A Cocktail of Things

1. It is amazing how simple things can brighten up a bad and gloomy day. The day before yesterday, the day I sat for my first exam this semester was a terrible day. I started the day rather optimistically : bright pink scarf with purple baju kurung, a sunny day and ultimately, I thought I was strategically well-prepared for the exam. But it turned out badly – but the brightly-coloured costumes really helped. I managed to wear a smile throughout that disastrous two hours, and headed for a medium cup of cappucino at Costa Coffee.

A good book and a cup of cappucino. I call that a heavenly pair.

A good book and a cup of cappucino. I call that a heavenly pair.

Well, I blamed the hormonal imbalance due to the monthly PMS that I found myself on the verge of crying which was unusual, and also craving for a conversation with a stranger. Well, I resisted the tempation and sticked to the book I was supposed to read for the book exam.

But a bad day turned good at the moment I read the email from my supervisor, unexpectedly, on my book review I submitted before Christmas (she finally found time to read it, it seems):

Dear Afni,

Good luck with your book exam next week.

Many thanks for the book review – it is very good! I really enjoyed reading it. I think you should publish it – when we meet next time, we should discuss this.

Please note that I am not marking the book reviews, so this has nothing to do with the mark you will get for the review – another examiner will mark it.

That really made my day, easing up my pain. Lucky that I have a female supervisor who made an effort to send her supervisee an email at 2230 hour just to say this.

2. I didn’t manage to sleep on that night. I was disturbed, rather terribly. I attended a session with Moazzam Begg, Sami al Haj (both are ex-Guantanamo detainees) and Chris Arendt (former Guantamo guard) and upon reaching home I started reading more about them and Guantanamo. I ended up thinking a lot abot Prisoner 650– a female detainee. A ghost detainee. Moazzam mentioned about having to listen to her screaming all night long and was haunted by that. Yvonne Ridley, upon listening to the story was also haunted.

And now it is me who could not stop thinking about her.

By the way, the event was fullhouse. 500 people trying to fit in a lecture hall designed for 300. Full of young people. Amazing.


3. I was on my way back from teaching Quran when I stopped to withdraw some money, just to find that my quarterly allowance came in a bit earlier. That was fine – I still managed to control myself and spent two hours at the University Place reading but I could not resist the temptation to cross the Oxford Road to Blackwell’s. Unfortunately none of the books was attractive enough – that I headed to Waterstone’s at Arndale to satisfy my sudden urge for books.

  Oh, well. I have just started to feel guilty. Now that I am in my bedroom, I have just realised that I actually bought 6 books this month only: Indeks Al Quran, Muhammad s.a.w, and Bunga Kebahagiaan (the last two was authored by Tuan Guru Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat) earlier this month, tafsir al Qurtubi (which costs me £35) last week – and now another two books!

Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes and I am a Cat by Soseki Natsume.

Women Who Run with the Wolves

Women Who Run with the Wolves

I am a Cat

I am a Cat

 I have to admit that the second book was bought because I am currently missing my cat back home, this one:

I am a big lazy cat

I am a big lazy cat

Am I supposed to feel guilty? The way I’ve been brought up by my parents teaches me that books and food are of equal importance. But buying 6 books which I know I would not read any time soon (except for the tafsir of course) seems to be pretty excessive.

4. I am contemplating on a few choices I have after graduating. I realised that I am not ready for the real world, but I know opting to further my study just because I am not ready for a life with greater responsibility is just plain silly. It would be an escapism. Oh man. I am gonna be 24 in two months and things seem to be so uncertain. I hate this pahse where you cannot expect where you are going to after one year. Just like the phase I was in when I was in my fifth form, thinking and trying to imagine where I’d be in June 2003. And when I was in Banting trying to figure out where I’d be in September 2005 and now I don’t have an idea where I’d be January next year, if I am still alive that is.

Life can be so uncertain, and it is not an adjective I like at all.

Till then, see you.



  1. Hey, when it comes to books, it’s okay. God knows how many I’ve bought on impulse alone. Or simply because I don’t feel like reading books I already had so let’s get a new one. I was raised that books last forever so splurging on them is totally acceptable LOL

  2. This one is not a biography. More of a mixture of women studies-feminism book with an amazing literature style.

    Hee..Books are definitely a worthy investment, right?

    I am convinced they are.

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