Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Give a Little Bit of Joy

Imagine yourself celebrating Christmas without parents and family. Not to mention Christmas, you can relate your self with Hari Raya or Deepavali. What would that make you feel. Sad, isn't it. Look at all these children. Most of them are orphans, abandoned childs and special kids living under the shelter of House of Joy. They are aged from 4 to 18 year-old.

We had the opportunity to come to House of Joy, a non-profit charitable home that administers shelter, care and training to orphans, children and teens that are underprivileged, abused, abandoned & neglected, poor and delinquent. Besides children’s home, they also have shelter homes for underprivileged and destitute old folks. But in our case we only went to the boy's house that combined with the girls who came specifically for the party.

The hotel management staffs, about 14 of us, we went there with a White Christmas Tree, Presents and Santa Clause to entertain the kids. In return, they all caroling for us in Chinese and English. They decorated the given white Christmas tree themselves. It was very touching, some of us hide to cry.

Afterwards, our own Chef Low and the rest of the Management Staffs served the kid a lavish lunch of Nasi Goreng, Fried Chicken, Chicken Burger, Cakes and Fruits. They said their grace before eating in unison to thank God for the food and good things in life. They were well taught in their mannerism and very well disciplined.

One of our team member's birthday was also on that day, 22nd December. We arranged the kids to sing him a birthday song. To my delight, the kids sang him the birthday song in 3 languages, i.e. English, Chinese and Malay. Wow! That was more that we asked for. It brought more tears to some of us and of course the birthday boy was smiling up to his ears.

We wrapped up the day with mixed feelings. It made us all very humble and thankful to God for what we have now. For those of you who are interested to visit the house, please contact Ms. Lesley Mah, who is in charge with visitation.
House of Joy has been established since 1st August 1992 by Rev Tang Chee Sing and his wife Lee Ching Mun. Their website is http://www.joy.org.my.

Season of Giving

In the spirit of giving, this festive season my department has organised a blood drive campaign to help the National Blood Centre to replenish blood supply in their blood bank.

Knowing Malaysian, our impatience and recklessness on the road are phenomenal. The unpredictable weather due to global warming, especially when it's raining time and some more festive holidays, accidents happen everywhere nationwide. More over, during this period, blood drive campaign is few and so do the donors. We are more keen to spend our holidays somewhere or go out partying.

However, our hotel has organised a blood drive campaign on 17th December 2007 to get as many of our staffs, hotel guests and clients to give a little bit of support to the needy. The theme is "Give Blood, Give Life". You wouldn't know that your blood will safe somebody's life out there.

It was a fun occassion for the hotel staffs because most of us never donated our blood before. The scene of needles and blood flowing into the container was enough make one feel dizzy. I was one of them lah.

Interestingly, not everyone passed on the test for the blood donation. Most of us failed because of various health reasons, i.e. high blood pressure, not enough sleep, on medications, underweight and etc. It was really surprising to know that many of us are not in good health condition. The doctor in charge were having a field time advising on our health problems.

Criteria needed for blood donors are as follows:
1. Total body weight of more than 45 kg.
2. Having slept more than 5 hours.
3. Not taking any medication and antibiotics 24 hours prior to the day of blood donation.
4. Not having any health problems such as diabetes, high blood pressure, AIDS, hepatitis and etc.
5. Not committing homosexual activities.
6. Have pass 3 months from the previous blood donation.

Information from the National Blood Centre says that they are supplying blood to all the government hospital nationwide. For private hospitals and medical centre, they can get supply by registering with the National Blood Centre. In a day, about 50 packs of blood (450 ml per packet) is being supplied per hospital and it increases by demand.

The statistic for November from the National Blood Centre is 11,663 units were collected from their mobile team while 1,472 units from the centre it self.

From our hotel collection, about 60 registered to donote but only 40 passed the test and donated the blood. 20 have failed due to various reason. Even my self have been advised not to donote but I insist since this is my first time experience and I have made a vow to do it as many times as I can after this. The doctor concern was because I only had 4 hours sleep which is not really healthy. I managed to convince her that it was normal for me to sleep 4 hours a day. My blood pressure is good and my health condition is good, so why not. She relent to me finally but instead of 450 ml, she only allow me to donate 350 ml.

For those who wanted to donate blood, please contact The National Blood Centre or you may go there. It is located at Jalan Tun Razak, near the Istana Budaya and National Library.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Selamat Hari Raya Aidiladha


Joy to your heart....
Warmth to your home...
Happiness to your soul...
May the blessings of Allah be with you in this holly month and always!

EID MUBARAK!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Night to be Remembered


1st December 2007 - World AIDS Day Campaign "Stop AIDS; Keep the Promise - Leadership"
You may learn more about HIV and AIDS from Avert.

8th December 2007 - DOUBLE BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION
It was a night filled with warmth, family, friends and togetherness. A double celebration for Kuma and Sasi who celebrated their 29th and 26th birthday on 4th Dec and 7th Dec respectively.

Since their birthday coincided with the AIDS awareness campaign, the theme is "AIDS EDUCATION". What we did is to give all the guests AIDS awareness red ribbon to put on their left chests. On the setting up itself, we put fresh flowers on each tables to represent a beautiful but deceiving life, then fresh petals scattered on the table with packets of condom in between to show that in the beauty of life, we must still be cautious. These are the AIDS education that we were relaying to our guests in a fun and gentle way. Everybody seemed to like it :)

I never organised a birthday party at this scale before. It was fun and rushing at the same time as I had to do it alone and the tight schedule in between my office events and the planning of the birthday itself. It's very challenging.

However, I had real fun and satisfaction from seeing the happiness on Kuma's and Sasi's face. The feeling was so beautiful and huge, I just can't explain it with words. I wish they will remember it for the longest time because I give my all and from my deepest of heart to make it successful.

The guests all had fun laughing and dancing together. Even those who seldom dance let loose to the music. Old and new friends came. I would like to thank everyone who came that night to make the party so happening. My special thanks goes especially to Zul and Chris, my old buddies from previous advertising company, Mediahouse since year 2000, Rachel and her boyfriend, my assistant in Virtual Malaysia. Thank you Kuma's sister, brother in law and Kuma's brother, Gopal and girlfriend Elene for gracing the occassion. Thank you Yoge for the Champaign. Thank you Jiva and Siva, Jolin and Felicia, Dr. Ravi and Chiara and all whom I might have forgotten to mention here. A party is nothing without its people.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Good Things in Life


Girl Power!
Group Marketing & PR Team
The Summit Hotels & Resorts

From Left: Ms. Kartini Ibrahim, Group Director of Marketing & PR (our big boss), Yours Truly and Ms. Zalifah Yasmin Ibrahim.

I am in such a good mood lately. Everything comes to a better result this time. A new journey with a new vision in hospitality line. Not very much different from all my previous dear organisations that I have worked with. Only that this time, it is all-girl team. Just the three of us. Interestingly, we could work together very well. I include our picture here because we are such a great team and I am enjoying my work tremendously and this is a tribute to my team after a great event in Penang recently.



More great events to come. The latest one will be the Blood Donation Campaign, "Give Blood, Give Life" at The Summit Hotel, Subang USJ on 17th December 2007 (Monday), 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. Everyone who read my blog, if you are in KL or nearby Subang area, please come and donate your blood for the National Blood Centre as they need to replenish blood supply during this festive seasons. Accidents happen every where knowing Malaysian style of driving. Your action may aid and save lives of many people.

Good things in life are hard to come by. Meaningful moments should be enjoyed, shared and prolonged with everyone as much as you can.

God bless you!













Saturday, November 24, 2007

Fallen Leaves

Fallen Leaves
"A devised performance exploring the dreams, challenges and hopes of people living wit HIV & AIDS"

Kudos to Cloudbreak Creative Developement Centre and the HSBC Bank Berhad for organising the premier of The Fallen Leaves at The Actors Studio, Bangsar on 17th November 2007. This beautiful dreamlike play consists of 4 main actors telling stories of AIDS in a mono act of interlacing actors which are AIDs patients themselves, making the background that setting up the mode of each stories told in a very effective way.

I was not prepared nor being told that I was supposed to watch the Fallen Leaves until the fateful night itself, on Saturday. I was speechless when reaching up The Actors Studio, Bangsar Shopping Complex. I learned on that night that the show was sponsored by the HSBC Bank where all the proceeds will go to The Welcome Community Home AIDS patients in Rawang.

The first act was about a man who is unsettled by his own demon. He told stories about his past while working with the leprosy patients in Hospital Sungai Buluh. Then, he was gentle, friendly and happy go lucky type of person. He was likable to all the leprosy patients because he treated them with respect and kind in regardless of their deformed physical caused by the disease.

However, later he was not the same person. He became mean, cruel and rude towards his care. He forgot his humanity because of the pressure he had while working in the AIDS ward. The pressure came from his family, friends and society for their prejudices and skepticism of the disease. It shows the ignorance and misconceptions of our society.

The second act was about a young man telling his story of a broken family. The influence of friends and unhealthy lifestyle were the main message here that lead people to drugs. The young man was infected by HIV infection through drugs abuse of using a syringe. The story told beautifully with an act of young members of Cloudbreak Creative Learning Centre and nice background music that touches your soul.

Third act was about a man who sat alone in a park lamenting about his predicament. Then came his friend trying to cheer him up asking of what is troubling his mind. He was hesitant but later by much persuasion, he told the story of his sadness.

It seemed that one of his uncle just recently past away. Before the uncle died, he once visited him in the hospital. Since he is known to love wearing branded items, the uncle decided to leave him all his branded shirts as they are almost the same size. It was a bag full of expensive shirts.

However he was sceptical to wear the shirt because his uncle is dying of AIDS. He didn't know what to do with it, so he burnt them! On the second visit, the uncle asked if he likes the shirt. Not used to lying, he told the truth, that he burnt it all. The uncle was so shocked, he was speechless. He later told him that it a foolish action coming from an educated person like him. He should know better on how AIDS could spread. The uncle does not want to see him again afterwards until the day he died. The guy is regretting his action in the park.

Now the fourth act. It was very interesting. About an AIDS patient in a hospital, sitting on his bed doing a meditation. He has a very peaceful and happy expression on his face and tone of voice. He started by praising the beautiful day and of his meditation. Later he brilliantly shared stories about other AIDS patients residing there with him . One guy had a sore on his back resulting from the hospital staffs who did not care enough to move the man's body from time to time. One guy had slashes on both his hands resulting from weeks of being tied on the bed and no one cared to untie him.

He told his stories from the point of views of an AIDS patient. His routine of meditating, his perception of life in the future, now and then, and finally about dying. Days come and go. He told the audience exactly like speaking to each and everyone of us personally, that all of them living in acceptance of their fate. Their body can not sustain them, so they become weak and sickly because death is approaching. It was so touching. I can't hide my tears anymore. Hu hu .... isshk, isshk. It's the perfect climax.

Then it was over. What a fantastic act. You can't even tell that all of the actors are not a professional actors. It's like they've done it everyday and for years. In fact they are better than any play that I've ever watched in my life. With minimal props, good music and a background projector they nailed my concentration and delivered their message effectively to the audience. It reaches our humanity. To me, my soul is touched. I pledge myself to do some kind of a proactive thing in relation to HIV/AIDS.

I thanked each one of the actors on the stage. Well, can't help it when someone moved you to tear. I must touch their hands to congratulate and appreciate their excellent act. They inspired me in many ways.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

SELAMAT HARI RAYA!!!

Wishing peace and prosperity to our country.

Let us all be united, love each other, help each other and living in harmony with each other.

AMIN...

MALAYSIA BOLEH!!!



MALAYSIAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE BLIND (MAB); GUNUNG TAHAN XPDC 2007
25th August - 5th September 2007

The blinds have finally made their mark by breaking the Malaysian Book of Record on 31st August 2007 by successfully reaching the peak of Mount Tahan. They made records of being the first Male and Female to reach the top and the most blind in a group to reach the top. Eight of them with eight accompanying volunteers managed to go through the most difficult expedition from Kuala Tahan to the peak and back to Kuala Tahan again. A journey of approximately 130km in within 11 days.

Gunung Tahan is not the tallest mountain but it is the tallest in Peninsular Malaysia. It's height is only 2,187 meters from the sea level. However, due to its dense vegetation, the distance to reach the mountain foot itself, rivers and ravines, you could say that it is one of the toughest mountain to climb in Malaysia. It is too difficult for the normal sighted people, imagine how these blind people did it.

I climbed my first mountain when I was 19 and that was 15 years ago. It was Gunung Ledang in Johore. I thought it was an amazing experience, I fell in love with hiking and jungle trekking. I never stopped ever since. In comparison with all my jungle experience, Gunung Tahan in Taman Negara, Pahang was the most amazing and out of this world experienced I have ever had.

We were drenched all the time even while sleeping, amazing river crossing with high water level, amazing almost vertical rock wall, amazing swamp in a spooky forest, amazing temperature too cold, too hot or too humid just name it. It was an amazing expedition. Most amazingly was the PACAT experience. Amazing size and amazing quantity :)

We went through all that and it changes our perspective of life and nature. It really changes me for a fact. You realised the importance of nature and appreciate it more. There is intelligence everywhere. The life and the creation.

SIMPLY AMAZING.

Friday, August 10, 2007

New Mission

Quiet again. Ever since I started racing in the rat race, I have lost the zest for writing. Time flied by unnoticed. Energy ran out dry. How lah… this couldn’t be happening to me, right.

So, okay I am trying now… let us see if I still have it :)

Personally all of us have gone through bad times. We don’t usually get what we planned to get. The same old story happening. The same old lessons. The only thing to cherish in your life is when you get to touch other’s heart by doing meaningful things that has impact to others. That’s the only console to failures, whatever it is, my new mission.

This blog has been losing its charm. No more visitors I guessed. Sigh…It’s my fault for neglecting it for almost two months. Now I am struggling to find the right words to kick myself into writing again. Yeah… I don’t have the mood when I got all the chance in this world, the best chance a person could get.

I am working with a company that produces publications about destinations and travelling in Malaysia. I am now more IT savvy than the rest of the ordinary people because it is an IT company that provides IT solutions for tourism industry. And still I couldn’t produce a single piece of creative writing! What a waste, isn’t it.

Without further ado, I would like to write a little bit about Virtual Malaysia, the organisation that I am working with at the moment. As an introduction, my new employment has met up with my passion, which is tourism industry. I love tourism because it promotes Malaysia to the world. I like that. And I like to brag about Malaysia all the times to my overseas friends. I think they all will concur with this statement.

After coming back from Mulu, I was a full time social worker, jobless, loitering around aimlessly and sometimes wisely volunteering for good causes for exactly 8 long months. I was lucky to have my loved ones who supported me. I have nothing to complain. In fact I had the best time of my life!

Later, my good friend from Mulu, I had to give him credit for introducing me to my job, Ranga is his name, called me to give a try with Virtual Malaysia. I did and here I am writing about Virtual Malaysia.

Come visit Virtual Malaysia, the Official e-Tourism Portal for the Ministry of Tourism Malaysia. Learn all the best places and get all the best travel packages from here. At the moment we are also running a photo contest of “Faces of Malaysia”. All Malaysian is invited to participate. Great prizes are waiting. You’ll not going to regret it.

A little bit of promotion there… Sorry guys :)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Good Samaritan of the World

When the Special School of Klang put gardening into their programme for the volunteers, I was over excited! Hahaha…. Look how beautifully prepared the volunteers with their tools and attire. They made a beautiful scene at the school for the children who could see them from the classes. Hard work, lots of sweat and stiff joints; all for the school and the children.

This volunteer exchange programme was organised by MOVE (Malaysian Organisation for Volunteer Exchange) in cooperation with NICE (Never-ending International workCamps Exchange) based in Japan. Several times a year, MOVE will organise a work camp in cooperation with NICE and the local volunteers. In Japan, NICE is promoting volunteerism among their youngsters via work camps all over the world from short (1-3 days) to long period (2 weeks). You can read all about it in their official website.



Everyone is welcome to joint at any of the work camps as long as you are able to understand the meaning of volunteerism and understand that work camp is not a vacation camp! It is WORK at its truest of meaning. Volunteers could go to any one of them from a list of affiliated countries.

It does sound boring but it’s not. Apart from work, volunteers will gain lots in terms of social and self development. The work camps enable participants to use English as means of communication, to learn other languages (of the host and the volunteers) and to learn other’s culture. It starts with bringing your own authentic food to be shared with the local and other participants. Hmm… what better way to understand people but from what they eat.


In Malaysia, the most famous word to learn is ‘makan’ which means ‘eat’. We truly take our food seriously. After all, I also believe that you are what you eat. In the work camp, it turned out to be fun. Nobody is in foul mood when it comes to eating, so you get to know each other better. You even get to learn other’s language better when your mind is relaxed and happy. I think that’s the most valuable part of the work camp.

Apart from cooking and eating, volunteer will also perform their cultural dance and the host country will do the same. It’s very interesting, memorable and fun. At the end of the work camp, everyone is like a new person, with a unique experience, treasured memories and new friends of the other side of the world.

Children at the Special School of Klang are used to having these volunteers. In fact each year, they are waiting for them to come back. Their mere presence brings smile to the children’s faces. It gives them motivation and high spirit to go to school everyday. I think that is worth a million because when it comes to the matter of the heart, no amount of money can buy your happiness.

I dedicated this posting to all the volunteers of the 1st Klang Work Camp:
Arata, Bun Bun, Atsuro and Mori; Japanese are so cool, fun and entertaining. Chris and Heena; Korean women are so gorgeous and intelligent. Tim and Laura; Canadian truly is a Good Samaritan.
Thank you all for making the difference to Klang Work Camp, 12th February - 23rd February 2007.

Thank you Low and Siva (from MOVE) for giving me and Kuma the opportunity to be part of the volunteer exchange programme. Good luck to all. Mmuah!!

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Being Special


Picture of happy children of Malaysia playing together

Not many of us are born fortunate in this world. Some people have to accept the fate of having an abnormal child that is less than perfect compared to us. We are not going to shun them out from the community. We are not going to leave them in the dark. Instead, we are going to teach them about life like the rest of us and we are going to make them see a brighter future in the society we live in. Let us be what we always preach to be, a caring society.

On one fated afternoon, someone asked if I wanted to help working as volunteer for special kid school in Klang and I said yes, as simple as that. Off I go on the very same night to the meeting of volunteers of the Special School in Klang, a school that serves the mentally handicapped children.

In Malaysia, mentally handicapped children are also called Special Kids. People who are mentally handicapped have below average intellectual abilities and deficits in adaptive behavior. They tend to have impaired abilities to cope with routines and daily living skills. This disorder interferes with learning, communication, independence, motor ability, and social skills. Approximately one to three percent of the population is mentally handicapped (information derived from www.library-thinkquest.org).

In short, these children have an IQ range of below 70.

The most known mentally handicapped cases of Special Kids are Down syndrome and Autism but there are many other cases that are also classified as mentally handicapped. The causes could be heredity and non-heredity. Examples are (1) genetics such as chromosomal abnormalities, (2) infectious diseases that might cause brain damage, (3) prenatal and postnatal trauma and (4) toxin exposure such as lead and mercury and the mother’s use of alcohol and drugs that can cause brain damage.

Now let’s talk about these two main categories of Special Kids, i.e. Down Syndrome (DS) and Autism.

Down syndrome (DS)

This is the history of how DS get its name. I took it word by word from
http://www.ds-health.com/ a website of a parent who dedicated his time to help other parents with a DS child. Here goes…

The formal story began in 1866, when a physician named John Langdon Down published an essay in England in which he described a set of children with common features who were distinct from other children with mental retardation. Down was superintendent of an asylum for children with mental retardation in Surrey, England when he made the first distinction between children who were cretins (later to be found to have hypothyroidism) and what he referred to as "Mongoloids."

Down based this unfortunate name on his notion that these children looked like people from Mongolia, who were thought then to have an arrested development. This ethnic insult came under fire in the early 1960s from Asian genetic researchers, and the term was dropped from scientific use. Instead, the condition became called "Down's syndrome." In the 1970s, an American revision of scientific terms changed it simply to "Down syndrome," while it still is called "Down's" in the UK and some places in Europe.

The cause of DS was first determined in the year 1959 by Jerome Lejeune and Patricia Jacobs. It is because of trisomy (triplication) of the 21st chromosome which is due to translocation and mosaicism. See the photos below that explain the difference between normal chromosome and trisomy 21st chromosome.




This is a normal chromosome of a female person. It has a set of 22 chromosomes and one of XX. Human cells normally have 46 chromosomes which can be arranged in 23 pairs. 22 are alike in males and females; these are called the "autosomes." The 23rd pair are the sex chromosomes ('X' and 'Y').



This is a photo of a male with trisomy 21 or DS.

Facinating, isn’t it. At least now we understand it from the medical point of view. Some people linked it with superstitious belief and other nonsense. It’s time for us to educate ourselves and the community of these special cases of human defects. With understanding, we react better towards the situation. And for the parents of Special Kid, society’s awareness is a great relief. Our compassion is their joy.

Autism


“Autism is a developmental disorder that is characterized by impaired development in communication, social interaction, and behavior. Autism is classified as a Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), which is part of a broad spectrum of developmental disorders affecting young children and adults--the Autistic Spectrum Disorders (ASD). The range of these disorders varies from severely impaired individuals with autism to other individuals who have abnormalities of social interaction but normal intelligence--Asperger's syndrome. The ways in which autism is exhibited can differ greatly. Additionally, autism can be found in association with other disorders such as mental retardation and certain medical conditions. The degree of autism can range from mild to severe. Mildly affected individuals may appear very close to normal. Severely afflicted individuals may be extremely retarded and unable to function in almost any setting.” Taken word by word from medicinet.com.

You can read more about autism from this website, a full paper on autism. Quite useful for those who are interested to learn more at childrensdisabilities.info.html

Now for a much fun way of learning and understanding autism child and their world is by reading this book entitled "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time" by Mark Haddon. It's about a 15-year old autistic British boy story of love, struggle and bravery in solving the murder of his neighbour's poodle dog. Very touching and original. You'll moved to tears, I guarantee that.

Or you could watch this movie, I am Sam who tells a story about a single DS and autistic father played by Sean Penn and little girl, Dakota.

Back to the Klang Special Kid School, I’ve learned a lot ever since that. I've seen many different cases of Special Kids. Some of the children have the combination of DS and Autism at the some time. Some of the kids can easily be seen as having a DS, some looks so normal like us but with certain hyperactive behaviour, i.e. very quiet, in their own world or doing their own stuff and some are so clever, they could read and write but they are categorized as slow learner. They are put into different classes in order to give better attention according to their needs and capabilities.

This is long enough for one posting. In the next one, I shall be writing about other areas of this subject including about the school and the volunteers.

Monday, February 19, 2007

LOVE


Do you know the story of the Thorn Bird? Let me enlighten you with it. Here goes…

“There is a legend about a bird which sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest it searches for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one. Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. And, dying, it rises above its own agony to out-carol the lark and the nightingale. One superlative song, existence the price. But the whole world stills to listen, and God in His heaven smiles. For the best is only bought at the cost of great pain… Or so says the legend.” – The Thorn Birds, Colleen McCullough

Sad isn’t it? But a good lesson to learn. This book is about what great pain sometimes we had to go through in our quest for love. What great price we had to pay to live in this world. What sacrifices we made in the name of religion and ambition. Love does not mean marriage and more cruelly is marriage does not mean love.

Another story… Do you always cherish the person that you love? Never follow the foot of Scarlet O’Hara who didn't see love, when it’s always infront of her until it’s too late. UNTIL IT’S GONE WITH THE WIND. Let me further enlighten you on that… 


“I’ll think about it tomorrow”- Scarlett O'Hara the main character of this story has this favourite phrase always in her mind whenever she faced with difficulty in life. She waited until it's too late. Well, the moral of the story is never hesitate or afraid to take the ride, you might not know when the next train will arrive.

And finally… Never let ambitions and status overwrites your true feelings for someone. Sometimes, it might ruin the person’s life and yours forever. That’s the Wuthering Height another extraordinary love story one should never missed to read. 


“I wish I could hold you.” She continued, bitterly, “till we were both dead! – Chapter XV, Wuthering Heights.

The love story portrayed by two complicated characters. Careful when you read this book, as your heart will be filled with thousands of disturbing feelings that stays with you for the longest time. Huhuhu.... An original rare masterpiece of Emily Bronte. Here goes…

Heaven looms the dull sky,
Heavy rolls the sea –
And heavy beats the young heart
Beneath that lonely tree.

Never has a blue streak
Cleft the clouds since morn-
Never has his grim fate
Smiled since he was born.

Frowning on the infant,
Shadowing childhood’s joy,
Guardian angels knows not
That melancholy boy.

(Emily Bronte’s poem that describes the character of Heathcliff and Hareton during their childhood)


I, the image of light and gladness
Saw and pitied that mournful boy,
And I swore to take his gloomy sadness,
And give to him my beamy joy.
…..
Guardian angel, he lacks no longer;
Evil fortune he need not fear:
Fate is strong, but Love is stronger;
And more unsleeping than angel’s care.


(Poems of Emily Jane Bronte that describe the two characters of Catherine, the mother and the daughter who both fell in love with a forlorn boy)

Great Love Stories from three great authors; The Thorn Birds, Gone with the Wind and The Wuthering Heights. Check them out!



"Love is the key that unlocks the bars of impossibility" 
- Fikayo Ositelu -

Friday, February 02, 2007

MOOLIGHT EXCURSION


Hmm…. It’s a full moon… it's a night full of wonders... but beware... warewolves, vampires, witches and creatures of the unknown... hahaha!!!

Wow... was that scary or not. Human too is known to act differently when it comes to full moon. However, don't believe me, science still can't proof that for a fact. Nevermind, it’s just perfect. Let’s go out and play, shall we.

1st February is the Federal Territory Day, Kuala Lumpur’s most waited public holiday. Yea…!!! Wait a minute… It’s Thaipusam also lah. Selangor also on holiday. Yippy yea!!! We got to celebrate together this time. Let’s go. Hmm… where to go, ha? BATU CAVES LAH, WHERE ELSE.

So off I go to Batu Caves to observe the celebration of Thaipusam accompanying my friend and his mother. It’s a beautiful full moon that makes you feel active. In Tamil calendar, it is the 10th month of Thai. On the full moon of Thai, the constellation of Pusam, the star of well-being rises over the eastern horizon, hence the name THAIPUSAM. Now you know, right.
Now a little back ground of Thaipusam for the ignorant like me; Thaipusam is celebrated to commemorate the day when the wife of Lord Shiva, or the mother god, goddess Parvathi, gave her son, Lord Murugan a vel (lance) in order to defeat the three demons that cause havoc to the world. So it is like a celebration of Lord Murugan defeating evil. He is also called Velan, hence the vel which is shaped as the lance is the representation of Lord Murugan. People will chant the word ‘vel’ many times to help encourage continuous state of trance to the kavadi carrier. There’s a lot more thing going on to the story that I don’t think I am qualified to write here. Leave it to the Hindus. Let you all do your own research, ok.

The best word to describe my experience is that I was FACINATED… The whole atmosphere is filled with festivities and activities. There’s thousands of Indian on that night going to Batu Caves (even more so on the eve and morning earlier) to pay their vows. Some carrying kavadis, some having their body pierced with metals, some just carrying milk and some having their hair shaved. I missed the procession of the charriot and the coconut breaking, surely they did that on the eve, I guess. There were many kavadi carriers under a trance dancing with the melody of the drums as they proceeded climbing the staircases one by one with ease.

My friend KUMA explained to me about the kavadi. A person needs to fast for about 40 days, being vegetarian, sleeping on the floor and abstaining from all physical comfort and other worldly pleasures in order to achieve purification. Through rigorous discipline of cleansing one’s body and soul only will they be able to get the trance to carry the kavadi. It’s a way of penitence or show of thankfulness of the good fortune, health and living to the vows they have made earlier.

It was my first time visiting the famous Batu Caves although I passed it almost everyday via the highway. I wanted to pay visit and climb the 272 staircases for a very looooong…. time but have not gotten the chance to do so until recently. This year, I got it all planned perfectly to make sure I had the best view of the whole procession and I did.


Well… I went to Batu Caves twice to see the difference between night and day. Hmm… lots of tourist and the remnants of the day earlier as a tertimony of how many people has visited the place.


272 steps of Batu Caves (photo taken by KUMA) - a good exercise for everyone.


Hanuman, the Monkey Lord. This statue shows Hanuman opening his heart that contains the proof of how much he loves Lord Shiva and Goddess Parvathi. If you look closely at his heart, you will see that inside, there's small statues of Lord Shiva and his wife Goddess Parvathi. An amazing craftmanship. I didn't know until my friend pointed it out to me.

Now I had better understanding of Hinduism which helps me to see it in a whole new perspective. More Malaysian of different creed should do this as well. I don’t see any harm in understanding other's religion. We all must study each other for better integration and understanding of one another. Respect others and others will respect you.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

TIA



"TIA - THIS IS AFRICA"

I will never forget this sentiment. It played again and again in my head. This sentiment sticks to my head for days now after watching BLOOD DIAMOND. An adrenaline pumping fast paced action, almost art like movie starred by the ever eccentric Leonardo De Caprio.

I was so moved, red eyed and left stunned after the movie ended. It made me speechless and humble for many hours. I said to myself, who wants to wear diamonds after this? Not the bloody diamonds for me! And all the guys will smile and say, ‘Thanked God… we are saved!’ This is the kind of movie that makes you think and think again, thousandth of times. Better believe me, go run to the nearest cinemas or buy the DVD copy if available. It’s worth your time and every penny.

Leonardo has always been associated with handsome-baby faced-lover boy kind of actor thanks to his first block buster, the TITANIC; a heart wrenching love story of the sinking ship, in 1997. His baby-face-lover-boy image sticks with him for many years, but the AVIATOR (2004) which he starred portraying the real character of a genius business tycoon Howard Hughes, who is also a freak, has shown a potential Leonardo as a serious actor. This movie is the beginning of a few more outstanding movies that changed people’s perception of him. Another one was the DEPARTED (2006), seeing him acting as an undercover cop for the FBI who has to face many difficulty in order to achieve his dream to be a real cop. Also starred along are Jack Nicholson and Mat Damon (the bad policeman). In the end, all are dead, hence the title the DEPARTED. Sigh…. What a waste.

Obviously, Leonardo has been working very hard to eliminate the lover boy character that is synonymous with him. He has chosen his movies well and smartly nowadays and I think he has succeeded. I always think people underestimated his talent because of his looks. Hmm… too much praises for him. We leave it to that.

What I am trying to promote here is that everyone must at least see this movie to understand the situation in some African countries, the movie mentioned Liberia and Sierra Leon whereby diamond trade is a bloody one. This movie makes it so easy for all of us. The ugly civil war shown children trained and brainwashed as a merciless killer soldier, illegal smuggling of diamonds for weapons, soldier of fortune, international correspondences that risked their life for real news, love and family relationship thorn apart in war and many more touching and real fact stories all going on in one movie. You think your brain could explode with so much input. I think it was fantastic. I think it was a brilliant movie that opens the eyes and understanding of the world at least of the bloodied diamond trade in Africa. It makes us realized that beautiful things do not come easy or cheap either. People fight to own precious things, we didn’t know.

I only have this to say - “My precious… I don’t want you anymore…” but do not breathe easy yet.

Later I would say to him – “I want sapphire or ruby instead" The ones that comes from Burma or Sri Langka only. The colours are beautiful.”

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails

My mind says:

  • "I CHOOSE TO LOVE EVERYTHING THAT IS MINE"
  • If it's not you, who else!
  • Love your country. Keep it SAFE & GREEN...