Monday, November 12, 2012

Learning to Shut Up

Salam 'Alaikum,

My mouth is a strange creature. It is a mostly silent one, especially during the holidays, when it rarely speak more than necessary words to both parents and siblings. It is a dormant volcano waiting for the right impulses to erupt. And when it did, oh boy, it's hard to plug it.

It will erupt once my mouth is around comfortable faces and voices. My confidence barometer will rise up until the hand inside it will swerve way past the acceptable limit. My mouth will talk and talk and talk and talk until every other voices are silenced by it. Conversations will evolve into a one-way speech. My audiences, once active with enjoyment, now become docile listeners hanging to every words of my lips. Or do they? Perhaps they just keep quiet out of respect. Or maybe out of pity? Seeing how this boy is so lonely cooped up in his house that, once he got company to talk to, he became a merciless talking machine. He longed for some company, they thought, why not let 'im talk?

Sometimes there are moments, when I talk with confidence, I will think of myself of some kind of brilliant talker. I will use metaphors, allusions, hints, fantastic tales, hyperboles and every other literary techniques ever known by man just to illustrate a simple point. Those who are close to me will get the meaning of what I said, but most of the time, I'd leave a trail of dazzled and confused listeners not knowing of what the hell I'm talking about. In the end, a simple speech of mine became some kind of a puzzle with lots of interpretation and answers.

There are moments when my mouth chose to remain shut. This will likely to occur when I'm around people I'm not comfortable with. In other words, people who I can't share my world with. It is during these times of spending with this kind of people that I spend my time shutting my mouth and observe. I let the other person talk. If he doesn't care that I remain mute, the better it is for me. This may made me look like a stupid person. And that fellow talking may even think that I'm dumb. I don't care what he thinks. I don't live and breath on people's, especially strangers', impression. I'm not the kind of a guy who seeks attention.

Choosing to remain silent gave me a better opportunity to be more observant. Nothing is clearer than when you shut your own voice to tune in with the world's. Perhaps that's what I should do with everybody, not just people I'm not close to. Shut up listen to all the voices around me. I want to be a faithful listener that every talker in the world dreamed of; the man who would be trusted to listen to anything without spilling them out someplace somewhere; a Swiss bank for all the stories that are waiting out there to be told of.

It's gonna be hard, but I'll try.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Kisah Basah di Dalam Terowong

Salam 'Alaik,

Amaran: Pertama sekali, sebelum membaca entri ini, sesiapa yang tengah makan, minum atau apa-apa yang sekufu dengannya silalah berhenti berbuat demikian. Kepada mereka yang hipersensitif, yakni alah-kekotoran, bacalah bahan-bahan bacaan yang lebih bermanfaat, seperti entri-entri di lama misalnya..

Bukan terowong sebenar.



Tempat: Terowong rambang berhampiran Taman Tasik Perdana.

Masa: Jam 5-6 ptg.

Hujan. Guruh. Petir. Ketiga-tiga pendekar alam ini bersatu berdansa dalam pesta badai. Sang Penulis tengah berteduh di bawah terowong jambatan, membaca buku (seperti biasa, mamat ni nak wat apa lagi?) sambil menuggu hujan reda.

Badannya basah, kerana meredah badai yang disangka pada awalnya gerimis. Kesejukan yang memeluk segala tisu dan otot pasti akan merangsang tubuh badan mengeluarkan liquid yang terkandung dalam empangan peribadi dalam proses meningkatkan suhu badan.

Di jalan raya bersebelahan, menghala ke arah kota raya, kereta-kereta terperangkap dalam sangkar trafik. Pastinya suhu yang rendah bakal mencabar sphincter muscle para motoris. Mereka harus berjuang dalam suatu pertempuran purba yang lazim dihadapi manusia murba: menahan kencing.

Sedang Sang Penulis menatapi bukunya, muncul seorang lelaki berbadan gendut berbaju putih; uniform drebar teksi. Mukanya citra resah gelisah. Matanya yang terkejut menyapa mataku yang terkedu. Apakah gerangan dia berada di sini? Kedua-dua hati bertanya pada diri sendiri.

Sang Drebar Teksi membuka bicara: "Dik, nak buang air dik."

Sang Penulis: "Uh....huhh." (lima harakat)

Sang Penulis bingkas bangun dari duduk silanya. Matanya cuba menghayati setiap aksara dalam kitab, tapi gagal.

Sang Drebar Teksi meneruskan urusannya.

Detik awkward paling lama di dunia.

Setelah selesai melaksanakan tanggungjawab, Sang Drebar Teksi kembali ke keretanya. Ia telah diparkir di tengah jalan raya, menghalang laluan trafik. Tapi apakah daya, dia telah tewas dalam pertarungannya. Kesian.

Hujan yang lebat ini sememangnya hujan rahmat. Rezeki diturunkan, lebih-lebih lagi untuk spesis Drebar Teksi. Maklumlah ramai yang terperangkap dalam hujan seperti Sang Penulis, tapi mereka tak sedegilnya untuk berbelanja menggemukkan kocek pemandu teksi.

Sang Drebar Teksi hilang mencari rezeki di muka bumi.

Sang Penulis masih berada di dalam terowong mengharapkan hujan reda. Isyarat elektrik dari empangan telahpun ditransmit kepada otaknya supaya mencari tandas terdekat. Tapi pesta badai masih belum sampai ke penghujungnya...



Friday, July 6, 2012

BLOG RESURRECTED


Bismillahirahmanirrahim

Fffuuhh..Fffuuhh..Achoo! Looks like I’ve got a dusty blog here. It’s been ages since I myself last open my own blog, more so gather up the energy to make my lazy, procrastinating self to update it. But here are Boredom and Inspiration coming together like long lost friends crashing at my home to keep me company. And I think they’re going to stay for a very long time…

Since I wrote that cute, oddball haiku early this year, many equally oddball happenings have been thrown upon me. I’ve gathered enough materials for a novel that could earn me big bucks, but let’s not talk about them.

Instead, let’s talk about the last three weeks of my life (SO FAR…), in which I’ve been zigzagging across the peninsular in an almost Brownian motion. No, I’ve not been embarking on a road trip in a physical sense (although the trip to Tioman closely resembles one), but more on a spiritual and emotional level. I’ve learned more about life and death and the Islamic way of life than 13 years of structured education could ever teach me.

In those 3 weeks, I spent 2 of them in Pondok Baitu Qura’ (BQ) in Sg. Udang, Melaka. The remaining week was spent in the southern metropolis of Johor Bahru and the beautiful island called Tioman.

In retrospect, I like to think that my 2 weeks at BQ was more like a boot camp to train me on how to combat my greatest enemy: nafsu. The third week was the battlezone; a test of my ability to fight my nafsu. O Allah, nafsu is certainly a determined enemy who fought (and still fighting) single-mindedly to ensure my spiritual destruction. Of course, I do not emerge from the fight unscathed. I became a casualty as I was defeated many instances in the third week. But, Alhamdulillah, I’m still yet undefeated on the strategic scale. The whole war is still waging at time of writing, but rest assured, my Anti-Nafsu Army is still fighting valiantly on the frontline, thanks to the reinforcements called Knowledge and Faith from two weeks of learning at BQ, along with the help of Allah S.W.T..

I prefer to think of my last three weeks (again, SO FAR…) as being one of the greatest adventures of my life. I’m going to tell you about them. But not now. It’s going to be very long if I’m ever going to write about them. The next entries are going to be installed in parts, along with a few photos to keep your eyes from being too watery after reading too many words at the same time.

 Yes, yes, I know. We are now living in a world where dry texts alone won’t matter. We need images to keep our attention glued to whatever that’s being presented. That’s why books are dying. But that’ll be another entry for another day.  So here’s a picture for you:

That's near Milford Track, NZ. And there's where I'm wanna be if Allah permits me to fly there...

Hopefully Allah grants me more time and ability to write more. Until we meet again. Wasallam.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Anak-anak Kebosanan


Tatkala diri makin terpulau daripada daratan realiti oleh lautan fantasi, lahirlah 3 sajak kerdil hasil kudrat minda yang kian gersang dan makin songsang.

1)


MAHARAJA CAKERAWALA
Lontarlah bola ke langit!
Nescaya dengan kuasa graviti
tidak akan ia sampai ke bima sakti
ke bumi juga ia kembali.
Manusia tewas akibat batasan diri
Dalam persaingan dengan alam.
Keputusannya langsung tidak sengit!

‘Ah,’ balas manusia, ‘kita tempatkan
bola itu ke dalam roket!’
Maka berangkatlah bola itu ke angkasa
dan manusia melompat kegirangan
yakin diri mereka perkasa
layak diberi gelaran
maharaja cakerawala.
‘Siapakah tuhan?’ tanya mereka.

Mereka tidak fikir
bahawa langit yang mutakhir
kian menjauhi mereka. 

2)
                                       


SAJAK KEMERDEKAAN HANYALAH…
kata-kata kosong
terbitnya dari hati yang lopong
demi menyahut seruan
oleh tikus politikus
agar dibanjiri pujian
agar disanjung sebagai sasterawan.

Tidakkah engkau sedar
bahawa kemerdekaan abadi
ialah pabila hati
berhenti menjadi hamba abdi
kepada raja nafsu?

Sebaliknya roh perlu berkudeta
merampas takhta
memenjara nafsu
memerintah diri
menyembah Illahi.

3)

PORTRET SI PUJANGGA
Sempena hari-jadi kedua puluh penyajak Iklil Hasya

Berusmu pena.
Kanvasmu kertas.
Warnamu bahasa.
Engkau si pujangga
melakar wajah kehidupan
dengan aksara
menconteng syaitan kezaliman
dengan kata
melukis kegirangan kesedihan
dengan mata yang tulus
dari hati yang kudus.

Jangan sesekali meletakkan penamu
Demi menyahut seruan hawa nafsu
atau mendengar pujukan kalbu
mereka yang tidak mengerti
akan pentingnya seni ini.

Pretentious? Stuck-up? Worst poems ya ever read in your entire life? Feel free to comment!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Haikus for the Holidays

Assalamualaikum

Shafiq's on 9GAG
his soul sucked into the web
it's not coming back...

Christmas is over
New Year is round the corner
Time, Y U NO WAIT?

Walking to KL
Working in the Zoo
Wondering 'bout life

The haikus above
Is written out of his love
for the holidays

Thank you for wasting
your time reading these wasted
words from a wasted man

P/S: Haiku is a form of poetry originated from Japan. It usually consisted of 3 lines with 5-7-5 syllables in each line. Try to find where among these haikus that I've broken this rule.

Wasallam.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

2 DAYS AT THE ZOO

On the same topic by Anas
Gambar di atas adalah gambar hiasan. Taraf kefunctionannya adalah sama seperti taraf kefunctionan topic function Maths dalam kehidupan seorang guru Bahasa Inggeris.


9.00 a.m. My phone rang. It woke me up from deep slumber. The first thing I saw in the morning is Aiman’s large mountain of flesh lying next to me (nothing homosexual here), snoring like Snolax. Not a pleasant sight. And the number that calls me is not pleasant number either; no names, only numbers. Very impersonal. I answered it, in a voice similar to a man with a hangover.


“Wha?”




“Shafiq ke ni?”


My Islamic name. I answered yez.


It turns out to be Puan Maria from the Zoo Negara, the Head Ticketing Officer. She wanted me to come to the zoo, 10 miles away, ASAP, because she needs an extra hand.


“I’m on my way.”


I woke Aiman up, took my bath and get dressed. I forced him to do the same for I need a taxi driver to take me all the way to the zoo.


It was 9. The zoo opens daily at 830. Why hadn’t they called earlier? It was Sunday, and sure enough, by the time I came, the crowd is thicker than the crowd of underaged teenage girls in a Justin Bieber concert.


It was a blessing to have Aiman sleepover at my house. The night before he had some business to attend to in KL and he needed a place to crash in for the night. I offered mine. He took it. And that’s how he came to sleep beside me, like a bunch of dudes after a night fueled by alcohol and girls and drugs and anything that provides news materials (and rezeki) to the staffs of Harian Metro.


Aiman, Good Guy Aiman, drove me all the way to the zoo and dropped me at the entrance. I felt like some kind of paratrooper air-dropped into an intense warzone. A novice, for I never feel the heat of the battle. From far away, I can see the throngs of people lining at the ticket counter. It’s a bloody battle out there. They need reinforcements. Here I come.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Less than a week ago, Anas, Daus and I walked into the zoo expecting to be interviewed, or at least fill in a form.


Anas sez that the zoo’s offering part-time jobs where we could earn RM30 daily. Sounds good for Anas and Me. We’re so desperate for money that I felt, if somebody offers us a good sum, we would be contract killers. I’m not so sure about Daus, though, who lives on a bungalow on a hill in a neighborhood that seems to Beverly Hill’s Malaysian cousin. But somehow I conned him to join us anyway. He tagged along for the interview.


But there wasn’t any interview. Nor any forms. Pn Maria, the one in charge, just gave us 3 pieces of paper (‘the forms’) and told us to fill in several details. We’re full, she sez, and you’re lucky, we’ll call one of you.


We walked to Daus’ house. I wondered aloud that we came this far, wearing shoes and collared shirts, (and for my case, learning Zoo Negara’s history)  just to be told that we’re going to be picked by blood lottery? Daus patted me in the back. Grinning. Of course, if anything, he’s going to get it. The Zoo to Daus is like Fu Tong Tong to KMS. If Pn.Maria had any sense, she’ll call him first.


Anas hollered, all the way to Selayang, of how poor he is and how desperate he need the job. He began to get fatalistic on our chances of working with the Zoo. Actually I began to feel sorry for him, as his mother is suffering from a cancer. He didn’t want to depend on his family anymore for cash supply.


Yet, his cash reserve is depleting, causing him to stop lomoing for a while. Same with me amigo, same with me…
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Now it was packed. I lost my way finding the entrance. After being roughly briefed by Pn. Maria of what I am going to do, I lost my way finding the exit.


I finally reached ground zero. This is where all the action is. My job? Approach a customer, asks him/her of how many adults, children, senior citizens, anyone born in ’61, and Abang/Akak nak masuk Taman Rama-rama tak?  After taking the orders, I am to give him/her/undetermined the slip containing the numbers, and tell him/her/undetermined to present all of their MyKads at the ticketing counter. Simple job. Not rocket science. Not even English Literature.


Yet, I’m slow during my first hour of working, earning the wrath of my Sarawakian colleague named Rachel aka Y. I kept forgetting asking several questions. But I never made any mistake on my figures. So, all in all, not a single customer under me complained that he/she/unknown got the wrong number of tickets. Yeah, I maybe slow, but I never did any major screw up.

Just after one hour I finally captured the rhythm of the job. I moved fast. Pushed by adrenaline, I began attacking more visitors than my veteran colleagues (who are all school-children, been working in the zoo for years, and have their Mums behind the counter…). I began to love my job because it’s so simple. And people are responsive to you. They won’t ignore you like you’re some damned Broadband sales promoter, or some retarded child asking money for their Foundation of Mental Retards. They’re going to the zoo. They know that they’ve got to respond to me if they want to get in. They’ve got to give their figures right or else there’ll be trouble if they want to enter. I felt like I’m holding some kind of power over them. Pass me, I seemed to say, or else!
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


In general, there are several types of customers.


The Malay families are generally fat, well-to-do, comes from faraway and always come in large numbers (The Malays is a fertile race…). But they’re the easiest to handle. There’s no language barriers. It’s easy to strike up conversation with them. They’re friendly, and responsive as hell. Difficulty level: Recruit.


The Chinese, meanwhile, seems to me the kind that speaks broken Malay (and cannot speak English at all), not the type of urban and urbane Chinese that normally find in Bangsar or the Curve. More like the ones from Kepong, Selayang, or a forsaken place like Sekinchan. But they’re okay. You just have to explain longer on why the ticket with Taman Rama-Rama has higher prices  than those with no Taman Rama-Rama. That’s all. Difficulty level: Regular.


The Indians are divided into two. Those who looked educated and those who don’t. For the former, talk English with them and everything will be fine. For the latter, it’ll be harder for they looked at you like you’re some kind of Malay bigot who’s somehow, in some subtle manner, trying to discriminate them. They talked rough, as if that if we’re asking them to show their MyKads indicates that we’re still not convinced that they’re Malaysians. Can’t blame them 100% though, for who knows how many kelings they’ve got to hear before they come here.


Difficulty level? Veteran.


The Arabs. They’re either very polite or suffered from disease that makes them allergic to good manners. For those who are kurang ajar, they talked rough:


“I don’t understand.” one of them sez with a murderous look towards you. "Why?"


Me: ‘Blablablablabla…bla..bla..farasha….haiwana…blabla!”

“I don’t understand.Why?"

“Blabla..foreigner RM30…local RM20…blablabla..farasha RM35…blabla..no Farasha, Haiwana only RM30.”


“I don’t understand. Why?"


They seemed to be mad at you for not speaking their language. As if they expected, upon arrival in Malaysia, to come to an Arab satellite state where everyone speaks Arab like they speak English. They also seemed to be angry that they’re charged higher than locals, sometime demanding explanation when they can’t even understand our explanation in English.


In the end, for most of them, I just counted the number of adults/children/old people they have in one group, and gave them the slip. No need to speak anything to them. But how I wished I hadn’t skip my Arab lessons in my sekolah agama time sekolah rendah (for the ustazah was one hell of a bore, and Arab periods during Sekolah Agama always means Pendidikan Jasmani period sebab selalu main Sofball kat belakang sekolah).


Difficulty level: Hardcore..No..Asians…No…Arabs.


(But they are very nice Arabs though. Even if they don’t speak well, they keep saying thank you for every word you say. Makes your feel that there’s hope yet for humanity..)


The Negroes, for me, is not that hard. They’re U students mostly, and they’re fluent in English. Speak English, and not be intimidated by their size…and (I’m going to hell for this) color, everything will be smooth sailing.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


When it’s time to close, memang best halau orang. We’ll approach them, then ask them if they really.. REALLY…want to go inside, since it’s 4 o’clock, and you won’t have much time left, not worth the money, blablabla…Most of the time, they’ll turn away, their kids screaming (Diam, abang ni kata zoo nak tutup!!/Shhh…Nanti abang ni marah!! -_-“).


But there’s one sad part, when there’s an old Granny coming to the zoo at 430. I told her that the zoo’s closing but she still insisted on coming in, saying that she already promised her ‘Susan’ to go to the zoo. She kept searching her handbag for Susan’s voucher, not giving up. She finally relented when she saw that the counters are closed.


“I’ll never know when I can bring Susan here again.” said the Granny with a heavy voice.


She walked away slowly. Hearing her saying that gave me the image of a dying Granny, (or a dying grandchild with cancer, or both) has promised each other to spend their last day on earth to visit the zoo. Thoughts like this can make you choke up and break the hearts even those with hearts made of granite.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


By now, you faithful readers, (or the unfaithful readers, if you skip to the last part) will feel that this blog entry is tl;dr.


Well I can’t help it. I’m a fast writer but a bad editor. There’s tons of stuff left in my memories that I want to write about that didn’t make it into my keypad.


Writing is like running. You write fast and brilliantly at first because you still possessed the energy, but nearing the end, you tend to get lazy and began to take short cuts or slow down to allow your lungs to catch your breath.


In fact, aku rasa macam dah pancit sekarang. So baik berenti.


Sekian.


P/S: Sebenarnya semua orang dapat kerja. Cuma hari kita nanti berlainan. Tak akan dapat buat clique KMS. Tapi, syukur Alhamdulillah semua dapat rezeki.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE IN KOLEJ MARA SEREMBAN PART 2



Photo Source: Deviant Art
Warning: Contains profanity and words that we wouldn't utter in front of your parents and in-laws. Language can sanitized violence but not curse words. 

“Wha?” sez Zaman, “What happened next?”

“What happen what?” sez Shafiq, disheveled and demoralized from a day of negotiating with murderous students who complaint about the magazine.

“The zombie story. Citer tergantung.”

“In the end, they all got eaten by the zombies. Sekian terima kasih.”

Shafiq went out from his room, checking each corner in case the IB students sent assassins to take him out. Their class photos were printed in black and white. This caused some of them to feel that there was a conspiracy against them; an Illuminati-like force behind the editorial board out to wipe out their course from the face of the (KMS) earth. They were paranoid. And because they were paranoid this caused Shafiq to become paranoid too. His nerves jumped every moment he saw the black and orange shirt the IB students were wearing. Maybe I ought to wear a Kevlar body suit, thought him, or hire bodyguards.

Then Shafiq met Liwauddin Lujaini, the lone psychopath who loved to smirk instead of smile when he greeted others. Wau was Shafiq’s third classmate, the other being Abu Dzar, whose looks could attract the longing gaze of the students of the Aisyah block but apparently never had a girlfriend. Shafiq suspected that Wau’s gay. A homo and a psychopath; a sperm-and-ovum-like combination that could produce the embryo of a serial killer.

“Hello.” smirked Wau, “Heard you’ve a rough day.”

“Yeah, got a lot of PR duty to do. Got lots of apologies to do. Got to douse some burning letters – ”

“Yeah. The way you handle the magazine, millions will die if they put you in charge of a nuclear reactor.”

“Great, asshole. You’re a fine pal. I like you”

“I speak the truth.”

“Only when it hurts.”

“But the way you handle the damage, you could work as a PR in nuclear energy companies. You know, in case millions do die in a disaster, you could apologize, take the flak and pay compensation. Or maybe be like the Japanese; commit seppuku.”

“That a compliment?”

“I’m an interpretivist, baby. Interpret it the way you like. There’s room for your own interpretation.”

“Bajet ah, gay jambu.”

“Finished socio?”

“Running out of point to talk? Not yet. Will do it tonight. At somewhere safe. Somewhere no one will know who am I.”

“You don’t have to worry bout that.” sez Wau, “You’re not famous enough. You know what they say about the fucked up magazine. They kept asking the name of the editor. And when I said your name, they said ‘Shafiq who?’.”

“I’m a male TESLian. Ain’t that enough to make me famous?”

“Oh no. With me and Abu Dzar, we’re like two stars that eclipse you, the mere moon. We’re hot, you’re not.”

“Fakof.”

“Peace be bless upon you too.”

And they parted ways. Shafiq to Aminuddin where he’ll be having a heart-to-heart session with his close friends, and Wau, who never had any close friends, to the library so that he can indulge himself in a delirium of book reading.

As Wau walked across the futsal court, he could sense that thousands of eyes were gazing at him longingly from the Aisyah block. The girls were eyeing him with the intensity of snipers. He wondered of how many enemies he can make from the members of the opposite sex if he showed them the finger in the general direction of their block.

He was whistling the choral part of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy, praising the beauty of the day when he smelt something’s burning. What kind of fogging are they doing now? he thought. It was at the porch of the koop that he realized that the burning originates from behind the Aisyah block. He peeked behind and saw that a group of AUSMAT students were burning the magazines en masse, like Hitler and his Nazi party did on banned books before the Second World War.

“Yo,” he called out, “Don’t you know that it’s wrong to burn books.”

“We’re not burning books. We’re burning crap, that’s what.” one of them replied, tending the fire with a stick.
“The IB is in black and white. And we, AUSMAT students, have no pictures at all.”

“Don’t you know,” sez Wau with a philosophical air, “that you guys ought to be proud.”

“Why?”

“Because the magazine, as you say, is crap. And because your photos are not in it, so the good name of the AUSMAT course has not been stained by that crap. You guys are lucky.”

Before they could say anything, Wau went on with his journey to the library, picking up a copy of the magazine that the AUSMAT students have accidentally dropped in their frenzy of mag burning.

He opened the magazine, which has a beautiful cover design with sheety contents. He tsked-tsked as he went on through the pages until he came upon a story entitled ‘A Zombie Apocalypse in KMS.’ written by none other than his best fiend Mohammad Shafiq Razak.

(By this time, YOU, the reader, will finally say “HAH, BARU NAK CITER PASAL ZOMBIE. APSAL PANJANG SANGAT INTRO!?” Sabar jelah kawan. Nak starting kena panaskan enjin dulu. Kalau tak pancit. Kering takde idea nanti kang.)

It wasn’t a literary masterpiece, but strangely Liwauddin Lujaini found himself liking the story and wished it hadn’t ended like that. Probably the anger that stem out from the college community was mainly because of the photos. But, Wau thought, can they appreciate the beauty of the written words instead of focusing on the visual and the concrete. The art of the written words is a dying business, like wayang kulit…. and every shop that MARA opened.

It wasn’t to say that the story is one hell of work that can salvage the condemned magazine (it was the graphics that sprayed perfume onto the dung), but people are so obsessed with visuals that they couldn’t take a bloody minute to read one simple story. Nobody ever complaint about the works featured because no one read them, or give a damn. Wau sighed about this malady that afflicts the humanity.

(READER: WOI, CEPATLAH SIKIT. MANA ZOMBIENYA?)

(PENULIS: SABOLAH WEI!)

As he read on the story his mind began composing the continuation story of the zombies. Much as they disliked each other, Wau and Shafiq shared one common love: the love of literature. They scoured books for literary inspiration and debated with each other on who’s the better writer; Hemingway or Faulkner? Usmang Awang or A. Samad Said? Stephen King or Dan Brown? Sophie Kinsella or Meg Cabot? Anasxganas or Alimkusing? Despite their mutual hatred, they shared a sort of everlasting literary bond, like Siamese twins that have been separated. Automatically, as Wau finished reading the story, he silently wrote in his heart: When the dusk dawned on Kolej Mara Seremban six hours later…

When the dusk dawned on Kolej Mara Seremban six hours later, Aizat was clutching the bloodied laptop that he used when he brained one of the zombies that attacked him. The zombie belonged to the former body of Shafiq, that fat TESL boy, who attacked him when he was playing Left4Dead. The zombie’s dead, for sure. But he wasn’t sure of how long can he survive.

He heard many screams and cries in the night while he hid under his bed. The death cries of those who were being eaten, or being transformed into zombies, he wasn’t sure. He hoped that it was just a nightmare or at least a hallucination induced by countless hours of playing video games. It wasn’t. Reality bites back, literally, until you got torn to pieces.

Aizat knew he couldn’t hide under the bed forever. He must seek for help and find other survivors, so they could band up together to fight their way through the hordes of the living dead.

Then he heard the ground vibrating. Someone’s coming; possibly a large-sized zombie which weighed like him, only if he can be multiplied three times. Aizat imagined with horror if it was the zombiefied version of Aswad, Ise or God-help-him, Bob, coming to get him. His skinny frame stood no chance It will be like San Marino vs Argentina.  Even with Shafiq he had a hard time, although the zombiefied Shafiq was too damn slow and stupid and retard-like to do any tangible harm. (Remember, it’s Wau writing this) But if Ise or Aswad, man they are fast! And large!

Aizat then saw two feet standing beside his bed. From their size, indeed the zombie was larger than him (of course, who isn’t?). Time for kamikaze, Aizat thought, either I died fighting and then being eaten, or I died crapping myself and then being eaten. Or maybe I should crap myself, then the zombie, if it is picky, won’t eat me. Or..”

The ‘zombie’ lifted up the bed. Aizat nearly crapped himself, but adrenaline dictated him to fight back. He used his bloodied laptop by hitting it on the stomach, but with no effect, for the zombie was fat and has an extra flesh on its abdomen. Aizat, unperturbed and hoping for a glorious and holy death, gave a loud screaming that sounded like a takbir when the ‘zombie’ called out in a familiar voice:

“Sial! Ni akulah mangkuk!” (Translated literally: Bad luck! It’s me, bowl!)

It was Bob. For the first time in his life, Aizat felt like hugging him with all the love one can have for a man minus the homoeroticism. He never imagined that this would happen, but it happened. From afar, the sight of those two scared souls hugging each other looked like a little boy hugging his humongous, mutant teddy bear. And, oh, you can imagine there’s some kind of instrumental music playing in the background. Gives the right atmosphere, ya know?

After they disengaged themselves after several minutes of interlocking with each other, they discovered that they were in the epicenter of a group of zombies. Apparently, the moment of sweetness have been too cute that they actually paused themselves from eating them. One of them puked.

“Aw shucks.” sez Aizat.

“Fat chance of us escaping.” Bob sez.

Fat chance of you escaping. “Well, I guess I run faster than you. Remember the Wordlord? Of how I managed to win our team’s turn by being the fastest runner ever?”

“We were in different teams. And the only thing that I remembered is that my team won.”

“Whatever, here’s the deal. I run and become the bait -be a hero and save the day while you can take your time strolling down the corridor call for help, if you feel that’s important. If you’re not in a hurry, stop for a coffee break.”

“We’re about to die and you still try to be funny.”

“Okay, get set-“ he leapt and gave one of those monsters a roundhouse kick to the face. Patches of its skin stuck to his feet, like algae. Despite the grossness of it all, he ran like a madman. One who watched him running from afar, barefoot and barechested, would’ve thought that a toyol was rampaging the college, and not zombies. And to respect the late great Sudirman and as an attempt at comedy, we will play this classic:




Toyol, dia datang padaku berlari-lari
Tolong, kemanaku kan pergi
Toyol, kenapa pula aku yang kau cari
Tolong, rupanya hodoh wow.. wow.. wow.. wow
Indeed, he did look like a toyol.

Along the way he encountered many half-eaten corpses who were the victims of the zombie outbreak. Those who were bitten but not eaten joined the ranks of the living dead. Aizat ran and ran and ran until he was at the Gate B. He outran the zombies. And so did Bob, who was standing at the gate, not panting at all.

“How the hell you can run faster than me?”

“If Allah permits me to, then I can.” Bob sez with an air of religious authority.

“Now we got to know the extent of this epidemic. Let’s see whether it affects only our college or the whole damned world.”

The strolled downhill along Jalan Aminuddin Baki. They noticed that the Fu Tong Tong’s gate was left opened. They don’t like it.

“Hopefully Allah will permit us to run faster this time.”

“Allah knows best.”

And an Alsatian dog sprinted out from the house; Zombiefied. Again, they ran. (The author wishes to apologize for overusing the word run/zombiefied due to his limited vocabulary.)

And then…

Liwauddin Lujaini encountered the writer’s block. Damn, he thought, I don’t know what’s going to happen next. It’s like stumbling into a wall and you don’t know how to move around it.

Wau felt a nudge in his ribs. He realized that it was the Pak Guard who looked like Lee Marvin who poked him with his baton.

“You okay?” but he spoke those words in an accent that seems to be in a mixture of Negeri Sembilan with a touch of Javanese spoken from the mouth of a stroke patient.

“Wha?”

The guard spoke again. He might as well talk to him in Eskimo, for it was 10 hours later in the night when Wau finally understands what the hell the guard was saying. He had been wandering from Gate A to Gate B many times like a madman all the time while he was in the state of trance making up the story. He was never conscious of the world. He never even noticed the rain that soaked him, which gave him the appearance of a wet mongrel dog. He had abandoned reality in favor of fantasy.

Damn, he thought, passion turns everyone into a zombie.