Wednesday, July 04, 2007


False alarm, ladies and gents. It’ is spelt with a ‘W’. I know it doesn’t make much of a difference but somehow it feels like it. And the other thing about the forgiveness? Yeah, I think that’s a load a bull too. There’s no way I’ll be getting off the hook that easily. I must be drunk when wrote that.

Anyway, Project Folklore has been completed. Well, at least from my part. All the raw materials has been submitted to the wedding planner. Now it is up to them to edit the snippets into what they see fit. As for my speech, I thought it was pretty good. But it could’ve been better. I only had an hour practice and during recording, the house cuckoo clock suddenly decided to make known of its existence. ‘Cuckoo! Cuckoo!’ it went without warning. During that brief moment, my composure got a little sidetracked. And I can’t do a second take because I was rushing to class. So, what you see is what you get. But overall I think it went well.

Baby Jane is still at the works. The search for the elusive ECU still drags on. Currently, I have to rely on Valerie on a day to day basis. No stereo and handling is rather lopsided at times but she manages. We might go to Mid Valley today for an appointment with Abby. Oh yes, Abby. Her touch can soften the hardest of souls. Got to be ready you see. Wedding day is only matter of days now. One thing I did realize though was that I have so few female friends. Fewer still who are single. I invited some of my closest buddies over the years to this wedding day – namely from SAS and UTP. And it dawned to me, I need more chicks around me. Funny ‘cause at one time I had enough of them going around. Oh wait, I know what happened – they got married! First they were single and fun. Then came the boyfriend and you get blown off more often then came the ‘M’ word and you realize, telling dirty jokes feels rather awkward now.

Somehow I feel I gonna get another ‘be a man!’ comment.

Anyway, cheers for now.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

True Story of the Day

I went to my first MBA class today and under normal circumstances, why would I even attempt to go through the trouble of writing my experience but something really peculiar happened and I think it’s worth my time and effort to share it with you.

There’s this lady in my class. Malay, late 20s I guess, probably married with kids, baju kurung, bertudung, just your typical office mate I presume and at the beginning of the class, each of the students was required to stand up and introduce themselves. So, came her turn, she stood up and with a calm manner she announced,

‘Assalamualaikum, name saye Najua…’

As her name vibrated through the whole room, I couldn’t remember what she said next as I was temporarily transfixed. People, I could not have possibly made this up. This is an honest to god truth story. Well, maybe her name is spelt with a ‘W’, I don’t know. What I do know is, throughout the night, this irony really gave me the creeps. I don’t know what twisted little game fate has been toying me with but, damn it, it sure as hell working. The lady herself doesn’t realize a thing what she had done to a fat bloke sitting at the last row simply by pronouncing her name. As for me, all the memories were coming back thick and fast, and honestly, it’s not a pleasant feeling. Here I am still trying to get though my latest tragedy and here comes a stark reminder of the previous one. How on earth do you expect me to move on? It’s already difficult as it is. Stop fucking with me!!

And you know what? I came home, turned to my computer, checking my emails as usual and while I was browsing through the ‘Who’s Viewed Me’ section of my Friendster account and guess whose name popped out? C’mon just give a wild guess. That’s right. I already said her name once, I’m not gonna do it twice. There were only 2 viewing since yesterday. one was Oni and the other was her. And this is the genuine article. I don’t know what ticked her to click my name because, by golly, I even disconnected her from my network of friends. A new slate, remember? Then this happens. I mean, what the fuck? Is this some kind of a joke? Is this god’s way of sharing his sense of humour? ‘I’ll put this girl with the THE name together with him in his MBA class and have the actual girl checking out his Friendster account. That should screw his mind out. Oh this should be fun,’


Why should she view my profile anyway? I don’t know what it means. Maybe it’s just a coincidence. Maybe she has softened enough to have forgiven me. I just don’t know. All this and I have yet to come up with a speech for Project Folklore. Oh, today’s operation went well, so to speak. I even went to Petronas Research, Bangi to video some of my brother’s work colleagues. And while I was over there, I caught a glimpse of a Decepticon freezer truck parked within the perimeters. It’s true then. They are already here.

Oh, by the way, about the Dayana story in the previous post, what I meant to say was that I should use the ‘I’m not working, still studying’ gig again more often when to comes to paying food since people tend to be more sympathetic to me that way. Hey, it’s not my fault when they ask, ‘kau buat ape skrg?’ Requesting an answer from me for that kind of question, you are asking yourself to be put in a guilty position…especially when you were under the assumption that we were supposed to split the bill.

Oh well. Got a long day tomorrow. Good night, folks. I’ll see you tomorrow, Najua.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Aritha's Wedding

Good evening, people. Chronologically I should start with my trip to Penang. But since I just arrived back from Mentakab, feeling fresh after a good warm bath and with the house all to myself, I think it’s befitting to start with Aritha’s wedding. Yes, people, she is now officially married. Finally, I can say that out loud. The first time she broke the news to me about two months ago, she made took a vow of silence on the subject. No telling anyone, albeit I was among the last to know. If I do, she would kill me. She literally said, ‘Faizad, kalau kau bitau sesape, aku bunuh kau,’ Something tells me she wasn’t kidding this time around. So much was I determined to keep my promise that once, on the way back from Low Yatt, Big Show somehow asked me on Aritha’s well being. I was stumped because I don’t exactly how to answer that. Then Tomok cut in by saying, ‘Aku dengar die nak kawin. Kau tanye badok,’

Oh fuck.

In an honestly fashion, I replied, ‘Aku takleh jawab soalan tu sebab aku takut aku kena bunuh,’ they both laughed at my statement but in that moment I could almost picture Aritha’s wide-eyed face should I utter the words along the lines of, ‘Oh kau tak tau ke? Die nak kawin dlm bulan depan camtu,’ And somehow Aritha would telepathically know what I did and yell, ‘FAIZAD!!’ Honest to god truth, I was scared shitless.

But everything’s okay now.

The akad nikah and majlis berinai was held yesterday, Saturday, June the 30th, 2007. The kenduri itself was held earlier this afternoon.

Personally, I am lost for words in describing the whole event. Basically, it was beautiful. And of course, it’s not enough simply describing it because it was a visual feast. One of those things that even the best writers couldn’t do justice in elaborating the words to give their readers an inkling what it meant to be there and living the moment. Or, it could just be another excuse for low-life writers like me in avoiding to come up with bombastic words to equal that of Shakespeare. My love is deep. The more I gave thee, the more I have. Anyone?

Anyway, I must say, Mentakab is just so hot. And I don’t mean it in the same context as I would describe Angelina Jolie. It was exactly scorching but you can feel the hest emanating from beneath you, rising up constantly. Though I truly dislike using these words onto myself, but by god was I sweating like pig. I know walking around with a bunch of Kleenexes in your hands isn’t exactly masculine but it came to the point that I just don’t give a damn. But in hindsight, it’s better to have that than to have a rainy affair now, wouldn’t it? That would seriously create some problems. But as it was, everything went well. And I just felt glad for the newlyweds. Especially for the dear friend of mine, Aritha. Never have I thought that among the four of Jes, Sasa, Zal and her, she would be the first to tie the knot. A few years ago, while still in UTP, I made a bold prediction and put my money on Zal to settle down first among the foursome. And ironically, I betted that Aritha would the last candidate. Well, how wrong I turned out to be. But in reviewing my initial prediction, now I couldn’t possibly guess who would be next in following Aritha’s footsteps. Kak Nieta says it’ll be Sasa. But I have no gut feelings to repute nor disrepute that. As far as I look at it, people seem to easily fall in and out of love nowadays and apparently the same could be said about getting married. But whoever it may be next, I’d be happy for them, no matter what.

Now, philosophical deliberations aside, as for the actual event themselves, well, for the akad nikah, it was held at the neighbourhood surau just across the field from Aritha’s parent’s house so we all just gladly walked. Who am I kidding? We’re from the city, for god’s sakes, of course we took a car ride for the 200 metres journey. Besides, air-conditioning never felt so good. The surau itself is not exactly generous in space so you can say it did got a little cramped. But what bothered the most apart from my Made-in-Switzerland Bally shoes had its right sole came off for no apparent reason (thank god I had my Hush Puppies sandals in Sasa’s car, if not, embarrassment could’ve been worse) was that the Tok Kadi’s refusal to use the microphone when the actual akad nikah was uttered. They didn’t mind using the PA system to recite the unfathomable pantuns and explaining the responsibilities of both the husband and wife. But I guess, it did somehow turned out for the better because before I knew it, it was over. If not, then I would have ended up crying. No, wait, that was Sasa. She was the one almost crying. Right.

Anyway, after the akad nikah was over, and Aritha was officially denounced as a single lady, we took a breather back to our hotel at Bukit Bendera Resort for an hour or so. Yes, people, there’s a resort in Mentakab. Don’t ask me how or when, it’s just there. Deal with it. I, for one, am glad that such a place even exists. It made the one night stay a more worthwhile affair. Zalina and Sasa had trouble with the bathroom though. They say it smells funny. I on the other hand, couldn’t be bothered. I don’t know if it’s because they have so gotten used to Jes’ place at Westin or that I’m a guy and have seen and been through worse.

Anyway, the majlis berinai is one peculiar event. This may sound foolish but before this I never even heard of such a thing. From what it sounds, it could only imagine that it involves inai on the bride’s hands and I couldn’t guess what goes on beyond that. But from what Sasa had told me, it is a picture-taking opportunity for the close families and friends of the wedding couple. They would put on nice dresses and if you fancy it, then go up there with the celebrated couple. I couldn’t quite grasp the concept yet at the time of explanation but as the night went on, then I finally get it. To me, it’s like a sneak peek of a movie. A midnight show before the big proper release. It was quite the same here. The dresses is purposely made for that night alone and they would sit on the pelamin to give a taste of what the actual bersanding would look and feel like. In essence, it’s just another reason to party. And I do mean party, for some of the guests. They plugged in a karaoke machine to the sound system and all AF wanna-be came out horns blazing that night. Suffice to say, my ears didn’t enjoy a great night. But, as for the bride and groom, they look magnificent. Dressed in a combination of white and lilac, honestly, I think they look better in them than what they would actually wear on Sunday. This one is more modern and chic. Sunday’s attire was more traditional but hey, I grew up watching Friends, so sue me.

But, one thing though, damn do they take an awfully long time to get ready. The newlyweds, I mean. Especially the bride. She must have gone though hours of make-up. We, the friends, already arrived fashionably late as always, about a quarter past 9. And they only came out about a little past 10. That’s almost an hour of karaoke torture. Please, would someone destroy that annoying machine?

But when they did come out, I think you could say it was worth the wait. I have never quite remembered Aritha looking as beautiful as she did that night. It was proof alone how Farris (the groom) could have fallen for her. What can I say? Lucky man.

Oh wait, before I move on, I just want to mention that how much I couldn’t believe that Aritha’s mother and eldest sister could recognize and know my name. For the past 5 years or so, I could say that I have personally met them only once or twice. Maybe thrice. But, man, to remember me the moment I stepped onto the courtyard earlier that afternoon? That was so unnerving. I know I couldn’t have made such an impression on those brief moments of acquaintances. It is kind of unsettling to hold out your hand and for them to say, ‘Faizad, kan?’ Throughout the two-day event I feel that at any given time moment I would burst out and unwittingly confess, ‘Ma’am, nothing happened at The Ascott. I didn’t touch your daughter/sister. I wanted to…but… no,’ Thankfully, such a scene didn’t take place. Hopefully never.

And the other thing, earlier during the akad nikah, while Sasa and Kak Nieta were drooling over one of Farris’ best men who I could swore I chilled with during my last trip to Langkawi on Chenang beach (though I have yet to confirm that with Cipoi, for whom was with me at the time), I had my eye on one of the ladies. Initially I had given up hope of finding a fun subject (i.e. a fancy lady) among the crowd after a brief glance around. More makcik-makcik than adik-adik manis around here. But there was this one girl who was such a looker. She virtually stood out from all of them. But one problem though. She always seems to be carrying this child around and even though there was no man in sight throughout the time that would suggest a boyfriend/fiancĂ©/husband, she does sport a golden band around her finger that looks pretty much like a wedding ring. Is she single? Coming alone while leaving her man behind? Divorced? Single mother? What? The thought confounded and tormented me endlessly. But that still didn’t stop us from having our glances crossed more than a couple of times. From that moment at the surau ‘til the kenduri ended this afternoon. It may not be flirtatious in nature but I can safely say we did notice each other. It was not on the drive back home that I learnt from Sasa that the lady in question is actually Farris’ younger sister (!!!!!!!!!!!) What the f**k!? Are You F*****g Me!!? No wonder I missed the exit to the Lebuhraya Pantai Timur from Lanchang. I was cajoling with Aritha’s sister-in-law. Man, this is getting embarrassing. But when I questioned her availability to Sasa, she said she doesn’t know either. I mean, no big surprise there. Who would know, in fact? Apart from Farris himself. But, now that I think about it, I mean, she is Aritha’s sister-in-law, right? It’s a no-brainer, right? I could just ask Aritha about her, right? That is, after she’s done with this small matter of her wedding, of course. She still has to go to Kelantan for another round at the groom’s place, y’know. I’ll take a rain check on that.

Now, where were we? Ah yes, the majlis berinai. It was wonderful. I was getting sleepy but still wonderful. And oh yes, there’s Farris’ sister looking at me again….with a child in her hands. That’s nice. The event ended a little over 12. Maybe even later, but that was the time when we left. The couple was in the bilik pengantin doing I don’t know what and Sasa was beginning to make a lot of noises about wanting to go to bed. Yeah, right. One phone call from ‘B’ and she was ready to chat the whole night. Oh the things I have to pay having to share a room with a woman intoxically in love. And how surprisingly, Kak Nieta turned out to be the more tolerable roommate. He was out like a lamp. That is, right after we went horsing around the concept of harassing room 120 (the room allegedly where Farris’ friends were staying in). For me, well, Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore posed a much better prospect. I was petting my walrus this morning and I couldn’t stop thinking about you. How can that not be funny?

Then came the morning of July 1st. The big day has dawned. And it started in not the best of ways. First I thought of getting a dip in the pool bright and early but then I found out it was closed due to renovation works. Plus the water reeks of green algae. Then the so-called buffet breakfast was horrible. Slightly better than the one I had during the trip to Melaka with Tomok, Nebu and Lantoi. Better, but still not even coming close to satisfactory. So I drove Dean along with Nieta and Sasa to Mentakab town and decided on an eatery named Saodah Dollah. For the simple reason of the establishment’s name. Both were so taken off with the name that they actually took pictures of the place with their cam phones. I was just looking forward to the food. For me, here was a perfect opportunity to try out some little town style breakfast. Where the preparation is more towards the flavor of the food rather than commercialization reasons. And when I took that first bite of their nasi lemak, I thought, well, that was dissapointing. It was as unspectacular as I hoped it wasn’t to be. In fact, I had better back at the city. At least the price here was delightfully enjoyable. RM3.50 for a teh tarik and a small plate of nasi lemak sotong. Try to get that in KL. You’re lucky to get nasi lemak at all.

By the time we got back to our hotel, Irwan just arrived with his entourage of Jes and Sarah. Irwan drove his mother to KL the night before and Zal tagged along because she couldn’t attend Sunday’s event due to work. Coming back here, to Mentakab, Irwan picked up Jes (who had to work on Saturday) and Sarah (who decided just to come on Sunday). So there we were. All of them looking all nice and dandy, while I was standing in my shorts next to Nieta who has yet to take a morning bath. Yes, we were the perfect choice for model citizens.

Jes being Jes, would let you know in no uncertain terms how displeased she is when the tardiness of other people (i.e Nieta) is affecting and/or delaying her personal schedule. And, oh you know how long girls take to get ready especially as big as something as the wedding of one of your closest friends. Everything has to be perfect. Fortunately, for guys, perfection only requires 10 minutes or so. Isn’t it funny how I always turn out to be the innocent bystander in every case?

We finally managed to check-out at exactly around noon, funny considering how punctual we turned out to be in the end. And Tomok was busy calling me every 5 minutes to know when I’d be coming to Aritha’s place since he was getting restless without decent mate to talk to.

Upon arrival, we went straight to the bilik pengantin to find the bride who had just completed her make-over sitting on the side of her very pink bed. As with every bride, and much so in this case, she was a sight to behold. Again, words fail me but I’ll try to include some pictures here when Irwan puts them up online. He was the one with the camera. But if I had to put into words of the ethereal figure that has presented itself before me is then it is this - the mere sight of her beauty will never age for me, nor fade, nor die. Come what sorrow can, it cannot countervail the exchange of joy, that one short minute gives me in her sight. But, well, that’s just me.

Pictures were taken inside the quarters and while most of the group went out to enjoy lunch, I opted to stay. One reason being the delectable air-conditioning the room has and the other, being the reason that I feel it is important for me just to be there with Aritha before the final moments of her unveiling to the waiting crowd gathered outside on this grandiose day of her wedding. Sure, she has Sasa as her pengapit but, damn it, I just want to be there. Ridhu may not believe this but my appetite can wait. This was a once in a lifetime event. In that instance, everything else was trivial.

Minutes before the actual unveiling, I went out for a head start. And being close friends of the bride, and the recognition of the bride’s eldest sister, we got the orders to ‘linger about’ when the groom’s rombongan arrives. Appearing more important than we actually are. But, of course, no harm can be done there. Besides, I could see Farris’ sister again. Oh there she’s returning my look. Yep, and there’s the child again. I couldn’t be sure if it’s the same one from the night before. Oh well, that story can wait.

As for the bride and groom, they went up to the pelamin, while I stayed back of the crowd with Acai and Tomok, as it was getting rather crammed up front. Everyone wanted to see the newly weds, y’see. While the proceedings went on from the silat to the zapin to the dining for the bride and groom, I made my around the compound. Staying here and there, dabbing sweats off my forehead. I think being close of friends of either one of the married couple can be the best jobs at a wedding. You don’t have to do any work because you are sort of guests of the family and you’re not obliged to mingle with everyone because you’re not exactly family either. So most of the time you just sit around, have unrestricted supply to drinks and only have to meet people that you want to meet. Like the groom’s sister. Which I didn’t. Sasob.

As time went by and the crowd faded away, again pictures were taken, glances exchanged between bride’s close friend and groom’s sister, cam phones secretly snapping away at the groom’s childhood buddies, it was nearly time to call it a day for the bride’s friends from the city. They have certainly watched the becoming of one of their closest members. Sure we shall be seeing her again soon but make no mistake, an important day this was and one should not be easily forgotten. I, for one, am truly honoured to be there on such a momentous occasion. Though I cannot say the same thing for Apau. However, in the end, there’s just one thing left to say:

To Farris and Aritha,
Selamat Pengantin Baru.

With that, a story about my trip to Penang now seems rather insignificant. I mean, seriously, there was nothing much worth mentioning. Maybe if I have the energy to write something about it, I will. But, oh wait, one more little story before we sign off.

On the way back from Mentakab, we all stopped by at Genting Sempah for refreshments at McDonalds. The lines at the counter were long and to save time, Dayana Rosti who was queuing in front of me suggested to place an order together. So we did and she paid first. Then we all sat down, talking, having a good laugh, buat macam rumah sendiri, when at the end of it, before we move to our separate cars and head our own ways, I offered to pay for the meal that Dayana had paid for earlier. Imagine my surprise when she said, ‘No, it’s okay. Kau still tgh study, kan?’ Yeah, I think I did mention about doing my MBA at UIA at the time being while chatting to her during the queue. But get this. Dayana Rosti just paid a McDonalds meal for me. The daughter of the former rector of UTP and current VP of Education at Petronas just paid for my McDonalds meal. Now I feel guilty for all the terrible names I called her during our university days. If I could’ve turn back time bearing this latest revelation that I have now to back then, I would have…….still call her those names because it was so much fun doing so those days! Man, what a horrible person I am. But, honestly, the paying for was indeed a nice gesture. I mean, it’s not that I have paid for any of her meals before. She has started rolling the wheel first. One day I might have to return the gesture. Shit, I am so getting the butt of jokes with that statement. Soon speculation will rise on whether I’d be hitting on her. This is how rumours start. And blogging about it doesn’t exactly help in diminishing those, does it?

Anyway, the Mentakab trip was fabulous and I wouldn’t forget it for the rest of my life – for a variety of reasons. But things are not over yet for me. My brother’s getting married this coming weekend and Project Folklore is yet to be completed. It’s a task my brother handed to me to record wishes and speeches from close families and friends commenting on the impending wedding. The deadline is Tuesday night because that’s when we’ll hand the collected recordings to the editor. Most is done so far. Just two more friends, our parents, my sister and myself. I’ve been thinking about this for the past two weeks and I still don’t know what to say. I’m the groom’s brother, for crying out loud. What I say will carry much weight. I’m the next in line. If he’s William, then I’m Harry. That was good, wasn’t it? Yeah, I’ve thought of putting that in. A little touch of humour, don’t you think? But whatever it is, I have to come up with something quickly. What’s worse, my MBA classes start tomorrow. Actually later today considering it’s already 1 am. And it’s going to be 6.30 – 10 pm every night from Monday to Thursday. Little tight on time? Tell me about it.

Anyway, time to sign off. Thank you for reading. I might as well hit the sack. It’s going to be a busy week, especially in the next 48 hours. Well, again, congratulations to Farris and Aritha. Good night to all. Wait a second, I wonder what Aritha’s doing right now….
*pictures courtesy of Irwan