Tuesday, September 30, 2008

(Title – A standard and expired joke when people asked me what is my favourite raya song)

(To be read in pantun intonation, and emphasize wherever appropriate - especially in the word 'hai' - all to respect the authenticity of this great Malay poetic form) Sedap dilihat hai sayang cik lemang, sedap lagi hai dimakan sorang. Apa menarik di Aidil Fitri, apa lagi kalau tak makan di tengahari.

I thought I wouldn’t be updating, but here I am anyway, to say something hours before I bid yet another adieu to Ramadhan. Or maybe an excuse for a cheap commercial of Hari Raya wish.

I have to admit that fasting does tend to change my sleeping habits quite a lot, all to common of what being Malay is for some people. Of course, my diet as well,which confirmed that I have to hold on the thought of being a Randy Orton for a while.

Anyway, I’ve had an absorbing Ramadhan this year with turns of events, which had me thinking all month, although Ramadhan for me is typically slow as I anticipate the coming of Syawal.

To recap, I suppose my Ramadhan is better this time around. Well it does not have a fairy-tale like plot along the way but those hindrances and lessons were something more than ayam percik and murtabak on table for berbuka.

Ramadhan is an opportunity for me to stray off my mind of food and yeah, naked women in various positions and to stay away of dropping in and out of semi-consciousness to keep up with lessons of life, as the saying has it, you drink more when you are thirsty.

Thank you Allah for yet another opportunity. And those lessons as well.

Yeah, I hope you had a literally smashing and forthrightly absorbing Ramadhan as well to ponder.

With that, selamat datang Syawal and feel free to embrace me.

Ah yes, routinely just to play by the rule, to wish you readers Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Maaf Zahir Batin.

Rendang, a cuisine that I thought originated from Malaysia. Traditionally eaten during Hari Raya Aidilfitri, best served with lemang or ketupat, and Malaysians penchant or should I say, lust for food. Answers straight away on why we don’t give a damn where it came from.

P.S. I just received an SMS, the first raya wish in its kind this year moments ago. It writes ‘Selamat Hari Raya Izham Ismail!’. Short, but certainly better than long-winded unoriginal forwarded messages which you possibly receive due to sending error. Thanks anyway, if it does.

posted by Izham Ismail at 3:18 am | Permalink | 12 comments
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Petite Itu Sexy

Size doesn't matter. In football lah. Lucah lah you.

I’ve always admired any teams or players that handle adversity with the greatest of sportsmanship, like my interest in short players who do well on the pitch. Aerial power might be of their misfortune but still they are able to steal the show with dazzling performance on ground. 

Some of you might only know about Lionel Messi (1.69m), Cesc Fabregas (1.77m) Deco (1.74m), Theo Walcott (1.75m) and Sergio Aguero (1.69m) as prime paradigm of petite players who make a big break in modern football, but history has it that this is a trend tracks decades ago. 

World of football used to have the greatest Diego Maradona (1.65m) and underrated Garrincha (1.69m) whom dubbed as the joy of the people, credited to his dribbling prowess and dead ball specialty. What about the fox in the box Romario (1.69m) who scored 1000 goals in his career, a feat only Pele had done and Roberto Carlos (1.69m) who was famous for his curl freekick passed Fabien Barthez (1.83m), whom is also short for a goalkeeper but had a World Cup, European Cup and a record of 10 World Cup games clean sheets. 

I’m sure there are more when you think about it – Michael Owen (1.73m), Italy World Cup winner captain Fabio Cannavaro (1.76m), the newly appointed Hammers manager Gianfranco Zola (1.66m), Gennaro ‘Rhino’ Gattuso (1.77m) and so much more. 

So Akmal Rizal (1.70m), Norhafiz Zamani Misbah (1.72m), Hardi Jaafar (1.65m), Safee Sali (1.72m) should take note and learn something, and don’t give another lousy reason not to do well. So does Shukor Adan (1.85m) who should be ashamed of himself. 

I have to say while their intelligence on the field outplay their physique is a worth of note, credit should also be given to the coaches who spot these gems and the risk they took in fielding these vertically handicapped players. 

Maybe it is directly in the case of Arsene Wenger whom I regard as the best manager in the world of football. Whilst his trophy room still has lots of empty spaces, his ability to spot talents is beyond magic. How the hell he discovered Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira, Cesc Fabregas, Aliaksandr Hleb, Mathieu Flamini, Kolo Toure and turned them to become world class players?

Maybe he should come to Malaysia to scout for local talents. I am sure we have yet to unearth our new Mokhtar Dahari. I am sure he is somewhere around and need to be discovered.

And Arsenal is not the richest of football club, but of potential. So FAM take note. 

If they can do it, so can us. So can Shukor Adan.

Size doesn’t matter. Well, in football lah. Lucah lah you.

posted by Izham Ismail at 10:09 pm | Permalink | 5 comments
Sunday, September 21, 2008
Dam Dam Dum Bunyi Gavel

It makes me cross to a much wider ideological spectrum when I hold a conversation with people of different areas of study – and I find it interesting particularly with time I had with my friends who study Law.

I have to admit if I haven’t found my vocation in medicine, I would have found myself caught beneath lengthy law case study, reports, proceedings and various statutory materials, as I have been quietly a big fan of this stirring field of study.

At any level, it shapes our live in a multitude of ways, providing a solid foundation of fundamental fabric, which a successful civilization can burst forth. Maybe I owe much to my interest in the language used, which brilliantly gives rise in great of depth to the most valued human need, the appeal of self-expression as it open up a highly regarded intellectual discourse in its complex yet worthy of note legal thinking.

And the superficial association of debate with law just stokes the flame of interest even more. It celebrates command of both side of the arguments and if you handled it well, even a guilty murder can escape free (but surely nowhere to be found in my book of ethic).

Law generalizes the most basic approach to education, the idea that the object of learning is to understand as much as possible, whichever way – questions from many angles, examining conflicting ideas with dash of intellect, and of course logic of the common sense along the way.

Above all, it sets rules on how we lead our life.

Logic and common sense, which cooperate with the nature of the subject is the key judgment in tailoring set of rules to meet each relevant aspect of the case.

And that is the case of two very brilliant sets of rules for living a respectable and morale life, Mafia Ten Commandments (not to be confused with Biblical Ten Commandments) and The Cowboy Code.

Good things come in small, and in this case hidden package, as the authors seem to be of shadowy figures, but their ideas are beyond genius in amplifying the simplest, sincerest and probably the most well jingled rules to live a respectable life.

Results? The Mafia has turned into one of Italy’s biggest business enterprises with a turnover of more than a staggering USD120 billion a year, maybe a hundred billion dollar better than Proton, and all-inclusive respect worldwide as they successfully showcased one of many important essence of triumph - respect of the law.

Cliché, but it is true to some extent, that law exists for us to respect it.

And it is democratic, which requires effort on our parts to make these commendable ideas real. As much as we agree on creating it, we have to agree on respecting it.

Ah yes, politicians take note. Please keep law relevant to the need of changing society. We are vulnerable, so handle us with care.

P.S. MBBS stands for Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, not Malam Boleh Buat Seks.

P.S.S I quit Medicine in 2009 to do Law in 2010.

posted by Izham Ismail at 6:18 am | Permalink | 0 comments
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Merah Buat Penyeri Muka
With all the dramas leading up to it, rumors and speculations flitting around as we near the much anticipated kickoff,

Is it true, or is it just me who thinks that Liverpool – Man United clash is the best football match in the world?

Because it lays chance and time for both fans to take pride should their team grab all three points, and leave the world’s best match as the winner – until the next Kop – Red Devils encounter refreshed.

How I wish Selangor – Kedah shadowy rivalry is treated the same way.

Good luck Reds, win this and sleep the rest of the season – as beating Man United is sweeter than winning the FA Cup.

We all aware of the arrival of Dimitar Berbatov at Old Trafford to assail our red rock solid line of defense, but aren’t they aware of the return of our own Dark Knight in Fernando Torres and the captain Steven Gerrard?

Odds are heavily loaded up against us, and it is only sweet to rise above it and paint them Liverpool red.

Ah yes, how about the clash of cash between two richest club in British football? How would Luiz Felipe Scolari’s force fare the threat of Robinho and free-spending Manchester City?

Technically it would be the most expensive match in the world of football, and let’s have a great time wondering if moolahs promise quality football.

Anyhow, have a good night of football!

P.S. And reflecting as well. It’s Ramadhan, remember?
posted by Izham Ismail at 5:18 pm | Permalink | 8 comments
Friday, September 12, 2008
Acah Acah Siber
Bro, kat mana?
Weh kau apa cerita?
Shit, buat apa sekarang?
Weh lama tak
dengar cerita?
Rindu sial kat kau!
Jom lah lepak!
Roger lah aku
No hal bro!
Apa apa hal roger!

Bro. Weh. Exclamation mark. Profanities. Ayat pendek pendek - lambang kuasa dan kehidupan happening si pengguna(s).

Tiga jam berlalu di kedai mamak. Indah khabar dari rupa. Hero alam maya, realitinya hidup segan mati tak mahu. Order teh tarik pun nervous - tidak graceful dan elegan.

Tidak respect mamak, layan macam kuli (lambang kuasa bodoh), panggilan si ibu dibiarkan miss call (lambang hidup independent yang lagi bodoh) dan berbual macam dia moderator bahas yang tak tahu motion - sesat dan menyesatkan.

Tiga jam aku beri mereka masa. Asap rokok gagal buktikan apa-apa.

Mudah sungguh aku tertipu dengan jantan-jantan cool alam maya.

Mungkin sebab mereka terlalu graceful dan elegan di balik tabir sampai lupa dunia realiti ada ruang lebih besar untuk semua itu.

Dan mungkin definisi cool hanya pada gambar-gambar cantik, happening dan in-trend di laman-laman sosial.

Nasib baik aku terima orang seadanya – lepas puas belajar sesuatu daripadanya.
"Tanpa keberanian mimpi tidak bermakna"
- Habsah Hassan
posted by Izham Ismail at 11:40 pm | Permalink | 4 comments
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Thaksin Ousted
This will seem silly. Even I’m surprised at how emotional I’ve become.

Friendship is like downloading porn. It takes a while to browse for good ones, and it takes times to develop the plot of the breathtaking flight. And while downloading, turbulences would kick in, all to make the journey an uncertainty and the flight much more exciting.

In the end, it will all worth it.

I’m still recovering to resign to the fact that an angel of my life just bid a 5 year hiatus from my life, two days ago. I know two days are not enough to hark back to the wonderful two years journey I had with him.

We are different in so many ways. But love is unconditional to bother about our differences. And love is not just about laughter and fun.

I just realized that he was always here beside me during my ups and downs for the past two years. We had a fair share of hard times and adversity – all of which I see as opportunities bestowed by God to attach us.

We’ve been through hard times as objects of contempt and harsh ridicule together. But still, his presence cheered me up. I can still remember how disheartened we were to know that life is not a fairy tale until we knew that we were an article of animosity by many.

But we believe in karma, and God has greater plans for all of us.

I am honored to call him my great friend, a guy I could talk to about anything, literally everything.

Thank you Allah, for fixing a wonderful date and opportunity for me to be with a friend I dearly refer as Thaksin.

(Iklan gambar-gambar intim - disyorkan pasang lagu Orange Sky nyanyian Alexi Murdoch untuk effect Bersamamu TV3)

Thank you for two important years of companionship lesson - you were always there for me when I needed a friend. Sorry if I never told you that.

Thanks for your time, Mohd Amiruddin Mohd Nor.

I think I tore my soul apart to bid you adieu. But frankly, I did not think it would be this difficult.

I’m going to miss you, man.

posted by Izham Ismail at 8:53 pm | Permalink | 10 comments
Friday, September 05, 2008
Fantasi Ramadhan
Hari Jumaat panasnya lain macam sedikit. Kebiasaannya aku akan minum air tebu lepas sembahyang Jumaat – walaupun plan asalnya nak sedekah seringgit kat tabung masjid.

Hari kelima puasa tahun ini jatuh pada hari Jumaat.

Berasap tekak jantan aku melihat budak budak tadika berpusu-pusu beli air tebu. Ada yang pegang jambu potong di sebelah, dengan confident minta asam lebih. Kawan sebelah sibuk hirup air soya. Yang seorang lagi, tak bawa duit agaknya, tidak segan silu minum air bekal (bekas tertutup, mungkin ribena).

Aku ikhlas telan air liur, tidak dibuat-buat.

Mahu saja aku hulur seringgit dua, "..abang tunggu dalam kereta hijau tu tau".

"..asam lebih ye dik".

posted by Izham Ismail at 2:42 pm | Permalink | 8 comments
Tuesday, September 02, 2008
Permainan apa? Bolasepak! (repeat 4X)
It’s an exciting week of football. It is priceless to watch AC Milan, Juventus and Inter Milan, Real Madrid and Barcelona suffer surprising hiccups in the league opener.

And Man Utd lost to Zenit St Petersburg, confirmed that Alex Ferguson can have all the titles in the trophy room, except for the Super Cup.

Ah yes, frustrations for EPL leaders, Chelsea and Liverpool as they ended their games draw. A win for either team would crown them current champion, and of course, matter of pride in the never-ending mind games. But I like Scolari more than Avram Grant to dispute with Rafa.

Shocking transfers – maybe not in the case of Berbatov’s swoop to Old Trafford. It’s from the United city-rival, Manchester City which confirmed the signing of once dubbed the rightful heir to Pele’s great legacy, Robinho for 32.5 million pound. What a good way to celebrate the departure of Thaksin Shinawatra (but still he is the honorary president of the club without any administrative responsibilities – hence Mark Hughes won’t have any Mourinho-Abramovich drama to think about).

Shevchenko is back in Milan, my favorite Ricardo Quaresma agreed a deal with Inter, Albert Riera as the new number 11 (which should be of Quaresma's) at Anfield from Espanyol, and Steve Finnan went opposite way.

Oh yeah, Andriy Voronin fell down the packing order to Hertha Berlin – and left the legendary number 10 vacant. Maybe a hint for some big-hit signing next transfer window. David Villa?

At home, Akmal Rizal left Selangor and hinted that KL Plus or Kuala Muda Naza might be his next destination for the fifth club of his career. Goalkeeper Megat Amir Faisal and Fadzli ‘Robot’ Shaari were also subject to transfer. Haru biru.

I don’t know about you, but I find all these very, very interesting. Okay, including these.

Enough drama, let's get the ball rolling! (Referee's whistle)

posted by Izham Ismail at 2:48 pm | Permalink | 2 comments