"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?

Saturday, 29 June 2013

The Sound Of Falling Leaves

I've had just enough time to...   listen to the sound of falling leaves...

Taken one chilly morning in the backstreet of The Rock, Sdyney

Leaves fall
The speed of tears
Smash the ground
Silently splash
Quivering echoes
Through silent streets
The Giant cries
Tears as many as leaves
Catching the mournful wind
Through skeletal branches
Till no more leaf is left to shed
Then deadly silence
Winter is here to stay

Sometimes you are sad. You may not be able to point out a single incident or even a number of incidents that are making you sad. They may have some effects but you know they should not make you as sad as you are. You are just sad. Stop looking for the reasons. Indulged in it for a while. A sad movie, a sad story or a sentimental song. Or a chat with an old friend, a long walk in the park, an evening by the sea. Do whatever works for you. Sadness prepare us for happier times. Just don't lay on It for too long. It may get so comfortable that you would not want to get up again.

Leaves Falling - Sound of Silence by Regon Kuo

Saturday, 22 June 2013

叶子 - Leaves

I've had just enough time to...   be thankful for leaves

Taken in the garden village of Sungei Buloh, Malaysia

I was in the town of Sungei Buloh (River of Bamboo) shopping for orchids before the Chinese New Year. In those old less enlightened days, this place was used to isolate a leper colony from the general populace. A vocation was needed for these displaced people and in an ironic way, growing flowers and plants was the profession chosen for them. Now it is a thriving town engaged predominantly in the gardening business. The city has expanded and engulfed the area making it a very valuable real estate. Now, those once shunted lepers and their descendants are not only businessmen and women but also millionaires putting a final irony to the Town of The River of Bamboo.

Everyone was looking down because there were flowers in glorious bloom everywhere. On both sides of the small lane, on every multiple racks, in every stall and corners, any space that can be squeezed in, flowers of all varieties and colors and forms smiled back at you. But my attention was up, at that wondrous spread of rain tree branches and the millions of tiny leaves blinking at me. Whenever the wind stirred, a few shook themselves from the branches and floated down in an erratic but graceful dance to join the other fallen leaves on the roof. 

I love flowers but it was the leaves that talked to me that day.  And leaves always reminded me of that sad song  叶子yèzi (Leaf ). I heard that haunting voice as I stood by the road shoulder looking up feeling deliciously sad while boisterous trading were happening all round me. And what made it even more poignant is that I will never hear her singing a new song again. '阿桑' (Ah Sang) had a hard life. She was discovered singing in a pub and “Leaf” made her famous. Just when it appeared that Life is finally giving her the break she deserved, she quietly left the entertainment scene. Not long later, the world was shocked to learn that she has succumbed to breast cancer. She was only 34.

叶子                                                                         Leaves
阿桑                                   Ah Sang

叶子 是不会翔的翅膀                   Leaves are wings that cannot fly
翅膀是落在天上的叶子                    Wings are leaves dropped in the sky
天堂 原来应该不是妄想                  Heaven is not wishful thinking after all
只是我早已经遗                           It's just I've forgotten long ago
当初怎么开始                           How it is then, I could fly

是一个人的狂                      Loneliness is the reverly of the lonely
是一群人的孤                       Reverly is the loneliness of the crowd
原来的开始是陪伴                 Love has its beginning in togetherness
但我也渐渐                           But I've gradually forgotten
是怎有人陪伴                       How it is I had you for company

我一个人吃旅行                           Now I eat and travel alone
走走停停                                  Wandering aimlessly
也一个人看写信                           I read and write alone
自己对话谈                                  With myself, conversing
只是心又到了哪里                       But where is my heart floating to?
自己看也看不清                       I can't see clearly
我想我不仅仅是失去你                  Just feel it is not only you I lost

Saturday, 15 June 2013

How To Surprise A Zombie - Part II

I've had just enough time to...  be fooled thrice and love it!

Taken of the thrid surprise - a juicy carrot cake

The next day, an ex-colleague dropped by at the flour mill. They asked me if I have the time for lunch and I said “Of course, there is always time for old friends”. We went to a Thai-Chinese restaurant and I was surprised at the turn out. Hmm… Quite a big group. After fragrant Pandan chicken, fiery tom yam soup, steaming fish brewing in salted vegetable and other sharp tasting foods that I missed dearly for the last two weeks…

They brought out another cake with a single lighted candle and sang the birthday song in the restaurant. I was fooled again. It was a coincident that my ex-colleague visited us that day and my devious colleagues made use of the accidental visit to fool me. That was the second surprise.

Though that lifted my spirits, I struggled through the day hardly able to keep my eyes open as I was still in my zombie state. After 3.00 pm, the jet lag effect kicked in and after so many visits to the restroom, I must have washed the skin off my face. So when the call came in to go home a bit earlier, I was all for it.

After dinner, I thought I would call it an early night when my sons brought in yet another cake with another single lighted candle and sang the familiar song I heard thrice within 24 hours. This time it was a juicy Carrot Cake with butter cream icing. The bakery bought me a Black Forest because they think it is my favorite while the flour mill a Mixed Fruit Praline because they think I will like it. 3 cakes and 3 surprises within 24 hours. I smiled, thinking the three different groups have different opinions of the types of cake I liked. Maybe, they have different opinions of the person I am too. Whatever, I felt most blessed that day, to have good friends and family to celebrate my birthday with. Strangely, another strong emotion took hold at the same time. I felt rependant at my good fortune and thought of seeking forgiveness from all I have hurt one way or other through the years. Thankful and rependant was how I felt on the day I was surprised thrice.

Friday, 14 June 2013

How To Surprise A Zombie - Part I

I've had just enough time to...   be surprised not once but thrice

Taken of the new products that are launched on a very special day :)

June 11 2013, I have just returned from US the day before after 30 hours of plane rides and waiting in airports. I then had the longest sleep I had in years lying flat in bed for almost 12 hours. But I was not fully charged. Two weeks of traveling through multiple time zones have taken a toll on this old body. I knew I had to leave the office early and planned to leave sharp at 5.45 pm. At least that was the plan.

At 4.00 pm, a call came in that involved the future of a colleague and a long discussion ensued. I divided my time between two factories. At 4.22 pm, I received a call from the bakery requesting my presence. They said it was not urgent so I planned to go over before 5.00 pm. At 4.45 pm on the way down, I dropped over and have a ‘few words’ with a colleague that lasted an hour and a half.

In the bakery, the factory manager surprisingly ushered me upstairs instead of having the discussion in his room. By that time, I was feeling groggy, running on auto and reserves, and wishing there was a bed somewhere I could lay down to drift into blissful oblivion. In the meeting room, I was surprised to see all the Heads of Departments waiting for me. I was embarrassed that I’ve unwittingly kept them waiting for so long and apologized profusely. They seemed strangely cheerful in spite.

They showed me the new company products that they said will be launched tomorrow. I’m quite absent minded but they laughed that I will never have to ask any of them the launch date for these products because it was on my birthday! I was touched by the gesture. Before I could settle down and digest the feeling, a few of them that left the room earlier came in with a cake and a single lighted candle and the whole crowd burst into the birthday song. I good naturally protested that it was unfair to do it a day earlier to catch me by surprise but I was of course naturally pleased that they went through the trouble to surprise me. I was a zombie that day but they light a fire under the zombie to wake him up. That was just the first surprise…

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