Sunday, March 28, 2010
Mati Hidup Kembali
While driving on the quiet Bukit Tunku, a good friend sang a brilliant line from the song played on the radio.
Malam semalam gundah gulana
Hari ini hari mulia

Tak pernah daku rasa begini

Seperti mati hidup kembali

Bawaku hilang dari ingatan

Hari ini sehingga esok

Tak pernah daku rasa begini

Seperti mati hidup kembali

Agar sepenuh dengan pendirian

Ku capai sebelah tangan

Sebalik awan ada cahaya

Bercahayalah selamanya

Daku tertawa seorang diri

Darah yang mengalir terhenti

Fikiranku melayang-layang

Tiada siapa yang perasan
Which reminded me to prioritize and get back on the track I paved myself with my bare hands. And of course, with a little help from my friends.

Let's drink to that.
posted by Izham Ismail at 11:12 pm | Permalink | 2 comments
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Dear Dahari

Dear Diary,

I played a football match and two futsal sessions today. Can you spare a page for this?


13th March 2010

1605 hours - Brother called, and asked me to take his boots to the field. He asked his friend to come pick me up. It's my debut today, and I've been looking forward to this game for a week, and all I wish was good weather and some positive distractions to the blister I had on my right heel.

1610 hours - Brother called again and told me his friend could not pick me up. He decided to pick me up himself. I could not say no to free ride, especially after a quick peek inside my ragged Timberland wallet. I had no idea where my money went, but I hope they'd come back to say hello sometime.

1615 hours - I thought it was going to rain. I slipped a plastic bag and a huge plastic cover plus an umbrella into my huge bag, just in case, you know to protect the ragged wallet. I've had enough with no money inside to afford having it ruined by h-two-o. He he it was actually for the new phone, the Ferrari of mobile phones, go figure.

1616 hours - I misplaced the key to the backyard to take the shorts I hanged out to dry in the morning. It's just one of my bad habits, taking my football stuff while it is still there, un'processed' (you know the usual pick them up after they properly dry and fold them according to whose). I had a glass of warm water to cool myself down. I did not need to panic.

1620 hours - Brother called and alerted me to be quick for he was about to arrive.

1621 hours - I think I need to be panic.

1625 hours - I improvised the knowledge of the house geography and entered the backyard from the front door. I took the shorts, smelt it and realized I needed socks as well. No sweat, they were there, just few railings from the shorts. I grabbed them, and smelt them as well. All good and I rushed back and put my boots, my brother's and everything else into the bag and did some recheck before I zipped it up.

1630 hours - Brother arrived and I managed to pull the I-am-not-rushing look. Off we went to Seksyen 2, Wangsa Maju for the game. The traffic was still fine. So was the weather. Other than the key to the backyard, this could be smashing for my debut.

1635 hours - I was reading some news in the car, and found out Peter Storrie stepped down as Portsmouth's Chief Executive - which he should have done a week ago. But he possibly delayed it to save good people from exiting because of Pompey's financially inept board. Also, Sam Allardyce reiterated the fume between himself and Rafa Benitez by saying 'Hey Rafa, I don't like you'. I can't blame Big Sam. Rafa's a good manager, but sometimes he put himself ahead before others. It's always everyone else's fault but his. And I failed to recognize any particular reason why Lucas had been featured as first eleven every time. Maybe I am wrong, because as I said before, Rafa sees what we don't.

1650 hours - Arrived at the field and noticed there was no covered area. The weather was superb but take my word, never underestimate the weather, because in the wise words of John Lennon, life is what happens to you when you are busy making other plans ha ha. So, don't get too busy playing football. Look out for the weather too.

1700 hours - If the size was fitting, I'd have the number 17. Number 17 was an L and since I am not yet a Randy Orton, I settled for some other number with smaller jersey size. It was all white, from the jersey to shorts to socks, and for me to the boots. People called the team Real Madrid. But I call it Real Madras.

1730 hours - KO. It stands for kick-off, not knock-out like they explained in dictionaries.

1905 hours - FT. Yes, Fernando Torres. He came to the field to say hi and sign some autographs. I took picture with him and said mucho gusto encantando. No lah, FT is full time. The game was no more. Referee suruh balik rumah. We won the game by a slim margin, but looking at how we fared, it should have been more to our side. The game was no match to any English football you watch on telly, but for amateurs like us, it was like playing in a cup final. Okay, maybe semi-final. Final score, 3-2.

1920 hours - The team is a small enterprise who is run by players who share common love and passion in football. We had no kit manager to organize the jersey, so the juniors were always helpful to sort them out. We took some time and fathomed the win before decided to go somewhere for drinks. The usual post-game banter and laugh just had to be cherished and we were lucky that there was a restaurant at a walking distance.

2010 hours - I was drinking my second iced tea when a friend from Gombak texted me about a futsal friendly match in Segambut at 9. I bid the team goodbye and rushed home to clean myself up and get ready for Segambut futsal, which was more Kelamkabut futsal.

2030 hours - Back home and while in the shower, I remembered a text message from Nizam, my friend from Wangsa Maju about a futsal session at Ampang at 10.

2040 hours - Of course I didn't get out of the shower and panicked.

2050 hours - Okay now it's time to panic, now that I am done.

2100 hours - I used the same huge bag to put football stuff out and futsal stuff in. I had to catch up with the guys at Jalan Gombak for the convoy at 2045 hours. But it is now 2100 hours and I had to be more than The Stig to make it.

2105 hours - MRR2 and Jalan Gombak were such sweethearts and I managed to catch the convoy. Aziz Hazmi was leading the pack. Getting to Segambut via Jalan Sentul could be a bit tricky but he got ourselves through with the greatest of grace.

2110 hours - We made it almost in time, to find that the opposition team were not there. We chatted and kicked the ball around for 20 minutes before they arrived. I was more excited to see Hazree's sizzling new Adidas Super Sala to notice that I have lost 20 minutes and I only have 30 minutes to play because I need to be in Ampang at 2200 hours, or 2215 hours (15 minutes injury time Sports Planet graciously awards to its client, which might come in handy for me this time).

2200 hours - The opposition team turned out to be a tough nut to crack. Maybe because they brought some WAGs to distract most of us. We were 2-4 behind when I left, and I left after I scored the second with a sweet chip up and under the good looking goalkeeper he he. Score and leave, priceless.

2205 hours - Jalan Ampang disappointed me, and I had to volume up the radio to conciliate the driver's agony. It was live radio broadcast of the Chelsea-West Ham United London derby and pundits were analyzing leading up to the game. Pundits can be so annoying, especially when their premises were not backed by facts and numbers, and mostly splurged out of personal whims. I'd turn to fan pages to see people saying good things about things they like just because they like it. Like Lisa Surihani's Facebook fan page, for example. With heavy traffic, especially near the embassies, even the thought of Lisa Surihani didn't help me go through the nerve.

2225 hours - Nizam tried to call but I missed it because I was driving (he he hello Abang Polis), and because I had arrived and was parking my car. The car was a terrible looking little machine. I had no idea where the smell came from and it's a wreck from outside; with leaves I had no idea where they came from and few strands of cat's hair, maybe of my cat which finds comfort in warm pre-heated hood. I sneaked a look and promised myself to wash the car tomorrow and make it look sexy again.

2230 hours - It turned out that Nizam waited to use my discount card, so I didn't miss a minute. Still sweating from the rush hour, I said hello the guys, put on my futsal shoe, said hello again to those I haven't, and walked calmly into the court.

2345 hours - My mind was as tired as the body and I haven't had my proper dinner yet. I had few hot dogs before Segambut and washed them down with mineral water. So I thought I better reward myself with something worthwhile. I called Aliff Adha to ask him out for drink as I wanted to have my dinner, but he was too tired to go out, or maybe still weeping from Milan's exit from the Champions League. I had the feeling few months ago.

2355 hours - Scott Parker scored an amazing volley to level the score at the Bridge when I arrived at NZ Curry House, Wangsa Maju. My favourite spot was taken, so I had the table next to it all for myself. Not to waste any space, I had three glasses of teh o ais (iced tea), two plates of nasi goreng daging merah (fried rice with beef cubes and chili), a plate of tauhu bakar (grilled tofu with peanut sauce) and a plate of roti telur (prata bread with egg).

0050 hours - Chelsea grabbed all three points at the Bridge, not to my surprise. Bolton hammered Wigan four-nil. Yes Wigan, the team that beat Liverpool last week. I was full but the car wasn't. I fueled her up before going back. I was practically limping from places to places; from the table to the cashier counter, from the car to the cashier counter, and back to the car again. But life has to go on.

0130 hours - I cleaned myself up for the second time of the night and started my night reading before decided to blog my day.

0245 hours - I think Arsenal are playing now but I am too tired to do anything.

0300 hours - I tried to sleep as I hit the 'publish post' button. I thought I have clicked it, but turned out I haven't. I was on the same page for 15 minutes. I think I have to stop now.


Dear Diary,

Why are you not stopping me? Is it because I used more than a page?


posted by Izham Ismail at 3:03 am | Permalink | 4 comments
Friday, March 12, 2010

I have always suspected that this girl's personality has something to do with her wonderful upbringing. I saw a video when she was a little girl, where her dad brought her and her brother to Disneyland somewhere, along with a video camera to seize a priceless father-daughter conversation, which could easily struck anyone with awe, and of course 'aww' for some people.

Just when I thought that is the best thing I've seen in years, this thing comes out.

If you can't groom your daughter to be like her, at least try to be like her dad, who reminded me of Cesare Maldini, a football legend, the father of Paolo Maldini, another football legend.

And to have lovely children who love you is a stuff of legend. The guy is class, pure class.

P.S. She's a Kaki Letup, go figure.

posted by Izham Ismail at 12:25 am | Permalink | 10 comments
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Lab Report
If you can watch a live Champions League telecast in Malaysia, I just have to give you a hats off and a bow, because the time difference is not that pretty and there are a lot of things need to be given away in order to watch a Champions League - and the most obvious, you have to stay awake and fresh at 3 in the morning (where paranormal activity at its peak he he).

Okay seriously, and for those who earn a living working in a company that is not of your dad's, you might have put productivity and quality of work at risk due to lack of sleep, which might cost you a pay cut, or even worse, job cut.

But inference is there to be proved. Buckle up kids, let's do some experiment.


Old Trafford welcomed home the Golden Boy, and the reception could not be better. A goal from a free kick would fit a perfect homecoming, but seeing Stretford End heaved with fans chanting 'Fergie, Fergie, Sign Him' and few other songs about him I could not pick up made me thinking: he is forever Manchester United's Number 7.

Tough luck Milan, now let's just hope Inter persist, go through all the way, win the Champions League, and get themselves distracted from domestic titles, because if you can't have the crown of Europe, a Scudetto would do for hungry Rossoneri.

It is good to see how Wayne Rooney developed his game play and becoming a mature stature who sets the pace for the team. No doubt, an England captain in the near future. Possibly the next World Cup.

But that surely, is subject to Steven Gerrard's commitment to either follow suit to remodel himself and rebrand Liverpool, or settle himself and Liverpool as middle-league club material.

Real Madrid knocked out at Santiago Bernebeu, their own fortress they hoped to win the Champions League at. But few hundred million euros later, the club that groomed Karim Benzema showed them that money might buy your wife a Coach handbag, but not your team a Champions League.

Interesting night of football. Things like this drift my minds away from quite a number of things, like Alessandra Ambrosio's legs and Kate Beckinsale's hair.

I hope for the same effect when Liverpool play Lille soon in the Europa League.



When I was in the UK, I don't have to stay up or wake up to watch football: because football matches are played in afternoons and evenings, and because there are no mamak stalls with big screen, teh tarik and brader cakap besar sebelah meja to look forward to.

Great football, great teh tarik and great people - those variables which might work perfectly to revitalize the motivation and energy to work, hence enhancing productivity and escalate the quality of work.

To which the experiment ends with this conclusion: don't worry if you are single because you spend too much time watching football, because your boss might like you and will hook you up with his niece who happens to have Alessandra Ambrosio's legs and Kate Beckinsale's hair.

No seriously, Malaysians are the best football fans in the world, because we put everything including career and relationship on the line to watch live football.

Correction, live international football.

Ha ha boleh dapat A tak?

P.S. Sorry, I just had to put a picture, and that is a picture I snapped in a post office near my house few years ago. I spent few minutes and gave up to find any possible relation of the picture to this post, because I thought you get extra mark if you put diagrams.
posted by Izham Ismail at 6:39 am | Permalink | 2 comments
Tuesday, March 09, 2010
Kuala Lumpur is a funny little niche with peculiar range of weather fluctuations. One moment it could be the warmest place on the planet, and in few seconds roads became puddle.

I for one enjoy the reflection puddles make, because once in a while I have to look at myself in the eyes and wash myself all over from bad vibrations holding myself down, like beautiful rain does to the great city.


I've never seen that expensive film Avatar, neither the Oscar-winner The Hurt Locker. I am sure either one has its one unique perk to offer and to pick one piece of art over another just shows how inadequate the understanding and passion in arts among us.

We should not discriminate, and it can be quite distressing to learn that not only low-budget film win over the multi-million production could be a laugh for some lot, they stretched their thickness in recognizing the gender of the director, something even they don't have any options to choose from.

So I say no to Oscar, but yes to any movies that move the hearts of many. Good movies should be in the hearts of many, not in the form of gold-plated brittanium that could divide the world even more.


Stadium Shah Alam might be the only place that is unaffected by abrupt weather the Klang Valley comply with. I have missed few Selangor games due to some thick action of commitments, but when Faisol and Azlifaizal alerted me that the next game would be against Kedah, I just had to make myself available for a date.

Kedah and myself has a natural connection. Being the place where my mum was born and raised, the family developed huge influence with anything Kedahan, from food, accent and even some peculiar stance, like the way we receive guests and talk loudly over any eating sessions.

But when it comes to football, passion overthrows romantics.

Selangor-Kedah is a correspondence to Manchester United-Liverpool rivalry in England. I see Kedah has a steeper tendency to be Liverpool, owing to the fans whom I suppose the best in the country. They came early to the stadium, and sang the loud 'Biar Jasa Jadi Kenangan' few times before kick off, which easily reminded me of the deafening 'You'll Never Walk Alone' I once had the privilege to sing along at Anfield.

If they awarded goals for noise, Kedah would kick off with two goals up. Although not coming from Selangor, that is the thing I like about Malaysian football - it's not the best weather, stadium not totally full, but the pitch heaves with noise, hope and love for local football.

The crowd got bigger with my friends, the most number of friends I went out and watch football with. It was also the first time for Airil and Adzim coincidentally both in black, and also maybe for few others. They looked lost at first, but football is an accommodating game, you'll feel home in no time, and they did.


Recent statistics was in favour of Selangor, and as expected, Kedah ran into a storm at Stadium Shah Alam, and allowed Selangor to walk in four goals on top of three valuable points.

I expected some magic from the captain Amri Yahyah, but the one who excelled was Amirul Hadi Zainal. He scored twice past former national goalkeeper Helmi Eliza Alias. K. Devan has taken few steps on managerial ladder, and his ascent is timely for Selangor to clinch the title this season.

He didn't play Liew Kit Kong and deploy Amri Yahyah at the right position and the result, four goals against the Liverpool of Malaysia. Of course, I am not saying Selangor is akin to the red team from the Midlands.

But Kedah fans should be proud of themselves. Kedah might have lost three points, but the chants and roars coming from the amazing array of green-yellow colours of Kedah were just something special Selangor fans have to learn to have.

Thanks for the goals, at least Airil could jump around celebrating and loosen his first-timer bones up, not once but for four times.

No, it was five. Someone's goal was disallowed for offside.

Anyways, could not ask for anything better from Selangor. A good game with many touch of class. They have been working so hard and got what they deserve. Excellent stuff.


DUKE and NKVE combine nicely for a nice drive to Shah Alam from KL. There wasn't a real hassle, although the rain did worry me. But I still miss the charm Federal Highway has, although it could be unpleasant to drive on especially on rainy evenings.

But driving is always a pleasure when you have someone to talk to - like these two people.

Airil, on the left and Faisol, another special people I met in Kuala Kangsar.

I didn't park the car where I usually did, which is a good thing. More people are more open to the idea of flocking the stadium to watch football. Premier League plans to charge TV stations more next season with their new Premier League TV scheme, and with Liverpool dismal performance these days, I don't see why I can't get rid of Premier League from my life for good.

I guess it is a matter of time.


It drizzles outside as I write, just after Wigan sinked Liverpool at DW Stadium. Kuala Lumpur is crying with the Liverpool fans.

Maybe Rafa should make himself a puddle.

And as for me, I have some more work to do. See you lay-tah.

Hah nak try pronounce lah tu.

posted by Izham Ismail at 9:02 am | Permalink | 6 comments