Monday, October 29, 2007

Autumn musings

My good friend and I caught up recently and exchanged updates about our college mates back home - who got married, who got promoted, who just moved into a swanky apartment etc. It then struck to me that ... I'm actually homeless, jobless (my internship is not paid), a little penniless, swinging single with no kids in tow! My friend got a tad depressed too. Count your blessings! I told her. Perhaps we may not have all the material things others have but we've been blessed in other ways. As I breathed in the fresh mountain air at Lehigh (yes, I went home for the weekend to rejuvenate and escape New York's schizophrenia), I realised how fortunate I have been... to be able to travel the world, study in 3 continents, meet people, experience different cultures and lifestyles, exchange ideas and enrich my world view. Alhamdulillah (Thank God).

"Nak tunggu january tak lama ke. You tak rindu family ke...." Another friend asked why I am only returning in January and whether I miss my family. Ahh... the question of missing. I have been truly blessed to have many people who care and miss me. I have "families" all over the world, in the USA, in Paris, in Nepal, and even in a tiny hamlet in Africa. To have people who encourage me and spur me on to greater heights, to have them comfort me in times of sorrow, to have them love me unconditionally and remember me in their prayers... these are definitely worth more than all the wealth in the world!

"Have you packed?" Wait a minute, isn't it too early to pack? Why can't you just say that you miss me and want me home soon?

I wonder... will my love life have a Wicker Park ending?

Or will it remain as an Anuar Zain's Mungkin?

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

... just be ...

Of late, I've been experiencing terrible migraines, an equally weak body (from sudden bouts of vomiting) and interrupted sleep. Could it be the stress from work? living in fast-paced NYC? MCAT? coping with all those heavy reading? thinking about stuff? Perhaps my body is just tired... tired from all those adventures, tired from the 'jet' setting pace, always on the go accomplishing tasks and projects and having insufficient rest. Perhaps, I need to lie on the vast Lehigh field, stare at the autumn sky with the majestic mountains surrounding me, watch the dandelions float by... and ... just be...

*photo credit: Firdaus Omar, stranger in moskva

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Welcoming Syawal

Today is the last day of fasting. I can't believe the month of Ramadan is gone. When I called Emak (Mum) in Singapore, she said, "Where are you? I need you to cut the vegetables and make sambal goreng." 

Aww... I miss Eid preparations back home where I would help Emak with the cooking and Hadi would be busy cleaning the house. As much as I look forward to going home, I will miss my beloved friends & families in the USA (Kak Alo & Philip, Kak Waty and my roomie, Devi). During our last Terawih prayers at Al-Hikmah mosque, Kak Waty said, "Hidayah, I won't get to pray with you when you leave..." I felt so sad. I told her, "God willing, I'll be back..."

Some touching Petronas' Eid advertisement clips:
Clip 1, Clip 2, Clip 3, Clip 4, Clip 5, Clip 6

Sunday, October 07, 2007

@ Directors' Guild Theatre

Raya & I attended The New Yorker Festival last Friday. The evening started with low expectations (who the heck is Errol Morris!? Shame on me considering that I too am a producer!) but at the end of the evening, I was thanking Raya for "persuading" me to come along. I had learned some valuable tips for my next documentary film.

Errol Morris is an American Academy Award winning documentary film director. In 2003, The Guardian listed him as number seven in their list of the world's 40 best directors. His unconventional style of documentary film-making is indeed inspiring. Having been rejected from Oxford & Harvard (sounds familiar!), and dropping out from Princeton & Berkeley, and with no film production background; Errol embarked on film-making and produced (among others) 'Gates of Heaven', 'The Thin Blue Line' and 'The Fog of War'.

Errol invented the "Interrotron", a device similar to a teleprompter: Errol and his subject each sit facing a camera. The image of each person's face is then projected onto the lens of the other's camera. Instead of looking at a blank lens, both Morris and his subject are looking directly at a human face. The feeling of the monologues that Errol captures on film is human and conversational in a way that is usually impossible when a person is talking directly to a camera. Ted Bafaloukos said of the Interrotron, "...the beauty of it is that it lets people do what they do best, namely watch TV."

We also saw some snippets from the soon-to-be-released film - 'S.O.P: Standard Operating Procedure' (about Abu Ghraib). It was simply..... Raya & I can't wait for its release.

Just like Errol who faced rejections and criticisms... well, to all fellow underdogs & the downtrodden, pls remember that people can criticise and belittle us but as long as we stay focused on our goals, we will definitely reach that next star...

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Thierry Amiel

I'm developing a little crush on Thierry Amiel (*blush...)
Thierry Amiel is a French singer and songwriter from Marseilles, France. He rose to fame after coming in second place on the first edition of "A La Recherche De La Nouvelle Star" (the French 'Pop Idol'). Quel si beau! Quel voix!

His duet with Lara Fabian is just superb:

[the song is about breaking up; but in the clip, Thierry & Lara sang as though they were not calling it quits but were much in love...]

- Tout, tout, tout est fini entre nous. Mais je garde l'espoir fou qu'un jour on redira Nous...

He is like a younger Jean-Jacques Goldman: