Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Wicked Ones!

Thanks to Nina's trip to Singapore, I've been introduced to the very progressive sounding percussion band that calls them "Wicked Aura Batucada"... Have a look at their clip and be enthralled with their beats. They're releasing their first indie album around February but I'm not sure whether it will reach our shores "legally". Anyway, i heard that they're coming down to Malaysia in August for the Festival Gendang in Genting... So, we'll see :)

*them doing a number called Funky Cherry Bomb*

ps: John Legend, the man himself will be coming down to KL for Sunburst Fest on the 15th March 2008! RM200 will be the price of the tix... Other performers said to take center stage are Incubus, The Roots (wohooo!), Atilia, Joe Flizzow etc

Prank Gone Wrong

Imagine a room stuffed with 125 people, fanning and whispering to each other, moving about at their seats restlessly, perspiring away and staring blindly into a space called the board... Yes, that's a normal scenario in my Dewan Kuliahs here in IPBA. Somehow all the lectures seem to take place that way. I know that I really need to stop drawing unnecessary attention onto myself in the lecture hall but I find it extremely hard to keep quiet and focus on the lecture when it has been a 3 hour affair with the lecture hall being inconducive for the well being of any human form.

Besides the usual loud smart arse remarks that I pepper on the mistakes or funny stuff that the lecturer says in front (like saying 'there's only one mistakes'), I am also always guilty of pointing out any of the noticed "abnormal" things that my coursemates around my seat do in a not-meant-to-be-loud voice so, it's shared by others too thus my small time reputation as a prankster. But I always remember to choose who I want to usik and what ways would be the most suitable one which would result in me making a fool out of myself more than the person being targeted so that the person don't feel victimised (yes, i do analyse the way I make jokes)

So last Tuesday, I thought it was only padan muka sendiri when Dr Chandran, who was actually giving quite an interesting/entertaining lecture, caught me at the usual backbencher spot doing a funny chicken-like dance to the sound of Nisha' unsilent phone that rang at that time. So instead of the joke being on Nisha' because I was going "waaah... bestya, ada irama boleh menari-nari" in a Sin Chan manner with my hands all over the place, Dr Chandran actually smiled and said 'Is there anything interesting going on at the back?? I can see that we have people who are very talented in dancing.. Maybe she wants to share with all of us in front here". Nina and Aimi laughing uncontrollably while Alin and 'Ainur making it a point of "advising" me on my mistake certainly didn't help too because probably half of the cohort knew who the culprit was by then :p Soooo maluuuuu....

Despite all of those time when I attracted attention by sneezing ultra loudly (it's beyond my control) and actually doing my moral responsibility of ensuring that my dear friends don't fall asleep during these important lectures, this would be the best disaster I have caused upon myself. And guess what? Durra had to do the dance when the both of us bumped into Dr Chandran today and he just smiled while I bashfully siku her perut (padan muka kau!). Ana, stop being the smart arse prankster that you are because the pranks can get back at you.. I want to be a quiet student after this and only talk when asked to. When you are not a good student, how do you expect to be a teacher then kan?

We'll see how long that resolution is gonna lastlaaa

At Least, We're Better Than Ghana

Yes, this is an insider joke for those who have seen the infamous and controversial standup comedy by Jit Murad back in 2005. Jit relates how when he and his brother gets fed up about the Malaysian system, the only consolation they have is that at least we're better than Ghana who gained independence in the same year as we did but seems to be lagging economically as well as in ensuring peace. But hey, whoever wants to be compared to Ghana in the first place????

I hate to ask this question but do you think that there might be some country out there that compares themself to us, "no worries.. at least, we're better than Malaysia"? Well, it really is typical for people returning from abroad to sit down over a cup of coffee and rant about how much Malaysia is lagging behind all those developed countries that we've been to. I noticed the pattern that is quite imminent when I hang out with Mii, Nina, Nisya and Durra.. or with anyone who has been overseas for that matter. The complaints would range from cars refusing to stop at the pedestrian crossing at Telawi (or anywhere else) to how we feel most insecure in our own nation. I remember being frustrated before I left but the feeling has been growing ever since.

Does it mean that we're cocky?? Or we're plainly ungrateful or better said, 'lupa diri"? I've asked myself that question almost each time I make a comment about my frustration over the system or lifestyle here. Come to think of it, 2 years is hardly a long time but I felt that it has been an eye opener for me to realise that life can be better if we choose to change it. It gave me a sense of how much of my previous 20 years ca be improve in many aspects if only things were slightly "easier" for the general public who has an average earning income of RM2500 a month in this country (and not those who might spend the same amount just buying their monthly beauty supplies). Thus, it's actually so frustrating when people tell me off when I try to do something different/beneficial because they believe that one person CANNOT make a difference.

The economic divide might seem like it's still under control but I see/hear about people still eating rice with salt while others use only imported salt from the Mediterranean seas. Do we really want to wait for Malaysia to stoop to India and China's level that are prospering at the international business domain yet still fail to ensure that all of their citizens are taken care of and lead a healthy lifestyle?? For that matter, I just want to highlight that Malaysia has indeed been indulging in a lot of projects (like the space expedition) that could've waited until we really can afford it. What's the use of being able to have someone seeing the world from outer space with a budget amounting to billions when there are underprivileged kids in Telumpik who haven't seen a proper solar system model that costs RM150 each to enrich their understandng of the world around them?

Change is the only believable and needed thing now. In other words, I just hope that we will always have the chance to say "Well, at least we're better than Ghanalaaa"

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Montague Said...

A person called Lady Mary Wortley Montague said that "No entertainment is so cheap as reading, nor any pleasure so lasting"... Terima kasih, Lady Montague for capturing what I feel most of the time.

I'm currently reading the collected short stories of Gabriel Garcia Marquez which is a compilation of stories of among his earliest up to some of the most recent ones... macam nak nangis because IPBA (surpisingly) has it. So, last night I was dwelling on his very, very experimental (even for this period of time, I suppose) stories of death that was looked upon from several different angle. I think Marquez is indeed a genius, too much to contain in words sometimes. I think the way he plays with prose is terribly enticing for my oft-shackled to rules mind. Yes, I do understand that everything I read has been translated from Spanish but I also believe that good translators do capture the soul of the original writers.

I'm only half way through the stories (there's about 20 in it) and I'm already considering to buy the book. But there's Kam Raslan's Confessions of An Old Boy and Farish A. Noor's From Majapahit to Putrajaya to but (both would cost me around RM75).. Dina Azman's I'm A Muslim would probably be readily accessible soon through Nina (hehehehe). I'm also planning to read everything by Pramoedya Ananta Toer that I can get my hands on after this....

I know, I'm ambitious but ambition is good!

Turn Off The Switch

Is it just me or has the amount of people calling themselves "artists" or even "artiste" has practically doubled or maybe tripled ever since I left?? It's funny how people are generally more interested in the glamorous world nowadays, everybody is a singer/actor... I came across this guy who went on to introduce himself as "I'm Ali, I'm a librarian by profession, a poet at mind, a musician by numbers and a guitarist at heart".. hurrmmm... okaaaaayyy.. rightttt.. awkward... crabs passing by...

Well, I don't intend to put people down but what drives me crazy is that the quantity does not come with quality. Arts is a channel of expression but don't try tooooo hard to express yourself because it can be daunting on the others. Select a forte and be really good in it before you venture into other areas because unless you're Jit Murad or Zahim Al-Bakri, you rarely have the ability to do everything and even these people I've mentioned don't do everything. I reluctantly tune in to some of the Malaysian series on the free tv (since Mummy doesn't believe in Astro) and each time, I feel nauseated by the extent to which everything is overdone from their hair, make up to their acting skills (is it even skills that they're showing?)

Some of the people in the mainstream media do not even do well what they are professed to do. I hate to quote names but one of the people who really can't act but appears on tv regularly has got to be this "actress" who acts in Jelatang, Puteri and featured in Jangan Pandang Belakang. Probably she is pretty but I certainly doubt that she has the talent. If we continue giving oppotunities to those who don't deserve it rightfully, this so-called industry will fail to progress further as it should.

Looks like I'll just have to stick to stuff at KLPac and continue to stay insane through attending underground music events or watching independent movies so that I can judge what's better for me rather than just bitching about how mainstream is not my favourite stream. Because sometimes, I have the tendency to be different just for the sake of it.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

It's Been A While

I feel so guilty of hogging a space on the web and not updating it... macam semakkan tempatlah, more or less :p

my life has been great since I came back although I must say I got tired of answering to people why I am so thin... Believe me, it is beyond my control.. I tried very hard but I just can't seem to become a little chubbier.. But this new self is also alright whaaattt???

I just got a new haircut about three weeks ago. Pretty drastic, I must say and I cursed pakcik Ming Wai (my hairdresser) for cutting it this short but I got good responses for it despite me actually crying my eyes out the night I got the haircut... haha

Met most of the INFs, was pretty interesting to meet people you've only been talking to through the online medium.. They're a crazy bunch, something I need to get used to (I think.. hehehe). Looking forward to a lot of things in the future for all of us :)

Adapting to IPBA has been a little crazy too. The first week I was very moody and poor Nina had to deal with me all day and all night. Yes, nina is my roommate (yeah!). I think she is the only humanly form refuge I can really depend on here in IPBA (owh, durra and nisya too :p). We had a few problems sorting out our places here in the hostel and some of us nearly got into a dispute if we hadn't chose to confront each other about it. Thankfully, we managed to clear things out and we also managed to identify the "culprit" who has maliciously tried to deceive all of us with her stunts... people, people.. IPBA has only started for two weeks and all the dramas are already out :p

And I've been guilty of indulging myself in a lot of angauness.. Should stop before it gets out of hand and I "endanger" myself. Sometimes, a little crush develops itself overnight through thoughts we choose to feed to it. I am only concerned about being a little too hasty that it will merimaskan the other party.. so for the time being, Ana should just take it slow ya?? :)

Owwh, well... You might be bored reading about all these stuff but I promise to continue updating this blog with something more substantial in the near future (waaahhh, macam berkhidmat untuk kerajaan pulak).. until then, toodles