Saturday, January 31, 2009
See She See He

In UK's worst city, the biggest university hospital in Europe was built - and the worst Malaysian scholar is reading medicine there. Somehow she is having fun. 

Did I say she? Okay he.

Let us see, let you see.

She spent a while talking to gentlemen with heart problems - taking history, blood pressure and all that shit. And she enjoyed them shit very much. Maybe there was a connection as she could have heart problem herself. 

Did I say she? Okay he.

Let us see, let you see.

She plans to live there as well. Nothing posh, just unconventional. She is nervous, isn't she? Maybe, but she is used to it.

Did I say she? Okay he.

Let us see, let you see.

After all, this is the life she expected for the rest of her short life, to heal those broken hearts, without really care the one of herself.

Did I say she? Okay he.

Let us see, let you see.

posted by Izham Ismail at 2:38 pm | Permalink | 4 comments
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Charing Cross Old Men's Club

Lu cakap lu dah berubah, tapi orang still tak suka kat lu pun? We all miss the old you lah Jack. Orang macam kita ini Jack, buat baik macam mana pun, orang fikir bukan-bukan juga. So no point Jack, no point. Fikir dalam-dalam sikit Jack. No point Jack, no point buat benda macam ini kalau orang tak appreciate.

This is not you, Jack. This is even worst than the old you. You still call this a change?

Jack then broke the silence, twiddled his cigarette, curled in the cavernous leather chair and faced Charlie across with utter composure.

You have to stop there. Lenny appreciates me all the time, so as Macca. Oh and The Gallaghers as well. They are more than happy to have me if you don't want to.

Charlie fumed and killed Jack within few minutes. Even before Jack finished to put wise.

Poor Jack.

Jack is now perished, and both the old and new Jack are now perished. No one knows what happened. Only Charlie and the old Jack were in the know.

If only Charlie hold his knife for a while, he would then know what happened to the old Jack. But Charlie was too angry. As angry as the old Jack, who killed his girlfriend with the same knife.

Charlie lighted Jack's silver cigarette out of remorse. He missed the old Jack too much.

New Charlie came out from the smoke and offered a hand to Charlie who was few minutes ago the old Charlie.

New Charlie expired few years later. He was 26. And he was taken out by the same knife.

Poor Charlie.

Now the knife is of no one. I know you want it. Everyone knows. Because everyone wants it.

posted by Izham Ismail at 3:20 pm | Permalink | 2 comments
Tuesday, January 27, 2009

He takes your life before you know it.

In football, two yellow cards mean you are out of the game. You could be seeing yourself sitting on the bench for the rest of the game and missing the next. Even worst, you could be banned for the next two as well, based on how crazy your antics and professionalisms were.

Usually, you would get a straight red card just by being stupid; a marching order and your team is now down to ten man. You will then lose the glorious occasion of entertaining and fighting for what you believe in – and usually it is not a good thing to miss all that.

I can still remember the day I was sent off for the first time, and maybe the only one in my life. Even just thinking about it sends chills down my spine. The feeling of being discarded when everyone was having fun is just unimaginable – especially when the team was holding the winning card and just waiting for the final whistle to cruise to the second round.

For an Adidas Predator-clad 14 year old boy I was, and surely many of my teammates around the age circa who thought Arsenal is a state in England, going to the second round of a district level football tourney is next to having David Beckham’s autograph.

In a school where you were thought on how not to screw up your life rather than how to be successful, to do well in football, or sports is to gain recognition and will put yourself in respectable height.

To be a kepala gangster where you can literally ask anyone to give you a blowjob is well, another story.

You will then be socially safe and will never have to give any hoot about being an outcast, as your sporting feat will work for you to fish for friends, and of course, those with vagina.

And during that time, to miss the opportunity is worst than missing a point for university entry – or should I say a point for a prestigious UK university entry.

I was sent off a game before the team went to the second round – which until today, I still think the referee’s decision was harsh. But the idea of football law is simple, referee is God, linesmen are Messengers and their words are final. So all respects are due to them, which I still believe up until now.

It doesn’t take a genius to understand the logic – good rapport with your highness will lead you to a safe life.

But I overlooked the other element of securing a safe life - to build a good rapport with those people of the same height, especially those who play in different direction. And particularly this one boy who played for an archrival school who seemed to enjoy doing stupid things likened to the way Roy Keane ended poor Alf-Inge Haland’s career.

He is a classic example of bad football in practice. Shirt pulling, hard tackles, disrespectful and loutish are few bad-mannerism he picked up all along his life – added to the way he dress himself which seemed so wrong even for those who is not a fashion designer. He radiated them with a swagger of confidence as a message for everyone not to mess with him.

I didn’t get the message and started to go his way of going about.

I was then banned for two games (as what my Kemahiran Hidup teacher cum football coach told me) and that guy was sent home for stitches just below his right eye (as what my friends told me, and some of the poor guy’s angry team-mates rage would suggest)

For a moment I thought I was the smartest guy with a supreme libido to do such thing. But, upon knowing that we still have games to play, I felt like a guy who has been left by a supermodel girlfriend. And the mental images of dejected and disappointed looks of my coach and teammates made it worst.

But there was a slight of hope that if the team make it far enough and win the next to games, I could see myself playing again.

Much to my dismay, the team lost their second game in the second round. Ironically, they missed it by a goal margin. But we are all proud of ourselves, and I just couldn’t explain the feeling of sitting on the bench, fit to play, injury free and knowing that I could do something better than those who played in the pitch.

It was a happy moment for the team as we board the bus back to the remote part of Kuala Lumpur to share the good news. I had to put a fake smile and sob quietly in my crestfallen jersey for missing the most important and biggest game in my life.

In a way, I tried not to be selfish to think much about it, as football is not a one-man game. Above all, I believe football is not just a game, but also a lesson.

I learnt so many things and came to understand so many things in life all this while when playing football – and I don’t think I am going to stop doing both of them.

Football is a window for me to see how life should be walked by. Full of baloney, but it works for me. Just another sport for you, a sport that shapes my life for me.

Sometimes I feel I’ve made the right decision in life. Sometimes I feel I have enough friends not to make new ones. Sometimes I feel I am big enough not to look up to anyone. Sometimes I feel I am good enough not to listen. Sometimes I feel the world is mine, not to share with others. And most of the time, I am wrong and escaped with a yellow card.

I am grateful for all the lessons, and warnings. Two yellow cards is a red card, and I hope I can hold myself clean until the final whistle.

I can only thank those who is, are, was, were part of the lesson – I hope you guys are safe and sound. Thanks for your time.

May this be a light for me to go through this life before the final whistle is blown. I hope I won’t get red carded before time, again.

I hope I am ready before He takes me with Him. 

posted by Izham Ismail at 2:47 pm | Permalink | 4 comments
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Tepuk Dada Tanya Dada

Dada akhbar kini lebih hangat dari dada wanita.

Perang, bunuh, rasuah, rogol, politik, benci-membenci.

Mana tidaknya, masing-masing berlumba-lumba tunjuk handal, entah untuk apa dan untuk siapa. 

Awak ingat nyawa awak punya? Awak ingat bom-bom kepala lancau semua itu boleh bawa awak masuk syurga? Awak ingat awak boleh terlepas seksa kubur walaupun tanah kubur itu nenek moyang awak yang punya?

Awak ingat awak malaikat maut? Awak ingat revolver boleh selesai masalah bodoh awak?

Awak ingat konek awak paling power? Awak ingat anak dara orang semua ada nafsu pornstar? Awak ingat anak dara orang yang awak paku tidak ada masa depan?

Awak ingat awak pakai kot awak lagi segak dari orang lain? Awak ingat lepas menang pilihanraya, rakyat boleh letak dekat tepi tayar kereta Mercedes pinjam awak? Awak ingat duit awak semua duit kepala bapak awak?

Awak ingat awak sempurna untuk benci makhluk tuhan lain?

Bangsa putih dengan keputihannya, bangsa hitam dengan kehitamannya, bangsa bangsat dengan kebangsatannya, bangsa bodoh dengan kebodohannya, bangsa ganas dengan keganasannya, bangsa kaya dengan kekayaannya, bangsa zalim dengan kezalimannya, bangsa kuat dengan kekuatannya.

Berlumba-lumba untuk jadi bangsa terhandal - sehingga masing-masing lupa untuk jadi bangsa manusia.

posted by Izham Ismail at 5:02 am | Permalink | 14 comments
Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Kedah is my mom's birthplace and it houses the best kampung in the world, Sungai Petani. I studied in Perak for a while and absorbed so many things on friendship, loyalty and respect during that brief period. My dad was born in Negeri Sembilan and studied there before the family settled in Melaka.

If Israel were to come and drop bomb on Malaysia's soil, those would be the state I would first put my body on, obviously after losing so much blood saving my state, Selangor.

But in football, none of that really matters - and especially in my football, none of that really matters.

Kedah 1 - 4 Selangor

Selangor 3 - 1 Perak

Selangor 3 - 0 Negeri Sembilan

Look who's on fire. He was the fall guy all these while, and now he is leading the team. And he wears number 17.

I dream a lot and I hope I am not dreaming this time. They are having fun when I am thousands of miles away. How familiar.

Good luck, lads. I can only hope and pray from afar. Again, how familiar.

P.S. The Potters should win the Premier League instead and The Blues should not have gone into the Champions League final last year. Premier League is nothing short of drama. No wonder it is the most expensive league in the world.

posted by Izham Ismail at 3:22 am | Permalink | 11 comments
Friday, January 09, 2009
Malam Panjang

I am glad I am still alive.

I was trying to be smart to take the last train from London so that I would have longer time to spend in London, enough time to sleep en route and back home just in time and fresh to start doing work – not until I realized National Express fucked me up big time.

The train stopped at Doncaster at 1.30am and the earliest train to my place hits the railway at 6.30am. I had 5 hours to kill and for a while I was glad to see a waiting room illuminated to welcome and accommodate me all night.

Before long I tried to open a book a dear friend gave to me, a fluorescent vest-clad security told me to leave as the station is closing in 15 minutes. The tone was not that nice to be mentioned.

I asked him where can I sit and hang then, and his answer didn’t help much to my exhausted leg and worried ass  - anywhere but the station. And he didn’t even look at me. He had a long day, I tried to tell myself as I walked to find any spot to sit, wait and try to read.

The weather fares against me that night. It was stupidly cold and I have to dig in my bag for another layer of shirt to add to a towel to cover my ears. It was dark and suddenly I could see no one but the annoying security guy who had his eyes on me to make sure I didn’t get back in the station.

Lucky me, there was a shopping complex sit just next to the station to contain hungry and thirsty stomach of transiting voyagers. But they don’t do business at empty, cold and dark night of 0200 hours. So my hungry stomach had to wait.

But at least it has chairs for me to sit on and space for me to keep myself warm. And so I thought the night was over and I tried to flip a page of the book and read another in my sleep.

My dark Malay skin just couldn’t stand the cold so I hugged my knee as I tried to call it a day.

Not until someone woke me up and asked me to leave yet again. It was a cleaner this time who told me I was sleeping on the floor where his mop works and told me before the mop works on me, I better leave. And the tone was not helping either.

I wonder how much the price it was to be polite. I can still picture the angry face of the cleaner, pretty much like the infuriated look of Kevin Nash when he assaulted Chris Sabin before powerbombing the helpless battered guy.

I was too tired to think that I started to walk again, and the weather was not getting warmer. Funny thing I couldn’t reach anyone by phone and no one seemed to bother to reply my message.

Before long I thought I better have to stop being selfish – it was 2 in the morning and what was I thinking when I thought people would care to reply?

My leg was killing me. I have been walking for the past 2 weeks and I haven’t sleep on a proper bed for quite some time. Someone even told me that I have got myself unusual share of eye bag.

When the clock strikes three, I found myself leaning on a red brick wall with my bag sit closely. I tried to listen to my iPod but it was too cold to even put the earphone on. I let it played and all I can hear was hushed voice of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. I think they played Lovely Rita.

I then did what I do best; I talked to myself and started to tell stories. I heard my deep shaky voice I make when I am tired and don’t sleep much. I told myself to stop and John Lennon then played Please Mr. Postman for me. Again he was all whispering.

I tried to call a friend but came unanswered. I tried to text the other and decided not to wait for reply after 10 minutes.

Do you know Road Dogg and Billy Gunn? And once they have K-Kwik as their sidekick? They came to me right after that. Road Dogg was drunk and Billy Gunn was holding him. And that K-Kwik guy came howling at me, and started to make Billy Gunn clamoring at me as well.

I thought I was dreaming.

Billy Gunn walked towards me and K-Kwik was in stitches. Road Dogg was talking to the bottles.

I think I saw a knife.

I couldn’t explain to myself how my heart and leg could run that fast that night.

I was lucky to find a place to hide. I locked myself in a cold dark public toilet. I was not sure for what I shivered for – was it cold weather or fear, only God knows.

And suddenly I felt comfortable to put my head down.

That was the last thing I can remember before I realized it was 0600 hours and there’s a train waiting for me to send me home.

0730 hours, I was at home and the sun is about to go to work after leaving me alone for quite some time.

I never knew being small, lonely and cold were that harsh, until God told me that actually I have nothing to be proud of.

I woke up from my bed at 1400 hours. I saw reddish smudge around my eye bag. I think I cried in my sleep. I tried to find anyone who wants to listen, and the only person I could find was John Lennon. Good to meet you again after two weeks, John. How's the rest?

I am glad I am still alive and I am glad John Lennon is still alive to keep me company.

posted by Izham Ismail at 5:29 am | Permalink | 12 comments
Saturday, January 03, 2009
Well Hello 2009

I spent my 1st January last year at Stadium Shah Alam to watch Selangor played Perlis. Perlis came a long way to grab all three points right in front of my eyes, and so being a superstitious fan, I thought 2008 would be a hard year for both Red Giants and me.

And I was right. It was scary and daunting, as for how I related myself with those players in Red and Yellow.

(Kick off)

I was clueless on the field, I was supposed to orchestrate and dictate the pace of the game but all I did was to just watch Philemon Chipeita ran wild and ruined everything. I tried to bounce back to put things back in piece, but Shah Alam supporters were all too harsh that I couldn’t even breathe.

I was issued several warnings by the officials before being issued a yellow card just before the final whistle. I thought hard tackles would gain me a wealth of ball possesion.

I tried to do something great and bizzare even to think of it, like Zinedine Zidane’s left footed volley from out of the box to etch another glorious Champions League win for Real Madrid against Bayer Leverkusen – but I was one step behind every time.

I tried to be diplomatic and start to recognize the presence of fellow teammates – 5 minutes before time. But it was all too late.

(Final Whistle)

At the end, Shah Alam cried goodbye to cup glory. The gaffer shook their head in disbelief, and the supporters walked home with sheer disappointment.

I couldn’t do anything but to walk to the dressing room, shower and change as if nothing happened.

As if nothing happened.

During my journey home, I am glad it was yellow and not red – so I can come back and redeem my worth.

But for the supporters, a lost is a lost – and it doesn’t matter whether I’ll be back or not.

I guess that’s me for them - to fight for them, to win for them, to be forgotten and not to complain about all that.

I would like to thank the officials for not sending me off, at least the gaffer could still consider to play me for the next fixture.

Thank you in advance gaffer, I would try my best in the next game.

I was right. It was scary and daunting.

I can’t say no if 2009 is written to be the same, but I do hope God could lend me courage and strength for all that.

May this year be a good one for you. Even if it is better than mine, I would be more than happy to smile for you. Happy New Year guys.
posted by Izham Ismail at 10:34 am | Permalink | 6 comments