Category Archives: Musings

The week after

Langkawi race week. My third in four years. Big winds this time around, sometimes too big. Drama everyday, including a man overboard situation, delaminated sails and spinnaker antics that kept everyone huffing and puffing.

Great to see familiar faces and making new acquaintances. Rolling eyes at the same annoying people, sharing stories and laughs over nasik gulai lunch.

Being reminded of my own mortality and physical state of being every morning as I prepare for the next race with bruises and body aches piling.

Back to the real world, I thought Monday would be hell. Turns out that Tuesday was worse but Wednesday (today) is slightly better.

Thanks for another memorable regatta. Guess I’ll see you next year. Maybe.

Sentiasa yang terbaik

Dislaimer: aku biased, sebab terlibat secara tak langsung dalam pembikinan filem PASKAL The Movie.

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I have not written here in ages but I felt compelled to do it after the premiere of the film. This is obviously not a proper review, I just need to let it out of my system. Here goes…

Although people who have seen the early screening of the movie gave mostly positive reviews, I half dreaded watching it in a cinema full of Navy people. Takut ada yang bangun keluar sebab tak puas hati. But then, with a few admirals (past and present) in the audience, I don’t think anyone would.

The opening scene was based on true events, with the real characters watching with us in Hall 13. Cue real Navy pilot acting as a pilot, complete with lines. If this was Hollywood, he’d have his Actors’ Guild card already. My first thought was, “those are OUR chopper and ship!” Although pride had started to cloud my judgement, I tried to be objective and looked at the story as it unfolded.

There was a proper storyline, with a bit of drama and loads of action. It established the protagonist’s choices in career and life up until the present day, and the dilemma he faces. The back story could have been developed a little bit more, but it was not integral to the main story.

I love Jeb as the antagonist. His Jebat-like (Jeb, Jebat. coincidence?) point of view of a so-called ‘broken’ system as opposed to Arman’s honourable stance much like Tuah was believable and got through to me as an audience. I think Jeb had some really great lines. And the one-to-one showdown of knife fight between Jeb and Arman – favourite scene.

The military assets were a big part of this movie, they are no bit players despite their brief on-screen appearance. In droves the assets provided the impact needed to show how PASKAL are able to operate on land, at sea (above and underwater) as well as in the air. Yes, pride did colour my view of the movie. Memang aku bangga bila tengok kapal selam naik dan masuk balik bawah laut.

In an ensemble cast like this, the co-stars did well to support the main story. Cerita askar, kena la ramai kan. Had a bit of laugh watching real Navy people I know on the screen. Heh.

Technically, this movie had quality equipment and very capable director of photography. The POV angle during a certain scene was awesome. The CGI crew did well on most of the scenes, a few were so-so.

I was on location on the first day of shooting. My colleagues and I followed them to all the naval and air bases. We saw first hand how the film was made, about 70 per cent of it at least. I remembered some scenes, how painstakingly long the shoots were and how brief it ended up on the screen. At one point, I remembered shouting at people to go change their attire at six bloody am or else they won’t be working that morning. I remembered the headaches and the stress of being on set. However, I am touched that the crew still came up to me earlier, despite the things they went through with me during the shooting. Haha. Even got a hug from the military consultant, which was really sweet. A true professional and a great guy.

As an end product, I am happy with what I saw. I might go for a second viewing once it is officially out.

In the past month-and-a-half, I have watched five movies at the cinema, four are local films. Pulang, Hantu Kak Limah (way out of my comfort zone but I did enjoy it), OneTwoJaga and now PASKAL The Movie. Malaysian films are awesome this year!

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For visuals, check out the movie’s official IG

When you know you just don’t know

I got to spend a night onboard my favourite tall ship a couple of nights ago. Dapatla mengubat rindu.

After almost two years, I am feeling a little bit more comfortable doing this job. Experience helped, as well as the connections I have made. Still, there is a long way to go in this new journey. October 2020. That would be the finish line. For now.

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Under the light of a thousand stars

We were winding down at a cafe one evening when the topic of individuality came up, about not being swayed by our peers and being comfortable in our own skins.

I think it was the first time I said it out loud to others about it. About how sailing had a big impact in my life.

I was 14 when I learned to sail. A nerd sailor, I felt that I was cooler than the cool kids at school. Although I never had a problem with not being a cool kid, it was a nice feeling. It made me realised that I can be a different kind of cool and even if I was the only one, I am okay with it.

Ever since then, path has always been different from the ‘majority’ of my contemporaries. Japan was my country of choice for my undergraduate studies. Journalism when most of my friends ventured into the corporate world. A naval reservist.

Travel is another big influence in shaping who I am. The shoestring budget kind of travel, where each decision made is mostly based on cost and making the most of what I am able to afford. The kindness of strangers I have received, especially in 2010, made me rethink my priorities in life. It’s not about designer shoes or social status. It’s about passion and realising my dreams, it’s about giving back and living life to the fullest, despite the challenges that may come my way.

Make me better

Title of a song in James Blunt’s new album.  A very personal song and stripped down to the basics.  Pure music.

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Watching Grimm and Sleepy Hollow reminded me again of why we should keep a record of the things happening around us.  They ALWAYS go back to books, journals, letters.  I write crappy stuff in my journals, but there are some useful reminders of significant events and milestones too.  Of happy moments, of heartbreaks and valuable lessons.  Maybe not much of the last part, though.

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I am reading stories written by people I know this past week.  So different in style and genres but that is what makes it amazing.  Their personalities and characters are inside their books, sometimes in a word, an expression or even the names chosen to inhabit the world they created.  Local publishing houses, especially the new ones, should realise the importance of EDITING and PROOFREADING a product.  Typos can be a big turn off when you are caught up in the pages.

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Yes, I should write.