Wednesday, 30 March 2016

The First Muslim

by Lesley Hazleton.






I've been meaning (since last year) to read this book till the end, telling myself "One day I'll finish it" but every time I started reading, something would hinder me from going all the way till the back cover so the next time I read it, I had to start from the beginning again, so that one day never materialised.... Until today. Haha. But better late than never! (pats self in the back) (congratulates self) (wears sash over body) (gives a heartfelt speech about never giving up)

My verdict? Loved it! I loved that it was written by a non-Muslim, thus giving me an insight from the perspective outside of Islam. It's an account of the life of our Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him (PBUH). Despite being largely an interpretation - array of historians' interpretations and the author's interpretation of those interpretations - I loved how it made me think and try to teleport myself to the settings of Arabia of millennials ago, which was not an easy picture to paint in my mental canvas. Some parts were a bit painfully belaboured, while some other parts fell flat and a bit detached and hard for me to relate to, but some particular parts struck me right to the core so I'll talk about those parts.

I must have learnt and been told about it multiple times but it must have never stuck in my head, but only after reading this book was I fully able to realise that the Quraysh people of Mecca, it's not that they denied God. They did not deny the existence of God. They believed in Allah. In fact, Kaaba had always been their divine sanctuary. The thing is, their faith demanded loyalty not just to Allah, but the lesser gods as well, the "three daughters" namely Lat, Uzza, and Manat. So yeah there's that, the invalidation to my own ignorance all this while for thinking that they simply rejected Allah.

And then there's the experience that Muhammad encountered on Mount Hira.

What exactly happened on Mount Hira that night? Muhammad's recount of that night was relayed to one person, and then to another, and then to another, at several removes and with each narration, the narrator struggled to translate Muhammad's ineffable experience into terms that mere humans can understand because as it was, what Muhammad experienced was beyond human comprehension.

His reported words came together in a set with panicked disorientation, a palpable feeling of terror.

 The author raised the question if it's possible that Muhammad was in an altered state of consciousness on that night. It's scientifically proven that fasting, sleep deprivation, and intense meditation (which were what Muhammad had been doing in the cave prior to the incident) can alter brain's chemistry, thus inducing such state, but the author also admitted that to explain everything by chemistry is to fall into the reductive trap of medical materialism.

Muhammad came stumbling down the mountain after his encounter with the angel. He slipped, he slid. He went to his wife, Khadija, trembling and shuddering and begging her to hold him & hide him, akin to a child seeking refuge from the terrors of the night. He did not come floating off the mountain as though walking on air. He did not radiate light or joy. Nor were there choirs of angels or golden aura circling around him to symbolise his elation and glory.  There was none of the things that one would think are essential to the legend of a man who had just done the impossible and crossed the border between this world and another, none of things that would denigrate his story as a mere invention or a folklore.

In fact, Muhammad's reaction was quite the contrary.

He was convinced that he was hallucinating, or being possessed. He trembled down Mount Hira with fear and was overwhelmed with doubt. The sheer humanness of his reaction may be the strongest argument for the historical authenticity of this event, and this just adds to how meaningful this event is as the starting point of him becoming the messenger of Allah.

And it made me believe even more that our prophet is indeed just a homo sapien, like you and me. The same way we'd be reduced to paralysing fear when we see ghastly depictions that take very different forms from our physiques in horror movies, Muhammad mirrored exactly this level of fear when he saw the angel on Mount Hira and the first revelation came to him.

Not just that, he may have experienced another level of fear - fear that what was asked of him was too much, fear of being unequal to the task, fear of being inept to shoulder such responsibility.

Another part that forced me into rumination was after Muhammad's hijra to Medina, when he came to realise that 2 years after the hijra, none of the Jews in Medina had accepted Islam. Muhammad would probably have assumed that the Jews of Medina would be the most ready to welcome his message with open arms, because their prophets were his prophets. The Quran honours the great figures of the Hebrew bible - Adam, Abraham, Moses, etc. so this should mean that Jews and Muslims were the common descendants of Abraham. They were two branches of the same monotheistic tree. They were cousins, not strangers. Muhammad could’ve been deeply disappointed with their resistance to his message, because like, couldn’t they see that they were betraying their own faith by not accepting Islam? Couldn’t they see that the Quran was not a denial of the Judaic message but a renewal of it? But the Jews probably saw no need for a renewal of the message that they received.

So these are the things from the book that are most memorable to me. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone who wishes to know a little bit more about our beloved prophet, about how he navigated through his journey from powerlessness to power, from anonymity to renown, from zero to hero. The cardinal input for me is that this book made me question, question, question everything I learnt in Pendidikan Islam (Islamic Studies) back in primary school and secondary school, and gave me, if not the best, a better outlook on our prophet and his actions. This isn't to negate outright everything that I learnt in school before, but if anything, this is to consolidate my preexisting knowledge about our prophet, and to give more meaning to it.


Monday, 28 March 2016

Lembaga Putih



Have you guys experienced anything mystical, anything superstitiously ominous? Anything that sends chills down your spine and raises the hair on your arm? I have.

It was the 2nd day of Raya in 2014. In the car, on the highway, no idea where, kiri kanan depan belakang semua kereta, a traffic nightmare.

The traffic was almost a standstill! The fact that my stomach was having a mind of its own was not helpful at all. So I decided to sleep the discomfort off. And then I woke up, mamai as ever, I looked to my left, squinted my eyes and there. Lo and behold, an immaculate white figure was before my very eyes.

I couldn't breathe.

Putih bersih. Could it be...? Adakah itu...? Pocong..?!!





I turned my head back to the right and shut my eyes in my vain attempt to erase the image of what I just saw, but it felt as though it was permanently imprinted on my retina. Indelible. A white figure. I reminded myself that it's Syawal already, all those creatures that were chained during Ramadan are now freely roaming in between us humans. And at that moment, I swear, that thing was there in the same car as us. I tried reciting some verses from the Quran. Kalau hafal Yasin, Yasin jugak baca time tu. Still scared, but I stole another glance to my left just to see if the holy verses shooed that thing away. Shit that lembaga putih was still there!!! Would a nasyid song be more powerful?? I looked again. STILL THERE.

But this time I saw more details, it was white. It was moving albeit very slightly, bordering unnoticeable. And there were small pink dots and flowery patterns on it











Pocong ada bunga-bunga pink?



It transpired to be my little sister, sleeping underneath her telekung. Sebab sejuk sangat dia kata -.- Haih. The whole point of this post is to say that I miss my little sister and her funny ways of testing my patience.






And to say that YEOREOBUN, UNLESS IT'S IN RAMADAN, NEVER EVER SLEEP IN YOUR TELEKUNG IN THE CAR, OKAY?

Saturday, 26 March 2016

KDrama Review : City Hunter


Hello I'm 5 years late but where the City Hunter slash Lee Min Ho fangirls party at?! :D In other words, guess who just finished watching City Hunter (and broke her new year's resolution of holding self back from finishing a kdrama in 2 days)?? Meeeeee goreng.

You know the drill. L-R : A, Kim Na Na (played by Park Min Young), Hero (played by Lee Min Ho), B, Annoying Kid.



Let's start with the things that I love about City Hunter.

Lee Min Ho's acting. God bless him for having such a tall & lanky figure, with good lucks to match, and sleek moves. This kind of almost surreal combo is a bonanza. His character was basically the major central point the drama orbits around, its trajectory went from a fun, mischievous guy to a tragically wounded (both physically and emotionally) man who just wished to lead a normal life, one without being besmirched by revenge. Although his emotional scenes didn't quite get to me (the only scenes of him that I spilled tears for was in the first episode and the last episode), but his action scenes were astonishingly epic. For most of his scenes, I think he executed the stunts himself, without using a stunt double much which is not something a lot of actors are willing to do!! Though there's no denying that this man's agility is above average, I found out that Lee Min Ho did sustain some injuries while filming but just his effort of training 2 months for this drama was commendable, and I dare say his injuries were well worth it because the scenes turned out pretty damn well onscreen. I'll never forget the water battle fight and the spoon fight.




And ummm I think it's no longer news that he has the ability to make a woman's insides churn with his gaze and small facial movements?






I don't know about anyone else, but to me this drama's first episode is arguably the most convincing, gripping first episode of all the first episodes that I've ever watched. I cried when the 20 military men of the furtive Operation Clean Sweep were shot dead in the sea by their own people (because should the secret operation be known by other parties, the government would face severe diplomatic issues with other countries), leaving one sole survivor, whose name I forgot but let's just call him C (who should've been on the drama poster! Why the hell is A in the poster?! And Annoying Kid?!). This is C, I'll get back to his character.



Cried again when Hero's mother realised that her 1-month-old baby had been abducted. Cried again when Hero witnessed his sort of godmother being shot to death by a pack of Siamese gangsters. TOO MUCH CRYING INVOLVED IN JUST THE FIRST EPISODE, and fighting scenes galore, but simply put, an excellent first episode. The following 2-3 episodes were a bit boring and confusing, alas necessary to build the foreground of the story.

Oh you probably figured it out, the only thing that spurred me to watch this drama is none other than PARK. MIN. YOUNG!!!!! (insert a gajillion of heart eyes emojis) Good God. How much more gorgeous & adorable can this tough cookie be?! She played Kim Na Na in this drama, a young girl who just got employed in the Blue House to be a security agent for prominent people. As if her pretty face has not done enough damage to my self esteem, she wowed me yet again with her judo skills in this drama, with no use of a stunt double. There are some scenes involving Kim Na Na that are my favourites, such as when she aimed her gun at the City Hunter from the back, without knowing that she was about to put a bullet through someone she loves. That scene gave me conflicting feelings because even though it was not good news for Hero, it made me feel so, so proud of Kim Na Na, for performing her duties very well to protect the political figure, as ordered by the Blue House, with utmost professionalism and competency. Like, she had a gun in her hand and she was not scared to use it, no hint of hesitation in her eyes. Another favourite is when she barged into a gang of gangsters (seriously Sheera, a gang of gangsters.... My lexis is appalling hahaha) who were homing in on Hero, and took down the gangsters one by one in order to save the Hero, buttttt she got shot in her shoulder. God, I completely lost my shit when she got shot. She was crying because she thought she was going to die and I was crying because I thought she was going to die and Hero was crying because he didn't want her to die, it was basically a crying festival lah. I've mentioned this before, and before, and I'm saying this again because it fascinates me to no end still - SHE HAS A BUTTON ON HER BODY THAT MAKES HER CRY! And she cries prettily pulak tu ugh.


And then we have this ahjusshi character,




HIS CHARACTER IS SO, SO FUNNY! I always look forward to his screentime. He's like the Alfred to Hero's Batman, he's the one preparing hearty meals for Hero, and also the one responsible for using all of Hero's credit cards to buy home appliances. Their bickering about shopping addiction made them seem like an old married couple, which cracked me up so HARD! No doubt my favourite character of this drama :) And I look forward to Kwang Soo's screentime also, him and his haircut, which is a terrible misfortune..... 




I guess the ethos of this drama is revenge. C is hell-bent on serving sweet justice to his foes, the 5 men of power who decided it was okay to terminate the lives of the 20 military men. But those years of suppressing the revenge inside of him ate away on his sympathy, if he even had any to begin with. Apology? Forgiveness? Not in his life dictionary. I find C's character to be some sort of an enigma, from the beginning of the drama all the way to the end, and it was his character that was very hard for me to relate to. His idea of revenge was to retaliate his comrades' death with another blood feud, but Hero didn't share the same sentiments.

This is when conflict rose. How does Hero change C's distorted worldview and abort C's revenge mission, how does he go against C, when all this while he's always believed that C was his father?

So for a sustained period of time within the drama, Hero was essentially fighting against C, despite the deep tie that they're both bound to. It's interesting to see in this scenario that they're both emotional; C was so emotionally fixated to vindicate his comrades' death without much foresight, while Hero on the other hand was emotional but slightly more rational, not using his circumstances to gain leeway to throw tantrums and kill everyone. Between the two of them, Hero was the more mature one. Even though many scenes later it was unfolded to him that his real biological father is actually the President (DID NOT SEE THAT COMING), Hero couldn't just turn the other cheek to C. I'm glad that Hero's affection for C was indifferent even with that new piece of information. C was the one who raised him up, C was the father figure his whole life, so naturally Hero had a sense of filial duty towards C, and love. Hero loved C, for what that's worth. But did C love Hero as a father? Or did C raise him up & prime him with the mastery of fighting skills just as a tool to execute that revenge? Unfortunately, it took C's death to prove that he loved Hero after all. Not only did C die, but he died after falsely admitting that he's City Hunter, thus putting an end to the life of the 'City Hunter'. That's him making sure that after all this messy revenge business, Hero would have a whole new life ahead of him, not on the run as the City Hunter (who's already in murky waters with the law), but as he himself. That's C fulfilling the demand of his 'son' to have a normal life that Hero had been desperately dreaming of, in order to save Hero from being incriminated. Korean dramas once again pushed the thematic angst that you do not need to be related by blood to have that kind of devotion & make that kind of sacrifice for another person.

Of course there are no perfect dramas, all dramas are flawed and this one's no exception. There are many things I dislike and wish could be done differently. For starters, Lee Min Ho could do without the haircut and the long sideburns and all the clothes he wore in the drama!! But that could be purely down to my personal preferences. I hate that Hero was always saying mean things to Kim Na Na so as to not let Kim Na Na fall for him, and Kim Na Na's mute acceptance of his misbehaviour because her feelings > rationale.... -_- Girl. That kind of tension was not good for my heart. And the fact that they somehow came to a consensus that Kim Na Na will wait until Hero settles everything & puts an end to it, so that Hero can come back to Kim Na Na and then they can proceed with their love life. Again, personal preferences, because I prefer seeing a couple fighting together to make things work, to a guy who fights his war solo just because it's his fight. I want Kim Na Na to be included in his fight, to feel that she's needed, even though the fight wasn't hers, because I want Kim Na Na to be his backbone, his support system. He could've just told Kim Na Na to stay over at his house with ahjusshi keeping an eye on her, there are so many ways to protect Kim Na Na without pushing her aside as though she didn't matter! Hero had a lot of unexpected things going on for him, I thought ahjusshi and Kim Na Na should be the constant in his life. Besides, Hero only laughed when he's together with them! Also, I think it's a bit unrealistic that no one recognised sooner that Hero is the City Hunter. I mean, he's sooo tall! And he didn't even disguise himself very well most of the time, he may as well just walk around with 'City Hunter' written across his forehead. The ending fell a bit short of my expectations, I was yearning for more interaction between Hero and Kim Na Na, like I don't know, holding hands while enjoying a panoramic view of the city, idk, anything more than the mere exchanged smiles in that last episode. I would have appreciated a little sneak peek into Hero's life post-revenge, not to the point of belabouring it into candy coated future, but you know, just enough to put my heart at ease after 20 episodes of tachycardia. Haha. And I just wanted to see if Hero was able to recover from the tragedy and revert back to the fun, playful guy who's full of hijinks that he portrayed back in the first episode, and if he ever gets around to visit a stylist for a makeover that he's in dire need of.

So, here comes the ultimate question (that Emma actually asked me) : Healer or City Hunter?

Healer still, guys.

You might think I'm biased but you'll get where I'm coming from once you've watched Healer for yourself hahaha. City Hunter and Healer both have a lot of similarities but their storylines are very different. Healer's plot echoes in me just a bit louder and reaches a bit deeper into my emotions (I cried approximately 700 times while watching Healer, and like 4-5 times while watching City Hunter).

Even so, I have to give credit where it's due - for its lack of emotional depth, I think City Hunter made up for with its exhilarating action. In fact, I think City Hunter surpasses Healer in terms of its action by a large margin.

And, I'm not sure if this is even worth mentioning, but City Hunter is the first drama I watched that the characters used iPhone instead of Samsung hahaha.

Anyway, I loved City Hunter. I loved the battle of core integrity VS decades-old visceral revenge. I loved that C was just so twisted all he could think of was getting back at the foes and that he saw no other resolution than their deaths, while Hero wanted their wrongdoings to be let known by everyone and punished by the law, thus serving the 20 fallen soldiers the justice that they rightly deserved. I loved that Hero wanted the 5 men to be punished for the right reasons. And even though romance took a back seat in this drama, giving the limelight almost entirely to action, the chemistry between Park Min Young and Lee Min Ho was palpable, heck I'm not surprised that they actually did date in real life afterwards for a few months. What I am actually surprised of is that no one prompted me to watch this drama sooner?? Not even my veteran KDrama-addicted friends, knowing how much I enjoyed Healer?? I'm offended. Hahaha. But anyway, City Hunter stabbed me multiple times, left me bleeding, stabbed me again, sunk its claws in me, and made its way to the second spot of my favourite KDramas. 9/10 for City Hunter! I should also probably come to the admission that I, Shahirah Hasbullah, have a thing for fluffy romance with a good dose of adrenaline-inducing action.

Good Fri-yay!



So yesterday was one of the (few) national public holidays of the UK, Good Friday. You know how Christmas is the Christian's celebration of Jesus' birth? Good Friday commemorates Jesus' death, and the immediate following Sunday is Easter Sunday, the day the Christians believe Jesus resurrected from death. If you see/hear the mentions of decorated Easter eggs, that's because the eggs symbolise tombs that bear a new life inside. When the egg 'menetas' (oh my God someone tell me what is 'menetas' in English), a new life comes out - analogous to what they believe as Jesus' resurrection. So there you go, hehe. To Christians, have a good Easter weekend! :)

The sun decided to grace us with its glorious presence, and this time with warmth!! Like proper warmth, the kind that made me believe again in the power of sunshine, after being deceived over and over again during winter with its freezing sunny days. Aaaah, alhamdulillah :) Days like that don't come by very often, they were not to be wasted under the duvet, so KHouse went out to play in the sun! Look at that gorgeous blue sky, macam background gambar passport kan?





The night before, I complained about being invisible and irrelevant in the house. Nowadays KHouse just never listen to me! They don't care about me anymoreeee! >:(

After dinner,
Ulfah : Korang jom main card.
Emma : Jom.
Sheera : Kita main satu game je k, because I nak kena sambung tgk my drama lepas ni.
Ulfah : Okay kita main Ranjau 2 game.
Sheera : Eeee tengok tu!! I just said 1 game! Korang tak pernah dengar pendapat I!! I feel so irrelevant in this houseeee
Ulfah : Tahu pun.

SEE WHAT I MEAN? Hahaha.

And then after we finished the card game - we played Ranjau by the way, a new game that Ulfah introduced to us, when I thought 7 Diamond is perilous enough for our friendship, Ranjau proved me wrong! Haha - this conversation took place,

Sheera : Okay dah bye korang I nak sambung tengok drama.
Emma : Byeee Sheera. Kalau nangis, roger k.
Ulfah : Ehhh tak tak, kalau nangis, nangis je. Takpayah roger kitorang.

Okay, KHouse, okay. I totally feel the love....




I feel like advertising my housemates for sale on Ebay. Any takers? Free shipping. Hahaha.


Monday, 21 March 2016

Oopsy Daisy


I think I may have spoken (written, if you will) (actually, typed) too soon when I said in my previous post that Facebook's a liar for wishing me Spring yesterday, because today was suuuuper lovely! The temperature was 12°C (anything above 10 and below 20 is excellent for me) today, the sun came out to say hello, I went out to buy groceries wearing a light jacket without feeling the need to sink in a bundle of endless layers; aaah spring has sprung I guess!

As the Malay saying goes, terlajak perahu boleh diundur, terlajak kata tak boleh gostan.

Sorry, Facebook. Hehe.

Can't wait for the flowers to bloom! About time for this gloomy city to be splashed with some colours, like this
















Lately I've noticed quite a substantial increase in the number of visitors to my blog.

Oh no.

That means I'll be held responsible for inflicting brain damage to even more people because of my non-intellectual posts and unfunny jokes and uneventful life stories. If you wish to preserve what's left of your intellect and save your IQ from dwindling further, then hang on to dear life and run, run far away from my blog.

Hehehe, I mean, hi :)




So, a little context. My name's Shahirah/Sheera. I'm a Malaysian born, 20-something girl who is currently pursuing my undergraduate studies in the city of dreams, London. Writing is something that I've been doing for as long as I can remember. I write, first and foremost, for myself. It puts me at ease when I am able to organise the mess in my head and articulate my thoughts into coherent sentences, so I try very hard to write well in order to get my message across, which also explains why I often go back and edit my old posts just to add a few more points that I may have missed out when I first wrote the posts. So if you think you've khatam-ed my blog, think again hahaha. You may find the staggering amount of memes/gifs/photos in this blog overwhelming. Well, that just cannot be helped. I am in love with photography, and as for gifs & memes, I just think they're entertaining hehe. Hope you enjoy reading my writings! Oh and before I forget, can you like, umm, leave comments or something, so that I feel less of a loser talking to myself all the time....


Sunday, 20 March 2016

Penipu Besaq



Look what Facebook thought was a good way to greet me this morning :





Ohhhhhh ohohoho the cheek of it!! Tengok lah tu. With giant, bright coloured tulips in the middle, clouds at the back, a guy with a shovel, a lady holding a watering pot with one leg aloft - as though suggesting that it is safe to go frolicking and prancing outdoor, basking in the glory of warm sunshine 










when in reality I was cocooned under my duvet, wearing 3 layers of clothing when I saw the greeting. Anywhere outside my duvet is just too dangerous, too cold for me. 

Facebook you penipu besaq. Banyaklah ko punya spring.




More like sliiiightly warmer winter. 

Hope everyone's doing alright. To those miserable in the cold like me, we're in this together. To those suffering from the heat wave due to the equinox phenomenon, drink plenty of water and take care of yourselves please! To those in a place from which Facebook got inspired for the above illustration, WHERE ARE YOU TAKE ME WITH YOUUU


Tuesday, 15 March 2016

QM MNight 2016

Daaaamn, Shahirah, back at it again with an MNight post.

If you follow me on Facebook or Instagram you've probably had the urge to set me on fire or push me off a cliff to annihilate my existence at some point between Saturday and today because of the blizzard of MNight-related stuff that I posted. Hahaha. Sorry, I'm still suffering from the withdrawal symptoms.

You must be so annoyed now right.




Tu lah siapa suruh tak datang.

Unless you live in another continent, there really is no excuse that can justify your not coming to my MNight >:(

Kidding.

Should you be interested in finding out what you missed out on, go here. For the best viewing experience, wear earphones & turn down your brightness to the dimmest. Happy watching :)


그리고,




Let me know what you think about it!

Sunday, 13 March 2016

QM MNight 2016



Three months of practising and rehearsing for hours on end, three months of irregular lunch meals and snacks (doughnuts, crodos, chips, uggets), three months of opening up to new people and seeing their same faces almost every single day, three months of hard work

boil down to our final show last night.

I feel like crying now.

Let's do this chronologically.

They held an official audition session in January, which I didn't go to. Having participated in last year's MNight as the Malay dance choreographer, I told myself no more getting involved with MNight this year, time to hang up my boots. But I don't know what happened or how it happened but my friend, Amir, one of the directors, somehow someway coerced me into auditioning myself impromptu - it was like a personal audition session - about a week afterwards. Amir decided there and then that he wanted me to be in the play. Before I knew it, I was added into the MNight whatsapp group and I was given two characters, one of whom requires me to sing a solo song and a dikir barat.

Weh.

The last time I sang in front of an audience was when I was 12, for a Pertandingan Menyanyi lepas UPSR. My voice has never reached outside the confines of the room/house that I occupy eversince, the only people who know that I love to sing are my immediate family members, my bestfriends, and KHouse.

So I had doubts about putting myself on stage under the spotlight with all eyes and ears on me. I wasn't so anxious about acting because I've been doing all the way through primary school, secondary school, and KY, but singing.... I regressed into insecurities and disparagement, denigrating my own capabilities and letting all these thoughts be ingrained in my head, but Amir told me he has faith in me. He convinced me to just do it (Nike) (heheh was that funny?) (I tried). Anyway, I went to the scheduled practices, learnt my lines, integrated myself into the pool of other fellow actors who are, by the way, crazy talented. We released mini trailers every few days, which are basically snippets of the songs that we were going to perform in the play (9 to 7, You And Me, Hakuna Matata (Lepak Lepak Saja) x Bare Necessities mash up inspired by this, and Belaian Jiwa). When my trailer was released, my PBL groupmates saw the video on Facebook and their reactions to it was just hilarious (but in a very British way hahaha).







Nearing the show day, we started working together with the music team, the props & backstage & costume team, the lights & sound system team, the social media team, etc. and I had no choice but to get to know them. They're all just so goddamn funny and 70% of our rehearsals consisted of us doing stupid things and joking around and teasing each other and we keep finding ways to amuse ourselves. Few days leading up to d-day, I had to abstain myself from chocolates lest my voice turn raspy, which would be a complete nightmare, but didn't happen so alhamdulillah. But the thing is, I'm a hardcore chocoholic, so having to stay from chocolates even for just a few days was a difficult task T.T

My dearest best friend Sappy came all the way from Cardiff. She went to watch our last rehearsal, and she also went to see, not one, but BOTH of our shows!!! Is she a gem or a gem?! How did I get so lucky to find a best friend in her, oh my God. 

She even brought 2 sets of dressy clothes to wear for the two performances. Such an angel, that girl. I don't know if you read my blog Sappy but if you are reading this at this very moment, I hope you know that I really, absolutely, wholeheartedly appreciate the lengths that you've gone to for me! And thank you so much for listening to my worries about how cacat my voice is after the first show and telling me tirelessly over & over again that I sound good. Thank you for being my biggest fan, Sappy sayang. I love you and I can only hope to be half as lovely as you are!!









Our shows, both of them, received so much love and good responses from the audience!!!! I'm so very extremely proud of the whole crew for putting up fantastic shows!!! Each and every one of us put in so much effort into this production and they did a remarkably spectacular job I am actually borderline crying right now because so, so proud!!!!
















I played two characters : an intern working at a famous research facility in 2016 Singapore and a cheeky kampung girl called Melur in 1941 Kampung Jasmin. The directors asked me to deliver my Melur lines in the most Malaysian way possible, I was like ok cun onz this is my forte time to unleash my Jemah-ness. I had friends and even strangers coming up to me after the shows, saying they cried/almost cried during the scene where I (Melur) mourned over Ezryn (Melati)'s death. People swarmed me, telling me I was really good at bringing the Melur character to life and that they loved the Malaysian flavour that it added to the whole show. Daniel, who was handling the spotlight when Melur was singing Belaian Jiwa to Melati, said he almost teared up from seeing the sisterly bond that we were trying to deliver. Some even said that Ezryn and I can pass of as real twins even in real life!! Hahaha. Having Ezryn to act as Melur's twin is probably the best thing ever, because I can't imagine better chemistry and stronger dynamics with anyone else but her!!! I'm just so glad that the audience could feel the emotions that we were trying to portray. So glad. My coursemates were really impressed with the whole thing, they said they didn't quite expect the show to be that good and of high quality!

My KY friends kept telling me "Sheerot you perform doh, sumpah perform" because they had no idea I can sing.

Ulfah said "Weh I taktau you berlakon ke apa, sbb you bukan mmg macam tu ke in real life? Menggelabah apa semua. I taktahu nak tampar Melur ke you." Hahahaha kuang asam.

Aini said she "Loved every bit of the production! *clapping hands emoji*".

Amir Norman said it's the only MNight where he "laughed so hard throughout the whole show", he didn't even remember to snapchat it.

Jannah said she "loved the show so much" that it's her new favourite now!

Farahin said our MNight was "da bomb".

And many, many other positive feedback from everyone else. I'm so happy that the audience loved it!!! They loved my lines & jokes, they loved all the other jokes & puns from other characters, they loved Sasha and her 5Gs (Good God, Getta Grip Girl), they loved Charlie & Susan and their dumbness, they loved the Japanese & sushi jokes (which I came up with!!), they loved the Boss and the Testees references, they loved our dancing and singing, they loved everything about our show!! Hearing all these positive comments about the performances is just truly gratifying, makes all the long hours that went into producing them totally worth it.

Oh God I sound like I'm blowing our own horn but kasi chan lah please. One time the props team stayed in the hall until 2 in the morning, and they had to spend the night over someone's place because there were no more tubes running at that ungodly hour. The sound system team had to go through hell coordinating lights and background music and the microphones sometimes refused to serve their purpose. The backstage team almost went crazy trying to figure out a system to make sure the transition between each scene goes seamlessly. And I had to go days without chocolate ok, if that counts as a sacrifice. These things (and more) are just to attest to the love and dedication that the whole crew poured into this production, tweaking bits here and there to make sure that the end product will be received with love by the audience :)

I am forever humbled, because it was both an honour and a great pleasure to have been given the chance to be a part of something so wonderful, something so special. My MNight team is like my second family here in London, the family that I never knew I needed. I am humbled to see how their creative minds work and translate their ideas into the play. I am humbled to see how they were always open to receive ideas and comments from each other to improve themselves, when they're already so absurdly good to begin with!! I am humbled to see how they come together to build things up from scratch (cc that humongous time machine). I've learnt so, SO much from them, including the fact that the official language of Singapore is actually Malay. And their national anthem is in Malay #themoreyouknow .... Ok crying again now because I miss them already. God. I love my MNight family a little... A little bit too much. Didn't think I'd be this attached to them :'(((( Each and one of them was the star of the show, really. At the end of our final show, we all slowly crumbled down into ugly crying and hugging each other because we're just so sad that it's over tsk tsk. 

When I said ugly crying, I mean ugly crying.









Dorothy went around giving out cards to everyone, including me, each of the card personally written for that specific person. Michelle also handed me a little note, saying she personally wrote it for me. I knew whatever that's written inside the card & note confirm sedih punya & will make me cry one so I decided not to read there, yet I was still reduced to the cengeng crybaby that I naturally am... I went over to Amir, sobbing and shaking and trying so hard to not look ugly (but failing...), trying to articulate (but failing... Again) how indebted I am to him, for believing in my abilities, and for forcing me to join the MNight. I cried with Nailah and Sorfina, knowing it'll be hard to see each other as often after this to teach Sorfina more Malay words. I simply burst out crying to everyone that I saw, including Kat, who said "Go away before I squish you. Oh God you're so cute Shahirah, can I carry you?"







Thank you to everyone who came to see our shows, especially Sappy, and KHouse + Zira and the gang + Najwa + Fatin who all came on the second night.

Managed to make them do the Showtime pose!!! #achievement #unlocked












Rebecca and Zin, the ones who're responsible for the fantastic live music throughout the show, including when I sang Belaian Jiwa. We've decided to form a band and call ourselves Sheera And The Rest. Muehehe.











KHouse managed to lure Sappy into their mischief to give me choc basket & vege basket during curtain call!!!






(You know how much our wok means to us right?? Haha. I borrowed it as one of the props for the play, and they're worried about it hahaha bengong.)

Meanwhile, Najwa and Fatin got me a bouquet of flowers.... ADORNED WITH PHOTOS OF MY FAVOURITE KDRAMA COUPLE!!! Aren't they the sweetest little pies!!!

I asked Najwa how did they know I love Healer, she said from my blog. And she also confessed that while googling for the photos, she actually fell for Ji Chang Wook! Hahahah comel je Najwa.

Well. Haih. What's better than waking up to flowers that colour coordinate with my laptop sleeve & duvet cover? Flowers that colour coordinate with my laptop sleeve & duvet cover and have a photo of Ji Chang Wook sticking out in between them!! I'm happy beyond words!!!! Bless the Almurisi sisters, always showering people with their love.









I finally had it in me to read the card that Dorothy gave me. It's from the Malaysian & Singaporean Society.




I'M SO SAD AND SO TERHARU AND IT'S VERY PERSONAL AND I DON'T THINK I WANT TO SHARE IT ON MY BLOG!!!!

Well except for this one bit :

" ... the emotions that you bring out (as Melur) are so raw and genuine. I was honestly moved & I could almost feel my eyes 'sweat', and that's when you know you've succeeded as an actress. We have indeed been blessed with your singing and dancing talent and also the seeming everlasting supply of donuts during every rehearsal!"

Yes guys. I brought the 70p Sainsbury's doughnuts to every rehearsal. I've been doing some promoting work for Sainsbury's, man I should get paid for all the new customers that I've attracted.

Michelle's note also made me cry tujuh lautan, her note is also very personal to me, but the most important takeaway message from her note :

"I hope Sainsbury would recognise you as their donut ambassador soon!"

How can I not cry when they write things like these?! :'(

Haih.

As much as I'm sad it's over, I know it's imperative for me to focus on my studies again and get on with the assignments that I've been procrastinating due to MNight. Besides, I've been coming home late for the past few weeks, so Emma admitted that she misses me. She misses having the three of us having dinner together, watching movies together, playing cards together. KHouse is, after all, my first family here in London :)

#QMMNight2016 will be one of my fondest memories of uni life (and quite possibly the last time I sing in public haha). I'm secretly wishing that the time machine (from our play) actually works, so that we can travel back in time and do it all over again. Haih.