Author: Azryl Ali


Rise from the ashes

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How did it take so long for me to recognise the toxicity I have been ingesting, when everyone else spotted it at light speed?

Was it due to the exhilarating moments that outweighed the bad ones?

Hope had always been sitting close by, nodding her head reassuringly, as though she was indicating, “This one is going to be good.”

Then came the unfateful day, I took in the last pill, which turned out to be my worst trip. I was brought far and beyond; further than my heart could bear, past my threshold. Hope remained where she was, until I lost sight of her. Completely.

I am alone, in a dark abyss with barely any clue on what to do.

Then came a glow in the distance, and what seems like Hope’s silhouette sitting close by. A flutter was heard, close to my left breast pocket.

Then a voice whispered, “Move forward, move on, move towards the light.”

• • •

Once upon a time, you were my drug. I was addicted to our version of love, but failed to realise that I lost myself in an attempt to reignite what had already dissolved a long time ago. My sight was fogged with your presence. Little did I know that it did little to bring out the best in me, like it used to.

I guess the distance we needed was more than in terms of proximity.

Our amicable end, seems to have soured further, as years went by. If this is the only way to save us from breeding hatred for each other, then I guess detachment is the best solution for both of us.

Thank you for all the lessons you have taught me, and for the wonderful memories you have left me with.

People exist in our life for various reasons; I believe I have fulfilled my purpose with you, and it is time I make way for someone else to walk you through your current phase in life.

May you find happiness to a new beginning, this time, without me in the story.


I speak feelings, not thoughts.

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More often than not I am one to suppress my feelings deep within. I rarely burst when I am angry, or cry when I am upset. Regardless of how I feel, I try my best to put a smile on my face.

Despite that I still possess something that every other human being has too; that is, a threshold. 

I am the kind of person who would often do my best to empathise and understand, whenever someone slips up. So much so that at times, others feel as though I am making up excuses for another when in actual fact, I try my best to put my feet in their shoes.

However when I run out of tolerance, I end up blurting the things without much thought, and that is only because much of it comes passionately from the depths of my heart, not my mind.

So if I were to ever send a lengthy text to anyone, it only means I care passionately enough to be writing all of it. Be it a text to call someone out on something that is unacceptable, or an advice. It just means I care. I care for you, for me, and whatever form of relationship that exists between us.

If I don’t, trust that I would not even bother to type a ‘K’.


Don’t rain on our Poképarade

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“Look at all these people walking around like zombies with their eyes glued to their phone screens, trying to catch imaginary creatures. I hope they fall into that pond.”

“I don’t get the point of this game. All you do is just throw around balls and be totally oblivious to your surroundings.”

“I am never going to play this game.”

For all you Pokémon GO players out there, I am pretty sure you have encountered these snide remarks when passing by someone or even while browsing through your Facebook news feed. I understand it can be rather frustrating, when you are just trying to have a little fun.

All I can say is, go on with your little adventure but always be aware of your surroundings. I play the game myself; however, I try not be overly obsessive and would only turn on the app while I am waiting for someone, or while riding the train to work. Basically, I play whenever I am in a safe area that does not impose any form of danger or obstruction to myself or the people around me.

Also, turn off your AR when you are in a crowded place, for goodness sake. Not only does it save your battery, it also prevents you from looking like a fool trying to catch your critter at some random angle. Plus, it is easier to catch Pokémon that way.

On the other hand, for those who do not understand the logic behind the game, all you need to do is to just respect the interests of another, regardless of what it is.

You do not like the game? Don’t play it and keep mum about it.

Everyone has their own hobbies and interests; it just so happens that a vast majority of the world’s population appreciate the existence of Pokémon since our childhood years, and we are just reliving the fun of it all. If you do not belong to this group of people, no one is going to hate you – unless you start igniting a flame by hurling hateful comments and acting on your horrid impulses. Instead of venting your anger and feelings of disdain on Facebook, Twitter or any form of social media platform, why not channel that energy into doing something that makes you happy? Write poems, sing a song, dance to your favorite music, play your kind of game. If these are the things that interest you, do it.

A Pokémon GO player is blocking your way? Excuse yourself nicely and move along

Most of us would probably move aside. Yes, maybe there would be some players who would not be apologetic and be totally oblivious, but don’t use your bad encounter to generalize and categorize the entire makeup of Pokémon GO players. We do not need a longer list of labels to create any more divisive communities. I think this world has had enough of stereotyping and shootings, thank you.

I must say, the positive impact of this game has been incredible. It has reunited a dog with its foster owner, broke barriers and improve strained relationships, and even helped with the mental health of many.

Without a doubt, the game is disruptive for non-players as it may have caused cases of trespassing or obtrusion, but it also serves as a welcome distraction for those who are looking for an outlet to relieve all sorts of things that go through their mind. Let us have our fun, and we will let you have yours. Just don’t rain on our parade.

Oh and to those who think that I ditched the “man card” for playing this game, here is what I’ll say to you: Manners maketh man.


Before You Share That Post, STOP!


We live in an age where information can be consumed in bite-sized portions found on Facebook, and a host of other social media platforms.

When we resonate with a particular story, article, picture or video, all it takes is just a touch of the “Share” button; it then immediately becomes displayed on our timeline, and other people’s newsfeed.

But hold on a minute. Do we actually realize what we are sharing, and how it could possibly affect ourselves, together with the people around us?

Facebook has an algorithm which takes note of the things you share, and feeds you with even more of the related topics, with the assumption that you are interested in it.

So you see something that makes you angry. To express your anger, you decided to share with the world about how angry you are about it. Very soon, you will realise that your newsfeed is plagued with more of those things that made you angry. It is a simple concept, you attract more of whatever you exude; just like the Universe, Facebook’s algorithms work the same way.

Now watch this video that has already garnered 5,400 views (and counting) on Facebook. The man in this video, Mike Chesworth, a filmmaker, explains in greater detail, “The Most Important Rule of Facebook”.

So what can you do the next time you see a post that makes you angry? Well, if they are just posts about a certain topic you dislike, you can choose to see less of it. However, if you find that the poster perpetually uploads topics that irks you, then unfollow them. See the picture below on how to do it; you’ll be on your way to a perfect looking newsfeed, just the way you like it.



I Am Not Related To Muhammad Ali

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In light of Muhammad Ali’s passing, I am reminded of my solo trip to Phoenix, Arizona back in February. It was my birthday month, so I thought, what better way than to celebrate it by taking a long break from work? It was my very first time traveling alone, and also the first time I stepped foot into the United States; thank goodness I had someone to bring me around while I was there. It was exciting, yet a little nerve-wracking (after all, it was not long after Donald Trump suggested the ban of Muslims from entering the country).

Upon reaching the airport in San Diego, I was one of the first few in line to have my immigration cleared. Unfortunately, during my turn, I was asked to head back to the end of the queue as I did not fill up the Customs Declaration Form (that was given out while I was asleep on the plane). So I filled it up and obviously ended up last in line. The queue was pretty long, the officers were taking their time doing the clearance, and I was getting a little worried about missing my connecting flight.

Eventually, I reached the front of the counter; the area was empty by then, with just the immigration officer and my left. He was pretty friendly, but as he was checking the records on the system, his confused expression raised alarm bells. He then asked me to reconfirm my name, in sequence.

“Mohammad Azryl, first name. Ali, last name,” I said.

“Sir, your name is not showing up on the records properly,” he replied.

I panicked a little because I somehow felt that I was going to be detained. True enough, I was held back for them to run a detailed background check on me. I acceded to their request and was made to fill up my recent travel information. After which, I patiently and calmly waited for the outcome, outside their office.

By this point, I was worried about two possibilities — that I will miss my flight, OR get deported back home. The latter did not make sense, as I obviously did nothing wrong. So I just held on to my composure (which I am really good at) and wished for the best. All I kept thinking of was, “THIS TRIP IS GOING TO BE FUN!”.

Voila! The thought began to manifest because right after, I was called back to the counter and the officer did the second round of clearing.

He probably felt my worry wafting through the air, and attempted to joke about my name.

“So, are you related to Muhammad Ali?” and chuckled.

I ended up smiling, as I found it amusing that he really thought that my surname was Ali.

You see, my full name is Mohammad Azryl bin Ali. Ali is NOT my surname; it is my father’s name. The “bin”, when translated from Arabic, means “son of”. Another variation of this is “ibn”.

Therefore, this is where I find that the name fields when filling out forms are flawed in a way. After all, not everyone in this world has a surname, and it does not apply only to Muslims or Malays. Even for Indians, they would have the abbreviations, “s/o” or “d/o”, which actually means “son of” and “daughter of” respectively.

However, considering that we are a racial minority in most places that we go and that these name fields are of a “universal” standard, there is nothing that can really be done about it. All we can afford to do is just conform with the majority.

I am not trying to make a mountain out of a molehill, but if we could just have a single field called “Full Name (underline Surname)”, I believe there would be fewer complications.

Though, I wouldn’t have minded at all, if I was related to Muhammad Ali; since he lived in Phoenix, I could have moved over. I fell in love with the city (and with someone as well) while I was there.

Or, I could just play along and be the other Mohammad Ali.

LIFE, Uncategorized

From The Cradle


A quick summary of my origin, using a poem.

Presented to foster family,
at month three;
apparently one,
wasn’t enough for me.

Parents out to earn,
to fund my education;
first 6 years in primary school,
my bully named me “Baby Alien”

Late nights, wee mornings,
busy studying,
religiously praying,
fosters prevented me from straying.

Got As and Bs for ‘O’ Levels.
Sixteen and a rebel,
deprived of a social world.

Electrical and Electronics Engineering?
Dropped out at eighteen,
Coffee making –
far more interesting.

The nation beckons,
at nineteen;
I’m suited up in green.
For a marksmanship badge,
“Hell yeah, I’m keen!”
Though it was never seen.

Twenty one,
work was fun;
of coffee grounds, stock runs,
dressed in leather jackets,
under the sun.

Now twenty four,
I look for open doors.
Though closed ones,
I’ve knocked so much more.

What is rejection?
It’s just an illusion,
for failure to gain traction.
Watch, as I let it burn;
my mind has had immunisation.


More Than Just A Lover, I Want To Give You All That I Can Offer

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When I make someone my partner, I do not want to just be a lover. There are many different ways to show a person you love them; by just being a lover, it only means I am restricted to just holding your hand, giving morning kisses and cuddling you when you sleep.

Don’t get me wrong; I want all of that, but also, I want you to have more than that.

I want to add value to your life; by helping you be the best version of yourself, and be better individuals together.

I want to be your consistent cheerleader; supporting you in what you choose to do in life and whatever decision you make.

I want to be your sneaky sidekick; doing little acts of service without your knowledge, that makes you smile when you find out.

I want to be your naggy nurse; making a fuss when you refuse to take your medication, but only because I want you to be lively again.

I want to be your travel tote; exploring the ends of the Earth with you, having an adventure while learning different cultures.

I want to be your sultry singer; because you are the music to my soul.

I want to be your best friend; sharing every little secret and be silly in our own separate world.

I want to be your passionate protector; guarding you from hurt and catching the metaphorical malicious bullet, when the need arises.

Because, if we ever stopped being lovers (which I hope won’t happen), I want to be able to pick one of these roles, and still be there for you.

LIFE, Uncategorized


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I was talking to Mike yesterday about his series of live videos and how I find them AMAZING. He mentioned that he felt he was going too fast and as though he was rushing through the videos. I, on the other hand, felt that the pacing was just right; fluent and coherent.

This man has A LOT of charisma. Whenever he tells his stories, it is somewhat mesmerizing, and I am not saying this out of bias. I believe it has got to do with his intonation, expression and the amount of passion he has in his subject matter. (more…)