Saturday, December 29, 2007

May your marriage and your life together...

be as beautiful as the love that brought you to this day.

Hobby: Wedding Speeches!

13. I’ve spoken at 13 weddings.

It’s great when someone asks you to speak at their wedding. It’s something which I love doing. And my friends and family have given me the honour to do it that many times.

The preparation is exciting. I get to speak to the bride and the groom, sometimes together, sometimes separately. I get to ask all sorts of questions: how they met, what attracted them to each other, how they knew the other was the ‘one’…

“I really don’t know what attracted me to him… I just knew he was the one.”

“She doesn’t know this, but that one time, when she…”

“We’ve known each other for many years, but when he appeared on my doorstep that day, I knew this was the man I wanted to marry.”

And one couple, when I separately asked them to describe the other, they both used the exact description! :-)

Sometimes, I get to chat with the parents too! Their take on their children is amusing as well. A friend said that a parent’s greatest happiness is when they see their children happy. And at every wedding I attended, the parents were happy.

It’s amazing some of the things these people did, the time they were willing to wait, the ups and downs they experienced… but I guess certain things are that worth it.

Some of the stories are normal, some of the stories are amazing, and some of the stories can be made into movies…

All are wonderful though – coz it has led to a marriage.

Weddings itself are fun, although it can be stressful, what with wanting it to be perfect, and having so many people involved. But we gotta remember that behind every wedding, there’s some sort of magic that has brought two people and two families together…

As much as it’s for the guests to get to know the couple, when I speak at a wedding, I try to make it something special for the couple. A gentle recollection of how they came together and a sharing of their family and friends’ joy with their decision to take, god willing, the eternal promise. Something the couple can cherish… (hopefully!). And it’s usually easy to do when you’re talking about people who are close and important to you too.

I’ve got some good friends who are getting married in 2008, and it looks like I’m going to be missing most of their weddings.

It’s ok :-)

My wish, as always, is that their marriage and their life together will be as beautiful as the love that brought them to their wedding day.

To those who are creating their stories now, you may not know how it’s going to turn out, but one day, you too may get to share your stories with some of us, happy ending and all...

Happy 2008!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

I'm like a spider...

who's ice-skating.

In Canada, when your team makes it to the play-offs, the men stop shaving. It’s supposed to bring luck to your team… so that they do well in the play-offs.

We’ve got a Canadian classmate here.

We’re in our ‘play-offs’ now too.

We need lots of luck.

And so the pact was made…


The last time I did something like this…

…I had to reintroduce myself to some child-hood friends,

…one friend did not notice the difference,

…and one colleague asked if I was happy with what I’d achieved in my career as I approached my 40’s...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

History does not repeat itself...

but it sometimes rhymes.

A few years ago, I was involved in a reality TV show. An adventure race that was called the extreme journey.

In the first race, we did quite well, despite a few disasters that happened along the way.

I had completed the first task and was on the bus to the location of the second task, which I found out later was to harvest pineapples.

Now, every participant had two people following them, a cameraman and a director. The director told me that I was too quiet, and that I should speak more, as it won’t be much fun watching a quiet race on TV.

Speak more?

Ok, I’ll give it a go. I’ll give the producers some speak to show on TV.

I saw a lady seated nearby, and approached her, but when she saw the camera behind me, she turned away.

This was not going to be easy.

I saw two girls in school uniform seated towards the middle of the bus. They were giggling, so I thought I’ll make their day by talking to them :-) Further, it was mid-morning on a weekday, so what were they doing not in school anyway?

As I approached them, I could see they were excited…

This… is gonna be easy, I told myself, suddenly having a burst of confidence…

“Pergi mana dik?”

A good question to break the ice, don’t you think?

Amidst the giggling and their obvious shyness, one of them answered:

“Pergi sekolah, ada kelas tambahan SPM…”

I was on a roll. Keep it going dude! You have them eating out of your hands already…

“Ahh… abang pun dulu buat SPM…”


I went silent.

The two girls went silent.

The first one to baulk was the cameraman, Chris Jericho. I had a small mike attached to my shirt, and he could hear every word I said, crystal clear, through his headphones. He looked up at me, while struggling to keep the camera steady… and seemed to will me to continue.

The two girls then burst out giggling.

Thank god they had to get down a couple of stops after that.

Of all the things to say… I should have asked about the weather.

That was bad. Could there have been a worse reply?

Apparently not, according to the producers.

They told me they had wanted to bill this the romeo’s race, for that quote and another incident later on in the day involving a girl in a taxi. They decided to focus on some other more entertaining bits eventually, especially the part where we gobbled down raw ostrich egg, the near fall into the crocodile pit, the blood, and the car crash at the finishing point.


I don’ talk much to people on the bus these days.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Ten Commandments are 100 words or so...

and the European Union regulations on the imports and exports of ducks eggs? About 30,000 words.

Thank god I managed to get out of the way of this beast in time...

I was staring at a group of about 15 ducks on a hill one day, as I was waiting for the bus. I was staring at them, they were staring at me... and it became a staring game.

Suddenly, they lunged forward... spread their wings and flew. Over my head and towards the park, landing spectacularly on the lake.

Show offs.

We're at war.

Saturday, December 1, 2007


that would make the Sphinx incontinent.

If a + b = 6, what is c + d?


This happened about 10, 11 years ago, when I was in college.

I was walking back to my hall of residence, after a mathematics lesson, with a good friend, Alex. We were 18, and between the two of us, we controlled the all-boys ‘house’. We ruled the place. The biggest argument I ever had with him was when he wanted to change the colour of our house shirt to black, from the existing bright pink. I completely disagreed. I felt, among many other feelings, that nothing beats a mean looking group of boys winning a rugby match in their pink shirts.

We walked past a post-box. Alex, who now delves in multi-million dollar deals and is expecting his second child, asked:

“Why is the post box red? Why not blue?”

“So that we don’t confuse it with the sky!!” I replied, laughing my head off at the brilliance of my quick wit.

“Why is the sky blue?”

Why is the sky blue?

That question shut me up.


I don't know.

It got me thinking…

Thus it began, my quest.

If a + b = 6, what is c + d?

I’m serious, that’s how it began!

That night, I asked many of my hall-mates that question. I asked 11 year-olds to 19 year-olds. A few months on, I went to university, and continued asking that question. A few years down the line, I started working, and asked that question. And till today, I still ask that question.

And I’ve got fascinating answers throughout the years.

The younger ones at college were usually quick to do some maths in their heads, and come up with an answer. They were prepared to get the wrong answer. Of course, the looks on some of their faces when I tell them they’ve got the right answer, were priceless. Add to that a comment that they’re set for pre-university mathematics with such intelligence, and you have totally confused kids.

The more mature ones, if they don’t tell me to get lost, or completely ignore the question, would give it a go. Some went to great lengths to try and solve it, and I’ve come across some truly amazing efforts. I’ve been introduced to some pretty cool maths formulae I’ve never heard of before, statistical analyses, theorems…

c + d, to me, is anything you want it to be.

Whatever answer you give, is the correct answer. Absolutely whatever.

As long as you’re happy with it.

I've got cold stares, scoldings, threats of actual bodily harm and stuff like that when people hear my answer… Obviously, they were not as amused as I was :-). Some laugh, some insist that there must be a mathematical solution to it. Some, after finding out my answer, were equally intrigued by their own reaction to the problem. Interesting, how people react…

I don’t know what I’d set out to prove, but it doesn’t matter I guess. It can be for any reason, as long as I’m happy with it!

And 10 years on, those mean boys are still wearing pink…