Few people know that i have a deep affinity towards journalism. Some misheard it and thought i was a son of a journalist mother. Funny. Really.

So i had the chance at the recent Volgames to report on some events although i was not directly involved with the editorial board. It was really an honour, albeit it was a small scale publication, but i appreciated the request and without even a miligram of complaints, i agreed to help my friend. Although i did scold him for crediting my name to the report. The reports were sub average since i had other things to do. I preferred the pen name Sgt. Weener Arms but honestly i'd be happy if there's no mentioning of any names.

In my early teenage years, i read a lot about music and tried to understand the history and significance of albums, songs, singers and bands to try and correlate the old and new school music. So if Radiohead says they are influenced by Pink Floyd, then i would have to listen to Pink Floyd to note any similarities of their music. Back then, of course i had a band and had dreams of making it big in the underground scene.

Then another thing i did was, i became a backstage guy for the grand dinner night (food sucked, sorry guys!). I had always wanted to help carry those big amps up on stage, set up guitars and stuff, so yeah, i had fun doing such jobs although i only carried some tables and a few chairs to the stage. And i broke the cardinal rule of appearing on stage : i wore a white t-shirt. If i am not mistaken those people had to wear black.

So there's always this underground philosophy in me of trying to obscure myself in some ways or another. After years of being the front line people, it was good to retreat to the backstage and work behind closed doors. I guess i was tired of having meetings and stuff with superiors, and directing people, that it was time for me to get some real jobs and learn a lot. Experience counts ya'll.

The spotlight seems to be my biggest enemy nowadays. I disdainfully hate being the centre of attention.

So, that's the reason why i guess i don't put up pictures of myself that much. The primary reason i am not having a facebook account is probably my attachment to this underground philosophy. Although i've given some other reasonings beside this one.

People have asked me, 'how will i keep in touch with people then?'

Well, there's always the e-mail and chatting and sms and all that. And facebook is becoming more towards an entertainment website of its own breed.

I've been exchanging emails with a friend who is a law student at UIAM. Apparently he is having his practicals or something like that, chasing PROSTITUTES around the Plaza Low Yat area. He had to climb up the stairs up to the 27th floor for all the action! You must be thin now Mr. Sherlock Holmes. Bwahahaha.

So, if anything, just e-mail me. I'll gladly reply it. Thanks.
I never favoured love movies or love songs. I think they're too cheesy for my liking. Not that i don't enjoy them, just that i think there are too many love songs/movies out there. Love is just too mainstream that almost each movie has this romantic fling whether it takes a minor or a major role in the storyline. Most are so stereotypical, just regurgitating the idea over and over again, vomitting scenes after scenes from old movies to new releases, patching up here and there.

But you know, there are odd ones that i enjoy. I cried after watching "A Walk to Remember" while performing that obligatory truancy hours at INTEC. And somehow, i thought that "Can't hardly Wait" was a good movie, from which i based one short love essay at MRSM Langkawi.


I have been cursing love songs since i was 13. I mean, give me a break. You could hear love songs from the bathroom, on the radio 24/7 and everyone on the street whistles to the tunes of that latest bubblegum pop love song.

That's why i preferred Incubus who sings about vitamins, space aliens and skin regeneration (on the album SCIENCE, before they themselves started to sing more about love!), at the drive-in and RATM, 2 political bands, the Flaming Lips and some other bands who DON'T sing about love.

But those evergreen love oldies are good to hear. They really sound desperate for love rather than our modern day love songs trying to get to the top of the charts. To sum it up, one of my favourite indie band, Cursive in their song 'Art is Hard' sings , 'Fall in love to fail, to boost your cd sales." I can't agree more.

But some things, yea, some things have happened to me for the past few months which make me appreciate love songs more than ever before. Jeez man. I'm not jiwang or anything close to it.

But now, the ghosts of love songs are hunting me down. If they are human beings, they are looking down on me, laughing persistently for my cursing of their existence awhile ago. Now, i do understand why there are so many love songs out there. Once in a lifetime at least, you will get yourself entangled with it. Be it with your wife or your girlfriend or if you're gay, with your partnert.

WARNING : Poisons and antidotes strongly opposes gayism.

You can't talk about the Beatles because most of their love songs are evergreen but some new love songs are now more appreciated than ever before by me.

Take for example Iron & Wine's 'Promising Light'.

But now i see love,
tracked on the floor where you walked outside.

Or their wonderful 'Dead Man's will', a rendition of a man's will before he dies. Beautiful.

Give this ring to my lover.
I was scared and stupid not to ask
For her hand long before.

Sam Beam (who performs under the stage name Iron & Wine) are beyond original in the folk world.

But i'd always prefer some incubus songs like 'Here in My Room' and 'Anti-gravity Love Song'.

With lyrics such as :-

This party is old and uninviting,
Participants all in black and white.
You came in full blown technicolor.
Nothing is the same after tonight.

And on 'Anti-Gravity Love Song' :-

So I call you on the thin can phone.
We rendezvous at a quarter-two, and make sure we're alone.
I may have found a way for you and I to finally fly free.

But as i said before, nothing beats the Beatles. They have achieved the zenith of song writing, and to be stamped in history as one of the greats just shows their musical panache. 'Something' just blows me away, although surprisingly it is not written by Lennon or McCartney, but by Harrison, the underdog in the band.

Something in the way she moves
Attracts me like no other lover,
Something in the way she woos me.

So yeah, i do waste my time understanding the poetry behind the music. And at times i laugh at the idea of love itself. But now i find love laughing back at me.

Love is certainly one funny thing. All i could say is, i've been there, done that.

Orang kata rambut tu mahkota,
tapi aku tak suka jadi raja.
biar ku jadi orang biasa.
atau mungkin hamba yang setia.

Apabila kebotakan melanda,
rambut hilang dari kepala,
biar botak kepala,tidak mengapa,
jangan botak budi bicara.

*i've been trying to think the positives of being bald. First, i don't have to comb. Second, i don't have to take a bath if i wake up late. Third, it is easier for me to mandi wajib since i am sure the water will run down to my skin. Fourth, i will look more handsome. Fifth, less resistance, lighter head. hah.

*watching my university team winning futsal at the recent Volgames 09 was great. It was not Liverpool or Kedah. The venue wasn't Anfield but the memory will last long enough in my head. I didn't care much about other sports, as long as we won gold in futsal (male) i would be more than happy. Although i was a bit emo. I'm sorry.

*i will probably try to finish the following novels i haven't had much time to read. I've only finished Douglas Coupland's microserfs, which i like very much. There's Hunter S. Thompson's Rum Diary, El Macca by Steve McManaman, Chuck Palahniuk's Survivor and Fight Club, Mikhail Bulgakov's Master and Margarita and Great Jones Street and American by Don DeLillo. I'm such a slow reader i don't know when will i finish them. Plus i should be reading medical books instead.

*i'm changing my mind.
A sound mind is from a healthy body, as the old saying goes. And sports, in whatever form it is, is one of the paths which may lead to physical fitness.

In Islam, there was a time when the Prophet Muhammad S.A.W. raced with Aisha, as narrated by Ahmad ibn Hanbal and Abu Dawud : -

'Aishah said, I raced with the Prophet (peace be on him) and beat him in the race. Later, when I had put on some weight, we raced again and he won. Then he said, 'This cancels that (referring to the previous occasion.)

From another hadeeth reported by Abu Dawud, The Prophet also wrestled with a man called Rukanah, who was well known for his strength, but Rukanah lost not once, but thrice. So there's an emphasis of how important physical fitness is, which in turn would assist the spiritual aspect of life.

Then there's horse riding, which is mentioned few times in the al-Quran (16:8). Umar Al-Khattab once mentioned ,
"Teach your children swimming and archery, and tell them to jump on the horse's back."

For the record, i tried swimming but failed miserably. *Sigh*

Islam has outlined few ethical codes of sports. We should not occupy ourselves with sports too much to the extent of which it prevents us from practicing our daily obligations. There should be no foul words or behaviours towards the opposing team and it should be played in a respectful manner towards each other.

One of the aspects that might be slightly forgotten is the aurat issue. We might think that it's a small issue and there's nothing important regarding this. Some might say it is more comfortable wearing shorts, but we should be trying our best to cover up our aurat. Wear tights if possible.

There are few pieces of articles i've read regarding the aurat issue. It's not about Muslims who preach for other Muslims to cover up, but it is about Nike (yes, the mega sports' brand) plan to invent clothes which are suitable for Muslims to wear while playing sports. In this particular case, for Muslim women.

From one point of view, you might say that Nike are trying to milk out money from the pockets of Muslims world wide. But are there any other Muslim companies doing all the research to invent such clothes which are comfortable for sports? Although they mean business, they also understand the sensibilities and the market value of such items.

By the way, if i were a girl, i prefer an Adidas apparel instead of Nike. Three stripes on the hijab while playing sports? Consumeristic mind. Hah!

Sometimes i think the concept of halal not only involves a spiritual aspect, but the business aspect as well. It's like, if there is a Muslim developer producing goods/products which are based on spiritual guidance, there will be demand not only from Muslims, but non Muslims alike. If we are able to properly market and explain to them why we do this and that.

For example, if we are to sell chickens which are slaughtered according to the Muslim way, we have to explain that there are scientific researches done by a few German scientists on the benefits of such actions. We should explain this to PETA so that they would understand we could eat meat slaughtered the Islamic way.

Well, enough of mumblings and ramblings. If there are people out there, non Muslims, who understand the need of such clothing (aurat covering clothes) even while playing sports, then Muslims have no reason not to cover up.

So girls and boys, do cover up.

PS : I heard there will be this Kover up Kampaign for the Volgames or something like that. I'm not part of it.
In 1972, the Malaysian national football team qualified for the Olympics. They won against USA 3-0 but lost against Germany and Morocco.

In 1976, Malaysia beat Arsenal 2-0. Allahyarham Mokhtar Dahari scoring twice.

In 1980, they again qualified for the olympics but due to a boycott, they didn't go to Moscow.

1989, the league turned semi pro. Few years later it evolved into a professional league, and football became an official job for some Malaysians.

In the 1990s, Malaysian football retracted into its turtle shell and the downward spiral extends to this day.

The dark age of Malaysian football.

If the development of football is measured by its league status (professional, semi-pro, amateur), then why is the quality regressing over the years?

Never has been football been this shameful for Malaysians. Across the causeway down south, our neighbours must be rejoicing, reveling the downfall of a team who used to be the superpowers of Asian football. Now, if you tell an Englishman that Singapore is going to qualify for the world cup, then they would say, "Probably". A similar statement about Malaysia would be replied with a smirky smile or that regular English expression, "that's bollocks!".

There is never a mentioning of Malaysian football, without the citation of Allahyarham Mokhtar Dahari, Soh Chin Aun (tauke), Santokh Singh and R.Arumugam in the same breath. What a long breath you have there! Japan and Korea used to pee in their short shorts (ahh, those ol skool shorts) before facing the roar of the Tiger.

Now we are the tigress.

It seemed that Malaysia was united at that time. Now, as one blogger implied, we have a full Melayu team with 2 Indians in the roster. What went wrong?

There are 2 factors contributing to the downfall. The mentality plays a major part. Footballers in the glory days put Malaysia first before the money. They held their heads up high, knowing that representing the country was an immeasurable opportunity more meaningful than any material gifts.

Packed above its maximum capacity (because those days there were no seats, people crammed up the stadium to its bits), the roars and cheers of Malaysians in the 70s and 80s ring around the Merdeka stadium ; a choir of beautiful noise. The Malaysia team plays real football at that time, with an organized system, like an orchestra playing a Beethoven symphony. Merdeka stadium anticipates. The jubilance of the crowd is an ecstacy which drives the footballers on and on. To score goals after goals. To entertain. Mind you, they are not 'professional' footballers.

Of course, i wasn't there so i guess that was how it looked like.

Someone should really look into developing football from grassroots level. In the right way, that is. I still remember watching a piece of news few years back about the Malaysian under-12 team that finished in a respectable position at the Danone world junior cup or something in France. We finished above England! They need to have the same footballing education that the famous football schools offer. Learn from the Dutch. The Ajax Amsterdam and PSV Eindhoven academies have been producing talented footballers for such a long time.

Then there's my favourite part. The politicking issue. Get rid of both Khairy Jamaluddin and Sultan Ahmad Shah from FAM. Bring fresh new faces who have concrete ideas for the good of Malaysian football.

Futsal will be competed at Volgames 09. There's much expectation this time around. Being the home team has its advantages, but i hope our team can handle the pressure. We have a decent team with a mixture of core players and some new faces.

In Volgames 05, MMA finished as champions after winning 2-1 against our team in the final. Jufitri and Asrul scored for them. Sadly i can't remember who scored for Volgo. I happen to know both of the MMA guys (Jufitri is from Alor Star and Asrul was my senior at Langkawi).

Kursk are probably the favourites, and they have been the champions for the past 2 years. Deservedly so, too. I watched them in Moscow 2 years back when they trounced us 5-0 in the final and they were simply superb. We were left dazed and confused and wondered what hit us on our way back home to Volgograd.

Will Kursk continue to be kings? Or will they be dethroned from the top by Volgograd? Or do you favour history to repeat itself, with MMA again winning on Volgo soil?

Come the 26th of April, the kings of football will be crowned. Catch futsal at the Main Stadium at Manesh Sports Complex.

PS : Been a bit busy. Blah. Check out my other blog.
During the times of the Malacca Sultanate, before football arrived on the shores of Malacca, before Nintendos and Play stations were invented, 2 kids sat by the seaside, clad in their baju Melayu complete with the tanjak, wondering what they should be doing.

"Dude, i'm stumped! Wish we could play some game or something. There's nothing here in Malacca. Owh bummer."

"Yea. It's like, ships passing everyday, i learn few steps of silat, and we're like here and there's nothing to do."

A 3rd guy entered the convesation.

"Hey fellas! Let's play sepak raga!"

In unison they asked, "what's that?!".

Thus, the birth of sepak raga. Which later evolved into a game called sepak takraw. Famous in South East Asia especially in Thailand and Malaysia.

Of course, if you flip through the pages of Sulalatus Salatin, you can't find the conversation above, but there's a mentioning of the existence of the game as early as the 15th century. A story of Raja Muhammad (son of Sultan Mansur Shah), whose tanjak (Malay traditional headweare) fell off his head while playing Sepak Raga. In theory, the game originated a bit later in Thailand circa 18-17th century, depicted in murals of a Buddhist temple there.

Sepak raga is a recreational game played in circles, trying to prevent the ball, woven from rattan from falling down to the ground.

Sepak takraw is a competitive version of the game. It basically applies the same rules as in badminton, except there's no racket and you're using a rattan ball instead. You can practically use any part of the body except the hands and your private parts. Well, you CAN actually use your private parts but it will be quite painful.

There are 2 teams and each team is allowed only 3 touches after receiving the kick off from the opposing team. There are 3 members of each team consisting of a tekong (the one who stands in the middle), the feeder (the one who sets up the ball for the killer) and the killer (one who tries to get points for the team by means of extravagant moves such as the scissors kick).

Volgograd State Medical University are the defending champions of the annual Malaysian inter-varsity games in Russian. And the home crowd are hoping for the best this time around. Mohd. Firdauz, part of the gold medal winning team in Nizhny games is aiming for the best.

"With the home crowd backing, it will give added pressure and expectations to us. But we thrive on pressure. Defending the crown is hard, since everyone wants to beat the champions. "

He added, " We will go into the tournament respecting each team and we try our best to please the Volgo crowd."

Ahmad Zakiran, team captain, echoed Firdauz's sentiments.

"Everyone has equal chances to win. There are no favourites. We try not to think of our previous achievements and focus on this tournament."

Let's hope for the best from our team.

Thirst for some sepak takraw action? Catch it at the Zal no. 2 at the Manesh Sports Complex in the upcoming Volgames '09. Entrance is free (duhhh).

PS : Volgames is coming up from the 24-26th April . I will be writing some sports articles up to the games. Maybe even after it.