Kepada Biru Tua dan Biru Muda dan seluruh semesta


The Place Promised In Our Early Days (2004).mkv_snapshot_01.29.51_[2017.01.05_16.55.25]

Kepada biru tua dan biru muda dan seluruh semesta,

Kepada langit jingga di penghujung senja,

Kepada hijau rumput dan lumut dan muntah,

Kepada kelabu dunia, metaforikal dan harafiah,

Kepada warna-warni remaja dan naif semangat berkobar-kobar,

Kepada warna-warna pelangi di kala petang yang dingin,

Kepada prisma yang menyedarkan kesatuan dan perpecahan,

Kepadamu yang kucinta tetapi takkan kukata,

Terima kasih semua,

Terima kasih semua.

 

7.01 pm

20 April 2018

 

Nota: Gambar diambil dari penghujung filem The Place Promised in Our Early Days (Kumo no Muko, Yakusoku no Basho) hanya sekadar hiasan. Ataukah bukan? Entahlah.

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Kepada Biru Tua dan Biru Muda dan seluruh semesta

April


Setiap manusia yang pernah hidup di muka bumi ini pada asasnya adalah individu yang keseorangan, sentiasa sendirian, dan senantiasa kesepian. Kita cuba untuk menafikan fakta ini dengan bersosial dan bergaul bersama mereka yang kita boleh gelar sebagai keluarga ataupun kenalan, tetapi hakikatnya kita adalah makhluk yang sentiasa individual. Ya. Tiada siapa yang mampu meneroka kehidupan individu yang lain. Tiada siapa yang mampu menerobosi tirai senyuman dan tangisan kita dan boleh berkata dengan seratus peratus bahawa mereka memahami individu yang lain. Dan hal ini membawa kepada satu hakikat yang lagi susah untuk kita sangkal, tetapi lebih ingin kita sangkali: kita hidupan yang hipokrit. Untuk berkata bahawa kita tidak bersendirian, kita membina prakonsepsi bahawa bersosial itu mampu membuatkan kita satu, bahawa melalui perbualan dan pertukaran kata-kata serta idea antara individu, satu jaringan minda dan hati terbentuk, dan kita sebahagian daripada jaringan itu.

Itu semua palsu, aku kata. “Masyarakat” itu perkataan yang paling bohong sekali di atas muka bumi ini.

Kenapa kau berkata begitu, kau tanya padaku. Matahari baru sahaja ingin mengucapkan selamat pagi, dan kita sedang menghirup secawan bayu pagi yang berpuput lalu bersama kedinginan malam yang tersisa. Senang sahaja, balasku. Lihatlah dunia ini, kutambah. Kau menayangkan tanda tanya pada wajahmu yang licin berkilat. Aku sekadar tersengih kelat melihat kau tidak mengerti.

Aku ada satu cerita yang mampu membuktikan bahawa kita, pada asas yang paling asas, adalah kehidupan yang sentiasa sendirian. Lihat dan dengar dengan teliti. Ini kisah aku semalam. Sepanjang tempoh aku bertugas, tak pernah aku lakukan apa-apa kesilapan. Malah, aku sentiasa sopan apabila berurusan perihal kerjaku. Namun aku tidak juga mempunyai apa-apa ciri yang luarbiasa yang mampu membuatkan orang lain mengenalpasti diriku serta-merta. Aku sekadar satu lagi bahagian dalam mekanisme penyampaian perkhidmatan yang boleh kau panggil sebagai satu gergasi perniagaan. Tetapi segalanya berubah semalam.

Aku telah melakukan satu kesilapan kecil dalam penyampaian perkhidmatanku. Dan untuk itu, aku dicaci-maki, diherdik, diperli, dan diperlaku seumpama anjing kurap, dipukul sesuka hati dan diharap cepat mati. Hanay kerana satu kesilapan kecil. Di mana penghargaan terhadap ketidaksilapan besar aku selama ini? Tiada. Tidak wujud. Kenapa? Kerana ketidaksilapan aku selama ini tidak menonjolkan diri aku sebagai satu individu. Ketidaksilapan aku selama ini menenggelamkan aku dalam konsep masyarakat, dalam konsep kumpulan, dan aku hanya satu lagi daripada berjuta bahagian lain. Aku sebagai individu tidak penting, dan aku sebagai sebahagian daripada masyarakat pula tidak bermakna. Tetapi apabila aku melakukan kesilapan, aku menonjolkan diri sebagai seorang individu. Maka kerana tertonjolnya aku, aku dipulaukan, selayaknya sesiapa yang bergelar individu. Sekarang, mengertikah anda?

Kau masih menayangkan tanda soal besar pada wajahmu. Kau masih tidak mengerti. Dan untuk itu, aku cuma mampu tergelak kecil. Pastinya ini sekadar berbunyi seperti suatu rungutan kepadamu. Masakan tidak, kau juga individual sepertiku. Kau juga sentiasa keseorangan dan senantiasa kesepian. Aku juga tak mampu merungkai personalitimu, perasaanmu, dan pembawaanmu. Maka berdirilah kita di bumbung bangunan ini, senyap tanpa persefahaman, tak mampu dirungkaikan nilai individual masing-masing. Dan pada detik itu, satu ayat tergaris di benakku.

Kau takkan fahami aku, dan aku, takkan fahami kamu.

7.19 am

18 Mac 2018

April

To be nice or..


It is a rainy Thursday evening, and I was about to doze off in the bus when a thumping sound so hard met my earphone-plugged ears. At that moment, my eyes flew open and since my head is angled so towards the seat diagonally from my position, I could make out what caused that sound. A chinese Indonesian couple were sitting a row in front of me on the other side of the aisle, and the guy just pulled back his fist from the cushion in front of him. Then, the lady sitting with him profusely apologize to the driver who was threatening to stop the bus and let them down. In the heat of the moment, an understanding arose in my mind: the guy punched the cushion in front of him (they are sitting on the front-most row behind the driver’s seat), and the driver got angry. At the same time, a question arose in the same quarter of my mind: what made the guy punch the cushion in the first place? Curiosity takes control of me, and so I lowered the volume of my music. And after eavesdropping a little, a narrative emerges.

Before I get to that part though, I’d like to tell you about the situation prior to me getting on the bus. I was rushing to the bus stand at KL Sentral to get the bus at 5.30 pm to KLIA to meet abah and pass the books ummi asked me to buy for the orphanage. A 6 pm bus is still possible for me to meet with abah, but I’d like to spend time with him over perhaps some light dinner before he gets on the plane. While waiting for the bus to open its doors, the bus from Genting Highlands pulled in, and a flock of people alighted, the Indonesian coupled included. She pushed through the crowd as if her life depends on getting through in quite the boorish manner, which was what initially pulls my attention to them. Not long after, I saw an Indian lady approaching the Genting Highland bus ticket counter next to our line for the KLIA bus, and heard that she found a wallet lying on one of the seats in the bus. Not knowing who the owner is, she left it in the custody of the ticketing girl, in hopes that the wallet may find its way back to its owner. Then, the KLIA bus finally open its doors for passengers to embark. A line was present, common courtesy when embarking and disembarking any public transport, and a lady was standing near the entrance to check our tickets.

It was my turn to board the bus when suddemly thoa couple came right in front of me, without any word or even looking at me, and cut in line like it was the most normal of things to do! These barbarians without courtesy!, I thought to myself. But I didn’t say a word. Not worth my eneegy, or so I thought, and I hope you’ll be hit by karma big time, I thought again.

Now, back to now, in the bus. The couple are talking in chinese, semi-shouting, fully tensed, and after a moment, the lady asked the bus driver if he could pull over and let them off, to which the bus driver claims to be not possible since he could get into trouble with authorities should he did so, a total 180 from his earlier threat to let them off. The lady pleades again, saying that her husband had forgotren something valuable at KL Sentral. But the driver insisted on going on. Get off at KLIA if you must, he told them.

Now, if you were me, and you saw the things that I saw, you ought to come to the same conclusion as I did, right? You now know why the guy was so frustrated, he punched the cushion, and what and where is his precious item. But at the same time, you, if you were me, will probably think, should I help them out and tell them where what they are searching for, and how to get it back the fastest? Should I be nice, or should I clench my fist and pump it up while internally scream “serves you right”?

6.33pm

1st March 2018

To be nice or..

Blinding


Seems that I have been held in some dreaming state. A tourist in the waking world, never quite awake. And no peace, no gentle word, can wake me from this slumber. Until I realize that it was you who held me under.

At first, there was total silence. Not just auditory silence, but visual as well. If one could imagine a void that is, well, void of any substance, that place is it. But one cannot imagine such void, as their imaginations will fill that void with concept. Whilst a true void does not contain any. It is just a nothingness that is even devoid of the concept of nothingness. A black hole devoid of darkness, as light is a concept unknown to it. A blizzard of illogical. Like the pages of Murakami’s Strange Library. Or the comprehension of suicide by sane men.

Then, there was a spark. Not a big bang. Just a little spark, almost shy of its own existence. Then the place went from a void to a white space. There is a noise that is almost unbearable, yet almost unnoticeable, engulfing the whole space. That, is the sound of silence. In that silence that encroaches the whole of the space’s existence, the sound of lapping water came into motion.

Faint.

Quite.

Also almost unrecognizable at first, but grew more prominent with the passing of time.

And at that exact moment, time flowed into existence too. It wasn’t clear which was first, the sound of lapping water or the flow of time. But it is clear that with both growing more in concept, the bubbles rocked back and forth at the vague end of the water and at the vaguer start of sand. Then, when realizing what is what, water, bubble, and sand, the space’s lower part has been born into an image of a beach.

And gravity took hold of me.

And here I stand, on a dusty beach.

And the world started to revolve.

Then, in that half-filled world, the sound of boiling water came to my ears. The smell of coffee stroked the lining of my nose. And the warmth of a home embraces me from behind, enveloping me in a familiar feeling I’ve never felt before. In that building of sorts, as only part of it is visible to my senses, I could see the floor made of wood, and a number of tables and chairs in the interior of the yet complete building. As I was looking on, the walls started to sprout out like plants bathed in sun and rain. A few books lined the wall where built-in shelves are placed. And then the sound of slow music entered the world when an old radio came into view. The radio was atop of a small rack, and beneath it are lines of cassettes in their clear plastic casings.

Then, the walls started to shape up the entirety of the room. The ceiling came after it. And now I am encased in a room that looks like a cafe filled with books and music and little pots made of cut-out and plaka-coloured bottles. In them, a few types of plants, a cactus in the one at the end of the counter, and plastic bouquet in the one near the entrance. And with that last detail, the room felt complete. The transition from void to world ended, and time flowed like the negative on a rolling pin on a projector whilst the light of events splay out the images on the canvas that is this world.

Then you came in through the entrance. Face all oily, a streak of weariness on your forehead. You look tired nonetheless, yet in that tired face, a light of relief that you’ve made it home. I asked how was your night, and you replied it was terrible. You then came to me at the counter, and I laid a cup of coffee freshly prepared in front of you. You closed your eyes, letting the steam carry you to a faraway land for a fraction of a second, only to open it and look me into the eye. Clover? you asked. With cinnamon, I added. Then the line of your lips curved a little. And with that I say to you, welcome home.

What’s for breakfast, you asked. Your pick of either my special nasi lemak bolognese, the last pages of Dost’s Karamazov which I marked with Diana’s newest handmade bookmark, or a warm bath filled with lavender scenting. Your pick, I answered calmly. You shook your head. I want all of them, you demanded greedily. I’ll give you all, plus a back rub until you snore like the spoiled brat you are, I answered cheekily. Oh, at least I don’t snore as bad as you, you said in your defense with arms crossed. At least you slept better with a lullaby in the background, right, you added with a smirk. And to that naughty smile, I was defeated.

Where are the kids, you asked. Diana is reading The Cat in The Hat in the living just a while ago, and Harith is still trying to figure out why his windmill doesn’t work. Aliff is of course at school. Is he still sulking, you asked again. He’s still pouting, but he’ll get over it. Everyone knows mama is busy. Tell him you’re sorry and give him a hug once he’s back, and he’ll be okay, I said in a positive tone. But your eyes dimmed. Your fingers touch the edge of the porcelain mug like it was a fragile thing.

I don’t know, you said, your eyes towards the black of the coffee. He’s been quite mad at me lately. I couldn’t attend his story-telling competition. I overslept on sports day. And this time, I was called in for an emergency, when I should’ve gone to take his report card.

Seeing you in distraught, I held my hand on your shoulder. Your fragile frame, trembling by the thought that her son may hate her now. I wanted to take it all, all your despair, all your worries, so that you can live free and easy. I want you to always smile and be proud of yourself. I want you to live easy and without regret.

I want to love you.

But that, too, I cannot do. Because, as sudden as this world came to be, it ended abruptly.

And here I am, again, in the void.

 

3.24 pm

14th February 2018

Blinding

A desire for a place in this world


img_20180120_113723.jpg

Baskets full of envy,

Lingering thoughts of joy,

Cradle me some serenity,

In woven blanks of kindness,

Kindness, I can’t attempt,

Kindness, I cannot enjoy,

Gratification only for self,

Is grating me into abhor.

 

Our hands reaching out,

Towards the dull night sky,

We gather strength to reach the stars,

Instead, compiled the darkness of black matter.

 

We suffer loose ends, intangible may be,

But the freaking heart is real,

The screaming internally,

And undone we may of substance,

Left husks, hollow undoubtedly,

And what is it that matter,

To you or even me?

 

I want to embrace the plain,

Living worthy in simplicity,

But every ounce and every grain

of thought refuses me.

 

I want to be the sky,

And you, my anchor back to earth,

But every day and every night,

You just elude me.

 

So, tell me,

Where is it that I ought to be?

 

12.36 am

10th February 2018

A desire for a place in this world

Rusuhan Adrenalin


“Tu, di bawah tu, mat lajak.”

“Mat lajak-kah boi?”

“Ya. Satu, dua, tiga, emp- (suara menghilang di bawah dengusan nafas mesin penapis udara)… lapan kesemuanya.”

“Dia orangkah yang kena hon tu boi?”

“Iya.”

“Ha, mat lajak-lah lagi! Sekali kena lajak, baru tahu!”

Suasana bilik kembali senyap untuk seketika. Yang kedengaran hanya deting-deting kinciran bilah kipas dan klik-klik tetikus komputer riba.

“Kau pernah naik basikal tengah malamkah?”

“Pernah la boi. Tapi yang pakai otak punya. Ini tidak pakai otak.”

“Kalau gitu, mesti kau faham perasaan melayari malam di belakang stereng basikal.”

“Iyalah boi, tapi tidak gila macam ini mat lajak.”

Suasana kembali sepi seketika. Kedengaran bunyi kenderaan melaju, mungkin mengejar lampu hijau yang sudah beralih kuning di simpang empat di bawah.

“Tapi kau tidak faham, perasaan apabila kau terkena rusuhan.”

“Rusuhan apa boi?”

“Rusuhan adrenalin. Apabila kau menentang logik dan pecah keluar dari kekangan undang-undang, rusuhan itu mengencang, dan kau akan rasa makin teruja.”

Sepi menyapa kembali. Tidak lama kemudian, satu dengusan, kurang pasti mengherdik atau tertawa.

“Rusuhan adrenalin-kah boi?”

 

12.32 am

3 Febuari 2018

Rusuhan Adrenalin

Stars


It’s been a while since last I saw stars in the night sky. Perhaps months, if not a whole year, has passed without gazing upon their little twinkles, their somber gaze upon us, another distant star to them. And I don’t know when will I get the chance to see them again. Life in the city, while all dazzling with neon lights and LEDs of a thousand tones of colours, do not have the same effeminate, mysterious, lonely, calming aura that those stars have.

The first six days here, or nights, to be precise, was hampered by cloudy and rainy weather. Only on this night, my penultimate, have I been blessed by the stars to gaze upon them. I was almost sure that I won’t have a single glance this time, and that saddened me. I like star gazing since God knows when. They give me a sense of strength in their lonesome, if not ended, voyage through their own life. And the fact that a lot of them may not exist anymore, and we are only staring at the ghost of their existence, the light that has left them yet hasn’t arrived even after their source had perished, is a mesmerizing fact, even today. Their essence still live on, and still guide sailors across unknown seas. They still gave van Gogh the idea for a Starry Night. They created legends and sustain myths and became narrators to folklore of people of different times and place. Yet they are still vulnerable. They, in all their greatness, are still way below God, and so are we.

So are we. Not just in the sense of being below God, but also in the sense of inspiring others. Like Jasper. Long have I and Sim dubbed him Star, for he radiates a compassion for progress and people, even towards those unlike him.

Yet, I still want my dose of stargazing. And I’ll appreciate this night’s canvas until my eyes give up.

10.53pm

19th January 2018

Stars