Thursday, January 31, 2008

Smile la

Baby,

I've been missing you a lot. You came to me in my dreams; night after night. I hope you're doing fine. I'm doing fine too, don't worry about me.

It has been an eventful week for me. Many good things happened. If only I could share them with you. But He has other plans for us. So, I'll just leave my thoughts here, so that you can read them later.

I've been selected as a volunteer for the Ergonomics Society Annual Conference 2008's secretariat. That means I can go to the conference for free. I have to do some works though, but it would be worth it.

When I submitted the application form for the Ergonomics Society's membership, I met Sue Hull. I told her that I'd like to volunteer for another conference, IPS 2008. She said she will put my name down. I pray that in July I will be in Cambridge for the conference.

I've attended an interview for a part-time job on campus. It went well, and the follow up was quick. I've submitted my passport, student ID and certificate of admission for verification. I'm hoping that either Sharon or Trish would contact me telling when I could start working.

It seemed that work-related achievements made my day. I can't tell you enough how I felt happy being able to get all those things. On top of it all, I completed my first essay on time. I know I have to work on it some more, but I have produced something that I can be proud of. I want you to be proud of me too, the way I'm proud of you.

On the interpersonal side, there are some substantial achievements too. They made me feel alive, and related. They made me feel empowered, and frank. They made me feel better about myself. They made me long for warmth. They put smile on my face. I hope you know that I'm smiling.

Till another night, my dear.

Absolution and Confines

The forgiveness
that you offered
is for him to understand
there are spaces for him
and expanses that you reserve
totally yours

The absolution
was designed with expectancy
that there be
no vengeance in your heart
no ruptures on your bosom
no gloom on your face

Cast your eyes
to the sea
with clarity
watch the rising sun
leave behind yesterday
and its dark night

May the absolution
creates a series of tomorrow
in them chaste breeze
and intermittently
glancing over to search for tranquillity
in the beauty of honesty

***
This is a poem based on Sempadan dan Kemaafan. A friend requested a translation of the poem. I hope my translation conveys what it is suppose to mean.

Submitted

Alhamdulillah, siap juga akhirnya esei pertama sepanjang jadi calon PhD ni. Well... 'siap' as 'siap' can be. I know my supervisors will make comments on it. I hope the essay and the comments will be part of my thesis.

It wasn't with much funfare that I submitted the essay. In fact, the process of submission lacks the rituals that usually provide a closure to the whole thing. Press 'Send', and the essay went to my SV's Inbox. Tak perlu print out, feeling the warmth of the paper, and 'decorating' the paper with stapler. Sonang ajor.

Existence at HEPSU

One nice thing about arriving at Loughborough is to see my name on HEPSU's poster. It seems that I was accepted and welcomed as a member of the research unit even before I set my foot in the UK.

My presence at HEPSU is further felt when I was added to HEPSU's website.

http://www.lboro.ac.uk/departments/hu/groups/hepsu/people.html

I pray that my profile on that website will be updated regularly. And, to do that, I must make sure I have substantial progress on my work e.g. carving out my area of reasearch.

Sempadan dan Kemaafan

Kemaafan kau beri
pada dia
untuk dia mengerti
ruang yang ada untuknya
dan ruang yang kau simpan
milikmu

Kemaafan
teriring padanya harapan
tanpa dendam di hati
tanpa calar di dada
tanpa mendung di wajah

Pandanglah laut
dan fajar yang akan tiba
dengan mata yang jernih
tinggalkan malam
semalam

Moga dengan kemaafan
ada hari-hari yang tercipta
untuk diisi dengan bayu murni
dan sesekali
mengilas pandang mencari tenang
di sisi tulus peribadi


***
This is a tribute to a friend. May you be strong always.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Completed, with imperfections

Alhamdulillah... .akhirnya siap jugak my first essay, with deletion of one section. Today was the first time I spent the whole night at the lab.Well, not really true. I went out to the gym for about one hour at around 7 pm. Typing, reading, hunting down articles, and internet surfing filled out my night. I printed out the essay just before Subuh time. The final tally saw the 5000 words exceeded. Whee hooooo. More important than the number of words, I put more of my own ideas than I planned. It is true that writing helps clarify thoughts. I have gained more understanding about situation awareness by writing this essay.

Today, the first essay was completed with imperfections. I think I have included the necessery contents, but other thoughts will go into the essay as I read and think further about the topic. This essay is meant to be a 'living' document; one of its version would appear in my thesis. Additionally, there are technical imperfections like formatting that I need to weed out. I am learning to use a new writing syle (pseudo-Harvard?). I'll sleep over it, and hopefully be able to return to it afresh.

One thing that I'm glad about this essay is that I manage to complete it (mostly) before the deadline (31 January). Errmmm.. I can imagine repeats of this nights as other deadlines approaches. For this one, and hopefully for future works, I set an earlier deadline than the one given to me.

Pillow ... here I come!!!!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Al-'aql

It feels very sad when i start to doubt myself. I feel like climbing up a dark hole, waiting for some light to peek through the mouth of the hole. That's what I feel trying to convince myself that I am not as bad as what someone may say to me.

I've had this episode a few times, and it makes me realise that of all the things that I have, I place great importance to my mind. I could not bear to lose it. That's why it hurts so much when people made me doubt the functioning of my mind. It's quite straight forward to correct my mistakes. But when I know I'm right, and someone put the idea that I am wrong, then the integrity of my mind is threatened. I don't like it when people mess with my head.

And it doubly hurts when my head and the one I love are attacked at the same time. Don't say that i don't love and care about my son. Don't judge me when you don't know squat about me. Don't judge me when you turn blind eyes to the obvious evidence that stand plainly in front of you.

Ultimately, as a dear brother said to me, it is the judgement of Allah that matters because He knows best. It hurts. If my heart is sliced, it bleeds. I pray that my faith in Him will heal the wound, and make me stronger. And I pray the Marwan will be spared the ill-effects of pure ignorance from those around him.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Play

Out of a sudden, I have a ball in my court. People are expecting me to take the next action. Some are cheering. Is it fair to boo me if I abandon the ball? Especially when I'm not playing? Or even realise there is a game?

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Come hither


This small house is for you. To rest and get some food. Your journey is still long. You can stop at this small house to catch your breath, and see just how high is the sky.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Literature review



I'm still working on the literature review assigned to me in November. There was a break in the effort during Chrismas time.

I struggled to restart; I know what to write, but did not manage to put them in writing.

When I look at the properties of the Word document, I'm surprised to see that it has gone through 87 revisions, and I have spent 1330 minutes on the document. No doubt there were unproductive revisions sessions, but the sheer amount of time took me by surprise. I thought I have been slacking. Apparently, I've done more than I thought.

I wonder how many revisions and hours will go into my final thesis. But, until then, I pray that I can fininsh this lit review by the end of this month.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Together













My love,
I long for the days to walk side by side,
holding your hand in mine,
and have fun,
knowing the road ahead is far,
charting our lives together,
and reunited at the ultimate resting place.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

London trip













On Oxford Street. The lights were enchanting. My camera did not do justice to the glitters and shimmers of the street decorations.















One of the notable new addition to London's skyline. I have to visit London again to take more pics of this, and other buildings.













No, that's not London Eye. Its a ferris wheel at Hyde Park. I believe, it is part of the Winter Wonderland amusement park. It was reported in a news paper that David Beckham and family paid a visit to this place. Brooklyn was pictured on the ice skating rink.












A commercial building. Not sure on which street.












The (surprising?) highlight was my stopover at Muslim World League where I performed my prayer. Perhaps I was being nostalgic; this was the place that I frequent when I was doing my masters at UCL. A few block down the road from this site was the hall where I used to live. There was a touching moment when one little girl, later I knew to be Khadijah, offered to recite the khutbah for me.

Happy 2008

Hilang di mata kekal di hati
tidak terpadam kenang-kenangan
hari bertukar tahun berganti
jangan jemu mengejar impian

Majulah Sukan Untuk Negara

My humble suggestions to make soccer in Malaysia better.

1. Have the aspiring designers from the Malaysian's Runway Project design the team jerseys. Combining the sports and entertainments is a sure way to draw the crowd. Now the stadium would not only be filled with fans who go wooo and aaahh at the players skills (or lack thereof), but it also will be hear the vocal gestures of fans of fashions.
2. During a match, have a representative from each team, who must be a registered fan of the said team, to assist the commenter. Its easy to imagine how such setting can lead to unproductive bickering, so the contributions of the team representatives must be limited to provided factual information. They can argue, but the argument launches itself via proper and strategic insertion of facts, which are commonly lacking in the one-person commentator set up.
3. Introduce a team which comprises random persons who are willing to play without any compensation. Of course, they will be given the proper jersey (see 1 above), but they will not get any salary nor honorarium for playing. They play just for the kick of it. A person, perhaps a politician with too much time on his hand, or just trying to prove his mettle, can be appointed as team manager. The existence of this team is to add entertainment value to the league as a whole. With random player selection, with probably 15 different players in each match, the team can provide opportunity for other (proper) teams to score goals. Now fans can come to the stadium with the expectation that their team will beat the opponent and not return home frustrated. In case the ad hoc team actually beat a proper team, such team shall be automatically demoted to a lower league, regardless of their final position in the league.
4. The RTM can also play a role in promoting soccer. To increase the awareness and interest in soccer among the public, RTM must make compulsory of the inclusion of any soccer related elements in drama submitted to fill in the quota for air time. The previous practice of giving slots to friends and family can continue as long these friendly and familiar producers include soccer in their drama. Mind you, it must not be blatant; that approach is more suitable for documentaries. Rather, the drama should delicately impart wisdoms about the philosophy, professions, and practice of soccer in Malaysia. For example, a drama about lovers who were not meant to be for each other, usually ending in either or of them, or both, being dead or receiving some unspeakable fate, should have a happier and more optimistic ending. The guy could channel his frustration into soccer match that revealed his talent brilliantly. (And imagine how good he will look in the drama wearing designer jerseys). Or, the girl, instead of crying her eyes out, decided to participate in the local soccer fan club and end up being a successful jersey and merchandise entrepreneur.
5. Another role that RTM can play is to replace the soccer commentator with a 16-year old nerd who learned about soccer from online resources, especially You Tube. The audience will finally have, and guilt free, reasons to be entertained by this guy. Of course, to increase his appeal to the public, the nerd would have to be donned with designer clothing. This task could well be the final ultimate challenge for the aspiring designers.

The aims of the suggestions above are to increase general level of interest in soccer, and increase the attendance of paying audience at the stadium. It is a sad thing that the current attendance level is lower than the number of students achieving straight A’s in PMR and SPM. Are we, as a nation, better at producing academic scorers than producing people who’d be delighted to see scores on the picth? Pathetic, really. So, we can reverse the apathy by doing something about how the players and soccer itself is presented to the public. I shall be silent about the management of soccer at the national level, because they seemed to have as much credibility as the England FA. The comparison shall have to wait another time.

You're not at fault

It is not your fault baby, it is not your fault. I never have and never would blame you for what happened. Other people may say something on the contrary. And you may feel it, knowingly or otherwise. But it is not your fault. Bad things that happened to you, to me, and to the people that I love are not your fault. They did not happen because you were naughty, bad, or mischievous. None of those. They happened. It is not your fault. I love you. You have my redha. I pray that Allah has His redha for you too.
(After watching Good Will Hunting)

Wishing you were here




















I feel guilty for having this much fun. I wish you were here with me. I know you'd like the trains and buses. I have to carry you on the numerous stairs at the tube stations, of course, but it would be worth it. I'm sorry for not being able to share these wonderful feeling with you. It was like a homecoming; like I belong there.