Wednesday, February 25, 2009


As we search so fervently for the end of our destination, as the goals we have set ourselves become blinding, as we carve that paths of our lives based on plans rather than reality - it is best we realise that liek has its own plans for us. being alive is not a strict adherence to a caerfully devised route, it is at acceptance of the richness of our journeys.

may you travel far and wide in the depths of your soul, even if you never get to leave your own doorstep.

this poem from constantine cavafy is a stark reminder that it is the journey, and not the destination, that truly defines us.


When you set out on your journey to Ithaca,

pray that the road is long,

full of adventure, full of knowledge.

The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,

the angry Poseidon -- do not fear them:

You will never find such as these on your path,

if your thoughts remain lofty, if a fine

emotion touches your spirit and your body.

The Lestrygonians and the Cyclops,

the fierce Poseidon you will never encounter,

if you do not carry them within your soul,

if your soul does not set them up before you.

Pray that the road is long.

That the summer mornings are many, when,

with such pleasure, with such joy

you will enter ports seen for the first time;

stop at Phoenician markets,

and purchase fine merchandise,

mother-of-pearl and coral, amber and ebony,

and sensual perfumes of all kinds,

as many sensual perfumes as you can;

visit many Egyptian cities,

to learn and learn from scholars.

Always keep Ithaca in your mind.

To arrive there is your ultimate goal.

But do not hurry the voyage at all.

It is better to let it last for many years;

and to anchor at the island when you are old,

rich with all you have gained on the way,

not expecting that Ithaca will offer you riches.

Ithaca has given you the beautiful voyage.

Without her you would have never set out on the road.

She has nothing more to give you.

And if you find her poor, Ithaca has not deceived you.

Wise as you have become, with so much experience,

you must already have understood what Ithacas mean.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

conditional kindness

a few weeks ago situations mad it necessary for me to park in an unfamiliar, seemingly deserted basement carpark in the city. not having a choice, i said a prayer and went on my way.

returning to retrieve my car wasn't quite as easy as leaving it there - as i walked in, i was terrified. i cant say i knew what of, but if youre familiar with the word dodgy and it's implication, that would be how i would categorise the carpark. there is just one car left to the packed basement i had left behind some hours earlier, and a motorcycle was playing witness to the romantic exchange between a young couple. they barely noticed me; i was well aware that they were about to leave and would see no reason to wait till i did. the low ceiling and the dim lights only served to magnify my fear in the eyes of my over-active imagination as i prayed fervently to myself that all will be well. while i could hear the comforting sounds of the traffic overhead, it served me no use as it would have only camouflaged my screams if id needed to do so. even the smell was different - rather than the exhaust fumes, i was enveloped in a wave of an old, murky dustiness that i couldnt place. The lack of circulation made me slightly breathless, yet sent a nervous shiver down my back.

parking was to be paid at a small management office that was had no windows - hence no view of the carpark itself - and a small, tightly shut door. i pushed it open, only to see a young Indian man suitably entertained by a dvd on his laptop. I smiled gratefully, paid my parking, and even engaged in some nonsensical banter before leaving.

one painful thing struck me, however - the only reason i spoke to him more than necessary, the only reason i looked into his eyes and genuienly smiled is because i was hoping that if anything happened to me he would help me out, or, worse still, would resist the temptation to hurt me on his own. If i was not so afraid, i might have at best said a quick thank you and left.

it deeply upset me, because it seemed like a cruel thing to do. why could i not have smiled like that unconditionally? how mean and unfair have I become, that smiling from my heart is reserved for only the ones i expect help from? why couldnt I have smiled at him like that for no other reason than because I can?

i made myself a promise that night, that I would never be so ingenuine or so unkind to only extend kindness for something in return. that I would smile and be nice to anyone regardless of the situation i was in, because i shouldnt get to decide who is worth my attention and who isnt. No one does.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

the food of insecurities

behind almost every confident, beautiful woman, there lies an insecure little girl that wakes up when she least expects it. we dont really like this little girl, and we never actively encourage her nonsense, but its something we live with every day. most of the time we know we're absolutely fabulous, but there are moments we feel like absolute complete crap. dont ask us why - we just do.

so the next time you men see an opportunity to make a woman feel pretty, spot some chance - no matter how trivial - to quell this silly insecure girl, TAKE IT. please tell us you dont care for the big boobs and perfect ass no matter how much you know you are lying - we know you lie too, but the fact that youve made the effort to bluff is sometimes enough.

Monday, August 04, 2008

chinese makan shop

at a chinese makan shop, it is perfectly acceptable to crash a table that has a few seats unoccupied. once you arrive and cant find a free table, the next best thing is a table with maybe one or two people sitting at it. you then walk over, ask if you may sit there, and proceed to have your meal in complete isolation from each other.

so if you see a bunch of people looking intently at their food atop white plastic tables at your nearby chinese coffee shop, its not that conversation has been held up by the meal - although knowing malaysians that scenario is also likely - its just that they may well be complete strangers, and only in each other's physical proximity because they need to eat.

dont you think that's wierd? in a special, only-in-Malaysia kind of way?

Thursday, July 31, 2008


last year, my cousin, who i always considered my little girl, got married to the man of her dreams.

two days ago, my other sousin, still a baby himself, welcomed his son, my first nephew, into the world

this weekend, one of the people closest to me is taking the first step to being married to the man she hopes to spend the rest of her life with.

i dont know when we all grew up. i cant recall that pivotal moment when we became adults and were suddenly concerned with such wordly matters. i still feel like we're all kids, and we should be still out there enjoying the world and being young, from within. i fear for us, not because i think we're unprepared, but because i want to always be able to smile and think that no matter what happens, there will always be a time to fix things one day. i want to run on a beach and not worry about the waves overtaking me and about sharp shells poking my feet and about where im going because there is someone on the other end, waiting patiently to greet me.

i want to always think that we're protected, that there is something and somebody out there watching out for us....... that we can always stop and think that there is nothing to stop and think about.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

June 4

Today must be what the heavens consider an important day. So much happened. Or is it that so much has happened in my own sphere, my own realm of existence?

Most personal to me is the passing of Toni Kassim. A fighter from beginning to end, Toni represented a nation's hope in gender equality and women's rights. What set her so starkly apart is the political platform she chose to operate from. Toni represented hope, something we lack so dismally sometimes.

Barack Hussein Obama, son of a Black Kenyan father and a white mother from Kansas won the democratic nomination, and will, for the first time, provide the world with some hope that the US may escape the tainted history it has had under the Bush administration. Breaking racial barriers is one thing, but Obama broke mental barriers - dare we hope for a more intelligent, hopeful America?

And of course, my government announced an unbelievable fuel hike that puts petrol prices at RM2.70 a litre. It's not hope that this news represents, but a blatant lack thereof.

life has to go on, and my pages have to close. till we meet again. adios my faithful readers, all two of you.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

looking out for our own blessings

everytime you think there is no god, anytime you feel lost and unloved and that the universe is out to get you, remember that it us who forget to look out for our own blessings soemtimes. the universe IS taking care of us.

when you pass through a series of 5 headlights, all of which are green. when you get the perfect parking spot in a usually crowded area. when your fav song plays on the only radio station your stupid player is stuck on. when a story idea that pops into head like a strike of genius really is genius idea. when an article youre working on flows together quickly. when someone laughs at joke you crack, and you know that he or she is genuinely happy because of you even if its just for a minute.

these are moments that prove that god really is looking after you, that whatever powers that be in the universe that you prescribe to are reminding you that they are on your side no matter what, that these small joys are meant to take you through the pain of the bigger sorrows that you are fated to experience. it is a short holiday from a season of bad luck and traffic jams, when the clouds part and the sun shines and lets you smile, and reminds you to cherish the moment because it will help you work your way through all else that comes your way.