Features.

Tales of Taylorians – Print Edition

[ By Grace Loh, assisted by Aaron Lim ]

Photography by: Kelly Cheng

Have you ever wondered about the people you pass by along the hallways of Taylor’s University? The outspoken girl who dresses to impress, the stocky kid in his culinary attire or the shy geeky kid who sits in the corner engrossed in his book. Maybe it was never your interest to get to know them, but here’s the truth: they all have something in common with you. They all have a story to tell, a story that we’re here to learn about.

IMG_0391“Every day I would take out my pencil and start drawing. It’s very therepeutic. I usually draw anime and monsters like ravens, dragons and phoenixes. Creatures like that.”

“Do those things symbolize anything to you?”

“They symbolize a sense of power. It inspires interesting thoughts inside of me because it’s something that I don’t have in the real world. Something too powerful to probably exist in our world. You would wonder how these creatures came into existence – how did artists who illustrated them know that they would have wings, scales or bodies of lions?

It evokes a sense of wonder when I draw these characters. Drawing leads me out of my daily life. When I’m stressed and swamped, I draw. It actually helps [me] escape from all of it. I go into my own world and I feel better.”

“Is there anything or anyone that empowers you the most?”

“A human being? I don’t think so. But in the sense of mythical beings, I would say a phoenix. Because they are immortal and are very powerful. Immortality is one thing I really like.”

IMG_0392“Cars have always been in my family’s blood and that’s how I got into racing. My grandfather used to race and my dad has a vintage car collection. So it became sort of a family hobby. Thanks to my dad I drove my first car at 17. He gave me his own Subaru, a really fast car, which I got to test out on the tracks. My dad just really wanted to stop us from getting influenced by illegal racing—like street races you see at Genting—so he encouraged us to drive on track. He said it’s alright to do that as long as safety comes first.”

“When’s your next race?”

“I’ll be competing in the Asian Formula Renault Series this year. So wish me luck.”

IMG_0442

“Do you remember anyone who inspired you?”

“Back when I was 11 I had a substitute teacher named Sebastian. He was an STPM leaver waiting for his results. He came into my class and taught us the Moral subject. One day in class I asked him ‘Can we actually learn how to be good by reading the Moral textbook?”. He told me ‘No’ and in return gave me a photocopy book about philosophy. I read the book he gave me, learning so much about what philosophers thought on ethics and logic. That really opened up my eyes and altered my worldview on what it takes to be a good person. Can you imagine? It only takes a small gesture to change the life of another.”

IMG_0405“What’s your ultimate dream?”

“To have a good death.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“Because as a Muslim, if I don’t die a good death, what’s going to come after in my next life is tough.”

“What would you consider a good death then?”

“Death upon the belief of God, with good faith and good deeds. That’s the ultimate success. However, if you were to ask if I’m striving for that constantly, I would say no, not actively, not as much as I should. But I know that is the goal. I know I still have to correct myself in a lot of wrong things that I’ve done in the past.”

IMG_0428“People would always assume that skateboarders are reckless. That all we do is skate around at night, vandalizing public property. That’s a myth. Not all skate boarders are like that. I would skate in the parking lots on campus at night. You’ll find me there often, sometimes with a bunch of other skaters but most nights I’m alone. The guards didn’t like it at first because they were afraid I would hit the cars but eventually they were cool with it after they realized I wasn’t destroying anything.”

“Is there something you would like those people [who think skate boarders are reckless] to know?”

“I watch a lot of indie documentaries and documentaries from news channels. I got into watching them after I started my degree in engineering. There’s this one friend I have who reads a lot and has his own library, I started picking up books from him. Now I’m reading a lot more, especially non-fiction. But sometimes reading can get a bit boring so I turned to documentaries instead, especially the ones about world issues.”

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