30 July 2010

50 years of ISA: Vigil Serentak 1st August 2010, 8pm

I'm out of KL now but I should be back in time to give my support at Padang Timur. Meanwhile, here are some helpful details.


Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA (GMI) and Suara Rakyat Malaysia (SUARAM) would like to invite all concerned citizens to a Candle light Vigil in conjunction with 50 years of ISA. The Vigil will be held on the 1st of August 2010 at several parts of Malaysia such as:

State Place Contact Person

Selangor Dataran MBPJ, Nalini: 019 3758912
Padang Timur
(Opposite Amcorp Mall)

Penang Speakers Square Jing Cheng: 012 7583779
Perak Dataran Bandaraya Ipoh Dr. Kumar: 019 5616807
Kedah Dataran Zero KM, Simon Ooi : 012 4202264
Sungai Petani

Kelantan Taman Hijau, KB Zaidi: 0123840415
Seremban Dataran Seremban Veron: 016 6687900

Sibu, Kuching and Johor will be confirm soon.

We demand the Government of Malaysia to Abolish the ISA as soon as possible as the barbaric and unlawful Act has existed in Malaysia for 50 years. The ISA is draconian and most importantly, it is against the fundamental human rights.

Please join us together to fight the ISA and all other detention without trial laws! Together We CAN Bring CHANGE!

GMI Secretariat will update everyone from time to time regarding the venue of the Vigils in each state mentioned above. Please bear with us. For further info, please contact Miss Nalini at 019 3758912 or 03 77843525.

Released By,
GMI Secretariat and SUARAM Coordinator

24 July 2010

The Great Together

I don't know exactly when I heard about the Class of '76 getting together.  I think I must have heard it from a couple of my FB CBN friends.  As time went by, more and more were sending messages and today, the lunch materialised with 28 of us showing up.

It isn't always easy to organise a get together.  However, Facebook has made it easier and since it was an open invitation, anyone who was interested could just inform and join in.   Life is so easy when there are no protocols to follow.

I hadn't seen some of these gals since 34 years ago.  Yet we picked up just as if it was yesterday that we were in school.  Some of us weren't ever in the same class but it did not matter.  Some of us remembered the face but not the name or vice versa.  Some of us who have kept in touch via emails or HP also met up again after too many years.  Some are back for the summer holidays and happily shared news about other CBNers who are overseas.

Last night, I was wondering about what to wear, or if anyone would notice my hair is coloured, and that I am far removed from the image of a skinny girl with pigtails. 

None of my concerns was of any concern at all.  Everyone only saw the happy memories we had when we were in school.  We saw beyond all those superficial things and found that genuine friendships really last a lifetime.  

I am such a homebody. I almost never socialise.  Therefore, I am quite picky about going out.  I am so glad that I did not give this a miss.

What makes for a great get together?  I know.  Laughter.  Hugs.  Kisses.  Jokes.   It's also “the pointing at someone who just arrived and who you suddenly recognise”.   It's about connecting again with the girls who you knew as teens and who are now wives/mothers/grandmothers.  It's reuniting with the familiar banter and feeling teary from the joy of being part of these beautiful people.

So what's 34 years between friends?  I can tell you it's nothing!

The Get Together is all about the great together.

Dedicated to my wonderful and much loved 
CBN class of 1976. 
All photos only on Facebook.

G, I did a grammar check but I claim writer's licence 
for breaking some English Language rules. :-)

17 July 2010

Of connecting the dots

I don't really consider myself a superstitious person.  I might have grown up exposed to many tales of supernatural phenomena but I believe that they didn't really have much of an impact on me.  Usually, the old wives' tales are considered to be almost as close as you can get to fact.  Why?  The old women say so!  

I usually sit on the fence when I hear of anything unexplainable.  Sometimes I can see right through it.  At other times, I wonder about a logical explanation.  It used to amuse me that people always laid claim to "knowing", beforehand, about an event that occurred but only after it took place.  They normally begin by saying "I had a feeling about it."  Then they elaborate about having a dream or seeing it in some vision.  Sometimes, they just say that they knew it.  

When I was young, I think I did fall for some of it.  I remember being in awe of these people and I felt that they had some special power. 

I still don't know where I stand on this issue.  

Of course, it's not important but I do have some personal experiences, which I don't understand nor which I can explain.

The first one was when DC died; two different people told me that they had dreamt of him.   

One lived in Penang, the other in Kuala Lumpur and they were not in contact with each other.  Yet when they related their dream to me, at different opportunities, it was uncanny.  It was as if they had seen the same movie and told me about it.  I don't think they would have concocted this. Why would they?  I pondered over it for a long time and until today; I cannot understand how two complete individuals could  have an almost identical dream.  Even the dialogue in the dream was similar.  How do we connect the dots?  

The second co-incidence is that DC died on 26 March which is 5 days after my birthday on 21 March.  Unbelievably, Eric, my second boy died on 17 July also exactly 5 days after Jared's birthday on 12 July.  What are the odds of that happening?  A gambling person might say a million to one.  What's the significance?  I don't know.  

What brought all this up? I am thinking of Eric today.

Anyway, it was timely that just less than an hour ago, a friend of mine began to sort out some thoughts in his head and writing it down in his email to me.  In the end, he said it was getting complicated and just stopped abruptly.  No further analysis and no more trudging through the whole rigmarole.  He just put a smiley and that was it.  This got me thinking about how easy it is to dismiss what is too much trouble to sort out.  That is if one really wants to!

When I replied to his email, I told him that he should bottle up that quality and sell it.  I added that he'd be a millionaire.  Upon hindsight, I think that people won't want it.  People love spending time connecting the dots. 

I'll end this on a lighter note.  See image to smile.

(all images from photobucket)
Apologies to blondes!

12 July 2010

Of drifting, drumming and dreaming

Jared is twenty-four today.  I took this picture of him just a couple of weeks ago when we were in Singapore.  We drove down south and during that time, we talked about everything under the sun.  We have our moments when we share what's in our hearts and minds.  I love those times because it's when I really get to know him better.  We are friends even if we are mother and son.

When his father died, I told him that I had lost my best friend.  I told him that he would be my best friend now.  Being only 4 years old, he didn't really understand and he replied that he wanted to be my son. Little did he know that he has been the best friend I could ever have hoped for!

For a while, Jared was drifting around without any direction.  He wasn't afraid to work hard though.  He did whatever job that came along.  Much as I had wanted him to study some more, I didn't want to impose my own dreams on him either.  So I let him be and he found his niche along the way.  Some of life's lessons cannot be taught.  They have to be learnt.  

He did what he could and now he is doing what he enjoys.  He works for his living, plays music and teaches too.  At his age, they can do it all!  He's been adrift but he's always stayed afloat.

Jared's love for drums started way before I even knew he had music in his genes.  As a small boy, I don't remember him going around, with chopsticks, playing on pots and pans.  Maybe I wasn't paying too much attention and I didn't notice.  When he was about ten, a musician told me that he's a natural and could be a good drummer.  This was way back when Blues Cafe was around.  Jared was fooling around with the drum set and although I didn't really see his potential, I nodded in delight.  

Then when he was in his early teens, he took part in a music contest in church and the band won the first prize.  It was then that I saw him sitting behind the drum set and playing for the first time.  I was so proud of him because he had done it all on his own.  Practised and gotten everything together without ever bothering me for anything.  I saw it as a sign of independence and determination.  He knew what he wanted and he set out to do it on his own.  Today, he's quite an accomplished drummer.  He still has some ways to go but certainly, he’s on his way.  

What would life be, if we didn't have dreams?  I don't know what Jared dreams about.  I don't even think about it at all except that today is his birthday, and I wonder what his aspirations are and what he sees, for himself, in his future.  When I was 24, I didn't even have a dream or illusions about my life.  Well, I was married when I was 24.  Today's world sees people tying the knot much later in life.  I don't suppose that Jared will be marrying soon.  The world is his oyster.  He lives in a happy world, surrounded by family and friends who love him dearly.  

I wonder what awaits him in the year ahead.  Today heralds a new year for him.  For him, it is a fresh beginning and leaving the past behind, in order to be able to see new twists and turns in the road of life.  If all he ever achieves in life is knowing good from bad and right from wrong, then I think it is enough.  Too many think that they need to have more or to have it all.  They think that when they accumulate money, titles, degrees and properties, it makes them better.  In my opinion, it doesn't.

I'm his mom but many will agree with me that Jared is a good person without a bad bone in his body.  In today's environment, that is an achievement.

Well-done, son!  Happy Birthday!

D and I love you so much and we are so very proud of the person you have become.

01 July 2010

Of music and magic

My growing years were filled with music.  It was something that I took for granted.  There were always musicians around, talk about music, songs, riffs, bars, keys and what not.  It was a part and parcel of my youth.  However, this love connection did not translate into me becoming a musician. 

I've always known my dad to be an awesome pianist. Yet, it's great to see that Joe Chelliah, a respected spokesperson for the music industry, remembers him and has put up two youtube videos of Tony Soliano.

Joe's effort is such a kind and generous gift to all of us who miss the music and the magic of Tony Soliano.

This is what Joe says,
"ESSENTIALLY FOR TRUE MUSICIANS ONLY: After yestrday n this morning's hard work with my limited multi-media skills I have completed this project. Sorry for x clear visuals. Go ahead and enjoy this 2nd posting of the brilliance of Tony Soliano, a truly great unappreciated Malaysian musician. Few who knew him are still alive. This is a classic. He fully exploits music's form, jazz, harmony, scales, melody n musical styles (Latin Bossa n Kerncong idioms) to the full.....melody on left hand and frills on the right hand too. Many know the pentatonic scale but few know how to "belasah" this eastern scale so well. ENJOY aje lah."


Another rare recording of the late Tony Soliano's brilliance at the piano around 1988. Here he performs the ever popular RINDU with Azizah Basri on Vocals and brilliantly exploits the Javanese pentatonic scale into his music.