Food for Thought

I hope its not too late to say Ramadan Al Mubarak and may the blessings of Ramadan be with you.

I have yet to bump into the girl with the strawberries sewn onto her telekung this year. I wonder how she is.

Ramadan has always been a special month for me. There is something in the atmosphere that makes you want to slow down the hectic pace of life and be with family and the people that matter most. More importantly, it is a month of reflection and of religious observance, a month of serenity and a chance to show gratitude for all the blessings in life.

Which is why, I was taken aback quite recently by an icy cold rebuff from a lady in pink during a corporate iftar event a few nights ago.

I’ve never been a fan of any ‘majlis berbuka puasa’. It’s quite a hassle, queuing for food, jostling for space in a crowded restaurant and rushing to the surau located miles away, but work is work and organise one I did last Thursday.

Due to the unexpected overwhelming response, and which I am very much quite embarrassed to admit, we ran out of food by 8pm. Be rest assured that no one starved but we just did not have enough for any 3rd servings.

Upon deciding that we had better personally apologise to everyone at the table, and explaining that more food was coming, my colleague and I made our way to each and every table, smiling and apologising profusely. Everyone took it quite well actually, for which I will forever be thankful to them for understanding but a certain lady in pink, who works for a certain private TV station, with her arms crossed, sat back and slowly but enough for everyone at her table to hear her say, “in my whole life, I have never been to an event this bad, never. This is the worst, the worst”. And that came from a person who visited the buffet table three times for the past half hour.

I guess that she had every right to say what she said. At the end of a day of fasting, who wouldn’t be angry when there isn’t enough food? Right?

But I guess I was just surprised at her remark because, I thought that in this blessed month of Ramadan, we would be a little more tolerant of any shortcomings, and a little more forgiving.

Whatever it is Kakak in Pink. I humbly apologise…but if you look at it on the bright side. No food was wasted right? :)

Ramadan Al Mubarak to you kakak in pink. Hope to see you again next Ramadan…

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I am SpongeBob

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I’m taking baby steps. One foot in front of the other.

“I’ll have you know I stubbed my toe last week when watering my spice garden, and I only cried for 20 minutes.” – SpongeBob

 

One of Bob’s many life lessons…

I’ll see you tomorrow.

The Night the Tiger Roared.

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I am not a football fan. Never was and never will be I guess. But the past one week, I have been tweeting and googling Harimau Malaya and researching Ultras Malaya on my BlackBerry till I can’t feel my fingers anymore.

It was by accident, this sudden enthusiasm for our national football team – Harimau Malaya.

This unexpected interest and intense passion for wanting and needing the Harimau Malaya to win was fuelled by harsh criticism and jeers coming from certain parties, especially those written on Twitterjaya.

Leaving out the petty insults thrown at us, I realized that this match made me more patriotic than ever.

For me at least, it was no longer a match to prove who was stronger or which team was more skilled. It was a fight for our Malaysia, our country, our nation and our people. Aint nobody be talking bad about my country.

They roared, we cheered and somehow along the journey, we became one, regardless.

It wasn’t about winning anymore. It was defending our honour, our dignity.

So I have to thank you. To the team, the people behind the team, the loyal supporters that call themselves Ultras Malaya, and Malaysians alike, thank you.

An Indian coach with his Chinese assistant, a Malay captain, a Japanese yakuza looking goalkeeper and an Indian Muslim manager (hope I got my facts right), they have the coolest of heads to win at the most hostile of environment.

I believe that deep down in each one of us, it wasn’t just about football. It’s our way of saying that we do fight back and that our pride for our nation runs as deep as yours for your country.

It’s nice waking up to all that positive energy coming from last night’s win. Perfect end to the year and the perfect start to 2011.

And the Ultras say;

Tanah Tumpahnya Darahku.

Berjuang hingga titisan terakhir. Martabatkan nama negara.

Me estoy volviendo loco!

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I have a situation at the office – a situation which is causing me unnecessary stress. It has also led me to become this crazy, deranged woman who at any moment now, could cause unnecessary harm to those crossing my path.

While my colleagues would be busy typing away (I think most of them are busy typing away on Facebook), I would be insanely obsessed with slamming my hand on the table, either that, or I would be busy spraying disinfectant at all four corners of my cubicle.

I have creepy crawlies; in fact this whole building has been taken over by them – cockroaches.

Embarrassing as this sounds, this 38 storey building situated in the heart of KL, where there is an embassy somewhere between the 25th – 30th floors, boasts of having a world-class convention centre, is infested with cockroaches.

These little crawlies have made a home in my keyboard, and I have on one occasion, threw out a keyboard, after a frustrating and gruelling three- hour of wrestling, spraying Ridsect and banging the keyboard against the table hoping that they would come out.

Sometimes, they would creep out from out of nowhere, scurrying  frantically across my table, in their haste to get into my keyboard, but if I’m fast enough, I would just slam my hand against them, squashing and flattening them, marking the end of their life. Yes, I’ve come to that point where I just squish them with bare hands, and would later use up a whole bottle of sanitizer.

But my workstation is not the only place these creepy crawlies would make an appearance. I’ve seen the lot of ‘em at the cafeteria on the 17 and 32nd floor, saw them at the cafe on level 4, they were also there in the main meeting room. Basically, they’re just everywhere. I don’t dare drink the water from our water dispenser fearing they’ve taken up residence underneath it as well.

I’m a clean person. I honestly am. I make it a point not to eat at the table. I clean up everyday before clocking out. But why oh why do they keep crawling out??? I’m going crazy! Loco!

Neither a beginning or an end

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I realize that it is still kind of early to be writing about the year end. It’s still November… still another full month to go.

Somehow, I’ve always been melancholic come the year end. I don’t exactly know why, I just know that I am.

Today, after staring hard at the calendar on the table, it hit me that the year is about to draw the curtains. As the year draws to an end, I couldn’t help but to pause for a moment and ponder – ponder on the  paths that I’ve chosen to tread upon, the friends that I’ve chosen to surround myself with and the memories that I choose to keep.

Have I made the right choices? I honestly don’t know. But choose I did. It’s the choices I’ve made throughout that have brought me to where I am today.

I guess, on a personal level, the New Year is in some way, a mark of how far I’ve come, from where I’ve been and how far I would still have to go.

Some say that New Year does not make any difference to them; they say it’s just another day, another X mark in the calendar.

For me, New Year is a time frame, a mark, an indication.

For one day in the year, the New Year is a breather. One day, out of the 365 days, for me to just stop for a while. To stand still and see myself a little more clearly, before the next day comes and we all push ourselves again, in our quest to maybe become a better person, a better friend, a better wife, better husband, and strive for a better life.

I’ve accidentally made plans for the New Year while browsing on the net for cheap flights to Brisbane next February.

No, no crowds this year, no staring up at the sky looking at the colourful fireworks. Not this year, this year is more subdued, quieter. This year’s ending will be spent somewhere on the outskirts of the city. In a room perched high on hill, overlooking a garden – a room with a balcony, where I plan on having my first breakfast of the year, where I will be saying quiet goodbyes to all that has happened this year and where I will build new hopes for the future in the quiet comforts of my own company.

Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instil in us.

Hit Search

 

I have to admit that I cannot image life without the Internet.

There are advantages to it, like googling the name of a potential boyfriend material to find out whether he really is still single as what he claims to be or searching for digitized scraps of information about that ex from long ago-I’m not really sure how googling about an ex would be an advantage though. To any ex of mine who might actually stumble upon this posting, no, I did not just google you.

The downside to all that available information? Knowing what you shouldn’t have known about in the first place.

Like, I know this is going to sad a tad bit pathetic – finding out from Facebook how extremely pretty The Syed’s wife is, how happy he looked sitting next to her on the dais or the fact that The Syed got engaged in December 2008 while he was still very much seeing me everyday and running up his phone bill every night whispering sweet nothings to me.

Now that I know, I honestly wished that I didn’t. What I don’t know wouldn’t hurt me…

No, I did not just cyber stalked him recently. I cyber stalked the moment I received his wedding invitation which was many months ago, not the same thing right? No?

Lesson to be learned? To leave things as it is. Life was a little less complicated without the easy accessibility of Google’s search button.

Raging War

It’s time to pack my bags again. Up and down, take off and touch down. Click here and click there, review, delete delete delete.

I used to have a wise Sudanese friend. Past tense as I don’t know where he is right now or how he is. I do hope life is treating him well and that he has settled down, with a wife and kids.

We used to trade stories of ourselves; the normal likes and dislikes, our favourites and not-so favourite things.

He was an engineering major in UIA and I was an Education major in UPM. What made us click was the shared passion of books and literature. It was through him that I discovered the beauty of Rumi and of Kahlil Gibran.

I remembered asking him once, “why didn’t you major in English? You have so much passion for it.” Although I didn’t quite get it back then, I was only 18 mind you, but his reply was one that I have always remembered. “I think I would start to be miserable if I were to be getting paid to do what I love”.

A decade later, with him nowhere in sight, I am beginning to unravel the hidden depth of his words.

You see, there was once a time that I was contented scribbling away on pieces of paper, in a diary, on a blog because I loved it. I loved it so much that I left a stable and secure job of seven years to do what I am most passionate about.

I still love what I do and the future of promised opportunities. The only difference is that now people start to have certain expectations where this passion of mine is concerned. They have a right to do so, I’m not denying that, since those are the hands that are feeding me. But when the expectations and the critics’ starts to roll in, I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed and my enthusiasm and morale star to sink further down the well.

Some tell me not to take it personally, that it’s part of the job. I do try. But I was flailing and hanging by thread a few moons ago, trying to make some sense to what I was going through. I kept asking myself, “So what should I do??  How can I keep work and play separate?”

But the truth is really actually very simple, if you love your job and it allows you to express your creativity, you are going to take it personal every time someone wants you to do it their way. I just have to learn to deal with that. After much thought and pondering and a bit of soul-searching, I came to the conclusion that if when I am passionate about what I am doing , I will tend to  be frustrated when someone asks me to do it a different way, but what is most important is…is that a reason not to do what I love doing?

I’m not miserable, just to put the record straight. But it was an internal battle fighting for what I love. Now that I have reached a conclusion, I know how it should be. All is well and life goes on. At least the colleagues are entertaining. That’s another story. Remind me one of these days.

I’m flying over the causeway tonight to where the Merlion stands. I think he might be lonely standing all alone spurting water every now and then.