Bring him home (Les Miserables) ~ Alfie Boe

there has just been so many aircraft tragedies in the past few months. this feels appropriate.

i choose to still hang on to hope beyond hope. i truly believe in miracles.

god on high, hear my prayer,
in my need, you have always been there
he is young, he’s afraid. let him rest heaven blessed
bring him home, bring him home
he’s like the son i might have known if god had granted me a son
the summers die one by one, how soon they fly on and on
and i am old and will be gone
bring him peace, bring him joy. he is young, he is only a boy
you can take, you can give. let him be, let him live
if i die, let me die, let him live, bring him home

People carry worlds within them. ~ Neil Gaiman

within the first half an hour of mh17’s crash, i receive calls from all over the world of people making sure that i am safely on the ground. yes, i am safely on the ground. i do travel on that code quite frequently, but through the blessing of god, i am safely on the ground, here in the netherlands when the tragedy struck.

all over the world. malaysia. netherlands. uk. switzerland, hong kong. canada. india. cambodia. usa. mom obviously, was the first to buzz on my phone. but so many more quickly followed. and i am stunned, and i am still stunned by just how many people thought of me during that time of panic.

and i am truly, truly grateful. so much so that i don’t know how to react. it is truly unexpected. so many messages were pouring in, that i had to put up a proper notice on facebook and twitter to announce that i am okay. yet, the messages still poured. messages. posts. emails.

i am blessed. i guess it took being away, so far away, for me to realise how many people have me in their thoughts and prayers. it is truly unexpected. i am grateful. so much more than words can say.

words cannot express how i feel about the downing of mh17. on one hand, it could have been me. like i said, i am so frequently on that code. but more than that, being so involved in the aviation industry has brought me closer to airports and airlines. despite what people say about corruption etc, i know a lot of good people who work in it, and their dedication makes a real difference to the travel experience.

and on top of all of that, i am a malaysian in the netherlands. i watch the two countries grieve over the incident. i see anger. i see coming together. no one could find a single fault in the respect shown by the dutch to the crash victims. but there is also a searing, controlled anger underlying their calm composure.

i soak it all in. the good. the bad. i really would not have it any other way. i am blessed. but i am also sad. i am at awe. i am angry. i am proud. it is an incredible thing, this human experience.

You are welcome, most noble Sorceress, to the land of the Munchkins. We are so grateful to you for having killed the Wicked Witch of the East, and for setting our people free from bondage. ~ L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

so this is how strong the wind was: i felt lift. i kid you not. the comes a point when everyone on the streets just had to close their umbrellas walaupun ada sikit lagi hujan, and redah je whatever drizzle was left because the wind was so strong, if you insist on trying to resist the weather, you can and you will do a dorothy. oh, unless, some of them tell me, you have one of those revolutionary senz umbrellas which has this aerodynamic design to withstand wind. the downside is that the shape of the payung is weird and ugly. so pilih la. nak basah or nak nampak kelakar.

but back to my near flight experience. ya’ll know that i carry a sling back right. and even that was already getting airborne. my jacket felt like what a balloon must feel like when being filled with angin. thankfully, my cultural education has grown enough to tell me that i should not wear my hair down on days when the sky looks threatening. rambut dah panjang, by the way, but i really don’t know about these european hair dressers. lagipun, my hair has sorta changed since getting here. at home, my hair is wavy. kat sini, i have straight hair. something about the humidity and the water. so kena tukar jenis shampoo.

and i was scared. because i am much smaller size than the europeans here, and clearly nak biaca dengan cuaca here an such strong winds, that the thought of actually flying away not only crossed, but danced in my head. i feel like i should be holding on to a tiang of something. just in case. just in case kalau kalau i actually terbang.

i got back to my apartment and closed off the wind that continued to throw raindrops against my windows.

and this is as the continent approaches summer. summer. no belum musim luruh or winter lagi.

Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. ~Rabindranath Tagore

ramadhan. in malaysia, we fast for about 13 hours. in the netherlands, we fast for just over 19 hours.

it is not easy.

by the 16th hour, i was seeing stars.

it becomes no longer a question of hunger. my stomach has given up rumbling by then. dehydration kicks in and the loudest proponent is the head. like i said, stars. i lie down, my feet elevated, attempting to get enough blood flow to my brain to maintain proper command over the rest of the body. stars. i have to turn off the game – ned was playing mex in the knock off game. it was half time and neither has scored. it wasn’t that interesting of a game anyway. i have to turn off all sources of sound. i have to turn off all sources of light – it was bright and sunny outside as we approach summer. i pull an eye mask over my face, bury the rest of my head under my pillow and attempt to extinguish the stars. oh the stars.

the worse was yet to come.

ten minutes to break of the fast. i have prepared lovely chicken and potato curry. vegetable soup. brown rice. agar-agar with nectarines and bananas and lemon juice. i was set. i had woken up slightly more level headed with anticipation of nutrients.

i break fast with water. it rushes through me, and immediately makes me feel sick. i eat a banana, and four spoons of rice and suddenly, my world felt like it was crashing down. everything that went in wanted to come right back out. the more i attempt to put down, the greater the push to come back out.

masuk angin. blood rush to the stomach.

i give up on dinner. i drink more water. i force eat the agar-agar. the stars have formed a galaxy spinning through my entire universe. i turn everything off and go back to sleep.

i wake up two hours later. sahur.

i feel better. whatever little i took in had sufficiently revitalised my system, somewhat. i heat up the vegetable soup. i eat that with brown rice. i know i should eat more, but that queasy feeling was coming back. i try to pace small portions that is more managable. a bit of chocolate. sugar, i need sugar. water. more water.

today’s strategy will be trying to expel as much wind from my system as possible at the start of the break fast. i am thinking of ginger. and tea. i will see if i can find some after work. otherwise i will make my own. it is by true grace and wisdom of the almighty that compelled me to buy ginger at the market last weekend. i didn’t know what i was going to do with it, i just bought it and thought i will figure it out as the week goes by. and here it is. god had kindly put the solution in my fridge waiting for me to pick it up, to make sweet ginger tea with.

this kindness shall be what i will have on my mind when the stars come floating in this evening.

Jagao Mere Des Ko – A.R Rahman, Suchi, Blaaze – Coke Studio @ MTV Season 3

Based on original Bengali lyrics
by Rabindranath Tagore

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded the individual. ~ Albert Einstein

why am i getting sensitised or desensitised or actually, i think i got it right the first time… sensitised to all this concrete suddenly?

if i were to take a step back, i think it could be a combination. the clear fact that i find myself most of the time in europe these days and things are different there. not better. different. of course, i have to take account that things are far more developed there and the so-called maturity of the people have had more time to develop. it’s funny, you know, i was talking to this audience not too long ago about developed and developing countries, and how developed countries tell developing countries that they should control how they grow – they get angry about the amount of trees are felled, how much plantation land is opened, how much the developing countries consume energy, pollute water, emit carbon – and i am not saying that the consumption patterns of developing countries are on a very healthy trend – but there is something about how developed countries want to limit the growth of these countries that does not reflect very well on the balance of power that is on hand.

yes, i really don’t believe is uncontrolled growth. sustainability – god only knows how many times a day, i use that word. but it is true. unsustainable growth is a very bad idea. but telling other countries that you cannot achieve the wealth and prosperity that they have, is unfair. again, the word of the day is sustainability. and too few realise that it really means striking a balance. growth is necessary. but we can choose how to grow. the simplest way i can put it is this: we can make a lot of money here and now, or we can keep making money for years and years to come. you know what they say about easy come, easy go. that is exactly the point. we don’t want to be rich now and poor tomorrow. we want to be happy, here, now and always.

i tell people that i am trying to learn the best of both worlds. there are strengths and weaknesses in everyone, in every nation. people tell me that the grass is greener on the side, and this is not true. grass is not greener where we are either. in a round planet, the truth is, the grass is the same hue of green everywhere.