Letter to the littlest of boys

To our Nathan,
With your tiny feet and ridiculous energy, you have become the darling of our family. We love you more than you love Tic Tac and neeenos. It’s been a long time we had someone who has exhausted us, our energy, our patience and logical thinking abilities, but you have done that and more.
You are a boy through and through and a very good one at that just like the other boys in the family. You are messy, and naughty, you are boisterous and can be quite a handful, but its your innocence that’s endearing. It’s the innocence we have sort of forgotten, the one where you jump into the ocean without worrying about anything, the innocence of making friends without second guessing, the innocence of trusting  people, knowing that everyone you see has God in them. Not to forget your love for sand and all that can be done with it

 

Nathan

I pray you grow up to a world that helps you as well as holds you to the ground. I pray you know that happiness is fleeting, but to be content is what we live for. I pray that you know pain and disappointment, along with immeasurable Joy and everlasting Love and I pray that God gives you his Strength and guards you and protects you, guides you and uses you so that you may fulfil your purpose here, may he protect your heart from corruption and spoil and keep it as innocent and as beautiful as it is now.

For now, you are only 2 and a half years old, and your 1000 year old cousin sister, as old as she is,doesn’t know all that much about your ambulance neenos, but she knows what a blessing you are to all of us us how grateful we are to have you.
God Bless you

Here’s to the tiny brother

 

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Traveling through the pages


When I was in school, I had this friend who had this fancy family that would tour all around the world every holiday, and I remember thinking to myself, when I got bigger – bigger than 12, I would make a lot of money and go see the world too, it seemed like the cool thing to do.
What we didnt’t have in money, we were blessed with books and imagination. Every occasion called for gifts that were stories bound by covers and had a lot of words in them, words that would take you to different worlds, and sometimes take you around this world.
That was the gift of reading, of imagining, of traveling without leaving home. My parents gave us books, by authors like Enid Blyton, Francis Hodgson, Victor Hugo, Jules Verne and story compilations- those 365 stories series, 365 fairy tales, 365 nature tales, 365 inventions… one story for every day, one adventure for every day, one unforgettable experience for every day.

My most favourite book, beside the giant Peter Pan book that I still have was 365 nature stories.
It was a journal of the world, filled with illustrations of birds and animals, seasons in countries I had never seen, of creatures I had never heard of.

My goodness how I miss illustrated books..

But it was where my fascination for drawing and of illustrations were born, and at the heart of it all, it still seems to inspire me today.

Time is always short when you have a book adventure you are have to go on, and time sure seemed short then, it seems so far away now.

Just 2 weeks ago, we packed all our Harry Potter books, gave it away to my Mother’s friends children, and I couldn’t help thinking that’s one  childhood being passed on to another. In those books, they will find their favourite parts, and they will discuss them, they will learn new words, and travel to different places, and those worn out pages will be the vehicle for someone else’s adventure… that’s the beauty of reading.

That makes me happy, for what is life without great stories

I may not have traveled or have any foreign country stamps in my passport, but I think I have already seen some of the world, and now that I am bigger than 12, I hope I get to see this wonderful world and write my own stories about it.

Here’s to stories, and illustrated books.

 

Blue Jay singature

Cycles and A Childhood

Cycles and A Childhood

Childhood memories always always have a bicycle in them, mine’s no different

The first bicycle I ever consciously remember riding was called StreetCat, it was a black and yellow bike which obviously should have been called a bumblebee or a wiz khalifa song, but this was way back in the 00’s, and songs made a little more sense then than they do now

Anywhoo, streetcat belonged to my aunt and sat in my grandma’s tool shed/scary room for a very long time, covered by co-webs and kept warm by chickens that made their home in that shady place. When I was 10, on vacation and a bother to all the adults , who didn’t know how to keep me occupied, I was sent to check on the chickens every half an hour. The chickens annoyed as they were, had no option but to accommodate me in their little world, but my attention was always on Streetcat.

It wasn’t long before my grandma saw the yearning and after much negotiations with the chickens and a not so delighted mother Hen, we managed to free streetcat from the clutches of the crazy chicks. StreetCat was not necessarily the most glamorous cycle, nor was it in the greatest shape, it was but a dream in the eyes of a 10 year old.

After a thorough cleaning, some chain fixing and greasing, convinced by my grandma, I climbed on that monster of a bike. As big as the bike the fishmonger rode, I couldn’t even touch my feet to the ground, which didn’t seem to worry any of my family members, but she took the time to teach me, holding me on one side and balancing on the red rock wall  or “durig” as we call it, afternoon after afternoon my grandma and I kept at it, until I could ride. It wasn’t anything extraordinary, but  at that time, it meant the world to me, and a way to see the world around me.

If in this life, if I ever achieve anything, if I do end up doing anything worthwhile it wouldn’t compare with that first feeling of riding that cycle, with my grandma watching me disappear down the road, a smile on her face.

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Streetcat is in someone else’s custody now, it has become someone else companion, but for a brief 2 months, it was mine, and I don’t think anything can replace that. A dear friend asked my what was my childhood dream and I immediately said ” to have a cycle” when I asked him what his was, he replied the same thing. We are all the same, and all our memories seem to be the same, small and very very simple.

Thank goodness for the little things in life.

To Chickens, StreetCat, Childhood and my Grandma

edited Robin

 

Work in Progress

I asked an artist for advice on how to get better at drawing and painting, and he only looked at me with that smile in his eyes and said ” Draw Everyday”. I looked at him like he was crazy ,thinking to myself ” Man I don’t have enough time to breathe, talk less of drawing everyday, give me advice that’s actually helpful.

I was wrong…..aaand its not the first time

It seems to be the only way out. I didn’t really take it to heart, until ofcourse I heard the same sentiment shared by GD from Big Bang from the time he was on Happy Together.

I guess GD was more convincing, and it kind of sort of made sense to me when GD said it ( cause He’s GD and all)  and all of last year I decided to relentlessly, stupidly pursuing this thing, not knowing if it would actually help me out or not. If not everyday, then every weekend, and slowly things  actually happened and the paintings were decent enough that I didn’t cringe as much as I used to before – meaning there was about a 5 % resemblance to what I was trying to draw, which is great, because there was a time, when I once tried to paint this dreamy scene of lanterns floating through the night and the brother was wondering why I was trying to draw feta cheese in the night sky… ( which should’ve been reason enough for me to quit.. but I persevered – phew!)

I was browsing through Bored Panda the other day ( its my favourite past-time, cause unlike Buzzfeed, they don’t say their articles will change your life.. stop trying to change my life Buzzfeed.. I am happy the way it is right now). In any case, they had artists post their artwork from when they initially started drawing and the artwork they have worked on recently and its really really amazing, you can see how far they have come.. Its really interesting to see- it will immediately make you think of your journey so far with the thing that you like to do.

Someone once said we always grow in levels, which is something I think is true, we always grow in levels, in relation to how much we know ourselves, and every level brings a greater awareness than before and after sometimes you get caught in that moment where you suddenly travel back to the day you first started and you look at what you are able to do now and it kind of amazes you.

It amazes me, it gives me goosebumps, not only with me, but when you look around, and you look around at the people in your life and you see them progressing and each day the light in their eyes grows bigger and bigger. There’s nothing like personal achievement, nothing like starting out knowing this thing you are attempting is bigger than what you are capable of and then years later the thing you thought you couldn’t do, comes as natural as breathing.

My paintings may not have much of an audience  except for the laundry guy, the water guy, the carpenter guy  who are forced to look at them hanging on our walls everytime they come home, and it may not change the world, or make someone feel anything, but to me it will always mean a moment in time, an expression of self, it will always be a memory and ability and progress.. and that’s good enough.

So if you suck now, remember that won’t always be the case, gradually you’ll suck less and then you be really good at it, that the laundry guy won’t cringe so much.

That’s the lesson of this post .. soo education and inspirational.

Anywhoo, here’s my progress

Age 21

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Unknown Dude ( 2011)

Age : 25

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Grandad.- Papa (2016)

What’s the one thing you are stupidly, crazily pursing?

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In Defense of Jung Hwan #TeamJungHwan Forever

I am impassioned, Impassioned and slightly ticked of. Ticked off enough to write this post, with the cursor roaming all over the screen because it is just as impassioned as me ( or maybe we are just having technical difficulties with the mouse .. not sure which )

In any case, back to my ticked-ness, I have just completed watching Reply 1988, or R88 as its known now, and I absolutely loved it, except for the 1 part – Great story ( except for the one story flaw), amazing Cast ( except for the one thing in the story ) and one delightful OST ( except for the part where you know what happens in the story) and fantastic writing ( except for that one part)

*SPOILERS* Proceed with caution, although at this point, I am sure everyone knows what just happened, and literally that’s the expression that everyone who has been following this drama is walking around with.. What Just Happened. ( retreats to corner…cries)

I would’ve posted my rage and my anger and my heartbreak on one of the drama forums, only I am ever so slightly worried of the other people coming at me, so for my safety and sanity I will post it here.. in the privacy of my very public blog ( I am sure it will be fine)

Jung Hwan.. This guy , this fictional character that cannot just be real, but goodness me, I wish he was, because he would be an amazing person in real life. I think the reason he has so much appeal is because RYJ played him so well,  and he seems soo relate-able and of course never in the 20 Eps, did you ever feel like he was the second lead, so it was surprising that this drama turned out the way it did

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Husband Hunt aside, I loved the way this character was written, and among all, I think it was something very special. With his sense of loyalty and love for family- one that always came before everything else.

Somehow where other people saw hesitation and thought him to be a coward, I think his loyalty and friendship with CT was more important to him, enough to let go of the one thing he wanted.- He had that courage, He had that Big a heart ( I know he is a fictional character, but it didnt’t feel like that at all)

We are like that sometimes, even if everything tells you Do what you wish, and forget about everything else, follow your heart, at times its impossible to, because you are not at the same wave length as the world, and no one can entirely know  or understand your motivations .. sometimes we cannot always go after what we want.

JH was written so delicately, rough and course on the surface, inexpressive and complicated, but underneath it all, he has a gentle side to him, that cannot just help escape his whole facade and I guess that’s why everyone was rooting him, he seemed the obvious choice, and it was heartbreaking to see how it all turned out to be.

I wish he got the girl, and till the last minute I hoped for some kind of mega plot twist, but we didn’t get any. It was painful because everything was leading to that one obvious conclusion, and we didn’t get it.

Its more heartbreaking than How I met your Mother ending, and even though I cannot understand why writers like to torture their own characters and their audience so much, I do accept this is their story and its going to be the way it is.

I guess we still get SWBR as a consolation, and even though its not what we were hoping for, its better than nothing because it was all JH and DS were supposed to be *aggresive crying*

I loved the series though, considering the fact that I wasn’t even planning to watch it, not after hearing all the laments of R94, but it got me, from the very first scene, this drama got it, and it held my attention for all of the 20 eps. This writer is incredible in the way we are made to feel things and relate to situations we’ve never experienced before. I thought R97 ( my favourite of all three) was most familiar, but it was R88 that really really touched me, because it was like going back to my childhood, to the neighbourhood I spent the first 5 years of my life , and now living in a city very far from my home country , it made me realize all things I had missed, but it gave me a chance to relive that and its probably for that very reason , I’ll keep coming back to this drama, like coming back home from a vacation.

Of to marathon R88… #TeamJungHwan

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When you have to say Goodbye

There are some moments in life you will carry with you all your life, moments of great Joy and sometimes moments of immeasurable sadness. 2 weeks ago, we had that moment in our family, when our grandfather passed away.

Nothing in life can prepare you for a moment such as this,even if you know such a time is coming. Loss is hard to describe other than experiencing it is the most hardest thing you do, rationalizing it is even worse, but our mortality demands it of us.

It is who we are.

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That was the moment I came to know.

My grandad wasn’t a very extraordinary person, except probably to the people who knew him. He was a man who commanded so much respect and judging by all the people I saw crying and the grave that was completely covered in flowers & wreaths he was a man who was loved, a proof of a life well and truly sincerely lived.

There won’t be another man like My grandpa, there won’t be another one who will teach us and treat us, who would talk to us and love us like that. Its grief of the loss of the person and the loss of the relationship.

People say 85 years is  a full life, but to the ones who’ve said goodbye even a 1000 years isn’t enough, but we’ve said our goodbyes with the undying hope there will surely be inseparable reunion in heaven.

Its our faith that keeps us going.

That’s what we have to become.

Now we’re left here in the pain
Black suit black tie standing in the rain
And now my family is one again- Ed Sheeran

Here’s to life, here’s to grandfathers, here’s to being blessed with someone who makes it so hard to say goodbye

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A is for Alpha.. redefining spelling

When you’ve worked in Dubai for as long as I have .. 6000 years and counting.. or was it 4, I don’t know, it all seems the same at this point, you pick up on some crazy communication strategies.

Dubai being as multi cultured as it is ( very very multi cultured), we find it hard to sometimes understand what the other person is saying, so it seems the workforce has made it their mission to reinvent the English language and assign new words to the alphabets ( because you know the words we learnt in primary school weren’t good enough)….

For your consideration.. or it is for your reference..

A  is for Alpha, not for Apple, or Amsterdam
B is for Bombay, never ball and definitely not basic
C is for Cat, which is of course becoming the universal symbol of the world
D is for Dubai.. because you know we are in Dubai and logic
E is Easter ..maybe no one wanted to put too much effort in redefining E
F is for Freight.. (logistics people)
G is for Germany ( I know)
H is for House
I is for Island
J for Jebel Ali ( lots of geographic names)
K for Kuwait ..never Kite or anything normal like key, or kangaroo
L for Limca or Logistics ( again logistics people)
M is for Manila ( like the Capital of Philipines) or Mumbai
N is Netherlands ( we are all into country names)
O is for Oscar.. everywhere and anywhere you go, O is always Oscar, you can change every there letter and every other word, but it is unforgivable to change O…
P is for  Philippines
Q is for Queen.. ofcourse, we have a hard time coming up with any  other simpler word
R is for Ras Al Khaimah
S is for Sharjah
T is for Taxi.. never Terminal ( I wonder why)
U is for Umm al Quwain
V is for Victory… just like O for Oscar, V is always always always Victory
W is for Water
X .. we struggle with this one.. its always X is for X.. no one has  a good word for this letter
Z same as X we struggle with this one too, to add to the confusion, no one ever knows whether the pronunciation is ZEE or ZED, ( we just make it up as you go with this letter)

 

So imagine a conversation between me and a guy named Alwin

Me : So can I speak with the concerned person
Alwin : That’s me, Alpha, Limca, Water, Island, Netherlands- Alwin
Me : Oh Hi Alwin, did you say it was Apple, logistics, Wage, Ice, Nice ?
Alwin : No No,  wait let me say it again.. its Alpha, Limca, Water Island, Netherlands – A.L.W.I.N.
Me : Right thank you, can I have your email ID ( dreading this question)
Alwin : sure its its Alpha, Limca, Water Island, Netherlands dot Oscar Oscar Victory, Sharjah @ Easter manila queen alpha cat ….

By this time my minds already drifted away, but I am really thankful that landline calls are free.. imagine doing this via Mobile

It never gets easier, even after the 6000-5996 years that I’ve been working, it hasn’t become any easier, and I’ve post it notes of people’s names all over my table to proof how hard it is.
Its easier when people give you their names though, its harder when you have to give yours, each time, mid spelling I tend to forget my own name, or wish I had a shorter name or start thinking of the last time I drank Limca.. Its all very exhausting..

My only hope is that never in the foreseeable future I will never have to spell Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, because that would just be plain torture and truthfully there aren’t enough post its for that.

Guess I better go to work now
Have a great Water Easter Easter Kuwait Easter Netherlands Dubai

Heres to the worklife and ofcourse MR. Alpha, Limca, Water Island, Netherlands
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