Saturday, December 30, 2006

Confession from The Kite Runner

I kept my tumultuous emotion contained till page 219 when I gave way and cried. I’ve never really cried reading a book before, save once when I read a moving story on forgiveness in Chicken Soup for the Christian Soul 5 years ago.

From page 1 till page 219 of The Kite Runner, I shared the characters’ grief and felt the sting of Baba & Hassan’s death as did the protagonist Amir. I too, like Amir, live a life stricken with guilt. I too, like Amir, let down and betrayed a dear friend. I too, like Amir, wonder many times looking up to heaven if I’m deserving of God’s many blessings of new friendships.

Amir in the book had the opportunity to make up for his debt to his dearly departed friend Hassan. While there is life, there is hope. I pray and hope that like Amir, I too, will be granted a sacred chance to make up for the pain I’ve caused.

P/S: The Kite Runner has 371 pages worth of emotionally, culturally, politically & historically provoking gems. I'm currently at page 219. And I dread arriving at the last page because I want this journey to my literary enrichment and personal reflection go on a little longer. I pray that in this lifetime I'll never be in lack of such life-changing books.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Vision made Reality

For 3 consecutive years I diligently sat myself down in January, pondered, wrote down and prayed as I set my goals for each brand new year. The results achieved were little in the initial years but grew steadily as the years progressed. For instance, 2005 saw me achieving only about 50% of my goals. 2006 however saw me achieving, I’m proud to say, 85% of my goals! That’s a quantum leap of improvement and I thank God for grace & strength.

As a matter of prove, here are a sample of my goals set for 2006 which made the reality list:

1. Weight loss of x kg
2. Acquire a job that earns me $xxxx
3. Pursue a course in mass comm.
4. Freelance writing
5. Increased drum playing

Old maxims are never quite a cliché if you know its origin and its results reaped through the generations. One of such is this - if you can see it, you can have it. The Power of Visualization.

Friday, December 22, 2006

The Kite Runner

We can all move out of racial, cultural and political prejudices by being outstanding in what we do and being known in our craft in the international scene.

Consider Maya Angelou, out of her African American roots and sexual abuse she was lifted out of shame and poverty by her writing prowess.

Khaled Hosseini who grew up in the dodgy streets of Kabul and obscure Afghanistan. Who would have thought that his experience turned novel would triumph as an international best seller?

Allow me to introduce a fantastic read by Khaled Hosseini, the book that brought him international fame - The Kite Runner. The review below can be found at

The Kite Runner, Amir and Hassan grow up together in Afghanistan like brothers, although they couldn't be more different. Amir is the son of a wealthy businessman, a Sunni Muslim, a Pashtun, and he's educated and reads voraciously. Hassan's father is a servant to Amir's father, and Hassan is a Sh'ia Muslim, a Hazara, he's illiterate, and he has a harelip. But neither boy has a mother and they spend their boyhoods roaming the streets of Kabul together. Amir, though, continually uses his superior position to taunt or abuse Hassan, and one day hides in fear as Hassan is beaten mercilessly by bullies. The Soviet invasion of Aghanistan sends Amir's family to the United States, but he returns there as an adult during the Taliban rule to atone for his sins to Hassan. Khaled Hosseini is an Afghan émigré living in San Francisco and his debut novel has received mostly good reviews. The Denver Post says The Kite Runner "ranks among the best-written and provocative stories of the year so far."

May I persuade you to get a hold of this book and devour its content from cover to cover as you journey with the author through the weaves of love, kinship, betrayal and atonement.

By the way, the book's made it so big that a movie is underway, due for release in the US in Nov 2007.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


Familiarity breeds contempt. Especially within the family. Now let me make a qualifier here – no, it doesn’t happen to all families, but most. Because family members are people you spend most time with. Family members are always around, even when separated by vast oceans. Family members stick around whether we've been bad or good, because blood runs thicker than water. And precisely so we take our families for granted.

Recently I vow to myself not to second prioritize my family, as I always do. The numerous funeral wakes that I’ve attended this year slapped me hard out of my selfish, immature and ungrateful shell. It woke me up to the reality of someday losing a dear one I now take for granted. It breaks my heart to imagine the immense sense of loss and agony upon the demise of a family member.

So now I remind myself to give while there are opportunities, care while there are needs and love while there is time.

Right there

God meets us right where we are. This is enuff' for me. I pray you find encouragement in this lil' nugget.

Monday, December 11, 2006

In God We Trust

Not much of a Christian testimony, but then again, we practice freedom of speech, don't we?


From the 7th issue of asia! (2006). Written by its Editor, Lee Han Shih. Titled “
In God We Trust”

“We hold these Truths to be self evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

These words were penned by Thomas Jefferson on July 4, 1776. But 230 years later, under George W. Bush, thse unalienable truths are totally subverted. Witness the wrongful arrest of Chinese American scientist Wen-Ho Lee, the imprisonment without trial of hundreds in Guantanamo Bay, the shabby treatment of people of Middle East origin, the invasion of Iraq on false pretenses, the anger aroused in the Islamic world, the powerful influence of the GOD lobby (Guns, Oil and Drugs) on Capitol Hill, the protests of top military officials against Bush’s war machine and its two chief proponents, Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice. The legacy of George W. Bush will live on.

In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said: “I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal.’ I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character. I have a dream today.”

As Asians ponder the implications of America’s 230th Independence Day on July 4, 2006, they should also remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was gunned down five years later. 33 years after his speech, his dream of a nation that does not judge its people by the colour of their skin remain as distant and unfulfilled as the day he mouthed it. This is Bush’s legacy.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Premier Voice

In the midst of essay writing, I can’t help but to be amused by my Premier Minister Dr. Mahathir. In the release of Sean Connery’s self produced and directed action thriller in 1999, Entrapment, the vocally aggressive minister spoke his mind.

Never mind his retirement from active politics in recent years. In many ways he is still the mouth piece for citizens of a nation under constant disparaging views by audiences of other nations.

He may not exactly be the most endearing of all leaders, but he sure is a forcibly vocal man – one whose words you simply don’t ignore.

Here's honoring the man who speaks for the masses with smaller voices.


From Asian Economic News, 28 June 1999

The latest Sean Connery movie ''Entrapment'' has drawn the ire of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad who complained Tuesday that the thriller distorts Malaysia.

''I really cannot understand why we need to distort and harm...The urge to distort and misinform seemed irresistible to some people,'' he told a group of foreign advertising executives.

''Recently, a film was made on location in Malaysia (''Entrapment'')... We are horrified to find that the Kuala Lumpur Twin Towers, the tallest building in the world, are pictured as rising from the slums of Malacca 150 kilometers away,'' he said.

In a scene that was spliced, Connery and the female lead, Catherine Zeta Jones, were pictured cruising down the filthy Malacca River with a breathtaking view of the 452-meter-tall Petronas Twin Towers as a backdrop.

Mahathir said such a distorted view would make movie audiences in the developed countries think ''Malaysia was one of the developing countries which wasted public funds, perhaps even foreign aid, on grandiose monuments.''

''And they of course would not want to come and see the tallest building in the world,'' he said, adding that the twin towers are actually surrounded by 20 hectares of beautifully landscaped garden.

Malaysia has always wanted to promote itself as a choice film location. When ''Entrapment'' was shot here, the government gladly helped with visa processing, customs clearance, and telecommunications, and even provided police protection.

Another Hollywood movie filmed in Malaysia recently is ''Anna and the King'' starring Jodie Foster and Hong Kong superstar Chow Yuen Fatt. In a similar vein, Mahathir hit out again at the Western media.

He acknowledged that Malaysia has been going through a period of economic instability coupled with ''a degree of political turmoil'' arising from the removal of his ex-deputy Anwar Ibrahim from the cabinet. There were street demonstrations that turned ugly, but Mahathir said they were confined to the capital and had since lost steam.

''Kuala Lumpur is now its usual bustling self,'' he said.

''This is the true picture. But as you yourself know, this is not the impression you get when you read the media reports or the TV reports before you come here,'' Mahathir said.

Monday, December 04, 2006


The love of my life in his younger days... (ain't he a sweetie pie? awww...)