No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite. ~ Nelson Mandela

this is just me thinking aloud about certain boycotts happening… well, it does not matter where it is happening. yang penting, is the objective of this people and this is of course on the assumption that we want to stop the oppression of people’s liberties. pendek kata, people should not hurt people, people should respect people, and as long as orang tak kacau kita, then we should let them just be. i know it sounds basic, so why this concept is so difficult to uphold is beyond me.

we come full circle to this idea of boycotts. and the reason we boycott is by turning our backs to the oppressors and cutting their sources or resources, with the intention of forcing them to stop hurting other people.

i am all for respecting and not hurting other people. i am unsure about the idea of boycott, so i am not going to say if it is effective or not.

i do believe however, in walking the talk. i think that if you are going to ask people to stop hurting other people, you should stop hurting other people first. if you are asking people to respect other people, you should respect other people first. if you want to fight for the right of people practice their beliefs, then before you make it a global crusade, begin in your own backyard. it really comes down to this, how can you save the world, when you can’t even save your own back yard?

don’t get me wrong, i condemn the senseless killing of any innocent person. i condemn the exploitation of children and violations against women. i believe that hunger and abuse of any of god’s creatures is unacceptable.

and i don’t condemn this just on a global scale. the local scene is just as important, if not more important, than the global scale. there should be outrage about the rape and abuse and violation of liberties back home. if we want to tell people not to be racist, we should not be racist ourselves. if we want to tell people to stop fighting and get along, we have to stop fighting and get along first.

on a theological platform, this is what i believe, this stupid argument about land and countries and who owns land and who is rightfully the owners of land and who has more right over a piece of land that others, tanah ni jajahan siapa, tanah ni milik bangsa mana etc – all this argument is completely rubbish. from a theological point of view – i remind you – this question is irrelevant and almost blasphemous even. no one owns land. no one owns a piece of earth. god owns land. god owns the earth. and on the reminder that we are all god’s creatures, we all have a right to the earth, to god’s land. i have had quite enough of people bombing and gunning and chasing people off what they claim as their piece of land. just like i have had enough of people saying that a single race has more right over land than others, and that the so-called less superior race (by virtue of birth or by virtue of race or by virtue of belief) should go back from where their forefathers came from. no. this is god’s earth. and we are god’s creatures. and if god’s creature is not harming anyone, is respectful, tak buat kacau, hormat, keeps to all the virtues that pleases god, then, by no means at all can you treat it with any less. look at yourself first. seriously.

pigs and dogs are god’s creatures as well, by the way. some people argue that they are god’s condemned creatures. i am not an expert in this field, but this is what i do believe: they are still god’s creatures. my struggle on earth is not to become a condemned creature myself. and should i be heading on the way towards condemnation, i plea for mercy and compassion and kindness from my maker. how can the almighty show me mercy if i cannot show mercy onto his other creatures? how can my condemned soul hope for kindness from the almighty, if i have been unkind to his other creatures whom i thought to have deemed condemned? so no, i will not treat any of god’s creatures with any form of condemnation. there is too much riding on the line. they are god’s creatures. i am god’s creature. condemnation status is the lord’s exclusive right to judgement. not mine.

don’t even get me started on the jews and zionism.

at the end of this, i am still undecided on boycotts. the line of work that i am in is concerned about the loss of livelihood as a result of some of these boycotts and how the local impacts are managed. i am concerned about that. and as mentioned, i am also concerned our own back yard. we scream about corruption that perpetuates this racism, while back in our own backyard… well…

this is an unending debate. someone will tell me that well, if we don’t stand up for them, then who will? i agree. i completely agree. everyone and everywhere. globally and in your backyard. i agree. please don’t forget your backyard.

Bring him home (Les Miserables) ~ Alfie Boe

there has just been so many aircraft tragedies in the past few months. this feels appropriate.

i choose to still hang on to hope beyond hope. i truly believe in miracles.

god on high, hear my prayer,
in my need, you have always been there
he is young, he’s afraid. let him rest heaven blessed
bring him home, bring him home
he’s like the son i might have known if god had granted me a son
the summers die one by one, how soon they fly on and on
and i am old and will be gone
bring him peace, bring him joy. he is young, he is only a boy
you can take, you can give. let him be, let him live
if i die, let me die, let him live, bring him home

People carry worlds within them. ~ Neil Gaiman

within the first half an hour of mh17’s crash, i receive calls from all over the world of people making sure that i am safely on the ground. yes, i am safely on the ground. i do travel on that code quite frequently, but through the blessing of god, i am safely on the ground, here in the netherlands when the tragedy struck.

all over the world. malaysia. netherlands. uk. switzerland, hong kong. canada. india. cambodia. usa. mom obviously, was the first to buzz on my phone. but so many more quickly followed. and i am stunned, and i am still stunned by just how many people thought of me during that time of panic.

and i am truly, truly grateful. so much so that i don’t know how to react. it is truly unexpected. so many messages were pouring in, that i had to put up a proper notice on facebook and twitter to announce that i am okay. yet, the messages still poured. messages. posts. emails.

i am blessed. i guess it took being away, so far away, for me to realise how many people have me in their thoughts and prayers. it is truly unexpected. i am grateful. so much more than words can say.

words cannot express how i feel about the downing of mh17. on one hand, it could have been me. like i said, i am so frequently on that code. but more than that, being so involved in the aviation industry has brought me closer to airports and airlines. despite what people say about corruption etc, i know a lot of good people who work in it, and their dedication makes a real difference to the travel experience.

and on top of all of that, i am a malaysian in the netherlands. i watch the two countries grieve over the incident. i see anger. i see coming together. no one could find a single fault in the respect shown by the dutch to the crash victims. but there is also a searing, controlled anger underlying their calm composure.

i soak it all in. the good. the bad. i really would not have it any other way. i am blessed. but i am also sad. i am at awe. i am angry. i am proud. it is an incredible thing, this human experience.

You are welcome, most noble Sorceress, to the land of the Munchkins. We are so grateful to you for having killed the Wicked Witch of the East, and for setting our people free from bondage. ~ L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

so this is how strong the wind was: i felt lift. i kid you not. the comes a point when everyone on the streets just had to close their umbrellas walaupun ada sikit lagi hujan, and redah je whatever drizzle was left because the wind was so strong, if you insist on trying to resist the weather, you can and you will do a dorothy. oh, unless, some of them tell me, you have one of those revolutionary senz umbrellas which has this aerodynamic design to withstand wind. the downside is that the shape of the payung is weird and ugly. so pilih la. nak basah or nak nampak kelakar.

but back to my near flight experience. ya’ll know that i carry a sling back right. and even that was already getting airborne. my jacket felt like what a balloon must feel like when being filled with angin. thankfully, my cultural education has grown enough to tell me that i should not wear my hair down on days when the sky looks threatening. rambut dah panjang, by the way, but i really don’t know about these european hair dressers. lagipun, my hair has sorta changed since getting here. at home, my hair is wavy. kat sini, i have straight hair. something about the humidity and the water. so kena tukar jenis shampoo.

and i was scared. because i am much smaller size than the europeans here, and clearly nak biaca dengan cuaca here an such strong winds, that the thought of actually flying away not only crossed, but danced in my head. i feel like i should be holding on to a tiang of something. just in case. just in case kalau kalau i actually terbang.

i got back to my apartment and closed off the wind that continued to throw raindrops against my windows.

and this is as the continent approaches summer. summer. no belum musim luruh or winter lagi.

Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. ~Rabindranath Tagore

ramadhan. in malaysia, we fast for about 13 hours. in the netherlands, we fast for just over 19 hours.

it is not easy.

by the 16th hour, i was seeing stars.

it becomes no longer a question of hunger. my stomach has given up rumbling by then. dehydration kicks in and the loudest proponent is the head. like i said, stars. i lie down, my feet elevated, attempting to get enough blood flow to my brain to maintain proper command over the rest of the body. stars. i have to turn off the game – ned was playing mex in the knock off game. it was half time and neither has scored. it wasn’t that interesting of a game anyway. i have to turn off all sources of sound. i have to turn off all sources of light – it was bright and sunny outside as we approach summer. i pull an eye mask over my face, bury the rest of my head under my pillow and attempt to extinguish the stars. oh the stars.

the worse was yet to come.

ten minutes to break of the fast. i have prepared lovely chicken and potato curry. vegetable soup. brown rice. agar-agar with nectarines and bananas and lemon juice. i was set. i had woken up slightly more level headed with anticipation of nutrients.

i break fast with water. it rushes through me, and immediately makes me feel sick. i eat a banana, and four spoons of rice and suddenly, my world felt like it was crashing down. everything that went in wanted to come right back out. the more i attempt to put down, the greater the push to come back out.

masuk angin. blood rush to the stomach.

i give up on dinner. i drink more water. i force eat the agar-agar. the stars have formed a galaxy spinning through my entire universe. i turn everything off and go back to sleep.

i wake up two hours later. sahur.

i feel better. whatever little i took in had sufficiently revitalised my system, somewhat. i heat up the vegetable soup. i eat that with brown rice. i know i should eat more, but that queasy feeling was coming back. i try to pace small portions that is more managable. a bit of chocolate. sugar, i need sugar. water. more water.

today’s strategy will be trying to expel as much wind from my system as possible at the start of the break fast. i am thinking of ginger. and tea. i will see if i can find some after work. otherwise i will make my own. it is by true grace and wisdom of the almighty that compelled me to buy ginger at the market last weekend. i didn’t know what i was going to do with it, i just bought it and thought i will figure it out as the week goes by. and here it is. god had kindly put the solution in my fridge waiting for me to pick it up, to make sweet ginger tea with.

this kindness shall be what i will have on my mind when the stars come floating in this evening.

Jagao Mere Des Ko – A.R Rahman, Suchi, Blaaze – Coke Studio @ MTV Season 3

Based on original Bengali lyrics
WHERE THE MIND IS WITHOUT FEAR
by Rabindranath Tagore

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.