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Maria-Syamsi

From My Heart

Month

April 2010

Jalan Kampungku Masih Berlubang

Satu pihak kata yang satu lagi tiada sahsiah.

Satu lagi pihak kata balik yang dia pun sama tiada integriti.

Lepas tu dua-dua kata tak baik mengata orang lain, cermin diri sendiri.

Tapi bila cermin diri sendiri, masing-masing nampak kebesaran dan kehebatan diri sendiri, lalu menghebahkannya kepada orang lain. Dengan gambaran yang lebih besar daripada realiti.

Maka aku pun berhenti membaca akhbar.

Sebab jalan kampung aku masih berlubang-lubang. Banyak dan dalam.

Sekolah menengah yang dijanjikan sejak 15 tahun lalu masih belum didirikan. Sedangkan tiga sekolah yang ada sekarang menampung lebih daripada 10,000 remaja.

Kerajaan baru, kerajaan lama. Sama saja.

Pada masa depan aku tak tahu nak pangkah mana. Sebab sudah terbukti dua-dua pun sama saja.

Sebab jalan kampung aku masih berlubang-lubang.

* * *

Dulu pakcik aku pernah berkata dalam ucapannya.

“Siakap senohong, gelama ikan duri,
Bercakap bohong, lama-lama jadi menteri.”

Selepas itu dia sudah tidak bertugas sebagai naib canselor.
Sebab dia yang bercakap benar.

Ha ha ha

To Dream Or Not To Dream

I dreamt of you, my dear
And when I woke up
I saw your face
But I’m sorry to say, my darling
It was not a good dream
It was not a bad dream either

I saw him, too, you know
But when I woke up
He wasn’t here
It was someone else

He was talking to me
But he wasn’t
He was laughing with me
Or was it at me?
Or about me?

What time is it, my dear?
And who are you, again?

I’ve been sleeping for so long
But I have not slept at all
My body is beaten
But I’m not in pain
I have been running a hundred miles
But I’m still here

What’s that up there, my dear?
Is it falling down on me?
Or shall I reach out for it, so that it won’t hit me?
Oh, but it has hit me now.
Too late.

I’m sorry
What did you just say, doctor?

Awkward Questions Part 2

I think I’ve written about awkward questions about a year ago, or maybe less.

This is just a matter of my (uncomfortable) opinion. I think it is not appropriate to ask the following questions, because the answers might just be about anything, ANYTHING at all!

1. How’s married life?

2. Are you going to have kids soon? Or do you have other plans before having kids?

3. How do you plan your family? (Read: How did you manage to avoid getting pregnant? What kind of contraception method do you use?)

For obvious reasons.

Merapu Selama Lima Minit

Dalam cerita P Ramlee, Saloma kata, “Merapik.”

Nak dipendekkan cerita…

Memang belajar berkumpulan banyak faedahnya. Selalu Dato’ suruh belajar dengan kawan-kawan tapi aku buat MCQ selama ni sorang-sorang. Tadi petang buat MCQ dengan Farah rasa lebih banyak pulak boleh ingat dan faham. Takpe, perjalanan masih panjang. Banyak yang kami boleh belajar sama-sama. Aku medical, dia anaesthesia. Ok la tu. Boleh bertukar-tukar ilmu. Lebih kuat macam tu.

Kadangkala kita boleh faham sifat seseorang lelaki itu melalui usaha kerasnya untuk mencapai kejayaan. Ada kalanya kita juga boleh mendalami sifat sebenarnya menerusi caranya menghadapi kegagalan dalam hidupnya. Mungkin itu lebih tepat.

Aku berlari dan berlari dan berlari mengejar apa pun aku tak tahu. Aku letih dan aku terpinga-pinga, aku gelisah dan tidak dapat mendalami masa dan diriku sendiri. Tiba masa aku putuskan untuk tidak lagi mengejar bayang-bayang, maka jasad pun muncul di depan mata. Betul kata-kata Seng Beng. Aku katakan dulu, bayang-bayang semakin dikejar, makin dia berlari. Seng Beng kata, bila kita berhenti, dia pun berhenti. Apabila dia berhenti, baru boleh tangkap.

Macam-macam tujuan dan cita-cita nak dicapai dalam satu masa. Terlalu banyak sampai terasa satu pun tak tercapai. Mungkin memang tak boleh capai semua pada masa yang sama. Tetapi kalau selesaikan satu demi satu matlamat itu, kemungkinan berjaya itu lebih besar. Yang pentingnya dapat menilai yang mana satu yang paling utama untuk dicapai.

Matlamat utama malam ini adalah untuk mendapat rehat secukupnya. Esok adalah hari belajar yang panjang. Itu matlamat utama hari esok.

Selamat berehat dan bersosial kepada semua yang masih belum mahu tidur.

I Need A Hug (Public Display of Affection)

It’s quite an uncomfortable issue to discuss about, for some people, that is.

Amazing how different people see this, especially us Asians.

I used to, well, know this person who’s not too happy with all this public display of affection. Me, having grown up in the family that I have, and seen so many places and people in the whole world, did not agree with him. And I’m not talking about out-of-marriage relationships as it is not allowed as a Muslim to have much physical contact with a person of another gender. I’m talking about husband and wife, siblings, relatives.

For him, it’s not nice manners for a couple to walk hand-in-hand all the time, especially when they’re out with their parents. It’s almost not nice for a couple to show their affection in front of their friends. He thinks that uncles shouldn’t hug their nieces and siblings, if they can, shouldn’t hug each other unless on important occasions.

Well, coming from a person whose sisters never hugged their mum, never rested their heads on their mum’s lap, I shouldn’t have been that surprised.

My grandmother gives the fiercest hug to her loved ones.

My grandpa even hugged his son-in-laws.

My uncles and aunts hugged each other when they meet. This they handed down to their children.

I remember seeing my grandparents holding hands when they come out of the airport after haj.

My aunts and uncles hold hands as a couple even when they’re more than 50 years old. Sometimes they would give each other a massage when the whole lot of us is chatting after a kenduri, well, within boundaries of normal etiquette, of course. It’s ok to sit next to each other when you’re husbands and wives even in the presence of one of their parents.

It’s ok to hug one’s partner when they’re photographed. Or even when they’re sitting together having a drink with friends.

For me it’s ok to show that you’re happy with each other, wherever you may be, or whoever is around you.

I mean, I’d be happier if my brothers show SOME affection towards their partners rather than none at all. It’d show that they are normal people who have feelings and sensitive to their partners too.

I don’t mind if my partner hugs his sisters and brothers, and I’d be WORRIED if he never hugs his parents. Seriously, who doesn’t?

Why does one need to be all stuck-up and ‘macho’? What has love got to do with ‘no manners’? Unless you’re snogging someone’s face off, a peck in the cheek should be ok, right?

Never getting a single chance to hug one’s husband when he comes back from work, just because his mom and dad and sisters and brothers are around, is just deeply frustrating.

And please, guys, a lot of times a girl needs a hug because she needs a hug. I don’t see what’s wrong with that.

Sleepless Reverie

My nurses have long dozed off.

I don’t know why I can’t stop working tonight. I hope tomorrow is a good day.
Clinical summaries.
Insurance claims.
Forms for courses, LPOs.
Last-minute MRCP application (gasp!) – I wonder whether there’s space for me or not this May. Gosh..

To top it all off, endless MCQs. Oh, apparently your marks only improve after 80 questions. Wow.

“Alone, listless, breakfast table in an otherwise empty room..” A song as detatched as my feelings right now. I wonder what songs do people listen to when they study?

My Ex used to listen to the same song again and again and again. I did say that I’d prefer to study in a quieter environment. So he put on a huge headphone for himself. At that time it’s a sweet gesture. I don’t know what he actually thought of at that time, though.

Well, I guess now it’s Sleeq’s “Cun Saja”. We’ve both moved forward, taking almost the same exam..

200 questions per day, am chasing it.

Fighting against myself. Hey, at least it’s a comfortable, peaceful environment, as lonely as it could be at times.

But theb agai, I’m not alone. I wouldn’t be filling in this form for a course if I’ve been alone.
I wouldn’t be planning for a hectic weekend early in April if I am really alone.

And what is this fight compared to our beloved Prophet Muhammad’s? His work, his efforts, his determination to bring peace to the world?

I just can’t sleep. Maybe it’s just one of those days.

I hope I’ll be ok tomorrow morning.

(written on 9th March 2010)

Misunderstood

I guess we all have been misunderstood at one point of time in our lives. Well, at least one point.

But I realised that sometimes it’s our fault.

We never really tell others what we’re going through, what we feel.

Out of pure ego, embarrassment, or sometimes we don’t think it’s important to tell. And sometimes the other party is too narrow minded or judgmental that we decided not to.

So we decided to keep quiet.

That’s when people misunderstand us.

I’ve been misunderstood when I talk. So I decided to keep quiet. Kept my mouth shut as if nothing has happened, as if I could accept everything that comes my way.

Even then, I have been misunderstood when I didn’t say anything. That’s when they thought that I was against everything they do or say.

Severely misunderstood. Ah, well.

At times the things we keep in our heart, the things we go through in our lives are so embarrassing, that we’d prefer to keep in and be misunderstood, than to risk it and tell everyone.

That’s life. For me, at least.

I guess there’s still be a series of misunderstandings in the future. I just have to learn to deal with it, and keep it to the minimum, or at least a tolerable level.

Adoi.

(written on 4th march 2010)

I’m Going Crazy, Yes I Am!

They said Gandhi was crazy.

They said Mahathir was crazy.

They used to say Steve Jobs was crazy.

Donald Trump was crazy.

Barrack Husain Obama was crazy.

Michael Jackson was crazy

Any similarities?

I think I would voluntarily go crazy like them too.

* * *

“Be the change that you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi.

(written on 25th February 2010)

Ghareeb 7: The Smile, The Big Tree, and Other Stories

A few days ago I had a dream. I learnt something from it.

A few days ago I commented on a friend’s note. I learnt something from my own comment too. You know, sometimes we could see things clearer when we start talking about it.

Anyway.

Lesson learnt: What I was wishing for is just lurking around the corner. I just needed to work a bit harder. Which brought me to the second lesson: a friendly and unconditional smile will not only make other people happy, it will make ourselves happy and fulfilled too.

Work hard, eh?

Have you ever worked for something that needs patience, self-control, perseverance, guts, confidence, and charm? Something that needs building up so slowly that at times things don’t seem to move? But you know that one day, the end result is so beautiful and long-lasting that you don’t regret every second of it? Or even if it doesn’t work, at least, at the very least, you know you have tried all your might but it’s just not meant to be?

Just look at the trees around us.

Every time I feel like certain things are so tedious, I would remind myself about the trees, and the tree trunks, of course.

The harder, higher quality wood come from trees that take millions of years to grow. Layer by layer, year after year. The longer it takes to grow, the harder the wood, the better the quality, the more expensive it gets.

Same theory applies in our life.

* * *

You may have heard about this ‘stranger’ story before, but I’ll write again anyhow.

One day in April last year, I was feeling very very sad. I could still feel it now, in fact, but that’s another story to tell. Anyway, I was very down at that time, my eyes were swollen and I was just not in the mood to do anything much.

I was talking to someone else, but this stranger just looked at me and smiled. A warm, big smile that reached his eyes, and admittedly, my heart too. To my regret, I didn’t smile back at him. I was so taken aback with the smile. All the while (in that period of time) I was thinking, who would want to be warm and friendly towards me at that time – melancholic and depressed and humiliated and angry and all. But there he was, a stranger to me, me a stranger to him, with his toothy big smile, unconditional and warm.

Hope, was what the smile said.

Hope, as there are so many beautiful things in life.

Hope, because the past don’t mean a thing, unless you learn from it.

Every now and then, it would come back to me. The thoughts. The cheer. The twinkles in the eyes. It added a new dimension to my world. The way I see my friends, my colleagues, my patients. The deeper meaning of a smile. The essence of it. The joy of it.

Thank you, stranger, and I promise you, I’ll bring it forward. I do.

* * *

On a totally different climate..

I guess many of us have wished this before: wishing that we could choose the memories that we want to keep, and erase the ones we don’t like.

Again, number one: be careful of what you wish for. Wishing for memories to be erased is actually never a good wish…
Number two: Sometimes what we want is not what we need, and what we hate is probably what is essential for us at that time.

Every time I came across the same thoughts, I’d remind myself of both lessons. But I guess we could actually repress some of the more negative memories with some slightly better ones….I don’t know whether it’s healthy for our minds and souls, but this is what I came out with:

I would rather mourn on Uncle Ong’s death, than have this anger creeping inside me…although a lot of time I was fine with all the reminders around me, today I felt angry when I passed by Sri Ayuthya in Damansara, ward 6A, Jalan Pahang roundabout….

I would rather feel stressed about the exams, than to have this sinking feeling inside me….at least with exams you just have to work your way out of the stress. Being melancholic is just something else – looking for things to cheer myself up, reminding myself about ‘the climb’, ‘the hope’, and all other things, thinking about all other people who’s had difficult times and survive and then live happier than they ever did before, that I’m a lucky person to have gone through this because it would only make me stronger…but then again if reading on antiphospholipid syndrome could make you cry….

It’s temporary.
There’s always light at the end of the tunnel.
There’s always hope – for me, for you, for everyone.

* * *

Cheer up, myself. Cheer up, everyone.

It’s nice to know when you’re supported in your career by a senior person.
It’s nice to know that there’s a few people who would give you support from start to the end. Especially when you don’t ask for it.
Especially when you have only mentioned a little bit or two, and they offer you much more.
Really, it’s nice to know.

Thank you for making my day. My week. Although the week may have appeared to be a tad cloudy.

(written on 20th February 2010)

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