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

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