Sunday, July 31, 2011

A Letter to our Tigers

Anticipation

The first live football match I watched was the Manchester United game vs Malaysia in 2001. When I was younger my dad never let me follow my cousins to watch the Selangor games even though I was a huge fan of the Red Giants.

I was a Man U fan but no matter what I will always be a Malaysian fan so I was excited to watch the game. That day we lost 6-0 to Man United. It’s one thing to lose but another thing to be trashed. What hurt most was the moment the Malaysian team walked into the pitch you knew they had come prepared to lose and were there with not even a glint of hope.

That day I told myself I’m never gonna watch them plan against any EPL team coz I don’t think I could watch them looking so dejected.

Soon Waiting

I watched Malaysia play again last December. For months now we had been reading and hearing about their progress. The tigers were back in shape and in the best form they had ever been since my childhood. Harimau Malaya charged against an equally capable team of Indonesians as they scored 3-0 to the ecstatic cheers of the nation. More than the win, it was their walk of confidence that blew me away. This team didn’t know they were going to win but to hell with anyone who told them they couldn’t. You knew they were going to give their best.

Last Thursday I was back at the Stadium to watch them play the second leg of the Asian qualifiers for the 2014 World Cup against Singapore. They stadium was a blaze in hitam kuning as the crowd chanted Malaysia! Malaysia! They had lost 5-3 to Singapore.

Our Tigers walked in with confidence and determination. They were there to do their best.
Finally after years of hoping, we have a team which gives its all for the game and the country. For once we have a coach who is a leader and not a boss.

A leader believes in his players and backs them up no matter what. A leader walks in and tells us no matter what the odds are that we will win. A leader says they gave their best but they can improve and they will. A boss blames them the moment they fall, a boss says I think we can draw, a boss says it was his fault.

Although we drew yesterday after that amazing goal that got us screaming to our feets, we thank you for giving your best. We need you to believe in yourself and to continue walking to that pitch with your heads held high and your spirits soaring. The whole nation is ready to back you up, the whole nation is ready to cheer you on. Just give us your best and never stop trying. You made people who don’t watch football cheer and watch you just because they believed in you.

The stadium filled with fans cheered our Tigers even after we knew we had lost. So let’s take our negative mentality and stop playing the blame game. Focus on believing in the team and its leaders. We all make mistakes, we all fall but we can rise above if only we believe and give our all.

My dear Harimau’s – I am so proud of you. Keep on reaching and one day we will get there.
Hitam Kuning! Hitam Kuning! Hitam Kuning! Go Tigers! Go Tigers!

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Thursday, July 28, 2011

The magic hour

It’s 5 in the morning. I’ve been awake since 3. Well I slept off at 10pm actually and woke up around 2am. So I guess I got sleep. This is undeniably my favourite hour though I see less of it nowadays.

Since I became a working photographer, I sleep by 1 wake by 8 am regardless of it’s a weekend or not. Of course I wake much earlier on a weekday but to wake up at 8 on the weekends???? Signs of age catching up I guess, time seems to have become more responsible. Bah.

But I miss the wee hours of the morning. It used to be my thinking time or the time I wrote nonsense like now. Sometimes I wish my brain will shut up and keep quiet but I think I’d miss the chatter if it went silent. How else can I annoy people? ;p

Two of my ideas might just see the light of the day. It’s an internal work thing, anyone can submit an idea, I just never tried it. So I was super excited to receive an email yesterday prompting me that my idea had gone to the next level and had comments just days after I submitted the idea. The Big Boss at the department I pitched it for dropped a comment saying he liked it. I was pretty tempted to skip and jump but quietly grinned at my pc instead. I really hope the other one lifts off too though there is a part I’m dreading.

Tomorrow evening we will know if Malaysia advances to the next stage of the World Cup qualifiers. Tomorrow I’ll be there with my flag and scarf to cheer the team on. The anxiety is crazy. This is the strongest we’ve been since I was a kid, and I hope and wish and pray we make it. The thing is I’m making plans to head to Brazil for the world cup and imagine having Malaysia play there. Wow. Dreams are meant to be achieved; I will never stop having hope. This is probably the furthest I’ve thought in life (another sign of age – grrr). Regardless of whether anyone I know goes with me, I just know I have to be there. I know I’m crazy – so don’t act surprised. ;p

Whether we make it tonight or not I am still proud of the team. We’ve come a long way and let’s not chide them whatever the results tonight.     

Since we are at the mid-year point, let me just say 2011 has been a crazy bag of surprise filled year. Mostly it’s been great. Even the bad ones, when you put it in perspective and analyse they were also great and were needed. I would have probably continued kidding myself otherwise. Sometimes my level of acceptance and crap dealing capabilities amazes me even though I really need to get a grip on it.

One good thing about this early morning, I finally replied some important mails that I had been postponing. So probably that’s gonna be a deluge of replies in the next few days.

Two things most people don’t know about me – I love working and I never regret anything.
I’m pleased to have spent 31 years not regretting any decision/ action I’ve taken expect for one where I made one two many people cry all for a prank. Neither have I wished that my life was different or certain things didn’t happen. I am absolutely certain I am who I am coz of these unfortunate events.

My colleague told me something that took me by shock. She told me – I wanna be like you. When you go on holiday no matter how long it is, you nearly never leave any work for us to do. You make sure everything is done. Yeah workaholic. When I thought about it, it did seem correct but I never realised it. To me dad ingrained it into me at least that you must always be responsible. No one else can be that for you. Anyway I call her my sensible voice, the one that reins me in when I’m ready to burst out or there to give me advice.

Ah my magic hour is over, eyes are slowly drowsing to sleep, time to post this and bid good bye to this hour.

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Saturday, July 23, 2011

I went snorkelling!!

Paradise

Ok this shouldn’t be a great thing for most people but it is for me coz for the life of me I CAN’T SWIM! ;p

I absolutely love the water and when I see one, I never come out but it all depends on how much of the floor I can feel, the moment I don’t feel it I will panic ;p

All this while I’ve been afraid to try snorkelling coz who in their right mind would jump into the deep sea when they can’t swim????

Anyway I was heading to Perhentian and figured it was about time I tried. So there we were zipping across the ocean on our speedboat filled with obnoxious kids, our lovely guide and my friend as someone passed me the alien looking snorkerling mask.

I had the basic knowledge of using it since I have so many diver friends but I was more concerned about the deep sea jumping.

We stop at this shallow part and he asked us if we wanted lessons. Obnoxious kids immediately said no without asking anyone. I figured it’s ok if I’m not up to it ill just enjoy the ride.

We reach our first spot and he asks who doesn’t know how to swim – 3 of us said we don’t while the rest jumped over. I looked down n all I could see was vast amount of corals and not even a bit of the oceans floor.

I’m finally the only one left on the boat. My friend and our old man guide who was probably 75 and looking real fit start urging me to jump.

And all I could think was – are you people crazy that’s the deep ocean!!

My friend who is a swimmer started showing me that it was the vest that was keeping her floating so I should just jump. So I finally jumped in and went straight into the water. I had my eyes closed and mouth closed and kept calm so I wouldn’t panic. I came out to find both of them next to me.

Then I was given a quick lesson on how to breathe with my mouth – trust me u need it. It took sometime and a bit of salt water consumption before I got it and that’s when I saw the gorgeous corals and beautiful fishes but I was still holding strong to my friends hand as I was still afraid after a while she let go and at first I was afraid but then I slowly got the hang of it and before you know it I was hooked!

Wow the fishies (my name for fish) are so pretty and the coral formation was amazing. In the first place it was filled with pretty zebra fishes. There were a different variety of zebra fishes near our shoreline. Every noon the wave brings them in and if you’re quiet enough and the sand settles down you’ll get to see them right at the shore.

We got back on the boat and by then my friend had become seasick and was for the rest of the trip. The next spot we jumped in to look for turtles but couldn’t find any that day so we headed to the next one.

Our third spot was amazing. There weren’t corals or we couldn’t see them as this place was much deeper but there were so many fishes. One guy handed me a fried banana fritter and told me to show it at the fishes. It took a while but soon the fishes were flocking towards my hands to nibble on the banana. One fella accidentally nibbled on me ;p

Here there were more variety, sizes and colour. Our last stop for the evening was to look for sharks. We stopped near the rocky waters of the island and our guide jumped in. he told us to follow him closely and watch closely. He had a dead fish in his hands and was slowly ripping them to release the blood. Since I can’t swim I was left behind with the bigger variety of fish.

The next thing I know our guide tucks my arm into his and takes me along for the shark ride. 

Wheeeeeeeeee. That was an experience but I must have been tired coz I was swallowing a lot of water. It was exciting and tense to think we were looking for a shark. I wasn’t too concerned coz the sharks in our waters are harmless. We attracted a long brown fish which looked like a mini shark or cat fish but still no shark.

And then we saw a glint of silver and the shark emerged – it was about a metre long – probably the baby. I saw it or others in the same size 4 times. Seriously amazing experience and all thanks to my lovely guide who decided I should see as much as possible ;p

When we got out of the water with me grinning ear to ear, he asked me so how many did u see I said four 1 metre long ones. Then he asked me so you didn’t see the big one? Lol that freaked me out for a second hehehe

So now Im definitely hooked to snorkelling and can’t wait for the next one.

The one thing I did realise from being in Perhentian, the place is gorgeous but it’s not my paradise. My paradise is still in Bali and I’m heading there again next year. Paradise is calling my name ;p

Ps: Oh just a note I’m as noisy under the sea as on land ;p I was singing to myself throughout my snorkelling adventure ;p

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Thursday, July 07, 2011

I needed to sing

It had been a long day (and it was only mid day). It was one of those days when I needed my space.

I needed my stress outlets. Just as I was heading out for lunch alone (stress outlet 1) my dancer friend emails me this sweet mail and there begins the smile of happiness. The power of words is unbelievable. You need to feel it to understand.

I spent lunch messaging her and slowly I was out and relaxed but my soul needed something. I knew I needed to sing. Most of all I knew I needed to sing for her – this one song. I just knew she would be able to dance to it.

So I asked – wanna bring Shiva?

It was a resounding yes and my soul smiled a bit in anticipation.

The next few hours flew right pass as I drowned into work, before I knew it, it was already pass eight and I needed my ceaser salad. (I have a thing for them). I had been at work for more than 12 hours.

I’d been to the café before or so I thought. I drove straight there to find it missing. Google map didn’t help either and before I knew it 40 mins had passed. I tried the map again, this time it pointed me to the direction of a road I had been before and there it was the café I was looking for.

It couldn’t be coincidence, and I knew later I was meant to be late.

I walked in to find my friend dancing but I needed a drink. Our drummer boy was missing and at first I was apprehensive. Did I really want to do this? Can I back out?

As I sipped the drink it became clear to me we didn’t need the drum, just the beat of my bangle tapped in rhythm to the song.

Bho shambo siva shambo shyambo

I started softly and was probably heard by the dancer only. She was dancing with fire and we were slowly merging. The song got louder as the melody intensified. The fire was put out and its place the dance and music began to merge in a fiery rise.

That’s when the café went silent and the music got louder and stronger. The vibrations grew stronger and stronger thimita thimita thimi thimikida kida thom

By the end of the song I could feel it in my bones. I gently brought it back to the beginning pallavi
Bho shambo siva shambo shyambo

And then we were done.

And now at 1 am I’m wide awake, still on my music high, soul energised and mind drowning in creative juice.

Shiva came in the glory of Raaga Revati – to the sounds of bangles and the sway of the eternal dance.

Bho shambo siva shambo shyambo

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