Friday, November 30, 2001

Semalan Negara kehilangan satu tokoh yg sukar dicari ganti-Usman Awang.Berikut adalah satu email yg aku tulis kepada rakanku:

Masyarakat sepatutnya berkabung kehilangan sastrawan negara yg begitu
prolifik semasa hidupnya.Tapi sayang seribu kali sayang, masyarakat kini
lebih tertumpu kepada yg berpangkat ,berkuasa dan berharta.Sastrawan kita
kadang2 nak hidup pun susah.Begitu juga dengan tokoh ilmu ....

Dalam buku The Asian Renaisance karangan Anwar Ibrahim,beliau ada
membicarakan supremacy of culture and knowledge.Culture comes before the
empire, not the other way around. Kisah Si Tanggang yg lupa diri ,lupa asal
usulnya telah di sumpah menjadi batu oleh ibunya yg terhina dengan sikap
angkuhnya .Sekarang kita lihat ramai Si Tanggang dalam pelbagai
bidang.Manyarakat telah terpedaya dengan budaya Barat dan telah meninggalkan
budaya dan nilai timur kita yg mulia.Sebab itu sudah ramai yg telah tesumpah
menjadi batu-sumpah oleh Ibu Pertiwi!.Batu dalam ertikata badan yg sudah
kehilangan rohnya. Amat malang sekali nasib bangsa kita:-((


----- Original Message -----
From: "Saa'il Bareed"
Sent: Friday, November 30, 2001 11:35 PM
Subject: Re: [sdar] Usman Awang

> sdr Adib,
> sebutir lah mutiara yang telah kembali keRahmatullah
> Semuga Allah memasukkan arwah kedalam golongan mereka yang beriman,.
> salaam
> MA

Wednesday, November 28, 2001

Monday, November 26, 2001

In My Own Write
The family that reads together...
By Vasanthi Ramachandran
“The man who is too busy to read is never likely to lead.”

B.C. Forbes

A DIARY which writes back; portraits with curlers in their hair each night; a professor who dies but does not notice it; children flying on brooms playing a ball game called Quidditch and magic hats which tell a person’s character.

Magic and more can be found in “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer”s Stone” making the book, the movie and its author the hottest items this millennium.

It is impossible not to be sucked into JK Rowling’s contemporary wizard world that is so real and yet goes beyond anyone’s imagination.

However, though the film has a lot going for it, I would say that there is a lot more of the picturesque stuff that director Chris Columbus (who also did Home Alone) could not capture.

Rowling’s narration using new words, new games and new names is so unique and amazingly-believable. That is the beauty about a good book and a successful author.

In a well-written fantasy, the reader will depart from reality and be absorbed into the fantasy of it.

With the success of Harry Potter, we realise what children really want from books — fantasies, twists and the ability to identify with the characters that they care about. But most of all children want to know that justice prevails, there will be good over evil and that there are clear distinctions between right and wrong.

Though children read mainly for pleasure, we can weave in lessons, meanings and messages with a beautiful narration.

“I wanted to write a book that I enjoy now and would have enjoyed when I was 10,” said Rowling, a single mother whose own life magically transformed from living on unemployment benefits to being one of the richest in the UK.

Rowling came out of nowhere to hit the top of the adult hardcover bestseller list all over the world. Her book has brought a new phenomenon in reading — a book that both adults and children enjoy with the same intensity.

I understand Rowling’s euphoria when she said, “I love writing these books. I don’t think anyone could enjoy reading them more than I enjoy writing them.” Her success is the dream of any writer.

Rowling, wrote on scraps of paper in a local cafe while her three-month old slept at her side. “It was pretty cold and miserable in the flat, so as soon as Jessica fell asleep in her buggy, we’d head for the cafe and I would start writing,” said Rowling.

Her ideas first evolved when she was stuck on a delayed train to London.

“It started with Harry, then all these characters and situations came flooding into my head. It was an excitement I’d never known before. But it took me six years to write the book.”

Rowling clearly possesses both ear and eye for the unexpected, working her own brand of magic with turns of phrase and flashes of humour that are subtle. Undeniably, Rowling’s series plucked an imaginative chord, and children responded with enthusiasm. These vibrations rocked the adult best-seller lists as well and got the attention of the media.

Indeed, what it boils down to is, there is no substitute for reading, even in this era when knowledge could be acquired from other means. Reading is the key that takes us to a world of thought, fancy and imagination that is beyond our everyday experiences.

Sadly, Malaysians hardly do read. They read textbooks merely to pass exams.

A lot must still be down to change this. Reading must be seen as a fun thing - a family activity, if possible.

Well, the Harry Potter series have indeed given my three children, my husband and I a lot of joy. The books have become a conversation topic as well as invoked other fun activities.

Start by reading the first book or catch the movie and you will know what I mean...

* The writer can be contacted at

Sunday, November 25, 2001

The family that reads together....

Dear Vasanthi Ramachandran,

Referring to your article in the NST to-day, I can only dream of it. I have three kids ( all boys ranging from 12 to 20 yrs old) and only my second son enjoys reading . I have tried many methods, but the other two of my boys just only read their school text books:-((

Btw, my wife and me read books at home. Any tips?

On the other hand, I started a mailinglist among friends who enjoy reading. Please check it out at :
You are aslo welcome to join us.

Best regards,

---Mohd Adib Noh
Books to read by year end 2001:

1. The Asian Renaissance-Anwar Ibrahim
2.The Painted House-John Grisham
3.The Code Book-Simon Singh

Saturday, November 24, 2001

Now, I am reading The Asian Renaissance- a very intellectually provoking book.Hope to finish by end of the year 2001.

Thursday, November 22, 2001

Dah hampir tamat baca buku Tasauf Moden. Satu pengajaran dari sabda Rasullulah apa dia tanya Jibrail sama ada dia hendak kaya saperti Nabi Sulaiman atau miskin saperti Nabi Ayub? Rasullulah menjawap:
Dia mahu senang satu hari supaya dia bersyukur dan susah satu hari supaya dia berdoa kepada Allah.

Wednesday, November 21, 2001

Some notes from Tasauf Moden by HAMKA:

The rich and the poor may have different foods at different places, but the feeling of full( kenyang) is the same. Similary, the feeling of headaches or other illness is the same irresppective where you live either in the palaces or on the roadsides. The final event -death of oneself ,is also the same.
Cover Story (NST)
Hats off, Harry!
By Sharon Nelson
THIS goes out to all Potter fans who refuse to watch the film on principle: Don't be so blitheringly mule-headed.
Yes, Hollywood is particularly adept at turning gold to flaking-off gilt, and yes, the hammy Home Alone are no great testament to director Chris Columbus' ability. But since you believe in magic, believe that some of it was at work here. If previous Hollywood releases are anything to go by, the bigger the hype, the bigger the let-down. Not so with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, which is a beautifully-rendered piece of work, as fine as if it were outlined by a feathery quill and filled in with all the colours of enchantment. In short, as you would have no doubt heard or read by now, it stays remarkably close to the book, no mean feat since J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone (Bloomsbury, 1997) simply fizzes with witchery. Rowling, a struggling single mother at the time, shot to fame and wealth with this first of an anticipated seven Harry Potter books. The arrival of Harry changed children's reading habits worldwide -- he has been translated into every conceivable language, including Persian. In the initial euphoria, CNN reported in its health segment that kids the world over were turning away from computer and television screens to read about the boy wizard.
The story goes like this: Harry is an orphan who lives with his mean, repulsive relatives, the Dursleys. The Dursleys relegate him to a cupboard under the stairs and the misery of his life is untold. Until, that is, his 11th birthday, when Harry finds out that he is, in fact, a powerful wizard and a household name in the wild world of magic. He gets accepted into the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry and, like all interesting people, quickly makes good friends and deadly enemies. Soon, he finds himself the main player in an Arthurian quest -- to recover the Sorcerer's Stone and more importantly, to prevent it from getting into the wrong hands. Rowling's writing is replete with visual drama and wonderful quirks, all spectacularly captured in the 2 1/2-hour-long film. From chocolate frogs and feasts that magically appear, to the power of unicorn blood and the danger of flying high, you get the sneaky feeling that someone stole into your imagination and took what was there. The casting, essential in a story where each character is described to a T, is as precise as a pinprick. Daniel Radcliffe, the boy who plays the title role, was decided upon after eight months of casting calls during which tens of thousands of Harry-hopefuls were weeded out. Though the search for his two best friends - the large-nosed redhead Ron Weasley and bushy-haired know-it-all Hermione Granger - was by no means as exacting, there is definitely a welcome onscreen chemistry between Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson. The rest of the cast, stunningly talented and no doubt dramatically expensive, deliver the sterling performances expected of them. Richard Harris plays wise and kindly Albus Dumbledore, Maggie Smith the no-nonsense Professor McGonagall and Robbie Coltrane, the gentle giant Hagrid. Particularly outstanding is John Hurt's dry, sibilant Mr Ollivander, the person who sells Harry his wand. Columbus shows a sharp eye for what translates well into film. One of the main strengths of the film is that it does not try to be the book. As good book-to-film-makers (think Merchant Ivory, Lasse Hallstrom) know, pregnant moments in writing often come across as damp squibs of emotion on film. Take, for example, the scene in Mr Ollivander's shop. In the book, Harry needs only hold a wand for Ollivander to fathom its unsuitability. On the screen however, the scene is modified to be slightly more energetic. Harry's wand-waving goes awry and the sense of chaos is only heightened by Hurt's raised eyebrows and an understated "I don't think so". Another sign of a thoughtful production is Alan Rickman's Professor Severus Snape. In the first book, Snape is Harry's sworn enemy, cast in the mould of the teacher-bully who picks on people because he can. But readers learn in later books that Snape is not all he is cut out to be. Without the luxury of hundreds of pages, Rickman's sardonic, proud and threatening Snape conveys all the complexity of a character who is by turn cruel, misunderstood and a bitterly-reluctant good guy.
Rowling's heavy involvement in the film configuration of her beloved novel (she only liaised with one person in the whole of Warner Bros whose job description was the Harry Potter Gatekeeper) paid off tremendously.
Given the care that went into the making of the film, one cannot help but wonder why the promotion locally was so - come on, let's say it -- soggy.
Earlier this year, insiders in Warner Bros Malaysia promised a bewitching lead-up to the release which included, a ride in a train dressed up to look like the Hogwarts Express, a Harry Potter buffet and a costume party. None of this happened and the reason this is worth the grumble is not because journalists missed out on a palmful of freebies. No, promoting Harry Potter matters because it would have been the ideal tool for drawing children into the magic world of the written word, ESPECIALLY in a country which is not known for its devotion to books. As it was, there were grave errors on the invitation - "veune" for "venue", for one - a dismal representation of a writer who nearly won the Whitbread.
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is by no means a perfect film. In remaining so loyal to the visuals and the text, the filmmakers seem to have neglected the emotional muscle which gave the book its luminosity. The reason that millions of children, from Iran to China, let Harry into their hearts is that he is really, astoundingly ordinary. His is a flame of grief that never gets put out no matter how many friends he has, or how much better his life gets; and if you think that children don't understand these things, then you're seriously kidding yourself. Radcliffe's expressions however, range only between impassive and in bright moments, a sweet, sweet smile. The Harry that we all fell in love with gets angry, breaks rules and is too curious for his own good. Most of all, he is no stranger to the searing pain that lives within all of us, the loneliness and yearning which is burnt into our very beings.
The film-makers chose to work around that, rather than with it. In doing so, they missed out a large chunk of what makes the book enduring.
Still, the film is full of spellbinding moments loving depicted - in a word, magic.
* The writer can be contacted at
My priority is to read my books on Islam during Ramadhan. May Allah swt open my heart to him. One can easlily looks good if one were to buy and wear new clothes but that easy to beautify one's heart. It take a lot of hard work and patience ....I am still trying harder.

Friday, November 16, 2001

Just finished reading Harry Potter's and the Philosopher's Stone.Whew! I thought I would never finish this book. At first ,it appeared boring and childish reading this book.However, as the story developed towards the end,it is getting better.I am glad that I read it but I will continue reading other books first before I start reading the HP second book;-)

Just arrived at Chapter 16 of HP. I hope to finish the story to-night.
My next book to finish is Tasauf Moden,insyaAllah before the middle of Ramadhan.

Monday, November 12, 2001

Popular Bookstore is promoting a few books especially the hardcover ones. To-day, I can't resist buying my favourite guru's book on SIMPLICITY.To me ,simplicity is a beauty by itself. The book is called The simplicity Reader written by Elaine St. James.

Note; The original price for the book is USD 10 but I got it for RM 17.90

Tuesday, November 06, 2001

Harry Potter movie is coming to KL on 22/11/2001 and Ramadhan starts on 17.11.2001.
So, I must read Tasauf and HP first.

Monday, November 05, 2001

On checking what I am reading, I found that I am half way on Tasauf, one third on HP, one tenth on The Code Book and one third on Painted House! Four books at the same time:-(( It is time to set up my priority right.
Just finished Chapter 6 of HP& TPS. At home ,I read from the book. On the move ,I read it from palm111c using Isilo. Hope to see the movie on 22nd Nov;2001.

Sunday, November 04, 2001

Now, I am on page 60 of HP and the Philosopher's Stone. Hopefully, I try to finish reading the book before the movie comes to KL.
My friend Dr A told me that Harry Potter book is good to read even though it was meant for children. My kids are not interested to read it at all-too much fantasy according to Maher. Anyway, I will give a try;at least I will have some background when I see the movie later on.

Btw, there is going to be the premier show in London on Sunday 4.11.2001.