Friday, December 31, 2004

'Sea of dead bodies'

"There was like a sea of dead bodies, children and women mainly ... and I had to clear a path through the water by pushing those people away and heading as far inland as possible," he said.

"I haven't had time to sit down and think about what has happened but I know it has been an unbelievable sequence of events that enabled me to escape in the first place," he said, adding that "I won't be complaining about being unlucky in anything in life ever again."

The account of British tsunami survivor Shenth Ravindra who said he didn't know what was happening when the Queen of the Sea passenger train jerked to a stop near the Sri Lankan town of Galle

Mother’s Love


(pic: TheStar)

We hear the phrase mothers would give their lives for their children often. Sue Siew Keong did just that. In order to save her 2 daughters she released her grip on a support so that they could be pulled up.

Watching Death Arrive


(pic : NYTimes)
Tourist watch and run in vain as gargantuan waves tower their fate.



(pic : NYTimes)
Waves that killed more took 118, 000


(pic : JiminLai)
Train tracks - overturned by the force of water. Sri Lanka


From the eyes of witness

Blogs with first hand blogging on the disaster.

Tsunami Disaster in Penang Island

At Sri Lanka we have - ChiensSansFrontiers

Where to Donate 2

Due to the list growing too long I’m creating version 2 of Where to Donate


Malaysias HITZ.FM has started the AMP Tsunami 26/11 Fund via SMS. It's easy and hassle free, no cheques, no queueing, just pick up your handphone, type AMP and send it to 32328. Each SMS will cost RM1. Check Maybank is providing a convenient channel through the Star / Maybank Tsunami Relief Fund for those who wish to contribute and support the national effort to assist those affected by the disaster. To kick-start the Fund, Maybank has pledged RM1 million for the victims of the Tsunami tragedy.

Star / Maybank Tsunami Relief FundMaybank has set up the following
Maybank Accounts, No. 114013169092 and
No. 514011389072 for the Fund.
You may contribute to this Fund via either of these accounts using any of the following channels:

a. Maybank counters nationwide - Cash or Cheque Donation

- Payee’s Name Star / Maybank Tsunami Relief Fund.

- Kindly also write the Fund’s Account Number at the reverse of your cheque.


b. Maybank ATM - Third Party Transfer.

- Input the Fund’s Account Number

c. Maybank (Cheque deposit machine)
- Payee’s Name Star / Maybank Tsunami Relief Fund.
- Kindly also write the Fund’s Account Number at the reverse of your cheque.

d. Maybank2u.com
- Under Fund Transfer to 3rd Party Accounts

- Input the Fund’s Account Number

Fund ends January 31, 2005.
For more information, please Tel 1-300-88-66-88 or 03-2072 7788


Johor Bahru, Malaysia
Ms. Priya from Johor Bahru, Malaysia is gathering contributions for the"Tsunami Victims". So Johorean please contact
Ms. Priya at 016-7868520


Places collecting clothes and donations.

1.Shree Lakhshmi Narayan Temple
Lrg Kasipillay, Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 03-40412993

2.Temple of Fine Arts.Centers in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor Bahru, Melaka
Contact Person: S.N Siva @ 016-36472753.

Malaysia Hindu Sangam Offices in: -

W.Pesekutuan (03-40418215)
Tangkak (06-9781059)
Melaka (06-2841485)
Seremban (06-6323466)
Petaling Jaya (03-78754232)
Mentakab (09-2784022)
Ipoh (05-2437993)
Penang (016-4153829)
Kedah ?(04-4235329)
KL HQ ?(03-40414667/9)

4.Kalamandapam,Lrg Scott,
Brickfield Kuala Lumpur
(Tel: 03-22742987)

5.Sri Sithi Vinayagar Temple,
Jalan Selangor,Petaling Jaya
(Tel: 03-77821730)

6. Rudra Devi Samaj
46-1 Jln Tun Sambanthan
Kuala Lumpur
(Tel: 012-2012248 -Mr.Gunaraj)
(Tel: 012-2243908 ?Mr.Maniam)

7. Gnana Bodtha Sabha
47-A Jln Kasipillay, Kuala Lumpur
(Tel: 012-3710069 Mr. Dorai Maniam)

8.Kuil Sri Balasubramaniar
Taman Sri Timah, Balakong
(Tel: 03-89454694)
(Tel: 0192629713 Mr.Chandran)

9.Kuil Sri Sakthi Vinayagar
Kampung Ampang Indah Ampang
(Tel: 019-3394227 Mr.Manickam and Mr.Govindarajoo)

10.Klang Collection Centre
66,Jalan Raya Barat 41000 Klang
(Tel: 012-2005901 Mr.Ragu)
(Tel: 012-3260049 Mr.Guna)

11. Hindu Sevai Sangam
Taman Cheras Utama, Cheras
(Tel: 017-6834685 Mr.Parthiban)
(Tel: 012-3151633 Mr.Vishnu)


Mchang is collecting contributions in PJ at

Venue: 77, Jalan 20/9, Paramount Garden, PJ (nearSeaview Restaurant/Giant/post office)
Time: 10am - 5pm
Mchang : 012-2192010

Sri Lankan High Commission at 03-4256 8987 or 03-4257 1394.

The Star office (Phileo Damansara) - There is a donation box in the lobby.

MNI InsuranceFor locations of MNI branches, check
http://www.mni.com.my/ or call 03-2176 9000.

Mercy Malaysia
MBB account name: MERCY Humanitarian Fund
Account no: 5621-7950-4126

Nationwide Express
Call them at 03-55121000 extensions 306, 237 or 297, and they'll advise you where you can drop off your stuff. They've been assigned by Mercy Malaysia.

Siri Jayanti Temple,
Sentul Lot 85, Jalan Tujuh,
Sentul Pasar 51000 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: (603) 40419459, 40419490

Cash donations are also welcomed.
Account Name: Sri Jayanti Association
Account number: 514477401035
Bank/Branch: Malayan Banking, Sentul Raya, KualaKumpur

Subang Jaya Buddhist Association (SJBA)
Jalan Kewajipan, SS13, 47500 Subang Jaya,
Malaysia.

Contact: Sis Lily Low, SJBA administrator,
tel:03-56315299, Fax: 56315262

Bandar Utama Buddhist Society (BUBS)
52 Jalan BU 11/16 Bandar Utama
47800 Petaling Jaya
Contact person:
Raymond Tang (raytang@p...,012-2222338).

Additional items required: Cardboard boxes and bags are required for packaging purposes
Donors are requested to bring these items to BUBS Centre (2nd house - kitchen area) on Sunday morning, 2

Volunteers are needed to sort and pack the donated items.

Map and address of BUBS Centre
Kota Kemuning Buddhist Centre (KKBC)
26 Jalan R31/R, Kota Kemuning

(If you are heading towards Bukit Rimau, the centre is before the Paramount Developer's Sales Office)
Tan Seng Chong: 012-393 6872
Ham: 019-218 7898
Ben: 016-222 1499


India

This blog Tsunami Relief Information is providing information on where and how aid can be sent around India.


Relief : TamilNadu
Consignments of relief material for tsumani victims in TamilNadu should be sent to

Joint Commissioner (Relief) A Chatterjee,
Tamil Nadu Civil Supplies Corporation,
Virugambakkam, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Tamil Nadu Chief Minister's Public Relief Fund

Sewa International, in association with local organisations, is planning to work for the rehabilitation of families affected by the tsunami waves in India by providing them:

Please send your donations to:

a. Sewa Bharathi Tamil Nadu
Shakti, 1, M V Street, Panchvati,
Chetpet, Chennai- 600031, Tamil Nadu
Ph: 044-28361049, 28360243
E-mail: sevabharthitn@yahoo.com

b. Jana Sankshema Samiti Madhava Sadhan,
Kaleshwara Rao Road, Vijaywada-
520002, Andhra Pradesh

All donations from outside India should be sent to:

Sewa InternationalApte Bhavan,
10196, D. B. Gupta Road, Jhandewala,
New Delhi- 110055, India
Ph: 91-11-23517373, 23684445,
E-mail: sewain@vsnl.comBank
Account No: 21290, State Bank of India,
Jhandewala Extn., New Delhi-110055
Branch Code No: 9371

You can send donations through NDTV's trust fund, The Hope Trust. Donations can be made to:
HOPE - Tsunami Relief Fund and sent to:
The Company Secretary, New Delhi Television,
W-17, Greater Kailash-1, New Delhi-110048.

All donations are tax deductible under section 80G of Income Tax Act, 1961.

Give India Rehabilitation Fund

Volunteers for India Development and Empowerment or VIDE


International

Linkin Park have teamed up with the American Red Cross to establish Music For Relief, a charity dedicated to providing aid to victims of the tragedy. Not stopping there, they have donated $100,000 to get things going, and they're hoping their fans and musical brethren will follow suit.

Linkin Park guitarist Brad Delson said "The whole thing is really a race against time,"

Donations can be made via RedCross.org. or MusicForRelief.org.

Vibha
Email: Emergency.Relief@vibha.org

Tsunami Emergency Relief Website:

Tsunami Emergency Donation www.vibha.org/emergencydonationDonations

Association for India's Development:Contact:
Aniruddha Vaidya, 1-650-996-8249,
1-888-TALK-2-AID or (301) 422-4441
email: info@aidindia.org

Contributions to AID can be made through secure on-line credit-card deductions from AID's website (www.aidindia.org), where further details and updates will also be posted. Please indicate that your contribution is for the "Relief and Rehabilitation Fund". Checks payable to "AID" can be mailed to:

AID Zone 3,P.O. Box 4801
Mountain View, CA 94040-0801

(Please indicate "Relief and Rehabilitation Fund" in the check memo)


The National Federation of India Organizations
Contact: Rajen Anand (703) 642-3156, (562) 537-1077

Checks (tax-deductible) will be sent to the International Red Cross for the use of ALL victims in all countries.Checks payable to: NFIA

Address: 6912 Winter Lane, Annandale VA 22003.

The Hindu Temple Society of North America
Contact: Dr Uma Mysorekar (718) 460-8484Checks
(tax deductible) payable to:

The Hindu Temple Society of North America
Address: Hindu Temple Society of North America
45-57 Bowne StreetFlushingNY-11355

India Development & Relief Fund (IDRF), USAIDRF has already committed $10,000 towards immediate relief efforts and will match dollar-to-dollar for donations up to $10,000. It will channel your generous contributions to Sewa Bharati (Panchvati, Chetpet, Chennai), Jana Sankshema Samiti (Vijaywada, Andhra Pradesh), Vivekanand Kendra and other voluntary NGOs providing relief and rehabilitation to affected families including:

· Medical services· Distribution of fishing nets, assistance for purchasing and repairing fibre boats· Repair of diesel engines and supply fuel· Distribution of textbooks, notebooks and uniforms to students.· Construction of houses, repair and construction of community infrastructure

Please make check payable to "IDRF" (mention "Tsunami" in the memo) and mail it to:

IDRF, 4807 Phebe Ave, Fremont, CA 94555
Contact:* Suresh Deopura (510) 573-5100,
suresh@dewsoftware.com*
Shri Narayan Chandak (309)- 662-8353,
Idrf_blg@yahoo.com*
Raghu Verabelli 781-270-2349,
idrfboston@yahoo.com*
Vijay Pallod (281) 568-4995,
pallod@aol.comOr email idrf@aol.com

Donate on-line through your VISA/MasterCard or Direct Debit from checking account.

IDRF is administered by volunteers without any honorarium or overhead. Thus, 100% of your contribution will be disbursed directly to the NGOs working in the field.
Please check out our website for latest information.

Vivekananda Ashrama, Tsunami Disaster Relief Centre


(pic :NYTimes)

The Tsunami Disaster Relief Centre set up at Vivekananda Ashrama, Brickfields,Malaysia received good support from the general public. At least RM25,000 in cash, and two containers full of clothes and nonperishable food items were collected in the first day of operation. Many volunteered their time to sort, repack, & label the clothings and food items.

These items will be shipped out on January 3, when the ships are allowed to ply the oceans again. In the meantime, at least a truck load of medical stuff will be flown to Colombo this Saturday.

Volunteer help is much needed. So, if you are in KL, please consider dropping by.

As to material help, the following are urgent requirements to attend to the immediate phase:

1. Food (includes milk powder, precooked food) for 80 000 familes, 3 times/day, meals for two weeks.
2. Non food items (includes kitchen utensils, 100 000 mats)
3. Clothing (special concern for women and children)
4. Drugs (paracetamol, antibiotics, dressings, suture material, disposable syringes)
5. water purification tablets (500 000) and water containers 5 lit. capacity)
6. Temporary shelters (25,000 tents for a family of 4 and 50 medical tents)
7. portable generators (50)

You can directly contribute to TRO in Malaysia. The Address is
No 6, Jalan 6/2
46000 Petaling Jaya
Malaysia
Phone: +60 326919363
Fax: +60 326918272

Race Against Time


(pic : JiminLai)

Linkin Park have teamed up with the American Red Cross to establish Music For Relief, a charity dedicated to providing aid to victims of the tragedy. Not stopping there, they have donated $100,000 to get things going, and they're hoping their fans and musical brethren will follow suit.

Linkin Park guitarist Brad Delson said "The whole thing is really a race against time,"

Donations can be made via RedCross.org or MusicForRelief.org.

I’m hoping more celebs will be inspired and come out with contributions from their own pockets and not by holding charity concerts where the money will take months to be channeled or not at all.



Thursday, December 30, 2004

Emergency Warning

India has been alerted to a possibility of earthquake or a tsunami happening again. Please spread the news and inform friends and relatives living in the coastal areas to quickly evacuate to higher places or move further inland.

Via Kiruba

Where to Donate - Updated

Where to Donate


What to Donate

Quarter Century


(pic : NYTimes)

Last year my cousin left the world on my birthday. I was out with friends on a string of celebrations. My aks (akka/sister) and friend was to introduce her fiancé to us as well as celebrate both our birthdays. We gave her a midnight surprise birthday celebrations with a 7 eleven purchased fruitcake. (By the time we decided, it was way past opening time of any bakery). Right after I got a call informing on my cousins death.

That night for the first time after getting my license at 17, I was stopped by a cop for speeding. The death didn’t really register then but it kept playing in my mind till I went for the funeral the next day. Sitting in their living room, unstoppable tears fell. She was only 20, not an age to pass away leaving behind loved ones and dreams. How does one celebrate one’s birthday when its also the date of a death?

Doesn’t help when the world is engulfed in grief over the death of thousands and more than a million homeless. As I write this the number stands at. Thailand’s declared three day mourning period ends on the 30th, which would be followed by religious ceremonies throughout the country and canceled all the New Year celebrations and activities. I’m glad Malaysia has also decided to cancel celebrations and hold prayers instead.

I had already planned not to celebrate in the memory of my cousin, now I’m adding another - in the memory of the thousands that died. I wanted to show my respect by not blogging today but too many information needs to be shared. My birthday wish is for everyone to help in anyway possible, for the deaths to stop, the spread of disease minimised and the surviving to receive peace of mind. Let’s all pray for the world.


Earth Spins Faster



(pic : CNN)

The deadly Asian earthquake may have permanently accelerated the Earth's rotation, shortening days by a fraction of a second and caused the planet to wobble on its axis, U.S. scientists said Tuesday.

Richard Gross, a geophysicist with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, theorized that a shift of mass toward the Earth's center during the quake Sunday caused the planet to spin 3 microseconds, or millionths of a second, faster and to tilt about an inch on its axis.


"Willpower is what keeps you going,"


(pic : Photogallery)


1,200-year-old Mahabalipuram Shore temple survives Sunday’s fury of nature but 80 tourist shops were destroyed. Ninety-nine deaths had been counted in Mahabalipuram and surrounding villages.

The Shore Temple, listed by the United Nations as a World Heritage Site, is adorned with elaborate carvings representing characters from Hindu scriptures in scenes of everyday life, a contrast to other temples in the region that depict only gods and goddesses.

India can be a hard place, no matter the location. Earthquakes strike northwestern and western parts of the country, drought and flash floods are common in the central regions, and cyclones rake the coasts. But tsunami waves are rare and none have been recorded that equaled the one that struck Sunday.

Malaysia sets up a special Asian fund

Malaysia has set up a special fund named "Asian Tsunami Disaster Fund Foreign Ministry" to enable the Government and Malaysians to contribute to victims of the tsunami that hit several countries.

Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar urged Malaysians to donate either in cash or kind to the fund which would be managed by the Foreign ministry.

Contributions in cash could be made by cheque to Tabung Bencana Tsunami Asia Kementerian Luar Negeri and sent to the
Foreign Affairs Ministry,
Wisma Putra, Precinct 2,
62602 Putrajaya.

The ministry can be contacted at
03-8887 4000, 03-8887 4386,
03-8887 4332 and 03-8887 4321
or
by fax at 03-8889 1717
and 03-8889 2834

Malaysia : Dead 66

The tsunami death toll in Malaysia rose to 66 as of midnight tonight, according to the Malaysian Control Centre in the Bukit Aman federal police headquarters here.

The recovery brought the total killed in Penang to 52 while the number in three other states remained unchanged -- 10 in Kedah, three in Perak and one in Selangor.

Nine people were still missing -- five in Penang, three in Kedah and one in Perak.The number of people injured was 183 -- 108 in Penang, 72 in Kedah and three in Perak.

The search operation would be resumed in the morning.

It’s Started

As numbers of death from the Tsunami rose, fears of disease related deaths engulfed the world. It’s started at Nagapattinam - diarrhoea.

---------"There are incidents of diarrhoea in Eachankuppam, Akkaraipettai, Nagore, Aryanattukarai and other places. People are being rushed to hospital," he told TOI over telephone from Velankanni.

Meanwhile, bodies still continue to be scattered over parts of Nagapattinam and Velankanni. According to Ramani, so far, only 40% of bodies have been removed.

18-yr-old saves 43 people in Campbell Bay

Maggie from Pilloba screamed her lungs out to force 43 people to hang on a raft in high seas. Today through her preserverance these people are still alive.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

M'sia To Hold Prayers Instead Of New Year's Eve Celebrations


(pic : minnie)

Both the federal government and Penang state government have decided to not hold any celebrations to usher in the new year and called on all parties, including the private sector, to hold prayers following Sunday's tsunami which resulted in deaths and destruction.

I’m glad this move was taken and hope everyone joins in as a solemn mark of respect. Establishments at Bangsar, DU, KLCC, Bukit Bintang, Jalan Ampang - please try to be considerate.

We won’t lose a thing if we don't celebrate for a year.

Moving Images of Disaster

This blog provides links to videos of the disaster around the world. I received this thanks to Gindy.

Volunteers Needed

If you want to volunteer go here.

Villages That No Longer Exist


(pic : The Hindu)

My family friend’s maid who is from the Cuddalore district was in tears as she found out of the catastrophe. She had lost relatives and friends. Now as I read this I wonder if she would have a home to return to.

-----'Some villages have become part of the seashore

-----'The geography of the coastal districts of Cuddalore and Nagapattinam will be never the same again.

-----"Some villages have gone missing from the map because there is nothing left in those places," Nagapattinam Deputy Collector P Umanath said.

Indonesia : Dead risen five-fold to 27,174


(pic : The Star)

“It wasn’t like that on TV. We had thought the worst-hit places were Sri Lanka and India. But because the telecommunications lines were down in Aceh, we didn’t get a true picture of the deaths here. Now I think Aceh is the worst-hit,” said Chrisma.

Despair


(pic : CNN)

How do you console a man who lost his wife and three children and now has no family left?

Donate NOW Don't wait!!


(pic : NY Times)

Many people want to donate but are waiting for the right time, muhurtham* or someone to ask them. DON"T!!!

If you want to donate do it NOW. If you have old clothes send it to the nearest collection centre. If you want to donate necessary items - send it NOW. If its cash - find the nearest fundraiser and do it NOW.

Here's a list of places to donate.


muhurtham* - auspicious time

Where to Donate - Updated

Where to Donate


What to Donate


Words escape my mind - Andaman and Nicobar

------More than 500 people have taken refuge in a school in School-line area of Port Blair. All of them are afraid of the sea. They are scared to talk about the tides, which were as high as coconut trees. - Nicobar Island

------The church of Nicobar, school, government guest house, banks and government office buildings collapsed like a pack of cards.

------For a few minutes he saw something that was unbelievable. When the earthquake struck, he claims to have seen the sea moving like a 'see-saw'. The water rose so high that, for a few seconds, he could see the rocks below.

Nicobar island still inaccessible

More aftershocks in Andamans

The damage is colossal

Rescuers began reaching India's remote Andaman and Nicobar islands on Tuesday, two days after passage of a devastating tsunami, to find barely a third of residents on one were still alive.

--------There has still been no contact at all with several of the islands, including one of the biggest, Grand Nicobar, which was closest to the epicenter of Sunday's earthquake which caused a tsunami that killed at least 36,000 across Asia.

------On the Andaman and Nicobar island of Chowra, rescuers found only 500 survivors from 1,500 residents, the territory's deputy police chief, C. Vasudeva Rao, told Reuters.

"We thought the entire island was washed away. But we found 500 survivors," he said.

-------No contact has yet been made with two neighboring isles, home to a combined population of 7,000.

-------Television footage showed only concrete floors remaining of some of the officers' houses on the air force base on Car Nicobar. Apartment blocks collapsed and trees were uprooted.

------They are also several days' sailing from help.

-------Aftershocks continued to rock the Andaman and Nicobar Islands on Tuesday where 3,000 people were killed and an equal number still missing after tsunami waves triggered by a massive undersea quake off Sumatra in Indonesia on Sunday hit the archipelago.


'I don't know where to start,'

From the NY Times

"This isn't a race for pictures, this is an attempt to tell a massive story."

----- "The story now moves to what happened in places that are more remoteand less connected, places like the Andaman and Nicobar Islands," hesaid. "No one really knows what we are going to find out there."

Todler Identified


(pic : CNN)

Yesterday after blogging about the found child, to my relief I found out he had been identified. I watched with relish on CNN as the child,20-month-old Hannes Bergstrom sat calmly on his grandma’s lap. The boy’s father, grandfather and uncle have already been located. However the mother is still missing. I’d be overjoyed if she was found.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Now we know

Now we know, at a saddening price, that being outside the earthquake zone does not exempt us from a body count afterwards. Read more here.

Child Found, Parents Unknown

A 2-year-old blond-haired boy survived the tidal waves at Thailand. He was found sitting on a road not far from the town of Khao Lak in Phang Nga province, shortly after surging waves swept away hundreds of tourists and trapped people inside flooded buildings.

Now the unknown nationality miracle child faces indefiniteness as his parents have not been found.


Where to Donate?

Have been compiling this list for the benefit of everyone.

Malaysia

Updated 11.40am 30/12/04


A consortium of Indian-Malaysian based NGOs have come under the banner of the Vivekananda Ashrama to assist the victims.

Vivekananda Ashrama
Brickfields,
Kuala Lumpur.
Tel : 03-2274 1885
Elankumaran - 012 222 6753


A NGO body has initiated a charity drive, not to raise fund but just to collect old and unwanted clothing for the Sri Lankan Tsunami victims. If you feel that you wish to contribute, pls send the clothing to

TS Foo & Partners
at 5.09 MBF Towers,
Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah,
Penang,
from 9am to 6pm,
tel no. is 04-2299448 by
31 Dec noon.


MERCY Malaysia is sending doctors and volunteers of MERCY to Acheh and Sri Lanka. The first group left yesterday for Acheh and another will be leaving tonight for Sri Lanka.

Money for for medical supplies, blankets and large towels is needed.

You can send your donations to:

a) MERCY Huminitarian Fund account with MBB # 5621 7950 4126

b) call (03) 4256 9999

c) fax (03) 4251 8435

d) MERCY's add

No 45B, Jalan Memanda
9Ampang Point
68000 Ampang

They also need volunteers for our local and overseas missions. Contact the above number should you wish to become one. Please forward this e-mail to reach as many people as possible.


Updated 11.04am 29/12/04

Annai Illam an orphanage has set up a used -clothes collection centre for the Tsunami victims at the

Safety Driving Centre, Jalan Utara
( next to Armada Hotel,Petaling Jaya).

Commencing Thursday
30th December 2004 at
3.00 p.m.

S.Chandrasekaran
Annai Illam


Sri Lanka Airlines, Malaysia - send you contributions to
Mr Prasana
Sri Lanka Airlines
3rd Floor, MUI Plaza
Jalan P. Ramlee
50250 Kuala Lumpur
Tel : 03-20722833
Fax : 03-20788233

OR
email nicole_cws@y...
or
call Nicole (03-80766710)

who is setting up a collecion base at her office.

Her dateline is:
1st collection dateline : 3rd January 2005
2nd collection dateline : 12nd January 2005


Mack Zulkifli's fundraiser


Pauline is collecting clothes for the Tsunami victims. This will be at

MacDonalds,
Centerpoint, Malaysia this
Thur, Dec 30th
from 9am-9:30pm.
Pauline's mobile is 012-238-6103

Updated 4.15pm 28/12/04

The Sathya Sai Baba Council of Malaysia
is facilitating relief efforts for an estimated 4200 people affected in Kota Kuala Muda, Kedah, Malaysia.The following are the items that will be sent by Friday (31st December 2004) morning:

1. Blankets - 3000 pieces
2. Biscuits - 3000 packets
3. Toiletries - Toothbrush, Towel, Tooth paste, Bathing Soap (3000 pax)

Children
1. Clothes - 1000 pieces
2. Toys - 1000 pieces
3. Pampers - 1000 packets
4. Milk Powder - 1000 packets

The contact parties are:
Elankumaran - 012 222 6753
Jeevan Rajoo - 012 277 9999
Chandra Mohan - 012 372 3651


Where to send??
Sri Sathya Sai Baba Centre of Bangsar.

24, Jalan Abdullah off Jalan Bangsar,
Bangsar.(Behind Jalan Bangsar Shell)

if you are coming from Pantai turn left after 7 Eleven. You will come to cross juntion, go straight (will pass Nageswary AmmanTemple on your left) until you come to a T junction. Turn Right. it's the 2ndhouse on your right. (Contact person Jeevan 012-2779999)

We would like to thank you for your kind assistance in this time of need for our fellow citizens. The contact parties from our side are:
Elankumaran - 012 222 6753
Jeevan Rajoo - 012 277 9999
Chandra Mohan - 012 372 3651

They will be coordinating the logistic effort to send these items to Kota Kuala Muda, Kedah.



Buddhist Maha Vihara is collecting provisional items, clothes and other items to be sent to Sri Lanka. The container is moving this Friday. Those who wish to help, their contact information is below.
Buddhist Maha Vihara (Brickfields Maha Vihara)
123, Jalan Berhala, Brickfields
50470 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: (603) 22741141 /886, Fax: (603) 22732570
Email: bmvihara@mvihara.po.my
Web site: www.ksridhammananda.com


The Star - Earthquake/Tsunami Relief Fund in association with the Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) and Mercy Malaysia. Send your cheques/ bank draft to

Menara Star, 15 Jalan 16/11,
Section 16, 46350
Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
Tel. (03) 7967 1388
Fax. (03) 7955 4039/7954 2544

or

The Star Northern Hub
202 Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah,
11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang
Tel. (04) 647 3388 General line
Fax. (04) 647 3371
Handphone : 012 - 470 6083



THE NST, BH, TV3 AND 8TV MALAYSIAN TSUNAMI DISASTER FUND

The New Straits Times and Berita Harian newspapers, joined by TV3 and 8TV have launched a Malaysian Tsunami Disaster Fund to assist Government efforts in rehabilitating and helping the thousands of victims affected by this tragedy. Send contributions to :

Balai Berita, 31, Jalan Riong,
Bangsar 59100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel: 6-03-2282-3322
Fax: 6-03-2282-1434

or

TV3 and 8TV offices at
Sri Pentas, Bandar Utama,
47800 Petaling Jaya.
Selangor Darul Ehsan
(P.O BOX 11124, 50736 KUALA LUMPUR)
Tel: +603 772 66333
Fax: +603 772 78455


India

Updated 11.40am 30/12/04

Just in case, you are outside India and wish to donate money to the Tsunami victims, here is the Prime Minister's relief fund codes -

Donations may also be made directly into Central Bank of India, New Delhi/Mumbai’s following accounts stating beneficiary " Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund,

SB A/C with Janpath, New Delhi".

U.S. $: A/C No. 000-03847-4 with HSBC BANK,USA, New York. ( SWIFT Code :- MRMD US 33 )

Pound Sterling: A/C No. 203253-80412368 with,BARCLAYS BANK PLC, London. ( SWIFT Code :- BARCGB 22 )

EURO: A/C No. 4112222001 with CITI BANK,Frankfurt. ( SWIFT Code :- CITI DE FF )

See the PM's National Relief Fund page for more details.

Via Lazygeek


Updated 11.04am 29/12/04
Ganesh of Rupya.com, has set up a paypal payment system.


www.TsunamiVictims.org set up by Mohanakrishnan (MK) from Dubai,to offer an avenue, especially for people outside of India, like himself, to offer help.

For those outside India you can make online payment via
http://survivors.aidindia.org/.

For additional information
call: 1-888-TALK-2-AID / 650 996 6412
or
email: info@aidindia.org


AID-Chennai
Updated 5.01pm 28/12/04
People based in Chennai can donate clothes to the AID-Chennai office:
AID-India Old No 132,
New No 242,
Avvai Shanmugam Road
Gopalapuram, Chennai -
600 086
Ph: 044- 28350403, 28115058


The Hope Trust - Delhi
Donations can be made to:
HOPE - Tsunami Relief Fund
The Company Secretary,
NDTV, W-17, Greater Kailash-1,
New Delhi-110048



This website was set up by a few caring bloggers and has a list of places where donations can be made. http://tsunamihelp.blogspot.com/


"The Hindu Relief Fund"
Kasturi Buildings
859 Anna SalaiChennai 600 002
INDIA

Contribution can be made online at
http://pay.hindu.com/thrfpay/thrfpay.jsp

How you can help at Rediff
Http://in.rediff.com/news/2004/dec/27tsunami8.htm

Check out Kiruba’s website for information on how you can help and through where. Chennaites can contact him if you would like to donate things.

International

CNN - Aid List Updated 11.04am 29/12/04

To Help in Thailand

http://donation.chiangmaisolutions.org/

Ananda Travel & Sri Lankan Airlines in Singapore are appealing for anyone to contribute items to be airlifted to

Sri Lanka.133 Cecil Street,
Keck Seng Tower,#13-02,
Singapore 069535

or

Ananda Travel office at
36 RobinsonRoad #01-01 City House,
Singapore 068877

Here's a list of aid agencies (Requires Free Registration) in US that you can contribute to. Here are the URLs for those for easy reference: Trackback from http://tsunamihelp.blogspot.com/

American Red Cross
http://www.redcross.org

Care USA
http://www.careusa.org

Direct Relief International
http://www.directrelief.org

International Medical Corps
http://www.imcworldwide.org

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
http://www.ifrc.org/

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee Raising Funds
http://www.jdc.org

Lutheran World Relief
http://www.lwr.org

MAP International
http://www.map.org

Mercy Corps
http://www.mercycorps.org

Operation USA
http://www.opusa.org

Oxfam America Asia Earthquake Fund
http://www.oxfamamerica.org

Save the Children
http://www.savethechildren.org

US Fund for UNICEF
http://www.unicefusa.org

World Concern
http://www.worldconcern.org

World Vision
http://www.worldvision.org


What to Donate?

1. Tents
2. Food (Pre-cooked or ready-to-eat meal packs)
3. Water Purification Tablets
4. Wheat Flour, rice, other staples
5. Drugs: Paracetamol, anti-biotics, wound dressing, suture material, disposable syringes, vitamins, vaccinations for diarrhea, cholera and malaria.
6. Intravenous infusions (saline and dextrose)
7. Portable generators
8. Clothes and blankets
9. Money
10. Bottled Water

Bridge of Uncertainty



(Pic : Forest Ang)

As pictures and videos rolled in updating us on the grave loss, one video was played repeatedly. It was a video caught by holidayers at Phuket. I suspect they had taken it after noticing the unusual high waves. As the waves grew bigger and splashed into the streets, you can hear the family shrieking in shock at the ferocity of the waves. I’ve spent a considerable amount of time scanning news websites, watching CNN and our local channels. One thing was clear a considerable amount of dead were children. Most of them had been there playing or on picnics with their families. Whole families perished, children orphaned, parents turned childless as videos showed many stood transfixed watching the waves rather than moving to safer grounds.

------"Zulkifli Mat Noor, who had just buried two daughters, was too distraught to go to the Balik Pulau mortuary again as news arrived that his daughter Siti Noor Syuhada’s body had been found. Zulkifli and 12 other family members had gone for a picnic at Pantai Pasir Panjang, Malaysia on Sunday."


------"'I saw the sea eat my wife, kids' accounted K Panneerselvam, a fisherman recuperating in a government general hospital in Nagapattinam, India."

"If I do not see my wife and children in one of the relief camps, I will jump into the sea kill myself. Why should I live off this sea, when it has taken away my family,"


------"I saw the wave approach and shouted to the boys to run. But they were cheering a batsman so loudly they did not hear me. The wave dragged them away,’’ says Sankaran, a fisherman, breaking down. - Chennai, India."


(Pic : Hindu)

------"There were at least 1,000 huts in this village but everything had disappeared. There was no stench either. I couldn't imagine how many would have survived this devastation.(a village close to Visakhapatnam port, Andhra Pradesh, India."


I’m reminded of the scene of the haunting song from Kannathil Muthamittal, Vidai Kodu EngaL

vidai kodu engaL naadae
kadal vaasal theLikkum veedae
panai mara kaadae, paRavaigaL koodae
maRumuRai oru muRai paarpoama?

udhattil punnagai pudhaithoam
uyirai udambukkuL pudhaithoam
veRum koodugaL mattum oorvalam poagindroam



Whole villages were destroyed, its surviving inhabitants homeless with despair leaving not only their homes, but the souls of their loved ones as they walked into an uncertain future. Some countries were still flooded, that’s when it occurred to me - how would they bury their dead? Images of Aceh showed bodies lined up on higher ground overlooking flooded grounds. With insufficient land, how would Muslims and Christians bury their dead?


(Pic : Hindu)


Many livelihoods depended on the Marina Beach, Chennai. Immeasurable times have been spent at the beach eating bajji’s* and watching children play on the many merry-go-rounds. What will happen to these people who depend on the beach for their livelihood? Are they even still alive?

Bajji’s* - indian snack

The Elixir of Life

....Water. Sunday the same elixir destroyed homes of a million, killed more than 22,000 people, injured countless numbers of inhabitants, shattered the livelihoods of coast and water depended businesses and pulverised once beautiful destinations.

Take a look at the before and after photos of Penang.




Before : Gurney Drive
(Pic : Alex)

Everytime I was down in Penang this was one of the places I’d frequent mostly for the beautiful view and breezy wind.




After : Gurney Drive
(Pics : Forest Ang)




Before : Gurney Roundabout
(Pic : Sapsamsok)




After : Gurney Roundabout
(Pic : Forest Ang)


Irony of life

A 20 day year old baby was saved by a floating mattress as rushing waves hit her fathers western food outlet. Baby S. Tulasi’s survival seems a miracle in the wake of this disaster gripping Asia.

Monday, December 27, 2004

Nature's Fury on the puppet called Mankind


The havoc on Gurney Road, Penang, Malaysia


Yesterday, I spent the day totally oblivious to the world - no Star, didn’t watch any TV and stuck to my weekend no surfing policy. I finally finished the book I had been reading and did some much missed doodling in my room.

I missed the evening news as I was cooking dinner. Mom had gone to the temple and I was catching up on my weekly dose of The Apprentice. Around 11nish mom came back and exclaimed " Maldives or Mauritius has submerged" to my disbelief. I was about to dismiss it when she told me her source.

Switched to CNN and the first thing I saw was the image of the flooded Sri Lankan Beach, followed by the map showing the affected countries.

Oh my god - that’s Malaysia.

As I took in the information, the first thing that came to mind was is Day After Tomorrow sooner then we think. I had come out of the movie overwhelmed with what the future held. Next thing that came to mind was - "Didn't an earthquake happen around this time last year somewhere else?"

My memory wasn't playing tricks, Last year on the very same date December 26, Iran was shaken by a quake that flattened the historic city Bam, taking with it more than 30,000 lives.

Http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4125385.stm


We didn't feel any tremors in my small town but the tremors had hit the coast hard leading to tidal waves. The tsunami was devastating with most lives lost at Sri Lanka, India, Thailand and Indonesia. 2/3 of the Maldives was submerged while no news has come from Myanmar.


Submerged Marina Beach, Chennai, India


I just read of a second tremor in India.

I sat down late last night calling or smsing my friends near the coast. I started freaking out when my friend in Penang didn’t pick up his phone. So I smsed instead, and finally to my relief he sent a reply saying he was ok. Called him up to hear his side of the story. He had been sleeping when he felt the tremors and told me Langkawi was badly shaken up as well. By then the 12 o’clock news on TV3 was up and I was shocked by the images.

Cars submerged in Batu Ferinngi in the very spot I frequent each time I’m there. Flooded beaches of Langkawi, coated by stranded boats. Despite experts exclaiming aftershock tremors are highly unlikely to be stronger, I don't think nature listens to scientist. Have told, pleaded and blackmailed my friends to stay away from the coast. I have issued a stern warning to my friend to cancel his trip up Kota Kinabalu (the highest peak in Malaysia) for the New year if there is uncertainty in safety at Sabah. My normally jolly friend gruffly agreed and promised the keep me updated.

53 lives have been lost so far, a trivial number compared to the numbers in other countries, but Malaysia has always been a country relatively safe from natural disasters. Officials have described the natural disaster as the worst in Malaysian history. Most Malaysians are shocked, some excited, some not so bothered. Lives are precious, most families had been enjoying a day at the beach when the waves tormented leaving many losing their entire families. One minute it was happy laughter's, the next intense shock followed by despair and lost.

Please take a moment to say a prayer for the victims. Try to stay away from the coast, there’s always time for the beach when the tide has settled down.


Perished Loved Ones

The released list of those who perished from Sunday's earthquake in Malaysia.



Disaster in Asia


Boats capsized on a road in Penang
(Pic : Bernama)

Disaster struck just after dawn as a huge earthquake in Indonesia sent tsunamis crashing westwards, sweeping men, women and children out to sea. The US Geological Survey said the 8.9-magnitude earthquake in Indonesia is the largest in the world in 40 years.


Victims caught by surprise

53 Malaysians killed

38 Dead in Penang

Tsunami Shocks Asia

Full account in Thailand

Swirling water with trapped boat in Penang

A personal account of the tremors in Penang


Flooded Street
Kamarajar Salai, or the Marina Beach road, flooded by the tidal wave which ravaged the coastline on Sunday.

Surging waters at Marina

Latest death count : 12,000

One of the worlds strongest quakes

Asia Earthquake explained

Maldives, Male - 2/3 drowned capital

World reaction

Epidemic warnings

Mall with overturned car - Thailand

Friday, December 24, 2004

Christmas Trees and Cowboys




Living in a multiracial country means everyone celebrates everything and come the end of the year, its one celebration after the other. Starting with Deepavali, Hari Raya (Eid Mubarrak), Christmas, New Year nd the Chinese New Year. So between November and mid February, we’ve got loads of excuses to party.

We used to have a Christmas tree. The real one growing from a pot not one of those plastic one’s. Now this was one pathetic looking tree. It was really small and not even lush given the hot, humid climate of Malaysia. But to an 8 year old and her kid brother - it was the world.

Come Christmas, the tree moved into the house and we’d start decorating it with anything we could find or pester my parents to buy.

Appa* was always game and would later take photos of me and bro posing with the tree. Amma* on the other hand, never liked the idea of a Christian celebration in a Hindu home nor having to buy presents to put under the tree. Those were sweet innocent days. It was also the time when after watching umpteenth James Dean movies, I proudly proclaimed I’d only marry a cowboy when I grew up, much to my Amma’s chagrin.

Now there’s no more Christmas tree or cowboy obsessions but Christmas is always a time to celebrate, party and have a hearty laugh with friends.


Appa* - father
Amma* - mother


The Glee of Gifts



Christmas at my office is extra fun. Why? Every year we exchange gifts by picking a persons name. So the receiver has to guess whose the gift giver. It’s really fun and for the days leading to the party everyone has eye only at the storeroom. The designated gift placing venue.

Now last year the 3 sisters at my office, knew the identity of the gift givers way ahead and I was determined to somehow trick them this year. So I planned it all got a gift small enough to fit into my jacket pocket and stayed back in late in the office for a few days. Yeah I love tricks and guessing and hate being figured out. So the gift was in early without anyone seeing me actually put it in. Here’s the frustrating bit they already knew. We were staring at the pile of gifts when one of them exclaims, what a coincidence its an exchange of gift - and the next second I let out a frustrated scream.


Me : How the hell did you guys find out? You know how much trouble I went to putting it there?

Them : Oh we knew right from the beginning.

Me : Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa


Well but the game’s not over the gal wasn’t in today so I've issued strict warning to all to net let out the name.
Anyway back to the opening of the gifts. I correctly guessed the gift contents each time before it was opened - hehehe I’m extremely good at that, years of practice. :)) these year everyone put in wonderful effort in getting good gifts but who can beat the boss. My colleague got a Lumax digital camera and its case!!! I’m jealous I want one. Next year I’m praying for my boss? Anyone knows a lambodhari (wizard) I can use? Hehehe - that’s wishful thinking.

2 colleagues had just gotten back from China so their recipients got really nice stuff. Satin Chinese designed bags for one plus roses from the company romeo and this beautiful men’s samfu for the darling of the office. Someone got a nice lipstick, bracelet, a good book war holy inc or something with osama on the cover ( I forgot ..have too many things running in my mind .... Read my other posts). Me I got this beautiful white clay ornament box with blue roses and grape vine carvings. Oh I love my gift. Oh yeah my last years gift giver was at it again another diary. Even before it was opened I said if its from the person I think it is that's a diary or an organiser. And yeah it was.

But the prize for the most duh gift went to the guy who gave a box filled with one year’s supply of Clorets!!! Clorets!!! How could someone give Clorets!! I’ve offered to give him the 101 lesson in gift giving and he’s been slapped a penalty for next year double the amount of the minimum.

What I gave?? Hehehehe you’ll have to wait till Monday!! :))))))))))

Merry Christmas Everybodyyyyyyy !!!!!!!!!!! Happy Holidays and Merrying!!!




I’M FED UP WITH THE MALAYSIAN CENSOR BOARD!!!!!



(Pic : SEPET)

How could they???

I’ve always been proud about being a Malaysian - how we transcend religion, race, culture and mingle without worry. And we have THIS response to a beautiful movie like SEPET. How many more great people are we going to chase away from our beautiful country?? How long will it take for people like this to tarnish our country?


I WANT TO WATCH IT. BANNED OR NOT I WILL WATCH IT EVEN IF I HAVE TO GO OVER THE CAUSEWAY.
GROW UP Malaysian Censor Board - Don’t act like spoiled thumb sucking child!!! Even children know what they want!!!


Here are the comments from the board "Why didn't you bring up the issue of religion?"


"Why didn't she try to convert him? The Malays would have liked that."

"Why did you make her walk into a Chinese restaurant where non-halal food was probably served?"

"If she's supposed to be liberal, why did you make her wear baju kurung all the time?"

"A long time ago, the Malay people had two bad habits. The men liked to lie down on the floor wearing only sarongs, exposing their tummies, while the women liked to waste time picking lice from each other's hair. Are you trying to revive these old habits?"

And of course, their coup de grace, articulated by someone called Abdul Aziz:

"We represent the rakyat (the people). We showed your film to some members of the rakyat, and I'm afraid the verdict was not favourable. They want your film stopped."



Watch SEPET. SPREAD THE WORD OUT.

Say it with me S-E-P-E-T!!!!!!

Read the director Yasmin’s DISSAPOINTMENT.

Read Danny Lim’s Comment.




Jingle Bells

Boston musician James S. Pierpont wrote the lyrics and melody to this song for a Sunday school class in 1857. One hundred years later, it inspired one of the best-known Christmas rock songs, "Jingle Bell Rock."


Dashing through the snow,
in a one horse open sleigh,
o'er the fields we go
laughing all the way.

Bells on bobtail ring,
Making spirits bright,
what fun it is to ride and sing
a sleighing song tonight!

Chorus:

Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells,
jingle all the way.
Oh what fun it is to ride
in a one horse open sleigh!

Jingle bells, jingle bells,
jingle all the way.
Oh what fun it is to ride
in a one horse open sleigh!


War’s aren’t pretty



(Pic : The Memory Hole)

An anonymous reader posted this link. War’s are easy to start but who has the answers to the aftermath's? Who can bring back lost lives? Who can console the wounded?

A Silent Prayer

I’ve got so much to write today. But this has to go up first. Jenn’s a friend I meet once a month at the Wordup gatherings with See Ming and gang. I’m extremely fond of pregnant women and children. Anyone with kids can vouch for that - I'd constantly bug them about their children and if you’re jealous type I'd suggest to keep your children away from me, I’d most probably ignore you while they’re around :).

I heard about Jenn giving birth but didn’t think anything of it assuming all was well and was happy for her till I read her article on MSN today. I hadn’t know nor did I know of her blog, but all I can do is pray that god will bless the beautiful person my friend is and gift the gift of health to baby Skyler Tan.



Thursday, December 23, 2004

Manathin Chinnangal

Maandhu thuliyathu nenjam

Ardhachandranai ithalgal uruvagiyathu

Theennai inithu gaanamai kaathil ohlithadum

Yehnna maayamoh intha manathin chinnangal



Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Visions of Heaven - Vaikunda Ekadesi

Vaikundam Thiranthathu ......Bhoomiyil Piranthen

The one day Vaikundam* open’s its doors, that very day I decided I’d make my presence on Earth. What a way to make an entrance - you see most Hindu's stay awake that night.

Well anyway there’s quite a difference to how it’s celebrated here and in India. Here we stay awake tonight. The night is filled with kutcheri’s, dances, bhajans from 6 pm and ends with prayers at 6 am. I’d normally visit 2,3 temples before reaching my last destination. Sri Maha Mariamman Temple at High Street. Now this is the biggest temple in Malaysia and is regarded as the Thaai* Kovil. The temple is managed by the same people in charge of the famed batu Caves temple and Kottumalai (Court Hill) Pillayar Temple. Compared to temples in India, the temple is relatively small and there’s no 4 doors, just two. I’ve been staying awake for this prayers since I was 8 where I used to run around the temple to stay awake - now I just walk around everytime my eyes threaten to go South.

The year 1994/95 was very memorable and scored many firsts. One of it was literally seeing Vaikundam doors open. That year Vaikunda Ekadesi fell on New Years Day, 1995. In India they celebrate it from the night before starting at 1 am. So around 12.30 mom, brother and me were quietly walking the deserted streets of Adyar when.... a bunch of motorcycling youths came out of nowhere screaming HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!! We stopped in our tracks, shocked to the bone expecting the worse - but god bless my faith on humans that's all they did and left screaming away. So off we were carted into the temple gates of the Anandapadmanabar temple and all doors were shut. How was a teenager to stay awake while firmly stuck to the floor, so occasionally I’d end up taking 40 winks.

Well after the long prayers, we were carted of to the Vaikunda door - which was opened only once a year for this festivities. Doors opened and for a moment the light coming out blinded my vision - was I in heaven? Ahem would I be typing this post if I had gone to heaven 10 years ago? Sigh.....:p

Anyway the bright lights were simple old sunbeams - nice effect going in at dark and coming out to light.


Vaikundam* - the abode of Lord Visnu in Heaven
Thaai* - mother


The Taj from My Father’s Eye




There’s a million and one photo’s of the Taj. I think I get forwarded a batch each year. My parents were there last September (19th 03). My father had been there before some 24 years back but this was the first time they went as a couple and my father had shot these photos. Actually it was the first time my parents travelled as a couple after my birth and I'd teased them that it was their second honeymoon.

The irony is my father never saw the beauty of his snaps as we developed the photos only after his death less than 20 days from his return from Kasi.

Note : Anyone who wishes to reuse this image - please trackback to my blog and drop me a mail.

A crater on Mars named after.......

Bentong - the town made infamous by the once feared and hunted Malaysian outlaw Bentong Kali. Well read about it on Sashiweb - who was on a quest to explain the mafia like glory of those days.

It was the early 90s and and all out search and kill warrant had been given to catch the most notorious Malaysian Gangster. P. Kalimuthu alias Bentong Kali (BK), implicated in 17 murders terrorized the capital through violence, extortion and heroin smuggling made headlines when he challenged the police to arrest him. Let’s cut the long story of his escapades - after a long operation (though no where as long as Veerapan) he was killed in a police shootout in June 1993. Don’t bother googling for more info - there isn’t much.

Well those were fun time to read the papers - it isn't everyday you get James Bond like true account stories. Everyone was playing the guess me game of hide and seek - it was a daily BK seen here seen there - eyewitness accounts. A lot of areas were put under red alert, and it was unwise for Indian youths to be travelling in those areas after 11pm. One such place was my small town - a relative visiting youth unaware of the ban was taken for questioning and only released after the whole family congregated to the station at that late hour. The police had much to be concerned since he was spotted having breakfast at one of the Chinese restaurants in my town during the height of the saga.

Anyway RIP BK. It was hilarious to read that a crater on Mars was of all things named after his hometown - Bentong. There’s another crater named after Sibu - a relatively tame town compared to ahem Bentong. Check the list, as there’s a few craters named after a few towns in India. The only one I recognised was Poona.


Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Felt Hats and Chic style - a morning of Retro



My yearly early morning ritual has another plus point - morning TV. That means I get to watch Sun TV’s Vanakam Thamizhagam. Now we don’t get Sun Tv directly but our cable TV provider Astro’s Thamizh channel Vaanavil, shows selected programs mostly jumbled up and delayed showings. So Sunday morning instead of the normal 10 min kutcheri slot, there was a Deepavali Special interview with Trisha. The more I watch Trisha in an interview the more fond I grow of her coz she is as normal, ordinary as you and me - and that makes her extraordinary.

Okay enough of Vaanavil. I got a long overdue dose of MTV, Channel V and Hitz.TV (Malaysian Music Channel). And were they rocking, each time one good song ended, there was another on the other channel.

First up was a Frank Sinatra/ Ratpunk styled song by Westlife, SMILE. Now I’m not a Westlife fan, but SMILE did just that - made me smile. There’s been a string of retro music comeback’s especially from the era of Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, the Ratpack and chic style - the 50s. I think the trend started with the 03 hit Hey Ya from Outkast with its 60s inspired video.

Then there was Prince’s Musicology - and what a song , the video is even better. Makes you want to get all ritzy and dressed up and storm the dance floor in retro style of the 50’s - where fashion was stylish and people dressed up to go out, music danceable and lyrics comprehensible. Really standing out in the video is the kid - with his innocent smile and sway dance moves.

And then there was the infectious - 50’s inspired hit Tilt Ya Head Back a collaboration by Nelly and Christina Aguilera. Nelly innitially contacted Britney Spears for a collaboration only to be rejected on the grounds - he wasn’t her style. That instigated the birth of this hit. Lol she must be hitting her head somewhere now.

Next up was cutesy-piano-conjoined James Cullum with Everlasting Love for the Bridget Jones Diary 2 movie. It was - sweet from the first note. I like Renee Zellwenger’s acting but she has some low esteem issues. Each time after she shoots for Bridget Jones, she turns into a living skeleton, thinner and thinner. Creepy.


Monday, December 20, 2004

Hitz.TV's Blast Off

Yesterday the Hitz.TV's Blast Off kicked off on Hitz.TV and they sure picked impressive bands. 20 bands from 150 bands were selected to battle it out at the O*range Club. The hosts were just ok nothing interesting or worth mentioning quite static though.

First Group up was Poseidon with Switchfoot’s Meant To Live. The group had impressive instrumental skills. Love the drummer Kanna’s sense of rhythm. Lead guitarist Richard, just seduced those strings but if you saw him down the street you’ll never believe the guitar skills the guy has he looks that geekyly bookish. Jakeman the producer of AMP Radio Networks agreed with me - (well me at home he last Fridayla). The other 2 guitarist were also good but Richard just shone. Vocalist was good but needs fine tuning.

Next up was Admonition made of JP, Hani, Def, Vick singing Encore by Linkin Park & Jay-Z. I like Hani’s vocals but she stops short of certain hitting high notes. I found Vicks rapping good but the judges felt they couldn’t understand his rapping clearly.

3rd group up were SuperFriends singing Bringing Me To Life. Now the lead singer Nadia had a brilliant voice that sounded exactly like the lead singer of Evanesance. Her starting was awesome and then she slowed down. Her rhythm is slightly off. The male vocalist just got drowned under her and the instruments didn’t shine as much.

KL G Squad was the fourth on the list with Kanya West’s All Falls Down. I found it confusing as the mixing of the female vocalist into their rapping was too often and not at the appropriate points. Quite drone like. Concept 83’s rapping was the only one that stood out.

Well was the best kept for the last? Nope. Beat the system came in with rap rock singing I Feel So Alive by POD. Now their instrumental skills were sensational - both the guitarist and drummer Gerald gelled well and rocked the stage. But ouch my ears hurt each time both the vocalist tried to reach high notes but their mid range was good, voice and all. Classic case of wrong song picking they could have done a much more better job.

Overall was quite entertaining and a real eye opener to the type of quality bands and players available in Malaysia. I found the judges being extremely nice, more on the note of encouraging the bands then putting them down on all their imperfections. Out of the 5 groups my vote goes to Poseidon.

Time After Time

1983
Written by Cyndi Lauper and Rob Hyman
Sung by Cyndi Lauper


Lying in my bed i hear the clock tick,
and think of you
caught up in circles confusion - is nothing new
Flashback - warm nights -
almost left behindsuitcases of memories,
time after -

Sometimes you picture me -
I'm walking to far ahead you're calling to me,
I can't hearwhat you've said -
Then you say - go slow -
I fall behind -
the second hand unwinds

Chorus
If you're lost you can look - and you will find me
time after timeIf you fall I will catch you - I'll be waiting
time after time

After my picture fades a darkness has
turned to gray
watching through windows - you're wondering if I'm O.K.
secrets stolen from deep inside
the drum beats out of time -
ChorusIf you're lost...You said go slow -
I fall behind
the second hand unwinds -

Chorus
If you're lost......
time after time
time after time
time after time
time after time


I have loved this song for ages. Despite it being released when I was a toddler running around pulling down things and oh yeah drinking a bowl or two of soap water, this song stuck to me like glue and sounds as fresh as it did the first time I heard it years after it’s release.

Hobbes is that you?


(pic : Metaphilm)


Now Fight Club was one of those must watch movie’s but did the characters appear familiar but you can’t seem to place what it is?

Well someone did. Read it here.

Name

Hehehehe this is hillarious :))))))))

Physio was an intelligent boy. After doing a physiotherapy course abroad for 3 years, he returned home and set up a clinic in his hometown. He asked a designer to make a new name plate to be hung on the wall outside the clinic.

The next morning, when he went to his clinic, he was pleased to find that the name plate was already put up. But he was greatly annoyed by the wordings on the plate:TUKANG URUT.

He went to the designer and took him to task. "How can you insult my profession? 'Tukang Urut' means masseur in Malay.

I am a physiotherapist and not a masseur! Make sure you change the name right now! And see that the word is spelt correctly!" Physio said angrily.The designer apologized and promised to make the change immediately.

Without further delay, he proceed to change the name but found that the word "physiotherapist' was too long. So he broke it up into three words to make it easier to read.

The next morning, Physio hit the roof when he saw the new name. On the name plate were written : PHYSIO THE RAPIST


Friday, December 17, 2004

Chemman Chaalai - Pongal Opening



This one photo has enthralled me to part with my RM10.


I had been hearing about this movie for some time now. A Malaysian Indian movie revolving on a girl named Shantha, her family and her dreams. It’s a first of many for the Malaysian Film Industry. Here’s the list :

First Malaysian Thamizh Film scheduled to be screened in Malaysian Theaters.

First Malaysian Thamizh Film at the Rotterdam Film Festival.

First Malaysian Thamizh Film to Premier at the 48th San Francisco International Film Festival.


It’s being directed by Deepak Kumaran Menon, a familiar name in the movie circuits here. Some of his English films have debuted in various film festivals. Find out more about him here. The uniqueness about this movie is the crew is a typical Malaysian feel - diverse so are the cast. Set in the rural rubber estates, the stills have been generating a lot of curiosity. Will spend my RM10 at GSC Theaters - scouts honour :)

Chemman Chaalai - A Film of Self Discovery - A Film of Hope

Blue or Red Pill? 8 minutes


Google + Amazon = EPIC 2014 - making no sense am I.

Go HERE and watch your jaw drop.

Via Screenshots Via Joi Ito via Jessica.


Thursday, December 16, 2004

The Duel of the Giants

This post on Sudhir's blog inspired this post you’re reading now. What an ad!! See it to be awed. The first thing any Coke lover around the world arriving in India will realise is - Pepsi tastes better. Looks like all the arrivals and revelation has produced the Pepsi Edge - 50% less sweet.

Now if the new drink taste’s like Pepsi in India - that would mean Pepsi’s finally hit a Century and will be giving the Coke biggies a run for their money. Now the new Pepsi Edge add looks ok but its the previous mega Stars ad that created vavoom what not with the use of the bravery inducing Queen's "We Will Rock You" as its theme. Check out the Summer Job Coke ad and best of all view the verdict of Coca Cola vs Pepsi.

Update : In my rush to post this before leaving yesterday I missed out a link, which was gratefully pointed out by Sudhir.

There’s something about .......



(pic: The Star)


...Batik. The sensuous Malay art on cloth has been getting a revive thanks to Datin Paduka Seri Endon, our Prime Minister's wife. The tie dye and wax art is making a comeback as it is given a modern touch. I’ve always loved the Batik.

Catch a glimpse of more at The Star’s Gallery and read about the Piala Seri Endon here.

SMS now in Thamizh*!!!

......but you’d have to go to Singapore to do that. Do they have this in India? Well check my favourite Malaysian daily The Star for more info. Thamizhukku Amuthendra Peyear**.....


Thamizh* - a southern indian language
Thamizhukku Amuthendra Peyear** -Thamizh is likened as honey - sweet to the ears

Bewitching December

December brings with it a multitude of memories. Cold, chilly, India, music season, trains, holidays, Christmas, auto's, party time, festive decorations, puffy clouds, my birthday and a million others, instant luscious rain, kolam's*, torchlight read books, gifts, sarees, roses, countdown movies, fireworks and revelry but most of all Margazhi *.

I hate waking early, but the arrival of Margazhi signals wee hours of the morning visits to the temple - and I'm up without a fuss. Margazhi in Malaysia is near home, a short drive to my favourite temple, sing the Thirupalli Ezhuchi*, draw my kolams while occasionally threatening/ bribing the skies if there's an indication of rain, kannu adikuraning* a kid or two engrossed in my flour covered hand, rushing to take arathi* after the abhishegam with hands still covered in flour, singing the Thiruvembavai* right from the back of the temple and all the prasadam* - a different one each day. Margazhi's the one time everyone at my temple prays, sings or is doing something for the temple and not yakking away and the peace that vibrates from the temple makes the waking up priceless. Even the children as young as 5 obediently sit around what not with my crawling around the floor and flour as entertainment - and the best part by the end of the month everyone's memorised the songs - even the 5 year old.

Margazhi in Chennai was at first uncertain, we had been unavailable to find a house and we were stuck in a hotel too far (from my fathers point that is) from any temple the nearest being Kabali. Father wasn't prepared to let us go if it was from the hotel and only 3 days were left before Margazhi. The gods must have been smiling we found one that day - Ram Flats at Besant Avenue minutes away from Adayar Ananda Padmanabar Temple. So in Chennai Margazhi was 4 am chilly walks on a deserted road, prayers and alangaram*, bhajan* by the tata's* while we sat in one corner singing the Thirupalli Ezhuchi and Thiruvembavai followed by a visit to the Drive in Ganesha (seriously thats what they called him). I had no chance of drawing kolams as we were new and didn't know if it was allowed. Gradually we got to know the mami's* and that followed engeh atthuku kandipa varuhnum***. What a December it was.

My obsession with December led to someone telling me there was a December poo* which bloomed only in December. Was I excited, my month had a flower, so there went my imagination skyhigh on how beautiful and exquisite my flower looked - and then I saw the December poo - boy was I disappointed. If I find the photo I'll post it up.

Margazhi was also the time I was first taught to draw the kolam by one akka* some 14 years back. So December and me have bitter sweet fond memories - more than always. Margazhi started today and what else flour hands it is!




This is a creation of mine from my website the Vortex of Kolams.

* these are the Thamizh* words used in the post

Thamizh - a southern indian language
kolam's - indian floor art decoration
Margazhi - Indian month that comes between Mid December and January
Thirupalli Ezhuchi - a set of songs sung by the hindu saint Manickavasagar
Thiruvembavai - a set of songs sung by the hindu saint Manickavasagar
kannu adikuraning - squinting your eye's
arathi - the light prayer that signifies end of a prayer
alangaram - decoration
bhajan - set of devotional songs
tata's - grandpa
mami's - aunty
poo - flower
akka - respectful name for a women older than oneself
engeh atthuku kandipa varuhnum*** - you must come to our house

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Connecting Among Clouds

(pic: Sinteur)



(pic: Yahoo!News)

(pic: CNN)

The country of romance decided to take the phrase floating on clouds literally what not with their new world’s highest bridge Millau Viaduct. Their romance with metal has created a breathtaking steel-and-concrete bridge majestically supported with seven pillars -- the tallest measuring 340 meters (1,122 feet), making it 16 meters (53 feet) taller than the Eiffel Tower. Click here to find out more about the bridge in the sky.


Monday, December 13, 2004

The Tears Came Today......


Pic : T.S. Nagarajan




Sunday morning at class, a call came in for teacher. As usual we had stopped playing, so that enough silence was around for the conversation to take place, that’s when we heard ....She passed away!!! Few seconds later we found out MS Subbulakshmi was no more. What a shock, it was just the other day I had read her condition had stabilised. What a loss to the world, an angel had gone. I hadn’t wanted to blog but I needed to express my sorrow somewhere. I didn't help that as usual I was emotionally incapable of a tear not even one or maybe it was just the state of euphoria I had been in for the past few weeks. Why I wanted to blog was the many misses I had in life in meeting her. Despite being in Chennai 2 during the music season in 94 and 95, I didn't get the opportunity to go for concerts as I was merely 15 living in a foreign country where we were there for my fathers operation amidst people who had no love for Carnatic music. I’d scan The Hindu everyday and relish joy from just reading about the concerts.

By the time I went back to Chennai in 2002 just for the season, Ms amma was no longer performing, what a loss but I was determined to meet her. April 2003, a the sweetest of nectar was dangled at me - a chance to meet MS, a voice promised. I begged many a times when can we go but the lady who had dangled the nectar was merely dangling to watch me suffer as she took another to see MS amma just 3 days after I left. I was heart broken when I was told only to realise later that the offer was just a tease.

Last night it was not sleep that came to me but a small poem at 3 in the morning. This is but my humble offering to the divine voice of Carnatic music.

Isaiyin Perohli,
Naadhathin Nayagi,
Shruthiyin Arasi,
Kurai Onrum ilhai yehndraiyeh,
Un chandira ohli mughathai kaana,
Intha imaigalukku yehnna kurai........

Un muuchin uyirnaadhiyil amarntha isai thudippu
Un maraivukku pinnum endrum
Kaalangal kadhanthu intha bhoomiyil isai mazhaiyai nadanamaadhum


And today as I scan the headlines for a glimpse of amma .... the tears came........



Tuesday, December 07, 2004

There's no blog

There’s no blog