Friday, January 9, 2015

It's Great to be Back

Wow I just realised that it’s been more than two years since I last updated my blog … guess I really deserve the title ‘Queen of Procrastination’. Well anyway as they say better late than never … and so here I am. I don’t have any specific topic this time round, just thought that I’d let the pen flow (okay technically I’m not writing with a pen … ) so I’m letting my fingers fly across the keyboard and just typing out whatever comes to mind. And in no particular order of importance … First let’s start with my New Year Resolutions … that’s not going to take long coz I didn’t make any. Second … My love life … well, it’s non-existent but thank you for asking. Third … My job … let’s not go there. Fourth … My plans to lose weight … let's just says there’s still a lot of me to love. Fifth … My book collection … I have a treasure trove and hope to finish reading as many as possible this year. Sixth … Travel plans … Yup there’s bound to be lots of this within Malaysia and God-willing, at least one trip abroad. Seventh … My faith life … still up and running … thanks to all my ‘hawt men of the cloth’. Eight, Ninth and Ten … I’ll relegate this to the etc etc etc category. Ok maybe I ‘lied’ about not making any New Year Resolutions – I did resolve to start blogging again, and so here’s my first post for the year 2015. Hope to be back with more interesting thoughts and reflections … so do drop into my chambers from time to time.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Make Sure You're There!

I have what some people might term as a ‘morbid’ fascination in reading the obituaries every morning. Don’t get me wrong … I don’t get my morning adrenaline fix from reading about someone’s demise … I just automatically turn to that page every morning. It’s not a habit I picked up lately, but it has been a ‘ritual’ that I’ve followed faithfully for as long as I can remember.
Anyway while I was browsing through the obituaries one morning, this thought suddenly struck me … “Which photo of mine will my family use for my obituary?” “Oh my God, I hope they don’t use any of the photos which I took for official purposes, i.e. passport, IC, driving license (yeah yeah I do have a license you know!). Those photos are just awful!”
Hmmm … would they insert a long obituary or a short one? Would they include a poem? What about the funeral arrangements? Would they know to invite my favourite priests to concelebrate at the funeral Mass? More importantly, would the priests make the time to come for my funeral? What about the songs? I really don’t want any typical sad, forlorn funeral hymns. I want something that will leave people with a nice, warm feeling – something joyful and memorable … in fact I think I want to do away with the church choir. I want my friends (who have been blessed with the ability to sing) to make up the choir – well it’s the least they can do for me!
I’ve already ‘reserved’ my best friend to deliver my eulogy … hmmm … wonder if I should ask her to give me a first draft for editing and approval???
I think I should die on a Thursday … maybe in the afternoon or evening – so this will leave Friday for people to come show their respects and then the funeral can be held on a Saturday (saves most people the hassle of having to take leave) … see … even in death, I’m being so thoughtful! And I think a closed casket would be better coz I’d prefer to leave people with a memorable image of me, not one of me lying in the coffin and not looking anything like myself! Talk about vanity even in death!
Do you think having a dress rehearsal for a funeral would be taking it a bit too far??? Oh and on that final note, since I won’t be able to send out personal invitations, you are all invited to my funeral … Just make sure you start checking out the obituaries for the next 20 years or so!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

I am Woman

I am Woman. I come in many shapes, shades and temperaments. I am soft, delicate and fragile like a flower, but not to be taken lightly. I stand on my own two feet, I depend on no one.

I am Woman. I am strong, beautiful, unique, a fighter and survivor. I am irresistible, seductive, sexy, and voluptuous.

I play many roles … daughter, sister, aunt, friend … I can be good and nice and I can be bad and wild. Looking great like a woman should, I stand out like a skyscraper, strong and tall.

I am not afraid to face challenges, nothing holds me down. I’m always ready for the next round. I do need love from a good man, a man that’s not afraid to be with someone like me. But if I can’t find a man, that’s alright with me.

I am Woman seducing you with the swing of my hips, temptation at its best. My soft curves and my beautiful tresses are longing for your soft caress. I am defined by my mind not my beauty. One look in my eyes and you are mesmerized by my strength, my dedication and strive to survive.

I’m proud and determined. I let no one lead me astray me from my ambitions. I’m gentle and sensitive, but I fight my battles and have won many wars. I am proud to display all of my scars.

I am Woman. I have been through a lot of struggles. I have loved hard and worked hard and sometimes I have lost. But I always pick myself up to give life another shot.

I am proud of my womanhood. I am proud of who I am. I am independent, strong willed and I am a provider. Some say I have a nurturing spirit, others like my flamboyant style. And some like to say that I love driving men wild.

I love who I am, every single part of me. I’m not perfect but I am a wonderful sight to see.

I am Woman and you must agree, that there is certainly no other like me!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

New Beginnings …

We’re almost coming to the end of December and it’s coming to that time of year again, when we search the drawers for our journal that was thrust into the deep corner, dust off the cover and peek inside to see the New Year resolutions that were enthusiastically jotted down at the start of the year. A list that holds our dreams, hopes and aspirations …

To each of us the resolutions may have differed - health & fitness, personal development, career, relationship, financial success etc. However, as we now ponder over our list of 10 resolutions or more, we’d probably realize that we barely made it past the first one or two.

Our intentions are always good, no doubt – we seek for ways to improve ourselves and we always like to find a significant date to start something new … so why not the New Year? Unfortunately we sometimes look at the larger picture … we’re too ambitious and want to do things on a large scale instead of taking baby steps. In the process, we end up putting undue stress on ourselves … we end up with unfulfilled promises.

I do admit that for many years, I’ve also been guilty of the same. I start off with noble intentions and somewhere along the way, I digress … I give up and I go back to being my old self. Maybe it’s because my resolutions were never my ‘own’ to begin with – it was probably ‘thrust’ upon me by some well meaning family member or friend or colleague who in all genuine concern believed that ‘these’ were the things that I should change about myself – my weight, my appearance etc; that these were the dreams and ambitions that I should resolve to achieve; that this was the financial plan I should work on; that this was the attitude I should adopt in order to be happy or to find that someone special …

Then one day I just told myself that it’s not necessary for me to make any ‘New Year’ resolutions. It’s not necessary for me to strictly adhere to or confine myself to a list of ‘do’s & don’ts that’s written in black and white. I can start with small manageable things like changing my attitude; being nicer to people around me; learning to be more patient and understanding; being a good friend; spending more time with my family and loved ones; managing my time more productively; sharing my talents more generously; being kind in thought, word and deed; deepening my faith and prayer life etc. And of course not neglecting my health and general well-being so even if the gym or a hard work-out is not my cup of tea, I can begin by going for walks and keeping active in simple enjoyable ways. I don’t have to go on a ‘salad only’ diet but be more conscious of the types of food I consume. Yes, and I can still indulge in that occasional ice cream or chocolate cake or candy bar and not exceed my limitations.

I’m not saying that we should stop making resolutions – yes, sometimes we do need resolutions to keep us focused … but it should not be at the expense of our happiness, our freedom or even our individuality. So when you sit down to plan your Resolutions for 2012, remember these words by Barbara de Angelis, “No one is in control of your happiness but you; therefore, you have the power to change anything about yourself or your life that you want to change.”

Happy New Year folks and may each one of us be blessed with all that is wonderful in 2012!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Of Tamil Serials and Real-life Situations

I’m a Tamil serial addict … blame my mum for that. Well initially I used to get irritated whenever mum sat down to watch all these serials … oh btw she has sole rights to the TV from 6.30pm to 11pm every night (to watch the news, a couple of health/social documentaries and the Tamil serials), with the exceptions of weekends when I get to watch my favourite programmes … and that too because the serials only run from Mondays to Fridays. And yes, mum gets the TV back around 4pm for the Malayalam movies on Saturday and the Tamil movies on Sunday.

Ok back to my irritation and eventual addiction … at first I used to leave mum alone to watch her serials in peace while I went upstairs and surfed the internet. I tried to watch some of the serials but I would get angry at the sheer absurdity of what was going on. I mean really … the romance, the parents who are against the relationship, the baddie (usually a male or female who is in love with the hero/heroine but was rejected and is now out to extract revenge .. yes they do have female baddies too), the henchmen (usually of dark complexion, long unkept hair and the ability to whisk out a parang from the back of their shirt without even so much as a nick), the friends of the hero/heroine who will go to great lengths to help them out whenever they are in a jam, the policemen who arrest and beat up the good guys just because some baddie (who is usually rich and powerful) told them to do so, the doctors who refuse to treat a patient unless you show them the money first or who refuse to admit someone who has been beaten up/stabbed/shot/tried to commit suicide … because “this is a police case”.

Eventually I realized that I was being selfish. Mum is alone at home all day and deprived of company and looks forward to my return after work and the times that I used to sit and watch the serials with her, she loved to keep me up to speed about what was happening. Soon I started to join here and got caught up with the plot … of course I would still point out everything and anything that didn’t make sense and the fact that most of the heroes/heroines in these serials had a martyr complex … I mean seriously … someone financially ruins your entire family, causes you to lose your job/have a miscarriage, tries to kill you, tries to kill your husband/wife, gets you arrested on a false murder charge, causes a rift between your siblings/partner and you, kidnaps your child … you get the picture … and the person in question remains unruffled and is so ready to forgive and forget!

Another thing which continues to baffle me is the ability of the baddie to repeat word for word a private conversation that took place between the protagonist and someone else regardless of which part of the world the conversation took place, hence providing the baddie with the upper hand to always stay one step ahead in his/her quest for revenge. Oh yes and how can I forget the ‘stupidity’ of some people who when confronting the baddie, will tell him/her exactly in detail what they are going to do, i.e. I have evidence against you which I’m keeping in my bedroom in the brown oak cabinet in the 3rd drawer underneath my pile of sarees and the key for the cabinet is hanging on a chain around my neck and I’m going to pass this evidence to the police and make sure that you go to jail etc etc (of course if this evidence is in the form of documents or photographs, the protagonist neglects to make copies and so if the baddie decides to steal it, we’re back to square one).

And then we have the parents who will go to great lengths to stop their beloved child (this is the rich family) from getting married to their one true love who just happens to be poor or from a different caste etc. Heck, one father even went to the extent of killing his daughter just because she married a poor fella. To this father, honour was more important than anything else. Of course we can easily say that this is just TV – not reality. Sad to say, some of it is based on real life.

I’m sure all of you would have read about honour killings that take place in India, Pakistan and many Middle-Eastern countries or would have heard about parents/relatives who were against love marriages.

And this brings me to the actual reason for this blog posting. My friend Laura* has been in a relationship with David* for about 2 1/2 years now (names have been changed to protect privacy etc etc etc). She is quite sure that this is the man that she wants to spend the rest of her life with and so has introduced him to some of her close friends and her family. Now David on the other hand, has yet to publicly acknowledge Laura as his girlfriend. Although Laura has been to his house and met his parents, it was always under the guise of “she’s just a friend”. The reason for David’s hesitancy is that his mother has a vision of how her future daughter-in-law should be and I guess that Laura does not fit into this mould. David is the only boy in his family and the mother wants to ensure that the future generation comes from a certain ‘good stock’.

I’ve never met David’s mother personally but somehow she sounds like one of those mothers from the Tamil serials who will be totally against her son’s choice of a life partner. In fact she has even gone to the extent of selecting several prospective brides for him (complete with photo and biodata etc) and asked him to choose. What irked me is that when David’s mother asked him if he was seeing anyone, he didn’t have the guts to say yes – I mean … hello … you have been with this girl for more than 2 years now … what’s your problem?

The way I see it, David is either scared shit of his mother or he’s not really sure if Laura is the right one for him (although he always tells he that she is the one).

Anyway to cut a long story short, Laura has finally given David an ultimatum – “Tell your parents (particularly mummy dearest) about me or I’ll walk”. I know that in the event David goes against his mother’s wishes and marries Laura anyway, his mum won’t actually resort to murder or anything of that sort, but she will probably be upset and may cut ties with their son – and that’s what Laura doesn’t want. For her, it’s important to have the blessings of both families.

What I don’t understand is why parents feel that they have the right to decide whom their child should or should not marry. If the person they are in love with is a good, honest person who will make their partner happy, why stand in their way? Why should your child marry someone just because you think it is the right choice for them? After all, your time will soon pass and your child is the one who’s left behind to spend the rest of his/her life with this person. Even if he/she makes a mistake in choosing a life partner, let it be … ultimately it’s their life, not yours, so don’t turn their lives and yours into a Tamil serial.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Obsession? Lust? Desire? Love?

I’ve just finished reading a book called ‘The Chocolate Lovers’ Club’ by Carole Matthews. Some women are addicted to shopping; others can’t get enough of diamonds, but the four characters in the book – Lucy, Autumn, Nadia and Chantal – can’t live without chocolates – rich, creamy, delicious chocolates.

Call them passionate, call them addicts, the four women form a select group known as the ‘Chocolate Lovers Club’. Whenever there is a crisis, they meet in their sanctuary, a cafĂ© called Chocolate Heaven. The book is basically about these four women who are from totally different worlds but united in their passion for chocolate.

While reading the book I couldn’t help thinking that there are actually people
out there who just can’t live without a daily dose of chocolate – just like people who can’t go through a day without smoking a cigarette.

Is chocolate something to fear - is it really a curse?
Is it something to be avoided, or is it much worse?
Or... is chocolate the eighth wonder? Is it a total delight?
Something you savour for so long? Or love with all your might?

So is eating chocolates really an obsession? Most of us just love chocolates. In fact chocolate is the most frequently craved food in women, and many women describe themselves as ‘chocoholics’. Chocoholics insist that it is habit-forming, that it produces an instant feeling of well-being, and even that abstinence leads to withdrawal symptoms.

Although some people like to say that there are similarities between eating chocolate and drug use, generally researchers believe that chocolate “addiction” is not a true addiction.

While chocolate does contain potentially mood-altering substances, these are all found in higher concentrations in other less appealing foods such as broccoli. A combination of chocolate’s sensory characteristics — sweetness, texture and aroma — nutrients, and chemicals, together with hormonal and mood swings, largely explains chocolate cravings.

Let’s just say that eating chocolates puts us in a better mood - keeping us in touch with the child within. Whether it is peanut butter flavoured chocolates, chocolate covered raisins, or creamy white chocolate, we will be experiencing utter satisfaction when we indulge ourselves. It's hard to explain, but only true chocolate lovers will understand this. But let me try to explain anyway.

Is there anything more delicate and romantic than chocolate? Its mysterious, it’s heavenly, it brings a smile to our face and a song to our lips.

What do most of us turn to when we are tired and need to recharge our bodies? The alluring and yummy chocolate of course!

Very few people do not actually like chocolate. It is almost a heresy! They are perfectly conscious about the delicious taste of chocolate, but they just cannot savour it and I pity them because they are missing out on one of the greatest gifts of all!

There is a wide variety of chocolate types on the market today; they suit every taste and each personality - Hazelnut chocolate, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, fruit chocolate, bittersweet chocolate, semi-sweet chocolate, white chocolate, oh, I can go on and on. You name it - there are plenty of varieties and assortments that will surely suit your taste and you’ll find your favourite - even if we cannot like all of them just the same.

Chocolate often represents a very nice gift especially for the fair sex, because the magic of a well-made chocolate is very much associated with the feminine charm and touch.

I just love chocolates! We were created to savour every single moment of our life! So, no wonder that when exhausted, we most certainly turn to chocolate for comfort. It puts our natural balance back on track and surely tastes so good … a real pleasure!

Can anyone describe the taste of chocolate? Yes, I think we can … yet when you think about it, “you have to taste it and you’ll know” sounds more realistic then all verbal descriptions. Chocolate is meant to be eaten, not talked about! That’s the best part after all!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

What if ... I had married you?

I met up with an old friend recently. We used to go out … many moons ago … when I was in my 20s. We enjoyed each other’s company and didn’t have any major issues with one another then. He was nice and likeable and a perfect gentleman. He was hard-working and knew what he wanted out of life … a great career and a great family life, i.e. wife & kids. Somewhere along the way, he had equated me into his perfectly balanced life.

Unfortunately, I was still young and marriage was the furthest thing from my mind at that point in my life. Since I could not give him what he wanted, he started seeing other girls and eventually met someone and settled down. We kept in touch off and on – the usual birthday, Christmas and New Year greetings and the once in a while ‘Hi how are you doing’ call.

After numerous promises of catching up in person, we finally managed to get together. He hadn’t changed much – still the nice, likeable, perfect gentleman. It was quite easy to just catch up on stuff. Of course he wanted to know why I was still single after all this time … I had no plausible answer because I have now come to the stage where I don’t want to make excuses for myself or for others.

I don’t know … maybe he was trying to convince me how great being married was because he couldn’t stop talking about his wonderful wife and kids and how much meaningful his life was now. I was happy for him … truly … but what he said next was quite unexpected. He told me that he had often wondered what it would have been like if he had married me. While he went on to assure me that he loved his wife etc, he was often besieged by this thought about ‘us’ and what might have been.

Honestly, I didn’t know what to say because I had long given up on thinking about guys who may or may not have ‘slipped through my fingers’ as one of my friends nicely put it. Yes I met quite a number of interesting guys over the years … but for some reason or other, marriage was not on the cards … either for them or for me … for one reason or other.

I feel that there is no point looking back and asking myself whether I had made the right decision in letting them go. What’s the point of wondering what my life would have been like had I become Mrs So-and-So … I am not, so there!

Anyway, for old time’s sake, I just sat back in my chair, looked at my friend and tried to imagine what it would have been like if I had married him. I tried to imagine a life with him and as much as I liked him and as much as I think he would have made a good husband, I just could not picture the two of us together.

Has it ever occurred to him that the reason why I may ‘appear’ to be attractive, enticing, sexy, funny, intelligent, confident etc is precisely because I’m no longer within reach! Remember the saying … A forbidden fruit often seems much more tempting just because they are forbidden!

So instead of sitting and wistfully day-dreaming about a life that could have been, we should appreciate the life we are leading now and give thanks for what we have been blessed with. As for me, I’m looking forward to what surprises life has in store for me. So now excuse me while I go sit by the window in case my Prince Charming happens to pass by.