And so there i was, with a mosquito repellent in my room by the side of my bed and a source of pendaflour light above my head. Another night, another repellent burns. The exquisite smell expelled reminded me of ancient times, an ancient remedy to ward off ghosts, who were actually mosquitoes siphoning blood out of human veins, and flying off drunk.

The repellent gave quite a stingy taste to the nose, but i am used to smoke, as i was a passive smoker in a previous life.

The hut i was living in was asthenic in nature, like a frail, thin man showing off his skeletal anatomy. The exoskeleton of the house bore naked, the basis of which looked pretty fragile to any storm. The house could have probably flown to Pattaya if a heavy storm was to hit Perlis. And the veins and nerves were visible in the form of electrical wiring and piping seen across the house.

I hung my shirts, pants, towel and t-shirts on the nails implanted to the walls of the room.

To the corners of the cochlear, the sound transmitted was a mixture of chitchats from the TV set, frogs croaking and ribbitting(ribbit.ribbit), geeses quacking, buzzes of flaps from a mosquito, lizards strutting their own sounds and all that jazz. Minus the TV set, it would have been a symphony of nature, an orchestra of some sort. Maybe jazz, Coltrane, Miles Davis but not Kenny G.

On the second night i met a spider who was as big as a racoon, baby racoon. Being arachnophobic, i almost panicked but kept cool and as i was reading the last few chapters of Reza Aslan's No God but God, i remembered of the chpater al-Ankabut from the Quran, which means 'The Spider'.

29 : 41 The likeness of those who take (false deities as) Auliya' (protectors, helpers) other than Allah is the likeness of a spider who builds (for itself) a house; but verily, the frailest (weakest) of houses is the spider's house - if they but knew.

I stood there and watched as the spider clumsily wandered off in between the wooden walls.

I was there for my practicals and in 12 months time, God willingly, insya Allah i will be starting work. There's still this love/hate relationship that i have with the profession that deals with life/death. I love to help save the day and make people's lives much happier by helping them to gain better health, but at the same time i'm scared of the possibilities of being responsible for one's death.

10 : 56 It is He Who gives life, and causes death, and to Him you (all) shall return.

And there in the hospital, i saw my first ever death in front of my very eyes. The patient should have been defibrillated but due to his wife's decision not to allow the procedure as it would 'hurt the soul/body,' of his husband, all the doctors were able to do was to resuscitate him to death. And so, the tears started flowing like a monsooned river coming down from a cliff. Well, not really.

But i was asking myself, IF i was in that position, should i go on defibrillating without the wife's consent and tell her, "it's my job" or just let it all go that way. Let fate decide. I am still pondering the borders between fate, mistakes and choices that we make. You could easily say it was fate, but at times you might start to think it was your mistakes that led to the consequences.

The greatest skill to obtain is to brush aside the dejection of death. That sheer downward spiral especially if it was due to your mistakes. I wonder whether i could handle it.

46 : 15 And We have enjoined on man to be dutiful and kind to his parents. His mother bears him with hardship. And she brings him forth with hardship, and the bearing of him...

Besides that, i witnessed the miracle of birth. No wonder the dignity of a mother is 3 times more than a father, according to the Prophet. Childbirth is a strenuous and painful process, one of the things i would never experience unless i decide to have a full blown sex changing operation in the future. But then again, i saw an intrauterine death with macerated skin, the skin peeling off and exposing some flesh of the insides and a miscarriage of about 21 weeks.

There's still a long way to go in life and i'm at the starting point and raring to go. But some things have opened my eyes and made me realize how lucky i am, again and again..

And as the final dusts of the repellent settle down, i finally left Perlis with a hatful of memories to treasure.

PS : Rainy season's here in Alor Setar.. 2 : 164 Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, and the ships which sail through the sea with that which is of use to mankind, and the water (rain) which Allah sends down from the sky and makes the earth alive therewith after its death, and the moving (living) creatures of all kinds that He has scattered therein, and in the veering of winds and clouds which are held between the sky and the earth, are indeed Ayat (proofs, evidence, signs, etc.) for people of understanding.