Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Last Days

I know, I know, with the new semester approaching next Tuesday, I should be preparing myself by reading up Econs Unit 2 notes, The UK Economy, Much Ado About Nothing, Othello and my Law notes. Its not like I don't know that its gonna be a heavy semester, I do! But I wanna spend the last few days of this wonderful holiday lazing around, waking up late, and watching TV before college starts. I won't even have time for myself then. Also, my mum has finally succeeded in persuading me to read JRR Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings, and that has been occupying most of my time. I've been a huge fan of all the movies since they came out almost 10 years ago now, but my mum has been a fan for a long time, ever since she has read the books even before she married my dad. I tried picking up the book a few years ago I think, but I just didn't have the patience with it. Until recently my mum's been like "Aira! You should read LOTR! You're a Literature student for God's sake! You can't get away with not reading one of the masterpieces of the twentieth century!" And I was like..fine fine, I'll give it a shot. I could get through (and even loved) Pride and Prejudice, I'm sure I can get through this. And my mum's right, I can't be studying Literature without having read LOTR.

So I'm about 1/4 through The Two Towers now, and LOTR is indeed incredible. Since I haven't finished all three books yet, and Tolkien being Tolkien, the depth and magnitude of the story would take another whole post to review. I just hope I can finish all of it by this week so that I won't get distracted when college starts next week.

Okay I have to get back to Rohan now. Gandalf is telling Theoden about the evils of Saruman. I'll write again when I've finished the books!

Hoping all of you are well. Toodles :)

P/S: As I have expected, my post regarding the 'Allah' issue did not receive any comments. Not that I perasan sangat that people actually care to read my blog, but my point is, one of my previous posts where I bitched about a guy who shouted at me received 9 very passionate comments. Enough said. But oh well, I'm sick of the whole Allah issue anyway.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

So Small

My exams are oveerr!! Huhuhuhu! Now I have about 2 weeks left of this holiday before semester 2 starts on the 2nd of February.

I feel so liberated now, I can finally watch TV and download movies without feeling guilty. Haha. But tuning to my favourite channel, CNN, hasn't been so cheerful. I'm talking of course, about the dreadful earthquake in Haiti. Its just so so sad to see all those people dying and fighting for their lives. And what touches me more is all those doctors and volunteers that are there to help. If only I had the money, the time, the opportunity, anything..I would definitely go there and do anything I can to help. I don't understand those who have the resources and everything but just choose to be ignorant about things like these. Just watching all the horrors happening there on CNN makes me realize how insignificant my own life is. Here I am worrying about my exams and whether I'll get into LSE for my degree, when people there are dying by the thousands. People lose their families, homes, friends, everything. And yet they still have the strength to continue living. And here we are in Malaysia making a fuss about who gets to use the word Allah, torching churches and hurling insults at each other because of it. How huge our problems seem to be in comparison to those in Haiti, right? *sighs*

Wake up and smell the coffee, people. There are bigger and more important things in this world besides your own problems. Prayers for all those in Haiti, may God give each and every one of you strength and faith to continue living.

Sometimes that mountain you've been climbing
Is just a grain of sand
What you've been out there searching for forever
Is in your hands
When you figure out love is all that matters, after all
It sure makes everything else
Seem so small

It's so easy to get lost inside
A problem that seems so big, at the time
It's like a river that's so wide
It swallows you whole
While you're sittin round thinking about what you can't change
And worryin' about all the wrong things
Time's flying by, moving so fast
You better make it count, cause you can't get it back

Sometimes that mountain you've been climbing
Is just a grain of sand
What you've been out there searchin for forever
Is in your hands
Oh, When you figure out love is all that matters, after all
It sure makes everything else
Seem so small

- Carrie Underwood, So Small

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

We Belong to HIM, Not the Other Way Round.

My two previous posts have been ramblings about my own insignificant life, which makes me a bit guilty since there are more pressing issues going on out there that should be discussed. Though I'm positive the comments I'll receive for this post will be significantly lesser than for those posts about my personal life. That's usually the case, but we'll see if its gonna be different this time.

I'm no expert on religion, and I certainly do not pretend to be. There is plenty more I need to learn and explore about Islam, and I really hope to do so. But recent events that have taken place in this country, I think, does not require a religious expert to comprehend and rationalize. The issue of the court allowing the usage of the word 'Allah' in the Bahasa Melayu version of the Holy Bible has brought out a kind of behaviour among Muslims that is neither logical nor sensible. The group in Facebook that aims to collect one million Muslims to go against the court ruling just baffles me. What baffles me more is that a lot of people I know joined that group.

I am not here to condemn the existence of Facebook groups, though. I am here to express my views on this matter. Actually this outrage by Muslims is not surprising. Not too long ago there was the same outcry over the publication of the Bible in Bahasa Melayu. Which is even more absurd than this issue I think. Are those protesters so deluded as to thinking that Bahasa Melayu belongs to Islam? That other religions are not allowed to use it? I wonder if they know that in Arab-speaking countries, the Bible is published in Arabic, which is the same language in which our Holy Quran is written in. What do they say to that? I don't think there are words that can describe how flabbergasted I am at some people's mentality. The fundamental problem of Muslims in this country is that we seem to think that Malay and Bahasa Melayu and Islam are synonymous. I think it might shock them that not all Arabs are Muslims.

Those who oppose the court ruling also seem to think that the usage of the word Allah in the Bible is some sort of insult and propaganda that the Christians have against the Muslims. I think that these people don't know the difference between an insult and a compliment. I'll tell you what an insult is. An insult is when a Danish cartoonist draws caricatures of the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) as a terrorist. An insult is when a Dutch (was it Dutch? correct me if I'm wrong) member of Parliament makes a video depicting Islam as a religion of violence. An insult is when American soldiers flush the Holy Quran down the toilet bowl, or use its pages as toilet paper. The massacre of Muslims in Gaza and Bosnia are also insults to Islam. But the usage of the word Allah in the Holy Bible, the Holy Book of Christianity, which, like Islam, is an Abrahamic religion (agama Samawi), that is no insult at all. In fact, don't you think that it emphasises the fact that we, Muslims and Christians, are not so different after all? Or is that idea just too disgusting to you?

These protesters also have this idea that the usage of the word Allah in the Bible is somehow a propaganda that is intended to 'confuse' our Ummah, to turn us away from Islam. This is just so embarrassing. Is our faith so weak that it is easily shaken and 'confused'? And besides, if anyone should be confused by this, its the Christians, because its in their Holy Book that the name of Allah is going to be printed. They are the ones who should be complaining about propaganda or confusion. In fact, they are the ones who should feel threatened. Lets say a Muslim managed to obtain a court ruling to replace the word 'Tuhan' to 'Jesus Christ', or something of the sort. I'm sure the reaction would be outrage from the Muslims, and welcome from the Christians. Not the other way round. Get it? The Christians should logically be the ones making a fuss right now, but they are not, instead it is the Muslims who seem to have such little confidence in their own faith, and the faith of their future generations.

Those who went to school in Selangor might remember our state's national anthem, 'Duli Yang Maha Mulia'. You would also remember that the third line of the anthem goes 'Allah Lanjutkan Usia Tuanku'. As far as I know, the citizens of Selangor include non-Muslims as well. And these non-Muslims are supposed to sing the state song together with Muslims during official functions or assemblies. So, if I got it right..they not only have to mention, but even sing the word 'Allah'! Now isn't this blasphemous? Insulting? Won't we get 'confused' by this? And most importantly, shouldn't there be Facebook groups trying to get one million signatures to prevent non-Muslims from singing the Selangor anthem? Its only logical right?

I may not be so articulate in expressing my views. These views do come from my own heart and mind, but they are also the result of reading other people's views as well. I am particularly impressed by views from people like Marina Mahathir, Anas Zubedy and Art Harun. These are opinions and views that are sound, rational and non-racist.

Lastly, I would like to borrow a few words from Marina Mahathir. She mentioned this in an article in The Malaysian Insider today, and I think they're beautiful and makes perfect sense:

"Remember that Allah does not belong to us, but we belong to Him."

I hope those protesters keep this in mind. Allah or Islam is not for any of us to claim the right of control over, its not like Allah is mine or Islam is mine, but rather, we belong to Allah and we belong to Islam.

May God bless us and keep us safe always.

I Am So Jaded.

Reading my previous post, it may seem like I've been a loner all my life. Its true that right now I don't have a proper circle of friends, girlfriends, homies, gang, clique or whatever it is you call it these days. In college, chances are you'll be seeing me studying, walking and even having my lunch alone. This freaks out some people, I know, because most people can't stand the idea of having lunch alone. I used to not like it too, but one gets used to it. Ever since my days at Petrosains, having lunch alone is a norm for me. And its nothing sad or pathetic. My mom goes to lunch at KLCC alone almost every day. She enjoys her own company. And I guess I've learnt to enjoy my own company too.

My point is, I wasn't always like this. Back then I had a constant circle of friends whom I would go to recess with, whom I would gossip with, whom I laughed and cried with. And then one of them, my bestest friend, moved to another school, and things changed from there. I still had close friends, but it was never the same. Still, I enjoyed my high school life. The first three years more than the last two, but I enjoyed it still. Unlike college, it was a place where I made lasting friendships, friendships that I could believe in.

Between the end of high school until now, I came across several people whom I grew really close to. We used to talk until the wee hours of the morning, and sms every two minutes. At the time, it felt like 'this is gonna last forever'. We were there for each other, always. But life has a habit of snatching things from you without a reason. Suddenly, things just changed. And the worse part was, I can't think of a reason why. Maybe its distance. Or age. Or I just repel people. Or we just simply grew apart. Whatever it is, it hurts. It hurts to think that a person can be everything to you one moment, and a complete stranger the next. What hurts most is that they claim that you're their 'sister' or 'best friend' and they will 'always be there for you' and all that stupid crap.

Therefore I've turned into someone who just cannot and refuses to believe in any kind of relationship outside my family. And yes, friendship included. Those few who have stuck by me and have earned my trust are excluded, of course. You know who you are. But other than that, I don't know how you can just trust a person, when they say they love you, or they'll always be there for u, or they'll look after you no matter what. How can you just believe that? Its only words. I've learnt that hearts change and people change even if their words remain the same.

Ms. Caroline once asked us in Lit class, "How does it feel to be in love?" or something of that kind. I remember answering her, "I don't think I can answer that because at this point in my life, I have never felt any kind of love from anyone except my parents." The class kinda stared at me but Ms. Caroline said "Yeah, that's true." I have loved, which brought devastating effects, yes. But to be loved? Really? That's a huge word. As far as I know, when you love someone, you put them before you, always. You would give up anything for them. You'll be there for them, no matter what. And most importantly, you mean what you say and stick to it until the end of time. Until death do you part. So who else other than my parents would do all those things for me? And how can any random guy just claim they would do all that for me, be that person to me? How can they possibly prove it? Its not possible. Its not possible because he didn't give birth to me, or feed me, or see me grow up. He won't be able to see beyond my physical shortcomings, to see who I am on the inside, as cliche as that sounds. With all that said, maybe I have to take it back when I said that I have loved. Because I don't know if what I felt did justice to the word.

Its unfathomable to me how people can get married to each other. Marriage baffles me. But I am thankful my parents got married or I won't be here right now. As for me getting married someday, I can't picture it. I have issues with trust. I know that.

I'm not trying to mock those who have significant other halves, or those who are in love and plan to get married. I wish them all the happiness in the world. I'm just saying its not for me.

You know people (especially girls) have their own fantasy love story? Like they wish their relationship with their significant other was like Shane West and Mandy Moore in 'A Walk to Remember', or Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts in 'Notting Hill', or Nathan and Haley in 'One Tree Hill', or Romeo and Juliet in 'Romeo and Juliet'. As for me, my fantasy love story is that of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennet in Jane Austen's masterpiece, Pride and Prejudice. Before I read the novel, I never thought it was possible to create a love story between a man and woman that did not involve and lust or anything sexual at all. Everything between them was about their minds, and hearts, manners and behaviour. Sure they were both good looking, but that was not the focus of their attraction to each other at all. Its kind of hard to describe here, it may sound really cliche, so you must read the book to understand.

But alas, its just a story. Chances of that happening in real life? To me? Pfffftt.

I know, you might read this and think, "Why is she so jaded? She's only 18, she has her whole life ahead of her". Yeah, in an ideal world, an 18-year old like me should be holding on to the hope that one day her knight in shining armour would come to her on a white horse and whisk her away to be with her forever, and they ride off happily ever after into the setting sun. Trust me, I want to be that girl. But life and people has hardened me. I just do not believe in such things.

Straying off the subject a little, One Tree Hill season 7, despite the absence of my perfect guy Lucas Scott, is actually not that bad. Hard to believe, I know. I think its better than season 6. It has a mystery and storyline to it, and its not too draggy. I like Clay, he's cute. But of course nothing, absolutely nothing can beat the first four seasons when they were still in high school. I can watch those seasons over and over again without getting bored, seriously.

Oh and in this new season, RACHEL GATTINA IS MARRIED TO DAN SCOTT. Which means he is Nathan and Luke's stepmother, and Jamie's grandmother. What the *insert suitable profanities* !!!??? I think this is the most bizarre marriage to come out of OTH so far, even more bizarre than Nate and Haley's high school marriage. Yeah yeah call it sweet or whatever, but getting married in high school, and lasting for like, 6 years now? Pfffftt. Major nonsense. Maybe that's why I prefer Luke to Nathan. I think Nate is a bit unrealistic. When it comes to his marriage with Haley, that is. Or else he's fine.

Well I've rambled on for too long. Someone should knock some sense into me and remind me that my exams start next Monday.


Friday, January 1, 2010

She Lives!

*blows off dust*

*cough cough sneeze sneeze*

Yes, citizens of the Earth. I'm alive. And blogging.

*scrolls down*

My last post was in...August. So its been like, 4 months since I blogged. Why the extremely long silence you ask? Well...I guess I've just discovered that I'm an extremely private person. Come to think of it, there is not a single person who truly knows what's going on inside of me. I'm not one of those teenagers who have a huge group of friends who will come to her rescue when anything goes wrong. Most of the time, I keep what I feel to myself. Of course, there are one or two people I feel comfortable in confiding in, but even then, I don't tell them everything. I guess I take after my mom when it comes to this particular behaviour, she never had any 'best friends', nor did she ever find the need to confide or be consoled. She never had a boyfriend until she started working. Now that she's married, I think my dad is her only friend, and therefore her best friend. But I guess that's why I admire her so much. Despite all of what I've said above, today she is the most successful, accomplished woman I know, in almost every aspect. Her lack of 'social life' did not prevent her from being the intelligent, wise, knowledgeable person that she is now. I can talk to her about (almost) anything. I guess that's the kind of woman I hope to be someday. Independent, strong-willed, self-reliant and self-trusting.

So the New Year has arrived. As usual, people left, right and centre are coming up with their resolutions. Though I don't really believe in the point of wanting to 'better' yourself only at the beginning of the year, I guess its better than nothing, right? All I know is that in 2009, I learnt to trust myself more. To not need people too much. Though I tend to contradict myself when it comes to this (because everyone knows I do get a bit needy at times), I think I've improved significantly. And that makes me happy. :)

So what will 2010 hold for me? There is a bunch of stuff that I'm quite excited about, so I'll just list them out, shall I?

1. My first A-Level external exam. I know this isn't something that people would normally get excited about, but I'm trying to motivate myself here people! I have only four papers to sit for this January (thank God), and they are Core Mathematics 1 and 2 on the 11th, Economics Unit 1 on the 13th and English Literature Unit 1 on the 18th. Then my second semester commences on the 2nd of February. Naturally, Lit is freaking me out the most, and what makes it worse is that I don't really know how to study for that subject. Let's just hope I don't screw it up because I DO NOT want to re-sit it in June. So fingers crossed :)

2. Nanyang Technological University Model United Nations (NTUMUN) 2010. Yes people, I'm off to Singapore for my first ever international MUN! Its the first international event that I've ever participated in actually, and I'm super excited and ultra nervous at the same time. To those who have no idea what MUN is, you can check it out at the website if you want: It will also be the first time I'll be travelling anywhere without my parents (though I have my trusted fellow UN Club friends, Shin Hye and resident MUN expert James Yap with me) and I'm definitely ecstatic about it. Huhu. The conference is on the 5th-7th of February, and I've been assigned to the General Assembly as the Delegate of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Its scary, I know, and I can just imagine all those walking breathing CNNs who will be there, but I'm still excited nonetheless :)

3. HELP University College Model United Nations Conference (HELPMUNC) 2010. Hehe I'm gonna use this opportunity to promote HELP's own MUN Conference, which will be held on the 26th - 28th of March. I participated as the Delegate of South Africa for DISEC last year and this year, I'm on the Organizing Committee! Hehe. I'm the Deputy Secretary-General for Conference Services (DSG-CS) and James is already breathing down my neck reminding me of all the shitload of work that I have to do. But I'm not complaining, I applied for the position and I actually discovered that I like organizing events. All thanks to my beloved UN Club :) My college life would be seriously dry without it. So I hope to see tonnes of you as delegates at HELPMUNC 2010!

4. World Cup! OMG how can you not get excited about this? It only comes around once every four years people! And there's nothing like watching young (and in some cases, hot) men give their hearts and souls to a game, in the name of their beloved country and its people. A huge reason why I love watching sports is that sportsmanship, spirit, endurance and dedication these athletes give to honour their respective games, teams and countries. I'm rooting for Spain and Germany, though I will always have a soft spot for Brazil and England. And Kaka. And Fabregas. Hehe. See you guys this summer! Can't wait! :D

5. My second semester at HELP. Gosh, I can't believe I'll be starting my 2nd semester already. One more semester and I'll be done with my A-Levels. But this semester will be a tough one though, since it is comparatively shorter and the workload is getting heavier. I'll have my dreaded Law exams in June, and two of the most difficult units for Econs. Lit isn't gonna be a walk in the park either (as if it ever was, lol), but as least we'll be studying a novel I'm very very familiar with, The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. This is one of my ultimate favourite books ever, and I hope Ms. Sunitha will make studying it even more lovely :D So buckle up Aira, semester two is gonna be one hell of a ride.

6. Oh yeah. I also have to (finally) completely get over a certain someone who has been lingering at the back of my mind for over a year without me realizing it. I have to let it go. Though I have no idea how on earth our relationship can be like how it was before, that's not the point. The point is, he made it final a long time ago. I've gotta stop living in denial or hope or longing or whatever the hell it is. I gotta grow the hell up and be that independent woman I hope to be.

I hope this (kinda) long post makes up for all those months I've been away from blogging. Lol, as if there was anyone who missed my ramblings. Perasan betul. Haha. Anyhow, I wish all of you a blessed, happy and safe 2010!!

p/s: I'll try and blog more this year. Promise. Hehe.