Latest

Clever Title (Optional)

Oh! The joy it is to see this blank page; white, scentless and hovering above it the ever-so hypnotic blinking line. Has it truly been over two years since my last indulgence? I can’t say how I’ve managed to survive. If to let go of one’s self implies losing one’s true physical form, than this is me at the height of my obese written form.

Not entirely true though, I did write. Hundreds of thousands of words, as have you. Can you remember a hundred of yours which were memorable? If so, you’re fortunate, unless you’re in love. [Insert link of nearest local burn centers] Fortunately, I’ve learned well from my pal; the slow-mo bullet-dodging Neo. (Or do you prefer Max Payne?) The arrows of obsession, my trusty protective Kevlar vest has kept me from. Apparently these days, there seems to be a more likely chance of being hit by lightening than to not be involved with someone. This is absolutely not an exaggeration, nope.

Where am I? Back home in Dhaka with my family. In the middle of a mess of conflict of what to pursue next. Logic dictates I choose the traditional route. Something does not feel right about it though. My ambitions of pursuit of contentedness is sky high – don’t get me wrong – but higher is a will to find something more fulfilling. Dare I use the word passion?

It has also been almost four years since I let my creativity lose on words. Commemorating poetically I thought, it being my fourth. Can’t say I was too displeased with it, it is amateur hour everyday after all. Still, I’m glad I was struck by the sudden urge.

‘Till another time.

Advertisements

To finity and confinement!

Dearest Readers,

Travel day. On my way to Bangladesh for a 3 week vacation. Of course, every vacation spent with the family is special. This time however it’s a little more special considering this is the first time in 2 years I’ll be spending Ramadan with my family. Granted I will only have the last 2-3 days of Ramadan with them, but that’s all I need.

So I’m at Kuala Lumpur International Airport right now. This is my first experience flying with a Bangladeshi airline and lo’ and behold, the flight has been delayed. Summing it with my early arrival to the airport, adds up to a 4 hour wait. Teh yawns. As a regular traveller, albeit the same destination every time, this is a refreshing moment for me. I’ve always flown with an airline called “Air Asia”. The airline is so large they need their own airport so I always flew through there to BD. This is the first time I’ve been to KLIA in the past 2 years, when I first arrived in Malaysia.

As some of you may know, KLIA held the best airport in the world for a while, maybe they still do I’m not sure. Needless to say it’s a very nice place. Tried out a coffee place called “Cafe Barbera – since 1870”, their black coffee was anything but good. They don’t even have electrical sockets for laptops, noobs. Anyway, enter Secret Recipe. A famous dessert’s chain in Malaysia (and everything is awesome). Ice cream, sofas, good Wi-Fi and the cherry on top – electrical sockets!

This is all pre-departure hall by the way, so I’ll be checking in the next 30 minutes. The departure hall is where I’ll be giving Coffee Bean & Burger King a whirl. Guaranteed to be awesome-sauce of course. Fine, fine, I won’t use awesome-sauce D:

Anyway, see you on the other side.
-Ar

Ready, Aim, Fire!

A friend of mine (http://ibendaya.wordpress.com) phrased the introduction of his return post almost exactly the way I would have, so here it is:

“Well hi there, non-existent constant reader, long time no see! I’ve wanted to write here for a very long time, but whenever I started a post it always went something like this: “wow, has really been that long?” or “sorry for the long wait” etc. And I just couldn’t proceed any further. It can’t be simple procrastination because it has been way too long since I wrote something, and It’s not because I was too busy because, well, I was not. To tell you the truth, I don’t really know why.”

Go subscribe to his blog, I’ll wait.

*whistles*

Done? Great.

Have to say, a great disadvantage of not writing regularly is that you really don’t know where to start. Recent events? Job scope of Twitter. Rants? Becoming a sad yet true stereotype of bloggers. Philosphies? I am not a King – yet. No, I believe the default goto topic should be themed around tips/suggestions. So here’s me sharing what I’ve learned over the past 2 years:

An independent life; for smarties.

adjective: Free from outside control; not depending on another’s authority.

The beauty of this lifestyle, it introduces you to the basics of management. Not managing abundant resources mind you, this is pure essentials management which is a very crucial skill. I’m going to use me experience to share what may help you someday. Successes, failures and above all lessons learned late.

  • Time. It really is not as difficult as people say it is, managing time. “I’m a procrastinator, it doesn’t help me.” Bullshit. Everybody procrastinates. If you cook, you have to set aside time for cooking/eating and cleaning. ~30 minutes tops on busy days. Continuing cooking as an example, it may take one person 1 hour to cook something that takes 30 minutes for others. It’s all about efficiency. In this example, multi-tasking. Not just staring at the pan but cleaning/doing other stuff meanwhile. Again, it’s not difficult it comes naturally. Another example, If you’re a muslim, managing time for your prayers on time.

In my opinion setting aside time for entertainment/activities that helps you recharge your batteries is equally important to setting aside time for studies. Why? It helps you deal with stress, anxiety & depression. Some people like to take breaks but personally I’d set aside a fixed time, perhaps 1 hour to finish some work that takes 1hr 30 minutes to complete. I prefer the pressure since  it increases the quality of my work. It also means I get to my “recharging batteries” activities quicker, which is the master of all motivations. I can’t tell you how important it is to have time dedicated for regaining your lost sanity.

  • Money: Any income (be it an allowance while studying, monthly salary, etc.) that you have needs to be properly distributed right at the start of each month. Laundry, cellphone bills, internet bills, electricity bills, groceries, and so forth. Planning this helps you avoid all surprise necessity expenses that pop up in the middle of the month. If these surprises hit, you’ll constantly worry about your remaining balance. Topping this off with worries of your studies/work, it’s stress that need not exist. This is one of the lessons I learned very late.

A friend (Gogulan) taught me the importance of savings. He aims to save up to 30% of his monthly income. Very hard number to hit at the start but once all expenses become familiar you can also aim for it. Piece of wisdom we tend to forget: Don’t live paycheck to paycheck.

  • Food:  Two points here. First, breakfast. Until only two months ago, I had a problem with not wanting to eat breakfast. I couldn’t eat it even if I tried. Felt like vomitting. A lot of people I know here have that problem. Body not accustomed to eating right after waking up. I usually had coffee/tea only and called it my “breakfast”. Two months ago I started trying out toast + combinations of different types of spreads like peanut butter/cheese/chocolate/etc. Even then I could only eat late breakfast (an hour or so after waking up). Only recently from one of my friend’s suggestions I tried St. Dalfour (french) raspberry flavored jam. Instantly fell in love. I crave it every morning the moment I regain consciousness. Of course I don’t have to tell you how helpful this is in my morning classes. Brain working at 5% to a whopping 100% (this is scientifically proven, totally not made up).  Anyway my point is if you have trouble adjusting to having breakfast just find your perfect breakfast meal and get your body accustomed to eating breakfast.

Second point: Cooking. Also a lesson learned late. Not only did it reduce my expenditure from eating out all the time. It helped me attain a regular food intake. Being a student often I’d skip dinner or lunch because I didn’t have time to walk to a restaurant/the restaurant was closed or for one of many other reasons. I have a high metabolism meaning missing one meal will cause me to lose weight. Two semester’s ago I ended up at 68 kg when my average (and ideal) weight  is ~74. My mom was not pleased. I hit 77 kg in 3 weeks when I went back home after that semester. Food was almost literally forced down my throat.

So cooking, highly recommended. Takes about 20-25 minutes to cook, eat and clean dishes for burgers. 30-35 mins for rice and chicken. Steak a bit longer. (Using an induction cooker, best investment I’ve ever made) Speaking of steak, all ingredients included, total cost per steak (and awesome steak might I add) averages around RM10-11, which is ~SR13-14. Unsurprisingly, after the discovery my friends and I started a “steak night” routine. We’re boys we’re slow in these things okay.

Men’s Grocery List: Steak + everything that makes said steak better

  • Support: Probably the most diffcult aspect of an independent life. I’m talking about people who help you keep your sanity. Or at least what is left of it after going through the aforementioned points. Even though one of my oldest friends studied at the college I was moving to, it felt a lot like starting on a completely new page. Imagine the feeling you get when you have all your childhood/close friends removed from your life. Then you’re given no choice but to get to know new people and start completely new circles. Not an easy task. Not at all. More difficult to accomplish in some places than others of course – depending on the similarity of the people at the place you move to.

I’m sure there are more points I should mention, however my brain has just given up one me so I’ll end here. In conclusion, yes it’s very exciting to begin an independent life, but there are many many challenges to it. I’m 2 years in now, and I can tell you I am no where near the point where “I’m prepared”. New situations will always present themselves, and only way to successfully defeat them would be to re-strategize my methods, ultimitely helping me to grow and become a better person.

Hope you found this helpful!

– Ar

Banned Words

Words or expressions I’ve been banned from using:

For shiz – The birth of which credited to the DCC gang (flopjoke/thecrazyjogger/whoelsewasinourgangohyesadel) was banned a few months later for alleged excessive use of the two-word combo by Ibrahim Bendaya. The evidence backing up the accusation included about half a dozen eye-witnesses (or ear-witnesses to be more accurate) and a pair of used socks  from the night the accused wrote on the wall the aforementioned two-word combo with blood  – mixed with ketchup (he ran out). For those interested, an unnamed but handsome source tells us it was written in Papyrus font to reflect the painters inner ambition of inspiring young used-socks writers to inherit this trend thereby driving people to the brink of insanity by the sheer overuse of the font. Needless to say, the unnamed (and handsome) source provided us the shocking data that leads us to believe the used-sock painter’s dream is truly – and fastly – becoming a reality.

Ya’ll – Fairly recent ban. Though I’m not sure what was wrong with me playing a southern state American. Credit to my internet buddies for the intervention. I hate ya’ll – oh cough cough – you all*!

Eww – Banned back in 2009 by Ahmad Bendaya. Who suggested the expression “yuckkkkk” (emphasizing the ‘ckkkk’) as replacement for manliness purposes. Okay, I’ll admit I really deserved that one.

‘S All Good – Much needed self-ban from use of the expression which – more often than not – was backed up with gestures I am not quite proud to have imitated. The expression may seem common but it pretty much replaced phrases such as “you’re welcome”, “no problem”, “oh it was my pleasure for having saved your two kids by taking three bullets in my lower abdomen, Mr President”. Clearly it was not healthy, no. Credit goes to Tariq Eisa for being the useless git to addict me to the expression (oh and a happy birthday dude).

Hmm, so what else have I been banned from using? There were at least half a dozen, or a dozen. Hmm. Can’t remember at the moment, I should probably just ask the Bendaya brothers. Shall update this later than :)

– Ar

Japan

Earlier today, I was in midst of a conversation with  Muaz after Jumuah prayer talking about the possibilites of another major earthquake after the Sumatra 2004. The other parts of the conversation include rumors of a free mason owning University of Limkokwing to the signs of the last day. 2012? Ha ha, I’d like to get high on ethylene gas in a cave and come with my revolutions but no that’s not what I meant by the last day.

At this point we had no idea of any of the happenings in Japan, so imagine my surprise when I log on to the internet only to have every network covering what is said to be the greatest Earthquake to hit Japan after the 9.1 Sumatra. @BBCBreaking news feed mentioned the whole of the Pacific Basin has been issued a tsunami warning. InshaAllah none of the others will be hit but till then, pray for Japan!

– Ar

Healing Rain

“Lately I’ve been over-thinking topics worth writing about here. Just realized I could just talk about my day.

Like every other Sunday. Far too much work thanks to my buddy Ms. Tination of the Procast clan. What? I’m just trying new ways to express overused words. Hey, let’s see you do better! So yeah, lotsa work to keep me company (or the stress of it at least). Energy playing pranks on me. Okay, you’ll have it when you sit up. Hah! So you actually fell for it. No worries, you’ll definitely have some when you take a hot shower. Okay, really, you fell for that one too? Come on, this is too easy. I’m going back to sleep.

Eventually I made some coffee, which didn’t do much except make me more hungry, and I only had a tuna can + bread and no drink which just wouldn’t float with me. Reluctantly I decided to once again, do the hard work of standing up. Walk to the closest co-op store which just opened a few days ago at the ground floor. (I’m on the first floor) So after a whopping set of stairs, I found myself in front of the co-op store, which I named “AQ” by the way. Friend of mine owns it. Name’s Abdul Qadir, but it didn’t catch on. I mean, you’d think telling my inner voices would do the trick but apparently I have to socialize and tell people. Pfft, talking? Too much work. So yeah, just my lucky day, the co-op was closed. After stomping on the ground for around 2 seconds, ’twas decided I was destined to walk to Upten (food court + Laundry + Shops + Clinic, etc. area). I mean, tuna sandwich with no drink just won’t do, water? for wusses. Real men drink Ice Tea. Umm … yeah, I’ll get back to you on that.

My devious inner voice, who really did insist on being referred to as my devious inner voice (apparently the concept of naming hasn’t dawned on him yet) joined the fun of amplifying my misery by suggesting I do some studying while I’m there at Upten. The weather was better than perfect. He did have a point, and my argument of ‘Arrgg but I’m tired’ was of little help. Packed my bag with various survival tools and began my journey to the center of the world! … umm, *Upten!

‘Twas like the weather had a crush on me, or the vice versa but that would be weird. Lots of logic accumulating in this piece of writing eh? My iPod’s shuffling was as usual nothing short of awesome. Oh I prepared a few hundred songs before leaving, the journey ahead required it. Manic Street Preacher’s (an 80’s indie/alt rock band) A Design for Life drew first blood. Followed by Darker My Love’s Two Ways Out, Snow Patrol’s Take Back The City. By the end of Hans Zimmer’s At Wit’s End I was already devouring my rice and chicken meal gruesomely with a fork and spoon. One could argue the journey was quite short but to me the more logical choice was, Hans Zimmer’s song was forever and a half long. Still, brilliance was not sleeping when Zimmer was composing that one.

Anyway fast forward, done eating, went to the Uni mosque to study. When I say the mosque has it’s own indoor lake, you should assume the levels of awesome it surpasses. So yeah, the mosque has it’s own indoor lake.

Started raining precisely at that moment.

~2-3 hours later, the rain still didn’t light up.

Note, I packed post apocalyptic-zombie attack equipment  (my laptop) and yet forgot to bring a damned umbrella. 30 minutes pass while I sat under the Upten dome staring at the rain, listening to the giggles of the potential “the one’s” around me, and day dream of being one of their Prince Charming … ya, not exactly … I was playing Tap Tap Revenge III on my recently bought iPod Touch. Ignoring the fact that I was surrounded by humans. *shivers in disgust at thought* As the popular interwebs phrase goes: I for one, welcome our alien overlords any day.

– An Orc for life.”

That was written on October the 20th, 2010, though it’s incomplete. For the life of me I cannot tell you why there are 6 more posts collecting internet-dust in the drafts folder. Perhaps they are quite irrelevant to what I actually wanted to say,  perhaps the first sentence of the post above was just incorrect or perhaps the most likely of explanations, I just  ran out of care-juice.

Monday Blues

The hardest part of writing something is almost always  – in my opinion – the beginning.

Well. That was all I wanted to say about that so … yeah.

I’m in Bangladesh right now, on a three week long-awaited and well-deserved break. I say the latter mostly because my vacations haven’t been longer than 2-3 weeks in years. A year. Feels like a year. Oh screw you what do you know.

A few updates over the past year;

I joined Twitter.

I left Twitter.

And than I joined again.

I left.

Cough cough, pride really failed me on that one. Twice! I may have to look for a replacement pride soon. How’s the market of pride nowadays? I hear there’s a shortage of stocks considering everyone seems to be packing extras. Damned lunatics.

Well, on the not so bright side of things, my favorite author really did disappoint me big time with his latest book. Not really my “favorite” author since I don’t read enough to entitle me with an opinion of best authors. See! I know my place, cuz my pride is on vacation. It’s always on vacation. That rat basta… *deep breath* calm down Beg, calm down.

The book is Under the Dome by Stephen King, a book my closest friends in Malaysia were so kindly enough to buy me as a present. Mostly because I dragged them to the bookstore to check for the paperback version every other damned week for God knows how long. Hey, maybe I should do that more often with other books. Hmm, I might be on to something here.

Uniten residence hotel, restaurant and mosque

A few weeks ago the UNITEN restaurant in the middle of the lake had a house-band playing a song. Tariq, Muhammad and myself were returning from Upten (food court) when we heard the song. For the life of me I couldn’t figure it out, we sat in the grass overlooking that view above (almost exactly but at night) trying to hammer down the name of the song. As Tariq knows, I’m horrible to the power square when it comes to figuring out the names of songs even if I did know them. Not even Lady Gaga crap (happened on more than one occasion, or was it another artist? I never pay attention when he bitches about this stuff.

Anyway not this night, I figured it out, yes I did, yep, uh-huh. One of my fondest moments of the year I would say, because it’s the only song I use to listen to regularly as a teenager by this particular band; The Beatles. Song’s name is Hey Jude, truly an amazing song, ya’ll should give it a shot. I did listen to their other songs, but they never stuck as this one did. A good memory.

On other updates my niece Ameera is arriving day after tomorrow, it’s been over a year now since I last saw her. For all the uncles and aunts out there, I don’t have to tell you how it feels. Hmm, I think I’m missing something.

Oh yes yes, her parents – my older brother Abdullah and his wife Farhana – are tagging along too, yes, I almost forgot.

Alright take care now! :]