Truth Universal

Self interest
is lingua franca
the tongue
by which
all men (and women!) speak
"us","them","mea culpa"
so long we gain
they lose/die/fry
ends loose
tied up neat.

Whispers From A Smitten Heart

"If you are the moon that bathes the dark with your silvery light, then I am the soft velvet curtain of night. If you are the sun that sings the world its radiance, then I am its unconquerable blue haven. In both and either, a supplicant to your grace, hoping to share what my heart speaks."

~ Words by
Baronhawk (Hazlan Zakaria) with edits by Sheena Baharuddin

The Dance Lesson

What happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object?

The answer? Something wonderful. At least that is what I thought it is. As I lose myself fully into the embrace of her arms. Dancing away to the passable music of the dance hall band. It is awkward at best, as my stiff arms and two left feet struggle to keep time with her languorous, seductive and sinewy dancing.

All the while her eyes sought for and engages mine with that reassuring gaze of hers. As my nervous eyes does all it can to look away and look for an excuse to run.

The music thick as the finest malt liquor, drowning me in its beats, caressing me with its melody and intoxicating me within its high. All throughout, I am conscious of her unbelievably delicious hands upon me, her body warm and sensual casually leaning into and against mine as she gyrates gracefully in exquisite dance while I try to clumsily keep time.

It was a stupid move perhaps, bordering on the insane. But considering the circumstance we are in, maybe we tire of the game of which we are unwilling participants in. Inducted since infancy into the opposing sides, myself of the Sanguine Stoics and her to the Clan of Dance.

We are both paragons of our orders. I am the most dedicated of the Steadfast Stoic and she the most unrestrained Sister of The Dance. And yet we find solace in each other, the implacable stoic and the narcissistic queen of dance.

An unmovable object that meets an unstoppable force.

As is only natural orders finally come down from our separate leadership that we both contend with one another so as to prove the true legacy of our race. Both clans asserting its right of philosophical ascendancy.

A fight to the death.

We have contested many times since the orders were cut. Most times resulting in the death of many. Members of my coterie and her entourage. Cut down in countless battles from which we both came out unscathed. For we are evenly matched.

But throughout our battles, a strange relationship blossomed, and in many cases we would meet upon the roof tops of Idea City, firstly to duel privately, so as not to lose lives unnecessarily. Later on to talk and as it turns out to somehow fall into each others' company.

I know not what to call it, love, camaraderie, friendship. But it is something real that grew from our many opposites.

There were ancient rumours of this, of a third option open to our race, not to follow one extreme or the next, but to meet somewhere in between. Something, or perhaps some place, that she and I have found between ourselves.

But this is no longer our choice. Those of us dedicated to the order and made for a life of service. The ever suspicious elders on both sides found out of our dalliance and so here we are today, ordered to a final and fatal confrontation. Under threat of excommunication, we agreed to meet one last time in the Dance Hall that we so often observed from our hiatus on the rooftops.

I remember how she would dance a little ditty as the music drifts to our lofty hideout and explain to me how music and dance is the core of he soul, while I struggle to show her why silence and tranquility is mine.

We made a pact, that someday before the end, we would teach each other of what the other meant. She would take me to a dance hall for a dance lesson while I would attempt to educate her about steadfastness and stoicism.

So here we are dancing to the music of the dance hall band as we stand at the cusps of the final day on earth for one of us. My coterie and her entourage scattered around the dance hall in nervous knots of hardened philosophy war veterans struggling to fit in with the partying crowd of lessers.

Here we are for my 'dance lesson.'

I find myself unable to assemble any logic from this. I find myself overwhelmed by something which I have no experience with. She said its okay, she calls it feelings. I am unsure, how can something feel so good and so painful all at once.

Doubting myself once more I wonder if the Stoic Elders are right. Maybe there is great evil in this.

But all it took is just one look from her dreamy eyes and a slight squeeze of her fingers on my shoulder and waist to reassure me of the reality that is before me. This is not something that I would want see undone.

A buoyant feel seem to fill my senses. A happy warmth that floods my being. I am probably the happiest and most contented that I have ever been. Right there encircled in the arms of the dancing queen.

But life is not always fair, and bound by contradictions. I must now teach her of steadfastness and stoicism. A lesson which she may not like at all, but the only way I can ensure that she and the child within her, my child, survives our forced meeting.

She looks at me quizzically as thoughts pass through my mind and distracted me for a while from the beauty of her eyes. I smile at her and steeling myself, place my lips in a kiss upon her forehead. Then my lips pause by her ear as I tightened my embrace of her and whisper into her ear, "Be well my love, for the end comes soon and your lesson in steadfastness and stoicism with it."

"When, my love?" "My love... I like the sound of that..." she quips caressing the word 'love' exquisitely with her pronunciation of it.

I close my eyes and sigh aloud, trying to keep my newly acquired emotions in check. "Soon my love... soon. After the music ends."

Then, I force myself out of her delicious embrace and stand before her waiting for the music to die down.

No sooner when the music ended that we finally realize that we now have to take our proper places in the scheme of things, not to dance in each others' arms but to fight across the divisions of our clans... that immutable line equivocally drawn between the un-living and those who pursued living to the fullest. My Katana slid out of its scabbard as her twin stilettos emerged from their sheaths.

The tell tale screeching hiss of cruel metal blades resounding throughout the dance hall as my faithful coterie and her loyal entourage did the same. Blades akimbo, we threw ourselves into that deadly dance of death, as musicians and patrons of the club ran pell mell into the dark of night, trying to get away from the quickening onslaught.

We are too evenly matched, so much so that I know neither one of us will prevail against the other in a straight fight. But if none prevails, we both risk death at the hands of the inquisitors of both our orders.

That cannot be... not for my queen of the dance.

Thus I wait until she is caught up in the throes of her death dance, her whirling twin stilettos surging through the air towards my body in lightning fast stabs.

Judging that the moment was right, I deliberately let down my Katana and ignore my guard, surrendering my chest to her stilettos. I can feel the puncture wounds begin and their organ shredding rush as the motorized blades shreds into my exposed and unarmoured chest. I deliberately did not wear my chain mail undershirt for just this moment.

Time seem to stop as a blinding pain courses throughout my body. I feel myself crumple towards the floor and saw the anguish on my dancing queen's face. Everything became a blur compressed into that single moment. I can feel my lifeblood seeping out of my gutted chest, but strangely I no longer feel any pain. Just a cold numbness that slowly spreads all over my body.

I find myself cradled upon my dancing queen's lap. I look up into her eyes and smile at my love. She smile back at me, despite the tears flowing from her eyes and the sobs that threaten to overwhelm her.

"It's the only way my love. And my lesson to you. Be steadfast my love... be stoic", I manage to gurgle out to her in between my gasping intake of breath. "Go to our roof top hideout, there is a package there. Travel papers for you and some cash. Flee to the hinterlands, stay safe.... keep our child safe..."

Afterward there was another blinding flash of pain and then... darkness.

Thus end my lesson for my beloved and my time upon this earth with her.


Or so I thought... but that is another story.

A Friend of Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa

I usually stay away from modern interpretations of classic Malay works after the hack job that to me PGL was. A bloody butchers knife that rips into one several Malay Legends, uncanny of a Jack The Ripper, and then sewing them back together again incongruously like some monstrosity of Frankenstein's, or perhaps the botched job from a script writers mis-inked pen.

I guess being someone that read the Malay Hikayats in their original form, at least the DBP produced versions, I feel some loyalty to the purity of those works. There are licenses for creative reworkings and poetical larceny, but perhaps there are limits that must be observed.

But cautious as I was, when a dear old friend Ellyne invited me to join a group of her friends to watch the play Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa currently playing at Istana Budaya's Lambang Sari, I agreed for it was a good opportunity to catch up with old friends and new acquaintances and of course have a relaxing night off from work.

More so because a couple of her friends with whom I am acquainted with are involved in the production. The graceful Miss B.B. Adam shed her tight leggings and flashy dance moves for this production to put on a more dictatorial mien of Producer, while the lovely Miss Nyza Zaini adorns the play as a member of the cast.

The play is written and directed by former journalist Marina Tan whose professes that her aim is to bring out this engaging classic tale of "Hikayat Merong Mahawangsa" into the mainstream and show it for the enjoyable adventure it really is. The tale is based on the hikayat mentioned above.

It was a decision that I am overjoyed to have made.

Contrary to my worries, the play keeps alive the story and message of the original, albeit packaging the tale in humour and a more modern theme.

Opting for a more symbolic bare props approach, the play nonetheless portrays and creates the atmosphere of the setting quite well.

I personally like the use of the shadow play of the backdrop using props and light to set the scene. A lone pillar for Byzantine, a lone bonsai tree for china, a single palm tree for the islands and the various other shadow for other scenes.

It is certainly a whole barrel of fun to watch.

Nyza Zaini steals the show for some part of the play, her depiction of Lao Lao is not only believeable but adds a kind of zest to the story that energizes scenes and at many junctures actually moves the plot along.

I love her "Chinese lesson" bit with Darat and Laut the most, and I bet all in the audience appreciates her role of matchmaker in distracting Darat and Laut and making sure Merong and Dewi Embun got their 'girl meets boy' moment.

But her opening scene soliloquay and constant tussle with the princess' hair is a darling to all as well, I am sure.

Speaking of Darat and Laut, Marina Tan really do know her Shakespeare I suppose, or her Hindi movies. For these two wild and crazy characters are the classic comic relief common to many writing style across cultural boundaries.

Darat and Laut, two country coots that provide innocence and comedy to the play. But on a more symbolic sideline, their fast friendship with Merong may represent the General's affinity over the two elements, Darat being earth and Laut being sea, as opposed to him not wanting mastery of the Sky as Garuda feared.

Princess Ling Ling and Prince Justinian were okay, being what they were written out ot be, two love struck lovers in love. While the actors carried their role well, there is nothing more there, maybe because of the way the script was written.

Same goes for Jentayu and Kakaktua. Both fills out well in their roles but doesn't really stand out. Though Kakaktua does have the potential to be a seneschal characters like in the Disney movies, Sebastian the Crab in The Little Mermad for example. Though for some reason I see him settling down in the end with Lao Lao.

As for the villian Garuda, I find him lacking in the evil laughter department, but maybe only because I believe I have an evil-er laugh. But nonetheless, I did leave the theatre wanting to bash Garuda's head in and I suppose the actor did his job well.

Merong Mahawangsa is my favourite of all, though I do find the plays simplistic depiction of this brooding General a tad shallow. There is much to be gleaned of the depths of this man. But I suppose it is fine, given the context of the play.

I guess this is mainly because I personally identify with the General and faced similar difficulties. Ha ha ha. Yes, for me too it is mind instead of heart and like as opposed to love.

But the actor carried the role well, swinging between the candid comedic moments and the stormy seriousness of the man.

I especially like the part near the end where he was trying to deny his attraction to Dewi Embun and his intention to stay with her. Alas, oftimes reality wears a different cloak than this romantic comedy.

Saving the best for last, the paragon of the play is in my humble opinion the fine depiction of Dewi Embun. Descended from Gergasi or no, she is one petite and lovely nymph. It is the fluttering eyelashes and low toned voice that reaches out into many a heart.

I must confess that Merong was not the only 'general' that would have stayed behind with her that day. If I had not had another appointment after the performance, there would be a duel outside in Istana Budaya's parking lot between Merong and yours truly over the ownership of a certain Dewi Embun's heart.

Or maybe there is another queen, also beatuous and fey-born who holds ownership over this general's heart?

All in all, it was a wondrous occasion. Though cut short by an appointment in Putrajaya that I forgot about. I had to rush off after the play, forgoing a chance to mingle with the cast and friends alike. Though sometimes I wonder if I deliberately forgot about the appointment so that I can rush off, and avoid another mingling and socializing with my fellow human beings.

I do tend to be quite the hermit nowadays... a recluse from many things.

Luckily the Salak Expressway was nearby and via its length did I straightly shoot into Putrajaya's fine precints.

A trivia; if it is Salak Expressway, shouldn't it be SEX? ha ha ha.

All in all a jolly fine experience, that craves soo much for a boon. That I would wish you all to go and watch this play for it is a vision that you would and will enjoy. I guarantee it, such that I shall kidnap your pet if you don't! Ha ha ha.

Adieu and adieu my friends, till the winds of fate brings us back together.


There is this little voice
that speaks eloquently
inside my head

telling me this little tale
of a heart that seeks
its counter part

a buoyant touchy feel like
whose only recourse
lies upon a touch

an empty vacant vessel
that lies in wait
for your repast.

Dr. Saeb Erakat on Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to AIPAC

Press Release
For Immediate Release

May 5th, 2009

Negotiations Affairs Department Palestine Liberation Organization

Dr. Saeb Erakat on Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to AIPAC

Chief Palestinian Negotiator Saeb Erakat today commented on Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech to AIPAC, in which Netanyahu called for a ‘fresh approach’ to peace between Palestinians and Israelis.

“Successive Israeli governments have failed to implement their obligations under existing agreements. When Netanyahu speaks of a fresh approach to peace, implementing Israel’s obligations under existing agreements is precisely the fresh approach that Palestinians and the international community expect of his government,” Dr Erakat said.

“This includes an immediate freeze on all settlement activity, particularly in and around occupied East Jerusalem, and lifting all restrictions on freedom of movement and access for Palestinians both in and out of, as well as within, the occupied Palestinian territory, including an immediate end to the siege on Gaza.”

“And Netanyahu must explicitly endorse the establishment of an independent, viable and sovereign Palestinian state, which remains the cornerstone of the two-state solution. Negotiations for their own sake, without a clearly defined end goal, are no substitute for a just and lasting peace.”

“A commitment to past agreements, and implementation of Israel’s existing obligations, will create the environment needed to rebuild the legitimacy and credibility of the peace process, and send a message that the Palestinians have a partner for peace.”

Dr Erakat said that economic prosperity for Palestinians rested on Israel ending its occupation.

“Economic development is a right to which Palestinians are entitled, but which they have been denied as a result of Israel’s occupation,” Dr Erakat said.

“Israel’s regime of checkpoints, road blocks, permits, settlements and the construction of Israel’s Wall, which fragment the occupied Palestinian territory into isolated cantons and strangle all freedom of movement for goods and people, remains the major obstacle to economic development for Palestinians.”

“Without a political settlement, meaning an end to Israel’s occupation and the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian state, talk of economic peace will be seen for what it is, namely an attempt to normalize and better manage the occupation.”

The MOON -- Ellyne

effortless you shine
mysterious majestic
complimenting night

The WIND -- Meemaa

soft subtle sly spry,
breathing blowing caressing,
absent yet there still.

Buat Ulangtahun Ke-Enam Azleena & Suami

Bagai merpati sireh dan pinang
Dua sejoli terbang ke hulu
Allah berkati umur yang panjang
murah rezeki ke anak cucu.

Dua sejoli terbang ke hulu
singgah sarapan di pohon sena
hingga kini darilah dulu
ke masa depan aman bahgia.

Singgah sarapan di pohon sena
buat santapan unggas rimba
Kata ucapan dari hamba
seorang kawan tumpang gembira.
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