Saturday, January 19, 2019


After feeling left out, the unpopular kid in school for so long reading people discussing about shows they watched on Netflix, I surrendered to the temptation of consumerism and subscribed to the service.

One of the first shows I watched is of course, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo. There are so many polarizing sentiments about her, but I like this one insight about the KonMari method: she's giving you permission to let go.

I know a few hoarders in my life, I've always wonder what makes them so hard to throw stuffs away. Perhaps permission is one of the things lacking.

I like how Marie tells us to say thank you to the stuffs you are letting go. I never had any problem throwing stuffs before, but this mindful way of separating with your belongings is something new. Whenever I do any cleaning, it is almost guaranteed that I'd throw away multiple bags of stuffs. (I guess that's what happened to my teenage diaries. A past Fadzlin on a cleaning mission decided written proofs of teenage angst were too embarrassing to keep).

But now, rather than feeling sad of separating with my stuffs, I feel sad at the amount of waste I'm creating. The earth is not large enough for all the rubbish humankind create, and it is also the Muslim girl in me who doesn't want to be a friend of shaiton.

I guess the solution is to live a minimalist lifestyle. Although I don't know if I'm ready for the kind of image change where I'm wearing only a few outfits repeatedly, it is something that I can try?

Thursday, January 03, 2019

Separuh Aku

Semalam, di group WhatsApp keluarga Kamil yang aku hanyalah pembaca diam, pakcik dan makcikku bernostalgia mengenai zaman kanak-kanak mereka, antaranya perihal dibuli jiran sekitar kampung. Pak Jo, satu-satunya adik kandung lelaki arwah Ayah bercerita tentang dia diugut akan dilaporkan kepada polis Singapura, dan mengadu kepada Ayah. Ayah, yang dipanggil Abang Don oleh adik-adik ketawa dan berkata, mana polis Singapura ada kuasa di sini.

(Abang Don kemudiannya berkahwin dengan anak polis Singapura)

Aku, teruja dengan memori pakcik dan makcikku ini, meminta mereka menceritakan lagi mengenai Ayah.

Semua pemahamanku mengenai Ayah adalah dari sumber sekunder. Dari cerita-cerita Mama, Mak Ina, Achik, Pak Busu dan kini pakcik-makcik ku. Susuk tubuh Ayah itu terdiri dari;

Kepala; yang tidak tinggi, apabila berjalan kaki ke masjid untuk sembahyang raya hilang ditelan jalan berbukit

Muka; yang manis bermisai, selalu senyum dan berjenaka mengenakan adik-adik, namun suka juga merajuk

Bahu; yang mengeluarkan kudrat mengerjakan kebun Atok Kamil, tidak pernah lupa untuk balik semasa cuti semester dari UKM untuk membantu berkebun

Tangan; yang pandai memetik gitar, dengan lagu-lagu Elvis Presley

Kaki; yang mengayuh basikal menghantar orang-orang kampung ke mana-mana mereka mahu pergi

ya Allah, peliharalah susuk tubuh Ayahku ini. Jauhkanlah ia dari azab kubur dan api neraka, dan suatu hari nanti, Kau temukanlah kami berdua akhirnya di syurga.

Monday, December 31, 2018


I don't know whether this is a sign of a sick heart, but I can't find my heart moving hearing sermons. I have so many excuses, and I don't know if these are also signs of a sick heart - the preachers are too loud, they are too judging, the topics are always the same..

I don't know if I've strayed too much, I can't find a connection with people loudly claiming to fight for the religion. I find them too judging, too harsh. Perhaps it says too much about my heart that I am even judging them like this.

If it wasn't for some scholars who preach for the same tolerant sentiment as my heart agrees to I would definitely believe that I've strayed too far from the path.

Oh Allah please have mercy on me. I am having a crisis from being surrounded by contradictions. I want to be closer, I want my heart to be softer, but I find it hardening even more reading up harsh posts by people of the faith even in light of tragedies.

Lately I've been remembering the story told by Sh Hamza Yusuf, of a Muslim flight attendant who had to serve liquor, but she used her left hand - trying her best to adhere/defy.

This remembrance is brought up because, after a long moment of feeling far away, I was almost moved to tears listening to a song, which was composed by a singer before his 'hijrah'. The song, pleading mercy from The Most Loving, for humankind who are in desperate need of a guidance back to the straight path.

Feeling desperately a sinner for feeling far away, I relate so much to the song. Even when I am sinful, especially when I'm sinful, I am desperately in need of His mercy. What does it say about my heart when I am moved more by a song than a sermon?

I don't know.

Thursday, December 20, 2018


ku cari pedulimu di gumpalan awan
sosok putih memantul sinar,
memberi bayangan tentang kesudianmu
berusaha keras demi kerja ini.

engkau lebih senang ditiup angin,
menyerap kelembapan yang memberatkan,
membawa kemendungan dan kegelapan
yang akhirnya runtuh
membasahkan halaman.

perlu menjadi guruh
dan halilintar
mematahkan deraimu,
memaksakan siapmu
sambil tertanya,
adakah pelangi dihujung jalan?

Friday, December 14, 2018

A Wall

The world is always a challenge when you're a youth, but lately I feel that things are a bit harder for them.

I remember being 17, 18, 19, ... 22 all the years of being foolish, hormonal, out of place, unprepared. The days of questioning your feelings, feeling unfit in your own clothes. Luckily for me, the days of feeling unsettled were rare... and I had a great support system (here's a shout to Mak Ina & Achik. only Allah can ever repay).

Now that I am teaching the youths, I feel unprepared still. This time of not knowing how to support them, especially emotionally. I know firsthand how devastating emotions can be.

Yesterday was my last class with a group of students, that I am also an Academic Advisor of. I have to admit, now that I've been teaching for five years, it is harder for me to remember names and faces. I always feel guilty because of this, especially because these students are supposed to be my 'children'. I feel that I haven't done enough for them, didn't connect as much. I am not the most 'hip' lecturer, I think students mainly remember me for being stern. But I do want them to know that I can be there, even beyond asking me academic stuffs.

So yesterday, I just wanted so much to hug them. I hugged all my female students, telling them things are tough, but they can hang on. They can overcome. It is the last week of the semester, and these poor souls are saddled with due dates and tests. Some were awkward with the hug/touch, but there were those who cried. How heavy their emotional weight must be.

Today is my birthday. Looking back from the position of being thirty-something, I could see myself telling my younger self that: your early twenties would be one of the most challenging periods of your life, but hang in there.. things do get better.

I wish I can assure the same to my students. I wish I am more equipped with the right skills to be a wall of support.

Monday, November 19, 2018

The One

going 5km/hour
suddenly i'm in your orbit
always facing and watching,
the bright side of your moon

i was trapped within your gravity,
lacking velocity to escape you,

then i ran, as fast as the speed of light!
catching up with you,
stopping time just for the two of us

bright stars on a plane, we floated together in space.
but we were two bodies,
and i couldn't keep you
from drifting away

heart broke into dusts
sucked into void of a black hole

extinguishing any light. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Raya Reflections

There's nothing like Hari Raya to make you realize the passing of time. Your younger cousins are older and taller, some have finished school and start working, some have produced even more offsprings... Hari Raya is also the dreaded moment where you are asked the same old question, when are you getting married? People feeling a sense of deadline on my eligibility of getting married the older I get.

During Ramadan, I do felt a sense of anguish that I might end up alone, and I made du'a, for me and my single close friends and families that Allah grant us a befitting spouse. I thought I'd need a companion especially in my older days, perhaps a nuclear family that can take care of me in my later years. Mama made me realize though that we should rely only on Allah, that Allah is actually our Greatest Carer.

Alhamdulillah for my Mama, who is always reminding me of the important things, and my greatest defender when people question me why am I still unmarried.

Being a practical Fadzlin though, I can't help thinking of a possible future where I need to take care of my own self. As much as possible I don't want to be a burden to anyone. Part of what I can currently do is to take good care of my health. I've been meaning to go for a full body checkup and a dental checkup at Klinik Kesihatan Jasin for a while now, but I keep on postponing it. Today, I finally managed to make my way to the Dental Clinic.

I felt like a criminal surrendering myself to the executioner because it has been years since I last went to the dentist. Alhamdulillah the doctor was extremely nice, she matter-of-factly explained that I need to have my wisdom teeth removed, all four of them. She asked whether we can set an appointment for the surgery, and I freaked out inside! but outside I'm all Fadzlin Baru © and acted adult-like, agreeing on a surgery date. I had a scaling procedure done too, with not too much wincing.

Oh, it was all free. One of the perks of being a gomen worker. Alhamdulillah.

Selamat Hari Raya from me and Mama