All posts filed under: Reader Submissions

Book Review: Liberal, Malay and Malaysian by Zan Azlee

Admittedly, I cringe at the word liberal whenever it comes out of my peers’ mouths, mostly because of how it was perpetuated and how the term has been abused to no longer represent its actual definition. It seems that liberal has morphed into a religion and no longer a concept. But the truth of the matter is, any book or articles that have the word liberal in it will somehow intrigue me to pick it up. You can only imagine the amount of internal struggle I have when reading Liberal, Malay and Malaysian by Zan Azlee and how the image of contradictory behaviors of those ‘liberals’ around me seemed to plague my memory. I picked up the book and didn’t stop till the captain announced a turbulent–plane ride has never been more exciting. I love the sub-title of the book, “Writings of a Walking Contradiction”, aren’t we all? I know I am. Being a Muslim and a Kadazan with a non-Malay name is as contradictory as it comes. We are all, in some way, a …

Book Review: Jungle Without Water and Other Stories by Sreedhevi Iyer

I wouldn’t have thought it possible to relate to stories on immigration and migration, for the most part, because I haven’t experienced anything like it myself. Jungle Without Water is, by leaps and bounds of nonchalance, a surprisingly relatable, illustrative and thought-provoking read. I mean, I’m not claiming to know a lot about the Indian community and how they live and see the world. But there are aspects in these stories that gave me an insight into their feelings and thoughts as I read this collection with curiosity. Some of the issues tackled are race, identity, and prejudice. Standouts for me have to be the title story; “Jungle Without Water”, “The Man With Two Wives” and “IC”. “Jungle Without Water” is about a boy who moved to another country to pursue his studies and is constantly searching for a place to pray in his new home. It reminds me of being homesick that one time I traveled to Australia (surprise surprise, the country the boy migrated to is also Australia) and was constantly searching for …

Slowdown Inflow

I’m happy when I talk about the dust, the dirt, the shards of glass left on the street. Not hiding my sadness in endless work, beating myself for that extra 10 minutes in bed, drinking coffee with people I don’t give two fucks about and dropping cash without batting an eyelash. Life is flying by a little too fast. Slow down. Breathe. ~Fay Ulrica

Artistic Minds: On the Sharp End with Brenda Rodney

We turn to art in search of meaning and significance, something to complete the puzzle of our daily lives and existence. The art of tattoos is no different.   When it comes to tattoos, the world really is your oyster. A tattoo can bound you to a lot of meanings, have no meanings at all, or even evolve to other meanings in time. .   .   .   Meet Brenda Rodney, a 22-year-old tattoo artist based in Kota Kinabalu. She started her journey as a tattoo artist in 2015 and has been inking clients ever since. She breaks it down for us that art is still art, and at the end of the day no matter what gender you are, respect is earned, trust is given, and loyalty returned. Tell us a bit about yourself and when did you discover your talent as a tattoo artist. Hi! I’m Brenda. I do hand poke tattoos and I’m a self-taught artist. I’ve always been curious and in love with art and tattoos ever since I can …

Sleep

I remember when sleep was possible, closing the door inside my head, joints unlocking, dead to the world. I remember when sleep was impossible, six drinks to make a brick of my head, tongue dried out, comatose. Sleep is no longer possible, words and images leaking out of my ears, too many bytes, waiting to blue-screen.  —Shereen Asha Murugayah

Artistic Minds: OtakZuber

OtakZuber merupakan artis yang sangat cool dan menakjubkan. Apabila pertama kali diperkenalkan oleh cik editor untuk berkolaborasi, saya secara rahsianya sangat teruja! OtakZuber seolah berilustrasi sambil bercerita dan berfilosofi, hasil karyanya penuh maksud tersirat dan bermacam tema – spiritual, historical, humanis dan kebebasan jiwa. Subject matter pilihan OtakZuber, yang bergilir minimalis dan rumit, mudah dikenali. Teknik garisan menggunakan tinta hitam dan warna-warna binar seperti biru aquamarine, arctic lime dan atomic tangerine adalah keperkasaan OtakZuber yang menyempurnakan skil lukisan tangan dan digitalnya yang luar biasa radikal. Pada masa ini, dia sibuk berkarya di dalam ‘gua’ rahsia yang entah di mana lokasinya. Cik editor ada bagi saya nombor telefon OtakZuber untuk wawancara ini – saya berasa beruntung sebab tidak kena blue tick. “I dreamed about this island last night,” bilang OtakZuber Hai OtakZuber, terima kasih sudi meluangkan waktu untuk wawancara ini. Boleh ceritakan sedikit, siapa OtakZuber? Seorang budak kampung yg bercita-cita tinggi untuk menakluki bumi. Ya, bumi. Sejak bila mengenal dunia ilustrasi dan apa yang membuatkan OtakZuber ‘terjebak’ dan terus menekuni bidang ini? Mengenali dunia ilustrasi ketika …

Cemuhan Buat Bayang Kenangan

Kehidupan ini serba tidak berasas keadilannya. Bukan pula aku mempertikai ketentuanNya, tapi aku mahu kita mempersiap diri. Tidak semua permulaan itu berhasil dengan keberjayaan. Sebenarnya kita selalu disakiti dengan pengharapan. Itu tidak bodoh, cuma kurang bijak memperlaksana kesiapan diri. Walhal kita bukan malaikat cuman manusia biasa, menyakiti sebilangan orang itu ya berkemungkinan pasti terjadi. Dan kita selalu berpengaharapan kita itu tidak akan di sakiti oleh orang yang kita begitu kasihi. Sedar diri; orang yang kita kasihi itulah yang berpotensi lebih menyakiti dan melukakan lebih dalam diperbanding dengan yang mereka yang kita sekadar kenal. Ini aku mahu perjelaskan; kalau tidak kau mempersiap perisai kekuatan, kenangan bakal membunuh kau.   ~Lisa Uchi

Asa Bukanlah Untuk Diputuskan

Harus juga difikirkan seperti apa bermulanya segala hal yang kita perjuangkan saat kita benar benar sedang memutuskan segala asa yang kita kira tak tertanggung dan membebankan Fikirkan juga keuntungan yang bakal kita perolehi setelah segala keberusahaan itu mampu mengganjarkan kesenangan atau sesuatu yang tak terduga Ya mungkin juga menyakitkan, tapi pasti ada sesuatu di sebaliknya yang sedang dikirimkan tuhan untuk kita belajar mengerti dan mempelajarinya Salah memilih? Percayalah dulu pilihan yang salah itu bukan untuk kita sesalkan Jesteru, pilihan yang salah itu menghasilkan jalan cerita yang lebih berharga Ayohlah tetap terus berjuang!   ~Lisa Uchi