Tag: @Zashnain

Societal Pursuit of Gratification, during Ramadan

We swing, most often with relish, from euphoric intensity, then to the other, to immortality of emotions; self-emptiness, shreds of self.

 

Ramadan, during the month, Muslims engage in the ritualistic obligation of fasting; the deprivation of cycles, the consumption of limitation, of modest portions and outwardly respectable behaviours. Not an easy task for many, if one is conscious of the glares and the mock looks of disgust from other Malaysian Muslims. Society’s obsession with trying to subdue others into similar paths of emotional repression, to share in the growling hunger, the throat-constricting thirsts, usually reaches epic proportions; the every bit of anxiety that exposes one from the norm, that almost sadistic delight that those who cannot, would not, shall not fast are still expected to submit to the might of superficiality.

 

Despite the ridicule, the boasts, the attempt at religious lecture and the peculiar looks some would surely give me during the particular holy month, I care not, to be blunt; as if their world evolves around my personal space, my faith and my responsibility, and as if I care to indulge in the whims and fancies of ‎attention-seekers. I have always found their intention, the great holier-than-thou behaviour, coupled with talks of racial supremacy over the lesser race, to be offensive, and would not hesitate to match foul words to lessen their interest in me.

 

There’s a high degree of immaturity, of expectations from both society and religious pressure groups. One is expected to blend into conformity, during Ramadan, to display a mockery of solidarity, when in reality there is none. Diversity of free-will, of common sense and identity works against the institutional wheel that moves, and at times crushes the resistance of those who are different. ‎One conforms, simply for appearance sake, or fearing the ostracization that comes your way when actions and thoughts differ from acceptable norms. Of which, these people fast for societal acceptance and in accordance to their character flaws.

 

For as long as I can remember, people begin their fast with prayers, then off to the work place and expecting the world to stop just because they are restricting themselves from food, drink and seductive thoughts. Then after hours of the absence, they indulge in the Malaysian art of buying food that can, for a couple of days, feed some poor or homeless family. Abandoned food, are kept in containers and left forgotten, or simply thrown into the ‎trash bin, where at times the beggars would search for scraps.

 

Ramadan, brings about memories of seeing waste, the loss of consumption and the gluttony of senses. I dislike the waste, having experienced hunger and poverty in my late teens; and homelessness thereafter. ‎I dislike the culture, this period when society feast; with large and sumptuous meals, sinking their teeth into tender meat, and the tongue tasting the savoury delights of fine desserts and gulping, almost greedily, the sweet, cold beverages.

 

During these times, I offer prayers, most importantly the private devotions. Not for world peace, nor for the good name of a country or to a dysfunctional race and supreme individual. My devotions are partly focused on the demise of society’s common sense; the absence of humanity when groups are at this rich embroidery of food, and their part-worship to fill their bellies with waste, and allow their hive-mind to shroud in loss. In fact, I look forward to the start of Ramadan, away from the egocentric masses, I find with the presence of loved ones, the rare tranquillity of self.

 

 

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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Rejuvenation in Rural Pathum Thani Province

A rural road, in the depths of a province that I am unfamiliar with. Pathum Thani. Imposing highways, leading to narrow roads, and how I remember the small dusty town, somewhat a taint of resemblance of Phnom Penh, though not quite. The escape, away from Bangkok, was thankfully rejuvenating. The nap, a couple of hours in the moving vehicle, prepared me for the “rural” province. Relaxing, despite the signs of the dry season in these parts. I’ve always enjoyed the trips, and outreach, in rural Thailand, whether in the plantations of middle south, to the most southern fishing villages and the northern rice farms. I shall return.

Pillars made from petrified tree trunks held an old roof. Scattered chairs, a comfort, away from the sunshine.
Pillars made from petrified tree trunks held an old roof. Scattered chairs, a comfort, away from the sunshine.
Algae-filled pond, though the farmers find it helpful, during the drought.
Algae-filled pond, though the farmers find it helpful, during the drought.
Blistering heat, with a touch of humidity, however the obvious absence of towering buildings. I like.
Blistering heat, with a touch of humidity, however the obvious absence of towering buildings. I like.

 

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

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Betake oneself, into Maha Sarakham, Thailand

My guide and friend, Nat (pronounced as “Nut”) took me to an almost sleepy town somewhere in Maha Sarakham province. The town, with a small population, was devoid of the usual tourists. A quick meal, two bowls in fact, banished the lethargic feeling when one has so little sleep. I must, truly, return to see the people and rural terrain, and experience the sensations once again.

Table against the wall that's made from cheap wood.
Table against the wall that’s made from cheap wood.

 

Days of old, simple "rural" needs of folks.
Days of old, simple “rural” needs of folks.

 

Woman prepares noodles with small local beef strips and soothing hot broth.
Woman prepares noodles with small local beef strips and hot broth.

 

At the back of the old restaurant, greenery greeted the sights, in a province surrounded by dry terrain.
At the back of the old restaurant, greenery greeted the sights, in a province surrounded by dry terrain.

See:

 

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

More Posts - Website

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As if people cared about the urban poor

The homeless and urban poor in Kuala Lumpur are an invisible community. They roam about the city, hidden by the shadows, or trying to earn the daily wage in the filthy back lanes from some odd job that most working class Malaysians won’t want to get their hands dirty. Whether the poor are locals or foreigners, it matters not to Malaysian society, the Institution does not seem to see nor positively react to the presence of the untouchables.

They are rendered invisible from societal prejudice, and when it suits the high society, the rich, the marginalized suddenly become visible once or twice a year during festive holy days when charity becomes a norm in front of photographers and ass-kissing reporters who have received a generous gift to write a story about some corporate social responsibility of a company or the “generosity” of a politician.

Stigmatization of the urban poor happens simply because people stopped caring for those without money and due to their lowered station in life. Society depends on NGOs to “clean the streets” of the undesirables, or what do they call them, “remove them for their own good” as someone said to me.

As if society cares for the struggles and lives of the poor. As if NGOs know what to do.

homeless in Kuala Lumpur

 

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

More Posts - Website

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Trekking at Chaloem Rattankosin National Park

An evening of trekking in the tropical dry forest, and the exquisite flood of crisp fresh air into the lungs… quite intoxicating. In fact, being away from Bangkok even for a while is always a welcome change to routines. The Chaloem Rattankosin National Park is small, though the night, especially the late evening strolls with friends proved to be an exhilarating experience, with insects buzzing about, distant melody of birds and the swaying branches of tall trees – to the music of nature.

Chaloem Rattankosin National Park

Chaloem Rattankosin Corn

 

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
Twitter

Behind the Wall lies Misery

Pol Pot’s secret prison, code-named “S-21” during his genocidal rule (1975-79). Between 1-2 million Cambodians – and many thousands of foreigners – were starved to death, tortured, or killed, during this reign of terror.

When the Vietnamese Army invaded in 1979 the S-21 prison staff fled, leaving behind thousands of written and photographic records. Altogether more than 6,000 photographs were left; the majority, however, have been lost or destroyed.

Behind the wall lies misery
Behind the wall lies misery

 

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

More Posts - Website

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My Random Snapshots of Life

Mix-matched, I know, though I see life almost through random events. The longer I travel, the more I see the neglect. Society rushes to fulfill its desires, and yet we sometimes, or often forget to capture the moment.

 

 

 

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
Twitter

A Quick Visit to Malacca

I had the opportunity to visit Melaka during my last visit to Malaysia. When I was there, met a good friend, tasted the local food, managed to finish my reports and unwind, despite spending only two days in the ancient city.

An alley
An alley
Back lane of Chinatown
Back lane of Chinatown
Shrine, lantern and bike
Shrine, lantern and bike
Sweet, sour and salty: Preserve fruit
Sweet, sour and salty: Preserve fruit
Lonely shrine
Lonely shrine

 

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
Twitter

Children: Daily Struggle of Adversity in Bangkok

The National Children’s Day in Thailand, January 12, 2013, proved to be eventful dosed with the usual celebration of the government’s commitment towards enabling the child mold their characteristics and skills. Adults exhibit their desire to see a generation of disciplined and responsible young people. According to the news, there is a general agreement among stake holders that children need to work towards becoming good citizens for society’s future. Thailand expects no less.

However there has been a lack of priority placed in Bangkok, the establishment of consensus that children are equal partners to policies and activities that affect their lives. It is a worrying trend in South East Asia, with over 600 million people, that there has been a decline of general acknowledgement that marginalized children and young people are a party to building that responsible society which adults expect of them.

Read more at: http://akrockefeller.com/blog/childreninthailand/

 

girl-eating-alone-240x320

 

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
Twitter

Panmnesia: Journey into Melaka

One of the handful of states in Malaysia that I enjoy visiting is Melaka. Plenty of vegetation, multi-racial cuisine and friendly people despite the bizarre nature of the state government and twisted sense of politics. I have friends here, along with the swarm of relatives in one village or another. Its so unlike the rat-race of Bangkok or Jakarta, far removed from Kuala Lumpur’s stagnation. Once in a while, its good to be away from any urban hell.

 

 

Zashnain

An avid blogger, twitterer and photojournalist, Zashnain Zainal suffers from an incurable addiction to social work, helping marginalised communities since 1989. Nowadays he travels from the plantations of Malaysia to the slums of Thailand. He can be found at zashnain.com and @bedlamfury

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
Twitter

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Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Thailand
This work by Moui is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Thailand.
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