Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Midweek giggles

Let me sing you the song of my people.
This is why God invented the fasting month.
What not to do.
*Head desk*

Saturday, July 28, 2012


A few Sundays ago was Father's Day. Yes, I know, a little stale, but DON'T JUDGE ME. My sister and I cooked something a little special for lunch and invited my aunt and her family over for food-and-lepak. Our favourite past times combined.

No, no food picture. What's the point of my showing you pictures of food you can't eat?

And this did not happen either.

Suffice to say that the briyani, tandoori chicken and beef kebab are no more. There was probably a sliver of a giant profiterole stuffed with lemon custard and tinned mandarin oranges in the fridge, but I'm not so hopeful. My aunt supplemented the meal with roast chicken, cold potato salad and pudding. Ah, post prandial slothness are the best.

But I digress.

On Parent Day (be it mother or father) you would see the Sunday specials crammed with wonderfully heart warming stories about people and their parents. Those are good stories to reaffirm and remind you of your good fortune (or misfortune) in the fickle fate lottery that gets you your parents.

Or got your parents you, in my case. *shrugs*

When we were young we thought of our parents as some kind of magicians who make things happen. They knew everything there is to know in this world too! They could fix everything! 

And then you become a teenager and you roll your eyes at everything they say and claim that they're old fashioned and know nothing. Serves you right if you are a parent to teenagers now. Karma bites.

Some people grow distant from their parents when they enter boarding school or university. With all the demands on our time and the things that we chase to achieve, many of us don't have time to connect with the people who made our existence possible. So the lack of contact time may mean that your relationship with your parents will either wither or remain stagnant. Which could make things uncomfortable when a conflict arises, be it over money, or even Manchester United. 

We also tend to take our parents for granted, thinking they'll always be there, always be the same. We don't think of them as a person of their own right. Your parents were someone else's son or daughter, brother or sister, friend, enemy or the dreaded boss, before, during or after you came into their lives. They had a different set of experiences that are no less meaningful, enriching or even traumatic like yours. They know happiness and unhappiness without your presence. So what made you think that whatever it is that they do or don't do is all about you? 

I am glad that my Mom told me bluntly that a mother does not necessarily have to love her children, when I was about eight. No, it wasn't that traumatising, especially through the filter of time and experience. She told me that when I was whining at her to do something for me when she was super busy. And when she demanded why does she need to do it for me, I innocently and manipulatively replied that she MUST do it for me because she's my mother and she loves me. Ha. That'll teach me.

I believe that our relationship with our parents have to evolve as we grow older. Of course, evolving in your relationship with your Dad doesn't mean that you go alpha taking over on him. Being friends with your mother doesn't mean that you need to tell her all your youthful indiscretion when you know that it'll ignite fireworks that will rival the shopping centres' New Year extravaganza. 

Look at your parents through the lenses of love and acceptance. If you could tolerate the friend who always whinges about his/her job/girlfriend/boyfriend/whatever, why can't you spend some time just listening to your parents share about their physical discomforts that came with age or infirmity? 

The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) often said that the best of us are the ones who are the best with their parents, with mother getting the lion share of devotion. I am not saying that we should all become automatons that agree with everything your parents say and do. That is just not manifestly possible. Just treat your parents like a person and not just your father and mother. Assert yourself firmly and courteously that you are an adult and that you appreciate their willingness to accept this change. Also, accept that no matter what, you are still their precious baby; my Dad still paces the floor when I get home after 10 pm (do I even have a curfew at this hoary age?).

I also know that a number of people had suffered a terrible childhood because their parents are damaged people (we are all damaged to a certain extent, but you have to measure the coping mechanism here). Does that mean you should turn away from your parents? No. You can choose to distant yourself from them; kind of like divorce, or you could be the better person and treat them better than they treat you. And even if your kind gestures are rewarded with heaps more of abuse and unkindness, it is all right. Remember, you control your behaviour, but you cannot control theirs. As long as you maintain what is right, it is up to them to respond appropriately or inappropriately. Your patience and grace will be rewarded, as God often mentions in His books that He loves the patient ones who face their challenges with forbearance. Even if you don't believe in any God or have no faith system except the UN Human Rights Charter, trust me that being the better person will enrich your life more than allowing your bitterness and resentment to poison your heart.

Remember, your parents aren't perfect. They are human. They are flawed. They made mistakes.

Don't judge them too harshly. Because this could also happen.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Public Service Announcement

Do you have a cell phone? If yes, how do you react when you hit the highway and realised that you have forgotten your phone in the charger cradle? Do you shrug and went on with your journey or do you double back to get your lifeline?

For many, the decision is the latter. The cell phone is no longer a mere accessory, but as vital as your wallet and keys. It contains your correspondence (e-mails, text messages), your confidential information (yes, there are idiots who keep their pin number on the cellphones, not to mention poorly shot nude pictures) and often doubles as work and entertainment system.

In a word: IMPORTANT.

We got so used to being connected that the loss of this connectivity is terrifying. I know many people who check their phones when they first wake up (and not to turn off the alarm) and scroll through e-mails and messages even before brushing their teeth.

Some worry that we are losing our vocabulary with text messages. What could be abbreviated, is, or poorly spelled. The glass half full people would say that our language is evolving with each thumb stroke over the surface of your smartphone. After all, no one speaks like a Shakespearean play anymore (unless they're literature hipsters or something).

But this addiction has more implication to it than surgical interventions to fix repetitive injuries from texting. Most of us text while we drive. I have even seen motorcyclists texting while riding their bike. You know what this means?
It means we're crazy. 

We take it for granted that we can avoid collisions with other objects when our thumbs run over the surface of our smartphones. We are special. We have superpowers that allow us to multitask, right? We are so good at texting and stuff, we don't really need to look at the screen, isn't that so?

Wrong. You won't see the lamp post or the old lady whose hands are filled with her grocery while you are sharing some youtube sensation with your Facebook flist. What you should do is move to the side, finish your text/Facebook update/Twitter rant/road traffic Instagram/whatever, put your phone away and then continue walking or driving. There are even people who got mugged because they are distracted by their phones that they are not paying attention to their surroundings. Heck, my aunt was one such victim. 

So either quit the dangerous self-delusion that you can use your phone while driving or walking or wean yourself from the hyper connectivity of your mobile devices. It may save you not just physical harm, but even fix your relationship with the people in your life.

Just ... just put the damn thing away, will ya?


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Self pimpage

Ah well, what does a writer wants? For people to read their work, of course!

So here is an update of my Malay language blog detailing a paranormal encounter. Moar will come, so stay tuned.

Also, this is a new collaborative blog that I'm setting up with two of my pals. This blog is to collate our memories of places that we have visited, share the places frequented by our friends as well as places we want to go before we kick the bucket. Here's the first post sharing our friend's visit to Istanbul recently.

Have a great week ahead, y'all!


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Batman! Nananana ...

I'm looking forward to The Dark Knight Rises, purely because of Bane, who is this guy:
Played by this guy:

I ♥♥♥ Mr Hardy.

Almost everyone who has a nodding acquaintance with the Batman franchise is familiar with the iconic image of Batman and his amazing bat-wing cape, right?

The sad reality is that if Batman had glided down from building roof with only his cape to slow his descent, his bones would exit his flesh. Seriously. It's all physics

What a way to spoil a pop culture enjoyment eh? Those physicists take the fun out of everything.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


I love her contagious enthusiasm: I will never look at a penis (mammalian or otherwise) the same way again.

I admire how she could discuss something titillating in a funny and creepy way.

(Undercut because pretty NSFW)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Ear candy - shoegazer

Shoegazing is a trippy alternative pop/rock music is a unique product of the late 80's and 90's, blending haunting melodies to depressing lyrics with a sound that won't be amiss in an acid trip experience. You can read a more thinky description of the music here.

Trailer Trash Tracys is a new band out of London that embodies some of the best elements of dream pop and shoegazing.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Midweek sh*ts and giggles

The rest is undercut due to NSFW-ness.

Eternal light?

I watched Majalah3 on Saturday about people who donated their bodies to a Buddhist medical university in Taiwan for the students to practice surgery and to learn about the physiological manifestation of the disease from which they died. There were men and women, the youngest was 33 and the oldest was a man in his 60's. The medical students honoured the deceased as well as their family according to Buddhist rituals. After the surgical practice training was over, the medical students helped in preparing the bodies for their final rest.

It was one of the most moving episodes I have ever seen. I admired the generosity of spirit demonstrated by the "Silent Mentors" in donating their body to advance medicine and medical training. I empathised with the family members who probably felt like they were losing their loved one all over again.

But this?

I ... have no words.

I suppose Hilary Clinton's expression says it all.