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SPM Essay: The Last Words (2)

Posted in Essays

Assalamualaikum,

Aku godek-godek hard disk aku tadi, bosan sangat petang ni. So, as usual, mesti terjumpa esei lama and rasa macam nak post kat sini. So here goes. :)

*****************

“Shamil! Mum wants to talk to you!” Dad called me as I came emerged from my room. I quickly went over to him and took the cordless phone.
“Hi Mum! How are you?” I said, cheerfully.
“Hi Shamil, I’m doing okay here. We’ve just finished the meeting, my work here is done. I’ll be back in Malaysia next week, if God wills,” Mum replies.
“We’ll be waiting for you Mum!” I said, excited. Mum had been in Paris, France for the past few months for a conference meeting about some new medicine. And since I was away on a camp on the day she left, I have not met her for more than 4 months.
“How’s school Shamil? Is everything alright?”
“Yeah, school’s okay. We’re just finishing our syllabus now, SPM’s just 5 months away,” I informed her.
“Study well, okay Shamil? Listen to your teachers, and respect them. Never procrastinate with your works, finish them as early as you can,” Mum said.
“I will Mum, I promise.”
“I need to get going now dear, I have to finish off some paperwork. Say hi to Dad and your sisters, tell them I love them.”
“Okay Mum, we love you. Take care of yourself.”
“You too, take good care of yourself and your sisters. I love you Shamil,” Mum said before ending the conversation.

I put the phone down on the table and joined Dad and my sisters at the living room.

“What did Mum said?” Dad asked.
“She said hi to you, and told me to tell you that she loves you. She’ll be back by next week,” I informed Dad.
“Mum’s coming home next week?! YAY!” my youngest sister, Arina, who was just 7 years old, exclaimed. “Yay, Mum’s coming home!”
“Why isn’t Mum coming home now, Daddy? I miss her so much,” Fazila asked.
“She’s busy with work, dear. She has a lot of paperwork to be done. She’ll be back soon, okay Ila?” Dad said. Fazila nodded slowly.

Exactly one week later, all of us went to the airport to pick Mum up. From the flight list we saw at the entrance, Mum’s flight from Paris should arrive at 8:00pm. Since it was just 6:40pm when we reached the airport, we decided to grab dinner and pray before waiting for her at the arrival gate.

Ila and Ina could not wait to see Mum, both of them practically ran there after performing prayers. Dad and I just shook our heads as we made our way to the arrival gate, understanding their feelings.

At 8:15pm, there was still no sign of Mum at the gate. Ila and Ina were getting anxious, and so was Dad. He called Mum’s phone numerous times but his efforts were futile, he kept reaching her voicemail.

By 9:00pm, the four of us were frantic. Dad went to the information booth to ask about the flight, while Ina and Ila sat down at the chairs, looking forlorn. I sat on the floor in front of the arrival gate, ignoring the weird stares by the people around me. I only have one thing in my mind, MUM.

As I sat there, something caught my attention. The television nearby was broadcasting the night bulletin. I did not pay much attention to it as my mind was fully occupied by the thoughts of Mum, when I heard something that ripped my heart apart.

“Flight MH8134 from Paris, France crashed after experiencing major technical difficulties. The crash resulted in the death of all passengers on board, including 15 cabin crews.” The newsreader announced.

I could not believe my ears. I looked at Dad, he was watching the news as well. His face crumpled, and his legs gave away. Ila and Ina ran towards him, bursting into tears. I felt tears coming into my eyes as I remembered Mum’s last words to me.

“Take good care of yourself and your sisters. I love you Shamil.”
July 18, 2013
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ESSAY: Purdue Application

Posted in Essays

Assalamualaikum,

As I battle time in the process of unpacking and packing and clearing out my room before I go to the States, this blog has been the victim as I leave it unattended and lifeless. So, just to ensure that it does not die out, here’s my application essay that I sent to Purdue University, West Lafayette last year for your entertainment. Enjoy :)

[ Side note: This essay was written last minute before sending in the application, so pardon the lack of ideas and all. Hihi ♥ ]

Envision yourself near the end of a fulfilling, lifelong career and you just published your autobiography. Share the title and introduction. (250-1,000 words)

Sabah family trip, 2010.

I imagined my whole life as a vast sea, spreading out for miles and miles into the unknown, filled with millions of species of fishes and other aquatic organisms. Between these fishes lie the biggest fish of all, the fish that I have been wanting to catch for years. To enable me to catch this dream fish of mine, I would need three things – a sturdy fishing rod, a strong fishing line, and a good bait. This is an analogy of my life, where my ultimate goal in life is represented by the biggest fish in the sea. My supportive family members act as the rod, giving me support and encouragement, whereas my friends become the line, helping me to reach for my dreams. The bait, on the other hand, represents the effort and hard work that I need to put in to achieve my goals. For a fisherman, he would need the rod, the line and the bait to help him catch the fish. The same thing goes to me; I would not be able to reach for my dreams without some effort, and, of course, the support from my family and friends.

I was born on August 23, 1994 as the only daughter of Associate Professor Dr Noor Azmi bin Mat Adenan and Zainab binti Mohd Salleh. I had three brothers; one of them two years older than I am, and two younger ones. Being the only rose among the thorn, I was quilt spoiled by my parents when I was young. I had my ways most of the time, I was given special treatments on special occasions, I was the center of attention. But, as I grew up, the special attention transformed into special responsibilities. I had to help my mother with various household chores while my brothers chilled in their rooms, playing computer games and watching movies. Although I protested about the unfairness at the start, I grew up to realize that it was actually good for me, as it helps me to be responsible and independent. It gave me a certain level of power too; as I was able to boss my brothers around if they leave their dishes unwashed or made a mess of the living room.

I have to admit, I had a pretty adventurous childhood, going to places my friends could only dream of going. When I was eleven, my father got transferred to a local hospital in Harold Wood, a small and quiet town in East London. One of my earliest recollections of the times I was in England was in July 5, 2005, the memorable day in which I first stepped on the land of England. I remembered telling myself as I walk down from the aircraft and into the terminal that I would remember that day until I die, as I have been yearning to set my foot in the country since I was young. For the next two years, my family stayed in a town called Harold Hill, where my father would drive to the next town for his work every weekday and my mother stayed at home, cleaning up the house and taking care of our small garden at the back of the house. Meanwhile, my brothers and I were enrolled in the local schools in the area. My older brother and I were sent to Kings Wood School, while our younger brothers were sent to the local primary school. During our two years stay in London, our parents bought us around Europe, and our school holidays were spent on various activities, such as travelling by underground train to Paris, driving all the way north to Scotland, living in a cottage house in Wales, riding in a gondola in Venice and many more.

When I was thirteen, I was sent to an all-girls boarding school, living alone in Malaysia while my other family members were still in London, having fun visiting the Emirates stadium, home of the Arsenal soccer team, which was my favorite team of all. I was jealous, that was certain, but I was having too much fun in a new environment to think about it. Being far away from my family for a few months taught me how to take care of myself, being independent and responsible for my own choices and decisions. Living in a hostel for three years with girls aged thirteen to seventeen years old gave me the perfect platform for me to hone my communication and social skills, while collecting valuable memories and experience along the way.

In 2010, my parents decided to transfer me to a private international school, thinking of how it would help me prepare for my university years as I mix around with students of different nationalities. It was at that particular school – Kolej Tuanku Ja’afar – that I developed my passion for writing and photography. My seniors, who were taking their A-Levels before flying off to either the States or United Kingdom, shared their knowledge about photography with me, while my English teacher helped me improve my writing skills. After almost two years at the school, I successfully became one of the participants in the year-long young journalist program with the local English newspaper, a major breakthrough for me in my dream to become a famous writer.

My journey to become the person I am now was not an easy path. I faced obstacles around every turn; I had people criticizing my every decision, pulling me down every single time. But the support that I received from my closest friends and family kept me strong; the encouragement that my teachers gave made me held my head high. They stuck by me through every hardship; their friendship and support gave me the strength I needed to pursue my dreams. They helped me realized my passion and gave me the push I needed to strive and achieve my goals. Without them, I would be nowhere. Without them, I would not be here at all.

July 10, 2013
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Essay: Wish

Posted in Essays

Assalamualaikum,

A very last-minute, unrevised, unedited essay. Feel free to read. :)

****************

Lennon was tired of it. He was tired of being picked on by everyone. He was always the punching bag in school. The other kids kept on making jokes about him, putting earthworms and frogs in his locker, hiding his shoes in the changing room, ripping out pages from his books.

He got used to it after a while, but sometimes it was just too much for him to handle, too much for him to tolerate. When his favorite fountain pen was stamped and broken, he broke into tears. It was the only thing he had from his late father, and now it was gone. As he picked up the broken pieces, his small little heart whispered angrily.

“I can’t take it anymore. I’m tired of this. I wish I could be popular. I wish I could be popular so people would stop picking on me.”

He went back home that night with a heavy heart. His mother had prepared his favourite dish – friend salmon with apple pie, but he had no appetite to eat. He took a tiny bite at the dessert, and retired to his room – the only place he could find serenity and peace.

The next morning…

KRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING! KRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING!

“Wake up Lennon! It’s almost 7 o’clock! You’re going to be late for school!” his mother shouted from the kitchen.

Lennon opened his eyes lazily, his head in a dizzy state. He made his way to the shower and got himself ready just as the school bus pulled up in front of the house. He climbed up and searched for an empty seat.

“Yo, Lennon!” Drake called out from the back of the bus.

Lennon braced himself for a shower of insults from Drake. Who in the school would not know Drake Bennett and his group of football players? They loved to pick on people like Lennon, and thought that they were the coolest group in the school.

“Come here and sit with us! We saved you the best seat, next to Renee!”

Lennon was just about to counter his insult, but stopped his tongue just in time. He could not believe what he was hearing. Was Drake Bennett really offering him a seat? Next to Renee Yale, the cheerleader captain? Was he still dreaming, or was it all reality?

“Hey, Lennon! What are you waiting for? Come here dude!” Drake’s friend, Joshua shouted out.
“What? Me? Sitting with you guys? Are you guys sure?”
“Why wouldn’t you sit with us, we’re a team, man, remember? We’re brothers! Just sit here!” Drake said, pointing to the empty seat next to Renee.
“Lennon, darling, are you okay dear?” said Renee.
“Err…”

Lennon walked to the back of the bus in a haze, trying to register what was happening. Here he was, joining Drake’s gang, being offered a seat next to Renee, and being called Darling by Renee, the crush of his life? I must be dreaming, he told himself, and pinched himself on the thigh.

Ouch! Okay, definitely not dreaming… But how could this ever come true? Lennon thought, and suddenly he remembered his wish the day before. Is this really coming true? My wish to become popular is finally fulfilled!

He took quite some time to adjust himself to the new popularity. For the first time in his life, people are finally noticing him, not as a laughing stock, but as one of the most popular boy in the school. Girls were fighting over each other to get a lunch date with him, while the guys kept asking him to join them for football.

This is just too good to be true, Lennon thought as he put his arms around Renee, his new sweetheart. He could not believe his luck. First, he got his wish to be popular. Second, he got his dream girl to go out with him. And third, he did not even have to do anything to get all of these, since it all came to him.

Hanging out with Drake gave a bad influence to Lennon. Through Drake, Lennon had started to experiment with cigarettes and drugs. They always skip classes to go to the cyber cafes to play computer games. He had also started to lie to his mother, asking her for money to fulfil his addiction.

A few weeks passed, and it was time for the end of school examinations. Lennon was scared as he knew he did not prepare anything for the examination. When Drake realized how nervous Lennon was, he pulled him aside.

“Hey, Lennon, why are you so scared?”
“I haven’t prepared anything for the exams! I don’t even pay attention in class! I’m so going to flunk this exam!” Lennon answered, covering his face in shame.
“Hey, hey, hey, relax brother! Relax. That’s why you have us with you. We’re brothers, remember? And we stick by your side. Let me share with you our secret to success, the reason why we always pass our exams even though we didn’t do any work,” Drake said.

He leaned in and whispered something to Lennon’s ear. Lennon’s eyes grew bigger as he hear the secret, and his initial response was a big No-No.

“I’m not going to cheat! Never!” Lennon said firmly.
“Well, that’s your choice. But if you fail, don’t say I didn’t warn you,” Drake said, shrugging his arms. He walked away, leaving Lennon deep in thought.

“Should I? I would fail if I didn’t, but I wouldn’t have to cheat if I have at least prepare for this exam. Hmmm. Okay, I’ll cheat, just this once. After this, I’ll study, I promise,” he said to himself. He called Drake over and told him his agreement. Drake nodded with joy.

“Okay, here’s what you have to do…” Drake whispered intensely, and Lennon tried to remember every single thing Drake asked him to do. “Got it?”
“Got it, I think…”
“Okay, so you go now. We’ll wait by the back door of the office. The teachers would be in the meeting room, so the coast is clear!”

Lennon entered the teachers’ common room, and his eyes scanned the room for the stack of examination papers. There is was, standing tall on Mr Palmer’s desk. He went nearer and went through the papers. He was so busy that he did not realize the door opening and Mr Johnson coming in.

“Lennon? What are you doing here?”
“Mr Johnson!” he turned around, startled, and dropped the question paper that was in his hands.
“Aren’t those, your exam papers for next week?”
“I can explain sir…” Lennon was at a loss for words.
“You can explain to the principal. You better follow me now,” said Mr Johnson sternly. Lennon followed glumly.

********************************************************

Lennon was suspended for two months for attempting to cheat. While at home, his mother kept an eagle eye on him, making sure that he did not get involved in any suspicious activities. As he sat in his room, he thought of his wish again.

If only I knew being popular would mean ending up like this, I’d rather be the old me. I was much more responsible and matured back then,” he said to himself, regretting his wish.

June 9, 2013
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Essay: Picture Perfect Life

Posted in Essays
Assalamualaikum,
I was rummaging through my hard disk for a work of mine when I stumbled upon a few essays that I wrote back in 2010/2011, and I thought I should put it up on the blog to share. Enjoy :)
**************

“Syaza, aku jealous dengan kau.”
“Apahal kau nak jealous pula?”
“Hidup kau perfect je kan?”
“Perfect? Maksud kau?”
“Yalah, kau pandai, kau ada straight A’s, kau ada lelaki yang baik, hidup kau happy je aku tengok. Jealous aku.”
“Err…”

Life is never perfect. I never recalled saying that the life I’m living now is perfect. Heck, it’s been one hell of a life. I’ve had my heart broken by the people I loved. I’ve experienced loss and broken friendships. It’s nowhere near what you would call a ‘perfect life’.

Define me ‘a perfect life’. It is a life without heartbreaks? A life where you have tons of money? A life where you get every single thing you wished for? I have asked a few friends for their opinions, and as expected, they came up with different interpretations on what they call ‘a perfect life’.

A close of mine said that a prefect life is when you can be with that somebody who is precious to you. In short, you get to be with your loved ones. Another friend said that a perfect life is just an imperfect life that we considered as perfect, as nothing is perfect in this world.

My junior surprised me with her matured answer, “Life is only perfect when you think it is. Life is only perfect when you’re happy. But sometimes people make your life better by walking into it while other people make your life better by simply walking out of it. So, I think there’s no such thing as perfect life.

Life is never going to be a walk in the park, a bed of roses. There will always be something, or someone, trying to bring us down. Heck, life is never easy. It’s always going to be a roller coaster ride, sometimes with more downs than ups.

Everyone, at one point or another, will have to experience a situation where they’ll feel lost. Lonely. Hopeless. There has always been this insecure feeling somewhere inside of us, something that make us feel like giving up everything.

There’s nobody there to help you out. Nobody there to listen to your woes. Nobody there to lend you their ears. Nobody there to pull you up on your feet when you’re down. Nobody there to basically just care.

And seek help through patience and prayer, and indeed, it is difficult except for the humbly submissive (to Allah)” [2:45]

People have always forgotten to turn to Him at times of troubled. We always blame our family, our friends, our loved ones for leaving us alone when we needed them the most. We blamed them for abandoning us, for hurting us, for ignoring us.

Don’t sit and count the many times people have hurt you and left you alone. Instead, count the thousands times you’ve hurt Him but yet He never left you alone. Haven’t you realized that yet?

For indeed, with hardship (will be) ease. Indeed, with hardship (will be) ease.” [94:5-6]

As cliché as it will sound, everything in this world does happens for a reason. We might feel frustrated when we do not get what we wanted, but we never thought it might be for our own good. All we know is to ask for more, but we were never grateful for what we already have.

Fighting has been enjoined upon you while it is hateful to you. But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.” [2:216]

Instead of crying your eyes out, screaming out loud into your pillows, throwing every single thing your hands could grab, why don’t you turn to Him? Haven’t you realized yet, the only reason you’re alone is because He sent everyone away so He could be with you? Haven’t you realized that He gave you all sorts of pains so you could come out stronger?

Everyone is strong, and everyone is indeed special in their own ways. Never let anyone or anything tell you otherwise. Be strong, and be happy with your life. It’s one heck of a life. (:

May 26, 2013
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