Category Archives: Babbling

On why …

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A Mursi man of Omo Valley lead the way towards his pack 

On why we did what we did.

On why money and fame weaken loyalty.

On why from familiar turned stranger.

On why chose freedom.

On why sacrificing a newly gained freedom for another betrayer.

On why … when all that a heart needs is just a moment of peace between self and the Creator.

Just why …

 

Cheers,

MM

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Beautiful lie

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Jugra Hill, Selangor, Malaysia: Paraglider TO base. The view before the storm strike

This year is going to be my third year flying and photographing Malaysian paramotor (ppg) pilots, with JanjiFly Aviation Club Malaysia. 2 solid years of experiencing the joy of flying and hovering around Malaysia’s airspace with our wings. Traveling with our gliders …
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SSP Cyberjaya, Malaysia: A view down from my paramotor ride

Yeah … I realized that here in Malaysia, this sport is still dominated by men, unlike paragliding. The heavy engine, the tendency for the engine to create drama and the expensive cost of this sport are probably the major hindrance for just any woman to adopt this hobby.

Me … I have my camera and we go everywhere. No boundaries …

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SSP Cyberjaya, Malaysia: A fishing trip up there on the cloud

How do I see all this? Well, I have the ‘explorer’ character in me that had been there for as long as I can remember. Being able to constantly fly with them allow me to explore and experience moments that are different from the ordinary.

Was it easy? Doing all this in my ‘conservative and judgemental’ Malay society? Nope … it has never been easy since my day one. My poyoness aka numbness attitude saved me from all those nasty words thrown at me lol. It has never been easy to be different.

Sharing another unexpected moment while flying at SSP Cyberjaya with beautiful morning light at zero wind and the subject was perfectly fit in. And we have a

And we have a ‘fishing trip with friends in the cloud’ moment.

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SSP Cyberjaya, Malaysia: Beautiful reflection

Photos were taken from my paramotor tandem ride at SSP Cyberjaya, Malaysia with my 70-200mm f/4 lens. For a moment like this, my advice is …be extra cautious with your camera shutter speed.
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SSP Cyberjaya, Malaysia: Beautiful lie

Gotta run …. bye

 

Cheers,

MM

 

ps:

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
~Lord Byron

 

 


The first The sweetest

Scanned Documents

Am working towards moving my lazy ass to create more this year.

This is a snap photo of my first write-up as a writer contributor to a column in Life & Times of our local newspaper NST. And yes … the first time is always the sweetest.

Am putting here as my self-reference, I have the tendency to overcrowd my working table and losing all those paper clips by the end of the year. I need to kill that “I couldn’t be bothered attitude” … grrrr

Hopefully, this will be a good start to my writing experience. I’ll write and publish my own book one day. I dunno yet what type of book that I am gonna have … maybe it’ll be just a fancy coffee book that people would flip through and wonder about life.

Whatever it is … it is just feel good to have a dream, any dream would do … right?  It keeps you moving.

 

Cheerios!

MM

 

ps – QS AR-Rahman 55: 29-30

“Sekalian makhluk yang ada di langit dan di bumi sentiasa berhajat dan memohon kepadaNya. Tiap-tiap masa Ia di dalam urusan (mencipta dan mentadbirkan makhluk-makhlukNya)!

Maka yang mana satu di antara nikmat-nikmat Tuhan kamu, yang kamu hendak dustakan?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Same Old Same Old

 

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Class 6 of Sri Pintar Subang Jaya for the year of 2016

I always reserved a day of my time in October and a day in November each year for a group of children from Sri Pintar Subang Jaya school’s class photo and their convocation day.

It was a nice feeling of seeing the same group of children growing a year older each year.

The ‘same old same old’ moment with a reality that life moves on regardless of how sweet or bitter the ‘same old same old moment’ was at that particular time.

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Children of SRIP Subang Jaya 

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Children of SRIP Subang Jaya 

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A little angel sitting beside me during the event

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Another little angel trying to steal my attention

The idea of death being interlinked with photography caught my attention too. Most of us viewed photography as a method of freezing or capturing a moment in life but few of us regarded photography as the death of a moment.

The death of a moment captured and instilled into a photograph.

I am now … recuperating from hmmm whatever that bothering my life, here at my mom’s home. Sleeping … eating and enjoying the rain before going back to my nest again soon.

Bye

Cheers

MM

 

 

 


Wandering Soul

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Sulaiman: Danau Tarusan Kamang, Agam, Sumatera, Indonesia

New places always excite me.

I could spend hours just wandering and observing my surrounding for something to learn from or just something to look at. Sharing 5 of my favorite portraits that whenever I look at it … I felt like packing my bag and start wandering on the street again.

Pic above: Sulaiman, our local talent posing for me with his fish cages. Danau Tarusan Kamang is a natural pond that seemed to have a mind of its own mind. It dried up and swelled up with water according to God knows whatever rules … I think it has something to do with its underground geographical structure.

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Mr Freedom: Bukit Tinggi, Sumatera, Indonesia

Pic above: Mr Freedom showing off his ‘freedom’ … tattooed hard on his chest. What a coincident since freedom is my all time favorite words lol.

Meeting strangers from all part of life while wandering around is an eye opening. I learned to listen well too. Stories about their day-to-day life which is most of the time would be an opposite story from mine.

Engaging a simple and sincere chat with strangers on the street came naturally to me too… I like it. And, I think that it would be rude for you to just showed up from nowhere and suddenly just click on your camera on somebody’s face.

Have some respect … kot.

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A woman from Karo Tribe: Omo Valley, Ethiopia

Pic above: My lady from Karo tribe of Omo Valley, Ethiopia posed with my colorful shawl. We were curious about each other lol.

I smiled whenever I saw this photo. She probably has never seen a shawl as colorful as mine in her life (Malaysian women wear colorful clothing at every chance that we have and we have a whole bundle of choices to choose from hu hu hu).  And, I envied her beads collection.

So, she wanted my colorful shawl for an exchange with her photos and I ended up having a series of her photos looking satisfied with our deal ;-P .

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Omak/ Mother: Bukit Tinggi, Sumatera, Indonesia

And, I personally think that it would be more satisfying to have some sort of connection with your subject. Especially when I am taking portraiture or faces on the street, I want to have meaning to a face that I would probably keep for a very long time in my external HDD.

Pic above: A loving mother that I met while wandering at one of the morning markets at Bukit Tinggi, Sumatera, Indonesia. We had a loving chat together … talking about her children and how lucky she was to be surrounded by her loved ones.

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Chacha: Northern Pakistan

And lastly, the chacha (uncle) that we met at one of our stops on our way to Skardu, Northern Pakistan. Strangers in this part of the world are rare. I never expected that we would be treated warmly.  it is true then … “There are no strangers here; only friends you haven’t yet met”. (pls ignore the salt bottle on the table … lol)

I am feeling grateful … for the soul that decided to leave me, the soul that wander together hand-in-hand with me and the newly discovered soul that decided to stay … the best word to express my gratitude is alhamdullilah.

Bye for now.

Cheers,

MM

 

 

 

 


Leaving the Nest

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The little butterfly and its previous home

I was watering my garden last week … honestly not sure if I should label my 5 potted plants as a garden … I am a self-proclaimed minimalist, having more than 10 plants at my home would disqualify me from my minimalist self-titled hu hu hu … I shall think so (an excuse to remain as lazy as possible).

Okay … back to my story. I was watering my plants last week when I noticed a newly ‘born’ butterfly … she (I prefered to call it she because it was beautiful) just came out from her cocoon. She was drying her wings and strengthen her limbs preparing for her first take-off.

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Mesmerizing beauty

I used to shot macro. Quit doing it and focusing more on traveling and flying instead but … I am a moment photographer … I could just revert back to any photography genre just to capture moments, right?

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Drying her wings by flapping it slowly

I shoot this with my 105mm Nikkor f2.8 lens. I love that lens … the color and the bokeh that came out from this lens is dreamy. Photos were taken handheld … moments like this could pass by in split seconds and you need to be quick with you camera.

Looking at this little missy makes me wonder about my own life too. When the nest is finally empty … the one who left behind in the nest would either feel delusionally lost or probably decided to move on to the next nest.

Figured that … what makes a beautiful nest, is not the nest itself but the butterfly. Deep … 🙂 and  I want to be that butterfly.

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Little missy being impatient watching me

And at last after not more than 10 shots … my beautiful model decided to take-off and explore her new world. Leaving me behind … thinking that I should sharpen up my macro skill lol.

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Little missy showing off her new wings

Beautiful moments, only if you choose to open your eyes and decide on ‘seeing’ ….alhamdullilah.

Bye for now,

Cheers.

MM

ps- “The journey.” ~ by Rumi

Come, seek,

for seeking is the foundation of fortune:
every success depends upon focusing the heart.
Unconcerned with the business of the world,
keep saying with all your soul, “Ku, ku,” like the dove…

Even though you’re not equipped,
keep searching…

Whoever you see engaged in search,
become her friend and cast your head in front of her,
for choosing to be a neighbor of seekers,
you become one yourself…

Day and night you are a traveler in a ship.
You are under the protection of a life-giving spirit…

Step aboard the ship and set sail,
like the soul going towards the soul’s Beloved.
Without hands or feet, travel toward Timelessness
just as spirits flee from non-existence.

…By God, don’t linger
in any spiritual benefit you have gained,
but yearn for more like one suffering from illness
whose thirst for water is never quenched…

Leave the seat of honor behind:
the Journey is your seat of honor.


Lesson of Acceptance

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Quran teaching at Jami Masjid, Agra, India

I stumbled upon this particular poem of Maulana Jalaluddin Rumi’s while I was struggling to understand the existing and the departing of certain people around me. Sharing it here with y’alls.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

~ Rumi
We are bombarded with all kind of emotions or thought daily … at least I am. A good reminder to a stray soul like mine … beautifully written indeed.
As I strolled through my photo collections, I felt like sharing these photos of a very patient Quran teacher that I saw at Jami Masjid, Agra, India. Why did I thought that he was a patient teacher?
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A humble place to learn to read the beautiful Quran

I was  watching him while he was teaching.
His voice was calm and soft towards his student. And … my friends and I … strangers with cameras clicking around him doesn’t annoyed him at all.
I was comparing this situation back home in Malaysia whereby …certain people, especially those who has certain level of religious knowledge more than the average, would easily get agitated with strangers ( I am being carefully polite here).
But … yeah, I might be wrong though.
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Another shoot from above. A nice warm feeling whenever I looked at this photo

It’s hot and hazy here in Kuala Lumpur. Feels like staying indoor 24×7.

A good reason to start preparing myself for my next gateway. Emptying my expectation and straightening my judgemental mind. A blank canvas could be a canvas full of possibilities … right?

Bye

Cheers

MM

 

p.s – Learning to be at peace with myself. Oh Allah … please be gentle with me and never leave me alone unattended by You. Indeed oh Allah … You are the best Protector and the best Helpers

 

 


Shadow and Storytelling

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Wayang Kulit Kelantan

 

I am in a very productive and ambitious mood this few days ;-P and I am not very sure on how long will it last hu hu hu. I did an extensive housekeeping and re-organisation on all my external HDs … yeay! for me. I edited some of my old and forgotten image folders.

Sharing with y’alls my Wayang Kulit Kelantan aka Traditional Shadow Puppet show images from a few months back. I wanted to explore more on my local culture this year, so I signed up for any cultural performance or any local art gallery around town.

Uncle google has the detail explanation on what is Wayang Kulit Kelantan or Traditional Kelantanese Shadow Puppet show. My late father never failed to remind the ‘rebel’ me that I am a Kelantanese. He would force me to watch and listen to Mak Yong (traditional Kelantanese dance) and wayang kulit. So, watching this group of street Wayang Kulit performers performing the shadow play at Jalan Pudu, Kuala Lumpur recently, did bring back the sweet memories of my childhood.

 

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Back stage preparation before the show begin

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The show is accompanied by a group of traditional musician playing gongs, barrel drums, cymbals and flutes. 

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The puppet master is called Tok Dalang

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The story was mostly about an ancient epic story from India called Ramayana

Well … my D800 never failed to impress me. In such a low light … I managed to capture the ambience moment behind the stage. I was telling my photographer friend about the stages that we had been through during our photography journey.

I started with just clicking my camera on auto mode. Then I move up further by capturing high key images on manual and aperture mode. At that time, every image should look bright and clear, as bright as possible. Dark and shadow was a no … no. Then, I was crazy about IR images (infra red) … playing on contra and false/ fantasy colours. And …. now I am all crazy about dark, shadow, chiaroscuro, emotion and all those fine art things … a continuous learning process.

bla … bla … bla … babbling. Gotta run now … I need to edit another old image folder of Kuda Kepang dance that I took last year and some more old folders before my next trip.

Bye for now,

Cheers

MM

 


Perfectionist vs Rightist

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Tools vs Photographer

“People call me a perfectionist, but I’m not. I’m a rightist. I do something until it’s right, and then I move on to the next thing” ~ James Cameron

I kinda like this quote … and yes, I am a rightist for sure 🙂 .  An attempt to explain my super slow reaction on each job that require my thinking hat. Yeah … and I am blunt if I didn’t have my thinking hat on.

Alamak! (oh my!) … and I have not posted any new entry since November 2015, which was last year. Last year sounds like a long months ago. Happy New Year 2016 to all my readers and to my followers (small group of followers coz I am too shy to market myself lol), thank you for putting that extra effort to follow my writing aka babbling. I feel honored … thank you.

I fulfilled at least 1/3 of my last year 2015 New Year resolution (… I shall think so 🙂 ). And … I don’t have any new additional resolution for 2016. Thinking of not having any new year resolution this year … maybe I will let my options stay open and just follow my heart.

What was I doing in the past few months that kept me locked up in my own cave? I wonder too or must be that laziness syndrome again … I need to write often as the more I write … the more I read.

I settled down (not so peacefully) in my new home in mid November, traveled to Nepal in early December, flew around Cyberjaya and Kundang air space with my paramotor buddies during my free weekends, traveled to Krabi, Thailand via train/ van in early this month and now I am packing up my gears again for my next weekend gateway to Pedu Lake, Kedah, Malaysia.

My Nepal trip was very different and interesting at the same time. Giving me the urges to keep on coming back to Nepal. I will share more about my Nepal trip once I am properly settled with my new office and my new studio. Yes … I am having my own creative space now … uhh and am super nervous and excited about this too.

Sharing with y’all my moment with my new friend Nima that I met on my way back from Pokhara to Kathmandu, Nepal. Saw him at one of the street side coffee shop on our tea break and I decided to approach him for a quick street shoot. His beautiful “sad look” caught my eyes … and he had a cultural shocked too (I bet!), seeing a daring blunt woman wanting to photograph him lol.

The thing that I love about street photography is … meeting up with beautiful strangers on the street. Beauty is very subjective though. Beauty in my eyes will not necessarily a joy to your eyes.

I am so hooked up with faces now a days. Maybe this is just a phase …

Bye now

Cheers

MM

p/s:  …. blank

 

 


The color of Kindness

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India 2015: “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.”

It has been awhile since my last post here. So many things happened during that period of time … smacked down moments that make the happy go lucky me went silent without words …  my ‘maturity’ lesson, I called it.

Or maybe a trade-off for my current lifestyle that I am having now. In order for me to enjoy my “jiwa MERDEKA” or “free spirited” life … I have to experience these emotional confusion about responsibility, accountability, loyalty, trust, love, friendship, religion (as what PEOPLE imposed me on believing) and death.  More you get of X, less you get of Y.

Accepting and understanding death is the hardest for me. Loosing someone who is close to you through death does not feel the same as loosing him/ her through a devastating broken relationship. But well … life continuously goes on and on … and time heals you accordingly. For arwah Abah and Paksu … al-fatihah.

What really helped during those confusing moments? … the act of kindness by people closed to me and by those unexpected strangers in my life … helps to ease up my confusion and at the same time giving me hope and space … so that I would rise up better than before. Alhamdullilah and thank you …

If I rant further more … then this post will ended up as philosophical as Sigmund Feud thesis paper on understanding human psychology.

"We rise by lifting others." -

India  2015: “We rise by lifting others.”

The truth is … I am craving for my solitude and silence more than ever now.

With this thunder inside me now … if I continue forcing myself out, words spoken or written surely would sound more defensive and hostile. The hidden drama queen in me would probably go berserk  😉 … but ‘I am no hero and I’m not made of stone.

Looking at photos has a temporary tranquility effect on me … my all-natural tranquilizer. Sharing some human interest portraits from my recent India trip with my readers here. Images are mostly in monochrome, if you want to view in color then you can check-out my flickr account.

I need a lullaby to keep me going while preparing my today’s post. I am singing my heart out with my karaoke version of  “Until it Sleeps” by Metallica. Let’s sing along together with me … 1… 2 … 3 😉

Note: click the video below so that you can continue reading while listening to the song as your background music

"A warm smile is the universe

India 2015: “A warm smile is the universal language of kindness.”

Where do I take this pain of mine?
I run, but it stays right by my side

So tear me open, pour me out
There’s things inside that scream and shout
And the pain still hates me
So hold me until it sleeps

"Respect is a two-way street, if you want it you have to give it." - R.G. Risch

India 2015: What is the color of kindness?

Just like the curse, just like the stray
You feed it once and now it stays
Now it stays

They said PINK is the color of kindness

India 2015: They said PINK is the color of kindness

So tear me open but beware
There’s things inside without a care
And the dirt still stains me
So wash me until I’m clean

It grips you, so hold me
It stains you, so hold me
It hates you, so hold me
It holds you, so hold me
Until it sleeps

Kindness

India 2015: And, he has the color of kindness neatly tucked on his shoulder

So tell me why you’ve chosen me
Don’t want your grip
Don’t want your greed
Don’t want it

kindness

India 2015: “My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” ~ Dalai Lama

I’ll tear me open, make you gone
No more can you hurt anyone
And the fear still shakes me
So hold me until it sleeps

kindness

India 2015: “The kindest word in all the world is the unkind word, unsaid”

It grips you, so hold me
It stains you, so hold me
It hates you, so hold me
It holds you, holds you, holds you
Until it sleeps

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India 2015: “Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns”

I don’t want it … no … no … no

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India 2015: “To be happy, we must not be too concerned with others”

So tear me open but beware
There’s things inside without a care
And the dirt still stains me
So wash me… till clean

India 2015: “In the end … only kindness matter”

I’ll tear me open, make you gone
No longer will you hurt anyone
And the hate still shapes me

So hold me until it sleeps

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“What is a rebel? A man who says NO” … so hold me until I SLEEP 🙂

I am signing off right now … and continue taking my recovery sleep. When I finally decide to wake up … I will strike harder and better than before … In Sha Allah. Till then … 🙂

Cheers

MM

 

 

p/s Ramadhan Mubarak to all my muslim readers … and we are moving nearer to the last 10 days of Ramadhan. The most blessed days in the blessed month of Ramadhan are the last 10 days of Ramadhan. May Allah grant all of us strength and will to make the remaining days of Ramadhan work to our advantage … ameen.

 

 


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