Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I’ve had so many things up that I haven’t really had the time to update. Last week was crazy with 3 major projects due – Facilities, Operations Management and Engineers in Society. The bulk of the work was from the Facilities project. Initially, it was overwhelming but as we went along and figured out our way, the project was do-able. And seeing that most of us were going home for the weekend, there was urgency to finish everything by Thursday.
I was home for exactly 31 hours!! It was so short but nothing beats coming home. Got my sister to bake chocolate chip cookies for Ah Kie’s birthday party and mummy dearest made my favourite chicken curry! So yummy!!
Saturday was spent on Ah Kie’s birthday party with so many people. Had a really awesome time meeting the rest of the gang. We continued the celebration with dinner at La Bodega in Pavillion. Then instead of heading back to Ah Kie’s straight, I hung out at Hobbes, where I watched the youtube of Veyron, discussed music, Imogen Heap, movies etc etc. Oh, Hobbes even lent me a book, Bone which I totally dig! Wish it wasn’t so heavy so I could bring it along for class to read during boring lectures. :P
This week will be spent on completing the draft of my thesis which is due on Friday. And I’m really sorry for not being in touch with some of you (and you know who you are). Work was extremely stressful especially last week, pretty tensed too. So I didn’t come across as friendly or borderline pissy even, and I’m really sorry. I feel awful bout it but I’m pretty hopeless at multitasking especially when the projects are humongous with deadlines screaming at my face. But good ol’ Ohkulala is back. It feels good to be back too.
It’s the last week of the semester. Gosh, time really flies. Come Friday, it is officially my last day of my FINAL semester AND 2nd may also marks exactly 5 years I’ve been in Cowboy Town Uni. Part of me feels happy coz it marks another milestone in my life that I am coming to an end of my uni life (Cowboy Town Uni makes you feel that way, especially with its location). A part of me feels sad to leave this place as it holds so many memories of new friends, adventures, experiences and most importantly, of growing up. *Thoughtful*
Thursday, April 24, 2008
How did this all get started?
I was surfing the net yesterday while taking a break from studying and logged into Friendster (which has been rather abandoned since Facebook came along). And I spotted with my eye a bulletin posted by Fly FM about walking the red carpet with Phat Fabes and Ben of Fly FM for AIM 15. For those who live under a coconut shell, let me enlightened you, AIM stands for Anugerah Industri Musik, Malaysia’s equivalent of the Grammys. So with a few clicks here and there, I sent in my entry at 8am this morning while doing some last minute studying for my 11am test.
Halfway through the test…
Ohkulala cancels call
Ohkulala dashes out of room to answer call thinking if the person called again with a 03 prefix, it has to be important.
Caller said Ohkulala got in!!
I was completely shocked seeing that I took part simply for the fun of it. I believe there were thousands of people sending in their entries; hence chances of winning are slim so I didn’t put any hope in it. Except that I had fun picking out a “glamorous” picture of myself. I sent in the one Ah Kie suggested yesterday. And I Won! *on cloud nine*
I don’t know why this brought upon so much excitement to me. This is not that BIG a deal honestly. And yet I feel so happy, part of me feels like I’m floating in the clouds still. Well, I guess it has been rather stressful with the immense work load. Therefore when something fun like this comes along, it is much welcomed and somehow the excitement is escalated.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
Sunday, April 20, 2008
Picking out a top 10 did bring upon this reflex movement: Fingers in motion to my head *scratch*scratch*. All because I don’t exactly drool over men especially the famous ones. They are beyond reach (both in terms of distance and chance meeting) so what’s the point of wasting saliva on them right? *laughs* But I guess there have been some who did linger a second longer therefore allowing me to recollect somewhat an impression.
So here are my men, those who stayed and made watching them in a movie or show or performing a song more entertaining. Who said good looks didn’t count? Oooh… hot bodies earn them extra brownie points too.
McDreamy in his scrubs looks uber hawt in his after five shadow. Those innocent eyes dances with my heart strings in Grey’s Anatomy.
Michael Scoffield who brought intelligence, calm, composure in executing one of the most brilliant and best planned prison escape in Prison Break.
The Matrix star and When Something’s Gotta Give with his chameleon ability to change characters. It is his sheepish smile that steal hearts.
Prince Charming looking for his true love in Enchanted and the brilliant wedding reporter in 27 Dresses. He’s got this magnetic charm that glues you to watch him.
Sexiness with his mere presence. Hot hot hot body. The only woman I’m jealous of is Angelina Jolie. She better keep him good or I’ll snatch him the moment he’s available.
“Every Morning” things “Falls Apart” with Sugar-honey-chocolate chip-maple syrup-coated-Ray’s lead singer.
He who plays Nate Archibald with the sea blue eyes that goes on and on. I even wrote about him in my post on Gossip Girl.
Sawyer of Lost – you either love him to hate him to bits. I love his bad boy look packed with a solid body, hates his gut in Lost.
Last but not least, my number ONE sexiest man is Chad Michael Murray.
Crush at first sight watching Freaky Friday. The best lover, friend, brother, uncle, basketball coach you will ever find in One Tree Hill. A solid writer who sees the best in everyone, always there to lend a hand, a shoulder to cry on, the support you need when everything goes wrong. And if you dare cross him, you need to deal with me first. *hhmpph*
I’m tagging Shira Koala, Whoopsy Daisy and Rockaholics Anonymous.
Saturday, April 19, 2008
The organization started out in Cambodia in year 2000 and now SOLS24/7 is the largest non-formal education provider in Cambodia, establishing 23 self-sustainable provincial centers taking in as much as 2,500 students a year. They then branched out to Timor Leste 2 years ago and now the organization opened their latest new center in Melaka, Malaysia in November. They currently have 22 students enrolled in their Science of Life program and are looking for another 38 vibrant young people to join them.
Here’s how you can do your part to help SOLS24/7 with their good work, spread the word about the organization, their programs and centre. All it takes is a few clicks of the mouse and you may have made a big difference in someone’s life.
If you could take the time to change one person’s life, would you do it?
As our hectic schedules take over and the pressures from work, family and friends seep into our day, it’s easy to shelf our plans to give a bit back to society and make a difference.
Most do not have the time or expertise to lift those in need out of the vicious cycle of poverty, ignorance and lack of education that they are trapped in. But there are avenues for those who have a desire to make a resounding difference. There are people and organizations with the skills and drive to answer the needs of those often overlooked and misguided by a fast changing world. To make a bigger impact however, they need people with compassion, firm voices and helping hands who can see through the ‘lost causes’ of society and envision their potential for greatness.
It is suggested in New Research in Asian Studies that youth should be treated as a key indicator of the state of a nation. The number of youth in Malaysia was 41.5% of the population in 2005. This means that almost half of the population was facing social challenges such as substance abuse, pre-marital sex, the ‘lepak’ culture and moral decadence which will undoubtedly hamper Malaysia’s development progress. (Development, Media and Youth issues in Malaysia - Samsudi A Rahmin)
Malaysia is a country full of opportunity, but these opportunities can only be seized through hard work, a sincere and well balanced character and the possession of the right work attitude and principles. We have setup a training & boarding center in Malaysia that answers and supports the goals set by the government.
Currently 22 students are training in our center; we are searching for 38 more students to take the program to the next level, and now we need YOUR help to reach out to the country’s youth and to spread awareness of the availability of our program as well as your helping hands to join us as a volunteer or sponsor. The 24-month boarding & training program, is offered to all youths between the ages of 16 to 25 who have a desire to enhance their life, secure job placements, initiate a business and live in love & unity.
The program consists of hard skills, which include mastering Office English, Business, Computer skills, etc. Soft skills such as developing character, confidence, discipline, leadership, etc are also given a priority in the curriculum. Full scholarships are offered to students from low-income families, refugees, orphans, orang asli and school dropouts.
Providing equal opportunities for boys and girls, the program has made it a policy to accept the same number of male and female students. Thus female students may join without prerequisites, but male students can only register if they are accompanied by a female student.SOLS 24/7 uses a personalized method of teaching, where students and teachers touch base daily to ensure a continuous progress both academically and character wise.
Using a one-to-one approach to teaching, the minds and behaviour of students are cultivated using a balanced approach of love and discipline. Students tackle academic and character-building skills as well as social consciousness lessons which highlight issues such as domestic violence, drug alcohol and tobacco abuse, HIV Aids, religious tolerance and practices community service such as gotong-royong and blood donations.The students have a packed daily schedule.
Other than academic classes they also participate in daily exercise and activities (Eye exercise, counting beans, etc) and group talks which aim to challenge negative thinking and encourage positive behaviour. The center also promotes art, drama, music & dance. Students are encouraged to ask questions, listen and explore different solutions and take responsibility for their actions. To further encourage productivity, students are walked through the process of starting a micro-business and are given six months work experience upon graduation.
Intake starts NOW!
International Director & Co-founder Raj Ridvan Singh said that SOLS 24/7 team was passionate about empowering youth with life skills to enable them to understand and solve life’s challenges and employment skills to help them break the cycle of poverty and become productive members of society.
“We provide education for youths who are searching to live the best possible life” he said.
Current operating training centers are located in Cambodia (GDI), Timor Leste and now Malaysia. So far more then 26,000 youths have graduated from SOLS 24/7’s training in academic, job, leadership and life skills education.
The programs concept is inspiring in its efficiency and effectiveness and has become a beacon of light to those searching for a balanced, holistic system of living life. The pulse of the program lies in a committed team of high level expertise and experienced individuals, dedicated to the holistic education and long-term development of youths throughout Southeast Asia.
The SOLS 24/7 team consists of founder, co-founders, directors and full-time national & international volunteers from Japan, Malaysia, England, Cambodia, Singapore and Timor leste.To cooperate or to get a more in-depth understanding of the organisation, you can check out our brochure or contact Raj Ridvan Singh at firstname.lastname@example.org or +6012 6398 442.
“We are Fashioned for GREATNESS!”
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
As a loyal Maxis customer, is too hard to expect good reception in my room? Every time the phone rings, I’ll need to get out of my room to the corridor but that solution is temporary. After say 3 minutes, the connection lapses and I will be forced to move which eventually leads me to going out of my block. It is no fun you know. I would really love the convenience of being able to have conversation without 50% of it being this:
So you see it sucks when I can’t carry out a decent conversation. Half the time will be spent on saying “Hello”, “I can’t hear you”, “Could you please repeat that”. I have developed the skill of guessing what people say to me during all the buzzing and lost in transmission lapses. These skills only go so far. I have guessed wrongly in the past which led to hilarious conversations. Pretty much like A asking B, “So, where did you go today?” and B responding by saying “Oh you heard too. Yeah, my uncle’s grandfather’s sister-in-law’s nephew’s neighbor’s daughter passed away 2 days ago”.
Without my phone dearest, I’ll be as good as living under a coconut shell. It is the life line to my social existence, the outside world, far away from Cowboy Town Uni and of course of home. I do feel bad for those who call me for the agony of not being able to hear me. And I feel bad for those who feel bad for me every time I ask them to hang on while I get out of my hostel. But I don’t think I have much of a choice at the risk of not having a life beyond the perimeters of my campus. Because the alternative of stubbornly sitting in my room, getting text messages from Maxis listing down my missed calls and not be in touch with the outside world is unacceptable. So yes, when the phone vibrates its happy tone, I briskly walk out, down the staircase to the corridor walkway to answer the call with a smile on my face.
The internet brings upon a different but equally frustrating story. It is pretty stable except when you really need it to be working. Then it becomes an a**olic b***h. I remember how the first 5 weekends in uni were spent internet-less. I felt so lost without it. Every time I want to Google something, I go all the way to clicking IE, waiting *fingers tapping* and then when it says “Page Can Not Be Found” before I bang my head realizing that there is NO internet again!
The lack of good connection really saps out all the joy in blogging. There are so many things I would like to post but they are just too time consuming that I eventually change my mind. Just look at my Vaisakhi post, I wanted to upload about 8 pics but only ended up with 3. You want to know why? I took me 2 freaking hours uploading them onto Photobucket before I could generate the html codes to include them here! 2 hours=3 pictures=productive time gone to waste on waiting.
I know I should be thankful that I do have internet and what can barely be called a phone reception. Not everyone in other parts of the world (or even in some uni’s in this country) have the privilege of such facilities. However, I do feel I hold certain leverage against Cowboy Town Uni simply because it claims to be a uni of international standards and world standing. How could a university of this prestige not be able to secure its scholars and students a consistently good, fast and stable internet connection? I don’t think that it’s a demand too big to fulfill.
As my mother puts it, this is only for 2 more months. Indeed.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Work piles up at a much faster rate than I can complete them. Deadlines are everywhere so much so I no longer know how to prioritize anymore because everything is equally important and their due dates are very near one other.
I’m beginning to feel the weight on my shoulders. Slowly but surely tiredness creeps up on me, holding me back and slowing me down. I do push myself but just not too hard lest I stumble on my face with dirt and grime in my teeth. And when I do, I somehow end up with “naps” in the midst of lectures, rejuvenating my mentally saturated mind.
I for one always look at the bright side of things. But right now, all I see is a mere glimmer that is diminishing with time. So many things, so little time. I’m tittering on the brinks of no hope and running out of drive and momentum.
Mum tried pacifying me saying that this will all be over in 2 months. But that is no consolation whatsoever. Yes, this will be over in a couple months. However just because it will reach an end soon does not make my work burden any lesser. Work will still need to be done and between now and June, I see a very long road ahead.
I’m drained, worn out like the tattered corners of my favourite book from reading and re-reading it over years. I do want to take a break but I can’t. The guilt conscious halts me from doing so. I am still strong inside but my edges are showing cracks. How long can I hold on? Only time will tell.
The glamour of being a final semester student is overrated. I will go back to my good old foundation days in a blink. Hhmmm… then again, it will mean another 5 years in Cowboy Uni, so I guess not.
I will stand by my principles, give my best and hope everything turns out great. Optimism is the best spirit to have yet and while my Optimism Badge is a little faded, I wear it proudly. I look for the small things that make life better. And today I got exactly what put me right up on cloud nine - the Rainforest World Music Festival. Watch out Kuching, Ohkulala will be painting the town red coming this July.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Happy Vaisakhi everyone!! Vaisakhi is a very important day for the Sikhs. While it is widely celebrated as New Year, it also marks the very significant religious event of the creation of Khalsa. You can read more about it here.
So here’s what I did for Vaisakhi. A group of us headed of to Pusing Gurdwara. Right as we entered the Pusing junction, there was a massive jam which is totally surprising seeing that it is a pretty small town. And then we noticed there was a chariot!! So the driver dropped 3 of us by the side of the road and we joined in the procession.
I was so excited! I’ve always wanted to join in the procession but have always missed it. Seeing that it is my final semester in uni, I feel so blessed to have been able to be part of this. I simply could not contain my joy last night to be able to be there. The atmosphere was exhilarating. There were hundreds of people, young, old alike decked in their best for New Year’s. Did I mention that the chariot is the same one used in Anna and the King?
The chariot carried the Guru Granth Sahib (GGS), the holy book for the Sikh and the Kirtan group (a group of people singing hymns while playing traditional instruments like the vaja and tabla). The procession started out in Seputeh Gurdwara around 7pm. The drizzle did not dampen anyone’s spirits, all around you see is smiling faces. Lucky me, I came prepared with an umbrella. By the time we arrived in Pusing Gurdwara, it was around 9.30pm. Lo and behold, the crowd waiting at the temple was as big as the crowd in the procession. I have never seen the place so packed before.
Here are some of the pics from last night.
Me at the stairs of the chariot
Well, I hope everyone will be blessed with happiness, success, joy and love this Vaisakhi.
Saturday, April 12, 2008
As I was visiting, I found the Colourgenics Profile very interesting so I did it for myself. And here is what my profile said:
"You appear to others around you as a person who is simply 'laid back'. From time to time you shelve your ambitions and forgo the desire for prestige and recognition and you are often considered as mentally lazy. You have the ability and you are the first to know this, but you prefer to take things easy and indulge your longing for comfort and security.
You are full of stress at this time. It would seem that you are having more than your fair share of trials and tribulations and you are looking for a way out. You are not quite sure which way to go but the advice is - 'Stop trying so hard'.
You are a demanding egocentric and therefore quick to take offence. This attitude makes people feel somewhat inadequate when in your company and so it is no wonder that at times you feel alone and unwanted.
Unacceptable restrictions have been forced upon you and this is resulting in severe frustration and stress. You are looking for independence and consequently you shy away from any restriction and avoid obligations of anything which might prove hampering. You are being subjected to considerable pressure and want to escape from it so that you can obtain what you need, but unfortunately at this particular moment in time you lack the necessary strength of purpose to succeed in this.
The tensions that you are trying to cope with are a result of conditions which are really beyond your control. As a consequence of this almost impossible situation and not being able to get your own way, you are subjected to frustration and almost ungovernable anger. You are trying to remedy the situation but the stress that you are experiencing is making the situation even worse. You feel so inadequate that you are not quite sure which way to turn. A good suggestion would to be to try to relieve the stress and anxiety by participating in some very active physical activity which will relieve your tension."
There are some parts which are quite true. So I guess I know what I should be doing for the weekend then, some very active physical activity. *skips away*
Friday, April 11, 2008
Have any of you felt utterly lost in a completely familiar place? If you have, do let me know how you got out of it because I don’t know how.
There is a cloud looming over my head for the past 2 days and I don’t even know what the hell is bothering me. I am just not myself. I walk along familiar paths and see a sea of familiar faces as I do every single day and yet why do I feel like I don’t belong.
I am clueless as to what triggered me to be like this. I am not particularly happy nor do I have any reasons to feel sad. I just don’t have the mood to do anything at all. Work is piling up and deadlines are screaming in my face and still I have no passion to get started on anything.
I wake up and go about my day in a daze. I smile, I wave, I laugh at something funny, I eat, I drink, I go about doing everything exactly the way I do it and that’s it. No emotions, no feelings, nothing, zilch, nada. *sigh* I even turned down an outing to Ipoh with my friends today. Very unlike me coz I love hanging out, just to get out of the Cowboy Town uni.
I am not tired; I have been sleeping more in fact lately. It can not stress be when all I do is slack, chill and relax falsely hoping that is what I need to get rid of this Thing. So, how am I going to solve something that I don’t even know what it is about? Maybe it is a phase, like a passing cloud on a sunny day. Maybe this is a sign of depression? Maybe a short-circuit took place in my brain while I took my countless naps hoping to sleep this off. *shrugs*
Lost at a familiar place.
something inexperienced before,
something I don’t know how to solve,
something that is beginning to bug me,
something not permanent I hope,
something I pray is not serious.
some thing if something is something at all.
I’m not making any sense. So I shall stop here. *cloud looms over head*
Will I get this though? *wonders*
You found me
When no one else was lookin'
How did you know just where I would be?
Yeah, you broke through
All of my confusion
The ups and the downs
And you still didn't leave
I guess that you saw what nobody could see
You found me
Thursday, April 10, 2008
So here I came up with a list of some things you can get without going wrong, to me at least. Do bear in mind, every person is different, you should not buy a standard gift for all your friends, it does not work that way. Everyone is unique; therefore do them justice instead of a mass customization gift.
Girls: earrings, bracelets, necklaces, rings, bangles, hair pins, hair clips
Boys: earring (if he has a piercing), tie-pin, belt, cuff-links,
Again, bear in mind the person you’re getting if for. For example, we have not gotten Ah Hua a bracelet simply because she doesn’t like having anything on her wrists. Bracelets for me tend to be too big; they can slip off my tiny hand.
A formal outfit for work / presentation, a nice top for class, a party wear, a funky witty one-line t-shirt which will make him/her laugh, tie
Gizmos and gadgets
Boys especially love it when they have a new toy. A new handphone, PSP, PS3, Guitar Heroes, PDA etc etc.
I love love love wallets, sometimes I buy up to 3 wallets at the same time because I can’t decide which one I love more. Then ill pass the other two to my sisters and we can swap as we like.
Everyone needs them, uses them and there is no such thing as having too many of them. It is really fun making a person guess what it is and see the surprised look on his/her face. My favorites are still boxers. For girls it can be a lil tricky especially with cup sizes if you know what I mean.
These make cool presents. However, try tricking the person into trying out the scent first before purchasing it because everyone has different taste. And that way you are saved from spending a bomb for a scent the other person doesn’t like.
Hobby/ interest based gifts
A great book, the latest bestseller for an avid reader, the new maxis broadband for the person who slings a laptop everywhere like an extension of his/her body, the guidebook of awesome diving spots for the newly licensed PADI diver, discount cards/ vouchers for a shop the friend frequents.
A personal card
You can never go wrong with this. And better still, if you’re not so good with words, the internet works like magic. There are also amazing cards you can get from Memory Lane and Hallmark. Oh, please do not send e-cards unless there is no other way to do it. I feel a card is best when you can hold it in your hands, flip it, fold it, just touching it instead of it being on a computer screen, emotionless without that scribble of a handwriting.
A wine bottle
A surprise party
A pleasant surprise with the company of good friends is fantastic. Planning it is exciting, it feels like you’re keeping a secret that you so dangerously want to spill over because it is so deliciously good and yet you keep mum till the day comes. Lots of co-ordination is required to make sure the birthday friend does not suspect a thing, it has to seem very natural and that nothing is out of the ordinary. And make sure people know how to keep their mouths shut. No accidental blurts or clues that can give the party away. Not that the party will fail, but the momentum and tension leading up to the surprise is always the most thrilling.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Buying gifts for a loved one, family and friends is no easy task. A lot of time and thought goes into choosing a gift. You want to buy something the other person will want, appreciate and like, not something you as the buyer like. I feel the best presents are those of something a person needs and can make use of. A painter can also do with an extra set of brushes. But also make sure it is a suitable gift. Buying a handphone for someone who just got the new iPhone would be redundant.
Some of the best presents I received are one of the simplest kinds. A cute mug reminding how high I get with caffeine. A brown shawl I once hated because I didn’t like its colour which now I never leave without because it is small, fits snugly into my handbag and keeps me really warm during my late nights out. A watch which a dear friend picked out. It is not just any watch, it was of the design I like, square face, small and of a metal strap, that friend had excellent memory about what I mentioned a long time ago about how I choose my watches. And the timing was perfect because I lost my watch while shopping in Bangkok. The unexpected trip to the optometrist to get a new pair of glasses (I could pick anything my heart desires) from my mother for helping her out. books to read when my eyes were giving me problems from too much exposure to the computer so I could read and still be entertained instead of watching my series. A pair of chopsticks to represent me and you and without the other, the chopstick is useless.
Back in high school, my best friends and I gave cards on Valentine's Day to one another, hand-made cards with notes of thanks for always being there through everything and how much I appreciate having them around. I have kept all the cards and notes I have received over the years and whenever I feel nostalgic, I dig them up and read them. Some puts a smile of my face, a few gets me bursting with laughter and the really touching ones, tears. I can still identify a card from the handwriting. I also see the progression we made as we grow up, the cards become less child-like and more mature with time. And I hope that my words warm their hearts they way they did mine.
I’ll come up with some ideas and suggestions on pressies tmrw. Stay tuned~
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
“There is a theory on that actually. Guys fuck guys and there are no strings attached. Therefore they keep fit to look good for their next fuck. But guys who do pussies get satisfied very easily especially when they are married. They no longer have to look good hence they get fat. So, pussies are fattening.”
Now, if you think that conversation is weird, hold your horses. That’s just the beginning. We coin loads of words over the years referring to sexual pleasures, organs, people, twists of the horny mind etc. For example we have Titsy (guys with protruding tits), Oily (for girls who are overweight), buncit and the more common ones like hot, sizzling, limp, lame and the list is endless.
It adds flavour to the things we say. No wonder I was called Corny back then, not that what I said was actually corny and cheesy, it’s the way I say things. I know it’s up their minds but nobody says it so I do and it usually leaves everyone in stitches and of course the occasional groans and slightly embarrassed faces.
Oh, don’t get me wrong. We don’t only talk bout things like sex, fuck buddies, hot bodies, sizes and measurements, boobs and butt. Those are just some of the things we talk about. We also talk about global warming, who got thrown out of uni because they stupidly got caught red handed, job hunting and when are our next assignments due. We just do not deny talking about the less discussed topics, those that some people shy away from. Seriously, if you are thinking it, why hide it and pretend like it isn’t there. Conversations of this nature are best shared over lunch with doses of laughter and giggles. I think it’s on par with shopping therapy.
So if pussies are fattening, what about cocks, do they have the same effects? Coz poor me needs some flesh here. Or maybe I need another pussy. Hhmmm… *ponders*
Monday, April 7, 2008
At standard 5, while I was still running around playing hide and seek, you had already shouldered endless responsibilities. Not only did you have to do your homework and face such tyrant teachers those days, you had to juggle between folding clothes for what you said was like a “Dobi” or cooking as if it’s for a “kenduri” everyday in between taking care of Rani. You learnt the hard way of life at such a young age. I know now the true meaning of looking at your coarse hands, knowing all the hardships you have been through.
You, Aunty Honey and Uncle Inderjit were infected with chicken pox at the same time. Being quarantine in the same room and skipping school for two weeks, the 3 of you had extreme fun, even if meant having to eat green apples everyday. That would probably explain why you still like green apples till today. Your leadership skills bloomed when you organised your class trip to Penang, Cameron Highlands and KL. It was the 1st time you had ever used a telephone and the trip made you feel like you saw the world outside Air Leleh.
After your HSE, you enrolled yourself into the teacher training college, Maktab Perguruan Jalan Raja Muda. Coming from an all girl school, you found it difficult to get adjust to the boys who seemed so notorious and mischievous in their ways. With the minimal RM150 allowance that you got, you bought a teddy bear for Aunty Cindy, Tiffin carriers and sarong for your Mum.
You adapted yourself so well into your new environment, sharing a house with 7 Malay girls. And because almost everyone was malay, so much so, the landlord used to call you “Sharifah”. But your finishing touch at the college was most memorable when you graduated with your diploma in teaching and was given the title “Graduation Queen”. I still remember how radiant you look in your black baju kebaya with a red hibiscus tucked behind your ear flashing that million dollar smile which we are all sure was why dad fell in love with you.
Uncle Heera sent you off when you had your 1st posting to Sek Keb Air Manis in Kulai. You went up the ladder very quickly and as appointed as Head of Department. Later, you moved in to stay with Isweri. You remembered that faithful day when you were teaching in class and Isweri told you that your mum was very sick. At 21 years of age, on 17 Sept 1978, your Mum passed away. With much grief and sadness, life still had to go on for all the 10 of you... Life wasn’t the same, it wasn’t easy, but it made you stronger.
Uncle Harbans and Mr Kuldip Singh were colleagues at National Semiconductor and little did you know that Mr Kuldip was going to be your husband. Standing tall with a 6 metre turban and speaking English with an Indian accent, Dad swept you off you feet and you were wedded on 7 August 1983. You got your posting back to Melaka and both of you proudly bought your 1st car with the plate number MJ 1717. Mum was then pregnant with Kul.
Over the years, you and Dad are blessed with 3 girls, Kulvinder, Belvinder and I. In between juggling your hectic work schedule and home chores, you never failed to make time for us. You taught us how to read by pasting words on the wall and bought a small table which had pictures for every letter from A – Z. For every word we got right, we received a kiss. And you thought us counting and money using real money, bringing out the coins and dollars from your purse.
You always told us that you wanted to give us what you felt you lacked in your life and music was one of them. That was when you enrolled all the 3 of us for Junior Music Course (JMC) and never once in 6 years you left us throughout the course. You can sing all those songs we learnt even till today and proudly tell people that your 3 girls can play the organ.
It was more than luck when you were offered a scholarship to do your degree in UK, a lot of effort and hard work went into securing the scholarship. I was only 2 years old at that time and banging my head against the wall when I slipped in the toilet just before you left, didn’t make it any easier for you. With a heavy heart and having to answer people who kept asking you how could you ever leave your 2 year old daughter, you bravely faced the challenge and left overseas. At 36 years old, it was the 1st time you sat on an aeroplane. UK was an eye opener for you, being able to learn much more than you thought you could. Experiencing snow for the 1st time, going ice skating and skiing was among the memories you’ll never exchange for.
Life for you wasn’t a bed of roses. Your heart sank when you found out Bel ran through a glass door and required stitches. You heart ached knowing that she screamed “Mum..Mum!!” only to know that you were not there. While everyone was busy finding brochures to find places to travel, you were busy finding brochures for the cheapest flight home. Every letter that you received from home was the most priceless thing you owned. We all missed you very much in those 2 years and somehow your summer and winter breaks always flew in the blink of an eye.
Dad coped pretty well with the 3 of us. Bringing us to the Singapore Zoo, I take my hats off for Dad having to prepare my milk and demanding ethics at the age of 2. Handling 3 small girls at one time alone wasn’t easy. But Dad believes we should have a childhood rich with memories.
Mum, you came back from UK 2 years later. All your family members were there to greet you at the airport. You taught at SMK Seri Mahkota and within 3 years, you managed to bring the English pases to 56% and having 2 students getting an A1. Until today, you still hold the record in that rural school.
You then proceeded to do your Masters at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). You said it was easier than doing your degree and you had more time to spend with us. You made us get the reading habit by borrowing books from the library so much so, it was almost entire children’s book we have read by then. You made the Malaysian ice cream when Kul had to sell those during Sports Day and helped her get sponsorships for her class magazine. You wanted so badly to watched Bel doing her taekwando actions but never had chance since Bel was so shy, so you resorted to peeking in the bushes. You even took the time to make my costume for my fashion show. Painstakingly sewing the sequins and then making my necklace out of roses you planted in the garden.
You felt like you made up for all the lost time when you were away. And mum, you did much more than just to fill in the gaps, you craved our lives and made them so meaningful. Guiding us from step to step just to make sure we got the best. It is so rare to find any mother who tells their children to take a break, or skip school and tuition. But you are so cool about it when you feel we deserve a time-out.
Many people ask you why don’t you just leave the teaching profession. Your answer is simple and honest. You enjoy teaching and feel that every child is entitled to get a good and proper education. You feel you have a calling to give back to these innocent lives through teaching. Politics around work might be different, but the moment you entered class, the passion for teaching burns in your soul. You have made a significant mark in their lives, you have made a difference.
Mum made us believe that we can achieve anything if we put our mind to it and to never be afraid of hard work. Life is full of opportunities and there will be challenges along the way, the ride was not a guaranteed smooth one. But with every up and down, it serves to make us stronger and better. I know you are proud of how far you have gone in life, from a little kampong girl to a great mother and wife and wonderful lecturer, and look forward to continuously develop yourself everyday. Mum tells us to not put a timeline to our dream, persevere and do not lose hope in them, they will all come true when you work at them.
I am so proud to be your daughter. You are a pillar of strength and a source of inspiration to us in the family. And I know no matter how often we say it, it is never enough to tell you how much we love you and we thank you for everything we are today because of an amazing person called Iswander Kaur.
Sunday, April 6, 2008
I was surprised to see the MCs, they were friends of our batch. Kinda shocking seeing that we're in the final semester, most people shy away due to the immense work load we have. But they said they're doing it one last time, for old times sake. Aww... so sweet.
We also took the front seats to get a better view. Oh, and let's not forget our 10 seconds of fame when we appeared on the main screen singing the uni's song at the end of the function :P.
Saturday, April 5, 2008
Head under water,
And they tell me to breathe easy for a while.
The breathing gets harder, even I know that.
You made room for me but it’s too soon to see,
If I’m happy in your hands.
I’m unusually hard to hold on to.
Blank stares at blank pages.
No easy way to say this.
You mean well, but you make this hard on me.
I'm not gonna write you a love song,
'Cause you asked for it,
'Cause you need one, you see.
I'm not gonna write you a love song,
'Cause you tell me it's,
Make or breaking this.
If you’re on your way,
I'm not gonna write you to stay.
If all you have is leaving,
I’d need a better reason to write you a love song today.
I learned the hard way,
That they all say things you want to hear.
My heavy heart sinks deep down under you,
And your twisted words, your help just hurts.
You are not what I thought you were.
Hello to high and dry.
Convinced me to please you.
Made me think that I need this too.
I’m trying to let you hear me as I am.
I'm not gonna write you a love song,
'Cause you asked for it,
'Cause you need one, you see.
I'm not gonna write you a love song,
'Cause you tell me it's,
Make or breaking this.
If you’re on your way,
I'm not gonna write you to stay.
If all you have is leaving,
I’m gonna need a better reason to write you a love song today.
Promise me you'll leave the light on,
To help me see with daylight, my guide, gone.
'Cause I believe there's a way you can love me because I say,
I won't write you a love song,
'Cause you asked for it,
'Cause you need one you see.
I'm not gonna write you a love song,
'Cause you tell me it's make or breaking this.
Is that why you wanted a love song,
'Cause you asked for it,
'Cause you need one you see.
I’m not gonna write you a love song,
'Cause you tell me it's make or breaking this.
If you’re on your way,
I’m not gonna write you to stay.
If your heart is nowhere in it,
I don’t want it for a minute.
Babe, I’ll walk the seven seas when I believe that there's a reason to,
Write you a love song today.
Friday, April 4, 2008
Have you ever felt like you were shot and survived it?
Well, I know exactly how it felt like.
There was a career fair in uni on Tuesday and Wednesday and I took advantage of the fair to start applying for jobs. Lots of companies set up booths and a number conducted interviews or screenings. I handed in my resumes and awaited their response.
My friends and I applied for company S, we went for the first round. You pick a topic from the folded pieces of paper and talk on the topic for 3 minutes, that’s it. At 5pm, results were out, those shortlisted will be going for the 2nd round, the group dynamics, the next morning. So on wed, we were there up and early.
My group consists of 6 members from various backgrounds. 3 of us were final semester students and the other 3 were applying for internship placing. So we got down to the project. The most interesting part was the presentation. Here, the assessors will be asking lots of questions on our designs etc etc. My group, unfortunately, did rather poorly. We did not meet the minimum requirements despite working really hard and putting in lots of effort. Defending our quality of work was challenging. In the midst of defending, we were asked if everyone in the group was agreeable to the design we came up with. Everyone mumbled yes in agreement.
The guy next to me said no! He said he wanted it designed differently and we shoved his idea aside. OMG! You don’t turn your back against your own freaking group. Who does that? And this is group dynamics test. Yes, it was true we were not agreeable on his design. Everyone (except him) felt the design was not going to work out. Hence we stuck by the design everyone (he claims the majority, but not him) agreed upon. Things went from bad to an immediate plunge for the worse.
We were then asked to draw out the design of the item we built. The assessor, let’s call her Xena, wanted to see if everyone had the same picture in mind. 6 people, 6 different drawings. The problem was this; 5 drawings were pretty similar but one particular drawing looked completely different from the rest. Gosh, another bomb landed on us. How are we going to explain that one member in the team understood the design differently from the rest? Was it a communication break down? Poor explanation? Terrible coordination? Sigh…
I came out of the interview feeling completely down. No matter what we said or explained came out satisfactory. The feeling of being a complete failure is overwhelming. So when the results were to be released at 5pm, I went there half heartedly reflecting on the poor performance from earlier.
I scanned the list very quickly. 16 names were there, so few… sigh. I looked, and I took a second look. My name was in the list!!! I blinked, I stared, I looked in utter disbelieve, my eyes squinted. My name is there! Holy cow.
So on Thursday morning, I had 2 interviews. Pet’s interview was alright. The second interview was hhmmm.
I was bombared with questions and remarks and comments from the moment I got in the room till I got out. Xena was my interviewer and it was one on one. In a fictional world, the pic below describes the manner in which she questioned me:
I did my best answering her questions. I couldn’t answer 2 technical questions. I did not want to waste Xena’s time coming up with some mumbo jumbo about something I didn’t know, so I immediately admitted I didn’t know. To which she responded, “I can’t hire you, you are technically incompetent”.
I apparently have never gotten my hands dirty hence I don’t have what it takes to work for S. I was asked to prove that I am capable of working with the same capacity as the male species, both physically and mentally. And I had to repeatedly convince her I could do this and that and this and that and a whole bunch of things. Despite my best efforts, she wanted more. No matter what I said, nothing I said was right. She had a retort or a remark to my every response. How am I going to crack my head telling her in many different ways that I want this and I’ll work for it? She did not look impressed. And I couldn’t do anything about it.
I get the idea why Xena asked me the questions she did. It was totally relevant to the job applied. It is high pressure working for S and she have to make sure a person who gets in is not the kind that cracks in the interview. The real world is going to be much harsher. I came out not knowing how well or badly I did. But for the grueling experience, I am glad I went through it. It was tough, it pushed me to my limits, made me break boundaries of what I’m currently capable of doing, and it forced me to think quickly and sharply. She is doing her job and she’s executing it by going 10 miles out of her way to do it better. And who am I to blame her for wanting to do a great job?
So after feeling like a target of a shooting range practice, I came out mentally drained. The 20 minute interview with S was way more draining than my one hour interview with Pet. I have absolutely no idea what will come out of the interview. All I know is I tried my best and I couldn’t have done it any better than I did. If I do make it through the final round, I am grateful. If I don’t, I have no regrets. I tried and gave my best. So yesterday, I survived being “shot” and lived to tell about it.
Today, I declare it my chill out day. I’m taking a break after 3 days of interviews and completing the compiling of my final year group project. So far, I have watched 3 movies already, Bourne Identity, Just Follow Law and Pulp Fiction. Right after posting this, I’m going to catch my fourth movie. I have yet to decide what it will be. Oh well, its not head cracking matter. Ill just do the Eenie Meenie Minie Mo.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
However, due to the American Press Association strike (which thankfully has ended), all my favourite shows have been put to a complete stop. No more McDreamy and Wisteria Lane stories for me. I did get started on a new show, How I Met Your Mother which I absolutely and totally love because it is real, with solid characters, those you love and those you love to hate. However, I finished watching all 3 seasons in less than 1 month which lead me back to my original problem, no shows to watch.
So with the lack of options, I had no choice but to turn to Gossip Girl. I mean, it can’t be that bad isn’t it? I did survive 1 season of O.C and One Tree Hill is awesome. So last Friday after my shopping trip, I downloaded the pilot and watched it right before I slept. And it was alright, cute guys, no wait, HOT guys to boot!
After that, I got hooked to the show. There are only 13 episodes available (again due to the strike) and I finished watching everything in 3 days! I remember the 2nd night I was watching the show, I got up to the fifth episode and then DC++ (the uni’s P2P network of sheer illegal piracy) went Poof! I was so frustrated, the tension, the drama, the suspense was so intense that I was short of screaming, pulling my hair out, gritting my teeth to know what will happen in the next episode.
So here’s the glue, the magnetic force so strong that I finished watching everything so fast. The good looking cast is well, superb looking. Yes, the show is exactly like any other teenaged shows but the hot boys are definitely appealing to my eyes. *laughs*. Gosh, now I sound like a complete bimbo. So feast your eyes the same way I feast mine :)
She's Blake Lively who plays Serena. In case you're wondering how come she's featured here, well, its coz i think she's hot too and I love her voice. It is a lil rough, like someone with a slight sore throat, it is so sexy.
Aahh... those soulful blue eyes
Penn Bradgley plays Dan Humphrey who had a crush on Serena since forever and finally dates her. He's like the sweetest guy, warm, matured, caring and yet doesn't over do it. Phew... or else he'll end up being Mr Nice Guy.
And last but not least, this is Matthew Settle who plays Rufus Humphrey, Dan's father who btw used to date Serena's mother those days. He looks real good despite his age, hunky, a melt-your-heart smile, romantic and makes the best waffles too :)So how can I not like him? Ooohhh.... if only I can get a life partner who'll grow up gracefully the way Rufus did. *laughs*