Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Mapping directions

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

If only my sense of direction in life were as good as my sense of direction on the road

Then I’d be all set.

I was thinking about this yesterday on the way back from work in my (dad’s) car. On the road, I don’t mind getting lost, taking wrong turns, making those kinds of mistakes, because to me, it’s just a matter of knowing your bearings, where you came from and where you want to go. And anyways, if you take a wrong turn there’s bound to be somewhere you can make an illegal u-turn up ahead and get back on track. Now how do I apply that principle to life?? I know where I come from, yes. I also know where I’m headed or rather where I want to go, generally. But how do I get there? Life doesn’t come with a gps device, a mapbook, or google earth. Or maybe I just haven’t been looking in the right places? When im lost on the road, on the rare occurrence that it does happen, it’s my general directional compass that comes to the rescue. That, and my past experiences. Also instinct. When I was a little girl I loved car rides and whenever I wasn’t falling asleep I was gazing out the window. I guess that helped kot. But even before that, I still remember the route I used to take walking to kindergarten, the route my bus took in first and second grade. Point is, roads are great. They are easy for me. Cant say the same for life, although that said, I don’t think its meant to be easy. Ive had a VERY blessed life Alhamdulillah. I’m digressing.

I don’t like making mistakes. I think, im scared of making mistakes because I would be letting myself and other people down. And because of this I don’t take risks. I think I have to keep reminding myself that, like on the road, mistakes aren’t generally the end of the world, and are in fact quite necessary to be able to build up a more comprehensive map of the world/life.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

In 9th grade I was faced with a decision – what electives do I want to take? Out of the 8 subjects we were allowed 3 electives. I had already taken Japanese and art in my first semester, and for my second semester I was torn between IT and carpentry. I was really interested in both. Hem. Haw. Mull. I checked out the computer labs and the woodshop. I considered asking advice from my guidance counsellor, in the end I ended up asking my mom. (Basically the same thing) At the start of my school year I had already registered IT as my third elective but the more I thought about it, the more I felt myself leaning towards carpentry. I figured, I can learn IT by myself, all I need is a computer at the very least. Why pass up the opportunity to work in a fully equipped woodshop? So a few days before the closing of the course change petition closed, I submitted my request to change from IT to carpentry. And im glad I did, because I loved it! And some friends of mine who took IT confessed that it was actually pretty boring.

In 10th grade my toss up was between history and physics. Again, I loved both. This time I don’t know what made me go with history. But im glad I did because I had a great teacher and our class was just 3 people. Teacher included. So a lot of the classes were spent watching movies like Schindlers list. And then in A-Levels I decided to not tae history because that would’ve been too heavy and my teacher pun left the school. Instead I switched to physics and I was worried that I might not be able to cope since I didn’t take O-Level physics so I sat in the O-Level physics classes when I could and the teacher who taught Olevels was the same teacher who taught A-Levels so that was good. And he was an awesome teacher too. Come to think of it, all my physics teachers were pretty great. In high school that is. UIA lain cerita.

Point of this blogpost? None really. Just bored. Also, its time to choose.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A wandering mind

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

On the way to work today I glanced at my neighbour’s house where there was a long rainwater downpipe which was supposed to be attached to the gutter at the roof but this down pipe was not really fully attached and so I thought they should put a funnel there so the water flows down the downpipe and doesn’t just splash around. And then I got to thinking how a funnel wouldn’t really help if the rainfall is really heavy since the downpipe was kinda small in diameter and then I got to thinking about hydrodynamics and the people who study them and that lead me to think about the people who study hydrodynamics to make artificial white water rafting courses and I thought, they have to study the stuff *under* the water since that’s what makes the water churn and undulate and all and I thought that’s difficult, its not like they can just hold up the river and scan the riverbed and then I thought of damming rivers and that made me think of beavers and how they dam up rivers to make their homes and I remembered a book I used to read as a kid about beavers and their dams and how they build the entrances to their homes underwater so only they can get it but inside their home is dry and my mind flashed to Narnia where I don’t recall the Pevensies having to take a plunge into icy water to enter the beavers den. Then I started thinking about beavers and drawing them and how some people draw beavers tails with cross hatchings on it even though they don’t actually have lines crisscrossing their tails and after that I thought to myself, hmm, I haven’t thought about beavers in a long time, and come to think of it, I haven’t thought about Canadian animals in a long time too so I made a list of Canadian animals I used to think about and that list included beavers, moose, killer whales, narwhals and polar bears and just as I was thinking this a black myvi was driving towards me and I thought, it kinda looks like a killer whale and then I had to get out of the way coz I didn’t wanna get hit by that killer whale myvi and then I remembered the three not so nice dreams I had last night one of which involved a car accident and the other ones were about missing an exam and slapping someone and I didn’t want to remember them so I stopped thinking about them and thought instead of how I had gotten to thinking about Canadian animals in the first place, which made me retrace my thoughts and remember this whole story and so I wrote it down and now you’re reading it.

The end.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The consequence of sounds

Thursday, November 25, 2010

My rhyme ain't good just yet,
My brain and tongue just met,
And they ain't friends, so far,
My words don't travel far,
They tangle in my hair,
And tend to go nowhere,
They grow right back inside,
Right past my brain and eyes
Into my stomach juice
Where they don't serve much use,
No healthy calories,
Nutrition values.
And I absorb back in
The words right through my skin
They sit there festering inside my bowels
The consonants and vowels
The consequence of sounds
The consonants and vowels
The consequence of sounds
Got a soundtrack in my mind,
All the time. Kids-
Screamin' from too much beat up
And they don't even rhyme,
They just stand there, on a street corner,
Skin tucked in
And meat side out and shot,
And I'd like to turn them down
But there ain't no knob.
Run into picket fences
Not into picket lines.
All this hippie-shit for the 60's
And another cliche for our time. But,
But a one of these days your heart
Will just stop ticking,
And they sorta just don't find you till your cubicle is reeking.
The consonants and vowels
The consequence of sounds
The consonants and vowels
The consequence of sounds
Ahh ah ah ah ahh ah ah ah
Did you know that the gravedigger's still
Gettin' stuck in the machine
Even though it's a whole other daydream.
It's another town it's another world,
Where the kids are asleep, where the loans are paid
And the lawns are mowed.
Whad'ya think?
All the gravediggers were gone?
Just cause one song is done
There's always another one,
Waiting right around the bend,
Till this one ends,
Then it begins sqeaky clean,
Then it starts all over again.
The weather report keeps on
Tossing and turning,
Predicting and warning,
And warning and warning of,
Possibly it could be news publications and,
Possibly it could be news TV stations. That
Very same morning right next to her coffee
She noticed some bleeding and heard hollow coughing and
National Geographic was being too graphic,
When all she had wanted to know was the traffic
The worlds got a nosebleed it said
And were flooding but we keep on cutting
The trees and the forests!
And we keep on paying those freaks on the TV,
Who claim they will save us but want to enslave us.
And sweating like demons they scream through our speakers
But we leave the sound on 'cause silence is harder.
And no ones the killer and no ones the martyr
The world that has made us can no longer contain us
And profits are silent then rotting away 'cause
The consonants and vowels
The consequence of sounds.
The consonants and vowels
The consequence of sounds.
Ah ah ah
My rhyme ain't good just yet,
My brain and tongue just met,
And they aint friends, so far,
My words don't travel far,
They tangle in my hair,
And tend to go nowhere,
They grow right back inside,
Right past my brain and eyes
Into my stomach juice
Where they don't serve much use,
No healthy calories,
Nutrition values.
And I absorb back in
The words right through my skin
They sit there festering inside my bowels
The consonants and vowels
The consequence of sounds
The consonants and vowels
The consequence of sounds

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What motivates you?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I was at work today, and during my bouts of sleepiness I was caught thinking, why am I here? I got up, walked to the bathroom, and washed my face. Earlier, I had been feeling quite down, this project I’m working on is daunting and my co-worker who started it but passed it on to me is a super duper awesome designer. How am I supposed to carry that same awesomeness throughout the rest of the project? Standing in front of the mirror, my robot brain started taking over. Breaking down the task into manageable little chunks. (Warning. Monologue ahead)

Robot: Maryam, stop being so down and start doing something. See? All you have to do is this and this and this. YOU CAN DO IT.
Maryam: hmm...ok...Yeah... I CAN do it!

And then,

Small unidentified part of brain/heart: but do I WANT to do it?

Which led me to thinking about some stuff. I suppose it stems from the fact that my sister and KAED friends are all just about done with their exams, and there's a certain calming finality in having a set end period. With work, you just go on and on and on. There are no term/semester breaks, no skipping classes, no lazing about. Work is work and at work you do work. Whenever I meet my boss in his office, I always think. He’s so good at what he does. I don't think I can do this. I’m not so detail conscious, not a mastermind planner, not particularly capable of handling sensitive/difficult persons and situations, neither am I one to be a "boss" over a group of people, be it clients, contractors, consultants, or my own staff.

I don't have any answers yet, and I’m still trying to figure out what my goal in life is. I mean, I have a general goal, which consists of me being happy and feeling fulfilled and learning and improving myself, but how do I get there? Maybe that’s just it though...you can’t really have motivation unless you have a goal, right? one to set your sights on and with that in mind, drive yourself over all those bumps, potholes, twists and turns, anyway you can to get to that goal. Maybe?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Little Miss Muffet

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Last night Muhsin, Ummi and I were having dinner. afterward Ummi was snacking on a plum and the subject of nursery rhymes came up. Personally, I LOVE nursery rhymes, and I still remember most of them Such pleasant memories. So I decided to quiz Muhsin. Suffice to say Ummi and I were left in stitches. Enjoy.

"Jack & Jill"

Jack and Jill went up the hill,
to get some water.
Someone fell down.

"Humpty Dumpty"

Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
(long pause)
All the kings came,
And tried to put him back on the wall

Monday, October 25, 2010

The countdown

Monday, October 25, 2010

With every word uttered there are thousands left unsaid
and every sentence whispered comes with hundreds put to bed

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Single strut across a wide stage

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


Sunday, September 19, 2010


Sunday, September 19, 2010

People can inspire you just by being themselves - I know that for a fact. As someone who likes people watching, observing, listening, inspiration comes to me in different forms but mostly from people and events around me. Recently I went to my high school for an iftar, and it brought back a lot of memories. People change, I don’t have a problem with that because its nature. But the direction in which people change, that is what matters. It’s heartwarming to see how people change for the better, even if when I knew them back in the day they were notorious for their less than stellar attitudes. It kind of gives you hope and pride and lots of respect for them, for being able to overcome their past and starting fresh, and going beyond everyone's expectations. You feel happy for them because they had the strength and drive and consciousness to improve themselves, shed they old skin and head in the right direction. If they can do it, then so can I.

Then there are those who, after leaving, changed for the worse. Off came the hijabs; gone are the self restraints, limitations. I’m not a judgmental person; at least I try my best not to be, but its heart wrenchingly sad. Did their years in an Islamic school really not have any impact on their moral compass?

Which led me to think of something else. How much does our past or the people in our past affect us now? For example, in the states I used to wear a scarf to school, I was in 2nd grade back then. It was hard but I wore it because that what I was told to do, Alhamdulillah, and I was an obedient child. My best friend back then was a Finnish girl named Saara. When I moved to Malaysia and she moved back to Finland, we lost contact for years and years, and only recently managed to get back in touch. And what she told me in our first few emails really amazed me. I had told her that I have a Finland obsession, stemmed partially from having known her, and she said

"oh, and if I gave you a Finland obsession then you definitely gave me one on Islam. I think ever since I've found Islam really fascinating. The summer that we left the states ('95 as well) I remember often trying on a scarf or a towel to cover my head as if with a veil. I wonder if my parents were shocked at the time... probably not :). Now in Finland I’ve been sad to realize that not everyone has the same attitude towards Islam. I guess it's mostly that people don't really know much about it, but still it's not right."

Now she is kind of a social activist who regularly makes trips to Palestine in an effort to mediate peace. there really are no words which describe my admiration for her work, and if I had the smallest part to play in her being as amazing as she is, then I would feel content, and even if I didn’t, I would still be immensely proud of her.

I wish I had more strength to stand up for what I believe in, to stick to my values and principles, and to improve myself. I wish I had more strength to say NO.

Be the best you can be, not only because that’s what you should strive for, but also because you never know when someone is being inspired by you.

let me reiterate - IT WARMS YOUR HEART. it really really really does

Monday, September 6, 2010

To strangers

Monday, September 6, 2010


Before you know what kindness really is
you must lose things,
feel the future dissolve in a moment
like salt in a weakened broth.
What you held in your hand,
what you counted and carefully saved,
all this must go so you know
how desolate the landscape can be
between the regions of kindness.
How you ride and ride
thinking the bus will never stop,
the passengers eating maize and chicken
will stare out the window forever.

Before you learn the tender gravity of kindness,
you must travel where the Indian in a white poncho
lies dead by the side of the road.
You must see how this could be you,
how he too was someone
who journeyed through the night with plans
and the simple breath that kept him alive.

Before you know kindness as the deepest thing inside,
you must know sorrow as the other deepest thing.
You must wake up with sorrow.
You must speak to it till your voice
catches the thread of all sorrows
and you see the size of the cloth.

Then it is only kindness that makes sense anymore,
only kindness that ties your shoes
and sends you out into the day to mail letters and
purchase bread,
only kindness that raises its head
from the crowd of the world to say
it is I you have been looking for,
and then goes with you every where
like a shadow or a friend.

by Palestinian-American Naomi Shihab Nye
from the blog of author Tim Ferris
gif animator
Gif animator

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Man jadda, wa jada...insha'Allah

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Just came back from dinner with my family. It was okay but the food was nyeh. before dinner started me and my mom and sister were talking...

me: ummi, if i dont get a scholarship i can't go eh?
ummi: Insha'Allah you will get one
me: yeah, i can, but like canada, i got a scholarship, but i still couldn't go. it wasnt enough.
Ummi: yeah i meant if you get a full scholarship, you can go lah.
moon: (something along the lines of) thats stupid, if maryam doesn't get a full scholarship she cant go. Just go lah!

I don't know if i can do it. getting a full scholarship is so hard. and i dont know if i can take the dissapointment again. Canada is still fresh. it still hurts a lot. i still tear up. i had to stop the conversation with my mom because i was starting to cry. and its a birthday dinner so crying would not have been appropriate. reading all the prospectuses and applying gets your hopes up so high, you get so excited, you think of all the opportunity and adventure and experiences you would get. and you get accepted, which means youre good enough to go. but not good enough to get a good enough amount of funding. and that burns. it burns because your best is not good enough. it burns because even though you are accepted, you don't have enough money or dont know the right people to make it possible. it burns because you knew this was going to happen but you hoped and hoped and all of it ended in nothing. it burns.
but, insha'Allah khair. even though trying rips a hole through you, its the only way you'll ever know. try your best and leave the rest to Allah. What is meant to happen happen will happen. *brave face*


Ramadhan is upon us again, Alhamdulillah~ so far it's been an interesting and different experience. I'm working now, and even though I have been through Ramadhan while working before, that was just a temporary office job. Not very challenging. That’s the only thing I regret working so early, not taking an extended holiday, is that I can't give Ramadhan my 100%. I’ll try my best though, Insha’Allah. This week has been pretty hectic. Last week as well, last week was hectic because of work. But this week I was fully booked the whole 5 weekdays for iftar. Monday...well Monday was at home. Tuesday our office had an office iftar at PNB. It was ok, sufficient selection. Wednesday was my brother’s birthday, so we planned on going out for dinner. But my sister and brother had evening classes so that plan was scrapped and we had dinner at home instead. Thursday was the UAC Architectural Students Design competition (intervarsity) prize giving, at the Royale Chulan. It was a nice venue, and Alhamdulillah I was awarded 2nd place. Although it was kind of confusing coz the mock cheque said 1st meritorious award. 1st of the runner ups la kira. There were so many people at the hotel for iftar. It was packed! The spread was very extensive. Anything and everything you can imagine. I particularly enjoyed the avocado salad. But buffets are so wasted on me. Tak berbaloi langsung. I have a very very small stomach so I didn’t even go for seconds. Friday my brother and I were invited to Aliou's house for iftar. Pasta was good, and so was the company. We were chatting to Hassan afterwards, and he doesn’t look it, but he has some pretty weird ideas floating around in his head. It was a whole hour of what if...example: what if you had a superpower that was only active in this one room, once you exit the room it’s deactivated. What superpower would you choose? I chose mind reading. Flying around in a room would be kind of boring, and you can’t walk through the walls coz then you'd be out of the room. Some other questions he posed: what if the world was going to be destroyed and you were chosen to be the sole individual to carry on the human race after everyone dies. Would you accept? (No) what if you were stuck on a deserted island and there was no food, nothing around you. Would you cut off a piece of your own flesh in order to survive (no). Anyways that was the gist of the conversation. Saturday we were supposed to go out for the birthday dinner, but my dad said the place he wanted to go to was fully booked, so dinner was at home. We’ll see how it goes today. Yesterday I went to IKEA, used the money from my first paycheck to buy myself a wardrobe because ours is FULL. Buying furniture felt weird. It’s going to arrive today so I guess I have to clear my room.

On a side note, starting to think about my education more. It’s hard though, when your free time only amounts to the weekends. A lot less time for thinking and strategizing. Hmm.

Going for Tarawih prayers always makes me happy. It's heart warming to see the mosque so full. The first night of Ramadhan the female section was packed so I had to go pray at the topmost level. All the better though. The guys section was also really full, AlhamduliLlah. Insha'Allah it will continue after Ramadhan as well..

اللهمَّ انَّكَ عَفُوٌ تُحبُّ العفْوَ فَاعْفُ عَنَّا

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Have a nice day

Saturday, July 31, 2010

I was waiting for my friends in klcc and as usual that means finding a nook in kinokuniya and burying myself there. The book I picked up was tipping point by Malcolm gladwell, a book that I already had but haven’t read. But it was a good thing that I read that little bit of it yesterday because it made me realize what I wanted to be in life. I want to be a maven. Yep. Now I just have to figure out how, if its something to figure out and not just DO. I suppose it would take a lot of time.

Went to pray at the SUPERcrowded klcc surau (I knew I should have just gone home a.k.a mandarin oriental) it was stuffy and crowded and not at all peaceful. Afterwards I was sitting outside the surau waiting for my friends’ friend while people watching when my eyes focused on a person walking by. For a while I thought, huh this guy looks familiar…and then it hits me and I’m just frozen for a good 2 seconds. I dunno if anyone noticed me spacing out but as soon as a realized I was stunned I snapped out of it, shuddered and resumed all appropriate normalcy. That was really unexpected and weird.

The reason why I was in klcc was that we were going to watch a theater performance at the MPO. This one was called.. umm…Mek Mulung dewa muda or something. I didn’t know anything about the performance and just went along clueless. The start was nice, with a traditional opening act. I was thinking the entire time, asian dances are so hard, because all the movements are so deliberate and slow and measured and just so. Takes a lot of control. The play itself was really weird. Completely pointless but funny I guess, if you understood the language they were speaking in, which was a heavy northern dialect. I didn’t get most of it lol.

This week marks week three of me at work, and so far its been ok. But I dunno how its gonna be next week. My colleague who I was working with on a project left, Friday was his last day. And he was really good at design. I dunno how I’m gonna cope…insha’Allah it will all work out. Huhu

On Thursday I took a day off work to settle my university clearance. Its online now so it makes it much much more easier than the traditional treasure hunt. But the mahallah people didn’t know it was an online dealio, but thank god the person in charge came back just as I was about to leave dejected and in less than a minute a was clear. I am now officially graduated! Wheee~! Oh I also had to sign up for KWSP or EPF and I was surprised that the staff at my local branch were so friendly and helpful! Efficient too.i spent most of the day in UIA though, and walking through the campus made me feel like a first year student again. Which was blissfull. First year was definitely the year that uia was my playground, because lets face it, for the most of my second and third years kaed had me in its clawed clutches and I was just a kaed student, not a uia student. Which is sad. Being a first year student drifting through uia and bumping into people I met, going with the flow, that was pretty sweet. I could do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. Loner me was happy :D ah those were the good old days. And well, even though I’ve graduated, this week alone 4 out of 5 weekdays I found myself in uia, either before or after work. Same old same old story.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Sunday, July 18, 2010

Its been a week since I started work, so far its been ok I guess. My office has 15 people in total. Its kinda quiet but that’s not so bad i guess. Right now I’m in the middle of designing a 60 acre waterfront masterplan. Scary. Every morning i walk 1.2 kilometers from the lrt station to my office. I haven’t gotten a flashcard yet so I end up ringing the doorbell everyday. When I get home, I watch a few episodes of avatar just to de-stress (yes, the cartoon :P)
My graduation dinner was yesterday, and it was fun!! Dressing up was fun and the event was well organized. By the end of it my face was sore from smiling so much hehe. There were some really interesting constumes, handmade, bought, rented. And the food was not so bad either. Thanks to our enthusiastic juniors for the great event and to our lecturers for gracing the event.

glasses by kache
shawl by nab
hijab styling by ecah
the rest by me

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Some things I wrote down while waiting for my interview at z&sr to start. I came half an hour early haha!
Yellow walls (:D) timber floor. Exposed steel structure, very industrial chic-ish. Oodles or paraphernalia, pictures, posters, paintings, glass walls.
Orange chairs paired with dark furnishings
extensive library. Seems quite small
location is ok, nice compound but larger context not so much. Quiet day at work today, only 3 people spotted so far. (Added side note: another 2 people meandered out from the back. I guess this place is bigger than it looks)
looked at the phone directory at the small lobby. All Muslim names.
On the sign it said zaini mufti architects. SM Radhi design practice. (Thus the name z&sr architectural ventures)
pictures on the wall have people in them (does the company bring its staff on tours??)

The answer to that last question being, yes. :)
had an hour long interview/chat with one of the principals, and he offered me the job, Alhamdulillah :)

Sunday, July 4, 2010


Sunday, July 4, 2010

Reasons why most people say "Nothing" when asked "What's wrong?"

1. They don’t feel like explaining because they’re afraid you won’t understand.
2. It’ll make them feel worse if they do because the subject is just being brought up again.
3. They don’t know what’s wrong.
4. Privacy / Personal space /they don't want to tell you
5. Afraid of being judged.
6. They don’t want anyone worrying about them.
7. Tired of hearing the lie that “It’ll be alright.”
8. Its obviously about you.
9. They just don’t want to talk about it.
10.There really is nothing, sometimes.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Friday, July 2, 2010

Today I woke up not in the best of circumstances. I was dead tired yesterday after the caves and I fell asleep without ironing my mom’s clothes, which she already asked me to do. But I woke up refreshed, and for some odd reason, feeling really chipper. I think it stemmed from the fact that I thought I was home alone. Alone time is good. You can do whatever you want at home, without anyone bothering you. You have the whole TV to yourself, and you don’t need to fight for possession of your own pc. You can do chores at your own pace and eat whatever and whenever you want. Not to mention all the silly stuff you’d be too embarrassed to do in front of anyone else. Ehm.

Anyways as it turns out I wasn’t home alone, my youngest brother was just asleep. But my good mood wouldn’t be quashed by this small matter. I had a list of things I wanted to do. Among them included apply for jobs, cleaning up my room, ironing my mom’s clothes, getting my portfolio together, cleaning out my pc, getting the house in order, making crafts, etc2. A lot for a day but I showered and got started. First I worked on my portfolio. Numbered, arranged, zipped. I was actually procrastinating at this point because I had to make phone calls next and I don’t particularly like talking. But I made myself pick up the phone, and proceeded to write down email addresses. I also put a “friendliness” meter next to each firm’s name, depending on the level of friendliness of the receptionist, the bigger the smiley face. Then came the long process of sending out my resume to all those firms. I think I must’ve sent out more than 20.

Cleaning my room didn’t really get anywhere, except I did vacuum my room. I was multitasking at that time. Chatting while vacuuming :p

My mom came back from work tired so my brother went and got food from across the street. We ate dinner at the dinner table, me, my mom and my brother. It was fun, I haven’t sat down with them for a long time and I spent a while telling my youngest brother about…hmm I forgot what we were talking about but the point is it was good catching up. My dad told me and my other brother Muhsin to go grocery shopping at this place called NSK, near selayang. Not a place that I’ve ever heard of or been to, and my mom said it’s like a giant pasar borong and it’s dirty. Not a pretty picture. But when I got there, it was fine! It wasn’t dirty, and it was well enough stocked. Plus they were playing some pretty old school songs (ok old school enough to bring back memories). On the playlist was what makes you different by bsb and lucky by britney spears haha!! Me and Muhsin had fun doing groceries, picking out weird fruits. Muhsin splurged and got 20 ringgits worth of mangoes and 17 ringgit worth of dragon fruit, plus a bunch of grapes. I settled for two grapefruits that only cost rm5. It was really fun just doing normal stuff, but I realized I was so out of touch with home. I didn’t know what we were out of, and even though my mom gave me a shopping list, I didn’t know, for example, what brand detergent we used, what flavor food did my cat eat etc. So getting back in touch was good.

Overall it was a pretty good day. Hoping tomorrow will be the same, I have an interview at ARRA Architect at 6.30 p.m…kinda nervous about that...amazing coz I sent in my CV at like 1 pm, and they called me back for an interview at 4.45 pm. Guess thats a good thing?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

La maison de rêves

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

There is a house, in many aspects it contains elements of your dream house. Magnificent views, spacious interiors, lush furnishings, warmth, comfort, just the right amount of excitement and tranquility. Even though you probably would struggle to afford it, you can somewhat imagine yourself living here. You found it by surprise, stumbled across it, and was thrilled by its seemingly perfect existence. You walk through the house and discover its illustrious history and significance in present times. You know it will be worth a fortune in the future. Caught up in the moment, you devote your time to exploring every nook and cranny of the house, just living in it excites you.

On the first day there, you are a little bit intimidated at all the space and potential, but you soon discover there is nothing to be afraid of. It is just a house, after all. An awesome one at that. On the second day you are just happy to sit back and just absorb everything, absorb every drop of awesome the house never seems to run out of. Little things interrupt you but you bear with them. On the third day is when things get a little more interesting. You begin to actively explore everything, peeling back layer after layer of history and reveling in that magical aura. You dismiss the little flaws you find, thinking that they are a one-off occurrence and won’t detract from everything the house has to offer. On the fourth day you are bristling with excitement and want to tell everyone about your incredible discovery. You gush about the views, the detailing, the ambience, the aura, personality and charm of this prefect structure. When the people you tell nod nonchalantly or seem skeptical you get upset that no one shares your enthusiasm. After your trial week at the house is up, you sadly bid it adieu, vowing to come back.

Days go by, and you start dreaming about the house more and more. So you decide to revisit that house, this time with the intent of finally owning it. Eagerly, you pull into the driveway, nostalgia already tugging at your heartstrings. But this time, with permanence and investment in your mind, you see the house in a different light. Everything you saw before was still there, but this time you spot a glaringly obvious flaw. The house has no basic structure. Your perfect house rests on a handful of rickety pillars, few of them seeming strong enough to support the house itself, let alone you in it as well. All the perfect bits and charms the house had meant nothing without the basic structural integrity. And you finally see what everyone else saw, that the house has been deceiving you, using its fanciful trappings to cover up what it lacked; a basic solid foundation.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Sunday, June 20, 2010

I wrote a long post about a house, but decided I should post it some other time. I had a weird dream last night. About arms and hands and warmth. About wanting to run away, but not being able to, then resigning, then accepting. About walking and bumping shoulders and being scared and shy. About someone leading the way, strong and silent and sweet and helpful. Guidance

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Midweek semi-update ramblefest

Thursday, June 10, 2010

When dreams start interfering in reality and clouding our minds, is it time to put those dreams to rest?

Let’s compromise

I’m a person who sets very high standards for myself. In school, for example, I expect myself to get excellent grades. That doesn’t mean I’m a study freak, with my nose buried in textbooks all day long. Geek/nerd I may be, but studious, I’m not. I try really hard to pay attention in class (as opposed to falling asleep, which happens in about 90% of the time), and rarely skip any lessons if I can help it. In high school this was easy enough, I actually distinctly remember not doing my chemistry and maths homework. Maths I only did on submission day, while the teacher was collecting the assignments, I would be at the back of the class just starting it. For chemistry, my mom was my teacher, and its not because of that that I didn’t do my work, but I knew how busy she was and that she’d never get around to marking it anytime soon. In retrospect, I suppose I should’ve done my assignments but in the end I managed to get decent grades, so that was ok.

Now in university I still expect the best out of myself but its actually scary that my standards have dropped. I still get decent grades, but it seems like there’s something missing. When most of your assignments are groupwork and the lecturers grade you by group, its hard to bring everyone up to your standards. I’m not saying everyone is lower than me, in fact I know they are very smart and all. But we have different standards,strengths, and methods of working. Its one of the challenges I suppose, and one you have to deal with. But personally, since I expect better of myself, and lecturers expect better of me too, I always feel like I have a duty to do everything. I’m terrible at telling people what to do and delegating… A friend told me, you shouldn’t ever settle for less. But sometimes, I guess you have to compromise. And I’m not just talking about school, either. Just about everything in life is a compromise, it’s a delicate balance of push and pull.

I have never actually thought of myself as an individual, in the sense that I don’t go out of my way to stand out or strike out. I think it just happened somehow, a result of maybe always moving around, or maybe always feeling different. For example, and I’ve mentioned this in a previous post, in grade school I was the only girl to wear a hijab to class. It was something I just accepted, even though I felt different than the rest of my classmates, I didn’t have a problem with it. I guess I became who I was because of the circumstances I was faced with, and my way of dealing (if you can call it dealing) with them. We are, after all, a product of our choices.

I don’t even know what I’m writing about. Haha just felt like rambling.

Things I want to achieve by the end of the year
1. Crochet/knit something that actually functions
2. Learn a new language(at least a little bit)
3. Teach myself some web design basics
4. Teach myself some graphics/multimedia software
5. Travel

Basically want to be productive

Monday, May 31, 2010

The thoughts we ponder

Monday, May 31, 2010

A month from now this will all be over, the crazy hectic student life, to be replaced by the vast and terrifying reality of a world outside these walls. I sit and wonder, about life, love, and everything in between. I think about my goals in life, or the lack of concrete ones. I think about my dreams, to take a year or more off and just travel all around the world, meeting people from my past and meeting new people in the process. I think o f my actual graduation, how I would feel on the day when 3 years of my life culminates in a single strut across a wide stage. I think of what I would want if I were to ask for anything, as a graduation gift (which I know, I won’t). I consider travel, my dream. Impossible, but then I think of another wish. To travel to a country like Egypt and devote myself to studying religion, the Qur’an, Arabic, hadith, and basically educating my soul. I wonder how my parents would react to that suggestion. I wonder, no, I am sure, that they would politely object by saying learning can be done anywhere. I think of more worldly things, like having a car, or asking instead for a chance to further my architectural education overseas. It’s a lot to ask, and it wouldn’t be fair to the rest of my family if I ate up a huge chunk of their life savings. I think of what I am passionate about and mostly come up blank. My passions are selfish ones. I want to improve myself, I want to learn more. I think of love, if it ever really exists in the way that some people portray it to be, or if it something beyond comprehension, as it will always remain to me. I think about family, and how grateful I am that my family is who they are no matter how many times I swear I hate them. I think of my friends, the many, many wonderful friends I can scarcely believe I am lucky to have, and wonder if they feel lucky to have me too. I think of the future, the cloudy, murky, wonderful and terrifying future. I think of freedom, and wonder if I will ever be free of my past demons or if I will ever be in peace with them. I think of feelings, elation, depression, hurt and sadness, worry and confusion, and wonder if I will ever be able to thaw my stone cold heart and be free from the shackles of blank numbness. I think of words, and if I will ever be able to say what my heart desires, truthfully and honestly and with surety and confidence.

I think and think and think.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

the company we keep

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I’ve tried writing this once, twice, thrice, and yet nothing seems to be able to capture even the slightest essence of what I’ve felt in the past couple of weeks. All I can say is, everything happens for a reason, and people should never be judged by their covers. You can learn something from just about anyone, and the past few weeks were a huge and beautiful learning experience for me. Everyone I met was so incredibly refreshing and so so positive, and collectively, it was like a force of energy that I couldn’t get enough of.

All the time, money, energy spent on just about everything was more than worth it. I can hardly remember a time where I was as happy as I was, eager to wake up and face each day no matter how difficult or gloomy it seemed to be. Because I knew that the people around me would supply me with all the encouragement and positive enrgy I needed, and for that I am eternally grateful to everyone

This post is something I tried to muster up. It does not even begin to describe what I felt because I am terrible at saying how I really feel. but trust me, its all good. Thank you

part 1

When you want to tell a million and one beautiful, wonderful, or heartbreaking stories but no words could ever do them justice, what do you do?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Kuala Kangsar, Bandar di-Raja

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

After 12 days, we are finally back from our Kuala Kangsar Heritage Studies trip. The first week or so we were all counting down the days to go home, but when the time came, it was bittersweet. The people we met and interacted with treated us with such kindness and generosity, friendly and helpful in more ways than one. I will definitely miss this small town.
Alhamdulillah, everything went smoothly and many of our tasks dipermudahkan...Perhaps it was by stroke of luck that our heritage trip coincided with the birthday of the Sultan of Perak. It was really an incredible spectacle, full of festive atmosphere. If before, Kuala Kangsar seemed like a quiet, sparsely populated town, then the eve of the sultan’s birthday definitely proved me wrong. The whole riverside was thronged with people, young and old and of all walks of life, all different races. There was a pesta panjut, pertandingan perahu berhias (the train got the most cheers) and fireworks. The next day the whole baitul rahmah group decided to take the day off and see the famous landmarks of Kuala Kangsar. Labu sayong diborong habis. The entrance fee to the Sultan Azlan Shah Gallery was waived since it was his birthday ^^ makan2 at Ku Sayang’s house and playing with her incredibly cute and exotic looking grandson Irfan.sitting by the riverside at the resort at night, looking out at the Sultan Abdul Jalil Bridge, chatting. Walking from Baitul Rahmah to Masjid Ubudiah in the cool afternoon, alone, taking in the scenery at my own pace. Meeting such wonderfully cute pakcik’s, makciks, pak engku’s and mak engku’s..just to name a few Engku Wan Rashidah, Engku Sayang, Ku Jid, Ku Izah, Ku Diah, Pak Meor, Ku Sophia, Pn Zalzilah, Wan Ainen, Hj Umar…and not forgetting the younger generation who also helped us a lot, Raja Suhaila, En Rashid and En Amin from MPKK, CC Kamarul from Pejabat Tanah, Raja Nor Izaliah, Raja Royani…

Still have a lot more to say…but I don’t know how..

To all my groupmates – Congratulations, Thank you, and apologies for any shortcomings…we’ve still got 2 months to go!!

Will these memories fade when I leave this town?

Friday, March 26, 2010

This Last Step

Friday, March 26, 2010

no, I am not suicidal. this image is for decoration and figurative purposes.

Monday, March 22, 2010


Monday, March 22, 2010

Please, can someone tell me what my problem is? Because I'm having a hard time pinning it down on my own.

thank you

The floor is yours.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


Sunday, March 21, 2010

today everything hurts

mind, body and soul
people, places and things
memories, dreams and realities
past, present and future




Thursday, March 18, 2010

Welcome back to life

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Or a semblance of one anyways. For a short period only.

Woke up with a skip in my step and a song in my heart. Oh, and well rested but STARVING and THIRSTY. Amazingly did not eat a single thing the whole of yesterday. In fact my last meal was on Tuesday afternoon. Kuey teow goreng basah tak nak sayur. So I submitted my final project yesterday…I don’t know if I am fully satisfied with it but I couldn’t bear to look at it any longer. Seems surreal. Boards are all different coloured, because I printed in so many different places. Kinda disappointed with my last(and most expensive) one, since it was perspectives I wanted to print it A0 terus. The shop we went to first was so damn expensive!! RM98 for coated paper A0! So in the end we went to Jun, friendly people but lacking in the print quality department. Also quite pricey at RM50 for A0. Final say is Baiduri UIA so far offers the best prints, but takes a loooong time and is always full. The prints are clear and correctly color balanced, contrast is good and paper is sufficiently thick. Also cheap at RM35 for a full colour print, cheaper for half coloured etc. a big congrats and thanks to all my studiomates for submitting on time and showing honest to goodness teamwork, and helping each other out. Terharu~

boards yg x berapa nak cantik huahua

Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Final stretch

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Went to watch IPAC yesterday night. Before that me and qil went to OU to watch Valentine’s Day haha. selamba je mcm xde kerja. Well we knew we had work. the plan was to wake up early, get some work in and catch the 12.30 screening or the movie. buuuut....we slept late, and woke up late, so no work put in and missed the 12.30 show. the next one was at 1.30 but the seats sold out. in the end we watched it at 4. ate and then shopped (again? geez Maryam...dah2 la tu shopping) and then watched the movie. It was...nyeh. only liked the whole Julia Roberts story. it rained really heavily on our way back.

IPAC...hmm. well it was okay i guess, could use a bit of glossing over i think. the slideshow accompanying the performances though, were bad. I guess a ot of technical issues and not enough artistic input? especially enjoyed the arab nasheed and dikir barat. the music was a bit heavy at times, not enough solo's for my liking. but anyways, congrats to the organisers and performers.

hmm finals are looming...should be putting in 200%. not blogging/fb-ing/etc. focus!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The plans we make

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Just came back from visiting Ala’ in her new house, very cute and clean. On the way back I had a lot to think about. One of them was where do I see myself in 5 years. It’s a common question in job interviews, and for someone like me, probably one of the hardest, right after “tell me about yourself”.

This year I’ll be 23, even though i just turned 22. That’s old…and in 5 years, I’ll be 28. Where do I see myself? Job wise, I suppose I see myself working, I don’t know as what yet, but enjoying my work and earning enough to provide for myself and my family to live comfortably. That’s the second part of my very vague 5 year plan. Personally, I see myself happily married, with a loving family. The person I am married to is my best friend, the one I want to share things with. The one who understand me, understands that I don’t understand myself a lot of times. I am still very close to my school friends, and we maintain a special relationship that not many people can wrap their heads around. In 5 years time I have managed to figure most of myself out, sort out my tangled head and figure out what I want. I am a better person, and successful in my work and personal life. More confident and wiser. Standing up for what I believe in. Taking a stand when it matters.

Well. That’s the goal anyways. Need to work on the action plan.

It was really good catching up with my friends, it really has been too long since we last had a decent chat. Too few and far between. Its quite scary how we all seem to be on the brink of something. Ala’s Married. Ilham is attending interviews for her chambering. Me, Iman, Aziza, Hiba, we’re all graduating soon. Ayesha is wrapping up her master’s thesis. We’re all nervous about the next step. Where do we go from here? Where will be go? What will we do? Most of us have a comfort zone – that being UIA. We’ve lived here most our lives. Our fathers are lecturers here, our mothers are never far. Our environment has been largely a protected one. It would be so easy to just stay, stay in this familiar environment. But I can speak for most of us and especially myself when I say that I do need a change of environment. A different kind of challenge. And yet, I feel like I’m not done with UIA just yet. There are many opportunities here that I failed to take. Opportunities that were so easy here I overlooked them ones that would be very hard to find elsewhere, I think. Things that I could learn here, people I could have met, events I could have participated in. space for me to grow. Staying in your comfort zone for too long without any extraordinary challenge will be dull, and you’ll lose your edge. But then, change, it’s hard. Starting fresh new in a new environment, there’s only so much you can do to prepare yourself for that. And you have to learn quick, catch up to what’s going on, be on your toes. You’ll want to rely on the comfort of friends, but then you have to realize that sometimes you have to do things on your own to learn. Support is necessary but so is independence.

"We all can plan but God is the best of planners. So for all my above plans, I say inshaAllah…"

This has been a self-reflective post by the messed up MH.

"I wish the world will truly see me, for what I truly am."

For the days we feel as vague as faded memories.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Would you wait to find out?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

"When they really get to know you, they will run"

Waiting is just about all I’m good at. Hmm

Monday, February 8, 2010

Then why am I so afraid?

Monday, February 8, 2010

"Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live"

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Lets take a breather...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Mid-semester break is finally here, not that there will be much holiday-ing going on. There are mountains of work to be done huhu...

Let’s see...so this semester started a while back, and I really didn't know what to expect. It is our final long semester (if we pass insha'Allah). New Year’s came and went, uneventfully but rather kinda depressingly. 10 years into the new millennium and I have yet to really accomplish anything. Tick tock Maryam, tick tock.


But I must say I was extremely pleased and thankful that I passed my JPJ test, first time round AlhamdulilLah. As soon as I came out of the test car I was beaming like a Cheshire cat, a huge goofy super excited beaming expression. I guess all that practice, even if in an auto car, did help. So thanks so all my tutors, qil, yam, jannah, nadz, and anyone else who helped me along the way. Can’t wait to get my P. And muz - thanks for your brilliant idea. I’ll see if I can beat you to it.

Unrelated: A lot of times I really wonder what people see when they look at me, what assumptions they make and what do they base those assumptions on. In their heads, which girl am I? Which category do I fall into? It's intriguing, mainly because most people I’m around now will voice out what they think to their friends, but I don't. Maybe it’s because I think it's terribly unfair to judge someone without even knowing them. I’m not saying I do sometimes jump to my own conclusions, but I am sure that if the person proves otherwise I am quick to see the err of my ways. At the very least I don't disclose what I might assume to other people. Because I am fickle that way. *shrug*

I suppose it’s time to get back to work. Moroccan embassy is calling…

Saturday, January 2, 2010


Saturday, January 2, 2010

There’s a bug that’s been blazing a trail through the third year architecture students, or at least, my studio. And like a Californian wildfire, or an Australian bushfire, very little and very few are spared its effects. Everybody’s buzzing about it, talk and gossip, gossip and talk. Exchange of information, spilling of secrets long kept and verification of doubts long cast. Opinions put forth, emotions expressed, people get worked up and stressed.

This bug. It makes you bipolar, it makes everyone an expert and puts everyone under scrutiny.

This bug. What do you do about it?

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