Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Japan Doramas: Through The Eyes Of A Fan

Tanaka Yuko as Oshin (age 16 to 46)

According to J-Fan, Japanese TV dramas (or "dorama" as they are often referred to outside Japan) are probably the biggest form of entertainment in Japan. The biggest and most popular actors and actresses in Japan appear in TV dramas, unlike in the U.S. where the biggest actors appear almost exclusively in movies. And Japanese TV drama has spread and become quite popular throughout Asia. The doramas can be categorized into two types: trendy and non-trendy. Usually, the non trendy type includes NHK dramas, "jidaigeki" ("period" dramas), children's shows etc.
The ones that being aired on our free national tv (8TV to be exact) right now are the trendy type. In fact, the trendy type has been garnering much attention in Malaysia. Yet, if we still remember, it was the non-trendy type that started winning the hearts of Malaysians. Let’s reminisce the days when we anticipated the airing of Oshin, Shogun, Ninja, Rin Hanekoma, Akantare and even Moero Attack! Malay vocalization helped us even better to understand the stories. I suppose, most of us already recognize the voices. Yup, the same voices are still being used in the Japan Animes aired on our local tv: for eg. Shin-Chan, Naruto to name a few.
I admit that I do have a 'thing' for anything Japanese: people and products alike. I’ve been buying boxes and boxes of J-Dorama vcds since 4 years ago. (please note, there is no hint of pride there whatsoever). In each box set, normally there are 7 – 8 vcds, rarely 9 – 10 vcds. I used to watch all the cds in one go – my sister and I call this process: vcd marathon. Believe me, I had stopped doing vcd marathon, now I manage to discipline myself to watch only 3 – 4 vcds per-day. :-p

After watching quite numerous number of J-Doramas, I could conclude that the essence in life of a Japanese is ‘spirit’. Be it love story or family story, they always cultivate the spirit of striving for the best. It is really rare to find them giving up on something. Even in mushy-mushy love stories where the characters usually fail miserably in their relationships, they always have this attitude of ‘tomorrow is another day’. What past is past, no need to cry over spilled milk.

And oh yes, the Japanese really value their time. They are also so engrossed with their jobs. I think this is the most interesting criteria of J-Doramas. The doramas always portray how their jobs are done, in details mind you. Let’s take one of my favorite dorama as an example: My Little Chef. The lead actress plays the role of a French Cuisine Chef. In each episode, the viewers will be exposed with methods of cooking a French dish. The same goes with Sushi Master, each episode gives a tip on how to prepare good sushis. Yummy and educational as well! Of course, stories with good food always have a special place in my heart :D

I also got to watch some detective doramas: Files of Kindaichi (adapted from Hajime Kindaichi Anime) and Fugoh Keiji among others. Most of these detective doramas are influenced by Sherlock Holmes’ method in deducting his cases. Though sometimes the plots are illogical, you get to learn lots of deduction skills! The best part is when you succesfully guess the right culprit of the case. If I’m not mistaken, this type of story is called ‘who’s dunnit’ story.

I also notice that some of the western values have been instilled among the Japanese. The most obvious are the Valentine and Christmas celebrations. Though most of them are not Christians, they celebrate Christmas as if they are. Buying each other presents during Christmas is a norm, complete with Christmas trees, Santa Claus, and even Christmas Carol in Japanese! As for Valentine, the girls and ladies will bake chocolate cookies to be given to their loved ones. This is the time when the popular lads will get lots of cookies, openly or in secret (by secret admirers, no doubt).

In case you are wondering why am I babbling about the western influence, I just want to state that it is hard for me to find a dorama in which the Japanese do not look up to the Westerners. This is what one of my Japan graduate friend said, “The Japanese call other Asians as Asians, but they refer themselves as Japanese.” I wonder why? Of course it is wrong to generalize the Japanese, but surely there is some truth in her remark, isn’t it?

To date, my most favourite J-Dorama is Proof of the Man (Ningen no Shumei) which will be aired on 8TV this coming Saturday. (8TV should thank me for promoting this dorama) The reason? It is the first dorama where I get to see the dark side of Japan: how there are still Japanese that hate Americans, the ugliness of its political world etc. Even the English used by the actors in this dorama is really good. I had watched some doramas where the actors are portrayed as people who speak English very well, but once you listen to them you know they only memorize it without even understanding the meaning.

Undeniably, my observation is based on the sample of doramas that I bought and watched. There are more doramas out there, with various type of genres and plots. Still, being a J-Dorama fan, I manage to grasp here and there some Japanese words and sentences. My favorite words: Utso (You are lying!), Asoka (Oh, like that) and many more... :D. Hmm.. see what dramas could do to you.

Note: Zakiah-chan, please correct any wrong impression about Japan and Japanese. After all, I’ve never been to Japan :)

Monday, April 24, 2006

Saturday Night Cooking With Iron Chef Ida-san

yummy ayamas chicken balls

shredded cabbages


look at the power puff girls hiding behind the vegetables!

the result = mouth-watering tomyam ready to be eaten

(note: i forgot to capture the pic of tomyam paste)

no doubt these two dishes look gross (they are actually: i. sardines cooked with shallots & chillies and ii. fried sausages), but still; they managed to dissapear faster than the tomyam :D

delicious moist cheese cake: supposed to be the dessert

but somehow it mysteriously turned into appetizer ;)

my masterpiece: of ladle and chillies, love the color contrast

Subhanallah! Check out the ‘twisting’ molecules of H2O, i like this pic the most

Last but not least, I need to mention that I couldn’t do it without my assistant Chef, shuhada aka shada the cekodok master :D, plus the saturday nite event photographer!

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Dilema Orang 'Comel' & 'Sihat'

Situasi 1

A yang 'comel': Aku nak tambah nasi lagi, tolong sendukkan

B yang tak 'comel': Patut lah badan kau 'comel'

Situasi 2

B yang tak 'sihat': Tambahlah lagi nasi

A yang 'sihat': Tak pe lah, dah kenyang

B yang tak 'sihat': Oooo... kau diet ya

Situasi 3

A yang 'comel': Aku takut lah tinggal sorang-sorang

B yang tak 'comel': Aik! Badan besar pun takut?!

Situasi 4

B yang tak 'sihat': Wah, makin berisi kau sekarang! Senang hati ya...

A yang 'sihat': Hmm... (dengan nada malas nak layan)

Nota: Kesemua situasi di atas ada kena mengena dengan penulis

Monday, April 17, 2006

Meniti Senja

Judul: Meniti Senja
Pengarang: Sawako Ariyoshi
Penterjemah: Thaiyibah Sulaiman
Penerbit: Dewan Bahasa & Pustaka

Untung hidup dalam lingkungan dunia akademik, saya boleh akses buku-buku di perpustakaan bila-bila masa. Boleh juga jumpa buku-buku yang susah hendak didapati di pasaran (ataupun yang tidak mampu dibeli), malah boleh meneliti dahulu dan kalau berkenan boleh beli terus di kedai buku. Contohnya buku bertajuk Meniti Senja ini. Sebelum ini saya pernah meminjam buku bertajuk Kepulangan karangan Osaragi Jiro yang juga diterjemahkan ke bahasa Melayu. Tertarik juga dengan kandungannya. Lalu saya cuba meminjam karya terjemahan yang lain pula. Hasilnya? Meniti Senja memang tidak mengecewakan.

Judul asalnya 'Kokotsu no Hito', diterbitkan pada tahun 1972 dan menjadi bestseller di Jepun ketika itu. Penulisnya Sawako Ariyoshi mengambil masa bertahun-tahun menjalankan penyelidikan dalam menghasilkan buku ini. Secara ringkasnya, cerita ini berkisar tentang cabaran menjaga orang tua. Watak utamanya Akiko merupakan seorang wanita bekerja yang telah berumahtangga dan mempunyai seorang anak lelaki: Satoshi yang bakal mengambil peperiksaan kemasukan ke universiti. Kisah ini bermula apabila ibu mertua Akiko meninggal secara tiba-tiba dan tanggungjawab menjaga bapa mentuanya: Shigezo jatuh ke pundak Akiko. Ironinya, sebelum kematian ibu mertua Akiko, dia dan suami: Nobutoshi telah lama tidak mengendahkan keadaan Shigezo lantaran perangai buruknya yang suka menghina Akiko.

Lebih mengejutkan Akiko dan keluarganya, hanya setelah Shigezo terpaksa tinggal bersama mereka, barulah mereka tahu yang Shigezo sebenarnya telah nyanyuk. Anehnya, Shigezo cuma mengingati Akiko dan cucunya Satoshi meskipun sebelum nyanyuk, dia amat membenci mereka. Nobutoshi, anak sendiri pun tidak dikenali Shigezo hingga beberapa kali Nobutoshi dianggap pencuri yang menceroboh masuk. Hanya Akiko yang bersungguh-sungguh menjaga Shigezo hingga dia kerap bercuti oleh kerana keletihan menjaganya. Suaminya buat lepas tangan, malah Nabutoshi rasa meluat melihat bapanya sendiri dalam keadaan nyanyuk begitu. Sebetulnya, Nobutoshi nampak bayangannya sendiri dalam kelibat bapanya. Dia tidak sanggup memikirkan yang dia juga akan jadi nyanyuk sedemikian.

Hingga satu ketika, anak mereka Satoshi sampai meluahkan, "Mak, ayah.. janganlah hidup selama itu!" Ayat tersebut sangat memberikan kesan kepada mereka berdua hingga mereka mula memberi perhatian lebih tentang maklumat-maklumat berkaitan orang tua dan kenyanyukan. Meski Akiko berasa lelah dan adakala benci menjaga bapa mertuanya, dialah juga yang berasa sunyi dan menitiskan air mata apabila Shigezo akhirnya meninggal dunia.

Buku ini sebenarnya ingin menekankan peri pentingnya mengambil berat kebajikan orang-orang tua kerana generasi muda sekarang juga bakal melalui proses tersebut. Kesan daripada novel ini, masyarakat Jepun kini ada subjek khas di sekolah mengajar pelajar-pelajar tentang penjagaan kebajikan orang tua. Berdasarkan pengalaman peribadi saya sendiri, alhamdulillah saudara-mara dan orang-orang terdekat di sekeliling saya memang menjaga kebajikan ahli-ahli keluarga yang telah tua dan nyanyuk. Tiada yang dihantar ke rumah orang-orang tua.

Yang sangat menarik perhatian saya dalam buku ini ialah betapa terperincinya penulis menggambarkan keadaan orang-orang tua yang nyanyuk contohnya: melarikan diri tiba-tiba dari rumah dan mampu berjalan jauh-jauh tanpa henti, keupayaan makan dalam kuantiti yang sangat banyak, dsb. Teori-teori tentang sebab-musabab kelakuan sedemikian juga dinyatakan. Membaca buku ini ternyata menambah ilmu saya tentang penyakit nyanyuk.

Sedangkan terjemahan sudah cukup menarik, saya fikir karya dalam bahasa asalnya pasti lebih bagus. Alangkah baik kalau saya boleh menguasai bahasa Jepun!

Al-Fatihah Untuk Arwah Emak

Semalam, 16 April 2006; genap dua tahun arwah emak saya kembali ke rahmatullah. Bukan saya hendak mengikut adat bangsa Jepun atau Korea yang sememangnya ada upacara khas mengingati ulangtahun kematian ahli keluarga mereka. Sekadar hendak mengingatkan diri sendiri supaya tidak lupa mendoakan arwah emak. Cukuplah saya tidak berupaya menjadi anak solehah sewaktu arwah masih hidup, besar harapan saya agar dikurniakan Allah kekuatan beramal dan seterusnya memberikan manfaat kepada arwah emak di alam barzakh.

Rasanya lirik lagu Ummi atau Mother nyanyian Sami Yusuf (Ya, lagi Sami Yusuf) paling sesuai menggambarkan perasaan saya:

Blessed is your face Blessed is your name My beloved

Blessed is your smile Which makes my soul want to fly My beloved

All the nights And all the times That you cared for me

But I never realised it And now it’s too late Forgive me

Now I’m alone filled with so much shame

For all the years I caused you pain If only I could sleep in your arms again

Mother I’m lost without you

You were the sun that brightened my day Now who’s going to wipe my tears away

If only I knew what I know today Mother I’m lost without you

Mother... Mother... O my mother How I long to see

O mother “Your mother, Your mother, Your mother” Is the saying of your Prophet

In my heart, in my dreams You are always with me mother

You went and left me O light of my eyes O comfort of my nights

You went and left me Who, other than you, will embrace me?

Who, other than you, will cover me? Who, other than you, will guard over me?

Your pardon mother, forgive me

Monday, April 10, 2006


To mark the occasion of our beloved Prophet S.A.W's birth date: 12th Rabiul Awwal, I depict the lyrics of 'Al-Muallim'. Al-Muallim is the title of my all-time favourite nasheed which is composed, arranged and sang by Sami Yusuf. Al-Muallim means teacher in Arabic, which refers to our Prophet S.A.W. Check out the lyrics:


We once had a Teacher
The Teacher of teachers
He changed the world for the better
And made us better creatures
Oh Allah we’ve shamed ourselves
We’ve strayed from Al-Mu'allim
Surely we’ve wronged ourselves
What will we say in front him?Oh Mu'allim...

He was Muhammad salla Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam
Muhammad, mercy upon Mankind
He was Muhammad salla Allahu 'alayhi wa sallam
Muhammad, mercy upon Mankind
Teacher of all Mankind
Abal Qasim [one of the names of the Prophet]
Ya Habibi ya Muhammad(My beloved O Muhammad)
Ya Shafi'i ya Muhammad(My intercessor O Muhammad)
Khayru khalqillahi Muhammad(The best of Allah’s creation is Muhammad)
Ya Mustafa ya Imamal Mursalina(O Chosen One, O Imam of the Messengers)
Ya Mustafa ya Shafi'al 'Alamina(O Chosen One, O intercessor of the worlds)

He prayed while others slept
While others ate he’d fast
While they would laugh he wept
Until he breathed his last
His only wish was for us to be
Among the ones who prosper
Ya Mu'allim peace be upon you
Truly you are our Teacher,Oh Mu'allim..

Ya Habibi ya Muhammad(My beloved O Muhammad)
Ya Shafi'i ya Muhammad(My intercessor O Muhammad)
Ya Rasuli ya Muhammad(O My Messenger O Muhammad)
Ya Bashiri ya Muhammad(O bearer of good news O Muhammad)
Ya Nadhiri ya Muhammad(O warner O Muhammad)
'Ishqu Qalbi ya Muhammad(The love of my heart O Muhammad)
Nuru 'Ayni ya Muhammad(Light of my eye O Muhammad)

He taught us to be just and kind
And to feed the poor and hungry
Help the wayfarer and the orphan child
And to not be cruel and miserly
His speech was soft and gentle
Like a mother stroking her child
His mercy and compassion
Were most radiant when he smiled

Abal Qasim [one of the names of the Prophet]
Ya Habibi ya Muhammad(My beloved O Muhammad)
Ya Shafi'i ya Muhammad(My intercessor O Muhammad)
Khayru khalqillahi Muhammad(The best of Allah’s creation is Muhammad)
Ya Mustafa Ya Imamal Mursalina(O Chosen One O Imam of the Messengers)
Ya Mustafa ya Shafi'al 'Alamina(O Chosen One O intercessor of the worlds)

p/s: I'm going back to kuantan this coming wednesday, been missing my family so much, especially the 2 'budak bulat's: zikry & zafry. Till then, happy maulidur rasul!

Friday, April 07, 2006

When Shah Rukh Khan Met Dr. M

The following is an extract from an article in The Star newspaper last Wednesday which I find very 'interesting', escpecially the bold sentence:

The actor (Shah Rukh Khan) lauded the statesman as a great leader in the world, and added that Dr Mahathir was his idol, which prompted the former premier to return the compliment, saying that Shah Rukh Khan “is my idol”.
Shah Rukh Khan said he had listened to Dr Mahathir’s speeches. “I like the way he speaks. He is very sharp,” he added. “Dr Mahathir is the spokesman for Islam. He made very clear what Islam stands for.

'Well done, Mr. Khan!' If I'm not mistaken, he was the one who confessed in one of his visits here that he only performed solat (prayer) once in his life. That was during the time his mother was really sick that he became afraid of losing her. But he became dissappointed since his mother still died anyway, and he decided not to pray again.

Therefore you could imagine how 'glad' I am with his latest statement. Finally he knows what Islam stands for! I suppose he forgot that solat is placed second in the pillars of Islam. ( for those who don't get it, I'm trying to be sarcastic here :))

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Hacking In The Name of Islam - Part 2

Islam Online, a famous site for Muslims conducts live fatwa sessions from time to time. During the live fatwa session, the online users could voice out their curiosity and questions towards the invited guest scholar. An online fatwa on this subject was produced during a live fatwa session with Sheikh Faisal Mawlawy, vice president of the Islamic European Fatwa Council. A portion of his fatwa is depicted below:
Launching any attacks on anti-Islamic and Zionist websites is strongly prohibited unless they start attacking Islamic ones…

When asked about Zionist sites that libel and slander Islamic symbols, Mawlawy said that Muslims could answer back only if attacks on Islamic sites had been offensive and had disrupted the site’s online status. When asked about Christian and secular sites which spread corrupted beliefs and wicked ideas, Mawlawy said that Muslims had a mission to make things clear peacefully.(Bunt, p 46)

Another online fatwa through Islam Online is by Dr. Sano Koutoub Moustapha who is the Professor of Jurisprudence & Its Principles at the International Islamic University, Malaysia. The question raised is as follows:
“Respect scholar, I’d like to know the Islamic ruling on hacking web sites that serve the American and Israeli interests on the Internet?”

The answer given:
“Your question seems to be too general. However, Islam does stand for better cooperation and communications with nations who are not destroying and fighting us. This is clearly stated in Almighty Allah’s saying: “Allah forbiddeth you not those who warred not against you on account of religion and drove you not out from your homes, that ye should show them kindness and deal justly with them. Lo ! Allah loveth the just dealers. Allah forbiddeth you only those who warred against you on account of religion and have driven you out from your homes and helped to drive you out, that ye make friends of them. Whosoever maketh friends of them (All) such are wrong doers.” (Al-Mumtahanah: 8-9). This means that one should differentiate between those enemies who are killing our innocent and helpless Muslims around the world and those enemies who help or assist them in doing so. In addition to that, one has to do his best to tackle and hack those sites which are meant to murder and kill Muslims. Furthermore, Muslims should be able to discover the plans and strategies of our enemies in order for them to come up with strategies that will protect us against the attacks of the enemies. In this regard, I shall say there is no harm or prohibition to hack any site meant to destroy Muslims or occupy our lands. It is a legitimate right to defend ourselves by using all possible means and tools including hacking and destroying those evil sites. (Islam Online)

With regard to fatwas given by both scholars, we could decide that it is allowed for Hizbullah the pro-Palestinian Lebanese group to retaliate on attack on their sites’ Internet Service Provider ITX in January 2001. The pro-Israeli group ‘mOsad’ claimed responsibility for the attack as part of their activity which commenced in November 2002. ‘mOsad’ activities include attacks on commercial Arabic sites, Qatar’s Ministry of Awqaf and Islamic Affairs, Mohammed Khatami’s official site and various other sites in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.(Bunt, p 49)

In drawing the ethical conclusion for the case of Islamic hacking, definitely we have to refer to the sources of Islamic ethics: Quran and Sunnah or Tradition. First and foremost, Allah prohibits us from attacking a nation (in the case of war) unless we are being attacked. Back to the case of hacking, the action of defacing or attacking any website without being attacked first is utterly not permissible. Even if the owner of a site realizes that his or her site has been attacked, the owner needs to trace the right attacker; not merely launching attack without full knowledge of the attacker.

Allah said: “Fight in the Way of Allah against those who fight you, but do not go beyond the limits. Allah does not love those who go beyond the limits.(2:190)

From Sahih Bukhari, Volume 4, Book 52, Number 86:
Narrated Salim Abu-An-Nadr:
'Abdullah bin Abi Aufa wrote and I read what he wrote that Allah's Apostle said, "When you face them ( i.e. your enemy) then be patient."

All the same, one would argue that we as Muslims should utilize any means available to defend our country and religion. Just take the current situation in Muslim countries, since most times the Muslims do not have the military facilities or they are deprived from using it, we might argue that the Muslims could make use of the computing skills to weaken the enemies. Similar reasons have been given by the UNITY hackers group to justify the attack on Israeli’s Internet Service Providers (ISPs) depicted previously.

Undeniably, this argument is still very much an open discussion. But for this assignment we wrap up the discussion by stating that hacking the sites that have been identified as the real culprits is permissible.

Hacking In The Name of Islam - Part 1

'Values, Technology and Society' is a compulsory subject for every Kulliyyah of Engineering and Science postgraduate students. I took the subject last semester and as partial fulfillment of the subject, we have to submit an assigment related to ethics and the Kulliyah we reside. This is the second chapter of an assignment entitled 'Hacking: From Ethics Perspective', prepared by me and my colleague Yus:

Case Study
In Ariel Sharon’s Election Campaign 2001 website, a hacking group which called themselves WFD (World’s Fantabulous Defacers) had launched an attack which caused great impact. This applied a degree of satire in reproducing the original format, but replacing the text and images. Sharon is described as a war criminal; the photos are extremely graphic, including one of a badly scarred child whose horrific injuries were the result of his house being burned down by illegal Jewish settlers in the West Bank. The page includes the statement: ‘Long live Hizballah! Long live Palestine! Long live Chechnya, Kashmir, Kosovo and Bosnia!’ This hack is regarded as high profile and significant in that it generated media interest on a notable target. (Bunt, p 23)

Ethical Arguments
The WFD hackers defended their actions by stating that they are merely hackers, with no intention to destroy, but only to deface. They argued that hacking can be one form of jihad since they are not able to successfully make a legitimate difference in oppressed and tortured lives in Palestine and other places where Muslims are oppressed. They claim that they will not stop until there is change and peace. (Bunt, p 23)

Defacements of websites recently used to promote and spread ideologies and campaigns on certain issues which are very effective since it targets large population of internet users. According to Wikipedia website, the term defacement in computing usually means the substitution of the original home page by a hacker. Wikipedia definition also mentions that defacement is generally meant as a kind of electronic graffiti.

Site defacement can be classified as cognitive hacking. Loosely speaking, cognitive hacking refers to a computer or information system attack that relies on changing human users' perceptions and corresponding behaviors in order to be successful. (Cybenko p 1)

By referring to our case study, the WFD hackers defaced Ariel Sharon’s Election Campaign 2001 website in the hope that there will be actions against oppression in Palestine and other places. Two broad classes of cognitive hacking can be distinguished: overt and covert. With overt cognitive hacking no attempt is made to conceal the fact that a cognitive hack has occurred. For example, website defacement is a type of overt cognitive hacking. While a website defacer may hope that the defacement is not noticed for as long as possible by a web page administrator, the web defacer’s modification to the website is a blatant modification that the intended audience will realize immediately is not the unmodified website. (Cybenko et. al. p 4)

Therefore we could say that the actions of WFD group is more like a psychological war, intended to change the audience perception about the situations in places where Muslims are being oppressed specifically in Palestine. A site called UNITY, whose website was part of the UK registered domain, contained campaigning materials in several European languages, focusing on Palestinian-Islamic issues. There was also UNITY hacking, under the ‘Iron Guards’ banner. They were allegedly involved in attacking Israeli Internet Service Providers (ISP), as part of a cohesive strategy. Faris Muhammad Al-Masri, founder of UNITY explained that phase one of UNITY’s objective includes disabling official Israeli government sites. Meanwhile phase two focuses on crashing financial sites such as those belonging to Israel’s Stock Exchange and central bank; phase three involves knocking out the main Israeli ISP servers; and phase four consists of blitzing major Israeli e-commerce sites to cause the loss of hundreds of online transactions. The main goal of all these phases is to affect Israeli infrastructures thus leading to weakening of Israeli government. (Bunt, p 47)

However, though the hackers claimed they are Muslims, their actions sometimes do not resemble Islamic characteristics. The usage of illicit and profane words are evident in some of the sites hacked. Holy Quran contains verses which promote us to use good words:

“Do you not see how Allah makes a metaphor of a good word: a good tree whose roots are firm and whose branches are in heaven?” (14:24)

“They have been guided to speak good words and guided to the praiseworthy path”. (22:24)

Of course, there are more groups of hackers who claim they hack for the sake of Islam. In fact, the amount is numerous. But for the discussion of this assignment, we just select two groups namely the WFD and UNITY.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Tunggu Teduh Dulu

Judul: Tunggu Teduh Dulu
Pengarang : Faisal Tehrani
Penerbit: Penerbitan Selain
Genre: Novel Dewasa

Watak utamanya Salsabila Fahim mengingatkan saya kepada seseorang yang rapat dengan saya. Kalau boleh, segala tanggungjawab, segala beban mahu dipikul hingga kami di sekeliling yang rasa penat melihatnya. Malah pernah juga saya berasa kecil hati, serasa dia tidak mempercayai saya. Apa tidaknya, segala kerusuhan hati dan perasaan gundah gulana dipendamnya sendirian. Sedikit sebanyak, saya faham kenapa Teh Sofia berasa diketepikan sehingga sanggup membawa diri. Tetapi rasanya saya bukan lah jenis yang akan mengambil tindakan sedrastik itu :)

Membaca Tunggu Teduh Dulu (TTD) membawa saya menelusuri hati dan perasaan orang sejenis Salsabila Fahim. Meskipun saya mengerti tindakan menanggung kesusahan secara sendirian itu bertitik tolak dari perasaan tanggungjawab dan perasaan enggan menyusahkan orang, kadang-kadang saya sukar menerimanya. Ada masa-masanya saya berasa cuak dengan tindak-tanduk Salsabila Fahim sewaktu membaca buku ini. Namun saya tidak menafikan, andai ada seseorang yang layak mengecap kebahagiaan, dialah orangnya. (‘Dia’ merujuk kepada Salsabila dan juga orang yang rapat dengan saya itu)

Saya sangat tertarik dengan konsep jangan terlalu rasa terikat dan memiliki di dalam buku ini. Kita sudah biasa disuakan ungkapan seperti ‘apa yang ada di dunia ini hanya sementara’ dan ‘segala-galanya milik Tuhan Maha Esa’. Akan tetapi, secara peribadi; ungkapan ‘jangan rasa terikat dan memiliki’ lebih mengesankan saya. Saya kira, petikan kata-kata Teh Sofia yang saya perturunkan di bawah boleh merumuskan konsep ini:
“Aku diajar bahawa penderitaan adalah kerana keinginan dan pemilikan, ia muncul kerana ada kelekatan atau attachment. Aku terlalu bergantung hingga lupa pergantungan yang lain.”

Satu lagi ciri menarik dalam buku ini yang rasanya sudah banyak diulas orang ialah kepandaian penulis menggambarkan sifat-sifat perempuan dengan terperinci. Perbuatan seperti mencubit pinggang, menampar bahu, menepuk paha dan sebagainya sesama rakan perempuan memang lumrah. Kami orang perempuan memang biasa melakukan demikian apabila diusik atau ingin mengusik. Wallahuaklam tidak tahulah kenapa. Begitu juga panggilan seperti sayang dan makcik, itu memang biasa kami gunakan bila berbicara sesama kaum hawa. Sewaktu membaca TTD, terasa seperti penulisnya seorang perempuan pula!

Secara jujurnya saya mendapati kisah yang diangkat dalam buku ini, sudah sering diangkat di dalam buku-buku lain. Tema wanita gigih menempuh cabaran, berhadapan masalah cinta dan persahabatan memang sudah biasa, terutamanya di dalam drama-drama Korea. :D. Bezanya, TTD menjelaskan dengan sangat terperinci pada setiap perkara dan setiap watak. Umpamanya, banyak karya yang menceritakan watak-watak melibatkan diri dalam perniagaan, tapi tidak jelas pun apa yang dijualnya, apa cabarannya. Selalunya, keterangan yang diberikan adalah secara kasar, tidak memuaskan. Tahu-tahu, watak-wataknya berjaya menempuh cabaran dan mencapai kejayaan. Kelazimannya, tumpuan diberi kepada hati dan perasaan watak-watak.

Paling menarik bagi saya tentang TTD ialah tajuknya. Konsep berteduh itu sangat luas maknanya. Saya bukanlah orang yang pandai ilmu-ilmu metafora, tetapi rasanya saya boleh memahami. Secara peribadi, saya rasa buku ini lebih ringan berbanding buku-buku penulis yang lain, sesuai untuk menarik pembaca-pembaca. Meski nampak ringan, saya tidak memandang rendah segala usaha penyelidikan yang dijalankan penulis dalam menghasilkan buku ini. Tentunya lebih sukar untuk ‘meringan’kan perkara yang berat, berbanding menulis perkara berat tanpa ‘meringan’kannya. Maaf kalau ada yang tidak faham perumpamaan saya ini, saya sendiri tidak tahu apa ayat yang lebih sesuai untuk menggambarkannya.

Walaupun sudah khatam TTD, saya masih tidak faham apa maksud tersirat ayat yang ditulis penulis sewaktu menandatangani buku ini: ‘Semoga sempat berteduh’. Kalau ada yang faham, tolong maklumkan saya. Sengaja ingin saya maklumkan, mengikut kalendar Hijriah; hari ini genap 28 tahun saya menumpang berteduh di muka bumi Allah ini. Harap-harap, dalam baki tempoh saya berteduh ini, cukuplah bekalan untuk saya bawa ke alam seterusnya. Amin.

Kasih Allah, Kasih Sejati

Manusia ini ada pelbagai ragam dan perangai. Meski Allah mengurniakan jenis-jenis perasaan yang sama kepada semua: sedih, gembira, benci, suka dsb; tahapnya berbeza-beza bagi setiap daripada kita. Ada yang tahap kesabarannya sangat tinggi, ada yang mudah melenting walau sebabnya kecil amat, ada yang senang membenci dan ada juga yang hatinya mudah jatuh sayang. Dek kerana variasi sedemikian rupa, hubungan antara manusia juga boleh terbentuk dalam pelbagai cara. Ada yang hubungannya sangat mesra, ada yang tidak boleh langsung bertemu muka dan ada hubungan yang biasa-biasa sahaja, tiada sebarang perasaan khusus atau istimewa.

Jika kita mendapati ada yang tidak kena dalam hubungan sesama manusia, periksalah hubungan kita dengan Yang Maha Pencipta, Allah S.W.T. Jika lazimya kita cuma berusaha mengesan kepincangan dalam selok-belok tatacara perhubungan sesama manusia, tidakkah kita sedar akan kemungkinan kepincangan hubungan kita dengan Allah menjadi penyebab? Mengadulah padaNya, sesungguhnya Dia Maha Mengetahui, Maha Pengasih dan Maha Penyayang. Kita kadang-kadang tidak sedar, Allah mendatangkan kasihNya dari sumber-sumber yang sama sekali tidak disangka. Andai kerenggangan hubungan sesama manusia membawa kepada keakraban kita kepada Allah, bukankah itu satu cara Dia mengingatkan kita agar jangan sekali-kali lupa yang Dialah Maha Berkuasa atas segala-gala?

Kita manusia, memang fitrahnya pelupa, lupa kita ini bernaung di bumi Allah atas belas ihsanNya. Jadi, sekali sekala Allah timpakan ujian, terima lah dengan penuh syukur. Itu tanda Allah masih ingat dan kasihkan kita. Sahabat handai, sanak saudara, semuanya sekadar dipinjamkan kepada kita. Pupuk lah dalam hati, hanya Allah tempat pergantungan sejati, pasti sebarang kehilangan, sebarang kerenggangan tidak begitu dirasai.