Thursday, July 5, 2018

Enemy of my enemy...

I was once labelled a hypocrite by my neighbor... but he said it in Malay/Arabic, making it sound really bad... He called me a Munafiq. I was angered of course, at first, but then, upon reflection, he may have a case.

It all started a few thousand years ago when God created man, and gave him this instinct to become communal. And, being human, even in the smallest of societies, there would be differences in opinion, creating a divide between those who would become loyal followers to one side or another. Although, God has made the universe colorful, our minds (or, perhaps, more appropriately, our hearts) want to see only black or white, good or bad, innocent or guilty.... man or woman (that topic will be for another day).

There are less than 200 houses in my neighborhood. And, I for one, feel that we do not belong here. But, here we are, and as much as I like to not be partisan to one side or another, I cannot help but feel aggrieved by those who are reluctant to contribute their time and/or money for the common good of the residence.

And on the other hand, I do have a bias for those who seem to take upon themselves to ensure the security of our neighborhood. This neighbor arranged for the construction of the parameter fencing and our security check point and the appointed the security guard to man the check point and patrol our neighbor hood. There was rife accusation that this neighbor takes a cut from the contributions made by the residence for the work done, but, my argument is, if you can do a better job... then you do it, and go ahead take some compensation for yourself... I am just glad that someone else is doing it.... I am a lazy bum.

The person who called me a hypocrite, let's call him Mr. X, began connecting with me when one day, I told the person who was managing the fencing construction (lets call him, Mr. Y), that I do not agree to increase the number of guards, which will result in the increase of our monthly security fees. We are already fenced in, and we have only one entry and exit point, I argued that perhaps we, due to the many reports of break-ins at other precincts, have become paranoid. Mr. X, out of the blue sent a personal message to me saying that he's so glad that I did not agree with Mr. Y, with whom, I later learned, he is not on good terms with.

Mr. X even asked me out for a teh tarik, and we sat as he talked about his problems with his immediate neighbor, and also a few others, including Mr. Y.

A few days after that, he must have seen me going into his immediate neighbor's house, for a meeting to organize a get-together. My wife and I was tasked to organize the event, and we reluctantly agreed so as not to be accused of not doing anything for the neighborhood.

To add to that, somebody copied Mr. X a text I wrote which said that I hate dealing with idiots, referring to those freeloaders who ride on the generosities of others, those who did not pay for the fences and the security guards, but shamelessly stay in this neighborhood....

That was when I got an email, in capital letters that telling me that I am a "talam dua muka", a munafiq.

So, now, I am no longer accepted by this left wing group of my neighborhood. Even the nice lady who would stop by our house regularly have totally stopped greeting my wife and I. Where once I was seen as an enemy of his enemy, I am now a friend of his enemy. And, thus, his friends decided I am no longer their friend.

A neutral person is a hypocrite. Loyalty to one side, matters more than actual facts. You are either with us or against us. There is nothing in between. That's just the way it is...

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Waiting for Humans to Evolve

I hate performance appraisal and bonus payment season. Because I hate dealing with humans. Humans have this tendency to think that they are better than others, when others think they are useless. Every year, during this time, someone will come to see me and ask why his/her rating is low when "I have done my work".

I will then have to tell them "We need more from you."

They will say, "then tell me what to do!"


I have been reading this book by a gay Israeli atheistic professor who theorises that there will not be the end of the world, but humans will be extinct (just like the Neanderthals and Homo Erectus) and replaced by another species he calls Home Deus. Sounds like stuff of science fiction, but his arguments are quite compelling.

Anyway, right now, I am wishing that he is right. I wish that humans would reflect on themselves first and ask the question, "why am I the only one complaining?", before charging into my room and accuse me of denying them of their entitlement.

At the end of our "discussion", I was warned (nicely and indirectly) that the wrath of God will be upon me, since I have restricted the "rezeki" that is coming to them. I admit that I am at once, flattered and repentant. Flattered because I did not know that I have the super power to deflect God's will. Repentant, because these humans do not see the blasphemy in their remarks.

Of course, this empowerment they have given me, came after I have rebutted all their arguments and they have no more riposte, other than to condemn me to hell.

The gay Israeli atheistic professor, too, maybe bound for Hell as one who does not believe in God, a homosexual, and an illegal occupant of  Palestine, but for me (for now, at least), his Homo Deus species cannot come soon enough... because, I don't think I want to go through this again, next year.

May Allah forgive me.


Saturday, April 7, 2018

Pay Now, Play Later or; Play now, Pay Later....

Sometimes you want to say something to someone, but you stop yourself, because you don't want to hurt that person's feeling. But, most of the time when this happens, everyone will agree, that the person that hurt the most is you.

It's not easy to draw the line, to make a check list of whether you should just tell that person off, or you just keep things to yourself. Although, from my own experience those who speak their minds, usually are the less stressful people.

I was not brought up to be confrontational, thus, all my life, I let the more outspoken people have their way. I have successfully convinced and trained myself to accept things as they are, and told myself time and again, that it doesn't matter if that person got their way, I will just get on with mine.

But it really doesn't work that way. Everything that happened or you let happen will one day come back and bite you. So you can't be lazy. If you are lazy today, you will probably end up having to mop up the mess later. Or you can get off your ass now, get the things you hate to do now, you can forget about it tomorrow and go on with the next things in life.

Now that I am older, maybe I can tell people off, and they will say that I am just a cranky old man, and won't take offense of what I say. Little do they know, I am really trying to right the wrongs I was too lazy to do something about, sometime ago in my past.

"Some people look through the eyes of the old, before they ever get a look at the young..." Billy Joel - Innocent Man.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Kain Pelikat & Pagoda T

I have decided a long time ago that I will live a stress free life. After almost two decades in the construction business, my current job which I held since 2006, has been a dream.

Although, just the bean counter, as one Australian Engineer called me, my stint in the construction industry had me stretched both ways, by the demands of payments by the subcontractors and suppliers, and begging for payments from clients and employers.

Since 2006, I have further evolved to become even more stress intolerant. So much so, that when my current employer is now asking for attendance for our annual dinner, I had the inclination to tick the "not attending" box. My excuse, it will be on a Saturday night, and I am to dress up in the prevailing theme and I will have leave the comfort of my home in Shah Alam and drive all the way into the very heart of Kuala Lumpur... Like I have been doing, almost daily, for the last decade.

My perfect weekend will be waking up for the dawn prayer, and then crawl back into bed until the sun shines through my bedroom window and starts warming up bedroom above non-sweating temperature. Also, by then, those pesky birds would start making a commotion with their chirping and squawking outside my window. Thereafter, I would stumble down to the kitchen, finding my wife diligently doing something (if I am lucky, it will be breakfast, if not she would be starting lunch, or just cleaning up, and lunch will be on me...).  After making myself a hearty breakfast of sunnyside egg sandwich and Ali Cafe with ginseng and tongkat ali, still in my kain pelikat and pagoda T-shirt, I go back up stairs, and plop into our reclining sofa and watch whatever that I may have the slightest of interest on TV, like a bunch of people forging a weapon, or some people bidding for abandoned self-storage facilities, or if I am lucky , some old movies that I have seen a couple of hundred times before.

At some point, I may possibly fall asleep, until my darling wife calls me down for lunch or wakes me up and say say lets go out for lunch. I prefer the former, of course, not willing to get out of my weekend attire of pelikat and pagoda T.  Lunch is followed by the compulsory afternoon siesta.

Into the night, and I await the start of the weekend football, or when there aren't any football, any sport event will do, tennis, badminton, Formula One maybe, Ping Pong captures my attention sometimes... anything competitive to make up for my dormancy.

And to think I will have to give all these up, just for a few hours of mingling with my bosses, colleagues and staff, entertained my a local artist, eat a five-star dinner.... Are they out of their minds...

But, alas, I have to say "yes, I will attend" just for the sake of humanity (staying in touch with other humans) and, also, my boss expects me to be there.

Now I have to shop for a Hawaiian Shirt.


Sunday, December 24, 2017

Annual Year End Rant...

Here we are at the end of another year. I have lived long enough to no longer expect the so-called new year brings new hope. New year's day is a holiday celebrated by everyone on earth no matter what race or religion they are. Perhaps, for that few minutes or seconds before and after 12 midnight, we, or at least the majority of the citizens of earth, are one. Then, at 8 am on 2 January, we get down to doing the same thing we did before we go on our year end holidays. For a fleeting moment we live in a fantasy, living the life we dream of and still earn a decent salary, before, the work week start again, schools are opened, and we are at the top of the ride again, spiraling down into the abyss we call life.

That is, until we retire. For some, retirement seems like paradise. After the long hard life that, the promise of days of doing things because you want to, not because you have to, is the highest level of living on this earth to be achieved. Then, after a while we find out, that we need to have some motivation to push us to do the things we want to do. Suddenly, life loses all its meanings. Many turn to God, spend time at mosques, re-learning the Quran, listen to talks and sermons of the best ulamaks. Well and fine to prepare oneself for the afterlife.... it's just that we're not dead yet.

Some of us are still (relatively) physically healthy, we can still think rationally, and we have so much experience and knowledge of the world that we can (if we wish to) impart to the new generations. Except that, most of our knowledge is obsolete. Or, totally useless, at least in the present world of smart things.

Going back to our daily grind, as we start a so-called new year, we are becoming more relying on technologies we don't understand. We imagine that we are the masters of this technologies because we can command it, by a press of a button, or the swipe of the screen, to do our bidding. But, we don't understand how they work. We only know that we need to do something simple and a bunch of invisible algorithms in a device that we can carry with one hand, do all the work, then, in a literal blink of an eye, we get the result. Slow devices that takes too long to process our request are reviled and replaced. Too long could be about 20 seconds or more.

Little babies can use these devices with ease. Give them one of this smart things, and they will leave you alone for hours. And, some parents actually clap their hands in glee to see their cute little off-springs poke their cute little fingers on the screen. Little do they realize that the little baby, with its limited knowledge and zero life experience, is able to do the same commands that we adults do. Who needs brains.

That is our future, that is what we will be. The machines are taking over. The servants are slowly rising to become our masters.

Look out for a man with Austrian accent demanding to see Sarah Connor. 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Why I hate pets

Today, my son, Aiman, accidentally stepped on our pet hamster, Bucky. The late Bucky was brought home by my elder son, Afiq, not more than a year ago. Bucky was a winter hamster. That's why Afiq named her Bucky (before confirming Bucky is a she) after Captain America's nemesis and best friend, James Buchanan (Bucky) Barnes a.k.a, the Winter Soldier. This is the fourth pet we had to bury, (if you count the five or six Koi Fish as one since they all died together when the aeration pump stopped overnight). I felt sad every time we lose a pet. 

That's why I hate them. I get attached to things (dead or alive) easily. I guess I am insecure that way.

When I was young, some one gave me a balloon, the first one with helium in it... just like the ones on TV. I loved it so much... I had it tied to my wrist for the whole day. Then, while sitting on the sofa watching TV, the string must have come loose, and the balloon floated up.... toward the spinning ceiling fan. By some miracle, it did not pop, and floated away after being hit by one of the fan blades. But, for me it was a traumatic incident. I watched in utter horror while the stupid innocent balloon rose up to the merciless menacing blades, destined to certain doom and oblivion. I cried my eyes out, my brother-in-law looked on, unbelievably and with ridicule, while my sister (Kak Besah) comforted and hugged me to her breasts, saying it's OK, it's OK.

Before that I had a cat, whom I called Lassie, after the famous TV dog Lassie, not knowing that Lassie was a girl dog and that my cat is a male. The cat looked nothing like Lassie the dog. It was white with a couple of black patches and a short tail. One day I heard a commotion outside, and saw Lassie the cat writhing on the ground for what seemed to be a long while before he became quiet an died. He was run over by (I think) father as he was reversing out of our garage.

These traumatic incidences have sworn me off having pets. I hate having pets because they die.

The last one that made me cry was our rabbit Nibbles, when he died in June 2016...

Today, it's Bucky's time.... I will miss her...


Saturday, October 7, 2017

The Perfect Day

What is your perfect day?
Asked the motivator
I look at him and smile
A perfect day is when
I created something
A drawing of anything
A pattern on a piece of white paper
A paragraph of my thoughts
Add another chapter in my unfinished novel
Typing in my blog about random things in my head
Lazing around doing nothing
But, to the motivator I actually said
Achieving what I was set out to achieve...
Corporate objectives and KPIs,
Meet my deadlines, and perform the best for my masters.
That is really my normal day...