I got a nasty IM message the other day from my best friend (you can tell it's nasty because he started with "Woi!") berating me for being away from this blog for so long.
I told him, I haven't been away. I have, in fact been posting almost every other day, to which he replies, "Write something!" Ahhh... it took me a while to realise, that I haven't actually written anything of my own for a while, meaning my "An original article by Mohd Nadzrin Wahab" graphic hasn't been making an appearance.
Things have been pretty hectic, and since this is not a personal blog, but a blog about silat, I'm obliged to write only about silat, even though my opinions on politics, corporate training and the social sciences have been appearing elsewhere on the net.
Ever since my daughter arrived, my attention has been diverted somewhat and quite a few things have been put on hold indefinitely. There was a promise to study an ancient silat style from a guru I deeply respect, but haven't had the opportunity to fulfill (I will get there one day!)
I've also had several ideas for articles, and could probably write them on the fly, but desperately need to find the sources to support my reasoning. It's very dangerous to write anything about silat and culture without proper references, even anecdotal ones.
What shouldn't be difficult is fiction, thus the second thing I was berated on was the halting of the The Azure Keris series. Thing is, I told my friend, I'm not sure anyone was actually reading them since I never I got comments for those posts. I could actually just be wasting my time writing it. (And by the way, gushing comments from JD, Ustaz and Djambu don't count. They're just nice people).
So, if you want to see The Azure Keris continue, do give me your comments. What do you want to see, what do you hate about it, what cultural errors exist, etc. In any case, the series was a long time in the making and whether or not this blog existed, I had always wanted to write it, as a sort of tribute to my masters and those people who shared their knowledge with me. There was always a very clear end in mind with a definite fate for Pak Din and Saiful.
Other articles that I've planned are those concerning Islam, Pukulan Jarak Jauh, Silat Abjad, practical methods of the Keris, evolution of silat through the ages, kuntau and silat, etc. If you have any other ideas, do drop me a mail.
I've been having interesting discussions with Ustaz Saiful of Silat Telapak Nusantara and I wish, I wish, I wish I could publish them! But Jeff, now I know how you feel!
In any case, whoever misses the opportunity to study with Ustaz will have missed seeing true Silat Melayu in action. I have seen some silat claiming to be keris arts, but what Ustaz has in his home is amazingly authentic. Look for his videos on YouTube and you'll see what I mean.
For those who regularly reads the comments will know that a local film company is doing a documentary on silat, and I'm proud to say that guru Shamsudin SM Salim of the United States Gayong Federation is once again involved. They might be doing a piece on Gayong in Malaysia. I'll definitely keep you updated on that.
One piece of good news though, several months ago, I was approached by Editions Didier Millet, a publishing house specialising in high-end social studies books to write an entry on Silat for the Encyclopedia of Malaysia.
My editor called me last week to inform me that the official launching ceremony will be on the 18th of June 2008. I'm expected to attend the function, but might have to give it a miss, due to work contraints. I'd love to be there.
The book is now out in the market and they have sent me a copy, albeit to my former workplace. I have yet to see it personally. I'll put up some scans as soon as I get it.
But for now, my apologies again to all if you've expected to read anything original from me these last few weeks. I'll burn rubber as soon as my schedule frees up again. Promise. Until then, salam persilatan,