Friday, November 25, 2011

Youth, Aberystwyth, the Welsh and the Never-ending Adventure of Life

Aberystwyth esplanade, 1993.
4. Rehearsals & Auditions
Ho! Young men!
Ho! Peelers of the divine onion!
You have not tasted annihilation,
That which you experienced thus far
Were naught but a rehearsal,
An audition of tears and fears
Before a Mercy Ocean,
Infinite in Its Breadth,
Breath-taking in its similitude!

How to get there.
Sheep or Man? In 1993 I paid a visit to my friends studying in Aberystwyth, Wales. The fact of the matter was I was planning to join my friends there for my 2nd and Final year law degree. But Moses, who found himself in Leeds wrote after visiting the Welsh university town, that "Aber is a good place to stay and study in, IF you prefer the company of sheep to man." So that was how I ended up studying in Leeds University instead. In hindsight, I would have undoubtedly been happier in Aberystwyth. After all, the Welsh are famously known for their ability to sing and play rugby. Leeds, being in Yorkshire, is a cricket-mad town, with the famous Headingley Cricket Ground next door. Alas, I am not much for cricket. And I think I do prefer the company of sheep to man.
You cannot be Welsh if you cannot sing.
Retirement Town. The visit was occasioned by the production of the Annual Malaysian Night, a yearly event for almost all British universities which has a sizable Malaysian presence. I recall that for Aber, one of the sponsors for the festival was the local Jewish butcher, since he had a monopoly being the only kosher meat seller to the large Malaysian Muslim diaspora. Aber is known as a retirees' town, but I was enamoured by the pretty little place, as I watched doddering old couples walk the esplanade, with the Atlantic Ocean relentlessly beating against the sea walls. 

40s. Now me and my friends are all in our 40s. Looking back, I think none of us imagined how life would turn out for us. Certainly, many of my peers didn't end up being lawyers. Many are businessmen, bankers, journalists, producers, gold traders and one (Amirul) even ended up hiring elephants out for events and functions.

Good Tears. But even at out age, I think that most of us have not stopped discovering life and the world. Although many of us have turned into Ayah, Dad, Papa, Abah or Bapak, I can still see the gleam of excitement in their eyes and a keen gaze for adventure and knowledge. Those that have turned 'Sufi' are still waiting for more and more - Peeling the divine onion as Love and Truth slowly unfold in our daily lives. Laughing a lot, but also crying tears. But as I have noticed, not all of our tears are tears of sadness...

Moses in Leeds, 1993. Evidently he prefers
the company of man to sheep.
18. So Fill it!
O’ Lord,
I sit beneath this Weeping Willow
With my lips upon my flute,
And in my fondness for You,
The flute bursts into song,
And my eyes burst into tears,
You make my heart expand
And the Universe
Flows in.

But nothing
Shall fill it
Save You.
So fill my heart, please!

Have a good life, sunshine.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam

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