Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Dear Alisya & Naufal.....

Dear Alisya & Naufal,
This year marks the seventh year, since the magical moment. How fast time flies. If I can go back to the past I would want to freeze that moment when I first held you in my arms, Alisya, Naufal. The promise I made to you is always in my mind. Watching you grow, is a blessing. Being there with you, is never enough for me...though I know one day soon I will have to back off and let you both to walk the earth on your own...but as long as you both permit, I would always want to hug you as you sleep...until my time comes. True, the years are not always filled with colorful moments but that's what it is all about. Colors add the story to your life, monochromes add the strength to your the end, you will realize, all that matters is the energy and drive to move forward and recall the colors (and monochromes) as your source of reference and fuel to continue the journey, to be where you want to be. Since your birth, I have failed - once, at least - that moment when I had no better option but to step out of that tall towers. I know how you both love the towers and how well you can recognize that oil-drop logo even when you were just barely 3 years old. I regretted to not have been able to bring you up to the higher floors that I used to work on...but please forgive me, for I have not failed due to my in-capabilities but rather due to my stupidity to put my strong believe and trust in some of my friends that you both came to call uncles & aunties at one time before the present. I have learned that at the end of the day, as humans, all that matters are their own survival...and that, you should always be aware of...friends care not about you if they are at the junction of opportunity and once they think they are beyond your league, they would not feel guilty at all to what they have done in the name of their position and power. Be aware....and never be one of them. Never ever. You are not like them, nor like their daughters and sons. No matter how high you may be able to fly, in the end, on the soils of the earth is always where you will rest. Always remember your humble beginnings...and with that always in mind, then only you shall fly. I wanted to fly high, almost made it but in the end I realized that I am going nowhere, those friends assisted the systems, focused on making many to fail. I came tumbling down to earth and for once, I never felt so humiliated yet so focus was just to pick the remnants and move on for my next effort...much to the disbelief of many, peers & enemies...but the best is yet to come, as long as we have each other, we will always make it through anything, anything at all....I apologize to both of you if I could not give a proper celebration like we used to have...but we'll do something together with our family soon, insyaAllah...for as long as I can breathe, the promise I made to both of you as I held you in my arms on that day, remains to be fulfilled.
...please know that Ayah Sayang Alisya & Naufal.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


Aliya Irdina:
"Ayah, Aliya ada something for you. A present"
Aliya's pet KingKong:
"Uihh? Ada present? Waaah!! Bestnyerrr!!"
Aliya Irdina:"Nah...ini Aliya & Ayah. Yang ini muka Ayah sahaja..."
Aliya's pet KingKong:"Waahh pandainyaaa...." (realized that she used the big sis's scissors - something I warned her not to do the night before...heheh, smart kid!)

I keep all the sketches and arts - done or given to me by my kids - in my personal journal (not a moleskine, cannot afford those lah, not yet kut!). Some are not really given to me but rather then let it be wasted, I just took if from the bin and keep it! There's a ring binder at The Republik for all the works they did at the studio too. At this point of time, I can say that my passion to analyse, write/ sketch about what I see and experience, is there in Aliya (Neena). Who knows, one day she'd be a good writer & photographer. (Tak payah kerja jadi balachi company orang macam Ayah masa muda dulu lah ok Neena?)

Rare and priceless treasures, those.
If I don't allow time to appreciate and collect/ document/ write my feelings about it in that journal I mentioned, it will be such a waste.

I had all the luxury of time this Saturday morning. Alisya & Naufal have a "replacement class" so the day starts like a normal week. After sending them I decided to do breakfast and just lepak at the usual kedai we love to go for breakfast.
A tabligh person approached me after I finished my dishes...and sold me alcohol-free perfume (minyak atar lah!). Been a long time since I last bought a perfume Well, Ia m not a perfume guy anyway, since I got married, whatever my dear wifey gave me as present would be the only perfume I have, until the next purchase or gift from her!
The tabligh person then asked me if I can buy him some foods. Of course. An opportunity to do sadaqah and a chat. From our introduction talk, I get to know that he is a Bangladeshi by the name of Muhammad Sattar, probably in his mid 40's.
The first thing that Sattar did when his food arrived was to recite doa, not just the usual doa makan but quite a lengthy one, specifically asking Allah's blessings - for me! (Alhamdulillah).
We had discussion on some stuff - related to Islam of course - some points I do agree but some, well let's just say what I have learned since I was a child - dari sekoah agama Johor, sampai la mengaji pondok sikit masa remaja, sampai la abis grad UIA & also what my arwah Bah Tua termed as "mengaji kutip" i.e. spending time listening to ceramah and the likes at many surau/masjid - has different approach to it.
One very prominent one was when Sattar asked about my kids and then somehow or rather he made a statement that kids will just waste our wealth but wives would not thus why he has wives. (oookkkk....I see...)
Hmmmm...that is too general, a statement but well, I wish not to argue about it, after all this poor guy is enjoying his first meal of the day, let him enjoy it lah!
Sattar asked me if I know about their "markas" in Sri Petaling.
Yeah, many do know about that.
He invited me to come there tonight because there's going to be a muzakarah, with brothers from all around the region.
InsyaAllah, was my answer but I know I would not be there since I have planned something for my kids for the whole weekend. Sattar then sincerely admits that he needs a new jubah since the only one he has on him is really "uzur" and it is timely to get a new one for the muzakarah.

Well, sometimes people will say - entah ya ke tidak - but for my my approach is always like this: if I can make do without that certain amount of money for the benefit of others that need it more than I do, it is their rezeki that Allah provided and I am just a medium. InsyaAllah. If it is otherwise, well, that is between that person and Allah.
We continued talking and when he knew I am a businessman, he started another doa...telling me InsyaAllah with a pure and sincere heart, a business can go far and what we contribute back to the needy shall be rewarded by Allah many folds. InsyaAllah.
I had to leave Sattar since I am have tapau nasi lemak for my wifey & Aliya.
Pleasant conversation on a Saturday morning.

What have I learn?
Well, I always feel honored and blessed when a person recites a sincere doa. Not everybody is blessed to have others doing doa for him/her everyday....true?
So, once in a while, when a stranger does that for you...and you have been through thick and thin just a couple of moons ago, don't you think that Allah is trying to convey a message to you?

So, it is good to allow time to appreciate and understand others - even strangers - around us. At least, for 30 minutes on a weekend, just try to slow down a bit from our hectic lifestyle...because if we never try, we might never learn something new and just continue living the way we have been "tuned" to.
In the end what you should really sit and think about is this: Do you really think you will have that time to appreciate what is around you, go lepak masjid, do hajj etc etc..only after you retire?

To each, his own....c'est la vie.

Friday, April 23, 2010

A friend with a sincere heart....

Last Friday, I had a good chat with a good friend.
He was eager to help me in some business platform...although he was supposed to collect his Blackberry during that appointment time but since he was not sure if he can get it in time and he knew I have another appointment immediately after meeting him, he left the Maxis Center and met me instead. (Salute - this is a virtue of a true professional business person!)

The very first sentence he uttered, I already had the answer - unfortunately, for him, I have started on the same platform couple of months earlier.

Being a passionate person in things that he believes, he wasn't disappointed at all. Instead the first word that came from him after I told him I have done it earlier, was ALHAMDULILLAH. (Salute - this is a virtue of a true Hamba Allah!)

It struck me there and then that he was really sincere in his intention of trying to help me out (since I don't earn that automatic-fat-balance-in-my-account at the end of the month like I used to lah), unlike many others that have approached me, the first intent of those others was simply to get a person as their down-line or whatchamacallit...yeah, ugly intent but c'est la vie for many out there.

The good friend then told me he was restless since the day before (when he met me as he was registering for that BB from Maxis) and he told me he mentioned to his dear wife about me doing my partnership business, totally out of the system we used to be in with very very little capital compared to what he has from his retirement scheme.

"I don't know what I am going to do with all that money Torque....but aku dah niat akan bagi modal untuk bantu kau kalau perlu, but Alhamdulillah, lega hati aku bila dengar kau dah start lagi awal dari aku...Alhamdulillah!" (...and we shook hands for the third or maybe the fourth time that morning!)

For more than an hour, had a good chat about stuff....and bid farewell with a promise that we'll keep in-touch about another few business models that I have worked on and to get him connected to the contacts that I have in mind...

....but fulfilling that promise shall never be possible, because Allah loves him more...
...and his soul is now resting in peace.

My only regret was I could not visited him in the ICU because considering the condition he was in, it was best to not allow visitors. A chat with Kakak Rassa- one of his beloved daughters - I was told that Allahyarham did mention to his beloved wife about meeting me on that purely sincere he was about helping me out....Subhanallah.

Things happened so quick, a good chat not even a week ago and now, he will only be in our memories....

....the least I could do was to help carry him to his last resting place (such a co-incident, the location gives a good view of PETRONAS Twin Towers - Tower 1 KLCC) and to contribute my energy on the cangkul and tanah to cover his grave...that was the least I could do....and of course to do doa for him....

M Idris Tahir, was a good friend to many, a good mentor to many....and he lives, always, in the memories of those many, whose hearts he has touched.


We'll miss you MIT.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lights, the way I see it

Shots done on Canon G11, about 2miles from my kampung house couple of weeks ago. Stopped by the roadside on our way back to KL just to get these three frames. Worth it.
For me at least.
I am a bit restless since then. Thinking and worrying about where I am. Alhamdulillah things are ok but I need to progress on my personal achievement because that is what that gives more milestone to many as it seems. Nobody seems to offer a hand or share the path, until very very recently, Alhamdulillah....Alhamdulillah.

They trust me (yet again, Alhamdulillah)...and yet again, I better not disappoint them.

Words are cheap, just like arrogant people with their achievements and sickening attitudes.

Quickly re-established some long-lost contacts tonight. I am taking this more serious then it has ever been. I've seen the light. Time to run and fly.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Alisya Irdina Khairil

Alisya is turning 7 years old soon. She's growing...and soon enough it will be time for me to let her live her own life....that will mark the time for me to start that journey I have always wanted to do, discovering the world, insyaAllah. Wherever I may be, everyday my heart beats just for Alisya, Naufal, Aliya & Hajar.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Baby Zahra

.....the youngest "cucu" in the family, for now lah.

~ on Symbian mobile device

Jamming - Otai way

....hahaaa....try this for originality!
~ on Symbian mobile device

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Friday, April 09, 2010

Access To Life

...spent half of the night viewing the works of Alex Majoli, Jonas Bendiksen & Paolo Pellegrin of MagnumPhotos - AccessToLife.

These Magnum Photos photographers are amongst the many those whose works really inspire me...

They bring the story to the world and in some ways managed to give back to the subjects involved.


...and in the morning after the more critical office deals are done, I'll be composing on the streets with my old D70s for the first time in many moons.

Inspired. By the best in the world.

...but now, time for a good rest...

Sunday, April 04, 2010

The Privileged Many

I am sure everybody knows well the definition of "privilege". Yes? OK.
Now, in certain matters, we tend to forget that we are actually being among the ones that could be categorized as privileged.
How come?
Well simply because we are just too blind at heart. We became too accustomed to what we already are bestowed with that we totally take it as "the ordinary package" that should come as it is, without us owing anything to Allah.
Too general a statement? OK. Let's go down to the details....

Since Malaysian GP F1 week has just ended, let us use it as our prime example of my statement above.

We have the hill-stands - covered & uncovered - and the grandstands for the spectators to watch the race. By default, Malaysian would just wait or ask for free tickets first before purchasing it at the last minute (if they are really hardcore fans of F1 lah!)

Maka berduyun-duyun lah rakyat jelata ke gelanggang pertarungan. Yang bulat datang bergolek, yang pipih datang melayang, yang buta datang berpimpin, yang capek datang bertongkat, yang kudung datang mengesot, yang jauh berpanggilan, yang dekat berimbauan.....

To cut is short, the hill stands are filled with spectators and the grandstand.....well not so!!

The matter of fact is, on the KL Straight the grandstands are normally purchased by companies i.e. the tickets are free for some staff or customers or who ever Akamazamabamaboo they want to give it to.
The hill stands, are normally being purchased by those who just love to watch expensive rigs being driven around and around and around in circles by lucky blokes who get paid very well...and maybe the pitgurls who are mainly filled with zero knowledge about the F1 matters (but also get paid very well for standing in the hot sun and walking in high heels for about a kilometer or so!)
...but of course, some of the people on the hill stands came with free tickets lah...this is Malaysia maa you cannot discount the subsidy mentality of the 1MalaysiaBoleh people leehh!

For the sake of the topic, let us just focus on those who were given the grandstand tickets.

...and please, if you think I am bashing these people or the company that sponsored them, you must be having the same mentality like my previous retarded bosses I used to have in the company I used to work with. This is my blog and I am expressing my thoughts based on my observation, I am not bashing anybody in person but if you feet that way, then my observation is probably very good lah...and you have been hit spot on between your eyes! :o)

So, the discussion here is about "The Privileged Many".
Unlike the commonly used phrase - the privileged few - I have stated earlier that we are all privileged in some areas that we tend to neglect.

Those who were given the grandstand tickets got a very massive privilege compared to those who bought tickets for the hot & humid bare ground on the hills.

....but look at this shot...
The grand stands are almost empty, couple of hours before the race starts!

Where are those privileged many???
There were more general public cum wannabe sports photographers with free access on Friday.

Is this bad? I don't know....but form years of experience, video-graphers/ photographers will shoot as tight as possible to not capture the empty spaces in between (teehehehe!!! Malaysia Boleh!!)

Why do those privileged many kept it to the last minute before they land their butts on the grandstand seats? You ask them! I can only assume.....

...and my assumptions are:
(a) They have many other things to do than come early and be in under the covered area with noisy, hot & humid environment.
(b) The tickets are free, not from their wallet. So, it's not their loss. The rakyat would not mind letting go of a couple thousand RM a pax for this event. Rakyat kan mewah.
(c) Ohhh it is not rakyat's money? Duit company? Ohhh I the company would not mind wasting a couple thousand RM a pax for this event...true? If it is true then it is ok laa, wasting money is perhaps part of the main KPI for some in the company, aye? :o)

...but at least, they came, even though the race was just about to start.
The baddies among these privileged many here, would be the ones that would not come, do not come or simply just don't give a damn about it.
The worst of these privileged many would be those who brags about having the access saying they are already bored with it and the tickets are just lying somewhere....dah ler dpt free dgn duit company ke duit rakyat tak kira laa....siap riak & juah lagi, tak pergi lagi....kalau bagi kat orang lain pun ok laa ni ntah mana dicampaknya pulak tickets tu....

Things that come easy, are always naturally taken as not that valuable. Offer those seats to the hill stands fan, they'd be running to grab it.

Now in my case, I can say I have at least one similar privilege like those on the grandstands.
I get to be in the F1 Area every year taking photographs for the F1 Medical Services Marshal.
However, the privilege does not come rolling to me...I had to work or in many years and I have to maintain and also improve the level of excellence managed to set, to at least meet the expectations of the leaders.
Similar eh?
Well...if you say so.
(a) I have to be on the track weeks before the race day...and during the race week almost 12hour day...and it is all about the Army way of doing things. Very taxing but I find it pleasing because even though I am under a scorching hot sun (well, for at least couple of hours a day I get to rest & surf in the comfortable air-conditioned rooms in the center la!)
(b) I get to be in the pit and support paddock and on the MedEvac helicopters
(c) I get paid for it
(d) I am not working, just living my passion and read (c) please!) certain ways, I am more privileged than those on the grandstands...Alhamdulillah.
That is why I am there with the marshals - long before others are on the seats, long after others have gone back home.

...and I always give the expected and a bit more for the team who made me the official for the past couple of years ( and insyaAllah more years to come, Alhamduillah!). That is the least I can do to show my gratitude. Am loving it. Have always love doing in. Will always love doing it as long as I am needed to be there! :o)

The key point I am trying to say here is - we all have some privileges that we may have taken for granted. Simple one would be the privilege given by Allah to be on this earth. Oh yes, it is a it not?

In some organization pulak, some got promoted while others get the gallows, in my case dulu (duluuuu laaa, dah lama dulu, 2008/2009!!) in the end I got the gallows, the others got a big nice room as their office, car grant (belum dapat confirmation dah pukul canang nak beli Honda CR-V....hahah!! OH please! Melayu sungguh! Miskin giler!!) , dah tu mesti mau enjoy dah naik "darjat" - sibuk tayang gambar bwk family pi oversea holiday, ada yg ride on reason pi oversea courses (pergi melancong free laa, dah bodoh tu bodoh la juga hantar course 10tahun pun otak still sama punye dungu!) short - hidup mewah dgn the privileges given due to the title by the organization, orang lain yg buat kerja mcm nak gila plak yg kena tendang.
For those who did it to me, I say - Alhamdulillah. Rezki korang laa kan, kat dunia ni dgn pedajal orang yg dulu support kau & pernah jadi sahabat kau sendiri. Alhamdulillah.

I am not saying yang aku ni bagus sangat...but how many of us here place the kalimah 'Alhamdulillah' at the tip of the tongue? Susah sangat nak sebut....lagi senang nak sebut YESSSSSSS!! Kan?

So, take a step back, and re-appreciate the privileges we may have neglected. Better still, if you have a pure heart, those that not supposed to be yours, return it back to those who deserve it.

....but as far as the F1 is concerned, I am not the privileged many....
In my case, I am the privileged ONE...!! For that I have many many many times say ALHAMDULILLAH.

So, you got free grandstand ticket for next season?
:o) Alhamdulilah.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Hierarchical segregation

There are reasons why we are what we are and others are what they are. Of course, by default everybody would want to be in the very best possible position in life. However, not all are lucky and blessed enough to get everything that they wished for.
So, when we are where we are, we should be grateful for it....and be realistic about moving up to the next level of our preferred position in life just so that we don't end up being a slave to achieve our goals and forget to get the best out of our own life - living it!!!
...but of course, every single person has different interpretation to this subject, so, what I mentioned above was just what I am tuned to do or achieve. As far as I am concerned, I am on the right track.

I just could not stop from observing, analyzing and trying to understand what people around me are doing. The key of the matter that I tend to observe on this particular day is about hierarchical segregation....for instance, due to the segregation we have ranks in the Army team & commoners in the F1 Medical Services Marshals....

...and on a bigger perspective, we have the cleaners, garbage collectors, the grid girls, the policemen, the safety guards....but all are here for just one reason - to make the event a successful one.

The matter of fact is that even though there is one general goal that everybody is contributing towards achieving, how they communicate or rather intersected with one another makes that one goal become a complex menu to handle.

One incident I had to endure was when I came out to shoot some of the F1 rigs on practice run, I was stopped by the budak guard (since he's a lot more younger & smaller than me) and he started pushing me to not enter the helicopter area...instead of giving him a free lesson of Taekwondo, Aikido & some silats, I asked him politely why?
...and all he could answer was his boss said nobody is allowed to be there...
Couple of minutes later, the boss came and started telling me the rules and all, I listened and obeyed because I am just too tired in life to argue with people who are supposedly just to be doing their job but turned out to be a power-crazy bastards who thinks they rule the world just because they have the title on their tag...duh!

....and the next day I asked the senior pak guard the permission to enter the helicopter pad to do group photo for the medical marshal....he was quite responsive but still...that sense of "I have the power" is just too obvious when he asked me about my presence there with no tabard - I told him FIA & SIC did not manage to provide enough for all the personnel, so I have none.

A cocky answer from him was that he was told that there are surpluses of polite answer to him was - I am not in the position to know but if there are surpluses we sure could do with some for our officers!

The next thing I knew, rupa-rupanya that big bos of security yg perasan he owns the circuit sudah kenaaa kaw-kaw dgn the Datuks & Generals of the Army team the day before, because he stubbornly (and very very stupidly) did not allow the Army Vehicles to enter the Paddock area without proper designated sticker.

Obviously the guy is a pure newbie amateur in this arena...during F1, anything attached to wheels with Z as the plate number, is never to be stopped by anybody!

Keyword mentioned above - One Goal.

If the Medical Marshall are being order to leave the track by the Generals......F1 will not, in this scenario, who's the one in power here?

The truth - NOBODY is!!! We are all supposed to be working as a team!

At the end of the day, the people who made all the fuss had to just see me walk to the helicopters and do my stuff. Some even had to salute me as I pass them in a Perdana with Z plate number....and yet as I pass them I still say - terima kasih Encik to them, with a smile.

Then comes the grid girls. Oh yeah, many perverts are openly displaying their "good behavior" when the girls set foot on the F1 area...but to me, they are only worth to be photographed as what I have presented here.....pretty, not really, smart, hmmm you must be kidding....knowledge about F1...well, go and ask the general semuanya terlebih berlagak, just because they have the brand of a green oil drop on their boobies and arsses...padahal semua tu duit siapa? Duit rakyat juga asalnya. Nak berlagak over-over buat apa?

For them to think that they should have the access to the Medical Center's exclusive areas (especially the toilets lah!) because they are the "pretty queens" for the event, was a huge mistake. The Datuks & Generals directly asked them to use the portable toilet provided by them next to their tent! Buahahaah!! The reason was too simple - they have totally misbehaved in many ways - it is a medical center and the access is on business / emergency related to medical matters...but they used it to smoke, layan lepak, took photoas at the area where I was asked to moved by the guards (pak guard takut betina ke? Teeheheh!!!) and etc etc....

As a human being I pity them but too bad...sebab berlagak sangat and the committee lady pun sangatlah eksyen, rasakan...wrong place, wrong people to mess with, beeyatch!

You think that green oil drop logo is so powerful? Think is not the company of bapak kau laa!!

I am not gonna get involved in the circus, the circus continues, I am just here to do my job and it is almost completed....observing the circus around me is just part of the deal that comes free with the package I guess...heheh!

At the end of the day, maybe we still need to have the hierarchical segregation to a certain extent but how we treat each other should always be based on certain acceptable level tolerance and as humans we should always be polite to each other.

You'll never know, maybe the person you pushed around today might actually be the one you have to salute as he comes to your area, soon after.

If it is black, it is black such thing as the new black.
Those are for wannabe.
~ on Symbian mobile device

Journey to success, least travelled by some too many

Sometimes we may think that we have so many things to do, yet we have so little time and energy. What will make the difference would be the priority we put to specific items.

On the bigger perspective of life, how we decide to really live the one and only life we have might set us apart from many others people around us.

Success is a matter of comparison. One's success might not happen without another one's failure. How one plays the game would set him/ her persona from the rest.

Why am I babbling all the above?

No particular reason. It is just that I have been observing how many treats me as a photographer. It just amazes me. Maybe it is just too difficult for them to comprehend. Maybe they just could not have the guts to think deeply enough and understand it. Maybe.

Anyway, what others may comprehend do not matter at all to me. As the saying goes - There is only one way. Forward. Sure, it has always been forward, the way....really? Sampai melingkup pun tak apa asalkan forward? Heheh! :o)

So, if people say the only way is forward, I don't quite agree...but success, well that's more like it. A focus...but anyway I am not going to argue about it....

Sometimes it takes more than a big heart to make that move.
Sometimes even a big heart have grudges and to the very extreme - dendam tak sudah.
Sometimes it is easier for many to generalize matters and advise some without really understanding how it feels to be in the other person's shoes.
...but to each, his own. People can say what they want, people can compare what they want...but in the end, life is not a competition - well at least not for me!

So, how's your journey so far?

Thursday, April 01, 2010

The Good Doc

Dr Gary Hartstein, FIA Official, Medical Rescue Marshall.
"You have given us very good photographs"
~ on Symbian mobile device