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Tuesday, November 27, 2012


So much about Vernian, or Vernean, or Vernien (derived from Vernes) the author of Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Strange but loyal followers-cum-believers of Vernes are regarded as the listed callings above.

Me? I am afraid I am falling into a black hole brought to life by Alastair Reynolds. I first read his novel when it was the year 2006 or so. It was the less-than-half-a-dozen times trip to KL and my aunt brought my family and I to 1Utama.

I brought wreckage at the double-storeyed MPH bookstores.

I saw his book. And I knew mum wouldn't let me to buy it (because of my poor results, lazy attitude). So I just 'window-booking'. But then, mum suddenly allowed me to buy books. My elder bro asked me wanna buy some books author called "Alla something". I sensed his thoughts. I raced to the shelves and took the first book out of the entire lot, titled "Pushing Ice".

Alastair Reynolds, konon. 'Alla something', huh?

There are two factors that drove me to buy this title. And please don't laugh at me.

Number 1: the cover page is blue. It is close to copper (ii) sulphate solution colour. My favourite colour. My precious.

Number 2: the time setting is not too far fetch. Just around 2057. Half a century from now. But drives the entire crew to 260 light years away, stumbling an 18,000-year-old human relic.

For the science nerds, your jaw may fall. How can the time and light (years) don't add up? Nothing travels faster than the speed of light! Well, go read this book. Alastair definitely did not write anything about FTL (faster-than-light).

Now, the new trilogy (not really in series. It's broken into 3 books with standalone characters, but continuous quest and journey and adventure) called the Poseidon's Children is out next year for UK version in M'sia Kinokuniya!

Me likey!

Best thing is, it has a book trailer. @@

Friday, November 23, 2012

The Cobbler (Story of my KL life)

Based on a true story/experience of mine.

My shoe was ripped when I walked and tripped on a carpet. I went to a cobbler by a street and asked him to fix for me. And thus we exchanged a few words. More than a few, I assure you.

He came from Indonesia, and he is currently taking over his uncle's job as his uncle has gone back to Indonesia 'balik kampung'. He is a very shy guy. He quietly sits by a low stool and stare at passerbys with his big mouse-like eyes, hoping one of the busy business people would stop by and have their shoes cleaned or fixed.

I remembered the moment he smiled when I approached him.

'Kasut rosak?' he asked, staring down at my right foot.

I nodded.

'Dua-dua pun mesti buat,' he said firmly.

In my heart, I was thinking: what? This is a cheater! How can he fix both my shoes when only one of mine is spoilt! I looked down to my left foot. The 'unharmed' one. He pointed at it and instructed me to take it off. At first, I was very reluctant. Then, just for the sake of getting my shoes done quickly so I could get back to work, I took of my left shoe.

To my surprise, I realised my left shoe was cracked (quietly) along the sole and the leather. It was barely noticeable unless I twist my shoe in an odd angle! How could he know!

So I took off my shoes, sat on another stool and began a conversation with him. But he told me to have my meal first. I couldn't refuse. I went to gobble my food and ran back there and continued our talk.

Through the conversation, I have begun to understand more about myself: I am introvert. Very introvert. I prefer to get myself smiling for tiny little deeds and never laugh out loud. I love joining small companies and have a nice and neat chit-chat, rather than a thunderous laughter and roaring shouts of parties. I don't like beer, as such. I don't even like my close friend touching strong alcohols. I mean, you can have a can, but don't drown yourself with a dozen.

Rude. Immoral.

I take care of people, but I require the same, because I am taking pieces of my heart to care for people, and so I need them to  repair me as well. Reciprocity. That's who I am.

I want people to feel warm when they are with me. I stick very close to a particular group. I belong to that group and that group must have me. I cannot tolerate that group going off finding others and be grouped with them.

And because of such needs, I need a close companion. Not of a lover, but something different. Unfortunately, in this world, people like such is very rare. So rare that till now I have yet to come across with such. Maybe I should visit institutes for the special people and autistics. Perhaps I can find there. It's not an insult, it's true.

'You tak suka happy dengan banyak orang?' I asked, forgive my broken language.

'Tak,' he shook his head as he sewed my shoes. 'Sorang happy lagi best dari dibuat happy oleh dia orang.' He flashed me with a semi-toothless smile.

So did I get my right companion that I wish for? I don't think so. So far, that Z. Yang is like a flashbulb. Sometimes bright and sometimes dim. Sometimes warm and sometimes cold. Sometimes near and yet so far because I know he has a lot of people he needs to shine at.

So definitely not him. Perhaps I got myself a wrong wish. But at the first place, why do I have such wish?

My last semester is coming, part of me want to spend this entire semester alone. Just some tag-alongs and piano friends. I already made two mental trips down to Kuala Lumpur secretly. I didn't make it last time, but this time round, I have already made such bookings. I love Kuala Lumpur for one thing, it gave me the warmth of being alone. The fire of solitude.

It's... nice.

My shoes got fixed in 30 minutes. Something struck in my head. The cobbler smiled at me again. I asked him to wait, took a pair of spare slippers from him and dashed to a bread shop, bought a RM5 wholemeal cereal, cheese + chicken + lettuce burger and ran back to the cobbler.

'Berapa?' I asked.

'Dua kasut, RM15,' he said with a nod.

I took out RM20, and handed him the burger. 'Makan kenyang-kenyang. For you.'

He was surprise. Maybe I was imagining, but I am sure his eyes was wetter by 5%. He grinned from ear to ear, with reddened cheeks. 'Tuk saya?'

'Ya, from me, to you, with love and thanks,' I am not sure whether he understands that, but he kept nodding. 'Makanlah, saya nak balik kerja. Thanks, bye!'

And I spun, taking my petty careful steps - not to spoil my shoes again - to my office.

In the crowded streets of CapSquare, Kuala Lumpur, the body heat maybe intolerable. But I am sure that I am giving something of heat that's not quite the same:

The heat that smiles.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


What have I been pursuing for the last ten years? I longed to have a very, very best friend/brother. The one that looks like we grew up playing together, sharing stuffs and stuffs more. Because of that, I have turned into a hideous monster. A very possessive and insisting monster.

What is it I have got for one year plus? A human being nothing but enslaved for responsibility and dependency. Is that what I am getting after ten years? I have asked myself for many times. What is it that I want? Did I get it/

It seems like a strong 'yes' in the first few months, but the answer has subsided, or melted, into something in between hesitation and ignorance. What is it that I want actually? I now realise, this dream I have been pursuing is still a dream. Impossible. Presposterous. Unless time flows back to when I am a kid, I go and mix and find someone to grow up with.

Petty nonsense, isn't it?

So instead of continue dreaming about it, I made my first move: Move.

I will give myself a space. 5 years, perhaps. I don't know how long it would take. But I hope the lines would snap off gracefully across the time to my graduation ceremony. I don't want any ropes tying on someone so strong that I feel hurt to severe it.

Alone, may be much better.

Brotherhood is all but a dream. In fact there is someone I treasure most. I don't know why. The comfort I get, the confidence I gain. It's nothing compared to what had happened all these times.

I am happy now.

I am liberated.

May all of you bless me.

TQ. Till we meet again.