Monday, June 26, 2006

An Evening with Friends - Old & New

Friday evening (23 June) turned out to be a pleasant surprise. I had planned an evening out with my friend May who had invited me to a Bharatanatyam Charity Dinner Dance Performance. It was a very intimate and cosy setting with only 8 tables seating 10 persons each. May's sister April and her friend June were also there. There were some local celebrities, quite a number from the press and most people knew each other.

2 very interesting Englishmen were seated next to us - Sir [*] and his friend/financial consultant Mr C. They were very amusing and May & I talked about our days as students in England and our boarding school (May and I did not attend the same school). Then I noticed someone who looked so familiar at the next table. She looked like my old school friend Kimmie. After a while I caught her staring at me. She came over to our table whilst the lady from Christie's was in the midst of auctioning some item "Are you S...?" So I said " that you??" Then as we realised we had found our long lost old school friend we hugged each other and we jumping up & down in excitement, confusing our lady from Christie's...are these women bidding or what?? she wondered..."Is that a bid?" she called out. We quickly sat down. I introduced Kimmie to the Englishmen as it turns out that Kimmie already knew May. "This is my friend from boarding school - we were in the same dorm! We haven't seen each other in over 10 years!" Kimmie, in her excitement, announced to them "We used to sleep together!" Aah, you should have seen the Englishmen's faces - jaws dropped open. May was cracking up laughing. Kimmie, bless her, tried to clear the confusion but made it worse by quipping "Yes, it was soo... cold at night, we used to crawl into each other's bed and hug each other to sleep!" Hmm, I had forgotten all that but am now beginning to recall our cold winter nights. Kimmie was our supplier of maggie mee. She would come back from Easter holidays with a suitcase full of maggie mee of all flavours. As our House Matron, Madame Currie and the school resident nurse considered instant noodles unhealthy, we had to hide under the bed to eat it whilst others kept a lookout for matron and the nurse. It's really strange - before I went to England and boarding school, I had never eaten maggie (actually, is this how you spell it or is it "maggi"?) mee. Kimmie was the one who introduced it to me and I developed a habit of eating it raw - yes, like a bag of crisps, crunchy & raw.

Later that evening, in the crowded lift, Kimmie announces loudly to her husband "This is friend from boarding school. We used to sleep together!" I'm sure the husband is thrilled to hear this revelation in a lift full of their mutual friends. And I thought I had managed at last to dispel these rumours that I am gay...I mean for a long time there were these rumours floating around that I preferred members of my own sex. Even my closest friends harboured these suspicions. I didn't realise I was exuding some strong gay vibes. Once, this man asked my father for my phone number and asked permission to take me out. He told me that my father replied "You can try but I don't think she likes men..." So he asked asked me "Why does your father think you are gay?" I like the way my father calmly tells people that his daughter is gay. In hindsight I can't blame him. I have never introduced him to any boyfriends - perhaps because I rarely have boyfriends and I am always coming home with one girl friend or another who are usually Chinese - so he must think I have a thing for Chinese girls. And these girls are neither married nor do they have boyfriends....It's quite disturbing to realise that my poor father had to go through this agony of thinking that his daughter is gay all these years quite unnecessarily. I mean the irony is that I am not gay and there he was - resigned to "accepting" this fact that one of his children is gay. I absolutely have nothing against gay people - after all it's just a sexual preference. Some people are asexual and nobody says anything against them! I just wonder why people assume that I am though. I remember, my previous boss MSM (Datuk now) hauled me up one day in the office and said "I've come to the conclusion that this Italian boyfriend you say you are dating doesn't exist and that you just made it all up. Why is it we have never seen him after all these years??" he demanded to know. I had to tell him I have a boyfriend because he was trying to matchmake me with one of his friends whom he thought was a good catch. His attempts to get us together was so amusing. Once I was rushing off after work and my boss asked me where I was off to. I told him I was going to my hairdresser's and he asked me where it was. I was wondering why he was interested in where I was going. An hour or so later, as my stylist's assistant was blow drying my hair, my stylist came up to me from the reception area and said "Your father is here to see you." I was so puzzled. My father didn't even know where I was at that time. So I went to the reception area ....and there...was my boss' friend waiting for me ... informing me that my boss had called him up and asked him to pick me up at this place & take me out for dinner!!

Even recently at the Bench & Bar Games, ML (whilst walking me back) asked me if I'm gay. When I asked him why he thought I was, he said it's because I was sharing a room with Roomie. Is he implying that Roomie is gay and hence so am I & that we are a couple? So I told him I'm not and he asked "Are you sure you are not gay?" So I told him that I was in boarding school with some of the most beautiful girls I have ever seen and if I was in any way inclined that way, I would have realised it by then! I told Roomie what he said and she just dismissed it casually "Oh men and their fantasies - just ignore them."

I see I have diverted from what I wanted to write about - meeting up with old & new friends. These past few months have been rather strange. I've bumped into friends I have not seen in over 10 years - people whom I don't expect to bump into. At the Bench & Bar Games I met my old friend from SOAS. I haven't seen her in gosh, over 10 years I guess. Then 2 days ago, I was having lunch alone and my first boss ZI (Dato' now) walks into the restaurant...and seeing that I was eating alone, he joined me. I've bumped into him several times these past few years & we said hello etc but to actually sit down like the old days and chat with him...not since I left the firm 11 years ago. I was struck by this morbid thought.... am I going to die soon? Why am I bumping into my past and some of whom I have to make amends with? A close friend from boarding school, a close friend from university and now my first boss. This has to be one of my favourite bosses, he and the matchmaker. The matchmaker and my first boss were partners. The matchmaker formed another firm with some other partners - the breakaway group. I joined them much later on. Now here, in The Firm, I have met some of the most wonderful friends (most of them have left The Firm) whom I hope I will remain friends with for the rest of my life.

I am truly very blessed in my life to have wonderful friends and those bosses I mentioned were great mentors.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A Little Bit About Me

I suppose most of you are wondering who I am (other than those of you who are my crazy friends reading this).
Well, this photo doesn't really do me's my passport photo (and I wonder why they won't let me into most countries...) but as you can see, I'm wearing one of my favourite polka dot outfits...
If you have been reading my previous postings you would have sussed out that I am a Malaysian lawyer practising in a law firm in Kuala Lumpur.

I spent most of my teen years in England as did many of my cousins and did my law degree at the School of Oriental and African Studies (yeah, I was such a pinko leftie in those days....).

This is a photo of me in my teens, skiving off school to sunbathe at Brighton beach.

What can I say, I was such a wild child. Even in those days I had a penchant for strange outfits. I was sent to an English boarding school at an early age - which I managed to extricate myself out of after a few years of arctic conditions living off macaroni cheese & meringue - by telling my father that they didn't have the subjects I wanted to take...parents beware of such excuses from your kids - this translated into teenage lingo means "there are no boys in this school". Aah, the English girls....they do mature very fast. This is what I discovered at boarding school:-

  • They bathe once a week, immersing themselves in a tub of soapy water, then proceed to get out of it without rinsing the scum & soap suds off, leaving behind a tub full of dirty water with scum and I dread to think what else floating on top....then the next girl in line enters this same tub...yes, with this filthy water full of scum et al. No there was no water rationing at our boarding school so I really can't comprehend this fetish of theirs immersing themselves in each other's scum. Some strange form of bonding which I never indulged in fortunately. I think they were cleaner before they bathed! The Asians (not that many of us) used the showers - everyday.
  • The French & Italian girls who join us in the summer term (some kind of exchange programme) were very immodest. Walking around stark naked and they don't believe in removing their underarm hair which they inconveniently expose to you - stretching their arms upwards when talking to you in their nude condition - whilst you are gulping down your curry maggi mee noodles in your dorm (dinner was at 8pm you are hungry again). You are left in a quandary whether to avert your eyes from this ghastly sight of their underarm hair gone wild or their muff of springy pubes....enough to put you off your maggi noodles for the rest of your life!
  • As it's an all-girls boarding school, I noted that even the spotty greasy haired kitchen boy got a lot of action. I remember a time when this remotely good looking blond youth was hired to paint the exterior of the school building and no one was paying attention to our poor English Literature teacher expostulating the intricacies of the political intrigues in Julius Caesar (only an Englishman could make Shakespeare sound so complicated) - they were all gawping at this scrawny youth on a ladder outside our classroom window. Later in the common room, I overheard one of the sixth formers boast that she grabbed the poor boy (should I really sympathise with him??) and pushed him into the broom cupboard for a quick bonk. Apparently this was premeditated as she lifted up her mini skirt to reveal to us that she wasn't wearing any knickers in order to save time....Does this amount to rape(?) I wondered...Do I really want to continue drinking my coffee there or should I join the 6 year olds in their common room so that my ears would not have to endure anymore public regaling of sexual should hope one is safe from such things in the company of 6 year olds but you never know with the Brits... Sigh... This must have been the turning point when I decided that I should leave this school before I turn out like one of them....languishing in other people's scum and molesting kitchen boys.

I escaped to Brighton...only to discover that it has the largest population of gay men and Jews in Europe. One of my best friends there was Karibo, a Nigerian born lad with the most scrumptious butt - yes, and he is gay. He was my classmate Herbie's flat mate. I used to do my homework at Herbie's place - perhaps I should say I used to go to Herbie's place so that he could do my homework whilst I muck about with Karibo in the kitchen. Karibo made the most yummy Nigerian dishes consisting mostly of okra dishes....

Then one day I turned up and discovered that Herbie had kicked Karibo out. When I asked him why, Herbie had this "horrifying" revelation to make "I found out that he is gay!!!" You should have seen the expression on my did Herbie not know that Karibo is gay?? After living with him for 2 years and sharing this king size bed with Karibo?? Herbie proceeds to reveal more shocking news when I asked How he found out. "Karibo was away in London for the weekend and I was going through the cupboards and found these most disgusting things..." Sigh, Herbie found Karibo's sex toys...Let me explain something about Herbie. I reckon Herbie went straight from childhood to adulthood and missed out being a teenager. We were 17 and Herbie was very much like a professor. Very matured (but not streetwise obviously) and such a fuddy duddy. All the teachers loved Herbie. What I can't understand is How & Why Herbie did not realise Karibo is gay. Karibo had this good looking blond English boyfriend who is always at the flat and once whilst Herbie and I were doing our homework, I saw this guy nibbling Karibo's toenails whilst they were watching telly...I mean, surely Herbie doesn't think that is normal behaviour between friends...there is some level of intimacy in that act...something I wouldn't indulge in myself ie chewing of other people's toenails...or even my own! Anyway, I guess I stopped going over to Herbie's after that, it was too dull without Karibo around. No more okra...sob, sob...

Enough about me for the time being. Ciao!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Ramblings I

My friends have voiced their concern over my last piece "To Love or Not to Love". Let me just clarify that I am not an Israeli sympathiser. I only found Benjamin Netanyahu sexy because he looks like Mr Italian and NO I do not know him personally nor do I indulge in telephone sex with him. Puhleez....people, get a grip of yourselves....I have sponsored (some form of adoption) 2 Palestinian children from a young age till they reached 18. On the otherhand, I do not hate Jews either. After boarding school, I lived with a British Jewish family for 2 years and loved them very much - they treated me like their own daughter.

Others are wondering who Achillini is and where one could find his works. Yes, I must admit his works are not easily accessible so try someone more current like Lauro Martines. If you think I'm going to create some internet link thingy so that you can find Lauro Martines' works then you will be disappointed. Google lah I have to do all the work here?

She Who Should Be Blonde is now distraught that I have somewhat dampened her ardour for her super nerdy idols. After reading my last piece, she kept picturing her Idol lying down at the beach, sunning his pale, painfully thin body, clad in baggy Hawaiian print shorts and having some big brawny sweaty bloke kicking sand at him. Who asked her to have such a vivid imagination? Did I mention him in any semi-nude position? (I don't fantasize about Netanyahu in lycra thongs. There has to be some line drawn on one's fantasies!) Oh, and I was also informed "Men don't use brylcream (still don't know how to spell this...) anymore lah...they use mousse or hairgel" Whatever.....don't fancy running my fingers through brylcream, mousse or hairgel...

Am totally zombified today. Went for a Yash Chopra movie with She Who Should Be Blonde and She Who Should Be Blonder. Normally I wouldn't go out on a week day. Ok lets be more specific - I would only go out on Friday night. But She Who Should Be Blonde booked tickets for last night. We had no clue what the movie was about - only that Aamir Khan was in it. That's good enough for us. Have not seen an Aamir Khan movie since Lagaan. I missed Mangal Pandey on the big screen. Tried to buy the DVD/VCD but didn't quite get the title right. I asked for "Pagar Mandi" and the VCD shop guy obviously didn't have a clue what I was talking about but didn't want to appear as though he is not abreast with the latest movies so he fobs me off by saying "Oh....that movie has been banned here...that's why we couldn't bring in the VCD..." This is quite believable in this country where they even ban a kid's movie based on one piglet. Perhaps it's because the lil' piggie was butt naked...showing its cute pink tush wriggling about provocatively. Just as well or this movie will later be blamed if another teenager is caught committing bestiality in Kelantan.

So there we were watching Fanaa. She Who Should Be Blonder and I were the only non Indians in the cinema. We didn't know what to expect but as it's a Yash Chopra movie we assumed it was some heart wrenching love story. I was hoping from the title that there would be some underlying Sufi content. The poetry/syair they recited were lovely and so were the lyrics to the songs. There we were, lulled into this false sense of security that it was a love story. I was rather puzzled that Aamir Khan had let himself go so much - he looked so podgy and was wearing the most awful shirts. After one hour of song & dance, them falling in love etc AND a scene of premarital sex (!!!) What? The parameters of Indian movies have been radically changed ....Well, Aamir Khan did promise her that the next 12 hours will be the best time of her life...(in that awful shirt??) Why are men so confident of their ability to give women pleasure? Can women stop faking orgasms and tell them the truth? Then the movie changed completely and the lead actor morphed into a James Bond meets the Matrix hunk. And THAT, for us was the BEST part of the movie. Aamir Khan dressed in all Black with flowing black coat like Keanu Reeves in the Matrix striding in black leather boots is...KLIA! Aamir Khan was in KLIA tearing up his beloved's photo and littering at KLIA. The whole movie turned into some kind of Indian James Bond thereafter. Our hero is a "terrorist". A Kashmiri freedom fighter. Aah, I knew there had to be some political message somewhere looking at his past 2 movies... Lagaan, Mangal Pandey. Swoon... he looked soooo.....soooo.....sooooo.....I just can't find the words to use to describe in tears now - very emotional at the sight of Aamir Khan in this all black ensemble. I think it's those black leather boots that clinched it for me...

Just in case the audience still thinks its your run of the mill Hindi movie love story, they show the security forces walking into this impressive building with a HUGE logo in front which says "ANTI TERRORIST AGENCY" or something like that. A few seconds later, you see them walking on polished marble floor with a HUGE logo on the floor which says "ANTI TERRORIST AGENCY" - just in case anyone still harboured any hopes that this is a soppy love story. Then the rest of the movie is similar to my Tamil movie plot from my "Bench & Bar Games". Hero is gunned down & killed in open air...when everyone is dead the security forces arrive via helicopter. They obviously had a much bigger budget than my Tamil movie. There were 2 helicopters. There was also a sweaty armpit wet patch under the sari blouse scene. My 2 friends gave me this sideways glare when they spotted it. They say I have ruined their enjoyment of Indian movies after my Bench & Bar Games - My Tamil Movie Debut piece as they keep spotting/looking out for all the things I depicted in my Tamil movie.

For me this movie had the following message:-

(a) Freedom Fighters are terrorists. (Is India going to rewrite history now and call Bhagat Singh a terrorist? Or is there a difference? Those fighting for India's independence are martyrs/heroes whilst those fighting for Kashmir's independence are terrorists?

(b) Muslim terrorists indulge in premarital sex then proceed to blow up a building killing many people.

(c) KLIA is a transit point for terrorists.

Can Yash Chopra stick to his usual Kush Kush Hota Hai, Khabhi Khushi Khabhi Gham type of movies? (did I get these movie titles right?)

Can Aamir Khan keep wearing that sexy black outfit?

Can Maxis stop sending me these football results?

I hope Sanjay Leela Bhansali never gets confused on what type of movies he wants to make. Such a shame. I loved the syair/dialogue during the 1st hour of the movie... I feel it was wasted when the movie turned violent. You can't waste such beautiful poetry in a movie with a political agenda. I don't want to see James Bond spouting Byron, Keats or Yeats. I suppose Yash Chopra wanted to cater for all in this movie - love story for the womenfolk and action movie for the men - something akin to buy one get one free concept....

On top of that we have this stupid woman - the wife who shoots her husband. She professes to love him sooo much - more than life itself. In the beginning of the movie, this blind vestal village virgin falls in love with Aamir Khan almost instantly upon meeting him. Then she proceeds to seduce him, sleeps with him, has his child out of wedlock and when she is reunited with him 7 years later (after believing he is dead from the bomb blast) and discovers he is a "terrorist", she shoots him!!! What happened to love?? How shallow can you get? Love is a much maligned word. She loves her idea of love and her idea of who he is. When he doesn't fit into this ideal, she kills him so that she can continue loving what she believes is her true love...

Don't we do this all the time? Fall in love with a concept? An ideal? Just like the God we purport to worship. Do we know who we are praying to or is it just an idea of who we want Him to be? Don't we kill our saints, our prophets when they don't fit into our idea of what they should be like? Once they are dead it's much easier for us to develop this "concept" of who they really are and form a religion based on this concept. Ask yourself this question - do you know who you are praying to? Do you know who God is? At the end of your prayers you ask for more money, you ask Him to increase your business opportunities etc. Who is your God? Is money your God? Ibn Arabi once entered a mosque where a congregation was praying and announced to them "Your God is underneath my feet!". Enraged at such an insult they beat him to death & threw his body at a rubbish dump. Many years later the country had a new king who demolished the mosque. They discovered that underneath the mosque lay a hidden treasure.

How did this Yash Chopra movie lead to Ibn Arabi? Fanaa is a Sufi term for self annihilation. It is what I mentioned in "To Love or not to Love". The act of dying before you die. So think about it carefully. Do you really love your husband, your wife, your boyfriend, girlfriend etc or do you love your "idea" of them - your perception of who they are and not who they really are...because you are so preoccupied with your ideal concept of what you love that you fail to get to know who they really are. Am I making any sense here? Or am I just rambling inanely? I know that those people who have declared that they love me only love a fraction of me or not even that - because they don't have the capacity to discover who I really am. So be careful when you declare & boast your love for God. Do you really know WHO he is? Can you accept Him for who He really is? You don't even know who you are praying to. Are we so incapable of sincere thought towards Him? Everything is a ritual. Your prayers, your fasting, your pilgrimage. Ask yourself why you do these things. Your answer will be:-

(a) Because its compulsory;

(b) Because I want to go to heaven;

(c) Because I don't want to go to hell.

Try this answer for a change:-

Because I love Him.

Then everything else means nothing. Heaven or hell, life or death, good or evil. There is no difference.

"There's an ordeal, some anguish & suffering, essential to a soul's growing into deeper love. Life must be lived." - Jalaluddin Rumi

"Someone who does not run toward the allure of love walks a road where nothing lives." - Jalaluddin Rumi

"The minute I heard my first love story, I started looking for you - not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don't finally meet somewhere - they're in each other all along." - Jalaluddin Rumi

"Whatever may engross your thoughts away from God Almighty is ominous."
Meaning, should practising His remembrance (zikr) distract you from focusing on Him, it will become ominous. Your prayers, fasting , pilgrimage to Mecca or any good deed, should they shift your focus away from the True Doer become ominous.
If His favours distract you from focusing on Him, they will all turn ominous.
Any deed which is void of sincerity is like a hollow nutshell, a husk wihout a kernel, a discarded scrap of wood, a corpse without a soul, a picture without meaning. That is the work of hypocrites." - Shaikh Muhyiddeen Abdul Qadir Gilani : Al- Fathu Rabbani.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

To Love or Not To Love

My friends from the Blondie Club were discussing, via email which they cc to me, their love life (which is basically non-existent currently....due to, I feel, the strange criterias they set for their would be boyfriends/partners). She Who Should Be Blonde has a penchant for super brainy types who are clean cut - "no brawny sweaty macho guys for me" she says. I have seen 2 of the chaps she has a major crush on. They are both very fair, very thin, have hair plastered onto their heads with the help of brylcream (darn, how do you spell this?) with perfect center parting, are so brainy/intellectual that one would get triple orgasms just listening to them speak. Yes super nerdy. They are the guys whom brawny sweaty macho types would kick sand at on the beach. Yes guys, super nerds are now considered stop pumping iron and go to the nearest bookstore/library and invest in some Sartre/Voltaire/Machiavelli/Achillini (learn how to spell and pronounce these names properly first).

My other friend, She Who Should Be Blonder, has the hots for a renown adventurer who climbs exotic mountains and produces documentaries on his adventures for the National Geographic. Yes she knows him personally - she's not just fantasizing about someone on telly. They indulge in the occasional telephone sex as he is too busy travelling around the world discovering weird & wonderful things.

And these 2 wonder why they haven't had a date or a boyfriend for ages....Ahem, yes...the pot shouldn't be calling the kettle black. I myself have harboured a secret fetish for men who have world domination in their agenda. I have always found Benjamin Netanyahu very sexy....Please take note that President Bush is not on my list of Hot & Sexy Guys to fantasize about. Let me rephrase that "intelligent ruthless men who have world domination on their agenda".

In the emails between these 2 Blondies, I discover that She Who Should Be Blonde has only gone through 1 heartbreak and as they debate over which is better, to only suffer a heartbreak once or many times ....considering they are in their 30s, they decided to seek expert opinion - moi's . "What do you think S...heartbroken over and over again or once... which would apply to you or would you have opted for if you had the choice?".

My first thought was to answer in a flippant light manner. Somehow this response came out instead - below is my reply to her:-

"My heart has been shattered to a million pieces many times over, each time I heal, I am able to love deeper for such is the beauty of loving and losing and loving again. If you don't allow yourself to let go and experience this repeated joy and pain then you don't allow yourself to live and to know who you really are.

I used to have set criterias on what I'm looking for in a man. Then I met a man who didn't fit into any of these criterias, someone I cannot even imagine I would have a relationship with - my Mr Italian. He became my idea of the Perfect Man. Impeccable manners, never makes promises he cannot keep, worldly, witty, intelligent, extremely successful and powerful... but no he does not read Oscar Wilde. After 7 years of obsession over him, I let him go. But not before I made a vow to God that I would never marry anyone except him. Now I am afraid that God might have listened to they say, be careful what you wish for, God may grant you your wish. Something unexpected happened 5 years after that, I fell in love again, even deeper than I did for Mr Italian (which I thought could not be possible). This time it's what my soul fell in love with. Then I truly discovered who I am. It was purely spiritual. We understood that God did not ordain us to be together in this life and we accepted it. But that doesn't stop us from loving each other and yet, continue to get on with our lives. There was nothing to 'start' nor to 'end'. It just is...

The thing about falling in love, loving someone and allowing yourself to be loved is not about ending up with each other happily ever after. It is about the courage we have to experience it. It is not about owning someone or having him reciprocate your feelings. It is a journey of discovery of who you are. Another person can never complete you. Only you can do that for yourself. These people you fall in love with, these experiences you go through will help you find and complete yourself, for in the end, we return to Him, our Creator. But we do not return to Him incomplete, we return with our soul complete knowing who we are and where we come from. I finally learnt from these experiences how God loves and want to be loved - unconditionally. And that is the whole journey in Sufism. They have a saying in Sufism - you must die before you die. And you must die many deaths before you actually physically leave this earth. This is what they mean. Your Soul cannot return to your Creator until it has gone through the raging fires of Love.

I know you asked me a simple question and did not expect such an answer. To me it is a serious question on Life Itself. So go ahead. Stop insulating yourself. Get rid of your criterias. Let go and live. Stand at the edge of the cliff and take the plunge. Trust only God. Trust only your heart and not your logical thinking. It is through our heart that He communicates with us. It is never logical. S..."

Let me quote one of my favourite poets Rabindranath Tagore:-

"TRUST LOVE EVEN if it brings sorrow. Do not close your heart.

......The heart is only for giving away with a tear and a song, my love

......Pleasure is frail like a dewdrop, while it laughs it dies. But sorrow is strong and abiding. Let sorrowful love wake in your eyes.

.....The lotus blooms in the sight of the sun, and loses all that it has. It would not remain in bud in the eternal winter mist........"

I found out a number of people whom I may not know personally read my Blog. If you want to give your comments privately or just ask me something and don't want to post it here then feel free to email me at :

I don't mind if its anonymous.