Saturday, February 27, 2010

trivia: after dinner tea at kedai simpang kerdau

X: i think the catholic church of malaysia have been hijacked by certain quarters with wild imagination and a penchant for exaggerations, courtroom and public space drama, romanticism, fatalism and heroism. so don't be fooled.

Y: why do you say that and how do you come to that conclusion?

Z: minum?

X, Y: roti telur, roti kosong dua, nescafe ais, teh tarik, air mineral.

X: two recent cases, 1. kalimah allah, and 2. the two al-islam reporters. to me these are simple, straight forward issues but made out into explosive and unnecessary controversies due to the wild imagination and dramatisation involved. look at the main players in both of it.

Y: i’m listening. bang, tambah kuah ni.

Z: banjir?

X: mintak ais kosong satu. ok, back to the kalimah issue. what is actually the real issue here? is it not the issue of using the malay language as the medium of religious instruction for religions other than islam? a straight forward one, right. a non-issue at all, but look at how it was presented to the public and eventually to court, as a religious one, nay a religious right. even the court was duped, you know.

Y: again?

X: the court should have been asked to determine whether the herald or even the bible can use the malay language in its formal and written form, but what was presented to the judge to adjudicate was whether the word ‘allah’ is exclusive to islam and muslims instead. look at how they jump from the non-exclusivity of the word to permission to use it in their malay language publication without even looking at the language issue at all. in fact the language factor was totally and purposely not given any importance.

since the malay language was and is the deciding factor here, the court should have summoned language experts to give their testimony as witnesses to guide it to its decision, but that did not happened. why?

if you look at the triumphant face of tan sri pakiam holding a jawi written bible cover so, so very similar to the style that you normally see in the al-quran, i think you’ll get the idea.

Y: ok, you have my ears. and the al-islam reporters?

X: ok. again this issue is a very simple and straight forward one, i.e., of two reporters on an undercover mission that went bust. a very normal, daily occurance to many parties in their relationship with nosy reporters. a very normal reaction to these intrusions would be to kick these reporters out and that's it. in cases where such intrusion is considered too much, what the aggrieved party would normally do is to ask for a formal apology from the media involved.

the real damage from these over-zealous reporters would be the reports that they publish, as such, unless and until those reports were publish, normal people would consider such encounters as unnecessary nuisance only. just give them the boot. no harm done nor taken.

but look at how certain people made this issue to be. again as a religious issue and rights! hey, you orang media! berapa kali budak-budak you kena halau dari majlis orang hah? berapa kali orang maki you dalam telefon?

Y: biasalah tu bro, cari makan. occupational hazard! hahaha. kalau tak sensasi, mana orang nak beli, miss shoru maa!!! mintak maaf, habislah cerita, berita tak dapat. lain kali buat lagi, nasib baik, lepas. hahahaha.

X: so you see how this penchant for drama and romantics and heroism of certain quarters are causing us all these unnecessary trouble and unrest. in this case, i totally agree with the ag to not pursue it any further (nfa). just a waste of time. they should have just ask for a formal apology from al-islam for intrusion and insensitivity instead and stop all these drama, heroism, victimism and all and save us all the trouble. period.

and as muslims, i think we too should demand an apology from al-islam for behavior unbecoming of muslims and muslim organisation, for tarnishing the teaching and image of islam and for giving us a bad name. in a nutshell, for being crass and stupid and unprofessional.

Y: i think i’ll agree with you on this. i’ve read this book on cultural identity and trait by a nobel prize winner from our neighbour india, amartya sen. just cant remember the title of the book, but basically he said the same thing. certainly my 40 years of experience living as a malaysian would conclude the same. no pun intended.

X: thats the point and i’m not being racist or what. in fact i consider myself a hard core pluralist, and by saying that i mean, we should understand our differences and learn how to accept and live with and be frank about it, but we must never deny its existence or pretend that we are all the same. denial is a very dangerous game.

we would not know how to react when these differences or peculiar traits come to fore in our common life. in most cases, we react to other’s cultural expression and behavior the same way we would normally do within our own cultural circles, and kabooom. the same thing must not necessarily mean the same to everybody and people do express the same things differently too, right?

Y: i again say aye. i’ve read this one very interesting book about an australian fugitive exploits by the name of gregory david roberts in india entitled shantaram. very interesting and surely an eye-opener. i think they should make it recommended reading on cultural understanding to our students.

X: yup. just look at these issues – mic vs mic, mic vs ppp, ppp vs ppp, hindraf vs all, hindraf vs hindraf, hindraf's kl showdown, hindraf's multi billion dollar suit against the british government, temple demolitions in selangor, burial ground issue in kedah etc etc. do see any common denominator in all of these? what are the standard line of thinking, behavior and s.o.p in it all?

ask yourself, if these issues were to take place among other cultural groups, what would be the same and what will be the differences? would you react the same way in all circumstances and to all groups or not? to me, the way we see and react to it will determine our understanding and maturity as a human being and also a member of a plural society.

the same goes with the kalimah and al-islam issue. if you fail to see this, you will react wrongly and unwisely and kaboooom. you'll fall squarely into their plot. the key operative phrase here is distraction by illusions.

Y: eh, orang nak tutup kedailah, sambung lain kalilah. bang, berapa ni?

X: alright. part 2 kat arab nasik panjanglah pulak. set?

Z: 7.30 bang.

Y: set. buat apa esok?

X: aku nak 'gi pekan 'sari kejap, nak cari ikan tenggalanlah.

Y: hahaha, sedaplah bergulai!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

zarb-i-kalim (1.7/7)

Today and tomorrow

One who does not light and consume his heart,
In future's joy or sorrow has no part.
That nation can not morrow's tumult face,
Which is destined to lose the present race.


Hari ini dan esok

Dia yang tidak menyalakan dan membakar hatinya sendiri,
Atas gemilang atau suram esok tidaklah dia berhak.
Tertakdir akan corot dalam perlumbaan hari ini,
Bangsa yang menyorok daripada esok yang berombak.

The Rod of the Moses: A Declaration of War Against the Present Age; a versified English translation of Allama Iqbal's Zarb-i-Kalim by Syed Akbar Ali Shah.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

reaching god

for your sake, i hurry over land and water:
for your sake, i cross the desert and split the mountain in two,
and turn my face from all things,
until the time i reach the place
where i am alone with you.


menggapai tuhan

keranamu, kurentasi darat dan laut
keranamu, kuseberangi sahara dan belahi gunung
dan palingkan wajahku daripada yang lain
hingga waktu aku tiba ke situ
lalu aku bersendiri denganmu.

Perfume of the Desert, Al-Hallaj; edited by Andrew Harvey.

Masjid dhaa de, mandir dhaa de

Masjid dhaa de, mandir dhaa de,
dhaa de jo kuchh dhenda;
par kise da dil na dhavin,
rab ais dil vich rainda...


Break the mosque, break the temple,
Break whatever besides;
But break not a human heart,
Because that's where God resides...


Robohkan masjid, runtuhkan gereja,
Rosakkan semua selagi ada;
Patahkan jangan hati manusia,
Di situlah tempat Tuhan bertakhta...

Syair sufi, tanpa nama pengarang.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

on the nature of knowledge

“'Abdullah b. 'Amr b. al-'As reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying:

Verily, Allah does not take away knowledge by snatching it from the people but He takes away knowledge by taking away the scholars, so that when He leaves no learned person, people turn to the ignorant as their leaders; then they are asked to deliver religious verdicts and they deliver them without knowledge, they go astray, and lead others astray”.

(Hadīth: Bukhārī and Muslīm)

Sunday, February 14, 2010



Friday, February 12, 2010

Babad dua jengkal

a.k.a riwayat nak cepat

Semusim di hospital (is:2.1)

Ambulans laju-laju
Orang sakit jalan dulu

Tingkat lima wad icu
Sakit teruk masuk situ

Katil nombor empat
Siang malam makan ubat

Menunggu setiap hari
Kawan dengan nyonya dan aci

Mandi air panas
Tidur atas kerusi malas

Cafe layan diri
Menu sama setiap hari

Misi muda-muda
Emak masam ayah suka

Doktor pakai baju putih
Dengan orang kampung cakap inggeris

Kerani senyum-senyum
Kasi bil miliun-miliun

Ayah batuk-batuk
Poket kosong tinggal habuk

Adapun mata (ph:2.1)

Jangan main kerling-kerling
Pipi bengkak gigi sumbing

Bila suka jeling-jeling
Poket kosong kepala pening

Apa guna tenung-tenung
Kalau minat terus sorong

Awak gemar kenyit-kenyit
Kalau ada mintak sikit

Gigi rongak mata juling
Alamat hidup terumbang-ambing

Adapun berkawan (ph:2.2)

Berkawan dengan orang muda
Semangat naik berani pun ada

Berkawan dengan orang tua
Teringat dosa kurang ketawa

Berkawan dengan orang perempuan
Selalu berborak tentang pakaian

Berkawan dengan budak-budak
Tidaklah kenal nangka-cempedak

Berkawan dengan anak sekolah
Janganlah takut membuat salah

Berkawan dengan orang guru
Bila bercakap jangan terburu

Berkawan dengan orang pensyarah
Boleh bertanya petunjuk dan arah

Berkawan dengan orang bomba
Mesti berani panjat tangga

Berkawan dengan orang polis
Angkat tangan terus tulis

Berkawan dengan orang askar
Jet hilang jadi kelakar

Berkawan dengan orang bas
Mata mengantuk selalu terbabas

Berkawan dengan orang raja
Siapa dekat boleh jaja

Berkawan dengan orang menteri
Beri kanan ambik kiri

Berkawan dengan orang sprm
Laporan bertimbun lama diperam

Berkawan dengan orang ag
Prinsip dan maruah ada ke lagi?

Berkawan dengan orang peguam
Kepala pening terus demam

Berkawan dengan orang hakim
Tak betul gaya kena contempt

Berkawan dengan orang media
Membuat cerita kerja dia

Berkawan dengan orang berniaga
Kena berkira kena berjaga

Berkawan dengan orang kontraktor
Semua pandai semua teror

Berkawan dengan orang doktor
Baju putih tangan kotor

Berkawan dengan orang penulis
Kena minat baca tulis

Berkawan dengan orang seni
Jangan lupa anak dan bini

Berkawan dengan orang artis
Tayang punggung tunjuk betis

Berkawan dengan orang lebai
Muka senyum tangan melambai

Berkawan dengan orang pramugari
Macam dilayan oleh bidadari

Berkawan dengan orang bujang
Tidur terkangkang mandi telanjang

Berkawan dengan orang rasuah
Pintu neraka dekatlah sudah

Berkawan dengan orang dadah
Kalau sakit sendirilah bedah

Berkawan dengan mat rempit
Motor punah badan tersepit

Berkawan dengan orang gro
Ada duit boleh tidur

Berkawan dengan orang politik
Hendak percaya checklah sikit

Berkawan dengan orang Bangla
Duduk berjemur pakai tuala

Berkawan dengan orang Indon
Cakap kecamuk bahasa London

Berkawan dengan orang Keadilan
Niat serong boleh jalan

Berkawan dengan orang Umno
No more, its a definite 'No'

Berkawan dengan orang PAS
PRU 13 jangan terlepas

Berkawan dengan Hisham Rais
Congak sosialis tak habis-habis

Berkawan dengan Rahmat Haron
Rambut panjang bersopan santun

Berkawan dengan Dina Zaman
Bila minah ni nak berteman?

Berkawan dengan Eby Fana
Bawak kereta tidaklah lena

Berkawan dengan Saiful Bukhari
Bontot berat tak sempat lari

Berkawan dengan Kartika Sari
Kehendak dia tolonglah beri

Berkawan dengan Mahathir Mohamad
Sumpah rakyat bisalah amat

Berkawan dengan Chua Soi Lek
Baring boleh berdiripun molek

Berkawan dengan Samy Vellu
Dia jugak dari dulu

Berkawan dengan Karpal Singh
Silap cakap kena lesing

Berkawan dengan Lim Kit Siang
Mesti mau cakap siang-siang

Berkawan dengan Najib Razak
Buatnya tidak cakap berlambak

Berkawan dengan Anwar Ibrahim
No comment. Cuma nak berdehem

Berkawan dengan Mohd Sabu
Siapa merajuk jadi abu

Berkawan dengan Siti Nurhaliza
Dulu sekarang tak banyak beza

Berkawan dengan Husam Musa
Hilang kambing dapat rusa

Berkawan dengan Abdullah Karim
Perut gendut makan aiskrim

Berkawan dengan Nasarudin Tantawi
Tidak berkait Yusuf Qaradawi

Berkawan dengan Nik Abduh
Kawe malas cari gaduh

Berkawan dengan Nik Amalina
Suami dia Aduka Taruna

Berkawan dengan Ariffahmi
Jange cemar MB kami

Berkawan dengan Nik Amar
Cari isteri pencari damar

Berkawan dengan orang sunnah
Buat umrah tak sudah-sudah

Berkawan dengan orang syiah
Bawak batu ke rumah ke tanah

Berkawan dengan diri sendiri
Itulah awal mengenal diri

Berkawan dengan para Sahabat
Hidup di dunia adalah ubat

Berkawan dengan Nabi Muhammad
Itulah pedoman paling muktamad

Berkawan dengan Allah Yang Tinggi
Hidup dan mati terjumpalah erti
Baik budi luhur pekerti
Muka berseri lurus hati
Beramal salih mencurah bakti
Sejahtera hidup bawak ke mati
Bila datang panggilan kembali
Tidaklah sabar hendaknya pergi
Sahabat, Kekasih sedia menanti
Terubatlah rindu tidak terperi
Bertelek-telekan di syurga Jannati
Sambil menatap Wajah Yang Seni
Hilanglah ada hilanglah diri
Duduk dalam Dakapan Ilahi.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

trivia: why?

a man was given a special gift that his tears turn into pearls when he cry into a cup. as time goes by he eventually sits on a mountain of pearls with a knife in his hands and his beloved wife in his arms.

someone asks: did he kill his wife so that he could cry and own the mountain of pearls?

somebody answers: yes.

someone asks: why did he not smell an onion instead?

Dialog, The Kite Runner, the movie.

There is no fault in love

Should I blame the hair for being wet
When the rains freshen the grass?
Should I blame the skin for being dark
When the sun causes flowers to bloom?
Should I blame the feet for being dirty
When the mud giveth life to crops?
Should I blame the hands for being course
When the chores maketh what I am?

Should I blame the eyes for being blind
When darkness blankets me with rest?
Should I blame the ears for being deaf
When stillness enlivens the weary soul?
Should I blame the lips for being mute
When words unspoken carry more meanings?
Should I blame the heart for loving you
When it's beatings is the only reality that I knew?

There is no fault in love
Only dreams and wakings

Yumeji ni wa

Yumeji ni wa
Ashi mo yasumezu
Utsutsu ni hitome
Mishigoto wa arazu


Though I go to you
Ceaselessly along dream paths,
The sum of those trysts
Is less than a single glimpse
Granted in the waking world


Walau kau kudatangi
Setiap hari di balik mimpi
Tidaklah ia menyamai
Kau yang kujelingi sekali
Di tingkap realiti

Puisi klasik Jepun abad ke 12, oleh Ono no Komachi. Puisi No. 658 dalam antologi Kokin Wakashu. Komachi adalah penyair wanita yang hidup pada abad kesembilan.


Momiji midarete
Wataraba nishiki
Naka ya taenamu


Tatsuta river
Red leaves are floating
In chaotic pattern
Crossing here would be
Cutting their brocade


Di sungai Tatsuta
Dedaun merah berarak
Tanpa corak
Menyeberang di sini bermakna
Memintas alun tenun daunnya

Puisi klasik Jepun abad ke 12, tanpa pengarang. Antologi Kokinshu. Diterjemahkan ke bahasa Inggeris oleh Helen McCullough.

Friday, February 05, 2010

babad mencari diri menempa peribadi

a.k.a riwayat mencari pasal
a.k.a the graffiti

Anak-anak bujang kemaruk ict
i-pod, lap-top dan juga blackberry
i love you and you love me
kampung terjarah siapa peduli? (ph:1.1)

Bluetooth, usb, wi-fi dan memori
ratib dan tasbih anak-anak kini
lancarkah qulhu dan ayatul kursi
mengiringi emak ke kubur nanti? (ph:1.2)

Watpa itu buat apa dan ct itu siti
Yang dalam itu kulit, yang luar itu isi
Terkeliru zaaba termenung alhadi
Apakah bangsaku terkehel qauli? (ph:1.3)

Mari tuan tengok dan perhati
Anak-anak kita di ruang sendiri
Bahasa lisani jambatan insani
Hanyalah catatan sejarah bahari? (ph:1.4)

Anjung serambi jadi balkoni
Garpu dan sudu mengganti jari
Hilang kampung apartment menanti
Seperti nasi bertukar maggi (is:1.1)

Gadis jelita melawat pusara
Bertudung hitam berkebaya belah
Imam dan ustaz sentiasa bersedia
Sediakan saja ganjaran dan upah (is:1.2)

Jangankan bahasa adab susila
Nama sendiripun dicincang-cincang
Bukannya lupa cara berkata
Hanya nak cover gigi yang jongang (is:1.3)

Usahlah tuan meratap sayu
Melihat bangsa umbinya dilupa
Bunga yang kembang lagikan layu
Apalah lagi kita manusia (is:1.4)

Turun ke sungai berhati-hati
Jangan terpijak rotan berduri
Apakah itu pilihan hati
Jadi merpati di kampung sendiri? (ph:1.5)

Di beting pasir singgah kedidi
Burung pekaka sabar menanti
Zikir dan doa balasan budi
Cukupkah wang menggalang ganti? (ph:1.6)

Mengail baung mendapat keli
Disambar belida terputus tali
Gigi yang jongang tetapi asli
Apakah mencacat inti peribadi? (ph:1.7)

Tersangkut rerambut terpiat kekili
Dibawa lari toman berkati
Bunga melayu hukum fitrawi
Kukuh umbinya memutiklah ganti (ph:1.8)

Galah berakit di Kuala Kaung,
Tempurung tampung seluang badar,
Salak di bukit gema di gaung,
Ribut di kampung tak siapa sedar. (pb:1.1)

Seorang kerani tua beruban
Seorang bekas kerani muda
Seorang lelaki banyak perempuan
Seorang perempuan susah nak jaga. (pb:1.2)

Bukan sebab hati tak sayang
Hati walang siapa peduli
Hidup boleh jadi wayang
Bila kasih dijual beli. (pb:1.3)

NOTA: Babad ini adalah ruang awam dan berterusan seperti wiki. Pembaca dielu-elukan mencatatkan pemerhatian dan fikiran mereka dalam ruangan komen. Catatan yang selari dengan arah aliran babad ini akan dimasukkan ke dalamnya secara rasmi.

Pilihan saya tidaklah sepenuhnya muktamad. Pembaca berhak mencadangkan dan juga mengkritik. Ini adalah percubaan sama ada secara kolektif bangsa kita berupaya membina sebuah monumen manusiawi yang secara sah menjadi milik bersama saya, anda dan kita. Semua sumbangan mestilah asli.

Kesempurnaan adalah misi, kecacatan adalah realiti.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Tiadakah lagi lelaki di sini?

Aduhai ceritera saiful bukhari
Dimukah menteri tegak berdiri
Tiada tertempis tiada terlari
Biar bertampang baginda ali

I takut and benci sekali
Itu sabda menunjang diri
Biar dinoda berkali-kali
Disuruh pergi dipanggil mari

Apa sebenar yang tuan cari
Namakau musnah tak terubati
Maruahkau hilang tak terganti
Esok lusa ke mana pergi?

Di kandang saksi tuan berdiri
Dalam hikayat dosa dan budi
Hanya tuan yang tahu sendiri
Kenapa nasibkau jadi begini

Aaaaaaah kartika sari dewi
Kaulah suri kaulah srikandi
Ayuh bangsawan seantero negeri
Sebat pantatku siapa berani!

Hei! Tiadakah lagi lelaki di sini?

Monday, February 01, 2010

Prince Otsu and Lady Ishakawa

Gentle foothills, and
in the dew drops of the mountains,
soaked, I waited for you--
grew wet from standing there
in the dew drops of the mountains.

Waiting for me,
you grew wet there
in gentle foothills,
in the dew drops of the mountains--
I wish I'd been such drops of dew.


Otsu dan Ishakawa

di kaki gunung melandai,
di bawah titis embun gunung,
basah, saya menanti tuan,
dingin kerana berdiri di situ,
di bawah titis embun gunung.

menanti saya,
basah tuan berdiri di situ,
di kaki gunung melandai,
di bawah titis embun gunung,
saya mendamba menjadi titis embun itu.

Puisi klasik Jepun abad ketujuh, diterjemahkan oleh Jon LaCure.