Monday, April 19, 2010
Meet Faisol, pemandu kereta manual terhandal di dunia, another special people I met at Kuala Kangsar and one of few people of my age I look up to.

I've learnt so much from him and I pray to God to send my kids someone like him to be their friends.

Happy Birthday Cot!
posted by Izham Ismail at 3:13 am | Permalink | 3 comments
Thursday, April 08, 2010
How I Met My Jerseys
My first Liverpool jersey was a present from my uncle, and I wore it for the first time when I went to this kenduri doa selamat, where my brother scared me off by saying that the imams and the elders would chase me out of the kenduri because I was wearing the jersey with liquor brand logo on.

I was too afraid that I didn't bother to eat, and sought 'refuge' in my mother's arm. And of course, did whatever I could to cover the logo, like using my mother's tudung and handbag.

The Reds wore the jersey when Ian Rush was in his second spell at Anfield and the young Robbie Fowler was brimming with hope to make it to the England squad as England were hosting the Euro '96. Steve McManaman was a more mature figure, the character that deserved him the number 17. Steven Gerrard was still in the academy.

I was 7 years old.


My second Liverpool jersey came to the wardrobe like a fairy-tale. I bought a ticket to Liverpool and went to Anfield to get it. It all happened in a split second, and the thought of being actually there is surreal and sometimes I felt like it didn't happen. But the memory of having all the money in the wallet spent on a jersey is a clear one.

I went far as to name-number it so that I could tell my children that I once played for Liverpool. Of course after I told them I once played for Selangor.

And of course before they could understand and speak a word.

Steven Gerrard might well be at his peak when The Reds wore the jersey. He captained Liverpool to a near Premier League victory after 9 years, and dominated the scoresheet with 24 goals in all competitions. Liverpool finished second in the league, five points short from the silverware. Peter Crouch, John Arne Riise and Harry Kewell were offloaded at the start of the season and The Kop lost instrumental Spanish duo Xabi Alonso and the-then number 17 Alvaro Arbeloa at the end of the season to the extravagant Galacticos.

I was 20 years old.


The Liverbird has been in the closet for as long as I can remember, so are the Adidas-Carlsberg augmented jerseys. I hope the new Adidas-Standard Chartered will keep the Liverbird close to my chest and closer to my heart.

Come next season, there will be no more Carlsberg logo to splash on the traditional Liverpool red jersey, as their long sponsorship contract ends this season to Standard Chartered. I hope new sponsors will lure in more money for more good players in expense of some un-Liverpool-like players.

I suggest sell an N'Gog and buy a Villa.

Anyway, thanks Carlsberg, for the amazing 17 years. Welcome aboard, Standard Chartered.

Just look at that. Such beauty. Which could be my third Liverpool jersey, hopefully.

Please, anyone?

posted by Izham Ismail at 7:39 pm | Permalink | 4 comments
Wednesday, April 07, 2010
Takkan Melayu hilang di dunia. Ya, tapi apa guna tak hilang di dunia kalau kewujudan tidak dirasa. Petah berbahasa kudrat tak berjasa. Orang berbudi kita hanya tahu merasa. Selalu lari bila dirapat, selalu malu bila soalan diaju. Selalu segan memberi pendapat, rela mengikut dari meneraju. Belum nyanyi sudah bersorak, suka berjanji dalam borak. Bukan kata tak ada otak, cuma tak berfikir di luar kotak.
Thanks Malique. I will always remember how I used to dig all your verbosities when I was growing up. But this one is just brilliant.

P.S. Malique married Melissa Maureen two years ago, which was less than a month before a general election that effectively divided my race into two, or three.
posted by Izham Ismail at 8:21 pm | Permalink | 6 comments
Friday, April 02, 2010
Din Beramboi: A Comedian, A Friend

It's hard to make jokes in Malay, but he made it looked so easy. He brings Malay comedic acting to an entire new level. Spontaneous, an arching of the eyebrow, a half smile or sneer, a pause, anything he says or doesn't, convey the essence of what acting, distracting and entertaining should be.

He takes normality, every little thing we took for granted, like a simple white seasoned cloth, and improvised it for the world to laugh about it. Give him apple, he would make jokes out of it before juicing it for us all to drink.

It is just impossible not to like him. Honesty was all he had, and that was all he used to make us all laugh. If he hadn't touched the world, it's okay, he had touched me.

When a football player dies, the team cry. When a politician dies, the party cry. When a comedian dies, the whole world cry.

Rest in peace Din Beramboi, the best Malay comedian I knew. You will be sorely missed.

Thanks for everything.


posted by Izham Ismail at 2:24 am | Permalink | 5 comments