Mind matters

That Ariadne girl in Inception was Juno wasn’t it? I prefer Ellen Page in the Ariadne character in oppose to Juno, which is the very ‘sharifah-amani-trying-too-hard-but-stagnant’ actress syndrome.

In aikido, we learn to ‘enter the opponent’s mind’ by using their energy flow and redirect it to them so that they can help us to defeat themselves. But that’s only at one level. Inception showed us another thing altogether. What I found awesome about the movie is that they explored the possibilities of tapping on the power of the subconscious minds further and deeper that it becomes a dream within a dream.

Sometimes I do wish I could do that. To be able to enter into somebody’s mind and extract information/thoughts/memories from it. Cool kan? And if I could, my husband would be the first one to run away from me, I think.


Tape Goreng from Rumah Makan Solo near Bintaro. Fried tapai, fried till crispy and eaten while it’s hot. The best recent discovery!

Called Sosis Solo. Their version of popiah. I cannot remember what it is made of, just that I remember the way Yosy ate it was one bite of cili padi and one bite of this. For a chili lover, it tasted like heaven on earth, believe me.

To do

Collin’s classics are selling for Rm 9.90 at MPH and during a tea date with Al before I left for Jakarta, we treated ourselves to some. I got Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte, a text I did while I was in college. And Emma, also read during those two hormonal A levels years. Currently at chapter 3 of Jane Eyre and  it is still as engaging as it was when I was studying it as a text, although I am not sure whether the reason for it to be engaging is the same. Back then, it was the text and to be fully engaged in it means to be prepared for the exams. Now, with every page, it is as if I travel back into those college days, the memories, the angst, the issues, the puppy-love, the final teenage phase–all seems to be flooding back in.

And as for the rest of the books. Well, lacking in focus is not something new about me. Hence, I read many books at one go. I am a chapter into My Name is Red by Orhan Pamuk, two chapters into The Economic Naturalist, How Starbucks Changed  My Life and The Almost Moon. I’m only at the post-intro part of iMuslim by Gary Bunt and have yet to even begin on Emma which I bought and Rita Mae Brown and Sneaky Brown- which I got as a gift from a guest.

Last night, I bought  The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, the only book I bought with the MPH voucher I got as a club member. I have no idea why I bought it in the first place, perhaps because I saw a girl on the KLM flight reading The Girl Who Played With Fire and I got curious.

AA anonymous

I am back from messy albeit addictive Jakarta. Too many things happened and too many lessons learnt which I would like to pen down here for my own remembrance. Not to mention hundreds of photos to be sorted out. But we came back home, rested a bit, unpacked, laundry, waited or our ‘gi’s to dry before going back to our dojo to train last night.

Is that commitment or aikidoholism?

Betawi bound

One last post before I am Jakarta bound, meeting my fate on the mats of the aiki.camp in the midst of other aikidokas, sensei-s and a sensei from Japan. I am both nervous and excited and I really hope I can pull this through. This journey has never been easy. BUT I keep telling myself, if KungFu panda can do it, so can I. But he’s  a cartoon, so anything is possible for him. As for me, it was hard work, trying to liberate myself from my own fear from within, trying to liberate myself from my ego and trying to liberate myself from any inhibitions I may have.

And speaking of liberty, on Monday evening, I had the opportunity to attend to the lecture by Prof  Tariq Ramadan, who was here for a visit at the husband’s former campus, ISTAC. Firstly, it felt good to be back at ISTAC. Although the husband was the student there, I used to just hang out at the castle like building, walking through and fantasizing that I was in Morroco or something, while waiting for him to finish class. Secondly, the opportunity to be listening live again to Prof Tariq Ramadan, the grandson of the great Imam Hassan Al Banna was priceless.

Prof Tariq Ramadan

The lecture he gave, to an overspilling crowd was ‘Is Liberty an Islamic Value?’. I don’t have the time to summarise snippets of his awesome lecture that night but in passing, he touched upon what is meant by being ‘liberated’ and the paradoxical relationships between the role of rules and laws in the liberation process.

I also got myself a book that night from the stalls selling books outside the auditorium; iMuslim by Gary R. Bunt, about the penetration of IT into the Muslim homes and how do the Muslims deal with the barrage of information and resources, both good and bad in the comforts of the Muslim home.

The internet has profoundly shaped how Muslims perceive Islam, and how Islamic societies and networks are evolving and shifting within the twenty-first century. While these electronic interfaces appear new and innovative in terms of how the media is applied, much of their content has a basis in classical Islamic concepts, with an historical resonance that can be traced back to the time of the Prophet Muhammad.

iMuslims explores how these transformations and influences play out in diverse cyber Islamic environments, and how they are responding to shifts in technology and society. The book discusses how, in some contexts, the application of the internet has had an overarching transformational effect on how Muslims practice Islam, how forms of Islam are represented to the wider world, and how Muslim societies perceive themselves and their peers. On one level, this may be in terms of practical performance of Islamic duties and rituals, or on the interpretation and understanding of the Qur’an. On another level, cyber Islamic environments have exposed Muslims to radical and new influences outside of traditional spheres of knowledge and authority, causing long-standing paradigmatic shifts at a grassroots level within societies. iMuslims looks at how these changes are taking place, including through social networking sites and the blogosphere.

I am just at the introduction part of the book and I find it a little academic-ish, maybe it was intended to be that way. But nevertheless, it is an engaging read, something which would be in my backpack for my in flight reading via KLM to Jakarta.

For now, I shall do my last minute packing and send all goodwill and positive aura to the camp leaders, in hoping they would be moved enough to let me out at least once in the duration of the camp to have my fix at Bumbu Desa.

Betawi is the name for old Jakarta. Or as the Oranje colonizers called  it, Batavia. I somehow prefer the sound of Betawi better than the sound of Jakarta. There is soto Betawi ( which is delicious!) but no soto Jakarta. So Betawi, here I come, yet again! 🙂