Monday, January 31, 2005
"There is now nothing in the law to stop women from being sent into the sex industry," said Merchthild Garweg, a lawyer from Hamburg who specialises in such cases.
"The new regulations say that working in the sex industry is not immoral any more, and so jobs cannot be turned down without a risk to benefits."
Germany just got thrown into my hate books.
Typhoid?? Why am I excited a Typhoid’s half Malaysian??? Not the outbreak but from the movie Elektra. The hot actress Natassia Malthe or also known as Lina Teal is part-Malaysian, part-Norwegian.
Now why can’t we have gorgeous women like her representing Malaysia at the Ms World and Ms Universe contests. Why do we end up with not only so-so gals but half bakes as well.
Thankfully movie prices don’t increase on the said day. Though try having a peaceful Mamak meal at the Bangsar stall’s. Some irritating gal would be pushing a stalk of nearly dead looking rose into your face/ friends/ bf’s/ gf’s for a price of RM 10 - 15 every 5 sec. What crap????
It also speaks volumes of your blokes financial savvyness. Who would in their frinkin mind buy something worth RM 0.70 for RM 12???? And if you drove to Cameron Highlands at any other time, you’d be able to buy a bundle for RM 1.
If you really need a day to prove your love, then I think you’re relationship is screwed. But then Rip Off day is actually, the time gals compete whose bloke was stupider and guys have no choice but to succumb or be scorned.
I’d rather get roses and gifts the year round that would cost less than it does on Rip-Off-Day. Hehehe of course there was a catch :p
For a Men’s Guide to scrooge check Michaelooi’s post and for the married womens guide read Mumsgather.
All that drilling must be the reason I smile, thank and say please to anyone who serves me. Be it the restaurant waiter, Mamak stall owner, security guards or parking attendants. Just because I’m paying for the service, doesn't give me the right to treat them like dirt. Cause of this, I am well liked by the workers in restaurants and stalls I frequent and by the security and parking attendants at my office and it has also saved me a few times.
At my previous job, I used to park in this paid parking lot in a commercialised area prone to thieves. One day I had forgotten to lock my car and came back to find nothing touched after 10 hours. The parking attendants had kept an eye on my car, all for the daily hello’s and smiles.
My colleagues are often surprised by the amount of people who stop me to say hi whenever I'm down for lunch or why the aunty bills me less than their bills. I also practice raising my hand in thanks whenever someone gives me way when I drive. I hate it when I give way and the person just ignores me and drives off, mostly these are women. I might sound like a traitor to my own kind, but lets face it most women are either sloppy or RUDE drivers. It’s come to a point that I refuse to give way to women drivers.
What prompted this post. This article. Do read it and do smile. :))))
Sunday, January 30, 2005
Yesterday it centered on the recent Tsunami. How are the people faring now in Sri Lanka and Aceh and also highlight Malaysian personals and volunteers working in the disaster area. One of the things that stuck to me was Muttara, one of the badly hit Sri Lanka coastal village was still engulfed in darkness. The reporter covering the visit had been there in 2002 and clearly was shocked by the change of what he had seen then. They showed the old market shots and what was left on that very spot now.
It's just very sad.
Unfortunately I never got the time to watch the other bands performances so can't vouch on the other groups. For now shall root for POSEIDON. They'd be a band worth to watch in the Finals. For more info check out the new BLASTOFF website.
Saturday, January 29, 2005
And then it was Premi, Achi, Kaiyalavu Manasu, Onjal, the batch of Marma Desam serials starting from Vidatha Karupu and finally Chitti. If you notice most of them are by K Balachander. Read this Dinakaran interview on him, very interesting. However I have never managed to watch any of this serials fully, I would have missed a few episodes of it and rely on people to tell me what happened. I have never declined a class or an outing, coz of a serial.
Anyway yesterday as I was obediently sitting and jotting down notes at my teachers place, I heard the familiar sound of the title song of Annamalai, marking its end. What tickled me was the accompanying voice. My teachers Indonesian maid was singing the song as well. Here was a non Tamil speaking Malay maid singing a Tamil song from a serial. My curiosity got the best of me and I went up to ask her.
She tells me she loves these serials, even if she doesn’t understand the language but she somehow understands the story and knows the characters name. She starts telling me stories from home in thick Indonesian Malay which is quite different from the Malay we speak in Malaysia. She tells me she has 14 siblings and she's the 4th and how she misses home. She likes my teachers family but feels like an outsider. Loves all those Indian accessories but doesn’t feel comfortable wearing it here since she lives in someone's house. Sad part is she's leaving in February. She’s a wonderful maid and my teacher’s family are wonderful employers, but she's homesick and only 19. Being a maid in a rich household bore’s her.
Would you believe I was stuck in a traffic jam at 10.30 pm yesterday? That's what you get when the road leading home is near the Selangor Turf Club and most Friday's a crawl ensues as they close the gates to the race course. The good part was I had a Choc Hot Fudge Sundae for company from the Mcd’s Drive In. The Indian boy at the counter was one of the most courteous I had met. So all in all I was in a good mood to just move along with the crawl and not jump queue.
That’s when I saw the orange moon. Yep, yesterday we had an orange moon and it was precisely perched above the beautiful Palace of the Golden Horses hotel. It was an extremely beautiful sight and I had my camera with me, but as usual you’ll have to wait for it. ROFL
Hey, how come Mcd’s India has so much variety, and vege somemore. :((
Friday, January 28, 2005
(pic : Dirtbike)
I got a new bike. Not a motorbike but a mountain bike. Oh yeah my eyes are gleaming from the new set of wheels. Its got Shimano breaks and gear and the frame is from Rocky. Hey I know my bike, mambo jumbo ok. I’ve been cycling since I was a toddler, then went to more serious stuff as I got a BMX and later when the mountain bikes were first introduced, got my trustee Raleigh.
But I haven’t been cycling for years. Blame it on my mom. The last I cycled was at 19 when my mom quietly gave away my Raleigh to a cousin, as I was preoccupied with my then new set of wheels - a Honda motorcycle. Alright alright it was just a 1998 C-70 but I had loads of fun on it racing the streets of UPM during my univ days and it is the worlds most popular bike design. Everyones had one. My C70 used to be white plastic covers with a beautiful midnight blue body. Ok enough of my motorbike, its the cycle I want to talk about. Prior to my motoring days at the univ, I used to cycle. Till date have cycled all over my town, and I’ve got quite a nice town with beautiful boulevards. Though often overzealous municipal staff, cut down the branches of those beautiful trees in the middle of blazing summer. You’d assume they had brains enough to keep the shade around for a cooler summer. But then we are talking about municipals, duh.
(pic : Dirtbike)
So now that I’ve finally gotten sick of the car (have been driving for more than 8 years), the mountain bike is bringing back flooded memories of childhood fun. It’s got this new set of brakes, which my old Raleigh never had, it might just be old but new to me. New handle covers, I like the sponge ones and detest the rubber ones.
Took it for a spin - the wind in my tracks was just mighty fine. :p
Yes my dear reader, nomenclature is the first nail in a coffin ofneglect and hormonal pandemonium. In a kinder world they would just name the poor southern male child and throw him off the balcony. "Yes appa we have named him Goundamani..." THUD. Life would have been less kinder to him anyway.
Alas dear friends we are not just meant to set the nights on fire.We are just not built to be "The Ladies Man". The black man has hip hop, the white man has rock, the southie guy only has idlis and tomato rasam or an NRI account in South Indian Bank Ernakulam Branch. Alas as our destiny was determined in one fell swoop by our nomenclature, so will our future be. A nice arranged little love story. But the agony of course does not end there. On the first night, as the stud sits on his bed finally within touching distance and whispers his sweet desires into her delectable ear, she blushes, turns around and whispers back "But amma has said only on second saturdays..."
Thursday, January 27, 2005
My blog looks like it was attached by Thaipusam, but then love the festival so don’t mind the attack. :p Yesterday morning the Chariot made its way back from Batu Caves and stopped at the Jalan Ipoh Chettiar Temple. As dusk fell the Chariot once again restarted its journey through KL’s Little India (Masjid India) and reached its home Jalan Bandar Sri Maha Mariamman Temple.
Now normally I’d wait at Masjid India and walk up to Lebuh Ampang and then return home. This time decided I’d wait at the temple and watch Muruga’s last pooja after his long journey. So we’d gone about 12.30am, since normally we’d wait at Lebuh Ampang from 11pm and that’s what we did....wait. Somehow this year a lot of devotees had turned out to do the archanai (prayer) at the chariot, more than usual. I seriously think this sudden outpour of devotion has something to do with the Tsunami, everyone’s out in full force. Every 10 minutes I’d be running out to see if it was anywhere near. Nay chariot had its own plans.
So one of the entertainment's during my wait was a group of transvestite. I was seriously amazed, they were gorgeous and clad in full silk sarees, hands full of bangles, all kinds of jewellery and hair laden with flowers. I don’t think I could ever compete with them.
Chariot arrives around 2.15am and the rest will explain when the photos are ready. Yep took more photos and oh yeah the photo I was talking about in this post, turned out beautiful. Shall post it soon.... I hope.
Now Muruga can rest and we..... we’ll wait for the next beat of drums and twirl of feathers.
This kavadi’s look somewhat like the one I was describing in my Vel!Vel! post but the one I saw was more beautiful. :p
The Penang Chariots procession.
This website has a variety of photos from Thaipusam at Batu Caves.
The Penang ThaipusamBatu Caves Thaipusam - Very Cute photos.
STTemple’s website has a nice write up on Thaipusam
Another website with a Thaipusam experience at Batu Caves.
Wednesday, January 26, 2005
(pic : NST)
Yesterday evening went through my yearly ritual – Thaipusam at Batu Caves. It normally takes about 40 mins to get there from where I stay. With Thaipusam traffic and all, I took just an hour. :p I’m mighty proud of it, thanks to my brand of driving. Ahem anyone want lessons? Precisely at the opposite of the foothill, I got my parking. This is another amazement since it’s that hard to find parking during Thaipusam. Come onla about 3 - 400,000 people were there, so getting one as immediately as arriving at the spot, now that’s luck :p
Though I think one guy got pissed since the ‘parking attendent’ decided he’d give me the spot. ‘Parking attendents’ mushroom out of nowhere every year during Thaipusam, from RM 3 of this mysterious emergence it’s now mushroomed to RM10 but I ain’t complaining. I like the comfort of parking just a few miles away from the hill.
The place was packed with human traffic both public and police and most importantly Kavadi’s, and there was the hill, majesticly lit with throngs of people and kavadis climbing its 272 steps to the cave temple. Theres a new Murugan statue being built as tall as the 272 steps, should be another beautiful sight once its ready.
We got sandwhiched between 7 huge kavadis on the steps, but managed to move past them. Had a beautiful darshan of Lord Muruga. Managed to get prayers that at his feet, then from outside. The Muruga at Batu Caves is a self-formed limestone Vel found in the 18th century. Inside the caves you can find another set off steps that leads to a newly built inner temple with a view of the sky. Its an extremly beautiful and peaceful experience.
Spent some time just sitting there watching the skies and the walking devotees. As we got down, the 7 kavadis that we had earlier been sandwhiched between had just arrived and were gearing up to do their last dance in front of the altar. So we just sat at the stairs and watched the spectacle.
(pic : NST)
One of the kavadis was just truly spectacular. It had the most elaborate decoration. A row of beautifully arranged fresh garlands adorned a background of peacock feathers. And as he danced to the beat of the drums, each feather had its own dance majically woven into the swirl.
We had first class seats to 7 kavadis spectacular performance before they stopped to remove the piercings. After that we took the steps down, leisurely enjoying the birds eye view of the crowds and nearby landscapes, and the winding traffic on the highway.
As always the stores on the grounds were actively selling their wares, food and things. We had really good food at this stall near Malaysian actor Sathia’s stall. Came out to find small screen South Indian actor of Chiti fame, Yogi (this is his characters name, I have no idea whats his real name) standing at Actor Sathia’s stall. Lol it was quite a hillarious sight, he’s quite tall (but I’ve got taller friends :p) and Sathia is shorter than me and he hugs Yogi. Lol he only reached Yogi’s armpit.
All in all had a wonderful Thaipusam as always, nice darshan, beautiful kavadis, meet friends and of course, the wonderful atmosphere. Now can’t wait for the next :p
Tuesday, January 25, 2005
The thing is, we’re on the 19th floor. That’s 19x2x10 winding steps to come down. All that twisting and sun, got everyone slightly dizzy. Only consolation from me, I had flat sandals on. :))))
Here’s the thing that came to me while descending 380 steps. The rate we were going in, if there was a real fire we’d have another WTC case of stuck in the stairs. Of all things to think of huh? Well didn’t I say I have a vivid imagination? :p
Unfortunately we weren’t the only ones involved, the doven of DHL, USP, SKYNET and office boys that visit the 21 storey building had to lug down their letters. One guy had this shocked expression as he came out of the 14th floors, eh so high must climb down huh? Told him I’ve been climbing down from the 19th you know. Aiyo was the only word he said after that.
Here’s the annoying part, we reached the 6th floor where the building administrators office is, and the were just getting out. So much for safety first, their own staff doesn’t practice it. Came out of the exit into the bright sun, and nearly got run down by a whizzing firetruck. Some fireman were already moving into the Fireman lift. Sad no cute fireman. I have a thing for men in uniform.:p
Another thing that irked me was, the stupid floor marshal was forcing this disabled man down the stairs before someone told them oi let him use the fire lift and they went ohhh yeah.
Digital cam owners were busy clicking away and I was taken back into memory. People holding placards indicating the floor number, looked just like sports day at school. 2 staff were saved from the ‘burning floor’ (smoke courtesy those stage fake smog machines) using a crane. Another 2 fireman gave us some much needed entertainment by walking on the sills of the 6th floor, shooting water from their water hoses into the open area not the building. An ambulance making a cheap show of taking the ‘injured victims’ to the hospital. Our designated area was sealed of by the police. There was even a Chinapress reporter busy snapping photos. All in all entertainment and time away from work on a hot breezeless day.
The irony of it is when we really had a fire some months back, the fire alarm didn’t ring. It only rang after people who were alerted by, colleagues returning for a late lunch started running down and after the police and fireman arrived. Inside news from the guards, I was told once, the moment he detected the fire, he called the fireman first and only then informed the building manager. Best part the restaurant that was on fire, didn’t bother informing their lunch patrons until we called up the boss who was having lunch there and they asked the manager. So much for saving lives, the restaurant was only worried they’d lose business.
I never quite figured out why the sexual urges of men and women differ so much.And I never figured out the whole Venus and Mars thing. I have never figured out why men think with their head and women think with their heart. I have never figured out why the sexual desire gene gets thrown into a state of turmoil, whenit hears the words "I do".
FOR EXAMPLE: One evening last week, my wife and Iwere getting into bed. Well, the passion starts to heat up, and she eventuallysays "I don't feel like it, I just want you to hold me." I said "WHAT???!!! Whatwas that?!" So she says the words that every husband on the planet dreads tohear... "You're just not in touch with my emotional needs as a woman enough for me to satisfy your physical needs as a man." She responded to my puzzled look by saying, "Can't you just love me for who I am and not what I do for you in thebedroom?" Realizing that nothing was going to happen that night I went tosleep.
The very next day I opted to take theday off work to spend time with her. We went out to a nice lunch and then went shopping at a big, big department store. I walked around with her while she tried on several different very expensive outfits. She couldn't decide which one to take so I told her we'll just buy them all. She wanted new shoes tocompliment her new clothes, so I said lets get a pair for each outfit. We wentto the jewellery department where she picked out a pair of diamond earrings. Let me tell you, she was so excited. She must have thought I was one wave shortof a shipwreck. I started to think she was testing me because she asked for a tennis bracelet when she doesn't even know how to play tennis. I think I threw her for a loop when I said, "That's fine, honey." She was almost nearing sexual satisfaction from all of the excitement.
Smiling with excited anticipation shefinally said, "I think this is all dear, lets go to the cashier."
I could hardly contain myself when I blurted out, "No honey, I don't feel like it." Her face just went completely blank as her jaw dropped with abaffled "WHAT??!!!" I then said "Really honey! I just want you to HOLD this stuff for a while. You're just not in touch with my financial needs as a man enough for me to satisfy your shopping needs as a woman." And just when she had this look like she was going to kill me I added, "Why can't you just love me for who I am and not for the things I buy you?" Apparently I won't be having sex again until sometime after pigs fly over a frozen hell.
100 year old’s 40th procession wait.
Chariot in radiance as it journeys in the dark.
"We too celebrate Thaipusam back home but it only attracts some 100 devotees and visitors unlike here where the celebration is ushered on such a huge scale," she said.
Right up to the gates of the temple.
Kavadi’s at Thaipusam 2005 in Singapore
(pic : STTemple)
Here’s a website posting live updates and images of the Thaipusam at Chettiars’ Temple (Sri Thendayuthapani Temple – STT) in Singapore.
Monday, January 24, 2005
(pic : SE Asia)
Why? Have had less than 2 hours of sleep and had lunch and still haven’t fallen head first on to the table. So of course I’m amazed. Gone to drop of my mom at the walk off and see the chariot before it left KL Maha Mariamman Temple. Nope didn’t walk, haven’t since I joined this company since, we have a no-taking-extra-leave caveat till March. :(( yeah bummer.
I’ve realised one thing, I’ve been spreading my brand of driving style to a number of people. It’s called the Arjunan style. The aim is to reach the destination in the fastest time without colliding with anyone, getting distracted or slowed down by some moron driver who left his brains at home or work immediately when the clock announces rush hour. I’m capable of whizzing in and out of traffic without actually realising there was an accident (see very un Malaysian) since I’m always late in the mornings. Another thing I run traffic lights after a certain hour say 11pm. There I was waiting for the car form the other side to leave, when a Kancil filled with some ladies my mom knew stopped next to me. I signed hi, and sped off at the red light. Was shocked to see the ladies had followed me and were trying their best to keep up with my speed. (Hey empty road n that stretch has no cameras :p). I’m a bad influence ;p
Anyway after years of driving in KL, and to the chariot procession start, I’m always prepared for unexpected road closures. I know enough different roads to take in case of police road closure. As expected there was one and while everyone decided to park there itself, I quietly drove of and ended up at Petaling Street, just next to the Temple’s road. Quiet and calm it was a far cry from its day time bustle.
(pic : Drexel)
The chariot was as beautiful as ever. In all my years of going for the procession, hadn’t seen such a big crowd. The usual place I’d wait, near the 7-Eleven, was packed to the brim and I ended up being squashed, though thankfully my toes survived. Had a good darshan of Lord Muruga, handsome as always gleaming in the moon’s beams.
Since my camera had film left in it, (Yes I confess, don’t have a digi cam yet.....you can stop gasping now), I brought it along and was snapping away. Most of the shots I had to extend my hand up to shoot since I got stuck behind a tall "lamp post". So I’m hoping and crossing fingers and toes (for added luck) that It’ll turn out right. Especially the last shot. There was a beautiful moon on a clear sky, just peeking out of a building’s side and the chariot right below it. Use those dormant creative brain cells to imagine, while I pray my photos turn out right.
(pic : Romanticmovies)
Caught the late night screening of Elektra at GSC Midvalley. My favourite cinema for its convenience, bright lit parking and accessibility and oh love GSC caramel popcorns. :p
Well I liked the movie my friend didn’t find it exciting enough. I think it had to do with the fact that we felt Jessica Alba would have been a hotter more emotion filled Elektra then Jennifer Garner and no no enhanced assets aka Lara Croft and as always she was emotionless. Didn’t help when Natassia Malthe who played Typhoid Mary was oozing sexiness pushing Garner to oblivion whenever she appeared on screen.
Garner shines maximum in her introductory killing scene. Very chic. Another shiner or rather cutesy was Goran Visnjic the sexy Dr. Luka Kovac of ER.
(pic : Romanticmovies)
The movies ok no boring lull and the mystic and sparring will keep you interested though don’t expect too much - its a short movie, just enough action. So a big no if you’re going to catch it to quench your thirst for kicks and punches.
Oh yeah they took the phrase "Kiss of Death" - literally.
And the next time you kiss or want to kiss someone and someone says sorry say - Yeah I hated it. Cool :p
Here’s an apt review on how I felt the movie was.
Or If you want a collection of reviews take a pick.
Friday, January 21, 2005
(pic : Leon)
The thing about Thaipusam is throughout the 3 days, everyone in KL/ Selangor congregates there. Young, old, Hindu, Chinese, Malay, foreigner and beggars. Everyone is there.
So it normally turns into a -
"Aisehman so long since I saw you. Come Teh Tarik satu"
Translated from Manglish (Malaysian English) it means -
"Oh what a surprise I haven’t seen you for such a long time. Care to join me for a cup of tea?"
So similarly I go through the same. Doesn’t help when I know a lot of people and another whole bunch knows me through my dad.
I was 17 when I first when for Thaipusam with my friends. 10 mins after stepping into the crowded place I meet one of the volunteers who happened to be my fathers friend. We were travelling in a group of 10 boys and 5 gals. First thing he asks me is what are you doing here. As I explain he gives the 10 boys the 3rd degree, and they step back voluntarily.
Later when I reached home I find out, he gave my dad a call to inform him on my whereabouts. After that every corner I turned I met one of my friends or dad’s till my friends had to ask - oi you know the whole Batu Caves is it? This is why I can never get lost or kidnapped there (touchwood), though I’d wonder who they’d call this year?
What does all this have to do with the topic? Wait I’m getting there. One year I was walking in a crowded Thaipusam ground when suddenly someone calls out to me,
"Hey you’re leaving your boyfriend and going!"
I just stood shocked - "huh??"
Turn back and see an aunty I know smiling at me. Looked down and realised who she was talking about. Ahem my 7 year old *boyfriend* was smiling sheepishly and blushing as a red tomato. People actually stopped in their tracks as its not everyday you hear a mom uh touting her son away. Lol
(pic : Leon)
But who cared, I found instant entertainment. This kid is so adorable, he blushes when he sees me and then hides behind his mom, and then when I move away he runs to look at me. Awwwww :p
Ahhh that my friends is one of the string of under 9 *boyfriends* I have. *ROFL*
Seems like that as 27 days after the tragedy, the news is slowly moving away from the front pages, into smaller special reports and a 2 -3 article coverage.It’s frightening to see the change in reporting, will these affect the donations and make the pledges yesterday’s news?
An article on the stench and resurfacing bodies that remain to be found.
"I am not afraid of it, of ghosts or something," said one searcher, Muzahar, 26, a fisherman who also lost five members of his family. "If a ghost comes to haunt me, I will just ask where his body is so I can pick him up."
This site has an large amount of pictures from tsunami affected areas.
Aerial view of Aceh. How it hit Penang.
Singapore Armed Forces Relief Efforts
Life goes on at least for the tourist at Phuket
Links and Photos courtesy Wave Of Destruction.
A Gallery of photos by Photoduck
I have been reading The Star all my life. I once staged a protest at home when my dad changed our subscription to The Sun (not that its a bad Newspaper) without consulting me. Of course they aren’t the most perfect media but I know I can depend on them for news, from around the World. Shahanaaz Habib recounts her experience in Aceh.
--------It turned out we were right. There were just so many cars, buses, trucks, vans packed with people on the road even at that early hour. But most were heading out of Banda. It was clear there was an exodus out of the city.
As dawn broke and when we were about 40km from the city, we stopped for breakfast. We were served rice, with ground chilli and salt and nothing else. We ate up hungrily, savouring every bit – thinking this might be our last cooked meal for the next few days.
And when we got to Banda Aceh, my heart bled.
Everywhere I walked there seemed to be bodies. Bloated, mud-caked features almost indistinguishable. It smelt but the smell didn’t bother me.
I just thought of the horror these men, women and babies must have gone through being swirled about in the merciless waters. And the indignity of their deaths. It had been three days since the tsunami and thousands of people still lay sprawled in the mud or river, some stuck to a railing or tree – with no one to claim their bodies and carry out the rituals and prayers. It was so sad.
I left Aceh with a chill in my heart. ---------
The Star journalist SIRA HABIBU recounts her harrowing time reporting from around Phuket, Thailand, after the tsunami struck and tells us the regret of a holiday etched on a Malaysian survivor who lost his wife and daughter to the fury in Phuket.
We’re all working so that we can at least get a long Chinese New Year break. Oh yeah it’s just replaced no extra’s and I work in a Chinese company (insert shocked disbelief gasp).
My boss as sweet as he is looks to Japan on working hours. He’d love it if we worked 24/7.
Thursday, January 20, 2005
(pic : TVSmith)
Celebrations of Thaipusam in Kuala Lumpur will start from the wee hours of Monday the 23rd morning and ends in the wee hours of Thursday the 26th. It all starts with the 15km chariot procession of Lord Muruga from Sri Mahamariaman Temple at Jalan Bandar, Kuala Lumpur to Batu Caves.
The early morning sight of the Chariot is welcomed by people of all religion, as the majestic five-tonne silver chariot glides through KL’s streets pulled by two bulls and hundred of devotees. Photographers from around the world continue to be enthralled by the sights and scenes of Thaipusam. Check TV Smith’s Thaipusam showcase.
Though the Chariot leaves from Sri Mahamariaman Temple at Jalan Bandar, Kuala Lumpur, people in KL don’t get a public holiday like their counterparts in Selangor leaving a lot of people in limbo. One of those being me staying in Selangor and working in Kuala Lumpur, I’d have to apply for leave if I wanted a holiday. Yeah I know it’s a bummer.
I’ve been walking behind the chariot for many years now. Each year the number of people walking seems to have ballooned though not all seem to be there for the purpose of prayers, more of a check out the chicks day?
Being involved with the cultural group of the Sri Mahamariaman Temple, I’ve basically had some inside knowledge of what goes on in preparation to the festival. Many people assume that the temple committee plunders the money collected but they fail to take into account the millions that are paid to the Police, the Selangor and Kuala Lumpur Municipal Council, Fire and Water departments.
Collected money is actually counted and accounted for by the devotees on a specific day at the temple premise under high security @ Thirupati style. I’ve actually sat and counted. Exhilarating to have all that money around and exhausting to think how long it takes to count them. So the next time you decide to judge, observe first before you let out words.
(pic: The Star)
Ok Love Letters or Kuih Kapit are this beautiful delicate layered pastry made with flour, sugar, eggs and coconut milk. Sounds simple but it takes an expert to make that oh so perfect and tasty folded fan with intricate designs pastry.
Oh by the way it’s Aidil Adha tomorrow. Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Adha. Sadly I’m working tomorrow while everyone else is on holiday :(((
Now where can I find my Love letters? :p
As I was paying for my food, the cook comes to our table and confronts me all in Tamil.
"Why haven’t you been coming here for lunch. You don’t like the food I cook is it? You haven’t come for lunch since last year?"
I just sat listening in awe and he wasn’t actually giving me the chance to explain.
Then I told him, "Nola nothing like that just haven’t been coming down for lunch".
Well then next time if you don’t eat also never mind, just come down and see us. Awwww so sweet. I’m so touched ;p
I try to stay away from evil deeds but succumb to temptation every once in a while. I'm not quite on my way to hell but I certainly have some explaining to do.
Are you evil? find out at Hilowitz.com
Wednesday, January 19, 2005
But ....but it’s only next week. What but but? This is Malaysia, Sunday itself people started climbing the 272 steps to avoid the human rush, and you’re asking why so fast.
Well I’m talking about the world famous Hindu celebration in Malaysia - Thaipusam next Tuesday. Now Thaipusam is the day lord Muruga received his "vel" or lance from Goddess to vanquish the evil demon, Soorapadam.
(pic : TVSmith)
People constantly wonder why lord Muruga has such a following here in Malaysia, where some states declare a public holiday and many fast and throng to the temples - Batu Caves in Selangor, Thannir Malai in Penang, Johor Bahru and Sungai Petani. The biggest and most popular being at Batu Caves. Hey we even have a Wikipedia page though I’m sure Penang people will object to this. It’s an ongoing battle between the Klang Valleyians (people from the stae of KL and Selangor) and the Penangites. I can’t really comment, since I haven’t been to Penang for Thaipusam since I’d most probably go bonkers if I don't go to Batu Caves. Chennai had me in tears one Thaipusam without Batu Caves.
(pic : TVSmith)
The truth is I seriously don’t know what's his allurement but there is a pull. You’d have to experience it to know. Each year surrounded by immense crowd of devotees, catching that one glimpse of him is enough to give me peace. Then I’m down to watch the kavadi’s, catch a glimpse of old friends and just observe the mix of devotion, laughter and plain happiness.
Jalan Bandar Sri Maha Mariamman Temple committee chairman yesterday issued a warning that commercialised kavadi carrying will not be tolerated and barred from entrance. So those planning to carry the kavadi, observe the rules.
I will be posting a series on Thaipusam from my eyes in the next few days.
So watch out and Vel! Vel! ;p
Tuesday, January 18, 2005
(pic : Anita)
Kribs, Anita, Arun, Suman, Chitra, Nanda, Shravan and Joshi headed out over Ponggal in 3 cars travelling 236 kms to MGR Thittu. Bringing with them cricket and volley equipment, crayons and paper, fishing nets and some well needed laughter for the children and the villagers.
"Where is your home?’ Nanda asked. Arivu flashed a wry smile and said, ‘We are standing on it.’
Jaya told us that that killer wave hit her and tossed her on to the roof of the neighboring house. ‘I don’t know what happened. When I woke up, I was on the roof and my baby was missing. We found her body later.’
After a lot of hesitation, we asked how they plan to move on. ‘We want land. The collector says we cannot stay in MGR Thitu any more. The government says it will build a home provided we get our own land.’ Jaya said.
--------------- Read the rest here.
(pic : Kribs)
Kribs photo’s from the trip can be found here.
Nanda’s photo’s from the trip can be found here.
Anita’s photos and quick update can be found here.
Accidentally as I was exiting into the PWTC carpark I looked up at the ceiling and just stood gaping. The whole ceiling was covered in 8 inches of dust accumulated in years. See I’ve been going there so much but no one really looks at the ceiling - walked out into the carpark and looked up again. The whole carpark ceiling was covered in 8 inch dust and despite my frequent visits there, I had never noticed it. Who looks at the ceilling? That’s when I regretted not having a digi cam. So the next time you’re there look up at the carpark ceiling n dot gape too long something might fall in. :p
I reached home about 6.50pm dreaming about my comfy sofa only to be greeted by a locked door and no extra key. There was one plus point though, it was so windy and pleasant I decided I'd plonk myself on the verandah floor and have a go at a game of Bantumi on my Nokia. Now bantumi is actually the Malaysian folk game - Congkak. Its a Malay game and I found a good explanation on an Indonesia website but it’s the same thing just different pronunciations.
Mom and bro reach home around 7.50 and I had to leave for class at 8pm. Walked in into a dark wormhole - that’s when I’m told we haven't had electricity since morning. Damn! Now I can’t change. Wasn’t going to take the risk of pick a pair of yellow red set and look like a kavadi. At class I don't think I’ve said this many huh’s in one lifetime as I did in a few hours. Came home to a brightly lit home oh was I happy I wasn’t going to have a restless night. Little did I know.
Around 12.50am heard footsteps on my ceiling coming from the attic. At first I thought I was dreaming so rushed out to see my mom standing out as well - and together we heard the footsteps again Called up bro and in between me plonking back to sleep, he arrived with 2 car full of boys to investigate. There definetly had been something since a draft of cold air was travelling through the attic. Both of us were positive it was a human, bro thinks its a cat.
Hummmm anyone knows of cats that wear shoe’s besides Puss-in-boots ?
Monday, January 17, 2005
So decided blogger was a preferred version and have reverted back. Comments are back in place :)
One of the people leading the volunteers at the centre was Datin T.D. Ampikaipakan, a columnist in The Star and consultant on social etiquette. This is one women, who continues to exert that wearing a Saree does not make you less professional or knowledgeable. Something Malaysian Indian women should learn.
Seeing the unscrupulous so called donations coming in, she promised to write on the etiquette of donating in her next column. Keeping up to her word, here’s the column and a must read the next time you have the urge to donate.
Saturday, January 15, 2005
The capital of the Chola rulers, a Tamil dynasty with a recorded history going back to the second century B.C., was a place where silk merchants and grain traders set sail for the Far East, Greece and Egypt, archaeologists say.
But the ancient city now lies under water about three kilometers (two miles) offshore. All that remains are a few temples and the modern town, which consists of about 2,000 fishing families.
Undersea excavations and studies by historians show that Poompuhar grew into a big town during the reign of Karikal Cholan, the second-century Chola king who established trade ties with China, Arabia and the Roman Empire.
The Boxing day tsunami has historians and archaeologists calling for new research into the coastal civilizations of ancient India, and the possible affect of earlier tsunamis
Since the world discovered the massive lost in Aceh, one thing kept playing in my mind. When you look at the satellite images showing the massive destruction, the immense size of the area devastated is horrifying. If it took 5 days to discover Aceh was in ruins, how long will it take for the smaller towns to be discovered and how many more will be discovered dead? Unfortunately my words seem to be true, yesterday I read about Calang. Today there’s Paros. How long can this people go unaided without food or necessities? Hopefully these indications will urge volunteers to go out on search missions seeking for survivors.
--------A village – just outside Banda Aceh – where more than 3,200 people were killed by the Dec 26 tsunamis and earthquake, has not received any help at all in the past 20 days.
The flattened Paros village, just 15 nautical miles from Banda Aceh, was found by the Global Sikhs Aceh Relief team two days ago.
"It is so devastating to find out that just a short distance away from Bandar Aceh there are thousands of bodies lying around and survivors are so disoriented they do not know what has happened to their world.
"They had no means of communication until our team arrived. Our team had to walk 1km from the coastline before it found survivors. So far we have found only 2,800 of them and most are ill.
Global Sikhs Aceh Relief is spearheaded by the Malaysian Sikh Youth and its partners, the US-based United Sikhs, and a group of sailors from Langkawi who called themselves Waves of Mercy.
The Global Sikhs Aceh Relief team found the Paros village as they sailed along the west coast of northern Sumatra. Last Friday, three ships packed with RM5mil worth of foodstuff and medical supplies set sail for Aceh. A control centre has been set at the Malaysian Sikh Youth headquarters to co-ordinate relief efforts. ------
They are in need of funds Those who would like to help can call 03-2283 3713 or donate to Maybank a/c no. 514123-434833, payable to Sikh Naujawan Sabha Malaysia-Tsunami Relief.
On another look at Nagapattinam, India's Sikh community dispatched 110 chefs from northern Punjab state to the tsunami-battered southern coast. "A big army of Sikhs from Punjab have arrived to help the affected people," said local government official Shanta Seela Nair, head of rehabilitation operations in Nagapattinam district, the worst-hit in the Dec 26 tragedy.
"They wanted to set up community kitchens but we told them the food they cook will not be eaten by the local people. Instead, the cooks can be used in other areas," Nair said.
True most Asians, especially in the affected areas are rice eating communities. Once again understand the need before heading out to help but the Sikh communities around the worlds, rise to the occasion is commendable. Thank you for volunteering.
Friday, January 14, 2005
Traffic was at a standstill in many places.
Are you trying to hide something?" asked one reporter while another questioned if it was due to sabotage from disgruntled TNB workers over bonuses and increments; yet another demanded an explanation why TNB’s standby busbar system had also failed when the operational system went down.
"The incident occurred at 12.16pm and 3 hours later, with all the technology, you still don’t know the root cause for the blackout?" asked one reporter bluntly.
Hard at work via laptop and cell on steps.
Airing live over TV1 reporters had a field day questioning the Ministry and TNB on yesterday’s blackout.
Like I wrote earlier the media were fast and everywhere.
Candle Light ....Lunch
Calang was not just destroyed. It vanished
After almost three weeks, only 323 bodies have been found. Before Dec. 26, when the tsunami swept in from both sides of the pretty tropical peninsula that once cradled Calang, 7,300 people lived here. There is no hint of the 5,627 people missing, and the reality is settling in that 8 in 10 people in Calang were whisked clean away.
"It seems impossible," said a student here, Suhardi, 20, still dumbstruck.
The waves left little behind, not people and not houses. There is, in fact, almost nothing left to see. Concrete foundations were stripped bare. There is some rubble, though far less than might be expected given that every home, coffee shop, fish restaurant and mosque was leveled, apart from one rich man's manor, now a two-story skeleton of partial walls and bone-white columns."
All Calang has just disappeared."
Inniya Ponggal Nahl Vazhtukal
Thai Kanavugalai nenavaka
Punnagai Malarathum ;o)
For my none Thamizh speaking visitors, everything written above is wishes for Pongal. It just doesn’t sound as nice to wish Pongal and the Thamizh New Year in English.
Both the Ganesha Kolam below and the Devi decoration image above are my humble creations. Yes Sudhir have to confess am a Kolam freak ;o)
Have a wonderful day ;o)
Thursday, January 13, 2005
Today was the last day of the Margazhi month, signaling an end to my 4am temple visits. Sure I’m relieved that I’ll have more hours of sleep and no more sleeping through my favourite shows 2 minutes before it starts. But definitely I'll miss the peaceful mornings of quiet prayers, singing and watching the moon dance around before the sun races out to colour the sky. Going to miss all those kids running around me with a million unanswerable questions. I’m already looking forward for the next December.
The last day is also Bhogi the official South Indian spring cleaning day. The old and unwanted are thrown in anticipation of tomorrow - Ponggal, the Hindu harvest festival and the beginning of the month of Thai. Ponggal signals the end of weeks spent harvesting rice and a thanksgiving to the sun for its rays of gold that flourished the crops.
Though not everyone’s a farmer, everyone celebrates Pongal in thanksgiving to the ever important rice that thrives on our plates. It’s sad that this year many families around the world have no homes to celebrate the harvest, nor are they free from the lost of loved ones. Sorrow often magnifies as holidays and celebrations loom close. I wonder what goes on in their minds now as Ponggal is but a few hours away.
There’s a tamil proverb - Thai Poranthal Vazhi Pohrakum - meaning the birth of Thai will bring forth better pathways. Hopefully this will be the case of the survivors of the recent tragedies.
A prayer for the lost,
A prayer for the living,
As we throw the old,
Cast out with it prejudice, racism, intolerance.
Replace rude with kind,
Reach out and be touched
Live even more.
So excitement followed by I never save my file la echoing through the office.
Boss told us to go ahead for an early lunch. I decided I'd drive down to Brickfields to pay my bills at KL Sentral. Luckily the building generators were functioning or I’d have to climb down 19 floors.
Walking out played sign languages with the lady in a car. I was signing - building no electric and got the reply - everywhere no electric. That’s when I stopped halfway - should I or shouldn't I go. But since I was already out, I decided I might as well go.
Decided adventure in electric less KL was better than boring walk to the Kopitiam*. Friend in Midtown KL informs me his place is blackened out as well and there's a rumour whole Malaysia is down. So called up friend in Malaca and got the confirmation. All this while driving. Luckily cops were busy managing traffic at KL centre so no worries of landing a fine. So this was my first blackout since I started working. Cool :p
Reached Brickfields after cruising through a longer road to avoid traffic. With lights out, traffic was chaotic but not as bad as what we go through everyday during rush hour.
Hey the lights are back. Once again played the blinking game. First one gave a pathetic sputter and got an enthusiastic unison of whoa from us only to go missing the next second. Then it came back, but we weren’t going to react.
Anyway back to my story. Decided since there was no electricity might as well stop for lunch. Amazingly got a parking space immediately right in front of Seetharam Restaurant. Half way through the lights came back to cheers from the diners.
Was I happy, how do you explain foolishly driving out to pay bills during a blackout? Hehehe electricity saved me :p
KL Sentral had dazed people standing all over the place. The ultra modern train centre houses the KTM Komuter, Putra LRT, ERL and inter state trains. The blackout caused Komuter and LRT commuters to be stranded at the stations. I was impressed that the TV crews were already arriving to cover the reactions.
Back at the office, 3 out of the 6 lifts were suspended from operations. Was wondering why? Then realised power was still out in my area. Oh well managed to catch up on forty winks when got called to see the boss for some good news. :p
Got back started writing the post and as you read earlier powers back. Ehhehe not bad quite an interesting day :p
For a hilarious yet critical look on the blackout, check out TV Smith. Don’t miss he’s do’s and don’t.
Kopitiam* - small restaurant/ coffee shop
Wednesday, January 12, 2005
2005 doesn’t seem to want to let go on disasters.
8 people have died so far from bushfire’s in Australia. The fire, the first major flare-up of the Australian bushfire season, broke out on Monday in scrubland around Port Lincoln.
"Some people had moved into the sea to escape the fire. Our people picked them up and brought them back to shore," State Emergency Services deputy chief officer Stuart MacLeod said.
Water and earth ravaged the coastal Southern California neighbourhood as a hillside soaked by five days of rain collapsed.
Rescue workers using sensitive listening devices and cadaver dogs probed for buried victims on Tuesday in a 25-foot-deep mountain of mud and debris left by Monday's mudslide as the rains finally ended and desperate family members kept vigil.
In less than a year we’ve had our skies ravaged (in August, two airplanes which left Moscow airport blew up within minutes of each other, killing 90 people.), water in fury (the boxing day Tsunami), the bushfires of Australia and the mudslide of California.
The Hindus lay importance to five elements that compromise sky, water, fire, earth and wind. We’ve been plundered by the first 4.
With rumours of cyclones circulating, will we be facing the fury of the wind as well?
CHEMMAN CHAALAI opens TOMORROW the 13th January 2005 @ GSC International Screens.
Once again I’m asking all to go and watch in support of the film. Its been invited to join to Film Festivals and this is the first Tamil movie to hit the local cinemas. Its a short multi racial effort and acceptance by film festivals and GSC is but an indication that this is a movie we can be proud of.
Spread the news and make sure you watch the movie at the THEATER and not courtesy of Petaling Street VCD stalls.
Many people don’t understand no means just that no. They hang on in the hope it works out for years. It’s even worse the ones who never confess. They spend years stalking or moping around. Yeah so it’s one sided, smile store it as sweet memories and move on. Why continue holding a candle and building false hopes.
But I do have to disagree on his comments on the 7G Rainbow Colony movie. If it had been a a one sided love story I would have agreed. However if you watched the actress properly, she showed signs of being interested as well, right from the beginning but was contemplating if it was a viable relationship.
Unfortunately this is actually what most women do, contemplate if the relationship will work from all degrees, men don’t do that. Every relationship a women goes into she deliberates if it will end in marriage first. (RED ALERT to all the men with commitment phobia :p)
That’s why women rarely say yes the moment you confess unless she’s already decided its going to be just a fling.
Tuesday, January 11, 2005
My Friend and I share this craze for the sky. We’d bemoan the day if the skies were dull and celebrate with words if a masterpiece was on show. Today’s morning sky, evoked this poem from him.
Angry blotches of black in the sky
Daring anybody to erase its powerful domination!
Cheeky streaks of white slowly creeping in
Hoping no-one was looking!
Soon the white streaks became light blue
They were jumping up & down
Breaking the solid black into clumps!
Streaking blue light everywhere getting stronger and bolder
Punching holes among the black clumps
The blue becoming larger and larger masses.
Softly, very shy & coy, gold streaks began to peep out!
Blue and gold started a never ending dance
Celebrating the joy of life,
The ecstasy of sunshine,
Suffusing the whole world with happiness & blessings!
Alas, my show was cut short!
My journey had ended – I had reached the office!
You would think, if a movie gets nominated a Globe or Oscar. You’d surely see it at theaters.
Not so in Malaysia. We constantly don’t get to see small independent movies on the screens, not counting the number of movies banned here.
Here’s an article on more movies we’re missing on.
In keeping everyone updated, the started a blog detailling relief efforts and what is needed in Aceh.
As I read through, I was swarmed by flashbacks of my own lost. Only difference, it happened in 3 days, gradually giving us time to accept, he was alive and kicking till the very last second, the icu was filled with prayers, family and friends and we had to force the drs to switch off the machine as they refused to believe he was gone after witnessing the miracle the day before.
The heart is heavy with memories,
Flooded in flashbacks,
Overwhelmed by time.
I had earlier blogged that I found Vivek Oberoi’s move to personally look into helping the people of Devanampattinam, inspiring. I just read an article on rediff highlighting the 16 day Hindu prayers that were done for the departed souls to rest in peace. From there found a link to the Parmarth website citing the progress of relief works.
It was wonderful to see how project Hope has progressed but one concern immediately emerged. They are currently in the progress of building 1000 non solid huts. Why rebuild huts from non solid materials and not homes that are at least semi solid made from bricks and wood. I’m not sure if the huts currently being built are temporary or permanent.
My concern is on the future of these village. There might not be a tsunami in the future but cyclones and floods are common in those areas. Semi solid houses would be more resilient to the dangers than huts.
I have already emailed the project with my concern and hope to receive a reply explaining their move. The email should take some time as they did mention there would be a delay in replies.
Hopefully their efforts don’t go to waste and doesn’t become another shoddy fast job done in the height of the current global urge to help.
Monday, January 10, 2005
Looks like the much awaited movie Anniyan staring Vikram will have scenes from KLCC.
--------Vikram’s hair was long, it had blond streaks and his macho-looking beard and moustache were missing.
"This is my current look for the movie Anniyan (Alien) in which I play three different roles. If you had seen me yesterday, I looked different then too," said Vikram, who had spent over 10 hours shooting for the movie at KLCC earlier in the day.
He declined to disclose the types of roles he is performing in his new movie, which will be released in April, saying: "let it be a surprise ... I don’t want others to steal my idea."
My earlier movies received poor response and sometimes there were only 15 people in the cinema hall. I used to sit with the audience and watch their reactions to my movies. After each session, I interviewed some of them and obtained their feedback. Some gave me the thumbs up while several gave critical comments. --------
And the first thing you do reaching Malaysia, try the food. So did Vikram, with Satay being the favourite. Lol Wikipedia has an entry on Satay.
Worth the read, quite personal. Has me longing to go to Penang.
Most new movies can be watched on our cable tv Astro in 3 months time or in somecases if you subscribe to the showcase you’d watch it in a month of its release. So people too lazy to go to the theater's or too stingy, get to watch the new movies. I watch most good movies (Tamil, English, Hindi, Chinese, Malay .. yeah five languages, I must be mad :p) at theatres for a few reasons. One I love watching movies at theatres and I hate DVD illegal or original ( yeah moviemakers should love me and shower me with free tickets :p).
Why do I love watching movies at the theater?
It’s the experience, the screen, the sound system and the rebel exercising her rights. So if I missed a movie, I’d wait till it gets aired on tv. Now Astro is just a few years old so before that it took around a year or more before the movie made it on screen.
It doesn't help that quite a number of films are banned in Malaysia. Explains why I watched Roja after 7 years of its release despite my crazy love for the music (who doesn’t). If I made a list of movies I haven’t watched vs the ones that I have watched - the list would make the scales proud - 50%. Yeah I know its bad, atrocious for a movie lover.
My parents never watched movies at theater, it was always video tapes loaned from the video store and it was all in Tamil only. My dad is what you call a Thamizh Vehriyan* but he did watch english movies but only on tv never rented.
Now in the Malaysian days of yore, we had only 2 channels the hopeless never watched TV1 and our only saviour TV2 which showed movies 2, 3 years old with the occasional new (as in a year old) release for holidays.
1st June 1984, I remember vividly sitting glued to the screen. For the first time we were going to have a private tv station - TV3. That was the beginning of the besiege of movies for the wide eyed 5 year old.
Also explains why I am such a fan of adventure movies and sci fi. What not with the screening of my all time favourite Indiana Jones and Star Wars. Note the the similarity - Harrison Ford on both movies. Who didn’t love the swash buckling hero. Didn’t help that Luke Skywalker looked like a lost kid. Now wouldn’t have been an issue if I had been a guy right? Anyway he wasn’t the reason i love those movies. Ever realised all Star Wars movie’s have some lovable furry creature? Chewbacca, the Ewoks and Jar Jar Bings (not exactly furry but definitely lovable and so cute). Okay enough of Star Wars, if I continue I won’t stop and my blog would be one post long. Anyway I don’t know how many times they were aired, but my childhood was filled with reruns of those movies and I never got bored.
Back to the theaters. I do have a tendency to run from the topic huh? Well the first movie I watched in Malaysian theater's, actually only movie with the whole family was the 3d movie my Dear Kuttichatan. However thankfully when we were in India we did manage to catch a few movies. Kadhalan, Kuruthi Punal and Muthu. We missed Basha as no tickets were available and we were there at the height of its mega release. That were the only movies I watched at theater's through out my childhood and teens. (Shocking I know but don’t gasp too long, a fly might fly in :p)
When Jurassic Park was released, I practically begged them to let me go watch but all I got was a big NO. So at 17 when I joined Univ, began a rebellion of a few. My first movie with friends and my all black clothes frenzy (more on that on another post). Though the movie we watched was real crap, I was exhilarated at this new found love. Around the same time hi tech theater in the form of TGV emerged into the Malaysian scene and I was sold for life.
Thamizh Vehriyan* - fanatic of the Thamizh language
One of the blogs I have been visiting for some months now is Kiruba’s blog. Over time it’s become the daily must visit blog. The Tsunami showed the other side of Kiruba, as he immediately plunged into helping the victims. Together with Ganesh from Rupya.com, they collected Rs.34,000 in donations.
From there he started his first journey to evaluate the needs of the affected areas in Chennai. First phase had him and his wife purchasing and distributing cooking utensils.
Now into the second phase, they have ventured into helping the fisherman rebuild their lives through the purchase and distribution of fishing nets.
I’m simply moved by his spirit and dedication to the relief efforts. The trust donors have placed on him has not been in vain. What more can we do but thank him for his selflessness one of many selfless volunteers in this time of need.
In any tragedy, the hardest hit are the children be it in death or lost lives. The children that didn’t perish, have been orphaned. Normal has become a distant word to them. What we can do is try to bring back a little normality to the lives of this children. Help this children get back to school.
This is a voluntary, not-for-profit initiative by Akshara Advertising.To enable you to help these kids, they have put together a kit costing a mere Rs.225/-. The value, however, is enormous.
Each School kit contains
1 School Bag
10nos 192 pages notebook
1 foutain pen
1 pencil box
20 nos pencils
1 water bottle
Narain, a fellow blogger and director of 360 Degree Interactive has launched this initiative to help the affected children get school materials.
Sunday, January 09, 2005
Recovering from the initial shock after an hour of photo-taking of the disaster-as-it-happened, and providing impromptu relief to the victims, Joseph became a tsunami relief voluntary worker for 13 days.
Returned to patong that night as military was now in kaolak and most recovery work was for heavy equipment. also searched the sofitel resort in kao lak - where a mystery exists. it was enormous, and now gone, literally. water reached over five km inland there. helping a firefighter from hong kong - louis- who had been with us for a few days, search for his aunt and uncle there at the sofitel. found their room and by handphone spoke to the daughter from a bangkok hospital as we walked the path of destruction from their room flee when the water hit.
Read the rest of his account as a a tsunami relief voluntary worker for 13 days.
Here's one brave women's account of her horrifiying experience.
"For me, I think I just need to head to the ocean soonest and to face it again.I did that when I was still in Sri Lanka right after the incident and I refused to be afraid of the ocean as I love the beach too much."
Saturday, January 08, 2005
Yesterday I heard over the tamil news on Malaysia's Radio Six (the Tamil Station) right from the horse's mouth.
Minister I'm refering to is non other than Works Minister Samy Vellu, who is in Mumbai for the third Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (Indian Diaspora) conference yesterday, leading a 160-member delegation.
What right does one have to rename a village (said village is in Chennai. and he wants to rename it as Malaysia)?
Do you think everyone else who is helping has even thought of renaming a village or a child?
Shame on you for embarrasing Malaysians.
Yet today, the rich garment merchant has virtually nothing to eat and is too embarrassed to ask for help.
I see truckloads of Indomie, water and other supplies going to the refugee camps but they never stop here. They think that, because my house is big and still standing, I am okay. But I am not,” he said when met at his million-ringgit house.
While the Dec 26 tsunami left his home structurally intact, it wrecked his kitchen and swept away all the food supplies. “I have a shop, land, a big house but what is sad is that I have nothing to eat. I can’t feed my family even for a day,” he said. He does not have savings in the bank either because he had poured all his earnings back into the business.
“I cannot find it in myself to ask for help. It’s too embarrassing. I’m the one always giving out money, so I’m not used to asking,” he said. The family has had nothing to eat for two days and two nights and on some days a relative would send over some food.
“But we are not going to ask,” he said.
Britain's Princes William and Harry have pitched in to help survivors of the Indian Ocean tsunami disaster.
The sons of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana on Friday helped pack boxes of emergency supplies for the British Red Cross at a warehouse near Bristol, western England.
William, 22, and Harry, 20, joined other volunteers packing toilet paper and shampoo that were being sent with other toiletries to the Maldives area.
The pair said they were moved to tears by the plight of the thousands of children orphaned by the tsunamis.
William said he hoped interest would not fade on the plight of the survivors.
"The (Red Cross) are worried that the media will move on and find something else to talk about. We hope it's going to stay in people's minds. People in India and Sri Lanka and places aren't going to be forgetting."
What kind of animal was he?
Did the tsunami arouse him that he needed to rape the first thing in the shape of a women?
In a society as remote as hers?
What will happen to that girl? F@#$%$^% B@$#*&^
Friday, January 07, 2005
I think, those interested to help just need to turn out at Northport and tell the port police that you are a tsunami volunteer.
They will then direct you to the right wharf. For further details pleas contact
Mr.Hon at 012 273 3438.
MacLean said Myanmar's military government has been cooperative in the wake of the aftermath.
She credited Myanmar's rocky shoreline and the angle of the coast with preventing the damage that killed over 5,000 in Thailand and thousands more on India's Andaman Islands, which are about 200 miles (320 km) off the coast of mainland Myanmar.
Myanmar's Irrawaddy Delta south of Yangon was hit the hardest, MacLean said.
However, the loss of life was stemmed, according to eyewitness accounts, because survivors fled for higher ground after the first wave hit.
The three waves "were half an hour apart, which meant the people who already saw the first wave and then even saw the second had time to go to the monasteries, which are always on higher ground, and to the schools," MacLean said.
Previous studies have established that whenever this species is found in abundance, a natural calamity is sure to follow, according to L. Chidambaram, Senior Technical Assistant, Centre for Marine Fisheries Research (Cuddalore Field Centre).
(pic : AFP)
I am Grateful my car is unwashed Not damaged beyond repair
I am Grateful I wake up for work Not to a horizon of uncertainty
I am Grateful the children I meet’s eyes twinkle with laughter, joy and innocence Not despair, lost and torment as I see
I am Grateful I have bills to pay Not death certs to collect
I am Grateful my handphone connects me to loved ones Not a blank tone of death
I am Grateful I can choose to cook, buy or eat what I want Not wonder will I have food for the next meal
I am Grateful I have a choice to watch TV Not devastation unfolding in front of me
I am Grateful of arguments with loved ones Not wondering if they are still alive
I am Grateful I can smell roses Not the stench of death
I am Grateful water means fun, cool, quench of thirst, peace, soothing Not fear, death, fury and loss of lives
I am Grateful the beach reminds of frolic, play, kisses, sunsets Not bodies, wreckage, ruined livelihoods
I am Grateful the lines I wait in are for pleasure Not for aid
I am Grateful the words I write speak my mind Not of my lost of life and cherished
I am Grateful the bed I sleep is mine Not mat covered ground
I am Grateful I have a roof over me Not a tent of temporal shelter
I am Grateful my tears are from sight Not of personal lost
I am Grateful the clothes on my person remain mine Not lost to the sea
I am Grateful my minutes were in traffic Not minutes that ravaged the earth
I am Grateful I hit my toe on the furniture Not injured running for life
May god bless me, my loved ones and every soul.
This came to me driving back home yesterday. It is but an echo of the small things we take for granted now a lost for so many. It is but a humble indication of what I am grateful for.