last week my phone was formatted and somehow most of the contacts i have was erased. at first i was rather furious about it, but then i realized, who matters. and whether or not i matter.

i had a thousand contacts, which i gradually add since i first got my own phone almost 10 years ago. some i knew some i don’t even know how i came to have it, but out of all, there were very few people i would actually ask for their number again.

whenever i wanted to ask for people’s number, i end up not asking for their number. and i assume that if people really need me, they will find me or vice versa. i stopped trying to find back all the people that used to be in  my contact list. it doesn’t matter anymore. i can start fresh.

surprisingly though, after i posted about asking for their contacts again, only two or three people who actually texted me and tell me their number. one of them had no whatsoever contact with me except one time when i happen to meet in a bbq. i guess that was enough to give an impression that the person wanted to remain friends with me even if we don’t know each other much.

being far away, its not supposed to be an excuse for me to not return the gifts she sent me all the way from abroad. but im such a failure in this that i only text her once in a while. its really surprising to see how people you never thought to be friends with was actually looking forward to be your friend. and yet,  i continue to overlook all these people and focus on people who never bothers about you.

on contrary, there are people whom i try so much to be in contact with, checking up  on them every now and them, only to be disappointed over and over again. and finally you stop asking about them and just be on your own. and it sucks sometimes. to be the one who finds people first, and not be the one who people finds you..first. worst, their last resort because there’s no one to turn to.

i also met someone i used to be friends with working in a restaurant i was having dinner with. i completely forgot that i am no longer friends with her, and even when i did remember, it didn’t matter and tried to say Hi anyway. obviously that person was not interested to reply that and walk away pretending she didn’t see me. so, i let it go, wishing that whatever she does, she’ll be happy. sometimes its just not worth it and you just move on..

“It happens to everyone as they grow up. You find out who you are and what you want, and then you realize that people you’ve known forever don’t see things the way you do. So you keep the wonderful memories, but find yourself moving on.”

-Nicholas Sparks



My year of saying yes to everything by Shonda Rhimes

So a while ago, I tried an experiment. For one year, I would say yes to all the things that scared me.Anything that made me nervous, took me out of my comfort zone, I forced myself to say yes to. Did I want to speak in public? No, but yes. Did I want to be on live TV? No, but yes. Did I want to try acting?No, no, no, but yes, yes, yes.

And a crazy thing happened: the very act of doing the thing that scared me undid the fear, made it not scary. My fear of public speaking, my social anxiety, poof, gone. It’s amazing, the power of one word.“Yes” changed my life. “Yes” changed me. But there was one particular yes that affected my life in the most profound way, in a way I never imagined, and it started with a question from my toddler.

I have these three amazing daughters, Harper, Beckett and Emerson, and Emerson is a toddler who inexplicably refers to everyone as “honey.” as though she’s a Southern waitress.

“Honey, I’m gonna need some milk for my sippy cup.”

The Southern waitress asked me to play with her one evening when I was on my way somewhere, and I said, “Yes.” And that yes was the beginning of a new way of life for my family. I made a vow that from now on, every time one of my children asks me to play, no matter what I’m doing or where I’m going, I say yes, every single time. Almost. I’m not perfect at it, but I try hard to practice it. And it’s had a magical effect on me, on my children, on our family. But it’s also had a stunning side effect, and it wasn’t until recently that I fully understood it, that I understood that saying yes to playing with my children likely saved my career.

See, I have what most people would call a dream job. I’m a writer. I imagine. I make stuff up for a living.Dream job. No. I’m a titan. Dream job. I create television. I executive produce television. I make television, a great deal of television. In one way or another, this TV season, I’m responsible for bringing about 70 hours of programming to the world. Four television programs, 70 hours of TV —

Three shows in production at a time, sometimes four. Each show creates hundreds of jobs that didn’t exist before. The budget for one episode of network television can be anywhere from three to six million dollars. Let’s just say five. A new episode made every nine days times four shows, so every nine days that’s 20 million dollars worth of television, four television programs, 70 hours of TV, three shows in production at a time, sometimes four, 16 episodes going on at all times: 24 episodes of “Grey’s,” 21 episodes of “Scandal,” 15 episodes of “How To Get Away With Murder,” 10 episodes of “The Catch,” that’s 70 hours of TV, that’s 350 million dollars for a season. In America, my television shows are back to back to back on Thursday night. Around the world, my shows air in 256 territories in 67 languages for an audience of 30 million people. My brain is global, and 45 hours of that 70 hours of TV are shows I personally created and not just produced, so on top of everything else, I need to find time, real quiet, creative time, to gather my fans around the campfire and tell my stories. Four television programs, 70 hours of TV, three shows in production at a time, sometimes four, 350 million dollars, campfires burning all over the world. You know who else is doing that? Nobody, so like I said, I’m a titan. Dream job.

Now, I don’t tell you this to impress you. I tell you this because I know what you think of when you hear the word “writer.” I tell you this so that all of you out there who work so hard, whether you run a company or a country or a classroom or a store or a home, take me seriously when I talk about working, so you’ll get that I don’t peck at a computer and imagine all day, so you’ll hear me when I say that I understand that a dream job is not about dreaming. It’s all job, all work, all reality, all blood, all sweat, no tears. I work a lot, very hard, and I love it.

When I’m hard at work, when I’m deep in it, there is no other feeling. For me, my work is at all times building a nation out of thin air. It is manning the troops. It is painting a canvas. It is hitting every high note. It is running a marathon. It is being Beyoncé. And it is all of those things at the same time. I love working. It is creative and mechanical and exhausting and exhilarating and hilarious and disturbing and clinical and maternal and cruel and judicious, and what makes it all so good is the hum. There is some kind of shift inside me when the work gets good. A hum begins in my brain, and it grows and it grows and that hum sounds like the open road, and I could drive it forever. And a lot of people, when I try to explain the hum, they assume that I’m talking about the writing, that my writing brings me joy. And don’t get me wrong, it does. But the hum — it wasn’t until I started making television that I started working, working and making and building and creating and collaborating, that I discovered this thing, this buzz, this rush, this hum. The hum is more than writing. The hum is action and activity. The hum is a drug. The hum is music. The hum is light and air. The hum is God’s whisper right in my ear. And when you have a hum like that, you can’t help but strive for greatness. That feeling, you can’t help but strive for greatness at any cost. That’s called the hum. Or, maybe it’s called being a workaholic.

Maybe it’s called genius. Maybe it’s called ego. Maybe it’s just fear of failure. I don’t know. I just know that I’m not built for failure, and I just know that I love the hum. I just know that I want to tell you I’m a titan, and I know that I don’t want to question it.

But here’s the thing: the more successful I become, the more shows, the more episodes, the more barriers broken, the more work there is to do, the more balls in the air, the more eyes on me, the more history stares, the more expectations there are. The more I work to be successful, the more I need to work. And what did I say about work? I love working, right? The nation I’m building, the marathon I’m running, the troops, the canvas, the high note, the hum, the hum, the hum. I like that hum. I love that hum. I need that hum. I am that hum. Am I nothing but that hum?

And then the hum stopped. Overworked, overused, overdone, burned out. The hum stopped.

Now, my three daughters are used to the truth that their mother is a single working titan. Harper tells people, “My mom won’t be there, but you can text my nanny.” And Emerson says, “Honey, I’m wanting to go to ShondaLand.” They’re children of a titan. They’re baby titans. They were 12, 3, and 1 when the hum stopped. The hum of the engine died. I stopped loving work. I couldn’t restart the engine. The hum would not come back. My hum was broken. I was doing the same things I always did, all the same titan work, 15-hour days, working straight through the weekends, no regrets, never surrender, a titan never sleeps, a titan never quits, full hearts, clear eyes, yada, whatever. But there was no hum. Inside me was silence. Four television programs, 70 hours of TV, three shows in production at a time, sometimes four.Four television programs, 70 hours of TV, three shows in production at a time … I was the perfect titan. I was a titan you could take home to your mother. All the colors were the same, and I was no longer having any fun. And it was my life. It was all I did. I was the hum, and the hum was me. So what do you do when the thing you do, the work you love, starts to taste like dust?

Now, I know somebody’s out there thinking, “Cry me a river, stupid writer titan lady.”

But you know, you do, if you make, if you work, if you love what you do, being a teacher, being a banker, being a mother, being a painter, being Bill Gates, if you simply love another person and that gives you the hum, if you know the hum, if you know what the hum feels like, if you have been to the hum, when the hum stops, who are you? What are you? What am I? Am I still a titan? If the song of my heart ceases to play, can I survive in the silence?

And then my Southern waitress toddler asks me a question. I’m on my way out the door, I’m late, and she says, “Momma, wanna play?”

And I’m just about to say no, when I realize two things. One, I’m supposed to say yes to everything, and two, my Southern waitress didn’t call me “honey.” She’s not calling everyone “honey” anymore. When did that happen? I’m missing it, being a titan and mourning my hum, and here she is changing right before my eyes. And so she says, “Momma, wanna play?” And I say, “Yes.” There’s nothing special about it. We play, and we’re joined by her sisters, and there’s a lot of laughing, and I give a dramatic reading from the book Everybody Poops. Nothing out of the ordinary.

And yet, it is extraordinary, because in my pain and my panic, in the homelessness of my humlessness, I have nothing to do but pay attention. I focus. I am still. The nation I’m building, the marathon I’m running,the troops, the canvas, the high note does not exist. All that exists are sticky fingers and gooey kisses and tiny voices and crayons and that song about letting go of whatever it is that Frozen girl needs to let go of.

It’s all peace and simplicity. The air is so rare in this place for me that I can barely breathe. I can barely believe I’m breathing. Play is the opposite of work. And I am happy. Something in me loosens. A door in my brain swings open, and a rush of energy comes. And it’s not instantaneous, but it happens, it does happen. I feel it. A hum creeps back. Not at full volume, barely there, it’s quiet, and I have to stay very still to hear it, but it is there. Not the hum, but a hum.

And now I feel like I know a very magical secret. Well, let’s not get carried away. It’s just love. That’s all it is. No magic. No secret. It’s just love. It’s just something we forgot. The hum, the work hum, the hum of the titan, that’s just a replacement. If I have to ask you who I am, if I have to tell you who I am, if I describe myself in terms of shows and hours of television and how globally badass my brain is, I have forgotten what the real hum is. The hum is not power and the hum is not work-specific. The hum is joy-specific. The real hum is love-specific. The hum is the electricity that comes from being excited by life.The real hum is confidence and peace. The real hum ignores the stare of history, and the balls in the air, and the expectation, and the pressure. The real hum is singular and original. The real hum is God’s whisper in my ear, but maybe God was whispering the wrong words, because which one of the gods was telling me I was the titan?

It’s just love. We could all use a little more love, a lot more love. Any time my child asks me to play, I will say yes. I make it a firm rule for one reason, to give myself permission, to free me from all of my workaholic guilt. It’s a law, so I don’t have a choice, and I don’t have a choice, not if I want to feel the hum.

I wish it were that easy, but I’m not good at playing. I don’t like it. I’m not interested in doing it the way I’m interested in doing work. The truth is incredibly humbling and humiliating to face. I don’t like playing. I work all the time because I like working. I like working more than I like being at home. Facing that fact is incredibly difficult to handle, because what kind of person likes working more than being at home?

Well, me. I mean, let’s be honest, I call myself a titan. I’ve got issues.

And one of those issues isn’t that I am too relaxed.

We run around the yard, up and back and up and back. We have 30-second dance parties. We sing show tunes. We play with balls. I blow bubbles and they pop them. And I feel stiff and delirious and confused most of the time. I itch for my cell phone always. But it is OK. My tiny humans show me how to live and the hum of the universe fills me up. I play and I play until I begin to wonder why we ever stop playing in the first place.

You can do it too, say yes every time your child asks you to play. Are you thinking that maybe I’m an idiot in diamond shoes? You’re right, but you can still do this. You have time. You know why? Because you’re not Rihanna and you’re not a Muppet. Your child does not think you’re that interesting.

You only need 15 minutes. My two- and four-year-old only ever want to play with me for about 15 minutes or so before they think to themselves they want to do something else. It’s an amazing 15 minutes, but it’s 15 minutes. If I’m not a ladybug or a piece of candy, I’m invisible after 15 minutes.

And my 13-year-old, if I can get a 13-year-old to talk to me for 15 minutes I’m Parent of the Year.

15 minutes is all you need. I can totally pull off 15 minutes of uninterrupted time on my worst day.Uninterrupted is the key. No cell phone, no laundry, no anything. You have a busy life. You have to get dinner on the table. You have to force them to bathe. But you can do 15 minutes. My kids are my happy place, they’re my world, but it doesn’t have to be your kids, the fuel that feeds your hum, the place where life feels more good than not good. It’s not about playing with your kids, it’s about joy. It’s about playing in general. Give yourself the 15 minutes. Find what makes you feel good. Just figure it out and play in that arena.

I’m not perfect at it. In fact, I fail as often as I succeed, seeing friends, reading books, staring into space.“Wanna play?” starts to become shorthand for indulging myself in ways I’d given up on right around the time I got my first TV show, right around the time I became a titan-in-training, right around the time I started competing with myself for ways unknown. 15 minutes? What could be wrong with giving myself my full attention for 15 minutes? Turns out, nothing. The very act of not working has made it possible for the hum to return, as if the hum’s engine could only refuel while I was away. Work doesn’t work without play.

It takes a little time, but after a few months, one day the floodgates open and there’s a rush, and I find myself standing in my office filled with an unfamiliar melody, full on groove inside me, and around me, and it sends me spinning with ideas, and the humming road is open, and I can drive it and drive it, and I love working again. But now, I like that hum, but I don’t love that hum. I don’t need that hum. I am not that hum. That hum is not me, not anymore. I am bubbles and sticky fingers and dinners with friends. I am that hum. Life’s hum. Love’s hum. Work’s hum is still a piece of me, it is just no longer all of me, and I am so grateful. And I don’t give a crap about being a titan, because I have never once seen a titan play Red Rover, Red Rover.

I said yes to less work and more play, and somehow I still run my world. My brain is still global. My campfires still burn. The more I play, the happier I am, and the happier my kids are. The more I play, the more I feel like a good mother. The more I play, the freer my mind becomes. The more I play, the better I work. The more I play, the more I feel the hum, the nation I’m building, the marathon I’m running, the troops, the canvas, the high note, the hum, the hum, the other hum, the real hum, life’s hum. The more I feel that hum, the more this strange, quivering, uncocooned, awkward, brand new, alive non-titan feels like me. The more I feel that hum, the more I know who I am. I’m a writer, I make stuff up, I imagine. That part of the job, that’s living the dream. That’s the dream of the job. Because a dream job should be a little bit dreamy.

I said yes to less work and more play. Titans need not apply.

Wanna play?

Thank you.






Its hard to find a good friend where you can rely on, and yet not be too dependant on them. Where you dont have to contact almost every day, because you understand that everyone have a life. Friends who quickly forgives you, even if they are still mad at you. Friends who takes the time to listen to you, even if its just your silly crappy rant. Friends who doesnt mind seeing you at your worst and emotional, because they understand that you are human too. Friends who allows you to be yourself instead of apologizing for being who you are. Friends who may have so many differences or political ideas and yet they still doesnt stop you from believing. Friends who would drag you out of your darkness or hit you in the head (literally) whenever you are putting up such crap. Friends who would honestly tells you how you feel instead of keeping it to themselves. Friends who would still keep some of the things to themselves because they dont want you to get hurt by what you are about to say.
I have probably lost more friends for the past years as i grow older, friends change, i change, and sometimes we had to part in the middle because we are no longer on the same page. Sometimes we had to take our own path but still try to keep in touch with one another no matter how long it took to meet again. Friends who let their friends grow out of their own so they can find their own self discovery. Friends, whom you dont even know exist in your life but suddenly comes in and are the one who help you through difficult times. Friends, whom you had to remove because they are not healthy for your own growth. Friends who seem to be only friends with you for certain purpose and once they get what they want from you, leaves you. There are so many things we can learn from having friends…or not having friends..or no longer friends with.

But one thing it taught me, no matter what happens, no matter what kind of friends you meet, its not how many friends you have but what kind of friend you are to them. Because, if its hard to find a friend, be one.

And i hope i have been a good one, even if i may not be able to be there all the time. Know that i will always be your friend.


“Rather than rant it on twitter”

…its better to write it down…eh?

Well , i have lots of thoughts but i never really manage to put it down on proper writing. So when i had to write an article for what supposed to be a sample of my writing, for a job interview i went recently, boy it was harder than i thought. The interview went well, I guess but my gut feeling says no. Especially when there are more cons than the job itself. Highly paid but stressful job expectation, not the kind of ‘stress’ i would enjoy even if i like writing. Plus it was too good to be true for someone who has not had working experience since I did my master. Like they say, if its too good to be true, its likely, its not true.

I don’t know if its possible, but i hope i can find a job that I will enjoy the stress I have to face everyday. A job where I can be satisfied to know that I have done something for whatever I was tasked to do.  So, i chose the other job which pays less but at least there are more Pros in it even if its for a short time, at least I still have a life and near to my family. When that job ends, i will need to find a new one.

Job hunting in this time, is scary. But its more liberating if you can create your own job, I almost forgot about my dreams at the time. I guess it was good to have to reject the other job, since it makes me question what i really want in life. A life with no life but paid handsomely, or a life where i can still get by but more fulfilling? I ask myself, if money wasn’t an issue…what would you do? Happy… I want to be happy and make a difference, if not on a big scale at least to people around me.

People expect you to do PhD, but i don’t think i am going through all of that right away. Sometimes i do miss research, but not as much to go back into the whole process. Lol. Even if one day i want to continue my PhD, i would make sure that it is something I want, and not anyone’s idea put on me. After all, i be spending years on it to get it done.

“Sambung PhD”

“Kerja apa nanti?”

“Bila nak kahwin?”

Expectations after expectations..its really hard to silence all these pressures around you and maintain to be yourself in spite of what anybody say. You can’t please everyone, so you gotta stop trying to fit in and meet peoples expectations. I’m sorry, i am in no competition with anyone. I’ll just walk on my own path, at my own pace.

So to these people , please…mind your own business. My life, my decisions.





Cultural perspectives on shyness and how shyness is perceived in Islam

According to Susan Cain, author of “Quiet: The Power of Introverts, ‘Shyness’ is the fear of negative judgment. In her article on “Are you shy, introverted, or both or neither (And why does it matter)?” , she mentions that a shyness and introversion may interlink to one another. A shy person may become more introverted and may tend to prefer the pleasures of solitude and other minimal social environments. A calm introvert are different from a shy extrovert because they are afraid of speaking up (due to being afraid of the negative judgement) compared to the shy extrovert who sits quietly in a business meeting who may be over stimulate.

In my opinion, an introvert prefers to observe and understand the things discussed in the meeting and often seem to not have anything to say unless it is important for them to speak up and express their opinion. Often they are seemed to not say anything unless they are asked for their opinion or really do have something to point out. Most of the time, their input are mostly sought for and give very good insight of the issue being discussed because it has been thought through rather than simply giving an opinion.

A shy kid, may be afraid of giving opinions because they fear of being judged, but an introverted kid do not speak up unless there is a need to do so. When the need comes, they are often the ones who has the best idea or solution since they have analyzed the problem from all aspects before they give an opinion.

In western culture, being shy has been perceived as a weakness. The culture pressures children to participate in all activities as a sign of an active students. If one do not be active in sports and school activities per say, they may not get good mark in extracurricular activities. Therefore students who prefer quiet activities such as reading, walking and find solitude in activities that doesn’t sports such as playing chess, jigsaw puzzle etc will not stand much chance to get good marks in extra curricular.

However, in the East or Asian countries, being shy is appreciated because it relates to being humble and knowing where they stand. In Malay culture, those who doesn’t have a sense of shyness in themselves are considered as ‘tidak tahu malu’ which means, people who have no shame. These people are negatively perceived as rude and disobedient who do not respect the elders or the people around them. Interestingly, there are also proverbs such as “Malu bertanya, Sesat jalan” meaning that if you are afraid to ask, you will lose your way.  Therefore, being shy doesn’t necessarily mean all the time, when it comes to things that we don’t understand. So it is okay for a person to ask if they don’t know or understand what they are going through. Whether if it’s asking for help, or if they don’t know how to do something.

As Islam came to the Malay Kingdom, so does the values of Islam integrated within the Malay culture that is the Hijab. There are many theory of how Islam came to the Malay archipelagos, but gradually Islam are well assimilated to the culture among the Malays specifically in Malaysia. Gradual changes in the way the malay’s dress and how hijab is perceived by different scholars and the Malay society itself. I recall a story from my mother that at one point it was acceptable to wear only the ‘kain batik’ or the batik sarong as head covering with some hair. But after some time the Malay started to cover more and more as Islam have been well integrated within the society. If during my grandmother time, it is still acceptable to cover using batik sarong, while some may prefer the ‘kebaya’ dress without any covering or with a ‘selendang’ or thin scarf in the 50’s or 60’s. By the time it was the 70’s many Malay women have started to wear proper head covering and some choose to cover even longer ‘hijab’ based on their understanding of Islam at the time.

In terms of shyness that is not related to physical appearance, being shy is still highly valued and respected. For example, some may not show off their knowledge so that they do not appear to be showing off. This can also be seen in the art of Silat, a martial art practiced by the Malays until now whereby the ‘Bunga Silat’ or opening of the Silat is actually a hidden message of a person skill in Silat to their opponent. A person’s knowledge and skill in Silat can be seen from the way they show off their ‘Bunga Silat’ and indirectly tells the opponent not to mess with them based on how good they move. The Malay culture is a unique culture that is too ‘shy’ to show off what they have unless the need requires for them to show their skill. Therefore, whenever a very good person are being complimented as being shy, it usually means, they are too humble to show off what they know and thus wins their respect.

Therefore, shyness in any culture are perceived differently, they may be appreciated by one culture or undervalued by other culture. Either way, in Islam, a sense of shy is required among the believing man and women. Sadaf Farooqi wrote on “Haya: Showcasing shyness of a sheperdness”  that the manner of a shepherdess who shyly approach The Prophet Musa a.s , is seeking ‘haya’ which also means ‘seeking forgiveness’ proves that when the need arises,  a women can become an intermediate if it is for a noble or good cause. The shepherdess who is also the daughter of the old man who owns the sheeps also gives advice to their father in helping Prophet Musa a.s who was on the run and homeless. This implies that despite being shy, a women can and should, give their opinions to their mahrums in their house when major decisions are being made. Her father took her advice and her testimony on Prophet Musa’s physical strength and his trustworthiness in handling the sheeps well.

This shows that, in Islam, shyness should not become a barrier in sharing of knowledge, in consultation, and decision-making, or when the negotiating the terms of contract. Even the Prophet Muhammad SAW wife, Saidatina Aisyah RA are the most sought for in Hadith and Sunnah by the scholars at the time. Therefore, shyness does not stop one from the daily life of muslims and perhaps compliments the values that have already embedded in Islam.

Dear ‘pistol’ :P


instead of sorry, i want to thank you….

for being you, even if you change your style…

for being there, even if you are far away…

for being a friend, even after all these years…

and if you are reading this…

thank you for checking up on my blog for updates once in a while…

even if this blog is’ dusty’

but importantly…

thank you for staying…

even if you had the chance to ‘leave’



liebe you, always







* you know you have found a very good friend when you never have to look at your phone (i was switching it off when you came-lah), when all you just want to do is talk for hours (even if you had to bear with their ‘lecture’), and sneak a tight hug because that’s how much you miss them (even if your not a hugger lol!) and importantly, when you can be yourself when you are together…





I wanted to write a special post of all the people I am thankful of, but no words would be enough and too many people for me to thank for. And, it was more meaningful for me to thank them personally instead here

Every time i wanted to write about my graduation, i could not find any words to describe my feelings except for this picture taken by a former lecturer whom i happened to pass by after my convocation (November,2015) looking for my parents.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, well this one worth at least 50,000 words of my actual thesis haha nevertheless thank you, you know who you are  😉