Monday, June 22, 2015

On Father's Day...

Father's day has just passed and to be honest, it was a rather sombre and quiet day for me. Looking at most of the people in my list posting pictures of their dad and saying how great they are kind of made me angry and envious at the same time. Perhaps it is because I missed my dad so much and that I could not spend anymore moments like what was posted by my friends, which made me angry. Looking at status like "My Hero", "The greatest man in my life", and so on, made me smile because I knew that my dad was all that was stated too. In fact maybe even more! 

For me, loving my parents and cherishing every moments with them on a daily basis is more important than on any specific day. Just like what I stated in my previous blog about celebrating mothers day, you don't need a specific day to celebrate mother's or father's day. Love and cherish everyday with them is more important because with a blink of an eye, they might not be there anymore... 

I miss my dad - my pillar, my superman, my friend... 

I am glad to have many many great moments with you...

Happy Father's day...

Friday, June 19, 2015

and Suddenly I looked back...

Have you ever come to a time when you sit back, reflect and started calculating the years that certain events happened? I did! Well, recently I came to a crossroad, a life crossroad that is. And I told myself that I needed to do a self reflection and self review. I lie down for hours, reflecting and daydreaming and I realised that in the past 10 years, I have been through tons of stuff that I never thought I would go through. Its been a crazy decade for me. Many ups and downs, in fact, lots of right and left and back and front, too! 

It all started when my Gmail prompted me to clear up my emails, as my account is getting full (imagine that! 15GB of nonsense!). So I decided to clean up some of my old emails. I look back at the very first email I got... of course it was the welcoming email from Google. I clearly remembered that my buddy invited me to join gmail. Yes, when Gmail started you need someone who have a Gmail account to invite you to enable you to join. He told me that they provide 2GB of space. Which at that time is alot of memory space!! and the interesting thing about Gmail is that it doesn't stay at 2GB. There as a counter at the side that shows the space is growing. OK, back to my first email, I saw the date of the mail sent and it shooked me up a lil'. it was 25th November 2004!! I thought to myself "HOLY SHIEAT!! MY GMAIL ACCOUNT IS 11 YEARS OLD!!,". Has it been so long?! 

my first email on Gmail

I then look at some of the really first few mails that I received. Then I noticed that it was all those funny emails, jokes, photos, pixelated videos and quizzes. I was trying to remember why some of my friends who sends me all these emails. Then it dawned to me, FACEBOOK wasn't around that time. Friendster was just becoming the hit and the only way to "share" information is through emails! Well technically things didn't really changed. We just migrated from emails to Facebook. But the funny thing is that those who diligently send interesting emails back then are those who are totally non existent in Facebook now. How a decade can change someone!

Then I decided to walk down that nostalgic path. Went to click on my blog, yes, this very blog! well, it is linked to Google, Then something happened, I realised that my blog itself is 10 years old! 10 FREAKING YEARS OLD! Back then blogspot was not under Google yet. Things were kind of complicated and not so user friendly as it is now. As I was going through my posts, I realised that I write a load of crap. I guess I was still trying. Check out my first post here! 10 years and 314 posts later, here I am writing this very blog. I wouldn't have thought that I can write so many articles, or so it seems. Reading some of my blogs, I started reflecting again and trying to find out why I wrote those articles. It is kinda funny thinking back. 

Reading blogs and looking at old emails brought back lots of emotions. I've been through lots of ups and downs in the last decade. I realised losing my dad and grandma in the same year was the lowest point in my life but somehow my loved ones and buddies brought me back up. Something that I don;t know how to repay them. 

And there were the ups in the past decade, where I get to meet the love of my life and also getting married to her. The days of MSN Messengers were hot during the courting days. SMSes and phone calls were expensive so there were lots of chats! yay emoticons and low res web cams! yea right! 

It was during this decade too, that I got into a job that I really only dreamt of getting. I thought I was embarking on a path of a lifetime in becoming part of the social machine, lifeless and emotionless working army, then came a job that I have always dreamt off! a job in a Radio Station! It was during these years that I get to go to places that I have only dreamt of going and meeting people that I would never thought I will ever meet in person. Heck, I was blessed to even have a decent private conversation with them! If you would have told me 10 years ago that I will be doing all these, I would only laugh and sit down and daydream!

My idol growing up, the voice of Malaysia, the legendary Patrick Teoh

The great Zainal Abidin. I even get to stand 2 feet away from him singing live!
But the last decade too, I guess we all have to experience lots of national incidents that were foreign to us. The changes of the political scene, or some would say, the political tsunami in the last 2 elections. The dark side of politics and politicians that were foreign a decade ago, or perhaps maybe its due to lack of social media back then. 

The airline incidents, MH370, MH17 and QZ8501. These are something that were unheard of. Plane crash yes, we hear it often but disappearing planes, plane got shot down on hostile zone was something we would never thought would happen to us. 

Funny thing is that during these incidents, I was in the thick of it as I have to cover the event, albeit by sitting in the studio. Most people are able to switch off and take a break but not me. We were facing this 24/7 and after a long period of time, it can get rather depressing but then again, no complains, it is my job!

Well, well, coming back to the MH370 issue, it was crazy and scary as my wife and I was suppose to head for our honeymoon 4 days after the incident on the same airline and same plane model. We went anyway as I was quite confident as there was nothing to worry about, as after interviewing aviation experts, pilots, cabin crews and engineers on my radio few days prior to my trip. But what I can tell you is that the atmosphere in the plane the entire trip was intense! every turbulence was followed with cringing of eyes, screams and nervous voices. The sigh of relief was heard when we landed.

me right after landing
Like I mentioned earlier, its been a crazy decade and I wouldn't mind to go through it all over again. All these obstacles, bonuses, challenges, ups and downs only made me stronger and made me more confident to venture into the blurry path laid upon me. If I can survive the last decade, I am sure I can survive the next decade!

To end this article... I somehow find the lyrics of these song made sense to the current situation.

The moments of happiness we enjoy take us by surprise. It is not that we seize them, but that they seize us.     -Ashley Montagu

Monday, May 11, 2015


Mother's day has just passed. As usual, my facebook feed is flooded with pictures of my friends mom. Dinner with them, flowers, old pictures and so on. It is also flooded with quotes and wishes. But why? why boast or share with the whole world?

Throughout the years, mother's day has been a day where I would plan all week or month beforehand. I always feel that it is the one of the most important day of the year. But the last few years, I slowly saw the significance dwindling. Somehow Mother's day is not that important any more. Not because I don't adore or love my mother but more on the depth of the day. What does it means? It is the same thing in comparison to going to church on Sundays or going to the mosque on Fridays. Are you not devout to your religion on normal days? same goes with mothers. Do you not love your mother on normal days? Why do you need a specific day to shower your mom with love and flowers?

For me, I feel that mother's day is a redundant if you throw everything down for your mom on that particular day but neglect your mom on other day. For me mother's day is just like any other festival, it is a day where all of us took the opportunity to have a family gathering. But the truth is that everyday for me is mother's day. Everyday the time spent with my mom is as precious as any other days. Because as cliché as as it may sound, if you love your mom, everyday is mother's day. Every meal together everyday is as important as mother's day. You don't need any day to celebrate or recognise what your mom did for you. 

I decided this year not to wish my mom on facebook or any other social media. For what? I would just rather have a nice quiet and happy meal with my mom, god-moms and family. Why? because love does not need to be shared on social media. Love them in real person everyday and have a meal with them is more meaningful than trying to show to the world that you love them. 

Be successful in life and live a good life and ensure that they get lots of love everyday. That is the greatest gift I can give to my mom. 

Monday, March 30, 2015

Life After Death

It has been a bitter sweet weekend for me. Heading back to my home town to celebrate Qing Ming or Cheng Beng. At the same weekend too was the funeral of the former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew. When I was young, Cheng Beng has always been a happy family gathering for me, where we will head to my great-grandparents resting place then to my grandpa's resting place. Its been a yearly affair where I look forward to the food, the cleaning up of my ancestors final resting place and the fun stories that my family members tell about the departed, even if you heard it year after year. Stories about how great my great-grandparents are and what they did during the yesteryears always gets me excited and I always wondered how are they when they are alive. I would always look forward to the end of the prayers as we are allowed to eat the food that was offered. One of my favourites is the "siew mai" or meat dumplings that my aunt bought. 

Throughout the years it was the same ritual, same procedure, it became an annual routine. I always knew about what Cheng Beng is all about but then as I get older I started to see the importance of it. It is not just visiting and pay respect to our deceased ancestors because we have to and just "makan" but the festival actually have a deeper meaning. Things started to change 5 years ago. After my dad passed away and followed by my grandma few months later, The whole meaning and importance of the Cheng Beng festival became more clearer to me. I understand now why it is celebrated. It is not about religion nor was it to pray for the deceased to get their blessings. Although lots of people tend to skew towards that. It is about to remembering and to remind us where we came from. Who are our family, and what did they do. It is a festival to remind and educate the younger and coming generations of their family and their roots and their history. The prayers and ritual was merely an addition to make it more official and meaningful. Cheng Beng is a Chinese culture where we sort of make our younger generations learn about their family and why do we carry our family name. It is because of this festival, I get to know so much about my great-grandparents. They passed on before I was born but I somehow feel connected to them. Same goes with my grandpa. I have no recollection of him as he passed away when I was just 3 years old. But it is because of the stories told by my family that I can relate to him and my family's past. 

As I mentioned earlier, things became more apparent when my dad and grandma passed away. I now understand why my aunts and uncles or my grandaunts and uncles share their stories of my deceased ancestor. I too wanted to share my stories of my dad and grandma. Share the stories of what I have experienced and witnessed. Share the the idea and principles that they stand for. Everytime my family members share their stories, I am not sure whether they are aware about it but they are passing on the legacy of my family. Letting me know my roots and my family's history. 

Coming back to yesterday, when I was travelling back to KL from my home town after visiting my ancestors resting place, a strange thought popped into my head (mind you, it was a long journey and my mind works best while I am driving). This came after my aunt from Singapore told that that day was the funeral of the late Lee Kuan Yew, and that thought suddenly struck me. I suddenly have a thought of what life after death actually means. I am never always a religious person. I somehow reject the idea of the institution of religion but I somehow believe that there is a big guy up there. Be it a supernatural being or just a group of sentient being. But then again, I do respect all religion as it is a way of life to teach a person to be a better person!

Coming back to the story, I have always asked or been asked on whether I do believe in life after death. What will we become after our time on this planet ends... then it occurs to me after joining the dots in my head. 

Most people said that there is a heaven and there is a hell. Heaven for those who does good deeds and hell for those who did bad deeds. Most religion says the same thing. But does anyone really knows about it? This is when things get blurry for me. How can a person be judged whether he or she goes to hell or heaven? There are some things that we have done may be deemed good by one person but bad for another. Then it occurred to me during my drive is that heaven and hell is in all of us. What we have done to other living being while we are alive determines where we go. Right? How much we influence a person or a group of people determines where we go. That is life after death. 

I believe that when we die, we don't go anywhere but live in the minds and memory of others. The people that we touch determines where we go. It is in their minds that determines where we go. We do good, people will think we go to heaven. We do bad, people will want us to go to hell. Hence heaven and hell is in all of us. We will never know where we go after death but knowing that we have done a great deal of good deeds that we will be ingrained into people's mind forever. Just like the great deeds that our ancestors did or just like the great deeds that the great leaders/personalities did. 

In generations to come, they will still talk about the deeds we did in their life that ensure that in their memories we are now in heaven. No prayers, rituals nor offerings can make it any different. It is just a process to recollect the memories of old. With that our souls or memory will live on as a series of image in a persons mind. So everytime someone speaks of another person with respect after they are gone you know that there is life after death. The more you touch a person's life, the longer your soul or memory lives... and in their mind, you will always be in heaven (that is if you do good lah!).

Hence, I always live with this idea where, if you live a life with respect of others and yourself, you will get it back in return whether it is now or later...

Then again, that is what I think-lah! 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

5 years on...

5 years ago, today, I lost one of the pillar of my life. In just a blink of an eye... my dad has left us for 5 years... this time 5 years ago, the doctor told us to be prepared... this time 5 years ago the glass that I call life, shatters upon me... 

"Watching you and hoping that you will miraculously open your eyes and get better... but reality is harsh... I felt helpless as I could not do anything... I felt lost and defeated... I hope and I hope but I watched you slowly wither away... I tried singing while holding your hand, hoping you sing along with me like you always do... but to no avail... watching you go without saying goodbye hurts even more..."

Till today it still aches, till today I still can't fill that hole, till today I still wish that my dad will walk through my front door and say that he was fooling all of us, just like a prankster he always is... but at the end of the day... I have to accept it... that he is gone and the only thing left is my memory...

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