"The sharp knife of a short life

I've had just enough time..."

- "If I Die Young" The Band Perry

I see Beauty in many things. And like the ghosts that only speak to you if you notice them, they tell me wondrous tales. With my camera and my thoughts, I captured these as faithfully as I can to share with you. And by doing so, they gave me the reasons. And though the thousand reasons may not all be sweet and some indeed bitter; they are still reasons to live. Come to think about it, that is Life, isn't it?

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

The Face of An Artist

I've had just enough time to...   see the budding of a star

Taken outside the Ubud Palace in Ubud, Bali

On a leisurely stroll one morning passing by the Ubud Palace, I spied a group of young boys practicing their craft. To the tempo of imaginary music that only they themselves heard, they stomped and jerked violently. The sequence was not a graceful flow but a series of sudden violent movements and abrupt stops. The expressions on their faces were deadly serious and exaggerated as they played the characters of their act.

But it is more than an act. It is their religion and they are playing the Gods. They are not just performing a dance, they are re-telling the story of creation and they are honoring their Gods in the recreating of the tale. This went deeper than the passion for their craft. It is their faith and they are living it.

I suspect that it will be many years before these boys ever get the chance to perform before an audience. Meanwhile, they trained every day and showed a dedication stronger than any professional athlete. And what drove them is not fame, adulation or monetary rewards. It is their culture, their beliefs and it is beautiful to watch.

But even among them, one particular boy stood out. You will have picked him up just by looking at the photo. His divine expression, the sharpness of his moves and his total immersion into his character is mesmerizing. His talent is undeniable. He is the future star of the play. I hope one day to be able to return to Bali and watched a performance and recognized him there.

The Master

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Navigation By Fingers

I've had just enough time to...   navigate by fingers

Taken on the road one dark night along a lonely stretch from Tianjin to Beijing, China

The night is dark
The road unfamiliar
The stars covered by clouds

The only light
From the smartphone
Navigation by fingers

Led us to be found


Loneliness and emptiness

Since I left all behind
Only memories in my mind
Blue lights from the screen
Black universe all around
And I can't hear no sound

Everything is lost
Everything is gone
Everywhere I go
I find myself alone

Endless days passing by
I have fallen too deep
I navigate and dream
Blue lights from the screen
Black universe all around
And I can't hear no sound

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Just A Squirrel Looking For A Nut - Part II

I've had just enough time to...   see a squirrel seduced by a plate of nuts.

I was once a free squirrel
Hunting for wild nuts in the forest
But the trees have disappeared
And nuts are hard to find
So I came to this place
Where free nuts are put on a plate
Now I’m no longer wild nor free
Just a tame slave to a plate of free nuts
Slave to free nuts when trees disappeared

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Just A Squirrel Looking For A Nut - Part I

I've had just enough time to...   see a squirrel hunting for nuts.

Saw this squirrel looking for nut in Lake Chini, Pahang, Malaysia

This world is a complicated place
For a squirrel  just looking for a nut
Not asking for much
Not asking for much

No need to hoard them in a pile
No need to bury them over the place
Just enough to get it by
When winter comes around

But the forest is gone
In its place concrete spawn
And the nuts that grow on trees
Are no longer to be found
No longer to be found

This world is no place for a forest
This world is no place for a squirrel
This world is no place for a nut

Thursday, 15 November 2012

Durian may be the King of Fruits but 24 hours a day?

I've had just enough time to...   enjoy a feast of durians!

Much had been said and written about Durian, the undisputed King of Fruits and arguably the best fruits in the world are to be found in Malaysia with exotic varieties such as “Red Prawn”, “Water Gourd”, “Little Red”, “Green Skin”, “Red Heart”, “Khun Poh” (named after the grower), “Red Flesh”,  and “Red Flower”. As if these are not enough, we have even stranger names such as “Centipede”, “Coupling”, “Pork Fat”, “Bean Curd”, “Tiger Hill” and “Olive”. You have to agree that the naming of fruits is very creative and there are reasons for the names which I will leave it for you to figure it out. By the way most of these are names are translated from the Hokkien dialect which is just the way most of the fruits are named.

There are also the less creative names usually headed by a “D” alphabet which obviously stands for durian. Whereas durian itself comes from the Malay word “duri” meaning “thorns” which ineffectively protects the fruits from our greedy hands. But they do exact their revenge for which of us had not cut our fingers from a careless slip? As far as I know there are D numbers from D11 to D700!

But the most creative name may be “Lin Fong Jiao” named after the beautiful romantic actress of the 70s who won a Golden Horse Awards for her role in “Story of A Small Town” (小城故事) and the wife of Jackie Chan. The taste is said to be reflective of their bitter sweet husband and wife relationship. However, the King of the Kings is claimed by many to be “Raja Kunyit” or “King Tumeric”. This Malay name however got strangely translated into Cantonese as “Mao Sang Wong” or “Mountain King Cat”. The Hokkien however chose a more direct approach and called it “Boh Tang Pii” or “No Comparison”. So a durian by any other name is not THE Durian!

Found this 24 hours durian shop in Medan, Indonesia late one night after dinner.

Malaysians may have justification to claim their durians as “World Best” but even they do not eat them 24/7. That honor goes to the Indonesians. I’ve known of 24 hours clinic and even 24 hours workshop but it is the first time I came across a 24 hours durian shop! I found it not in a small dingy hawker stall but in a brightly lighted 4 double-storey shop lots that caters to durian aficionado round the clock. So if you have difficulty to sleep and fancy durian for supper, get on a bike and head to this durian paradise. But before you rush there, those who had not tasted durian before, beware! It is said to taste like heaven but smell like hell. But of course to us durian connoisseur, it taste like heaven and smell like heaven too! Unless you burp.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

What Is A Little Inconvenience Along The Way?

I've had just enough time to...   witness how a little inconvenience is no inconvenience at all!

Taken from my car along a busy street outside Yangon, Myanmar

We are going for a ride
Me and my friends
Going for a ride
Through the noisy street
With our face to the breeze

What is a little dust blown up by the gust?
We are more worried about the rust
What is a little smoke our nostril does choke?
We are more worried the engine will croak
What is a little standing holding to the ceiling?
We are more worried about our shilling

It doesn’t matter how we get there
As long as we get there
What is a little inconvenience along the way?

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Buddha By The Wood

I've had just enough time to...   meet Buddha by the wood

Came across this Buddha exploring and strolling around an apartment block in Munich

It is said -
You can find Buddha anywhere
In every person that you meet
In the calm of every storm
In the silence of every noise
In the depth of every night
In the beauty of every sunrise

Still I was surprised –
When I found Buddha on a walk
In a distant land
By a pile of cut wood
Sitting there, serenely
Where he belongs

Sunday, 4 November 2012

Pussy Riot, Remember Us In Your Revolution

I've had just enough time to...   say a few calm words to Pussy Riot

 Noticed while taking a slow walk in the suburb of Munich

Dear Pussy Riot,
We respect your rights to speak
Will you respect our rights to preach?

We respect your freedom to think
Do you respect our freedom to be
Different as you are different?

In fighting for your rights
Do you step on our rights
Or does that not matter?

There are those that speak with gentle voices
Dream of a peaceful world
And toils to make it better

Believes anarchy is not the reason
Believes you should go free
Remember them in your revolution

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Why Stand On One Foot When You Can Stand On Two?

I've had just enough time to...   stand on one foot

 Taken of the Kung Fu duck standing on one leg on the rock in the garden of a restaurant in Hanoi

Why stand on one foot when you have two?
Close your eyes and learn from the blind
Stand on one like the flamingos do
And if you do not know why
Know at least how it feels like
Five seconds and counting
You cannot keep still
And if you only have ten seconds
To learn all you can standing on one foot
This is it –

“Do not do unto others what is hateful to you”

And if you need to learn economics standing on one foot, this is it :D -

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