27 December 2014

I'm Not Patriotic

"Maybe your country is only a place you make up in your own mind, something you dream about, and think about. Maybe it is not a place on the map at all, but just a story full of people you meet and places you visit."

Akhirnya, negara kamu hanyalah sebidang tanah yang hasilnya dimamah korporat.
Tidak patriotik, kerana aku ingin keluar.
Tidak patriotik bila apa yang aku inginkan hanyalah pengalaman dan memori.
Apa yang aku sudah buat demi negaraku yang tercinta selain membayar socso dan cukai?

Tiada. Aku selfish begini.
Kerana akhirnya, hanya pengalaman dan memori yang aku dambakan.
Apabila negaraku cuma diisi dengan lambakan fitnah.
Apabila semua orang membenci, mencaci dan menggasari.

Apa yang aku sudah buat demi negaraku yang sebegini?
Tiada. Kerana aku selfish begini.

Pegi mati dengan korporat-korporat jijik.

14 December 2014

Row, Row, Row Your Raft!

It's amazing how immerse into the great outdoors one can be.
It all started from simple hikings.
To all those epic hikes.
The emprised waterfall canyoning.
The agonized runs and races.
And yesterday, the cardinal rafting adventure.

The almost 3 hours rafting journey through the river in the dense forest was amazing, with its class 1 to 3 cascades. Fell into the mighty river twice; 1st - from the mighty blow of one of the cascade, 2nd - at the end of the journey when all of us flipped the raft - went floating for a minute or two till the river banks.

Next adventure: Trail Run.

09 December 2014

I Don't Owe the Advertising Industry Any More

I was running around in the office, my advertising agency office.
My heart beats so furiously - at the same pace of my brain being bombarded with problems upon problems: juggling campaigns, rushing FAs, attending training, etc etc etc.

I was with one of the copywriter, a friend (J) who noticed something weird.

J: Dude, kau macam tak ok.
Me: ...................................
J: Muka kau biru.

I ignored him, and started running back to the main meeting room, to continue the training with my fellow group mates. And one of the mates (R), dah mula perasaan that something was really wrong with me.

R: Shuk, are you okay?
Me: Just having a weird headache.
R: Shuk. Muka you pucat. Pucat sangat.

And that was it. I felt it coming straight to my head. Straight to my lungs and fragile heart.
I can't breathe. My mind went hay-wire. All of the problems seem to be conjugated, creating a huge barrier that blocked my heart and lungs.

I was gasping for air.

That was the first time I collapsed because of work burden and depression.
I will not let this happen again. I will be happy. Let's change our life to a better, passionate life.
People will call me coward for leaving the industry. I love Advertising. But I don't see myself happy doing it any more. I don't need to sacrifice my happiness for my bosses, for my clients, for my colleagues. I don't owe them anything, any more.

07 December 2014

Across City Centre.

It was a night to be remembered. I decided to run at night, not my normal 5 -6km runs, but a complete 15km run across Kuala Lumpur City Centre. Running the final 10km alone at night was an epic journey for me. 

But although I was 'free', I felt pain clinging on my left foot. Determine to complete at least 15km of running, I dragged myself, running through the streets around KLCC, Bukit Bintang, Masjid India, Kampung Baru, and finally back to Jalan Ampang.

When I reached the 15.05km mark, rain started falling. "Aku lari bukan kerana 6-packs, aku lari untuk push my human spirit".

I run with #salomonrunning shoes - City Trail.
I used #nikerunning app to track my runs.

06 December 2014

Berlari kita

Bagi aku kaki manusia ciptaan Allah sangat menakjubkan.
Mampu tahan impak demi impak - internal and external.

Orang kata susah nak mula lari - Masya Allah sakitnya bukan perit lagi.
Tapi Allah kurniakan satu lagi kebolehan - adaptation.
Selingan: Kalau dalam Advertising Agency, perkataan ni yang paling Client suka guna untuk hentam kreatif yang guna visual konsep yang sama untuk medium yang berlainan.

Slow and steady - kaki kita terima impak-impak dan lama kelamaan proses adaptation menjadikan kaki kita lebih kuat. Lari tidak akan jadi lebih senang, tapi kita yang jadi lebih kuat. Lebih kuat untuk berlari lebih lama dan lebih jauh. 2km, 5km, 8km, 10km, 15km, 21km, 41.2km, 50km, 80km, 100km.

So start now. Start tonight and unleashed the strength that Allah has bestowed upon us. Just run now.

04 December 2014

One of the most inspiring TV series that showcase the stories of professional runners of Salomon.
Get inspired. Start running now. It will change your life.

Salomon Running TV Season 3

01 December 2014

The industry is getting sicker and sicker. Dark inspirations and aspirations are upon us. Its hard to focus and mistakes are common now. I need to move on, my heart squall, or we shall never find peace.

22 November 2014

Salomon's X-Scream City Trail Running Shoe and Hydro 45 belt for serious runners.

19 November 2014

A Runner's Diary #8th November 2014

I woke up this morning, feeling a bit drowsy. Bangun, basuh muka, gosok gigi, subuh and get ready in my running suit. Did simple warm-up feet exercise, tend my rabbits and I'm ready to run.

Walked to the starting line. In my mind, the starting line when I ran on the route to KLCC, from my house is always the Klinik Kerajaan. You can see the finishing line from here (which are the 2 KLCC's towers) and it just feels so far away.

Started running. Time changed to kilometres for me from this point. Knee supporter started to squeeze both of my peha.

Blerch started to kick in from behind. Negative thoughts started to flow in. Kaki dah start rasa pressure, but my hiking shoes are holding on. The first km is always the hardest for me. The process in which my feet adapt themselves to handle pressure and pain bothers my mind a lot. Just need to focus and set my mind to keep pushing my legs.

The pressure was enormous for my legs. Not wearing a proper running shoes dah start giving a toll towards my feet. Can feel my bones are in pain or screaming or whatever. Its a war in my mind. Half of it nak stop, and another half push me to keep running.

I think, if i'm not mistaken, the 3km mark is at the simpang Ampang Park. The sudden stop I took because of the traffic light shooked my legs. Sweat was pouring out. My hands feel awkward and my back feels uncomfortable - another thing I should look up - running and not hurting your back.

Reaching KLCC. My mind is set. To finish the 5km target this morning. Ran into the park to complete the target. Breathing dah rasa macam okay. The pain in my feet dah numb. This is my favorite part of running.

Getting a runner's high is ecstasy for me. My feet dah sakit macam mahu tercabut but my mind is eager to continue running. Ended my run right after the bridge near the park's swimming pool.

In the evening:
I ran for another 15km and damn I'm too lazy to describes every km. But it was awesome. Total KMs cover for one day: 20km.

05 November 2014

"I choose not to fix my torment. I chose to own it. To posses it. I chose to run." - Oatmeal.
Its been 2 years since the first time i put on my running shoes. I remember my first run, it was filled with pain and god-knows-torturing moments that I endured. But it does not ends there. It was just a beginning.

31 October 2014

"The mountains are calling, and I must go."

2 tahun sudah sejak mengorak langkah menjelajah ke bukit, gunung dan hutan. Pencarian kepuasan dalam hidup bersama alam semulajadi menjadi inspirasi untuk aku terus bekerja. It was when my journey dekat Pulau Bako yang aku sudah determine untuk terus menjelajah dunia. Mengapa mesti aku buat semua ini? Mengapa perlu menitiskan peluh, menambahkan luka, menahan sakit demi untuk sampai ke puncak gunung? Untuk melangkah ke dalam air terjun? Untuk tiba di penghujung jalan hutan tebal?

As I typing this entry in my office, I can see bruises, scars from my past journey. And I can feel the fresh ones on both of my legs. Its worth it. Every single one of my bruises and scars are testimonials from the places that I visited and the hassle I went through to embrace Allah's creation, bukan semata-mata untuk melihat, tetapi untuk mengenal cara hidup yang lebih bermakna.

Next target: Mount Argopuro, Jawa Insya Allah.
Ultimate target: Umrah and Haji. Amin.

22 October 2014

“Nature is always hinting at us. It hints over and over again. And suddenly we take the hint.” - Robert Frost

11 October 2014

Let alone the nature consume us. As they creep at night riding time.
Reaching stones and concretes.
Till the end of time, everything apart nature shall perish and fall down to earth.

24 August 2014

Life in AstroBM Department, NagaDDB Advertising Agency.

It was my last week in NagaDDB and I decided to share some of these fun images I took couple of months ago in the department. Most of these are in B&W so that you can really see the emotion and mood these people create in the deparment.

10 August 2014

Turned my soul into a raging fire last night
Sent my spirit across the streets 
When my body slowly turns slow
But my mind was at ease
When my soul turned into a raging fire last night
It sent my vital force to the finish line.

02 August 2014

Hati bersalut keimanan,
Minda tenang bersyahadah,
Pandangan fokus kedepan,
Nafas yakin demi kebenaran,
Tangan menghunus pedang,
Kaki menunggang kuda perkasa.

Suara lantang bergema,
Menjadi aspirasi untuk mara,
Demi menuntut yang batil,
Demi membuka pintu-pintu Kota Suci,
Agar kesuciannya terpelihara.

Qom, Salahuddin! Qom, Salahuddin!
Laungan demi laungan, namun kau sudah tiada,
Bila mana pintu Jannah sudah terbuka untukmu,
Umat Muhammad menanti pemimpin persis kamu.

27 July 2014

Shut your eyes as they blind them.
Shut your mouth as they take away their voice.
Shut your ears as they make them scream.

But don't shut your soul as they will never shut the lights of Mujahidin's souls.
Pray and make doa.

Salam Eid Mubarak.
Forgive us for not be able to be there for you.
Forgive us for not coming to aid you.
As the only thing that we can do now is to make doa.

14 June 2014

Things we lost in the fire.

We lost our souls
Upon waves of fire came to claim
Smokes of existence in the skies
When it is raining pain and suffering
The things that we lost in the fire

We lost our souls
As our hearts start to rot

We lost our hearts
As our humanity starts to decay

Things we lost in the fire
There's nothing but ashes now.

07 June 2014

Mountains I seek, oceans I swim.
Peace I found, in every sujud I did.
I reached a dead end,
Took a way out, to find another renaissance.


21 April 2014

Heart's on fire, leaving all behind
Dark as night, let the lightning guide you
Step outside, gonna step outside, I'm gonna step outside
Heart's on fire in the warming rain.

Ingin rasa dunia sebelum terlambat
Mencari inspirasi, biar akal berehat
Orang kata cuci mata, aku kata cuci rasa
Biar hati yang berat jadi makin sasa.

22 March 2014

Why Violin?

"Kau terpengaruh dengan cite poyo je nii..."
"Apa tu bang? Gitar ke? Oh, violin...ingatkan perempuan je main benda tu..."

Yes, these are some of the reactions when I started learning to play the violin.
I'ts sure hard, but I will never give up. I'll tame you. I will play a violin score for my family and friends.

01 March 2014

The Spiritual Refugee's Journey - Chapter 1: The Rise of The Thinkers

17th Century, Rene Descartes, a philosopher and mathematician outlined a clear distinction between one's mechanical body with it's thinking mind or what she called as the soul. The rise of many thinkers and philosophers in that particular century has given birth to the modern day psychology studies. Different from today's studies, psychology back then focuses on the difference between the body and mind - the study of the unconscious mind VS psychical reality, insanity VS genius, emotions, insights, intelligence, archetypes and the list goes on and on.

So when people defined the physical body, mind and soul - what they can actually conclude was only what they experienced and observed. Studies over studies, experiences over experience - lead to man made conclusions. Our logical mind will interpret repeating events as facts in which represent the limitation of our mind to provide semantics and understanding towards life's experiences. So why think when our mind has limitations?

Like explorers in the deep ocean, thinkers should understand their limitations and prepare accordingly. Prepare your oxygen tanks based on how deep you want to go. Prepare your suit based on the pressure that you will encounter. Prepare your equipments based on your objective. But even with all that, you will always need to stop, and get back to the surface. Ocean explorers need to have the abilities and capabilities to rise back to the surface, or they will risk dying in the waters - as their preparations and equipments loses their functionality over time. Everything has it's limit. Including our minds. The only difference is most divers will have their oxygen's level indicator as guidance, whereas most thinkers does not equip themselves with an 'indicator' to remind them. 'Hey, this is your mind's limit. You should stop now and re-think again'. And in result - make them 'drowned' in their own self-conclusion. Thinkers are not wanderers. Thinkers are explorers.

The search for God

For me, the minute that we can think straight, our mind genuinely look for the one thing that are above others - God. Who is He? Where is He? Is He Jesus? Is He the Sun? Is He A Mythical-like creature sitting on a pedestal? Is He up there in the space? Or down in the Ocean? The questions about God inflicted many events in our human history; the born of nations, cultural shift, war, life, death. It's in the very basic of human's natural instinct - to look for a greater power that started everything. People started looking - without thinking. They looked up at the skies and kneel down to a giant burning star. They looked at the stars and praised to each one of them as individual gods. They claimed the life of a person - and made him a god. Different concept of god has been put into placed - Oneness, Theism, Deism, Pantheism, Dystheism, and many more. Many also have concluded and acknowledged the concept of Atheism - a belief that rejected the concept of god.

The divinity of God in One Surah

Here I am, trying to talk about God in one page of blog - when God himself explained to us about this in a surah with only 4 verses. The beautiful Surah Al-Ikhlas from the noble Al-Quran. Read, understand and think. Be the judge of your belief:

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم


Say, "He is Allah , [who is] One,


Allah , the Eternal Refuge.


He neither begets nor is born,


Nor is there to Him any equivalent."

One. The Eternal, Supreme Power - incomparable.

Thinkers - Rise Now.

I remember seeing the 'RISE' posters for the movie The Dark Night Rises (Batman). They inflicted a feeling of enthusiasm to wake up and challenge the problems (in the movie context, rise to fight Bane and the daughter of Ra's Al-Ghul). Maybe something have inflicted the mind of many today - to rise and questions their belief. People read, people think and make their own conclusions. That's how the mind works - in a shallow level. What these people lacks are the understanding of the conscious and unconsciousness. Many people think that they make decisions on their right mind - but what they don't realise that most of the time, their decisions are based on their unconsciousness.  For example; we want to questions our religion by defining it as 'belief'. 'Belief' is what most people will used to describe their religion - unaware that the word is weak and can directly be challenged. A stronger, unbiased conclusion can be made if we define religion in a context of a stronger word, for example, by using the word 'faith'. Unconsciously, the term 'faith' is more complex to define and the process to diminish the religion is longer. Do take note that these are just examples, a metaphorical situation to explain how most of the time, perceptions and conclusions are made based on unbiased definition that we used - in this case when we define religion.

RISE now, but start with the right mind. Start thinking but don't jump into conclusions. Start slow and finish strong. For anyone out there that would like to start to question their belief, do consider below steps of preparation - Insyaallah your mind will be at peace to start questioning.
  1. Start with YOUR OWN FAITH. Not others. Master and define your religion first before starting to venture to other religions
  2. Understand the concept of divinity
  3. Explore what are the relations between God and time, space & matter
  4. Ask the right questions to the right people
  5. Your mind has it's limit. Know that. Seek guidance from the right people
So? You think you have the 'Thinker' spirit? Rise now.

17 February 2014

The Spiritual Refugee's Journey - Pre-Chapter: Divinity VS Logic

There's a reason why I'd mention Divinity first at the title above. For me, if one would like to start exploring the different concepts of religions of the world, he or she should understand and define the term Divinity first. Understanding the semantics of Divinity will answer most of the logical questions that many people asked. For example, why would we try to be good when Allah wrote that we would enter Jahannam (!!نعوذ بالله من ذلك) on the Luh Mahfuz already? 

Allah blessed us with the power of Akal (mind). The ability to think, analyse, make decisions, explore and understand. It is a magnificent gift, but same as other creations of Allah, has it's own boundaries. The human's mind perceive logic faster than it can understand eternity. Why? Because our brain receive consciousness elements and feelings faster than our unconsciousness - in results our mind are easier to believe what is in the eyes, rather than what it is in the heart. When I say 'heart', it is not the physical-organ heart in our body, but I'm referring to our soul. Our soul, the Azali of our soul is to be connected to Allah. Our physical instinct may be the air, food and water. But our soul's instinct are to find the One. Over time, through experiences and learnings, the outcome of the search varies for each person.

This is a journey, walked by a Spiritual Refugee. Written in a sense of a born Muslim, still finding a place in the Dunya; the world of calamities and hardships. From a perspective of a thinker, trying to define our journey through the different realms. Bismillah.

01 January 2014

The Arrivals of The Birds - Orchestra

Bismillah, mohon play lagu di atas untuk menghayati tulisan kali ini. Hahaha.
Saya menulis kali ini ingin menyimpulkan kata-kata, membuat kesimpulan 12 bulan tahun masihi yang telah pun tamat. 

Klan Salleh Samad
Tahun ini tahun besar bagi ahli-ahli Klan Salleh Samad. Kakak kedua melangsungkan perkahwinan dengan suaminya, Alhamdulillah pilihan yang dibuat InshaAllah baik. Saya menarik nafas lega kerana mereka membuat keputusan untuk tidak bersanding, cukup Majlis Nikah dan kenduri semampunya, penuh dengan kemuliaan Islam, bukan tradisi Melayu. Kakak yang sulung sudah kembali ke Malaysia, walaupun bakal terbang semula ke Oman cukup masa nanti. Tinggallah 4 jejaka terus berdiri dalam rumah pusaka.

Loceng tahun baru paling susah untuk saya kawal perasaan. Marhumah Radziah bt Abd Rahman tersemat dalam hati. Jiwa masih pilu, rindu yang teramat. Al Fatihah and I miss you mak.

Working in an Advertising Agency is tough. 2013 jadi saksi Shukri Salleh struggle sebagai seorang eksekutif jenama. But I'm proud of myself. I'm a survivor and still a student. Tersedar kerja hanyalah kerja dan ia adalah salah satu bentuk Ibadah. My works are for you Allah. Every seconds of my works I dedicated for You, I hope my words now are sincere and true. Guide me Ya Allah. Guide me.

Tahun baru dengan semangat baru. Inshaallah perlahan-lahan saya mengorak langkah untuk membuka perniagaan sendiri. Aset dan modal sedang giat dikumpul. Sekali lagi mengharap pada Allah. Doa, Usaha, Ikhtiar dan Tawakal - DUIT kata Pencetus Ummah Thowi.

Shukri Salleh
The last photo of myself in the year 2013.
May Allah bring prosper and protection to my Iman.
May Allah honour me with good rezeki and relationships among people.
May Allah guide me to the right path of the Ad Din.
May Islam prosper throughout the world.