My Letter to God

Dear God,

First and foremost, thank you for blessing me with a life so full and enriching with experiences I would never trade for. Wonderful family (though we are kinda apart right now), a terrific group of friends consisting of girlfriends who will always back me up and at the same time kill me, and of course, a lovely boyfriend who keeps my Facebook password so I will not degenerate into a social media psycho.

Secondly, thank you for all that you have given me – the brains, looks (I’m being thankful for my normal looks, not praising myself ah), and a tongue which, alhamdulillah, I have managed to keep in control since being twenty. I cannot thank you enough for giving me the talents I’ve acquired over the years – verily they belong to You and I am merely your vicegerent in this life on earth. My stories, my speeches, my scripts, my film, my writings – they are all Yours.

Gandhi believed in passive non-violence protests, and so did Martin Luther King. I’m pretty sure You know that Gandhi got that from Your Beloved Messenger, Muhammad saw. So I shall follow them as well. The Prophet was once reported saying, “Do not speak unless you can improve the situation.” I spoke earlier before I wrote this. I spoke a few minutes, hours, days, months and years before this. And yes, I know that not all that come from my mouth are good. But the good comes from You, and the bad comes from myself and the Syaitan whom you condemn.

Ya Rabb, one of the person whom I admire most is Yasmin Ahmad. You taking her away may seem unfortunate, but I think it is a blessing. I can only imagine the pain she went through when people who hated her films said very mean things about them. One of the things she taught me while she was still alive was to never go to bed angry. She wrote on her blog that it’s important we forgive every single person who’ve hurt us. There’s no use holding on to grudges.

So God, I want to forgive anyone who has hurt me in the past day or week or month or years. And I would like to apologize if I have hurt anyone in the past day or week or month or years. And yes, this includes my father. You said justice and ‘adl are central to being a Muslim, so I shall leave it to You for justice to be served in an ‘adl manner.

I hope this letter gets through the other letters. I would have sent a registered mail to you by doing a night solat, but I’m kinda having the time of the month. So digital mail is the fastest, I hope.

Till the next letter, give me the strength and the courage so I can go through life without any more hiccups.

Lots of Love,

Shams

The Dilemma of the Dreamer

Without even realising, October has come and passed, leaving us to rejoice in the last two months of the year. 2010 has been too fast for my liking. I guess it’s true when people tell me that once you enter uni life, the clock ticks like there’s no tomorrow.

This semester has been exciting for me. My three-day week on campus has allowed me to spend my time doing things I would rather do other than studying – because seriously, I think I’m starting to get allergic to examinations – but of course, it leaves me guilty of not trying to pull up my grades, though I know I should really be doing that. Nevertheless, modules this semester were interesting, still is I think, and lecturers could not have been more helpful. Sharmee’s Best Lecturer Award of 2010 goes to Prof Edna Lim who heads TS2238/SSA2218: Singapore Film – Performance of Identity. Awesome module, great group mates and the most exciting assignment ever – making our own short film – what more could I ask for?

Apart from school, I’ve been involved in a few productions that I wish I had put more effort in. Limited resources, so I can’t really blame myself, can I? I’m not trained in writing, filmmaking, or even a qualified production assistant, but I’m a keen learner. I have a dream, and inshallah, if all goes well, I’ll be studying to be a filmmaker.

Speaking of dreams, having written a few scripts this year and seeing them in the making, I realised the difficulty in accepting reality when you have a choice of creating the imagined. When we dream or idealise of another world, we tend to want them to come true. But seeing a dream come true through a medium that is artificial, that’s not ideal. As a writer, I’m torn between writing the truth and the constructed imagined. When I write the truth, it would force me to write only based on what I have experience. When I write the imagined, however, I would want to experience it despite knowing that it would never come true.

This is what I call, The Dilemma of the Dreamer.

There is perhaps no solution for this dilemma, but there is a prevention. I faced the dilemma once, so I stopped having high hopes on the people around me so that I know what I imagine will remain an imagination. Or rather, an illusion. I can’t pretend I have a perfect family when I know I don’t; I can’t pretend I’m the most sought-after girl when I know I’m not and I can’t pretend I’m a success when I don’t even know what success means.

For now, I’ll go back to loving myself so I’ll be happy. This one’s for you, RP. Happy Fifth Month together.