Wednesday, April 28, 2010

which heart is yours?

A profound video that an usrah mate shared a fortnight ago:

Let us slow down and question ourselves tonight,
"Which heart is yours?"

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Waterless thoughts

Which is weirder, the fact that I’m having Bruce Springsteen on at the moment, or that last night I discovered a mysterious packet containing a cardigan on my chair and later had a dream that it was a birthday gift from Zach Braff (and that we were friends and so on and so on)?

Haha… a conundrum to rouse your otherwise mundane Saturday morning. The cardigan turned out to be for my roomie by the way (U_U), because, well, today is her birthday (To whom this may concern- don’t leave other people’s gifts on my chair! Haha). Happy birthday dear roomie- another year filled with blessings, inshaallah.

Shall I say that the birthday wish is another coincidence? ;) I’ve been sidelined today by a reminder of how powerful an effect the elements of nature hold over your life- they’ve cut the water supply from last night until tomorrow evening for some work on maintenance. And our teacher has been kind enough to give us a holiday today so my plan was to simply lay dormant in order to circumvent excessive need for use of precious water. So here I am, with the most dormant yet productive activity I can think of. Haha.

I have been living with inconsistencies lately, one after another. I thought I was at peace with myself, and then I wasn’t. I thought I had a firm grip on something, and then I didn’t. Some old, long-held notions were questioned, and when I thought I was confident enough to straighten things out, I faltered. And I really want to write about a whole world of things, but my mind has been, for the lack of a prettier word, blocked. Ok, I made this sound rather alarming, but it really isn’t. I hope. See…? Inconsistencies.

I may not have the goods to write today, but I do have a good picture to share- the cake I made with Farah’s help for Fatin’s birthday. It was fun! Hehe.

Eyjafjallajökull cake... hehe. Nah... it's actually a poke at Fatin's 'volcano' cake a couple of years back... long story. Anyway, it's carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. And chocolate rice lava. :)

Good day, everyone.

"Are you ready to cut off your head and place your foot on it? If so, come; Love awaits you! Love is not grown in a garden, nor sold in the marketplace; whether you are a king or a servant, the price is your head, and nothing less. Yes, the cost of the elixir of love is your head! Do you hesitate? 0 miser, It is cheap at that price!" –Al-Ghazali

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Happy birthday, Abah!

The following entry was written from 10th April until 12th April 2010.

First of all, happy 49th birthday to my father- the person whom I always looked up to for answers when I was small, and at some point when he couldn’t give one, I would be struck by surprise. May Allah bestow upon you the best of this life and the hereafter.

It would appear as if I had really been following the birthday-wish pattern, but this really is a simple matter of coincidence. Kind of. There’s no need to elaborate, but I just wanna say that my laptop’s gone (almost) bust, and I’ve been scraping off what’s left of it besides parasiting on my roomie’s (who’s gone back to Malaysia for two weeks, but we’ll get to that later). Hence the non-existent blog.

Between surviving surgery and having a wisdom tooth eruption, nothing major has happened in this side of the world. Oh, but the bombings. It was a tragedy, and I knew paranoia was bound to seep in thereafter. Some people were concerned about me wearing black headscarf, so I’ve been wearing every colour other than black (actually only brown and purple) for the past fortnight. Fortunately, I haven’t had any unpleasant encounter with relations to the incident, although some had (a friend even got slightly harassed by a drunk in the marshrut- luckily a gentleman came to rescue). I was surprised to learn that muslim girls wearing hijab had to be scanned before taking the metro here the other day. It’s been quite a while since I took the metro so I was spared the disgrace. Caution mixed with prejudice will only sow unmerited distrust in everyone. Come on, most muslim girls wearing hijab in this city are Malaysians, and ask any average, unprejudiced Russian out there, and they will tell you that Muslim girls in hijab here are the most polite, mischief-free group of people.

Life has been bouncing up and down for me these days- to say that it’s been good is sugarcoating it, to say it’s been bad is an exaggeration. Procrastinations, emotional turmoils, bad falls and headbumps (I still keep hitting my head on the bedpost), impatience… basically old issues with my own self. But there also have been improvements in some other parts, of which I’m very happy. I’m turning a year older myself tomorrow, so I sure dang hope I’ve improved! Hehe.

My roomie’s coming back tonight from homeland. Her father’s been recently diagnosed with astrocytoma and is undergoing radiotherapy at the moment, and she flew back to be with him, albeit for a short while. Having gone through a similar experience three years back (my father had pituitary tumour), I kind of hoped I understood her feelings. But each of us is different, and the way we handle road blocks in life are also perceptibly different. One thing, though- however tall the mountains before us, however deep the sea beneath our feet, however bumpy the road we tread on, we know, perhaps deep inside, of the tools necessary to get through unscathed. We’ve known this all along, but more often than not, we choose to fall prey to our own diseased hearts, drowning in perpetual depression. And that is to turn to Allah, our Protector, who alone is sufficient for us.

“But if they turn away, say: ‘Allah is sufficient for me. None has the right to be worshipped but He, in Him I put my trust and He is the Lord of the Mighty Throne.’”

When my father was about to undergo surgery to remove his tumour, I spoke to him on the phone, and I asked whether he was the tiniest bit scared about the whole thing. He answered “no” after a nanosecond pause, and the conviction in his voice made me feel ashamed of myself- for not being able to be as strong as him, for not fully putting my faith in Him, that He knew what was best for my father. I mean, I did have faith, or I thought I did. But I was also breaking into pieces inside my heart, which I knew I shouldn’t.

We always chant the word “tawakkal”, but do we fully understand its meaning? We say we do, but when a calamity befalls us, we grumble, question God, become hysterical, overly depressed, and even despair, or any milder versions of these.

To my roomie, behind that soft exterior of yours, I know there’s a hard shell of determination, and faith. I pray you and your family will get through this test, and pass with flying colours, inshaallah.