Saturday, October 29, 2011

Muruku For Love

Deepavali had passed yet again but I can still hear thunderous firecrackers while sitting up here in the apartment. People are still celebrating it the best way they know how. And as usual, in Malaysia another common way to celebrate is through food. Ted posted some Indian favourites in Malaysia and on Deepavali day we got a homemade Gulab Jamun to feast on. Muruku is Ted's favourite, it is his thinking food and we got some today from Thurka after breakfast.

But Marina Mahathir spoke about the celebration which is closer to my heart, the way I would have like it be celebrated.... Enlightenment in the way we think and live. It is ironic considering what has transpired around the world and at home before this week of Deepavali.  Somehow we need to see what is beyond   in front of us so that we can survive the future. Please read about it HERE 

Happy Deepavali friends...

Friday, October 28, 2011

Retail Therapy

It comes slowly, seeping through me. Unlike in cartoon where the light bulb suddenly pop up above your head, an idea don't appear like that. It was like a flow of motion, one following by another then another.

Like a robotic motion, as routine as it is, I drove home following the traffic flow, arrived at the designated parking in my apartment and took the elevator to the 18th floor. Absentmindedly unlocked the door, then locking it behind me and dumping my bag and keys at the usual place. Washing my face without really thinking and as the warm water touched my skin, the feeling of neglect and loneliness felt heavy. I need to go out, I must get out of my mundane routine. So instead of slipping into my loose t-shirt, I dressed up. Choosing the colour of my lipstick was the only thing I need to decide and in a second I was out the door. In my head, I mapped out my route and simultaneously the plan was executed.

Drove to ATM first and make sure I have enough cash, not too much but enough for me not to worry about limiting my spending. It is a bit too late to go to a hypermarket but Watson is just around the corner. Good enough, I thought. Not knowing what I need, I go through each aisle methodically, touching the pristine packages and bottles.  Do I need I want that. Yes...No....My mind was differentiating the needs and the wants, while my hand picked out the products one by one. Within minutes, my basket was filled with items of wants and needs. Satisfied and happy as I pay the cashier, I walked to the car with a smile.

I am no longer neglect nor lonely anymore. Happiness created.....

Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone

Friday, October 21, 2011

Honouring Time

I always have problems with time. Especially in the morning. I would like to think that I inherited this from Ayah but most likely it is because I am such a lay back person and takes time for granted. I am a late riser because I am a night owl. I just find it difficult to wake up early. But I see now that this is not a valid excuse.

So far it has not cause much problem since I learned to make my way through it but recently, my job has been effected. I am late at work and most of the time I got people to cover me at work. But lately, I feel that I take people for granted just because I take time for granted. I also see that my tempered are short and I become lethargic easily.

The year is ending and I think it is still not too late to make a new resolution. I will honour how I spend my time from now on. Be on time to work and be an early riser. After all, the early bird do get the worms and I guess it is not to late to realize that now.

Monday, October 10, 2011


I never really like magic that much. Thought they are quite ridiculous most of the time and a bit of a trickster. But Ted is very much interested in it. I guess it is about the performance and creating happiness that attracts it to him. He made me look at magician  and magic differently now.

When I was younger I used to read about Houdini and his great escape stunts. Then came David Copperfield with his  over the top magical feats. Who could ever forget him "walking" through the Great Wall of China? in the last 10 years, 2 new magician had made it internationally, David Blaine and Cyrus. Both of them are famous for their street magic which I thought were very entertaining.

But then I saw the similarity in all of these magician. All of them worked hard to be the master of what they do. All of them trained almost all their lives to continue being the best and to create amazing magical feats, to entertained people, each time trying to outdo their last act. Maybe, more then the performing and entertaining part, this is what the kinship Ted has found with them. It is the training and the practice and the hard work, to be the best that you can be in what you do.

David Blaine did a talk in TEDTalks ( TED stands for Training, Entertainment, Design) which explained his work. At the end he explained what magic means to him... it is about the training and the practice and the experimenting, about pushing through the pain to be the best that you can be. I can see why Ted found kinship with all these magician.

Check out the talk HERE. It is a about 20 min but he is so real and such an inspiration. Don't be surprise if you get teary eye at the end. I did.

Friday, October 07, 2011

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish

Steve Jobs, the man that created Apple passed away 2 days ago. He succumbed to his battle with Pancreatic Cancer. A visionary that changed the face of this world, enriched the lives of million of people. He never graduated, did not hold any degree...but what he had was more precious then anything we mere human could gain, gift of ideas and vision.

Steve Jobs Commencement Address, Stanford University 2005.

I am honored to be with you today at your commencement from one of the finest universities in the world. I never graduated from college. Truth be told, this is the closest I've ever gotten to a college graduation. Today I want to tell you three stories from my life. That's it. No big deal. Just three stories.

The first story is about connecting the dots.

I dropped out of Reed College after the first 6 months, but then stayed around as a drop-in for another 18 months or so before I really quit. So why did I drop out?

It started before I was born. My biological mother was a young, unwed college graduate student, and she decided to put me up for adoption. She felt very strongly that I should be adopted by college graduates, so everything was all set for me to be adopted at birth by a lawyer and his wife. Except that when I popped out they decided at the last minute that they really wanted a girl. So my parents, who were on a waiting list, got a call in the middle of the night asking: "We have an unexpected baby boy; do you want him?" They said: "Of course." My biological mother later found out that my mother had never graduated from college and that my father had never graduated from high school. She refused to sign the final adoption papers. She only relented a few months later when my parents promised that I would someday go to college.

And 17 years later I did go to college. But I naively chose a college that was almost as expensive as Stanford, and all of my working-class parents' savings were being spent on my college tuition. After six months, I couldn't see the value in it. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and no idea how college was going to help me figure it out. And here I was spending all of the money my parents had saved their entire life. So I decided to drop out and trust that it would all work out OK. It was pretty scary at the time, but looking back it was one of the best decisions I ever made. The minute I dropped out I could stop taking the required classes that didn't interest me, and begin dropping in on the ones that looked interesting.

It wasn't all romantic. I didn't have a dorm room, so I slept on the floor in friends' rooms, I returned coke bottles for the 5¢ deposits to buy food with, and I would walk the 7 miles across town every Sunday night to get one good meal a week at the Hare Krishna temple. I loved it. And much of what I stumbled into by following my curiosity and intuition turned out to be priceless later on. Let me give you one example:

Reed College at that time offered perhaps the best calligraphy instruction in the country. Throughout the campus every poster, every label on every drawer, was beautifully hand calligraphed. Because I had dropped out and didn't have to take the normal classes, I decided to take a calligraphy class to learn how to do this. I learned about serif and san serif typefaces, about varying the amount of space between different letter combinations, about what makes great typography great. It was beautiful, historical, artistically subtle in a way that science can't capture, and I found it fascinating.

None of this had even a hope of any practical application in my life. But ten years later, when we were designing the first Macintosh computer, it all came back to me. And we designed it all into the Mac. It was the first computer with beautiful typography. If I had never dropped in on that single course in college, the Mac would have never had multiple typefaces or proportionally spaced fonts. And since Windows just copied the Mac, it's likely that no personal computer would have them. If I had never dropped out, I would have never dropped in on this calligraphy class, and personal computers might not have the wonderful typography that they do. Of course it was impossible to connect the dots looking forward when I was in college. But it was very, very clear looking backwards ten years later.

Again, you can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.

My second story is about love and loss.

I was lucky — I found what I loved to do early in life. Woz and I started Apple in my parents garage when I was 20. We worked hard, and in 10 years Apple had grown from just the two of us in a garage into a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees. We had just released our finest creation — the Macintosh — a year earlier, and I had just turned 30. And then I got fired. How can you get fired from a company you started? Well, as Apple grew we hired someone who I thought was very talented to run the company with me, and for the first year or so things went well. But then our visions of the future began to diverge and eventually we had a falling out. When we did, our Board of Directors sided with him. So at 30 I was out. And very publicly out. What had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone, and it was devastating.

I really didn't know what to do for a few months. I felt that I had let the previous generation of entrepreneurs down - that I had dropped the baton as it was being passed to me. I met with David Packard and Bob Noyce and tried to apologize for screwing up so badly. I was a very public failure, and I even thought about running away from the valley. But something slowly began to dawn on me — I still loved what I did. The turn of events at Apple had not changed that one bit. I had been rejected, but I was still in love. And so I decided to start over.

I didn't see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. The heaviness of being successful was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again, less sure about everything. It freed me to enter one of the most creative periods of my life.

During the next five years, I started a company named NeXT, another company named Pixar, and fell in love with an amazing woman who would become my wife. Pixar went on to create the worlds first computer animated feature film, Toy Story, and is now the most successful animation studio in the world. In a remarkable turn of events, Apple bought NeXT, I returned to Apple, and the technology we developed at NeXT is at the heart of Apple's current renaissance. And Laurene and I have a wonderful family together.

I'm pretty sure none of this would have happened if I hadn't been fired from Apple. It was awful tasting medicine, but I guess the patient needed it. Sometimes life hits you in the head with a brick. Don't lose faith. I'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You've got to find what you love. And that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers. Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven't found it yet, keep looking. Don't settle. As with all matters of the heart, you'll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking until you find it. Don't settle.

My third story is about death.

When I was 17, I read a quote that went something like: "If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you'll most certainly be right." It made an impression on me, and since then, for the past 33 years, I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: "If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?" And whenever the answer has been "No" for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.

Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure - these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

About a year ago I was diagnosed with cancer. I had a scan at 7:30 in the morning, and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. I didn't even know what a pancreas was. The doctors told me this was almost certainly a type of cancer that is incurable, and that I should expect to live no longer than three to six months. My doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for prepare to die. It means to try to tell your kids everything you thought you'd have the next 10 years to tell them in just a few months. It means to make sure everything is buttoned up so that it will be as easy as possible for your family. It means to say your goodbyes.

I lived with that diagnosis all day. Later that evening I had a biopsy, where they stuck an endoscope down my throat, through my stomach and into my intestines, put a needle into my pancreas and got a few cells from the tumor. I was sedated, but my wife, who was there, told me that when they viewed the cells under a microscope the doctors started crying because it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. I had the surgery and I'm fine now.

This was the closest I've been to facing death, and I hope it's the closest I get for a few more decades. Having lived through it, I can now say this to you with a bit more certainty than when death was a useful but purely intellectual concept:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life's change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

Your time is limited, so don't waste it living someone else's life. Don't be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people's thinking. Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

When I was young, there was an amazing publication called The Whole Earth Catalog, which was one of the bibles of my generation. It was created by a fellow named Stewart Brand not far from here in Menlo Park, and he brought it to life with his poetic touch. This was in the late 1960's, before personal computers and desktop publishing, so it was all made with typewriters, scissors, and polaroid cameras. It was sort of like Google in paperback form, 35 years before Google came along: it was idealistic, and overflowing with neat tools and great notions.

Stewart and his team put out several issues of The Whole Earth Catalog, and then when it had run its course, they put out a final issue. It was the mid-1970s, and I was your age. On the back cover of their final issue was a photograph of an early morning country road, the kind you might find yourself hitchhiking on if you were so adventurous. Beneath it were the words: "Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish." It was their farewell message as they signed off. Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish. And I have always wished that for myself. And now, as you graduate to begin anew, I wish that for you.

Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

Thank you all very much.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Reuter site - Johnny Depp apologizes for Vanity Fair "rape" comment

It is difficult to express yourself to others. Chose the right words and people would find a kindred spirit in you but if the wrong words are used, you can be called insensitive. In the case of Johny Depp, it is the latter. I can't help but sympathized with public figures like him whom on a daily basis have to watch how they say things. In a time where they are hundreds of so called advocates for so many victimized situation, you do have to watch how you described your situation so as not to step on their toes. Maybe that is why a lot of celebrities preferred a 'no comment' attitude. Cakap salah, tak cakap pun salah.....

Johnny Depp apologizes for Vanity Fair "rape" comment
Wed, Oct 05 15:18 PM EDT
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Johnny Depp apologized on Wednesday for comparing photo shoots to being raped.
The "Pirates of the Caribbean" actor told the November issue of Vanity Fair in an interview that he found being photographed a "weird" experience.
"You just feel like you're being raped somehow. Raped. The whole thing. It feels like a kind of weird...just weird, man... Whenever you have a photo shoot or something like that, it's like - you just feel dumb. It's just so stupid," said Depp, 48.
Depp released a statement on Wednesday apologizing for his "regretful" comments, after objections were raised by a rape victims support group.
"I am truly sorry for offending anyone in any way. I never meant to. It was a poor choice of words on my part in an effort to explain a feeling," Depp said.
"I understand there is no comparison and I am very regretful. In an effort to correct my lack of judgment, please accept my heartfelt apology," the actor added.
The group Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) had spoken out against Depp's initial comments, saying that "while photos may feel at times intrusive, being photographed in no way compares to rape."
The group said later it "appreciates and accepts" Depp's apology.
The A-lister's comments are similar to those that "Twilight" actress Kristen Stewart made in June 2010 when she compared being subjected to paparazzi photographs to rape.
Depp also discussed his large movie paychecks from films ranging from "Alice in Wonderland" to the blockbuster "Pirates" franchise. Vanity Fair estimated the actor's 2010 earnings at $100 million.
"Basically, if they're going to pay me the stupid money right now, I'm going to take it. I have to," he told the magazine. "I mean, it's not for me. Do you know what I mean? At this point, it's for my kids. It's ridiculous, yeah, yeah," said Depp.
The full interview will be on newsstands in New York and LA on Oct 6 and nationally on Oct 12.
(Reporting by Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Jill Serjeant and Christine Kearney)


This is another movie where 2 separate stories intertwined into 1. It is dreamy and seductive at the same time.

2 modern day literary experts came across letters between 2 Victorian poets and following their steps told the story of the secret love affair. The doomed love affairs unraveled as more letters and notes were discover. I love how the 2 stories overlapped each other and how 2 different sort of loves are compared...each with its own struggle and uncertainty.

And like any other great movies that I have seen, this movie was also  based on a great best selling novel. So I guess I have to add another book to my long list of must read.

  I can not let you burned me up
  Nor can I resist you
  No mere human can stand near a fire...and not be consumed

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Effective Communication

Today at work I witnessed an incidence where communication went all wrong. Fortunately I was the observer rather then the participant.

After our weekly meeting this morning I saw the outburst of one disgruntled doctor (Let me label her as DR.A) with regards to our on call roster for October. She was near tears and almost shouting to the doctor (Dr. B) who made the roster. Of course, I was appalled by the whole scene and decided to stepped out of the meeting room. However, standing outside the door, I could hear her voice escalating to a scream and after a few second another doctor (Dr. C) burst out of the room crying.  My guessed was that whatever needed to be conveyed was disrupted by the unprofessional conduct of Dr. A who was shouting and emotional. Later in the day, I received an e-mail from Dr. B who explained the whole incident, admitting the mistakes in the roster but also commented on how doctors and colleagues should be professional enough to handle the whole incident without any dramatic outburst. I must say that I am saddened by the conduct of Dr.A but at the same time commended Dr. B who was able to handle the whole situation professionally. Dr.C on the other hand became the collateral damage where she became the unknowing victim to Dr. B's firing end.

Being emotional and throwing tantrum will not get you what you want. I myself have been put in situation where the calls rotation was unfair to me, but I talked to Dr.B  quietly and calmly without any temper tantrum being thrown to everybody else. And the rotations got change to the satisfaction of everybody else. The way I see it, if you want something from others, you need to be calm and communicate your grievances clearly. That way, you can maintain an amicable relationship with the people around you and you might just get what you want and more. The behaviour of Dr. A made me dislike her and left a bad impression. In fact it didn't make me sympathize with her situation. On the contrary, it just made me think that she doesn't deserve any help from us.

This serve as a reminder to me never to shout and scream in front of others regardless of how upset I get with my situation.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

The Wedding Season

It is the season of matrimony. Where couples declare their love for each other lawfully and to announced to the world that they are together forever, for eternity.... It is the 8th month in the Chinese Calender and supposedly the best month for such union.

Last weekend we were in Malacca for Seow Chin and Alex's wedding. It was good to be surrounded by my LP again, smaller in number then I expected but good nevertheless. It was great to see Choy Yen & Alvin expecting their first baby. I am happy for them but deep inside I had a brief moment of emptiness. But fortunately it was brief and I was happy to see my closest friends.....

The lovely couple
Glowing pyramid glasses
As usual...big laughs
One from LP123 before we leave

Last night was in KL Hilton for Cecelia & Isaac's wedding. We dressed up a bit more and I felt like a princess. The wedding was beautiful and again I was surrounded by my Asiaworks friends...amazing bunch of people. I love the door gifts and Cecelia was radiant in a laced/satin Cheong Sam. And again I was surrounded by expecting couples and new mothers...oh well....

Beautiful but simple backdrops in white and gold

With the bride and the groom

The decadent door gifts

Our customary self potrait

Sent from my BlackBerry® smartphone

The Tango Scene - Scent of a Woman Movie (1992) - HD

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dura1503 has shared a video with you on YouTube:
Frank (Al Pacino) teaches the beautiful and charming Donna (Gabrielle Anwar) how to dance the tango.

TM & © Universal (2011)
Buy Movie:

Scene: The Tango -

Movie Details: Scent of a Woman (1992) -

Cast: Chris O'Donnell, Al Pacino, Gabrielle Anwar

Director: Martin Brest

Producer: G. Mac Brown, Martin Brest, Ronald L. Schwary

Screenwriter: Bo Goldman, Dino Risi, Giovanni Arpino, Ruggero Maccari

Film Description: Scent of a Woman is a 1992 film which tells the story of a preparatory school student who takes a job as an assistant to an irascible, blind, medically retired Army officer. It stars Al Pacino, Chris O'Donnell, James Rebhorn, Philip Seymour Ho... more
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To Tango With Al Pacino

Scent Of A Woman had the best monologue and dialogue scenes. It made Al Pacino my hero of all time. But the best scene ever doesn't even need any words. It  is this one  To Tango with Al Pacino

I would love to Tango with Al Pacino but this is just a wishful dream. Nevertheless it is a beautiful dream, don't you think? 

Saturday, October 01, 2011

The Day I Lost Empathy

Empathy: The capacity or ability to understand and share the feelings of others, be it a sad or a happy ones. In my profession, this is something that is necessary but sadly lack in most of my colleagues. Maybe it was never in them but I would like to think that we probably bury it deep in ourselves, so that we can distant ourselves from the suffering, so that we can better served them. I on the other hand, held on to this ability to empathize because I always believed that it is vital in my job. I need to empathize so that I can serve them better. If I know how they feel, if I put myself in their position, I could stay with them longer and serve them better. I would never imagine myself without empathy....

But somehow I lost it yesterday.... I just refuse to empathize and instead I dwell so much into my anger, into the situation I was in. It is not a feeling I am proud of and I knew I will regret it

While preparing Sasikumaran for his surgery yesterday, I did not stop and think how he would feel. I knew the feeling of helplessness and despair but I did not want to feel it, I continued doing what was needed to prepare him and I block out the cry and the scream. We finally sedated him for the procedure and he was taken to the OT. He came back 4 hours later....the surgery did not go well and he succumbed to his condition 3 hours after that. I found out about his demise the day after. Suddenly I thought of his mom and I hate myself for how I treated him during his last few hours of consciousness. Yes I was doing my job but not in a way that I could be proud of. I realized that by loosing empathy I would gain remorse... it is a feeling I never would want to know again, ever.