"I have never been able, really, to regret anything in all my life. I have always been far much too absorbed in the present moment or the immediate future to think back."
-Albert Camus.

It's hard not to regret what you've done wrong, but i try to live with that idea in my mind. You should regret things done wrong if you're doing it over and over again, and indeed, try to find the solution for your failures but if you look back at your life, the regrets lie in things that you didn't do more than the things you did wrong. Because you do learn something from your mistakes, but you can't do anything but say, 'Hey, i wish i could have done that when i was younger.'

And the Russian language, is one of my biggest regrets of my entire life. It's not like a suicidal regret, like i want to jump off a building for not mastering a Soviet language, just that i thought i could have done better and learn it more properly. After 6 years and yet to master (as in being really fluent in writing and speaking) a foreign language, that's quite unacceptable.

It all started when i was at INTEC, Shah Alam, where we had our prep before coming to Russia. It was basically language studies. Russian language had a different set of alphabets so we started from the very bottom. I was playing truant most of the time. At times i was really sick, as it was a sequela from my fever ridden days before SPM which had continued quite a few times after. But most of the time, i was just lazy.

An as a result, the teacher disliked me. 'Hated me' might sound too strong but i can guess she was close to that.

The pinnacle arrived when i was asked to the whiteboard to write and then read. The magnificent thing was i read it incorrectly. I can't remember the exact word but here's an example. This word here, "медицинского", that means 'medical' in English. Romanized, letter by letter, it should be something like this 'Medisinskogo'. But it is not read as -kogo, as in Latin or English, but should be read as -kava at the ending. So the word should be read this way 'Medisinskava'.

I got off from my chair in that winter cold class room, went to the board, wrote something and i was asked to read. I gazed at the word as if it was a physics' question needing a bogus formula by some Italians with cute surnames like Bernoulli or Machiavelli, and finally, with little confidence, i uttered, yea, you guessed it right.

'Medisinskogo', instead of the right pronunciation of 'Medisinskava'. The teacher offered me a smile and corrected me. That was one of the funniest moments in my life. I didn't regret that because i knew i had lots of time later in Russia to learn the language.

Things changed drastically when i arrived in Volgograd. I was the teacher's pet of my Russian language teachers. Yes. THE teacher's pet. We had 4 Russian language teachers through out the 6 years of studies and all of them sorta liked me one way or the other. I am not implying that i have superior Russian language skills, all i am saying is that i have this mix Russian-Japanese-Malay looks that the teachers really like.

There's proof. Once, when i was in Saint Petersburg, a young Russian girl came up to me while i was waiting for the train to Moscow and gave me a flower. A daisy, it was, if i am not mistaken. She offered me a kiss but i backed off, telling her, 'a flower means much more than kisses'.

Okay, the second part was pure fiction to enhance your reading experience. Yes, a girl did give me a flower, so maybe i've got the exotic looks that those Russian language teachers like about me.

Well, in the end, they liked me because i was able to memorize most of my homework and rarely make grammatical errors. It's not that i am that good, it's just that i use the same sentence construction over and over again so as to minimize my mistakes. And the teachers like that. To rewrite something out of my scope of learning would be a painstaking experience.

Maybe i was not giving that right attitude of learning a foreign language. I tried taking up Arabic by myself but i don't reserve enough time to really really study the language. Language is not just about grammar and writing, the most important element is speaking and you need to train yourself speaking the language. I am so untalkative, which makes it triple hard to master a language. And i wish i could be more spontaneous, because i do take time to figure out words which should exit my mouth.

Language is something extra and there's a lot to it if you master a language. Translator, maybe you could become an ambassador of a foreign country. The menu in foreign language you read in the flights, that's like a professional work, including all other publications big or small. You could be part of an advertising company, a traveling company, or become a correspondent journalist and all that.

Beyond that, language is also a tool Allah used to propagate Islam. Take the Qur'an for example, which Muslims believe to be inimitable.

17 : 88 Say: "If the whole of mankind and Jinns were to gather together to produce the like of this Qur'an, they could not produce the like thereof, even if they backed up each other with help and support.

Prophets of the past were given special powers as a proof of their prophecy, suitable for the people living at that particular period of time. To the people of Firaun or Pharaoh in Egypt, Allah sent Moses and gave him the power of magic to counter against the people of that period of time who were deep into black magic.

7 : 116-118 Said Moses: "Throw ye (first)." So when they threw, they bewitched the eyes of the people, and struck terror into them: for they showed a great (feat of) magic. We put it into Moses's mind by inspiration: "Throw (now) thy rod":and behold! it swallows up straight away all the falsehoods which they fake! Thus truth was confirmed, and all that they did was made of no effect.

To the Prophet Isa a.s. or Jesus Christ was given the power of healing the blind and lepers, bringing back the dead alive probably because the people of his time had practised medicine and such acts by Nabi Isa would be considered as miraculous.

5 : 111 ...and thou healest those born blind, and the lepers, by My leave. And behold! thou bringest forth the dead by My leave....

And so, the Qur'an was sent down to the people of Arabia through the Prophet Muhammad SAW with a language unparalleled of, because the people at that time were deep into poetry and there were these soothsayers, or kahins who would recite them as part of their rituals. And so the Qur'an is not only the bearer of truth as we Muslims believe, but also a work of Allah of literary importance. Even orientalists have described the language as being 'carefully rhymed' and a Italic'literary device capable of delivering profound effects'.

That's why we need to read the Qur'an over and over again, and try to read between the lines and understand it. And if you have extra time, try learning Arabic because it will be useful to comprehend what you're reading, particularly during your prayers.

There's lot more to language than meets the eye. One day, when i look back at my time in Russia, i will always remember those peculiar moments going to shops and saying, 'I want that, this, that and that,' because i didn't know what those groceries were called in russian. Damn.
I watched Top Chef masters finale with my roommates. It's a dinner time thing and we were having 'Sweet bitter yellowish gravy lemon chicken'. We are yet to cook the duck we bought on Friday. I can't appreciate the series that much, but still it's an exciting show.

Their descriptions of those foods were totally out of this world.

"That food made me shiver." Wow.

"That's just marvellous!" You know, with that face of utter, pure disbelief, as if they had taken the best food in the universe. Their eyes go exophthalmoic, bulging out of their orbits while their masseter muscles keep on munching and exclaiming how those foods have changed their perception of what eating is all about.


Most of the time, they have done one big mistake in their cooking. That one blasphemic sin and i would certainly disqualify them for making such an error.

'Where's the rice? How could you give me this whatever meat you cooked without white rice accompanying it?'

'But i..but i..'

'You're fired.'

That's why i am not a food critique.

In the end, it's just food, you twat!
When i have some free time, i read Sherlock Holmes on my iPhone.

A close friend, who has a collection of Sherlock Holmes' books recommended them to me. He had this very old version of them, with dog eared, brownish-yellow dull pages here and there. He pinpointed Holmes' extraordinary observation skills and his egoistic character.

So i have started reading since and the stories have never disappointed me. Wonderfully written, superb language, this is the definitive detective story you have to read. I'm not interested with all these CSI-detective-cop stories but Sherlock Holmes is just fun to read. Period. Of all fiction i've read my entire life, this is the book i would recommend to anybody and everybody.

After some time reading it, i realized that he has an ego equal to Dr. House. And it's not a surprise that you could find on wikipedia that both characters have parallel attributes. Both have this perception that they are the best in what they do. Both are drug addicts : Holmes to cocaine, House to Vicodin. House lives in Apartment 221B, while Holmes lived in 221B Baker Street. While you have watched Dr. House's observatory skills, here's an example of Holmes'.

This is from a story called The Stock-Broker's Clerk in 'The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes'. After having a small conversation and inviting his sidekick Dr. Watson for an investigation of a case in Birmingham, Holmes remarked that Watson 'has been unwell latelly'. And so Dr. Watson asked :

"How, then, did you know of it?"

"My dear fellow, you know my methods."

"You deduced it, then?"


"And from what?"

"From your slippers."

Then Holmes continued :-

"You could not have had them more than a few weeks. The soles which you are at this moment presenting to me are slightly scorched. For a moment i thought they might have got wet and been burned in the drying. But near the instep there is a small circular wafer of paper with the shopman's hieroglyphics upon it. Damp would of course have removed this. You had, then, been sitting with your feet outstretched to the fire, which a man would hardly do even in so wet a June as this if he were in his full health."

Dr. Watson, the sidekick who is the narrator of almost all these stories/adventures then reflected upon his explanation, "He read the thought upon my features, and his smile had a tinge of bitterness."

"I am afraid that i rather give myself away when i explain," said he (Holmes). "Results without causes are much more impressive. You are ready to come to Birmingham, then?"

That's an ego the size of a universe.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the author of these stories was a physician and wrote these stories while waiting for patients in his usual daily practice. His epitaph reads, "Patriot, Physician and Man of Letters." He certainly was a man of language.

Hope the movie does not disappoint, although i know it will since the experience of reading the stories was excellent, it would take a gigantic effort for the movie to overwhelm the books.
Slept for a few hours last Thursday and my roommate reserved the final 30 odd minutes of the movie '2012' for us to watch together at dinner time. And after we finished cooking, i witnessed Roland Emmerich's version of how, supposedly, the world would end.

But what i saw could not match the flavor that entertained my taste buds. Maybe the sumptuous taste of the red pepper chicken overpowered the quality of the movie. Or maybe, the movie was simply horrendous.

Now, cue 'red pepper chicken' as one of the searches that will lead people to this blog. Red Pepper Chiken. Red Peppery Chickens. Reddish Chicken. Radish chicken.

By the time the movie ended, i realized that Roland Emmerich has an appetite for destruction. This is the guy who directed 'The day after tomorrow' and 'Godzilla'. Probably his fetish, but i just don't care about that. And the hero, Joe Cusack reminded me of Tom Cruise in 'War of the worlds'. You've got to be divorced to be a hero in an apocalyptic-end of the world movie, and both of them were.

When people get divorced, there's this similar tune playing : Irreconcilable Differences. In Terengganu, irreconcilable differences may be defined by the following terms : smelly body odour, humdrum sex, and the best of all, boring pyjamas. I'm a Kedahan, and where i come from, they have yet to define anything about irreconcilable differences. But if those 3 reasons come up, then i am sure the world will becoming to an end anytime soon.

But why did they bother to save the world under the banner of saving humanity in '2012'? The people who were saved were a bunch of selfish lunatics who either kept it as a secret or paid a heavy sum to get on that arc. Humanity is ingrained with wickedness and evil. There's no end to it. The first recorded murder in human history, the murder of Abel by Cain, or Habil and Qabil in Islamic literature testifies to this.

There's this sickening state of humanity. Of greed, jealousy, the quest for the material world, the hatred. Don't look that in anyone else, look that in you. It's just like how people never run out of ways to kill. One day they strangulate. The next day they stab. Then they choke. Electrocute. Gun down the culprit.

2 : 30 Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: "I will create a vicegerent on earth." They said: "Wilt Thou place therein one who will make mischief therein and shed blood?- whilst we do celebrate Thy praises and glorify Thy holy (name)?" He said: "I know what ye know not."

I've read of people losing faith in humanity, and it's not hard to see why. The best thing you could do is to be selfish for a moment and look at yourself thoroughly, and more importantly save yourself before you could save others. The road for betterment is long and winding, and some people just can't keep a straight path on it. Everyone thinks its just too early, we're just too young to change but in the end we will regret some things that we didn't do in our lives instead of the things we did.

23 : 99-100 (In Falsehood will they be) Until, when death comes to one of them, he says: "O my Lord! send me back (to life), "In order that I may work righteousness in the things I neglected." - "By no means! It is but a word he says."- Before them is a Partition till the Day they are raised up.

Save humanity? Like in that movie '2012'? You'll regret your move. Humans never really do change.
As the new Maal Hijrah calendar unfolds, and the new Gregorian year coming up, i can't quite remember when did i last make a new year's resolution. I stopped believing in such things because they never quite materialize.

And as the new year arrive, our ages are up by one. Age is an official indicator of the underlying, ongoing ageing process but birthdays hide the fact that i am getting older with each letter i am typing on this dusty, old and rotten keyboard of mine. With each passing of time, everyone wants to progress, to change for the better although the degree of how much we want to change varies. The rule of the thumb is, we all want to morph into butterflies, rather than being caterpillars all of our entire lives.

But progressing itself is not an annual event. It is this constant struggle to evolve day by day that defines our existence. One of the things i like to do is to criticize myself subconsciously. I think everyone does that.

Hey you, handsome boy.

You're going to become a doctor in 7 months' time. You're going to be responsible for people's lives. But you're just way too lazy at the moment. You're happy each time you get a mark '5' in class, as if you have just received your masters' or PhD scroll. You tell me that's complacency but you're still in your old state of jolly. Work harder, you need to.

One point me and my subconscious mind agree upon is the fact that we are blessed with the same home by which we are able to live in this world ; this wonderful physical appearance of ours. Another thing we agree upon is that we are both fond of wasting time. There has been a warning by Allah in the Qur'an :

103 : 1-2 By the token of time. Verily man is in loss.

It was aforementioned by God that we would almost certainly waste our time doing nothing. If there's one thing i want to change, it should be about my time management. It sucks big time.

From a historical sense, hijrah was the migration of the Prophet and his followers from the city of Makkah to Medinah. He realized that he was facing an oppression he could not resist, a gallant battle to preach to those in Mecca. So, upon an invitation from the residents of Yathrib, the Prophet emigrated to Madinah to spread the teachings of Islam. It needed proper planning and a lot of sacrifice in order to achieve that goal. And in the end, the plan succeeded. He realized that plan A wasn't working and took plan B instead, which was to travel to Madinah.

Einstein once stated, 'nothing more stupid than doing the same thing twice and expecting different results.' Therefore, i need not only criticise myself, but at the same time work things out so that i may reap the rewards.

Salam maal hijrah and a happy new year to all of you.

'Stesen berikutnya, Pasar Seni. Next Station, pasar seni.'

And the voice of the familiar female announcer rings in the Putra LRT, the same voice you may hear at banks or post offices. She must be making millions out of those patented recordings.

Once you've stepped out of those air conditioned Putra wagons, it is most likely that you will be greeted by the scorching heat of Kuala Lumpur. After an escalator ride and a few flights of stairs downwards, you can observe Central Market, or Pasar Seni.

Erected in the late 1880s, it served as a wet market for the folks of the city. I could assume it was a far cry from the current wet markets we are able to find in the city. Whereas, there were no posh supermarkets like Carrefour, Cold Storage, or Pasar Borong Mydin back in those days. Instead, you may hear voices bargaining for fresh products such as meat, chicken, fish or vegetables.

Pasar Seni or Pasar Budaya, Central Market’s names in the Malay language, do not denote the exact same meaning in English. ‘Seni’ or ‘budaya’ carry the meaning of ‘arts’ and ‘culture’ respectively, and aptly so, since now it has become a de facto symbol of arts and culture in Kuala Lumpur.

Throughout the years, tourists have thronged Central Market for a piece of memento from Kuala Lumpur, ranging from handy crafts, t-shirts, key chains, so on and so forth. For Malaysians, it lies deep in our culture not only as a historical landmark, but also as the place where dreams are made of.

Here you can find street artistes, a painter or a musician, strutting their stuff in and about the building.

Dreams in the form of a hollowed, six stringed instrument. Finding means of life, chord after chord ringing in the humid air of the city, singing songs in pure unadulterated vocals, clad in their knee-torn jeans and ragged t-shirts. Some may come from far away, with the hopes of securing a recording contract or at least, an offer for a gig. They dare to dream. Passer bys show their acknowledgement by throwing coins into the hat or the guitar bag lying in front of the performer, and he would thank them by nodding his head as a sign of mutual respect.

A painter manifests his dreams through brushes and pencils. Upon requests from customers, he paints a portrait or a caricature of them to pocket some money. He does a little more touch up to his artwork before he finally hands them the final piece.

These everyday people are the heart and soul of the city. They are the myriads of colour which brighten up the life of Kuala Lumpur.

The significance of Central Market stems from it's functional evolution; from being a mere wet market to be one of the most famous landmarks of Kuala Lumpur. There will come a day when all your MidValleys, KLCCs, Times Squares and Pavillions lose their significance, being replaced by more modern and sophisticated shopping malls.

However, Central market, with all its humble splendour will still be the heart and soul of Kuala Lumpur for ages and ages to come, ingrained with history and a culture unparalleled of.

I have this feedjit counter installed on my blog. It's like a toll which shows where do the visitors of my blog come from and how did they get here. So there are times when i come back to my blog and stalk my own counter just for fun.

Most of the time, they arrived after searching for, well, let's say normal things such as Maxes ifon plans or my former school which is somewhere on an island called Langkawi. Others include sepak takraw, some football players like Danny Aggger and Scholesyy, Mamaevv Kurgan, Dawood Wharnsbyy for a post i wrote about him. Another popular search is 'chronic introverted personality disorder', which is a title for a post on my blog.

There are also those who arrived after searching for 'Cristiano Ronaldo is ugly', which is another title of a previous post. It shows that i am not alone in the world, that there are others who actually have a pair of decent and honest eyes of how Cristiano Ronaldo really looks like.

I haven't updated the iPhone post. The last thing i've heard is that, they are freely selling the officially unlocked version in Malaysia.

But there are some searches which amaze and amuse me at the same time.

The most peculiarly popular search i've encountered is 'gustiy lengann', which i mentioned in my post 'Gusti' somewhere in September . There was a sudden hike of visitors searching for it in October/November. There was a consistent search for it through out that period of time. Maybe there was a big tournament going in Malaysia, like some world arm wrestling competition or something a little bit low scale, like the national arm wrestling championship in Malaysia.

It's like, not everybody wakes up and suddenly decides to type 'gustiiy lengaan' on their search engines. Or am i wrong? Let's refresh what i wrote in that post.

'Bukan gustiyy lengaan. Sukan yang sungguh gay di mana 2 lelaki berpegang-pegang tangan. Bukan juga gusti Greco-Roman. Itu lagi gay, berpeluk-pelukan di atas lantai. Tapi aku maksudkan ialah gusti lah, yang paling gay antara ketiga-tiga jenis gusti ni, yang biasa ditayangkan di TV tu.'

That's it. I was saying that i loved the gayest of the 3 forms of wrestling. That's all. And that's just a joke.

Some other weird ways to arrive on my blog include
*Pelajar Ausmaaattt tak lepas (Ausmaaat students who didn't pass)
*Harga cermin mata murah di Temeerloh (cheap glasses/spectacles in Temerloh)
*Gambar cermin mata (pictures of glasses)
*Some other weird search i've never managed to write down

But the pinnacle of it all, the one that triggered me to write this, is the search for this term :

'MRSMmm Langkawee Sex'

Oh boy, that guy must be a superb pervert. Or is it a girl?

Now i'm going to write this to promote my blog on the net.

Paris Hilton sexy pictures. Very nice.

Happy searching.

Note : Some of the words were intentionally spelled the wrong way so that they won't be misled again and again with those searches to this blog. If, somehow, they arrive on this blog with such words with the wrong spelling, they could either

1) have a weird sense of spelling humour.
2) have a bad command in language/spelling
3) have a malfunctioning keyboard
4) or worse, they are just stalking my blog.
The bridegroom who passed away yesterday in that fatal accident happened to be a friend of mine, my ex-classmate at Langkawi, Ariff Kadir. He passed away along with his parents and a friend of his.

A friend sms-ed me while i was having my lessons, informing me that he had passed away in an accident hours after he took the solemn oath of marriage. It was hard to sink in, but after awhile i just realized i lost a friend.

Few days before, a Chinese friend who hangs out quite often in my room told me that he had lost a friend in an accident, who happened to be a son of a CEO of some large company. The news appeared on the Star.

How ironic. I never thought i would experience the same feeling of losing a friend in an accident days later.

I was not the closest guy to him at school, but he was the president of the student council board and we worked together most of the time. His work entails him to plan a lot, of course, that's the job of the president. He's just the opposite of what i am. I'm a bulldozer, I just let my life flow by, while he's more intricate, planning bits here and there. And i think he has made some financial investments for his future, maybe planning for himself and his family. I bet his plan to be a lecturer has something to do with his planning, whether to continue his studies at the university or for his research or something. Besides, he was already planning his Islamic preachings to the youths of Perlis from what i read here.

In essence, he was living a life as a traveler, planning here, planning there.

Nobody plans their deaths, but his, was planned well by God.

It happened on a Friday, the holiest of days of a week in Islamic beliefs. Furthermore, it was approaching weekend and people would have time to travel back to Perlis to pay their last respects to him and his family. But ultimately, it took place while he was about to get married. Although it didn't turn out according to plan, those who gathered had the chance to pay their final respects for them, offering prayers as a form of gifts for those who have passed away.

For all of our plans, God is the master planner. And his passing was a shock to all those who have known him. Reality bites.

39 : 42 It is Allah that takes the souls (of men) at death; and those that die not (He takes) during their sleep: those on whom He has passed the decree of death, He keeps back (from returning to life), but the rest He sends (to their bodies) for a term appointed verily in this are Signs for those who reflect.

39 : 42 Allah (Yang Menguasai Segala-galanya), Dia mengambil dan memisahkan satu-satu jiwa dari badannya, jiwa orang yang sampai ajalnya semasa matinya dan jiwa orang yang tidak mati: Dalam masa tidurnya; kemudian Dia menahan jiwa orang yang Dia tetapkan matinya dan melepaskan balik jiwa yang lain (ke badannya) sehingga sampai ajalnya yang ditentukan. Sesungguhnya yang demikian itu mengandungi tanda-tanda yang membuktikan kekuasaan Allah bagi kaum yang berfikir (untuk memahaminya).

May Allah bless the souls of Ariff, his parents and friend.

And as the latin phrase goes, 'memento mori'. We all will die, eventually.

(harmonica plays in the background)

I've had fever and headaches for about 3 weeks now. I thought it was a normal turn-of-the-season event. It's getting cold, so i thought my body was reacting to the weather.

So, i went to class as usual, dismissing those symptoms as mere nonsense up until yesterday, when both became unbearable, the fever and the headache. So i checked my blood pressure and it was lower than my normal self, 105/70. Mine is at 120/80, which is the average normal blood pressure.

And yesterday, the diarrhea started. I thought it was going to be a diarrhea-free year for me, but i was wrong. Now, it has become the eagerly and annually anticipated event.

For these past 2 weeks i am easily fatigued, i could barely concentrate studying. But i could handle reading all those football news. And the Dr. M vs Mr. Nazri verbal wrestling. Above all else, i still managed to force myself to write something on this blog.

But i do wonder which intestinal bug is hitting me. Whatever it is, it is affecting my whole body and not only my stomach.

Funny thing is, i've never lost my appetite. Few years back, when the whole cooking collective of ours, 5 of us, were hit simultaneously with food poisoning, with diarrhea and fever, i was the one left intact with a full scale appetite. Fairuz, my roommate even got admitted that time around.

"What are we going to eat now? Curry? Coorma? Red hot chicken? Kentucky Friend Chicken?"

"After like 93 trips to the toilet you still have the nerves to eat?"

"My God given appetite is a gift i won't dare to deny."

Oh well, i think i need to be more cautious in terms of eating. More fruits, i guess. I ate an orange today for breakfast, which is like the 34th wonder of the world. I rarely eat fruits, unless they are peeled and presented right in front of my eyes on a plate with 2 scoops of ice cream. Manja nak mampos! But i do like bananas, and dislike the durian in whatever form it is (tempoyak, ice cream, pulut durian).

Now, i am gulping litres of water to replace loss fluids. I wanted to pay a visit at the polyclinic, but i am just too lazy with all the bureaucracy there. We are only allowed to go to one clinic here, and worst of all, you could only go there at 3 in the afternoon. If you have diarrhea overnight, and go to the clinic in the morning, they will tell you to come back at 3.

It was not like this a few years back, when we were allowed to go to several clinics in the city. When the university discovered a long lost treasure; the foreign students, they opened a clinic of their own, something like a semi private clinic so that all the students could only get treatment there and they would make millions out of us. . It's crap, but it's Russia.

But i tend to get treatment when it becomes worse. So don't follow my footsteps. If you have any complaints, just pay a visit to the neighbourhood doctor.

Something tells me i may become a stubborn patient myself in the future.
I finally discovered that an MRSM Langkawi junior exists among the first year freshies (i dislike this word actually). MRSM Langkawi is now no more a PKP. There are only 3 PKPs left according to that junior of mine; Taiping, Jasin and PC. And most teachers have now gone somewhere else. We had a mini conversation few days back.

'Dia ni dulu ketua pengawas'. (He was the head prefect). Mentioned a friend to this super junior of mine.

There was a chorus of wooo from someone to my left.

Brouhaha. I was a head prefect. Big deal. If they had given me the post of Arts and Culture Bureau, i might have turned the school into Maktab Rendah Seni Mara. But hey, i enjoyed my time waking people up for Subuh prayers and wearing black pants instead of khaki like the other kids did.

Well, i won through an election. It was, actually, a pseudo popularity contest. If you look good enough, they will vote for you.

'Comelnye abang ni! Lawanya kakak ni!' (Heavenly handsome looks! Wow, she's like Snow White!)

Heck, i was super lame during the manifesto. I was never good at talking in public. It still gives me the creeps. But i thought i got most of my votes from the males. I was never close to the opposite sex and maybe the girls at my school took me as the propagator of male supremacy, i guess.

'He's a male chauvinist! He champions male supremacy! Don't vote for him!'

I used to be the class monitor in my primary school days, the one who says 'Banguuunnn!! Se-La-Mat Se-Jah-Te-Ra Cikgu!'. And i was like the teacher's pet. There was a time, at Standard 4, when a friend, Kamal Fadzulee his name was, brought KFC to eat during recess, and i asked a bit. It was 5 minutes to recess, maybe less, and he peeled the skin off from the meat. I told him, 'Later dude, it's not yet recess', but he handed it to me anyway. Tempted by smell of it, or maybe i was hungry, i put it into my mouth and started munching. I thought i had pulled off the trick of the century by eating KFC skin during a lesson in class while a teacher is present. But the teacher saw it.

'What are you eating?'

No answer.'Nyam.Nyam.'Munching. I took sometime before i finally answered. I took close to 40 munches, maybe more, and then, like a pimp at his prime, i told my teacher. 'Kulit ayam KFC.'

Well, i got away with that. I had the immunity because i was the monitor lizard.

After schooldays long gone, i have been taking the odd jobs for events here and there. It was due to a)too lazy to hold any posts and b)i thought i was lacking experience, and i think this is true.

After awhile of watching things happen here and there, i finally, although albeitly late, have realized that money is super important for any club/associations/movements. I know it's a super lame statement, but really, capital is the answer for anything, besides good governance. Even if you have ideas to run your group, you won't be able to do so without enough capital.

Because i was doing too much prescribed jobs, like writing names of those make noise in class, i never had even the slightest idea that money moves everything. I always thought that the annual budget was all about the government showing off how rich they were.

"Hey Thailand, we're this rich! You won't get much selling those fake jerseys!"

Take for example, the Kelab UMNO Luar Negara or KULN for short. They're in a good position financially because they have been given funds to conduct their activities, without the need to generate funds. A good friend of mine recycles the money in order to make further income, and to distribute the income to the poor people of Indonesia through various charity programmes. And he is even making good money for himself by becoming a supporting actor in a TV series.

The Chinese and Indians here in Volgograd, have to work extra hard in order to have some money for all their activities. The Indians here conducted businesses on Sundays in order to finance their Deepavali function, while the Chinese are doing the same thing too, selling all kinds of delicacies on Sundays.

The guys here in Volgograd are doing a good job too with their charity drill to raise funds for the construction of a mosque here. And the exterior does look more like a masjid day by day and you could help further here.

I was never interested in the money making although i am greedy, because i was never business minded in the first place. Maybe i should think more of money, not only through the view of these clubs/associations but also on a personal level. I need to have good governance of my money, man.

So, it's time to be greedy, it's time to be stingy. Think money.

And oh, by the way, denggi means money in Russian.

PS : Hope you could spend some of your capital for this guy here, who has been suffering from complications after donating his liver. The donee, has since passed away. Thanks.
1. I am not a European, nor am i a Swiss. I am a Malaysian, with Japanese genes.

2. But i want to busy my own body to talk about the recent ban on minarets in Switzerland which left some people so emotionally charged up.

3. The first mosque or masjid ever built was the Masjid Quba, which was an open air mosque, which could be barely qualified as an architectural unit back then. The construction was completed years after the Prophet passed away and the 108th verse of chapter 9, surah at-tawbah, is widely believed to refer to this masjid.

9 : 108 .......There is a mosque whose foundation was laid from the first day on piety; it is more worthy of the standing forth (for prayer) therein. In it are men who love to be purified; and Allah loveth those who make themselves pure.

No minarets. No domes. No whatsoever. The foundation is piety.

4. The minaret comes from Islam's origins in Arab. If the Prophet Muhammad were a Chinese, then our mosques might look something like this.

5. We should separate what is culture and what is religion, because at times we are totally mixed up about things. For example, Malays long time ago started reading the chapter Yaasin from the Qur'an on the night before Friday , which we would usually recite for the dead based on this hadith here, because they thought they were seeing ghosts of the dead coming back to haunt them. In actuality, we should be reading al-kahf on nights before Friday based on this hadith here. But both hadeeths in those 2 links i have given have a weak transmission chain (i could not find them either in Sahih Bukhari or Muslim), but you could see how culture is intertwined with religion.

6. The same should be said of minarets. It is purely a form of architecture unrelated to Islam directly. There was no mentioning of minarets as the de facto architectural style to accompany each mosque. The lollipop minarets in Moscow is actually a cathedral.

7. When we talk about freedom, about rights, we tend to be more emotional rather than rational. Instead, we should confront these detractors with wisdom, with an insight worth listening to. Tell them this, 'Ah.Uhm.Whatever.' In a better way, of course. A gentleman's reply.


Peace be upon you, my brothers and sisters of different faiths across Switzerland. We are well aware of the referendum and the voice of the majority has spoken. The majority has decided to ban the construction of new minarets here in Switzerland. Minarets have been the identity of most mosques in the world due to the Arabic architectural basis, but there is no relation of our faith with minarets. Take China for example, they apply Chinese architecture for the mosques, while in Spain, they preferred Moorish style in the days of the Islamic empire. In the the laymen's term, a mosque is just a place where we congregate for prayers, regardless of external manifestations.

Henceforth, we accept your decision with arms wide open, for our mosque is built on the foundations of piety, brick walls made of tolerance, coloured by principles of unity, with the rooftops of faith, which renders this house of worship indestructible. Therefore, we hope we have cleared your minds of the image on your posters depicting those minarets as nuclear missiles. We are a religion of peace, as Islam itself means 'peace' in Arabic.

Ya dig me? Cuz, if you don't, then go back home and Wikipedia ya'll.Peace out. Salam.

8. If that was the reply, then those detractors would go home and shut up and sleep. Ultimately making their protests a failure. The problem is this, we easily fooled to play their game. They are dangling the carrot, and most people are jumping for it. They say jump and we ask how high.

9. The problem is nothing new. Athens, for example was the last EU capital to have a house of worship for Muslims. The problem lies deeper than minarets or mosques. For example, the protests in Switzerland were accompanied with accusations of Islamic oppression on women. So, do they consider women with bikini, half naked with guys all around as being full of freedom? You see, that's why this freedom vs oppression thing don't exist. What we consider as freedom might be deemed as oppression by someone else. I would certainly react differently to bans on the hijab, as it is connected directly to our faith.

10.This stems from their misunderstanding of Islamic teachings, which could equally be blamed to some Muslims who have not shown the true identity of Islam. All they see is the Islam in the mainstream media. Taliban, Al-Qaeda. All the lies in prime time television. Islamophobia is on the rise, and if we don't clarify the situation, the condition will become worse.

11.About mosques in Malaysia, there exists, let's say, a minor discrimination of sorts due to the racial tensions there. I heard a lecture by a Chinese convert to Islam, Hussein Ye it was, if i am not mistaken, who suggested a Chinese Mosque to be built in Malaysia because those Chinese people who are interested about Islam shy away from the Malay mosques because they believed that Islam is exclusive to Malays alone. That they are not welcomed there at all.

12. Some people think that mosques are exclusive to Muslims alone. Well, they are wrong. According to one of Ahmad Deedat's lectures, the Arabs who are not that tolerant started this tradition of not allowing non Muslims to enter the mosque. The Prophet himself allowed a Christian group 'to sleep, eat and discuss' in Masjid Nabawi, and even offered them some time to pray there on the final day of their visit. Are we turning into Arabs, or are we becoming Muslims the way the prophet taught us to?

13. There are times when we should play the defensive game, and i think with the hostile atmosphere in Europe, they have to humbly accept the rulings, unless it contradicts Islamic beliefs. And if the law contradicts Islamic beliefs, try to explain to them in a good diplomatic manner, a moderate voice which neither demands nor asks, but a voice of wisdom.

14. Wallahualam.

I'm rather picky, when it comes to music or anything related to it. After years of listening to music, i have developed a sense of discrimination pertaining to what enters my ear. And i have to say, i rarely listen to the Qur'an recitations. But i really love this guy's voice and rendition. His name is Mishary Al-'Afasy.

And so, i tried or am trying to stop listening to music once and for all, not because i believe it's a Freemason conspiracy ala The Arrivals, just that i think i have passed that age and it had consumed a large portion of my youthful life. But i still listen to some music. What music does to me down the years, is that,biologically it produces this constant stream of endorphins, which are naturally produced morphins in the body. Now go wiki morphine abuse. And i was intoxicated with music. I tried all kinds of music to whet my audio appetite. In other words, it was a constant state of finding a better drug in the form of music to get me high. Ya feel me?

I'm not saying that this applies to everybody, but it's just a personal explanation of my own experience. And the first step of stopping addiction, is to admit you're one of them.

Music addicts Anonymous : First session.

'Now, circle up and let's introduce ourselves.'

'Hi. My name is Afiq Fikri Azmi of Japanese ancestry. And i'm a music addict.'

'Everyone, say hi to Mr. Afiq.'

'Hi Mr. Afiq. We are music addicts too.'

Too much of anything is not good. When you're overfed, you get all too tired and eventually doze off. And all that metal, punk, emocore, jazz, weird music (all of Mike Patton's music are super weird!) got the better of me. There needs to be limitations, control. There was a time when music controlled me, that i would wait impatiently for the new album of some rock band to come out.

Pertaining to music or entertainment in general, there are 2 hadiths i would like to cite. Both are from Sahih Bukhari.

1. Narrated Aisha: Allah's Apostle (p.b.u.h) came to my house while two girls were singing beside me the songs of Buath (a story about the war between the two tribes of the Ansar, the Khazraj and the Aus, before Islam). The Prophet (p.b.u.h) lay down and turned his face to the other side. Then Abu Bakr came and spoke to me harshly saying, "musical instruments of Satan near the Prophet (p.b.u.h) ?" Allah's Apostle (p.b.u.h) turned his face towards him and said, "Leave them." When Abu Bakr became inattentive, I signalled to those girls to go out and they left. It was the day of 'Id, and the Black people were playing with shields and spears; so either I requested the Prophet (p.b.u.h) or he asked me whether I would like to see the display. I replied in the affirmative. Then the Prophet (p.b.u.h) made me stand behind him and my cheek was touching his cheek and he was saying, "Carry on! O Bani Arfida," till I got tired. The Prophet (p.b.u.h) asked me, "Are you satisfied (Is that sufficient for you)?" I replied in the affirmative and he told me to leave.

2. Narrated Abu 'Amir or Abu Malik Al-Ash'ari: that he heard the Prophet saying, "From among my followers there will be some people who will consider illegal sexual intercourse, the wearing of silk, the drinking of alcoholic drinks and the use of musical instruments, as lawful...".

And so, from the first hadith, there are 2 forms of entertainment. One, a song about the battle between Aus and Khazraj before Islam came, unIslamic, i do not think it is nasyeed, most probably some poetry with Arabic melodies. Second, is the visual entertainment, a Shields and Spears performance by an ethnic group. This conversation in this hadith was taking place during the Eid celebration and the Prophet certainly enjoyed himself, with the expression "Carry on! O Bani Arfida."

The second, actually contradicts the first, from what i understand, in which the Prophet claimed that there will be people who consider playing musical instruments as lawful. And events which led to the second hadith were not mentioned. It is rather a general statement which needs further studying, especially with the use of the word 'lawful' (how do we discern what is lawful and what is not? What are the parameters? How lawful is lawful?). And i am in no position to explain that.

And so, to say that music is all in all unlawful is wrong, because it contradicts the first hadith. But it's just that at times i think we are overentertained, the way we are sometimes being overfed with all kinds of food, which turns something good, to being bad or time wasting.

All i can say is, take the moderate path, try to limit what you consider as time wasting events in your life, list down your priorities and remember, the first command of Allah in the Qur'an is 'Read, in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher.'

Hope you all enjoyed the recital above. :)
Narrated Mujahid: 'Abdullah bin 'Umar said, "Allah's Apostle took hold of my shoulder and said, 'Be in this world as if you were a stranger or a traveler." The sub-narrator added: Ibn 'Umar used to say, "If you survive till the evening, do not expect to be alive in the morning, and if you survive till the morning, do not expect to be alive in the evening, and take from your health for your sickness, and (take) from your life for your death."

The fifth pillar of Islam, the Hajj, is basically asking us to travel, in whatever means possible to get there, with the exception to those living in Mecca itself.

The connotation of traveling in the modern era is different from ancient times. Flights, trains and buses are available everywhere in the world. To get to places like Amsterdam, Paris, Rio involves a few mouse clicks here and there and walla, you're well on your way there. Now, you could get to Mecca by flights. Life made easy. It's the age of the instant noodles.

From the notes of those who traveled to Mecca in the past, for example Ibn Batutta, he had to endure 16 months on the road to get to Mecca from Morocco. Got married along the way, and at one junction of his journey, faced with 3 options, he took the road less traveled and had to trackback as there was a riot in one of the towns along the journey.

Far from being a spiritual journey to worship God in Mecca, it was a pilgrimage of physical and emotional function. He had to leave his parents, friends and home without any guarantee of coming back. And of course, his journey was never air conditioned, only the stream of merciless heat accompanying him.

Allah made an allegory of life as a journey in a few verses of the Qur'an.

10:23-24 He it is Who enables you to travel through land and sea, till when you are in the ships, and they sail with them with a favourable wind, and they are glad therein, then comes a stormy wind and the waves come to them from all sides, and they think that they are encircled therein. Then they invoke Allah, making their Faith pure for Him Alone, (saying): "If You (Allah) deliver us from this, we shall truly be of the grateful. But when He delivers them, behold! they rebel (disobey Allah) in the earth wrongfully. O mankind! Your rebellion (disobedience to Allah) is only against your ownselves, - a brief enjoyment of this worldly life, then (in the end) unto Us is your return, and We shall inform you of that which you used to do.

There's a lot to learn from the life of a traveler, their strategies and planning and all that.

No, i am not asking you to cycle to Mecca later on in your life. Or live a life full of sufferings and troubles.

You could apply their conscious in your everyday life. How a traveler listens to the advice of those who have been there, dos and donts. How a traveler thinks of their stay as being temporary (how life itself, is temporary) and to maximize time and not waste it. So on and so forth. You could look at it from any angle you like.

But there are times along the journey that you will bump into problems. In the case of Ibn Battuta, a riot in his journey. But he never hesitated to return and try another route to get to Mecca. We ourselves might have taken the wrong road or decisions in our everyday life, but fret not, it's just how things go.

Hajj itself, is for me, not merely about the rituals performed there, but the sacrifices and troubles along the way also matters. Maybe our journey to Mecca is made easy these days, but the idea that those who had traveled centuries ago to quench their spiritual thirsts should be emulated in our daily lives. Imam Al-Ghazali stated that this is the journey towards Allah, in his book Ihya Ulum al-Din.

'The heart needs these helpers (physical and spiritual insights) because of its need for a vehicle, and for provision for that journey for which it was created, the journey to Allah, and for passing through its stages until He is met face to face.'

No wonder we always ask for a straight path everytime we recite al-Fatihah. For there are times, we might stray of the correct path. And so therefore, i hope you got the idea of what being a traveler is all about.

PS : Selamat Hari Raya Haji to all. Have been under the weather for these past 2 weeks. Hope everything will get better.
My roommate's blood pressure skyrocketed to 150+/90+ last Friday. Came back, complained of headache but was later invited for a small Raya treat downstairs. I tagged along, although i was not formally invited and he had to withstand watching me eat all the food served since his condition didn't quite permit him to eat those delicacies.

Sorry for that. The food was exquisite.

We usually eat fried stuffs, fried chicken, fried squids, fried this, fried that. Maybe we should be learning how to cook roasted, steamed or boiled chicken for a change.

So we're kind of ehem..having a diet week this week. The 3 of us roommates (the other is my Indian friend Vik), will be cooking separately this week. He is planning to eat cornflakes and bread the whole week. Vik had curry mutton today.

I had friend eggs and anchovies with sambal today, what i would refer to as the 'classic rice' in my life dictionary. The laziest form of cooking known to mankind, perhaps. Cooking alone means i am able to cook the hottest of sambals for myself.

After years of learning to cook, i haven't progressed much. I think it's not worth cooking all those extravagant meals because my tongue is not able to appreciate food that much. Plus, i leave all those meals for my future wife to cook or for those chefs in the restaurants to prepare. I don't mind the fussiness of cooking, but it's not time worth spending since my brains still haven't developed the taste centres.

Oh well. At least my semi functional tongue is compensated with a decent looking face.
Felt rather sick these past few days. A slight fever going on. And euphoric at times.

There was a moment of emotional instability. I hesitated traveling after my mom told me she would peek at places where my cat would usually lay down only to find Teh not being there.

And so i asked, 'would it be better for me to go back to Malaysia this winter?'

She replied, 'I'm fine. I like you traveling more than doing nothing at home.'

Because she knows me well enough. I'll sleep my butt off at home most of the time. I remember her asking me last summer..

'Bilanya nak pi Jakarta. Beli la Air Asia.' (When are you going to Jakarta. Just buy Air Asia.)

I told her i wanted to visit a friend at Jakarta but ended up spending my summer holidays doing, well, nothing much actually.

I need my mom more than she needs me. A holiday in Malaysia in winter would be much more meaningful for me than her. But i do hope both they are coping with the loss of Teh.
This is not a plea.

But if you find my entry 'This is stadium Merdeka' to be entertaining, i hope you can vote for it on the blog4t website.

The purpose is to create a positive buzz about the Federal Territories. I don't know whether i've done that. Actually there are a few ideas about KL i wanted to write; about Central Market, Lorong Haji Taib, Petaling Street and a few more, but they tend to be negative. So i settled down writing about Stadium Merdeka.

I heard that they are offering a MacBook as one of the prizes for the competition. And also some cars. But i would prefer a MacBook since my laptop is getting old and slow.

Dream on, Afiq.

I don't know what are the odds for me to win, but hey, i need to try my luck and hope for the best.

So thank you in advance!

My name is Merdeka.

Physically, i am a stadium but i feel like a white elephant lost in between the more sophisticated skyscrapers and modern architecture of Kuala Lumpur. I was christened 'Merdeka' for the most eventful occasion in our history.

I reminisce the declaration of Independence in 1957. The rich and poor, the young and old, of all racial background, gathered in my body and the partisan crowd shouted in unison, 'Merdeka! Merdeka! Merdeka!'. I almost cried that day. The forefathers of Malaysia had finally freed our land from British colonisation. Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Sambanthan, Tun Tan Cheng Lok; names that will forever be etched in our struggle for Independence.

From then onwards, i witnessed the rapid growth of Kuala Lumpur. New friends in the form of concrete buildings started to appear around me. As far as i could remember, Victoria Institution has been there by my side long before i existed and has been my best buddy.

He whispered to me long, long time ago, 'Watch out for this phenomenal football talent. He is a nightmare for defenders. His name, Mokhtar Dahari.'

Malaysian football prospered for a period of time. The superheroes of Malaysian football promulgated the nation as a powerhouse in the '70s and the '80s. 'Supermokh' Mokhtar Dahari. 'Spiderman' R. Arumugam. 'Towkay' Soh Chin Aun. 'The King' Santokh Singh. I was proud to be the home ground for the national team, with shouts of 'Supermokh' frequently buzzing on matchdays, the crowd united to watch mesmerizing football from the Tigers of Asia. Arsenal lost against us, the England B team scrapped with a one all draw. We even qualified for Olympics twice.

Those were the days of Malaysian football.

In '75, the guy who floats like a butterfly and stings like a bee came over to our shores and i was made into a makeshift boxing arena. However, the match between Muhammad Ali and Joe Bugner has to go down as one of the worst in boxing history. Joe Bugner really tested my patience with his defensive minded strategy.

But times have changed. I am no longer in my youthful state. The cracks, appearing on my concrete skin testify to the ageing process i am going through.

There's the Bukit Jalil Stadium, who is much more superior compared to what I am. And the next choice for sporting events would obviously be Shah Alam Stadium. I understand. I am merely an old, dysfunctional concrete block here in Kuala Lumpur.

There were plans to demolish me, but luckily, i was saved and made a national heritage. And now, i am undergoing a reconstructive surgery, a renovation of sorts.

I might suffer the same fate as my distant cousin, the Highbury in London sometime in the future. Razed down to the ground.

Maybe one day my legacy will disappear, and Malaysians would not even remember the existence of such stadium. But i am neither asking for remembrance nor reconstruction.

I just hope that Malaysians will never forget that day in 1957, the struggles and meaning of Independence.

'What happens to all these stray cats in wintertime?", i asked my friend on the way to the hospital.

'They'll eventually die.'

Wayne Coyne, the front man of the rock band, Flaming Lips, once mentioned that the feeling of losing someone of close proximity to you ie a neighbour or a close friend is different compared to losing someone of your own flesh and blood, ie your family members.

It's still autumn in Russia and just now my mama sms-ed me. It read, 'Apit. Teh had just left us. Around 1.45 am.'

I won't claim that he's my flesh and blood for 2 reasons. One, he's a cat. Second, he is, in fact, a cat.

And i won't even state that i was close to him in any way. He was just too scared of alpha males like me. Once, he smacked the sliding door trying to escape my presence when i just arrived back from Langkawi. He would recognize me as a female when my legs are enveloped in my sarong and not run away from me. However, we created a bond last summer, partly due to the fact that he was sick and tired of avoiding me, albeit the bond was rather temporary. Once the left lens of my old black thick rimmed spectacles accidentally fell into the toilet bowl and was flushed into eternity, i had to wear my newly made spectacles.

Instantly, he didn't remember the face and was scared of me like he used to. Maybe it was his way of telling me, 'Hey, you don't look cool in those spectacles, therefore i am running away from you' in body language.

There were actually a few cats in the house, one by one passed away. Teh was the last one remaining, until tonight.

Sometimes, i think those cats were Godsent. Not in a divine way, that is; they didn't just drop from the sky. They started roaming around the house at a crossroad of my family life. I was studying in Langkawi, my sisters were in Kuala Lumpur and Shah Alam respectively. And that left my mom home alone most of the time after my grandma left the house to stay at her kampung.

And so the cats were there to accompany my mom most of the time.

Abu passed away at the vet, Teh kecik was killed in accident in front of the house, Tam was found dead lying in the bushes in the field opposite our house. And luckily, God gave us the chance to take care of Teh Besar til he passed away, and i would imagine that he passed away cuddled in between my mother, who has been sleeping downstairs since he was sick and my sister, Aiza, who has been coming back to Alor Setar from Kuala Lumpur for the past few weeks.

Teh battled with tick bites, cheesy abscesses, jaundice, dehydration, renal failure, and had attacks of seizures. For a cat the family considered as unmanly (he would come back home with scars, presumably attacks from other cats), it was a courageous effort on his part.

I was hoping the cat would be safe til i arrive back home next summer, so that my mama has a friend at home. But maybe i was asking too much. That's just how a cat lives. Eats, sleeps, inseminates, and dies.

And for my mum and my sister, for being wonderful bearers of those cats, i admire you both. Especially to my sister, who once drove back from KL few weeks ago because flight tickets back to Alor Setar ran out and she wanted so badly to come back to see Teh. May your compassion be rewarded by the powers that be.

Cats, as they say, may have 9 lives. And in their tenth life, they live in our memories forever.

Those cats might have not been our flesh and blood, but we feel as though we have lost a part of the family.

May you all find peace in cat heaven. Thank you for your clumsiness.
The rancid stench of corpses hung stagnant in the air filling my nostrils with an atypical mixture of biochemical reactions gone mad, of fermentations gone wrong.

Forget about your 250USD perfume. This is the perfume of death, the fragrance that accompanies you to the next life, if you believe there's any.

For the record, i only use Dashing 'talcum untuk jejaka' and sometimes, an aerosol spray of cheap deodorant every morning. And i smell 3 times better than you with your perfumes on.

Nothing brings you closer to death, than death itself lying motionless in front of you in forensics classes. Basically, in simpler words, a part of forensics is the study of 1001 ways to die. But beyond the homicidal and suicidal cases, deeper than the lacerations and punctured lungs, there are questions unanswered. Some remain there unanswered.

There's this feeling of emptiness , that nothingness of seeing a malfunctioned body. How he got that purplish red bruise on his forehead? More importantly, why? Was it a random hit and run or was there foul play, a history of bad blood with an old nemesis?

Once a body bag arrives, the language of forensics come to play.

"Hello there Mr. Ivan Ivanovich. I will be dissecting your body today." Except there was no reply. A complete hush. The pathologist started to describe every detail that would aid investigations. Sometimes they would tape record these descriptions for court usage. Age. Approximate age. Ethnicity. Height and weight. Appearance from the head to toe. Any wound noted for its form, shape, length, width, colour, consistency and possible origin. Chopped. Cut. Axed. Contused. Hammered. Punched. Knifed. Stabbed. Spooned, as in spooned eyeballs.

I wish i could have Sherlock Holme's analytical acumen to conjure up a theory just by observation. Sometimes i do wonder what pushes a man that far to incite such a murderous response. But evil itself does exist, as early as the annals of human history. A more appropriate answer would be 'why does it exist?'

From the Qur'an, in Surah Al-Ma'idah , verses 27 til 31 explained what could probably be the first documented murder in the history of the world. Cain, who presented God with an offering of plants, was jealous of God's acceptance of Abel's sacrifice which was, according to Ibn Kathir's 'Stories from the Qur'an' a fat she goat, while his got rejected. It angered him and he went on to murder his brother, Abel who offered little resistance even after knowing Cain's intention. "Be sure i will slay you." in verse 27, while the 28th verse contained Abel's response. "If you do stretch your hand against me, to slay me, it is not for me to stretch my hand against you to slay you."

The same story is mentioned in Judaism's Torah and Christianity's Holy Bible.

From a narration of a hadith presented in the book, they fought over a the rights to marry one of their sisters (and yes, they were allowed to in the early periods of creation), of which the Prophet Adam suggested them to offer their sacrifices to Allah. The chain of transmission might be disputable and that the Qur'an itself offers little information regarding the details of events that took place. Cain regretted his action and finally he learned how to dispose the body by burying it.

How many of you could take criticisms right in your face, let alone being rejected by God himself? No matter how truthful they are, criticisms, be it constructive or deconstructive are hard to take and it is the nature of human beings. It's probably the case of a big ego in Cain's case.

There is of course an element of jealousy, that someone else is better than you in certain things. Don't confuse jealousy with competitiveness, because one leads you to good things and the other, to nowhere land. The antidote of jealousy is contentment and a reflection of how lucky we are, and to differentiate between our wants and our needs.

In this case, Cain channeled his anger and murdered Abel. There's always patience, but he chose to follow his hatred. But how many of us are able to think rationally in times of pure emotional outbursts?

The extremes of good and evil are exposed in this story of Cain and Abel. There's a lot to learn from the stories of the Qur'an, and amazingly, you'll find a different perspective as you grow older and wiser.

But i gave up on the reason why evil does exist on earth. We could postulate that it's just God's lesson to human beings, that beyond these manifestations of weakness and frailties of His creation, lie a much deeper reason unknown to human beings. That human thinking is limited.

In the end, after all the forensics classes, i came to the conclusion that i've forgotten almost all of my anatomy knowledge!

PS : According to a friend, a Yale professor explained that the story could be seen as a sign of development of human into a more stratified society, with a social structure based on professions. In this case, Cain was a farmer of sorts, while Abel was a shepherd.
Some people live by the definition of others. They want to project a certain image of themselves on others.

As one of my favourite blogs opined that once you leave your life to be judged by others, then you will be left unhappy for the rest of your life.

Some want to be looked up as being the utmost superior being on earth, giving orders at their will. Others want to project the image of coolness in the view of others. Some just don't care.

By my appearance, i sometimes (always,actually) appear to have a bad hair day, because i just don't care how i look like. Even now, i don't really mind going bald but my mum wants to prolong the hairy version of her son and so therefore, i have to heed the command of the Queen. Not that i am much of a good son either.

And there were times when i didn't want to quote from the Qur'an in my blog because i thought that would project this pious image of myself on others, that i am a good man of sorts. The thing is, i am not and that would be misleading to others. But in one way, it was suppressing a part of me. In a larger context, i was doing something because of how others would see me.

Which is wrong, for me at least. Because once you leave your life to be primarily defined by others, you are fulfilling their thoughts, their determinants, their views and not yours. 'What would others think of me?' 'What if i do this? What if that?'.

Although yes, there are times when we should be shy of doing some things, some other times rather than being true to themselves, someone may make a move or take an action in order to be viewed good (or honestly bad) by others.

No, i am not saying i can tell what all the hearts conceal. It's a mystery of life. Of intentions. If you ever think of changing for the betterment of yourselves but you're too scared of what some might view of you, then think again.

If you think you're doing something just for the sake of recognition, then it's never too late to change yourselves.

You might fail in your goal for recognition of others about you which would make you either sad or unhappy. In other words, you define your own happiness and not let others do it for you.

I once answered to one of my teachers that my goal of being a doctor is to make people happy by making them healthy. Because the state of happiness would make people more charged up to do good things.

In the end, sins and virtues are best judged by God, and God alone.

'.....But who, for a people whose faith is assured, can give better judgement than God?'-5:48

Funny how i used to mention of being a simple guy.

Now i think i am much more complicated than what i used to be. In a good way that is.

So ask yourselves, what do you really want (and not what others would think of you or want you to be) and if you want it badly enough, as Paul Coelho mentioned, the world will conspire you towards it.