Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Life is a Garden

Candlelight Christmas @ KLPAC, Sentul, KL

Adam and Eve were once lived in Eden, a garden of eternity. Deceived by Satan, both of them were punished out of Eden to live on Earth until the day of resurrection where all of us will face our God for final judgments.

Earth is a life of evanescent to reach a divine destination. Religion is guidelines to reach this ultimate journey of each individual. The Holy Books are tenets of religions for those who believed in the existence of only one God (Allah s.w.t). We know the existence of Heaven from the word of our Almighty God in the Holy Books of Taurat, Zabur, Injil (Bible) and Quran. What were taught to us are all good things. So I still don’t understand why people become mean, evil or bad. My understandings are very simple. Do good and good things will come; do bad and bad things will come to you. That’s all that I know in my limited knowledge of this subject.

But of course, religion subjects are very sensitive to all of us Malaysian. It’s too complicated for a person like me to discuss in detail. I am more interested to talk about things in common that all of us could share. I wanted to talk about life as a garden.

Have you ever thought of how beautiful mother earth is? It’s like one huge globe of a garden. We have many terrains of different geographical condition, different climate and time zone, many types of vegetation, animals and so forth. This is what we call a garden of life or the living Eden because so many things going on in our globe and we are the keeper. We determine the sustainability of our own life like a gardener who tend to the garden to keep it going on and on, alive. Don’t you agree with me? We are all a born gardener! Amazing, isn’t it :)

Well, never mind. That’s just a thought. I am very much a gardener myself. I love plants and animals. Have a few of them animals at home and of course lots of plants to keep home beautiful and alive. Lately it was like a breath of fresh air because I had the opportunity to build a garden in someone else’s home. It’s an indoor garden some more which is so cool. And later, I got the chance to work on a bigger garden project for an organization. It’s the coolest thing that has ever happened in my life! Thanks to my dearest friend who gave me the opportunity to work with him.

A beautiful garden gives pride to the owner. Therefore lots of people would love to have a garden surrounding their living. A garden is a glimpse of your personality. How much you care for the nature and the living. If your garden is full of weeds or dying plants; that means you are a bad gardener, lazy person, not in touch with nature and its living. If it’s flowering, lush and green, it means you are a good caretaker, appreciate other types of living and love the beauty of nature and its Creator. Lots can be said for a person from his/her garden. So better think twice if you wanted to build a garden in your house. Can you take good care of it or not for people will judge you by it.

Herewith I would like to share some of the things that I’ve been doing lately with my good hearted friend, Kuma. It’s been fun and fulfilling experience for these are the things I like most in life. I hope to be able to do more in the future. May the good heart of the kind and helpful be given two folds in return.

A shared moment with the visually impared people from the Malaysian Association for the Blind (MAB). They got the chance to know how real fish feels like.

Children of tomorrow. We teach our children the value of life. So teach them good values of sharing and unity of different kind of living existed in our country.

Children do not see the difference of race and skin colour until you tell them. They just want to play and be friends with each other.


Monday, December 04, 2006

The Perfect One

Perfect dusk scene at Ulu Yam Dam, Selangor

Lately I got the chance to do lots of things I neither had the chance nor time to do before in my own hometown or rather neighborhood. I was amazed with how fast time flies. It’s like riding a rollercoaster. Things changed, places changed and most importantly people changed.

The world keeps on moving even when you think your life has stopped. This world does not revolved around us per se with the earth population of over 6 billion; divided by continents, countries, states, provinces, districts, villages and other communities, we are living in a cluster of communities down to the smallest of families and friends. Nobody is actually living a single life. We live with each other, hence we can not be selfish or think that we are exclusive.

In this life evanescent, we are making the best of what we got. No misery is worst than the others. Our story is still very small indeed, like a tiny speck of dust in the atmosphere. The sun, the rain and the wind mark its destination. No one knows where it may end; in the mountain, the field, the land or the sea. If you care to think, this life full of uncertainties. But one thing that is certain is the promise of our Creator. That’s the only truth.

I spent my time with surprisingly numerous activities with friends and family. I went checking out nurseries for plants, learning new traits in gardening, visiting friends, picked up new skills and going for a picnic. With less in hand, I got to do lots like never before. In my next posting, I would share some of the photos of my activities.

Everywhere I go, I must have my camera with me. I believe in capturing the beauty of creation, stealing and stilling memories of this temporary life. It makes me so humble. Praise be to Allah.

I have my camera and my computer, nothing seemed to matter anymore. Technology makes us happy sometimes, I would say.

The Perfect One

Water flows down the river,
Debris of broken tweaks,
Mud leaves yesterday’s story,
These some wonder but I don’t see it

Life stops and continues on
Life thrives above, in between, down and below
Life thrives in front, behind and around
Can you see it now?

Yes I said, I see it now
Life continues when things are dying
When you don’t see
There must be the One that sees it all.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Let's Make a U-Turn

The serenity after-the-rain effect - grape leaf of the hidden garden

"Plan ahead - It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark"

The hibernating season of my blog has ended today. I guess most of you who checked here regularly would have noticed my pause. Well... I'm back!
I hope it is not too late to wish all of you out there:


In Malaysia it's a national celebration, therefore we all celebrating it for one month exactly, with open houses everywhere. It's a time of understanding, integration and unity of all races and creed. We are very lucky again this year to have celebrated it closely with Deepavali.

"HAPPY DEEPAVALI" to all the Hindus.

And to add to that, it was my birthday on Deepavali exactly and doubly I celebrated it on the 13th Ramadhan as well following the Islamic Calendar. So I had so much to be thanked for this month of October. A triple celebration.
I am back to KL/Selangor for good. Leaving behind the forest of memory in Mulu. It's a wonder place that everyone should pay a visit. However, there's no place in this world like home.

At the moment, I am still figuring out my next course of action. At the same time I am going to share with you all my thoughts. Something of good learning to everyone. I am still trying to collect the bits and pieces to make it comprehensible. Writing has always been a good thing. Sharing with you all I guess is a satisfaction.

So no matter what happens, life goes on. The journey will never end. I will always write something. Unlike other things, this ability of mind will never go adrift. I need to fix things up. Lots to be fixed and mended.

Allah does allow U-turns

Friday, August 18, 2006

School of Nature

Ketapang Tree - one of the Canopy Skywalk tree base

Mount Mulu National Park was opened to the public in year 1974 and was inscribed as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO in November 2000. This National Park is famous for its beauty in geographical and biological diversity. From limestone hills to rivers and trees and animals, everything in Mulu is simply amazing.

Look at the tree for instance… it’s called Tualang or Tapang Tree (Koompassia excelsa). It grows majestically in any tropical rainforest easy to recognise with its outstandingly smooth white-coloured trunk which makes it even prominent. Tualang usually grows in solitary with no other similar species nearby. It attracts honey bees because of its smooth trunk forbids the sun bear from climbing the tree easily hence forbid it to reach the honeycomb. Adding up to that, Tualang only branches out after 100 feet heights which makes it even more difficult for anybody to climb except for human being who sometimes climb the Tualang for the honey. Interesting, isn't it? Honeys from Tualang tree is highly priced in Malaysia.

God is Great! You see it all in the nature. There's always reasons and explanation of existance. We all have reasons to live. No one is spared in this universe. Back again to Tualang Tree, for the poets, it has significant meanings and values. It symbolises pride, achievement, one's standing, strong believe, royalty, perseverance and many more highly aclaimed traits. Just to add to this, Tualang is protected under Sarawak's Wildlife Protection Bill of 1990.

Canopy Skywalk - the longest in the world!

Now my trip this time takes me to explore the Canopy Skywalk, the longest tree based canopy walk in the world. It is 480 metre walk from tree base to tree base suspended 20 metres above the ground level. It will take about 2 hours to complete the whole exploration including the trekking to get there from the National Park Headquarters. In order to get the most of this walk, try to conquer your fear. One needs to be alert of one's surrounding. Look into the trees from base to base, look down under where the stream running clear, the crawlers and the climbers. Never miss to read the signboards that explain the flora and fauna of Gunung Mulu National Park. Lastly but not least, take a deep breath and try to feel the spirit of the jungle itself. If not, it only be a waste of time.

Stick Insect that camouflage like the dry stick

Mulu has many of this stick insect. I've seen them many times and everytime I mistakenly thought that they were dry twigs. In Mulu, Stick Insect there are recorded to be among the biggest in the world. This insect eats leaves. When I did reseach on them, suprisingly some people keep Stick Insect as their pet. They even have a club for this group of people.

Lantern Bug - how beautiful they are

Now this is my favourite. Aren't they beautiful? I was lucky to detect them at the bark of a tree, so beautiful and proud. They just sit there for hours without moving. I saw them on my way to the canopy and I saw them again on my way out from the canopy. This couple is called the Lantern Bugs or True Bugs. . It is called Lantern Bugs because of its horn like feature that once upon a time ago was mistakenly taken as glowing, but of course it’s not but the name stays. Lantern Bugs or True Bugs (order Hemiptera) have many shapes and all comes with vibrant colours as you can see in the photo above. It makes me so overly excited when I found them. If you are wondering, these insect is herbivores, they ate flowers and fruits by sucking the plant juices through a straw like mouth part called a proboscis.

Giant Tree

Hmm... that's it for now. I will share with you some other stuff in my next postings... Hope you enjoy this one as much as I enjoy writing it. Cheers!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Reclusive Excursion

This is my space

Making a decision that will change the course of my life. This is what I choose. Everyday is like a dream that I am no longer living where I used to be. I missed my past but the future is what matters. Everything around me is life that fascinates my curiosity. I see God’s creations everywhere, from the smallest of trees, to the giant timbers, from the smallest of ants to the biggest of cicadas, from limestone hills to the mountains and from the river to the caves. These invigorate my spirit to stay in Mulu.

I promised to share with you all some of the famous caves in Mulu. The ones that I have visited, i.e. the four Show Cave are some kind of introductory caves for all who is into caving. They are the Lang and Deer Caves (4 – 5 hours) and Wind and Clearwater Caves (4-5 hours). Visitors will have to spend at least two days to complete the tour to these four Show Caves.

Deer Cave – get its name from the deer of course. Deer used to shelter in the cave licking on the salt water drippings so the local Penan and Berawan people named the cave Gua Payau or Gua Rusa (Deer Cave). Deer Cave is a very huge cave, one of the world’s largest known cave passages. It is about 2 km long and passes right through a 460 metres high limestone mountain. The main chamber is 174 metres wide and 122 metres high. It’s just so amazing. I can’t imagine how big Sarawak Chamber and Niah Caves could be after seeing Deer Cave. Interesting features in the cave is the “Garden of Eden” where a hole in the cave roof lets in a shaft of light which allows the rich green vegetation to thrive and the famous profile of Abraham Lincoln which guards the southern entrance of the cave.

Deer Cave where 3 - 5 million over bats live

Garden of Eden in Deer Cave

Abraham Lincoln in Deer Cave

Another fact not to be missed about Deer Cave is the creatures living in it. There’s about 3-5 million of Wrinkle-lipped bats (Tadarida plicata) roost during the day. Also sharing the cave is the Mossy-nest swiflets (Collocalia salagama). You can see it flying in and out of the cave’s mouth even during the day. As for the bats, around 5.00 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. on a good weather you may see them coming out of the cave in a long spiralling formation as shown in the photo. It’s just amazing. Each bat eats at an average of about 5 gram of insects a night. This means these 5 million bats would consume about 25 tons of insects in just one night! Wow! Then you know the importance of us human being to leave the nature as it is. All is created with certain purpose and function. The lesson here is you learn to understand God’s creation by observation of your surroundings.

Bats formation coming our of Deer Cave

Lang Caves –
the smallest among the four caves. The cave is named after a local guide who showed it to the cave explorers of the 1977/1978 expedition. However it is the most spectacularly beautiful of the four with many interesting features of stalactites and stalagmites. However, visitors are cautioned not to touch the limestone formation as it is very delicate. The experienced park rangers will tell you facts and stories related to the lime stone formation and its history million years ago. At the same time you may see some bats, swiftlets and even cave-dwelling snakes around the corners or even on the cave roof.

Lang Cave interesting formation

Wind Cave –
from its name, the first thing that you will realise when entering is the cool gentle draft, hence the name derived. This is another beautiful cave to explore with stalactite and stalagmite formations. Again, nobody should touch them delicate limestone formations because it takes million of years to be as it is today. Interesting fact of the cave is that one of the entrances used to be a burial place for the local community some 1,500 to 3,000 years ago. Most of the bones are kept in a muzium in Kuching but some are still kept underneath the entrance flooring covered with zinks and you see it through the wooden planked walk.

Verticle shaft in Wind Cave bringing in lights into the cave

Clearwater Cave –
It gets its name from the Clearwater river that runs through the underground passage in the cave. And yes, the water is crystal clear. You can see fish swimming in it down to the bottom. Clearwater Cave is Asia's longest cave, measuring some 107 km. It has a subterranean river, part of which is navigable by boat. Interestingly, you have to climb 200 steps staircases to enter the Clearwater Cave mouth. It reminds me of Batu Caves really. And once you are inside, there’s lots of interesting features to be seen. Also the once upon a time, million years ago used to be water passages. Once you are done with the cave tour, there’s a picnic site down the stairs near the Clearwater River. Visitors are encouraged to take a dip into the small kind of a lagoon. They say it’s a youthful lagoon because of the minerals content.

Clearwater Lagoon

There you go, some of the facts and photos of the four Show Caves of Mulu. For those who are keen of the nature and the jungle, do come over for a visit. You might find me there :)

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Simple Life

Children playing

Life in Mulu is very simple. All goes down to the basic. Money is not the most important thing but it will bring you around to places. I have not spent a single RM for the past two weeks. All my meals are free at the resort and they give me big room the same standard as the guest here. So basically I am living in comfort although it is deep in the jungle.

As you can see, life revolves around the river in Mulu. During the long boat ride, I saw mother and child taking a bath, children swimming and playing. So much life can be seen. For a city folks we feel the sense of blessing that we have lived in a modern society with all the infrastructures and state of the art facilities. We feel pity for them. But at the same time we envy them for living life so simple. No hustle and bustle of the city and pollution.

Penan longboat handler to Clearwater Cave

However, these people seemed so content with their way of life. You can see it in their faces. Life is so simple. You see them smiling all the time. The locals are very courteous and friendly. They will say hi to you in regardless. They wave to you when they see you on the longboat. When I was sick with diarrhea, I went to the local clinic. There, I got the chance to speak to the locals, orang Ulu. They all are beautiful people of Sarawak.

One of the most fascinating things about Sarawak that attracts me in the first place is their famous hospitality. I have experienced this many times during my visit to Kuching, Miri and now Mulu. They really spoiled me to tears. From the bottom of my heart, I am so grateful. No one could have given you the warmest smile and the sincerest generousity. I have many Sarawakian friends whom I am indebted to for life. They are one of the kindest people I’ve ever met in my life and they inspired me to come to my temporary home in Mulu.

It is a normal scene in many parts of Sarawak using river as their means of transportation. Being the biggest state in Malaysia, development in Sarawak is very complicated given the geographical situation. It has hilly features and very dense forest areas. Road can not simply be built to link all the places due to high costs of constructions. May be one day they will exist but who knows when. Places as remote as Bario (famous highland tourism destination of the Kelabit people) and Mulu (World Heritage Site) are difficult to access. Air and river are main means of transportation to the locals and the tourists. These are the things that make the place so unique and interesting.

In my next posting, I will share with you the caves in Mulu. Till then… keep on checking :)

Friday, July 28, 2006

Hidden Treasure

The Hidden Crown Jewel of Mulu

Hello everyone, I am back. This time I will share more stories of my world of Green!

I am embarking on a new journey from the beautiful garden of Putrajaya to the mysterious and exotic jungle of Borneo. This wandering soul of mine is now on a new quest for the excitement and adventure of the nature’s hidden treasure. Something extraordinary to keep up the excitement level constantly going uphill and something to do with the world of Green!. As always I can’t make myself stay put in one place. Some kind of defects attribute, I guess :) I am no longer living in KL. I left the life of metropolitan city, pollution and rat race to be in Gunung Mulu National Park, the largest National Park in Sarawak.

The photo above is the famous aerial view of the resort I am working with. The resort is called Royal Mulu Resort. It is a luxury remote resort that has been in existence for the past 13 years; a very famous getaway for the foreigners especially the Europeans as compared to the locals. It was built in the heart of natural rainforest as you can see, some of the structures can not be seen from the air because it is totally hidden beneath the lush greeneries of the forest. This is the Hidden Crown Jewel of Mulu where I make my new home.

Interestingly, it’s not long for me to make my decision to come to Mulu. In fact, I seek the opportunity to come here and it was granted. I am glad to have come here and will make my stay as productive and memorable as possible.

To come to Mulu it self is an adventure. The easiest way is via air. There’s not yet good road built to connect Mulu to the nearest city, i.e. Miri. Only the logging routes that will take about four to six hours drive by 4WD vehicles from Miri. By plane it will only take about 30 minutes. It can also be reached via the river from Miri but it is a bit complicated with a few stops; the journey will take about ten hours via express boats and finally long boat to the resort. The Melinau River running closely beside the resort is the main water source for the resort and the community of Orang Hulu especially Penan living along the river. Overall population of Mulu is not more than 1000 plus people. Mulu has an airport, a small clinic (with only a Medical Assistance), a school and all the basic amenities but nothing more than that. We don’t have banks and supermarkets here. Anything you need, have to be brought from Miri or Marudi. Life is very simple and quiet.

The people here live by farming, fishing and a little bit of trading. However, tourism plays the biggest part. The resort and the National Park contributed so much on the economy of course as the locals involved in many areas of work. I am still yet to explore more parts of Mulu especially where the locals live upriver to see their lifestyle and customs. I like that very much. Later I will share it with all of you here.

Interesting longboat ride to Lang and Clearwater Cave

I came to Mulu on the 6th July 2006. On my third and fourth day, I went to the four Show Caves in Mulu; Wind Caves, Deer Caves, Lang Caves and Clearwater Caves. These are the introductory caves for visitors of the uniqueness of the famous caves of Mulu. It has many caves, all huge and unique. Some are only reserved to the professionals with caving certificates and special request such as the Sarawak Chamber, the biggest chamber in the world that can fit in 40 Boeing 747 wing tip to wing tip. Isn’t that fascinating?
It all seemed like a dream living in Mulu. I am now adjusting to the life here. I have so much to share. This is only the beginning. So much to do, so much to explore… the motto here is Do Mulu, so much to do or do nothing… I’ll get back to you all later, till then, thank you for visiting :)

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Original People

Myself, My Friend Jazs and Mah Meri Kid

Once upon a time, I used to say "macam jakun" translated to "like the jakun" when referring to certain acts of stupidity or ignorance in doing or facing something. I was then only a little child with great enthusiasm for life. I remembered that I often used the word ‘jakun’ to mock my siblings during play or even when using it in my daily childhood conversation. I don’t even know the real meaning of jakun then. I thought it was a word by itself to describe stupidity or ignorance. When I grew up to become the person I am today, I began to know that Jakun is actually a tribe of aborigine people living in Peninsular Malaysia (I was in Sabah at that time, so my knowledge of Jakun people was even less than other kids). I began to understand that we are actually insulting the people when we use the word ‘jakun’ to relate it with stupidity and ignorance. Ever since then, I never use the word anymore. I don’t want to abuse the usage of the word ‘jakun’ to jest people around because by doing so we are generalising Jakun as something that is degrading. I believe these people deserved more respect from all of us.

The Malays are considered the original people of Malaya (the Malay Archipelago). Our ancestor came from various parts of the Malay archipelagos which consist of Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Philippines, Brunei and even East Timor. Some Malays have some mixes of Sumatera, Sulawesi, Thais, Arabs, Chinese and Indian. It was because of the seafarer’s nature of the people at that time and also because of trading as one of the main economy activities that disperses the Malay population to all parts of the world.

The indigenous/aborigines are the most original people of Malaya because they still preserved their way of life. That is why they are being called ‘Orang Asli’. It means original people. But how can you define who is and who is not original? How do you prove your originality? If we are all from Adam, we are all brothers and sisters from the same decendents, so what makes you more original than me? Hmm.... think.

From the National Geographic Channel, you might have been told that the earliest human decendants came from Africa. That is where our Phropet Adam a.s. is believed to have come from some 60,000 years ago (although the scientists believed that Adam is not the first human on earth). If you have great interest to know more of human genome and to learn about your own descendent, you could go to this website. It will tell you a little bit about the origin and the migration patterns of human being.

I had the chance to visit the Orang Asli village in Pulau Carey in Klang, Selangor recently during the Youth Tourism Conference earlier this month. You can see some of the photos here, how beautiful they are. This is the Mah Meri people. Mah Meri means "Orang Hutan" (Jungle People) and also "Orang Bersisik" (People with scales). They are also called the Sea People because most of Mah Meri live near the sea and they are fishermen. The Mah Meri is famous for their woodcarvings. They carved figures of their ancestors, animals and plants that have significant meaning to their spiritual world.

The Orang Asli or Original People are not stupid or ignorant like what we all like to think. They are in fact very intelligent and knowledgeable. A lot of knowledge and wisdom of Orang Asli are being sought after by researchers from local and foreign land. This is one of it. Orang Asli in Malaysia are divided into three main tribal groups namely the Negritos (pop. 2,972), Senois (pop. 49,440), and Proto-Malays (pop. 40,117). The Mah Meri falls under the Senoi group (2,185 of Mah Meri). This is from the Department of Orang Asli Affairs.

Orang Asli are known to have deep botanical knowledge of jungle vegetations. They collect rare plants and roots, rattans and bamboos and anything from the jungle that provides their everyday needs. They hunt for animals, collect honey, camphore and incense to be sold to the local community. Barter system has long since not being practised nowadays because many community of Orang Asli have accepted modernity and they have been very enterprising as well. Their nomadic way of live has now been replaced by a more stable agricultural ways. Orang Asli of Mah Meri wood carvings has been recognised by the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation). One small woodcarvings of the Mah Meri could costs you RM150/- and bigger ones could reach up to thousands of ringgit. I have seen some of it and it is very fine, unique and beautiful. The market and the demand for them are positively increasing but they are lacking the raw material to carve it because it is from a special tree namely nireh baru trees. It is a special tree that is almost in extinction. They use the bark for carvings and the leaves to give it a shine. It is truly a unique work of art.

Malaysian government has done a lot to improve the living conditions of indigenous people to make sure they are not left behind in the high pace of development. Their welfare is taken care of by a special body namely Department of Orang Asli Affairs.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Love Like Daffodil

Daffodil - National flower of Wales, United Kingdom

I am a person who appreciates beauty in all its form and splendour. Nature supplies a bountiful of beauty if we only look. In my beautiful garden I captured beauty often enough through my photography. A beautiful bloom will never miss my attention. Research has shown that flowers could stimulate positive reaction to a person. That is why most of us will smile when we received a bouquet of flowers from the loved ones and most of my posting use flowers to set up the positive mood as well as to associate my thoughts and concerns.

Coincidentally, the topic that I wanted to share with all of you this time around is also associated with one type of flower, i.e. Daffodil. It is the national flower of Wales, United Kingdom. Most countries have their own national flower like Malaysia is Hibiscus; Rosa sinensis, Singapore is Orchid; Vanda Miss Joaquim while Indonesia has three national flowers, i.e. (1) Jasmine; Jasminum sambac, (2) Moon Orchid; Phalaenopsis amabilis and (3) Rafflesia; Rafflesia arnoldi.

Now back to Daffodil, the botanical genus name for Daffodil is Narcissus. The name narcissus is derived from the ancient Greek mythology Narcissus or Narkissos, a handsome Greek youth who’s incapable of loving anyone else but himself. He rejected the love of the nymph Echo until she died of a broken heart. Narcissus saw his own reflection in a pool of water and fell in love with his own beauty. His obsession of himself angered the gods and so he was doomed with his impossible love of self. Later Narcissus was pined away and changed into the flower that bears his name, the Narcissus flower or Daffodil. The drooping head of the Daffodil flower represents Narcissus staring at himself in the water.

I am not going to talk about Daffodils really. I am more interested with the word narcissus that is associated with the Greek mythology. The term narcissism was first used in relation to human psychology by Sigmund Freud in describing behavioural or character disorder. The followings are facts about narcissism that I think quite interesting to know. This is from HealthyPlace.com website. I have learned a lot from this website and more interestingly, you could further read it all in a book written by Sam Vaknin who tells his real life experience of narcissism. The book is entitled Malignant Self Love: Narcissism Revisited. I would like to read this book soon. Here is how you could identify a narcissist.

According to Sam Vaknin, if you had five of the following criteria in you, then you are most likely having a Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD):
  • Feels grandiose and self-important (e.g., exaggerates achievements and talents to the point of lying, demands to be recognized as superior without commensurate achievements)

  • Is obsessed with fantasies of unlimited success, fame, fearsome power or omnipotence, unequalled brilliance (the cerebral narcissist), bodily beauty or sexual performance (the somatic narcissist), or ideal, everlasting, all-conquering love or passion

  • Firmly convinced that he or she is unique and, being special, can only be understood by, should only be treated by, or associate with, other special or unique, or high-status people (or institutions)

  • Requires excessive admiration, adulation, attention and affirmation - or, failing that, wishes to be feared and to be notorious (narcissistic supply)

  • Feels entitled. Expects unreasonable or special and favorable priority treatment. Demands automatic and full compliance with his or her expectations

  • Is "interpersonally exploitative", i.e., uses others to achieve his or her own ends.

  • Devoid of empathy. Is unable or unwilling to identify with or acknowledge the feelings and needs of others

  • Constantly envious of others or believes that they feel the same about him or her.

  • Arrogant, haughty behaviours or attitudes coupled with rage when frustrated, contradicted, or confronted

Do I have a Daffodil love? Am I so obsessed with myself, omnipotent and omniscience in character? Someone has asked me to look into myself because I am so full of myself. According to one person, I ignited uncomfortable feelings to others around me. I made people feel that nothing is good enough as I put high standards to everything that sometimes it pressured them to please me. He said I am so full of myself. Hmm… wow!

Based on the above stated criteria, I don’t think I am fit to any one of them but anyway, there is still room for improvement. I wonder if the person who says that to me understands the real meaning of narcissist as it is really a serious personality disorder. However, I am not mad with anybody for telling me that to my face. It’s okay because a person who is not willing to consider others’ opinion will not progress in life because everything is just the same. Till then, I would like to thank every one of you out there who have been helping me in my confusion. Just to let you all know that all of your views are truly appreciated. I hope I could be a better person and a better friend in return to your kindness.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Flower Attraction

White Dillenia suffruticosa (Simpoh Air Putih)

Flowers need to be pollinated for reproduction of fruits and seeds. Pollination is the process of moving the pollen grain from the anther of a stamen (male gametes) to the stigma of a carpel (female gamete). Most species rely upon some kind of pollination vector to accomplish pollination. The vector can be any agent that can move pollen from anther to stigma. Most famous vectors are bees, butterflies, moth, birds and wasps. Wind and human being could be a pollination vector too. Wind is known to carry minuscule pollen grains like the grasses’ and human being is known to be the vector for date trees like in Arab countries. This is very interesting to learn. They say the male flower of the date palm smells just like the semen of human being and it is back to the study of human creation back to Prophet Adam a.s. and the significance of date fruits in Islam.

Different flowers attracted different kind of vectors as they have specific traits that will ensure this. For instance butterfly will be attracted to flowers that are bright in colour such as red and purple while bees usually will be attracted to flowers that are bright such as white, yellow, blue and UV (complex colours only seen by the vision of bees). It’s not just the colour that plays the important part in pollination, other things that are equally important are the shape of flowers, the scents and the presence of nectar also play an important role to attract certain vectors. It’s amazing how plants and animals are so related and they are created to live in harmony with one another. Something we should learn from nature. If only we have a moment of reflection, we should understand why Allah s.w.t. created the nature in such ways that its existence depended by one another. There is no such existence that is independent. Try to think of it as I sometimes did. Then you will begin to respect all creations.

Now let's here my story:

I cut my ring finger today while trying to use a cutter to cut off my nail.

“Ouch! I cut my finger” I said to myself.

“What! Did you just cut your finger with the cutter?” asked a co-worker looking at me with genuine concern. He looks like he wanted to jump and rescue me.

“Hmm… yes, I cut myself, but it’s okay. Not so painful.” I reassured him to prevent him from approaching me. I took a tissue to rub the blood off. It keeps on pouring out from the sliced skin of my index finger. I dabbed it off, pressed the tissue there to stop the flow and continue with my work as usual. Then I heard the guy said to me:

“Next time if you want to trim your nail, please use a proper scissor or a clipper. There is a small scissor for nails that only cost you RM12.00. Don’t use the cutter, it is dangerous”. He explained.

Well I really appreciate his concern. He’s genuinely sincere. I'll think better of him next time. He’s a good man.

Earlier on: In the office at lunch time whereby everybody was out lunching and I was sitting in the office writing some letters.

“Liza, don’t you go out for lunch?” asked a concern co-worker to me.

“No, I don’t feel like eating today” I told him.

“Are you on diet or do you really feel like not eating?” He insists to know.

“Well, I had eaten the whole packet of ‘keropok’ so now I don’t really feel hungry” I explained then showed him the almost empty packet of ‘keropok’.

“But you still need to properly eaten, even if it’s a very small portion. It will do you a lot of good. You might suffer a period pain. Women with period pain usually will have difficulty in getting children” He told me as if he knew everything.

“Oh, really! What that has got to do with having children?” I asked him.

He then told me all about grace period of postnatal. The difference between Malay ways and Chinese ways and bla, bla, bla… obviously he knows so much but it does not answer how a period pain affects a woman like me from having children.

I hate the idea of not having a child of my own. So I stopped listening and that’s how I cut my finger with the cutter.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Talk is Cheap

Rain drops in the lake - a beautiful scene to behold

Rain has always been associated with grief, sadness and melancholy as the drop of rain is like the drop of tears. If we could appreciate the nature, we would learn a lot from it. That’s how Adam and Eve started learning things, from the observation of nature around them.

Rain has its wisdom. I mean God (Allah s.w.t.) is the centre of all wisdoms of course. We are merely trying to understand a little drop of what little knowledge that has been allowed to us. Rain is some kind of blessing really. It cleans up surfaces, gets rid of the polluted air and gives water to the living things. We need rain in regardless. And I could talk on and on about rain with no certain objective.

Well... my point is, talk is cheap. Nothing in my mind to say much about. So let's not talk.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Chris' Hot Spot

Playing with Picasa - the easiest software for photo editing

Thursday night, after the important event I went to SS2 for a dinner with my good friend Christina. SS2 has always been our favourite spot for casual dinner and long chat because its stall concept does not require us to dress up and we could sit there for hours without feeling pressured to leave. It’s just nice.

As usual Chris will order her Nescafe Panas (no tarik) and as usual the waiter will always give her the ‘tarik’ one. She will grumble about it and her good mood will be affected. In the case last Thursday, the waiter heard her grumble and he apologised for it.

According to Chris, hot Nescafe is her favourite drink. That is why she’s very particular about it. It has to be perfectly prepared, truly hot and no tarik what so ever because if you tarik the drink, the taste will not be the same. Different preparation will give a different taste. She will go on and on up to saying that the molecules in the drink will joint differently and bla bla bla…. That’s what she believes and I guess she’s right. I like Nescafe too and I like mind with pure condensed milk with no sugar. Sometimes, our local mamak likes to add in sugar to save the milk. That’s their business tactic I supposed and it’s not commendable at all. Sometimes, I will tell them off that never put sugar into my Nescafe or Teh Ais drink please or I will ask them to do another glass. I can always tell.

Well apart from the lousy drinks, the rest of the food was excellent (at least to my standard). We usually enjoy our diner from almost all the stalls (including the burger stall) and it’s very cheap.

SS2 is a residential place with a majority of Chinese population but our favourite dinner spot has a unique mixture of all the races of the rich and the poor. No one will care. This is normal in PJ and KL areas. The one thing everyone shares is the love of food. What else to do when you have so many varieties and choices. You just got to taste them all at a rotating basis.

Another interesting place to visit in SS2 is the book stores. They have quite a few and my favourite is the Rent a Book Store. It has all the old and new fictions that I like. The rental price is only RM4.00 per book for as long as forever, anytime you like (you have to put a deposit so therefore, you could keep the book if you like). Chris and I could browse the store for hours.

There is this one special corner in SS2 that sells all sorts of durian (but I never buy from there). Durian lovers could check this place out. This people are really serious about their durians, they have a website to promote this business. Umm… Yummy. I just love durians (but rarely ate them nowadays). My father knows where to get the best durians in Bentong, Pahang. We went straight to the orchard if we wanted the high quality ones. My favourite is D2.

I know not all people can eat durian especially the foreigners. They’d rather eat bull’s testis and all sorts of weird things but not the durians! Okay, I know, it’s the smell. Well, once they got used to it, they will never stop I’m sure. They don’t call it king of all fruits for nothing.

Well everyone. That’s all about SS2. I’m sure many of you Klang Valley people know the place especially those who live in Taman Tun, Bandar Utama, Damansara Jaya, Kelana Jaya and the neighbouring townships.

VVIP Visit

The Prime Minister & the President of the Senate, Parliament of Czech Republic
Photo courtesy of BERNAMA

Last Thursday we had a VVIP visits, a special delegations from the Czech Republic. They were here by the invitation of our Parliament, special guests to Yang Dipertua Negara, Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Abdul Hamid Pawanteh for a 3-day visit to Malaysia. The Embassy of Czech Republic who had once came to our place, suggested to bring their President of Senate and the senators for a visit to our place. They were interested to get to know the vegetation of Malaysia and what better place to know it all but in Taman Botani Putrajaya.

Czech Republic Delegation during the briefing at the Garden View, Taman Botani

The Director of Landscape and Parks Department Tn. Hj. Shahoran Johan Ariffin was very meticulous in guiding us with the programme to make sure the delegations get what they are expecting of Malaysia. He said this is a special guest and we need to give the best hospitality. At first I thought of giving them a casual tour to the garden since that was what initially planned by the Czech Embassy, but following the wise advice of the Director we managed at the last minute to change the programme to make it more formal and hospitable.

We were told that there will be a translator for the President of the Senate, H.E. Dr. Premsyl Sobotka and the rest of the delegates. They can understand English but some of the things need to be translated. However, most of the senators do not speak the language so we had a little bit of difficulty in conversing.

H. E. Dr. Premsyl Sobotka was a very handsome person as you could see in the photos. I was impressed the moment he stepped out of his limousine because I thought he looked like Sean Connery, another delegate looked like an actor as well (I forgot the name of that actor) and another one looked just like Albert Einstein (see that little man in the photo).

In showing their appreciation of the tour of the garden His Excellency gave our Outdoor Supervisor who headed the garden tour, a CD featuring songs played by the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra. Most probably he brought the CD in exchange of his visit with the Petronas Philharmonic Orchestra at the KLCC the day before.

Garden Tour - photo of the lakeside at the Ficus Shade (Teduhan Ara)

For myself, I was given a silk scarf by the Head of Protocol Department of the Senate, the lovely lady in the black dress. My Director of Operation was given a set of pen. It was all really lovely; I mean to be able to represent the country. We all had a role to play especially next year when we will run the Visit Malaysia Year 2007 in conjunction with the 50th Independence Day. At that particular time, everyone is an ambassador.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Creatures of the Sky

In fond memories of my beloved Lucky Dog

My family has always been fond of animals. We had many kinds at home before, even those you couldn’t have imagined (such as orang utan, small marmoset/very small monkey and deer – we returned them to the forest of course). But the most cherished and often in the scene are cats, birds and fish. We’re a bunch of animal lovers. In my posting this time, I wanted to share my story about birds.

I remember when I was little; we used to have many kinds of bird in big cage. My father and brothers especially always insisted for big bird cage, or bird house to be exact so that the birds will not feel too trapped inside. It's understood that birds too need some space to live just like human being. Now that I am an adult, I just hate seeing birds in cages. I wish I could free them. But it’s not as easy as that. Once birds are caged, it might not know how to live in the wild anymore because it used to being fed and no longer know how to find food. We used to have colourful love birds, hill myna (tiong), pigeons (merpati and merbuk) and a few other species that I don't know of. They all were part of our life once upon a time ago.

In the garden where I work now, there are lots of birds around. In the morning and at dusk, their chirping was very visible. This sooth me somehow to know that birds are living in harmony in our garden. I had this crazy belief that if a bird comes near you, it’s a good omen. I will speak to it and believe that it will understand my speech. Birds are like a messenger that carries my news; they will hear my plight and bring it up to the sky for God to hear :) Ummm…. That’s just a superstitious belief.

I talked to birds and cats all the time, greet them if they are lingering nearby me. All living things have feelings. They could feel joy and they could feel pain, hence they have souls. The photo I took here proves that a bird can feel the pain of losing its partner. The bird on my desk here was looking very sad because its partner had died of broken neck. It sat there beside the dead bird for a long time until one of my staff brought it to me. And it stayed on my office desk oblivious to its surrounding unmoving even when I touched it. I stroked its feathers, it just let me. I touched its beak, it just let me, then I took a water straw, put a little water through the plastic straw, so it had no choice but to swallow. A few minutes later, it regained consciousness and became more elert. There’s nothing wrong with it, just plain depression of losing a partner that it lost the will to find its own food. I gave it to the vet later on and the vet promised to look after it then will release it back to the wild.

We’ve seen and read also in our daily lives of how a cat or a dog gets traumatized if handled wrongly by its owner. I could even tell the different personality of my cats, one is cheeky, and the other one is obedient. They all have different kind of soul. Human beings are created above all creatures on earth as the ‘khalifah’ (the leader). So therefore our function is to protect weaker beings, all things precious to our living and to retain balance of the ecosystem (all living things has its purpose of existence) and we need to stop unnecessary destructions towards animals and nature. That’s why I love my job. It educates people especially children about the relation of nature to our existence and why we need to conserve it.

Getting back to the main topic of discussion here, about birds; I saw once in the Discovery Channel the beautiful Bird of Paradise (species that can be seen in the deep jungle) makes funny sounds with its wings during mating time. And there was this bird dance that blows your head off because you just can't think of how a bird can do a moon walk and other ridiculous things. It’s amazing.

Bird of Paradise is a mystical creature due to its beauty and rarity. The Chinese called it Phoenix while the Malay called it ‘Cenderawasih’. The real Cenderawasih are believed to be born in paradise, they live in the sky and only come down to die. It is believed that some people in Indonesia have seen Cenderawasih that descents from paradise, but once in every seven years. Anybody who sighted them is considered the lucky ones.

There was one Malay song sung by Ahmad Jais (a popular Malay singer in the 60s) that sang about this bird and relating it to a lover’s longing for his beloved;

By Ahmad Jais

Cenderawasih… burung di awan, (Cenderawasih, a bird in the sky)
Terbang melayang berkawan-kawan, (Fly away in twos)
Terbayang di mata siang dan malam, (On my mind night and day)
Rindu kasih pada mu tuan. (Longing and loving you)

Cenderawasih burung di awan, (Cenderawasih, a bird in the sky)
Terbang melalu segenap desa, (Fly high above all terrain)
Terbayang di mata setiap masa, (On my mind, always)
Rindu di hati terlalu biasa. (Heart is yearning, all too common)

Cenderawasih burung di awan, (Cenderawasih, a bird in the sky)
Terbanglah hinggap di pohon yang tinggi, (Fly high to the highest tree)
Terbayang di mata dapat dipasti, (On my mind, that is sure)
Rindu melarat membawa mati.
(Yearning for you till the death of me)

Don’t you love things mystical such as this :)

Now another romantic side of birds; their mating time is in winter and summer. It is believed that in ancient time people in Europe celebrated February 14th as a time to find their bride. This is following the act of birds. Birds usually will find their mate on the 14th February each year (that’s what they believed). That is actually how the old story of Valentine’s Day begun; it was way back before the existence of Saint Valentine.

Birds are a symbol of romantic love and courtship. In finding their mate, they will sing their song, do their sacred dance and they court their love interest. During the courting period, the male will try to impress the female and some species even feed the female at this particular point. E.g. pigeons usually are known to mate for live and there are other species as well who stayed with their couple for the longest time.

However, not all stories are a happy one. The bird flu is one of the bad news, then there’s the development around us that destroyed the habitat of most birds. Birds have to adapt to living side by side with human being and that’s not easy as well. For instance in the garden where I work, I have seen many death of birds such as in the photos. Most of it died because of broken neck caused by collision with glasses around our main building. They don’t see the glasses in their vision because of the reflections. It was really sad. I took all their photos as evidence and for my personal collections as you can see here. I wish I could suggest someone to build a nature friendly building in the future, but of course not all wishes can come true. It involves the demolition of huge building with equal fund to match. Looks like I have to see more deaths such as these especially in February.

Okay, that’s about it. All things I know and care to share so far about birds. It has been a great pleasure to write it down after keeping it in my folder for so long. I hope you all could enjoy it as much as I do writing it down with my heart.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Wisdom of Rose

Every colour of roses has its significant meaning. For instance white/crème means the purest of heart, humility, sincerity and a happy beginning. Yellow means an offering of friendship or happy domestic life (if given to a wife). The rose above is actually crème in colour not exactly yellow as it seems. My favourites are white and blood red, i.e. pure passions, true love and desire. So make sure you know your roses before giving it to someone because it will tell your intention and you wouldn’t want it to be wrongly thought of.

Hi everyone… I’m back!

It’s been a long sabbatical leave but now I am back with new vigour.

My fingers are itchy to write a thousand words. Who could have thought that blogging could be an addiction :)

Anyway, it has been such a testing period of time for me that I thought I would never blog again. Thank you everyone for supporting me and for your concern. Thank you for coming here to visit me. I love my blog too much to ever abandon it for too long.

This blog is about my life, a slow walk in reaching my destiny (I don’t know what that is; I’ve walked too many roads). That is why I called it ‘Gentlecreation’. It is how I walk my life and the truth of my existence. I pay tribute to the universe for my small existence (metaphorically I used the word gentle). I believe that all has its destiny and all destinies mysteriously have been written by One. There…. I’ve explained it all.

Usually I will write about things that inspired me along the way. For instance, I wrote about people around me, about my watching the news, my readings, my observation of nature and animals and about my experiences. It gives me great relieve and pleasure to write down my mind.

Hmm…. What else? This is a warming up session. I have a long way to go. Just to let you all know that I love you all for keeping up with me.

Here is a beautiful poem by someone I admire; the genius of her time. She lives a short life but her spirit lives forever through anyone who reads her poems and her once in a life time
Rarest Master Piece (some of you out there will appreciate this kind of literature).

EMILY BRONTE (1818-1848)


Love is like the wild rose-briar,
Friendship like the holly-tree --
The holly is dark when the rose-briar blooms
But which will bloom most constantly?

The wild-rose briar is sweet in the spring,
Its summer blossoms scent the air;
Yet wait till winter comes again
And who will call the wild-briar fair?

Then scorn the silly rose-wreath now
And deck thee with the holly's sheen,
That when December blights thy brow
He may still leave thy garland green.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


A road less taken is a road fills with wonders,
That's what wise people like to tell you.
The road I had taken have delayed my journey,
For it's full of obstacles and blocked by heavy rocks.

Through the short journey and in between obstacles,
Beauty and wonders leave me breathless.
Even when I am drown in around, above and below,
This is only a matter of small.

Hard to digest, hard to comprehend,
I think I have reached an end.

Road under construction
Closed until further notice!

Monday, February 13, 2006

When too many things matter

Have you ever encountered a situation whereby you just shut your world up? It’s like you are no longer listening to the loud noise. It’s like you are into a void of empty spaces, no longer reachable by anyone. No one could scare you and you just don’t care.

Have you ever noticed that your life is like a repetition of certain pattern that it keeps on appearing in many disguises?

Well I do. I feel all this and even more. It’s happening again. Like the Malays saying, “keluar mulut buaya masuk ke mulut harimau” (Translation: it’s like you are out of the crocodile’s mouth into the tiger’s. So it’s the same old trouble you are facing.

That was about two weeks ago when I was almost to the brink of serious break down. I guess, I had too much stress and seriously needed a break. After all work is work, we’ve got to be professional about it. Not to let our emotion taking over our rationale. Do you get what I mean?

In support of Putrajaya and all its events, I went to see the Laman Seni 2006 on Saturday. Laman Seni 2006 is an event showcasing the best Malaysian Arts, comprising of paintings (from various artists), handicrafts, batik, wayang kulit, films, singings and dances. It all put together into one roof. It is sad that it didn't get extensive coverage by the local media. May be because it coincided with Le Tour de’Langkawi and TV3 Sure Heboh and other events that the TV stations gave more priority to. In regardless, I really enjoyed myself with the fantastic handicrafts and the beautiful paintings. I wish I could show it off to the world. I got the chance to get to know a few good young artists and admire their work.

I love art; I don’t understand if anybody says they don’t. It’s very natural to love beautiful things or simply beauty in general. That is art to me :)

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Little fun at Little Havana

Serene Beauty

CANDY- the best female rock band in town

I didn't really let my leave days go wasted. I went for a little fun on Friday's night to see my friends performing in Little Havana, Bukit Bintang. I always love this rock band even though they don't produce anymore album recently. However, they are still active performing at hotels and pubs. You'll just love it because they all could play their music very well. The all-girl-power thingy really turn on the crowd crazy that night that they ask for more even after the show is over.

At the same time, I got the chance to experiment with my phone. I haven't got my camera still. The result is fantastic. I think my friend Christina looks gorgeous and so artistically serene in the photo above. I am proud to share her photo here because I think I've captured her real nature. A very quiet serene beauty.

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

It's time to move on

Happy Maal Hijrah to all...

This morning I was really touched when reading this blog. Pok Ku as he’s always known in the blogging world is very wise man to me. I look up to his postings especially the ones that speak about social and general issues happening in Malaysia as he is really a person of vast experience. I really like his wisdom.

So I am ashamed that I didn’t look up to Maal Hijrah this year. It’s actually today. Now we are in the month of Muharam, year 1427 after the ‘hijrah’ of our prophet Muhammad s.a.w. from Mecca to Medina in 622 AD. This is a very important history to Muslims as it marks the new calendar of Islam.

I almost forgot about it all together until to the very last moment last night when my mother reminded me about it. She’s fasting yesterday to welcome Awal Muharram. I feel guilty for celebrating other festivals more than I should at least appreciate and contemplate my own basic root. Well, that will change insyaallah.

Hijrah literally means moving on from one place to another. It also symbolically means moving on from bad/negative/stagnant things to better things ahead. Islam is a religion of moderation in every way but a lot of Muslims misunderstood the meaning of moderation. It’s not that we have to me a moderate society. It’s not that narrow a conception that we will not excel or progress in life. Moderation here is to be reasonable in things that we do that we must try hard for good results with less destruction. That’s what I understand of the meaning of moderation in Islam. Please correct me if I am wrong.

It’s amazing that I have welcomed three New Years; i.e. Gregorian Calendar, Chinese Calendar and Muslim Calendar. I asked my Supervisor Yoge, when is the Indian Calendar for New Year? He laughed it out and obviously he’s not so sure. So my point is, being Malaysian, we should know all these. We must never forget our roots even when we have reached modernity of living and thinking. I like the idea of modernity in our society but how we portray modernity is another thing. We need to mold our society based on our local culture, not necessarily we need to act like the westerns to be called modern.

With knowledge comes understanding
With knowledge comes unity
With knowledge comes prosperity
Then PEACE for everyone


Related Posts with Thumbnails

My mind says:

  • If it's not you, who else!
  • Love your country. Keep it SAFE & GREEN...