From My Heart


January 2017

Ngobrol Soal Politik

Talk about politics.
Actually no. I don’t want to talk about politics. 
I just want to say what would be lovely. 
It’s a cold night right now and I am imagining a rainy evening, lights dimmed, we’re talking with mugs of coffee in our hands, at times sitting quitely just listening to the beautiful harmony of the rain falling onto our roof.
We’re talking about books.
Books we have read and why we read the books at the first place.

Our favourite genres, or rather how we don’t have favourite genres. We read whatever we need or we feel like at that time. The languages we read in. 

The kind of knowledge and inspiration we gained from each book.

The characters in the fictions that we indulged in, the mysterious stories, the emotions we had during our encounters with those characters.

The situations in our lives or our countries while we were reading those books. How some books happened to resonate with our lives at those points of time.

The scent of a new book.

The smell of an old book.
Real books versus e-books.

The habit of reading. 

How we ended up with each other after reading all of those books. Our own little book club. Just the two of us.

And then the night deepens.

“Ayuh tidur. Esok kita ke toko buku lagi.”

(Let’s go to bed. We’ll visit the bookshop again tomorrow.)

That would be really lovely.

What’s With Love and Politics

“Saya senantiasa ikut Pemilu,” he said.”Kamu pilih siapa?” she responded.

He smiled. A meaningful smile.

She smiled back.

“Kiranya kita memilih yang sama ya?”

They still smiled at each other.

“Kecewa?” he asked.
For some reason, I feel that this is the sweetest conversation in the whole movie. Just two people who used to love each other (and perhaps still do) talking about something as real as a national election. Not about sweet promises, not about the past, not praises towards each other.
I guess politics have been a small but significant part of the movie, the first one even more. Rangga had to follow his father to New York 15 years ago because of political pressure. Some of the scenes in the first movie were set up indicating the political situation in Indonesia at that time.
Now that their political landscape has changed, the issue still popped out, but in just a dialogue rather than as part of the story line.
Perhaps I found it sweet because it showed the depth of their relationship. They understood each other’s love for the country, the way they think, the way they see others around them, the way they see the world. 
For me, personally, I grew up not knowing what my parents voted for. They would never ever tell us no matter how we asked. I doubt they even told each other. They held very tightly to the rule that your vote is to be kept secret.
And in this movie, they did not say who they voted for, what they were frustrated about, but only gave such meaningful smiles to each other.
And personally, I’d appreciate that kind of relationship, where we could share similar wavelength about many things, having similar opinions about the world around us. That’s why I’d prefer a man who both reads (not only text books) and travels. 
Since childhood, I have always been amazed with Indonesian’s patriotism. I found that they are extremely passionate about their country and would do anything to defend their name. If you see them during sports tournaments, their energy is extraordinary, and I believe patriotism is part of it.
I tried to shake off that feeling that Indonesians love their country more than Malaysians do ours. But even when I’ve grown up, I still get that vibe from them. Maybe they really do, or maybe it is just because their population is larger.
At least they still speak their language while many of us Malaysians either never spoke Malay, or lost the ability to do so.
These are my gut feelings. I might be wrong.

So what I’m gonna do this year onwards, is to find out whether I’m right. 

From Mecca to Jakarta (With Sweet Dreams and Poetry In Between)

“Dicari karya Chairil Anwar tapi gak ada. Langsung dibaca perjalanan hidupnya dulu.”

Since I had two cups of coffee today (and the latest was at 8pm 😰), I gave myself the rights to ramble. Hahah.

(1) One of my few resolutions for the year is to finish four books per month, and one journal/guideline per week. I am trying hard and rather pressured to fulfill this, just because I really really wanted to. I have been too slow in the books division and there are so many things I need to learn, to expose myself to. For January, I need to finish these books:

– Adik Datang by A Samad Said

– The World Atlas of Coffee by James Hoffmann

– The Muse by Jessie Burton

– The House of Wisdom by Jonathan Lyons

Four very different genres; two of them are fictions. The cheating part is I have started reading the non fictions about weeks to months ago. Yet I’m struggling to finish it.

Not forgetting the ESC ACS guidelines that I started reading last Wednesday.

(2) I have not gone out since coming back from Umrah. What with my cough and multiple oncall days and weekend rounds, I have not even gone to the gym. So today I managed to get some exercise, went for dinner in Kinokuniya, and browsed its shelves after that. So I got myself these books. Yes, despite not reaching my January goals yet.

(3) The place I’ve been, the place I will be. From Maqam Ibrahim to Jakarta. In between there are sweet dreams and poetry. And hope. A lot of hope.

(4) Browsing the net for information about a city is probably much cheaper than buying a book, and as far as I know, information in travel books might be as (in)accurate as travellers’ blogs. But with my job and all the reading I need to do, I don’t think I will have time to do a proper research for my short trip there. So I decided to grab a book about Jakarta (it is not cheap 😰). I hope it will be useful.

(5) I am not happy with the quality of Malay books these days. Many books in the market are basically compilations of tweets, Facebook statuses and blogs. However, the language is often too rough, even when they are written by young ustazs. Apparently these kinds of books sell better. “As long as the message gets across.” But I don’t believe in compromising language for marketing/popularity purposes. We need to be more responsible. 

Using simple language is alright, but using rough slangs and inappropriate, incorrect words are just unacceptable.
Therefore I get back to classics. 😊

(6) The movie Ada Apa Dengan Cinta managed to re-ignite my love towards Malay poetry. I recognised the book “Aku” from afar, and excitedly, I grabbed a copy. It is not written by Chairil Anwar but it is based on his life and his works. I do wish to get a copy of his works one day. Maybe in Jakarta.
So good night. I hope I will be able to sleep well despite the coffee. 😴😴


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