Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Old friend


There were three knocks.
Once, and twice followed shortly.
The door opened and a man stood at the entrance.
"How can I help you?" the man asked.
"I was searching for a friend of mine who used to live here but it has been a long time since I have heard anything from him," said the visitor. "He is about this tall, though he seemed to grow taller everyday. He has scruffy hair but he also has the most curious eyes and brightest smile. And his laugh, his laugh," at this point the visitor begin to laugh himself, "his laughs are the most infectious things in the world. You cannot see him laugh, without you laughing yourself. He also has lots of scabs on his knees, from falling. He falls quite often, most of them during his adventures with me," the visitor, ending his descriptions with a smile. The man at the entrance listened closely, in silence.
"I'm sorry, but the boy died," the man said.

The visitor was shocked by the news. Only after a minute did the visitor managed to compose himself.
"How did he died? Are you his father?" the visitor asked.
"Who are you?" the man questioned back.
"I am Hope. Are you the boy's father?"
"No. I was him."


Wednesday, October 26, 2011

nasihat jiwa

kalau tengah membuat tapai,
jangan dijaja seluruh kampung;
kalau sudah hasrat tak sampai,
jangan jiwa dibawa berkabung.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Turn off the espresso machine

The surface of the coffee ripples as the waiter put it on the table. He glanced once at the retreating waiter before focusing back on his portable computer in front of him. With his cheek resting on his left palm, posed in a statutory position, his right hand scrolls down the page as he perused the football ‘news’. After a while he stopped and looked at his left wrist out of habit, forgetting that he didn’t wear any watch that day. He looked at the lower right side of the monitor. It showed 1435.

“Alamak, dah lambat,” he said to himself. He quickly closed his computer and the books around it, piling them on each other and was about to stack the lose papers when a draft blew across the room. Someone stepped into the shop just as he was picking them up. The person was standing over him as he finished. He looked up and smiled at her and she smiled back.
“Sorry lambat, jam tadi,” she said, her smile slowly vanished.
“Takpe, aku pon ralit tadi,” he said. He pulled her a chair, before sitting himself in front of her. “Pergi mana tadi?”
“Tadi pergi cuba baju. Lama jugak. Dekat pukul dua belas baru habis. Penat lah. Lepas tu pi lunch tadi sekali dengan kawan firm.”
“Oo, yeke. Baju warna ape?”
“Warna purple. Yang belah sana warna kuning.”
“Oo, sapa yang pilih. Hang ka dia.”
“Dua-dua aku pilih,” she said. They both laughed.
“Susah la kawin dengan hang, semua nak atur. Nanti rumah pon, hang buat sendiri, tak bagi orang lain buat,” he said.
“Manaa ada, tak susah pon lah. Aku pilih baju ja. Yang lain mak aku semua buat. Aku tak gaduh pikiaq apa pon,” she replied.
“Habis tu belah sana tak buat apa pon ka? Hang tak tinggai apa ka kat mak dia?”
“Mak dia dah takdak,” she answered. There was a brief silence. He apologized.
“Takpa, aku pon taktau. Baru ni ja aku tau,”
“Dia tak pernah bagitau ka?” he asked. She shook her head. He nodded his head and reached for his cup, before he stopped. “Eh, lupa pulak. Nak minum apa? Kopi ke teh?”
“Kopi lah.”
“Cappuccino is it?” he said, smiling.
“Hang ingat lagi,” she smiled back. “Tapi tak mau la, rasanya ambik espresso la kot. Mengantuk ni, sat lagi ada lagi nak kena pi cari kasut pulak.”
“Tak cukup tido ke. Nanti jadi panda lak, mata penuh eyebag. Habis gambar kahwin tak elok,” he teased, pulling his lower eyelids.
“Hish, buruknya! Tapi aku tak pa, orang lawa pakai apa pon lawa. Eyebag tu pon nampak lawa,” she replied.
“Sama la macam aku.”
“Apa yang sama macam hang?” she asked, her face puzzled.
“Pakai apa pon lawa,” he said. They both laughed at that, he openly while she covered her mouth. When the laughter recedes, they both looked at each other and smiled. The waiter then came with her drink and left. They both drank their cups and in between the sips they talked about old friends, forgotten memories and future plans. Time walked by as they talked. Suddenly her phone rang. She picked and talked for a while before letting out a sigh.

“Kenape? Sapa call?”
“Kak aku call. Dia dah marah-marah aku.”
“Yang mana? Sebab apa marah hang?”
“Yang doctor. Hang pernah jumpak rasanya. Dia marah sebab kena tunggu lama. Aku janji dengan dia nak pi beli kasut.”
“Hang tak payah beli kasut la, pakai yang aku ja,” he said.
“Hish, hang mengarut apa? Ni kasut bersanding nanti ni.”
“Ala, dulu hang pakai kasut aku, hang lupa ka?”
“Bila masa? Kasut  hang pon aku tak muat.”
“Hang lupa dah la tu. Ada selipar dulu, waktu raya. Hang pakai sebijik macam aku punya. Tiru aku pulak tu,” he said. She seems lost for a second before exclaiming loudly, “Oooo, yang tu ka. Yang tu, hang yang tiru aku. Ada ka pakai kasut selipar perempuan. Mengarut la hang wei. Ada ka kata adik hang pi beli pon, awat dia pi beli yang perempuan kat hang.”
He laughed embarrassedly. “Tak kira, hang tiru aku. Ni nak aku hantaq ka?”
She shook her head. “Tak payah, tak payah. Satgi dia nak mai ambik aku.”
“Dia tu kak hang ka, dia,” he said, making a quotation mark in the air.
“Dia tu dia la,” she said sheepishly. 
“Aha, okaaay. Bila nak mai ambik ni? Tadi kata lambat dah.”
“Hm, tak tau la. Sepatutnya dah sampai tadi lagi. Dia memang selalu lambat sikit. Dah cakap banyak kali pon sama jugak, jadi tunggu ja la. Cuba kalau aku lambat, siap la kena berlet..” she stopped when she noticed him looking at him closely.
“Ada apa ke?”
He didn’t answered directly, instead leaned back into the chair, his eyes still on her. He then spoke, “Boleh dak aku tanya satu soalan?”
“Tak boleh. Soalan apa? Tanyalah.”
“Why did you choose him?” he asked her. She was silent for a while before she replied that she didn’t know.

“There’s lots of things about him. Hang nak aku sebut satu-satu ka?”
“Okay okay, aku ubah soalan. Why did u not turned off by him? Why didn’t he turned you off?”
Her eyebrows knitted in a furrow when she heard the question. “Why should I turned off by him?” she asked back. “Why should I?”
“Because he’s late.”
“He’s late? Takkan sebab tu pon nak sampai macam tu.”
“Well, yes. Dulu hang cakap sapa yang selalu lambat ni major turn off.”
Her eyebrows relaxed as she laughed. “Come on Asrul, that was years ago. Aku sekarang dah tak kisah sangat benda tu, plus dia bukannya lambat sepanjang masa.”
“Tadi cara cakap, macam selalu ja.”
“Okay lah, dia kadang-kadang lambat. Tapi bukannya sebab tu pon nak jadi masalah. Aku tak kisah pon benda tu.”
“Dulu hang cakap hang kisah.”
“Tu dulu,” her voice rose slightly. “Come on Asrul, why are you bringing this up?”
“Okay, kalau baru, sebab apa dia merokok tu bukan turn off? Dulu, silap. Tahun lepas ja baru kata, tak suka mamat ofis tu, sebab dia merokok. Major turn off you said.”
“He is quiting now,” she said curtly. He laughed quietly instead. “Why are you laughing?”
“You said once, yang smokers always be smokers. You don’t believe they can quit. Tak ingat?”
“Now I believe they can. Why you suddenly ungkit this all up anyway?”

“You said you didn’t like men with long hairs. Your daddy hates it. That guy rambut panjang, you ingat tak? You cakap sampai mati pon tak teringin orang serabut macam tu?  Tapi yang nak ambik ni, rambut kalah Akhill Hay kot,” he said, jutting his mouth disapprovingly. “Okay lah, maybe those characteristics are not that important, those major “turn off” are not that major, but can you tell me why you choose him? Sampai tak nampak dah benda yang kurang, turn off yang dulu hang tak suka sangat.”
The girl didn’t say anything and just sat there, flipping her phone in her palms. Without looking at him, she said, “Maybe because he loves me.” Her sentence was between an answer and a question,  as she looked at him. He smirked back in reply.
“He, loves you? Berapa puluh orang suka kat hang dari dulu. Berapa banyak orang. Aku po..” he suddenly faltered, though he quickly recovered, “Aku pon tau ramai yang suka.” He stole a glance at her. In the glimpse he saw that he had already said too much, so he stopped himself and looked away in pretense. They both sat in silence. After the waiter came for the bills, he finally spoke to her.

“Sebab apa?”
“Entah. Tak dak apa,” he mumbled. He then took the spoon next to the cup and swirled the drink, making the pale coffee murky again. He tapped the spoon on the edge of the cup before adding, “I guess your major turn off is not trying.”

She looked at him, puzzled and was about to ask when her phone rang. After the call she reluctantly excused herself. “Sorry, aku tak paham part last tu. Tapi ni dia dah tunggu kat luar, aku pi dulu na?” she asked. He nodded in understanding and watched as she left and walked out of the door. For a while his gaze was focused on nothing before he moved his books into his bags and opened his laptops. Slowly at first but faster as he continued, he began to type.

The surface of the coffee ripples as the waiter put it on the..

"Falling for someone is like an appetizer. If you missed the moment the first time around, better don't serve it at all."

Monday, August 15, 2011

Dandy lions

Yesterday, hundreds goodbyes ago, I held a picked dandelion.
Its stem in my hand,
the flower bobbed and swayed,
to my delight,
to every breath and word I said.

As my face grew closer, my heart grew fonder to the flower.
Suddenly I sneezed and blew most of the petals away.
The few that were left, I cupped from the wind though I knew they wont likely stay.

Today I whisper goodbye to the wind,
for I cannot go where the dandelions were blown;
my path is land, yours is the sky.
my heart mellows and bellowed goodbye.

I will always be jealous of where you land,
still I let it go as the wind might be a better friend.

"Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead"

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Judicious Judy

There was once a girl named Judy,
Who one day went off on a journey.

She met a frog
which instead of a long tongue,
could breath fire to flies;
instead of eating flies wet and juicy,
it boasted eating them fried and crispy.

Other frogs were green with jealousy,
but the fire began to grew;
the flames left the skin dry and waterless,
stopped the breath, left it lifeless.

Thus the girl named Judy,
continued on her little journey.

Deep into the sea she then went,
into a school of octopodes;
where one got a cold and sneeze,
and flew out of the water unto a beach.

Wrapped by a tentacle was Judy,
who finally end her journey.

"What did you see? Where did you go?"
asked the esteemed adult,
but when told of the fire frog and the sneezing octopus,
their heads were shook, said it was nonsense and bogus.

They smiled in disdain.
For how can such weirdness exists,
such absurd notions;
they had need not travel, they gloated,
to claim such creature never existed.

Thus the girl named Judy,
in silence went off again on a journey.


octopode's meaning

Monday, May 23, 2011

"I want everything"

If you want everything,
you'll end up with nothing.
If you want the world, you'll never have the girl;
If you want power, you'll never have love.
If you want all the gold, the days will be lonely when you're old

but if you want happiness, then have what you have now.


Thursday, April 28, 2011

You got me at....

Hachi! Hachi!

Her sneeze cut through the silence, followed by the rhythmic sound of falling raindrops. She felt a touch at her elbow, which startled her and caused her to turn around.

"Do you need a tissue?" the man asked. His eyes were looking straight into hers, when she suddenly sneezed.

She expected him to laugh, as most people when they heard her sneeze, so she was surprised when he was looking calmly at her. "Do you need a tissue?" he repeated, as if the sneeze wiped her short-term memory. She grabbed his offer, took the plies out and clumsily gave the rest back. She wiped her wet hands with her back to him, away from the man, for she was embarrassed of herself. After she dried her hands, she sat up straight and looked towards the road, as if nothing happened. Suddenly she remembered her manners and turned to thank the man. Her gratitude however stopped halfway, as her books fell off her knee in her rush.

She quickly picked them up before he could even react, piled and sat them back on her laps. She didn't turn to him, instead stared straight into the road and stuttered her thanks.
"T-t-thank you. Thank you for the tissue," she said while her mind cringed, 'hey, they rhyme!'

"You're welcome," the man replied. From the corner of her eyes, she saw a thin smile on the man's face. The smile slowly fades out and the silence began to crept in. The awkward silence, the one which is filled by an OST in the movies. However, he suddenly spoke, to which she was grateful.

"You have quite a lot of books," he said. She nodded, eyes facing the road, "I worked at The Borders."
"Aha, I see. I always wanted to work in a bookstore," he added. "It's fun," she answered stiffly.
"That seems like an interesting book," he said, his eyes pointing at her stacked books. Her eyes followed his as she dumbly read the titles.
"Oh, this. Yes, it's quite interesting."
"Quite? 'The unicorn who yelled curry!'" he read it out loud. "The title isn't really something you might say quite interesting, right?"
"Well.. well, it is VERY, interesting," she answered as he turned to him.
He smiled at her and asked, "What is it about?"
"Urm, it's about.. the book is about a unicorn.. this unicorn sells apples in a market, so one day he went to the market to sell his apples. I think it's his, because it doesn't say what the unicorn is. Then..."

Then she sneezed.

Promptly a pack of tissues was offered to her and she was about to take it when it was pulled away. She looked up and saw him standing, looking at a bus coming towards their direction. He waited until the bus was closed enough to read the numbers before sitting back. A few passengers got off the bus but they quickly scampered away into the rain, leaving them both alone as before.

"Oh, I'm sorry. Here's the tissue." She took three plies, stopped, and took a few more just in case, and returned them back.
"Thank you." she said. "Anyway, where are you going?"
"Oh, I'm going to Shah Alam."
"Then why didn't you take that bus?"
"The bus wasn't going to Shah Alam."
"Yes it was."
"No it wasn't. It says going something jaya, not Shah Alam," he said seriously. She however, began to laugh.
"Sorry for laughing. Of course it didn't say," she stopped to breathe, "because there is no bus that goes directly to Shah Alam. You have to change to train and trams."

She smiled and he blushed.
"There. Here comes a bus. This bus can take you there. It's my bus too."
"So, why are you going to Shah Alam anyway?" she asked him as they sat in the almost empty bus.
"To visit my mother."
"So, your mother also came to Malaysia?"
"Came? What do you mean, came? She lives there."
"Urm I mean, did she came with you to Malaysia?"
"CAME? She never left Malaysia."
"You mean she's born in Malaysia? She's a Malaysian?"
"Of course she is! She lives there all her life," he said, to which the girl laughed.
"I honestly thought you were not Malaysian, plus you didn't know how to go to your own hometown and when you speak..." she stopped as she saw his face.

She puckered her mouth and stared straight forward. It was he who spoke again.
"I'm sorry, I shouldn't be mad at you. It was a normal mistake."
"No, no. I shouldn't have laughed at you. I.. oh no!" she said as she pushed the stop button. "It's already my stop, got to go. Don't forget to take the number 34, okay. Bye."

She rushed down the bus with her books in her arms and sneezed as she climbed the building's steps.


"Awal balik hari ni."
"Yala, takkan nak balik lewat lak, birthday papa kan hari ni," she said as she smiled to her father.
"Kenape sampai lambat sangat?"
"Tadi tak reti la nak naik bas, tunggu sejam sebab dunno bas mane nak ambik. Next time, mak suruh la adik g ambik I balik kerja. Bagi rosak kereta orang reti."


"Where are you going man? Don't want to eat with us a?
"Haiya, he want to go to borders again la, you don't know?"
"Which borders? Why? Got cun one cashier there?
"Which borders?" he suddenly chipped in. "You mean there's another borders?"
"Yeah, the one in Tropicana. You tak tahu?"


"Jom, tinggal lah buku tu dulu. Hari ni hari last kan?"
"Aah, sedihnya rasa nak tinggal tempat ni, kak, " she said.
"Nanti bila dekat negeri omputih tu, ingat-ingat lah kami kat sini."
"Tu lah, nanti bawak la boipren omputih sorang untuk aku."
"Bawak balik untuk ko buat ape, die mesti cari untuk sendiri dulu, ye tak?"
She laughed and replied, "Pandai lah akak ni. Dah la, jom kita duduk. Ambik seat belakang pokok tu. Hari ni I belanje."
"Wah, seronoknya orang nak fly, belanje!"


"This group behind us so noisy lo, from we came until now, still talk talk talk."
"Of course la, pompuan ma. What do you expect. Many also."
"What do you guys want to eat?" he asked.
"Wah, you want to belanja us eh?"
He smiled and was about to reply, when his friends cut him off, "Mesti lo. He forced us to come and eat all this way. Went searching in the book store for what book I don't know. Now mesti belanja lo. So penat come all this way."
"Okay, okay. Sorry guys, I led you guys to a wild chase. Wanted to find someone who I think, works at Borders," he said. One of his friends said, "There's another one in Penang.."
He laughed. "I don't think she lives in Penang and commute to KL."
"Sheee.. No wonder la this guy act like this. Awek loo. No wonder so angau."
"I thought already awal-awal. Awek borders nia."
"It's not like that," he said with a smile, "she was just some girl I met at a bus stop. It was raining and she.."


He stopped, stood up and went around the decoration plants.
"Do you need a tissue?" he asked with a smile.