Saturday, August 20, 2016

Retracing my voice | Make good art


A piece of oyster I consumed last Saturday has made me a little unwell right to this Saturday. But blaming an innocent oyster which had traveled all the way from Aussie is not fair is it? Our body reacts the way it wants to react, there's nothing much we can do, eh?

Anyhow, the point I am getting at is that when we are on the down side, we need a boost and our limbs would instinctively look for a boost - be it a mental boost or a spirit boost.

Thankfully, I accidentally came across Neil Gaiman's keynote address for a graduating class at the University of the Arts. This took place four years ago. I'm pretty sure that his frank words of advice to the class and everyone who listens to it today, is fresh and relevant, even forty years from now and beyond. He is a famous British writer. 

He articulated his advice in a relaxed, undiscriminating and unassuming manner. I liked that. He mentioned six advice altogether and the fourth one was: "I hope you'll make mistakes. If you're making mistakes, it means you are out there doing something. And the mistakes in themselves can be useful."

I am inclined towards anyone who encourages me to be human, that is to make mistakes. These people are real.

[I am no longer inclined towards people who outwardly appear as a religious authority but when they get to know a single and somewhat attractive lady like me, they show the other side of them. They say: "Shhh...let's get married. You are busy with your work, I am busy too, we just get married and meet once in a while!" I wonder if they would say something like that to a widow with half a dozen kids. When this person asked me my age, Oh I wish you were there to witness his reaction or rather frustration cos he thought I was in my 20s! Ahh, you may be a shaykh, but if you dare speak in such a manner, you are not speaking the language of faith!]   

Anyhow, coming back to Neil Gaiman and his advice. Gaiman said we should make good art when things aren't going well and we should make good art on good days too.

He said: "Life is sometimes hard. Things go wrong, in life and in love and in business and in friendship and in health and in all the other ways that life can go wrong. And when things get tough, this is what you should do. Make good art. I'm serious. Husband runs off with a politician? Make good art. Cat exploded? Make good art. Somebody on the internet thinks what you do is stupid or evil or it's all been done before? Make good art. Probably things will work out somehow and eventually time will take the sting away but that doesn't matter. Do what only you do best. Make good art. But the one thing that you have that nobody else has is you. Your voice, your mind, your story, your vision...."

"The moment that you feel that just possibly you're walking down the street naked, exposing too much of your heart and your mind and what exists on the inside, showing too much of yourself. That's the moment you may be starting to get it right."

"Leave the world more interesting for your being here."


Yes, this mental boost from author Neil Gaiman, has made me come to surface again, grab my Surface and retrace my voice. Hopefully, I will remain truthful and speak my language of faith.

And be wise because the world needs more wisdom. But since I cannot be wise all the time, I shall pretend to be someone who is wise and then just behave like they would. LOL. [This too is Neil Gaiman's advice!] 

The 31st of August is Malaysia's independence day. Pray we will remain free to speak our language of faith and remain free to speak our mind about anything that comes to mind and touches the heart.


Let's pray Malaysia gets to win our first Olympic gold medal through our brilliant badminton player Dato Lee Chong Wei. Hope he can focus well and make some good art tonight and make us Malaysians proud. The country is 59 years old. It's about time we become an Olympic gold medalist. Malaysia Boleh!

Friday, August 12, 2016

From a distance | A little closer


I was delighted to get a little closer to the KL Tower as can be seen in below photo.

I have been sharing many shots of the lonely tower from a distance. It felt good to see her standing so close before my eyes, for once.

It's always good to see things from a different perspective every now and again. It's not good enough to view a thing from a distance because you would surely miss its finer beauty. And the reverse is also true. Certain things appear to have more splendor when you view it from a greater distance. Having been to Mount Fuji, I know this to be true.

But it's not just about catching a thing's beauty. It's about getting to know a thing/person/situation better, be it from afar or near. If you have only seen something from a distance or a certain angle, then you should try to shift your viewpoint. It's always better to have both a micro and macro perspective. Everyone wants to be understood if not loved. Every thing, even the inanimate beings, all deserve an appreciation, regardless from near or far.  

KL Tower - a little closer - August 2016

KL Tower from a distance - Nov 2015

"From A Distance" is one of two inspirational songs by Bette Midler I love. The other one must be your favorite too - "The Wind Beneath My Wings".

Remember to appreciate the one who always walk a step behind us, who is always ready to catch us in case we trip and fall, in case we need to just stop for a moment to take a breather or pause to make sense of it all and have that loyal someone to lend his/her ears. Be thankful for the wind beneath our wings, people whose quiet presence allow us to fly.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Inspiring men | Golden Hearted Beings


Some of you might have read a couple of postings in which I mentioned about the super cool organization I work for and the gifts which our CEO had given to all employees, each one of us e.g. iPhone, Pebble watch, Samsung Tablet, GoPro... in addition to monetary rewards of course. Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah.

So here's THE man, a multi-award winning CEO whom we are all proud of and lovvveeee.

It's quite rare to meet inspiring people. People whose impromptu speeches make a lot of sense, give you a renewed energy and a heightened self-belief. At a recent small gathering, we sang two of his favorite songs. One of them was a  Malay song called Kau Ilham ku (You are my inspiration) (see video below). He said, as all the humble successful people have the tendency of saying: "It's not about me. Take notice of the inspirations within your own personal sphere."

He is moving on to manage bigger tasks for the good of the country and the ASEAN region.



Thousands of stars are now vanishing
Thus I grapple in darkness
The moon light has dimmed
Uninspired I've become not knowing my direction

A sight of your face quietly emerge
There's sparkle, there's shine
Could it be a star or is it the moon?
I say thank you

Let me catch a glimpse of your face
Let me steal a fantasy with you

Pardon me, should this song violate your space
Oh would you smile
for the sake of our shared memory in this arena

You are my inspiration
You are my inspiration

Monday, August 1, 2016

Multipli-City | August company


I am secretly liking the fact that this space has got more audience from the UAE and Europe than Malaysia. Yes it's nice to see how people embrace life in different parts of the world.

I love driving up to my hometown Penang conveniently. Was there last weekend - the last weekend of Syawal, Alhamdulillah to go jaunting in multiple cities back and forth. Singapore again soon, Insha Allah. Each city has got its own unique appeal of course.

Chic cafes and vibrant malls aside, my eyes have got a strange attraction to old men on bikes LOL. I think I have got several photos like these captured in Melaka. This one was taken in Penang. In the background is my favourite Nasi Kandar/Nasi Tomato stall. People often talk about Nasi Kandar in Penang, but as a true Penangite, I have a thing about Nasi Tomato (Tomato Rice). I know where to find the three best Nasi Tomato in Penang for early dinner, breakfast and supper : D

I think people who cook great food religiously are highly spiritual people. They do their best and only serve the best. Only people who have got a good zest for life have the passion to cook good meals. Now, do you still wonder why Penang is famous for great food? LOL.

One of my post-retirement project is to share (as in sell) dalcha (dhall with veges and chicken/mutton) the way my mom cooks it because people need to be educated and reminded how a decent dalcha should be LOL.


Praise be to Allah Al Kareem - to be home, randomly switched on the telly and there was this show about beautiful sea-front homes in Scotland! OMG praise the generous Lord - the giver of joy here and there and everywhere. In fact, we should realize that in August and in each and every month, we are in august company always - He the Creator of beautiful moments!


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

I'm possible | Think big


This is a special shout out to my niece S who has been scoring big in her college exams each and every semester, masha Allah : D

A dean's lister she is almost every term. Even if she missed it, it's just by 0.8 or less! I am so very proud of her. Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah. Seeing her doing well is a constant "lesson" for me and my family because when S was in primary school, she was way behind in her studies. We never really expected her to come out so strong. There were times when we even joked about the kind of job she might end up doing. LOL. Shame on me, Maths was impossible for me, yet it's super easy for S. She sure is possible. 

We all are possible even if people think otherwise. I remembered about ten years ago, one of the "bosses" thought I was a liability to my team. I hope somebody tells him that I'm now an asset, he might not know cos he quit the race.

What is the lesson here? Methinks, it's part effort and part Allah's decree to grant success to anyone He wishes.

Yes, I'm possible. Me!

Think big! The future is yours to create.

Because some of you have requested to see more of me here on this space, so here I am. I missed you too. I missed this space too!

S - glad you enjoyed and were inspired by the Japan-trip reward!  

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Reminisce | Golden guests


Alhamdulillah wa shukrulillah

I am gratified to be playing host again. This posting is especially for them. I say a big thank you to my golden guests : )


We are still in Syawal celebratory mood, aren't we? Yes at least in KL Malaysia. And I reminisce the wonderful moments with the children of my kampung in Gelugor Penang. Why not have another balik kampung gathering again soon in sha Allah ; )

Gelugor girl
"The ornament of a house 
is the guests who frequent it."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


Pardon me, I can't get enough of the classic Raya (Eid) songs written by Brother Yusnor Ef.
Here are two more : D

This one was written when I was 3 years old!

Banyaklah orang menghias rumah
dihias dengan si bunga-bunga
untuk menyambut hari mulia
sepurnama kita telah berpuasa...

Jangan Cik Abang bersendirian
senangkan hati carilah teman 
di hari ini hari gembira
bukanlah hari untuk berduka

: )

Friday, July 22, 2016

Happy Friday | Hello World!


Good Morning.
It's Fridayyyy : )

I thought of touching this space with some positivity and happy vibes on this special day. Thus, I crafted that poster above. Happy to be creative, as always.

But... I gotta get back to my research work. You know, there are times you have to be quiet and invest your time on great stuffs for the future. Being quiet to the outside world could prove to be a good investment. Seclusion is the way to go before the Lord says: it's time to come out and say Hello World!

Ok tata for now, be sure to take on the world your way and love your day :)

- E. Ismail