Category Archives: Inspiration Beings

#ProustQuestionnaire with @soefira asking @abbylatif pula.

SJ: What is your idea of perfect happiness?

AL: OMG, my answer will be so long. Perfect Happiness are moments we can barely remember, because we drown ourselves in the bliss of it.

 

SJ: What is your greatest fear?

AL: Dying without being able to say goodbye to loved ones.

 

SJ: Which historical figure do you most identify with?

AL: A cross between J. D. Salinger and Jalaluddin Rumi but in a female body and a lust for gadgets.

 

SJ: Which living person do you most admire?

AL: Aung San Suu Kyi, Angelina Jolie, my parents, and a lot of my friends.

 

SJ: What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

AL: Procrastination.

 

SJ: What is the trait you most deplore in others?

AL: Not being able to be original or take accountability of their actions.

 

SJ: What is your greatest extravagance?

AL: My iPad2. Cash. A decision made within 2 hours.

 

SJ: On what occasion do you lie?

AL: In the occasion where the lie will prevent the other person’s heart to break.

 

SJ: What do you dislike most about your appearance?

AL: My big calves and thin hair.

 

SJ: When and where were you happiest?

AL: My heart smiles just thinking of this. A lot of times. A lot of places. A few people. Specifically, That time in the car when you were sitting in front, me at the back, I slipped my fingers and you hold them. I don’t mean YOU, you. Hahahahahahaha.

 

SJ: If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

AL: Hurm, tough one. Maybe to be less judgemental.

 

SJ: If you could change one thing about your family what would it be?

AL: That We live in our estate back in Perak, surrounded by our rubber trees and a small stream. Dad refuse to go back kampung. ;(

 

SJ: What do you consider your greatest achievement?

AL: To be who I am today.

 

SJ: If you died and came back as a person or thing what do you think it would be?

AL: Brad Pitt.

 

SJ: What is your most treasured possession?

AL: The handwritings and notes of my poetry.

 

SJ: What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

AL: when you don’t recognise your own soul.

 

SJ: Who are your heroes in real life?

AL: My dad, my Mom and a lot of people for different reason actually. Susah. I kinda have a stupid thing on easily admiring people.

 

SJ: What is it that you most dislike?

AL: I dislike dishonesty.

 

SJ: How would you like to die?

AL: In bed over serious illness.

 

SJ: What is your motto?

AL: Vespa. Hahahaha! I guess it’s “Everything happens for a reason”, as cliche as it is.

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#ProustQuestionnaire with @soefira

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

SJ: Not unhappy? A book, a bed, milk & cookies.

 

What is your greatest fear?

SJ: Ignorance.

 

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

SJ: So many! I like Catherine the Great coz her real name’s Sophie & she’s German.

 

Which living person do you most admire?

SJ: Steven Pinker. Tied with Robert Sapolsky. For the moment.

 

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

SJ: Hesitation. Thinking too much.

 

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

SJ: Sombong bodoh.

 

What is your greatest extravagance?

SJ: Err. Never been extravagant actually. Quite austere.

 

On what occasion do you lie?

SJ: I am lying right now 😉 or is this #doublebluff?

 

What do you dislike most about your appearance?

SJ: Je suis une petit femme. I nak jadi 6 feet tall. Ha.

 

When and where were you happiest?

SJ: 9 yrs old, a book, a bed, milk & cookies.

 

If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

SJ: Not to be allergic to cats.

 

If you could change one thing about your family what would it be?

SJ: I want to be Steven Pinker’s daughter.

 

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

SJ: Sticking to my guns even tho so many against me.

 

If you died and came back as a person or thing what do you think it would be?

SJ: A pampered cat.

 

What is your most treasured possession?

SJ: Like, hello? My darling books of course! 😉

 

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

SJ: Urgh. Being depressed loh. Like no hope liddat.

 

Who are your heroes in real life?

SJ: Err. Dead heroes I have loads. Maybe Claire Tomalin? Yeah.

 

What is it that you most dislike?

SJ: Bigotry.

 

How would you like to die?

SJ: As painlessly as possible. Yup.

 

What is your motto?

SJ: Just try lah. Give it a go. If fail, fail lah, so what?

My version of Inspiration Beings.

Last week, I was in a room of mainly ladies, waiting to be interviewed for a government position. I learned to know a few of them were applying for the job that has nothing to do with them, or their background, or if they even knew what the job requirement was. It was merely a job to them. Just apply for it. For it is a job. A government job. A sense of security. That’s it. They might not even know what their talent is. And the scary part is, they might not ever discover it.

In Malaysia, we have Talent Corp. But does Talent Corp merely puts unemployed to available jobs, or are they really realising your talent?

A few years ago, I took my brother’s camcorder and ask people, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Some make cynical comments, “We’re already grown up.”

Ambitions shouldn’t stop the day you stop having report cards to fill in.

Ambitions, should be something like a goal that makes you continue living this life to your fullest potential. The guru Dhyan Vimal once talked about how he always said to his people with regards to their work, “I want to meet you at your honour. So you got to perform at your best, every time.”

In the reality of life, we all are binded to our circumstances. Sad, but true. We all need to survive. But there comes a certain point, when surviving erased the joy of living life for its moments.

The “What do you want to be when you grow up?” project died with the passing of Yasmin Ahmad. Because she was the next in line for my interview. I wanted to catch her the week we were supposed to meet up for some screening session (the week after she passed away).

So when I resuscitate this blog of mine, I started it back, in writing, but with a focus on inspiration and passion. And it’s only fair that I take on the questions myself and share with you guys what inspired me. To live.

Who is the most inspiring person (dead/alive) that have made you pursue your passion?

Jalaluddin Rumi. The spiritual sufi poet.

How and Why is this person significant to you?

I have to say, he has brought me to actually love love and divinity. I found spirituality through his words. I was brought up in a strict malay muslim boarding school. I have had all the basics I needed. And what I was searching was a sense of belonging in loving God. The first person I have ever loved told me, if she were to describe me in 3 words, the first word was “God-fearing”. For me, it’s not much of God fearing, it’s more of the fear that I lose myself in search of love for my Creator. And she also introduced me to Jalaluddin Rumi. So, it was all meant to be.

Poetry only came to me in 2007. Before that, I was more like a compulsive blogger. I have my thoughts and short stories of life. But with poetry (and my lack of vocabulary), I can share my silent thoughts in verses that is shorter and more wholehearted.

Rumi’s conscience brings out the sense in loving despite the fact that he’s a mad lover. The thing about Rumi’s words, is that you can weep through it with a smile. Because it comes from the deepest of thoughts and feelings. And I wonder how he is, as a person.

If given a chance to have an afternoon together, what would you guys do?

There’s a tree. We will sit under it and talk. Like a Master and his student. We will eat bread and drink wine. And I will cry while telling him about the love I lost. And he will comfort me by saying,

Oh Beloved,
take away what I want.
Take away what I do.
Take away what I need.
Take away everything
that takes me from you.

If you were given a chance to Pay It Forward, what would you do and why?

I want to help people realise their best talents and passion. When I was 10-11, I always imagined I have a million ringgit, and I will build a house for passionate orphans, give them the family and education they deserve, and make sure when they’re successful, they’ll be the benefactors for other passionate orphans.

Apparently it’s not easy to get 1 million ringgit.

Tell me your worst nightmare.

Once, when I was 12, me and my brother nearly drowned when we stepped into quick sand at Pantai Santubong, Kuching. Drowning, always scares the hell out of my dreams. Then, I always had nightmares about being chased by ghosts around a confined house.

To be honest, I haven’t had any nightmares for years. I believe because I have found inner peace (or I’m getting there).

But my worst fear (in full conciousness), is to die without telling the people I love that I love them. I rather die on a death bed. It’ll buy me time to tell people I love them. We don’t get to do that often.

I would buy a few people tickets to the theatre or the MPO. Tell them to watch shows and if they like it, to pass it on. More people need to support the arts. – Shamaine Othman

The first time I met Shamaine, physically, nor virtually, was when she did a promo for Projek Disko Baldi, an improv sketch project she was involved in, and the promo was at the June Bee Aggresive Poetry Slam, a poetry slam I was involved in. But of course, we knew each other on virtual realm, it being Twitter. And I had to confess, I actually stumbled upon her Twitter way before that. Probably the universe were giving some sort of a sneak peak for me, to this friendship.

Then, I went to watch Projek Disko Baldi.

THEN, I had to say how much GUTS this lady has.

So let me tell you what happened at Projek Disko Baldi. Showcased from the 28th May (Saturday) until 29th May (Sunday) with 4 shows, Projek Disko Baldi is a random young Malaysian comedy ensemble. When I put ‘young’ and ‘Malaysia’ in the same sentence, I’m referring to UMNO’s Youth requirement that stated, 40 years old and below. (I would not say who is in the ensemble because it might create a HUGE traffic to my blog if people google some famous handsome young malay actors).

In the words of a mutual friend who watched the show with us, she said, “It’s simple comedy.” Which I totally agreed. The sketches were inspired from daily happenings and it’s simple laughter. That’s what entertainment should be. An escape from reality but a total avenue to laugh at life itself. No weird wigs or props. Just throw in some singlets and elderly diapers, voila! Comedy! And I would fairly have to say, I grew up in comedy. I mean, I grew up being a sucker for Jangan Ketawa, MADtv, In Living Colour, Saturday Night Live and Russell Peters.

Another friend also said, Shamaine could be one of the most outstanding among them. And for another woman to say that about an ensemble with some very hot guys, that’s pretty much an honest bonus. Because she sure was. I, for one, thought that she was brave and brilliant. The others were good as well. Enough of the Senario or Raja Lawak shit, THIS is the FUTURE in Malaysia’s comedy scene. To be honest, if I own a TV network, I would’ve given them a weekly airtime. Then again, I’m not Tina Fey (or Jack Donaghy).

Again, another confession. Having met Shamaine briefly and on the virtual realm, we never actually have sat down for drinks. But I can tell you, she’s a pretty COOL and funny girl that one might enjoy her company.

So she’s this week participant in my Inspiration Beings column. And we get to see her … alter ego in this one. I mean … well, you get what I mean.

Who is the most inspiring person (dead/alive) that have made you pursue your passion?

The most inspiring person that has made me pursue my passion is my father.

How and Why is this person significant to you?

He is a film director and studied film,television and theatre in London in the 60s. At this time Malaysians were going to London to read law, medicine or engineering but dad stayed true to his passion for films. The arts is a risky industry in Malaysia- there’s not much money in it but most Malaysian artists do it for the love of it. For dad, it was both. He did it for money because he had a family to support. His continued passion for the arts has driven me to pursue it myself even though it doesn’t guarantee a lot of money.

If given a chance to have an afternoon together, what would you guys do?

Probably watch a movie then tea after. Talk about the movie.

If you were given a chance to Pay It Forward, what would you do and why?

Well, I’m only saying this because my two previous answers has been about the arts but I would buy a few people tickets to the theatre or the MPO. Tell them to watch shows and if they like it, to pass it on. More people need to support the arts.

Tell me your worst nightmare.

My worst nightmare is being an absolute failure. I can’t gauge what is failure to me but success to me is; doing what i love and surrounded with people that I love (ie; husband and kids). If I don’t achieve that, I guess I’m a failure.

Follow Projek Disco Baldi on Twitter or LIKE their Facebook page to stalk Shamaine and her baldi ensemble.

Inspiration Beings is a project under the Cosmic Abyss to learn about who inspires us and how their pursuit in their passion affects our own.

She (Polgara) taught me to believe that emotional people are valuable in a world full of showy brawn, and suppressed passion. – Ashvina Marie

When I first met Ashvina, we talked in silence. I meant that, literally. We were extras on Mien Ly’s short film set, and we were supposed to be those people who were chatting at the background scene. So we were chatting without making any sound. We only started to talk when we took some break, hangout at the playground outside, where I took out my camcorder and started interviewing people on what they wanted to be when they grow up. And of course, she wanted to be a teacher.

A law graduate who is still a very young energetic passionate soul, Ashvina strives to do a lot of things, in particularly to teach. In between teaching speech and drama classes to young students, she brainstorms ideas for fort*log, Ideas and Critical Analysis Consultancy where they provide sessions and workshops for, well, ideas and critical analysis. 🙂 Sometimes fort*log holds weekly fun stuff for kids and adults under their Department of Curiosity.

It’s been a few years since I’ve known this warm-hearted soul. She is this week’s respondent for the Inspiration Beings project. Lets learn a little something that drives this young passion fruit. 😉

Who is the most inspiring person (dead/alive) that have made you pursue your passion?

There is a long list, actually. If you asked me to name one, it would be near impossible.
Freddie Mercury, Jason Mraz, Rachel Blakely of Elephantine (blog), Ben Silbermann of Pinterest, Tori Amos so I’m going to go with Polgara (a fictional character of David Eddings’)

How and Why is this person significant to you?

Because she is this passionate, steely yet kind, highly skilled tour de force of a character in a world dominated my male figures. I read fantasy and sci-fi, but these books by David Eddings called The Belgariad and the Mallorean dominated my psyche from age 16 onwards. She taught me to believe that emotional people are valuable in a world full of showy brawn, and suppressed passion. She’s very, very close to my heart because she was practical, insightful and calm. I was the complete opposite of that growing up. I grew up in Kelantan, also, so I didn’t really have many strong women characters around me. I mean, my teachers were bossy, but they were not masters of themselves. Polgara is.

You’d read her again and again because Eddings wrote her voice so consistently and so lovingly – he enlisted the help of his wife in writing, so the tone and style of Polgara’s speech and demeanour was wildly real. I’ve been going on about her, and have left out the fact that she’s a Sorceress, but really that’s pittance compared to the power of her wit and her heart. She lives for thousands of years, and spends half her life protecting and keeping secret the bloodline of a royal family delineated from her twin sister, who died thousands of years before the book was set. Polgara deals with destiny, loss and disappointment, but everyone never ever disrespects her, mostly because they love her but will never say so – but really because they truly respect how much she has given up to do what she does.

It’s fiction of course, but it makes so much sense to a young woman, trying hard not to change for people who don’t see things the same way. I have no patience, reading women characters who whine and whine and never do anything with grace and passion. In my days and my nights, I find my energy running up the walls, but when I read these books, I go into this safe zone and nothing can hurt me. Anyone who is a true Edding’s fan will tell you that his characters ARE his strongest tool. I love him for that.

If given a chance to have an afternoon together, what would you guys do?

Drink tea and talk about my ideas. Quietly. Go for a walk in the garden. And then eat, and have more tea.

If you were given a chance to Pay It Forward, what would you do and why?

I’m already trying to. I have a little business that encourages people to never stop being curious. I teach Speech and Drama and I always fill my classes with love and freedom. I have an intern whom I adore, and watching her spread my wings makes me so happy.

Tell me your worst nightmare.

People I love not communicating with each other.

And a great giant boot, gargantuan, huge beyond measure and belief, stepping on a little white flower, and all goes black.

You can find Ashvina at Fort*log on FB and make sure you click LIKE.

Inspiration Beings is a project under the Cosmic Abyss to learn about who inspires us and how their pursuit in their passion affects our own.

My worst nightmare is having to give up dreams and losing everything. – Angelia Ong

When I first met Angelia Ong, it was an instant comforting moment. It was in Starbucks The Curve. I was with my then boyfriend and I believe that she took our first pictures together. A few hours before we met that day, we exchanged phone numbers and we were texting as if we were friends for quite sometime although “quite sometime” were actually a few days. We met through KLickr, a Kuala Lumpur based Flickr group, through our passion for photography.

Throughout the years, our friendship grew to becoming family. No, nobody was married to anyone except that we grew to love and respect each other like how we would love and respect our family. And who would resist loving her cuddly monkeys. 😉

Angelia is the owner of Banshee Creative, a local creative consultancy that manages artists and writers. Lets just say, she’s one heck of a creative entrepreneur and a super mom. From taking her sons for football practices, to baking and attending comic conferences, Lia is the epitome of what passion can be achieved despite the mundane threshold of motherhood.

Lia is the first participant who responded to my Inspiration Beings project. And here what she has got to share with us.

Who is the most inspiring person (dead/alive) that have made you pursue your passion?

There’s no one person but I do look at writers, artists who have taken the leap and made a living at it too. A recent influence is Maria Brophy among others, for eg The SketchpadManila crew, the TeratoTech people, Some of the Comic Fiesta and Pekomik peeps, some of my own creative “family” . There are quite a few 🙂 They have been inspiring in that they pursue passions, despite obstacles.

How and Why is this person significant to you?

They are creative entrepreneurs as well as talented people.

If given a chance to have an afternoon together, what would you guys do?

Talk a lot 🙂 The sketchpad crew will draw, just talk a lot. 🙂

If you were given a chance to Pay It Forward, what would you do and why?

I think I would be doing what I’m already doing or the projects that are coming up will cover that 🙂

Tell me your worst nightmare.

Having to give up dreams and losing everything.

You can find Lia at Banshee Creative and Like them on FB and also follow them on Twitter.

Inspiration Beings is a project under the Cosmic Abyss to learn about who inspires us and how their pursuit in their passion affects our own.