About Me

I have done a lot of things in my life and have also worked in many different jobs to make a living and to experience life. This blog is just some of my musings, sometimes funny, sometimes inspirational, sometimes sad, sometimes angry, sometimes simple but all the time, it's just me.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A Mirian wedding course

There is this friend of mine, who is getting married soon.

As part of getting married, she has to undergo a natural birth control talk as well as a wedding course in the church.

This is conducted by various respected members of the church.

I went through the same thing when I was getting married to wifey.

Only difference is for the birth control section, in Miri, it is taught by this retired female doctor.

So, the women are supposed to observe their menstruation cycle and check on their discharge on a daily basis - whether is is dry, wet, sticky, cloudy etc.

For a month or so, they keep a record and show it to the doctor.

For this friend, after a month of charting etc and showing it to the doctor, the doctor declared you are "mandul" which basically meant she could not give birth.

The doctor went on to say that as my friend could not give birth, she could not get married in church.

YES, I know your eyes are rolling and saying WTF!

Luckily for my friend, she went to the priest and told the priest of the incident. The priest would have already also got a report from the doctor.

However, the priest too rolled his eyes and am sure in his mind said WTF.

The priest gracefully allowed this friend to get married and she has been happily married now.

I just think that sometimes some people make life more difficult than what has been said or prescribed by religion.

Hopefully, level heads will prevail.

And wishing all those getting married soon a blissful and happy marriage life. And those who are still single, do enjoy being single and have some fun.

Take care and be well.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tranquility, just an hour away

After years and years of living amongst the concrete jungle where walls are shared with pariah neighbours, I sometimes find more tranquility in simplicity.

Yes, a terrace house, no matter how expensive or wonderful it is has it's issues and expenses.

Worse of the issues are definitely neighbours who are pariahs and a disease and menace to the society.

But apart from that, the never ending expenses of maintaining a house. Prior to this, I used to live in a flat. Yes a flat, not an apartment or a condominium, a flat.

In a terrace house, you share your 2 side walls with neighbours.

In a flat, you share 2 walls, the floor and a ceiling - oh and the issues that arise from that are endless.

Currently, I am very happy with the home I live in because the interior is done very well by my personal designer (wifey) and the garden is nicely landscaped by my personal gardener (dad).

We are also among the few lucky ones in my housing estate to have a garden behind our house which is about 880 square feet and the house which is about 1600 square feet.

Of course like anyone with dreams and wishes, I do hope to own a nice bungalow one day, maybe even with a swimming pool. Maybe something like the image below.

Where there is a nice long driveway and the house is not visible from the road.

However, when I want to escape from the hustle and bustle of this concrete jungle, all I have to do is drive to this :

Yes, a simple hut built by a friend of mine on his land for me and wifey to enjoy, relax, take our mind off the concrete and look at the stars while listening to the sounds of the jungle and the rustling of the leaves while enjoying a nice simple meal, eating jungle fruits and drinking home-brew.

It can be warm, but this is the true idea of hill-slope development. The breeze from the Fraser's hill swoops down the side of the mountain bringing a nice natural coolness in the evenings.

The mosquitoes stay away very simply, smoke from the cooking stove which is using fire wood.

There is finally water and electricity and the main house (my friend's house) even has Astro.

They do not have a proper toilet which can be difficult for quite a number of people but it is something which would be an addition soon enough.

We have big plans, but there will be time for these plans to fruit.

Until then, the hut above will be my home away from home, on those weekends or holidays where I want to get away from it all and just chill.

Take care and be well.

Friday, August 20, 2010

El Nino and La Nina, for the 600th time already

It has been many many years ago since we were introduced to the weather patterns El Nino and La Nina (mainly meaning Little Boy and the Girl).

You would hope that after all these years, the boy and girl would have grown up.

But nope.

Still the little boy and the girl continue to cause major weather havoc around the world.

Sometimes I wonder if it is really them or we have just got used to blaming them for everything, so it is a convenient blame. El Nino and La Nina have been blamed so many times over the years that I've become immune to the news about them.

Just like we blame the weaker for a lot of things, I guess this blame game will continue.

Considering the weather patterns are opposite of each other, don't they just cancel each other out? I guess that way, the weather remains the same. One place gets hotter, another gets cooler ... but the balance remains.

Oh well.

Take care and be well.

BTW, this is my 600th blog post since started blogging. Guess I will not be reaching a 1000 mark until maybe 2012, then the world ends. ;)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Equality and Duality - 1Malay-sia

Being in a car or on a motorcycle with someone of the opposite gender can land you in trouble.

That is, if you are a teacher-trainee in the Tengku Ampuan Afzan Teachers' Training Institute (IPG) in Kuantan, Pahang.

The directive, contained in a circular dated and put into effect on Aug 10 by the institute, stipulates that it is now prohibited for its trainees to be riding a motorcycle or car berdua-duaan (as couples) on or even outside campus grounds.

Citing the Educational Institutions (Discipline) Act 1976 (Act 174), the circular containing the directive stipulates as an offense any “behaviour that can be interpreted as damaging or injuring the good name of the institution, whether committed within or outside campus”.

"As such, IPG announces with immediate effect that all students are not allowed to leave berdua-duaan in any vehicle, whether car or motorcycle within or outside the campus at any time,” the circular reads further.

Confirming the issuance of the circular, IPG director Mazlan Mohamad told Malaysiakini when contacted that the directive was made as a preventive measure against the onset of social ills.

"Why did we do that? Because we want to prevent (incidences). It's better (to prevent such incidences), before such things as baby-dumping occur,” said Mazlan.

Mazlan denied that the directive was an extreme measure, and pointed to the absence of objections by the students.

Furthermore, the rule would only be enforced within the area of the campus and is directed at the trainees, who have been openly and repeatedly seen leaving the campus in twos.

The perceptions of the community surrounding IPG - and their level of tolerance about such incidences - are different from the community in Kuala Lumpur, Mazlan noted further.

He also said that most of the 1,400-strong campus population understand the social environment of Kuala Lipis where such incidents are frowned upon.

The above article appeared in Malaysiakini yesterday.

So, now students are not allowed to go on motorcycles or even cars with a member of another sex.

I guess a father or a brother dropping his daughter or sister off to college is a big no-no for this campus.

Similarly a mother or sister cannot drop off the son or brother.

How ridiculous?

And who knew that riding pillion with a member of the opposite sex could get you pregnant or for the matter, even riding in the car with someone could get you pregnant ... which will eventually lead you to dumping babies.

And this is a Barisan Nasional run state and yet these same buggers are the ones who ridicule all the ridiculous laws the have implemented in Kelantan

Maybe time for us to reach a second independence - Malarabia or something like that and just stop all these sexes mixing together and re-introduced forced and arranged marriages - after all "love" marriages lead to high rate of divorce.

Then again, I am born here, this is my land, and all these ridiculousness needs to just stop. Somebody needs to have guts to come in and stop this nonsense.

The above institute or story is from Pahang. I wonder who the politicians from Pahang are?

Hmmmm, wait a minute, it is beloved PM himself.

1 Malaysia .... ptui.

Take care and be well.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What BP could have bought...

This article appeared on a website called Visual Economics. Really puts things to perspective that a laymen could understand. The following are things BP could have bought with all the money they have lost due to the gulf spill.

BP could have bought 10 years of clean water for each of the 884 million people in the world without access to it. The cost would be $8.84 billion, or $1 per year per person.

BP could also have bought a new home to replace each of the 275,000 lost in Hurricane Katrina. The cost would be $48.125 billion at the median New Orleans market rate of $175,000.

With the lost money, BP could also have bought an ice cream sandwich for everyone on Earth. The cost of $3.395 billion included a 0.50 sandwich from Walmart for each person.

The company could have also purchased Yahoo, Inc. Its market value according to Yahoo Finance is $20.069 billion.

BP could have also bought a 2010 Toyota Prius for each of BP’s 92,000 employees. The cars would cost $21,400 each for a total of $1.968 billion.

The company could also have purchased a copy of the book Sh*t My Dad Says for every user on Twitter. At $8.79 each of Amazon.com, the total for the books is $922 million.

BP could also have purchased Twitter itself for a cost of $1 billion, according to its 2009 valuation.

With the lost money, BP could add an island in the Bahamas to their purchases. Lighthouse Cay has four miles of beachfront and costs $33.3 million.

BP could also purchase a pogo stick for every elementary school kid in the U.S. At $25 each from Amazon.com, the toys would cost a total of $621.25 million.

BP could also supply a three-pack of condoms to every teenager in the U.S. If they got the 1,000 count discount packs from Amazon.com, the condoms would cost $8.45 million.

The lost income could also purchase an iPad for every college student in the U.S. at a total cost of $8.305 billion.

BP could purchase a trip to outer space for every U.S. Senator. At $30 million each from Space Adventures, the total cost would be $3 billion.

BP could also have purchased a year’s sponsorship for one million needy kids at Children International. At $22 per month per child, the total cost would be $264 million.

BP could buy a three-wolf t-shirt for every person in America. At $10.99 on Amazon.com, the total cost would be $3.432 billion.

BP could also buy a second wolf shirt for every person in Idaho. At 10.99 each, the total would be $17 million.

The total cost of all of these items is $100,000,000,000. This is how much BP stock has lost as of June 2010.

This doesn’t include the $3.5+ billion spent in recovery efforts so far.

Take care and be well.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


A milestone (from the Latin milliarium) is one of a series of numbered markers placed along a road or boundary at intervals of one mile or occasionally, parts of a mile.

They are typically located at the side of the road or in a median. They are alternatively known as mile markers, mileposts or mile posts. Mileage is the distance along the road from a fixed commencement point.

Milestones are constructed to provide reference points along the road.

This can be used to reassure travellers that the proper path is being followed, and to indicate either distance travelled or the remaining distance to a destination.

Such references are also used to by maintenance engineers and emergency services to direct them to specific points where their presence is required. This term is sometimes used to denote a location on a road even if no physical sign is present.

In Project Management, a milestone is the end of a stage that marks the completion of a work package or phase, typically marked by a high level event such as completion, endorsement or signing of a deliverable, document or a high level review meeting.

In addition to signaling the completion of a key deliverable, a milestone may also signify an important decision or the derivation of a critical piece of information, which outlines or affects the future of a project.

In this sense, a milestone not only signifies distance traveled (key stages in a project) but also indicates direction of travel since key decisions made at milestones may alter the route through the project plan.

People always talk about milestones, milestones at work, milestones in life.

Yes, there are may be many important events and occasions in one's life.

The only milestones I believe in is the beginning and the end. Birth and Death.

The events and occasions in between are just a wonderful journey.

Some people may say the day you graduate is a milestone, or the day you get married, or the day you get a job, or the day you have a child or the day you turn 40 - one milestone after another.

But is the day you graduate more important than the journey before and after graduation? Is it more important with what you do with your education? Is it more important to have a piece of paper that reads "with Honors" or to live a live with honor?

Is the day you get married a milestone? Is it more important than the marriage journey itself? More important than how a husband or a wife treats each other, with respect, humility, kindness?

Or the day you get a job? Why is that more important than what you do at work?

Or even when a child is born? Is it not more important how much time you spend with the child? Reminds me of the song Cats in the cradle and the silver spoon.

I am now 41, pass my big 40 ... honestly, I don't even truly remember how I spent it. I know I was in London for the weekend but do not know what I actually did on my 40th birthday. But I do remember other things I have done outside of my birthdays.

So why do I even say birth and death is a milestone?

Everything must have a beginning and an end.

Birth is the beginning of us, and our journey. Death the end. What happens in between, is your choices (sometimes forced upon you) and your destiny with God's grace.

I am enjoying my journey in life.

Has it been an easy journey and as such I am enjoying it? By far. I have had many trials and tribulations, many ups and downs and many a days when you would think of the end but you persevere, you get some courage, you move on.

Fear is always trying to bring us down, but perseverance and courage will always get us back up with divine help.

Set milestones if it makes you happy, but don't forget to celebrate the whole journey and not only at the milestones.

Take care and be well.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Only werewolves howl at the full moom

In the dark of the night, deep in the jungle, the only light that shines through the wide canopy of the virgin rainforest is that of a full moon brightly shining through foliage of the trees and casting shadows through the moist cool air.

What the eyes cannot see, the ear's compensates and hears. The sounds normally ignored are now amplified.

The rustling of the leaves by the wind, the chirping of the cricket, the hooting of the owl, the movement of the animals and once every month or so, the howling of the werewolf during the full moon.

The werewolf does not need to look at the moon to know it is a full moon or a new moon, it is something he knows, something that is imprinted in him, and every time there is a full moon, he will howl as that is his being.

Living in the city and looking up in the night sky, all you see is the brightness of the artificial fluorescent lights that have taken over the magnificent night sky and the polluted air sometimes even blocking of any natural light and shadows from the light of the moon.

The modern city werewolf can barely see the light from the moon but it will howl at the full moon even when he cannot see the moon because it is imprinted in him.

Just because you cannot see the moon does not mean the moon does not exist. The moon is there, always, whether it is a full moon or a new moon.

Nowadays it is easy to calculate when the full moon is and when the new moon is, after all the moon is on a fix cycle.

The werewolf know the fixed cycle and so have humans for years. In fact, the moon cycles are printed on many calendars and easily available off the mighty Internet.

And yet, year in year out, a brethren of brothers in a country known as One Malaysia Bolehland will go out in a specific month to go out to the highest of mountains with their hand held telescopes to look out for the new moon to determine the start of the fasting period.

For years, other similar brethren of brothers have gone to scientific methods but the brethren of brothers here remain old fashioned.

And a month or so later, these same brothers will go out to determine the end of the fasting period.

It does not matter if it is the rainy season with clouds covering the brightly fluorescent lite skies, the duty to see the new moon with handheld telescopes is pertinent to the success and control of this land.

As for the story of the werewolf, if you happen to be in the jungle camping out some night, where the skies are lit by the moon and the millions of stars and no fake fluorescent light is in sight, where your hearing has become better than your sight and you hear every little noise of the jungle, listen out for the howl of the werewolf.

You have got five more full moons this year namely Aug 24, Sep 23, Oct 23, Nov 21 and Dec 21. Listen out to the howl of the werewolf - but please remember - this is no Taylor Lautner or Jacob the werewolf from the Twilight saga.

If you do a Google search on Moon Calendar 2010, it will give you more than 23 million hits and a surprising 143 thousand hits for the howl of the werewolf.

Do let me know if you hear the werewolf howl during the full moon.

Until then .....

Take care and be well.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Inspiration, Perseverance, Courage

Derek Anthony Redmond (born 3 September 1965, in Bletchley, Buckinghamshire, England) is a retired British athlete.

During his career, he held the British record for the 400 metres sprint, and won gold medals in the 4x400 metres relay at the World Championships, European Championships and Commonwealth Games.

However his career was blighted by a series of injuries, and he is best remembered for his performance at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona where he tore his hamstring in the 400 metres semi-final but fought through the pain and, with assistance from his father, managed to complete a full lap of the track as the crowd gave him a standing ovation.

The incident has become a well-remembered moment in Olympic history, having been the subject of one of the International Olympic Committee's 'Celebrate Humanity' videos and been used in advertisements by Visa as an illustration of the Olympic spirit and featured in Nike's "Courage" commercials in 2008.

God is always with us and I pray he is always with me too.

Take care and be well.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

14 Steps to Achieving Work-Life Balance

Following has been happily plagiarized from Salary.com writer Dawn Dugan.

Not sure where in Malaysia we can find a personal coach to fulfill step 9, but other steps can easily be practiced.

Step 1: Set your priorities
Figure out what you want your priorities to be, not what you think they should be. Ask yourself, "If I could only focus on one thing in my life, what would it be?"
That answer is your top priority. What would you focus on second? Third? Fourth? Fifth? You've now identified your top five priorities.

Step 2: Track your time
For one week, track how you spend your time. How much time do you spend doing things that don't matter to you? Or that don't align with your priorities? Eliminate these things from your life, or delegate them.

Step 3: Concentrate on one thing at a time
Forget multi-tasking. It's not possible to focus on two things at the same time. Instead, devote your full attention to the task at hand.
When you are working, work. When you are spending time with your family, focus solely on them.

Step 4: Schedule one thing you look forward to each day
Book some time to play tennis with a friend, go to an art museum, or have a massage. The activity doesn't have to be time-consuming, complicated, or expensive.
Put aside an hour on your schedule to read a book, take a walk, or just to be alone.

Step 5: Respect your private time
An emergency would most likely have to come up before you'd reschedule an important work meeting. Give your own time the same respect.
Once you've put private time on your schedule, protect it, unless there's an emergency.

Step 6: Take a look at your personal habits and general lifestyle
Lack of sleep, poor nutrition, and bad exercise habits can cause you to feel a lack of balance in your life, and can counteract any efforts you are making to achieve work-life balance.

Step 7: Take a vacation
At the very least, take two weeks off from work per year. You don't need to go far and you don't need to spend lots of money, but you do need to recharge your batteries in order to be the most productive, creative, and happy person possible. Turn off your cell phone and computer, and enjoy.

Step 8: Ask for support
Tell your boss, family, friends, colleagues, and anyone else involved in your life that you are seeking a better work-life balance.
Tell them what your plan is, and ask them to respect it.

Step 9: Hire a personal coach
A personal coach can assess your current work-life balance, and can tell you what you can do to achieve optimal balance.

Step 10: Get plenty of exercise
It may feel counterintuitive to add another activity to your life, but exercise relieves stress, clears your mind, and ultimately makes you more productive.
Don't skip it. You'll find that you greet work, family, and personal commitments with renewed vigor.

Step 11: Set boundaries
Today's technology can make the line between your work life and personal life quite blurry.
Turn off your cell phone and laptop when you're at your son's soccer game, and ask friends and family not to interrupt your workday unless it's an emergency.

Step 12: Find a mentor
Do you know someone who has it all -- a successful career and a terrific personal life?
Ask him or her to give you advice on career development, setting priorities, and time management.

Step 13: Learn how to say "no"
Don't acquiesce to every request that comes your way. If it doesn't fit into your schedule or align with your priorities, don't overwhelm yourself by taking on more.

Step 14: Evaluate your work-life balance on a regular basis
Achieving work-life balance is a never-ending journey, and your needs will be different at different times in your life.
Set aside some time once every other month or so to reflect on your current balance, what you would like it to be, and what the plan is for arriving there.

Hopefully we all can achieve a proper work life balance that we seek. I am starting to achieve it and have for a long time been doing quite a number of the steps above but still a few more to go for sure.

Take care and be well.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Short Essay

Not sure if the following is a true story but it sure is innovative, creative and rather funny.

This is a story of a 16 year old boy from New Hampshire who won the 'World Title' for the 'Shortest Essay Competition.'

He was awarded a full scholarship at the University of Harvard for his imagination and humour ... Here's an example of absolute brilliance in brevity.

Shortest Essay:

An English university creative writing class was asked to write a concise essay with reference to all of the following elements:


The prize-winner wrote:

"My God," said the Queen, "I'm pregnant. I wonder who the father is."

Take care and be well.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Boys will be boys; Girls will be girls

This is so funny.

Definitely brings a smile to anyone who watches this.

Enjoy it?

Take care and be well.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Thatness - The real being of anything

Tattva, acintya bheda bheda tattva
Tattva, acintya bheda bheda tattva
Tattva, acintya bheda bheda tattva
Tattva, acintya bheda bheda tattva

Like the flower and the scent of summer
like the sun and the shine
Well the truth may come in strange disguises
send a message to your mind

Tattva, acintya bheda bheda tattva
Tattva, acintya bheda bheda tattva
Tattva, acintya bheda bheda tattva
Tattva, acintya bheda bheda tattva

At the moment that you wake from sleeping
and you know it's all a dream
Well the truth may come in strange disguises
never knowing what it means

Tattva, acintya bheda bheda tattva
Tattva, acintya bheda bheda tattva
Tattva, acintya bheda bheda tattva
Tattva, acintya bheda bheda tattva

For you shall be tomorrow
like you have been today
If this was never ending
what more can you say?

Just back from Kula Shaker concert.

What more can I say?

It was like the flower and the scent of summer. It was like the sun and the shine.

It was wonderful.

The word Tatva is comprised of two words, Tat (meaning that) and Tvam (meaning thou).

Tatva basicially means thatness, that is, the real being of anything. It is generally translated as meaning quality.

Further, Tat represents the Godhead and Tvam the individual, giving a meaning (which fits in well with Hermetic Philosophy) of "That (which is the Universe) art thou."

This is similar to the Hermetic axiom of "As above, so below", and is directly related to the concepts of the Macrocosm (Tat, Godhead) and Microcosm (Tvam, individual).

Kula Shaker was in town and they did not disappoint - not me anyways.

For many who have no idea who Kula Shaker are an English psychedelic rock band.

It is led by Crispian Mills who did not dissapoint last night.

The band came to prominence during the Post-Britpop era of the late 1990s notching up a number of Top 10 hits on the UK Singles Chart, including "Tattva", "Hey Dude", "Govinda", "Hush", and "Sound of Drums".

The band are known for their interest in traditional Indian music, culture, and mysticism, with a number of their most famous songs, including "Tattva" and "Govinda", featuring lyrics written in the Hindu sacred language, Sanskrit.

The name Kula Shaker was itself inspired by King Kulasekhara, an Indian emperor from the 8th century.

THe concert and songs despite it's psychadelicness or thatness was meaningful (...the truth may come in strange disguises, send a message to your mind).

Take care and be well.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Building an Empire

After all the serious blog posts, every now and then, everyone needs a laugh and nothing does it better for me than comics.

So, how about some Empire building advice from Dogbert.

With all the stories of Little Napoleans, First Ladies and Crazy Royalties in Malaysia, I guess they all really have been taking advice from Dogbert.

Take care and be well.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Higher education - worthwhile or worthless?

Professor Andrew Hacker says that higher education in the US is broken. I think it is broken everywhere, not just in the US.

He argues that too many undergraduate courses are taught by graduate assistants or professors who have no interest in teaching.

With the mushrooming of many private higher education institutions here, I am even aware of degree level courses being taught by people with degrees only as well rather than people with Master's or PhD or professors.

Hacker proposes numerous changes, including an end to the tenure system, in his book, Higher Education?

"Tenure is lifetime employment security, in fact, into the grave" Hacker tells NPR's Tony Cox.

The problem, as he sees it, is that the system "works havoc on young people," who must be incredibly cautious throughout their years in school as graduate students and young professors, "if they hope to get that gold ring."

That's too high a cost, Hacker and his co-author, Claudia Dreifus, conclude.

"Regretfully," Hacker says, "tenure is more of a liability than an asset."

In Malaysia, we do not have a tenure system, not one that I am aware of anyways.

So, in terms of lecturing, there are more universities and colleges in Malaysia than there are lecturers.

This inevitably results in colleges hiring inexperienced and under qualified to do the lecturing.

These people who just themselves may have finished their bachelor's degrees or master's degrees and may have no working experience get jobs as lecturers because there is a lack of other jobs available.

Someone recently informed me that in Malaysia, it seems like in 4-5 years, we will have a glut of doctors and more doctors than we require.

These trend has happened for IT graduates, then Engineers and inevitably doctors.

Unfortunately, having been a part time lecturer myself, many younger people do not consider being a lecturer or professor as a permanent career choice.

We are a nation that lacks good teachers at all levels, primary, secondary and higher education.

We are a nation where most of our ministers including prime minister has not even been educated locally because local education "sucks" and they belonged in an elite that could afford overseas education.

We are a nation where only Jho Low's and such can become billionaires because of their overseas connections through his overseas education.

If my statistics are correct, none of our prime ministers nor deputies were locally educated.

None of the top ten richest in Malaysia were locally educated. Some of our richest in fact have received no education at all.

Higher education now has little value now, not much more than the paper the degree is printed on.

What counts is your network, who you know, how much you know them, how you know them, where you know them from.

If you want to become rich, start mixing with people who are currently richer than you.

If you want to become more spiritual, start mixing with people who are more spiritual.

If you want to become a good cook, mix with chefs.

Apart from that, knowledge is all available on the Internet.

Most of my colleagues, even doctors, tend to tell me they use less than 20% if what they studied in their day to day life.

So, apart from having a piece of paper that says you are a graduate - that in itself will not get you anyway.

To move, move with the right crowd.

Take care and be well.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Song Offerings গীতাঞ্জলি

The following poems or songs have been taken from Nobel Prize winning poet Rabindranath Tagore's Gitanjali গীতাঞ্জলি which translates to song offerings or offerings of songs and are all Bengali devotional songs.

I have chosen a few of the songs from Gitanjali which I find meaningful to me at this moment.

The first below is titled Light.
Light, my light, the world-filling light,
the eye-kissing light,
heart-sweetening light!
Ah, the light dances, my darling, at the center of my life;
the light strikes, my darling, the chords of my love;
the sky opens, the wind runs wild, laughter passes over the earth.
The butterflies spread their sails on the sea of light.
Lilies and jasmines surge up on the crest of the waves of light.
The light is shattered into gold on every cloud, my darling,
and it scatters gems in profusion.
Mirth spreads from leaf to leaf, my darling,
and gladness without measure.
The heaven's river has drowned its banks
and the flood of joy is abroad.

I am in a quest. Many a times, in meditation, in prayer, in thoughts, I have been bathed in the light, multi colored lights all combining to a perfect whiteness.

Mind Without Fear
Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up
into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason
has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action---
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

While on my quest, fear is something I have forgotten about. I travel through this journey with a mind without fear but with an open still mind.

Where is this deliverance to be found?
Our master himself has joyfully taken upon him the bonds of creation;
he is bound with us all for ever.
Come out of thy meditations and leave aside thy flowers and incense!
What harm is there if thy clothes become tattered and stained?
Meet him and stand by him in toil and in sweat of thy brow.

Sometimes, in our sweat and in our tears, a guardian will come to us to guide.

When Day Is Done
If the day is done,
if birds sing no more,
if the wind has flagged tired,
then draw the veil of darkness thick upon me,
even as thou hast wrapped the earth with the coverlet of sleep
and tenderly closed the petals of the drooping lotus at dusk.
From the traveler,
whose sack of provisions is empty before the voyage is ended,
whose garment is torn and dust-laden,
whose strength is exhausted,
remove shame and poverty,
and renew his life like a flower under the cover of thy kindly night.

Everyday, I pray when I go to sleep to renew my life in the night, to forgive me for any bad I have done, to open me to do good things in my life.

Lamp of Love
Light, oh where is the light?
Kindle it with the burning fire of desire!
There is the lamp but never a flicker of a flame---is such thy fate, my heart?
Ah, death were better by far for thee!
Misery knocks at thy door,
and her message is that thy lord is wakeful,
and he calls thee to the love-tryst through the darkness of night.
The sky is overcast with clouds and the rain is ceaseless.
I know not what this is that stirs in me---I know not its meaning.
A moment's flash of lightning drags down a deeper gloom on my sight,
and my heart gropes for the path to where the music of the night calls me.
Light, oh where is the light!
Kindle it with the burning fire of desire!
It thunders and the wind rushes screaming through the void.
The night is black as a black stone.
Let not the hours pass by in the dark.
Kindle the lamp of love with thy life.

When I put on a candle or a ghee lamp at night, it flickers, the shadows and the lamp of love kindles and I feel loved, I feel relieve, I feel stillness, I feel that everything will be alright.

Give Me Strength
This is my prayer to thee, my lord---strike,
strike at the root of penury in my heart.
Give me the strength lightly to bear my joys and sorrows.
Give me the strength to make my love fruitful in service.
Give me the strength never to disown the poor

or bend my knees before insolent might.
Give me the strength to raise my mind high above daily trifles.
And give me the strength to surrender my strength to thy will with love.

Daily, I ask for strength. Strength to bear this life, strength to find a way, strength to do good, strength.

The Journey
The morning sea of silence broke into ripples of bird songs;
and the flowers were all merry by the roadside;
and the wealth of gold was scattered through the rift of the clouds
while we busily went on our way and paid no heed.

We sang no glad songs nor played;
we went not to the village for barter;
we spoke not a word nor smiled;
we lingered not on the way.
We quickened our pace more and more as the time sped by.
The sun rose to the mid sky and doves cooed in the shade.
Withered leaves danced and whirled in the hot air of noon.
The shepherd boy drowsed and dreamed in the shadow of the banyan tree,
and I laid myself down by the water
and stretched my tired limbs on the grass.
My companions laughed at me in scorn;
they held their heads high and hurried on;
they never looked back nor rested;
they vanished in the distant blue haze.
They crossed many meadows and hills,
and passed through strange, far-away countries.
All honor to you, heroic host of the interminable path!
Mockery and reproach pricked me to rise,
but found no response in me.
I gave myself up for lost
in the depth of a glad humiliation---in the shadow of a dim delight.
The repose of the sun-embroidered green gloom
slowly spread over my heart.
I forgot for what I had traveled,
and I surrendered my mind without struggle
to the maze of shadows and songs.
At last, when I woke from my slumber and opened my eyes,
I saw thee standing by me, flooding my sleep with thy smile.
How I had feared that the path was long and wearisome,
and the struggle to reach thee was hard!

The journey may seem long and hard, and there will be many people mocking me throughout this journey, many will not understand, many will say I have changed, some will say for worse.

At the end of it all, the journey will bear fruit when I surrender and still my mind and have no fear, no fear of a long and wearisome path.

When I surrender my mind and still my mind, have an open heart, God or the Universe will send me someone to guide me on the path that I seek.

Take care and be well.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The measure of love is to love without measure

The measure of love is to love without measure.

Saint Francis de Sales C.O. (French: Saint François de Sales) (August 21, 1567 – December 28, 1622) was Bishop of Geneva and is a Roman Catholic saint.

He is known also for his writings on the topic of spiritual direction and spiritual formation, particularly Introduction to the Devout Life and Set Your Heart Free.

Saint Francis de Sales used a four part approach to Christian meditation based on "preparation", "consideration", "affections and resolutions" and "conclusions".

In the preparation part, one places oneself in the presence of God and asks the Holy Spirit to direct the prayer, as in the Epistle to the Romans[8:26]: "The Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know what to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words."

In the consideration part, one focuses on a specific topic, e.g. a passage from the Bible.

In the affections and resolutions part, one focuses on feelings and makes a resolution or decision. For instance, when meditating on the Parable of the Good Samaritan one may decide to visit someone sick and be kind to them.

In the conclusion part, one gives thanks and praise to God for the considerations and asks for the grace to stand by the resolution.

He also said to be who you are and be that well.

So, I need to be who I am and to be that well. Also I need to love without measure.

Something that I need to do, not a wish, a hope, a want ... but a need.

Take care and be well.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A dream .... Is it just a dream?

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow-
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand-
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?
- Edgar Allan Poe

A Dream Within a Dream was written in 1849 and reflects Poe's feelings about his life at the time, dramatizing his confusion in watching the important things in his life slip away.

Realizing he cannot hold onto even one grain of sand leads to his final question that all things are a dream.

The poem references "golden sand," an image derived from the 1848 discovery of gold in California.

It has also been interpreted that the "golden sand" is an allusion to the author's loved ones, and that each is inevitably swept away by death (the pitiless wave), no matter how tight a clasp the author tries to retain them with.

Other's have interpreted it yet differently. Stating that the poem is about the true nature of the human existence. We are created from God's dream and we are dreaming ourselves. There is no matter and only the illusion of solidness. He is sad that he cannot save us and therefore, himself from this illusion and all the pain and suffering resulting from our own ignorance.

Maybe having watched a movie like Inception has made me write this blog and maybe just over-analysing things.

Some things are left un-analysed. And sometimes wisdom comes through Walt Disney cartoons.

The past can hurt. But the way I see it, you can either run from it, or learn from it. - The Lion King

The flower that blooms in adversity is the most rare and beautiful of all. - Mulan.

Do not be fooled by its commonplace appearance. Like so many things, it is not what outside, but what is inside that counts. - Alladin.

And to end it all with none other than Cinderella.
A dream is a wish your heart makes when you're fast asleep. In dreams you will lose your heartaches. Whatever you wish for, you keep. Have faith in your dreams, and someday, your rainbow will come smiling through. No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dreams that you wish will come true.

Take care and be well.