Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Once upon their own time….

In my younger younger years, I have always wanted a BMX. In the end I got a Raleigh Power from my parents as a gift for being the top student (again...) in my primary year 3.
Then, for being the first batch of 3r Formers to be appointed as prefects, I get to ride a classic 7-Up bike which I posted from Segamat (borrowed it from my cousin), the bike is still in Kuala Kangsar....I hope so!
When I was in my 3rd year doing Bachelor in Business Admin., I was selected to join a zany-bunch of brothers to tour Peninsular Malaysia-Southern Thailand on sponsored Raleigh roadies. The program was called Kayuh Bakti.
I bought my first FS rig when I started working and now I have a Proton T-Bolt FS rig (as mentioned in some earlier posts in my blog).
Recently, when I started to talk to iLuvIslam.com buddies, we started CycleForCharity program. InsyaAllah it the near future we'll be doing more of the program but for now, I just want to share some experience over the program we did....

"Allah meluaskan rezeki dan menyempitkannya bg siapa yg Dia kehendaki.
Mereka bergembira dengan kehidupan di dunia, padahal kehidupan dunia itu(dibanding dengan) kehidupan akhirat, hanyalah kesenangan (yang sedikit)"

On 2011.02.15, the first CycleForCharity (CFC) by iLuvIslam.com & CHAPTERSimages was done.

It was just a short distance cycle to Pusat Jagaan Siti Nur Aini, Kajang, Selangor Darul Ehsan. Uphill all the way from Kajang town to the area. When we arrived we were surprised to see what's been prepared by Saudara Abdullah Noel, the host. MasyaAllah….we were welcomed and treated like close friends.

Saudara Abdullah Noel, aged 38 years old, dedicated his life to take care of the old folks at the center - named after his beloved wife - which he himself established in 2009. The daily routines is done by his family with the help of only one helper from India.

He's a convert and together with him, his 5 family members - youngest would be Musa, a 3 months old adopted child since 3 days old - embraced Islam as their religion and they have been giving all their love and time to all in the center.

Located in Taman Maju, Kajang Selangor, the center needs about RM15k on monthly basis to keep on surviving. Bulk of the expenditure is for foods and perishables. Alhamdulillah, even though he is just a taxi driver, somehow Saudara Abdullah Noel managed to keep the center surviving thus far.

Their strength and determination to continue providing the best they could afford for the center, is something that we all should salute.

The old folks have a lot to tell. The story of their life, what they were, why they are there, what is to become of them...
When I ask the cycling buddies to ask their group who'd want to join the program, I managed to get about 10 or so saying they would be joining us on that day.
However, we can only plan, Allah knows what's best for us.
On that day only Syed Shaharudin was there to cycle with me to the old folks' center. Alhamdulillah, two is more than just one! :o)

What matters most is we were there to fulfill our promise and to start off something that we hope would bring good to the society - the ones in the center and the participants - physically and internally. What we experienced - the time spent with them - is something that we'd treasure for as long as time exist.

When I started to photograph the event and the old folks, I start to appreciate more what good a DSLR could do to my innerself (and hopefully to those who viewed my shots, insyaAllah). Composing, anticipating the moment, my mind could not stop from thinking and asking.

*Why are they here?
*Who are their family members?
*Do they have family member?
*Where are their family members?
*What's going on in their mind and hearts as they see many young and healthy people visiting them and none of which is their family member?
*Is there any sign of happiness in their heart at all after being sent to this place?
*How would I feel if I am to be like them?
*Are they just waiting for their time and have nothing left to look forward to other that meeting Allah in the end?

MasyaAllah. Too many questions that are going on inside my mind.
...and as always, when I shoot for this kind of event, I will shed tears and have to take a quick break to refocus on my intent and quietly telling myself to be strong and be connected to the subjects. Not an easy thing to do, capturing emotion of others instead of just mug shots.
"Many can make beautiful shots but to make a meaningful shot, that is a different discipline altogether...only driven by sheer purpose and intent." (my own quote lah!).

...Alhamdulillah, the event went well. We were there for a good three hours and insyAllah we will do more for the old folks in the future...insyaAllah..

With a heavy heart and a bag of questions in my mind, I left the place with my good buddy Syed Shaharuddin.....

The old folks rely on each other to face the mundane everyday routine....nothing much for them to do, at that age, in a house with minimal facilities and fund....but yet they still brave their weak bodies, perhaps containing their last bastion of strong will, waiting for their time and silently hoping for some spur of happiness - the moment for their loved one to pay them a visit, maybe today, or tomorrow, or next month...perhaps...

From the bottom of my heart, I can just say a small doa for them....

Allah, be kind to your servants in the center and everywhere else. Please give them strength to continue living the rest of their days.
Please open the hearts of many out here to realize that there is more to life than just being enveloped with their daily busy schedule and reaping all the wealth that they may not be able to use in the end...
Let them be kind enough to contribute what they may for the old folks...

for You, Allah, is the most Gracious and Kind, Please Allah.

Once upon our time, we were loved by our parents.
Once upon our time, we love our little ones….

Please, if you have the heart, pay them a visit, spend some time with them…because they have their stories to share with you, once upon their own time….

~Khairil Faizi Jamian/CHAPTERSimages, MY.

Pusat Jagaan Siti Nor Aini
CIMB Islamic Bank Berhad
Account Number: 1267-0000233-10-1

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Just Papers

Oddly enough, I find writing - in my blog, my monologue notes or whatever - has been an extremely difficult thing to do. I don't know why but I do know I have to get moving and make it a casual thing like it used to. There are many reasons (or some may classify it as excuses) to this but all that matters for me now is I HAVE TO START AGAIN, NOW!! :o)


Flood. Segamat. We made our journey back just in time before the peak of the worst. First experience to be trapped in my own hometown and guess what....I turned it into an opportunity and achieved something I have always wanted to achieve ...get a shot published on the front page of the mainstream newspapers in Malaysia.

..and miracles do exist in this sickened world....Alhamdulillah.
Ian Ahmad took some and made it on BH online.
Got a message from BERNAMA, sent some shots...and the next day I received many sms, PM etc congratulating me on the published shots...even BERNAMA informed aboit my shots making the front pages of the newspapers.....the thing is I was in Segamat so I cannot see it because no newspaper were available!!! :o)

...but what I would mark as the main achievement is the one that appeared on The Star - 2011.02.01. Alhamdulillah. Another target achieved.

What else to achieve? Well...just keep moving on! :o)