My happy place
When I was a teen, I never quite understood why my dad and his siblings enjoyed talking about their younger days so much. They love being together whether it's Ipoh or Kuala Kangsar, the town where they grew up in. Their faces would lit up with joy when they talked about way back when. I used to wonder if they'd ever get bored reminiscing their golden days but they never do.
Now that I've hit my 20s—and yes I know I'm still considered young—time sure flies. It's a little daunting thinking about what's coming ahead especially since everything I'm doing now is moulding my future. Whenever I'm feeling anxious or uncertain, I find myself going back to what is familiar to provide a little balance to my otherwise fast-paced life.
My places of comfort are Perak and Kedah. I try to go back there as much as I can before it changes too much. There is nothing quite as comforting as being somewhere that was the backdrop of all your wonderful memories. I understand now why walking down memory lane with your loved ones can bring so much joy. To city dwellers reading this, go back to nature whenever you can; there is lot of wisdom that can be derived from it.
Kuala Kangsar has developed since my father's childhood but not drastically. I hope it'll always retain its charm. I told my sister just now I hope we can keep coming back to this exact same spot to reflect on life. In the future, perhaps our lives won't be the same. Maybe we'll become different people. But hopefully this spot will be the same and it'll remind us of how things once were and how we once felt. #SungaiPerak
I was in Kuala Kangsar last weekend with my sister to have lunch there and visit our late grandparents' graves right after. Just to make full use of our Saturday, we decided to spend time by the river. It was a hot afternoon; I forgot how great it was to be under the sun again. There were a bunch of boys playing football on a lush green field nearby and it brought back so many memories of my childhood adventures.
A quick look at my old photos will reveal an even chubbier me with a skin colour darker than Sungai Perak; a reflection of the long hours I spent playing outdoors. As I stood by the river with my sister, I couldn't help but admire God's creations. The mountains surrounding the river were perfectly placed; even the clouds above them were perfectly formed.
My heart was at ease but my thoughts were conflicted. How can this earth that Allah created be so beautiful but plagued with crimes, corruption and dishonesty? How can such a beautiful place have ugly hearted people roaming its lands?
I was then reminded of this story:
A man complained to Imam Ali: "The world is an evil place! It deceives man, it's a place of crimes and full of dishonesty."
Imam Ali replied: "You may be deceived by the world, but the world doesn't deceive anyone. You may have committed a crime but the world doesn't commit a crime against you. You may be dishonest but the world is honest with whoever deals with it honestly."
Imam Ali continued: "The world is a place for the friends of God, a place of prayer for the angels of God and a trading place for the lovers of God."
This world isn't perfect and if you expect its people to bring you peace, you'll be disappointed. But this world is a place where you can find solace provided that you look for it in the right places and with the right set of eyes. If you're ever disappointed in anyone—whether it's the people above you, beneath you or on par with you—just remember that there is still so much more to live for. Don't let a life that's temporary turn you bitter because you deserve happiness and the world doesn't need any more chaotic souls. As Mahatma Gandhi once said: "Be the change you want to see in this world."