Thursday, November 20, 2008

A rose by any other name...

will still smell as sweet.

Wah... suddenly there were about 15 of them. All had crew cuts, and looked very much alike. Very cute, going into the ballroom in a single file. They looked between 7 to 10 years old. Quite certainly these boys were the 'feted guests of honour' of the host.

I sat by the table outside the ballroom, working on my laptop.

One the boys then wandered out of the ballroom. He walked around a bit... and he started staring at me.

I looked at him from the corner of my eye.

Still staring.

Then he ran around a little, and stopped beside me and started staring at my laptop.

Excuse me, this is very p&c stuff bro...

"Laptop ni..." He began to ask.

"Laptop ni kompeni abang punya. Nanti bila adik besar, dah kerja macam abang, mungkin dapat laptop jugak..."


Haha... that felt good.

I felt I did the socially responsible thing. Give the little man a boost, so that when he goes back, he can share with his young friends my... err... advice. Motivation and the ripple effect :-)

"Ok, thanks Uncle!"


I turned to look at him straight in the eye - I wanted to pierce into that retina that hasn't really seen what the world has to offer and give him a vicious jolt to the system and... but he had ran back into the ballroom.


Look, if you don't belong to one of my siblings...

Oh well...

Back to my p&c stuff.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I'm back...

or so I thought.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

The summer romance that could not happen...

will not happen.

"Keep your eyes open."


"Keep your eyes open, and you'll see..."


"Look, I shouldn't have even told you this. I can't tell you more. Just... let it happen."

Sunday, June 8, 2008

To do...

or not to do.

I walked past the first time, looked in through the window, and she was on the phone.

10 minutes later, as I walked past again, she was still on the phone. She definitely saw me from the corner of her eye, yet...

I had to do it. There was no point in dithering anymore. I can't keep walking past, as I may eventually lose the courage to do it. So I barged the door open, and strode in...

She reluctantly ended her call.

She was alone, and without speaking, she gestured to me to take a seat.

I stared at the mirror in front of me. She slowly walked up and was soon behind me. Our eyes met, but only through the mirror...

It has been 9 months. This could not wait any longer.


That afternoon, I did what every mum hopes her son would do. I got something that every mum wishes to see her son come home with.

That afternoon, I finally got a decent haircut.

It was good while it lasted. I finally found out what happens if I let my hair grow.

It goes wild. And it defies gravity.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


I felt like drowning.

Left and right, all around, were 42 other 17-year olds. Girls and boys. As each one spoke, I dreaded when it would be my turn to do so. Each spoke eloquently, and some of them used words I'd never heard of. One guy looked familiar, I figured out later that I had seen him on TV. They had opinions on worldly matters... and I was just concerned about how my favourite local football team would fare in the league. What can I say to impress this lot?

One said his ambition was to be the prime minister - that was my que to regret having decided to come for this boot camp. I lived about 45 minutes away from this hostel, and could arrange a quick gateaway. Either that, or spend the next 10 days with this bunch of ambitious, over-achieving, well-spoken, confident, boarding-schooled and weird individuals.

That was December 1995. The Tun Razak Leadership Programme. It was supposed to bring together outstanding student leaders from all over Malaysia, and...

*******, I didn't abandon the programme in the end.

I didn't bring a camera either, but the memories of the programme remain etched in my mind.

I'll never forget the absolute darkness and deafening silence in the depths of Batu Caves. Where one can be lost forever even though only minutes away from civilisation. Or the thousands of cockroaches scurrying just a few feet above our heads before we were plunged into the darkness.

Or the night I spent with a leech stuck on my back, only to discover it when I was showering the next day. It probably died of an overdose of my toxic blood, but even in death, its jaw was still embedded onto my flesh...

We learnt a lot from those who came to speak to us, from the many visits we made but mostly from each other. I was enlightened. I learnt not to underestimate what I can learn from the experiences of others, regardless of their background (and having gone back to the programme numerous times after that - regardless of age). And equally, I learnt not to underestimate what others can learn from me.

Larry King once said, "I never learn a thing when I open my mouth". I became a much better listener after the programme (PKTR, not Larry King Live).

Well, I may have missed the latest instalment of the programme, but I should be back next year. To do what I do best with a new bunch of ambitious, over-achieving, well-spoken, confident, boarding-schooled and wierd individuals.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Son, your ego is writing cheques...

your body can't cash.

I was tagged by Miss Diana K. So, 8 random facts about me:

1. It's been 13 years since I last lost my temper. As in totally lost it. It needed to happen. I've been nice ever since :-)

2. There was a phase in my life when I would say words backwards. First in the mind, and then I could actually speak backwards, fluently. I don't know what triggered it, but ti saw etiuq gnizama.

3. When I was about 10, a girl passed me her autograph book. I was quite shaken, went home and showed it to my mom, and the next day gave it back to the girl, unautographed.

4. My ultimate fear: singing in public.

5. I believe one day I will become the victim of a big time practical joke. I've been doing it to many people, and I believe there are some who are out to get their revenge. Until then, my 'Chantelle the French horse carer' and 'Mike from the job agency' days will continue.

6. Enid Blyton is still my favourite author.

7. The greatest football match I've ever watched: KL versus Selangor, 2nd leg of the Malaysian FA Cup quarterfinals at Stadium Merdeka (1993 I think).
KL had lost the first leg 2-0. At half time of this 2nd leg, they were down 2-0, so 4-0 down on aggregate. In an amazing second half, KL scored four goals -a T. Gopinath Naidu hat-trick and another by Zoran Nikolic. It was an amazing night for die-hard KL supporters like me. We may have been outnumbered 42,000 to 3,000, but that night, we stood tall at the very hallowed grounds of our nation's independence. KL qualified for the semis when they won the replay 1-0. Magical!

8. I actually shed a tear when Jack Dawson died in Titanic.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I am capable...

of starting a fight in an empty room.

This feeling gets my blood running, my heart pumping...

The feeling, after many days of research, analysis and hard work, when you just know that you'll be done with that huge project in at most two more days...

but it's due tomorrow.

That feeling...

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I believe I can fly...

but this roof is not so high.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Some people believe football is a matter of life and death…

I’m very disappointed with that attitude.

I can assure you it is much, much more important that that.

So said the late, great Bill Shankly, legendary Liverpool boss.


In a bar not too long ago:

Tap on my shoulder, I looked over and the lady points to a guy, and he asks me,

“Don’t you have a better shirt to wear?”


A few minutes later:

A guy, obviously drunk, comes over to me; his hand raised to high-five me. As I was about to high-five him, he pulls his hand back, folds his fingers except for one, and says,

“Five - one mate… five – one.”

And he walks away, proud.

A girl that was behind him then comes up to me and says, “Do you remember, goona noona anna?”


“Do you remember, goona noona anna?!?”

“Ahah! Yep, yep…!” And we both laughed.

No idea what the heck goona noona anna is, but at least she left!


A few more minutes later:

A group of four guys see me across the floor, start pointing at me, and then break out into a song.

I have to admit, that kind of freaked me out.

Then another guy from behind this group walks up to me, shakes my hand and gives me a good strong manly hug.

“You’re alrite mate…”

I decided then that this was a dangerous place, and I will not go to the gents. If this was how they were out here, god knows how they’ll be inside there.


All this for wearing the jersey of a team I don’t even support!
The only reason I wore Arsenal’s jersey was because I had to wear something red for the Year of the Rat Party, and this free jersey I got was, well… red.

The Year of the Rat Party...

We went out after the party and I didn’t realize how much emotion this garment would evoke in this city.

And what were Tottenham and Chelsea fans doing in Nottingham anyway??

The Gunners’ fans owe me big time for this.


Must be careful with whatever we do in public...

Saturday, January 12, 2008


is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

Something was not right. I just couldn't figure it out. It should flow naturally, but it just wasn't... flowing.

And then...

At 3.41am...


I'm not too bad at pool. I even have a tournament bronze medal on my shelf from 10 years ago, but when I started picking up the cue again, the balls weren't going where they were supposed to go. I was getting beaten by practically everyone. Including when I was playing against myself.

What was I doing wrong? What was missing?

It's like that dish that seemed perfect but lacking one crucial ingredient (salt).

It's like the most wonderful love letter ever written that would never arrive (stamp).

It's like one of your favourite sitcoms from which you can't remember the name of the main actress (Justine Bateman).

And then, that eureka moment.

Chin on cue.

That was it!

And the balls began flying into the pockets like it were their ancestral homes...


I wonder what other stuff I'm doing are missing their crucial ingredients...

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Don't count the days...

make the days count.

sometimes blue
sometimes grey
sometimes both