Monday, April 30, 2012

Fountain grass gooseberries


You know the feeling you get in the morning, waking up from a dream to find your surrounding is totally different and undesirable?  Your own room feels like a different place and all you want is to crawl back into that black hole and go back to that dream.  Yes I am in that mood today, now.

It was a beautiful summer dream. The time must be late evening, The whole scene is lit with reddish-yellow gradient haze.  Like the kind of lighting that happens once in a while during twilight -  due to strange cosmic phenomenon. I am standing in the terrace at my grandma's place, looking down,with my hands resting on the wall. The garden at the front yard is filled with lush, dark fountain grass. There is a small pathway made of fine beach sand that separates the sea of fountain grass. Like a thin line when a women's hair is neatly combed to two parts.

There are two kids lying in the sand. Everything is in shades of red-yellow-orange except for green gooseberries which are sprinkled everywhere like chocolate chips on desserts. To my right is a big leaf less gooseberry tree. The one I (used to) climb up and sit for hours with hand full of rock salt at any time of the day, devouring the small fruits. The raw, the sour, the ripe and the 'almost bad'.( I remember tasting them all).  I look down at the gooseberries with the same feeling as that of squirrel's for nuts in Ice age movie. I want to collect them all, so I run down.

On the sand-filled path way, I see the kids giggling and immersed in their own conversation. They are actually my brother and my cousin. They must be around 3 years, and were wearing only underpants. I lie down next to them, letting my head rest in my cousin's lap. We laugh, we talk although I did not understand the words. I only feel the feeling.

The sky is cloudless and gooseberries were falling as we speak, some on me and near me. I grab a few and taste them. I want more. I crawl up and walk over to the wall where there is a pot filled with mud. I plant the seeds from my mouth into the mud. Pressing my little fingers (now I realize I must be young too) deep into the mud and putting those seeds one after another. " When they grow up I would replant them somewhere" I tell my cousin as I turn back.

Except there is no one there. I don't see my cousin or my brother in the sandy pathway. Like a sand storm,  the scene is slowly vanishing. I try hard to touch the surroundings - to hold on to them, those fountain grass, gooseberries, the water like sand, but no I couldn't. I feel like been dragged into the different part of the world in a smooth escalator.  As the pleasant numbness goes away, I feel myself  clutching hard to my bed sheets in my room in Singapore.  The morning light glimmered on my face from curtains and I could hear welding and hamerring sounds from construction next door. The blank wall kept staring at me.

The red-yellow gradient haze is evaporating leaving a scent of memory in my mind right now. This dream nor this post needs a conclusion.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Jellyfish grandmas and Christmas lights


In the world of, LAP full of technical TOPS and HAND full of PHONES, it is no wonder some of us feel so far away from ourselves.  Well we live together with machines, it's only true as the saying goes "couple who lives together long starts to look the same".

Have you seen Jellyfish swimming ? They glow in dark and it's the most magical and mesmerizing scene to witness. Like a luminous aqua blue Christmas lamp dancing in rhythm. For all we know they are here for more than 600 million years,  outdating even dinosaurs!  Remember we use to consult our grandparents for all the biggest decisions in the family? well it's time we consult our great great grandmother of all, the Jellyfish!
This is one of my submission for a design contest for a food restaurant called "Jumbo Crab"
for their 25th anniversary. Can you spot the jellyfishes in the surrealistic background?

95% of Jellyfish is made up of water! We are essentially made up of five elements, more of one element than others - Water.  The most evident proof of god thriving in this planet is water. That's why we surround ourselves with fountains and that's why we feel peaceful when we visit rivers or ocean.  So next time you feel dull, take a sip of water. Let god flow into u :)

Jellyfish don't have brain. I know what you are thinking, as much as you want to calculate , analyze and fix everything in your life to perfect 10. It's not worth your sleep and your every second of peace throughout the day.  Take time off the day to be brainless.  From time to time consciously avoid carrying your phone, reading paper and checking your mails, let the brain do less.  And be stupid - I dare you!

Jellyfish has the simplest digestive system. Of all the sins the worst you can commit is gluttony. Food cannot replace the lack of love, self esteem or positivity that lacks in your life. Get up and do something instead of munching and wearing that fat on your body.

The important of all lies not in what they have but in what they do with what they have - Swimming . They don't have fins to swim, so they pounce through water. They do not oppose the strong currents of ocean, for they know it's pointless. They rather swim with it.  There is a calmness to life lived in acceptance, gratefulness and contentment , A life as beautiful as Jellyfish swimming in the water.


Monday, April 09, 2012

Soyamilk Rice balls, Tourists and a live in relationship


Sitting at front of City hall metro station with a cup of rice balls in soya milk, I am watching people walk by.  It's about half past five in the evening and air is crisp. The shoppers, the commuters, the suited men and the ladies with baby stroller. They all seem to have one thing in common. They seem to be in their own world, confined to their own private aura.   In my 3 plus years of live in relationship with Singapore, I found it challenging to start a decent conversation with a localite here.

A smile, or a hello are usually responded with a god-knows-what-weird expression.  On the other hand, it's easy to talk to expats, tourists and young hearted seniors. You can talk about weather, their work, ask for direction, guide them for direction or in my case even share a meal.  Being single here, I mostly end up sharing the dinning table at Kopitiams (food courts of Singapore). And invariable say hello and start a conversation with the person attending to hunger.  By now you would either think of me as talkative, overly curious, or someone with bad manners. Well why would I talk to someone for no reason? Isn't that like disturbing them? or worse intruding their privacy?!
This has nothing to do with this blog, 
Its cover I designed for one of my research papers last term that was very well received.

In the recent years there were more malls built than schools, even Museum spaces shrink down for souvenir shops to widen.  I challenge you to find a middle aged localite who's last 3 days does not include shopping or work.  The few hours that were left  are usually lived virtually or watching programs with more commercials.  A friend of mine invited me to his birthday dinner and kept checking his iphone for updates. I call these people virtual-zombies, for they don't live in this real world any more.

Once I shared my table with a single mother, who had left two kids with her parent in Malaysia to earn here. She worked in a service apartment by cleaning toilets and changing sheets. She used to be an assistant in a financial firm in Malaysia. But the pay wasn't enough to pay for the kids' tuition yet alone make their ends meet.  She even showed me pictures of them, and her plan to visit them when she have few holidays saved up.

While I wrote this an open-top-city-tour bus got past me, and I waved at the tourists who were clicking pictures. In return the white skinned group waved back at me with a chorus "hey". The evening sunlight from behind, illuminated their hair into yellowish gold . We were all smiling at each other until the bus crossed the corner.  Let there be malls, Smart phones and satellite dish full of commercial programs, all we need is a wave, a smile and person to talk to during meals.