Sunday, August 22, 2010
The car was a twisted wreck, so was the driver, but not yet dead. His fatal wound: one of his broken ribs had punctured his left lung. With whatever strength left in his limp body he struggled violently on the stretcher, refusing to leave, His hands no longer obeyed him, from his mouth incomprehensible gurgle. His eyes did the talking, moving back and forth from his wrecked Honda and to the medic’s eyes, Please. You left something in there? the medic gestured to the wreck as he strapped down the man for the ride to the GH. I’ll look for it, the medic promised. One long stare and the man relaxed slightly, calmed by the promise and the drugs pumped into him. The ambulance is long gone, along with the medic’s aide. The medic found what the man had been so reluctant to leave behind, an envelope stained with blood; a card from the looks of it and a bouquet of roses with some of the petals fallen off because of all the tumbling the car did after the lorry rammed into its side. Another drunk driving case. There is a woman by the bed of the deceased, the wife. Not a sob, only tears. She spoke unbidden; death of a loved one loosened her tongue. The man had been notoriously forgetful. From things to anniversaries. Its their anniversary today. What are those? she asked pointing to the envelope and the half dead bouquet, her voice choking back sobs. Perhaps he hadn’t forgotten after all. For you, i think, said the medic handing her over both. Sure enough it is an anniversary card. Her sobbing stopped as she read the card. She looked at the medic and asked, who the heck is Sally??
Posted by Thedervish at 2:27 AM
Eight rules for writing a short story:
- Use the time of a total stranger in such a way that he or she will not feel the time was wasted.
- Give the reader at least one character he or she can root for.
- Every character should want something, even if it is only a glass of water.
- Every sentence must do one of two things—reveal character or advance the action.
- Start as close to the end as possible.
- Be a Sadist. No matter how sweet and innocent your leading characters, make awful things happen to them—in order that the reader may see what they are made of.
- Write to please just one person. If you open a window and make love to the world, so to speak, your story will get pneumonia.
- Give your readers as much information as possible as soon as possible. To hell with suspense. Readers should have such complete understanding of what is going on, where and why, that they could finish the story themselves, should cockroaches eat the last few pages.
Posted by Thedervish at 2:09 AM
Friday, August 20, 2010
I've been increasingly trying to isolate myself from the happenings of the world outside to concentrate on my studies (yes, you may call it what you want but i learned ALOT about conveyancing in the space of a month) but somehow i caught wind of the racist remark made by the school principal in Johor. Upon seeing the report (its all over the Net by now i think) i was rendered speechless. Even now so many feelings cloud my ability to type properly.
First of all, how could a person of her standing have made such remark on the first place. I mean, the idea is that your position reflects upon your experience and to largely, your intelligence. To me, a teacher sat on that esteemed and respected place shared only by mothers and fathers. Teachers sat on that place solely for their honoured role of imparting knowledge and wisdom to those who had none, a principal would surely rank higher in that degree of respectability but alas, this whiff of fart might dispel that myth. I still find it hard to believe of all people in the world, a principal would utter a remark that preached intolerance and bigotry in front of schoolchildren. We had our share of shocking, racist remarks made by politicians who after all would say anything to garner votes but for an educator, it is simply unthinkable. Teachers and parents play a big role in shaping how a child see the world, like the saying melentur buluh biar dari rebungnya, that is true. If a child is to be subjected to this negative perception of other races from the very beginning then i would not be surprised if later in life they turn out to be ignorant louts with Nazi-like understanding of race relation (which is to say Non-Aryan or in our case, Non-Malays are untermensch; undesirables, unfit to live). Now where did they learn all this? At school.
Whammo! Who will be blamed? the teacher, the education system. Then again the system itself is not perfect in the sense that it has been creating parrots instead of graduates. That however is an entirely different matter.
Whatever the cause of the principal's outburst it proves that even a person that we expected to be wise and knowledgeable can be a total idiot sometimes. Perhaps she is an early case of senility. But who knows..
However, i might be overreacting, perhaps the leaked report which i imagine is now plastered all over the Net was a hoax intended to instigate hate and distrust. Depending on the angle that you choose to see it can be another attempt to discredit Malays, portray us as ignorant racist fucks or another ploy to distract the masses. Again, who knows...
I'd like to believe that come this 31st we as a nation are matured enough to understand and to respect each other without having to resort to blows, heated words and rash decisions. All those are for children. All that the added number year after year should correspond with increase in wisdom, with age comes wisdom as they say. Let us settle whatever dispute or problems like matured adults, a cozy chat over tea. 53 years old is way too young to be senile and i believe if there is a midlife crisis, we're past that. If we truly believe in the aspiration of 1 Malaysia then we should take the first step towards realizing it, lose the hypocrisy, be genuinely interested in your fellow Malaysians. Its not too late to mend the rifts between us all. All it takes is a smile and a friendly hello.
Happy Merdeka Month Yaw!
Posted by Thedervish at 12:40 AM
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
It was a tiring day. I went home without my usual delay, i crammed myself into an already packed train, it was of no consequence actually, i purposely jammed the bugger who cut the long queue against the already packed train. I have no respect for those who did not have the courtesy to line up for things, even if you're lady. You lose that status the moment you waltzed into the train before everybody else who has been lining up. You suck.
Posted by Thedervish at 11:06 PM
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Its after the 8th rakaat of Terawih. I waited for Mak outside at the main gates of the Surau. As i waited i saw this black car in the distance, bedecked with the Jalur Gemilang, bedecked with far too much flag that it ceased to become a show of patriotism but rather, a joke. Not to mention a potential traffic hazard. It passed right in front of me, with dangdut blaring loudly. I told myself, "patut la. They've got so much to prove".
Habis pahala aku.
Selamat Menyambut Bulan Ramadhan / Bulan Kemerdekaan.
Posted by Thedervish at 11:12 PM
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Kenapa menapak ke Timbuktu?
asked the Missus over the phone. A half second pause and the only thing i said is 'Saje' because that is the stock answer for the questions that require explanation which at the end of it the listener would have to unevitably say umm.. that or i'm simply too lazy to say what was on my mind.
A few days before, while i was ironing my workshirt the program on the telly was about this dude recalling his experience of going for the Pilgrimage to Mecca by bus from Malaysia to the Holy City of Mecca. Hats off to the dude because to me, there is no better way to tempt fate than to put your trust on a long distance bus ride in foreign lands. The ones here are dangerous enough to have graced the front pages of newspapers every now and then. Anyhow, Mak was of the opinion that it was a bad investment, a waste of time when there's a plane that could take you directly there. I replied while carefully ironing out an almost straight flyline on my pants " Ala, dia saje je tu".
Though the dude..i mean, Haji might have his own reasons for taking the journey by land for the Haji my guess is that he took buses instead of a plane because he wanted to experience both the journey and the end itself. What is the link here between the new name of my blog and a Haji going for his Haj by bus? nothing. It just came across my head while i was typing.
No wait, there is a link. Though it be a blurry one, i think. The Haji's journey (i shall call him Haji for i did not quite catch his name) to reach Mecca by bus was in a way a rejection of the what all others have done, a plane to Mecca and when you're done in Mecca another plane ride home and hey presto you're a Haji/Hajjah now. I think he deliberately took the long way to get where he wanted to go because he wanted the journey to be a personal one, his own Haj with his own stories to tell. Like Robert Frost said it, he did took the road less travelled (literally) and this blog to me is like that. Others may choose to achieve great things in their own way, me? i chose to mengarut. No, this is not strictly what you can call a writing for a writing is made of sentences written with a clear purpose for an audience to relate and with clearly defined subject at hand and here, the subject is random and the purpose is not clearly defined; writing is for those with something to ask from the readers be it to think, to sway the readers to their opinion, to brag about themselves or for whatever purpose that they have in mind, i have no such desire. I typed what i typed,mengarut-ed simply because it is the long way to get to where i want, i typed all this mess with hopes that the anarchic mess of thoughts and words would somehow in the future give way to a coherent, well-formed opinion and arguments; a real writing. Something worth its weight in gold (or paper money). Until then things in here are mere mad ramblings, mengaruts. Thus the name of the blog, although the idea of really going to Timbuktu by foot seems very enticing if not ludicrous.
I put no stock for any readers of any kind. all this mass of words with a thin stream of thought weaving in and out of it is for me really, If you can get something out of it then good for you. So there you go my dear, if last night's explanation is not to your satisfaction here's a longer one.
Posted by Thedervish at 8:31 PM