Wednesday, March 26, 2014

MH370 - Malaysia grieves with the world


Hope is a double edged sword.

Hope gives us the ability to shoulder on, hope gives us the ability to believe, Hope helps us live

But hope makes us believe beyond the facts we know, that miracles happen,

Hope unfortunately makes us hold on, denying the inevitable,



"With deep sadness and regret I must inform you that, according to this new data, flight #MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean."

Somehow hearing those words said, brought more grief than closure :((((

As the PM walked away, there was a deafening silence in the room. A silence that was a reflection of the hollow feeling many who watched the pc were feeling.

Truth be told, I had long thought the plane had perished somewhere but I like many, had hoped for a miracle. I hoped I was wrong. I hoped against reality that they would be saved somehow.

So those words came as a shock as the weight of the sadness overwhelmed many.

The last 18 days have been trying for all. I cannot fathom what the families and friends of those lost on Mh370 are going through.

I am not here to discuss what if’s or why’s, I am here to share my grief in words – the only way I know how to grieve. While the PM’s words made me pensive, it was the tears of James Chau, CCTV reporter that brought tears to my eyes.




The media has gotten much lashing since the news of the missing flight was first reported. Yes there have been ridiculous media reports but we forget, not all of them were sensationalising the news. Most were sincerely trying to give us, the people, information or maybe an answer to the disappearance of a flight. Many people criticised the media who refrained from reporting unverified information not realising it was best not to jump to conclusion. 

Did you know, many had been called back from holidays and had leaves frozen, so they could bring us the latest news? 

But most of all we forget they were only doing their jobs. 

We see them grilling the spokesperson yet what we don’t see is the hours they spent reporting the stories, travelling everyday to Sepang to cover the 5.30pm press conference. We don’t see them keeping their emotions in check as they rushed the reports. 

We question why they attempt to question the families yet we don’t see them comforting the families. This was not a one off story, where they never saw the people involved again. We questioned not realising we weren’t the ones left to comfort the families once the camera was off air. 

We forget they grief as much as we do. And so to each and every media personnel who have been tirelessly working night and day, I thank you for doing your best despite whatever that was happening. Steady your hearts, for we are far from over.

We have unsung nameless heroes amongst us. They are the men and women from 26 countries who have been working 24-7 to find the missing plane in whatever capacity their roles are.

The researchers who are shifting through endless data – thank you for not giving up. Thank you for trying as humanely possible to find a needle in an un-identified haystack.

To the many MAS staff who have been assigned to help comfort the families – thank you for your dedication. Don’t forget many knew the crew on MH370, they too have lost someone.

To the many staff from various ministries, communications personnels, medical personnels who have been running back and forth, verifying info, preparing documents, representing Malaysia in China – thank you for your perseverance. I worry for those who are heading or in China now and I pray for your safety. Stay strong.

To every military, navy, air force, firemen, police and armed forces out there risking their lives to search and rescue those on MH370 – I cannot thank you enough. Pay no heed to those who question what you do, you are our unsung heroes. I pray for your safety and hope none is lost in the efforts to now search and find the wreckage of MH370.

YB Hishamuddin @H2O – I have long detested your style of politics. Last year I and many others made fun of you as you fumbled every single press conference in relation to the Lahad Datu standoff. But you have shown us that the best way to deal with criticism is to take it with positivity and improve yourself. I applaud you for the way you have handled the MH370 press conference and media frenzy. Thank you for being a sane voice to the many speculations, conspiracy and ridiculous questions thrown at you. Thank you for not bowing to pressure and not for making this a political agenda. Many may disagree but show me once, where politics was mentioned in the PC unless specifically questioned as such?

MAS CEO Ahmad Jauhari – watching you breakdown as the PM made the announcement was indeed heart wrenching. Thank you for being there everyday to answer the sometimes ridiculous questions. Everyday I see you getting sadder and sadder and I wonder have you slept at all. I worry this will take the toll on you, so stay strong, MAS needs a solid shoulder as yours to lean on in this trying times. For those who are calling for your resignation, I doubt they will be able to perform with such dignity in your shoes.

YAB PM – I have never been your fan but thank you for standing back and letting your minister take charge. Thank you for making the most difficult announcements. In a crisis the leader must always stand strong and face the world no matter how difficult the task at hand. Thank you for listening to your advisors and choosing not to answer questions. Not all statements should be followed with questions, something I keep telling people.  

To those who feel nothing – it’s ok.

To all those sudden experts and those who have nothing good to say – you have shown us your true colours.

We are nowhere near a closure. What has happened is that the Search and Rescue efforts have now changed to Search and Recover efforts. I hope we find something that helps give closure to the families and friends. But let us not push the SAR teams to risk their lives. Please do not let another soul be lost to the treacherous waves of the Indian Ocean. They too have families and friends who are worried for their safety and nations worried about their safety.

Most importantly I choose to believe the crew and all on board MH370 are innocent, victims of a tragic fate.

MH370 - Malaysia grieves with the world. God bless all on #MH370, their family and friends. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

When day greets the night



When day greets the night,
The sky explode in brilliant hues of red, orange and pink,

As day says goodbye to night,
The sky has the blues and slowly slips into pitch nothingness,


Till they meet again at dawn

by Visithra

Note:  The city of Kuala Lumpur at dusk

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Happy Day

There is much I have wanted to write in the last few days but I've decided to write on something else.



Today is World Happiness Day and in conjunction Pharell Williams took his 24hours of Happy project Global. If you didn't know Pharell took his infectious song Happy and videographed different people for a period of 24 hours where he appeared at every hour! yes every hour.

Now inspired by that, people all around the world started making videos of their own to celebrate happiness and Pharell has took it another step and launched the 24hours of Happiness project today or dubbed #happyday.

He invited the world to join in and create their own videos or post images. So since i was super sad i couldnt be part of the Happy KL edition (found out too late), at the spur of the moment I decided to gather a bunch of people and shoot our own Happy video ;)

So last night under pouring rain, we shot a video of happy on the streets of kl and I've decided to share it here.

Pharell has done something no one has been able to do - united the world in Happiness. Do check out all the different videos from all over the world.

Have a blessed world Happiness Day ;)



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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Annamalai



Thiruvannamalai - is very special to me in many ways. It was the first temple we set foot in when we first arrived in India in 1994 although we had flown into Chennai.

We were told the best place to be for Kartigai Deepam was at Annamalai and so we headed there a few hours after arriving to see the magnificent sight of this hill where the deepam was light and will go on to burn for 7 days n 7 nights. The amount of people that arrive here is beyond anything i've seen. Even if its not Kartigai Deepam, girivalam dates or the full moon day attracts as many devotees that the roads into the city are closed to mobile traffic as human traffic takes over.

In the chill of Marghali morning we headed into the temple at 3.45am for the early morning prayers and abhishega pooja. What a sight he was, Annamalayar who basked in the glow of golden earthen lights as the priest poured the various abhishegam items to the chant of manthras. it is pretty indescribeable.

By the time you finish at Unnamulaiyar Devi's sannathi, dawn has arrived and the mountain set behind the temple gopurams glows as mother earth sways around with her dancing clouds as the world wakes to another day.

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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

2013s gone????



Wait didn't we just celebrate the new year for 2013?????

Whoa where did that year go! it's been one hellava crazy year. I went back to the agency life at the end of 2012. The first few months weren't so busy as the nation stood at standstill waiting for the 2013 elections to happen. The very next day, calls started coming in and businesses went full drive into catching up the lost 5 months. So imagine a year crammed into 7 months! yeah crazy but good.

I've loved every moment of it though they have been times all i wanted to do was curl up and sleep for days!

My trip to Hatyai happened just after 3 months of crazziness. another week of that and i would have been totally burnt out. That trip to the beautiful Koh Lipe island was god sent.

I travelled a fair bit this year. am trying to post the stories before i forget them but times an issue. The birthday was celebrated in beautiful Kota Kinabalu. thats paradise on earth, i can't wait to go back. but be warned once you step into the beautiful waters of KK, the underwater sea life every else will pale in comparison. And i've yet to head to the crown jewel of Sabah - Sipadan! I loved the road trip i did to mount kinabalu - the croker range is so amazingly beautiful and waking up to the view of mount Kinabalu is up there on the most beautiful things ive seen list.






I came back to the shocking announcement of the colleagues wedding and before we knew it we were throwing her her bacholerette night and what a celebration it was. Actually it was a series of celebration from Christmas to the time she left.



Then i shot Thaipusam in Ipoh and drove back to Batu Caves for the KL leg of the festival - yeah i know crazy ;p But i had fallen in love with thaneer malai Murugan and wanted to see him during Thaipusam - and it didn't disappoint. different but nice. though Ipoh folks have a thing for weird kavadis.

Heehehe im actually referring back to my trusty old google calendar to figure out where the year went ;p



I flew to Varanasi for Shivaratri and fell in love with the city. the experience at the ganges was unbeliveable and i went there as a through skeptic. i sat at the steps everyday, heading before dawn to a different ghat and watched the world unfold as the sun rose on the ganga. every evening i watched the arathi - my fav spot being on a boats roof away frm the crazy crowds.



Loved kolkata too but the smog in the city kept me indoors mostly and as we joked - the airport had the freshest air!



i did a short road trip along the border of Selangor and Perak - nothing much but it fits my aim to see every town in Malaysia.



I headed to the land of cats Kuching and had a lovely time there. Did a road trip around the state. We were rewarded by this beautiful sunset one evening.



I call the city the garden city for all the amazing big trees all over the city.



this year i cancelled 2 trip plans as i was in a transition period with some of the clients i took over. oh i got interviewed as a photographer and appear on the cover of the inner pullout section of one of the leading english papers here! that was an awesome moment. seeing yourself on the cover is just an AMAZING feeling.



I still managed to drag myself out of bed for the Merdeka Parade. Love this photo



by the time i went for my next holiday it was September. that was how busy i was! that too it was a 3 day trip only. ah but what a trip! i swam with sharks! not one but 4 baby sharks! for 20 minutes! omg what beautiful creatures. i went n got myself an underwater cam just for this! i so wanna go back there again just to photograph those beautiful creatures!

the school i visit every year for navarathri did something totally different this year - they had a devi procession on the last night. it was such a beautiful moment and of course afterwards the fun element came into play as ppl got smeared with kunkumam.



The Petronas Twin Towers turned pink for one weekend as part of breast cancer awareness month and what a sight it was!





then it was to Hatyai where i found my favourite Buddha. Hes so prettyyyyyyyy.


And the beautiful island of Koh Lipe. Sadly just days ago a bombing took place in Hatyai. i remember the numerous checks the police did when we were in the city centre and despite that this happened.





we headed to Phuket a month back for the company trip and had a great time though Phuket didnt seem as magical as the first time i was there. the beach i had been before was so different and the waters were empty. i remember fishes in that water. where had they all gone?

work has been amazing. i achieved more than i had targetted to do, which was to do better than the previous ROI set for some of the accounts. some issues but what is life without problems. but all in all a brilliant year where am satisfied with what ive achieved. I am my biggest critic and competitor. i have to be one of the best in whatever i do and that was definetly achieved.

Hey i'm a workaholic - i truly love to work!

its Christmas eve and I turn 34 in a matter of days. I don't feel a year older! it doesnt help that ppl generally think I'm 25! lol i think at some point i have to stop telling my age to ppl. something my mom has to do.

I built my dream library shelves last year, and now theyre briming with more books. i've read a gazzilion books this year and more to come in the next few weeks.

this years Birthday will be celebrated with music ;) Tell you when i get back. 2014 is gonna be another crazy year - i can already feel it! ;p

Alrighty Merry Christmas and Happy New year.

See you lot in 2014!!

The video below is quite an interesting take on the events of 2013 though i believe its missing the most important moment of 2013 - Malala. what an inspiring young women who definetly deserved the Noble prize. If you havent heard her speech go google her and you will get the links and be amazed.



ps: if you really want photo updates go to the facebook page. that gets regular updates!

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Flashback

was suddenly reminded of this route i did years ago in the western ghats of karnataka - winding bendy roads with nary a person, beautiful green forest, with a luchious river running through and at one point there were beautiful bamboos lining the river but we couldnt stop coz it was raining ice on the hottest day in summer ;p

bloody hell i wanna do this route again *slaps self for being a travel addict

I wrote a post on that trip (those days i was such a diligent travel writer) but all the photos are missing and i'm too lazy to replace them 

ps: the video does not do this place justice



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Sarithira Payanam

I have no idea why it took me so long to discover this song by Juvan Shiva but this is one of the most brilliant songs I've heard and the lyrics are amazing

Sarithira Payanam (Historical Journey) a tribute to unsung heroes of the past - within you is an epic, a story from the past. Yours is a story of courageous warriors, who sailed dark uncharted waters with hopes for a glorious life on the soil of Malaya. They arrived with hunger for a new destiny - a destiny only possible as blood-drenched slaves chained to the mercy of the British Rajahs. Blood and death was the sacrifice made for generations they would never live to see. The destiny you real today arose from seeds of endless miseries.

You can listen to the song at the link here and the lyrics are as below

Vocal, lyrics and song composed by Juvan Shiva
Music: Boy Radge

Kappalgal yehri kadal kadanthu intha mannil naamum vanthom,
Rattangal sinthi uyiraiyum koduthu intha mannai valarthom,
munnor seitha thiyagangalai indru nenjil naamum maranthom,
vanmurai seithu valimurai thavari vantha paathai ilanthom,
Indian endrah naamam, ini nenjinil endrum vendum,
Orumurai thirumbi paarthal, vantha sarithiram unakku puriyum,
Indian endra naamam, ini nenjinil endrum vendum,
Ithuvarai pirinthathu pohthum, anther sarithiram uyirpereh vendum...

Chorus

Kadkalai kadanthu mudkalai mithithu andru avargal uzhaithaargal,
Noigalai thaangi sonthangal maranthu intha mannai vithaithaargal,
Sanjikuliyai iravum pagalum vellaiyan aachiyil puthainthaargal,
Thalaimurai kaatke thiyagangal seithu nammil indrodu kalanthaargal.

Andru sinthiya ratthangal sinthiyathen...
Indru sinthanai seiya nee maruppathum yen?
Nam munnor seitha thiyagangalai nenjil kaadpom...
Andru sinthiya ratthangal sinthiyathen...
Indru sinthanai seiya nee maruppathum yen?
Nam munnor seither thiyagangalai ini meedpom...

Kappalgal yehri kadal kadanthu (kalanthu) inther mannil naamum vanthom,
Rattangal sinthi uyiraiyum koduthu intha mannai valarthom,
Munnor seither thiyagangalai ini nenjil naamum kaapom,
Vanmurai thagarthu valimurai kaathu vantha paathai meedpom…

Indian endra naamam ini nenjinil endrum vendum...
Orumurai thirumbi paarthaal vantha sarithiram unakku puriyum...
Indian endra naamam ini nenjinil endrum kaapom...
Orumurai thirumbi paarthaal vantha sarithiram unakku puriyum...
Indiya naamam indiya naamam nenjinil endrum kaapom..
Orumurai paarthaal marumurai paarthal sarithiram unaku puriyum...

Indiyaa naamam...... ini nenjinil endrum kaapom......................

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Saturday, November 09, 2013

The paradise called Lipe



Sitting outdoors under the moonless light as Chet sang beautifully in heavily Thai influenced English pronunciations over dinner is high up there on my list of things I loved to do. I was sitting at Pooh’s restaurant in beautiful Koh Lipe an island 4 hours by sea and land of Hatyai. Ever smilling Chet provided the much needed live music that suited the islands laid backness. Of course midway rain suddenly decided to invite himself and rained in a matter of few minutes as all of us scrambled into the indoor area as rain and wind lashed at us.


Ah Koh Lipe what a lovely place to be.

We were staying right at the centre of Walking street, the main area where all the tours and restaurants were. Everyday we would walk towards Pattaya Beach, about 8 minutes from our hotel passing by my favourite dessert and breakfast place – Thai Lady pancake where you take of your shoes, wash your feet and sit at the chairs or on the wooden ramps on short Japanese tables. They served my all-time favourite breakfast bacon, sausages and eggs as well as some yummy sandwhiches and thai pancakes in whatever topping you wanted.


There are no cars on the island just golf carts and bike taxis which we only used when we arrived and were leaving as everything was pretty much in walking distance from our hotel.


Now the beach, what I read online was different from what I saw. Pattaya was touted as the best beach while Sunrise wasn’t but it was pretty opposite in terms of white sandy sand. Also theres a lot of development taking place at Pattaya so that was dampner. We had also arrived on a moonless day and on that evening the waters were a bit murky, clear but murky which was a bit unusualy coz 2 days later the water at Pattaya was crystal clear. So mind the timing when you head to the beach, the water seems different according to the moon.


 

We spent a whole day snorkelling at the little islands off Lipe. We were supposed to head to 5 islands but had only time for 4. We missed the black pebble island but it just means I have another reason to come back ;p I can’t remember the islands accept for Koh Rawi where we stopped for lunch but all the islands waters were stunning emerald green and filled with fish. It was lovely to snorkel there but the sealife was still nothing compared to what we find in Malaysia. But anytime spent in the sea is awesome ;p
 

I was walking around after lunch taking photos when I got out of the water to find a black crab hanging from my shorts. Luckily it hadn't found my flesh and dug in ;p

We got to see some beautiful sunsets and no we didn’t bother with the sunrise.

The people on the island are pretty nice. Walking by the streets everyday you’d get smiles from everyone and no one trying to sell you something.


One evening there were this kids running around the streets growling at people and turned up at me growling so of course I growled back. So kid decides to follow me and growl a few times. On the third growl, I took of my glasses and gave him one of my scary big eyed growls. Poor kid ran away. Later in the evening I saw him again and tried to take his photo but he refused to be photographed  ;p

At dinner most of the restaurants had grilled seafood made to order so one night when we were looking at where to eat we found one shop with a huge swordfish at its grill. I stopped to take a photo and finally decided to eat there. My fish arrived yummly cooked and melting off the skin with a lovely homemade lime sauce.  

 
And so ended our lovely beach holiday before we headed back to Hatyai. Now that was an interesting adventure. On the way back we were put on a medium sized speedboat instead of the ferry we arrived in. midway through the boat stopped as the driver started yakking in thai to someone on the phone. Next thing we see two big fishing trawlers pass each other and we stopped right next to it. Apparently the driver was buying fish in the middle of the sea. Lol that kinda freaked out the rest of the travellers, a big group of fellow Malaysians.

 

Some time later the boat stopped and this time it was engine trouble. Somehow they managed to get the boat running again but it happened again and luckily they got it solved and we finalled reached land. Only to find my bag soaking wet and smelling of fish! I quickly bought another plastic bag and dumped all my clothes into it. Luckily the clothes weren’t wet but I had to wash my bag the moment we reached the hotel.

Note to self never let your bag go into the boats underneath compartment.

Can’t wait to head there again even if it takes 4 hours to get there.

Ps: Don’t think I’ll edit the photos on time so enjoy the instagram photos – and oh you can follow me on instagram just look for @visithra

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Glorious Bangkok

window gazer

I’ve been to Bangkok twice and I still haven’t seen the famous Wats and Palace.

The first time I was there it was a really short trip but I absolutely loved it so this time I spent a few more days here hoping to see the temples but guess what, we were too busy doing other things to go.

I'm so cute!

We stayed in this lovely gorgeous harem like hotel. The lobby was decorated with plush pillows and in a morrocon and Indian theme. We spent some time lazing in the icy cool water of the pool and the couches. We also got our massages there as well while facing the pool ;p

morning doze on the barbers chair

The staff were also really nice so we enjoyed staying there.

We spent one whole day at Chatuchak though besides the beautiful painting I got, wasn’t worth our time at all. Got better deals along the night markets in the main town.

Shy

We walked around Sukhumvit exploring the little areas with less tourist, the river area where people were waiting for something (a boat it think) and just watching the town go by. Then we picked stations and got down to explore the area just for the fun of it. Was pretty interesting.

snip snip 


One night we headed to the pub area for music and were entertained by this band with a really good drummer and guitarist though the singers weren’t really that good or creative. Still it was an enjoyable night ;p

Didn’t really take much photos on the trip coz we were doing a lot of hanging out ;p

We spent our last day there just lazing around and getting a relaxing massage just before our flight back to KL. Must say that was an awesome thing to do ;p

You called me? Siesta Life Ice cream please! Hello Sweetness a window in bangkok Tattooted men of Thailand

ps: story from a trip in 2012

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