Tuesday, August 30, 2005

My Convocation

It is now 12.27 a.m. on a Tuesday morning. It has been more than a week since my convocation and only now do I think that I’m in the right frame of mind to write something about it. Strange, but true. Actually I had written something about it. A meticulous one and I stopped halfway through because, apart from myself, I think I’ll bore everyone who’ll read it. So I decided to take a warm shower, change into fresh clothes and conjure a fresh one with the blinking lights of the Twin Towers in the background to my right as my companion.

First up – the tie. Oh yes, the tie. The truly exquisite Armani tie and yes, I bought it. It’s hanging nicely in my closet, unsure the next time it will don my neck. Something I could only come to grip of owning in the last few days. Something which I thought, initially I could get for less than RM300 when I first came into the store. Then, imagine my surprise when I was told after discount, I could get a tie at RM345. yippee-ka-yay motherfucker. But what I didn’t realize was that the discounts were not valid for the new arrivals. And guess what? The tie I chose was the new arrivals line. And imagine my fucking horror when at the counter, while wrapping the merchandise, the sales lady asked RM499 of my money. By then it was too late to back out. I had no choice but to pay. Either that or the most humiliating and embarrassing moment of my life. Thankfully, I had enough cash on me. But horrifyingly, I was now RM150 short for the trip back to UTP. And there goes the budget for my pocket squares. Yet, somehow I managed to scrape through the weekend roughly unscathed. It was tough, but I survived.

As for the convocation, well, it was basically awesome. The dress rehearsal was incredibly boring as expected, but necessary I suppose. But it did give me a chance to catch up with some of my pretty lady friends during break. A giggle or two can take your mind off the tasteless food.

The convocation dinner was excellent, apart from the fact that it was held at the most uninspiring of places – the aging main hall. The food was fantastic. And I could tell it was an expensive course. Not as the one at Sudu but reasonably satisfying. But I still despise the fact that I had to wear baju batik for the dinner. It made me feel old. As if I’m a 30-year-old man with a wife and two children. Who thought up of this dress code anyway? Such preposterousness. But I finally managed to get a proper photo shoot with the gebu Sodes. It wasn’t exactly the cover of Vogue but it’ll do. And also I get to mingle with the elusive ‘pipi-pink’, and she even gave me a red rose. Aww ain’t that sweet? But I did miss UTP’s own Malaysian Idol. What’s her name again? Farah, I think. I’m not really a fan, just in for the bragging rights. But you should check out how high the slit of her skirt went. Very tantalizing.

As for the convocation. Oh the convocation. You know, someone actually stole my mortar board while we were forming the line for the procession into the hall. Some Malaysians, I tell you. I mati-mati ingat I left mine in my car, which was 15 minutes walk away. I went lah! Berpeluh beb. Trudging along feeling really upset just like Anakin Skywalker with the robe and all. Then after I came back to my spot, nearly half an hour later of hopeless search, there it was, elok-elok atas seat batu, betul-betul 30cm from where I left it. Nasib baik si bangang tu realize silap die. Kalau tak mampus aku. But I still asked around just to be sure. Pas 2 , 3 orang tak ngaku, ape lagi? Sambar je la, letak atas kepala, masuk line, diri diam-diam.

But when the procession finally gets underway I was already feeling tired because I had been standing for nearly two hours. Not to mention without food and water. It was nothing less than a torture but all in the name of creating a good impression. Oh fuck it. As if that wasn’t enough, I had to wait further longer until everyone was properly seated inside the hall. First it was the 500+ graduates, then the lecturers, the senate, the board of directors and finally the Chancellor and Pro-Chancellor. I was bored to death even before the party started. Oh did I mention my programme was the last to go on stage? That’s right. Of all 6 programmes, IT was the last to go up. I had to watch more than 500 people go on stage and receiving their degrees before it was my turn. Agonizing? Oh you don’t know the meaning of that. But when it did came, oh God, it was truly awesome. For that brief moment in time, for that few seconds on stage, I was the moment. The center of attention was me. It was me, the Tun and 2000 pair of eyes. When I walked up to him, time froze. “Congratulations,” the Tun said with a smile. It was truly an honor. A great man like him to personally congratulate me was something truly special. It only lasted for a few seconds but man, will I ever cherish that moment. Then it was the valedictorian award and I dozed off during Tun’s speech, alongside Hadi who was already slightly snoring beside me. Then it was the procession leading out and then, it was over. Well, not quite. Only the official function was over.

So supposedly I was to meet my parents outside the hall but as luck would have had it, during my brief journey out of the hall, I somehow managed to become the photographer for, not one, but two family photos. One for Hadi and one for Regina Hayati. You shameless people, how dare you make me jadi tukang amik gamba. But I did get a congratulatory shake from the man, Mr. Rahiman. Wow…I once gotten a ‘thank you’ from Tan Sri Hassan, then a ‘congratulations’ from Tun Mahathir, I guess another congratulations from a PDB head honcho would be another one for the book.

Then I took some family photos and it was good. Apart from the hot weather and I was in a three-layer suit which, inevitably, made me sweat like a pig. But the family meeting was short as they had to head home. To prepare for the trip to Kinabalu the next day and oh boy, do I have a story to tell about that one. But after the family went home I went straight back to the vicinity of the hall, in the hope of catching some of my friends for some memorable photo shoot. But to my disappointment, they weren’t any. I waited and I waited and I did manage to get a few with Irwan, Wakju, Apau, Zalina and Jes but other than that, no one. I was hoping for at least a photo with some of the IT/IS misfit boys but that too didn’t materialized. And the one girl that I really wanted to take a picture with was Aritha, but she too went lesap entah ke mana. Yes, you lah, Aritha! I searched high-low for you but never be to be found. Now I wonder why I even bother. Maybe I should’ve called you but as if that would’ve made any difference.
Anyway, overall, everything went well. Except the regrettably finale part of the photo shoot that never happened. Even for the mortar-board-tossing session was only held between me and Hadi. But it was just a small occasion. Our mortars just went spinning only a few centimeters in front of our noses. And we shouted a light ‘yippee!’.

I guess that’s it. Oh yeah I forgot to mention I saw Siti Nabilah on Friday. But just ‘saw’, not ‘meet’. Only just that once. But oh goodness me, she is still as cute and beautiful as I last remember her. Too bad she already has this obnoxious and pompous boyfriend. Frakk!! But anyhow, I was too busy with my helium filled balloon. I spent two-ringgit on the balloon, you know. Pantek nye expensive. But I always wanted to try what Matthew Perry did and sound like the mice in Babe so I paid for it. And it worked! It really worked! After a few inhalations, my voice turned chipmunk-like. I had so much fun I laughed ‘till I cried. But sadly, the effect only lasted for a few seconds so before I knew it, I already ran out of helium. My two-ringgit just gone like that. But it was so much worth it.

Next we’ll be talking about my explorace adventure en route to Kota Kinabalu and why it reminded me of Steve Martin and John Candy.

Until then, I’m now an official UTP graduate. Woo hoo! That is, until I received my official transcript which UTP promised to post. But knowing UTP, I’m guessing it’ll only arrive here right before Raya. Cheers.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Surprising Myself

When the concierge Michael J. Fox chose Gabrielle Anwar over Anthony Higgins’ 3 million dollars, he chose love over money. I think I’m about to do the same.

I’m going for the Armani. Only a few hours before departure time have only I’ve decided to go for love, rather than money. I can’t believe I just said that.

I’m supposed to leave right now but goodness, it’s been raining heavily outside. I’d like to say cats and dogs but looks more like dinosaurs to me. Driving in these conditions would be rather pointless. Not to mention hazardous. I just hope it’ll stop soon because I can’t be leaving too late, I have to stop at Giorgio Armani first. Wow, now that’s something you don’t say too often.

While it’s raining outside I find myself watching Rebel Without A Cause. Yes, the James Dean classic. Funny thing is, I always picture James Dean as this definition of machismo and coolness of the 50’s. Somewhat a serious version of Fonzie. So I watched Rebel with much intrigue and for the first time ever, I heard Dean speak. And it was such a disappointment.

It reminds me the time when I first heard David Beckham spoke. Yeah sure, he has this THE haircut look and girls all over the world swoon over him but his voice, oh man, his voice sounds like an 11-year-old kid from next door ordering ice cream. Same thing with James Dean. But with his so-called bad boy image he sounded more like a brat.

Okay, maybe I’m being pre-judgmental here to diss such an ‘iconic’ figure. Maybe I should watch more James Dean movies before I can pass further judgment but as of right now, I couldn’t see the big deal behind the man. I can’t believe I’m going to say this but I’ll give higher marks to Brad Pitt as far as this thing is concerned.

Ahh I can hear the birds chirping. A good sign that the rain is stopping. I better get a move on. I wonder when the next I’ll be updating It’s a Guy Thing, because I’ll be leaving for Kota Kinabalu Monday morning for a good ol’ vacation. Oh if only life is always this good. Well, off to UTP.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Yester years, revisited

I would like to say that I could see KL today because the haze has finally cleared up but I couldn’t because the city has once again gone AWOL. Is the haze back again? I couldn’t tell. I hope not. It certainly doesn’t smell like it.

Anyway, I have some bad news. My final year roommate at UTP, Tomok is warded at the hospital. And it is almost certain he will miss this weekend’s convocation ceremony. Poor guy. I feel bad for him. I actually went with him to pick up his tailored suit recently. As it seems, it will continue to remain in his closet for the time being. Great things are supposed to happen this weekend. His absence will leave a bitter taste for everyone involved. He has a heart infection and from what I’ve heard, he’s going to be there for quite a while. Maybe months. I could only imagine his frustration and anguish. But it’s a good thing that he never lost his sense of humor, even in his current condition. The first words he said to me when I saw him at the hospital was, “futsal, futsal …” That was on a Friday, the day when we usually have our futsal outing. Well, I can only pray for him, give moral encouragement and wish him well.

To other news…

I made a trip down to memory lane yesterday. I went back to school. Yes, the Alma Mater. SAS. Well, it wasn’t a full on nostalgic trip because it resides at its new location at Putrajaya now. Nevertheless, there were still some familiar looking teachers around. Although none of them remembered my name or which batch I was with but they instinctively knew I am an ex-boy. Kinda weird, isn’t it? I guess there’s some aura that ex-boys project whenever they return to the school compound that’s easily identifiable by the teachers. Anyway the new school looks incredibly organized and proper. Sadly though, I could only see so many geek-looking kids compared to the cool ones. But some things never change. You see, I had a definite objective returning to school. I was looking to add a SAS tie clip to my ensemble. A touch of nostalgic. But, as the same during my heydays, the co-op only opens when they want to open it. And yesterday was a day when decided NOT to open it. Unlucky me. So many years on and my own school still find ways to disappoint me.

Tomorrow will be the trip back to Tronoh. Nearly a cool 8 months after I kiss its sorry ass goodbye. But somehow it feels sort of strange. I’m half excited and half, resentment, I suppose? Part of me says, “Oh yeah, it’s gonna a whole lotta fun!” and a part of it just goes, “Ha? Tronoh again ah?” But one thing I do hope though is to see Siti Nabilah again. Oh yes, Siti Nabilah. She has a boyfriend but who cares? Just a glimpse would be enough to make me happy. I wonder why am I so obsessed with her? Probably because she represents this unattainable height of fantasy for me. A girl that is out of my league, as I once confessed. She represents hope. Pleasure disappoints, possibility never.

I wonder what I’ll be looking forward to come Monday, once the epitome has passed. And I still haven’t answered the love or money question. Oh decisions, decisions…

Thursday, August 11, 2005

An Evening with Dian

Sepenuhnya aku ingin memelukmu
Mendekap penuh harapan
Tuk mencintaimu
Setulusnya aku akan terus menunggu
Menanti sebuah jawaban
Tuk memilikimu

That’s the chorus of the song Menanti Sebuah Jawaban from Indonesian band Padi. The theme song for the film Ungu Violet. It is also the song being played over and over again on my PC while I’m conjuring up this blog entry. For the full translation in English, you can visit Ity Nadira’s Blog, under the blog title, coyly renamed Waiting for an Answer.

Now, why am I doing this? You might ask. Well, the reason is, yesterday I managed to meet the stars of the film Ungu Violet, Dian and Rizky, and it was strangely awesome. Although I know it’s a tad cheesy to start off with the words of the theme song but what the hell.

It was announced that they (Dian and Rizky) would be at TGV at around 6.30pm. Well, they weren’t. Surprise, surprise, eh? Following my gut instinct, I chilled elsewhere and only made my way after 7. And yet, when I arrived, I was still early. They came at 7.30. One bloody hour later. These marketing people, I tell you, so annoying. But they get you every time, because once the stars appeared, you forget all the bullshit that was running before. So, a little bit of advice, when you decide to see a celebrity make a public appearance, be it known that they will only arrive one hour later than the promised time. Being “fashionably late” as they would call it. So find something to do in the meantime. Unless, of course, you wouldn’t mind going through the hassle just to get good seats (or good standing positions in most cases).

So there I was, no exception, because once Dian showed up, I was star-strucked. Almost forgetting that I was standing for almost half an hour, listening to Mazlan of Senario making not-so-funny jokes. At first I thought getting a first hand look Dian would be enough for me. I thought of taking some pictures but my brother took the digicam along with him to Genting, so sorry people, no pics of Dian I’m afraid. But then an opportunity did come to me in getting their autographs. I was reluctant at first, seeing all the people crowding up to see the stars but once again, what the hell. So I joined the ‘moshpit’ and it was probably the first time my arms brushed against so many bosoms and my hands against so many tushes at one time. I was squashed by hordes of teenage girls, apparently diehard fans of Indonesian films. Good thing I was slightly taller than most of them which allowed me sufficient breathing space. But, finally, I managed to get their autographs. Plus, I shook the hand of Dian as well. So, hooray for me! And what a beautiful and breath-taking smile she has.

To tell you truth, Dian did not strike to me as a hot-looking actress. I presume that behind all that make up, glam and pizzazz, should I bump into her alongside Lot 10, I couldn’t tell that she is this hugely popular Indonesian filmstar because she would look like every other Malay girl. Unless though she greets me with a “Selamat sore,” then I would know that she’s at least Indonesian.

So here I am, with two signed Ungu Violet postcards (a red one from Dian, and a blue one from Rizky) and that sensation feeling at the touch of Dian’s hand, though she did had a marker in hand which made it less dramatic. You’d probably asking why am I talking so much about Dian and not so about the hero, Rizky. Well, that’s simple, ‘cause I’m a guy. Of course I’m much more interested in the leading lady. But I guess Rizky does deserve a mention here. But unlike Dian, Rizky has some distinct features which would make him recognizable alongside Jalan Bukit Bintang. The dude got some thick eyebrows. So should I see him between Haagen-Dazs and Dome, I would like check his eyebrows and go, “Dude, you’re Rizky!”

But that as far as it goes with my Indonesian themed trip as I had to rush home for dinner, and I barely made it thankfully. And guess where we went? Kak Long Paradise Island Café at Batu 8, Gombak. Tomok is probably having a laugh right now because I went with him the last time along with a few others and it was such a horrid experience. The ambience was better this time as I get to accommodate in one of those little wooden huts and it was quite nice. And the food also tasted surprisingly better but still not that great. I’ve tasted better. As far as I’m concerned, I still wouldn’t recommend the place to other people.

A little check out of the bedroom window and KL is still invisible. And the meteorological department has confirmed that the cause of the haze is because Rafidah’s ass is on fire. A little SMS joke I received from a friend.

I don’t have definite plans yet for today. Apart from looking at a Burmese cat having its morning stretch on top of my neighbour’s roof. And then taking a nap. That reminds so much of me.

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

MO Haze

I thought yesterday was the worst haze-looking day I’ve ever experienced in my whole life. But today, it just got worse. I could walk out onto my lawn right now and look directly at the sun with my naked eyes and wouldn’t need to squint even a bit. But that’s nothing, considering the sun is millions of miles away. I am looking through my bedroom window and guess what’s missing? The city of KL. Yesterday I could still make out the shapes of both the KL Tower and the KLCC Twin Towers but today, wow, today I lost the whole fucking city. What’s in place is just a blanket of white mist except it’s not mist. It’s haze. Unhealthy, contaminated, bad-for-your-health haze. Really makes you think twice before considering going out of your house, at all. This may be the fickle of my imagination but I think my room is beginning to smell like burning forests.

Moving on…

I ventured out again yesterday, the objective being the MO Outlet at Taman Shamelin Perkasa, and the good news is I found it. Though I must warn you, Cheras is not a pretty place to get lost in, especially during the evening rush hour. Once you missed a turn, you have to go through a lot of trouble finding a way back to that exact same spot. But I somehow managed to locate the place after nearly finding myself on the way to Kajang, and you wouldn’t believe the area it was in. It was in an industrial area. Forklifts were running about and the rear ends of trailers were parked beside the roads. It was the last place you would expect to find a store selling designer clothes, but there it was, right smack in the middle of it.

Surprisingly, not many customers were there. In fact I was the only one when I walked in. Sure enough, there were Zegnas, Hugo Bossess, Cole Haans, Furlas and Aigners and at reasonably cheaper prices too. Items retailed at Rm300, you can get at RM100+. RM4000 at RM3000+. Quite significant discounts. But there’s a catch. They are all last season’s collection. But that shouldn’t matter because, let’s be honest, Malaysians are not exactly the Elle Woods kind of types. However, one huge disappointing drawback is that there are not many choices. The store is not that big ergo the collection. For example, I was hoping to find a fine piece of tie at a reduced price but although they were Hugos, they only have it in plain. From the palest of blue to the darkest of black. And they’re all priced under RM200, which is a lot cheaper than you would get at KLCC but I was looking for something more imaginative. Aigner offered something more adventurous but they were only 10 of them, that’s it. No more. So I walked out a disappointed man. But not really heartbroken. It is still a good store. May be if I want to find something classy for office wear, I would probably return. Even the Datin of the famed Datin Diaries shop there once in a while so it couldn’t be all that bad. You are most welcome to try and visit the place yourself. After all, I am just a guy with an amateurish taste in fashion.

Ungu Violet. The latest Indonesian teen flick to come out of that country with the promise of being along the lines of Ada Apa Dengan Cinta? and Tentang Dia. The stars of Dian Sastrowardoyo and Rizky Hanggono will be having a meet-the-fans session at TGV KLCC later today (Aug 10, 6.30 – 9pm). I would very much like to go but I have a family dinner arrangement for tonight. I wonder if I could make it both. I’m beginning to regret that I didn’t go to Mid Valley yesterday where they (Dian and Rizky) had their first meet-the-fans session. Instead, I found myself at Zegna KLCC where I was spotted by the saleslady who exclaimed to her colleague, “Wow, is this the guy from last time?” I must admit, it was rather embarrassing but since she said it with a smile, I guess it was harmless. I only came last week and yet she could remember my face. Thankfully I didn’t tell her my name. Imagine the scene if I did. “Oh Mr. Faizad, back so soon? What may I help you with this time? Still undecided are we?” and then all the people in the store would be looking at me.

Oh look, I think I just lost view of Gombak as well. And for the record, the Armani still looks the best. Hugos are pretty laid back and Zegnas can be a bit tacky. Also for the record, I am not fan of Indonesian films but when someone like Dian comes and visits, the least you can do is to meet her in person.

Till next time, take care of your health everyone.

I wonder if the birds can see where they’re flying to…

Not really stylish is it? Not to mention the bad angle view

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

One Woman Men

If you happen to come across The New Straits Times last Sunday (dated 7th August, 2005), you will notice a rather peculiar headline, alongside the picture of the winner of a certain reality TV show. It read: Survey shows Malaysian guys are overwhelmingly One Woman Men. (Article can be found at the bottom of the entry)

The first time I saw it I raised an eyebrow. It was a rather amusing headline because there are so many questions that you can derive from it.

The first question is of course, why is such a finding headline news? Primarily because it’s a surprising fact. Primarily because people didn’t expect Malaysian men to be the one-woman types. I bet most of you, seeing that initially, your first reaction would be, “Really?”. It seems that all men, even Malaysians, have been generally labeled as chauvinistic pigs, even by their own countrymen. I’m not saying it’s not true but it is bad PR, with regards to our Eastern background-heritage-agenda-persona-crescendo.

The second question you need to ask is, what is the article is trying to tell you? So Malaysian guys are one woman men. So? I’ll tell you what the message they’re trying to pass (or falsely project, as you might say) is. It is never mentioned in the whole article but I’m pretty sure they are trying to tell Malaysian women that Malaysian men are a loyal, fully-committed bunch. Are they? Are we? I beg to differ. Why do you think that the title says ‘One Woman Men’ rather than ‘One Wife Men’? Sure, most of them have one wife each but does that mean they’re entirely loyal? Does it mean that they don’t have a mistress somewhere? Does it mean that the business trip to Haadyai was purely sex-free? Does it mean that there is no chance in hell that the husband will divorce the current wife in two weeks and get a younger one instead? No. They can have mistresses, be promiscuous and marry his personal secretary 20 years his junior, and can still proudly announce, “I only have one wife”. The article only tells you that most Malaysian men have only one wife at a time. Period. It did not state any conclusions. The only conclusions are made by the readers themselves, limited only by the strength of their imagination.

The third question is, what exactly IS the article is saying, anyway? Nothing. So Malaysian men normally have one wife at a time. So what? Is that something new? Is that some sort of revelation? So what if Muslims are allowed to have 4 wives? Key word is ‘allowed’, not the number 4. Sure they are allowed to have 4 wives, but only if they can afford it. Spiritually, financially, sexually, morally, ethically, among others. If you can’t, why bother? If only sex you are looking for, well, Jln Bukit Bintang is all yours during the weekends at night. But if you want legal sex at the price of having to provide everything a proper wife needs, than by all means, go ahead. After all, we are guys. We only think about sex 23 hours a day.

Now let’s take a look at the so-called case studies mentioned in the article. The one-wife men: one is a 71 year-old man and the other has been married for 41 years. Vintage examples for modern day conundrums. You ask these people whether they want another wife is like asking a 70-year-old businessman to part away with his 1972 Silver Spur. Surely they’ll say no because it’s not worth the hassle. Ask a 26-year-old executive whether they like to exchange their 2004 Continental GT with the new McLaren SLR once in a while and I wouldn’t be surprised if they say yes.

The man with the three wives. The main reason he cited for marrying 3? “I have a strong sexual desire”. He married more to have more sex. And he can afford 3 wives. So why not? Unfortunately, not all men are as lucky as him. He managed to overcome the cultural differences and the financial restraint. Others? Well, we prefer to take the easier road.

So, in the end, what have we learned? We have learnt that regardless if we are Malaysian, Italian or Lithuanian, men will always be men. Men are pigs. Married to one wife does not mean we don’t desire other women. Try put a half-naked Angelina Jolie in his bed and you can only wish your husband would say no. Having one wife only means he does not possess the resources to obtain another or merely he does not want to go through the trouble. So, is this some sort of warning bell for current wives and wives-to-be? Well, I have one word for you: caveat.

The article...

Survey shows Malaysian guys are overwhelmingly...

The NST News Team

Most Malaysian men believe that one wife is enough. A comprehensive survey shows that despite being allowed four wives, fewer than one per cent of Muslim men have the full quota.

Five per cent of the 7,589 married Muslim men polled in a survey on behavioural habits that could lead to HIV infection have two wives while 4.3 per cent have three wives.
Nearly 90 per cent of Muslim men are one-woman men.
Under Islamic law, Muslim men are allowed to have up to four wives but they need permission from their existing spouses — recognised officially by Islamic authorities — before they can marry again.
The survey carried out last year by Universiti Putra Malaysia also showed that despite bigamy being outlawed in the country:

• Nearly four per cent of Chinese men had two wives and 1.3 per cent had three wives.
• Nearly three per cent of Indian men had two wives and nearly two per cent had three wives.

Also polled were 1,475 married Bumiputera men in East Malaysia. Taking a second wife seems to be common in Sarawak, where 15 per cent of Bumiputra men have two wives and nearly two per cent have three wives.
Less inclined to go for more wives were men in Sabah. Nearly 95 per cent of them had one wife.
Under the law, those guilty of bigamy can be fined and jailed up to seven years.
Some 13,000 Malaysians were polled in the survey

Just one will do for them
Nine out of 10 Malaysian men have one wife.
For many of them, there is little need to take a second, third or even fourth wife because of this simple philosophy: Why go searching for another partner when there is a soulmate at home? Many were also put off by cultural and financial reasons and the strict bigamy laws.
The New Sunday Times interviewed two men who have lived for decades with the same women by their sides. And yes, they are still very much in love.
Zainal Ibrahim has been married for 41 years to Norshidah Mohd Amin and, during that time, the thought of taking a second wife has not crossed his mind.
"You marry just once, that’s all. You don’t marry another for no reason. When you’re contented with one person, why should you take another?" asked the retired Special Branch senior officer. Though Islam allows a man to take up to four wives, Zainal said Norshidah had been a good wife for so long that he had no need for another.
To which Norshidah laughingly added: "I’ve always told him if he can take another, so can I."
Norshidah, 68, said it is important for a wife to know what makes her husband happy.
"If he likes socialising, then you should also get to know his friends and their families," she said.
Norshidah said a wife needed to always focus on the strong points of her husband and forget the weaker points, as she too must realise she is not perfect.
"Now women think they are equal. I don’t agree. You must always respect your husband and know your place," she said.
Zainal, 71, said: "For me, my job, my wife and my children were all-consuming. I did not have time to think of anything else, what more another marriage"

Santokh Singh Gill married Dr Balwant Kaur just after three dates.
Having just celebrated their 30th wedding anniversary on June 8, he says that he cannot imagine life without her.
"I have lived for my family the last 30 years. My wife and my three children are everything to me," he said
Culture, language and religion are an important part of this couple’s life.
"When I go overseas and return home, she never fails to greet me at the door and touch my feet as a sign of respect," said Santokh.
"She still has retained her Punjabi ways and that means a lot to me."
When asked whether he would think of taking another wife if it were legally allowed, Santokh said: "No man can do justice to two marriages. It’s difficult to run two houses at one time."
Of course, in the course of 30 years, Santokh said there have been temptations but added that a person needs to know what to do when faced with them.
"For me, the thought of divorce is unimaginable," he said.
Dr Balwant said what keeps her marriage together is sheer trust and the fact that they tell each other everything.
"There must be no suspicions. You have to tell each other everything, even your past," she said.
The couple said that having a good sense of humour and being open with each other also keeps the relationship healthy.
"If I see a beautiful woman passing by, I will point her out to Santokh. I feel he is my husband and no one can take him from me.
"We women are equal but with a different sense of responsibilty. It’s the woman who keeps the house together." - By R. Sonia

No regrets three wives later
Datuk Mokhtar Abdul Samad belongs to the three-wife club. He is one of the four per cent of Muslim men in the country who have three wives.
After 22 years in a polygamous marriage, Mokhtar, now 58, has absolutely no regrets.
When he took a second and third wife, he met initial resistance from the first wife but eventually she came around to acceding to his request.
Today, however, they are all living normal lives.
Mokhtar admitted he took three wives because he had a strong sexual desire.
"I am only human and I have a strong sexual desire. Instead of committing sin, I might as well get married legally."
He said his views might cause a controversy as not many Malaysians were as forthright as he was in this matter.
The construction company owner said: "My wives are treated equally and they are given everything equally, right from the same number of children — three each — to the same type of bungalow furnished with the same type of furniture.
"They only get to choose the colour. The rest of the interior is the same."
He spends his nights equally with his wives.
"Since the houses are close by, I spend my nights on a rotation basis with my three wives. However, if one of them is sick I will stay longer in her house but other than that, I rotate every night."
Mokhtar added: "We only became rich recently, so I can say my wives did not marry me for my money. They married me because I am an honest person."
Seated comfortably in his first wife’s house in Kampung Malaysia Tambahan, Mokhtar recounted the time he decided to marry again.
"I was a taxi driver when I met my second wife (Datin Norasni Jaffaar) who was a passenger in my cab. We courted for a year with my first wife’s knowledge before getting married."
Soon after marrying Norasni, Mokhtar fell in love again and married a third time.
"This one was a former air stewardess. I met her on my trip to Singapore," said Mokhtar, pointing to Datin Zawiah Ismail.
Was it tough to break the news to his first wife about his intention to marry a second and, later, a third wife?
"Yes, it was. She was crying non-stop. But after meeting and getting to know Norasni, Latifah began to understand and allowed the marriage."
Norasni said: "Latifah and I met Zawiah before giving our consent."
Mokhtar, who has seven grandchildren, said his success was due to his wives.
"When I married Norasni, Latifah and I were living with our three children in a squatter house. It was only after my third marriage that my construction business began to flourish and thankfully we now live well," he said.
His wives feel their marriage to Mokhtar was fated but confessed they would have preferred a monogamous relationship.
"We adopt a positive attitude and try our best to get along with everyone. All our children are very close to one other and they don’t see each other as stepbrothers or stepsisters."
They performed their Haj together in Mecca in 2001.
"We live harmoniously because we feel that this is our fate and that fighting and sulking will only make things worse," said Zawiah.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Football, with a touch of cliche

Another week has gone a full circle and we are back on a Monday.

Interesting things has happened in the past few days. Top news – Chelsea has claimed the Charity Shield! Yeah! At the expense of Arsenal! Double yeah!
It was just awesome. Just awesome at Cardiff.

But a bit of disappointing news, I was wrong about Amylea. She didn’t win but she did come out tops amongst all the female contestants. I guess I wasn’t entirely wrong. The one who did win it was that bloke from Johor. Tell me, how dumb and naïve are we Malaysians have become? Very, I’m afraid. Thankfully, the fiasco is all over. People will still talk about it for some time but it will die out gradually. With the football season kicking in, all the better.

Speaking of football, a new film is coming out, local movie, mind you, and it’s called Gol & Gincu (Goal & Lipstick). Quite a catchy title, don’t you think? It’s a bona fide modern day chick-flick. But I’m convinced it’s going to be better than those Cinta Fotokopi and Sembilu 2005 trashes. It’s much more refined and although penned by the people who made the so-called popular 3R TV show, what strikes me as the most interesting part is the element of futsal as the core background of the movie. The movie is about a girl who tried to win her futsal-holic boyfriend back by taking up the game upon herself. Enqueue friendship ties, self-discover, bla bla bla. I think it will be fun to watch how girls play futsal on the big screen. It wouldn’t be sexy, I mean, it used to, but just less these days. Will it be any good? Well, it’s going to be filled with pink ribbons with matching futsal shoes but I think it’ll offer something different to our local scene, albeit it will showcase a cliché of the crowd you see every weekend at Hartamas Square

First Blood

Saturday, August 06, 2005

A Fair that wasn't

I hate crowds. Did ever mention that? It’s the primary reason why I avoid Jalan Tuanku and the occasional pasar malam at all costs. It’s hard to enjoy any quality moment at all when people keep bumping into your shoulder every 3 seconds and the only air you get to breathe is the stench of other people’s body odour.

The Pikom PC Fair. Malaysia’s biggest PC cash and carry event. A crowd puller? A definite ‘yes’. Been around since 1995 and I couldn’t remember the last time I went to one, mainly because it was such a hassle with the crowds that I locked away those unpleasant memories so far back in my mind, never to relive it again.

Earlier this week, I was asked a favour. It was from Sasa. She asked if I was free this Friday. I said yes. She asked whether I would like to accompany her to the PC Fair. Again, I said yes, which was probably my biggest mistake of the week. But the thought didn’t occur to me at that time. Mainly because this year it will be held at the KLCC Convention Centre. A grandiose venue so huge I think people can actually skydive in there. So I think, maybe the crowd will be not that bad this year. Maybe with such a modern place, it will be a pleasant and civilized experience. I was wrong. I was so, so wrong. One important rule of life that I forgot at that moment is that a fair will always be a fair and people will continue to throng the places regardless of the venue. Especially in Malaysia where people couldn’t resist the terms ‘cheaper products’ and ‘free admission’ used in the same sentence in any advertising tagline.

So there I was, at the fair, with Sasa. The moment I stepped past the entrance I knew it was going to be bad. Even at Friday afternoon, when people are supposed to be working at their offices, the place was still relentlessly packed. Lucky us, the Mac booth was near at the beginning of the fair so Sasa managed to get her pink IPod mini without wasting so much time. But therein lies another problem, to get out of there, we had to cross the 5 halls and exit over there which was on the other side of the centre. In which we did. As if we have any other choice. So there I was battling through the crowd, all the way hassled by salespeople handing garbage brochures and evading lost and clueless couples who suddenly decided to stop dead in their tracks. When I finally managed to break free, the warm and hazy air quality of urban KL was much more welcoming than the air-conditioned halls. Looking back, it felt like I just came out from what was almost like the jungles of Amazon. In which time, I made a stronger vow, never to return again.

Left:Zalina, started work at KLCC for a weeks already.
Just found out today.Ignorant?Guilty as charged.
Right: Sasa, the owner of a brand new pink IPod mini.

Fortunately, the day was not to be ended on a bitter note. Arrangements have been made for a game of futsal later that night. And what can be more pleasing than a good kick-a-bout with a bunch of familiar blokes. Even though after 10 minutes of play my heart already felt like it was going to burst because I never done so many sprinting in months, I had fun. I wake up this morning with aches on both my hamstrings and calves, evident of how inactive I’ve been lately. But it was definitely worth it. And I still couldn’t beat Mon in Winning 11.

So, what’s in store for today? Another shiny Saturday with the Twin Towers only a vague image silhouetting behind the haze. I have a kenduri kawin invitation. One of my brother’s Sauber friend’s sister is getting married. I personally don’t know either of them. I just hope the food is good. Tonight’s is the so much hyped about AF Final. Amylea will win, as the Faizad Prophecy predicts. Hopefully I can find something else better to do than letting my butt rot in front of the TV. But I wouldn’t tomorrow night though when an awesome evening at Cardiff is expected. Oh yeah!!
Probably the best 2 looking guys
on the pitch that night

The Aftermath

Friday, August 05, 2005

Romancing the Tie

I never thought it was possible to fall in love with a tie, but it did happen.

As planned, I frisked around Suria yesterday and it was conceivably a better outing than at OU because unlike the day before, I was spoilt for choice. But that was even before I met my true love which was hanging nicely in a store plaqued under then name of Giorgio Armani. It has an exquisite rich reddish brown, almost sepia like shade on a fabric which was breathtakingly soft and felt truly expensive. It wasn’t love at first sight, but when the girl who attended to me pulled out an Armani suit along with a white shirt and put the tie into a knot before placing it onto the shirt, it looked so perfect and goddamn beautiful. That’s what I love about designer stores. You only need to voice out what you want or like to see and the sales people would kindly oblige. They would hold shirts up for you, give insightful advices and lay down all the necessary accessories with the slightest inclination of what you’re planning in your mind. I’m just surprised I was not offered a drink. But that tie is absolutely gorgeous. I could not put my mind off it. I was thinking about it all the way home, when I tossed and turned in bed and the first thing to hit me when I woke up this morning. An alternative, also an Armani, comes in a silvery white shine. Putting it on would probably make me look like a Best Man in the Wedding Planner but it does look good nevertheless. A little touch of suave and sophistication.

However, the one thing that prevents me from saying ‘yes’ to Armani is of course the price, which is a quad over my budget. Saying ‘yes’ would mean I couldn’t afford Valerie’s petrol for the next two weeks. But it does look temptingly worth it. If not, I wouldn’t be writing about it here, would I?

An alternative to Armani would be Hugo Boss or E Zegna. A whole lot more of choices and affordable within my budget. Not really Jusco kind of affordable but the designer label kind. And it would allow me to shop for other accessories for my ensemble.

I snooped around at other stores such as Aigner, Ferre and Ferragamo but all of them lack finesse. Gucci on the other hand focuses more on women. I am still undecided but I want to check out that MO Outlet at Taman Shamelin Perkasa. People say that they sell marked-down prices of designer brands. Interesting claim. Which would make that my next stop next week.

Speaking of indecisiveness, after reading my previous blog entry, my personal consultant aka Ity Nadira ‘buzzed’ me and gave me a suggestion for an ensemble. A slight dark blue shirt with a green tie to go with my black suit. Seems rather unfathomable at first once you spend some time pondering it, it looks rather chic, wherein lies the problem. You have to grow into liking the design. It’s not a showstopper. A little bit too unique I’m afraid. The first ever fashionistic suggestion that I do not 100% agree with my personal consultant. Sorry, Ity but I’ll do keep that thought in mind for future use.

And that concludes another brief, sporadic adventure in the life of this author. Tune in next time when he answers the inevitable question, for love or money?

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Aah August. The month when at the end of it, our country celebrates its National Day. A very good reason to party frantically the night before. The girl of the month is Tata Young. Very tantalizing but still fell a bit short from July’s girl of the month, Maya Karin. More popularly known as the fiendish pontianak nowadays but ask any guy who has FHM’s 2005 calendar and I can guarantee you most of them would want to make out with her even at the price of having her sucking the blood out of their necks. And not to mention her smile. Sexy, haunting, ghoulish, mesmerizing - all rolled into one.

As for me, personally, I have my convocation to look forward to. Nearly a year after I had finished my studies. It’s not that bad, actually because it gives you the opportunity to chill first. I’ve just came back from One Utama and after spending a whole afternoon loitering there I am still as clueless as I was this morning as with regards to my ensemble.

The ensemble:
Other accessories

My suit is already under completion but I do have trouble picking out a savvy tie. Usually people will have a black suit, white shirt and a red tie. It looks good, very charismatic but everyone will wear it. It’s like a 3 Series BMW. It’s fabulous but incredibly boring and unimaginative. I was thinking about that Hugh Grant look in Two Weeks Notice but after scouring acres of shopping stores, I could not find the proper shade. Either they’re too pink or too purple. When the shade is right, the pattern goes horribly wrong. I ended up giving my temples a massage after seeing so many colours. Tomorrow I’ll be trying my luck at Suria. Hopefully I can find something under the sun.

August too has lots of arty stuff on offer. The jazz fest at Plaza Mont Kiara, a 17 band performance at the Atmosphere, theatres of Romi and Jolee, and Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple, and I still want to check out the National Art Gallery.

Next on my to-do list is to venture out and locate some of KL’s latest (or not) hot food outlets. Most of them are around Bangsar but you can’t actually pusing2 around that area during the weekends because it’s jam packed like crazy. So what better time than midday weekdays?

And returning in August after a 2 month hiatus is the 2005/06 football season!!Oh yeah!Plus, now I can enjoy the kick-off of the new season from the comfort of my own home and not hassle for cafeterias chair between 50 odd other students for a 19-inch TV screen. Two things I'm looking forward to this season, or players for that matter - Shaun Wright Phillips and Edgar Davids. It's gonna be awesome.

So, lots of stuff to look forward to in August. I always make a habit of making outrageous plans so that even if you don’t get to fulfill them all, completing half of them would prove more than enough. Because there’s always tomorrow. Cheers.

A Celebration

A cold drink is best after a long walk under the scorching sun. A nice cup of tea on the balcony is soothing after a hard day at work. A cool shower is refreshing after a game of football on a wet pitch. And so is a nice, long sleep after a week of sleepless nights – it’s priceless.

Here I am swiveling in my big blue chair, listening to Malay hits by Misha Omar and Ning Baizura. Another morning after a very satisfying sleep into the night. A privilege I didn’t had the luxury to enjoy for the past week because of the MICPA Conversion Course final examination. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the 4 months tenure has been brought to a close. Signed-off with the tougher-than-I-expected exams. But I did my best so no regrets there. Unless, of course, I failed and I have everything to regret for. Apart from not getting enough sleep, burning the midnight oil and somehow managed to turn sleep, once again, into a state of mind.
It’s kind of amusing, you know, to find yourself so disoriented because of lack of sleep. I remember one day last week when I though to myself, “That Tru Calling show is really interesting. More so with that Eliza Dushku girl. I wonder if I can catch this week’s show. Now, when is it supposed to be on again? It was Tues…oh wait, Tuesday was just yesterday. That ‘last week’ show was actually on yesterday. The next show wouldn’t be until next week. Damn…,”. I could only end up giggling. For the whole of last week, it took me an average of 2 seconds to remember what date of that particular day. “It’s…..the 28th!”. Announcing it ecstatically as if it’s the answer to a pop quiz question.
So when finally last Saturday I get to put my head on a pillow and declaring to myself, “I am now going to sleep - guilt-free,” it never felt better. It was heavenly. But that’s only half of the story.

My Saturday began at 12 am. It could not get any earlier than that. Sure enough, I was busy familiarizing myself with the balance sheet of a limited company. For the next 11 hours I was a nervous wreck. The next hour I was one pissed-off bloke because I felt betrayed by a person that I left a lot of confide in, but that’s another story. Only after the clock hit 1 pm I could breathe a sigh of relief. I felt like a rally driver. I tried my best but whether my efforts were enough, well, only time would tell. In the meantime, I decided to chill at Cipoi’s and Jedeh’s at Ampang Park. Sale was slow, except for one EON Executive lady. I still have time before 3 so I decided to float around the complex while Cipoi entertained his client. I managed to get myself a drink and a few pastries just to kill off time. When it was to time to pack up I asked Cipoi what’s the quickest way to KL Tower but he refused to answer me as a sign of protest because I wouldn’t disclose the full information regarding my upcoming high-tea session with a few girls at the tower. “I wouldn’t be the only boy there,” a statement I made to console a bit of innocence to me. I only receive a waive of the hand and an, “Aah,” clearly still refusing to believe my claim. But fortunately enough I didn’t make a wrong turn to KL Tower but I did, however, made a grievous mistake of parking Valerie at the foot of the hill. My perspiring back was absolute proof of that when I reached at the top. I was to attend a farewell party for Eefei who is leaving for Sweden in a few weeks to pursue a Master’s Degree. And a high-tea atop the KL Tower at its revolving restaurant to commemorate the occasion is a rather splendid idea, I must say. Surely enough, I enjoyed myself. The food was not that good however but imagine eating lamb casserole in an air-conditioned restaurant with a view of the Klang Valley constantly revolving around and you must acknowledge, it’s not something that you do everyday. It was truly a sight to behold. A great way to unwind and to put away terms such as ‘current liabilities’ and ‘director’s remuneration’ for awhile. The girls were of course gossiping all the way but this time I willingly shut myself up. Resistance is futile, as they might say. What have we learned from going out with more than 4 girls at a time, huh? But since you’re not planning on becoming the center of attention then everything is fine. Just take a sip of your drink, have another slice of pie and listen on who is getting married in the next few months even though you don’t know any of them personally or any of them at all. But while the high high-tea was pleasant and relaxing, the karaoke session soon after was totally the opposite, but fun nevertheless.
What can you exactly say about karaoke sessions? Apart from we really had fun by making an ass out of ourselves by singing ridiculous songs that we wouldn’t even dare to hum in public. There’s never a dire moment when it comes to karaoke-ing with your friends. Fun, yes. But what happens in the room, stays in the room.
By the end, some decided to head home while I took the chance to stop by at Acai’s and, as if I can avoid it, was made to watch Akademi Fantasia. I still could not understand on how people could get so emotionally involved with the show. People cry every time a contestant gets voted out but not when they’re sending those SMSs that costs RM0.65 each. 10 SMSs equals RM6.50. 20 SMSs would double that. All for the sake of someone who doesn’t even know your name. Pathetic would be an understatement. But I do find that Amylea girl rather interesting. I told people there’s something about that girl since the early shows but no one would listen. She will win the competition, I tell you. Remember, you read it here first. Oh my, even I’m beginning to start talking about ‘it’. Crap. Now, where was I? Oh yes, Acai’s house. Well, we all went home after that. But one interesting thing happened before that. Since Sasa left for home after the karaoke session, I had Regina Hayati as my passenger and the first thing that she said the moment she stepped into my car was that the car smelt like rotten fish. Then she asked me when was the last time I went to pasar tani with the car. What am I suppose to answer? Because in all natural truth, I never went to the pasar with this car. In fact, I couldn’t remember the last time I went to a pasar tani, period. But I can’t answer ‘yes’ because that would be lying but if I said ‘no’ then it shows how much of bad person I am in keeping my car clean. Or on how it smells on that matter. So I ended up avoiding from answering the question and changed the topic. But it was a tall tell sign that something needs to be done with Valerie. To receive such comments is like a wake-up call. I must say I never thought that Valerie’s interior would smell like rotten fish but when you bring passengers into your car, the least you can do is to make them feel comfortable. And to have the inside of your car smell like rotten fish, that’s bad. So, mental note – make Valerie interior smell better, for the sake of potential passengers. And air-fresheners would no longer cut it I’m afraid.
Oh anyway, after Acai it was time to conclude the night and I had the most peaceful sleep in weeks. But the best part happened on Sunday.

Entrée Sunday. Sunday was, well, Sunday. The day when you kick back, relax and the first thing you do when you wake up was to check your phone for messages. I had none that morning. Well, I guess nobody missed me that much yesterday. Nor hate me, for that matter. I have a big plan that day. A Harith Iskandar show. My maiden performance with the man. He’s having his final show that afternoon and guess what? As of 10 am, I have no tickets. Naturally, if it was the opening for Revenge of the Sith then I would panic but for a matinee theatre performance somewhere in Sentul, I was convinced I could get tickets before the show at 3. So I went for a drive right before noon, lost my way a bit around Sentul but I managed to find KLPAC. And surely enough, I managed to get tickets. 2nd row seats even. If it’s TGV or GSC, it would be murder but in theater sense, they’re quite the opposite so yeah, I was more than happy. A few hours later I returned to the sloping green mounds which was unbelievably right in the middle of Sentul and I enjoyed myself immensely. That man Harith is just brilliant. And to be in the company of people who can laugh at jokes about the National car and a certain Rafidah made it all worth while. For a guy who is used to watching Hollywood movies whilst growing up, I find the theatre incredibly honest and self-fulfilling. I would definitely return for another outing. In a newspaper excerpt, it quoted Harith Iskandar saying, “When a person leaves after seeing my show, I just hope he would say, ‘That was worth it,’. Well, in my case that’s exactly what happened. Mission accomplished there. I wish I could describe some of his humorous stories on how Malaysians are prone to do pointless things and on how guys handle break-ups but I can’t because words alone would not be enough. One has to watch the show to appreciate it.

Having high-tea at almost 500 metres above sea level, singing a horrendous rendition of the song Paling Comel and a vintage performance by one of the true stand-up comedian of the Malaysian scene, I’d say that’s one awesome way to celebrate an occasion, wouldn’t you say so?

I’ve read that 1000+ words blogs are not that good because readers would lose interest along the way. It is best to keep it shorter so readers can stop, read and click on. So I’ll end it here for this time around. Since I have nothing else to do for the most of my days, I’ll probably polish up on my blogging skills. So, next up we’ll be talking about August and Maya Karin’s smile.