Moving In The Right Direction

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

Alhamdulillah for all things that have gone right. Extremely grateful for all I have right now.

I don’t know, I’ve just been full of gratitude lately, I guess. Gotta enjoy the good things while they last!

Watching my bank account go dry is nudging me more to doing what I want to do instead of earning more money, ironically.

It should be the inverse, right? Maybe it’s not the concept of money that haunts me but the concept of time.

Seeing my money run out makes me feel like time is running out just as fast. That I’m pretty much halfway to my death. Thus, the greater sense of urgency to achieve what I want to achieve.

For anyone else perhaps, the idea of death is morbid. But thanks to Harry Potter, death now looks like an old friend I’m bound to meet before I can meet my Maker in the end.

If I should go, it would be nice to leave my mark on the world, in the form of words or music. For example, this blog itself, will be part of my legacy. I hope that I can do it some justice, even when I can’t commit to it as much as I would like to.

Speaking of commitments, I discovered that my bandmates are far more versatile and talented than I am. So I’m feeling the pressure of picking up an instrument. It’s always good to be versatile and swap around instruments. And it’s always more fun too!

So many things to do yet so little time. Why and how am I so busy?!

It’s good to be occupied though.

And being in the company of new friends, who are amazing by the way as they’re never calculative towards my husband and I, makes me realise that I’ve lived quite a chunk of my life accommodating to toxic people. And I think I exhibited toxic behaviour too. I am no saint. So when there are people who showed you kindness you’re not accustomed to getting, it feels extremely refreshing. For the most part, I keep on questioning where have all these people been in my life?! But then I would take a step back and realise that we were meant to meet after having gone through what we each have gone through.

Such a serendipity.

Myself (foreground), my husband (background), Shike (centre), and Teck (left).

I had to be very patient all my life and I still have to be very patient but I must say, patience is very rewarding.

So here’s to more patience and more opportunities with friends!

And Allah is Al-Muqaddim, The Expeditor. – MM

I have a drinking problem.

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

I’ve been overdosing on coffee. So unhealthy.

Also, I’m training myself to shorten my sentences. Been rambling and mumbling my entire life. Time for a change!

Or not.

Work has been increasingly tiring. Recently, I felt like my kindness and capabilities were taken advantage of.

I really want to turn away but whenever I think about Singaporeans who lost their jobs during the pandemic, I tell myself to suck it up and take one for the nation.

It also helps that more people at work have begun to acknowledge me, trust me, and feel comfortable around me. I saw for myself how a little effort goes a long way. Like there’s this guy at work whom I’ve never even said hello to when I see him. I decided to give him a thank-you card recently. (My company has a thank-you card culture. Everyone writes at least one each day.) The next thing I know, he is already bantering with me and saying goodbye to me when clocking out.

Clearly, a little kindness goes a long way. Like having friends talking to you out of the blue at a time you need a listening ear the most because once upon a time, you were kind to them.

I wish we can all be kinder to ourselves too, though. Let’s take it one step at a time during this difficult period.

I can’t hug everyone but here’s a virtual pat on the back for all for having done a good job in navigating the corona life so far even when you think you haven’t.

Dammit, when will my sentences ever be short? XD

And Allah is always fair and He loves those who are patient. – MM

Evisceration By Election

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

The election fever has not died down and while some might have gotten tired of seeing all things election in their social media feed, I am quite addicted to it.

Nothing quite like an evisceration of the pandemic via a different drama offered by the election period, eh?

I made an effort to watch Singapore Votes 2020: Nomination Day Special by CNA on YouTube on my off day yesterday. At the end of it  I feel robbed of about three hours of my life but I did take away some Ls.

1) What is social distancing?

Seems like many have forgotten to maintain a safe distance amongst themselves. The rate at which everyone is clumping together makes all the nomination centres look like high-potential clusters. I don’t think the reporters sanitised their recording devices when interviewing different candidates. Jeng jeng.

And seriously, are we not going to talk about how the incumbent East Coast team shared one microphone when the alternative party could use individual microphones? The message I received from that is image > social responsibility by the incumbent. Some heads might roll over this.

2) Don’t forget Red Dot United.

In all of my fervour of following familiar alternative parties, I have completely overlooked Red Dot United. If I didn’t watch the Nomination Day special, I would have completely kept myself uninformed of their presence.

It’s interesting to see a party being led by a female. While both Michelle Lee of RDU and Sylvia Lim of Workers’ Party holds the chairperson position in their respective parties, Michelle is leading her party more obviously than Sylvia. If RDU is clever, they would play the female leadership angle — campaigning the need to have more alternative voices in parliament so as to ensure that women become more empowered in politics. That Singapore is indeed ready to be led by a capable and competent female, and not by one simply chosen by the supermajority. Or that Singapore can indeed have a healthily competitive political playing field.

As for Sylvia, it’s simply tactical on her party’s part. Rather than giving the competition a chance to take cheap shots at her via the old Town Council allegations made against her, they rather put forward a young Indian leader. Who says the young aren’t capable of working in politics? President says she’s not Indian? It’s okay, we have an Indian leader who is interested in representing you in parliament.

3) There is never enough airtime for the alternative candidates.

I kept watching the candidates from alternative parties get cut off during their interviews whereas the candidates from the ruling party get full soundbytes. Honestly, it felt plain rude to me. And to be honest, I’m quite sick of being bombarded with mail from the ruling party. Where’s my mail from the alternative parties? Come on, I’d like to make an informed decision here. If you are confident in your manifesto, you’d never needed to worry about your voters supporting other parties. The more you are spamming me, the more desperate you look to me. And desperate is not a good look.

Additionally, I felt that there were many missed opportunities for many nominees across all the parties in terms of maximising their given airtime. How could you not have prepared better for your nomination speech? You don’t have to be fancy with the team bowing and arm-raising or even trying to ensure the cameras can get a good view of you and your team. You just have to ensure that your message to your constituents is clearly expressed on your ever-so-rare national airtime. Debunk what needs to be debunked. Clarify what needs to be explained. Introduce yourself properly and your mission so that your voters can build a curiousity towards you and want to hear more from you. Yes, you may argue that you don’t have time to fully prepare for a speech due to the short time period of our election events. However, it is not the first rodeo for most of you and you have had five years to strategise and solidify your campaign. The speech comes naturally when you are clear on the direction that your party is taking.

To those of you who are still full-time students: when it comes to class presentations, stop pushing them to the person who always present well. Instead, rise to the challenge and practise your presentation skills lest you should find yourself having to address the nation out of the blue.

Ugh. So much frustration!

Yet I’m still pursuing election news. Oh, the things we do to ourselves.

If you’d like to torment yourself too, here’s the video:

And Allah is Al-Qadir, The All-Able. – MM

Election Fever

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

In case you missed it, Singapore is holding a General Election on 10 July 2020 amidst the current global pandemic.

Yes, only in Singapore can you afford to hold one while the rest of the world is grappling with the pandemic-related crises.

Makes us sound very selfish. Perhaps a reflection of the government?

Anyway, the election fever has struck me and many other Singaporeans. Suddenly everyone is interested in the local politics, myself very much included, of course.

But it’s nice to see more people calling out on the biasness of the local media and the flaws of the incumbent. And people realising the importance of their voice most of all.

Just recently, we the people, managed to oust a potential elitist candidate from entering the parliament. He couldn’t stand the backlash after just three days of announcing his candidacy. Imagine what the opposers had to go through throughout their lives and political careers. Yet, they still soldier on despite having to go against all odds. Pretty damning.

Although I harbour little hope of seeing an improved political landscape, I still feel interested enough to read up on all things related to the election.

May the better candidates win.

And Allah is As-Samad, The Satisfier of Needs. – MM

And I’ve Got No Plans To Retire

In the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

Hello! So the Singapore government decided to open Phase 2 this Friday.

If you can only see the look on my face right now. If you know me, you’ll know exactly my sentiments. I’ll leave it up for interpretation.

Now that I’m forced to recondition my body to be ready for work, I have found some consolation in Eminem featuring Juice WRLD’s Godzilla.

LOL, I know. I’ve been sharing a lot of Eminem music. But I have a reason for this. This is going to be a long post. Strap in.

My newfound obsession began with a random stumble upon a video that detailed the feud between Machine Gun Kelly (MGK) and Eminem. From that video, I stumbled upon another video that propagates why Eminem’s diss track, Killshot, is better than MGK’s Rap Devil. I learnt that Eminem actually wrote his raps/lyrics with a lot of depth. So much depth that you need to study it closely like a piece of literature schools made you read.

Needless to say, I started to look for more breakdown and reaction videos to Eminem’s music. And needless to say, I began to like Eminem’s writing style more and more. There are so many layers to his sentences. It’s only a matter of whether you get the context of his lines or if you just needed somebody to switch that lightbulb on in your head. Not only did Eminem play with metaphors intelligently, his use of literary devices is next level, yo. Assonance, alliteration, homophone, rhyme, rhythm, flow, and more… he doesn’t use those devices simply for the sake of using them but purposefully. What I like about the video I shared above is that the guy shows the difference in the writing calibres of the young generation artist (MGK) and the old generation artist (Eminem).

I enjoy good writing. That’s my favourite part of music. Good lyrics are harder to come by in today’s music. If you couldn’t catch the lines in Godzilla, there is an official lyric video.

I pity the bloke who had to produce the lyric video. Hahaha! That speed at the end. Oh, my God. Eminem is also clever in naming this song Godzilla. His fastest rap was in Rap God, which people said he had set a record. Many believed he has beaten that record in Godzilla. If you’re going to beat yourself, and you’ve already claimed that you’re the rap god, then how do you outdo yourself? How do you outdo a (rap) god? What’s bigger and better than a god? (That’s imagery for you!) Godzilla! (That’s wordplay for you!) See? Bloody brilliant!

I hope you manage to comprehend what I tried to convey so far. Hahaha!

So that’s Eminem and his impression on me.

I’m going to talk about another person who has made an impression on me, Michelle Obama.

Netflix recommended her documentary, Becoming, and I watched it. I enjoyed it. In fact, was so inspired by it that I bought her book, Becoming, and its companion guided journal.

In her guided journal, the first question she posed was, “What is your story and how have you embraced it?”

And I’ve been stumped by it for what feels like weeks now. I really have no idea how to answer that. It has even partly contributed to my insomnia. I kept tossing and turning in bed nowadays, kept awake by the contemplation of that question.

And even now, I still don’t have the answer. I feel like I’ve entered this existential crisis. Like, damn, what is my story?

I feel like my life comprises of many stories. On one hand, I keep wondering, okay, do I just pull out one story from the hat and on the other, I keep thinking, there must be an overarching theme to my series of stories. I just couldn’t figure out what that is.

Most people will go for the thing that has the most impact in their lives or the identity that they’ve established for themselves. I mean, how else would you answer that question, right? It’s like introducing yourself and what you’re about. But I’m struggling with that introduction. It’s much easier to state my name and how old I am, where I came from, and the likes. But when people ask me, “So what’s your story?”, I’m like, “Eh?”

Look, I’m still stumped. I don’t even know if I will be able to answer it in this post.

*Thinks really hard.*

It’s starting to feel like that itch on my back that I can’t scratch.

Let’s just hold that thought process for a while because I also wanted to share something else.

A couple of nights ago, I decided to start a new Let’s Play and bravely picked Call of Duty: WWII. I didn’t have the faintest idea of what the game is about and how it works. It was made free to play by Playstation Network for Playstation Plus members and I thought, why not give it a go? So I did and I was so terrified to play it. I still am terrified to play it! Haha! I believe I shared my second recording last night. Here’s the first ever recording and I absolutely love my genuine reactions while playing it! Hahaha!

I was so clueless! I had no idea what was going on or what I was even supposed to do for that matter. I felt like a headless chicken entering a barbecue! Goodness! It was so intense! I’m still sorting out the audio issues. Hopefully, the quality of the playthrough will get better over time with the right audio adjustments.

This really was the first time I actually enjoyed watching myself play. I’m happy that I get to experience the joy of doing a blind let’s play.

Now back to the what’s-my-story conundrum.

Still stumped.

Gee, you know what? Let’s just lookup the Quran randomly and whatever verse I land on, that shall be the hint to help me answer the question.

Okay, I’m on Quran.com. Let’s try typing in ‘story’ in the search bar.

First result: And has the story of Moses reached you? (20:9)

. . . -_-?”

HOW IS THAT SUPPOSED TO HELP ME?! HAHAHAHA! I’m no Moses! I’m no prophet! Help! Hahahaha!

I vaguely know the story of Moses so let’s refresh my memory. Might as well take the opportunity to learn more about him since I was on the topic about people who made an impression on me.

Wow, yeah, I just realised it! Allah just gave me a better role model to be impressed by. He truly is The All-Knowing and The Best of Planners.

Gosh. I’m gobsmacked.

Guys, now I’m stunned after reading the next verse because I see my name at the end of the verse! :O Whuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuut. Oh, wow. Chills, man, chills! Oh, Lord, I only asked for a hint not for goosebumps. What is this?!

(20:10): When he saw a fire and said to his family, “Stay here; indeed, I have perceived a fire; perhaps I can bring you a torch or find at the fire some guidance.”

There, guidance. Oh, wow. Oh, this is so creepy. Moses was looking for something. I was looking for something. He was looking for a source of light for his family just based on that verse alone. I was looking for an answer to Michelle’s question. Moses thought he might find some guidance at the fire; his source of light, which applies figuratively as well as he mentioned guidance. I thought I might get find a hint from the Quran, my figurative source of light.

Oh, my heart.

Okay, you know what, I don’t even have to read on. I know what’s my story now.

My story is that my name is very special and I have embraced its importance to me.

It’s very special because I was supposed to be named Nurhazwanni, which ended up being my younger sister’s name. My dad went for Friday prayers while keeping that name in mind the whole time. (I was born on a Friday at 10.32pm.) However, when he was about to register my name for my birth certificate the next day, he was stumped. (Wow, how eerily similar is that to my situation just now?! :O ) He just couldn’t remember the name that he wanted to give me. He totally spaced. His favourite singer at that time was Wann, a female Malaysian, which inspired the name he wanted to give me. Even that didn’t come across his mind. What struck his mind instead was another female Malaysian, but this time an Olympic swimmer, Nurul Huda. (At this point, I’m thinking my dad watched too much Malaysian TV. XD )

So that’s how I ended up with Nurul Huda. Light of Guidance.

My name is very important to me as I used to feel the burden of its weight. I am no exemplary creature. How am I supposed to guide others when I feel so lost? I used to have no confidence in my abilities. I used to wish that I had the name Nurhazwanni instead because my sister was pretty and cool. People found her friendly and approachable. I envied her for all that. All that changed when she told me one day that she envied me. That I was pretty. That I was cool. That people looked up to me. That made me more receptive to my name. I’m not the best but I could kind of lead. When people needed help, I could come up with some creative solutions sometimes. I don’t always give the right directions but I feel like I can read the map better than most. Haha!

So yeah, that’s my story and that’s how I’ve embraced it. Thank you, Allah, for your blessings on me.

Not a fan of the reciter but this was the best short video I could find.

And Allah is Al-Ahad, The Only One. – MM