I can't write a thing. Nothing. My brain's empty. Nothing meaningful. I have lots and lots of ideas, too much, that I'm going to explode out of it . They all seemed useless, non-productive ideas. I will sit infront of the laptop every night, staring blankly at the idle screen ,like a sort of a moron. This feeling kills me from the inside. Yeah, you really want to do something, but you just can't, and without any reason. That causes some form of manic depression, a tension ripping you apart, an addiction. God, help me.
Please. Let me write, and I'll sleep like a brick. No, not a chance, no way.
Politics sucks. Politics are like lies; continuous lies, that some people succeeded to believe without a bit of uncertainty. I don't want to write about those lies. They are an enormous hate which is rooted deep inside our hearts, sometimes without a reason.
Economics? Oh, I don't know a thing.
Love? I had had enough.
I can't find a single thing that will not spark a heated argument, those which will not end in peace. Seriously.
Once, a sifu, a sifu of sifus of writers told young men about being a writer;
"Read,then read, then read, then read, then read....." If you want to write, then read, then read again, continue reading, and yes, just read. If you didn't, don't even try. You will fail. Disagree? Just search every single writer you know (the famous ones obviously),they certainly are avid readers. Bookworms, not necessarily nerdy, although that might be.
If you didn't read, you will write based on your opinions alone, your views of your cramped world. To you, yes, your view is wide, but to the others, you are just another attention seeking dude, rhetorics of unspoken normality,views that can be put aside. In the other hand , you're the cliche-still not out of the box. Get out. Sorry, not you, but the other billions who did not read.
I started reading heavily since Form One. The objective was simple, read the most number of books, and you will be rewarded by the school, perhaps the state, perhaps the nation herself. A certificate I will be proud to show off to everyone, including my future in-laws. Oh relax, I was just twelve at that time.My logic was illogical. The objective was clear, read MORE books than anyone else, get the presents. The school library gave a lot of stuff, seriously,haha, and that made the competition hard. They gave a big replica made of plastic-is it?- and written on it " The Reader of The Month" , sometimes a hamper of snacks, sometimes a certificate from the state, and perhaps some cash. I got a friend who got addicted with reading, and so my life started as a bookworm.
We borrowed two books each day, because that is the limit for non-librarians, and return them the next day, read or not. We made records for the books we read in a log given by the school. You have to write the authors' name, the titles, the summary of contents, number of pages, yes, everything. Sometimes we read books with a hundred pages, sometimes three, sometimes just a leaflet. Still readable. True story. We always make it more than a hundred records for a month. Yeeha.
I read so much that I was long-sighted, byopia by the age of thirteen. Seriously, I wear glasses until now. I read almost everything, from encyclopaedias to novels and magazines. I was thrilled by the pictures, anemones in the sea, turtles, islands, people of different sorts of colours. My friend even remembered the names of the nations and their capitals, reciting them without failure. In the early days I was dumbfounded by the diversity of nature, I was fascinated by everything I read. Do I sound like an old , old man telling stories? No, I'm just eighteen and happy.
Our mission succeeded, my friend and I took turns in receiving the rewards. I got so many certificates, I finally stopped doing reports for the books I read. Why? I don't think the awards are motivational enough. The books alone are too precious for us to read, they were hidden gems.Well, we found the real treasures, who would want those cheap certificates? Hah. We spent a lot of time in the library searching for every kind of books. I got adddicted with Enid Blyton and her short stories,and I took to reading all her books. Yes. All.
Enid Blyton's books in the school's library were plenty, I thought there were a whole rack just for her. The books were old, and although they were so many, I seldom see any student taking interest in her books, not even considering to look at them. Well, she was a Briton, we Javarians don't use her language much . Her writings were alien to them, most of my friends. Well, elves, fairy tales, dwarfs, angels and talking toys, who oughta read that kind of stuff? But I did. Her books taught me about ethics as a child, heck, I learnt most of the ways to behave from her! The simplest things-saying thanks, helping a friend, being polite- the simplest things most books forgot to imply. Nay, students still find her books childish, nonsense and rubbish.
I moved on to the classics, Count of Monte Cristo, The Three Musketeers,Little Women, Robinson Crusoe, they were just awesome. Alexander Dumas, Frances Anne Hodgson, Jules Verne. They are great writers, but the books remained old, the pages turn yellow, the books remained untouched. I kept wondering, until now, they are like; the best books ever, but nobody seems to have any interest. What the hell is wrong with the people?
Let them be. As my friend and I grew, we can reach the higher shelves of the small library. That is an analogy, seriously. We started to read books for the form fives, for the teachers. You can choose not to believe, but we read the collections of Malay stories by the Malaysia's prominent literary figures when a new box containing those books arrived at the library. A. Samad Said, Keris Mas, Shahnon Ahmad, Usman Awang, although their writings were sometimes so hard to understand, sometimes I failed to swallow the plot at all. Their books were a legacy of the only kind, the messages so softly delivered, stories you won't be able to think of. Most of the stories revolved around the hardships of the war at their time, they pictured life to be so mean and hard, but sometimes the stories were just political satires. A book I read just contains shit, and nothing else. Seriously, and literally, a book about shit. Check this out; Shahnon Ahmad; the title is 'Shit'. I just can't stop laughing.
Then, as hormones surge in, we moved to the teenage novels. My friend opted for the Malay novels, I went the other way. The Malay novels are full of puppy love, they made the girls laugh alone while reading. They are the most predictable, annoying never-ending love stories, non-beneficial, a waste of money, encourages illegal love among teenagers. Sorry . Haha. But, they really are cliches, I can tell the ending just by looking at the cover. I can vomit at the third page, I can't take them all. Certain Malay writers are the exception, they are legendary, they wrote different things; ideology, principles, the law of nature, all in a story. Sometimes a writer wrote a better story in a single chapter than any other writers. Some of them even got banned by the non-bookworm government. I understand why the authorities banned them , they themselves never read a thing other than fully biased newspapers, so why bother banning a book or an author? You decide.
I was enchanted-no- cursed by J.K Rowling, her books took my soul away. I read her books like a drug addict, they can't be put away, the attractions too strong. Stayed with her story to the end, I felt helpless when it ended. I read her books again and again, still enthusiastic as the first time I bought the book, as the first time I hold the hard cover, like a gold bar; no, much better.
The adventure continued, oh, I even read Narnia. Then, to every novel that made its way to the cinema, both the book and the movie bought. I Am Number Four, To Kill A Mocking Bird, name it. When I found Dan Brown's and Jeffrey Archer's books, my life flipped over. Theirs are a new kind. Thrillers. Intelligent writings-all time bestsellers in the world,and I chose to read them rather than study. Bad, bad choice.
Later on, when my father passed away, he left me with so many books I never read, or never bothered to look. He had his own small library, which I never cared to open. Books, from his college times. They were old- the print on the covers shows three decades ago. My father always read his books, everyday, yet I didn't even try to take a peek at the contents. Then , one day, I tried.
I opened the covers dumbfounded, startled. I felt so small, stupid and , small. I read so many books, but, what are these? His books aren't story books. His books aren't fantasies. Mine are teenage romance , dragon slayers, magic, tales of ancient wars. Mine are complete imagination. Mine are just stories. They start, and they end. That's it. But his books..
The authors of his books were the people from now, to a thousand years ago, and older. How legendary, and they seemed to write better. Old guides and advices from them , encrypted in modern printing , and new-age papers. His aren't stories of the past, his books are living legends, guide for the future.Family raising, leadership, jihad, society, economics, and yes, I am not kidding you, this is the real stuff.
The books contain rules and guides, explanations of how to live a life. The books had been translated to hundreds of languages since the early years, brought to sail by the Muslim traders throughout the world. They spread the books , spread the belief, spread the light. The books started from inks and papers in languages alien to us, but now they are present in bookstores nationwide. And until now, the books are being read, used and read again. You know what, these are the number one bestseller in the world for 8 centuries. Mind blown. Try one. Riyadhus Solihin.
All those years with the books seemed to be in vain. But, so be it.
There is no use writing when you don't read. There is no use reading, when you read only fantasies, lies and utter imagination. There is no use to read, if the books brought no good to anyone but you. There is no use to read when you don't have a reason other than to procrastinate.
اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ
"Proclaim! (or read!) in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created-"