mercredi, septembre 29, 2010

Interview with Poets United by Robert Lloyd

Photo taken on one of the happiest day of the writer's life.

Have you ever met a person, where after no more than 10 minutes, you have complete adoration and respect for them? I recently did when I took the time to sit down and shape my most recent interview. This week for our The Life of a Poet Interview I was lucky to have a wonderful back forth exchange with Zalina Abdul Aziz, known to us at Poets United as Ninot Aziz.

For full interview, click here.

mardi, septembre 28, 2010

The most romantic movies ever

This is my list of the most romantic movies ever.

Just the thing to fall in love again...with all time classic Romeo and Juliet 1968 as my favourite.

Chocolat - Sinfully delicious

Moulin Rouge - Heartbreaking...

Shakespeare In Love

I will have poetry in my life
And adventure
And love

Titanic - Thunderous

Notting Hill - a bubble of joy

Cyrano de Bergerac - A movie of epic proportions

Romeo & Juliet

My only love sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unknown, & known too late!

dimanche, septembre 26, 2010


Are you attending the Willow Ball?
Poets - check out my preparations here.

samedi, septembre 18, 2010

Dances to lull the senses - The Gamelan

Ten years ago, I was a busy executive stressed out from incessant work and frustrated that my writing career had not taken off. Irani was just born, Iman and Inas just started school. We turned to theatre and music. Iman took piano lessons, Inas, the violin and I joined a gamelan class at the Actors Studio Academy.

We learnt traditional gamelan songs like Timang Burung, Togok, Lambang Sari and more. These were classic slow paced soothing music. Three years later, I joined the GiS gamelan group under the patronage of Angela Hijaz and we learned the Balinese gamelan at her celebrated estate Rimbun Dahan under the strict and watchful eyes of a Javanese Master, Pak Wayan. The gamelan was fast paced and more intricate. My daughter Iman joined the orchestra as well. Inas took the opportunity to continue her violin lessons with Pak Samsuddin Lamin who stayed nearby. Needless to say, those were lovely days.

The Gamelan Pahang of Malaysia originated from the Riau Lingga courts. A Lingga princess brought with her the full set of the gamelan orchestra when she was presented as a bride to the Pahang prince in 1811. The original set is kept at the Royal Museum in Pekan Pahang. In time, Tengku Mariam Sultan Ahmad took the gamelan to Terengganu in the early 1900s. There used to be 77 songs, faithfully recorded by the Pahang princess before she became the Sultanah of Terengganu. Now, less than 40 survive. As for the accompanying dances, less than 10 are actively performed.

This dance and song is the Lambang Sari which is an ode to the Malay princesses of old.

Lambang Sari, gak puteri

Terlindung dari pandangan
Indah gerak tari puteri
Bagai di dalam kayangan
Inilah lagu Lambang Sari

Damai di taman larangan
Nasi di hidang, sanggul di cucuk
Tapi apakan daya impian
Hati sayang diri berkecamuk

Nusantara berbelah bagi
Raja dan Sultan bermuafakat
Puteri ditugaskan pergi
Negeri berdamai, janji terikat

Gak Puteri membakar diri

Lambang Sari - The Song of The Princess

Hiding from mortal gaze
Swaying to the gentle breeze
Princesses at rest and play
Bewitching music of bamboo reeds

Enchanted garden, their sanctuary
A charmed life of royal proportions
Yet many trapped deep within
Yearning for her heart's desires

The peace of the land their charge
To be presented to her new liege
As bride, with accompanying entourage
With gifts and a silver box of betel leaves

Like a candle in the wind
Giving light, yet burning within

Finally I found a worthy recording of the dance Timang Burung, one of the most enchanting aand recognizable gamelan classic. The dancers are young but their subtle and precise form and movement promise the continuance of this art. Their movements depict that of a playful bird the princess Raden Galuh found on the beach.
Timang Burung

Raden Galuh eloknya puteri
Terkenal seluruh Nusantara
Cintanya pada Raden Inu Kertapati
Sehidup semati kiranya

Bila asyik rindu rinduan
Turun puteri bermain dipantai
Dapat seekor burung idaman
Bermain dia lemah gemalai

Menari inang menari nari
Dari pagi hingga ke petang
Cantik puteri berseri seri
Dari dulu hingga sekarang

The princess pined for her prince
Danced on the beach to sooth her heart
A bird of paradise had her bewitched
She swore they would never part

The next song is a classic recording of the dance and song Kunang Kunang Mabuk from the 1980s by the group SUKTRA of Terengganu Darul Iman. Pls ignore the first few irritating seconds...
Kunang Kunang Mabuk (Dazed Fireflies)

Bewitched by moonlight
The Firefly dances
Til it is time for flight
To meet the enchantress


My gamelan class at Actors Studio - Haris, Keiko, myself, Ana, Suchin, Maya and Candice with teachers from The Gamelan Club Susan, Gillian,Shahanum, Wai Fan, Engu and Datuk Faridah Merican.

Mum and Grandmother with Iman, Inas and Irani attended the graduation performance.

Poetry Copyright@2010 ninotaziz

mardi, septembre 14, 2010

Hari Raya Not So Long Ago and Now

This smile on my daughter's face reminded me why we 'Balik Kampung'' every year. This picture was taken at her Tok Mek's house. I have detailed and placed pictures of this year's trip home in my family journal blog here. It was a memorable trip to say the least.

Two years ago after Hari Raya I was inspired to set up a new blog on pantun, the first post was one of my first pantun entitled Tapai Pulut inspired by the tapai my mother-in-law made that year.

Tapai pulut daun rambai
Masak ranum dek taburan ragi
Mari kita beramai ramai
Balek kampung beraya lagi

Masak ranum dek taburan ragi
Di makan bersama teh bunga
Balek kampung beraya lagi
Hari Lebaran sungguh mulia

Dimakan bersama teh bunga
Tak tinggal jua lemang dan rendang
Hari Lebaran sungguh mulia
Yang dekat tersayang, yang jauh dikenang

And yet I feel a bit blue coming back in KL. Before Hari Raya, I was upset over the advert on TV3. After Hari Raya, all over the news, the investigation of the gruesome murder of self-made millionaire Datuk Sosilawati is scrutineered in detail. The murder of the Ustazah and child by a neighbour is resolved in lightning speed. Three teenagers go gallivanting during Hari Raya for days whereabouts unknown causing heartache to a worried mother.

In the days surrounding Hari Raya, a pastor from Florida showed how me crazy the world can get. I was therefore gratified to see a post by a fellow poet and blogger, Stafford Ray.

Stafford demonstrated there is still hope for this world.

vendredi, septembre 03, 2010


We will be going home up-north for Aidil Fitri. Our annual pilgrimage to the wholesome and true.

Selamat Hari Raya Maaf Zahir Batin. Drive safe. Keep safe.

And don't forget to listen to these timeless Lagu Raya before they disappear altogether.

Rudi & Ninot
Iman Inas Irani Ilena Ikesha

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