Sunday, June 15, 2014

"We Don't Sell Durians in Sungai Sepi Anymore"

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On the usual days in the middle of the year – no festivals, no foofaraw, no nothing – you can tell that the average build of the people in Sungai Sepi is quite lithe. Barring the sweet plump old neneks and the gaunt yet paunchy pakciks, the general populace here are strong women and men. Bodies built of hard work and hot sweat. Clean clothes and simple practical adornments reveal near-tactless honesty and lack of pretension beaming from the good, hardworking locals.
So when Raya rolls around, and the holiday exodus brings in the pale-skinned, soft-framed bodies of the city people, wrapped in allegedly fashionable, neon colour-coordinated dressings of the season, one can’t help but take notice of the stark contrast.
Despite this peaceful juxtaposition of lifestyles, there is still a century-strong commonality held close to the hearts of the people of Sungai Sepi: The love for durian.
Read the rest of this short story over at ISSUE Magazine!
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Sunday, June 1, 2014

Maryam is Engaged!

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Maryam, OD-ing on choccies

Trying to think of a way to properly word a good congratulations to my dearest Maryam, who got engaged today and I felt a pithy tweet or an errant Facebook status is less than appropriate.

As she's heard me say a mite too often, "words are all I have", so here are some. I hope this is okay.

Our past relationship has been sparsely-documented here and there on the interwebs and without putting too heavy an embellishment on it, I'm sure some femto-cosm of the outside world used to cheer us on. I don't blame them because let's be real here: we were awesome together.

We weren't always good with each other, admittedly. We both wanted out and both insisted on staying at different times of us being with each other. The rough patches start to chafe. Chafing is how you scrub yourself out and become better, of course. But frequent chafings can scar some. After too much agonizing, we chose to part ways.

There are clear solid-colored pockmarks on my life and livings she's made over our years as a unit (more so than anyone else, ever) and I can't help but my thoughts be fish-eyed when certain things enter my consciousness.

Maryam is great with maps and directions, putting things in its place and looking adorable. She's thoughtful and persistent, handy and patient, and I'm unspeakably glad she's found someone who can match up to her needs. Also, although she's now decided that I'm just 'alright' (:P), I will still insist on her all-around awesomeness.

May Allah pour on His blessings and mercy on her and hers, and may the forces of evil get confused on the way to her house.

Here's to Love and all that comes with it :D
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