Sunday, 18 October 2009


38 hours before flight check-in

Author: Hello?

Mum: When are you coming home? this really isn't a good time for you to be going off on vacation. I'm leaving for Argentina tomorrow night! I haven't packed, I need to buy shoes and toiletries and food

Author: You think I'm here on vacation!?

Mum: You could have put this off. It's not so important for you to be in Penang right now! I need help with my things! Have you taken a look at the presentation slides I sent you? did you fix it?

Author: I thought I said I'll get it done and e-mail it to you...

Mum: And when will that be? I haven't got much time! When are you meeting your supervisor?

Author: This afternoon, 3 pm.

Mum: You can still drive back to KL after that, can't you?

Author: I don't know how long the meeting will take. And If I do go back tonight, I'd have to send Ann to UKM first. It'll be too late for her to catch the komuter. Besides, I booked the hotel for two days. They don't give refunds..

Mum: You're not going to help me, are you? Kamu memang sengaja nak tinggalkan mama terkonteng-konteng dengan semua ni. Eloklah tu..

Author: ...


27 hours before flight check-in

R&R Tapah, Perak.

Author: Hello, assalamualaikum..

Mum: Where are you?

Author: Kat kedai makan.

Mum: Did you meet your supervisor?

Author: Yeah, she's really nice!

Mum: What time did you finish?

Author: *sigh* Around 4 pm..

Mum: See? You could have made it back to KL tonight! And I didn't receive anything from you in the e-mail. You didn't even look at the slides, did you.. memang tak endahkan cakap mama.

Author: ...

Mum: Esok you'll take your own sweet time driving back to KL, while I'm here handling all this by myself. Papa kamu tak boleh harap. Kamu pun *bip bip bip!*

Phone died. Forgot to bring charger.

24 hours before flight check-in

Kolej Zaaba, UKM Bangi

Pa: Hello!

Author: Hello pa... papa buat apa tu?

Pa: Tengah tengok TV. Kenapa?

Author: Nanti jangan kunci gate depan tau. Tunggu Opie balik ya.

Pa: Hah!? kamu kat mana ni?

Author: Tunggu la. Lagi 45 minit Opie sampai.

Pa: Kamu dah dekat Tanjung Malim dah!? Kenapa balik malam-malam buta macam ni? Kan tak elok

Author: Uh... Yeah... banyak kerja la. Mama buat apa tu?

Pa: Mama kamu dah berdengkur.

Author: ...

12 hours before flight check-in

Amar: Hello?

Author: Wey, bukan ke ko janji dengan mama nak balik temankan dia shopping hari ni?

Amar: aku nak balik la ni.

Author: *pissed* Takyah la balik Mar. Matahari nak tenggelam dah. Buang masa je.

Amar: Woi! aku banyak kerja la, faham tak?

Author: Ko ingat ko sorang je yang banyak kerja? Duduk sekangkang kera dari rumah suruh balik sikit punya susah! Aku yang dari Penang.. haish, tak payah balik! biar aku handle mama!

Amar: Aku memang kena balik, Long.

Author: Buat apa?

Amar: Malam ni aku ada jemputan kahwin kat damansara..


5 hours before flight check-in

One Utama, Old Wing

Author: Hello?

Amree: Wey... ko kat mana ni?

Author: Kat OU, cari kasut mama. Ko nak apa?

Amree: Wey, aku takleh nak draw duit kat CIMB la. ATM kat Dungun ni bengong.. Ko dah masukkan duit dalam akaun Bank Islam aku?

Author: Dah. Did it this morning.. lagi?

Amree: Um, mintak top-up bleh? hehe.


3 hours before flight check-in

64, Jalan Bukit Maluri 7

Safura: Hello! How was Penang?

Author: I'm not in the mood to talk about it right now..

Safura: Why? what are you doing?

Author: Packing mum's bag..

Safura: Owh.. I'm sorry. But aren't you a little late? Shouldn't she be at the airport in like.. now?

Author: *sigh* can you do me a favor, hunny? your abang Amree needs top-up, and since I can't get to the shops right now, can you buy him one? He's been giving me messages non-stop.

Safura: What!? Woman, I just topped him up not two minutes ago! The little

Author: ...

1 hour before flight check-in

KLIA, international departure area

VJ: This can't be happening.. I reminded him, dammit!

Author: Wait.. You're not going to Argentina?

VJ: I can't! He's the project director. How can I go without my boss? it's not my show! I told him over and over again that our flight is tonight, not tomorrow night! It's impossible for him to prepare now.. we've only got two hours left before departure!

Author: But VJ, that means my mum will be leaving for Argentina alone. Without you as guide..

VJ: Yes I know, and I'm sorry. But this is RM 100,000 going down the drain; that's how much we've paid for this event! Please understand; I don't want to be held responsible. I've done my part!

Author: It's okay. My mum will be okay. Right now, just brief her on what she needs to know. Give her all the information you have.

VJ: Yes.. and I'll make sure someone from the Malaysian embassy in Buenos Aires will be waiting for her at the airport when she arrives. They'll make sure she makes it safe to the hotel and to the conference the next morning.

Author: Great! She'll be fine, VJ..

VJ: I'm so sorry Dr. Ismariah. I just can't do this. I can't go..

Mum: That's okay. I'll make it. Just make sure someone from the embassy will be waiting for me in Buenos Aires, ya? that will be a big help..

VJ: I'll make damn sure!

Author: Boy, Dr. Sam is in a lot of trouble now, isn't he?

20 minutes after flight check-in

En route, North-South Expressway

Author: Hello?

Mum: P, can you try contacting VJ for me?

Author: What? But I don't have her number. Why, what's wrong?

Mum: I'm at the departure gate. The flight isn't boarding yet. I want to know something.

Author: What's that?

Mum: I mean, since she and Dr. Sam aren't coming, can I upgrade my ticket to business class?

Author: ...

Monday, 12 October 2009

Dear potential half of my soul,

My head is about to explode. I got enough on my mind as is, without you taking up permanent residence. I mean, would it kill you to just show up? What is the big deal that needs me to continue waiting for you? Jump out of the friggin' box already, dammit! I can't stand the suspense..

Thing is, I see things.. and I see you in them. Things I like, things I don't like, stuff we share with people, stuff we don't share at all, or only with each other and behind closed doors. There are moments I'd like to relive for the rest of my life with you, and I'm hoping you'll indulge me once we're.. you know...

It's not enough, I know. Heck, I'm not enough! Don't you think it scares me? That there are rules and restrictions to this? You're waiting for me to meet the standards.. I have my own, just so you know. I want to be everything. The quiet place; the panic room. The storm-shielding cove. I know, that's probably your job.. but why be normal? I am stronger than you think.. which is not the most endearing trait for a supposedly vulnerable being, I'm sure.. but it's one of the only things I know well how to be.

I've always wanted to be the one to start it. I've missed out on so many chances and so many good things because I preferred to keep my mouth shut and stick to the rules, which I guess is understandable given my.. uh.. situation... But regardless, every time I lose, it keeps getting harder to quell the pain; to forget; to continue believing I'm still worthy.

I guess the only upside to this is that I'm brilliant at steering myself towards the positive. I tell myself, "nope, it's not the right time/the right place/the right guy/the right me, yet." Go figure. But then again, it's always easier to convince yourself that you're in control, isn't it? The feeling that it was you who made the choice, rather than having it forced on you to swallow whole..

Look deeper. It's all I ask. I'm not sure what it is you're supposed to be searching for, or if I even have it. But I'm very sure of one thing: I'll be the one to fall for you first. The signs are obvious, you can't miss it. But once you get there, I beg of you.. don't come so close if you don't intend on staying or if you've got something else in mind or think you and I could somehow be platonic.. Don't be so nice if it's what you think will help ease the guilt for feeling that you've made a big mistake.. it's not a good idea, trust me.. It may look okay on the surface, but you're clueless of the damages.

I'm a positive and cheerful person.. too bad that won't stop me from bleeding.

Your potential other half

Thursday, 8 October 2009


This was sent to my e-mail this morning. I wasn't the type to circulate forwarded e-mails to others, but this story is too beautiful not to be shared. So, I've decided to post it here, in its original entirety.. ^^

At a fundraising dinner for a school that serves children with learning disabilities, the father of one of the students delivered a speech that would never be forgotten by all who attended. After extolling the school and its dedicated staff, he offered a question:

"When not interfered with by outside influences, everything nature does, is done with perfection. Yet my son, Shay, cannot learn things as other children do. He cannot understand things as other children do. Where is the natural order of things in my son?"

The audience was stilled by the query.

The father continued. "I believe that when a child like Shay, who was mentally and physically disabled comes into the world, an opportunity to realize true human nature presents itself, and it comes in the way other people treat that child."

Then he told the following story:

Shay and I had walked past a park where some boys Shay knew were playing baseball. Shay asked, "Do you think they'll let me play?" I knew that most of the boys would not want someone like Shay on their team, but as a father I also understood that if my son were allowed to play, it would give him a much-needed sense of belonging and some confidence to be accepted by others in spite of his handicaps.

I approached one of the boys on the field and asked (not expecting much) if Shay could play. The boy looked around for guidance and said, "We're losing by six runs and the game is in the eighth inning. I guess he can be on our team and we'll try to put him in to bat in the ninth inning."

Shay struggled over to the team's bench and, with a broad smile, put on a team shirt. I watched with a small tear in my eye and warmth in my heart. The boys saw my joy at my son being accepted.

In the bottom of the eighth inning, Shay's team scored a few runs but was still behind by three.

In the top of the ninth inning, Shay put on a glove and played in the right field. Even though no hits came his way, he was obviously ecstatic just to be in the game and on the field, grinning from ear to ear as I waved to him from the stands.

In the bottom of the ninth inning, Shay's team scored again. Now, with two outs and the bases loaded, the potential winning run was on base and Shay was scheduled to be next at bat. At this juncture, do they let Shay bat and give away their chance to win the game?

Surprisingly, Shay was given the bat. Everyone knew that a hit was all but impossible because Shay didn't even know how to hold the bat properly, much less connect with the ball.

However, as Shay stepped up to the plate, the pitcher, recognizing that the other team was putting winning aside for this moment in Shay's life, moved in a few steps to lob the ball in softly so Shay could at least make contact. The first pitch came and Shay swung clumsily and missed. The pitcher again took a few steps forward to toss the ball softly towards Shay.

As the pitch came in, Shay swung at the ball and hit slow ground ball right back to the pitcher.

The game would now be over.

The pitcher picked up the soft grounder and could have easily thrown the ball to the first baseman. Shay would have been out and that would have been the end of the game.

Instead, the pitcher threw the ball right over the first baseman's head, out of reach of all team mates. Everyone from the stands and both teams started yelling, "Shay, run to first! Run to first!"

Never in his life had Shay ever run that far, but he made it to first base. He scampered down the baseline, wide-eyed and startled. Everyone yelled, "Run to second, run to second!"

Catching his breath, Shay awkwardly ran towards second, gleaming and struggling to make it to the base. By the time Shay rounded towards second base, the right fielder had the ball; the smallest guy on their team who now had his first chance to be the hero for his team.

He could have thrown the ball to the second-baseman for the tag, but he understood the pitcher's intentions so he, too, intentionally threw the ball high and far over the third-baseman's head.

Shay ran toward third base deliriously as the runners ahead of him circled the bases toward home. All were screaming, "Shay, Shay, Shay, all the Way Shay!"

Shay reached third base because the opposing shortstop ran to help him by turning him in the direction of third base, and shouted, "Run to third! Shay, run to third!" As Shay rounded third, the boys from both teams, and the spectators, were on their feet screaming, "Shay, run home! Run home!"

Shay ran to home, stepped on the plate, and was cheered as the hero who hit the grand slam and won the game for his team!

"That day," said the father softly with tears now rolling down his face, "the boys from both teams helped bring a piece of true love and humanity into this world."

Shay didn't make it to another summer. He died that winter, having never forgotten being the hero and making me so happy, and coming home and seeing his Mother tearfully embrace her little hero of the day!