make up who we really are, as part of the House and the college; teamwork, patience, perseverance, good sense of humour, competitive spirit, the drive to have fun and enjoy the things we do.

Topaz's drama was called 'Titisan Darah Sukma' directed by Yasmin with Keri as the Sultan, Qistina as the Queen, myself as the evil, bitchy second Queen and a few others, Megat, Nadeem and Adib. We had our own interpretation of the characters and I think we did a fairly impressive job in trying to portray each character. What made it even more special was the presence of our superseniors who were willing to come all the way back to KY to watch our rehearsals and give feedbacks where necessary and heightened our spirit just in time for the night.

We had past Bangsawan directors from Batch 10, Batch 11 and Batch 12 coming in and giving tips on how to improve our performance. On how to do 'stage blocking', the best make-up for the character, voice projection etc. Knowing that we had the support from these seniors, it was enough of an assurance that we'll be alright that night.

The pressure was on us to win again this year's Bangsawan after Topaz's victory in winning it for 3 consecutive years. And so, last night, we did stretch the winning streak to 4 times in a row with the Best Director (Yasmin), Best Choreography (Fathin was in-charged) and the Best Villain (yours truly, hehe) awards under our belt too. Syukur :)

Others might question our winnings but the thing I've learned about Topaz after being with them for a year is that we do not seek for victory every time we get involved in college events or competitions. Rather, we seek the enjoyment and satisfaction that we will get out of the process of reaching the end. We were always reminded by our seniors that our niat or intentions have to be sincere in everything we do. Not to seek glory and flaunt it to others but to do the opposite; to celebrate what we have achieved with our hardwork and to remain humble with each achievement.

And as the present seniors, it is now our duty to remind our juniors of the same thing. I find that Topaz has practiced 'tried and tested' formula in the way we handle a lot of the things because we take after past leaderships of the House. But at the same time, each Batch will add their own flavour and improve from there onwards.

Looking back at last night, I honestly did think each House put up an amazing performance. Didn't get to see Garnet's but my parents who were present in the audience thought Garnet's drama was entertaining to watch. I loved Diamond's beautiful, majestic-looking props as well as the feisty characters and plot they portrayed. I saluted Sapphire for personifying the strength of women in their drama and the characters' scrupulous abilities.

Those who have gone through the whole Bangsawan journey, I think you would know by now why you felt like a true KYUEM-ian after it all ended. 'Nuff said :)

Photos should be coming up sooner or later. All I have now is this photo of Topaz's Singgahsana scene taken from Almaz's Facebook.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Some Updates

Hi! One week plus back in KY and I'm already sooo exhausted, it has truly been a long week. Homework, readings, Personal Statement and university application process, Bangsawan rehearsals etc. Phewww!

But I'm having a lot of fun doing all these (perhaps, not so on the homework) though it can be very taxing at times. And I'm having a writer's block with my Personal Statement right now. Got some rough ideas written down but stringing them together into proper, personal sentences; ughh, not so easy. My dateline is this Thursday, by the way. UH OH.

Bangsawan practice is in full-swing, day and night with just 2 more weeks to go. Tonight, for some reason we were in a very lively, wacky mood. Even the most serious of lines turned into laughing banters among the cast members. Gelak sampai berguling atas lantai. Literally ROFL! But everyone's so semangat for this 30th July and we're having a good time bonding with the rest of the House members, too.

Yeaahh, so anyway I've a PS to write and well, it's not going to write itself. Therefore I should get back to it and we'll speak soon, okay.

Toodles! :)

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Umrah: The Way I Story It

"Labbaika Allahuma Labbaik, Labbaika La Shareeka Laka Labaik. Innal Hamdah, Wan-Ni'manatah, Laka Wal Mulk, La Shareeka Laka"
Here I am at Thy service, Oh Lord, here I am. Here I am at Thy Service, and Thou hast no partners. Thine alone is All Praise and All Bounty, and Thine Alone is The Sovereignty. Thou hast no partners.


We landed in Jeddah and got on a 6-hour bus trip to Medinah, all weary but still in high-spirits. I just loved Nabawi Mosque which was just beside our hotel. It was always immensely crowded particularly during praying hours but for some reason, there was a deep sense of serenity and tranquility about the place. I could pray at the mosque with thousands of other women, read the Quran, do a little bit of ibadah sunat and still felt rejuvenated afterwards.

The thought of being in the same building as the Prophet Muhammad's body (he's buried in the original part of the mosque) is quite a compelling thought, a chance that not all Muslims would have and I am eternally grateful for the experience. In front of the mosque's gates, there would be street vendors selling a variety of stuff after every fardhu prayers. Jubahs, rosary beads, scarves, prayer mats etc. so Ibu and I couldn't help but to sneak in a buy or two every time we went back to our hotel from the mosque ;)

But the heat, Subhanallah. Let's just way I'm very thankful for the sunblock, moisturizer and my sunnies. After a few days in Madinah, we went to Bir Ali Mosque for our miqat and to set our niat for our first Umrah in Mecca that was about to come.

In KLIA before departure

Directly beneath the green dome is where Prophet Muhammad is being laid to rest in Nabawi Mosque

Our Mutawwif (tour guide) during the mosque tour

At Quba' Mosque, the first mosque ever built in Islam

Jabal Uhud, where the infamous Battle of Uhud was being fought


It took us about 90 minutes to reach Mecca by bus from Madinah. Reached the city at around 11pm, freshened up at the hotel a bit and found our way to Masjidil Haram, the home of the Kaabah which was just right in front of our hotel. That moment when I walked into the mosque and saw Kaabah for the first time, that was quite a powerful and miraculous moment.

It was definitely breathtaking especially with sights of people still doing their tawaf around the Kaabah even if it was close to midnight. We preceded with our Umrah starting with the tawaf around Kaabah for 7 rounds and then Saie, walking between Safa and Marwah for 7 times too, back and forth. That was quite a journey, phew! Penat oohhh sesangatnya. And ended it with Tahallul which was done by cutting few strands of the hair to mark the end of the Umrah ritual.

Mecca is truly a city that never sleeps. People were doing their worshiping rituals at all hours, day and night. And there's just something about the Kaabah that makes it so stunning and calming even just to look at it. Physically, it's just a big black box but it has such effects on the pilgrims. The place could reduce you to tears, make you look at your ugly sins in retrospective, fill your heart with peace and a sense of awakening from deep within. But only if you fully internalized and appreciated the whole journey right from the beginning.

I love Masjidil Haram not only because of the Kaabah and the infinite benefits of the prayers there (every ibadah done in the Al-Haram area is one hundred thousand times more the pahala compared to elsewhere while Madinah's is one thousand times more) but also because of the people and the stories they tell.

In one corner you could see a father sitting in a circle with 3 of his young sons and teaching them how to read the Quran. In another corner you could see a mother playfully tickling her baby daughter and making jokes with her while waiting for the Zuhur azan to come. In front of the Kaabah, you could see men and women kneeling on their knees after their prayers, crying their hearts out to Allah while they put up their hands for doas. Some were begging for the Almighty's forgiveness, some were asking Allah if He would grant their wishes and dreams while others get teary just at the thought of God's greatness and miraculous power.

If a professional photographer could capture these beautiful moments in photos, oh how amazing they would be. I think that would be one of my dreams in the future, to initiate a photography series of Madinah and Mecca. So many stories to be told and moments to be shared!

Though I'd have to say the biggest challenge wasn't so much of the weather and the exhaustion but the people. Some Muslims who came to the Holy Land as Allah's guests could be pretty ill-mannered and how saddening, that was. I had been pushed and shoved a hundred different ways while I was in Masjidil Haram and Nabawi Mosque just because some of them couldn't be a little more patient and just wanted things to go their way. Sigh, selfish much?

Others would just throw their rubbish everywhere without any remorse even in the mosque, the place considered to be Allah's home. Good thing there were cleaners all around to clean up after their mess otherwise Masjidil Haram wouldn't be such a comfortable place for our prayers.

Saying goodbye to Mecca wasn't easy either. My heart swelled with despair and sorrow at the thought of leaving the place that gave me the chance to get closer to my Creator and find my peace. Before leaving the city, it's a must for all pilgrims to do Tawaf Wada' (farewell tawaf) and the doa being read really tugged my heartstrings.

"Ya Allah ya Tuhanku. Janganlah dijadikan tawaf dan ziarah hambamu ini sebagai kali yang penghabisan di Baitullah. Jika sekiranya ditakdirkan menjadi kali yang akhir maka hamba pohonkan syurga sebagai gantinya dengan kemurahan Engkau ya Tuhan Yang Maha Pemurah lagi Penyayang"

Ya Allah, Oh my Lord. Let this tawaf and visit not be your servant's last time in Baitullah. And if it was destined to be the last time then I seek that you grant me Heaven as the replacement through your generousity, Oh Lord, The Most Gracious and The Most Merciful.

The spiritual retreat had been a great one and my last prayer before I left the place was for Allah to accept the ibadah I did in the name of Him and for me to be given the chance to come back to this Holy Land.

We shall meet again with a renewed self and reaffirmed faith, Insyaallah.

The majestic Masjidil Haram

Our hotel that also had floors of shopping malls. Sakan shopping!

On a camel ride

With Ibu at Jabal Nur

The Kaabah in the afternoon

The Kaabah just before Maghrib came

Dinner at a seafood restaurant with a Malay family who has been living in Mecca almost all their lives

Home-cooked dinner at Aunty Sharifah's house

Self portrait in front of the Kaabah

Afternoon chaos in front of the hotel as everyone prepared to return home

Jeddah's Red Sea

Jeddah became our brief pitstop before we headed home

More photos on FB! :)

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Monologue with God

Ya Allah,
I'll be leaving for Umrah for the first time today,
Making my way to Your Holy Land,
With my parents, I hope everything will run smoothly.

Ya Allah,
I'm coming to You as Your humbled guest,
Each step I take today is a step closer to You,
There will be challenges ahead I'm sure,
But I pray to you Ya Allah,
I pray that You will bless me with enough patience, perseverance, humility, selflessness and piety,
Enough of those to get me through this journey.

Ya Allah,
Let this spiritual retreat be one that will make You forgive my ugly sins,
The one that will make me a better Muslim,
The one that will make me stronger; physically, emotionally, spiritually,
The one that will make me a better person, all around.

Ya Allah,
I'm coming to You,
With pure intention and prayers,
So I pray to You that you will bless my family's journey,
Let us go to Your Holy Land and come back safely,
For our return will be flourished with new vigour and passion,
As we continue to sow the seeds of good deeds in the name of you, Ya Allah.


Saturday, June 18, 2011

A Class Above

Was at Petronas Twin Towers earlier for an interview with one of the largest management consulting firms in the world for their leadership internship programme. Can I just say the firm is one of the best, most open and friendly organizations I've encountered (in my very narrow experience)? Really. The people there were graduates of Cambridge, UPenn, LSE, Columbia etc with various backgrounds but they were very humbled people and conversed with us, the candidates in a very casual, welcoming manner. No traces of arrogance whatsoever despite their remarkable credentials and positions.

My interviewer was an equally charming, friendly guy and our session was like a casual conversation between friends. We talked about some easygoing stuff; our love for squash, about Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston, his lifestyle at the firm, where's KYUEM (a must question!) etc. On a more serious level, I was questioned about my aspirations in my chosen field for the programme and the plans I have in bringing Malaysia forward in the field.

I chose social entrepreneurship but more specifically youth social entrepreneurship. Why youth? Because I do think a lot of the time people undermine what the youths are capable of and we're not being given the right chances to prove ourselves. Managed to come up with a plan and I coined it as 'Learn, Connect and Sustain' project. More on that later if anything concrete comes out of it :)

That was probably one of the best interviews I've had. Not only because it was with one of the most prestigious firms around but because of the people and the environment it offered. I was impressed and inspired just by reading the firm's official website and the people I met today affirmed the good impression I had of them.

Would LOVE to start my career after university at this place. The people, the working environment & lifestyle, the office are just a class above. Every project, every client, every challenge they meet is a new learning curve and the firm is definitely the place to learn and grow as a person.

Now, let's hope something good will come out of the interview.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

24 Years of the Knot

My parents mark their 24th wedding anniversary today. I believe a big CONGRATULATIONS is in order! They plan to go out on a date at a Japanese fine dining restaurant, Fukuya somewhere in KL and I'm away in KY on my last week so I can't possibly join them. They would probably love it that way.

I like what my mum wrote on her blog about her marriage after 24 years:
"We are like two opposite poles. He likes football, I like the net. I think what keeps us together for so long is the space we give to each other and the respect for each other's individuality: that we can be who we wanna be without expecting the other to change us."

And that's true. They are poles apart at times but it's funny to watch them when they are at loggerheads with each other. I think the other part that keeps them together after so long is their ability to poke fun at each other and still laugh silly at themselves. They become one another's best friends and unrivaled bickering partners.

To Ibu and Papa, may you have another 24 years to come together as a couple and thank you for becoming great role models to me. Whenever I walk into my marriage one day, I would make sure I have one that would last as long as yours or possibly longer, Insyaallah.

Manja-manja together :)

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Half the Battle


Wheww, what a month it was! SPM month might have been longer with more exam papers (20+ papers) but it was nothing compared to this AS month. I only had 3 weeks of exams, with gaps in between and at most, 7 papers. But the exhaustion, the stress, the anxiety; nothing like what I'd been through before this. I remember after sitting for my 3-hour History paper, I felt like I just finished running a marathon, literally so. When I put the last full stop after the last sentence and dropped my pen at the end of the 3 hours, I held my head back, closed my eyes and took a really deep breath. And let it go. Just to be sure I was still alive. I was, thank God!

There were days when sleeps did not come easy even after long hours of studying. Perfect example of the body being physically exhausted but the mind was still in overdrive. That's the worst feeling ever, I tell ya. You wanted to drop dead asleep on the bed but you just can't. The mind kept whirring and churning, sometimes with unnecessary thoughts. A friend even said, he couldn't sleep even at 4 in the morning and his mind started making up its own Biology questions. Haha yes, it could be THAT bad.

But then again, the exam month wasn't all that bad, to be honest. It even brought some of us closer together because being away in a residential college like KY, your friends (apart from parents, teachers etc) become one of your strongest support systems. Study groups work best in KY especially for subjects like Economics and History. We had countless History discussions, did plenty of essay plans and sometimes, our own self-taught classes among ourselves.

And no, the discussions weren't all dry and studies-related only. We did stray away from the books from time to time, just to keep ourselves sane. Silly jokes, laughters, gossip reigned the table in between our 'breaks' or when someone had something nonsensical to say.

The trick to surviving in this place is to choose the right circle of friends. Friends who are not only able to make you laugh or those you sit with during lunch or dinner but friends who you could run to in times of need, whatever the problem may be. For example, my friends whom I have classes, tennis and meals with are also the same people who are my study buddies, the ones that could explain to me what does terms of trade mean or whether the reasons behind imperialism was more aggressive than defensive.

And they're amazing people. It is never about competition among us; of who can score higher marks or get more As. No, in fact we got excited for the other if he/she did score higher marks or such. I've friends who I could reach to in the middle of the night just to ask an Economics question, snapped a photo of the question and sent it to him via Whatsapp and got a speedy, precise response in return. KY has a very positive, helpful student body and it's really up to you whether you want to be a part of it, make full use of the advantage or otherwise.

So yes, half the battle has been fought. Another year to go and this one shall not get any easier. A2 year, I think that's when the real deal begins.

Not exactly looking forward to it but it's time to mentally prepare for it. The other half of the battle is just about to get even more ruthless.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

After A Year

Today marks my 1st year of wearing the Hijab. I never knew I would last this long but Alhamdulillah :)

It all started with a twist of fate. Followed by a subtle shock to the system. Then an embrace in the heart. After awhile, a change from deep within. And finally, you move on. Like it was just any other day.

To be honest, if it wasn't because I had gone to IIUM in the first place, I would probably still remain Hijab-less. Trotting around in my summer dresses or plunging neckline shirts. Hence, like I said, it all started with a twist of fate. A blessing in disguise even though the decision to wear it came all of a sudden with my admittance into IIUM.

I was still getting used to the new look. Frankly speaking, it wasn't easy. I had to change my wardrobe (a good reason to go shopping though!), figure out which Hijab style suit me best, at the same time having doubts whether I made the right decision or not. There were days when I missed looking at the old me. The one who could wear whatever I wanted, getting the hair blown by the windy air and those summer dresses that I loved were still kept inside my wardrobe. I still played dress-ups with those dresses in front of the mirror. On my own, of course. It got worst when I was having a good hair day but I can't seem to walk around outside with it.

I think it's perfectly normal to feel that way especially if you just started wearing it. It was after all, a subtle shock to the system. You cope with it in different ways. Though I felt the best decision I ever made was not when I first decided to wear the Hijab in IIUM.

Instead, the best decision I made was when I decided to continue wearing it even after I have left IIUM for good. The initial reason I wore it was because of the university's requirement then the second reason to continue wearing it was because it didn't feel right to only wear it inside the university compound and take it off elsewhere. But when I left IIUM, I wasn't tied to the initial reason anymore therefore was free from the second reason as well. I could easily un-don the Hijab if I wanted to.

But I didn't.

Because by then I already embraced it in my heart. I finally got my niat right. Now, I'm wearing it not because of some official requirement or rules but because I want to. I do it for myself but most importantly, I do it for Allah, too. He has given me so much in the past years that it is only fair of me to realize how blessed I've been and walk on the path to become a better Muslim.

The path hasn't ended, though. I've a long way to go. There is plenty of room for improvements for me. From the clothes I wear to my words and actions to my niat and obligations. I can only hope this first year of wearing the Hijab also marks a better me.

I'm here now. And I'm here to stay.

Boo yaaa! :)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Turning 19

I'm 19 today. Reaching final year of teenagehood. Honest to goodness, I feel OLD! But it has a nice feeling to it. The feeling of hitting another milestone in my life, knowing that my past 19 years hadn't been a complete waste of time.

I wasn't too excited about my birthday this year compared to the years before. Probably because I'm the midst of my exams (had Psychology paper on the same day. How sucky was that?!) but 19 is quite a number, isn't it?

I'm trying to sound all meaningful and melancholic about this birthday post but mehh, failing miserably. It had been a long day for me. Had AS exams, classes and homework, played tennis, 2 hours of History night class and discussions, socialising with college friends throughout the day. I felt like a 'super student' today. But the best part was when, as we were all coming down the stairs after our History class, I saw a group of people in the dimness of the night and they suddenly burst into a 'Happy Birthday' song.

It was a birthday surprise for me and Dylan, who had her birthday on the same day. They surprised us with two boxes of Wondermilk cupcakes and then everyone just lingered around, enjoying the cupcakes and chit-chatting. Such a wonderful gesture by these people considering that it's the exam season and they were probably busy studying in their chalets or the RC before this. Thank you, guys. I was touched :)

Coming back to my failed deep, thoughful post on turning 19, all I've to say is another year has passed. A year older now, hopefully a year wiser, too. What does it feel like being 19? I don't know, it has only been a day. I'll get back to you on that.

My one birthday wish on this 19th year is that Allah will give me enough strength and patience as I weave my way through getting where I want to be. I'm only 19 but I've plenty of big dreams of my own and of other things, too. This is only the beginning of everything.

Yeaahh, I'm rambling. I should really go to bed now. Zzzzz.

Thank you Allah for the past amazing 19 years. I had a great day turning 19.

Here's to more years to come. So many more, hopefully. Cheers! :)

P/S Also, read this amusing, quirky birthday post by my Mum. Made me tear up a little when reading it. Enjoy.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Beach Life

So, trials were over and done with. But AS is coming up in another one week. Next Monday! OMG, THIS IS SCARY.

But anyway, I thought I'd fill you in with what happened after trials. Housetrip! All houses had their Housetrips on the same weekend after trials with Diamond in Pulau Perhentian, Garnet in Pulau Pangkor, Sapphire in Pulau Pinang while Topaz went to Kuantan. Yeah, yeah Kuantan may not be the most beautiful place to be in but surprisingly, we had a fab time at our Housetrip. With comfy hotel rooms (Swiss Garden Resort & Spa), elaborate breakfast and dinner buffets, the white sandy beach being few steps away from our rooms, what's not to love, right?

I've seen how hard the committee worked in making it happen. They had some major obstacles along the way from changes in locations to shortages of funds to last minute pull-outs from the House members. It was no easy task but I think they did a tremendous job in pulling this off. At the end of the day, we enjoyed ourselves and rejoiced in the company of fellow Topazians who came along. So, great job! :)

Okay, photos. In no particular order. Enjoyyyy.

The hotel we stayed in for 3 days and 2 nights

In my beach attire

Megat, Zehan, Me and Dora in front of Teluk Cempedak beach

Dancing by the bonfire with Alippp

Sunrise overlooking the horizon

The guys trying to make out the word 'TOPAZ', I guess?

Roommates for the trip in our hotel room

Trying to be Yuna with the guitar while crooning out 'Deeper Conversation' by the beach

With the lovely captains of Topaz, Megat and Zehan

The night of our arrival

Our 'Ala E wa' league
The guys pretended to chase after 'Yuna' when it was

The Topazian family

Here's a couple of photos unrelated to the Housetrip but got them from Megat's camera anyway.

I love this photo! We look like a group of young, aspiring students kan? Hehe.

And the winning Phoenix kite that helped Topaz garnered first place in last week's Kite Making Competition

Friday, April 01, 2011

Exam Season

Arrghhh, it's the exam season again!! I've two weeks of trials next week and 3 weeks after that comes one month of AS exams. With classes still going on as usual on days without exams.

It's like SPM all over again. You have 1 year to cram for it, do endless past year papers, get all stressed up, go through jitters of the exam season and at the end of the day, you sit for the same exams taken by 100, 000++ students all over. Except that this time is even more intense. So much more.

You sit for exams set by University of Cambridge with the other thousands of A-level students all over the world. You have more pages of essays to write, harder mathematical equations to solve and deeper thoughts to delve into. And if you falter badly, you'll miss your next plane to UK or where ever you're planning to go. In other words, you won't be able to get into the choice of your university. Scary, no? Very!

I've been prepping myself for the upcoming trials and AS exams and well, even with trials being few days away, I don't really feel the jitters yet. I think it's the fact that my teachers are so laid-back about them. They don't believe in getting so stressed up over some mock papers when our real aim should be the AS exams and eventually the A2 exams. My History teacher made this clear to us, "Quite frankly I don't care what you score for your trials. I wouldn't look at it but rather evaluate you based on your performances through out the 2 semesters you had." And of them even said, "Trial exams are part of learning. If you want to make a mess, make it now!" Ahh, how can you not love them :)

It doesn't mean we're going to take our trials lightly but we'll do the most we can and improve from there. So I'm free to make my mess this time. Hopefully it'll be a beautiful mess though. If you know what I mean.

But exams are still exams. That means less play time for me till they're all over in June. So do expect very few updates on here till I'm done.

Here's to another round of the exam season. Cheers!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Of Romantic Wedding and Reunion of Friendships

I've always loved fairy tale weddings and sweet romances. You know, those stuff that make you all gooey and warm-hearted in the inside. Hanna's elder sister, Lina got married on Saturday to her long-time boyfriend, Zakwan whom she met while studying in France few years back. Some of us were fortunate enough to be invited and boyy, did we have a ball of a time at the wedding.

The setting was beautiful. It was a fusion of garden & Greek-themed wedding, in a way. The bride was certainly dressed like a gorgeous Greek goddess in her white dress with a trail that flowed effortlessly on the floor. Fresh flowers adorned the tables and around the house, too. And soft hues of lights lit up the place with the guests dressing up to their nines as well.

I loved how the performances were not by some invited artists or celebrities but by their own family members. Hanna's big and small cousins, younger brother, aunty and even her pregnant sister-in-law took the stage to entertain us with their renditions of love songs. An intimate affair, it was.

Though I've to say the table with the DJ-ian peeps was probably the noisiest, most kecoh table of the night. It's been awhile since we last saw each other so there were lots of stories, jokes and excitement to be shared with. But that's just how we are when we get together in a big group. I've always thought I pumped up a muscle or two in the stomach every time I met them. So much laughing went on! Hehehe.

I've known Lina ever since I was friends with Hanna about 6 years ago. She had always been the sweet, pretty older sister though we hardly saw much of her since she was away in France to do her studies. Tonight, when she came to our table to greet us, she said, "Dah lain dah muka-muka kat meja ni." (The faces on this table are different now.) Haha indeed, it's been 6 years anyway. She's different too. More beautiful and demure-looking with her own fresh career at Accenture and now, being newly (and happily) married to Zakwan.

Congratulations, Lina and Zakwan! May your love grow even stronger from here onwards and may your future be even more wonderful than you ever dreamed possible :)

Us girls at the wedding. Left to right: Anis, Hanna, Syira, Alia, Me, Shiqin

Salwa, the sister-in-law performing a song while accompanied by the brother-in-law's strums of guitar

The setting of the wedding

Group shot with the bride and the groom

With Alia and Anis. I felt tall. Must be the heels. Hehe.

The Greek goddess of the night with her groom and sister

Blown away! With Alia and Shiqin

The compulsory 'Vogue' pose with Hanna Banana

Polaroid shots were taken of the guests and we could write congratulatory notes to the couple and hang them together on a tree. So adorable!

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Seni Seviyorum, Turkiye

When one of my former Turkish tutors, Isil texted me if I was interested to help with the Turkish Language Olympics booth at the Turkish Cultural Carnival, I immediately said Yes! I've not seen any of them for a very long time and was looking forward to this encounter again.

The Carnival wasn't only on the Turkish culture but we had people from South Korea, Poland, Turkmenistan, Indonesia, Egypt etc coming over and setting up their own booths there. And the foods on sale made my mouth water and made my appetite turned into a hungry monster.

I had the chance to meet my former tutors, Sumeyra and Isil and their other friends. Met the other Malaysian participants of the Olympics, the batches after me (2008). And the kids who were there were soooooo adorable! I felt like kidnapping one home. The handsome guys, too. Hehehe.

I realized how much I missed Turkey. The beautiful people, the delicious food, the resplendent views of the country. I had an 'American Dream' and I also had a 'Turkish Dream'. My mum would probably kill me for saying this but I dream to marry a handsome, hunky Turkish man, move to Istanbul and have pretty Turkish babies together. Yayyerr =p

Turkey, I will come and visit you again. One fine day. Gorusuruz, Turkiye!

With Sumeyra and Isil, the lovely Turkish ladies who taught me how to speak the language.

A few of the adorable kids who were there. Turkish, Polish and African little boys.

At the Turkish booth

With the girls from Kazakhstan (or was it Turkmenistan)

Musical tribute to Kazakhstan

Ahh, once upon a time ago. The poster from 2008