Notes From Pamukkale

Amidst dusk
Overlooking the horizon
Under skies so vast
She stood chilled
Feet nearly frozen.

Warmth was her heart
Blanketed with moments
Of falling apart
Of words unspoken
Of a fresh start
Of a future to awaken.

Four thousand miles away
On a setting profoundly wonderful
She vowed to remember
That wondrous day
And always be thankful
For some things may go astray
Yet life remains ever so beautiful.

This piece is originated from one my fondest memories of 2018. I can still vividly remember the color of the sky, the misty dusk and how chilly the stone on which my feet stood. I pray that I’ll be back one fine day in the future to do it all over again.

A Story Sadder Than Sadness

This post may contain spoilers.

I’ve just watched a Taiwanese film entitled ‘A Story Sadder Than Sadness’, also known as More Than Blue. Well, from the title itself, one can expect this to be a sad story. And by sad I mean, extremely heart-wrenching that you have to have tissues at ready, for your tears. I’m certain everyone who watches this will cry. If you dont, you probably have a heart of stone.

This film is a remake of the Korean film version. The story revolves around K and Cream who are orphans. They met in high school and started becoming best buddies. They even live together at K’s place till they’re both working adults who work at the same recording studio. K ended up having Leukemia with little time left to live. Concealing his disease from Cream, K finds a good guy for Cream to marry despite having feelings for her.

I don’t really watch romance. To me, they’re either too cheesy or too predictable and most of the time they’re disappointingly both. I like plots that contain surprises, which is why I prefer watching thrillers more than any other genre.

However, I have a soft spot for films included in the romance genre that :

  1. I can somehow relate to, and/or
  2. Moves me to tears.

Among my favorite romance films are Love Rosie, Our Times and You’re The Apple Of My Eye. I can relate to Love, Rosie for I’ve once fallen for my best friend. I cried for the other two films.

This sad story of K and Cream is definitely not a story I can relate to despite having a best friend who also happens to be a guy, whom I met in high school. For neither do my best friend suffering from a fatal disease nor me falling for a guy that is. But being a story that is sadder than sadness, I cried. And I cried hard.

I guess one of the reasons that make this story so heart-wrenching is due to the fact that both main characters, K and Cream have nobody but each other. Being orphans they dont have any family members so they’re basically each other’s parents, siblings, friends and lovers.

“K is like a mum at meal times, like a dad in the society, like a brother when I’m sad, sometimes like a lover, although he behaves like a fool at critical moments.” – Cream

Hence, K being killed off with Leukemia will deeply affect Cream, who in this case will be left all alone. Imagine being an orphan and when you finally met a companion who’s like a family member but he/she died too. Tragic. 

Anyways, I like this film for it showcases Love in all it’s strength and weaknesses. Viewers can attest to the essence of strength of being in love; the strength of letting go. This can be seen when K willingly gave Cream’s hand to another man, just to see her happy when he’s obviously suffering within. The selfishness of one who’s so deeply in love can be seen through Cream’s actions towards the man she marries. This is where weakness starts to reveal itself for Cream is not one to let go and it consumed her.

This film is definitely a tragic love story. It’s not a story you can relate to, but a story that will rip your heart out and make you sob like a baby regardless.

Is this film worth it?

Yes, for every teardrop and heartache I’ve felt for both K and Cream. And the soundtrack ‘A Kind Of Sorrow’ by A-Lin is amazing, you should go check it out.

The trailer to this film can be watched here.

 

Lessons of 2018

It’s been a week into 2019. Here’s what I’ve learned from 2018 that I’m more than happy to share.

On The Courage To Try

Especially those moves that scares and challenges our comfort zone.

Those small initial steps that seemed tiny and insignificant ended up leading me to great things beyond my own imagination, things that I could only dreamed of once upon a time ago.

2018 have taught me to take the leap of faith, to trust the All-Mighty that hold all secrets of the Universe and to walk the path in front of me bravely.

On The Most Valuable Thing in Life

Time.

Not love, wealth, fame or friendship.

Time.

Imagine having only 1 day left to live. Imagine having a few limited hours to breathe. I mean, isn’t that what life is all about?

Time.

We could die at any moment and time may stop ticking for us forever. Yet, what did we do with all the time bestowed upon us all this while?

By (the Token of) Time (through the ages),

Verily Man is in loss,

Except such as have Faith, and do righteous deeds, and (join together) in the mutual teaching of Truth, and of Patience and Constancy.

– Surah Al-‘Asr (103)

On Lost Things

Sometimes we find the things that we’ve lost. Other times, they remain unfound and sadly, forgotten. We’re held accountable for every single things that slips from our grasp. Most of the time, they haunt our memories, leaving us with pain and regret.

Well, unless you lose a white portable wifi amongst the snow and had to pay 50$ (like what happened to me).

On What Is Seen

We’re all hiding something from the world.

What you see is what it seems to be. Not what actually is. We choose to show and hide as we please.

There will always be two (or more) sides to a story. And if a person is a book, all you know might just be a chapter. You’ll never know it all.

Everybody is battling demons within their own lives. Not all choose to flaunt their war tales on social media.

On Imperfection

Life can be as beautiful as it gets, but it will always be imperfect.

We’ll never get everything. The blessed might get most, but not all. That’s the way it is; getting one thing and losing another. Having one thing and not having another.

The most important thing is to be grateful for whatever’s in front of us, to hold firmly what we currently have in our grasp and to not take things and people for granted. To live to the fullest and to see the beauty of life despite it’s imperfections.

2018 Reading Challenge

In previous years back when I was still studying, I used to set my reading goals to 30 books per year. Sadly, I barely read half the amount.

Hence, in 2017, I promised myself to read 11 books. I know, 11 was not a big number, honestly a huge decrease from my initial goals. But ever since I started working, it has been really hectic and I’ve set 11 just to test myself, if I could achieve at least that much. And I did! I’ve successfully read 11 books in 2017.

In 2018, I increased my goal to read a total of 24 books a year.

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Yep, successfully achieved that too, despite a hectic schedule, occasional reading slumps and everything. I brought one additional book, The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas during my trip to Turkey and successfully finished reading it in a day because the journey in the bus was too long to be spent by solely looking out the window the whole time, no matter how mesmerizing the view was.

Unlike 2017, my read list in 2018 was pretty diverse, language and genre wise. I tried some non-fictions and included some Malay and Indonesian books into the list. One of those were written by my good old friend, The Physicist’s Odyssey by Zamir Mohyedin (whom I called prof).

All in all, my 2018 year in books have been great. Some of the books I’ve read were impactful, others not so much. But I loved them all.

Here’s to reading more this year!