A week into Malaysian MCO 2.0 (started 13 Jan) and seeing C19 cases in Selangor at its record high, close to 1,500 cases per day while total C19 cases for the whole country had reached its highest so far at 4,029 cases per day (today is at 3,631 cases). I am not sure how would our battle against this pandemic ended, will we win or will most of us succumbed to it.
I lost one of my travel friend mid last month.
She had a brain tumour. It was sudden. The last time I met her was in March last year when we were at Mulu, Sarawak. We tried to climb the rigorous Mulu Pinnacles together. She looked and sounded healthy to me at that time. We even planned to climb Mt. Kinabalu in October but we cancelled the plan due to the pandemic. I saw the sad news on her Facebook timeline. I heard that she was hospitalised in late October but she was super quiet about it. No one in my circle seemed to know anything about her condition until we heard about the bad news. Maybe she didn’t expect that the tumour would be that bad.
A good friend of mine had a major heart attack this week.
He was with another group of friend at the time when he was struck. Lucky enough one of them performed CPR on him until the help came. He is a fighter and I pray for his recovery, Allah will ease his recovery. We are not only battling the virus but also the mental madness that came along with it.
The mental stress. The paranoia. The call from the bank. The shrinking saving account. The fear. It is all real! What can we learn?
Bad things happen
How you respond to them
Be prepared for anything
Routine is helpful
A constant reminder of how short life is. When your time come, you can’t delay it even for a second. Will I be ready to let go of my last breath in peace?
The more reason that I want to experience ‘life’ to its fullest.
Fallen sick during the Covid-19 lockdown (MCO) was not an easy experience at all.
You’ll be treated as guilty with the virus until proven innocent. Especially when the symptoms relate to anything with sore throat or flu, regardless of whatever explanation that you have.
On 15.04.2020, I was unlucky as I developed an allergy reaction to “something” that I could not figure out at that time. The symptom was a sore throat. It started as a slight irritation in my throat for a few days but turned into a sore throat.
Since a sore throat was one of the SIN signs of Covid-19 infection, I was scared that I could be wrongly diagnosed if I seek help so I left it untreated. It went bad to worst.
When I tried to seek preliminary treatment from the nearby clinic, the doctor chased me away like I was a filthy dirty human infected with the virus without even bother to help. One of the nurses suggested that I get treated at the nearby private hospital instead. My throat was badly swollen to the point that I could not drink or eat at all for 2 whole days.
I am glad that I have a good health insurance. So, I have the luxury to check-in to the nearest private hospital. I seldom fall sick, alhamdullilah and a random visit to a clinic or a hospital is a rare occasion for me. Being admitted to a hospital as a suspected Covid-19 patient first rather than as an allergy patient was painfully difficult.
When the Covid-19 test came out negative then things started to get easier for my allergy to be treated. I was admitted for 6 days and treated for severe allergy due to late aka delayed treatment. Allergy to what?
The culprit is … Virgin Coconut Oil or VCO. Yes, the doctor was puzzled too.
I ‘think’ I had an allergic reaction to VCO. I took 2 tablespoons of the oil at night every alternate day for 2 weeks before the incident. And each time I took the VCO oil, it would irritate my throat for a few hours. My doctor asked me why I didn’t stop consuming the oil as soon as I felt the irritation. My answer was “I thought that the VCO is harmless, who have ever thought that the oil that has been well used for generation can create such havoc to one”.
Strange but true. I actually googled on any allergy incident after consuming raw VCO and yes, there were a few cases where people complained about throat irritation after consuming the oil.
Falling sick during lockdown (MCO) was a self-realization experience for me. I am not trying to create a “drama sangat” moment out of the incident, ok. But it is interesting to see things that randomly happened in your life from a different perspective.
“Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn’t matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough.”
Due to the MCO (movement control order), cross-state border or interstate travel was restricted. During emergency case like mine, your loved ones could not reach you on time. And being physically isolated from my family, my loved one and the people that honestly cared about me during my most fragile time makes me rethink of how lonely life could be.
For an introvert like me, I don’t see isolation as a problem but being left alone when you are terribly ill to the point that one couldn’t tend to oneself is sad.
In the end family matters the most.
I do not own many friends as I don’t easily open up to people. But among those little friend groups that I have, I am blessed with some that helped me out during my sick days. Thank you and alhamdullilah. Jazzakhallah khairaa. May Allah (SWT) return your kindness.
There is always one spoilt apple in a barrel.
The one so-called best-friend-ever that showing your true color. All the sweet words and the sweet thoughts vanished through the thin air as I passed through my fragile moment. The thought that this gutsy girl has a Covid-19 symptom therefore she has the virus (because she wanders around a lot) overrule your humanity judgment.
Yep … that BFF abandoned me when I needed help to seek treatment for my near-fatal moment. Completely “krik krik krik” moment from your side. The virus scared the “toot” out of you, you damn scared that you would lose out when you helped me. It struck me that I had made a wrong friend choice.
I forgive you … my little friend. But hear this, that train has left the station. You have shown your true color. And your true color does not match my brilliant color. I shine. Ahhhh finally I managed to let out all the words that stuck in my chest to the open –live and learn!
Do you have any unpleasant experience during the recent Movement Control Order (MCO)? Share with me …
flying around Pulau Indah, Klang with my flying buddy
Today is my birthday.
My goodness, I am nearly reaching half a century old.
Numbers building up each year but surprisingly I don’t feel old at all. Another year wiser I think. Still, I don’t feel wiser either lol.
Except for this aching pain on my shoulder that I had from a fall with my camera early this year. I have to take a long rest from my hyper active life for at least 6 months.
Treatment after treatment, I discovered that healing my muscles would take longer with age.
And the gray hairs that keep on popping out of my scalp. While the sensitive moody mood swing I kept experiencing lately is another sign that old people usually have lol.
I am glad that I am growing up just fine all these years. Except for some broken heart here and there … I am well taken care of by the Al-Mighty. Bless …
What did I do well? How did I manage to work out my life well other than the excuse of being so damn lucky and blessed by the Al-Mighty. I stumbled a few times in life but managed to stand up tall after each fall.
1. Being independent
I have a good father who taught me from a very young age on the importance of being independent despite being a girl.
My father allowed me to stand on my 2 feet and respected my decision. Being a girl is not a weakness. I was treated fairly among my 4 brothers and that gives me the confidence to carry myself along the way.
2. Good education
My father was a teacher. Education is important to him and he makes sure that his children are well educated regardless of our gender.
My curiosity helps me explore more about my surroundings and having a good education helps me to understand better. The more I understand about a puzzle the less scary I am towards the uncertainty.
I learn to evaluate risk and take my own chances. When I was young, I see education as my ticket to get out of my house and explore the world.
3. Manage your finance well
Yes, money is not everything but money can bring you everywhere. Financial planning is very important. Work hard and learn how to properly manage your finances. Save your money for the thing that you really want to do in your life.
I want to be financially independent during my golden age and I make saving as my number 1 habit. Don’t forget to buy an affordable health insurance policy when you are still young as you’ll save a lot on the lower monthly premium.
I had mine when I was 30 years old. At my age now and working as a freelancer, I am very thankful that I am well insured, as anything could just go wrong.
4. Choose to be a good person
Be a good daughter or son to your parents. Be a good father or mother to your children. Be a good lover.
Be a loyal husband or wife to your spouse. Be a good friend. Be a good girlfriend or boyfriend. Be a good member of your community.
Just be a good person because karma has a way to creep back into your life, what goes around will come around.
5. The power of strong faith in Al- Mighty
Have strong faith in Allah. Be a strong believer. He is the best planner. Trust him that everything would work out excellent according to his plan. He is indeed the most gracious and the most merciful.
Strong faith gives you strength when you are at your lowest point, gives you compassion and humanity when you are at your highest point.
حَسْبُنَا اللَّهُ وَنِعْمَ الْوَكِيلُ
Allah (Alone) is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Disposer of affairs (for us).”–Surah Al ‘Imran (3:173)
Age is just a number.
Oh God! and I need to always remind myself to keep on doing things that I love the most in life without limiting myself with my AGE. Stop listening to the uncles, aunties, makcik and pakcik bawang … who keeps on reminding me to act like my age.
Not dead yet … I am still breathing fine, Alhamdullilah.
Jom … let us continue living the best life that we could create. Keep on contributing and inspiring others.
As I age every day with my own lifestyle, doing just the thing that I want to do in my life, I struggle.
I struggle to stay honest. As honest as I could be. It’s a daily struggle.
To act honestly towards friends and people around me. To talk honestly about how I feel about things. To stay honest in my writing and my artwork and at the same time, to be honest to myself.
this is what i want to always see ~ Pedu Lake
That cringe feeling each time I crossover the honesty line is depressing.
“You’re going to come across people in your life who will say all the right words at all the right times. But in the end, it’s always their actions you should judge them by. It’s actions, not words, that matter.”
All due to peer pressure. Of wanting to be accepted by my chosen group of well-minded people, so I thought.
With maturity, staying honest with my own self is seldom a problem. Maybe because I spend most of my time with me and myself … comfortable being alone exploring life. Simple mind and less complicated life.
But new people that I stumble upon this few years are very challenging.
I wanted to try something new. Open up myself, meeting new people and work on new projects but our personality doesn’t match. A sweet talker vs a doer does not belong together, a potential of a free rider.
Sweet talkers path their own runway with words and sweet promises to climb the highest mountain but when it comes to hard work building up the runway itself, they chickened out. The burden goes to ‘do-er’.
When you are trying your best to stay honest and genuine, these people showed me the other side of the perspective. That people can be reckless with their words. That word is cheap. Words and promises are just irresponsibly splurged to built trust.
Once they gain your trust, they’ll see and treat you as their donkey.
a survivor ~ Pedu Lake
And, I decided to move on with my own way. Struggling every day to live life as a loyal, an honest and a sincere human being.
It is better to stay alone than to lose your self-value.
“And in the end all I learned was how to be strong… Alone.”
ps: … throwing words out of my congested chest, letting it all out.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
I have been putting this off for almost a year. If I want to improve my photography skill then I need to be serious about my paid job too. So, I started buying my studio equipment slowly since last year, bought my studio lights last few months (coz I couldn’t decide which one suits my pocket and my style).
I want to master studio light and take awesome B&W portraits. And, I kept on justifying all the ringgit out from my pocket for this purpose … to master light and shadow under a controlled environment and I need to have all this equipment. Dang!!
Got my favorite dark grey ash backdrop fixed and I start taking photos of my most best-loved subject … baby!. Yes. I am all geared up for my next learning experience. Learning by doing. My portfolio website is up and running at matsudamashimaru.myportfolio.com, my facebook page is done (jom follow), my spirit is highly motivated for this (am having bad flu right now) and let’s do this Matsuda.
Mastering a new skill.
If you are interested to have me capture your intimate beautiful moments with your baby, children or the whole family, please feel free to get in touch me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook or Instagram.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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 …
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 ☺️