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Monthly Archives: August 2015

We Don’t Disguise This Blessing

Blessed are those who wake up under the safe roof of one’s own, next to the loved one, and others who wait within reach.

Blessed are those who wake up alone with smile on the face as breakfast’s guaranteed and running soon ensues.

Blessed are those who wake up grumbling about the night before and the day ahead, for it is a sign of living.

Blessed are those who wake up with their stomach churning about to do the number-two, for it is a sign of living.

Blessed are those who wake up daydreaming, because when mind wanders, infinite possibilities will happen.

Blessed are those who wake up with drools, because normalcy is never overrated.

Blessed are those who wake up moaning, because living starts with loving.

Blessed are those who wake up with a silent prayer, for one is always connected to the universe in many inexplicable manners.

Blessed are those who choose to wake up.

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Posted by on 08/24/2015 in Blog, English

 

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Happy 1st Anniversary, Linimasa!

Tomorrow, our communal blog linimasa.com will turn exactly one year old.

In this day and age, I cannot believe that I get to say such a cliche statement: “how time flies by”. But when it comes to this blog, time has indeed flown at such a rapid movement.

Linimasa came at the right moment. I was in the middle of some sort of self-healing. Then when the came offer, such a generous one, indeed, I immediately said “yes”. My initial reaction was that I got to have a habit of writing once a week. A routine, you may say. Something I had not had for a while then.

You see, I used to write a weekly review for a local paper. In English. I got to think hard what to write every Wednesday, because the deadline fell on every Thursday, before the writing got published on weekend. When I got the Thursday slot for linimasa, the almost similar routine stroke again: I got restless every Wednesday. Whenever possible, I tried to avoid going out, making out, and anything that required me to be out and about every Wednesday night, fearing the looming deadline.

You know how it is with blog: you are the writer, the editor, the designer, all rolled into one. Once you finish writing, you have to check any grammatical error or any mistakes in spelling. Then you insert links to anything on your writing that needs external URL source. After that, you choose appropriate image to insert on the writing. Sometimes, this takes up more time than the actual writing. You hit the ‘preview’ button to see how it looks. As I read the write-up on the preview mode, sometimes I spot an error or two, or more, then going back to the dashboard to edit again. Finally, we hit the ‘publish’ button.
And then we wait for the reaction. From readers, that is.

Linimasa.com marks my first regular writing in Indonesian. One of my friends wondered whether I could keep it up. As you can see right here, most of my personal blog posts are written in my unbelievably broken English. I am writing faster in English, indeed, especially to convey personal opinions and thoughts. But Linimasa.com gave me the opportunity to learn the joy of writing to your nearby neighbours, friends, colleagues, and everyone within immediate “reach”.

After all, what made me nod to Linimasa is not only the opportunity to write regularly in Indonesian again, but also to learn. When Roy asked me, he mentioned the other writers who had agreed to participate. I have been more than familiar with Gandrasta and Glenn in terms of their works. I also read a few of Roy’s writings, and so did Fa’s and Dragono’s. The only one I was not familiar with yet at that time was Agun. Of course, it soon changed for the better.

As you also know, Agun writes about music, film, and pop culture very smoothly and easily while throwing in facts he meticulously gathers. And who would’ve thought that Roy is the dreamer of all? Glenn acutely observes the society we live in now. His writing tickles.
From Gandrasta, I learn how to grab attention in your writing from the get-go to the end. He never fails.
Then Dragono comes with deep thinking in his writing, almost to Zen-like effect. Most of the time, I feel terrified writing after him, since I got the Thursday slot after his Wednesday.
Then the women of Friday, Fa and Leila. Farah (or Fa) came with a bang, typical of playful young woman in her 20s who likes to explore variety of things with winking observation. When she steps down, her replacement, Leila, is exactly the opposite. A young woman in her 40s who already know what she wants, and this is reflected in her writing. Read Lei’s writings, you will find many tactical, practical tips that clearly show how the writer has experienced and gone through it all.

And a year on, I have proved to what I told the same friend who asked about the idea of Linimasa: that I get to be standing on the shoulders of the giants, and learn from them.
To date, I still read old posts from months ago written by the other writers. Perhaps you also do the same when you click on an article, and then further click on another once you finished reading one. Sometimes I chuckle, most of the time I smile reading the old posts and comments.

As Roy often points out, I don’t think we set ourselves to be a hard hitting journalism. It is, after all, a blog. Maybe in his words he’d like to point out that what we do is a sensational public display of masturbation, but I’d like to think that we just share what we feel like sharing, because we never take ourselves seriously in the first place. We write what we want to write. Sometimes I don’t know what to write in the eleventh hour, sometimes I have no idea at all. I often dig through past writings, and modify them a little to publish in Linimasa. Sometimes I just take a quote and elaborate any possible words I can think out of it. Sometimes I am just hopelessly in mercy of whatever gets me to the day. And that one happens very, very often.

I came across a saying once that goes something like “writing sets one free”. I could not be more grateful for the past 52 weeks that I never fail to show up every Thursday, and be able to present my rambling for that particular week. To date, as I am writing this note, I am still amazed at myself to be able to carry on the routine. Every week, and I was never absent. Not once. I hardly commit to anything, but why is it actually possible to honour the commitment here?

Well, who knows?

We’ll just keep on writing.

Linimasa

Linimasa

Happy birthday. Thank you for putting me here, guys.

 
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Posted by on 08/23/2015 in Blog, English, Personal

 

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Singapore, 50 Years Old Today

I remember watching an episode of Sex and the City a few years ago. Can’t recall which season exactly, but it’s the one where Cynthia Nixon (Miranda, right?) stands on the ferry taking her back to Manhattan. She looks at the island from afar, and says, “Who would’ve thought an island that tiny would be big enough to hold all our old boyfriends?”
Today, as Singapore turns 50 years old, I can’t help thinking along the same line.
No, the island doesn’t hold all my old romantic flings.

But this city, this tiny red dot island, has a great power millions times of its size to change one life’s for good.
This is the place where I get my university degree, the sole one I have so far.

This is the place where I start learning how to earn a living. A waiter, a clown, a salesman, a liaison officer, a customer service assistant, a writer. Wow.

This is the place where I gained and lost extreme weight within less than than half a decade.

This is the place where I met friends, lost friends, and eventually, have friends for life, for good.

This is the place where I started falling in love, and never look back again.
For others, Singapore may be the concrete jungles where business and fun meet.

But to me, Singapore is the leisure walk on a drizzling Saturday afternoon with friends for coffee followed by movies in Cathay or Lido. Or Sunday jog followed by lunch in any hawker centres. Or those do-nothing-but-sitting-on-a-couch in a friend’s flat. Or those late night supper of prata and nasi lemak back in our younger days.
I lived in the country for 6.5 years. I began as a young boy who left his hometown to study, and I left the country as a young man who decided to drop everything for a career change.

It has not been a smooth sail. But somewhere at the back of my mind, I keep thinking that I’ll be fine, as long as I have friends I made when I was here. Because they’re friends for life.
And now I remember that I watched the Sex and the City episode for the first time back in Singapore, in the room of my rented condo in Bukit Batok.
Happy birthday, Singapore.

You’re not just a well-designed country. You’re the land that has changed one’s life for good.

Thank you.

  

 
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Posted by on 08/09/2015 in Blog, English, Personal

 

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Note on a Thursday Afternoon

One of the great unfortunate elements of falling in love is that you don’t remember the exact moment.

You don’t remember the specific time.
You forget the precise dotted point on the clock when you start falling.

By any means, it is perfectly fine.

We are swept by the excitement of having someone new in life.
We are thrilled by continuous discoveries we unearth of each other everyday.
We are overjoyed by the sheer sensation of living on clouds number nine.

But then the law of gravity plays its part.

For everything that is put up above, eventually it will come down.
For every moment of falling in love, it will soon be followed by falling out.

We are busy questioning everything, not enough with just accepting.
We are keen on interrogating and investigating, not enough with just asking and believing.
We are dwelling on anger, bitterness, confusion and disappointment. The ABCD of emotional fallout.

We forget that once, we were alive.
We forget that once, we were happy.
We forget that once, we were in love.

Thus, if you ask me when was the last time I fell in love, I can only meet your eyes and say, “I don’t remember”.
But ask me if I ever want to love again, and I let my smile say, “always”.

 
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Posted by on 08/06/2015 in English, Personal

 

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