On family dramas…

It’s Hari Raya again, and as usual it’s time for mad family dramas to continue their never ending saga… As much as most people would say they’ve got a normal family, there is NO such thing as a normal family. Everyone is dysfunctional to a degree, however minute. To accept this madness is the first step towards making it right, no?

Every family that I know of, has had a “Hari Raya Incident”. It is without exception. It’s an undeniable fact of life. I’ve come to this conclusion because this year, my normally sedate and civilized extended family, whom I love dearly, finally finally blew up. And may I tell you, in a spectacular way too. Sort of like a volcano that has been dormant for millenia, finally blowing its top explosively.

It was fortunate, or rather unfortunate some might say, that I missed the spectacle. But I had eyes and ears telling me about what happened… And from the tales I heard, it must have been truly spectacular. To truly understand the magnitude of the ‘explosion’, I must first tell you about my family.

11 uncles and aunties, and all of them loud and opinionated, plus their even louder wives and husbands. 40-odd something grandchildren, plus spouses and great-grandchildren crowd into my grandmother’s house on Raya day, the reigning dowager ’empress’. She is not in the strictest sense, a tyrant like most other grandmothers are when they get to the kind of seniority she has. She’s much more subtle than that. She picks and chooses on who she dotes on, and cooks for… And there in lies the problem…

Some might say, so what? She has the right to choose who she dotes on, right? WRONG! You see, the eleven aunties and uncles, including my father, have been ‘politik-ed’ by my beloved grandmother. Granted, all mothers all difficult to live with, without exception. My father is one of those she dotes on, although she absolutely hates the guts of my stepmother… To make things more complicated, my grandmother is being taken care of by one of my senior aunties, a patient soul if I ever saw one…

And now the stage is set, since I’ve introduced most of the actors… Basically what happened was that they went head to head, because of the words of my grandmother, said way back, before the whole Raya season was even upon us. And when Raya came by, they all just spilled onto the sidewalk, and made a big boo boo mess… With everyone screaming and screeching at the top of their lungs… Some unpleasantness was exchanged, and harsh words were said…

But then the funny thing is, after the screaming, everyone seemed calm again. All was forgotten and forgiven, in the spirit of Raya. Sometimes catharsis is good for the soul. Even for the most even tempered and kind ones. In a way, it was good for them to screech and scream at each other… After all, as we grow older, we learn to tuck away our fears and hopes behind walls inside of ourselves. Some people call it poise, or even patience. I call it the ‘dam of the river of our soul’… Because once we get older and more ‘mature’, we are no longer allowed freedom of expression…

I guess some drama is good after all…. It would only be logical… Don’t you wonder why the soaps on TV do so well? My theory is that if one does not have enough drama in one’s life, you gotta ‘import’ some… It doesn’t matter if its fictional or farcical… What it does is make our own dreary existence seem more normal and well-adjusted. It doesn’t matter if your son has hooves for feet, today on TV Rosalinda had an accident, and just found out the the person who ran her over is her own beloved boyfriend who’s actually her brother-in-law’s gay partner, and is the son of her mother’s stepbrother… See? It’s so complicated, it makes our lives understandable and livable, doesn’t it?

Hoping for a less dramatic life of our own, full of love and happiness – Jasmine.

ps – my apologies for not writing earlier… been buried with the aftermath of Raya… 🙂

Advertisements

On colleagues…

It’s another day at work… as usual… Work never ends… There’s no break, no end in sight, no joy or happiness to be had from grovelling and slaving all day… And all there is to show for it at the end of the day, is some measley pay – enough for me to be broke again at the end of the day… Sigh…

To make it worse, work is made unbearable by workmates. You see, there are many factors contributing to work satisfaction – among others it would have to be what we actually do, how much we get paid for it, people who we work for and work with, and other benefits like medical, insurance, company vehicles and other things…

I enjoy working for the company I work for, except for when I have to put up with people – people on the expedition, people who dislike me more than lepers, colleagues who talk and whine and say things about me behind my back, people who shirk off work… Basically, all sorts of people who surround me, and unfortunately for me, there seems to be no escape to be found…

Again today I found out, that the boys in the office just simply hate my guts. Well, not all of them… Just two… Just the ones that keep getting left behind anytime we go anywhere. They comment on everything. There is absolutely nothing free from their scrutiny… Being the typical Malay bunch of assholes, they’re ungrateful and bloody think that no one else deserves the world other than themselves. It’s just plain ole stupid. When will they realize that to move forward, one must think with a positive mindset, and not treat others like dirt?

How am I ever to work with people who think I’m a scumbag, and the same time ask for help simply because their brains haven’t sprouted enough cells to put 2 and 2 together? Either that or they’re doing a perfect job of ‘working’ in the Melayu sense – you must be seen to be working, without actually getting any work done…

Tomorrow is one more day at work, and then its a one-week respite from these people. From what I’ve heard, the company is in for an expansion, and that better employees are on their way. Or at least those that don’t backstab and bite and snarl at each other for no apparent reason. And thank goodness for me, one of the idiots who just love to blame me for everything that goes wrong here, will be ‘balikking kampung’ tomorrow…

All I’m saying today is, when will we Malays ever learn proper work ethics? We’ll forever be stuck on the backburner of progress if we keep choosing to step backwards twice everytime there’s some progress. It doesn’t help me at all I’ve got some of these bastards working with me… Maybe one day, and I’m really praying for this day to come by, they’ll all just drop dead and never come back.

Just like them, I spend some time of my day thinking of the wonderful possibilities too… 🙂

Counting the hours before I can escape these idiots – Jasmine.

On being a good Muslim…

This past week or so, we’ve been besieged by all sorts of ‘ideas’ from our ‘beloved’ government on the issues of racial harmony and the such… One might say its timely, given the proximity to the Deeparaya celebrations. Or not…

First issue being, a Muslim cannot wish a Hindu, or Indian “Happy Deepavali / Diwali / Pooja” because it will make us infidels, and lose our oh, so transient faith in God. This was said in an email, sent to all Muslim Takaful employees, by their religious ‘advisor’. His justification for the basket of bollocks was that since Hindus worship idols, wishing them Happy Diwali would mean we Muslims also, by association, worship idols.

What the fish??

How can wishing a friend Happy Pooja, or by the same token of flawed logic, Merry Christmas make me lose my faith in God? Is my faith so frail, as to safeguard my devotion to God, I will now learn to be uncharitable and not wish people happy-whatever?

Perhaps this will help to explain why lately Pakciks in their kopiahs have been so rude to everyone, especially on the road. You see, if you let a Chinese / Indian / Younger person in front of your car to go first, and learn to queue properly like other people, you could be an infidel, because YOU need to get home to pray… Other people’s souls are condemned anyways, so no need to be nice or patient. Right?

WRONG!! Fasting, and indeed ‘iman’ is determined not bit by bit, or parcel by parcel. It is, in my own ‘un-specialist’ opinion, determined wholesale in a person – cleanliness, patience, virtue, politeness, charity, devotion to God yakkity yak yak yak… It’s not possible to say you’re “beriman” because you choose not to be muhibbah, and not wish your neighbours Gong Xi Fa Chai, since if you do, it means you worship Chinese idols then….

So much for having a Muhibbah Ramadhan this year. I think that as I age, Ramadhan loses more of its charm every year. More and more people are turning into religious fanatics with nothing but the madness within themselves to justify it, and to make it worse, they love crucifying others, whether metaphorically or otherwise. More and more idiots put their half-baked ideas out there, and even pathetic would be the people with brains the size of a pea making crusades based on the very same ideas.

Why can’t we Muslims make it right for ourselves? It is bad enough with all that is going around, for example – the opinion of most Westerners that Muslims are overzealous and will resort to violence each and every time. What about the whole ‘purdah’ madness in Britain? Why don’t we Muslims make it understood that there is a choice involved in wearing a purdah – it is not a ‘must’ for all Muslim women to be covered head to toe, just covered decently…

That’s the thing, we say that people do not tolerate Muslims, but in actual fact, Muslims also cannot tolerate fellow Muslims, so how? We ourselves must make the change. Perhaps there is some reality to the thoughts of people who say that there are something wrong with Muslims everywhere in the world. We need to get rid of our Muslim ‘holier-than-thou’ mentality, and learn some tolerance, patience and other virtues. Maybe then perhaps other faiths will then finally see the beauty of Islam.

On being a good Muslim, this year I will try to do more charity and not complaint and rant so much… I know with this piece of ranting, it certainly more than definite I will be labeled an infidel. But it doesn’t bother me – I know deep in my heart, that my faith God alone knows, and no one else will pass judgement on me. I will not give in and give these idiots the satisfaction.

Hoping the idiots drop dead from ‘stupid’ virus or something, if only so that I won’t have to suffer them – Jasmine.

On decent relations…

It’s difficult living with someone, yes I know… Sometimes you get put off by their irritating habits, or what they did or did not do… or even the way they talk to you… It’s been a fairly bad weekend for me this past few days… None of the usual rest and relax, but instead its been hectic, full of days trying to catch up with deadlines and having to complete the usual household chores on top of the usual crap, especially since Raya is just round the bend… Sigh…

We spent most of Saturday in town, and with the mad shoppers thinking they absolutely have to get another pair of those cheap slippers, it was almost hellish. It was absolutely imperative that we got some of the things we needed to get. Not for Raya though, it was one of the projects we’re (or rather you) are completing right now. The shopkeepers were particularly foul, since that they behaved as if they owned the world. Excuse me, asshole, it’s my money and I won’t spend it here, thank you very much. Thank the heavens that the experience did not need to be repeated, since we got all we needed that day…

It was a trying day, I have to admit, even for the bravest souls. It was not amazing then, when you lost your temper. But the thing is, you’re not the only hungry one. I get grouchy too when hunger strikes, and even more so when my patience has been eroded down to half a millimeter by the mad shopkeepers. Fine, write it off as a one-off thing… Maybe it was due to all the stresses of working a hectic week, followed by a hectic Saturday in the maddening crowd.

But then again this morning the same ‘character’ appeared. No mad crowds, and since it was a Sunday yesterday, I’m hard pressed to give an excuse to this outburst. Someone even forgot to say a simple ‘bye’ in the morning, and it’s going to be hell today I know… since the same person also left their phone, and I will be having a late day today… I’m considering just going home straight after finishing all the usual shite I have to do today… Sigh… to make it worse, I’m having to depend on waiting for them to call me… Hopefully they do, but I’m not hoping for much, since there wasn’t even a greeting in the morning…

It was not my fault they slept late last night. In fact, it is not my fault they sleep late every night. I’m beginning to wonder why is it that I’m being avoided. It doesn’t help that there’s only two people in our house. Again, I reiterate that it’s not easy living with someone. But there is only so much I can do, and I’m only human too… Don’t forget that one day I’ll be gone… whether by natural or unnatural causes.

Tomorrow will be another stepping stone for this person, whom I love dearly. A stepping stone for the better, I pray… But then my hopes and dreams have a way of not going the way I want it to… In fact, nothing in my life that I’ve wished and hoped and worked my ass off for has ever come out right. Somehow it’s like living with someone completely different. It’s almost as if he was kidnapped by aliens and replaced with an inferior model. I cannot for the life of me, attribute this change to something or someone. Or maybe it is something or someone…

Perhaps it is a sign of my ‘un-wisdom’ that leads me this way… I must learn to spot the signs earlier so that my heart doesn’t get in the way of a demolition crew. Either that, or toughen up, and face the real world on my own, finally. I think I’ve skipped across too many of the challenges in my life by leaning on other people, and projecting my own dreams and ambitions onto others. I don’t know if the person I’m referring to will even bother looking at my blog today… it’s free for all, I guess…

As usual, I will do something to mark that person’s special day. I know what it feels like to be forgotten, and it’s not something I would wish on others. I’m hoping that it’s going to be a better week for me… especially since it’s going to be Raya soon – a time for joy and happiness (or so they say)…

Finally accepting that I have no one but myself to lean on – Jasmine.

ps – I apologize for airing my laundry in public today, but it has to be said… Even if it’s an absent, and imagined audience…

On dodgy internet connections…

This morning, the office was turned upside down because of no internet access. By the time I arrived at work, most of them already had their panties up in a bunch because they couldn’t get their morning dose of free porn. Sigh… It’s just my luck to be working in the company of people who think the sight of ugly people fornicating to be the ultimate wake up call in the morning. Doesn’t matter it’s fasting month and we’re all supposed to be ‘holy’ and ‘pure’…

First thing to do, reset the router and modem. No joy. Checked the router and modem, checked the settings, and then reset. Still no naked pictures… Sigh… now comes the harder bits… Check all the network settings on each individual terminal, run diagnostics on the router… Still looks OK… Again, no joy! At this point I’m about ready to scratch my head… OK, now I piggyback on the neighbor’s infinitely slower connection, and even their Streamyx is out of whack.

Call Streamyx technical help, and the line is madly busy this morning. Must be something down on their end… Finally I get a frazzled sounding kid on the line, and she tells me kinda hurriedly that the internet connections this morning are down, and that their techies are working on it, could we just be a bit patient and try again later?

There’s not much else I can do, and at least she was pleasantly civil to talk to. I guess the day will grind to a boring halt in a few minutes, since when there’s no porn the guys really have nothing to do… I guess I’ll be the only one relatively sane left here, since all I need is my music… got lots to entertain me on the playlist ☺

Come to think of it, last night sayang, you faced the same problem at home. I’ve noticed that since we live closer to the Streamyx ‘Mother Node’ near LKW, our connection will always be severed earlier than the guys downtown. I guess by the same token, we will be reconnected earlier as well…

The thing that bothers me the most is that no one seems concerned that the a more important line of communication, emails and IMs are all not functioning. I take a strange comfort in knowing that there are people out there who are connected to me, however intangible the link is. After all, what is tangible about a name with a smiley on the side? It’s just the prospect of being able to contact them, if you want to. There’s no actual contact actually involved – I talk, or rather chat with these people maybe once in a while. Sure, I got my regulars, people who talk to me on IM exclusively almost everyday.

It must be said that TM and Streamyx, and to say the same about computing, have come a long way, especially since those days when we used the dial-up connections to ITM server (for you, sayang) and for me, dial-up to the UM servers. Those were the days of typing your own log-in scripts, and computers bearing the DX4 (or something, can’t quite remember) with 16Mb RAM, and very very limited memory was the ‘in’ thing. Even earlier, I remember being a ‘cool’ one for having my own computer in the late eighties, and having to do my own programming to even have a ‘start-up’ page. This computer ran so hot, it had to sit in air-conditioned room with the thermostat cranked to the floor! Screens were just one colour, either green on black or white on black, and they came with manuals thick enough to become a workbench and the games were much much simpler too.

In those days, if the connection was dodgy, I accepted it. Just part and parcel of an emerging technology. Modems connected at the measley pace of 14.4kbps. Downloading anything at all took about forever. If the same were to happen today, I think they would be people leaping off buildings. In fact, now I wouldn’t put up with anything less than a flawless connection. It is after all, a service we pay for. Those dial-up days are much different, sort of like a frontier territory, with people making a grab for whatever they could. Even hogging the connection for hours did not cost a cent, other than the charges paid for making a local call.

Again, today I’ve strayed from my main point. My apologies. TM, please make yourselves more accountable for these services we pay good money for. After all, this is the second time this week that this has happened. We no longer live in the simpler days of the eighties or nineties (in computing terms)… This happens to be age of ever faster connections as people loose their ability to focus for more than 10 seconds, of gaming and making money in the ‘virtual’ world to make real ones in the real world, and mad networking of people in all corners of the globe – may it be via IM, or some other channel like MySpace or Youtube. Be accountable, and responsible, because to some people of my generation, and younger, feel that the ‘net is an integral part of our lives. It’s not easy to untangle oneself, even for a day of ‘down time’…

Impatiently waiting for the connection to be back online, so I can post my rants this morning, and send you my love – Jasmine.

On ‘balik kampung’…

Today they announced in the news that the ‘temporary’ speed limit reduction for the festive season is going to be ‘not-so-temporary’… They’ve decided to reduce all speed limits by 10km/h across the board, especially on highways, from now till January! Think of crawling at 20km/h in front of the countless schools people will drive by this Raya time… The move was proposed by our ‘beloved’ PM, who supposes that it’s better to be safe and slow… Or is it slow and safe? Same difference 😛

Now, I don’t know about you, but imagine the madness this move will cause especially during the mass exodus of the Deeparaya holidays when millions of folks crisscross Malaysian roads in every conceivable direction. Town folk will be heading home to kampung, kampung folk will be coming out to town, and then the rest of the shebang not celebrating Raya or Deeps will be taking the time to go holiday la, travel and see Cameron Highlands la, and God knows where else…

Even at the best of times, it is typical for the jams to stretch for hundreds of kilometers. No kidding! There was a year I drove back to Kota Bharu, and the jam entering Kelantan stretched all the way to Gua Musang, almost 200 kilometers out of the city limits of Kota Bharu. This with people driving at breakneck speed. Now picture this – Drivers slowing down to the requisite 40km/h so that they don’t fined by the policemen hiding in the bushes and making it almost impossible to overtake, and bus drivers with their loads crawling up hills because they got no momentum, and then don’t forget that the travelling masses need to pee, eat and stuff their faces all along the way, stretching even the best infrastructure to bursting seams.

It’s all good if you’re on the PLUS highways, but even that there’s no guarantee that the toilets haven’t overflowed when you get to Tapah R&R. It’s worse on the trunk roads, where we’re subject to the mercy of stall operators and petrol stations which are far and few in between for our pee stops. Hey, at least on PLUS roads it’s relatively straight compared to the winding ‘country’ roads.
OK, I’ll stop ranting now… My point for today is that sometimes people open their yaps without thinking, regardless how high on the totem pole they sit. Pak Lah darling, why don’t you consider the roles of bad drivers in causing accidents? Sometimes, no, it’s most of the time, stupidity kills. Not speed. Perhaps we should consider banning bad drivers from taking to the roads this holiday season. This way everyone can drive faster, safer and with less hassles and headaches all around.

Being high on the totem pole, people who yak too much (and get press time) and think they know what is best for the ‘rakyat’ have never actually experienced being a rakyat. Just take a look at the PM’s convoy, or even the DPM’s convoy making hoolabaloo with the escorts and what nots cutting through traffic like hot knife through cold butter. Maybe, just maybe they should try being one of us common people, and drive themselves home through the mad traffic this Raya. Then they’d know how ridiculous their ideas are, eh?

Praying for smarter people, with more cow sense to be on the top of the food chain next time around – Jasmine.

On getting rich…

Today, Google announced the mother deal of all deals… They will be buying Youtube for 1.65 BILLION bucks! Yes, you heard me right… 1.65 billion… it’s more than some countries make in a whole year… This is by a small company based in San Mateo with 60 staff… Imagine what kind of payout they’d be getting…

And then there’s ordinary people like us, who spend many a sleepless nights, thinking of schemes and business plans and ideas to help pay for the house bills… I’m not looking to make a billion bucks… No, that’s just too much… I think I’ll settle for a paltry 20 million bucks… Sounds reasonable, no? It’s only after all a fraction of what was earned by Youtube. Now if only I can come up with something incredibly catchy and glitzy and loved by the ruling class of the Internet these days, kids…

Yup, kids rule… Simply because they got the time and know-how to make it work… What I mean by kids are just generally young people, under the age of 30… not the drooling and dribbling variety of kids… Young people these days are incredibly savvy about the world, and especially more so with the tech-ish aspects of life… The best bit about these young people are the purchasing power they hold… There are countless young people out there with disposable incomes, simply because they live at home with mom and pop, and are not bogged down by bills and other frivolous expenditures like groceries. Instead, they spend their moolah on more important things like clothes, consumer electronics, betting and generally having a blast in life, not necessarily in that order…

All that’s left for me to make my 20 million is to get an incredible idea, to capture the minds and hearts of these young Turks, and then to make a multi-national like Google or Yahoo be interested to include my services in their ranks…

Sigh… not as easy as it seems, eh?? I guess I’ll go back to spending endless sleepless nights thinking about it… I’ll let you know as soon as a particularly brilliant one pops into my overworked brains OK?

Waiting for the ‘jewel’ of all ideas to fall from the sky – Jasmine.