Monthly Archives: December 2009

Dil Se – Chaiyya Chayyia

Long before Jai Ho, they have this.

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Pavarotti / Non ti scordar di me / Don’t Forget Me /Budapest

One of my all time favourite Pavarotti.

Here’s what it means:

Do Not Forget Me

The swallows have left
my cold and sunless land,
to seek the spring among the violets,
love nests of happiness.

My little swallow has flown,
without leaving me a kiss,
without saying goodbye.

Do not forget me,
my life is joined to yours.
My love for you will always grow,
you will always be in my dreams.

Do not forget me:
my life is joined with yours.
There’ll always be a nest in my heart for you,
Do not forget me!

Do not forget me:
my life is joined with yours.
There’ll always be a nest in my heart for you,
Do not forget me!

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Ipod Haiku

10,000 songs
No sound

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The Bruneian Experience

So I am now back from Brunei since I was invited by Xinwen to Brunei to be their chief judge in the Brunei 1st Inter-School Weiqi (Go) Tournament 09.

I have always been amazed by Xinwen and his team in promoting Go in Brunei and this inter-school tournament is indeed another big leap forward to encourage more people to play Go. To show my support to him as well as sort of representing the Malaysian weiqi players as well, me and my wife bought the Air Asia flight last Wednesday. It was a trip that almost didn’t happen as we were on the verge of canceling the trip as something unexpected happened but finally we were able to go.

The tournament was casual but well organised. The best part of it is it has a very close feeling to it, everyone is nice to each other and the mood is very jovial and positive. There are more on the tournament on Xinwen’s blog.

On Brunei itself, it is a rather quiet place, peaceful and with really good roads (perhaps so that the Ferrari and Lamborghini can speed through them). The mosques there are nice and there are quite a lot of mosques there. If you would like to have a peace and quiet life where a lot of things are relatively cheap, such as cars, houses, petrol etc., then Brunei will be a good place to live.

However, if you are the Las Vegas sort, you will easily find yourself easily bored. It will be good, however, to go there and stay to detoxify yourself from too much partying though.

In a way, Brunei or more particularly the Bandar Seri Begawan area since we mostly ventured around there, reminds me of Ipoh or Kelantan. Quiet and peaceful where everybody almost knows everybody and every place is just within minutes from one place to another. The typical Bruneian are really nice people, always very polite and obliging.

So perhaps there is another event next year and if there is a chance, I will perhaps visit Xinwen and his family again. And yes, Xinwen’s family is really nice and pampered us well :)

Here are some pictures (picture credit: the ever excellent Jayden Sia):

Playing simultaneous games with the participants of the tournament:

Prize presentation. This is Peng Hui (or Xinwen calls him Penguin). A jovial and really nice guy. Kit says he looks a bit like Jet Li.

Prize presentation to Mah Zhe Fan (or they call him Makai). He is also very nice and he is quite strong in Go too.

Here is the group photo:

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Final Two

Two more items to complete the 2010 Wishlist:

9. To work towards an Executive MBA (This is highly improbably as it will cost USD80k, unless someone sponsors me. haha).

10. Learn more recipes and cook more variety of dishes.

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2010 Wishlist

Well, 2010 is just around the corner and as I sometimes do, I reflect on what I have accomplished over the year and list what I want to accomplish next year. The results of this exercise, as I have experienced since the first time I do this in secondary school, is not positive at all since I always do not achieve what I resolved to do and at best, on average, can only achieve perhaps 30% of what I have resolved. In fact I have just happened to look at my diary for the year 1991 and looking through the list of resolutions now looks like a joke to me.

However, it is a nice feeling to do it nonetheless. Human beings are quasi-logical animals anyways and needed some kind of logical thinking and organization to feel that they are dong something. They need some plans. And of course, they also need God.

So for 2010, here is a list of things I wish to do and will do my best to achieve. Things like this tends to sound selfish, so please bear with me:

1. Get the house ready and comfy and get my parents to come and stay. This is top priority.

2. Go to Beijing and stay for 3 months to study Mandarin and Go.

3. Go for a long travel to either Latin America or Eastern Europe.

4. Write a book.

5. Be more healthy.

6. Start to learn Japanese.

7. Be nicer to people, place more importance on friendship and not rely only on Facebook to keep in touch. Bring family members closer together. Add new family members.

8. Get back into the entertainment industry. This is where my heart and soul is.

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Dostoevsky and Tolstoy Club

Every once in a while, I still get a message in my e-mail saying that a member has joined or a member has left, just like I got one this morning. I started the Dostoevsky and Tolstoy Club in the Yahoo! Group many years ago.

I have left the Group as it is for a very long time and has become very inactive in it for many many years and have ignored its messages. However today, out of the blue, or perhaps due to the rain, I decided to go and check the forum out and found that it is full of weed spams, which is very disheartening. It started quite well, with some good discussions, but the spammers! Damn them.

Come to think about it, I still remember how engrossed I was with Dostoevsky when I started reading him many years ago, I think at least about maybe 16 or 18 years ago when I was still in Ipoh. Lacking any formal education in literature and completely oblivious to the riches of the world of literature, save for reading tons of Famous Five and Hardy Boys, I stumbled upon this curious book called CRIME AND PUNISHMENT. Wow! What a title and I thought, well it’s like one of the Hardy Boys adventures perhaps.

And I never turned back and kept on reading and one thing led to another (not like in bed you dirty minded fellow), I discovered one great master after another. I still remember reading ANNA KARENINA for the first time and I remember my dear friend Chyn visited me one day and I told him what a brilliant novel that was! But somehow, Dostoevsky is still nearer to my heart than Tolstoy. I think I have read most of Dostoevsky’s published works that are available in English and mass-marketed.

The reason I like Dostoevsky so much, I think, is because of his depiction of the human condition, his insight into the human psyche and digging into them warts and all and often comes out to be able to inspire a tinge of hope in mankind despite all the evil and bad that mankind is capable of.

Looking back, I think I have not read a Dostoevsky for a very long time and of course, I have been reading quite a lot of other authors like Hemingway, Chekhov, Mo Yan, Murakami, Marquez and a bunch of others which I also really enjoy, and recently I have read some Orhan Pamuk and thought that he is one hell of a writer too and look forward to read his new novel, THE MUSEUM OF INNOCENCE which is now out in the market on paperback.

The best thing of all this reading is that one realizes that there is still a whole lot of good books out there waiting to be read, and that one has the leisure to slowly discover them and enjoy them gives one an enormous feeling of satisfaction, of hope and above all, the realization of the richness and diversity of the world and all the exploration that is possible. Isn’t this such a nice feeling? That something out there is waiting for you to be discovered and savored?

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