Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tell me about the darkness & the stars

Today, I attended a funeral.

I was ready for it. I told myself Joe is in a better place now and I would not break down like how I do when watching very emotional movies and documentaries. Requiem mass was how I remember going to Church when I was still very much into religion. And everything was okay up to the point when families and friends started tearing up for a departed teacher, friend, brother and son. Tears were inevitable, especially so when I saw his mom breakdown so heartbreakingly by the casket.

When I was a teenager I saw my friend's mom send him off after he had a tough battle with cancer. His mom was devastated and was wailing uncontrollably for him when they took his body away for cremation. Today, it brought back all the memories that isn't so different after all. It's never easy seeing someone you love pass on before you. Even with an open mind and heart tears are never too far away.

All the 'what ifs' remind me again about life's fragile beauty, which is so precious and how easily it could slip away. Only in the darkest night can we see the most amazing stars.

Monday, March 29, 2010

In memory of a friend

Hey Joe,

You are my movie supply
from the indie to Bollywood,
from the arty to Hollywood,
and yes you're also a wonderful guy.
How we used to hang out at Joe's place,
how we chat till late nights about life,
sleep over and eat heartily,
those great times of what used to be.
Now that you have left
it'll be a while before the next party
and wherever you go
someday, somewhere, we'll continue with the show.

March 7, 1954 - March 28, 2010

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Empty old people

Our country is run by empty old people
who tell us empty old lies
who seek out empty bins for
instant gains and empty cries.
How long more are we going to tolerate
this emptiness that is spreading?
How long more will we sit back
and listen to their empty old rantings?
Our planet is swarmed with empty old people
who can't let go of the things that don't belong to them.
Who can't share the kindness and hope,
who would rather see everything go up in smoke.
Why do we let them run this town?
Why do we let them run around?
Like headless chickens and mindless fruticakes,
with hollow promises on empty plates.
The world is full of empty old people
who have lost their love and compassion.
Just because they are old and admirable,
Won't they see what they're doing to the children?

Friday, March 26, 2010

Visions of death

Last night I watched a Japanese movie call Suwîto rein: Shinigami no seido or Accuracy of Death or Sweet Rain and it was about the Grim Reaper doing his job.

With a grim reaper like Takeshi Kaneshiro, death might actually be something to look forward to. Brad Pitt and Robert Redford too played death in their own versions with Meet Joe Black and Nothing in the Dark, a Twilight Zone series.

But when it comes to the real thing, like this morning when I received a message about a friend who is in a critical condition in the hospital, I felt a twist in the stomach and an ache in the heart. The feeling of loss was the first reaction although I am one who would rather celebrate death as a new beginning. When I think about it I am more open and able to accept my own death than of someone else's, especially someone who is very close to my heart.

I also want to believe that the angel of death that comes to our door is the one we expect. To some it may be a nightmare from hell, to another it may be Morgan Freeman, but to me they will be all the animals and pets I loved before and perhaps one friend whom I lost when I was a kid.

Death can be a tearful event but it needn't be an expiry to love and hope.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Where I live...

I survive on small joys in life. Today I found a new laundry shop which just opened about a week ago three floors down from where I live. My friend and I don't have to trouble ourselves to go to Happy Mansion anymore and on top of all that it is also much cheaper: RM2.30 per kg while the other one is RM6.50 per kg.

At the lower ground, at the car park area, there is also a stall that sells good Indian cooking. At most times our meals would come up to RM2.50 or RM3.00 per person and a teh tarik is RM1.50 while a teh O ice is RM1.00. At this time and age and in Klang Valley itself I was astounded by the discovery in this unassuming low cost apartment. There is also a barber shop in another block, some eating stalls and at least 3 sundry shops among the limited 4-block apartment.

Besides all the conveniences the Bestari apartment community also provide free tuition for kids and the usage of the community hall is free if less than a day.

And today I cooked vegetable dhal for the first time in my recently purchased rice cooker and it came out brilliant! Emm hmm ... and now sipping teh O panas in the quaint little living room.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Of new vibrations and higher frequencies

Today I woke up with a new vibration. Yeah it sounds like a lyric from a disco song but I literally felt my entire body pulse with a new form of energy.

I've been very sensitive to all kinds of sounds lately from distant screams to jarring laughter and my name being called. There were twice I heard my niece and my mom calling out to me which woke me from my sleep. My heart beat is also irregular and at times out of rhythm as it were. Of course the usual numbness of my body, headaches and a great change in my diet persisted as usual.

If you are into spirituality there are some good websites to explain and discuss the change at length but if you are hypochondriacal I guess there are pills for everything and if you are a realist, chances are you wouldn't be reading capricious blogs like this. Hahaha (writer lost her bearings for a moment).

As the world falls flat on it's face there's got to be some kind of hope ... and it begins with a realization that starts with you.

Anyway, the times are-a-changin and the answer is blowin in the wind.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Is television bad for you?

I'm not a big fan of TV but I love watching good TV series and made for TV movies. The thing about having is TV is like having a spouse who can only be approached only at certain hours of the day. I find that stifling and constraining. I used to rush back home everyday Wednesday just to catch the X-files and wait patiently on Sunday mornings for Beast Wars. When I was younger god knows why the local TV stations scheduled kid’s shows like The Herculoids in the late mornings when all us kids were in school. And the things TV stations make us do are incredible to the point of being merciless. Sometimes shows get cut off 5 minutes before they end. Sometimes there is no continuity to the next episode. And most the times they make us sit through horrendous commercials slotted at the wrong segment and censorship is done by butchers.

When the internet came into the picture I hadn't realize how fantastic it would be to have come to this stage where mp4, avi, mkv, rmvb and a whole lot of other versions of movies and shows can be viewed. Letting go of the entire television set was not a problem to me since the local TV stations are still up to their unprofessionalism to this day. Even the cable TV is a whole lot of reruns and nothing more.

Today, one can purchase or download, legally and illegally, an entire season of their favorite TV series without having to go through the agony of watching them on TV. If the TV stations don't buck up soon they may be a thing of the past before they can cry foul.

Since the availability of shows is at the finger tips of anyone and everyone they can be quite overwhelming when so many new shows are popping up year after year from all over the world. So is television bad for you whether you watch it straight from the transmission or at your own leisure? That question has to come back to you to answer.

There are all kinds of reasons for watching TV, and they range from killing time, entertainment, information update, inspiration, getting ideas and whatever not. If you are the kind of person who can get easily addicted to things, TV can be a very bad influence on your life. And all TV shows are meant to do that, get you hooked week after week. The thing is, if you can control yourself by detaching yourself from TV shows as and when you want then watching any of them that dumb you down or tug on your heartstrings will make no difference. But, not many are able to resist. So the only other thing that you can do is to pick and choose shows that somehow makes sense to you. You don't have to watch everything that is being offered by turning on the idiot box 24-7 when you're home.

Sometimes TV shows start off very intelligently but they can soon fall into the category for the obtuse and dense. I always thought Tom and Jerry is nothing but violence and sheer stupidity and I never liked it even when I was a kid. But when SpongeBob Squarepants made its debut I loved the hilarity which was remarkable. But these days I also feel that it has also gone to the dogs. I find most reality shows nothing but frivolous though I watched occasionally for its silly entertainment. One night, I caught Paris Hilton's BFF and that was the last time I would ever do it again. Talk shows on the other hand are usually peeks into celebrity's lives or a dramatization of a sensational issue. Again, they can be brilliant or they can be total trash.

Documentaries are usually good only when they appeal to you. Although I love nature, supernatural and the mysterious I find the approach to the subject matters overly dramatized. I never liked naturalists or the hosts upsetting an animal's habitat just to show us how they live. Or a reenactment of an incident that biomes so unreal. Though filming quality has improved the presentation has become warped. I still like a good David Attenborough's genuine love for Mother Nature and Jacque Cousteau's love for the sea, but we don't get very many bona fide nature lovers these days.

Although I do get hooked of TV series like Desperate Housewives, which was once very good, Prison Break, Pushing Daisies, 30 rock and Supernatural I keep them under my file of entertainment and ideas to help me write better scripts. But shows like Eli Stone and Glee are inspiring to me because of the essence of the storyline and dialogues. But how long can they stay true to their creation that has yet to be seen.

So watching TV or TV series and movies is not all bad and is not all good. It's about how much of self control you have on the remote control and if you can manage your time well without getting absorbed into something that will dumb you down. If you don't have the confidence to resist, the best thing to do is to get rid of the TV and watch only shows that you want. It may take a while for you to get used to the idea of having no jarring noises coming from the TV but you can always replace that with books, journals and a whole list of things you want to do before you get dumbed down completely.