Bunion/bunian

I’m at school. A bunch of sixth formers are talking about invisible apparitions shoving them around and playing tricks on them. Bunians.

I’d just finished invigilating a lower secondary form and walk out to the corridor and see the Senior Assistant and proceed to tell her of the talk about these pesky creatures. She tells me that all of us should start using this new product. Some kind of cream or oil or ointment that would repel the bunians.

I walk downstairs to go to my car which is parked at school front. I am at the back where I meet a friend, Saiful who doesn’t even teach here (I last saw him 10 years ago). I ask for a ride to my car and he obliges. We get into his car (a late model Proton) which then begins to swerve around wildly. As if someone or something else is grabbing the steering wheels. I begin chanting verses.

I’m at home and talking to an unidentified member of the family about the bunian driver. The conversation drifts into another topic: the paranormal history of the house I live in. There is an entry in Wikipedia (searchable by address) about this house, apparently. You’ll find a list of people who’ve died here. I remember trying to avoid reading the entry.

I’m in a room in the house which peculiarly looks like a hostel dormitory, surrounded by family members (again unidentified/unremembered). There is a baby. Maybe a newborn because it is very little and wrapped in a white cloth. I carry the baby ans start to put it back down on the mattress when the people around me warn that it was taking a crap.

It isn’t crap at all. The baby just ‘gave birth’ to another small baby, about a couple of inches tall.

P, my brother comes into the room, picks up the newborn peanut baby and starts to joke nonchalantly with it, putting it against my mother’s earlobes (who’s apparently there all along), as if it was an earring.

I wake up.

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Light

So, do I have something to say to you? Maybe not, but a friend is getting married tomorrow.

I went out looking for lights and furniture earlier tonight with my wife. We’ll be moving into our new home soon. So we subject ourselves to market forces pulling us in different directions while trying to keep our funds in check. We certainly don’t have much but I guess it will get us some semblance of the comfort that we think we deserve.

Then dinner at Hai Tian. Some chopped-up pieces of mackarel (I think) stir-fried in soy sauce, garlic and shallots. Kailan in soy sauce and sotong in batter.

We were about to leave when T came. He’s the friend I mentioned. He’ll be a married man tomorrow. I’ll be taking pictures of his wedding. A big honour, because we tight and shit.

So I ordered another bottle of g and the three of us sat and talked. It was gossip but I prefer to call it catching-up.

My wife left after a while. We drove off to another friend’s (WA) place, had a couple of joints on the balcony. Gossiping (catching-up) and cracking jokes and having a good time. Quite a stag party it was. Orange cordial on the back of bobo. Bobo is WA”s car. A blue Persona SE. He was in a pair of flannel boxers. Yup, partay! On the porch and it was drizzling.

On the way home, I took some pictures of light through T’s windshield and my 50mm f1.8.

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First Eid Kit.

So, the blog’s been left dormant again. The odd picture post, yeah. But largely ignored. Been pretending I was too busy taking pictures for my other blog, where there’s a lot of err… pictures.

How was your raya? As empty and devoid of meaning as it was for me? Quite difficult to celebrate the triumph of abstinence over consumption when one doesn’t abstain, ever.

I was in the living room that bright raya morning, waiting for some semblance of feeling. An approximation of how raya used to feel like when I was younger. You know, the ghost of joy that wasn’t exactly happiness but made your heart swell up with love and forgiveness. Usually it was strongest during the annual on-yer-knees-asking-for-forgiveness-kissing-and-crying rigmarole. You just knelt and mumbled apologies and usually the tears that came after weren’t feigned. You felt something.

It’s wearing off. There is a noticeable decline in the range of emotions experienced during this most well-meaning of rituals. When I was a kid, I genuinely felt that I wronged my parents and really wanted their forgiveness. For the times I ditched school, or whined or protested or beat-up my brothers or knocked-up a maid. This year I didn’t even bother mumbling out the “Selamat hari raya Abah, mintak maaf mintak ampun, halalkan makan minum Along” and shit.

Not because I haven’t wronged anyone this year. I just didn’t feel like it.

It’s nice to smoke out in the open again, though.

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Awan Palsu

Untitled-1

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Hello Conor Oberst, See you later DEP.

i.

So ada la band baru yang aku duk dengar sekarang. Bukan band actually tapi this singer/songwriter called Conor Oberst. Sebelum ni dia ada band called Bright Eyes dan Bright Eyes ni aku dah terdengar/terbaca dalam media yang aku consume la. Siap ada name-dropping lagi dan berada dalam playlist ramai di kalangan blogger terkemuka tanahair. Chewah.

Anyway, aku takde stuff Bright Eyes dan aku rasa aku boleh bagi pandangan yang agak neutral bagi album ni. I’m treating it as a discovery.

Setelah sedikit research, material Bright Eyes (baca: album-album Conor Oberst sebelum ni), bersifat eclectic ie. pelbagai dan tidak stick to one formula. Tapi albumĀ  yang aku dengar ni, bertajuk Conor Oberst (Merge Records, 2008) mostly acoustic dan berbau country/folk. Aku tak tau sejak bila, tapi mamat ni sering dikaitkan dengan Bob Dylan. As in “Conor Oberst is the new Dylan”, you know? Dalam konteks sejarah muzik barat, satu perbandingan yang hebat dan membebankan buat si penerima gelaran. Mungkin versi tempatan bagi perbandingan ini adalah Cat Farish is the new Jaafar Onn. But I digress.

Perbandingan dengan Dylan sudah tentulah hasil daripada penulisan lirik Conor. Dari perspektif sesiapa yang celik sastera, tulisan pukimak ni memang tersangat tinggi nilai puitisnya. Rahsia puisi (for me at least) selamanya ialah makna, ekonomi perkataan dan kebenaran – lagu-lagu Conor ada ketiga-tiga bahan ini.

Juga dikaitkan dengan puisi Beat, tema utama bagi album ini ialah the road: kesunyian di jalanan, sinis dalam sedih, ulasan perasaan melalui objek-objek, pertuturan, babak-bakak rawak yang dialami seseorang ketika bersendirian menghadapi dunia menuju horizon yang tak sampai-sampai.

ii.

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Terus kepada DEP yang telah mengucapkan adios semasa mengadakan show terakhir mereka di Little Bali, Cherating pada hari Sabtu Lepas. Kawan-kawan baik aku, antara manusia-manusia terawal yang berkongsi taksub dengan muzik yang pernah aku jumpa.

Awal 90’an di Kuantan, era Hijrah, arguably band punk pertama tanahair. Di atas court takraw Taman Aman, Bukit Sekilau, di Kompleks Teruntum menghirup pencetus alcoholisme utama Melayu Islam Malaysia: Rootbeer Float di A&W. Gig di TMS Dangdut, betul-betul di bawah bilik-bilik GRO-GRO seasoned, dan di Lips Boom Boom dengan basement stagenya, 300 tubuh basah menyambut Budin, stagediver dan taukeh kelapa terhebat scene kami. Terus dikejar Butcher, atau disepak kutu thrasher kompleks kerana tolong mengalihkan kereta Tamara di SABS. Juga penyepak Man Kola kerana salah pilih raja Grindcore Malaysia.

Seperti yang aku cakap kat Acai, aku tunggu reunion korang tahun 2015 nanti. Lebih awal lebih baik la kan. Takkan nak tunggu Celcom sponsor? Aku tak tau faktor apa yang motivate dia untuk disband. Tapi aku boleh agak. Aku teka sahaja berdasarkan persahabatan aku dengan mereka lewat 15 tahun ini. Tak payah dibincangkan di sini, sedangkan dalam realiti pun, mekanisme dalam mana-mana kumpulan yang berhasrat berkarya bersama adalah sesuatu yang amat abstrak dan sulit.

Acai adalah DEP, sekuat manapun dia akan menolak kenyataan ini, itulah kebenarannya. Fahamlah, itu bukan penghinaan. Passion, integrity, keutuhan niat. Itu yang aku baca dari lirik DEP. Kesemuanya dari pena Acai. Terus aku lega dan memujuk hati yang sedikit sedih. Manusia ini akan terus berkarya, walau hanya untuk aku dan beberapa teman, dan sekiranya kamu semua bernasib baik, kamu juga.

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Tentacles

GigGif

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Thank You Very March.

A hectic February gave way to what is transpiring to be manic March. I was away from school for a whole two week stretch; first attending a Digital Storytelling Workshop, then off to rehearsals for a concert to be played middle of this year. Even though I was spared from the 3-4 day annual Sports Day hustle, I was kept informed of the scores as they are relayed to me in real time through colleagues. My house lost.

As mentioned in an earlier entry, S started kindergarten on Monday the 2nd. A and I sent her to school that morning, half-expecting a big scene: a wailing S screaming for us not to leave her. Nope. Not even a whimper as she waved my wife goodbye.

I finally got the camera I wanted and have been in a shooting frenzy lately. Unchecked enthusiasm found me waking up at 6.30 on a non-working day to go to the beach and shoot the sunrise. It rained. I sat under the shade, with my tripod still wishfully up, talking to other thwarted morning swimmers. A dull but pretty memorable morning nevertheless.

I have also started a new photoblog. Come visit and tell me what you think.

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