Faith, Love, Musings, Travel

Blessed

It’s halfway through Ramadhan and I haven’t had a chance to write anything here. I’ve been rather busy with work, managing the house and other external commitments. It’s my first Ramadhan as a working adult, but I’m thankful for everything that has been bestowed upon me.

Ramadhan started with me finding out a friend of mine began fasting. And I think our friendship is slowly turning into a beautiful relationship. I’m pretty thankful for that.

My travel plans for December is almost concrete. I just need to wait for a few more kaching to be in before I purchase my flight out. I’m rather nervous because I will be traveling alone for pretty much three quarters of my journey. I need my travel game face on when I’m out there alone and make new friends easily. Hopefully, since I’ll be traveling for about 23 days this time round, I’ll make an extra effort to blog and upload photos on the go. My heart aches every time I have to go through the photos after I’ve completed my trip.

Till then, Ramadhan Kareem!

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Love, Musings, School Life

University of Life

Two days ago, on the second day of Ramadhan, I officially graduated from the National University of Singapore. My commencement ceremony is the day I’ve been waiting for since a year ago, because being horrible in Science forced me to take a module during the summer vacation last year, hence not allowing me to celebrate my graduation with my fellow class of 2012. The perks of waiting an entire year for my graduation is that I get to commence with my best friends, Hannah and Izzati.

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With my no 1 fan, Sorfina!

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Family photo!

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I did not force my brother to carry me. Really.

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My sister, my role model 🙂

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Best friends I could ever ask for!

This past year has been trying for me. I struggled with my new job, often argued with myself when it comes to planning for the future, and made and lost some friends along the way. Nevertheless, I strived on and began loving the job I’ve been blessed with, learning new things as I go along, and accepted reality when things didn’t go my way. Verily, Allah is the best of planners.

Inshallah, may the coming years as I enter the university of life be beneficial not just for me, but also for those around me.

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Films, Love, Musings

Review: The Great Gastby

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I’m sure everyone is raving about the latest summer blockbuster – The Great Gatsby. Truth be told, I never intended to watch this movie until a friend of mine tweeted that it’s worth crying for. I love movies that make me cry. They make me feel human. Yes, I’m not shy of wearing my heart on my sleeve.

Through out the movie, I had questions that needed answering, but I silenced them out and sat till the end. This is one of the lucky movies I’ve watched before reading the book. I really want to read the book now that I’m done reading Dan Brown’s Inferno – of which I will discuss on another day.

As much as I would love to do a detailed analysis of the film just as how I wrote my Son of Babylon paper two years back, I don’t think it’ll be wise to do so now. I hate giving out spoilers so I shall give it a bit more time.

On a serious note, I think Gatsby is my new ideal man (minus his shenanigans). Move over Darcy!

 

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Love

Fitrah + Luthfi

 

It’s been quite sometime since I shot a wedding. I must thank my lovely clients who trust me to shoot their special day despite being a fresh face in the wedding photography industry. As much as my belief in love is starting to fade away, I love weddings. They give me the little glimmer of hope I need to just to reignite my faith in loving, and being loved. I’ve got a lifetime ahead of me to understand truly what it means to love, anyways. Like everybody else says, I am still very young – perhaps a child even.

Fitrah and Luthfi contacted me about two months prior to their wedding, and I was excited to shoot their wedding because Fitrah kept feeding me with the idea of a film themed wedding. She was a very efficient bride, I must commend on that! When I met the couple two weeks before the wedding, she came prepared with an event programme and people movement chart. I must say, I was very impressed. Now future brides, take a heed from her! Prepare your orang-orang kuat (strong people) for your wedding well!

When they asked for suggestions on the outdoor photo shoot, I only had one place in mind – Tampines Eco Garden. That place, for a brief moment in time, bore a special place in my heart. Bringing my clients there to celebrate the unification of their love meant a lot to me. It meant that I moved on. I no longer crave to remember the memories it once held for me.

That being said, I hope Fitrah and Luthfi have a long lasting marriage ahead. Godspeed.

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A Date Series, Films, Love, Musings

A Date with Patrick J. Adams

I don’t post much here but if you are a friend on Facebook, or following me on Twitter, you would probably know I’m a huge Suits fan. New York, law, witty jokes, dashing actors and actresses, and particularly my kind of lead actor – what there not to love?

Yesterday, I got invited to a private party at the Royal Room Pan Pacific for a chance get up close and (umm, too) personal with Patrick J. Adams, aka Mike Ross. He’s exactly my type of guy – tall, skinny, sharp features and awkward. Yes, awkward. I love awkward guys. Heh.

Enjoy the pictures! Just don’t kill me yet.

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First red carpet event for me! Haha of course I’m just a fan girl hogging the red carpet. Not in a position to be there without a free pass lol.

ImageLook at how gorgeous Patrick J Adams is!

ImageStill melting…

ImageAs much as I want Patrick to myself, I must admit Troian and Patrick look really good together.

ImageShe was wearing heels but I bet we’re the same height.

ImageHEHEHEHEHEHHE look at my gushing face!

ImageAsked them to smile for the camera and they gave me this! Hehe

And so with that, my birthday wish came true. Also, I’m thinking that if teaching doesn’t work out, I wouldn’t mind doing Public Relations. So many new friends made yesterday!

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Faith, Love, Musings

Say “I’m Fine, Alhamdulillah.”

I’ve recently signed up for classes titled ‘Lessons from the Big Screen’ with Safinah Institute with Ustaz Mizi Wahid. We’ve had 4 sessions now, although I’ve only attended two because of work commitments. Anyhows, at the end of each lesson, he assigns us some questions to ponder over the next week before we meet again. Last Friday’s session was a bit painful, so I decided I should write my thoughts out. After all, writing will always be my first love.

The class structure is such that we watch a movie that relates to the particular topic Ustaz has chosen, then we have a short discussion about it. Not really to critique the movie but more to absorb what we have learnt from it. So last week, we were watching Everybody’s Fine, featuring Robert De Niro. I knew I fell in love with the film at first scene. You know how artsy-fartsy I can get with my shots and all, and the film was shot exactly the way I would do it. Sigh. I really need to starting writing and making films again… but that shall be for another post.

Basically the story evolves around Frank (Robert De Niro) who is a recently widowed man having lost his wife a few months back just after Christmas. One day, after all his four kids cancelled on him for dinner, he decides to pay them a visit instead of waiting for them to come over to his place. The synopsis from iMDB is as follows:

A widower who realized his only connection to his family was through his wife sets off on an impromptu road trip to reunite with each of his grown children.

Pretty much a shorter version of what I wrote. Damn. I won’t spoil the story for you but I would suggest you watch the film yourselves. It’s emotional, touching and so real. I was crying even we were discussing the film (yeah right Sham you cry during every movie you watch *rolls eyes*).

Ustaz asked us if we are ever really ‘fine’. Challenges and problems will always be a part of being a true believer. We can never run away from problems. In fact, being tested is all part of being Muslim.

“Do the people think that they will be left to say ‘We believe’ and they will not be tried?”

[29:2]

We often hide our problems, some of us using that as an escape. Don’t think about the problem, and it won’t be there. But what is ironic is that we usually hide them from those who are closest to us. We fear for unnecessary concerns or worry from those closest to us. It is necessary, though, to have a confidante, someone to hear you out.

The thing is, our problems and challenges are a sign of love from God. He wants us to remain in faith even through the most turbulent times. In facing and handling the challenge, we earn God’s pleasure (mardhatillah) which is the key to Jannah.

“The greatest reward comes from the greatest trial. When Allah loves a people, He tests them, and whoever accept it gains the pleasure of Allah and whoever complains earns His wrath.”

– Narrated by Tirmizi and Ibnu Majah

We don’t realise it but God gives you the current problem to remove you from eternal sorrow. You know how fitspo blogs say ‘pain in temporary’ when they motivate you to exercise? It’s pretty much the same thing!

“When Allah wills good for His slave, He hastens his punishment in this world, and when He wills bad for His slave, He withholds his sins until he comes with them on the Day of Resurrection.”

– Narrated by Tirmizi and Albanee

How we deal with our problems will reveal our true character, and indeed, God only wants the best for us. The more pressure and problems He puts us through, the better we become. Rihanna sang Bright Like a Diamond, right? So should we! True loss happens when a man faces a trial and he turns away from God.

“Whoever Allah wants good for him, He puts them to test. He puts them through difficulties. Like a diamond or some metal that has to be burnt and then that which is bad from it is removed so that you have that which is the pure diamond or the pure gold or whatever. Put them to tests, trials and difficulties.”

– Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim

So there you have it, some of the takeaways from last week’s lesson. I hope I am disciplined enough to make this a weekly entry so everyone can benefit.

InshaAllah Kheir 🙂

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Faith, Love, Musings

Of Planning for the Future

It just dawned to me that’ll be turning 23 in about 2 months’ time. I’m not in denial, or afraid, rather I’m just surprised at how fast time flew by. I felt my life stopped at 16, because memories of high school seems so fresh in my mind. I guess it’s true when they say college is when time decides to fast forward itself.

I’ve been on full time work since August, and I must say I like the reaps of what I sow. Now that I’m working full time, I think I should make it a point to fulfill the list of things I want to do before 30. Well, I still have seven years in my hands but I can’t be too sure about having time. Work along with my freelance photography job makes “me time” very precious.

In 2010, I made a list of what I want to accomplish by 30. I have to admit, I haven’t done anything except make one out of the five films I’m supposed to make. As such, I’m shooting sort of a short film when I head to Hong Kong next week. If all goes as planned, it’ll be released in February, inshaAllah. I really want to make this film because I need to let go of things I’ve yet to let go of. I sound pathetic, but Adele is my biggest inspiration when my relationship failed. At the end of the day, as much as I am deeply saddened by what happened, I want to move on without any weight on my shoulders and put the past behind me.

As for now, I need to sort out my life and plan how I’m supposed to get into NYU Film school before 30.

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