Thursday, May 29, 2008

Back at square one

It was a couple of days before our last SPM paper, and instead of locking ourselves in our rooms and cramping with all the Biology juggins, we lofted around at the astaka near the field in the middle of the night and just stared blankly at the clear Langkawi skies. Trust me, it really clears your head off. Then, one of us popped a question which I somehow presented everytime a situation where the prospect of the future is considered; How do we see ourselves in 10 year times? Of course, the commoner will have life goals and career on their heads. But, there are times when we wonder, what will become of the friendship forged between us and our friends. To be honest, there is a chapter in my life which made me very skeptical of companionship and I always try to keep my guard up by not indulging myself with any best friends. And of course, I have always have this notion of people being self-centered and profit-motived that they would not give a damn on friendship. And of course, later on, after SPM, we will be surely taking different pathways, and they would be unlikely parallel with each other. But after 1 year in KMB, I’ve proved myself wrong.
During my dark ages, I found tranquility and peace in solitary and self-confinement, and I would never be content with people’s achievements which are more superior than those of mine. But, after all the things that set in motion the past few years, I took knowledge of the fact that the world is a spherical, living glob, and no matter where you are and which direction you head, you will end up at the same point where you start. It also implies on friendship. Of course, we will be encounter momentous and defining decisions that might seemed a you put your friends as an opportunity cost, but there were never such circumstances. Of course, there would be separation, not just by distance, but also the different state and extend of indulgence, but men are bounded by their emotional attachment with their counterparts. Just a couple of days before our sem 2 examination, Nabil, Syahir and Maryam have been darlings to visit and observe themselves how pathetic and miserable we have become. They stayed for a night in the 5 star accommodation of KMB, and we did some catching up session on the things we left off. Each has their own stories to share and it has been very interesting to know the changes we’ve been through. Judging at the various raw emotions and facial gestures on each of their faces, it seemed that so little has change between us, even though some has more pimples on their faces and some has longer hair. It felt exactly the same as 501 and 502 that we once cried and laughed in. Yes, it has been two years, but the bond we have is still strong to an extend that our dear friend Jaja was overwhelmed and touched by the sight that she was reduced to tears. Needless to say, it’s up to you judge how strong a friendship could be, if it is nurtured and cherished.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A holiday which is not a holiday at all

It's the holidays, but it doesn't feel like one. These are a few of the long list of things i need to do in the 3 weeks whichsupposed to be my semester break.

1. World Literature Assignment 's First Draft

2. Establishing RQ for Extended Essay

3. Personal statement for university placement

4. Internal Assesment for Economics

5.Analysing some Malay Literature




and the list continues

Hey.. That's IB!!!

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Chaing Rai Experence

Well, I have been longing to write this entry since I touched down in Malaysia from Thailand. But of course, time constraint and assignments, assignments, assignments have never failed in keeping me away from my keyboard.
I have been so blessed to be given the chance to attend a youth seminar on social development and drug abuse prevention in Chiang Rai, Thailand end of March. It was actually a 7 day workshop attended by youth leaders from ASEAN countries and China where we exchanged strategies and experiences on issues and the roles that could be taken by youths in handling these issues. Each country has sent 5 representatives, consisting of a mentor and 4 participants.
To be honest, I was quite nervous to attend such activities for it was my first time attending an international seminar, and what more to be addressing in front of an international crowd. But of course, it is never too early for the first.
You could not just ignore the scent of awkwardness feeling up the air. The ice breaking session was as if we were meeting Martians who are on an official visit to earth. But, the vibrant colours of their unique traditional attire created a more friendly environment suitable for making acquaintances. Maybe I put my hopes too high on this seminar, but it was to my disappointment that a considerable number of the participants do not have the English proficiency sufficient in addressing heavy issues as those that would be discussed on the seminar. I pointed out this to the Singaporean and Malaysian mentors, but they told me that I would learned something very valuable from it; and trust me I did.
One thing that was very evident, and also very interesting about the seminar was the differences of culture from different countries converging at one point. At first, we did encounter some problems when our believes, thinking, and managing system collided which has stirred up some conflicts and confrontation. But of course, at the end of the day, we realized that differences are not weaknesses, but it is actually an asset that could unite and strengthen us all. To me, the differences of cultures and believes are not meant to be discarded or prevented, but they are meant to be celebrated. I would love to quote what the Singaporean mentor addressed to us in the mentor’s closing speech “Overall, the greatest and best consensus that we have reached is to agree to disagree’. Try to read between the lines…
Being elected as the chairman and the overall manager was a defining moment to me, and of course it brought along a huge responsibility. I have never imagined myself gaining an overwhelming support from other countries. I don’t know what I did to deserve such respect from these people, but I always believe that in order to gain respect, you need to respect others first. Acting as the overall manager, I was to organize and facilitate a ‘drug prevention day’ which will be attended by 50 international students. Sounds easy, but there’s a twist…. It would be a formal event, attended by some Thai big shots, and I was only given one day to set everything!! To me, it was not just a test of my managing skills as the president of my college, but it was for the good name and pride of the Malaysian name. The pressure escalated, and it was just hard core. I even did not take my bath the whole day as I had my mind on this thing. There were a couple of conflicting ideas and managing system that came into the picture, such as my managing approach deviated from Thailand’s conventional approach, the choice of venues between China and Brunei. In times like this, I realized that democracy has its limits and it must be balanced up with an authoritarian approach. Soon, we managed to reach a consensus on the blueprint and it was executed well. Alhamdullillah, everything went well, and I was grateful to have friends from Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Brunei, China and my county mates who has been my greatest allies and support throughout the whole ordeal. But despite the tantrums and quarrelling, we manage to bury the hatchet, stand on common ground against common enemies.
But the one thing than transcends culture and language was the friendship forged between all the participants. In the early period of the workshop, the bilateral issues which brew up between Malaysia and its neighbours somehow affected my cold perception on the people of that particular country. I might not need to go into details, fearing it would become seditious, but to be honest, their top politician’s stands and views does not reflect the good people of the country, and they are actually very nice people. Throughout the whole 7 days, we laughed and cried together, and we became very close and fond with each other. I actually don’t know how to put into words, but the 7 days we spent together has created a lovely and wonderful friendship between us all. We partied, dance, and had fun together, and we have become one huge family. I still remember when we were to depart to the Suvarnabhumi Airport, all of our friends were waiting for us at the lobby early in the morning, just to say their goodbyes to us. A lot of red eyes were seen, and I was not excluded from the emotional drama. I still remember how we hug, and had a group hug together; a sheer sign of the friendship we cultivate throughout the whole 7 days there. Puktan, our close friend hugged me so dearly, and it as quite some time before she let me go. It was such a tear-shedding moment, but of course, it would be one of the hardest things that you could take place in a friendship. It’s true that it takes a second to make a friend, but it takes a lifetime to say goodbye.
All in all, it has been an unbelievable and extraordinary experience for me to be attending the event. It has benefitted me a lot in so many ways, and it is an experience that I would not trade in for anything, even a million dollars. It is those moments which is worthy to be in my most memorable moments in my life, and it has created a new me and shifted my paradigm to the better. Love you all my friends! Youth leader rox!!!!

A sudden change of hearts

Hey there my fellow friends. Its been quite some time since the last time i updated my blog, and now, I have the time, means, and the mood to write my heart out on my blog. I have been seriously and heavly occupied by assignments, projects, problems, exams, and so many side dishes that even being able to sit in front of the laptop would be heaven. There were so many things that happen for the past couple of months, which I personally believe it is worth to be shared with all of you. I don’t know to what extend it will entertain you, but I for one, believe that the things that happen to me has their own hikmahs and I hope it could inspire you as how it has inspire me so much. And now, I see the world as a spherical clouds with silver and golden linings.
Every student who is under a scholarship knows very well that they are bounded to the terms and contracts set by their sponsors. I for one am no exception; MARA will be spending more that RM 1.5 million on me so that I’ll become a certified doctor and contribute to the GDP in Malaysia’s labour force. But a week before my Economics paper, I somehow ended up with a question that every medical students dread so much; why should I become a doctor? Don’t worry, I am not regretting to take up medicine and im not being boastful and all-proud of my Allah-given abilities, it’s just that I believe that my potential can be put to better use rather that wasting on just becoming a normal, stereotypical doctor in a cubicle, repeating the same old routine each day, succumbing yourself to a life of a social outcast. I don’t mean to offend the very people who have dedicated their lives in this noble profession, but it’s just that I see doctors can reach further and do more to the community and the world rather that the things that they are doing now. I feel that this people have spent a large portion of their lives learning and understanding the greatest knowledge of all; the miracles of man’s creation, and they should be more than just doctors. They are destined to be world shakers. Still, I don’t have even the slightest intention of downgrading other professions and I believe that they are as important to the community and to the country.
After being given the chance to address to an international crowd on heavy issues, and organizing programmes on an international scale, I have found that my passion lies in making people more aware of the surroundings and the issues which are shaping the world everywhere. There are so many things going on all around us, but it’s a disappointment to know that the people who have the privilege of having food in their plates more than 3 times a day don’t give a damn about those people living in famine and poverty. Darfur, Palestine, Rwanda, Afghanistan, and the list just goes on. I know that becoming just a doctor would not help this people, so I need to do more, much more. Realistic enough, countering development and social issues would sound as if it came out of a Brother Grimm’s fairy tales, but dreams do come true and to tell you the truth, I still don’t know which path should I take which could lead me to achieving my cause. But despite it all, I know I can do it. And to my fellow friends out there, I for one have the upmost confidence that you all also have the potential and the ability to change the world. It might be a long, winding, and treacherous road, but it is never impossible. If you are to become an engineer, don’t become ‘just an engineer’, but ‘The Engineer’. If you opt to become an accountant, don’t just become an accountant but be ‘the Accountant’. And to future doctors, be ‘The Doctor’.