13 March 2022

The Adam Project


I have a few other movie reviews in my draft with Spiderman: No Way Home being the most recent one, but I can't help from writing this one either because I like it too lol. The Adam Project while might not be the movie of the year, manages to capture my emotions and is somehow so tragically beautiful. Or I think my tolerance for bad movies just gotten higher lol


My first thought as I watched the movie was, this movie is all about parenthood. I'm not sure what other movies about time travel usually be about, but this movie is unlike any of them that I've watched. The Adam Project poses a rhetorical question, 'what would you say to your parents if you could turn back time?'


Firstly, since lots of movies nowadays begin to toy with the multiverse concept (even in this movie), I am simply going to take this movie as the canonical sequel to 13 Going 30 and I won't accept anything otherwise. Marc Ruffalo and Jennifer Garner now are happily married and they have a kid of their own, and in the first movie, Jennifer Garner time traveled 17 years to the future, while in this movie their kid time traveled from the future to the past. They're only from different genres, that's all. The first movie is rom-com this one is sci-fi.


I thought this movie is going to be somewhat whimsical, but apparently the dialogue has some thought-provoking aspects to it. My only minor complaint is some of the jokes sometimes didn't land and sometimes felt too rushed. Some of them are even cringeworthy. It was not the error on the script I think, but more on the direction and execution.

 

Not until I realised that the scriptwriter was my favourite author it all began to make sense. OMG if it's not the man Jonathan Tropper himself. Heck I like his book so much I put him on my blogger profile. Then I realised how strikingly similar this movie to his best seller, This Is Where I Leave You. Both started with the death of the father, where the adult son, who got separated from his wife has to come back to his childhood home and unite with his family, to console his grieving mother so that they can come to terms with their father's death. There was a disfigured character, who got his scars from an accident. 

 

 

                                                           See there? My blogger profile


This Is Where I Leave You discusses death of a parental figure, and the needs to have a positive outlook on life after the said death, as well as forgiving and moving on.


The Adam Project central theme too, revolves around familial bond. And no wonder the dialogues can be thought provoking at times, while still maintaining its comedic edge. Jonathan Tropper is a master at that. 


Some quotable quotes for me includes:


[Young Adam to Adult Adam, about being angry at their father, for being....dead]
'It's easier to be angry than to be sad'

[Louis Reed to Adam(s) Reed when they tried to warn him of his impending death]
Louis: 'You came back here because no one has a right to change the future, including us.'
Adult Adam: 'It's your future.'
Louis: 'No. You're my future.'



This was the continuation to Louis' earlier lecture where he said that after you die, the later generations will continue the life work that you started. The very next scene, where he apologizes to the adult Adam for not having the opportunity to be with him down the road, and he has to affirm many times over that he loves Adam because he knew he will die before Adam grew up and he will not get the chance to say it again after Adam left for his own timeline just broke my heart. It's just so quintessentially Tropper.

 

Zoe Saldana was a delight in this movie as well. She didn't have to flex that hard I mean this movie is not that deep but on that few rare scenes where she was on screen, she emoted very effectively in my opinion, especially the part where she knew she will have to die. I mean, there must be a reason top 2 highest grossing movies of all time (Avatar and Avengers: Endgame) has Zoe Saldana in it, where she got to be either blue or green.


All in all, yeah this might not be the best movie of the year but I thoroughly enjoyed it. Knowing that my favourite author is the scriptwriter is just the icing of the cake. Buuuut I really think I enjoyed this movie more due to personal reasons than technical ones, so don't get your hopes high.


P/S: Didn't Detective Pikachu a movie starring Ryan Reynolds where he had like, daddy issues too?

11 March 2022

So I Cut You Off (IDGAF)


Minggu ni sebab ada momentum nak menulis, jadi saya perlu menulis tentang sesuatu yang begitu membelenggu - tak tahu tajuk ni cukup ke untuk mencangkup segenap topik ni, tapi harap-harapnya bolehlah. Nak menulis ni bukan satu statement, tapi menulis sebab nak cuba make sense dan identify perasaan sendiri.


"Do I contradict myself? Very well then, I contradict myself; I am large - I contain multitudes."

 

Hidup kita bukan macam watak dalam drama TV. Misalnya ada seorang watak perempuan jahat penggoda, tamak harta. Setiap satu tindakannya adalah penuh kejahatan berpunca daripada niatnya nak berkahwin dengan watak hero yang kacak dan kaya. Tiada apa yang baik tentang wanita itu, dari bangun tidur mula bernafas je semua benda jahat dia buat. Biadab, tikam belakang, menggoda penuh ghairah. Buat perancangan-perancangan jahat. Pendek kata, langsung tiada kebaikan lah pada diri dia. Makan pun tak baca bismillah. Eh.


Tapi hidup kita lebih kompleks dari itu. Lebih kompleks dari itu yang menyebabkan kita rasa kecewa, putus asa, frustrated dengan situasi kita dengan orang sekeliling kita. Misalnya, kita ada kawan baik yang sangat kita hormati yang serba-serbi baik - tidak tinggal solat, cakapnya baik, kata-katanya tidak pernah menyakitkan hati, pemurah selalu belanja kita, rajin menolong bila kita susah. Tapi pada satu-satunya benda yang kita tak boleh terima, dia buat. Say, contohnya dia seorang pemilik bisnes yang taknak bayar gaji pekerja dengan setimpal dan pada masa yang sama, topik gaji pekerja ni adalah satu topik yang kita sangat passionate about. Antara boundaries kita yang paling pantang adalah gaji pekerja.

 

Kemurahan hati dia, sikap dia yang baik hati, tapi di sebalik semua itu kenapa dia bayar gaji pekerja dia ciput? At the same time, kejahatan dia tu pulak bukanlah something yang illegal, cuma sesuatu yang kita langsung tak boleh tolerate dari segi moral. 

 

Maka kompleksiti di situ apabila kita tak tahu nak menakrifkan dia pada kategori mana. Jahat ke, atau kebaikan dia yang banyak tu boleh menutup satu-satunya kelemahan dia? Kebetulan pulak kelemahan dia tu antara benda dalam dunia yang kita tak boleh terima? Jadi perlukah kita hilang rasa hormat pada dia hanya sebab satu kelemahan itu? Perlu ke kita berhenti berkawan dengan dia? 




This has been bugging me y'all. Ramai orang yang saya kenal, yang kebaikannya punya banyak tapi kelemahannya satu. As I'm writing this down, I think it became clear that the only one thing that I should've done tapi tak pernah buat adalah - menasihati mereka pada benda yang saya tidak boleh tolerate itu. Sebab kita tak mahu ketidakselesaan berlaku dalam perhubungan kita, jadi kita taknak bangkitkan isu ni dekat dia secara berdepan, secara tidak langsung kita dah enable kawan kita itu pada benda yang kita tak boleh terima itu. Inilah ya, masalah menjadi people pleaser. Nak sedapkan hati semua orang, takut melukai perasaan sesiapa.


Being me, saya jenis bila saya tak boleh terima satu benda besar yang orang tu buat, saya terus cut contact. Saya  boleh tolerate benda-benda kecil, tapi ada few pressing issues yang saya tak boleh nak reconcile dengan prinsip dan pegangan hidup saya that will make me go 'it's better if we part ways now. There's nothing good will come out of this. I will resent you and I'm just going to pretend to be your friend but I won't like you again, and I won't like that person that I become when I'm with you, and I won't like you fully again unless you change your ways.' 

 

There were a few instances in my life where this has happened before. Sebab saya tak boleh terima satu benda besar, saya terpaksa menjauhkan diri daripada beberapa orang. Pada masa yang sama, saya justify perasaan rengsa itu dengan logik 'kalau dia ni baik sangat, kenapa dia buat XXX?' atau 'kalau dia ni betul-betul kawan aku, kenapa dia buat YYY?'


I think at my current age, I dah tak larat nak deal with bullshit dan drama. Daripada sekolah menengah duduk asrama tak boleh nak escape daripada drama sebab 24-7 duduk dengan rakan sebaya, sampailah masuk universiti lepas tu bekerja pun penat kan. Jadi dah tak rasa ada kapasiti mental dan tenaga nak berhadapan dengan benda yang mengarut, maka bila tercetusnya benda-benda mengarut ni saya pilih untuk terus NC - no contact. 

 

BTW contoh-contoh di atas tiada kena mengena dengan mereka yang masih hidup atau mati ya. The real examples in my mind adalah lebih jahat dan nastier (and borderline illegal), tapi sebab these are the easiest examples that I can think of yang saya rasa orang boleh relate to, saya gunakan jelah contoh-contoh ni. 


As I'm nearing the end, saya rasa beberapa isu di dalam minda saya sudah menjadi sedikit jelas. I can see the pattern, and I can see why am I feeling a certain way. Before this pemikiran tu dalam minda, belum diterjemahkan ke dalam tulisan. Bila nampak dalam bentuk fizikal baru mengerti apa sebenarnya isunya.


 With that idk hope y'all learn something. BTW I bukan delusional bila sebut y'all y'all sebab despite socmed becoming too instagram/tiktok/fb centric, and despite my disbelief, traffic ke blog I still tinggi so I know that people still read what I have to write. I still tak percaya satu entry boleh ratus-ratus orang baca walaupun saya tak share pun huhuhu macam mana korang jumpa tah, but I am so very thankful. It fuels my passion to always write no matter what.

And for that I can never thank you guys enough. 


I think with that I bid my farewell. Moga jumpa lagi semua. XOXO


10 March 2022

HONDA


 

 Tak sangka tibajah tahun lepas saya akhirnya memandu seketul Honda City. 

 

Ya itu mukaddimahnya. Direct. Takde selindung-selindung kan. Tapi tak berani aih nak cerita lebih-lebih ataupun nak post gambar dekat dalam sosmed makanya cerita dekat sini jelah ya. Cerita dekat blog, habis dekat blog. Lol


Lebih kepada nak mengingat dan menanda, maka saya coretkan juga di sini buat rujukan di masa depan. Itu pun lepas setahun pakai baru nak menulis, sebab nak make sure every emotion arises from novelty settles first, tengok apa yang tinggal baru nak menulis.


Off tangent, tapi nak cerita kawan-kawan blogger yang aktif memblog dulu sekarang ni pun ramai sendu. Ada yang update last 3, 5, 7 tahun lepas 😛



Kalau orang tanya, kenapa saya still blogging bila orang lain semua dah tinggalkan platform blogger? Sebab in my mind, I am writer first, blogger second. Blog is just a means to write. Jadi walaupun arena blogging ni dah tak sekencang dulu, saya OK jah. Asalkan dapat menulis in my own style and timing. Nak menulis dekat facebook, segan dan cringe sokmo nanti dia remind benda apa kita pernah post. Ya Allah hai segan kot tah mende-mende, zaman muda-muda dulu benda bukan-bukan pun boleh up status. 


Dekat twitter OK, tapi nak mencari balik benda yang dituliskan tu mahu makan berbulan. Dekat instagram, why do you even bother??? Orang nak tengok gambar bukan nak baca karangan ahgitu. Lagipun I'm not an avid instagram user, tak berapa pandai sangat nak create post, jadi malas nak godek-godek.


So kembali kepada topik, Honda City. Saya pernah bermimpi dulu suatu hari nanti nak pakai Honda City. Spesifik City sebab kereta import paling logik kan (ie paling murah) tapi taklah tahap aim dengan semahu-mahunya, setakat wah cool jugak kan pakai Honda.


Tapi bila makin dewasa, makin realistik. Dengan keadaan ekonomi sendiri, better lah ambil Axia je ke. Nak dijadikan cerita, Saga FL saya tu pun hand-me-down dari Abengah sambung bayar jah, jadi takdelah beli kereta sendiri. 


Dan akhirnya dapat membeli seketul Honda City ni sebenarnya adalah suatu benda yang tak dijangka, yang bukan langsung termasuk dalam planning mahupun budget saya. Apatah lagi bila saya memang taknak buat hutang baru sebab taknak menanggung riba' dah huhu cukuplah dulu bayar kereta Saga FL tu pun walaupun Bank Islam tapi harganya serupa macam meminjam dengan bank Yahudi.  

 

Tahun lepas bulan 3 gitulah, berlaku peristiwa tak dijangka-jangka di mana saya akhirnya menjual  kereta Saga FL (dapatlah dalam 4.5k gitu, kereta usia 10 tahun sudah) dan membeli seketul Honda City. So officially jadilah saya salah seorang daripada sekian ramai pemandu jenama H di Malaysia. 


First question: apa perasaan memandu H? Jawapannya, sama jah bawak kereta apa-apa pun. Mungkin saya pakai H ni bila dah sampai usia yang agak advanced, jadinya the brand tak bawa apa-apa meaning dari segi merasa kita lebih baik, tapi lebih kepada mengetahui bahawa kita lebih selesa berbanding kita yang dulu. Dari banyak segi, it goes without saying, jenama H lebih selesa lah compare dengan brand-brand local. Just that (wait am I quoting King Coco here?). Lebih selesa. Nak bawak parents pergi berjalan pun lebih tenang. Balik kampung pun dah tak nervous nak balik malam drive jauh-jauh sorang-sorang.


In terms of economy, minyak dia jimat ya rabbi. Saya pernah bawak Saga, pernah bawak Bezza. Pernah bawak Alza. None of them can top City's saving when it comes to petrol. Isi full tank boleh tahan 2 minggu, whereas masa pakai Saga, I have to refuel every week.


Ketiganya, dengan mengenali siapa diri kita dan apa kita nak (shizz dowwan to be that deep, but yeah if the shoe fits) then bawak H ni is just another verb, atau dalam BM nya, satu perbuatan jah. Bukan satu accomplishment atau kebanggaan. And maybe jugak saya menulis ni just to tell you guys and myself that. Takde apa kebanggaan bawak H, melainkan kita tahu kita lebih selesa. Selesa nak berjalan jauh, selesa nak mengangkut orang. Selesa nak bawak banyak barang. And that keselesaan is something that we feel and keep to ourselves, bukan to show atau to flaunt to other people. 

 

It also comes down to our economy class lah kot. Idk sebab it is taboo nowadays nak berbincang tentang how much we make for a living, but for T20, H is just a brand. For M40, H is commonplace. For B40, H is a class symbol. 


Well for me, I pernah baca mat salleh kata Honda Accord ialah kereta murah, so brand H ni sebenarnya beshe-beshe jah overseas, what makes it different is dekat Malaysia dia jadi mahal sebab cukai, tapi orang kita associate dia sebagai brand mahal. 


That being said, to even make a big deal about it shows kita ni level mana, me included lah kot sebab I care enough about it to write about it. But fret not, this would be my only time speaking about H. Sebab I just want to let it out of my system, no matter how tiny that feeling is. Kebetulan I teringat nak menulis ni pun sebab baru renew roadtax dengan insurans and servis kereta cukup 20k mileage. So tetiba rasa macam hey what if I write about what I feel about driving a H.


Saya pun bukanlah sejenis pengagum (enthusiast) kereta, jadinya at this point of time, brand for me hanyalah logo, yang penting selesa dan boleh bergerak. Lepas tu quality OK lah kot sikit kan tak maulah pakai setahun aircond dah tak sejuk, tombol pintu tercabut *jeling X70*, power window tak boleh turun.


On the other hand, apa yang I tahu and anggap tentang brand H adalah daripada apa yang orang lain cakap, personally I belum berada dalam situasi yang memakai brand H ni buatkan orang melawak atau nak buat I retaliate. Most people joke about it just for the fact that it's a brand new car, not a brand H new car lol

 

 Takde jugak orang approach nak ajak bercinta ke berkahwin ke tinggalkan surat dekat wiper ke, like they used to in university. Dulu zaman study siapa bawak motor besar pun orang tinggalkan coklat dekat stereng (motor besar takde bakul kan). So in a sense, I tak rasa anything different bawak kereta jenama apa-apa pun di mata masyarakat, and all thanks to people around me who make me feel that way. Apa yang I rasa tentang memandu sebuah H mostly adalah internal satisfaction and I am glad to continue feeling it that way, taknak rasa nak poyo ke, nak bajet-bajet bagus je (Yeah I bawak macam jilake sebab I'm just a lousy driver, bukan sebab I bawak H)

 

On that note, I think I shall end this rant of an entry. I had fun writing this one down, it feels conversational. And more importantly, I don't care about being judged. Hey guess being older has its perks. XOXO dearests jumpa lagi yaa 💗

 

 









08 March 2022

BERUBAHLAH

 Hanya dalam ketenangan, walau gelora dalam jiwa membadai, kau luahkan dengan senada: 'Berubahlah'

 

Kita tahu maknanya, dalam pencarian segenap ufuk, kita leraikan ikatan-ikatan. Ada daerah-daerah baru tentang kita, yang kita gelintarkan pada wajah-wajah bulan. Dalam keterbatasan, dalam geri kaku kita, pada lidah yang belum mengecap dan berhujah, dalam kehijauan rimbunan jiwa, kita raikan raga kita dalam rangkulan sepi.

 

Dunia belum mengerti, begitupun kita - hanyalah pada paksi kebenaran, kita melihat warna-warna kaca bertukar rona. 

 

Aku bermimpi mengecap pundakmu, merasa asin derita. Pada bagian-bagian yang terbakar luka, kita halangi semalam daripada meraja. Ini, adalah masanya. Ini adalah puncaknya. 

 

Sehingga yang berteleku pada pinggir takdir, yang telah keputusan hasrat dan asa, sebal di tebing usia, adalah aku. Melihatmu terbang lenyap di kepulan awan, berpuput lalu terus gumam ke fajar yang baru.

 

'Berubahlah' kata kamu. Sedang aku - tetap aku.

05 March 2022

KEPULANGAN MAK WAN KE NEGERI ABADI


Mak Wan meninggal dunia 13 Februari lepas, 3 minggu yang lalu. Setelah beberapa hari menyabung nyawa di Hospital Kajang, dalam perit menentang pneumonia di paru-paru walaupun setelah oksigen diputar ke 100%. Rasa kehilangan seorang parental figure, walau pada usia melewati takat 30 tahun adalah suatu campur baur yang mengelirukan, terutamanya kepada seseorang yang kita sedar akan kewujudannya hanya kepada tahap menghormati.


Sewaktu hayatnya, di Kg Bukit Lada, Temerloh, melihat Mak Wan di balkoni, melambai sayu kepada kami sewaktu kereta kami mengundur keluar dari halaman rumahnya di tepian Sungai Pahang. Itulah juga kali terakhir saya melihat Mak Wan yang masih bernyawa. Imej yang terbakar di layar minda adalah seorang wanita tua yang mendakap kembali kesunyiannya setelah kami pulang. Selalu pada hujung-hujung Ramadan kami berkampung di rumah Mak Wan, Mak Wan menyediakan isi lemang sedang kami membakarnya di laman rumahnya. Suatu kenangan yang kini terpadam, tidak akan terulang.


Hikayat sejarah Mak Wan yang tidak tertulis, bagai sebuah perpustakaan usang yang terbakar, kini telah menjadi abu. Tiada siapa lagi dapat menebak atau membongkar sejarah hidup Mak Wan, semuanya kini terbenam bersama jasadnya di pusara.


Sewaktu memasukkan jenazah Mak Wan ke dalam lahad, pada fikiran saya ketika itu, tertanya jika Mak Wan takut kepada kegelapan. Takut kepada sunyinya perut bumi setelah 86 tahun Mak Wan bernafas di atasnya. Selesakah Mak Wan dalam pelukan tanah sedangkan baru semalamnya Mak Wan tidur atas tilam empuk? Sedang kematian itu tidak langsung mengira apakah kemahuan kita, apakah ketakutan kita. Keinsafan menjalar sejenak ke dalam segenap relung hati.


Saya mengucapkan selamat tinggal kepada Mak Wan ketika mencium raut wajahnya buat kali terakhir. Tamat sudah sebuah riwayat seorang insan yang kini tidak sesekali dapat kita jumpa. Mengenangkan peluang untuk berjumpa Mak Wan nanti hanya setelah kemusnahan dunia, jantung rasa gentar. 'Selamat jalan Mak Wan. Kita jumpa lagi nanti.' Bisik saya pada sekujur tubuh Mak Wan yang tidak lagi bernafas setelah mengucup pipinya untuk kali terakhir. Bauan wangi air mawar menerpa rongga hidung.  


Pengebumian Mak Wan tamat selepas Isyak, pertama kali jua saya memasukkan jenazah ke dalam liang lahad, memalingkan tubuhnya ke arah kiblat, membuka tali ikatan pada sendi-sendi, menahan tubuhnya dengan gumpalan tanah dan menutup liangnya dengan papan lahad. Tanah dikambus, dalam masa tidak sampai sejam segalanya selesai. Kata mereka, pusara Mak Wan senang digali. Tanahnya tidak berpasir. Semoga husnul khotimah milik Mak Wan.

 

Setelah kami pulang, kegelapan menyelubungi seluruh tanah perkuburan. Tiada cahaya lagi.


'Cukuplah kematian sebagai peringatan.' terulang-ulang kalimah itu dalam fikiran sewaktu kami memandu pergi. Semoga Mak Wan damai di negeri abadi. al-Fatihah Mak Wan.



25 January 2022

A LITTLE HELLO TO 2022

 To come back to this space after a while, felt strange but necessary. A few months have passed since my last update, things happened and went. I'm still here I guess.


I battled severe anxiety last year (it's 2022 now guys, I mean whew how time flies), stemming from my incessant urge to please people and the inability to never say no. In fact, I never outgrew that. I still haven't learned how to say no. I have cried over phone notifications, it's a miracle I managed to survive and functioning these days. I even got upset that I didn't get infected with COVID, because that was the only way I could dig myself out from my situation.

 

I'm still broken, still picking up myself piece by piece, trying to make myself complete again. So many things I wish I could type here, but most of the things might bear legal repercussions, so I'd just keep them to myself.


My paradigm and ideals have shifted. Some of them are 180 degree turn, but I guess being in the real world does that to you. I'm no longer a hopeful doe eyed 20-something lad with something to prove, I'm a skeptical 30-something, who has felt the burden of the world on his shoulders, and being grumpy in retaliation to all the unhappiness he had to endure. Men are judged by what he can provide - so the saying goes.


I guess I just miss...this. To be able to write my heart out again, to put a pause on the life that I couldn't say I'm excited about, and to regroup and recollect my thoughts. All the entries in drafts...man, what a bummer I can't publish them. 


So we've come to this end. A tad sad, a bit glad I got to write again. Hopeful for the future still. So long XOXO


05 July 2021

MELTDOWN

 I had my first mental meltdown today at work. I'm writing it down now so that I will remember the exact date when finally my willpower all but succumbed to the pressure.


It was just another day at work, and when I put it like that, it was another one of those 'normal' days where the pressure keeps accumulating from the previous busy day, and I was this close to losing it. Last week I had to settle the payroll, allowances and whathaveyous on Firday. My company had just reshuffled the operation and my workload has went from unbearable to ridiculously unhealthy, at least to my mental health. From 5 accounts, now I have to take over more or less 20 new accounts.

 

So the payroll and all the other workload has quadrupled from 5 to 20. 

 

I tried so hard to keep it all together, hyping myself up whenever the odds are stacked against me. Yes, this is hard but this is just temporary. Yes, I can do it albeit slowly. Look at the light at the end of the tunnel. But I could only control what's inside my mind, not outside. The workload keeps stacking, and no matter how much that I do, they kept coming even when the previous tasks had not yet been completed. This slowly erodes my mental well being.

 

Today, coming to work, an endless stream of messages flooded my phone. An employee questioned why her salary was not yet in her account, two of the higher ups questioned me. Upon checking, it was revealed that her IC number was inaccurate and that the money has bounced because of this error, and nobody checked it before they sent the summary to me. But of course, it was me who had to bear the brunt.


Another employee mentioned that she didn't get her full allowance this month. I didn't know how much she should earn, I only transferred the amount that I received from the summary. I was not the one responsible for her enumeration calculation, the data is only available to certain people.


Another one asked why we haven't paid EPF contribution from April, now that the EPF office is chasing after her. I only received this account in June. How could I answer for something that somebody else didn't do.

 

On top of that, I have to arrange account opening for 5 of our accounts. Liaising with the directors were a challenge when they live outside of Putrajaya with the travel restrictions and all. More documents to be prepared, appointments to be arranged with all the directors and the bank, board resolutions have to be requested at the company secretary.


The aircond in my room was not helping either. It won't start and the weather was hot. The remote control batteries have died. The aircond would run for a few minutes before it abruptly stop.


My breaking point was when the auditor named me as the reason the company audit report hadn't yet be completed, for not giving him the documents that he requested, because the file got lost somewhere in transition. I looked back at the summary and I realised how hard for me to assemble the documents the first time around, and now that I have to do it again I just can't take it anymore.One year worth of documents has now lost, and I have to answer that as well.


A negative cocktail of emotions began to surface, like small bubbles boiling up from the deep bottom. Slowly it rises to the surface and pop. Anger, despair, sadness began to take over my mind. I'm so tired. I have tried my best, I have done everything within my power to do my job and to keep it all together. Week after week after week after week of endless slaving myself, what I had rewarded back with was only misery. 


I raised up from my seat, and made way to the office's surau. I locked the door behind me, threw the sejadah to the wall and sat on the red carpet. The emotions began to vigorously boil. I covered my fingers around my face, and the bubble arising erupts into a shriek. A hideous shriek. First it was slow, but the latent energy was too great my voice couldn't contain it from reaching higher decibels. What left my throat was a visceral pain wrapped in a scream I could barely recognised. I never wanted this to be like this, but at this point, it was not me who's in charge. My body wanted the pain to go away, it wanted this to be over with. It wanted the ugly emotions to escape, to be gone and stop rotting my self from within. I was only a mere vessel for these ugly, negative energy wanting to be released. 

 

I remember staring at the walls blankly, thinking whatever. What is this? I remember screaming and shrieking because that's the only way the primal suffering could ever be let go. When I was not screaming, my body rests only to sob and to cry the suffering out. I was shocked myself. I had never gone through this, I had never let such emotions overwhelm my body. I always had this under control. I would never cry over work. How did it all come to this? I must have had enough. This is not normal. 


Azahari came running to the door, knocking it 'BAD KAU OKAY TAK??' as if my body was ready to stop. No I wasn't okay, yet. A simple question could not quench this outburst. That was a question that should have been asked before I had this meltdown, not after. My uncontrollable sobs answered the question.


I'm not ashamed of the meltdown, I'm only ashamed that I am not brave enough to direct the energy to the source of this great pain. 

 

Azahari wanted to call the police, he feared for my safety. But something stopped him. I was a Schrodinger's cat, I was okay and not okay. 

 

It took me minutes to compose myself, and I was not doing a great job. Something snapped inside of me, I felt broken. I made it into my room while I was still sobbing. What comes next? What will happen from now on then? Now that my inner self has unleashed this monster unto the world, how would my sober self cope with the aftermath?

 

Azahari came into my room, so many questions asked. 'Kau okay tak? Kau okay tak?' and it only served to open the floodgates. I was such a mess, I couldn't control myself. The ugly emotions which had never really left me came back to take over. Azahari embraced me while I was on my chair, and he asked me why? I could only muttered 'Aku stress' under all the sobbing. 

 

'Aku ada kan?' Azahari tries to console me. Didn't I already know that? It didn't make me feel better, even when I knew he was there I was still so very tormented with my workload. I still felt so lonely and I suffered alone. It doesn't matter now, does it? A part of me that wants this to be unleashed, has unleashed it. That part of me sends this warning to myself to never pretend that I am Okay when I'm not, to not bury my emotions under cheerful texts with emojis, with never ending yeses even when I should have said no. Even if my brain tricked me into saying this is alright, my heart begged to differ.


This leaves too many questions, even for me. Am I depressed? I'm not, right? I mean, I laugh everyday. I'm functioning just fine. This meltdown is just an outburst. Or is it? But what I felt at that moment was, these past few months have rendered me too broken and emotionally unstable that a single notification sound on my phone can send me into a panic overdrive. I can not afford to pretend that I'm okay anymore, to convince myself that I'm alright when I am barely living. That perhaps me feeling that I was not Okay is an indicator that I really am not Okay.

 

How do I move forward. I'm embarrassed, but I have suffered too long and too much I couldn't keep it in anymore. My mental health has suffered tremendously, that my body was crying for help after I denied it for so long. I wanted to apologise, but maybe I really should start apologising to myself. Now that I had my meltdown, random things could be the trigger for another. Notification sounds, a simple question, even the thought of locking the door.   


I spent the rest of the day with Azahari, feeling a tad better. We went through our workload together and upon realising that it was almost time for him to go back home to his family, I pretended to do something else, because the thought of him leaving me behind with my own damn self is crippling me and it triggers my anxiety. My eyes watered when he was preparing to leave, but I could not do that to us, to him. I am a mess today, but I can't make him leave me feeling that he had failed me as a friend. I felt like I have burdened him enough by being the only witness to my meltdown and I felt so guilty to put him in that position. 


I spent an hour after he clocked out crying while packing my belongings. 


Something shifted today. Something has changed.  And the date will be forever carved into my history.




 

 



26 June 2021

HILANG (1)

I

 

Masihkah kau ingat, buih yang menjelang di bibir pantai, ombak dan pantai silih memberi salam?

 

Tersiat sayat ku di pinggiran air, menunggu cahaya menjalur dari langit suatu pagi dalam kabus yang kelam, 

 

Menantimu dalam debaran, membawa Kembali sebuah karangan, harapan dan cinta dari laut biru

 

 

II

 

Adapun kilat dan petir yang menggentar dada, adalah sekejap di tepi penanti 

 

Kita tahu takdir tidak selalu belas kepada kita, gelora dan taufan dari samudera bahkan mengejar-ngejar kita ke tebing perpisahan

 

Antara setia dan kasihku, terus menantimu pulang pada dinihari – dalam doaku, ku ucap-ucap harapan supaya hari akan terus baik padaku; supaya kamu akan selamat menempuh badai dan angin, Kembali aman di sisiku

 

III

 

Perahu yang membawamu, telah karam di lautan mana. Dalam kasihku yang silih berganti dengan kesal dan rindu, aku biarkan segalanya melepas bersamamu ke lautan dalam, biarkan sengsara tenggelam ke jurang terdalam bersama rahsia-rahsia dan mimpi 

 

Merindui bayanganmu, biar berpuluh dekad berlalu, biar sehingga hapus jasadku – hanyalah suatu penantian. 

 

IV

 

Dalam lelapku, layarmu Kembali melabuh dalam warna-warna derita. Gelora-gelora dan gelombang bergulung tenang, menyambutmu yang masih belum kunjung pulang. Dalam hujung rinduku; kuhela nafas hanyut menjadi gelombang – hilang di persada karang.

21 June 2021

SKETSA SEBABAK

Pintu kereta terbuka. Deruan hujan, kilauan kilat dan dentuman guruh di angkasa menyambar di latar belakang.

 

# Maaf. Lama ke tunggu?

- Takde. Saya baru sampai. 

 

Bauan Dior Savage merebak ke dalam ruangan kereta. Si penumpang usia pertengahan, masih segak bergaya, karisma seperti Johnny Depp. Lagu Terasing nyanyian Sudirman bermain di corong radio.


Kereta perlahan menyusur ke jalanraya. 


# Dari mana ni?

-Oh saya dari rumah bekas isteri.


Si pemandu terpempan dengan jawapan si penumpang. Perlahan dia mengetap bibir.


- Saya tak duduk di sini. Tu yang takde transport. Saya duduk dekat Sarawak, kerja offshore. Pergi ke rumah isteri ni nak tinggalkan anak, saya nak masuk bekerja semula minggu depan.

 

Si pemandu diam, menghadam setiap kata dari penumpang dengan berhati-hati. Sedikit rasa yang aneh mula menghenyak dada.

 

- Anak bujang seorang je. Baru masuk tadika.

 

Sambung si penumpang tanpa perlu disoal.


- Anak lelaki tengah membuas. Pandai dah sekarang ni. Sekejap je membesar.


 Si pemandu mengangguk-angguk. Tersengih.

 

Si penumpang sambil bercerita membayangkan anak lelakinya, pada usia 6 tahun masih minum susu dalam botol. Wajahnya mengukir senyum apabila teringat keletah anaknya. 


- Memang kerja bawak Grab ke sekarang?

 

Si pemandu tergelak kecil. Rasa yang bermain dalam dadanya dibiarkan tersimpan.

 

# Saya sebenarnya ada kerja tetap. Tahu saya kerja apa?

-Tak

# Veterinar. Doktor haiwan. 

 

Si penumpang angguk, dahinya berkerut.

 

- Anak saya umur 6 tahun. Pun suka binatang jugak. Minggu lepas dia minta saya belikan hamster. Tapi ibunya tak suka. Kalau dah besar nanti, saya harap dia jadi veterinar macam kamu. 


Si pemandu tersenyum sendiri, manis. Petir menyambar di luar, mengejutkan si pemandu dari lamunan.


- Itulah sekarang ni, hari hujan. Habis basah baju. Saya pula takde transport. 


Si penumpang berkata, kesal.


Si pemandu mengerling sejenak si penumpang. Kebasahan dari hujan mendakap tubuh si penumpang. Rasa kasihan merekah dalam dadanya, antara beberapa rasa lain yang bergulir campur dalam relung sanubari. 


# Sorry, saya tak perasan. 

 

Si pemandu menghulurkan tangannya ke kerusi penumpang dan mencapai beg galas di kerusi belakang. Pantas tangannya membuka zip beg dan mengeluarkan sehelai baju dari beg.

 

# Nah tukar baju tu. Karang sejuk. Kita lambat lagi nak sampai ni.

 

Si penumpang nampak tidak selesa dengan saranan si pemandu, tapi entah mengapa dia menurut. Ada kemesraan daripada si pemandu yang membuatkan si penumpang merasa selesa. Dia membuka bajunya dan menukarnya dengan pakaian yang diberikan si pemandu.

 

- Susah ke belajar veterinar?

 

Tanya si penumpang, selepas merasa selesa.  


# Susah jugaklah. Tapi saya OK je masa belajar. Nak kata gifted tu, tak jugak.  


- Kamu ada tips macam mana nak belajar veterinar ni? Boleh saya cerita dekat anak saya.  


Si pemandu mencuri pandang ke si penumpang. Senyuman kecil dihulurkan sewaktu mata mereka bertemu.

 

Si penumpang merasa sesuatu yang mengganggu fikirannya. Sesuatu tentang pemandu ini membuatkan dia merasa tidak selesa. Tapi apa?

 

# Bagitau dekat anak tu, belajar rajin-rajin, tapi jangan sampai lupa diri untuk menjadi budak-budak. Yang penting dengar cakap ayah, sebab kita tak tahu berapa lama masa kita ada dengan ayah. Dan kamu jangan risau, dewasa nanti kamu pasti akan menjadi seorang doktor veterinar.

 

Si penumpang tergelak. Keletah anaknya bermain di minda lagi. 

Si pemandu memandangnya. Wajahnya mula berubah sugul.  


- Nama kamu siapa ya?

# Ehsan

- Eh sama macam nama anak saya. Ehsan bin apa?

# Ehsan bin Razak.  

 - Eh, Razak tu nama saya! 

 

Si penumpang menggapai tangannya ke pemandu, hinggap ke pipi, terus dielus lembut. Ehsan, si pemandu mendiamkan diri. Tangannya merayap ke atas kepala, lalu diusap-usap rambut Ehsan yang disisir rapi. Si pemandu tidak menolak.


Si pemandu terus tenang, dari kaca mata hitamnya air jernih mengalir. Ayahnya sudah dementia. Dalam memorinya yang terkebelakang, 20 tahun telah terpadam. Setiap hari adalah hari terakhir dia meninggalkan anak tunggalnya di rumah bekas isterinya sebelum berlepas untuk bekerja, Ehsan masih 6 tahun di dalam mindanya. 

 

Bagi Ehsan, setiap hari bersama ayahnya, adalah hari pertama ayahnya mengenali dirinya yang dewasa.


Lagu Terasing yang dipasang berulang, masih berkumandang di radio. 

'Sebuah kematian yang tiada bernisan, sendu mengiringi perpisahan.'


-FIN_




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