I used to see this building every single day as my office was right next door. Some afternoons or evenings I'd sit at its foot enjoying the water fountain. What I've realised is, I will never grow sick of this building. I will always gasp at its beauty either over white fluffy clouds, over glorious colours of dusks or on a brilliant night with the moon as an adornment.
Over here, when we're twelve, besides the national level exams, there's something else we fear - the dreaded vaccinations. The dreaded day finally arrived and they hearded (yeah the whole batch) us to the library. I still have no idea why everyone was in the same room at the same time. Escape is futile? Anyway I'm afraid of pain or to be specific pain that I know is gonna happen. So there I was siting mortified at having to get the injection when my name was called.
I sat down at THE seat. Looked at the nurse preparing the shot and closed my eyes shut. Seconds later I heard the whole room laughing. So i opened my eyes and sheepishly smiled nervously. You see I had closed my eyes so hard I was literally shaking!
Nurse took it as a signal and jabbed it straight down and oh yeah it hurt! Bah!
When in the paling darkness of the lonely dawn you stretch out your arms for your baby in the bed, I shall say, "Baby is not there!"--mother, I am going.
I shall become a delicate draught of air and caress you; and I shall be ripples in the water when you bathe, and kiss you and kiss you again.
In the gusty night when the rain patters on the leaves you will hear my whisper in your bed, and my laughter will flash with the lightning through the open window into your room.
If you lie awake, thinking of your baby till late into the night, I shall sing to you from the stars, "Sleep mother, sleep."
On the straying moonbeams I shall steal over your bed, and lie upon your bosom while you sleep.
I shall become a dream, and through the little opening of your eyelids I shall slip into the depths of your sleep; and when you wake up and look round startled, like a twinkling firefly I shall flit out into the darkness.
When, on the great festival of puja, the neighbours' children come and play about the house, I shall melt into the music of the flute and throb in your heart all day.
Dear auntie will come with puja-presents and will ask, "Where is our baby, sister? Mother, you will tell her softly, "He is in the pupils of my eyes, he is in my body and in my soul....
Azrin had been my schoolmate since standard one. He was one of the naughtiest boys I knew. He was always doing something, getting into different troubles. Disturbing gals, getting into fights but he was also the comic of the class.
One day, i was around eight, he tried to lift my skirt, it was some kind of new game the boys were playing. Unfortunately for him he picked the wrong skirt. I marched up to the vice principals office complained and the next day brought my mom when the vp told me to take it easy. Seeing my mom there they had to call him and reprimanded him. Poor kid was all guilty and scared. He was left of with a warning and with the vp trying to save grace after dismissing me just the day before.
Anyway my mom decided to talk to the boy and we made an agreement to be friends and that he wouldn't lift skirts anymore. That's how we became friends for 6 7 years of my life. He was the naughtiest kid yet we always had something silly to talk and he never misbehaved with me.
To me Azril was fun, interesting, a typical boy who didn't follow rules. Since he'd been caught a few times he was always the teachers target when something was wrong not that he was always innocent but there were times he was.
People rarely understand naughty kids. All they want is to belong somewhere, coming from huge households where money was an issue, they lacked attention from people, they weren't a somebody's child, neither were they the brightest kids hence teachers rarely gave them the time of the day. That's how they end up with the wrong company as they are the only ones giving them the attention they crave. So they started bullying others, being the comedian (for the teacher more of an irritant) in class, occasionally vandalising things, rarely giving in homework and always playing truant.
I moved on to a different class when they began separating students by their grades. Yet we remained in the same school up to high school. We always had something silly to say to each other when ever we met, he'd always tease me and I'd tease him back but he was always polite to me.
I think we were 15 or 16 when a few cases of dengue outbreaks were recorded in my area. One day they made an announcement that I've never forgotten. Azril was one of the victims, he had passed away from dengue. I stood shocked but it wasn't just from his death but for what the teacher had said. They announced his death and then said good riddance. I couldn't believe someone could be so insensitive and say such a thing.
Yes he was naughty but he didn't deserve such an insensitive remark. He hadn't killed anyone neither ra*ped, mo*lested nor physically hurt anyone neither was he a dru*g dealer or someone who had emotionally harmed a person. He wasn't a criminal he was just a lost kid who no one was bothered to help change!
Most teenagers grow up doing the most ridiculous things. Boys who stood below stairs to peek under gals skirts or into their blouses, skipping school or class, stealing stationary or the ones who hit on their teachers. Ask most guys today and some might sheepishly admit to the stuff they've done. What about the ones who race dangerously with bikes on streets? Ask former racers and they'll admit, it was a phase of stupidity, ignorance and peer pressure. I'm not condoning naughtiness rather I'm saying the difference was the guy who got caught got labeled and was watched thereafter.
Its easy to hate, you've got all the right to but just don't wish someone death or upon their death exclaim good riddance! In truth you're no different from how you perceive the person to be.
I was headed to the counter to pay for my food when I noticed the owner and one of the workers laughing.
Worker : parungeh pohneh pahkama kathitharnu pohlamburar Worker : hes complaining about getting married without looking at the gal me : (about to congratulate him after a slight shock ) owner : sheepishly smiles Worker : anna ethani varusham kalyanama achinu kehlungehle Worker : just ask him how long since he got married ;p me : immediately looks at the owner owner : nalla irundhavareh ipdhi kelvi kethu pohlamba vechitangehle owner : i was just fine - he asked a question n spoiled my mood ;( Worker : love ah arranged marriage avlothan kethen - athuku 10 varashutuku muhnaleh nadanthateh ipoh pohlamburar! Worker : all i asked, was his marriage a love or arranged one? N he had so much to complain about something that happened 10 years back! owner : pohna kuda pahkameh kathi vechitangeh etho nalla iruhkom ithula kelvi vereh! ;p owner : i got married without even seeing the gal ;p Me : rotfl ;p adapavame ;p
Moral of the story it could have happened today or 10 years back but the complain remains fresh! ;p pohlamburathuku neram thevai illeh allu pohtum ;p
I love watching English dance movies. The people who direct them have so much passion for dance and music that every single detail is looked into and you are taken right smack into the silver screen. The latest movie to hit the screens is Step Up.
Its's been brilliantly taken, showing the fusion of 2 different styles of dance, ballet and breakdance with 2 strikingly different individuals whose only common characteristic is their passion for dance. Then there was the music, hip hop rhythms infused with an orchestra of violins - the music is beyond brilliance. If you love dance and music - this is the movie for you!
However the movie left me wondering why in such a dance rich society as India, that so few dance/ music films have been produced without being commercialised or cheesy. Why do they have to pick actors who can't dance to save their lives to perform such technical dances when the country is brimming with dance talents. I cringe when I think of Sangamam when it could have been a good movie if real dancers had been used.
There was of course Mayuri but that was a dubbed movie. Salangai olli was more commercialised romance rather than a movie focused on the technicality of dance. Do you think someone will ever produce a brilliant tamil movie purely on dance where the romance is only secondary?
Sunrises have always eluded me, probably has something to do with me being a non morning person.
I'd gone all the way to Kuantan thinking I'd score the perfect sunset. Unfortunately for me my waking up and patiently waiting on the dark beach at 6 ish meant nothing to Mr sun. It refused to even show itself from behind the blanket of clouds it had snuggled itself into. Both the times I was at Kanyakumari before the break of dawn too were never satisfactory. I had gone everywhere looking for one and KL finally showed me all I had to do was look near home.
After the wedding, the boys wanted to go clubbing and off we went gals decked in sarees feeling a tad bit self conscious, but only for awhile. Soon we were jazzing up the dance floor. By the time i dropped my friend at her place after hours of talking it was sixish in the morning.
It was pitch dark outside when we both made our way to get my bag from her house. Minutes later we gasped in amazement at the sight waiting for us. There between the other 2 blocks was this amazing sunrise where the sky was aglow in different shades of red. The drive home was the most beautiful I've ever had on a sunday morning. The sky was a kaleidoscope of orange, red, yellow and blue, I was falling in love. My beautiful KL was telling me you don't have to go anywhere, I have everything you need!
I spent the next half hour following this new love to every quirky spot it would dance for me. Oh what a dance it was orange skies against dark blue backdrops, pinkish shades glowing gracefully against the brilliant orange as clouds changed shapes, tempting the eyes to follow its every move. Finally it decided the morning clothes needed a change and the red was replaced by a beautiful golden hue. The sun was wide awake, having given an amazing performance!
My dear KL once again whispered silently into my ears, you don't have to go anywhere, I have everything you need!
My friend is getting married this week. Most importantly he's the first guy from my close friends who's about to get hitched. We rarely see him as he's based in the UK so whenever he's here, life gets pretty busy. We've all been pretty excited of his wedding and the closer it gets the more unbelievable it is. Marriages are after all a huge leap in ones life. Last weekend we were out partying his last week as a bachelor. All mapu and mappilai (groom) teases were met with stop-it stares and pleadings of don't remind me. It is one of life's biggest pleasure to tease a future bride or groom!
Given how strict indian rituals are, he actually had to sneak out the house in shorts and then change in the car just to attend. There was excitement yet a nervousness. It's after all a big step to get married, you can't really be as selfish as you could be when you were single, a sudden responsibility, thinking on behalf of 2 families, so there was a lot going on.
He was telling me about the photo shoot he and the mrs had been on excitedly. I love those kind of photos - really beautiful stuff. We've been given strict orders, more like threatened to attend both the ceremony and the dinner. All my tries to coax the other guys to wear veshti hasn't worked so that's my only disappointment but the gals have been stocking up on the sarees.
The first time I was at a friends wedding, I sat stunned when the thali was tied. It finally hit me that she had really gotten married. Will tell you what I do at this one, though one of my immediate tasks is to tie the saree for one of my friends.
So to my dear friend, Congrats on your wedding and wishing you all the best for the present and future.
We were supposed to go for the movie Don. After buying the tickets my friend decided to play a trick on her sister and tells her we're watching a horror movie.
Her : we're watching possessed. We just bought the ticket. You won't be scared right? Her sis : err?? Why you couldn't get any other movies? (looking very nervous) me : yeah and then we heard its nice. Her : If you're very scared you can stand outside near the door and peek ;p Her sis : is it very scary? Me : yeah thats what everyone said. Her : and today I'm going home with V so you have to sleep alone. Her sis : huh don't bluff Me : yeah we've got something to do
In the movie hall, she's still nervous about watching a horror movie and somehow misses realising the movie cert has Don written on it. Credits start rolling.
Her sis : oh dear they shot the movie in kl but but why is there hindi words?
The rest of us burst out laughing and she gives us a confused look. When we finally tell her we're watching Don she beams in happiness though 1 hour into the movie we all hopped we had just gone for possessed!
Don review : if you do not want to be bored to your bones please don't go - just go watch Billa. For once Kareena looks demure, the Malaysian actor was so freaking hilarious (he wasn't supposed to be) all he did was point a gun and we burst out laughing, there are 2 great moments in the movie. The stunt where they were walking outside the top of the KLCC bridge and the very last 5 minutes.
Fans are very interesting people. Such devotion that they'll go the extra mile to promote their stars movie. I'd gone for lunch at the restaurant after the long break. After getting my normal greetings, the first question that pops is - have you seen varalaru? What follows is a hillarious fan's quest!
him 1 : varalaru (godfather*) pathingela akka? Me : ajith padam ehlam pahkuradileh him 1 : nengeh vijay fanna? But padam nalla iruhke Me : ahha nengeh ajith fanna - ungeh star padathe nengehle pahrungeh - engeluku konjam nimmadi vehndum. him 1 : but Ks ravikumar edhutha padam, poi parungeh akka - nalla iruhku - 3 vehdathile ajith superah nadichiruhkaru Me : ahha naan nalla iruhkuradhu pudhikalehya? him 1 : (gives me the how could you look and walks away comes back in 3 mins) him 1 : deepavali release pathingehla Me : ethumeh nahlla illeh ethuku risknu ethumeh pahkaleh him 1 : nah ungeh thambi sohlrehn varalaru poi pahrungeh sembu i mean simbu padhatodeh nalla iruhkum - sohlra pecha kehlungeh - ungeh thambikageh at least one time poi pahrungeh Me : hehehe ahha thambina poi pathuruhnuma? Yar sohnalum antha padam tvleh kudah pahkamathen! Ajith odeh vaali amarkalam thavireh entha padhamum nahla iruhkadhu him 1 : (dejacted goes for another round and returns with him 2) him 1 : ehnakageh poi pahrungehlen - ipdhi ajithah kuri sohlrathu nahlaleh - ithu 2 much - red pathi taneh yoschi sohlringeh? Ithu nalla iruhku nah sohlren poi pahrungeh him 2 : ethu godfatherah? (starts walking with a hip shake) intha walk ajith taneh Me : rotfl hehehhe so funny him 1 : (stares at me with a sad face and glares at him 2 and goes of for another 2 min round) him 1 : bharathanatyam kudah adhurar me : antha oru photo pathu than nah antha padathe total banned pahnithen! Intha sj surya, ajith, simbu ehlam no watching! him 1 : grrr nengeh mathum ennaku relationah iruhnda kaiyiruhle kathi pohtu padathe pakka vechiruhpenn Me : rotfl hehehhe appoh kudah nah kannu tohrakamathene!! him 1 : grrr Ps : sorry can't for the life of me translate this! Sorry
This guy we knew was complaining that women didn't need to wear make up, natural is always nicer. Immediately we asked so why do you guys complain we look too tired or less presentable when we don't wear them? He was cornered.
Later on we decided to go for the movies when said guy says he needs to get something from his room while we had dinner. He comes back wearing a different shirt to our amused looks and men call us vain! ;p
This is a long overdue post. The penang trip was somewhere in July yet you get the story now ;p Anyway here it is.
IMG_5060pg Hosted on Zooomr
Penang has always been one of my most favourite places after KL and everytime I've been there, it continues to live up to its name as the pearl of the orient. We started off at 4 in the morning and by the time one of the guys took over driving from me, the sun was just about rising, so out came the cam.
Somehow I prefer sunsets than rises, most times the sun is blanketed by huge clouds that you don't get a briliant colour display. I've tried watching sunrises from so many places, have not seen a perfect one neither here in kl, penang, kuantan nor at Kanyakumari. However sunsets never seem to dissapoint me, always giving a briliant show.
The highways tend to present some interesting photos as its normally flanked by beautiful lush green sceneries that make perfect photos. Finally got a beautiful shot of the penang bridge while driving too! ;p
We did get lost thanks to incredible directions from one of the guys, at one point we were circling the same spot for 3 times! Penang being a food paradise and a quite a cheap one too, the whole trip was a food adventure. Though I ended up declining taking their 4 am special curried rice in a packed restaurant in the wee hours of the morning!
IMG_4688gangpg Hosted on Zooomr
Surprisingly in the 51 hour trip, most of us slept for only 4 hours as we opted to travel around Penang and discover the city. Checking into the hotel we were greeted by this amazing view on both sides, cloudy hills on one and perfect blue sky beach. The hotel must have thought we were mad, coz we ended up making prank calls between both rooms, and running from and to rooms, i think we hd too much sugar! ;p
Well it didn't stop there, we were creating a ruckus on the beach too, burying one of our friends in the sand and then the guys went on to design a dream babe - must to the amusement of a small crowd. Still not tired we headed out into the city.
That's where my non stop window photo taking spree started. Penang is made of rows of beautiful colonial buildins, mostly well maintained but some unfortunately forgotten. We finally stopped at King's street to check out Little India.
An interesting finding at this street corner was the existance of a chinese temple, a mosque and a hindu temple within walking distance of each other - all 3 are in different corners of the same street.
Itwas pretty interesting to walk around King street and don't forget to drop by Anandha Bhawan for food. Simply delicious and if you meet this sweet chinese looking chap speaking tamil, tell him hi for us will ya. Not only was he nice, well mannered and efficient, he was funny too.
We were supposed to attend some street performance, however the infamous driving of Penangites coupled with its unbelivable traffic led to us getting back late to the hotel and reaching the club we were partying in later in the night.
We did have lots of fun with my only gripe being how weird their rules were. We were given tags that meant we were to seated upstairs but our penang friends were downstairs so we sneaked down and were boogeing on the dance floor, when out of nowhere this security guy tells us we shouldnt be there and for the rest of the night he kept an eye on us.
Bah spoil sport! Anyway having had too much fun, we gladly jumped into bad forgetting all about sitting on the beach to watch the sunrise!
Hosted on Zooomr
We had a list of places to visit the next day. Its very interesting how Penang has worked to maintain most of its beautiful buildings not only as musuems but into banks and different busiunesses.
Our first stop was Armenian street, where every single corner had something to see. The Yap Kongsi Temple had beautiful dragon sculptured pillrs and inside there were so many beautiful carvings, really beautiful place.
If you walk down the road you'll find these beautiful houses, with its beautiful windows and cheery colours. Would have loved to have gone in but these were peoples houses. Next we walked into this complex of mazes to visit the next temple.
We were definetly not expecting this majestic building - the Khoo Kongsi. We were pretty spell bound by its splendour. A gloriously ornate late Ch'ng dynasty temple, and the theatre building. Both of which were recently restored.
Hosted on Zooomr The Khoo Kongsi is a clan association of the Leong San Tong (Dragon Mountain Hall) clan, whose forefathers come from Sin Kang clan village in Hokkien province.
The Khoos were among the wealthy Straits Chinese traders of 17th century Malacca and early Penang. In the 19th century, the clan complex resembled a miniature clan village, with its own self-government as well as educational, financial, welfare and social organisations. The clan temple was built in 1906 when the Khoo clan was at the height of its wealth and eminence in Penang society.
It's a definete must visit place. Such intricate carvings on both floors. There's so much to explore there and I just love the stone pavement outside the building, lends such charm.
Next up was Fort Cornwallis near the explanade. We had fun taking photos with Francis Light and this huge gun and hat they had there. The cell rooms have been turned into musuems, and the chapel was empty though we did spend a long time here coz there was air condition in there and it was such a relief from the blazing sun! It's pretty green inside, theres even a swing and lots of cannons. There was a talking bird too going on and on.
"The star-shaped Fort Cornwallis marks the point where Francis Light and crew landed on August 11th, 1786 to "take possession" of the island from the Sultan of Kedah. The fort, one of the first European structures in Penang, was named after the Governor-General of Bengal, Charles Marquis Cornwallis. Light designed the fort to protect the harbour from possible French attacks. At that time Anglo-French rivalry was at a peak.
Inside this fort, there are numerous cannons and one of them is the infamouse Sri Rambai, a brass cannon with an interesting history. The Dutch presented it to the Sultan of Johor in 1606. However, the Portuguese took possession of the cannon and somehow it ended up in Jawana in 1613 and was kept there until 1795 before it was brought to Kuala Selangor. In 1871, the British brought the cannon to Fort Cornwallis. According to local folk tale, the Sri Rambai cannon possessed magical power. People believed that women who placed flowers on the barrel could improve their fertility. (lol a cannon with powers ;p)
The statue of Francis Light, modelled after his son was relocated from the Penang State Museum to the grounds of Fort Cornwallis. The status now overlooks the fort and it holds a great heritage treasure in the heart of Georgetown." Oh i found these traditional malay items there. The tepak sirih (beetle leaf holder) and the congkak. We headed out to walk around the explanade in might i remind you the blazing sun. We are slightly mad you see, but I was having fun taking photos.
There were people practising for the Chinese New year Chingay Parade. Huge plags are balanced on bamboo sticks and waved around during the parade. The beautiful building behind it is the main admistrative building in penang, gorgeous isn't it.
We headed of to get some hawker food at a food court directly facing the sea. Gulping down wonderful ABC (cold malaysian desserts) we asked them if the place was affected by the tsunami. Some of them were new so they called another guy to answer our question.
"That day the place was so packed. Suddenly we could see this huge wave moving towards us, getting bigger and bigger. Thankfully it suddenly veered away or at least 100 people would have died." That's all he said and he immediately left to sit at his corner away from the crowds. I guess seeing something like that must have really affected him.
We headed back to a friends place to freshen up and head down to the famous temples, unfortunately by the time we reached it was nearly the closing time of the temples. Hearing the last bells I left some of my friends down at Thannir Malai and rushed of to the Nattukkotai Chetiyar Temple down the road. I somehow always prefered this temple then the one on the hill. No trip would ever be complete without visiting Muruga there. The temple is actually styled in the chetiyar style houses with its long passegeways and wooden pillars.
"The Nattukkottai Chettiar Temple (or in full, Nattukkottai Chettiar Thendayuthapani Temple) on Waterfall Road (Jalan Air Terjun) was founded around 1854, after the chettiar community in Penang Street bought the piece of land to build the chettiar quarters, or chettinar.
Being astute businessmen and moneylenders, the chettiar build temples that are hallmarks of quality, and are usually well managed as well as financially secure. Within the chettiar quarters is the temple of Thendayuthapani, an incarnation of the deity Murugan. This temple was consecrated in 1857. It was build in the chokkatan, or chequered design." Oh yeah rushing to temple in time for prayers was awarded with sundal!
As you see Penang is a multitude of experience, culture, history, traditions, architecture and amazing food. There's something for everyone always!