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.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Energizer Bunny

I've kept going and going and going and going non-stop without rest like the Energizer bunny. And you know what happens when you go non-stop like an Energizer bunny?

Yes, eventually the battery does die off and you will be forced to stop.

Sometimes, God or your guardian will throw something at you to make you stop and think and rest.

If the Energizer Bunny stopped every now and then and rested, the battery would technically last longer even if you just count the moving time. It is proven that a battery on a device lasts longer if it is shut-down every now and then compared to when it is left on all the time.

So, how different would our batteries of our life and soul be? We need time to shutdown and time to relax and think of nothing. It is not easy but we cannot be on continuous motion and movement.

The last couple of days and weeks have not been easy but I know that I will find a way to get out of this rut that I am in. It is just a matter of recognising the root causes of this and to ensure that the heart, mind and soul understands that the situation will not improve by worrying, anxiety or despair.

It will improve by gratitude, faith, hope and love. So, I need to be thankful for the things I do have rather than worry about the things I do not. I have to have faith, not surrender to God but trust God and my guardians. I have to continue living a life of hope. And infinite love will always get me to where I want to be.

Mother Theresa said that it does not matter if you change the world or made a difference in the world, it only matters that you made a difference to one person.

One person is all that matters. My legacy and my life to the world does not matter, it only matters I am alive and I make a difference.

I know I have made a difference. I know many of you out there read my blogs and are inspired and when I am down, you are with me, in your heart and in your mind. For that, I love you and I thank you.

This Energizer Bunny is shutting down now, I will continue to write a blog every couple of days but I am stopping from activity today.

Take care and be well.

Friday, July 29, 2011

The Mole Man who went up the hill and came down a mountain

Familiar with the Mole Man?

How about the idiom "Making mountains out of molehills"?

The term is used to refer to one who has dwelled on a situation that has long passed and is therefore no longer significant.

Yes, we are all sometimes guilty of making mountains out of molehills.

But sometimes, the molehills do combine and come up all at the same time and it does feel like a mountain or a huge burden.

Who are we to judge ones burden or ones pain over another similar as we cannot judge ones happiness?

Al E is happy if you give him a treat or any food, sometimes he reminds me of Kung Fu Panda Po. He is also happy chasing around his favorite ball and he is happy running around in the garden.

I wish sometimes it was that simple to keep me happy, a treat, chasing around balls and running around in the garden .....

Wait a minute, it was that simple when I was 7. Getting a treat i.e. ice-cream or a chocolate bar, playing football in the backyard or even on a street did make me happy then. Life was so carefree and money was no burden ... we did not need any nor did we have any as kids.

The Mole Man above, why did he become a villain. How about Dr Octopus?

They did not all start out as bad guys.

The Mole Man was originally Harvey Rupert Elder, an American nuclear engineer and explorer. Harvey was socially shunned due to a combination of his abrasive personality and his homely, dwarfish appearance.

Furthermore, his fellow explorers ridiculed him for his eccentric, crackpot theories regarding a Hollow Earth.

When Harvey fell into a massive cave leading deep into the underground realm of Subterranea, he decided his theories had finally been vindicated. However, he suffered permanent damage to his eyes when he gazed directly upon a highly reflective deposit of diamonds.

Partially blind and apparently secluded from the surface world forever, Harvey dubbed himself the Mole Man and began exploring his new home. He eventually became the ruler of the branch of Subterraneans and used the Deviant-derived creatures and technology that he found in Subterranea to strike back at the outer world in numerous attempts to rule or humble the world that had rejected him.

As a teenager, I had different worries and concerns and when I read some blogs of teenagers nowadays, I see despite the advance technology, they too have similar worries and concerns.

Now, in my 40's, I have reached a stage in my life where it is not too far away from retirement yet I feel I am struggling now, what more when I retire.

I am not the only one that seems to be in this predicament, but why and what has led us to this predicament.

We are all born for a reason and we lead this life for a reason, but why do we struggle sometimes and why do some people have what we sometimes term as an easy life.

Maybe outside looking in, there are probably many people who actually look at me and feel that I have an easy life.

But I have to go back to my own advice and start looking at infinite love, gratitude and forgiveness and that is going to heal the pain and make the large mountains into molehills.

I have to on a daily basis consciously to continually upgrade the field of the spirit to live in the now, no matter how painful it is.

And through love, transform every physical symptom and stressful experience into an intention that genetically aligns the intelligent design of the cells in my body and the relationships in my life, manifesting through my thoughts, feelings and actions.

And through love, create portals that open the divine potential of my mind and body for healing, regeneration and wholeness.

I know I just have to seek the answers and guidance from my guardians who are there to show me love and direction, but I need to do this before I start falling deeper and deeper into the subterranean cave within my own self.

Take care and be well.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dr Doom and Gloom

Continuing with my Super Hero or Super Villain theme, I sure feel like Doom and Gloom right now.

The feeling around the last couple of days especially is that the situation is bad and is not likely to improve. There's been so much gloom and doom here, I think I should try to provide a smile

Follow all familiar paths now
Accessing all human minds
Injecting my veins with your hatred
My focus never stays the same
Pure! So fresh I can test it
Taste it in my narrow mind
Focus well and inject it
Blindfold my eyes
When my apathy dies
Sure I will rise up and face it
Another day of sunshine lies
This world is made by my fiction
Injected in my body's pride
How long must I reach out
Eating my own vomiting
Is our hearts meant to be broken
Broken within broken this sin
Ten thousand lies
Can't touch me so
In the way that you do
Ten thousand lies
Disregard less why
Can't touch me so hard
Like you.

Irony Man has been defeated by Dr Doom and Gloom. The weekend and the last couple of days have just been just too much that it has sometimes become unbearable, but I just have to and move on.

Firstly, I was feeling a lot of pain in my chest since Saturday and I was pretty unwell.

Then, my wife has been down with the flu and now been diagnosed with one of the many H1NXX flu virus.

I also got a call from the mechanic that the repair of the Hyundai Elantra would cost more than five grand, money that I do not have lying around in my mattress.

My Land Rover Freelander TD4 is still in the workshop and it has been 5 months since the world upside down accident that I had. And it is still not completely fixed.

I got my Maxis bill which is a crazy amount of nearly 4 grand, again for ridiculous charges and I am still unable to get hold of them.

Al E is still not 100% from the cough and sneezing that he has been going through.

My ole man for some reason has been more reserved and crappy.

My sister in law was hit by a car on her 24 year old motorcycle and now has a broken foot and thankfully alive but will be out of work for a month at the least.

Currently, I am spiralling into some level of depression and just need to smile about it. Maybe I am in denial or maybe I am in acceptance.

It has not been an easy week, and it is only Wednesday.

But then, I get an email from a follower of this blog which is as follows:

Hi Mr. Nil,

I am (Name removed), 14 years old, senior HS student, a follower of your blog posts in Nil’s Musings. I have always enjoyed reading your posts, in the fact that I learn and I can apply it to my life. I have always been inspired to make the most of my life worth living by following some of yours tips, and surely they did not harm me, nor the persons close to me. Instead it helped me in becoming a better person. But still, there are some qualities of mine than gets me feeling down and low. For instance, my “DISTANT” personality. Even though I try so hard to be friends with people, I somehow get lost and I found myself introvert and boring and most of the time, I don’t know what to say to, or open  conversations and I found it difficult to answer right back to their questions. I guess it’s because of my low self-esteem compared to my other friends.

Right now, I am in the stage of creating myself, but I just don’t know where to start when so many things bother me so much about myself. Thank you for your time that you spent reading my message. I just don’t know who to open up this problem of mine. I’m hoping that you could respond to me, though I don’t expect it to be right away, and help me on developing myself.

Thank you again. Take care. To God be all the Glory.

Of course I have sent her a short positive reply and her email has also made me think a little. I know my friends and even many strangers are reading my blog and being inspired by my writing and therefore by me.

So, how do I use that to inspire me. I need to be inspired from within. And of course, some inspiration like above from a young reader is always greatly appreciated, it helps me get out of the doom and gloom.

At the end of the day, I need to be in that atmosphere of believer's where everyone is praising and worshiping God and where the presence of God is felt. It is like my young inspiring reader says, To God be all the Glory.

I need to listen to my guardian, I need to seek his guidance, through him and through God, I will be able to come out of this doom and gloom and there is a resolution and peace that is waiting for me.

Please continue sending me emails, sms, facebook messages, comments on the blogs etc. I truly appreciate it, I am grateful. Thank you and I love you all.

Take care and be well.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Irony Man

I'm broke but I'm happy
I'm poor but I'm kind
I'm short but I'm healthy, yeah
I'm high but I'm grounded
I'm sane but I'm overwhelmed
I'm lost but I'm hopeful baby
I feel drunk but I'm sober
I'm young and I'm underpaid
I'm tired but I'm working, yeah
I care but I'm restless
I'm here but I'm really gone
I'm wrong and I'm sorry baby
I'm free but I'm focused
I'm green but I'm wise
I'm hard but I'm friendly baby
I'm sad but I'm laughing
I'm brave but I'm chickenshit
I'm sick but I'm pretty baby
What it all comes down to
Is that everything's gonna be fine fine fine
'cause I've got one hand in my pocket
And the other one is giving a high five

Life is mostly like the song lyrics above. Happiness or unhappiness comes from a choice within hat you make. But can one truly be struggling and still be happy.

Struggles are what we are for. Buddha's 1st Noble Truth is that life is suffering. That may seen very negative and very discouraging considering that Buddha is the one who showed people a way to lead a balanced lifestyle and still achieve Nirvana.

But to truly understand the noble truths, you must always go beyond the 1st one and read the other 3 noble truths. Buddha talks about acceptance, accepting that in this life, you are born, it is bound that you will face some level of suffering. Dwelling into the suffering or denying the suffering or being angry about it will not end the suffering. The only best thing then to do is accept it and once you have accepted that you cannot do much about it, you will find a ways to move on and end end that suffering as well.

This is not difference than the grief cycle known as DABDA. Sometimes, we as humans when in grief or stress or loss will go through DABDA. The Five Stages of Grief, was first introduced by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross in 1969, the year I was born.
  1. Denial — "I feel fine."; "This can't be happening, not to me."
    Denial is usually only a temporary defense for the individual. This feeling is generally replaced with heightened awareness of possessions and individuals that will be left behind after death.
  2. Anger — "Why me? It's not fair!"; "How can this happen to me?"; '"Who is to blame?"
    Once in the second stage, the individual recognizes that denial cannot continue. Because of anger, the person is very difficult to care for due to misplaced feelings of rage and envy.
  3. Bargaining — "I'll do anything for a few more years."; "I will give my life savings if..."
    The third stage involves the hope that the individual can somehow postpone or delay death. Usually, the negotiation for an extended life is made with a higher power in exchange for a reformed lifestyle. Psychologically, the individual is saying, "I understand I will die, but if I could just do something to buy more time..."
  4. Depression — "I'm so sad, why bother with anything?"; "I'm going to die... What's the point?"; "I miss my loved one, why go on?"
    During the fourth stage, the dying person begins to understand the certainty of death. Because of this, the individual may become silent, refuse visitors and spend much of the time crying and grieving. This process allows the dying person to disconnect from things of love and affection. It is not recommended to attempt to cheer up an individual who is in this stage. It is an important time for grieving that must be processed.
  5. Acceptance — "It's going to be okay."; "I can't fight it, I may as well prepare for it."
    In this last stage, the individual begins to come to terms with her/his mortality or that of a loved one.
Sometimes, it can go back and is cyclical. For example, I personally was in a stage of acceptance for a certain situation and some incidents happened that took me right back up to anger and depression.

Yes, it sometimes seems like an irony or like a joke God is playing on us. So what to do? Deny it, be angry, be depressed, try to bargain or just accept it?

Sometimes, it is okay to be ironic, I am Irony Man. The only powers I have is same as yours, I have feelings, I feel all of the above. I am sometimes angry, I am sometimes in denial, I am sometimes depressed, I am sometimes bargaining but I know moving on can only be when I am in acceptance.

Over the past year, I have accepted quite a number of things but I am a human, I am Irony Man, so I am not perfect. There are things that I am still in denial about and there are still things I am angry about. Sometimes, I do feel depressed. And just like the rest of us, when things are down, we always go to God to bargain, to show us the light, to lead us to the right path.

I am Irony Man but I am hoping that I will be Acceptance Man, soon, I hope.

Take care and be well.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Hidup Sederhana, Basikal Tua (Living moderately, old bicycle)

Riang hatiku badan bertuah
Punya teman yang comel dan manja
Berjanji akan selalu bersama
Menemani ku setiap masa
Aku hidup serba sederhana
Tiada harta tiada rupa
Hanya yang ada budi bahasa
Harta sekadar basikal tua
Orang biasa basikal tua
Orang biasa basikal tua
Walau kemana ia meminta
Kubawa dengan hati yang bangga
Senang melihat ia ketawa
Duduk di palang basikal tua

(from the late Sudirman)

Today, I got up half an hour earlier than usual. My four alarms that I had set on my iPhone alarm had yet to go off. So, I lay in bed and looked at the time on the iPhone and just closed my eyes and listened to the early morning sounds of suburbia. I live in a relatively quiet neighborhood but the sounds you hear in silence are more defined compared to the sounds you hear when everyone is awake.
It is amazing all the sounds you hear just before the crack of dawn. When I was young, I used to get up at 4am to meditate, pray and go to school. The time has started getting later and later as I get older. However, all that changed recently and I have had to get up relatively early again. The last month or so, I have been waking at around half past six to prepare myself for work mainly to reach the office at eight so that I am amongst the early birds who gets parking.
As I listen to the sound of silence and inactivity in the neighborhood, I listen to the sound of the roaring engines of a commercial flight returning to Malaysia from some distant land. My house is nearly forty kilometers for the nearest airport and normally I would not hear the planes.
Surprisingly, Lassie, the dog from across the street that usually barks a lot is likely a sleep but I hear a barking of a dog some distant away, it is a familiar bark and it is likely a dog that actually lives two streets away.
I hear the distant sound of the LRT train stopping at the station which is a 2 kilometers away. It reminds me of my days living in Bukit Mertajam many years ago. BM is at the crossroads of the Malaysian rail system and pretty much every train has to pass BM to go anywhere from north to south.
I hear the water flowing from the water feature upfront and the change from one motor to the other motor to pump the water through the feature. The pressure of the water changes ever so slightly when the motors change as they take turns to pump the water.
I hear the water bubbles from the fish tank in the living room which houses our one loner fish in our huge fish tank and wonder what Sid the fish is doing.
I hear the mosquito engines of the small cupcai motorcycle, likely that of the newspaper vendor delivering the papers. Those days, I would have guessed the milkman too but lately the milkman comes in an open back 4-wheel Ford truck. During my younger days growing up in Penang, I knew the names of my milkman, postman, newspaper delivery man, roti (bread) man and even my gardener whom all rode on what it seemed like the same bicycle, well at least the same type of bicycle. You know the old big bicycles that only came in black color.
I remember that I went to the bicycle shop to inquire on the bicycle and wanted to buy one. It was only seventy ringgit compared to the racing bike that my brother got which was four hundred and twenty ringgit and stolen within a week of purchase. My friend bought a BMX, which was like the mountain bike of those days, for nearly five hundred and that too was stolen in a month. So, I reckoned I would buy the cheap generic old bicycle, some that had brands of soft carbonated drinks like Seven Up. My father would have none of that and I never ended up buying the cheap bicycle.
I hear Al E stirring in his basket and I come back to my presence. As soon as I get up, he is up following me like a shadow. His cough is not so incessant and he is getting better but he is not fully recovered yet and the doctor said it will take up to two to three weeks. Luckily he has learned to get his phlegm out likely from imitating his human mommy. After all, he learned to pee imitating his human daddy as well.
As KL slowly brightens up, “Pham” I hear the newspaper land outside on my garage and the mosquito bike goes off in a jiffy to deliver to another home.
I used to work in The Star, it was my first real job in Malaysia. Yet, I do not read the newspaper anymore. I used too, but nowadays, I am reading the news online and in real time. The world has changed and I with it. What is printed in the newspaper is not news anymore but history. I do like reading the other sections and especially the cartoons but I rarely skim through the news section anymore.
I guess the newspaper still thrives because many Malaysians of a generation before like my father still like to read the newspaper although he too watches CNN, Al Jazeera, Astro Awani, CNBC on the Astro channels so often that most of the news in the morning paper is also already history for him.
Slowly, within the house as well as outside, KL comes to life and all the sounds I hear slowly dissipates into the ambient noise of daily life and is no longer distinguishable or unique. How nice it is to sometimes get up earlier in the morning and listen to the wonders of the nature and the sounds of the waking city. I should do this more often, I should start getting up earlier. I should go to bed earlier so I get a good rest at night and be able to get up in the morning before my alarm rings.
It has not been easy to go to bed early. The stress levels have been somewhat high. I have been meditating less and even doing less Reiki on myself. I have only been doing Reiki on Al E for him to get better sooner. But I heeded the advice given to me by my guardian and shut off at half past eleven. No reading, no phones, no television, no internet and no talking. If I cannot sleep, then to lie down in bed to meditate, to do Reiki or whatever else that did not require activity. That is what I did last night and I was able to automatically get up earlier today and beat my alarm clocks.
I should continue to do this. It gives me a good rest. It allows me to appreciate the morning more. It leaves me with a fresh, clear and open mind that makes me feel like I can achieve what I set myself to.
I should but would I? I must and I will.
Take care and be well.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I will not stop.
I will not stop when I die.
I will not stop in this life.
I will not stop to grow.
I will not stop to learn.
I will not stop here nor there.
I will not stop anywhere.

There are places I need to go.
And there are places I need to see.
There are things I need to do.
I will take time to smell the flowers in the garden
I will take time to play with my furry little boy
I will take time to spend and talk to my loving wife
And I will even take time to talk with the crappy ole fella.
I will also take time to talk to my guardians and angels
and most of all,
I will take time to appreciate God and his work.

But I will not stop to grow
I will not stop to learn
I will not stop to develop
I will not stop to grow
I will not stop to learn
I will not stop to develop

You can try to stop me
Put up a wall in front of me
Tie me
Kick me
Push me
Whack me
Demean me
Demotivate me


I will not stop to grow.
I will not stop to learn.
I will not stop to develop.

Will you stop?

Take care and be well.

Monday, July 18, 2011

A parking spot!!!

I was suddenly awoken from my sound sleep with a noise of elephant trumpeting in the room. First I thought it was just my wife who came to bed and was blowing her nose but the sound was different and louder. I got up and realize the noise was coming from my pet dog, Al E Baba.

I had barely slept a few winks before this loud trumpeting noise woke me up. I was awake reading 21 Mortals until after midnight. I looked at my iPhone clock and it was only 2:46am. Al E was blowing and coughing away very loudly and all that came out from his mouth was green sticky gooey phlegm.

I had to try to go back to sleep. I had an early day in the morning with a meeting set by my new staff at 8am. Furthermore, since moving to this new building called U-Village in Cyberjaya, there is not enough parking and those coming late are unlikely to find any street parking whatsoever. I just had my car towed about 3 weeks ago and it was an expensive dent in my wallet when I had to pay the Sepang Council 270 ringgit to get my car out.

It was going to be a busy day, meetings starting at 8am, interview at 10am, time maybe for a quick lunch and then more meetings in the afternoon until 5pm.

But I could not get any sleep now with all the racket and trumpeting from Al E. I am concerned as well. I treat Al E like my fury little son. He sleeps with us in the room but not on our bed, he has his own little basket on the floor.

This is not the first time this has happened. Whenever Al E gets a cold, he will trumpet and cough desperately to try to get the phlegm out and then look at us innocently and apologetically. I see the glint of mischievousness and intelligence in him. After all, he is named after Albert Einstein.

“But why Al E Baba, what is the Baba for?” many people have asked me. Of course it is linked to Ali Baba and the story in The Arabian Nights but what do most people think of when they think of Ba Ba?

Some people get it immediately, like Ba Ba Black Sheep or like a guruji or babaji. Al E is a black cocker spaniel and they do tend to look like little sheep.

So there was Al E, looking at me and my wife apologetically while trumpeting and coughing and blowing heavily from his chest, trying his best to get all the gooey phlegm out and for him to breathe more easily.

For a dog his size, barely 14 kilograms and maybe about two and a half feet in length and 2 feet in height, he sure could make noises like an elephant. I am sure he woke up everyone in the house and perhaps even a few neighbors.

There is not much the wife or I could do to help him except to comfort him and pet him and be with him for the time being. There are no emergency vets open at this hour, and furthermore, it was not that big of an emergency. He has done this before when he was having a cold.

Al E has to some extent been like a Babaji, he is pretty much my first real pet and therefore, just understanding and learning his behaviors has been something new for me. And while all pet owners feel their pets are all very smart, well, I am no different. After all, he is named Al E for Albert Einstein.

After a while, I get on the floor and sleep next to him, just rubbing his chest and he too goes to sleep, maybe for an hour or so. But the hard wooden floor is not something either of us can take for too long, and we are awake again.

Before you know it, my first alarm on the iPhone rings, then the second, and third and finally the fourth time before I finally get up. Usual routine as I sit on the throne and shave my stubbles that have grown over the weekend with my 3 headed Phillips electric shaver. Outside, I hear Al E going about his trumpeting and coughing. After a quick shower, I clean up all his phlegm on the floor and get dressed and rush to the office.

It is later than usual as I rush downstairs to my car. It is already 7:30 and I can only hope to find a parking spot in Cyberjaya. It usually take about thrity minutes on the best day to reach the office from Bangsar Baru, through the Midvalley circles and on to Jalan Cheras and then the Maju Expressway all the way to Cyberjaya. But as I am driving, I can only think of Al E getting well and whether I will get a parking spot.

A parking spot! That’s life. Sometimes we are worried about things that seem so trivial and unimportant. But those are the circumstances; this is the life of a middle aged single income office executive in this world of ever increasing costs.

As I reach Cyberjaya and find a parking spot and put in coins in the electronic parking ticketing machine, I just come to realization that I am becoming like a robot. A parking spot!!!!

Take care and be well.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


I was told that my writing has some typical cliché by the creative writing instructor, touché.

I think when you are teaching students about cliches--I usually hear teachers in the faculty room disparaging student use of cliches--that you need to realize that students are just learning cliches, so technically they don't know that they are cliches.

Typical advice goes something like this, "You should avoid using a cliché in your writing like the plague. It's simply an expression that has become overused to the point it has lost the impact; such as 'avoid...like the plague.'"

How do you define cliche? If there is a universal feeling, there is a cliche to go with it.

A cliche is not just something that lots of people say; It's something that lots of people say and it conveys some sort of idea or message. A cliche is, in other words, a metaphor characterized by its overuse.

Wikipedia states that cliché is an expression, idea, or element of an artistic work which has been overused to the point of losing its original meaning or effect, rendering it a stereotype, especially when at some earlier time it was considered meaningful or novel.

Cliché in writing or speech is generally considered a mark of inexperience or unoriginality.

Well, if I was a great writer, I would not be going to a creative writing class in the first place would I?

Actually, I would not have been going to this class either except that it is a gift from a friend and it is a wonderful and thoughtful gift. If I do want to become a published writer, I do need to get off from the clichés that I have been using in my blog.

"It is a dark and stormy night" and "A hot summer day" are amongst my most popular blog posts but they are not going to get me published.

So, I am in this class run by Silverfish Books and whom do I meet in class but an old friend from my previous working life.

I guess there is always a purpose and reason for everything you do and everyone you meet. I may not know it now but there is a purpose for this.

At the moment I got too much in my mind to think about. Shall I apply for that new job? Shall I call in my network buddies and my head hunter friends yet? What is happening to this share market? What is the status of my migration visa application? How do I motivate myself and get all the bloody mundane stuff done? How do I make this place a little more positive?

I am just tired of all this. I wish I could just beam myself away to another planet, another time, another dimension away from all this problems and issues.  Then I re-read Bukowski, “Air and light and time and space have nothing to do with it and don’t create anything except create a longer life to find new excuses for.”
I knew I was just finding excuses to go away. I was tired of this place, this city, the people, the family, the life and the work. I just wanted to be in another place.  I didn’t need to be in another place. What I need is to make this place what I want it to be, what I need is to find the change from within me and what I needed was to finally stand up and be the man of this house. I needed to take charge of this place again.
I need to use my guardians and angels and let them guide me to seek the peace within myself. I need to beam me within myself and change from within because if no change comes from within, I am just without.
Take care and be well.
 No clichés were harmed during the writing of this blog.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Bism-i-llah a-Rahman-i-Rahim

Are you familiar with either of the images above?

Both are images of compassion.

One is Avalokiteśvara and the other is Kuan Yin. Both are essentially the same person.

Avalokiteśvara (Sanskrit: अवलोकितेश्वर lit. "Lord who looks down") is a bodhisattva who embodies the compassion of all Buddhas. The original name for this bodhisattva was Avalokitasvara. The Chinese name for Avalokitasvara is Guānshìyīn Púsà (觀世音菩薩), which is a translation of the earlier name "Avalokitasvara Bodhisattva."

This bodhisattva is variably depicted as male or female, and may also be referred to simply as Guānyīn in certain contexts.

In Sanskrit, Avalokitesvara is also referred to as Padmapāni ("Holder of the Lotus") or Lokeśvara ("Lord of the World").

Kuan Yin is often know as the Goddess of Mercy or Goddess of Compassion.

Compassion is a virtue, one in which the emotional capacities of empathy and sympathy (for the suffering of others) are regarded as a part of love itself, and a cornerstone of greater social interconnection and humanism.

The Second Epistle to the Corinthians is one place where God is spoken of as the "Father of compassion" and the "God of all comfort" (1.3). Jesus embodies for Christians, the very essence of compassion and relational care. Christ challenges Christians to forsake their own desires and to act compassionately towards others, particularly those in need or distress.

In the various Hindu traditions, compassion is called daya, and, along with charity and self-control, is one of the three central virtues. The importance of compassion in the Hindu traditions reaches as far back as the Vedas.

"Compassion is that which makes the heart of the good move at the pain of others. It crushes and destroys the pain of others; thus, it is called compassion. It is called compassion because it shelters and embraces the distressed," The Buddha.

Compassion for all life, human and non-human, is central to the Jain tradition. Though all life is considered sacred, human life is deemed the highest form of earthly existence. To kill any person, no matter their crime, is considered unimaginably abhorrent.

In the Jewish tradition, God is the Compassionate and is invoked as the Father of Compassion: hence Raḥmana or Compassionate becomes the usual designation for His revealed word.

Bism-i-llah a-Rahman-i-Rahim.

In the Muslim tradition, foremost among God's attributes are mercy and compassion or, in the canonical language of Arabic, Rahman and Rahim. Each of the 114 chapters of the Quran, with one exception, begins with the verse, "In the name of God the Compassionate, the Merciful." A Muslim commences each day, each prayer and each significant action by invoking God the Merciful and Compassionate, by reciting, "Bism-i-llah a-Rahman-i-Rahim."

Compassion and affection are human values independent of religion.

We need these human values. These are secular beliefs. There’s no relationship with any particular religion. Even without religion, even as nonbelievers, we have the capacity to promote these values of compassion.

So, the question there lies is, "Do you feel you are a compassionate person?"

Most of us will automatically answer yes, which if true would make this world a perfect and wonderful place to live in. But then ask again, "Am I truly a compassionate person? What actions have I taken in my life today to show my compassion to others?"

We all have a long way to go, we are humans, we are not perfect, life is not easy but honestly, it can be easy, you can be compassionate in every way every day, if you so choose to be.

Take care and be well.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Two days it all it takes


Two days is all it takes. The last domicile of mine in Australia as taken from the "beaches" of Soutbank by the Brisbane River on a fresh clear cool crisp morning where I hear the birds chirping and the air is so fresh.

Then, I bid goodbye to Australia and come back home. Home sweet home. Back to Al E boy, back to my nice home with the nice backyard garden.

I was hoping to come back to a nice clean Malaysia. After all, I heard the "Bersih" rally was a success.

But alas, I come back to the haze and pollution.

In Australia, they start charging the heaviest polluters for CO2 emissions. It is not a popular tax but overall people there care for their environment. Recycling is mandatory. I did not see any dog shit on the roads or pavements despite having seen many many dogs. I could open the window and breathe fresh crisp air. I can open a tap and drink water out of the tap in any location, including a public toilet.

I come back to a hazy polluted Kuala Lumpur where the air is barely breathable, the birds in the garden have probably moved south to Brisbane and the water is as brown as a nice cup of tea ... only that it is not a nice cup of tea.

And the politicians here are as clean as the air that we breathe in with their hazy statements and policies and as dirty as the water that comes out of our taps ... filled with shit.

I have been voting DAP in past elections in my previous constituency of Bukit Mertajam. And while DAP or Penang may be a better run state and DAP may even be the best opposition party but that is like saying the deep blue sea is better than the devil.

When I was a journo some 20 years ago, I was working in the news desk of the major newspapers in Malaysia and have met most of these heroes we have in politics today. Thus, if you say BN is corrupt and dirty. Yes, I agree fully. But Anwar is my other option.

I am now registered to vote but cannot vote because of a change in address. Whereas we have the oldest people in the world, some 130 years old, who are still registered voters.

I have made my decision that my vote will not be given blindly to the opposition or the BN. It will likely not be given at all considering the choices I have in my constituency.

Anyways, I am back home but home is where my heart is. My heart is where my immediate family is, my loving wife, my adorable and loving furry little boy Al E and despite sometimes the crappiness, even my caring old man.

I would one day like to go back to Brisbane, for a visit, maybe for work, maybe to retire ... not sure which at the moment but I will be guided to do so when the time is right and ripe.

Until then, I have to put on a mask to slightly filter the air and double filter the tap water to drink clean water and screw the politics of this country and just get down and do the things I need to do.

Take care and be well.

Saturday, July 9, 2011


I am a writer. But am I a surrealist writer?

I guess sometimes we all can be.

While the word did not really make sense to me. Surrealism seems to be a combination of sure and realism, and sounds a little bit sarcastic. "Sure I am a realist ...... not!"

According the the online sources, Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members. Surrealist works feature the element of surprise, unexpected juxtapositions and humor.

However, many Surrealist artists and writers regard their work as an expression of the philosophical movement first and foremost, with the works being an artifact. Leader André Breton was explicit in his assertion that Surrealism was above all a revolutionary movement.

Surrealism developed out of the Dada activities during World War I and the most important center of the movement was Paris. From the 1920s onward, the movement spread around the globe, eventually affecting the visual arts, literature, film and music of many countries and languages, as well as political thought and practice, philosophy and social as well as political theories.

World War I scattered the writers and artists who had been based in Paris, and in the interim many became involved with Dada, believing that excessive rational thought and bourgeois values had brought the conflict of the war upon the world. The Dadaists protested with anti-art gatherings, performances, writings and art works. After the war, when they returned to Paris, the Dada activities continued.

So, why do I write about surrealism on my travels?

Well, as soon as we are ready, we are heading out for a later breakfast and go to GoMA or Gallery of Modern Arts in Brisbane, another destination just a stones throw from our hotel and a nice walk down the Southbank of Brisbane River.

Brisbane GoMA is currently having a surrealism art display. As such, it made me wonder what surrealism is all about.

Dr Zhivago , the book written by Boris Pasternak and one time banned by the red shirts or the red army or the communist must surely fall into that category.

I have always said that everything happens for a reason.

Yesterday, Dr Zhivago musical stirred somethings within me. And today, a art exhibition.

I remember a long time ago, when I was maybe five or six, I told my mother that I wanted to become like Mahatma Gandhi. That was just a child's foolish dream to lead a revolution.

Do we need a revolution?

Do we need rallies?

A revolution by the people for the people eventually requires a leader that is also going to be corrupted.

Look at what happened to all the countries that have had revolutions.

In Russia, the red shirt revolution started by the people with idealistic beliefs soon became the Red Army and the communist party which created the great iron curtain which eventually tumbled and now Russia is back to the corrupted bourgeois society it was before the revolution.

A revolution requires no leaders, no speakers and no rallies.

We need writers, poets, artists and speakers to stir that feeling into the farmer, the driver, the gardener, the housewife, the businessman, the politician, the IT service manager or the other writers, poets, artists  and speakers.

We need people to believe in change and change themselves.

Surrealism.... is it realistic or idealistic. Sure I am a realist. I know I cannot change the whole world nor can I change things within my family. But what I can do is change myself with the help of my guardians and angels and hopefully with the guidance from God, I can change myself.

If each one of us stopped pointing fingers and just changed themselves positively, the world will already be a better place to live in.

We do not need clean yellow tee shirts or green or blue or any color shits for the matter of fact. I am today wearing a purple shirt and tomorrow a black shirt. Why? Because those are the only two unwashed shirts left in my bag. There is no idealistic reason for it, just a realistic and practical reason for it.

Today I enjoy the rest of what Brisbane has to offer me and then another day tomorrow in this interesting city before I head back to my home on a late night flight.

Take care and be well.

Friday, July 8, 2011


Dr Zhivago, the movie with Omar Sharif is amongst my dad's favorite movies and while I knew about it, I have to shamefully admit that I have never completely seen the whole movie.

But today, after arriving in Brisbane in the last leg of our trip and walking down by the river in Southbank, barely a stones throw away from our hotel, we decided to see if we could get tickets for the musical play that was premiering today at the Queensland Performing Arts Center.

We were lucky to get 2 tickets quite way up high but with a clear view of the stage and what a memory and highlight of Brisbane we will take back.

The play was marvelous and makes me want to dig out my DVD collection to see if I have the movie somewhere or even go buy it from AmCorp mall and watch the movie version of it.

The play was really something and reminds me of what is happening in Malaysia right now with all the politics and rallies and restrictions.

The red army or white army, the yellow shirts or red shirts or green shirts ... at the end of the day, we are all Malaysians, we are all Asians, we are all Earthlings ... born and created equal in the eyes of God.

And yet, here we are.

As my journey in Queensland comes to an end, I wonder what Malaysia will I arrive at on Sunday.

Peace be with you all.

Remember, we are all the same. Race is something that there is a start and a finish and a winner ... like the 100 meter dash in the Olympics or the Wimbledon tennis final that just completed or the Spanish Formula 1 race.

Indian, Chinese, Malay, Kayan, Iban, Caucasian, Kadazan is not a race, it is just our ethnicity. We are not in a race to prove one is better than the other.

I am human and earthling. I am not a race and I am not here to be number 1.

Take care and be well.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Absinthe is the highly alcohol content drink that I personally have never tried. It is an anise flavoured spirit derived from the flowers and leaves of the herb Artemisia absinthium commonly referred to as "grande wormwood", together with green anise and sweet fennel. Absinthe traditionally has a natural green colour but can also be colourless. It is commonly referred to in historical literature as la fée verte (the "green fairy" in French). Although it is sometimes mistakenly called a Liqueur, absinthe is not bottled with added sugar and is therefore classified as a spirit.

Absinthe also happened to be the favorite drink of Vincent Van Gogh ... no wonder he cut his ears off and was hearing things, who would not after drinking Absinthe.

Anyways, the Absynthe I am talking about is this restaurant on Surfers Paradise in Gold Coast.

It is run and owned by two star Michelin chef Meyjitte Boughenout. Meyjitte was the person who served us and also recommended for us to go to some restaurants in Brisbane.

Sometimes, food is food. A roti canai that I buy in Bangsar for 50 Malaysian cents is no different from the 18 ringgit roti canai that some 5 star hotels serve in KL.

But when you eat by food prepared by a great creator, inventor and artiste of food, you are bound to get something you have never had before.

The food in Absyenthe is by far amongst the tastiest and most creative food that I have eaten in quite some time and wonder how some of the so called expensive restaurants in KL get away by charging an arm and a leg and serving crap.

When compared to food prices in KL, prices in good restaurants here are cheaper. The produce is fresher. The wine is also better.

In life, sometimes you need to enjoy the luxuries and have some fun and enjoy. But if you are amongst those that go to 5 star hotels in KL to eat 18 ringgit roti canai when the best roti canai is 50 cents, then you are pretty much an idiot.

Not necessary expensive means fresh and good but sometimes you have to pay price for creativity and taste.

Van Gogh was worth nothing and died a poor man but his paintings now are amongst the most expensive in the world.

Would you like to live a legacy like Van Gogh who died a poor man but be famous and popular after you have died?

Or would you rather be like Salvador Dali who enjoyed life, lived a rich live and died a rich man and still left a legacy?

Would you rather be stingy and selfish and greedy and not enjoy your life you have to live now for a uncertain afterlife or would you rather enjoy your life now, do good, be good and have fun and let the afterlife come when it comes?

I rather have fun, eat great food at wonderful places and have a life that people will say was worth living.

If you are on Gold Coast, go have food in Absynthe as well as in the small Japanese bistro run by a Japanese family. But do not go and spend 20 aussie dollars on a lousy mee goreng in a Malaysian restaurant.

Take care and be well.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Sunburned while asleep

Facing the wide Pacific Ocean and facing east can be hazardous to your health as you can get sunburned while you are sleeping.

Last night we had quite a bit of fun and went to sleep close to half past one in the morning after a nice dinner and late night cap in the bar in the hotel.

Of course, being on the twelfth floor, we kept the curtains open so that the sunrise will wake us up. The thing is, the sun rises slightly before 6. The time we wanted to get up was around 7:30.

By 7:30, the sun is well up in the sky shinning brightly through the large balcony doors of the room and magnifying the heat through the door and pricking the skin.

I never would have imagined that we could get sunburned in the winter but the sun in the Gold Coast is relentless and bright and pricking, no different from the sun in Malaysia ... after all, it is the same sun.

The QT Hotel is quite a nice chic hotel that was recently re-opened after renovations and therefore we got it for quite a decent price. Breakfast at the Bazaar has been wonderful and so far, the Aussie mates have been quite a friendly bunch.

As usual, the "born again" ones are the extreme ones. I remember when I went to USA, so of my fellow Malaysians picked up and were trying very hard to be Americanised and spoke the American slang withing 2 to 3 days of being in the country.

Anyways, today has been a relatively quite day or driving around to outside of Surfer's Paradise to other suburbs of Gold Coast where the locals seem to hang out.

There is some gems of places out there but still, I am not convinced that Gold Coast is better than Sunshine Coast.

Of course, to each their own. Some people like the glitter of the God Coast and the tackiness of the Surfers Paradise and the 4 major theme parks and many many activities to do 24x7 but I guess I am not that someone anymore.

I enjoy the relaxation and the quietness sometimes to take away from the hustle and bustle of Koala Lumpur.

I like places where people greet you and smile.

Oh well, the time to bid farewell to Gold Coast comes tomorrow and time to say hello to Southbank, Brisbane.

A few days n Southbank and then fly back home .. hopefully all cleaned up by Bersih.

I unfortunately forgot to bring any of my company safety day tee shirts which are usually the same yellow colour as bersih. I guess my company and a few others may just have to issue tee shirts in different colours now.

It is now nearly 5pm and the skies are already getting dark, so another day over and another night has began in this journey.

There have been good times and bad times, but these memories remain of a new place, new friends, new experiences to continue this journey called Life.

Sometimes, it is good not to face the sun as you may become blind to what is ahead of you but it is not necessary good to also be against the sun as it can just burn and prick you in the back. So, walk if you must, but do close the curtains sometimes or carry an umbrella which can be useful for both a sunny day as well as a rainy day.

Come join me in my journey, under my umbrella, you will be protected.

Take care and be well.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Mr Tamborine Man

So, this is Mr Tamborine Man, Pappa Hemingway, Michael Ward, the owner of Tamborine Mountain Distillery.

We went away from the paradise of surfers and shoppers and headed inwards to the hinterlands of the Tamborine Mountains and in the north of the mountains, we met the mountain Tamborine man.

He let us try his liqueurs and vodkas and brandy but just enough to give us a light buzz without the dizziness of being too drunk.

He told us tales of his distillery and how he is hoping to get his stock into shops in KL. He already has some distributor in the duty free Eagle Island up north (Langkawi).

As we drove around the cool mountain side and stopped for a wonderful meal in The Kitchen Table in the small little town of North Tamborine, we just sat and breathed in the coll crisp and fresh mountain air and ate the wonderful fresh produce away from the business of the surfers and shoppers down below in the coast where it was all glitter but no gold.

The Queensland Hinterlands and the Sunshine Coast are not very frequented by the normal tourists we see all around the world right now ~ mainly rich Indians and Chinese (after all, they do make up more than 2 billion of the world population).

I have nothing against Indians and Chinese but when a place is invaded by them, you will start seeing cheap Indian and Chinese restaurants that just churn out commercial food. You will see bargain basement type shopping which is mainly made in India and China because it is just cheaper to produce
there. But of course, they will still buy the stuff because it is bought in Australia.

I enjoy a relaxing holiday without the 5 or 10 amusement parks and the crowds and the cheap tacky restaurants that no longer serve authentic cuisine or the shops with the cheap toys.

I think maybe one day I will retire to the hinterlands and become a mountain Tamborine man or mountain Flame Hill / Montville man making wine or liqueurs and enjoying the cool crisp mountain air away from the glitter and truly be in the golden era.

I remember stories from religion as well as history books, it seemed all the sages, gurus, prophets etc. always went to the mountains to seek guidance. Whether it was the ten commandments or Mount Ararat or Mount Abu or the Himalayas ... all these people seem to go to mountains.

I have never heard of Jesus or Mohammad or Mahavir or Guru Nanak ever going to Surfers Paradise .... or any commercialised busy beaches for the matter of fact.

Anyways, we are enjoying our time here and today, we will have another Guru hosting us for a meal ... well, not complete Guru yet and still studying, so, the last U is still missing.

I have hope and faith that this Guru may be able to change our minds but nevertheless, I am happy, I am relaxed and I am contented.

When you have had songs and liqueurs from the Tamborine Man, who will not be.

Take care and be well.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Cutie on Gold Coast

Left the Sunshine Coast and little town that has been our home for the last 5 days. Coloundra has treated us well an yes, while we have only been there for 5 days, it was like home. You know when you feel home when others start asking you for directions.

Some Aussies asked us for directions to the Pizza Capers in Coloundra and we have been "regulars" at our local coffee shop for our late breakfasts.

Also, the Sunshine Coast mostly gets local or Aussie tourist, so when they see 2 Malaysians there, they think we are Aussies rather than international tourists.

That has all gone now. It took us 2 hours and 15 minutes from Coloundra to the Gold Coast. Checked in to Cutie hotel in Surfers Paradise in mid afternoon and went out for a walk after unpacking our bags.

While Cutie hotel is rather cute, chic and modern ... I can't say the same yet for Surfer's Paradise which I find not so cute and rather tacky.

By the way, it is QT Hotel which is sort of Cutie right.

As we walked our way out in the Surfer Paradise strip, and got to Hard Rock to buy our collection of tee shirts, we pass by one typical and tacky shop after another.

In five days in Coloundra, I did not see any Arab, Chinese, Indonesian or Indian tourist apart from ourselves.

In 3 hours in Surfers Paradise, I have seen more Arabs, Indians, Indonesian and Chinese tourist compared to the number of Aussies I have seen.

The shop and restaurants that I have seen cater to the tourist ... so very tacky touristy items made in China rather than local designs.

The only local stuff I saw was Ugg shoes and they are bloody ugly and expensive although would be damn comfortable for the winter months of Malaysia .... (eyes rolling).

Anyway, as always, we got to make the best of things and we will.

Tomorrow, a good friend's son, Mr G is picking us up for dinner and during the day, I am thinking to get out of the tackiness of Surfers Paradise and go to Tamborine Mountains about 40 minutes away.

Escape to the mountains mainly to visit a distillery of fine liqueurs, schnapps, vodkas and Eaux de Vie (a clear colourless fruit brandy).

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you

Though I know that evenin’s empire has returned into sand
Vanished from my hand
Left me blindly here to stand but still not sleeping
My weariness amazes me, I’m branded on my feet
I have no one to meet
And the ancient empty street’s too dead for dreaming

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you

Take me on a trip upon your magic swirlin’ ship
My senses have been stripped, my hands can’t feel to grip
My toes too numb to step
Wait only for my boot heels to be wanderin’
I’m ready to go anywhere, I’m ready for to fade
Into my own parade, cast your dancing spell my way
I promise to go under it

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you

Though you might hear laughin’, spinnin’, swingin’ madly across the sun
It’s not aimed at anyone, it’s just escapin’ on the run
And but for the sky there are no fences facin’
And if you hear vague traces of skippin’ reels of rhyme
To your tambourine in time, it’s just a ragged clown behind
I wouldn’t pay it any mind
It’s just a shadow you’re seein’ that he’s chasing

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you

Then take me disappearin’ through the smoke rings of my mind
Down the foggy ruins of time, far past the frozen leaves
The haunted, frightened trees, out to the windy beach
Far from the twisted reach of crazy sorrow
Yes, to dance beneath the diamond sky with one hand waving free
Silhouetted by the sea, circled by the circus sands
With all memory and fate driven deep beneath the waves
Let me forget about today until tomorrow

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
I’m not sleepy and there is no place I’m going to
Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me
In the jingle jangle morning I’ll come followin’ you.

Take care and be well.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Merry Go Round and Round around Flame Hill

Today, I had booked a table at the Flame Hill vineyard. And duly set out 2 hours earlier to reach flame hill for our reservation at 1pm.

It was supposed to be a trip of 30-45 minutes that end up taking nearly 2 hours.

The GPS asked to go a certain way and was persistent we use that way although the road ahead was closed and there was a detour.

So, I followed the detour and hoped that like all other GPS, it will recalculate an alternate route. It found an alternate route which led me through gravel road and other road which I hoped would be the right road, only to end up at the same closed road.

Then, I called to try to understand how to get there but still could not find a way.

On a verge of giving up, I went back down to the small town of Munchy that I had seen earlier, parked my car, went in to a small empty restaurant and told them I was lost.

So, in the end, with old fashioned way of using directions from people, strangers in Munchy, I finally found the right road and we finally reached Flame Hill vineyard 3 minutes to 1pm.

After reaching there, I have absolutely no regrets of having gone round and round and yet not giving up.

The reward was spectacular, the wine, the food, the service was the best so far in our trip and the view was to die for.

The weather was wonderful.

On my journey today, there are a few simple lessons that all of us sometimes keep learning.

We may be going round and round in circles when we are so close to our goal but we never reach our end goal because we never stop to ask.

And, not to give up so easily because once we do reach the end goal, there are always rewards.

Same goes with search for spirituality or God or your guardians or just a general sense of peace.

It may take time and it may seem that you may be going in circles so close to the end target, but do not give up because the rewards are plentiful.

Take care and be well.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Come fly away with me

I am here. Mostly the south coastal side, but I am here on a well needed break.

And the wi-fi or Internet connections are not as easy to find as I had hoped. This my blogging may be quite infrequent.

But my thoughts are always with you ... yes, you know who you all are.

I am grateful, I am happy and I am relaxed. Come fly away with me and we will bask in the sunshine of the sunshine coast, create golden memories in gold coast and well, bane our goodbyes in Brisbane.

Come fly away with us, me and wifey. Another 7 more days.

Then we will be back, in hot sunny Malaysia where I can no longer wear my company t-shirts because I heard that the colour yellow has been banned.

Until then, come fly away with me, to the sun and the surf, to the seas, feeding dolphins and watching whales.

Take care and be well.