Yearbook 03: Foolish February.

     February is the shortest month of the year and it ended last week. My father and I drove from Johor Bharu to Kuala Terengganu together just before Chinese New Year. It was Thursday night and school holiday had just started, so you can imagine how jammed and packed the road was during that time. Traffic wasn't moving at all and I lamented to my father how flimsy, sterile and mechanical this whole situation was.

     He commented that at least Malaysians still have that spirit of balik kampung thick in their blood. This is a wonderful sight. At that point I was nodding to show my agreement, but inside I was laughing at myself for never thinking in that perspective. I was looking at a glass half full as half empty and looking back, its funny in an unfunny way how our perspective change as we age.

     We split up in Kuala Terengganu. I was going North to Besut and Tanah Merah, Sungai Petani and so on whereas he was going down south to Kemaman to meet up with his friends. They had a school reunion planned. I attended 2 of my housemate's wedding and had a little road trip of my own along the way. Pulau Banding looks amazing just by looking from the window of car as was the view from Grik's unique R&R atop the mountain. I had a nice steak in Sungai Petani and I had a nice lunch too at a very good friend's house in Melaka. The Steel Mosque in Putrajaya is a wonderful piece of modern architecture as are the buildings at the not-yet finished Kota Iskandar in Nusajaya. It looks to be as spectacular as its spiritual brother Putrajaya. You know, I could go on and on with what I saw along my journey.

    Unlike the past two yearbook entries which were heavily inspired by Sleeping At Last, this one is inspired by those classics Studio Ghibli movies. Hayao Miyazaki's works are synonymous with this studio. There's another director whose highly respected but sadly underrated by the masses in this studio besides him named Isao Takahata. Now whereas Miyazaki fell in love with fantasy and adventure movies, Takahat moved in the opposite direction - towards realism. Watching his movies, you'll realise how much of a master he is at presenting the joys of ordinary lives. Each time I watch a never-seen before Ghibli film, I get a little bit sad to know that there is one less to be seen.

     My camera broke down, so my photography activities sadly had come to a stall. Personally I define photography as a way of me recording things, events and memories - recording my life. Speaking of life, in my head at least I always thought of wanting to do all these generous things - helping people, cleaning the dishes when mama's not around, helping abah wash the cars, becoming a good brother to my 3 sisters etc but I couldn't do so. More often than not I would rather do other mundane things, I would feel remorse afterwards of course but the whole thing just repeats itself. 

    Such is the irony of life I guess. Looking back, in the guise of growing up and trying to look mature, many good qualities that had been planted to me had been lost. And thus is the story of Foolish February, to always be humble. Yes, to always be humble.

Foolish february.

Yearbook 03 - Foolish February 5

Time moves slow, for wondering souls. Not knowing where tomorrow goes.

Yearbook 03 - Foolish February 4

I have lived a bit, but died a little more.

Yearbook 03 - Foolish February 3

Mom would yell asking me to hurry, hurry and hurry up. Breaking me from my defeated gaze.

Yearbook 03 - Foolish February 1

The wheel keeps turning towards the same direction. Mundane.

Yearbook 03 - Foolish February 6

And repetition somehow makes us forget the joy of many things.

Yearbook 03 - Foolish February 2

Here in the meantime, may the unknown nourishes life. But till when.

Yearbook 03 - Foolish February 7

One day I hope I’ll wake up and realise- to make any difference one must simply try, try to use words less than my hands.

Yearbook 03 - Foolish February Makanan1

And turn these tired gears into something of an equilibrium. 

Yearbook 03 - Foolish February 8

Because our fables tell our truths.

Inspirations, passions & motivations.
1. I was fascinated by stories my aunt told of her growing up in the village. It took her 3 hours to walk to school everyday imagine that. She would walk in groups and would stop by the houses along the way to They were very poor growing up and raya is the only day where they'd get new clothes and shoes. The irony of this is that the clothes and shoes will be used for the rest of the year so they will end up having to wear the same pair the whole year. Most of my aunts stopped going to school eventually because the burden was too much for them too handle.
2. So the images in this post are what I imagined their lives would be like in those days. Mama said the only source of entertainment for them siblings are eating colek during the evening after school. Colek is a rojak like dish famous in Kelantan. They would eat freshwater fish with budu almost everyday. Very rarely would they be served chicken and every single time tok ayah would slaughter his poultry it would be an event for the whole family. Which is again ironic since the whole family eat chicken so much now that eating fish would be an event for us.
3. They words between the pictures tells the story of an anonymous girl in that village who one day decided to take a leap of faith and travel outside to find a job. She's hesitant of course but one day she took that leap - and it was the best thing she ever did.
4. Reports of Malaysian Airlines' Boieng 777 crash was all over the news. 239 people including cabin crews were onboard the flight. It took me quite some time to let that number sink in. To put into perspective just how many people those numbers are, that is like losing all of my batchmates in one swoop - the thought of it makes me shiver.
5. Do watch Only Yesterday directed by Isao Takahata. It is my favourite Studio Ghibli movie of all time. If there's one movie that shows the power of animation in conveying human emotions, then this is it. The scene where Taeko's father slap her just slays me in just how real it was. I'm sure everyone had been on the same boat when they were little. It is rare coming of an age within a coming of an age story. I love how the last 20 minutes unfold which makes you immediately want to rewatch the story again.
5. I'm currently listening to The December Sessions Volume 2 by David Hodges. I love the first volume and whilst this in my opinion is not up to par to the first one particularly this track, but I enjoyed it a lot. The folk song undertone may not fit everyone's taste however. Give Chasing Shadows a listen.