Saturday, June 30, 2007

Fasting from smoking

This will be my third day of no cigarette and it is doing wonders to my head and not to mention the rest of my body. Perhaps it has nothing to do with smoking that my neck has a kink in it and I am having the dambdest pain in the neck. Oh well lets see how long I can go without smoking and what good does it do inside out,and thanks to the sales office PC I have been able to spend sometime writing and killing time which otherwise would have been devoted to simply sketching with pen and ink on recycle papers of two years ago Buffet Ramadan brochures. I started sketching on the back these brochures almost two years ago when I found out that the management was getting rid of a pile of untouched brochures which were no more valid as their function was over. The size and the quality of these papers were just good enough for me to scribble away to my hearts content and soon I found that I had a few hundred sketchings done of everything and anything that came across my visual taste to be sketched. At my first solo Exhibition at the ABN AMRO- USM Gallery in May of 2005 I displayed some 65 pieces of these sketches. A chinese docteor asked how much I would sell each and I told him 25Ringgit (RM) each and then he asked how much for the whole set and I told him I had to calculate which I found out about RM1200 worth. Th Doctor offered to 1000RM for the lot and did not hesitate to sell,now there is a Chinese doctor somewhere in town thw is a proud owner of some 60 odd pieces of Bahari's original sketches done on back of a recycled paper.
Oh well now the USM muzeum wants me to do a show at their premises too and possibly with the same theme and who knows they might be interested to own my works too. And so I am busy producing more sketches on the very same papers whatever is left of the same brochures for my next show at the USM. How I wish I could reproduce all the sketches on to this blog pages to make it more interesting for my readers if there is any out there. Too bad I am not savey in getting this done on my own as I am slow still when it comes to utilizing the computer I am still an ignoramus. I did try to get my works installed into the blog when I started off with the Ramblings while living in Kuala Terengganu and hanging out among a few computer whizzs at a syber cafe in Gong Badak area. After investing time and money in the project now I am still not any closer to getting a decent Web Page nor a decent blog, such Is! What happened? Oh well got to talk to the man himself if you want to know at the score is as he is the master when it comes to computers and programming them my friend Fazli Mubin had my vote of confidence and for three years I hung out with him hoping that I could get something out of his expertise to continue on my works into its next stage but alas! But hell I st8ill have faith in him and he is not going to up and disappeare from the face of the earth and even if he does he would still be visiting the Net every now and then and perhaps even pop into my blog and read this.!
When I started off with this blog it was with the idea that my art works would balnce off with my boring ramblings. My sketches and drawings, my paintings and photograph were to be a crucial part of the blog, after all this blog is all about an artist's life not merely of someone who wishes to offload his crap on a daily basis so the rest of the computer literate world can read it. My primary intention was to somehow share an experience of a life of an artist as he faces life's trials and tribulations and how it affects his sense of creativity at the same time or as the late Trungpa Rnpoche would have put it. how he churned all the crap he finds in his life and turned them into manure or food for his creations.
I have used every so often the analogy of the night soil carrier in the past depicting a philosphy of turning shit into money or food the ultimate in the recycling process, The night soil carrier in his daily vocation turning shit into wealth and health.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

The Penang Bridge Run

Was reading John Le Carre's The constant Gardener while waiting for the roads to be opened again after the Marathon beridge Run. After wondering what the hell to do having left the house at seven this morning and not being able to get to the Ferry terminal I decided to hang out at my auntie's in Brown Gardens eat my roti canai and drank my Nescafe which I bought at Restoran Farouk on the corner of Patani Road ad the river never really had a name given to it for as long as I had known. It is about the most obnoxious smelling and blackest looking thing that I have ever come across and the smell has stayed with it since my childhood days. The whole stretch of this river that leads to the Sungai Pinang River is so polluted that only the thye hardiest of God's creatures survives in it. Over the years it seems to get worse and worse and only when it rains heavily and the river get a good amount of wash does it gets a respite from the filth and the smell.
Le Carre's book is getting the activist in me all fired up again alas I might be a wee bit too late to be affective as my age and resources has more than diminished and my resposibility towards my children is paramount so long as their immigration situation and schooling is not complete. I would love to be on the road again perhaps for the last entry of my journal to a foreign country but I see it as an unfulfilled dream these days. I am not good at being a father or homr maker I must admit I just dont have what it takes to be like all those good husbands who are able to build their nests and raise their young to become good citizens. I have been a rolling astone too long in my life and have gathered almost nothin that my shildren can benifit from other than my worthless art pieces that are slowly physicvally falling to pieces. I know i could have been more well off now had I focussed on making money or saving for that rainy days as I am experiencing right now when I was living abroad but as the Prophet is sadi to have said dont dwell on what should or should not have been... so I am content to just sit it out and wait till the roads are open again and head on to the Jerejak Jetty and hopefully i will not be reprimended for being late for work.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


This morning i met an old friend who upon greeting asked if I believed in the inner powers of healing and so on. We proceeded to sit at the coffee shop close to my auntie's house and discussed the subject. I told him of my interest and how I just had a discussion with Hasnul at the USM Muzium Gallery a week earlier on a simmilar matter. My friend told me of his experience and of a teacher who has transfered to him the knowledge of how to harness such inner energy that would make it possible to do healing via inner powers. It would cost off course as it had cost him to acquire this knowledge. As we continued on with all the possibilites that can be achieved through the development of these energies through the process of what he called Riki/Kundalini methods I was less and less skeptical as it has always been one of the subjects of my intrest.
He proceeded to demonstrate his ability by purchasing a light bulb from a nearby shop[ and after a few minutes of focusing and concentration dropped it to the concrete floor several times with it not breaking. Although I was not totally convinced of his ability by this one simple demonstration I was was not totally skeptical of it either as I personally believe in such abilities from my earlier research and readings. As a Muslim my one concern is that it does involve any external beings or entities that could be the casue of such ability other than one's own innner strength and leaving it ultimately to Allah's Will to succeed or fail. The employment of other forms or entities as an aid or spiritual guide is taboo in Islam unless fully comprehended and in line with the teachings of the Prophets and Awlias or Saints of Allah. In this cases I consider one to be merely a conduit or medium for the process to take place.
All of us whether we realize it or not are inherently endowed with the abilities that sometimes boggles our own minds and the sciences. We are capable of doing extraordinary feats at times that defies the norm and logic. But most of us are either ignorant or have made no effort whatsoever to understand such God given gifts thinking ourselves as incapable or these acts of supernatural powers are beyond our will. There are those who persues these knowledges throughout their lives but are also unable to achieve the hoped for results due to one blockage or another. These self created 'fire walls' stops us from reaching our goals and sometimes never to realize them but only through knowledge and understading and not the practical reality or manifestations. These type of individuals would usually require a string teacher to open their locked doors and unveil their perceptons to be able to see through and beyond words and ideas. Most religions and cultures insist upon the need for a teacher or a spiritual guide in order for one to venture into the unknown.
However jaded one might be towards the subject in these days and age it is not a total waste for some to keep persuing and developing these capabilities as it might just be what is need for man to save himself from his own self destruction or carry him through these dark period of his history. Wars and deseases, climate changes and natural disasters, rape and murders are becoming an everyday occurences and we stand the chance of becoming comfortably numb from too much bombardments of these negative energies globally. Man needs to stay in touch with his inner being discover who or what he really is and locate his sense of ownership of this planet as written in the Holy scriptures... for man has been created as the Caliph of his environment, warden or keeper of his planet and all the is within and without seen and unseen. To loose touch with this gift is to loose control over his own sanity and the means to save the very thing that he has been alloted to care forand as a mateer of fact man ends up becoming the slave. Faith is not just worshipping One God or many it is the ability to transcend all that is and become what is that is the Lord over all creation. As it is despite our so called progress in becoming civilized and technological geniuses of the century we are closer to becoming worse than the worse of the Lord's creatures for we kill for the fun of killing destroy simply for the sake of being able to do so.. The power to create positively and with compassion for the benifit of the whole is slowly deminishing leaving us merely vicitms of our greed hate and dellusions. We are becoming self serving creatures at the expense of those we are dependant on us, we are abusing our God given rights and the intelligence that goes with it.
Wake UP!!

Monday, June 18, 2007

The Complete Enlightment

My daughter needs to do her homework at the CC and so here we are with me not even having a chance for a shower since i arrived home from work. It was a long tedious day at work with hardly any day trippers going into the resort what with the rain and it being a school day.
I have been doing alot of sketching for the past few days mostly reproductions of blak and white pictures that attracts my fancy and my caricatures. At the same time i am also rereading the " Complete Enlightenment" a Zen book by the Chan' Master Sheng Yen. It is a comentary on the Buddha's sutra which was said to have been based on his answers to questions raised by some of the foremost boddhisatvas regarding the understanding of and practices for the achievement of Complete Enlightenment. This writing and commentaries by the Chan Master is one of the most profound and easily understood of writings on the subject of Buddhism and in particular with regard to the the explainantion of a Zen teaching.
What i have learned and came to understand of Zen while living and practicing at the San Francisco Zen Center at Green Gulch and Tassajara Zen Mountain Retreat has been brought to clearer light. I found Zen to be the closest way I could accept about my life and the way I chose to live life. It is clear cut with no holds barred and it allows for one to make mistakes and feel free from too much guilt. It allows a man to be more human and yet tells him that at the end of the day there nothing to be excited about because it is all an illusion, life is an Illusion. The Buddha preached and thought this truth in every sermen he had given admonishing those who are ignorant enough to believe in the so called "self" that we all assume to be who we are. He demanded that we investigate and discover the Truth that liberates us from the bonds that this belive has held us through out our lives. He pointed out how we have become slaves on account of this misconception.
In Islam the whole idea of arriving at being empty or void is called 'Fana'" and this to me is not unlike what the Buddha has been trying to preach or make me see. I think the Prophet was said to have said that one has to die before one dies the physical death in oder to be reborn in this life. The Buddha simply wants us to wake up from our dreamstate of our ignorant life. Life is suffering only because we have been living in ignorance to the fact that we are asleep not knowing that our life is but a dream, we create this dreams albeit individually or collectively and dremas more than often has the tendency to turn into nightmares sooner or later and nightmares are what we are looking at in this day and age of ours. All over the world we kill and send millions into exile, destroy our environment wantonly like there is no tomorrow, we are full of greed, hate and dellusions. Sometimes this is achieved all in the name of an ideology or a belief system, an ism or a religion all in the name of the greater good that we beleive is good for ourselves but not for others.
Many of us believe in the Universal Creative Mind that governs all that we see and do but there is very few that actualize this creative acts in changing the course of our human fate and the Buddha and the Prophet of Islam were among the few who saw through this Mayavic life that we lead and the course it is leading us towards our own self destruction. Ironically the destruction of the self is what is prpofessed by the two great Souls but not in the manner of blind ignorance which causes more suffering than deliverance of beings from suffering. Oh well let me not get carried away with my thoughts and understanding on this subject as I am falling asleep right now and i hate to wake up with a nightmare.

Friday, June 15, 2007

What is happening with my Art

Payed a visit to the USM Muzium and had a talk with theMUzium Director Encik Hasnul with regard to what he has planned for my next show. Hasnul has over the years become a very close friend and I find him to be a very insightful and intelligent man whose artistic talent compliments his intellectual understanding. We discussed about the attempts of western mind in trying tro proof or disproof of the eastern mysticism through the use of advanced technological instruments and research methods. Telepathy and extrasensory perceptions, faith healings and the supernatural. This it seems is his present project and so I gave him my two cents worth on the topic giving him a little addition to his research in to the matter.
I told of the Carlos Castaneda's experimental and research into the healing methods of the Yaqui Indians of the Sonora desert in Mexico. The use of the Mescal a type of cactus extract to induce an altered state of conciousness whereby one is able to perceive the other dimensions existing parallel to our according to the Yaqui Indians and also the exploits of Antonin Artaud the French playwright and anthropologist who studied the Tarahumara Indios of the Tarahumara mountains of Mexico. I tried to impress upon him the effects of our own genetical makeups in so far as to allow us excess tinto our psychic abilities to penetrate the unseen in healing or being able to utilize the forces of nature in order to heal through the mind alone. This is a very deep and precariously dangerous field of study like becoming a Shaman. Not many has the ability or well equipped to embark upon such a venture into the unknown where the need for an 'Ally' to assist in the process of healing is necessary.
We both came to agree that the finality of the fact that one has to arrive at a stage of 'Fana' as in Arabic for void or seizing to exist of the ego has to be achieved before one can really harness the forces of nature in order to become a Shamanistic healer. Thus the need to get to know who you are and transcending this knowledge upon arrivcing at the answer is a prime focus of most healers for the ego is an impediment towrds achieving a direct connection between ourselves and that which we seek to join forces with. Meditation is one form of exercise whereby the state of 'emptiness' of being can be achived over a priod of time. In this state the mind is more receptive towards the subtle prescence of othe energy forms that exist alongside our own and through this sense of acute awareness we are able better to communicate or allign our energy to that which affects our healing process. We then can become a medium or conduit for these existing enrgies to utilize our physical form and execute the healing activities that is required to be carried out physiccaly.
Ultimately there is only One Healer and The AlMighty Healer is the Lord and Creator of all healers without Hu's blessing a healing process is impossible. But Allah (God) demands that man initiate and act upon the process to the best of his ability with thorough understanding of the elements involved before Hu intervenes, (Ikhtiar).
Thus the process of understanding of who we are becomes paramount in the effort to become a true healer in the traditional way like that of the Shaman or the dukun or bomoh or better known in the west as the witch doctor. Modern day technological advancement has practically obliterated this process by introducing the machines and equipments,the drugs and therapies which takes the place of the human psychic abilities. The trust in our latent abilities as humans has been thrown into the closet to be hidden from our future generations, they have become the skeletons in the closset. That knowledge which our forefathers had survived with throughout our human history has become invalid, a superstitious enterprise born of ignorance. The west has replced it with modern technology where the use of drugs has replaced the use of the human mind itself where the will power that we are endowed with has been replaced with a surrender to the hands of surgeons and scapels. Today there is more neorotics and psychos running around the planet than there ever was because we have become dependant upon themental health institutions and the shrinks who often times has no time nor the financial capability to cope with the ever growing number of schizoids and displaced entities in the world. Every symptoms has to be rationalized in the scientific manner and meet the scientific equations or rationally and logically explained. Anything that is beyond the scope of modern day medicine is considered incurable or subject to more research.

So what is the plan for my art show I finally asked him and Hasnul offered me a show in August and three blank wall in the Muzium to be filled with my sketchings and drawing in the meantime.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Pirates Of the Caribean

Having gone to see Pirates of the Caribbean one and two with my two children at the theaters the third will have to follow sooth. We also have gone to the Spider onw tqo and three together and the X-Men series it is becoming the Bahari family tradition here in Penang. It is not the best of quality times one spends with the kids but it will have to do for now.
I enjoy goinbg to the movies for as long as I can remember starting with the Hindi movies that i used to go to with my father and mother while growing up in Penang. I loved to old black and white classical Hindi filems especially those that depicted ancient KIngs and Kingdoms, the epic stories like the Ramayana and the Mahabarata which sometimes lasted for more than three hours long. My imagination was enriched at a very early age by these classics and later when I was living in Terengganu my taste for movies switched from Hindi to Chinese and Japanese movies. My oldest brother would take my twin brother and I to the early Chinese Kungfu type movies where there was alot of swords ang guts spilling all over the place by the end of each movies. Later on along came the Japanese movies like Zatoichi, Yhe Blind Swordsman and Kurosawa's black and white classics like Yojimbo, THe Seven Samurais and The Forty Ronins. Along with these Asian movies was the early Clint Eastwood cowboy series like A fistfull of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and the The Good, The Bad and the Ugly and so on. These were the movies that I never missed when I was growqing up in Kuala Terengganu, what else was there to do otherwise for a teenager growing up where the only source of entertainment was the Theaters.
Today the movies has moved into a whole new dimension with the latest in computer animation technology movies has become almost a virtual reality where anything and everything is possible with the manipulation of the cinimatograhics. I tremendously enjoy the latest of the Marvel Productions series like Spiderman, Batman, Superman and the X-Men, the Fantastic Four and so on. My oldest used to buy Marvel Comics eversince these series were first introduced, if we had kept his collections of the DC Comics till this date it would be worth a fortune. Thanks to him we, my twin and I were exposed at a very early age to some of the first ever issues of these movie character like the Incredible HUlk when he firts joined the Marvel Comics.All these happened in the early sixties when my oldest brother was teaching at Sultan Sulaiman Secondary School in Kuala Terengganu. He had made a great impact in my growing up as a teenager not only in his taste for comics but also the Play Boy magazine and Jazz albums, the Erotica collections he had hidden in two suitcases under his bed and most of all the way he had carried himself as a teacher feared and respected by students and peers alike.
It was also through my brother that I developed the love to read and till this day I am hooked to reading and at present i am reading a novel by Irving Wallace, The Three Sirens. Just finished The Fourth Estate by Jeffery Archer. My twin and I are forever indebted to our eldest for his wisdom and farsightedness in the manner he had raised us for if not for him I would not be sitting here writing these words.
Reading good novels for me is a form of transportation that tkes me to places that i only could dream of and I have gone many of these places in my real life afte i have read about them and fermented their imges in my heart with the desire that one day I would be there where the authors have been describing. The Characters in the novels are people that I see in my life and wondered what they were like, what their dreams and aspirations were and where and what they had done that is different from me, there is so much to do to touch to taste to experience in life and only through the vivid imagination os great writers and one's personal commitment to read and enjoy reading that one can reach the sight of the impossible, the vastness of humanity.
Movies helps one to mayerialize the written words and it take the imaginative and creative minds of the artist to render words into images.