Why I Write ...

Purely as a form of expression to the emotions that run riot in my life at different junctures. This blog has seen several title revisions that also reflect the state of being and evolution I am constantly in. If one were to remain stagnant in hope of never changing their temporal present, one will awaken someday to much regret. Life is about living, evolving and adapting to the constant changes all around us.

My spot on the web is essentially a journey along with my monologue ramblings of my coherent mind accompanied by the incoherent thing called life. Read me if you like ... if you don't it is not the end of the world. I am at the very least a believer in humility lifts us further than pride.

Happy trails

8 December 2010

Countdown To Home .... Dec 08, 2010

Quite suddenly the very last month of the year is upon us. And Christmas time and closure to another year and the start of another just around the bend.

In another 2 days at this time I will be still airborne crossing over the subcontinent of India and the Indian Ocean and checking the remaining hours till touchdown in KLIA ... homeland my homeland.

I am almost certain I will be glued to the movies and if my calculations are correct I'd manage 3 movies before I have give my headset back.

This time round, I have taken a later flight instead of the 3:30am flight out of DXB I chose to take the 10am one instead hence arriving night in Malaysia - shower and to bed. I remember the last trip home, I'd had some problems with the 4hours time difference - which is not too bad a gap but when I head back to the sandpit I am going in straight to work the next morning ... so maybe continuing to sleep at around 2am Malaysian time might not be such a bad thing I am guessing.

I am wondering what the weather is like at home. Coz here in the sandpit it has gotten to the point where fingers and toes are cold and even the nose feels a tad bit chilled. There's a cold breeze blowing and from the kind of summer we just had, it's all so different now ... that crisp air feeling of winter just magnifies the seasons celebrations and ends and new beginnings.

I've decided that I am going home with a near empty bag and stacking up on all the goodies I can carry back for my cooking adventures upon my return ... maybe even a plant or two of pandan (screw pine leaves) and see if it will grow on my balcony here in Dubai. I found serai (lemon grass) in the LuLu Hypermarket. Some peeled anchovies, some pandan and maybe we might get ourselves a half decent home cooked nasi lemak :) with maybe a prawn sambal (minus the petai) or a beef rendang - food that when you're feeling blue and missing Malaysia ... just even the aroma lifts the spirits. Maybe even a few bags of those dried tofu to make some masak lemak type dishes.

If only I could find a grocery selling Malaysian goodies, I'd be happy. I can find stuff from the Philippines but so far no luck with anything remotely Indonesian or Malaysian. Think a small lesung (mortar and pestle) is the next acquisition ... for our kind of cooking these little things are essentials. Maybe even a rolling pin if I want to start experimenting with some pies and pastries in my oven when I get back.

My brother tells me the girls are excited I am heading home - there's even a welcome home card from Kasha. I know me and the girls have made plans to go watch the 3rd Narnia movie together.

My days at home are going to be pretty full - music concerts, Ashna off to a girl guide camp, get my medicals done, Christmas, preparations for school and then the New Year before heading back.

I am guessing on some days it's going to be crawling on others its going to be a blink and the day is over. But most importantly is being able to share the moments with those I love and who mean the world to me.

Dubai I will be back to kickstart 2011 and I am looking ahead. Looking back and trying to move forward is never a smart thing, coz you miss the pits in front worrying about those you left behind.

I am shedding the past as much as I can and learning every single day that in order to live a full life, one must learn that everything in life is done with some limits because too much of anything even the good then becomes bad.

For more news on my trip back home to my babies and family and loved ones ... Am sure I will be doing a round up year end.

Otherwise here's an early Blessed Christmas and New Year!!

28 November 2010

Doing Different Things ... Nov 28, 2010

Over the past weekend in Dubai, I had an amazing time out with some complete strangers and some friends I'd made since moving here on work.

I was asked rather randomly one day if I'd be interested in going on a trek some where in UAE in the coming winter weeks when the sun is not as harsh and unforgiving as it is in the summer months.

At first I wondered about this trek and wanted to decline since if you've seen me you know I am no fitness buff and I didn't want to embarrass myself agreeing to go and then not really doing any acceptable amount of trekking.

But in the end I said what heck ... we live but once. Let's go. Didn't cost me anything, it was an opportunity to soak in some nice weather, also a chance to hang out with some folks I knew and open myself to the chance of meeting new folks - one can never have too many friends.

So having convinced 2 lady friends although one had to pull out because she was still recovering a bout of flu, we talked 2 chaps from work to go along. In the end it was 2 ladies and a chap in our car. There was no doubts some amount of drama in the early hours since chaps being chaps anything on a Friday morning starting at 6am is a difficult task to achieve - i.e. waking up :))

But soon we were hurtling along. Originally there was a plan to head to Fujairah and discover new things. Was really excited as I'd never been to Fujairah before. However on the morning of the 26th we were heading up to Hatta Dam bordering Oman. Hmmmmm ok ... I'd been there before trekking for wadis but it was to the Dam we were heading now.

It was Siny and Raja's first time to Hatta mountains and they were both excited. From the pictures we took you will know what an awesome view we had and how much fun we had climbing some slopes.

Post the climb and drive back to Dubai we decided to have lunch a the Seaman's Marine Club in Bur Dubai and that's when we started getting to know the others. And although strangers, we felt really at ease and I know I made some new friends. The Friday ended for me with plans for an overnight camping trip out in the desert when I get back in January. YAY!!!

I got home with slightly lead laden legs, showered long under piping hot water, took a Mobic pill for the throbbing lower back and Deep Heat rubbed into all sore joints I called it an early night. Was called later in the evening and asked if I wanted to go out to a joint called Time Cafe where there's some everyone single along karaoke coz apparently I am now also labelled "crooner" *rolls eyes* ... but I declined as at that time all I had on my mind was my cozy pillows and sleep.

I spent much of Saturday slightly amazed my body didn't hurt as I thought it might from being completely inactive. I had some leftover spicy Chicken Chilli 35 in the freezer so I decided to cook some rice and have it with this. As the rice began to bubble, I had a brainchild. How is it that they make Dum Briyani? So I put the chicken into the cooking rice and when the cooker kicked off I had a pretty well balanced rice and spicy chicken mix. And that was how I found out how to make a version of briyani on a lazy Saturday afternoon :)

Sometimes when you have nothing to do that's interesting, you find yourself gravitating to the bed which is where I found myself around 15:00 and next thing I knew my phone was ringing at 17:30 ... Raja was on the other side asking "Hey you want to go out for Goan food tonight?" ... aside from the fact I had nothing planned for my evening meal and that I was also too lazy to cook, I decided that ok I needed to get out of this cabin mode I tend to keep myself in over weekends.

So it was agreed Vallie, Raja and I would go have Goan food that evening at Casa Goa in Palm Beach Hotel down in Bur Dubai. Now an interesting thing I noted. All the funkier type characters seemed to be found this side of Dubai. Even the Filipina 'kupu kupu malam' (night butterflies) in their super micro short shorts and button busting micro tops .... Ooooooo the more colourful side of town I noted ;-)

Vallie had insisted that the food would be spicy but somehow both Raja and me found it rather lacking on the spice-o-meter scale. My Chicken Chilli 35 (derived from 35 dried chillies ground with 1 tomato) was WAYYYYYYYYYYYYY spicier. This was like a stroll in the park ... I didn't break a sweat at all and we did try quite a few dishes. Almost 300AED bill reminded me again why I do not go out for meals in Dubai. It's so expensive. Cooking for my community lunches is a far cheaper option :)

Nevertheless it was a great evening out with the usual suspects ... laughing talking taking jibes at each other. And it was a chance to forget some of the more pressing matters that plague me the worry wart that I am. I decided that I'd address these matters a little later as the facts weren't changing now or later. It was just good to feel alive and that living was possible.

We can find joys in small things. An outdoor trip, a shared lunch with friends, coffee sessions after work (am important teh tarik habit from home), finding reasons to laugh at oneself and the idiosyncrasies of others, it all helps one find ones balance in this big deal called existence.

I came away from the weekend with some new friends, and stronger ties with people I already call friends. Its all about living in the present and knowing where you're heading to in the future.

To the month of December I look, another year closes, an review of where I am now, family time in Malaysia with my girls and siblings and parents and of course friends. As the 31st draws to a close, I look ahead to 2011 - a new decade of my life, new milestones, all possibilities are ahead of me.

I wish you a blessed day and days ahead ... simply because once you have touched my life, you will always be there - special in my life. Till the next jottings of the incoherent mind :))

15 November 2010

Many Changes And Yet .... Nov 15, 2010

I have to admit coming out here, I'd have thought I'd be having loads of time to write and think and share my ramblings a little more regularly. However the move into my apartment meant that I didn't have an internet connection unless I was willing to budget a sizeable amount of my monthly survival budget. But recently I managed to get a temporary connection and hence here comes my first thoughts as I sit looking out of my main balcony watching lights flicker in the distance.

It is the eve of Eid Al Adha and I have been given a 3 day holiday ... so this effectively is my shortest work week since I got here. On Thursday I go in and then my weekend again - heeheheh I could get used to this.

Also I am counting the days down till I hop on my plane and head home for a good 3weeks of the kids and family and Christmas time - my favourite time of the year.

2010 has been a year of change. Mostly because I wanted my life to change. I was tired of how my 30s had passed me by in endless court appearances and only more heartache instead of solutions. Tired that people saw the troubles in my personal life as their basis to nitpick and say I was no good in my professional life even though I'd spill my gut just to be the best to my clients.

The one thing I learnt about all of this is that perspective plays a very pivotal role in life and living it. For almost a decade I saw myself as a unceremoniously disposed wife, a struggling mother, a daughter who'd failed her parents, and a sibling that could not in anyway contribute to making anything better, only worse.

Some of the choices and decisions I made were in some way bitter bile I kept repeating mistakes and making even worse choices and decisions. I went into a reclusive mode, I went into a sabbatical from faith, I went on an experimental stage of trying new things and thinking maybe if I hopped on board the way the world was revolving - somehow I'd fit in and I'd be normal in the eyes of everyone and perhaps they might actually accept that really I was no different from them.

At times I hated myself for seeming so spineless and stupid. I hated how I looked and yet I did nothing to look otherwise. Being ugly and unattractive meant less chances of more disappointments in my life. A life that has always had pain as an uninvited bed partner. A heart that dreamt of living the perfect fairytale, a brain that told me to wake up, accept my reality.

And then this opportunity to move away from everything I'd ever known, to make it in a new place on my own, to learn most importantly about me. The innumerable doubts and questions that went through. The painful fact that I had to be away from my babies. It was overwhelming.

And it still is, sometimes I ask myself what am I doing here?

The fact of the matter as the months roll by is I am pretty much living my life the way I did back home. There is no extravagance that people associate with a move to the middle east. The perceived mountain of money they think I am swimming in and using to wipe my ass instead of toilet paper is far from the truth. Pretty much everything I earn is pumped home to meet all those financial obligations that need to be looked into.

Years of struggling has made me a soul sold to the devil of credit cards and loans just to keep things moving, paying legal fees for the longest ever drawn out divorce case which in the end was pure waste of time and money - because even today nothing has changed. Jacob still does not pay maintenance in a timely manner. His mother still continues to antagonise my daughters with her periodic phone calls. At times I want to yell at her to go be happy with her grandson that Jacob had even before he got divorced. Why torment us continually???? Every time my babies hurt, I hurt. And I have hurt a long time, it is now time to heal and find peace.

I spend endless evenings at my dining table in my minimalist apartment staring out into the evening. I have become paranoid to think too much into the future. To plan too much because experience tells me every time I have done that, plans go haywire and I end up trying to get to my feet.

Here in Dubai, I have taken time to think. To look into my soul. And in my imperfections, I find I am whole. By nature I tend to give myself whole to any relationship I have with another human being. And I am learning sometimes it is best to withhold some, because not everyone gives any value to what you give them.

People are quite a mishmash of characters. There are the givers the takers the in-betweens and sometimes in this whole madness you find gems who give you a gentle nudge who make you look at your life and be thankful and grateful that life could have turned out far worse but as they say insyallah, by God's grace life is getting better.

I have made myself new friends since the move here. And in some of them, I see a little of myself. I can give advice as well as take it much better now because I am able to see that the strength in surviving life's trials is that one must first love one's self.

This is not in a narcissistic way! ... self love is about understanding yourself and most of all accepting who you are and why you are. This is a self discovery journey that only happens when one is ready to face truths and decidedly take affirmative action.

I have always been blessed with people who have loved me because I am love worthy! and even when I believed I was unworthy, they loved me more. Always gently nudging and encouraging me to take a step back, and look at me like how they see me. Who have constantly reminded me that those who hurt me in the past should remain there in the past buried and that each today is a chance to rebuild my life. And each tomorrow's foundation starts here and now.

Occasionally I still lose my temper, especially if it has anything related to Jacob and his continued nonsense. Sometimes I wonder if he expects that constantly being a pain in my rear end, I'd somehow be lobotomised should he ever turn up on my doorstep needing my help for me to actually help him. Errrrr sorry la ok, you are past trash I ditched, the only reason I have to even know if you're alive is because of the girls. Otherwise I don't really give a flying fuck as you used to say!

I watched the movie Eat Pray Love - and that movie spoke to me. I made a friend in cabbie I call Happy Singh - who seems like the male version of me with his commitments to family back in Punjab. Restless for change, looking to be something other than a cab driver who garners no respect in Dubai. For a kid of 26, he has an old soul. Whenever we talk, I find myself amused that I understand completely what he is feeling and what his struggles are ... because ironically I am on the brink of 40 and still looking for that niche which puts me par excellence above everyone else ... why? Because I know I am that good, just I need to find my mojo ... if you understand what I mean.

Hearing some of the stories of my other single mother friends, the choices they have made, relationships that they have found themselves in, I wonder if they too would benefit from just packing up and taking a journey away from all that is familiar and that they too find it in themselves to improve their relationships with the most important person in their lives - themselves!

The hardest person to love unconditionally is yourself, because we always put more value to the other people who come into our lives transitory or not. And giving them all of ourselves, we starve ourselves of our love, compassion, understanding and nurturing.

Here alone in my evenings in Dubai staring out into the silence that is my constant companion, I know that all my pains are slowly healing, and that in loving myself some, I am going to be able to give those I love most in this world will benefit from a happy content .ani

Until next time, there are many more nights of thoughts and healing and in time with the changes, all positive my light will shine bright. I am not called sunshine for no reason :) you know by total strangers I come in contact with.

14 September 2010

Home Is Where The Heart Is ... Sept 14, 2010

I got back to the stifling heat in Dubai yesterday evening, and although the humidity back home had me wishing I could walk about in the aircon all day, I still immediately wished I was back home - curled up with my daughters.

I guess it's never going to get any easier saying goodbye each time I have to catch a flight back to Dubai. There were tears from the girls and me with the final hugs and kisses and goodbyes before my brother zoomed me off to the airport.

And whilst waiting to board looking at kids with their parents really is sorta like salt in wounds cause my kids aren't with me.

It was a short trip home. And I was at home most of the time. Just relaxing with the girls, catching up on news and enjoying Malaysian food.

Caught up with my grandma who was telling me about her Italian and London trip. Caught up with some friends in church on Sunday. Visited Baby Melanie, a good friend of the family's new baby. Hung out for a bit in my usual KL haunt - in Happy Garden.

There's something about home and all places related to it. And tearing yourself away from home is about the hardest thing anyone can do.

Getting back to an empty apartment sorta just made me sit for a while in the darkness catching my breath. Because the emptiness of the place knocked the wind out of me. And I've started counting days till when I can hope on a plane and head home again.

It's times like this when I am overwhelmed with where my life had led me. Choices I made 15 years ago, is the price I pay now. And often dumbfounded when people tell me I am so brave and courageous.

The fact of the matter is I am chicken shit scared!

Yup it's out in the open - .ani is just one scared old lady trying very hard to maintain semblance of calm on the surface.

When a person decides to get married, we think we have a partner for the rest of our life to share the journey, but I learnt this is a nice to have and for a large segment it's a fairytale that eludes us.

When you have kids with the person you married, you think it strengthens the bonds between parents and transcending to parent child bonds, but I learnt soon enough my girls and I now form the statistical norm i.e. working single mother-children family units.

My decision to venture beyond Malaysian shores is stemmed from wanting to stop grasping at sinking financial straws and try to bring myself safe to shore in this perilous financial waters. It's the early days yet, and with current currency trends, sometimes it feels like instead of safety, I stepped into a whirlpool. Hit from all sides, it's hard keeping afloat let alone steady on angry buffeting seas.

As I looked upon my sleeping children's faces, I am convinced I am doing the right thing for us. And yet it pains me to not be there for them on a daily basis. Earning the moolah to keep us going is one thing, missing out on their growing up is another.

But I guess had all my plans worked to a T - I'd be tending house, raising kids, entertaining, holidays, family time ... maybe taking life for granted too, seeing as my spouse was on some meteoric rise in his career (taking from where he is today as a benchmark).

I guess what life has taught me since I woke up one morning to find all that was the norm was now a thing of the past was one can never take life for granted. Life kicks you in the teeth when you do.

Life teaches you that you can plan all you want but you are no way in control.

Life shows you to pick yourself up and find solutions.

Life reminds you that you must live life not go through the motions.

But life also teaches you to appreciate that even with what little one might have one can be content, one can be happy. All one needs to remember is not let the realities of existence, all those bills and expenses and red bank accounts rob you of the moments at hand.

It's damn nice to have large bank balances but it can't buy to love or respect ... ok momentarily it may. I realise I fall into the rat race rut if I allow all these things get to me. If I stop and for a moment think about all the things I DO HAVE, then I realise my life is pretty good going - I have family and friends who love me, I have beautiful children, I am blessed.

My heart is Malaysian, and that is home, but in the mean time it's back to making as much of a home as I can here in the desert. Who knows what awaits, someday perhaps this maybe my home if my heart start to beat in the rhythm of the desert.

I am back in Dubai .... counting my days to go home .... but I shall make it best darn days as possible :)

p/s: Have any of you watched Just Wright with Queen Latifa - for the romantics :)

7 September 2010

Going Home ... Sept 07, 2010

It has been months since I last wrote anything in this blog. A couple of reasons contributed to this silence i.e.
  • I moved into my own apartment and not gotten internet services installed
  • I seem to have lost the art of stringing words for the lack of muse
  • I have become a TV addict seeing as there is nothing else on hand to do once I get home
  • I spend loads of time in the kitchen experimenting with Malaysian food giving it my own touch - no fatalities to date :)
So instead of writing for the sake of writing, I have kept silence. I spend long hours on my weekends sprawled out on my hall sofa with the TV on usually on Fox Series having an overdose of CSI Miami/NY, ER reruns, Army Wives, Mental, The Listener, Criminal Minds and my favourite of all Ugly Betty.

Aside from that I may at times flood my mind with struggling to grasp my father's tongue an essential in surviving Dubai - Malayalam by watching the news or movies and picking bits of the dialogue and then asking colleagues the next day what something meant if I couldn't decipher it.

Otherwise it is watching rather fascinated at the extremes Arabic music videos are .... barely clothed women to super orthodox. Their videos are either super sexual content or gun/sword/cane waving and violence and dying 'jihadis' .... never fails to leave me wondering about this part of the world.

But today I am excited. I am going home over the Eid holidays to see my girls after 4 long months and trust me when you're a mother, 4 months feels like an eternity.

Every time I call home to speak to them, they sound so different, and I feel a huge stab at how much of their growing up I am not going to see with my own eyes. What keeps me going is knowing this separation is because I've had to try to find a way to earn a bit more for our futures.

I had decided not to over indulge them out of guilt and I have to say yesterday when I was grabbing a quick bite at the Express Carrefour in my apartment building, I felt an urge to go nuts on the chocolate aisle throwing in all their favourite chocs into my basket - aside from that being completely unhealthy, I also had to remind myself with the stronger RM every AED I took home meant a better exchange rate to cover the monthly expenses I still have to service.

But I know when I land in KLIA tomorrow afternoon, I am likely to succumb the call of the choc-shop and buy some for them. In fact I am already thinking if while killing time in T3 Dubai this evening, I should give in and by them each a lil pink camel :) ... coz it has always been my habit to buy them stuffed toys of local animals .... being in the desert what else is there that I can buy ehehhe but camels :D

I hardly slept a wink last night. Tossing and turning till my alarm rang to shower and dress for work. Too excited. Knowing that the never ending silence I face in Dubai will be completely shattered from the moment I walk in through the gates of home. And for the next 6 days it will be the usual war mediator, traffic warden and mommy to snuggle up with.

Am sure there will be versions of the same incident - one from Ashna and one from Kasha - both completely bowling me over that both my babies are growing up so fast. Every time I see babies and toddlers here I remember when I first held them in my arms. Now Ashna was almost my height when I left with Kasha chasing behind.

Am looking forward to home. Local food I miss so much here in Dubai. Sights sounds smells and the green as opposed to the sand here. Perhaps a little rain even :D .... that be awesome. To smell the world after a nice rain when everything looks washed and cleaned.

Perhaps the desert has parched my soul, and being from the tropics, I need the rain to feel REALLY alive again.

Catch you all when I get back or maybe I might write some when at home, inspired because home is where the heart is .... and my heart always remains Malaysian.

Eid Mubarak to all my Muslim friends and happy holidays to the rest .....

26 May 2010

Worth Sharing ... May 26, 2010

I got this email from Tomachan, a friend I made by chance some years ago on Skype and he's been one of my biggest sounding boards and cheer leaders over the years since.
This morning I found this piece in my mailbox and with the heart warming words "this email reminds me of you, a person who is worth a lot" and the low spirits I had been experiencing these last two days all seemed flippant.
I want to share this piece with all of you especially to the ladies who are constantly in a battle with themselves about their self worth ... and trust me each of us man or woman we are worth a lot to ourselves to those who love and respect us.
Please share if this piece touches you.
In a brief conversation, a man asked a woman he was pursuing the question: "What kind of man are you looking for?"
She sat quietly for a moment before looking him in the eye & asking, "Do you really want to know?"
Reluctantly, he said, "Yes."
She began to expound: "As a woman in this day & age, I am in a position to ask a man what can you do for me that I can't do for myself? I pay my own bills. I take care of my household without the help of any man.... or woman for that matter.
I am in the position to ask, "What can you bring to the table?"
The man looked at her. Clearly he thought that she was referring to money.
She quickly corrected his thought & stated, "I am not referring to money. I need something more." "I need a man who is striving for excellence in every aspect of life."
He sat back in his chair, folded his arms, & asked her to explain.
She said:"I need someone who is striving for excellence mentally because I need conversation & mental stimulation. I don't need a simple-minded man.
I need someone who is striving for excellence spiritually because I don't need to be unequally yoked...believers mixed with unbelievers is a recipe for disaster.
I need a man who is striving for excellence financially because I don't need a financial burden.
I need someone who is sensitive enough to understand what I go through as a woman, but strong enough to keep me grounded.
I need someone who has integrity in dealing with relationships. Lies and game playing are not my idea of a strong man.
I need a man who is family-oriented. One who can be the leader, priest and provider to the lives entrusted to him by God.
I need someone whom I can respect. In order to be submissive, I must respect him. I cannot be submissive to a man who isn't taking care of his business. I have no problem being submissive...he just has to be worthy.
And by the way, I am not looking for him...He will find me. He will recognize himself in me. He may not be able to explain the connection, but he will always be drawn to me. God made woman to be a helpmate for man. I can't help a man if he can't help himself."
When she finished her spill, she looked at him.
He sat there with a puzzled look on his face.
He said, "You are asking a lot."
She replied, "I'm worth a lot."

13 May 2010

Desert Diaries Pt2 ... May 13th, 2010

A few days before leaving Seremban for Dubai, I mulled over the idea of closing off this blog and starting a new one which would chronicle my new days in Dubai from my point of view. Am still mulling the idea of it but then again am wondering about continuity of what was started.

So perhaps now if I have something to talk about, I will enter it under Desert Diaries and sequence it ... that might work. Oh well ... I might call it the Ashka Amongst Grains of Sands ... should I change the this blogs title :) ... we shall see what develops.

Anyhows, on Tuesday I went into the office and decided that instead of not doing anything especially since I only start work 16th and have none of the IT related logins and passwords - other than trying not to surf the net there was not much else to do. And I was doing half days sorta this week, I spoke with HR and informed that I would not come in Wednesday and Thursday and would reappear in the office on the Sunday all bright eyes and busy tailed.

Tuesday I had a very long extended tea (in place of lunch - Arabs have late lunches) with my most favourite local. He was my client when I used to be in Dubai in 2001, and the working relationship he extended to my team and I was really warm and most assisting despite holding a big shot position. He and I have daughters the same and in between work related discussions we exchanged notes on the progress of our then toddlers. And aside from work, I grew to think of him as also a friend.

Catching up after so many years, I was a little nervous. He is still a big shot in the reorganised structure of what used to be my client. But from the moment I said hello till we said bye with promise to catch up some more, it was just simply another amazing experience of why I've always had a love affair with Dubai.

We talked about the project I worked on and how both of us remain disappointed that it was killed when there was so much potential only not enough buyers into the vision we saw of where this 'baby' could go GCC and globally. We talked about our respective lives in the years since we last met. We talked religion, philosophy anything and everything.

And at the end of that tea session I realised that he was still probably one of most gentlemanly of Arab gentlemen and no wonder he is way up there on my most liked people. Wish more people I knew were as amazing a client, friend and teacher as he is. God Bless him and his family.

I also had dinner on Tuesday with another friend who has always been a silent sounding board for me when I was at my lowest points in the last few years. And despite the many skeletons I revealed to him from my closet, he has stood steadfast as my friend only caring that I keep my chin up and keep moving forward. He was in Dubai incidentally for meetings and made it a point to catch me for a pep talk on how I should take care of myself in this city. The sincerity and love and concern showered on me by people who were once strangers but who now are my biggest support system never fails to touch my heart and remind me I am blessed ... truly blessed to be cared for by so many.

Having wrapped up on Tuesday, Wednesday was spent in the company of my VERY first friend in Dubai way back in April 2001. Tony is someone who from the moment I met him, I knew I had a friend for life, a brother even. And Tony has always been there for me in Dubai and now that I am here for a much longer period of time, I know Tony and his wife Michu and their son are going to be a big part of my life. Because I am family to them and they are family to me ...

I spent the morning picking lil Lucas up with Tony, looking at some apartments, then we headed off to Jebel Ali for a meeting Tony had with a client. And I was simply stunned at what Jebel Ali has become compared to the endless sand I saw in 2001. One of the most amazing malls the Ibn Battuta Mall - it has various themes as per the travels and inventions and discoveries of the most famous Arab son, the Marco Polo,Columbus, Da Vinci of the Middle East. And honestly that is a mall one must visit.

I saw all the stunning property along Jumeirah and realised I couldn't live there even if I had the most awesomest view of the sea cause honestly it is claustrophobic the number of skyscrapers like the tower of babel. Once down with the meeting we took another route back to Dubai not before going through Sharjah emirate and man has Sharjah grown in the years in between. And then we headed down to Ajman another emirate within the UAE. Finally we ended up back in Al Nahda 2 in Tony's apartment.

We had dinner and chatted and planned for the weekend when Michu, Lucas and I would apartment hunt whilst allowing Tony to finish up some work pending. Lucas is such a sweetie, reminds me of another sweetie of the same age Sam - Sarah's and Alix's son another family who are tops in my list of most loved family I got to pick :) and Lucas had asked me stay over the night - so I did and it was nice to be with people instead of a cold room alone.

In the morning Michu dropped me off at my hotel and I've spent all of Thursday in solitary silence except for my iPod playing since 8am it's 2.2GB worth of music. My human contact has been the
- maintenance guy for the dodgy washing machine
- room service when I ordered lunch
- housekeeping when they came around to clean up my room and I was in a major sneezing fit

And like I said although I am as comfortable with silence and my own company, I'd much rather be yabbering away, exchanging views and ideas. Oh well poor Michu is going to suffer the ani overload from silence tomorrow *giggles*

The days ahead in this desert man created wonderland is before me. I am also looking ahead, a pair of sunnies in my hand when the sun gets too strong. Am learning again about this place I will call home for some time to come.

Time to call it a night me thinks and organise my body clock to local hours ... I seem to be running in some sort of lag at the moment. Catch you all soon .... Friday is the start of the weekend and we shall be house hunting - maybe some pictures next time around ya - what you think?

11 May 2010

An Overview From The Desert, May 11, 2010

It is officially day 3 in Dubai now. Although work officially only requires me to report on the 16th of the month. So in the mean time it's sorta like 'my time' - something I am completely unused to having been on a roll for the last 20years.

The 6 weeks I spent jobless in a state of unimaginable panic prior to this offer coming to me in a positive note is another thing I don't ever want to experience again.

The big difference being an unemployed single and unemployed single mom is that being the latter you have mouths to feed. The former can somehow manage to get by with a bit of self pity and wallowing in distraught thoughts.

And those last 6 weeks had me even more exhausted mentally emotionally and physically from all the things that were going on concurrently.

The few good things that evolved from it was that:

1. I got this job offer and although it meant I had to make a decision to leave Malaysia and all things familiar and head off to the desert where although not entirely foreign to me, was still a daunting task. Leaving my loved ones especially my girls in order to make us a better life was and is likely to be the hardest decision I've ever had to make.

2. The level of maturity displayed by my angels in their understanding and acceptance of me having to make this move and to set up in a foreign land before they could come and join me completely bowled me over. For a 10 and 8 year olds, they are pretty cool kids - am so blessed to their mommy. They snuck little messages and homemade gifts into my luggage which completely made me bawl my eyes out when I found them upon unpacking.

3. Judge #5 decided enough was enough with this insane drama that Jacob and his cohorts were playing and she made some decisions. Am not saying they are completely in my favour but there are now measures in place to enforce what should be. That although is not entirely a close of the chapter or the book - it is a positive step forward, an almost closure from years of waiting for the finality of divorce. The rest - well we will face them when we come to those bridges. But Jacob is now held accountable - and that was all I wanted.

4. Dubai is overwhelming. It has changed so much in the last 8 years I hardly recognise it at all and yet there is something familiar about Dubai. When you pick up the phone and call friends from then, they are happy to hear from you, happy you are back in town and all geared up to catch up and move forward.

5. To be honest I have been rather 'kampung' in my explorations of Dubai thus far. It's all so foreign and cabbies here are also foreigners and everyone only wants to speak in Hindi or something other than English - so every cab ride is an adventure of maybe I might end up staring at some camel out in the desert somewhere wondering how in heavens name is this part of the Dubai I thought I was heading to - hahahahaahhaha damn I need to up my Malayalam (apparently throw a stone hit 100 Mallus is the order of the day!) and my Hindi and along the way maybe impress the Arabs by doing some phelgm sounding snorts and grunts - heehehehhee I am so not going to be a favourite here I am sure! So In Dubai do what Dubai-ites do - become a chameleon of many shades **giggles**

Am slowly meeting different people over lunches, and dinners this week before the work kicks in full force - am actually looking forward to getting down and dirty with the job as well. Doing nothing is completely mind boggling for me. And I decided that although 'hello darkness my old friend' and the 'sound of silence' is all well and good but I really like the sound of people and the idea of working towards something.

Am hoping to whip out my old faithful NikonP1 and start snapping Dubai - for a desert it is amazingly awash with colour now ... and start taking amazing pictures of sunrises and sunsets - once I start figuring out where I am and what transports me around the best. Maybe a few house gatherings with my old Dubai gang ... of Lal, Shants, Anil and their respective families, chilling with my brother Tony and his family, catching up with other Malaysians here and speaking in another foreign language - Bahasa Malaysia was never more welcome then when in a foreign land :) and in it some anonimity and unity :)

Am off to meet the most inspiring of Arabs I know this part of the world (and errr I am in Arab land aren't I??) for lunch and lots of catching up on each other's lives. So let me away while the sun blazes and the temperature rises on the mercury.

Dubai is awaiting my explorations ... what adventures abound I wonder ... I shall keep you posted - that you can be sure of :)

10 May 2010

Lotus Phoenix Is Inked .... May 5, 2010

Before I go on rambling, which knowing me is nothing new, I had myself inked - yeah inked as in Tattoo :)

Why in God's name you ask? Well it was an appropriate moment I suppose. Things were slowly wrapping themselves up. All the loose corners which I have been stumbling and struggling through these last years.

And then again the Phoenix and the Lotus - 2 very inspiring symbols of life.So hence the search for a design that would convey both in simple yet feminine lines ... none of the harsh type tattoo images. And bingo I found my Lotus Phoenix.

Here's the pictorial journey .... and the meaning behind my tattoo is ...

In this design, the wings and head of the phoenix become the outer petals of the lotus flower, and the tail of the phoenix becomes the stem.

The phoenix symbolises eternity and rebirth, and the lotus flower represents perfection and overcoming every difficulty. TattooTribes (yup not was not created for me) - but it appealed the most to me at the time - now I have others on my mind

16 April 2010

Unemployed Bum I Am - April 16, 2010

Yup you READ that right - .ani after working working working non-stop since Dec 1990 for whatever reasons is spending the month of April 2010 unemployed and realising whilst no paycheque waits for me at the end of the month (no money from the ex either) bills amount and I'm triple tired from all the errands and running around I have been doing.

But I've had the opportunity to drop and pick my babies from school, and Kasha always has such a big smile when she sees mommy at the gate waiting. Ashna gets all self conscious but always happy too - mommy at the gate is a rare event for them.

I tendered my resignation in December and the wait for another job to materialise was to no avail as my last day of notice met me head on the 31st of March and the reality of release and freedom from something that made me so unhappy was clouded with the fact the for the month of April I had no money coming to me to keep myself afloat.

In fact I barely made all March due payments and now am pondering how to work this months bills - will the good Lord strike it in that man's head that he needs to send money for his kids - so I can pay all their expenses and fees at the very least? We live in eternal hope on that note hahahaha the day it comes without a lot of shouting and arm twisting be damn good.

So ask me what's it like to be unemployed - well my answer after nearly 20years of being a salary slave - it's bloody hmmmm not relaxing actually but more tiring than working ... so am looking forward to be gainfully employed in the foreseeable future or else I might lose more hair than that's already dropping off in clumps.

Catch ya all soon :D .... hugs ..... .ani

11 March 2010

Lunched with God? ... Mar 10, 2010

A feel good story : Lunch with God

A little boy wanted to meet God. He knew it was a long trip to where God lived, so he packed his suitcase with a bag of potato chips and a six-pack of root beer and started his journey.

When he had gone about three blocks, he met an old woman. She was sitting in the park, just staring at some pigeons. The boy sat down next to her and opened his suitcase. He was about to take a drink from his root beer when he noticed that the old lady looked hungry, so he offered her some chips. She gratefully accepted it and smiled at him.

Her smile was so pretty that the boy wanted to see it again, so he offered her a root beer. Again, she smiled at him. The boy was delighted! They sat there all afternoon eating and smiling, but they never said a word.

As twilight approached, the boy realized how tired he was and he got up to leave; but before he had gone more than a few steps, he turned around, ran back to the old woman, and gave her a hug. She gave him her biggest smile ever.

When the boy opened the door to his own house a short time later, his mother was surprised by the look of joy on his face. She asked him, "What did you do today that made you so happy?" He replied, "I had lunch with God." But before his mother could respond, he added, "You know what? She's got the most beautiful smile I've ever seen!"

Meanwhile, the old woman, also radiant with joy, returned to her home. Her son was stunned by the look of peace on her face and he asked, "Mother, what did you do today that made you so happy?" She replied! "I ate potato chips in the park with God." However, before her son responded, she added, "You know, he's much younger than I expected."

Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. People come into our lives for a reason, a season, or a lifetime! Embrace all equally!

Yes this is another one of those email forwards that comes around from time to time and some touch me more than others. Have you realised that even on your darkest day the sudden smile from a stranger or friend suddenly like rays through angry clouds lifts your spirits?

With all the mediums available for communication today, people are losing the art of communication and we have to be satisfied with 3rd party applications telling those we care about we love them.

I find myself sometimes struggling to say to those dear to me that I love them. Why? Simply because in losing the art of communicating to each other, we have also lost the skill of forgiveness for the hurts from the past and the disappointments as a result thereof.

  • I struggle with forgiving my parents for some things they might have done better or tried harder for me when I was younger. Because we all have our issues with how we believe parents could have done differently for us. Although they probably struggle to forgive me for whatever disappoints I might have caused them - it happens in all families and relationships.
  • I struggle with forgiving Jacob for having outlined a lifetime of struggles for me as a single mother raising my 2 girls. And struggle to forgive him with how long this is all taking for me when I want to live my life with as little pain as possible.
  • I struggle with forgiving the people at work who turned my undying loyalty for the company and the boss to complete hatred for all and sundry that I made the decision to leave and to leave with no job in hand.
  • I struggle with forgiving others who have come into my life, taken what my friendship was worth and walked out without so much as a goodbye.
  • But most of all I struggle with forgiving myself for all the decisions I made (which at the time seemed right) that have led me down this path that's pitted me against crossroads, self-esteem and the right to love myself first.

Thankfully though, I still have the eyes of my heart open, to see compassion, kindness, humanity and love in all shapes and forms and to realise God walks with me constantly as I struggle, leading me slowly even as mistakes abound to coming to terms with all things and aiding me identify and change what is within my capacity to.

People are constantly coming into my life when I least expect to run into such persons. Some good, some questionable, but each leaves a lesson upon me. And sometimes even when it seems completely insane to think this way, I feel God speaks to me through these persons.

And I realise then, I am never alone in any of these struggles. For those who aren't religious, they'd probably make fun of my thinking. But I suppose each to his own. In a world where unhappiness and destruction is a norm, the sudden kindness of a stranger, the hug from a loved one reminds me that I am still in the periscope vision of God, and that for all my struggles, these too shall pass and I will be a better person for the lessons learnt.

These thoughts come to me as I sit contemplating my days ahead. All I know is that when you show kindness it comes back to you tenfold when you need it the most.

Have you lunched with God lately? Or maybe one of his many angels ... I've had some recent encounters with people who have reaffirmed my belief that God may have an odd sense of humour but he loves me still :) and that's all that matters.

4 March 2010

Earth Hour 27-03-10 ... 04 Mar, 2010

Another year and yet another earthhour for us to try and make a small contribution to conserving our fast depleting planet.

Earth Hour - Logo

1 March 2010

TX2 - Pledge your Support

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Our Malaysian Tiger needs your support to ensure it stays alive. Visit TX2 and pledge your support in saving these beautiful animals.

Imagine 3000 of these big cats roamed our jungles 60 years ago and today 500 are fast disappearing whilst fighting to survive!

Take a moment to watch the message video and you will understand how important it is to save our big cat - he is gorgeous and majestic!

Make a pledge to not eat, buy or sell tigers, their parts or products that claim to contain Tiger essence.

10 February 2010

ABBA - I Am Just A Girl - Feb 10, 2010

Another Valentine's on my own - am a veteran of spending it alone by now and watching lovey dovey couples go by all flushed with romance. And the flowers, dinners and sweet little things in even tinier boxes exchanged. I smile to myself remembering past Valentine's when I was younger and exchanging home made cards with friends just to let them know they were special to me.

I also remember Valentine's with Jacob who didn't believe in Valentine's apparently. Also remember the one Valentine shared with Jaan and it was not really much different from any other day. Like I said the hopeless romantic in me would someday like to have someone take my breath away with the simplest of gestures but straight from his heart - that would be my perfect Valentine.

My sister would know what I mean when I say "Kevin Kumar' - I'd thought I'd met him but he turned out to be a dud and prince who turned into a toad ...

This is one of my favourite ABBA songs and I think the words sorta tell you how I view myself and how in the past I felt when well my heart was stolen - although at that time I'd not heard this song yet. But I think it feels sorta apt as I grow older and someday I will have some whisper 'I love you' and then I will know I was meant to be his girl.

Till then ... well we all live with the hope that there is someone out there for us, he's just not found me yet as Micheal Buble says :) Haven't Met You Yet.

Please enjoy ABBA's I Am Just A Girl ....

I am just a girl, one among the others, nothing much to say
Plain and simple girl, not a special type in any way
Just one look, and you will surely see
That the true "Miss Nobody" is me
It's an evil world that has only made me a girl

I am just a girl, not the kind of woman men would like to meet
Just another girl no-one ever looks at in the street
But today, I can't believe it's true
When you smiled and whispered "I love you"
Darling I could see, I was meant to be your girl

It's a funny feeling when you get to love someone
And thinking that he'll never look your way
But then he says he loves you, and life has just begun
It's so much more than any words can say

I am just a girl, not the kind of woman men would like to meet
Just another girl no-one ever looks at in the street
But today, I can't believe it's true
When you smiled and whispered "I love you"
Darling I could see, I was meant to be your girl

La la la la la, la la la la la-la, la la la la laaa
La la la la la, la la la la la-la, la la laaa
But today, I can't believe it's true
When you smiled and whispered "I love you"
Darling I could see, I was meant to be your girl

6 February 2010

Blue Eyes - Mika

The lyrics of this song are well something I can understand ... enjoy the Video

Your heart is broken
To your surprise
Youre sick of crying
For blue eyes
So tired of living
Think hard woman
I think you should

Come, sorrow is so peculiar
It comes in a day, then itll never leave you
You take a pill, wonder if it will fix you
They wonder why sorrow has never left you

Im talkin bout blue eyes, blue eyes
Whats the matter, matter
Blue eyes, blue eyes
Whats the matter matter
so blind, so blind
Whats the matter, matter
Blue eyes, blue eyes
Whats the matter with you?

Your heart got broken
On the underground
Go find your spirit
In the lost and found
Oh I've been watching
How you behave
Not much like a lover
More like a slave

Come, sorrow is so peculiar
It comes in a day, then itll never leave you
You take a pill, wonder if it will fix you
They wonder why sorrow has never left you

Im talkin bout blue eyes, blue eyes
Whats the matter, matter
Blue eyes, blue eyes
Whats the matter matter
so blind, so blind
Whats the matter, matter
Blue eyes, blue eyes
Whats the matter with

Blue eyes, blue eyes
Whats the matter matter
Blue eyes, blue eyes
Whats the matter matter
so blind, so blind
Whats the matter, matter
Blue eyes, blue eyes
Whats the matter with you?
Whats the matter with you?
Whats the matter with you

28 January 2010

Am Not At All Bemused ... Jan 28, 2010

Well day 28 of 2010 and we are still trying to spin more tales and yarns and I swear I am exhausted with the presumed levels of intelligence some quarters have of the Malaysian Rakyat!

What is the latest unbelievable story to hit the shit fan we have whirring over us in these extremely hot humid days? The 2 mosques that were 'gifted' with the head of pigs and a bucket and money - hmmmm what an elaborate exercise.

Reading TheStar report on the matter, I noted an interesting line in the report - humour me for a bit please ... let me get it for you ... report

Now the line that really interested me was this line
Rasbollah believed that those responsible had left the severed heads at the rear door of the mosque as they knew the spot was not covered by closed-circuit television cameras, unlike the front door.

Would the average Joe on the street know about the CCTV's installation and where was covered and where was not? I mean to be honest even my church is now CCTV-ed but I don't really pay attention to where the camera's are - why? Purely because I don't go to a place of worship with malicious intent or mischief up my sleeve.

I know when I involved in the KLIA project and the construction and fittings were going on, many of were aware at which points were covered by the snazzy security cams, and when several lust overcome morons on night shifts were caught in the early days on cams getting up to mischief when they should have been working - we thought to ourselves DUH! what idiots.

The same thought runs through my head now - What Idiots! ... If the culprits whoever these malicious cretins are, were trying to frame some sort of 'cerita dongeng' characters for this act, aiyo ... how in heavens name would any of these fictitious people Ah Chong, Rama, Simon and Sukhdev know which door was security camera covered or not. I don't think any of them would have in the first place ventured to check out existence and coverage of cameras to then go and do the nasty cowardly business.

Like all things in this country, someone else will plan and execute, and unfortunately someone else will be the scapegoat. I will not wait with bated breath for the police to catch the culprits because I am sure they will - I mean haven't they done an amazing job so far *cough cough cough*

So in Bolehland more and more eye rolling stupid things happen. But what I think is more important is how are the Rakyat reacting to all this over the top Razzie worthy drama. The whole script plot and actor plus producers and directors all super suck!

Because for the spin doctors behind this latest spate of nonsense, I really must think they are scraping the barrel here. Come on - has your education system (which cannot be found anywhere in the top rankings) really finally succeeded in creating empty airheads you expect to react to such pathetic plots and storylines?

Do you really have no respect for the intelligence levels of the Rakyat that you continue to spew such abhorring crap daily into the mainstream media?

Sorry but you ain't fooling me at all here. And from most of the multi-racial religious friends and acquaintances I have, it seems everyone is really sickened. We've been a 1Malaysia people - now if only we can bloody eradicate the disease called Politicians whose selfish agendas do not match the aspiration of the Rakyat.

So now it seems pig heads in a mosque, burnt churches and gurdhawara , demolished temples ... the sanctity of places of worship forever soiled, we see people who do not fear whichever God they subscribe to do as they please.

We're are getting to a point where even tragic comedy is no longer the apt description. But power corrupts and once corrupted, there are no more boundaries to what one will do to hold on to that power!

Malaysia, all I can do is be a better person that these conniving corrupted specimens and pray your people can read clearly between the lines what is really happening every time such news hits the shit fan!

21 January 2010

Spin Doctors & Cat Wagging ... Jan 21, 2010

Remember the group Spin Doctors? Once noted for Two Princes and Little Miss Can't Be Wrong ... well these guys be hard pressed to keep up with the spin doctors we have in this countries political scene.

Once a new shit hits the fan, immediately the spin doctor think tank goes into a whirl and wham another out of this world bullshit story will be delivered with such drama and passion. If you had nothing between your ears you'd immediately slurp up the crap.

Since we are damn good at 'Wagging the Kucing' ... (can't say 'pussy' the meaning might go to places we don't want to know about seeing as we have a new Sand and Sex Scandal. And 'dogs' are haram for some people to be touching to let alone be wagging! - hence the new revised version applicable in Malaysian context) ... we'll come up with more damn mind boggling stories.

It's a fairy-tale gone bad in Malaysia. Everyday waking up to listen to the new enhanced enriched stories is downright sickening. That might explain the constant nausea I am feeling!!

Most times I find myself wondering what is there left for me in this country. I ain't the special class citizen, I ain't AMEN-o backed, I have no godfather in high places, dang I can't even get a judge to grant me my divorce and my kids proper maintenance from their lost case father.

What is my tomorrow in this Bolehland??? Bijan and Hamsor continue to irk me. Old 'kucings' are now purring to a different tune ... some border on senile sometimes. Others you wonder if their mouth and brains are ever engaged at the same time. Because what comes out leaves more than bile after taste in my mouth.

Malaysians are divided over what Malaysia is about and should be. Many wonder if they might have to leave to find a more accepting place to nurture and raise their families. Others feel this is home and we should share it equally. Some others in high places think only of how to rape this country more whilst in power knowing that perhaps their days are numbered. People no longer are willing to take the crap their are dishing out sitting down.

Of all the people aged 21 and above not registered to vote, 62% are Malays - either they have no passion for the future of their country or they live in total apathy that it's always going to be how it is. Am proud to learn that the other races have seen a spike in registrations to vote - why??? BECAUSE WE INTEND TO SPEAK THROUGH THE BALLOT BOX .... and bite our butts if you find we knocked you out!

Can we say enough to spin doctoring and kucing wagging please? (wait isn't it cruelty to animals if you wagging the poor kitty too hard???) Can we speak as a mature nation via the ballot box? Can we please cohesively work together to make us proud to be Malaysian???

Please somebody ... anybody ... can you hear this plea?

On a lighter vein in view at how some people get so easily confused I share with you this joke which came in my email "
A man came home from work and his children ran to him and called out ‘Ayah ! Ayah !’.

His neighbour got very upset and said to him, “Can you please tell your children not to call you ‘Ayah’ ?”

The man asked, “Why?”

The neighbour retorted, “Because my children call me ’Ayah’ too. They might get confused and mistake you to be their father."

If you've not registered - GO OUT AND DO SO. If you are sick of all this nonsense then make it your duty to make a difference to the future of this country - you and I regardless of race and religion call Home!

20 January 2010

January What A Month ... Jan 20, 2010

Well it has been an interesting month. Aside from the mundane of work and coming going from work, the year kicked off very nicely for me.

Let's just say I took some bold steps ending 2009 as I wanted to leave that Decade from Hell good and well behind me. I did a really insane thing - I tendered my resignation without a job in hand. WHAT????? I can hear you go are you insane .ani??? You got kids to raise.

Yeah yeah I know. But when I look back at my decision, I am relieved and I feel alive again. I've got till the end of March 2010 to serve my notice and as I do, I am looking ahead for opportunities that I might grab at and move along.

I guess when there's too much water under the bridge, you can't ignore that the foundation is unsteady and it's time to make bold decisions and move forward. Because being held back by 'what ifs' and 'hows' is not going to get you anywhere - I've learnt that from the last decade. Trust me when I tell you, if you feel strongly about something - do something affirmative towards getting on the better side of it.

At my age, you cannot live in the shadow of fear and doubts, because the world we live in has no place for such like. You have to look at something, assess and move forward. Because all happiness and peace of mind is from within yourself not the people or the environment you find yourself in.

So January kicked itself off. Pretty interesting thus far. Along the course of these first 3 weeks of the new decade and the new year, someone said to me 'We think we have something that's worth taking a shot at, and we're going to do that.'

Everytime I read that line, it gives me goosebumps. One needs to break down that sentence into tiny bits to understand the essence of it. The fact that the entire statement is based on a belief that it's worth taking a shot. There is no known end result. Almost like shooting arrows in the dark we hope it hits what we are aiming for. I realise an interesting point of view from the person who said this. They believe in going the distance for what they believe potentially exists. It's uncharted territory but there's a spirit of adventure in the whole perspective.

And the spirit of adventure is what I'd lost through the Decade of Hell. The spirit of why not, let's give it go, oh well it was worth the trauma ... it seemed I wanted to walk on the safe side behind the drawn lines which in my mind were the barriers to living. I created excuses to why I wouldn't try something, built myself a safe haven in my reasons and barriers and obstacles. And in being safe, I feel like I am suffocating myself into obscurity.

Hell I am a Leo and you know how we lions are always out there in the forefront, making waves, leaving indelible marks on the lives we come in contact with. And for a Leo to sit on the sidelines and watch the circus play is kinda self depreciating if you get what I mean.

So with some thinking and am not sure if it's false bravado, I resigned from the place I once would have sold my life to the devil for. Because I realised, it was time to part and move on. And move on I shall.

One sheds the weights that shackle ones soul and one finds oneself lighter and recharged.

So January kicked off with a rather pleasant surprise which is slowly unfolding itself to my very 'Curious George' mind and it is going to be an adventure - I dunno where it's going, but check me in for the ride *eheheh*

I had both my siblings home and with the usual riff-raffs we exchange, I am convinced there are no others I'd want for siblings ... love my brother and my sister as they are. We went out one night for the usual 'Hokkaido Makan-Makan' session with brother inlaw in tow and friends and we had a riot of food and conversation. And I sat amidst it all just simply reveling in the love and friendship so freely shared.

Then I went out for a Sunday lunch with my sis and bro-inlaw and we had a great Sunday out before they left for Italy. I snuck in a mid-week outing with 2 friends and watched Men In Tutus - this has to be one of the best ballet performances ahaha because all parts are danced by men in literally tutus ... en pointe is not a man thing but these guys are rib-tickling funny and bloody good too. My favourite was the Dying Swan - 6'2 and lanky, he was really too cute with his interpretation of that classic piece :)

And then there was the event I'd been looking forward to from ending of last year. VIMA2010 and what an evening it turned out to be. This news article sorta sums it up for you ... and to top it off I gotta take a picture with my favourite band Deja Voodoo Spells, I got exposed to Benchmarx (sorry guys I just can't seem to load the clip I took of you at VIMA) and there's a whole lot of indie music talent here and from Brunei. You had to be there to know how good it was :)

For a kick off that ain't too bad. But usually January is sorta like a continuation of my December upbeat mood and along the year it starts to get all messed up with unfinished business and new things to deal with. By mid year I am usually just ready for it to end ehehehhe.

I intend however to beat the yearly blues this year and keep it in my mind that it's January all the way .... :) and if we've got something worth giving a shot, then a shot we will give as we embark on new adventures.

Keep you posted what all else comes colour my 2010 canvas ... but I have a feeling it's definitely going to be much more fun than the recent past ... nearing 40 but still 18 in my heart :)) we're shaking tail-feathers and going to live :)