Monday, April 27, 2009

Back in Malaysia

I am back in Malaysia, last Thursday actually. It was a successful trip. Many things happening since then. Came back with diarrhoea I seldom get whenever I travel. I had to be always in my sarong at home for 2 days, senang kalau melancul (hehe). My Fuzzy got herself all glued with rat glue (now she is almost like a New Zealand sheeps get shaved for their fur). Topsie turvie in the office. But most of all, I am glad to be back, back to my kids I missed so much!.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Fatehpur Sikri and Jaipur

We depart for Jaipur after breakfast. On the way, we stop at Fatehpur Sikri, another world heritage in Agra. Fatehpur Sikri was Akbar's imperial capital, about 40 km from Taj Mahal.

(The ruins of Fatehpur Sikri)

(The entrance to Fatehpur Sikri Palace)


I arrive Jaipur, the Pink City at noon. Checked in into Holiday Inn, I am looking forward for my meetings here. I have arranged for a total of 36 meetings to be completed in 2 days.

(Room complimentary from Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerse and Industry)

After some rest, I have to rush to the City Palace for a Gala Dinner, put up by FICCI.

(The City Palace at night)

It was a fantastic dinner with traditional shows and delicious food. I tasted my first Vodka (I don't know they mixed Vodka into the juice until a friend told me). I don't feel good, I called Rajendra to pick me up and send me back to my hotel room before the event finished. They say Vodka doesn't make your head spins but I go back with spinning head, and vommitted! I guess it is a psychological effect,

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Agra - Agra Fort and Taj Mahal

We depart from Delhi around 9 am. Rashpal was already at the lobby when I finished my breakfast. It is going to be long 4 hours journey to Agra, the capital of Uttar Pradesh, the land of Taj Mahal. It is my dream to see Taj Mahal in my naked eye and this is the dream come true. Along the journey, we passed through Mathura, believed to be the birthplace of Lord Krisna. We arrive in Agra quiet late. Its funny, to compare Rashpal's wreckless driving while in Delhi against his too speed limit concious while on the expressway. He drove at 80km/hour!

On arrival Agra, I checked in into Pushp Villa Hotel, a nice 3 star hotel in Agra, with revolving restaurant at the top where ones can see Taj Mahal. The whether was so hot at 42 deg celcius, we decided to wait until 3.30pm for our tour. We first visited Agra Fort, on the banks of the River Yamuna. It was said that Agra Fort, "from top to bottom the fire-red stones, linked by iron rings, are joined so closely that even a hair cannot find a way into their joints". Shah Jahan was incarcerated here, until his death gazing out at the Taj Mahal.

(The Mussaman Burj of Agra Fort - the place where Shah Jahan lay on his deathbed looking out at the Taj Mahal)

(A glimpse of Taj Mahal at the background from Agra Fort)

Then, the moment of truth. I am going to touch Taj Mahal, one of the seven wonders of the world. Taj Mahal is actually just a tomb, a tomb to Mumtaz Mahal, wife of Emperor Shah Jahan. Built between 1631 and 1648, the four minarets, which lean slightly outward so as not to fall on the main building in the event of an earthquake.

(No, it is not a poster or a picture taken by some professionals. It is real!)

(On the upperdeck of Taj Mahal, facing to the entrance gate)

(The keepers of Taj Mahal)

(Another side of the Taj Mahal upper deck)

(Sunset at Taj Mahal)

Taj Mahal membuat hatiku sayu!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Delhi tour

It was 9am and I was waiting for Sanjay at the hotel lobby. We planned to go around Delhi, visiting places of interest. So, I am a tourist today! Some of the pictures I managed to snap - myself!
(Jamek Mosque - commissioned by Shahjahan in 1644)

(India Gate)

(Rashtrapati Bhavan - Presidential Palace located across India Gate)
(Lal Qila, The Red Fort with Sanjay)

(Humayun's Tomb - prototype of Taj Mahal)

At night, I had a meeting over dinner with Ishfaq, a friend from Kashmir. He took me to a restaurant near Baghwali Mosque and we had a very delicious Tandoori. Original Tandoori. Tomorrow, Rashpal will take me to Agra! Wooohooo!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Delhi, here I come

Finally, decision made. India, here I come again. Mat sent me to the airport after saying goodbye to my children. Sad to leave them but work requires me to make this trip. Reached KLIA at around 4.15pm and I proceed to self-check-in terminal. After handing over my luggage, together with Mat, we went to have the tarik at Chatterfield. Arrived back at KLIA at 5.20pm, ready for my departure at 6.20pm via MH190. However, flight was delayed until 7.10pm. I was already at boarding area when announcement was made (at 6.15pm!) What else to do, other than switch on to my laptop and replying emails.

The journey was a smooth one, but travelling with groups of Indians is a real challenge. They have their unique behavior that many might interpret as uncool. “Please put your seat upright and fasten your seatbelt” but you can see many will seems not hearing. While take off, someone will stand up and trying to get something from the overhead compartment, without ability to wait. A young couple seated a row in front of me pressed the assistance button, requesting for white wine when the plane’s engine is struggling pulling the aircraft upward. She is very important that her request must be attended whenever she feels like wanting something. After 40 minutes, food were served. I was seated at row 38A. The stewardess served food from front to back. After serving row 35, the stewardess move to row 36, then 37 then to my row. Just about to hand over my ration, the lady in row 36 pressed the assistance button. “Can I have another bun please” OMG! I haven’t got my ration and she is asking for another bun. But, emm, she said please.

It was a smooth journey, with a little turbulence every now and then. We were suppose to arrive Delhi at 10.20pm (Delhi time) but we made it at 11.00pm. Ting tong! “Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. We have landed at Indra Gandhi International Airport bla…bla… You can only switch on your mobile phone once the seat belt light is switched off. Thank you for fl” The stewardess has not finished her announcement and you can hear kluk klak kluk klak everywhere, the sound of passengers unfasten their seat belt. Few moments later, toot toot and ta daa sounds is everywhere, the sound of handphone signal coming in! And the plane is still on taxi mode, moving slowly to the parking bay.

My friend, Khem was already at the arrival hall when I exit.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

KJ ternyata bukan liabiliti

Apa dah jadi di Bukit Selambau dan Bukit Gantang? Dari kacamata saya yang buta politik (tidak dalam turutan):
  1. Tun M? Saya bersimpati dengan beliau. Ternyata, beliau tidak mendatangkan hasil kepada BN. Sepatutnya, faktor pleasant surprises yang beliau buat dengan berkempen disaat akhir untuk calun BN akan menjadi katalis kemenangan BN. Mungkin sangkaan beliau, bila beliau turun, PR di bawah DSAI akan tersepit dan tertekan. Ternyata, hanya angan-angan palsu beliau. DSAI lagi hebaaaat!
  2. Tun M (lagi)? Kembalinya anda ke dalam UMNO tidak menguatkan parti. Tapi saya rasalah, anda mempunyai agenda tersembunyi, untuk menyekat KJ dari terus menyerlah selepas Mukriz tewas dengan teruknya semasa pemilihan Pemuda. Mukriz dah besar lah! Biarlah dia berdikari. Dan KJ ada kekuatan sendiri. Walau disekat, dia tetap akan mara. Take my word!
  3. Siapa kata KJ menjadi penyebab kekalahan BN di Permatang Pauh dan Kuala Terengganu? On your face! KJ menjadi low profile di Bukits dan Batang, mungkin kerana desakan dalaman UMNO supaya beliau menjauhkan diri dari berkempen, supaya tidak menjadi liabiliti. KJ tak ada pun, BN kalah juga! So, Bukit Gantang dan Bukit Selambau membuktikan bahawa KJ BUKAN menjadi penyebab kekalahan BN di Permatang Pauh dan Kuala Terengganu.
  4. Ezam and the Gang? Modus Operandi anda sudah tidak relevant lagi, bro! Cuba fikir cara lain pulak next time, itupun kalau masih tak malu lah!
  5. DSAI? What shall I say. Tetap relevant, tetap berkarisma, tetap dihormati, tetap berkalibar, tetap bijak, tetap disanjung. Kalau orang kata tohmahan terhadap Najib cuma sekadar tohmahan, kenapa pula tohmahan terhadap DSAI dibenarkan? Anda tidak mendapat benefit dari DSAI? Anda adalah kawan kepada Najib? Tampi dan tenang sendiri.
  6. Sultan Perak secara indirectly telah dimalukan.
  7. Bigger majority in the 2 Bukits - kemusnahan total BN
  8. Samy Veloo (betul ke spelling mcm ni?) - sudah laaaah!
  9. HINDRAF - anda terbukti salah. Sifat perkauman anda sangat terserlah. Masyarakat India Malaysia bukan lagi masyarakat terpinggir. Mereka telah bersama-sama di dalam mainstream dan berfikiran terbuka. Mereka telah keluar dari kepompong MIC.
Tapi drama sebabak ini tetap mendebarkan.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

A journey worth while.

Balik kampong is always an event I am looking forward to. Last Saturday (lepas latihan kawad kaki Kakak and kak Uda), we, the whole family balik kampong - Kampong Pulau Pandan, Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan. It is my kampong, where I was born about 45 years ago. The objective to balik kampong is to visit my Mak (Mak Tok to my children). Walaupun kami baru aja berjumpa two weeks ago when we celebrated her birthday kat Seremban, tapi the feeling deep inside me rasa tak sedap hati. The meeting was a very unfulfilled one with so many people around. So, I decided to go balik kampong, that we would have her all by our own!

(Some of Mak's pets.)

Suasana kampong sangat mendamaikan. I don't think there is any other kampong that is so damai and nyaman. Mak was not at home when we arrived. She was at a kenduri at a house nearby. Eventhough she canot do much at the kenduri, tapi she is a compulsory figure for every kenduri at my kampong. Lepas my father passed away, the kampong people turn to her for advise, and she never fails to deliver. Since Mak is not at home, we cannot enter the house. Tapi...jeng...jeng...jeng... hey, I lived in this house before, remember? I go around to see if my secret path is still there, holy crap! It is! LOL! After sooooo many years, I again became that cute little naughty boy, sneeking into the house using my secret path. So, when Mak's home, she did not surprised AT ALL! She knows me very well. She always say I will find my own way to get myself into anything I want. Malam tu, we watched Akademi Fantasia 7 with Mak. (Hafiz Rocks!)

The next day was cleaning up day. (read: pembakaran terbuka) I get all the children to gotong royong cleaning up the compound of mak's house. It was tiring but fun! I took the opportunity to show my children around (for the umpteenth times, hehe!). I showed them the coconut tree I grow together with my late father. (There are three trees, one each for my younger brothers Chu and Icam, and one for me. Apak cakap sebagai tanda that the kampong also belongs to me) I showed my favourite mangosteen tree where I will climbed and spent many afternoons there reading (on the tree!)

(The Mosquito's Busters)

It was a trip worth while. I got to spend quality time with Mak. We chatted until late. And oh... I present her with a few combs made of buffalo horn, I ordered from my staff who went back to Padang, Sumatera for his holiday. She had wanted it for quiet sometimes. And the bestest (hehe) thing is that she cooked me (err... my wife cooked using my mum's kitchen) my favourite lauk - Telur Itik Pucuk Ubi Masak Lemak Cili Padi! Masyaallah!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Win together

It is a very competitive life and full of challenge. In this situation, perseverance plays a very important role. However, many of us fail to realise that winning is not everything. I strongly believe, the purpose of life is not to win. The purpose is to share and to grow together. It should not be to win, but to share the win. When we look back on all we did in life, we will come to realise that we get more satisfaction from the pleasure we have brought to other people's life than we will from the times we outdid and defeated them. Familiar with the holy word win-win situation? The formula is to add value to other people - our spouse, our team mates, our co-worker, our supplier, our customer, our children, our friends and our boss (remember the word "make the boss looks good?") By adding value, we are actually enlarging them. We can see example of good enlargers in football players. Roberto Carlos and David Beckham are two examples. Their cross passes to the penalty area give opportunity for other player to strike goals. They make other people look good while at the same time they are remembered as a superb team player who add value to their team. So, people, do not be selfish. No man is more cheated than a selfish man. Amir-Husiners - enlarge people surrounding us then we will grow (and win) together!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Listen, or thy tounge will keep thee deaf.

It is a native American proverb. It reminds me of Richard, a friend in New Orleans. We always eat Poboy along the Bourbon Street and sometimes hang around at Jacksonville area while listening to the super talented street jazz performer. I missed New Orleans. I don't know how New Orleans looks like now since Katrina hit her badly few years ago. By the way, I remembered Richard for his empathy. He will lend me his ears on whatever occasion - and understand it. Empathy is the word. It involves understanding another's heart, mind and spirit - including their motives, backgrounds and feelings. The more empathy we have on others, the more we come to appreciate and reverence who they are. But most people do not listen with the intent to understand, rather they listen with the intent to reply. People are busy filtering everything through their own perspectives rather than trying to understand another's frame of reference. Sometimes we just want company. True. But what we really prefer is a company who understands us, or who at least do their best to understand us. I have a friend in Richard.