Tag Archives: saiful bahri

“Is Mika here?” He would ask

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Questions
“Is Mika here?
Can I borrow some money?”
The familiar head would suddenly appear,
And I would reply, gruffly,
Yay or Nay, to the speaker,
Abang Chik, my brother.

Now as I sit in my room,
Sifting through his notebooks
And scribblings that I have saved,
My eyes sometimes drift to the door,
Half expecting him
To poke his head in,
And ask, for the thousandth time…
“Is Mika here? Are you done with the book?
Have you seen my car keys?
Do you have the time?”
…….

Not a day passes, that I am not thankful for this life, this world, and for you, sunshine. And not a day passes that I am not thankful that this world shall not last but one day end, and that we, you and I, shall take leave of this reality and return to the possessors of our memories, our dearly departed kin and friends. And to meet, Godwilling, in a congregation blessed to be in the Divine Presence.

My brother is not here. The odour of his presence, made astoundingly apparent by his Indonesian clove cigarettes is absent. But his writings and drawings, his artistic, musical and literary tastes, his quiet devotion to Shaykh Nazim Adil al-Haqqani (qs), are present in my life and animate my thoughts. And he is doing it all over again – bothering me, popping his head into my loneliness, asking for the millionth time… “Is Mikhail here? So what do you think of the movie? Doesn’t the minister drive you crazy?”

Abang Chikwa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way

THE DRAGON… Saiful Bahri (1964 – 2013) Part 1

SCAN_20151104_111716224The Dragon
It had come into my heart, that,
Somewhere, in this city,
There walks a dragon,

I had seen it’s eyes in
The glimmering lights of the city at night,
I had seen it’s scales in
The glass of the tall, faceless buildings.

It’s roar was heard in the infernal din
Of the city roads, that were ways to its lair,
I felt it’s scorching breath from
The numberless breaths of the city,
I found it’s track leading into the halls of Men,

Time after time, I found, men or women, mindless,
The light of madness in their eyes,
Who wander the streets,

I wondered on what had befallen them…

They had seen the Dragon, and it had burnt 
Their souls to ashes, by the flame of its gaze.

- Saiful Bahri bin Abdul Khalid (1964 – 2013)

……………

SCAN_20151104_111716224_001A Discovery - Two nights ago, while I was sitting at the landings, I thought I heard some noise in my late brother’s room. It has been left undisturbed for the past 2 years since his passing. I entered and found nothing amiss. But on a shelf I noticed a notebook. I perused the ragged old book and discovered it to be a scribbling-sketch book of Saiful Bahri (known to me as Abang Chik and to his friends as Poone), dating  back to 1992. Some of the writing appeared to be in my hand, so I almost took them to be my own . But upon closer examination, I am certain that these words and illustrations were all my brother’s – every single alphabet, every single stroke of the pen and pencil. Gosh. It was like receiving a letter 23 years late.

A Question Answered. Do you know that since my brother’s death I was constantly nagged by a question – why has he never published or blogged any of his drawings, prose or stories? He is a very talented and sincere artist and writer. Far more than I will ever be. What a shame, I kept musing to myself, that no one else will enjoy the product of his creative impulses.

But now that I have this notebook, I am presented with the opportunity to correct this unfortunate omission. And The Dragon will just be the beginning, insha Allah (Godwilling).

For all that Abang Chik has given and shared with me, from books to music, art, spirituality and mysticism, to the science of being calm and collected (which I constantly fail to imitate), I think I owe him at least this. Don’t you agree, sunshine?

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My brother in Jordan, 2012. Second from the right.

wa min Allah at-taufiq

Hate has no place in Islam
Love will show the Way