Sunday, March 29, 2009

Leslie Cheung and his songs…

Below is my tribute to the one and only, irreplaceable Leslie Cheung! I used most of the songs that I can remember to do a story...dedicated to all the undying fans of Leslie Cheung!

*An unbelievable six years has gone by and yet 'I Miss You Much’ from your fans did not subside. From an 'American Pie', you shot to fame and this gave you a chance to 'Start from Zero'(有零开始). You continued to 'Chase'(追) after your dreams and we, after you. As you became more and more popular, you laid your 'Naked Secrets'(赤裸的秘密) for all to see without fear.

*'Who Would Understand'(有誰共鳴)? Did it hinder your fans from loving you? No, we continue to scream for Leslie Cheung and we got to hear more and more of your romantic ballads. So when 'The Wind Starts Again'(风再起时), we knew that it is going to be 'The Unconventional Wind'(不羁的风). With that, 'Wind Continues to Blow'(风继续吹), it blew us to the magic land of 张国荣!

*When Leslie belted 'Monica', we cannot help but yelled along. So we all 'Stand Up' and dance. We 'Fall in Love with you'(为你钟情). Many 'Young Girl Thoughts'(少女心事) were of a Prince Charming. Dreams of 'Stolen Love'(偷情) grew into 'Deep Love'(儂本多情). We knew Leslie is a 'A Song at Midnight'(夜半歌声) that hooked us on.

*Now that you 'Refuse to Play Again'(拒绝再玩), we 'Lost You for Life'(一背子失去了你). We were heartbroken and we 'Blamed you for being too Beautiful'(怪你过分美丽). In the 'Dark Midnight'(黑色午夜), we left all our 'Previous Love'(当年情) behind. 'In this Lifetime'(今生今世), we 'Deeply Embrace'(深情相拥) only you. While you were singing 'Love in the Snow'(雪中情) we took a closer look at your 'Profile'(側面), it was unbearably beautiful. For this we became your 'Platonic Ones'(红颜白髪).

*Your 'Silence is Golden'(沉默是金) now. We are 'Afraid we won't meet Again'(只怕不在遇上). People asked: 'Who makes your heart goes crazy'(谁令你心痴)? It was your 'Sweet and Tenderness'(柔情蜜意) and the seductive 'Red'(红) roses that you sent to all of us.

*We have 'No intention to sleep'(无心睡眠) and keep 'Opening the Mail Box' (打开信箱). Trusting that we 'Bound to be Lucky'(始终会幸运), that all these are but a 'BAD Joke'. We 'Adore'(爱慕) you. Our wish is simple, we 'Don't need too much'(无需要太多) but we need 'Fate'(缘分) to bring us together again. Now, we no longer am able to move 'Forward to the days in the future'(奔向未来日子) with you, you chose to travel alone.

*'This Criss-Cross Love'(恋爱交叉) is 'Burning Hot'(热辣辣). Friends started to doubt our love for you. We can only say 'The Moon represents my Heart'(月亮代表我的心). When our 'Brows and Eyes meet'(眉来眼去) again, it brought out 'A Bit of Craziness'(一片痴) from 'People with Intentions'(有心人). You were a 'Big Heat'(大热), my Dear.

*Furthermore your 'Fragrant and Magnificent Distinction'(芳华绝代) made you a 'Celebrity'(明星). Is that 'Enough'(够了)? 'All Because of You'(全赖有你), our days of growing up were not so monotonous. Your news never fails to make us 'Drip Sweat'(滴汗).

*Have we lost you our 'Little Star'(小明星)? 'All These Years'(这些年来) effort of hoping to grow old with you is gone. 'When Love Became History'(当爱已成往事), we can only 'Hold on to Yesterday'(留住昨天). This is an 'Illusion'(幻影) but how do we stop 'Thinking of you'(想你)? We have even forgotten our 'Left and Right Hand'(左右手).

*'The Blues of Sadness'(蓝色憂郁) reminded us of 'Childhood days'(童年时). Will you be back as 'Lady Ghost'(倩女幽魂) Ning Cai Ceng? or Shi San Shao of 'Rouge'(艳脂扣). Maybe you should do 'Farewell my Concubine'(霸王别姬) again. 'Good if it is true'(当真就好).

*We are 'Getting Through This Together'(共同渡过). When comes April every year, we are 'Not Afraid of Loneliness'(不怕寂寞) to once again open our wound, and love you all over again.

*I am sure we all have 'A Thousand Dreams of you'.... Leslie!!

我心痛'今生今世'...'只怕不在遇上'. 当'风再起时', 我想起 '当年情'. '全赖有你'...所以能'共同渡过'. 你的'芳华绝代'显示你是'明星'. 现在的你'沉默是金'选择'拒绝再玩'. '夜半歌声' 我 '为您钟情'....


Saturday, March 28, 2009

Supporting Earth Hour

This once a year event is over. I did my part as a global citizen. I wish more people are aware of this campaign but looks like the ratio is still very low. I believe everything takes time. The most important is the support of the government. I wonder will the government consider switching off power for an hour?

Anyway I did switch off all the electricity in my home, including my fridge. No fancy, I just lighted T-lights, cheap and not too bad for ambient. What did I do, I read a few pages of a book I bought this afternoon under candle lights and did my prayers...and an hour is up!

Starting at 8.30pm....and Finishing at 9.30pm

The Neighbourhood
Blocks of apartment nearby!

Planning next year to do an hour of prayers recitation with a group of friends with each participant holding a candle dedicating to World Peace.

Therefore this posting is a closure... I took some pictures and sharing it here with all.


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Earth Hour 2009

The day for Earth Hour Event is drawing nearer. As a reminder, it falls on 28th March 2009 at 8.30pm to 9.30pm Singapore Time. If you are elsewhere, do find out your country time and participate in this meaningful event.

I observed while driving along the roads that signage of this event is posted on Bus Stops. Suntec even have it displays as one of the advertisement on the big screen. You will not miss it when you stop at traffic lights along this stretch of roads leading to Marina and Nicoll Highway.

Singapore is playing her part in this Global Event. Going green is not new to us. This is a beautiful little island and well known for being green. If you have not been to Singapore, do come and visit us. It is our island, our home and I am proud of her.

So how can we spend our time this year to support this event? Well maybe the following can help....

1) Switch off all electricity at home.

2) This means your refrigerator too. You can take it that it is a 'switch-off' for you to clean your fridge.

3) Re-direct your home phone to your handphone as home phones need electricity for it to work. In this case you will not miss any incoming calls to your resident.

4) Plan a BBQ on the beach. Plan a bonfire camping. Plan an evening out with oil lamps and mahjong table at the seaside. You will love it with the sea breeze and family togetherness.

5) Plan a trip to Jek Jawa with your children. Teach them about nature and their natural habitats and what others are doing to save the environment.

6) Arrange for a Tree Top walk at Pierce Reservoir. Teach children about plants and trees and their names. You may even stumble upon some special animals or insects.

7) Book yourself and friends on a Kelong. On the Kelong you can drink beers, catch-up as well as star-gaze. With minimum lights, you will be able to see bigger and brighter stars.

8) Take your camping tents and camp at the seaside. You can swim, sleep and eat. This is a wonderful time to have a day out of the house. To get a better place, you will have to leave early to pick your favorite spots.

9) Go for nature walk and take with you a glove, a long stick and a garbage bag. Pick up plastic bottles, coke cans, broken glasses, pieces of papers etc. that are thrown around by irresponsible people. Clean up the place and the air.

10) For those that are driving, maybe for today you camp and not drive. Give your 'girl-friend' or 'wife' or whatever you call your car a break!

11) For those who do not wish to leave the house, buy scented candles, red wine, potato chips and cuddle on the sofa for one hour and whisper 'sweet nothing'!

12) This is also the best time to sit around without lights and tell spooky tales with a candle. The effect with be dramatic as it is also the All Souls month for the Chinese which begins on 27th March 2009.

9) For those that are afraid of heat, you can end up in a shopping center. I suppose there are places where the lights will still be on. So enjoy yourself.

To give back an hour to the Earth is not too much to ask. It is only an effort on our part. An hour out of the 365 days, we are talking about 0.000 fractions but when it is done together globally, it means a lot.

We have to start to take the Earth seriously. It is our only home. Have someone found some place in outer space where we can immigrate? The Moon? Even if we move there and not take care of it, the day will come when we have to have Moon Day as well.

So there is no where to escape but be responsible and aware of our thoughts and actions and what is the results. So let’s join our hands together, give the Earth back an hour. After that, try to save as much electricity as possible, whether at home or at work, it will save $$$ for your pocket.

Cheers guys, JUST DO IT!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

1,000 arms, 1000 eyes... Chenrezig

Namo Ratna Trayaya…Avalokitsvara....Yes, this is the starting line to the Great Compassionate Avalokitsvara’s Dharani – the 100 syllabus recitation of the 108 names of the manifestations of the Great Bodhisattva 1,000 arms, 1000 eyes Avalokitsvara (Chenrezig).

My affinity with this Bodhisattva started when I was born. Mum said she got me adopted by the Great Avalokitesvra. In this event, I become one of the many children of Avalokitesvra. Many referred to the Bodhisattva as ‘HIM’ but I prefer to think of the Bodhisattva as ‘HER’. Her great compassion and loving kindness are her vows that created a karmic link with all sentient beings as long as they call out to her. She vowed that as long as we call out and we need help, she will manifest in whatever form to fulfill our wish. Therefore such Great Beings have no form. They can be a Dog, a bridge, a woman, a man and even a medicine.

I do not know why but I was chosen with 4 others to learn and memorize the Dharani when I first started to learn Buddhism. We were asked to recite the whole Dharani without fail. I was obedient. I was ignorant enough not to ask the purpose and the benefits and why must I do it. It is follow the crowd attitude but I did not know that along the way, this Great Bodhisattva gave me a sister. Yes, Alice my eldest sister as she is the oldest and one of the four chosen ones. Today, with my parents gone and without any relatives but my two younger siblings, Alice became my mental support.

The Great Bodhisattva protected me from harm, both human and non-human. She protected me from death. She answered so many of my prayers. She appeared in dream to comfort me at time of sadness. She sees to it that I am always with good people and good companies. She sees to it that I do not deviate from Buddha’s teaching because I pray to her to close all unfavorable paths so that I do not go astray. Because of her loving kindness and compassion, I too develop these attributes. I am still far from perfect with lots of defilements but I have made the first step. So it is great to have the Great Bodhisattva Avalokitsvara as God Mother.

As I grow older, I learn more and more about her. You may say all stories are just legends but none has such great stories to tell. Many more laymen or Buddhist practioners will tell you even more mircale stories of what this Great Bodhisattva has done for countless beings. These are not make-up stories but true happenings to the individuals or to people around them.

I have been caught up in the web of Samsara. The daily mundane dealings really eroded my precepts. I got caught up with anger. Although I continue to do good, donate and follow good courses, do my daily prayers but all these are not good enough. I suppose it is my karma and my stubbornness. I have prayed for a Guru, someone who will guide me, someone who will hold my hand and teach me step by step of how to go about the right way to pray, the right way to do rituals, the right way to connect with my personal deity BUT years after years, I am all alone. I can hardly stick to any Gurus although I met many along the way. There are many good Gurus that I venerate and respect. It is a connection but never went deeper into it.

When I thought that I may have found a Guru that I may be able to associate with, that is Lama Konchog but he passed away. I watched Lama Konchog for some time. He had a fierce looking face, he speaks no English but there is something around him that attracted me. I rejoice that I had the opportunity to know him, confide in him and accepted his assistance to link me back to my past Guru. Maybe my link in the past is not strong enough, although in his presence but I am not able to get close to him. So every time when I saw him in my mind-eye, I will do my prostration with visualization.

Recently I attended a one day retreat at Genting, Chin Swee Temple. It is the Great Compassionate Avalokitesvra's Dharani Retreat organized by a Singapore group. I learnt about this from Vicki of Green Tara. It is also the ripening of opportunity that I am able to get leaves to attend such auspicious event. The other reason is of course Shangpa Rinpoche is presiding the event.

I met Shangpa Rinpoche when I attended services at KKBC. I saw him many times, had audience with him a few times but being me, I really do not know how to ask or communicate with Rinpoche. However, I found that I can connect with him. I somehow know that I can reach out to him for assistance and I did. I thank Shangpa Rinpoche for his unfailing attention when I SMS him when my late mother was sick and was sent to hospital. I would call him and he never failed to answer the phone. I have no thoughts as to whether he is busy or he may not be in Singapore, I just called. How ignorant can a girl be and how compassionate is a Guru. I deeply appreciate the support he has given me. I never forget his kindness to me at time when I feel the most helpless and hopeless and do not know which spiritual teacher I can turn to. Shangpa Rinpoche did many prayers for my late mother. He did it for a girl who did not even appear in front of him to ask for favor but just through handphone. How rude can I be? It is at the back of my mind that I want to reconnect with Rinpoche again. I can go to KKBC to look for him, to attend his teachings or take part in the events the Center organized but I do not know why I did not move forward. Buddhism talks about the rising and falling of conditions, probably I am waiting for the rising of a condition. It did arise.

It was a one day retreat and the sitting down cross legged from 6.30am in the morning to 9.30pm at night was a true testing. We observed the Eight Precepts for one day and actually it is a layman's monk practice. If it is practiced correctly, the accumulated merits is immeasurable let alone observing the Eight Precepts with the continuous recitation of Great Compassionate Avalokitsvara's Dharani and Mantra. Although there were breaks in between, with this sitting, I realized how fragile is our body, how great is the arising of such conditions to practice and to practice under a great teacher. We managed to complete 15,000 times recitations of the Dharani and Mantra. I rejoice for all Sentient Beings.

It was a simple and yet grand retreat in it's own way. We had the closing ceremony with Incense Offerings and flying of prayers. We released birds and tortoises which is a practice for long lives and good luck. At time like this, we truly need all the blessings we can get from the Divines.


With this Dharani, I pray for the safety of all Sentient Beings. May all those who lay their eyes on this Dharani be safe from all untimely death and adversities. May all Gurus live long to spread Buddha's teachings to benefit all Sentient Beings. May my parents of past, present and future be blessed by the Buddha in following the Path and never fall into any lower realms. May all suffering beings be alleviated from wherever they are and be freed when they see or hear this Dharani. May my wishes be fulfilled and that I am always in good company. May I follow the footsteps of All the Buddha and Great Bodhisattvas for the sake of Sentient Beings.

With this note, I thank Shangpa Rinpoche for instilling back in me my faith and this Dharani for making all my broken vows good again. May Vicki and Stephen of Green Tara be blessed with many more great thoughts and abilities to organize such good activities to benefit all Sentient Beings. May all Beings be well and happy!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Qing Ming Festival...

Festival is around the corner. It falls on the Chinese Lunar 3rd Month. This year it falls on 27th March 2009. To the Chinese, this is All Souls Day. Family with ancestors will gathered at temples to pray for the departed. Children will visit ancestors' graves in the cemeteries. Others will visit temples where ancestors’ tablets and ashes are kept.

This is also a picnic day as families will bring with them lots of food, drinks, incense papers, incense, paper monies, paper clothes and what they believe the deceased will like. Many wondered whether the dead will receive or use such paper items burnt for their benefit. To me, it is Chinese Culture. It is to show filial piety to departed parents and ancestors. They are our roots and without them we are not here today. It is also family gathering day as all members, relatives from far and near will surely make it to "Sweep the Grave".

Children whose parents are buried will bring with them red/ gold paint to touch up the words on the tombstone if the colors faded. This is possible because of the rain, shine and the work of the elements will also erode the mud around the grave. Feng Shui believes that ancestor's grave must be in good conditions because it reflects the future of the living generations. So people will patch up holes with mud, laid out food and drinks and at the same time have a feast at the grave. The most important aspect is to ask for 4-digits lottery numbers. Of course some do strike it rich and they will say that their ancestors are blessing them with fortune.

My parents are cremated and their ashes and tablets were placed in a temple. When I booked the place for Dad, Mum said she wanted hers booked in advance and now both of them are together again side by side. I am not a superstitious Buddhist. I remember my parents and visit them as and when I wanted to. I do not wait for Qing Ming to do so. However on these 15 days, there are prayers and chanting by monks for the departed and people contributed to these activities to elevate ancestors to Pureland.

Normally after the prayers, families will leave behind some fruits, food and drinks on the grave. The remaining will be taken home for every one's consumption. My parents told me a story about a young boy who makes part time money during this festival by cutting overgrown grasses for graves when families of the departed pay them for it. These boys spent the whole day at the graveyard and they normally ate the food left behind on the grave. The law is that you can eat food that was left behind on the grave but you cannot make fun of it.

One day two boys after consuming some food were left with fruits on their hands. Instead of consuming them, they threw the fruits at each other like a Hit and Run game. As they ran along, they picked up more fruits from all the graves around and threw at each other. Of course they had fun. The not so good news was both of the boys fell sick. They were down with fever and doctors' medicines cannot bring it down. They were not able to neither stand up nor walk because they their limbs were wobbly. Parents were worried but they knew these boys were making extra monies cutting grasses for graves. The boys must have offended the 'spirits'. After checking the Almac, it truly indicated such happenings and both boys admitted that they took fruits and threw at each other. The boys’ family brought with them food, fruits, flowers, incense and incense papers and prayed to all these 'spirits' asking for their forgiveness. Say what you like, after praying, the boys were up and running again the next day. All fever and wobbly legs were gone.

My uncle was buried in one of the cemetery. Months before that, Mum dreamt about Uncle (Dad's eldest brother). Mum saw him looking up at the roof and water was leaking down. The hole was quite big. When Qing Ming came, we visited his grave and we saw a big hole by the side of the grave. The mud eroded creating the tomb curving in with a hole. Mum immediately recalled her dream. Dad quickly got the boys nearby to sell us mud to patch up the hole and filled up the curved-in and the grave looks like new again. Therefore, days like this are not to be taken lightly. Behaviors and respect have to be appropriate.

This year as usual, we have joined a prayer session in a temple for this purpose. It is a marked of respect to Dad and Mum and the Wong Family ancestors. It is a duty and responsibility to one's parents even though they are no longer around. My parents live in my heart always!

Papa and Mum, I love you both....

Monday, March 16, 2009

Somewhere In Time.....

I usually travel alone and most of the time is work related. Moving alone can be lonely but it gave me lots of freedom to move around, shop around, admire nature, be with myself and enjoy solitude. I love nature and discovered that Mother Gaia is beautiful. She is simple and from the least expected places, I find joy! I realized that happiness is actually within. These elements are nothing new and you see them everywhere....did you notice them? I took the pictures on my trip in 2007. Hope you enjoy "Somewhere in Time"......

A moment of Breath....
A moment of Sight....
A moment in Life....
How many saw the beauty?
How many realize?
How many is aware?
That she silently passes by?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Han Shan and Shi De

I read this article written in Chinese. I did not put in much effort in my second language which is Chinese while I was in school. It was hard for me to understand some of the meaning of the Chinese characters therein, however I like this article so much that I decided to copy and keep it.

As I mature and go deeper into Buddha’s teachings, I realize the profoundness in his words. The two monks in conversation were two great Bodhisattvas - Manjusri Bodhisattva (Wisdom) and Samantabhadra Bodhisattva (Energy). This was when they both took human forms in this world. Due to our defilement, none recognized them until they passed away.

Therefore in any holy places, be aware because you will run into people and you do not know who they are. It could be an angel or Bodhisattva you are talking to. Do you believe?

Many of us in our life journey met adversities at certain point of time. Did you ever wonder why at that point there is someone there to help you? That person could be a stranger, could be someone you met at a function, could be the regular face you met in the market but when you get out of your difficulties, these people also moved out of your life. You remember them but you do not meet them anymore. Ring a bell???

I found this article again when packing my place for renovation and it evoked my feeling that I must share it with readers. To the Buddhists, especially Chinese speaking and reading Buddhists, this article is a famous piece written about the conversation between Cold Mountain and Renounced. Cold Mountain was asking Renounced how to look at life. It is common that people look down on others who are less educated, less intelligent and poorer fellow beings. Some even abused less fortunate in term of verbal attack or even physical attack. In this intelligent conversation, Renounced cited the loving Maitriya Bodhisattva thoughts and actions when facing such obstacles. In a way, it is also educating all of us about ‘voidness’ and ‘impermanence’. It teaches us how we should look at our own Ego and letting go of it. The Chinese has a saying ‘Go back one step and you will see how wide and spacious is the sky and sea’.

I tried my best to translate this piece for the benefits of my English readers who wish to know or who happened to stumble here. May you be blessed with wisdom in your daily life and be safe where you are.

The Conversation between Cold Mountain (Manjusri Bodhisattva) and Renounced (Samantabhadra Bodhisattva) - 寒山问拾得

One day Cold Mountain asked Renounced :
If someone slanders me, bully me, laugh at me, look down on me, treat me lowly, loathe me, lie to me, how shall I manage this?

Renounced said :
Endure it, yield to it, let it be, stay away, bear it, respect it, ignore it and look at it again a few years later.

Cold Mountain asked again:
Is there any other way to avoid it?

Renounced said:
I read a poem written for Maitreya Bodhisattva. I shall recite it here for you.

(Below is the gist of my summary)

Old man (Maitriya Bodhisattva) wears a robe,He is happy with a stomach filled with simple meals. His robe is torn and tattered and he patched it up to protect himself from cold. There is nothing to worry about because everything is predestined.

If someone scold old man, old man just say 'Good'. If someone hit old man, old man just fall to the ground. Tears and mucus on my face,no need to bother as it will dry by itself,I save my energy,and he saves his anger,Paramita such as this, is a treasure to apply. If you know how to use it, you will find the Way out.

A person can be weak but not weak in courage. A person can be poor but not poor in spirit,If you decide to follow the Path, than you should use the Path as a guide. Sentient beings loves richness and fame but such things are nothing in my eyes. Name and fame are but emptiness, I do not craved for them,One may accumulate wealth like a mountain,but one cannot buy infinite with it. Sentient beings craved for tributes and gifts,Gods crave for power,Kong Ming had great wisdom and yet he could not save his master. HanXin had great merits, he died by a swing of the sword. So from past to present, how many live to a thousand? One wants to be a hero,another wants to be a great man, look at your grey hair and the wrinkled face as years go by.

Night and day shuttle by quickly, times fly by swiftly. Sickness will appear gradually and by than you will sigh, 'why did I not make use of my youth to cultivate the Path?'. When sickness comes knocking on my door, I wish I could turn back the clock. Unfortunately my time is running out and Death is at the door step. Once I lost my life force, what else can I do. I will not be able to hear gossips nor can I recognize my home. I no longer can compete with others and I cannot be the great man I wanted to be. When scolded I am not able to retaliate, when asked I am like a dumb man. When beaten I cannot hit back, when pushed I roll around. I no longer am bothered that others will laugh at me, neither am I worry about others jeering at me. I no longer worry about my reputation. When my children cried and sobbed, I no longer see them. So I struggle for name and fame what did I get but buried on a piece of land.

I looked at Sentient beings, they are good at providing lip service. I urged all to turn back and cultivate the Path. Be a Man and cut all illusions. Jump out of the fire and be a free man. If you understand the true Teachings, the Sun and Moon will always be your friends.

* End*

My translation may not do credit to this piece of profound teaching. You need to know a little about Buddha's teaching to understand this piece. It is about humility, letting go, compassion, loving-kindness, voidness, impermanence, wisdom and energy to do so. The practice here or The Way is not just the teaching of Buddhism, it is also in the teachings of many other religions as well. If someone slapped your right face, give your left face to be slapped as well. You will ask WHY? Crazy or what?! It is not an easy practice and to many of us, the Ego is bigger than 'SPACE'. What will happen if you slapped back? You will fight, probably one got kill ended in the hangman's room. Is it worth it? Therefore in this profound teaching, there is not boundary. Look at it without being bias and use your own "TEACHINGS" will see a new perspective. That is why I wanted to share...HanShan and ShiDe wise's conversation.

May all Sentient Beings be well and happy!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

How Could Jim Willis

To all animals lovers, non-animal lovers and specially for dogs lovers:

I wrote to the author, Jim Willis for permission to post this story on my Blog and he has gracefully allowed me to do so.

I shared the same sentiment with Jim about animal abuses. Many of us owned pets at home. Some owned pets because at the spur of the moment, they find that the pet looked cute. Some, because it is trendy and fashionable to have one. Some parents bought pets for their kids because the kids wanted one ...etc. When they are tired of these animals, they casted them out of the house. Such animals live as 'strays' around the neighborhood. In the course of survival, some are maimed by naughty children, uncaring adults or ran over by vehicles.

I used to jog with my brother on the expressway and around the neighborhood. We used to pull dog carcasses and cat carcasses out of the road racing against on coming cars. I know that they are dead but to see cars running over the bodies again and again pained my heart. I nearly got an accident because I refused to run over a dead dog. Friends thought that I was mad because I did not think of my own safety. I just couldn't do it. So you can call me silly or anything you's is just a name.

I raised this article because I want to remind my readers that the commitments of keeping a pet is not for showoff, and castaway because you got no time or locked them up because you are going away.

Quote from the Author - Jim Willis
I looked at all the caged animals in the shelter...the cast-offs of human society. I saw in their eyes love and hope, fear and dread, sadness and betrayal. And I was angry. "God," I said, "this is terrible! Why don't you do something?" God was silent for a moment and then He spoke softly. "I have done something," He replied. "I created you".
With this note, here goes the story........

When I was a puppy I entertained you with my antics and made you laugh. You called me your child and despite a number of chewed shoes and a couple of murdered throw pillows, I became your best friend. Whenever I was "bad," you'd shake your finger at me and ask "How could you?" - but then you'd relent and roll me over for a belly rub.

My house training took a little longer than expected, because you were terribly busy, but we worked on that together. I remember those nights of nuzzling you in bed, listening to your confidences and secret dreams, and I believed that life could not be any more perfect. We went for long walks and runs in the park, car rides, stops for ice cream (I only got the cone because "ice cream is bad for dogs," you said), and I took long naps in the sun waiting for you to come home at the end of the day.

Gradually, you began spending more time at work and on your career, and more time searching for a human mate. I waited for you patiently, comforted you through heartbreaks and disappointments, never chided you about bad decisions, and romped with glee at your homecomings, and when you fell in love.

She, now your wife, is not a "dog person" - still I welcomed her into our home, tried to show her affection, and obeyed her. I was happy because you were happy. Then the human babies came along and I shared your excitement. I was fascinated by their pinkness, how they smelled, and I wanted to mother them, too. Only she and you worried that I might hurt them, and I spent most of my time banished to another room, or to a dog crate. Oh, how I wanted to love them, but I became a "prisoner of love."

As they began to grow, I became their friend. They clung to my fur and pulled themselves up on wobbly legs, poked fingers in my eyes, investigated my ears and gave me kisses on my nose. I loved everything about them and their touch - because your touch was now so infrequent - and I would have defended them with my life if need be.

I would sneak into their beds and listen to their worries and secret dreams. Together we waited for the sound of your car in the driveway. There had been a time, when others asked you if you had a dog, that you produced a photo of me from your wallet and told them stories about me. These past few years, you just answered "yes" and changed the subject. I had gone from being "your dog" to "just a dog," and you resented every expenditure on my behalf.

Now you have a new career opportunity in another city, and you and they will be moving to an apartment that does not allow pets. You've made the right decision for your "family," but there was a time when I was your only family.

I was excited about the car ride until we arrived at the animal shelter. It smelled of dogs and cats, of fear, of hopelessness. You filled out the paperwork and said "I know you will find a good home for her." They shrugged and gave you a pained look. They understand the realities facing a middle-aged dog or cat, even one with "papers." You had to pry your son's fingers loose from my collar as he screamed "No, Daddy! Please don't let them take my dog!" And I worried for him, and what lessons you had just taught him about friendship and loyalty, about love and responsibility, and about respect for all life. You gave me a goodbye pat on the head, avoided my eyes, and politely refused to take my collar and leash with you. You had a deadline to meet and now I have one, too.

After you left, the two nice ladies said you probably knew about your upcoming move months ago and made no attempt to find me another good home. They shook their heads and asked "How could you?"

They are as attentive to us here in the shelter as their busy schedules allow. They feed us, of course, but I lost my appetite days ago. At first, whenever anyone passed my pen, I rushed to the front, hoping it was you - that you had changed your mind - that this was all a bad dream...or I hoped it would at least be someone who cared, anyone who might save me. When I realized I could not compete with the frolicking for attention of happy puppies, oblivious to their own fate, I retreated to a far corner and waited.

I heard her footsteps as she came for me at the end of the day and I padded along the aisle after her to a separate room. A blissfully quiet room. She placed me on the table, rubbed my ears and told me not to worry. My heart pounded in anticipation of what was to come, but there was also a sense of relief. The prisoner of love had run out of days. As is my nature, I was more concerned about her. The burden which she bears weighs heavily on her and I know that, the same way I knew your every mood.

She gently placed a tourniquet around my foreleg as a tear ran down her cheek. I licked her hand in the same way I used to comfort you so many years ago. She expertly slid the hypodermic needle into my vein. As I felt the sting and the cool liquid coursing through my body, I lay down sleepily, looked into her kind eyes and murmured "How could you?"

Perhaps because she understood my dog speaks, she said "I'm so sorry." She hugged me and hurriedly explained it was her job to make sure I went to a better place, where I wouldn't be ignored or abused or abandoned, or have to fend for myself - a place of love and light so very different from this earthly place. With my last bit of energy, I tried to convey to her with a thump of my tail that my "How could you?" was not meant for her. It was you, My Beloved Master, I was thinking of. I will think of you and wait for you forever.

May everyone in your life continue to show you so much loyalty.


Please be kind to animals. They did not beg you to own them. This animal becomes a part of your family. Do not be ignorant that animals survive on their own. These are house pets. They depend on you for food, for medical treatment and for company. Isn't company what you wanted in the first place you decided to own them? Dogs are men's best friend. For those who have no love for animals, please do not harm them. I have seen people kicking a dog for no reason. STOP ANIMALS ABUSING! This is an effort of the mass, not just one or two persons.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Celebrating Women.....

I just wrote an e-mail to my management three days ago. The message went like this...

Dear All (names of all the Department Heads right to the top man)

It is the company’s tradition for Department Heads to purchase a gift as token for all female staff on International Women’s Day. As it is, this falls on 8th March 2009.

Although the economy looks gloomy, we should not allow it to dampen the spirit of celebrating women in the work force. This year, I am proposing the (Brand) Key Chain as a token for this event. The cost is S$xxx each (inclusive of GST and an organza pouch).

By way of this e-mail, Ms X will be collecting the gifts to be distributed to your department. Kindly arrange cash payment to Ms X or to Ms Y.

Thank you,
Ms Y

I have been doing this since I cannot remember when and it has become a tradition in the company. The credit goes to my lady boss who is a big supporter. She is an example. She not only stands up for Women but to all good courses of 'corporate social responsibility'. I celebrate this Woman. She is not only a mother, a woman in the work force, a responsible woman to the society and a good motivator. With her at the forefront, the women work force in the company is respected and recognized for their importance in contributing to the home, to the society and to the country.

As we lived in Asia, our upbringing of being a woman is behind the scene. Our duty is to get married, bear children, served our husband, take care and discipline the children, take care of all problems of the household, served our in-laws and the dutiful responsibilities goes on and on. When the men in the family make it to the top of society and sons of the family became prominent, these women stand silently in the background.

On this day, I will remember my beloved Mother. Although she is no longer around, without her I will not be where I am today. Her greatness as a woman, is not only to give me life, she guided my growing up, she instill values into me, she showed me right from wrong and shows me the path to be a responsible adult

To all the great men of past, present and the coming future - you are here because of a Woman. Chinese has a proverb that goes like this "Behind every great man, there is a woman".

Therefore every year on March 8, we celebrate Women globally. It is a special day to connect women around the World. The purpose is to inspire them to grow to their full potential.

It is a day for all Men to recognize and honor their mothers, wives, girlfriends, lady colleagues, sisters, grandmothers for their contribution to the society/ World. It gives you an opportunity to buy a small token, or give a hug, or send an SMS, or makes a call to say "Thank you and I Love You for all that you are and have made me to be who I am".

With this note...Happy International Women Days to all women globally. Well wishes also go to all Men who recognize Women's contributions on this day!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


In the course of my work, I was in Mumbai twice. Mumbai is a sea city. From all the reports, the militants arrived by sea route. These people claimed to be Malaysian students.

My heart bleeds on a wee Sunday morning. I received 2 SMS from my colleagues both in Thailand and in Mumbai. Two of our staff died in the Mumbai attack. One Thai and one Indian. They were in both the hotels - Oberoi and Taj. We were saddened by this unfortunate event and we felt sorry for their families. Operations personnel flew to Mumbai and arrangement for the burial of the Indian staff and to send back the body of the Thai staff. Both lost their lives in the course of work/ duties.

As the story unfolded, staff reiterated the experiences, the fear, and the worries for their colleagues and friends working in the hotels. They were worried about guests but nothing can be done. It was a massacre. It was shooting all the way. Many hotel friends died in their course of duty. The brutal killings were something that cannot be forgiven no matter what were the reasons. If it is in the eye of religion and any religion that allows such brutality is satanic. God will never allow this. Whether it is a white God, black God, yellow God or whatever. These militants did not shoot and left the injured or badly injured alone as I was told. They shot everyone that was both alive and injured to death.

The staffs of the hotels were the unsung heroes. I was told and read stories from those who made it out of the massacre that hotel staffs hide them. They survived but the hotel staffs were all dead. Greatness is one who sacrifices one's life for that of many others. This is the quality of God! It is compassion, kindness, humanity - NOT BRUTALITY!

Looking at the 911 incidents in USA, the bombing in Bali and now the killing in Mumbai, I sadly say the dark era is arriving. I have never known fear when I traveled overseas to work. Now I felt that travelling overseas for assignments are no longer safe. No one know what will happen next, be it on the plane, by sea or on land. There is no safe place in the world anymore.

Singaporean is never one of the casualties with the exception of this shoot out. We had a lady lawyer on assignment. She was shot at gun point. It must be hurting badly for her husband, families, colleagues and people who have known her. Hope time will heal but scares remained and will continue to hurt.

This World is changing. People's hearts are changing. People are full of themselves and their dreams. In the course of pursing their dreams, they couldn't careless whether it hurts others. I took this opportunity to vent my sadness over the chaotic world, the misguided religious teachings, the disregards for life, the selfishness of one and all these will drive us to the END.

We are facing the karma we all have one way or another created. This is a shared Karma. We are punished by nature because we abused it. Look at the way we treated the environment for our own comfort? We created the O-Zone, we cut down trees, clear forest to make way for bigger homes and now what? We saw the biggest Tsunami ever, the worst Earthquake ever and the fall of the World economy. None of us will be spared. This is Punishment! Did God punish us? NO!, we did it onto ourselves. Probably Mother Nature out of kindness will send us a great tidal wave and wash out everything at one swipe. The World needs a make over, she is badly contaminated so a 'big bath' is needed.

I posted the 2009 Earth Hour Champaign. Please return 1 hour to "THE EARTH" on 28th March 2009 from 8.30pm. Due to time difference, the date will defer from country to country. Do help to send this message around if you are reading here. The more the merrier. Please!

I am lighting this posting with candles...for various reasons and to support Earth Hour!