"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?

Thursday, 30 January 2014

Where Will This Path Leads Me?

I've had just enough time...   to take the path that is offered.

I let the path leads me wherever it leads me but
I do not forget to smell the flowers along the way

It is interesting where paths will lead you if you let them lead the way. That is why when I find myself in a strange city, I like to wander off on my own. Aimlessly. And let the path leads me wherever it may lead. I have always made interesting discoveries this way. Without fail. In every city I have been to.

I just started a new blog and it already is leading me to interesting places. I wrote about the books I read and the books I intend to read. That led me to a mail exchange I had with Liza Dalby, the author of Geisha and The Tale of Murasaki a long time ago about my graveyard of books - http://a1000reasons.wordpress.com/2014/01/25/my-graveyard-of-books/. A comment by a reader led me to reflect on my first meeting with a geisha - "When I was a young man of 21, ages ago. I found myself one night in Tokyo along with a colleague and my ex-boss; each with a geisha accompanying us. We were hosted by maybe 6 or 7 Japanese gentlemen from a large organization toasting us with a mixture of Suntory beer, Black Label whiskey and warm sake..." You can read it here - http://a1000reasons.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/the-geisha-who-showed-me-her-empty-cup/

Sometimes it leads me to strange places
But it never fails to lead me to interesting places

I will continue to wander off the main track and let Life surprises me. It is one of my greatest pleasure to find Life's hidden treasures.

Sunday, 26 January 2014

The World Is Moving Too Fast For The Slow Loris

I've had just enough time...   to feel sad for the slow loris

The slow loris kiss his owner 

In the Pahang jungle, I saw this man with the slow loris. It was obvious that he has bonded with the animal and they treated each other affectionately. But the slow loris is an endangered species. The cute, adorable and gentle loris with its large eyes is popular as a pet but wild life trade has decimated their population endangering them. Loris also do not breed well in captivity and they have one of the slowest birth rate for a mammal. Before they are sold as a pet, their teeth are ripped off with a plier as they have a toxic bite. Many do not survive this treatment. When Rihana took a selfie with a slow loris in Thailand, two men were arrested.

But it does not belong to the world of man

I asked the man about keeping an endangered animal as a pet. He told me that his loris dropped off from the tree when it was still a baby. It would have died if he have left it where he found it. He could not return it to its parents for they would reject it once it is tainted with the human smell. So he had no choice but to rear it himself. I have no reason to doubt him. I have no reason to believe him.

If it is true he save it, did he do the right thing to keep it? (he does love it, I'm sure)

See this disturbing video -

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Al Fresco Dining the Hawkers Style.

I've had just enough time...  to have my favourite noodles the Al fresco style

Al fresco dining the Malaysian style

In the early evening, in a parking lot on a corner by the side of a busy street of Kuala Lumpur, hawkers were busy setting up food stalls for the night business. Carts and chairs were arranged on every available places trapping cars left behind by drivers that were not aware of or were slow to remove them. Tables and stools were arranged in the center framed by hawkers stalls selling all kinds of mainly noodles dishes in various styles of preparations, “dried” style with black sauce, different “soup” styles – beef, beef tendon, chicken, chicken spare parts, pork, pork spare parts with light soup, curry or a whole varieties of different stocks and flavors. They may be a rice stall such as chicken or duck rice, or a “roti chanai” (Indian flat bread) stall among them as well as various other types of food and desserts. It will not be surprising to find a stall selling a local fried burger or Western food such as Maryland chicken and chips. It was a food heaven.

This is a typical food stalls congregation in any city or towns in Malaysia and they are always crowded and a fun place to be. The scene we are seeing is in the early evening when the stalls is just being set up but already a few early birds are already tucking in. Another hour, and you will find patrons waiting for a seat to be available. No one managed the place but it seemed to be very well organized with each stall contributing towards maintenance of the area for the benefits of all concerned. The prices are very economical and is a fraction of that available in restaurants. The food are generally also quite hygienically prepared and is safe for consumption. This is the favorite form of food consumption for busy Malaysian who are not cooking at home.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

The Melon I Found In The Borneo Highlands

I've had just enough time...   to find the melon in the highlands

A beautiful melon with intricate patterns I found in the Borneo Highlands Resort in Kuching

The melon I found on Borneo Highlands
I know not its name and
There is no one to enlighten
But it is all the same
One need not know to appreciate
One only need know to appreciate

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Don't Be Caught Off-guard By The Irish Rooster!

I've had just enough time to...  be caught off-guard by the Irish Rooster

Is that an Irish Rooster in Shanghai?

Irish Music - The Rooster Lyrics

We had some chickens no eggs would they lay
We had some chickens no eggs would they lay
The wife said honey we're loosing money
Because those chickens no eggs would they lay

Then came a rooster into our yard
And he caught them chickens right off their guard
They're laying eggs now like they never used to
Since that rooster came into our yard

Sunday, 12 January 2014

In A Mosque in Beirut

I've had just enough time...   to speak about God

In a mosque in Beirut, a father speaks softly to his child...

In a mosque in Beirut
I saw a father softly 
Speaking to his child
Sitting in the shadows as
Lights streamed through
The windows, I believe
As he believes, there is God
And in churches and temples
Everywhere, a man speaks
Softly to his child about

The God he knows

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

The Old Man Looking for His Center

I've had just enough time...   to look for my center

I saw the old man walking unsteadily on edges...

The old man
Walked on edges
Struggling to maintain
A balance, not
Too much right or
Too much left
Might fall off
Into the abyss

He is trying to find his center.

I asked “Why?”
Almost causing his fall
He brushed me off
Walking unsteadily forth
Then stunned me
Left me pondering
What his voice carried
With his departure
“How can I find my center,
Walking on level ground?”


What's Your Center?

Saturday, 4 January 2014

The Caterpillar or the Leaves

I've had just enough time...   to harvest a butterfly

The caterpillar hiding under a branch...

Two pots of ailing
Flowering plants
Nursed back to health.
New leaves from
Barren branches
Pleased me.
Shocked me
To see leaves of
One stripped bare.
The next day, the
Rest disappeared.
The culprit was found
Fat under a branch
Shyly hiding from
The sun, leaving me
To decide the fate of
The caterpillar
Or the leaves

My prosperity flowers whose leaves were devoured.
Can you see where the caterpillar is hiding?

I wanted the flowers
Of the plants nursed
To health, but strange
Are the fruits of the
Tree one sowed
I harvest a butterfly

What would you choose?
The leaves or the caterpillar or...

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Thoughts on The Act of Giving.

I've had just enough time...   to give and to receive...

A tribute to all who gives...

The last two years were the toughest in my working life. It was a mixture of extremes, some of my greatest achievements and fulfillment mixed in with some of the unhappiest moments and heart-breaking failures. There were several junctures during this period of living dangerously when I was more than ready to throw in the towel, to call it quits and walk into the sunset. But somehow I persevere. I made it through to this point, another crossroads in my life. I made it because of friends who believe in me, who stood by me and who needed me to carry on. But I also made it because the act of giving gives me enough strength to withstand the hurts.

To all who empathizes...

I was given the task of setting up a new business/company and to transform another, one in which I had been working for a very long time. In just a year, the new company radically changes the very industry in which it was in and its innovative product became a household name. And it is on its way to be a successful company with modern management and a compassionate attitude towards its workers. 

To all who cares...

But transforming the old company proves to be akin to moving an elephant that does not want to be moved. I pushed and pushed and hurt my back. And to add insult to injury, the village condemned me for disrupting the nature of things. I was the madman for trying to move an elephant. And I underestimated the vindictiveness of dead woods. Their poisons infected all who came near them and in the jungle where they inhabit, they protect themselves with vapors that blinded man of their own follies. Only little Napoleans staking out their little turfs thrived in the swamp of decays. Even with the support of people who believe in me, it was a lonely bruising fight and I came to question what I was fighting for. I have many good reasons to leave and only a few to stay. One of which being a leader of a tribe, I’m duty bound to improve their lots for them but even this has a limit which in honesty I feel I’ve more than fulfilled.

The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention
- Oscar Wilde

It was during this period that I made a pledge. If I can last two years, I will put aside a part of my salary enough to donate a kidney machine for the hospital of my charitable organization of choice. Sometimes, when the going got really tough and I was left with little to hang on; the thought that I was not only fighting for myself or even my friends but also for others who needed help was the little extra that helped me got through another day. Another bitter contention. Another injustice. Another insult. The two years had passed. The kidney machine I donated is now in operation in a hospital.

No one has ever becomes poor by giving
- Anne Frank

 Recently, a friend in need wrote me a quote from Oscar Wilde “The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention”. I thought about that and felt guilty how often my grand intentions did not translate into acts of kindness. I resolve to intend less and try to do more. I’m not a well-to-do man. Far from it. But I’ve enough for my need. And I feel it one really wants to give, then one should give until it hurts. I would like to be one of those really generous soul, one of those that feels only joy when they give. I am not nor pretends to be. When I give, a lot; it also hurts. In the sense that the sum I gave away I could have used it to change a new computer, down payment for a new set of wheels, go on that faraway vacation I’ve always wanted. You get my drift. I can only afford my charity by denying myself some 'wants'. I am not a saintly giver. I gave in spite of sacrifices. But I don’t give for recognition. That kidney machine is donated anonymously. And Thou San is not my real name. This blog is used for both reflection and a record of my journey through Life. 

It is not how much we give but how much love we put into giving
- Mother Teresa

I am a selfish giver though. In the sense, I know the act of giving has its rewards. I am not religious and don’t look for my rewards in the next life. I select my charitable organization carefully, for what they do rather than their belief. Thus, of the two main charities I contributed to; one is a Christian and the other a Buddhist. I believe when you work to helping others, you empower yourself. It makes you feel good. It gives you strength. It gives meanings to your struggle and existence. That was how it gave me the reason to continue the struggle when I could no longer find enough reasons to struggle for myself these last two years. That should be reward enough.

The simplest acts of kindness are by far more powerful than a thousand heads bowing in prayers
- Mahatma Gandhi

Now, a new year has come round the corner. It is another beginning. I look at the long road ahead and can already feel the fatigue of the journey. I am not a pessimist. If anything, it is the opposite of that. I’m more of a realist with too much hope to be considered one and too little to be considered an optimist. I know it is a long tough road and I need all the help I can get. So I make another pledge. If I cannot make it another two years than half of something is still better than none. 

So may the New Year be a happy one to you, happy to many more whose happiness depends on you
- Charles Dickens

I will leave it with this wish from Charles Dickens to all my readers

“So may the New Year be a happy one to you, happy to many more whose happiness depends on you!” 

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