Sunday, January 31, 2010

Our House, Our Home



It was a whitewashed wall.

Now it is painted light violet.

It looks cool and adds a soft tint to the tv corner.

Everyone is happily smiling from ear to ear when it is done.

It is a consensus choice, though the light violet is not the initial color.

A 21 inch flat screen tv is tucked partially under the staircase.......

It has been there for almost a decade.

The under staircase for most is for storage purposes.

Many neighbors has enclosed storage under the staircase for keeping old newspapers, magazines, books, children's toys, ironing board and more.

But it is not our family's choice.

We have discussed it together, and the children are consulted.

A 21 inch flat screen tv is our no.1 choice.......

Yeah.... to keep the living room spacious, warm and inviting.

The decision has been made and it is there ever since.......

Our house is our home.

And we want to enjoy every single bit of it.......

Lying down before the tv is a 4'x8' carpet, with cute animal toys, big square comfy pillows and cushions readily for use.

It seems that sitting on the floor, or lying down on a mat or carpet has been a norm in the family while watching tv, a die-hard habit that we have picked up in our younger years while fighting for the front rows in any show, concert, play or sport event.

And now the family has developed the habit further......

The father is now reading the newspapers while watching the latest regional, national and world news on the tv...LOL

The mother is now preparing the veggie, ironing the clothes etc while watching soap opera, smiling, laughing and crying along...

The children are now eating, drinking, doing their homework, playing their toys etc with their eyes glued to the tv.......

And so is everyone who comes into the house.......

Every time of the day and night.......

Our house is our home.

And everyone must enjoy every single bit of it.......

Not many of us enjoy sitting straight and tall on the sofa watching our favorite shows.... though sometimes we do fight over who should be the boss to lie down on the long sofa when it is cold and raining........LOL

The wall now looks better in its light violet color.

It brings a home to life.......

The white color was the developer's choice.

It was his idea of his housing estate.

And we agreed to him almost 10 years ago.

The light violet color is our children's idea.

And we can't agree to them more.......

They have discussed, examined, analyzed, sometimes quarrel....... over the color of the wall.

And we can't agree to them more.......and more.......

They are our children and they love their home.

The house is now their very home....... their treasured home.......

For some, the house remains a house......

For us......

Our house is our home.

And we enjoy every single bit of it more.......

Coming to think about it.......

What is the color of the other walls?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Another Blackout!



It was the center wooden pillar of a village house.

Many village houses had it.

There was a switch on it.

It controlled the lighting of the living room.

A small boy was leaning against it, rubbing his back against the pillar.

It was sweating hot and his back felt very itchy.

The boy then looked at the light, deeply in thought.

It was the only light in the living room.

And there were many insects on it....

His father was reading the newspapers, slowly checking the lottery numbers with his broken spectacles, and speaking softly to himself. Beside him, there was a nice cup of tea....

His mother and granny were sitting on a rattan mat with their sarong on (A piece of clothing consists of a long piece of cloth wrapped round the body), watching tv while massaging his little brother and sisters.

The small boy returned to his homework, biting his short pencil, blinking his eyes, and rubbing his forehead.

The light was really dim and flickering.

Everyone was getting more restless and edgy.

In a distance, a nearby village's musical band was playing their favorite songs....

The small boy hummed along.

The light was getting dimmer.

More houses had many lights switched on.

It was the harvesting festival.... Many of those who lived and worked in the town or city had returned home.

The small boy read closer to his books.

*******

The night was really warm and humid.

The window panes were wide opened, so was the front door.

But the fan was not turned on....

His daddy said to conserve the use of electricity to RM20, the rate subsidized by the government.

It was a windless night....

The air was still and warm....

"A quick shower or a dip in the river will be nice." The little boy said to himself.

Then he looked outside the front door.

The cicadas were humming and singing loudly.

"It is so warm that even the frogs are sweating." The boy chuckled miserably.

He then looked at the father puffing his cigarette and sipping his tea...

The boy scratched his legs.

The pesky mosquitoes were out for blood and he was one of the targets.

Angrily he turned his attention to the mosquitoes....

Frenziedly looking around, he scrutinized every corner....

The small boy was getting excited!

"Spot and kill," he spoke to his heart.

Then the sound of claps and slaps.

Everyone looked around and saw what he was doing, then back to their game and fun.

Then came the sudden blackout!

Everyone shouted and cried in frustration!

The electric circuit was overloaded and the fuse had blown again.

The mother grumbled and quickly looked for candles.

The little ones cried....

In the distance, someone rode on a motorbike to the substation to check on the problem, most probably he would switch or replace the fuse....

A moment passed.

The light was turned on again.

Wow! Everyone was shouting and jeering like in a soccer match for gooooal!

The village was alive and busy again.

The light was very bright...

Then it slowly began to dim.... again.

"It's overloaded.... overloaded...." the father said audibly, shaking his head.

Then....

...... Another blackout!

Half an half had passed......

More motorbikes to the substation.

Then they heard some shouting and jeering from a nearby village.

The small boy rushed out the front door....

The lights of the nearby village were turned on because of wedding celebration....

His father also rushed out.

Then a neighbor walking with a torchlight grumblingy told them, "There is not enough power supply to our village...."

Sadly and reluctantly the boy and his father returned to their house and told everyone to set up for bed....

The children went into their room and began to make noise.

The little ones started to cry....

Then the father and mother shouted and screamed!

....... The candle lights were put off.

The children became quiet.... and tired..... and dozed off.......

The snoring session began....

Louder and louder....

More and more people joined in....

*******

The teenagers of the village began to complain....

Some just rushed to the nearby village and joined the fun....

"Oh mine! This is crazy. Blackout for a week now!" Some said among themselves.

The wind slowly blew.....

Getting stronger and stronger....

Then the rain came down....

Heavier and heavier....

Then the lightnings flashed....

The thunders roared....

Suddenly all the villages became silent!

It was total blackout!

Another miserable night.... Another blackout!

It was time to sleep.

The window panes and the doors were finally closed....

And the snoring session continued..........

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Power Of Friendship And Love



My van refused to start this morning.

The dry cell battery had lived its life.

It was 10 minutes before the school bell rang.

My daughter looked worried and scared that she might miss her class.

I smiled satisfied.

I was happy that all my children loved school.

I took deep breathes, thinking what to do.

After giving a few tries to start the engine, I finally resigned.

There were no close neighbors around to jump start the van.

It was only 6.50 in the morning, most tyre and battery shops had not opened for business.

The weather was chilly cold and most people were still sound asleep.

I thought of colleagues who could offer us a lift.

I phoned a colleague living nearby with prayer in my heart.

Then I heard the good news that he was going to school early and was willing to pick us up.

All problems had finally settled and solved...

I felt relief, happy and calm after that.

Then I broke the news to my daughter. She was smiling away happily.

*******

Reaching the school before the bell was a great comfort to the two of us.

We learned to be people of honor, dignity, and integrity.

And we wanted to keep them that way.

We didn't have to think of excuses or ways to blame others.

Life would just go on without much interruptions or stopping....

It would be so nice, so cool, so calm, so lovely and peaceful.... as we live through our days.

******

Thinking of a friend who could take me to the tyre and battery shop....

There, he immediately appeared out of nowhere.

Sharing my problem with him for a short while....

There, he was ready to assist and eager to help.

In no time we checked the van and concluded that the dry cell battery had drained and died.

We hurried to the shop, bargained for the price and had the worker with us.

The van had a new battery fixed and we were soon sitting in a shop enjoying our breakfast together....

What a great and meaningful morning....

When I had good friends readily available to help....

*******

And this is the power of friends....

They are living near us and within reach....

All we need to do is to learn to live and work amiably together....

All we need to do is to remember and treasure one another....

No broken faith, false promises, secret intrigues or plain trickeries....

No unnecessary overnight controversies, conflicts, quarrels or fights....

Oh friends, you have left me speechless, humbled and awed.....

Oh! The power of friendship and love!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Reminiscing On Chinese Oldies



This morning I was mesmerized by the Chinese oldies, broadcasting from a local radio station.

These were songs sung by popular singers in the 60s and 70s.

I was especially attracted by the lyrics of the songs.

These were songs with clear, powerful and meaningful messages behind.

They provoked my thoughts and caused me to think slowly, carefully and deeply.

They stirred my emotions and caused me to reflect upon my life, my actions, my relationship with others....

They strengthened my will and desire to chase after life.

These were songs that were full of meanings and lessons behind....

These were songs that had brought complicated feelings of nostalgia and wonderful memories of my youth and teenage years....

These were songs that had reminded me over and again of the many occurrences when I was fallen deeply in love, making, withstanding and dealing with many difficult emotional disturbances and troubles....

These were songs that had brought along many sweet smiles and laughter, many heart tickling and pounding moments, many blushing faces and glances, Many gigglings and knowing looks, many wonderful reminiscences and recollections....

*******

I was sitting comfortably near a marbling table, musing in deep thought, as the songs lingered in my mind, my heart and my soul.

Then I looked at the wall clock, and realized how the time had passed.

I straightened up quickly and went for my bath, but the beautiful songs continued to sink deep in my mind and warmed my heart, causing me to think along....

If only life could slow down a little....

If only I didn't rush into things often....

That wonderful half an hour listening to oldies really helped me, though it filled me with many mixed feelings....

If only I realized the importance of taking things one at a time....

If only I knew how to live life to the fullest....

As I pondered, I reminded myself to treasure every step I take in life and learn something from them all....

So that in my sunset years,

As I reflect upon the days of my pilgrimage,

I can sigh with relief and say with thanksgiving in my heart,

"Thank You, God!"

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Let's Be Together



In the heart of everyone, there is this yearning and desire to dominate and control a conversation, a discussion, a meeting or a gathering.

We may come out with the loudest voice, the sweetest sound, our quick wit, our handsome or beautiful face, our mannerisms, phrases, gestures and styles.... to draw the attention and admiration of others.

We may rule and dominate a conversation using our status or our position, our influence or our authority, our power and strength,....

We may captivate the hearts and minds of people using our knowledge and wisdom, our language and flair, our expertise and skills, our talents and abilities....

But at the end of the day, it is the real you that matters.

Human beings are social creatures that need constant relate, contact, connect, interact, converse, and mutual responses in order to survive and thrive in the ever-changing and challenging world.

The fact that we can't sit or group together, stay or live together, communicate and interact with one another, work and do things together.... mean we have defeated the purpose of enjoying life together under the shelter and blessing of God the Almighty.

Let's forgo our differences and work together for a better tomorrow...

Be it in the family, in the society and community, in the state and nation....

Let's renew our resolution and our dedication to play a better role as a family member, a neighbor, a friend, a relative, a fellow community member, country citizen, a part of the world....

Let's look forward to a brighter day, a better tomorrow, a greener future and more....

Come what may, let's be together...