Sunday, May 22, 2011

Random books by random authors

Of late, the books I bought for myself were really random. The one I am reading right now is from Kinokuniya, titled Grace by Linn Ullmann. I remember I started this randomness with Catcher In The Rye by J. D. Salinger. That was at least a year ago. Either it shows how little I've read since the last one year or I've begun to love this randomness. Or, the randomness allowed in my life has been pathetically reduced to only decision on books.

Forget about the last sentence. Two weeks ago, I was at Kinokuniya again, after a long break from bookstores (or any shopping malls). I couldn't help but to pick up this book which was on 25% discount if I also bought another item in the same receipt. It was already cheaper than average books even before its discount! Well, apparently this book was made into film, too - Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk, directed by David Fincher, starred Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter and Edward Norton.

I've had Fight Club neatly jacketed and taken a peek at the first chapter. I know I'd love that book :)

Then yesterday, I was at MPH in Mid Valley. I stumbled upon some books at sections from local authors, and picked up two on the way out: Seeds of Love by Azizi Hj. Abdullah and Malacca: A Romance by Kamsiah M Bostock. I haven't started reading them properly but there's something about the way of their writings that prompted me to give them a chance, something I think I might not regret doing.

For the record, I have never heard of any of the books mentioned above before I bought them. And all of them are quite thin - not more than 220 pages with their size at most half of A4 paper.

Szuchen was amused at the fact that I could randomly pick up a book by an author I've never heard of. I guess the reason I like to do this is because I like the refreshing feeling every time I read from a different author, especially those who are new to me. Roald Dahl was the one who inspired me to pay attention to an author's personality and character via his or her writings. Though the stories may have nothing to do with the author's real life, it's still a form of communication between the author and his readers. Words are indeed powerful when it comes to revealing "messages". Of course, I should not relate a person's writing to his true self in real life. Again, every author has his own writing style and it's just amazing how stories are told via sentences of different structures.

The point of me writing this post is: I'd like to kindly suggest friends who know I love books not to buy me books as gifts. Of course, it's still the thought that matters and if you found any book that you think I might like it, bring it on! If not, I'd prefer to buy my own books for now. Besides, if you know me really, REALLY well, you'd know that I have even more books which I haven't finished reading *guilt* So you're just being a good friend not to indulge me in this bad habit of not finishing books.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

(Iron) Bird Watching

There's an airport near the place I am staying right now. Hence, when I occasionally look up into the sky, I can see a plane is taking off, flying steeply gaining altitude.

As a sun-sneezer, normally I can't look at the plane in the sky long enough before I shut my eyes and sneeze. When I am interrupted by this, I will go back to what I am doing. The plane will then be taken off from my mind, too.

Today, I had the opportunity to stare at a plane in the sky for a longer period, because I was in my colleague's car, hence I didn't sneeze. I saw the iron bird flew steeply up, then changed direction, and slowly, it disappeared from my sight.

When I was small, I was always excited to spot a plane in the sky. It's even better if it's a helicopter! The reason is simple: The sky looks more interesting when a plane visits it. And even when I've grown up, sometimes I still get excited over the sight and point it out to my friends around me: Look! A plane!

A friend used to reply: So what? Haven't you seen a plane before?

It prompted me to think for a moment. What is it in this event that stirs me up? Now I know why I am always transfixed with the sight of plane up in the air.

I am amazed. When everything is being pulled down by gravity, it still can go up, higher and higher. Knowing that it is a giant metal container carrying its own huge engines and hundreds of passengers in it makes it even an even impressive sight. If I was the person who was being laughed at by suggesting man can fly too before a plane was invented, then came the time man witnessed this iron bird flew steadily in the sky, I would smile and ask: so who has the last laugh now?

I feel hopeful. I love it when I look up to the blue sky, I see patches of white fluffy clouds decorate the heaven. Because I know such beautiful sight has its Creator, the same Creator who creates me, too. It assures me that there is still hope out there, there is a bigger world out there to explore. Hence when I see a plane leaves the ground to venture into the sky out there, it reminds me that at that very moment, someone is heading to their own destination, somewhere else. It might be a new place for them. It might be their sweetest home they are returning to. It might just be a fun vacation trip for some. And I wonder if it's at some exotic island with beautiful beach and sand so fine that you'd love to walk barefoot on it. Hopefully one day, I might be going for one of such trips, too.

I feel sentimental. Someone I love might be on the plane, leaving. And a tiny part of my heart may leave with that person, too. I always wonder where its destination is. Would it be flying back to my hometown, too? Would anyone I know be thinking of me when they see this same flight later?

I hope I will never have the day to lose my excitement upon seeing an iron bird in the sky. What was once impossible has now become possible. Life is getting more and more exciting!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A moment of silence.

Being joyful over Osama's death would make me a monster. But the scariest thing would be me being indifferent upon hearing the news. Because that is just so not the Cher Linn I use to know. I don't want to let anything dilute my thirst for news outside my comfort zone, and the analysis that come after that.

Thank God, I still ask: what's next? (in a manner that I do look forward for good answers)

Come to think of it, what makes his death less significance is the ideology of radical Salafism Osama propagated via al-Qaeda. Because the ideology lives on even after the propagator dies.

Some people live to make a difference. They left their legacy, in a good way or bad way. We all have a choice about what kind of legacy we want to leave.

What are you doing with your choice?