Monday, October 27, 2008

celebration of all things mutton - Updated

It’s a quiet Deepavali. I remember Deepavalis long past when things were truly festive with illegal fireworks, tupperware upon tupperware of cookies and candies, and so much noise and gaiety, nobody slept before midnight. Mutton curry by the potfuls and non-stop stream of relatives, it was all good.

This was when my grandparents still lived in a squatter house of planks and zinc. A kampung in all senses of the word, down to the livestock, mossy well and not to mention the outhouse. Bathing on deepavali morn with fresh well water is not for the faint hearted nor the cold blooded. 

Everything seems brilliant with rose-tinted glasses on your nose. 

Is it time that robs us of innocence and simple pleasures or have celebrations in general cease to have that merry zing with our economic slide and bleak forecasts? Where is the fervour? I hope it’s not a side effect of having grown up.

But one thing never changes. As perennial as muruku and immortal as laddu, Deepavali ain’t Deepavali without those cheesy Tamil musicals on local TV. Forget colours of Ranggoli, give me sun glasses. Must fuchsia be matched with lime green? Against a yellow backdrop? Subtlety has never been the pride of Tamils. I would know, won't I?

Yet what are festivals without indulging in the unimaginably corny? The Christians have their Fat Man that trespasses people’s property every Christmas eve. The Taoists have a multitude of deities that favours porcine offerings. But the Tamils,we outdo them all - for we have Sivaji!

         Not this Sivaji.            


 But THIS: 

It was shown on TV 2 and if have not seen it, where have you BEEN? 
Truly Rajni, Truly India.  

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Kolam 101

There is good money to be made from Kolam drawing. All you need is rice - beras hancur is good, poster colour and a real steady hand. For a decent RM200 you can get yourself a pretty blue peacock to grace the entrance of your hall/shopping centre/bank/weapons silo, whatever rocks your boat.  

Drawn on auspicious occassions, kolams are decorative symbols of welcome especially to usher the Goddess Lakshimi, the goddess of prosperity. Don't think its only the Chinese who have their Choy San. She is usually depicted as the 4 armed goddess with coins of gold raining from her palms. Evocative indeed.      

Anyhow The Establishment engaged a professional, a Mr Mohan to do up a kolam befitting the festive season and he did a pretty good job. So for all you kolam enthusiasts out there with bagfuls of rice your mothers have no use for, here is how to recreate your own professional looking kolam. 


Sunday, October 19, 2008


A cat found itself up on the 15th floor where I live. Crying the block down, I assumed somebody brought home a new pet. But when it started to get dark and again I heard its loud complaints, I thought I better go investigate and as I walked onto the landing, lo behold, there was this Siamese cat. Kitteh must have been there the whole afternoon, with no one bothering to help her.  

Greeting me like an old friend as oppose to a scratching post (which is how most feline villains regard me), she wrapped her body around my feet  with a look that kinda went “So THERE you are”.  

A dog person like me seldom have cats friends. And after several encounters that confirmed that I have no cat chemistry, this furry knot around my slippers was a shock to the system.  Got the brother to lift her into a cage that’s been, um, recently vacant.  No good would come from letting her roam all about.

A dog person himself, he held the cat just like how a dog person would. Arms outstretched and as far from the face as possible. She nevertheless was placid, allowed us to pick her up and once in the cage, lapped up the water we offered her. 

She was certainly well looked after judging by her sleek fur, uber manja-ness and the bell around her neck. This cat was certainly not a leftovers gourmand. Not knowing what to feed the poor kitty, frantic calls were made to the few cat whisperers I knew. Thank goodness Jo was good enough to guide me through breathing and deciding what to do next.

After writing a half dozen CAT FOUND notices, as we descended to buy cat food and to stick the notices, we discovered that we forgot the tape. When we got back to the penthouse level again, lo behold (again) there was the cat owner peering into our apartment.

Relieved that we found the cat’s mommy and annoyed with her for being so reckless with her pet, questions were raised as to how she could let her cat go missing for an entire afternoon.  Apparently she just came back from work to discover her pet did a Houdini from the 6th floor.   After a quick reconciliation and thanks uttered, the cat was back where it belonged. She went with the woman quite obediently and we have not heard concrete reverberating meows since, so I guess the matter was sorted and we got the right person.


Funny thing is, I kinda miss the cat. And I hate to admit this but, I am a little disappointed that the owner showed up. I know, rabbits and cats don’t mix but responsive affection is addictive.  Either I am so starved of affection or that kitty just did some cat voodoo on me. 

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Stop breaking my heart

Sorry for the lack of updates. Its been a pretty eventful few weeks. 

My beloved pet rabbit Oreo died due to an unknown illness. The poor dear was not able to eat and it came down  to having to feed him pineapple juice with a syringe. His body functions shut down one by one until he was paralysed and eventually died on Wednesday. 

I suspect it is something due to his GI tract but we'll never know for sure. Racked by guilt for not being able to do anything and being utterly helplessness as I watched him die - it was heart wrenching.   

I miss him so. 

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Quote of the week

Oddly, or not, the quote that really struck me was from an article on Superman fans saving the run down house where the character was thought up by Jerry Seigeland and Joe Shuster
Money was gathered through an online auction to save the dilapidated home.  

Says novelist Brad Meltzer, 

"We're all Clark Kent. We all know what it is like to be boring and ordinary and we all want to be able to rip open our shirt and do something beyond ourselves."

I am getting my cape. 

Public Message

To those who know me personally, they know this well - I don't do pink. Ever.

Well until now.

If I can pink up my website, thankfully just one now instead of two, this is serious stuff. Because I hate pink. But I find that the message behind Pink October too important to let my visual preferences colour my desire to get involve, and get YOU involved, in talking about and thinking about Breast Cancer.

My mom used to work in a Breast Clinic and I work now with colleagues who are breast cancer specialists. It is heartbreaking. It is scary. But it can be cured. There is Hope. During Pink October we also celebrate the lives and struggle of breast cancer survivors in Malaysia.

So Educate Yourself. It can save your mom/sis/daughter/wife/girlfriend/ YOUR life. Find out more at MAKNA

Because this is really important.

I hate pink.

But I love you.

So be aware and take care of the ones you love. Yourself especially. And do that self breast exam dammit. Of get ur bf/gf to do it. Rowrr. See.. incentive!