Saturday, May 31, 2008

Good Bye, My Friend!

It was a normal day until I received a shocking news about my friend R who has passed on to meet with his Creator. I was stunned and shocked. I have not seen him for a while since he came a calling months back. However, just a few days ago I just thought about him. Wondering what he was doing, remembering those days when we could meet up with a phone call. However since he became immobile, these moments were no longer there. I ended up the thot with a prayer that he gets well and telling myself that I would see him soon. Alas! It was not to be. Apparently he left for a minor priligrimage a week ago and would be back next week. It was a journey he was thinking for quite a while and he was very determined to go on that journey. It seemed to be his final journey on this earth. A journey that would leave only memories behind. He was well liked by everbody I know for he was kind hearted who never failed a friend. I knew for a fact that he put his friends even before his family at times. But the main thing is he was also loved by his creator for his kindness. I guess it was this kindness that brought him to his Creator in the Holy Land. He could not be closer to the good before he was called on. My friend, you will be remembered in more ways than one. May your soul be blessed and showered with the best as what you showered those around you. May you rest in the company of the best people. Amen!

Friday, May 23, 2008

The Innocent Man - Part 1

In the town of Ada, Oklahoma, Ron Williamson was going to be the next Mickey Mantle. But on his way to the Big Leagues, Ron stumbled, his dreams broken by drinking, drugs, and women. Then, on a winter night on 1982, not far from Ron's home, a young cocktail waitress named Debra Sue Carter was savagely murdered. The investigation led nowhere. Until, on the filmsiest evidence, it led to Ron Williamson. The washed up small-town hero was charged, tried and sentenced to death - in a trial littered with lying witnesses and tainted evidence that would shatter a man's already broken life ... and let a true killer go free.

.......It is a book that will terrify anyone who believes in the presumption of innocence - a book no American can afford to miss.

'A Gritty, Harrowing True-Crime Story' - Time

'A Triumph' - Seattle Times

'Grisham has crafted a legal thriller every bit as suspenseful and fast-paced as his best selling Fiction' - Boston Globe

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Boston Legal

If you are keen on legal drama but on the lighter side, this tv series is a good one to consider. It has all the ingredients of American Way of life. I mean we all know how litigatious the Americans are. They just find anything to start a litigation or civil suits. So a legal firm becomes the focus, in this case, it is Crane, Poole and Smitch. The pratagonist is Denny Crane, one of the partners. Poole is rather quite while Shirley Smitch is the moderator bringing the feminine influence. Denny's close friend is Alan Shore, a real character. In most of the series Alan Shore is considered the brain behind the cases especially those in the court room drama. The original supporting cast included Brad who ended up marrying Denise, Clarence who becomes Clarice after hours, Jimmy the eccentric and a few others from time to time.

Then you have a group of judges who can be unique in each own way. Throw in a few baddies to be defended by the team from CPS together with a few arrogant DAs then you really have some entertaining shows.

What I like most about the show is that issues raised in each episode are very relevant to day to day life of an ordinary american citizen. As a result the legal arguments put forth by each side are almost surreal. For me it is almost like a revision of chapters from legal text. It is always inspiring and a good way to motivate and get refreshed especially when you see how these lawyers work in a professional way most of the time but struggle to escape from emotional attachment when the subject matter is closed to their hearts. Of course there were a few episodes which were rather memorable made possible by the good acting overall.

The chemistry between Denny Crane an Alan Shore could not have been better. For good measure each episodes ends with these two main characters sitting on Denny Crane's office balcony with a glass of champagne in one hand while a good cigar in another reflecting on the day gone by! It is indeed a very good series which has run for four seasosns. One really has to keep track to follow the case since it is not readily available on local channels....

Friday, May 16, 2008

The Reluctant Fundamentalist - Epilogue

I am not sure how the critics considered this book as 'more exciting than any thriller' (Philip Pullman) or 'admirably spare and amazingly exciting' (Rachel Cooke, New Statesman). I may be bias but the story was rather ordinary except for the way it was presented, in a flashback technic. Just like when one's mother would relate a family story, except in this case it was related to a stranger - with no name. The experience Changez went through was not dissimilar than many who took the same journey. A journey undertaken at a relatively young age when one is bound to discover many new things in life. In this case, it was a discovery of Princeton, Underwood Samson & Company and Erica. The disenchantment experienced by Changez with Erica and Americain general was nothing new regardless of 9/11. A person who grew up in one culture then moved to another culture would definitely feel the conflict. It is the challenge in managing this conflict will make one becomes either a steel or a plasticine!

Indeed, to me the true reason for the meeting between Changez and that American did not become abundantly clear at all............


Every now and then one may ask what friendship is all about. Some may see this as being once companion in time of need. Companion in the sense of a shoulder to cry, an ear to listen and probably a source for a piece of advice. More often than not one may face a situation when many friends will be there when the weather is fair. When the times are rough, not many people will stand the test of friendship. This is quite common in terms of political interest. A powerful politician will have so many friends that he or she can float in the air from the firends aura. The moment he or she loses the political power then most of the friends will disappear if not all. Worst still nobody want to be associated with him or her regardless of the good deeds they had benefited from him or her.

So, the point is one has to be careful in having a friend. A person will be very lucky to have friends who can and will be there when they are needed. Alternatively it will be a nightmare to have friends who can backstab like 'trusting the fence, the fence eats rice'. A wise man says that a good friend is the one who will defend you in your absence!

Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Reluctant Fundamentalist - Part 1

Having read The Kite Runner, I just could not resist picking up this book by MOHSIN HAMID while browsing the shelves at my regular bookstore the other day. Perhaps the caption 'Shortlisted for the Man Brooker Prize 2007' was the real eye catcher for me.

' Excuse me, sir, but may I be of assistance? Ah, I see I have alarmed you. Do not be frightened by my beard. I am a lover of America...'

So speaks the mysterious stranger at Lahore cafe' as dusk settles. Invited to join him for tea, you learn his name and what led this immaculate speaker of English to seek you out. For he is more wworldly than you might expect; better travelled and better educated. He knows the West better than you do. And as he tells you his story, of how he embraced the Western dream - and a Western woman - and how both betrayed him. so the night darkens. Then the true reason for your meeting becomes abundantly clear.....

A Day Not Like Others

Dear Mother

I hope you are doing really fine in spite of your health. Forgive me for not coming up to visit you as often as you and I wish. I hope Dad is also doing ok.

I supposed I have to tell you a few things which cross my mind since our last coversation.

Tomorrow is the second Sunday in the month of May. Around here where I live and work, most people would celebrate Mother's Day. I am not sure you are aware of this or even care about this, although I know you have discharged your motherly duties to your kids excellently. Indeed I sometime wonder how some women who call themselves mothers by just simply giving births to babies and yet celebrate this Mother's Day. Some of them, I am sure, do not even know what being mother is all about. I mean, pardon me, I have to compare them with you. You started motherhood during the Japanese Occupation of our country. I remeber you telling me that Dad was detained by the Japanes just before my eldest sister was born. Those were the dark days which are now parts of our history when you had to survive with tapioca. I also remember quite well how you would work non-stop morning as a teacher to your students and afternoon going to the paddy field helping Dad taking care of those paddy. These were a few examples of sacrifices that you did for us. I wonder whether anymore paddy field left in this country with the shortage of rice people are talking about now. I remember how you care about all eight of us including your eldest two daughters who were already married by then. You have not stopped caring and worrying in that way until now even though all of us now have our own family and may be nearly quailified as you and dad to be called parents. That is simply you, Mother!


I was just thinking this Mother's Day thing is actually about making money by some people. The advertisement for gifts are almost everywhere. The value of these gifts are questionable. Of course the recepients would gladly accept that. Its almost nothing to do with the appreciation of the sacrifices by all mothers. I mean the hype is actually creating a lot of dirts under the carpet. For instance, almost every mother in this part of the world would be bombarded by messages ofMother's Day. For those who have children who can afford, the mothers would probably be given lots of gifts by their children. Mothers will be treated to sumptious breakfast or lunch. They will also be taken to places of happiness. There will surely be a lot of happy faces. I, however, can't stop to wonder how would other mothers i.e. mothers whose children are not in a position to give anything but silent love, feel about this hype and all. Would they be hurt and suffer in silent thinking about how unlucky they were? Would they feel sidelined and ignored for the simple fact that their life was fated? I dont really know cause I dont think I could afford hurting them more by asking.


Pardon me for rumbling this way. Its just that I want to assure you, although I have never given you any gift as advertised extensively on Mother's day, I hope my give of love which is always there would be more significant than those money can buy. I just could not know what else I could give, knowing you will not be happy for any of my sacrifices but only for my happiness with my own family. People say, its the thought that counts but every now and then the presence does also count.

I am sure, Mother, you are also shaking your head looking at the qualities of mothers today. Of course the difference between mothers of today and mothers of your time are like the sky and the earth. To some people they say this is just because of the evolution of human life. We are now in the IT era when everything has to be fast and the world is becoming borderless to the extent that you have a lot of fast tracked mothers and mothers who seem clueless to the border of being a mother, a wife and a career woman. Some will abdicate the responsibility of being a mother to their maids. It is fine if it is limited to the household chores but most often it goes beyond that. There were cases when young kids were left with the maids, growing up in the care of the maids and even speaking in the language of the maids'. These mothers would have very little time with their kids yet these are the same people who celebrate Mother's Day perhaps more than any other mothers.

When I said the fast track mothers, I mean those who choose not to get pregnant and giving birth as a naturl process of marriage but rather prefer adoption. Of course it is a noble cause but how on earth that can be considered noble when single women do these? They will then use this as a reason not to get married because they have worldly needs including a child they call their baby. Can you imagine, Mother, what would happen to the institution of marriage which really forms the fabric of the society?


Forgive me for asking a lot of questions - not that I want you to worry about. Its more for me to self examine our situation here and I hope I could find answers which I would use as guidance to be shared with your lovely grandchildren. By the way, thank you for all your love and care for my kids and my other half. I know how happy you are everytime you see them or even hear their voices over the phone. My only regret is that they are now growing up and speak to you even less. I will try to get them to improve on this, Mother. As you are also aware, I am really thankful to God that with all the parental tips I learned from you and dad I have managed to raise them to be good and filial sons and daughters although not as good as what you two did for me. This also I promise to improve.

Last but not least, Mother, just be known that, you are remembered everyday and the prayers for your well beings as my gifts will never cease. My wish is that you and Dad will always feel the warmth of love and tender care from my other half, my kids and myself. Have a very Happy and Peaceful Mother's Day, everyday!

With Lots of Love

Yours truly,

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Sweat Weekend!

Arghhh! What a fun weekend it was. The days passed really quickly. Yes, it was just like any other weekend but it wasn't. Not when I had extra time to spare with my youngest son going around in the old beaten up car looking for a place to do a make over. The old M is now close to 30 years old. I thought a treatment of sort is in order. But alas! The guy at the workshop wanted to con me. Huhh....its tough. We walked away shaking our heads considering the deal. Never mind we will continue looking for the right deal. We picked out our badminton rackets and gave a few hits for a sweat...

It was indeed a nice catching up game. It was one of those days when a little quality time is all that you need to brighten things up and to feel close to your loved ones!