Category Archives: Babbling

Ramadhan 1440 H/ 2019 M

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25th Ramadhan 1440

We are in the last 10 days of Ramadan. Out of the 30 days of a blessing month of Ramadan, the last 10 days is the most blessed and anticipated nights. Believers take extra effort to increase their prayers and devotions toward the Almighty during these nights.

A month of self-restraint against food, drinks, wrongful desires, bad habits, negative temptations etc.

Fasting for 30 days in Ramadan month is one of the 5 of Islamic pillars. Fasting is just 1% of the effort while the other 99% is the extra effort that believers need to perform to strengthen their bond with the Al-Mighty.

Fasting is very hard for me with this Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) that I had for almost 20 years.

With my health condition, to be able to fast during this month is a blessing.

I don’t want to miss my train. It’s my personal journey and I hope to fulfill my duty through my own pace. With a strict diet and the right amount of medications, I manage to fast without me ended up injuring myself.

Understanding that every deed of the son of Adam is for themselves except fasting; fasting is solely for Allah. Allah will reward it according to him.

Abu Hurayrah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Indeed your Lord said: ‘Every good deed is rewarded with ten of the same up to seven hundred times over, except for fasting.’

I was assigned to write about Ramadan for my photography article in the News Straits Times this time around. Ideas on what to capture with your camera during this holy month.

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having dates of odd numbers during iftar. It is a sunnah food

Ramadan Bazaar is the most visited place in Malaysia, you could find it at every corner of the town. Operating between 4pm to 7:30pm. Food heaven where you could get food for iftar in one place. Because of my strict food diet, I don’t frequent Ramadan Bazaar that much anymore.

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a food stall selling murtabak, a famous dish for iftar

I decided to skip the food part of Ramadan and focus on how to capture the spirit of Ramadan through close-up photos. A close-up photo adds intimacy or relatable feeling onto your images. Sharing my article here for reading pleasure.

60456304_1098852406967468_2524450161610981376_n How do I spend my Ramadan month this year?

I tried to discipline myself to be closer to the community of the mosque.

Tried my best to have my iftar with my family and friends at the mosque every day, sharing food in one big tray, eat together, perform our Maghrib-Isyak-Tarawih prayers together, read certain surah from the Quran together.

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sharing food during iftar

As I sit quietly at my corner observing my surrounding, I saw one big group of orphan of different ages occupying another corner of the mosque while some corners are filled with believers of different races, different level of lives, poor or rich sat together sharing whatever food served during that day.

I feel humbled. Being broken, I have this unrealistic pride I tried so hard to overcome. That feeling of pride that I should rely on my own, that I am the sole provider for my own needs. Accepting others gratitude is not something I am used too. I am trained to give but not to accept.

Accepting food from others is something that I am not comfortable with. Here I learned to let down my pride and tone down my expectation. Feeling grateful with whatever food served in front of me and not complaining.

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sharing food during iftar

Praying together as one big ummah create strong bonding between us. I personally need the motivation boost to excel during the last 10 days of Ramadan. The late-night prayers, the almsgiving aka sedaqah, trying to read as many surahs from the Quran as possible and rushing for suhoor.

Doing all these spiritual activities together within a group make it achievable. I could not do that alone, am a dreamer that would drift into my own cave if I am left alone … cruising in my own world.

The divine journey to get closer to the Al-Mighty is the essence of Ramadan. It is not easy to achieve but it sure is joyful, spiritually joyful.

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Arissa reading her Quran

A few more days before the month would end. Still feeling that I am not putting my best effort, yet the clock still continuously ticking.

Will I be able to experience another Ramadan again next year?

In Sha Allah, if Allah permits.

Cheers

MM

 

 

 

 

 


Daydreaming

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While editing this photo and listening aka daydreaming to Fynn Jamal’s song aka poem, it struck me … her song is always a sad story.  It makes me sad listening to this song of her titled “Suatu Pernah”.

Suddenly looking at this photo of a young girl modelled for us at City of Taal, Manila, Philipines recently when I was in Manila, makes me sad. Her dad was at one corner watching over her beloved daughter posing for us, the photographers.

Her pure innocent heart … looking forward at the world, expecting the world to treat her equally and fairly. Probably one day she’ll fall in love and expect to be treated maybe not as a princess but as humane as possible.

And … guess what, life is not one bed of roses.

The video clip … so sad, tiba-tiba jiwang katak … sure sebab mental belum toughen lagi. Once in awhile, buang tebiat.

Suatu Pernah

Habis sudah madah
Tak ada satu pun yang tertinggal
Setiapnya telah kau ambil dan terus engkau jual
Seolah tak pernah memakna apa
Seolah tak pernah kau inginkannya
Seolah tak pernah
Dikutipku bila sudi
Di bila tidak dibiar mati
Dan lebih menyakitkan
Ku tetap tunggu di tepi jalan
Seperti tak pernah ku ada harga
Seperti tak pernah kita bersama
Seperti tak pernah kau mahu aku
Tak pernah rindu
Tak pernah rayu
Dulu
Terlebur hancur kebal rusukku
Berkecai sepai terpecah belah
Terima kasih atas ajarmu
Cinta tak wujud
Ah tak pernah
Dan dengarkan jeritku
Jujur tak terfitnah
Kau hanya bagiku
Suatu yang pernah
Takkan ada apa
Yang mampu untuk buat kau pulang
Bila sudah tiada rasa
Bikinlah apa tetap kau terbang
Takkanku pujuk kau jangan pergi
Takkan ku minta kau fikir lagi
Takkan ku

~ Fynn Jamal

Life is a journey, not a destination.

Cheers

MM


Learning about Shadow

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#morningshadow

There is so much drama in shadow.

Appear during the absence of light. Shadows drag along a sense of mystery in any art composition including photography. The element of shadow and light in Chiaroscuro and Rembrandt lighting technique are some of the tricks that I, as a photographer has to master. I am currently learning to appreciate shadows. Trying to understand how to be more artistic with shadows.

In reality, I hate shadow.

Hate is a very strong word.

Let me rephrase my word … I don’t really favor shadow in life. I try to avoid people with shadows too. I adore transparency … simple and easy, no hidden agenda, no secret plotting. I want to live my life as simple, less shadow and as minimal as possible.

I associate shadows with hidings and secrets. It was a thrill at first trying to figure out the mystery behind the shadow. But once I figured out the game and the implication, it becomes tiring.

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#slowshuttershadow

I fall in love with his shadow … knowing that the shadow is just feeding me fairy tales all along, I choose to play his game.

A shadow doesn’t commit to anything … always hiding and trying to avoid any form of commitment. Never willing to own up anything because the shadow is never real. After a while … when lights come the shadow fades away, completely out of sight. Leaving me alone again facing the reality of life.

That is how I see shadows … untouchable, unreachable, irresponsible, commitment freak and unpredictable. Chasing shadow is tiring. It feels like you are riding on a merry-go-round, round and round with no end. Happiness never works in hiding … happiness needs transparency, sincerity and commitment.

I want to let the shadow just be the shadow. Not wanting the shadow to be my savior anymore. I could be my own savior. After all, that is what shadows do best… it stays hiding.

I would look at the shadow only from my camera viewfinder from now on. Focusing on hunting for its shape whenever light appears and figure out on how to embed its artistic shape into the canvas of my composition.

I am living my moment and always in need of good sleep. Time for a quick snooze.

Bye for now

Cheers

Matsuda Mashimaru

 


Calmer 2019

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Dong Van. Northern Vietnam.September.2019

Another new year.

Feeling obnoxious. Adding up another year to my age. 2018 was not a very productive year and the mental exhaustion sometimes makes me want to quit from being the nicer me. Maybe this is maturity.

Overthinking. Fear that something might go wrong if I choose a different path. People of my age prefer to just choose the most comfortable path. But I always have that rebellious voice aka conscious voice that I want to listen to.

It seems like maturity took a heavy toll of my childish inner self. I am still not sure how to deal with it. Give it time … maybe Allah will show me the right path.

In the meantime … life goes on.

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Kashmir. India. October.2018

Happy new year to y’all who dropped by here reading my online journal.

Resolution? Naaahhh … no new resolution for me this year. I will always do what I always do … giving my best effort in everything that I do. I am not brave nor I am strong. If pushing myself to survive is this adventurous, damn …I would do this, again and again, for a million time.

Time for bed. It’s 12:04 AM now. A new year. A new day. A new challenge. Have faith.

Bye

MM

02.01.2019

 

 

 

 

 

 


Strike of luck

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A moment when I passed through this fishing boat

What does photography teach me?

As I add more months and years to my photography experience, I learned about the role of “stroke of luck” in my artwork. Unplanned moments or shall I say accidentally moments that just hit the “jackpot” or a rewarding moment that made my day as a photographer.

It was 100% totally luck. I was in the right place at the right time with the right people.

Just that.

I always see it as a gift … a gift from the invisible hand, the Planner. Each time I came across such moment I feel grateful and contended.

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A moment when I passed over a pond filled with wild buffaloes

So each time when I am sad and feeling unlucky … I would scroll down and browse through my lucky moments. Telling myself … for each moment that I am at lost, I would experience more lucky moments as a reward for my perseverance and my patience.

I take photography personally. Most of the time I captured my own moment … moments that related to me. A way for me to learn and understand about life. To calm my soul when things don’t work accordingly, as the Planner always has a better plan for me. I just need to trust Him.

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A sunset moment when the golden light decided to be generous

“Art depends on luck and talent”

Whenever you came across that lucky moment, you need the talent to be able to recognize such moment and you need the technical skill to decide on what and how to properly frame it. How do you do it?

Practice makes perfect.

Sleep deprived. Need to doze off. Bye …

Cheers

MM

ps: TEDx Talks about  Mastering Change by Michael Yamashita.

 


Eid Fitr Mubarak 1439H/ 2018M

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Now I understand the reason why writing will always make me feels good. I always wonder why does it feel good to pour your thought out for others to discover?

It is an opportunity to be heard and it feels good to be heard.

And the soul-nourishing month of Ramadhan has ended while the joyful Syawal has begun. It’s interesting to observe how people around you interpreted their belief system. Am not talking about the belief system between different religions but I am more concern about the different interpretation of the same belief system.

Islam is just one belief, one teaching and one God … don’t add yourself as another interpretation of other arrogant God.

If you believe that a religion is beautiful then your interpretation of that religion should be that beautiful too. If the teaching of a beautiful religion is to worship the Al-Mighty while at the same time to look for the best in human (as we humans are created as an equal Khalifah on this earth), to bring out the best in human-being and to unite people of various races in the world … stick with that teaching and please interpret this beautiful religion rightfully.

I felt frustrated with the arrogant believer that think that they are better off in front of Allah just because they have better religion knowledge (they believe so) than the rest. If you think that you have more knowledge than others please SHARE in a well-manner more civilize way. Not through a barbaric way as we are now living in an informative and intelligent era. Everybody has their own limitations and challenges … the sincerity of the heart matter the most; the HEART MATTER …

Sorry for the long ranting … I got distracted by the MAN who thinks that part of his leg is already firmly planted on Allah’s Heaven. Well … the more I see the more I want to ask why? And, a woman who always asks WHY is a nuisance for such MAN MADE FOR HEAVEN (so he think so).

Sharing my thought and my latest article in NST about how to capture the spirit of Hari Raya (eid) from a photographer’s point of view aka my point of view.

Eid Mubarak to all my readers.

Cheers,

MM

ps- The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The believer is friendly and befriended, for there is no goodness in one who is neither friendly nor befriended. The best of people are those who are most beneficial to people.”

Source: al-Mu’jam al-Awsaṭ 5937


new tool for my art

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Tengku Tengah Zaharah Mosque, Kuala Ibai, KT/ XT2 16-55mm f/2.8

Bought XT2 Fujifilm camera before my trip to NZ last few months and I paired it with a 16-55mm f/2.8 Fuji lens. My shoulder is not that strong anymore and I don’t consider carrying 2 DSLRs while traveling is traveling ‘light’.

I hope that I made the right choice as migrating into a new camera system is expensive … at least for a freelancer like me.

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Horses at Kuala Ibai, Kuala Terengganu/ XT2

Last month Fujifilm Malaysia organized a trip to Kuala Terengganu and I tagged along with the other 100 over Fujifilm camera users, gathered together to capture the essence of Kuala Terengganu. A very interesting trip and it was an opportunity for me to learn more about this new tool in my hand. So, I took a few photos of the event and share it here.

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Batu Rakit beach, Kuala Terengganu/ XT2

Bought my D810 way back in 2014 and it was at her own ‘class’ during her time. And technology has changed a lot since then. Cameras are getting lighter, user-friendlier and super fast nowadays … I feel old and left behind with my old D810/ D800E. But quality wise, my images in my old camera is still superior compared to XT2 though 😆 … sour grape!

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Young warriors/ XT2

After using this XT2 for over 3 months now, I kinda like this small camera. Small yet a very powerful tool. The XT2 camera ergonomic feels just right in my small hand. The lens is superb too and the price is still within my budget (to be honest , I don’t prefer spending my money on gadgets … I prefer spending it on my traveling instead)

This investment would last me for a few years, so I keep telling myself each time I decided to add more Fuji compliance gadget to my collection. And, with all the technology advantage embedded into this new camera … it’ll help me focus on the only one important thing which is my CREATIVITY.

I compiled more photos during this Fujifilm X trip in my Matsuda’s Zenfolio. Please check it out here but it is still not complete yet as I take time looking at my photos and decide what should I do with it … yes! not a pro yet in organizing 😂😂

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Pak Ali kite maker of Terengganu/ XT2

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My new tool XT2 Fujifilm with 16-55mm f/2.8

Gotta run … bye.

Cheers,

MM

ps: … saving my money to get myself the new Nikon D850.


Blessed Malaysia

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Blessed again. After 15 years with doomed leaders. The last 5 years was the worst, watching the news and listening to the political dramas for almost every day was heart-wrenching … cringing without being able to do or say anything, helpless.

The air suddenly feels pure again. The morning light today looks beautiful than usual. Alhamdullilah.

Our beloved father of Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir is back again in the office. Looking physically old and fragile (at 93 years old) but the smart mind and the sharp tongue is still there … as intelligent as ever.

May Allah bless you and grant you with years of life in good health and always under his protection 24×7. May Allah bless Malaysian too … witnessing fellow Malaysian from every age group casting their votes, waiting patiently for 48 hours to see the outcome of our struggles and our prayers … a proud moment to be Malaysian. We were united as 1 Malaysia regardless of race, religion and belief system. Bliss …

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voting is a responsibility

Time for us to rebuild our tarnished nation. I don’t mind working hard for a country that gives me the freedom to be the best of US … not milking or enslaving us RAKYAT for the sake of a greedy self-interest leader. Enough ranting … time for work!

Welcome back Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad … I love you ☺️

Cheers

MM


Another year

 

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Bonding time with Rocky from Dhaka

 

2018.01.18: Time for revisiting my 2017 resolutions and evaluate my yearly self-achievement. What have I done in 2017? Have I achieved all 3 of my 2017 Resolutions? My 2017 resolution is here in this previous post.

  • Kiasu ‘win’ attitudeyes! I signed up and participated in some competitions but no sign of winning yet, but at least I am out of my comfort zone.
  • Travel backpackyes! to Mongolia 
  • More create timeyes! thanks to NST 

I think I need new resolutions for 2018, realistic resolutions just like last year, to keep me moving forward. Ok … my 3 resolutions for 2018 are:

 

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Light and shadow

 

I want to have a constant income from this hobby of mine, to be able to support my hyperactive wandering activity. So that one sweet day … I could be a full-time nomad, living just anywhere but I still earn a decent income from working while wandering. So, what should I do this year? Hmmm, puzzle …

This year I aged another year … women at my age, another year of aging is horrifying lol. But everything aged, even my old cat Chicken would turn 13 this March. I want to age gracefully … I want a healthy lifestyle in 2018. Cutting down on sugar and meat. Eating only healthy home food … maybe I should stop eating at that mamak restaurant. Hmmm, puzzle again.

More meaningful wandering aka traveling. I don’t want to follow the crowds … I want to follow ME. I want to wander and explore because the selfish me want to, not because everybody is going to Iceland then suddenly I have to go to Iceland, no way … I would go to Iceland because I want to go to Iceland lol … okay, puzzle again and again. Mental …

 

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A yak and a great sky in Lhasa, Tibet

 

I’ll write about my visit to Gandruk, Nepal last-last year on my next post lol … I need to see mountains and smell the cleanly filtered foresty air badly before I turn insane.

Ok lah … lemme get my beauty sleep in that rabbit hole of mine. Bye for now …

Yezza cheers!

MM

 

 

 


Quiet Sense

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People are often so busy living that never stop to wonder why ~ Terry Pratcett

Rushing life throughout my given 24 hours a day doing chores (yes … I call it chores) felt heavy on my soul. My mind is always occupied with the idea of being busy but at the end of my 24 hours, I realized that there is not much accomplishment that I could be proud of.

I want to have a full control of my busyness. So that I have more excess time to do things that I love … things that I want to do, not others expect me to do. Time flies. Juggling my responsibility and my dream, I felt that 2017 has been a heavy year for me.

And, I am wishing for a flamboyant 2018 … so, I started by setting up my new year resolution and planning earlier than usual. Spelling out clearly on priorities that I want to accomplish in 1- 2 years time.

Filling up details of my 2018 planning in my Evernote app with rational resolution In Sha Allah. More traveling, exploring, writing, reading, creating, crafting, daydreaming … more me time. Am off to bed now … will write more in a few days.

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“The quiet sense of something lost”

Cheers

MM

ps- letting go of his hand … you weren’t even mine in the first place


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