Saturday, July 28, 2007

stuck in the rut

i've just finished marking papers and it was a big relief. i was procrastinating, and i knew that i've had enough of scrutinising students' least, at this time of the year. school hols is coming soon, but i had emptied my "coffer" for my summer tour, so travelling anywhere is out of the question. unless....hmmm...

and worst, my outlet for chanelling my creative energy has been temporarily suspended, since my microwave went haywire 2 months ago. the poor old thing (which has done a lot of "jasa") is now at the service centre. no more homemade more spur-of-the moment cakes...or now i channel my energy into buying roses (as was my passion years ago).

and all this requires money, and in trying to be an organised person, and a more financially adept person, i finally keep track of my spending by jotting down every purchases i made [but so far it hasnt helped to curb my spending :o( ]

Sunday, July 22, 2007

harry potter mania

back when i started my MA, i pompously told one of my nieces that harry potter series was meant for kids, and not for adults. the writing was very british, and i couldnt understand the fascination.

until i started my dissertation. reading homi bhabha was very trying, and i needed a lighter read. and so my niece recommended harry potter and the sorcerer stone. which i devoured hungrily in a few days. then i read another. and another... until i became a fan (though not a diehard fan). i watched all the movies and believe me when i say, the movies dont do the books justice because so many parts were cut off.

when order of the phoenix was released, my niece was attached at the company who brings in harry potter series. she reported that things got ugly at kinokuniya as people jostled to get the books. some even spent the night there. the same happened at mph midvalley, although the purchase was done in peace. i spent 2 days reading the book, only coming out from the room to eat. i cried when sirius black died and could feel harry's pain (though he's a fictitious figure).

when half-blood prince was released 2 years ago, i had to go for a course, and i read between slots and at any available time i had. finished in 3 days. i cried when the beloved dumbledore died.

and yesterday, i got my copy at 8.10am. started reading the book in the afternoon, and finished this afternoon. i nearly cried when fred, tonks and lupin died. but i'm glad that harry, despite the burden he carried, came out victorious with such grace and maturity. most of the questions were answered, and my perception of snape changed. harry does become a great wizard, not because he is as great as voldermort, but like dumbledore, he's honest, brave and humble. i love the epilogue, although in a way, i feel sad, because this is 19 years later, and all of them are adults and married. this is exactly how i felt when the i watched the last installment of LOTR, the return of the king.

it's a peaceful world now for the wizarding community and the muggles, a time for laughter with friends and families. it's time to say goodbye now. there will be no more anticipations for more books on harry potter. and so i will relive the moment by reading, re-reading, re-re-readin the book...

Saturday, July 14, 2007

the french attitude

as i set yahoo as my default homepage, i usually scan the yahoo news. and i glanced at the headline a few minutes ago - and was (still am) greatly amused. the headline? "mayor wants parisians to be more polite". at last, somebody of their own flock finally noticed how things are in paris.

some are in denial, saying they are "nice". if you happen to be a bus driver and reply curtly "je ne sais pas" in response to a question posed by a tourist without so much of a "je suis desolee", then i'd say you ARE in denial. if you happen to be a person selling cheap printed reproduction of original paintings to tourists and you shout at them when they try to find shelter from rain at your kiosk, then i'd say you're heartless. malaysians are much more courteous than that. and not only the mat salleh french who are rude (and proud), it's also the asian french (or probably holding working permit) who are rude. this is exactly the scenario laid out by Frantz Fanon in his book Black Skin, White Mask - the black wants to be whiter than the white, in his every action and mannerism.

in paris, despite the famous landmarks, i felt alienated and displaced. totally unwelcomed, especially since i wear tudung. of course, there are some nice people, but it's not often that we meet friendly ones.

being rude is also a form of oppression. hopefully the parisians remember why their ancestors fought for their freedom and to really observe their motto.

Monday, July 09, 2007

my birthday

today's my birthday, and for the first time i didnt feel like celebrating it. well i did have a cake, but the heart's not in it.

my mother's been hospitalised. she's suffering from haemarrhoids and has diarrhoea, and it's sad to see her in that condition. it's even sadder to see the treatment they give her. in the end, i gave some of the nurses a piece of my mind, and i told them that she must be informed of everything (an unspoken message : my mother is not provincial or a pleibeian, and she's not stupid) at this time, i wish my eldest brother was alive so he could reprimand the nurses and the junior doctors, the way he did - as the senior med. specialist.

at this time, i recall what i used to think about people. when we're in our prime time basking in our glory, people will come to us seeking for help, fawn over us, and have smiles for us. but when we cease to hold the position, the power is gone. there are no more people asking for favours and no more smiles. it makes you think if sincerity still exists.

i am, stronger than i was a year ago.

a year ago, i was still reeling from a broken heart.

now, i'm more perseverant. and wiser. and happier (in a way). i'm glad i made the journey during the school hols, because it made me see life in a different perspective. certain rudeness still fires me up, just as a simple act of kindness is appreciated. just as wordsworth who sees the yellow daffodils through his inward eye, i see wild red poppies bobbing their heads in the english and french meadows and fields. so much so that i bought a painting of red poppies.

i am a daughter who loves her mother, a teacher who inspires, a writer with the soul of a poet, an art lover who loves arts and theatres and architecture, a foodie who appreciates the flavours of food, a traveller who savours the intensity of life.