Sunday, January 23, 2005

Closer Judgments

Hmmm... for those who've not seen the movie, you won't get what I'll be saying yeah.

I'll cut the summary crap with just this two paragraphs:
Couple 1: Dan (played by Jude Law), Alice (played by Natalie Portman).
Couple 2: Larry a.k.a Sultan (played by Clive Owen), Anna (played by Julia Roberts)

It's a story of four complete strangers who got attracted to each other at an impulse. The couples switch and switched back and later things became wicked and cruel. Dunno if that was driven by circumstances and utter heartache or... everyone was utterly ignorant about what they really feel (*I know, it's just a movie!). Some reviews say there may be a middle ground in their actions somewhere, I don't agree. In the word brutal honesty, the word 'brutal' comes first.

Do you remember the scene where this dialogue took place:
Dan: (stood up, gazed at Anna while she stared back) Come here.
Anna hesitated... yet, walked slowly towards him.
Dan: You are beautiful (he whispered hard)
Anna: I don't kiss strange man.
Dan: Neither do I
Then they kissed passionately, they were practically inhaling each other.

Question: Have you ever just wanna seize the day when you think you might never get the chance again? this way?

Anna: Are you staying with her?
Dan: Yes....
.....bla, bla.
Anna: Men are crap!
Dan: But they're all the same.
Anna: They're still crap.
Anna: You're a muse.
Dan: You are in my life.
Anna: You'll GET OVER IT!

Is this a wicked question? Is it a universal standard to just settle for second best (to remain a singleton or find another) when you know someone who is still not married yet already has another when BOTH your insights say, 'this is it'?

Wouldn't you take the 'fittest wins' challenge or just live all your life with half of you dying inside knowing the other party will live her life that way too?

I wish Dan wasn't so arsed up about the alpha male game with Larry. It's more for the kings of the animals who can't voice out their emotions to find a middle ground if not a fair one. It's quite clear that what he has with Alice is not more than just a sentimental value.

My uncle once told me this:
Blind love, falls from the eyes right towards the heart.
Compatible love, springs from the heart and sparkles the eyes.
But True love has no conditions and without sacrifice.

Finding true love is like finding your soul mate. The possibilities is one in a thousand? million? Fight for it fiercely if you find it. We only live this life once!

Yeaaahhhh.... easier said than done eih?!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Kita Serupa - Headwind

I just finished a book called "Original Wisdom" written by Robert Wolff. The cover is so plain that I thought it's not worth my time, what more when it's written by a psychologist who writes about indigenous people in our country. How interesting can it get? That's what I thought. Now, I just cannot part with it. If it's not because of this beautiful writer, I wouldn't be able to feel all that hope, affirmation and love any kind of society would long for. This book took me very very far away into a better world cos it's filled with messages the world must hear.

* * * * * * *

In M'sia, there is a constitution that recognize three large groups of citizens (3 different races, the laws of the land said). These three races were ranked more or less in the order in which they had migrated into what was now a country, earlier arrivals having more rights than later arrivals.

The Malays were considered the first, although the aborigines certainly predated them in what was now Malaysia.

Malays were called Orang Kebangsaan (People of the Nation).

Most of US had probably forgotten that the word we use for the strange, primitive, very shy people living in the deep jungle of the mountains (sakai) means "slave".

Aborigines were politely called Orang Asli (The Ancient Ones), or in common usage, Sakai (Slaves) as mentioned above!

Let me share with you an excerpt from the book:

My (referring to Wolff) apology was a simple phrase. I said I hoped they did not mind that I had called them Sakai. I was not sure whether I had said it right, and for a long time there was no reaction at all.

A rather adventuresome young man, I was told later-spoke slowly, simply, for my benefit perhaps. "No," he said, "we do not mind when others call us Sakai. We look at the people down below-they have to get up at a certain time in the morning, they have to pay for everything with money, which they have to earn doing things for other people. They are constantly told what they can and cannot do." He paused, and then added, "No, we do not mind when they call us slaves."
Today, they may still be called slaves, but they are among few peoples left on earth who are truly free.
* * * * * * *
I am glad to learn that the TTDI Community Hall reopened the library. 'Ceritalah Lagi' books are still available! But I brought back 'Kisah Dongeng Indonesia' books. One is titled "Sangkuriang", another is "Si Leungli".

Sunday, January 09, 2005

The Creative Philanthropies

Owh! I'm mentally tired digesting the abundant of news regarding the recent Tsunami. But I live for the days I hear these things:

Did you guys read about 'Waves of Mercy'? It's interesting to see some of the Malaysian Sikh Association members representing the minorities taking part in the search and rescue mission. There are Canadians, Singaporeans and Americans in their yacht too, utter riot eh! Boy, I want to join them! Here's what/whom they have gathered:

1. 50 volunteers inc: doctors, medical asst and support staff.
2. Usage of yacht and fuel were donated. The generous person's name not mentioned though. Stupid! 20 journalists wrote about this and no one asked for it.
3. Cooks that can cook for up to 5,000 people!
4. 5,000 body bags
5. 300 multipurpose stretchers donated by the police force.
6. Clothes, food, bottled drinks.

Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhari and his creative planning again. The foundations he set up is now looking at a possibility to take 300 children in Acheh made orphans by the recent Tsunami. He has a complex in Alor Setar which is equipped with a mosque, hostels, old folks' academy, school and multi purpose hall. For this purpose, it will have a trauma centre too! The children will be placed there for just 3 to 4 months though.


Now, from the comfort of our home where we just had our tasty plate of fried fish; let's ponder at our fishermen who lost their fishing boats and belongings. We all knew that these people just cannot get rich generations after generations, it's not that they like being poor, they just like what they do I reckon.

Maybe just a handful like the Trengganunese who ventured into Keropok Lekor side business gets to be millionaires. Yet that took them 10 years (since 1991), and only 30 families are able to make it.

I remember the Nobel Prize Laureatte winner Wangari Maathai's saying "Every poor woman ends up with only poor man".

Let's not allow these people get into an oppressed situation. Yes, they received RM3000 each for the damages they suffer. Most of them owed RM20,000 to the bank to buy fishing equipment and now offered to get a no interest loan again. It's so sad and even more sad for their wives who has to give them and their children all the emotional support.
It's nice what Sandra Bullock did. But Angelina Jolie is even better, during the Afghan war in the past, instead of just handing the cheque, she flew into Afghanistan on the UN jetplane to give a helping hand to the refugees. That's enough to stimulate the famine and wounded Afghans' senses instead of just watching her in Tomb Raider right?

Isn't by doing all the above worth more than just passing the cheques and get your pictures snapped for the press in your nice outfits? This goes out to those who can afford 5 figures donations and above.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Safer Blue Wave.

My colleague Lynn came back in one piece from Koh Samui which didn't get hit at all by the recent catastrophy but got hit by this instead. She's always adventurous at trying all kinds of foreign ciggies. This one is just RM1.90 per pack. If you see her smoking from the back and get to view her renewed tattoo on her right shoulder blade.... fuuhhhhh, you'd think she's Helen, the cast in Kung Fu Hustler! Sorry Lynn, love making fun of you! This woman has such a good heart though.

******* ********* ********* *******

Heard that they're stopping people from donating anymore clothes. It is getting too arsey to organise the bundles. I knew it! Some are already clever enough to request the clothes to be segregated from home according to:
1. T Shirts or Shirts.
2. Trousers
3. Sarongs
4. Slippers or Sandals
5. Sling or backpacks
6. Blankets
7. Sweaters
8. Undergarments - for babies only. If u insist to provide the adults, please purchase new ones!

A lot of idiots actually use this excuse to look for an instant dumping ground for their old corporate mini skirts, grandfather's 4kg jackets, 80's parrot coloured shoulder padded blazers, sequinned baju kurungs, spaghetti strapped dresses.. I just can't describe more. Check NST page two today, even dirty clothes and old tin cans were delivered!?!?. It becomes a chore for the collector to have to manage the 'garbage'! Think of how 'rugbified' it gets when people need to rush for clothes only to find things they don't need. Think! It's not like there's not enough garbage in Acheh and Sri Lanka that needs to be burnt.

Side track: If the Thai's T-Shirt manufacturer can make 'I Survived Tsunami' in a jiffy, they'd make so much. Ok, I know it's not funny.

I guess right now the millions of dollars being donated can be quite hard to be appreciated. It's ironic that donation in kind can be more quantified. Maybe if no one can offer to help make temporary shelters for them, they/we can provide necessary materials since these people are more expert in building instant homes . They get the free food, where do they cook them? Where can they keep them? The clothes? Not just in their hands, not just under the donated canvas tents!

During the monsoon seasons, my cousins and I used to make a roof shaped hut out of tapioca sticks and coconut leaves. It's big enough for three to sit inside to share our daily collection of mangosteen and duku langsat. But when it rains we have to run back into our house.

I respect the Tamil Tigers of Sri Lanka the most when it comes to organising dead bodies. They actually thought of instant cameras; snapped all the faces of those who died and paste it on a large board. No claims are allowed though, they handled everything. The food were given out fair and square numbered and named! Excellent these people.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Boh's Aftertaste.

Title borrowed totally ripped off Pok Ku's entry on similar subject.

We all heard how bad the flood was in the East Coast recently. My mother told me that the last time it was this bad is probably 13 years or so ago. Years later, the water usually goes up to only 11/2 feet high at my Tok We's (grandmum's) place, which is less than 1km away from the river and 7km away from the sea. Recently, it flooded up to almost as high as my shoulders! Luckily it still wasn't enough to reach the floors of her home.

This is during Raya in Nov, 2004.

My uncle and I spent some time back in Tok We's place in Kelantan last week to help her clean up the wet kitchen (on the ground) and the garden from all the mud brought by the risen river water. I can't help thinking how much more difficult it must be for the recent Tsunami survivors to make their areas home sweet home again, let alone to get their 'city sweet city' back.

My shoulders, neck and wrists are in pain after having to carry the heavy blocks of mud out. Yet this is considered very clean debris, not concrete walls of someone's houses or restaurants, God forbid-not dead bodies, not cars and boats that belong to strangers. We had fun, because there're good food and good company at the end of the day.

During 'boh' (Kelantanese and Trengganunese dialect, which means 'bah' in B. M'sia, or flood in English), apparently, the only time we were struck by famine was 43 years back. Honestly, Kelantanese enjoys 'boh',.... really! This is the time everyone spends time out of the house to play with water. We will even bathe under the end of where the water catchment flows down from the roof to make believe we're at the waterfalls!

It is not surprising why many of them end up getting married to their neighbours soon after this season. There are no community parks in this state, let alone any gathering areas or events for the youth. There's nothing much to do at home at this time anyway. This is a true water festival. In fact, I think they should start selling power water guns on the roaming boats next time.

We will find all kinds of excuses to go out and get stuff in town. How often can you take the boat from your door steps right to the steps of the shops in with the neighbours while squeezing to share an umbrella? Isn't it fun?

Our diet automatically changes to eating grilled tapioca dipped in grated coconut sprinkled with sugar even though there's enough supply of rice. We will definitely sit down quietly by the front door enveloped in our blankets while sipping Nescafe while dunking cream crackers in it and let the softened biscuit perish in the mouth.
We will think of so many other things that's nice to eat during the wet and cold season. Oh! One of it is to prepare Tom Yam Porridge, uuuuuhhhhh! Imagine frying salted 'ikan masin' (mackerel) to go with it while it's raining outside, the smell can really cease the time and give you a kind of high. Fried sardines, 'kicap' (black thick soy sauce) and rice is considered a special feast.

It's nice that the DPM contributed ONLY RM50K to cover the damages to the Kelantan state. I saw the sack of rice donated, the cooking oil and the canned sardines. The rice quality is of the kind you must finish eating not more than 5 hours after it is cooked.

What's needed most are manpower and fire brigade trucks or water sprayer lorries to wash the mud off the main roads quickly and clear the blocked drains from garbage before they smell and the dusts creates all kinds of health problems. Kelantan state is populated by 70% old retired people, they are too tired to contribute their energy towards this.

Hmmm... it's still a long way for this 'Gotong Perdana' team to reach our area.

I do wonder if the armies are too occupied to help out, or the National Service trainers are not allowed to be creative at mobilising their trainees. If they are still too occupied for whatever reasons, what about transporting the nearest University's students who take part in Kesatria or Rotu? The job isn't as bad as practising to march for Merdeka Day you know. What about Rakan Muda, what have they contributed to?

The young should be trained. We can't just rely on the army to do all the donkey jobs. Let's train ourselves so we don't need to rely on the American and English armies for help all the time.

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