Confrontation and why I hate it.

Part of the reason why I’ve kind of put off writing is because I hate confrontation. You might ask, what has writing a few lines got to do with any sort of head-to-head deal? It’s not a war, why do you have to make writing seem like such a burden? Everything. It’s got everything to do with it. As I’ve said many times before, writing is not only therapeutic to me, it is an integral part of my life that helps solve, heal and mend things. However, getting there is a bit of a problem. Like any other issue you encounter in life, the first step is to face the music, isn’t it? I’m a person who hates confrontation in general. I can BE confrontational when the situation gives me the upper hand- wow, how convenient right? For example, I’ll the first to tell a server that there is hair in my food or that it isn’t satisfactory, I’ll be the first to lodge a complaint against the law and the first to want to set things straight for the people. Maybe that’s why I love debating. It makes me feel like I’ve made somebody understand “where it hurts” when I get to change their mind. Basically any situation where I feel mistreated or where justice, in my eyes, has not been served, you can bet your money that I’m all about that confrontation life there. BUT, in situations where it involves MY feelings heavily, I’m a coward. A big baby. I hate having to tear down the walls that I’ve painstakingly built brick by brick, and deliberately expose myself to the cold wind that confrontation brings. Yeah, nope. No thanks! Try sending me a text telling me about how you feel about me (positive or negative), I avoid it like a man avoids virus. I don’t read them. There you go. You know what I do? I ask someone (usually my best friend) to read and digest it for me. Go through the fire for me, and tell me the gist of it. I don’t want to hear it all. It’s an unnecessarily painful task. (You have been treated to an exclusive piece of information, please don’t abuse it lol.)

Nothing about confrontation feels empowering. Lodging a complaint about a flaw in the law does. It boosts your ego, makes you feel like a king because, well, the customer is always right, and I’m human. Okay? I admit it, I’m very human alright.

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I just put too much emotions into my writing. Maybe I’m too honest to the point that sometimes I find myself scavenging for metaphors to scatter here and there in order to conceal the parts where I’ve exposed too much of myself. What am I afraid of? Afraid to be seen as vulnerable? Afraid to be found? Afraid that my true weak self would come through?

This is true even in my salaah and duaas. When I haven’t been putting my maximum effort into my prayers I know that what I’m avoiding is confrontation. I hate a soulless prayer, more than anything. So if I’m not ready to “tear down my defences and feed my soul to the wolves” i.e, confront i.e, make dual, I just do the bare minimum. I have memorized many duaas that now sit at the edge of my tongue. It’s easy for me to just roll it all off and say them in my sujood, but I don’t when I’m not ready. I find myself asking, do I really want to ask for rizq “min haythu la (ah/)yahtasibu”? right now? Do I really want to say “aslih lee sha’nee kullah” when what I really feel is something else? I’m not ready to break down, I don’t have to do it now.

But isn’t this where the problem lies?

Till when have I got to wait till I’m ready to face reality to say a soulFUL prayer? Till when have I got to wait till I’m ready to confront? We don’t get to choose when to fight because when an enemy comes, you’ve got to fight him off immediately. You can’t just tell him to come back when you’re ready. It just doesn’t work like that. I think I’ve missed the whole point of prayer. Isn’t one of the reasons it’s “kitaaban mawqoota” (prescribed at its specific timings) so that it serves as a constant “net” for whenever you fall at any time of the day (or night)? Isn’t that the whole point of prayer- to confess? And to confess is to “come as you are?” Here I am again with my metaphors.

My point is- I don’t always have to be ready, do I? I just have to do it, even when I’m at my lowest low, even without a mental armour… just pray. Just write. Let the vulnerability show. After all, it IS your Rabb that you are speaking to. Who else knows you better than you know yourself?

Every time I go on a writing hiatus I always come back to this very same conclusion and I post the very same thing, just worded differently. And even after realizing it I still publish it because I needed to hear it again, BECAUSE I went through it again. I haven’t learnt my lesson… which makes me human. This brings me to a small little light bulb moment- that perhaps every person in life, according to their tragic flaw (Greek lit anyone? Hamaratia? Fatal flaw, no?), has an issue around which they keep revolving, like a moon around a planet, and a planet around the sun. If you think about it, that friend that keeps coming back to you for advice every year, comes back with the very same issue really, just different characters involved every time, and is no different than you going through life and encountering the very same problem, just in different lights. Life is very…. thematic. I’m about to reach a very important breakthrough in the topic of human existentialism, guys. Too much? Ok bye maybe it’s the fasting that’s doing all this :P

On a serious note, -not that the almost-breakthrough wasn’t a serious one, who wants to bet that the next time I log in to this blog I’ll be talking about the VERY SAME THING? Because I’ll stay away from writing AGAIN, and come to this realization AGAIN, and write how I hate writing when I’m not ready to confront my soul and it’s more-issues-than-Vogue AGAIN. Sigh. Sorry to disappoint. What can I say.. I’m a very predictable human being!

p.s. Ramadan Mubarak!

Cubaan Pertama.


Kebelakangan ini

Aku cuba menulis

menggunakan bahasa ini

yang tlah lama aku pendam


Aku cuba menguasai lagi

bahasa yang tlah cuba aku lupai-

Aku cuba

Aku cuba.


Bahasa ibunda,

kata mereka.

Walapun ibuku sendiri

tidak pernah berbahasa begini

kepada diriku sendiri

mahupun kepada adik beradikku,


namun aku tahu itu bukan salahnya


Salahnya itu diriku sendiri

yang lambat menyedari

bahasa itu kuasa

yang menguasai alam semesta-


Makanya ibuku tidak memilihnya.


Biarpun begitu

doa-doanya tetap bersuarakan

“Aku Hambamu

dan Engkau Tuhanku-”


dan seperti lagu yang datang

dari negeri asing,

aku suka mendengarnya

tetapi payah untuk mengenakan makna

demi setiap ungkapan


tetapi aku cuba

Aku cuba.


Lama kelamaan

dengan tidakku sedari

Ia mula menaruh

ke dalam mafhumku


[Dan jikalau aku jujur dengan diriku sendiri]

tiap kali waktu aku terdesak

dalam sujud

bahasa ini mengalir

bagaikan cecair dari hujung lidahku

dan bercampur air mata yang mengalir

di pipiku, aku dengan otomatis

berbicara, bertutur seolah-olah

ia hembusan loghatku

dan tiap kali aku cuba menggunakan

bahasa penjajahku

dalam sujudku

aku segan dan malu

terus membisu.


Walapun ditemani Google

demi menulis serpihan lurus ini

dan masih sukar membilang

nombor passportku

dan nombor telefonku

dalam bahasa yang seharusnya

lebih akrab kepadaku

dari bahasa Arab

yang lebih aku kenal

Nahunya dan Sorofnya.


Perjalananku masih jauh

umpama budak baru belajar

kalau ada silap dan salah

minta jangan ada yang marah

kerana aku (mahu) cuba


Aku cuba.


Raised a dreamer.

I could not fathom how
one could not have any dreams at all
not know what to improve on;
I was raised a dreamer;
raised to know that everything I did was not enough
so I-
constantly had to prove myself

over and over

I always had to find ways to busy myself
so I
decided to become better.
How could anyone be so complacent so as to say
that they have already met their dreams
when there is much to do
so much left to do
and still
[I think of the mountain of laundry
I’ve put off for days-
and I tremble
and of the books I bought and left untouched-
and I quiver
and of the unread messages-
and I drown in anxiety
and of the positions I carry
I shudder at the responsibility.]
Perhaps I was raised a dreamer
even if for small things
that if I was asked about them
I’d be able to give you one
for the next 60 seconds
and one for the next 60 days.
Perhaps I was raised a dreamer
that I cannot fathom the state of being content
with all that I have achieved
and not be curious at all
as to what is left unachieved
that unrealized potential
that unsnatched credential
bugs me
like a bug
to be touched
to be realized
to materialize
to land itself
on my leaves
Forgive me
if I ever even in the least implied
that I have not much left to work on
that my work here is somehow almost done
when I am not even close
to being where You want me to be.
I fear stagnancy
more than pregnancy
My fears are that of complacency,
walking aimlessly
using up all this space spaciously
and brazenly declaring
that I am a living, breathing
living for free
out of the cradle.
Maybe I’m the only one without a clue
And they’ve got things figured out -who knew
I could be the one needing my own advice;
It’s me before you,
I tell you.
Forgive me my Lord
if I ever lose track
of why I started
or if my vision becomes obscure
bring me back
because nothing can cure
it like Your reminding me of Your reward.
[Perhaps I was raised a dreamer so help me understand.]
Backstory: Shazaa and I gave a “talk” today for Ihya- an ASIIUM event (Putting Yourself First is what we called it) and as usual, something in the event or during the course of delivering, struck me and I had to make a mental note of it and wait till I was in the comfort of my room and PJs before I could pour it all out.. and here it is. I did so in the best way my mind and body knew how… Born out in the status box on Facebook, and made it to the blog. These are the ones I feel the most strongly about.

This isn’t one of those eloquent poems meant to be read [silently]. This is meant to be read [aloud] with sizzling passion, with a genuine curiosity to know the answers, with a trembling voice, with a fist in the air. Try it.

Disclaimer: This isn’t directed at anyone in particular. You may recognize some elements from the questions which the floor had put forth, but I learnt more than anyone else did. It struck me to look to do an introspection on myself before I was even close to being shocked at what was being admitted. I had many small epiphanies as I spoke, more than anyone did. I did it for me. I had really just… put myself first.