Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Despite my general cynicism with the world, I must acknowledge;

The Colin Powells of the world,

and here's to hoping that man would be as chivalrous as before.

Five months into the first World War, troops along the Western front took a Christmas Eve break from fighting to sing carols to each other across the battlefield. The following morning, German soldiers emerged from the trenches and began to approach Allied troops while calling out "Merry Christmas" in English. Luckily, it wasn't a trick; dozens of British fighters came out to greet them and shake hands, some even exchanged cigarettes as gifts. Later dubbed "The Christmas Truce of 1914," it was one of the last examples of wartime chivalry.

Article and picture from

Merry Christmas to all of you.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Unit 5

At the end of the first semester, I studied Dover Beach by Matthew Arnold.

It was a fairly simple poem, and regarded as the first poem of the 20th century.

It talks about the retreating of the sea of human faith in the world. What once covered the world in its entirety has now been taken over by land; which represented human misery. And it also talks about how love, regardless of how powerful it is, is not even a close substitute the power of faith.

Mr. Wise asked us to reply a poignant question of "What are your views of mankind as you read this poem?" in our journals. I said this;

It makes me very depressed to think that there is hardly any faith left in the world.

And I thought at first that I wrote it in a joking manner, and that I wasn't even taking the question seriously.

I realize now that I do. Very much.

What has now become so embedded in our lives that it is hardly even questioned anymore is,

What's with this apathy?

Politicians, who were so well respected in the 18th century as to being the voice of the people, have come to be regarded as untrustworthy. e.e. cummings himself wrote that "a politician is an arse upon which everyone has set except man"

Abraham Lincoln famously said that a democracy is "a government by the people, of the people, for the people".

Whatever happened to those ideals?
And what have we done to uphold that?
Our fathers fought two world wars. For what?
And have we learned any lessons from all that?
Is this really how we honour our dead?

I myself am guilty of having societal norms in me.

I can argue with you that the idea of a market structure which fixes itself is reasonable, and to a certain point, ideal.

But what I wouldn't tell you is that I do not necessarily believe that it is for the greater good.

It has been a struggle for every single generation growing up in the 20th century to feel helpless, powerless, even apathetic to a certain extent. That's why we had the hippies in the 60s, didn't we?

We're in the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. We have a redundant war that will not stop anytime soon. We are rewarding greed with the bailouts, simply because they are indispensable.We live in a society which idealizes the get-rich-quick schemes. We have untrustworthy leaders. We just had another suicide bombing attack in Mumbai by people claiming themselves to be Muslims, which is completely untrue. We have 1 billion people living under a dollar all around the world. I myself ignore the fact that hundreds of innocent lives die everyday in Sudan, in Iraq, in South Africa.

Because alone, I can't do anything about it.

Matthew Arnold was right. Human misery keeps growing every single day, taking up the space that human faith once had.

But despite all this, I am surrounded by a group of people so full of faith that life just feels overflowed with it. Their optimism is so infectious, and I am grateful to be in such great company.

Yet reality hits hard.

I'm sorry, I'm just gonna keep going around in circles with this one because;

I don't have a point. I don't have an answer as to what happened which made us lose so much.

It's neverending.

I wish that this was my reply instead of the weak one I gave him.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Prose I

The ceiling seems to move around in circles.

I stared at it curiously. The whirring of the fan alerted my five senses. The silence is deafening, and yes, I am fully aware of the paradoxical nature of that dead metaphor. Even in my head I analyze my usage of the English language.

A book lay beside me, with imaginary dust settling themselves on its blue-monochrome colored cover. I’ve paid a fair amount for it, and on the first day I excitedly tore off the plastic cover and skimmed through it slowly, like a kid savoring his first candy in weeks.

Now the novelty’s gone, and I couldn’t bring myself to flip through the pages any longer.

Something’s missing.

I hesitated, and looked beside it.

I was never a fan of this medium of transmission. Constant messages being sent through every single second… It scares me a little how fast information could travel across. It is unfortunate, I think, of how much we have come to depend on it.

Call me an old-fashioned romantic if you may, but every now and then I find myself wondering as to what it would be like to a be star-cross’d lover, patiently waiting for the postman to give me my salvation. There is a touch of fear in this slow, uncertain routine, and everyday I’ll be standing by the window until a letter arrives, addressed to me, in that familiar cursive writing I adore. Elaborate proses on daily fixations, deepened longing… It saddens me that such melancholic emotions hardly exist any longer.

I gave a small sigh and thought of the things I’m missing.

On second thought, I’d rather not.

The sounds of keys jangling, the image of a melting ice-cream cone, storeys of abandoned buildings, illusions of heavy, dusty books in dark corners, sitting down on escalators, long conversations on wooden benches… I shrugged my head as if it would clear me of this repetitive cycle of thoughts.

I don’t know why I keep going back to the ice rink.

I figured, even in this fast-paced information age;

I still channel the same old longing.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Yasmin went down to Penang for three days.
What did Yasmin get?
A few history and culture lectures, and great conversations with friends.
Just what Yasmin missed =)
Yasmin is superlatively complacent =D

Alright third person's just strange.

Qistina, Lina, Atiqah, Liani, you guys make my day =)Thanks for making the time for me.

And HANA my gosh randomness, I am so glad I met you (albeit accidentally) WE HAVE TONS OF CATCHING UP TO DO.

I've missed Penang a whole lot. I know I've made a good life here in KL, since my college friends are rockin', but well...

Just the familiar sight of the Penang harbour made me realize that at the back of my mind, this is my place. It's a rich city full of culture and soul, and it has a certain chicness to it. The old buildings restored, the vast sea... It's breathtaking.

=) I love Penang.

On another note;

I've realized that my music taste has started to regress. I'm going back to jazz and classics. Jamie Cullum, Stacey Kent, Nat King Cole and Edith Piaf appeal to me now. Oh, and Colbie Caillat too.

Lovely, lovely.

I'm beginning to enjoy my holidays now. Really reading a book, really listening to music, rather than just skipping over the tracks and skimming the pages. I love my little e.e. cummings book. And I'm starting on Sylvia Plath's autobiography now, should be an interesting read.

Hope all of you are enjoying your holidays too. =)

Friday, December 5, 2008

E E Cummings is my favorite poet.

This is why.


somewhere i have never travelled, gladly beyond
any experience,your eyes have their silence:
in your most frail gesture are things which enclose me,
or which i cannot touch because they are too near

your slightest look easily will unclose me
though i have closed myself as fingers,
you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose

or if your wish be to close me,i and
my life will shut very beautifully,suddenly,
as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;

nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility:whose texture
compels me with the color of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands


It's indescribably beautiful.

"you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens
(touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose"

Imagine how great it must feel to find someone who can open you up slowly, delicately, like how the first flower of spring blooms. The image of a rose's stalk opening to reveal its true beauty; that's how she (or he) opened the poet up. The subject slowly extracts the poet's self, and it's magical.

"as when the heart of this flower imagines
the snow carefully everywhere descending;"

I see the closing part as a means of calming the poet down from the initial passion; his confusion as to how such an unworldly phenomena can ever happen to him. It overwhelms him completely. The subject has immense power over him, has swept him off his feet, and yet she (or he) would never take advantage of this. In fact, she (or he) holds him closer, grasping his fragility; and would try her (or his) best not to hurt him. Cummings chose his words carefully the second line, as if you read it out you have to slow down your pace a little; and you can imagine pure white snow slowly descending on rooftops, covering all the dirt and grim. All one can see is a tranquil white blanket; and it gives a certain calmness inside. This is what the subject does to the poet; covers his flaws and fills him with a sense of serenity.

I love the last verse the most.

"(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody,not even the rain,has such small hands"

Everything that is about the subject, be it her( or his) eyes, mouth, everything; it matters more to the poet than all the beautiful flowers in the world combined. She has touched his soul utterly; and to the poet it is the most amazing thing that's ever happened to him. The subject sees the poet as how he really is; and as it goes " to love is to see the person as God intended them to be".

She sees him.

They see each other.

They are in love.

Don't any of you wish you could write this well?

Thursday, December 4, 2008


After 5 months of non-stop brainstorming!

Am I happy or what?

These past months have been taxing on my brain. I dug deep into my personal microchip to grasp the concept of this new learning method. I must say, I am more adapt to this than my eleven years of public education. the fact that I am allowed to speak out and have not been programmed has given my mind the chance to expand and take in more perspectives. I thought a lot, as I was allowed to have my own reasoning on things.

I am honored to have learned from such great individuals.

Miss Rowena Valberg, the ever hyper and happy teacher, thank you for giving me such undeserving high marks for Accounts. And I hardly think I'm such a great student in your class, though you may say so.

Mr. Moaz, who taught me Economics in a subjective manner, I appreciate the trouble you take for each one of your students. Your dedication is undoubtable. Taylor's is losing a great asset next year. Cheers to you, Mr. M.

Mr Jawad, you taught Advanced Functions in a different light. Appreciate the effort, thanks.

And lastly, Mr. Wise. The impact your classes have made for me will be everlasting. It's true what you say, "English is the most important thing that you will ever learn; for it shows you how it is to be human." I agree completely. This is the subject I am most passionate for, and you extracted so many ideas in me that I never even knew existed. I understand better now, thanks to you. I still have a long way to go, and I am hoping that, with your teaching in mind, I will go far. I have always wanted to be a writer. My flair for writing was ignited with your forcing of writing assignments. I would have gladly done more. You've pushed me harder, and I like the challenge. I am honored to have been an alumni of your class. Thank you, for being a teacher.

My friends; you guys are one of a kind. I love our lively debates; and the laughter. Thank you for making the semester extremely enjoyable. I am grateful to have been given the chance to meet all of you. See you next year, I cannot wait.

Onto my holidays;

I'm gonna sleep in and relax. Breathe in and out. Feel the sunlight, smell the rain, and stare at the beautiful lights of this sleepless city.

Caroline, I can't wait to spend time with you when you come over!


I might be visiting a beautiful island on the north side sometime this month. ;)

Will update y'all soon.