Beautiful Words..

Such beautiful lyrics by Siva Ananth.

Of course Sid Sriram brought the whole music together with his haunting vocals and music, but the lyrics is the foundation of this great piece. The more I spend time reading tamil, the more I develop true appreciation for the beauty of the language. It’s probably impossible to translate this and appreciate it the same way in English but I have added the transileration of it below:

ராசா சிங்கம் என் சாமி
யாரு சொன்னாலும்
எனக்கு நீதானே சரிப்பாதி
வாயா பாவி காத்திருக்கேன்
போனா போவட்டும்
என்னை கை கோர்த்து கரை சேரய்யா

தனியில நடக்கையில்
எனக்கு நீ தொனையிரு
மடியில் மனசுல
உறங்கிட எடங்கொடு

Rācā ciṅkam eṉ cāmi
yāru coṉṉālum
eṉakku nītāṉē carippāti
vāyā pāvi kāttirukkēṉ
pōṉā pōvaṭṭum
eṉṉai kai kōrttu karai cērayyā

taṉiyila naṭakkaiyil
eṉakku nī toṉaiyiru
maṭiyil maṉacula
uṟaṅkiṭa eṭaṅkoṭu


The problem with lying

A short rambling about lies.

Lying, being untruthful or being partially truthful is such a common practise these days that sometimes the lines are so badly blurred that the person ends up living in a self-created illusion or bubble, unaware of the effects and consequences of their actions.

In most cases, it starts of as lies to avoid a conflict or protect ones privacy. But the problem is, it never ends there. It slowly grows, expands from a small seemingly harmless lie to bigger and bigger ones. Before you know it, you are lying more and more and even lying to cover up the previous lie. It just goes on and on leading the person into a false sense that they have succeeded in getting away with it.

Soon lying and manipulating becomes part of ones life. Before you know it, you are lying to your loved ones for no apparent reason, even going down the part of infidelity, leading a double life, all of which seemingly starts off from a small harmless lie. A person then starts to even believe their own lies and may even come to the conclusion that all others are buying their stories.

The problem is, people start to smell the bullshit after awhile but they don’t make the person aware of it. Every lie or manipulation that they are being subject too adds a new wall between the victim and the perpertrator.

At some point, the victims will see through all the facade and quietly moving away with a smile not wanting to burst the bubble. And such smiles brings relief to the liar who now thinks they have successfuly gotten away with it. Not realising, they may have “apparently” succeeded with their lies but lost the very truth that was in front of them.

“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”
― Adolf Hitler


Covid-19 General

Covid-19 seems to bring the best and worst out of people

Everyone is slowly getting used to the idea of the lockdown/MCO. It seems that the lockdown may be further extended till the end of April. The government has announced various subsidies and plans to help our businesses but from a quick glance, these are going to benefit medium to large sized businesses. Smaller businesses will most likely have to wade through the pandemic themselves. We shall see how that goes.

Everytime I browse through an online news site, there seems to be so many strange stories related to Covid-19.

In India, migrant workers are sprayed with disinfectant used to sanitise buses. According to Indian media reports, the chemical used was sodium hypochlorite, the main ingredient in bleach. I think they were returning to their hometowns due to the lockdown and after sanitizing the bus, the workers then got the people to sit in a group and decided to sanitize them. Seems like fear can drive people to do crazy things!

But not all is bad. I read this wonderful article on Al-Jazeera on how Refugees are giving back to Malaysia in these uncertain times.

The fastest response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in the refugee communities in Kuala Lumpur has come from within the communities themselves. Face masks, soaps, sanitiser and food are being distributed in the most crowded and vulnerable refugee communities.

“Many people call me as a community leader asking for food, asking me how can they go for COVID-19 checks,” Ismail said. “People cannot go out for doing their jobs anymore. Malaysian people have the government to help them, but the government doesn’t provide any aid for refugees. Many of them are daily workers, they earn 30-40 Malaysian ringgit ($7-9), they will use that amount every day to buy food, medicine, and pay their rents.”

Read the full article here

After missing for three days, the bread truck finally arrives at the grocery store near my house. Glad that at least the basic food items are still available for purchase.

Covid-19 General

Cooking During the MCO

One of the challenges during the Movement Control Order (MCO) is getting some decent food. So I’ve decided to just spend time cooking all my meals. Here is a selection of some food I’ve cooked over the MCO period.

Fried Pasta (Indian Style)
Rava Dosa with Soy Meal Maker Peratal

Getting wholemeal bread during the MCO is another challege. It is always out of stock at the grocery store near my house. It’s a nationwide problem as everyone is just buying in bulk these days.

So I decided to just try making chapati. Bought some Atta flour and this can just be my wholemeal replacement bread. Yesterday was the first day I tried it. It was a bit difficult to get the right consistency for the dough and I could barely make it round. But it tasted really good. Yummy! Cooked some vegetarian soy fish peratal to go with it.

Preparing the chapati dough
Chapati with some vegetarian fish peratal. 

I’m going to attempt the chapati again today and try ot make it round. I’ll post some photos later.

Covid-19 General

Panic Buying & MCO Extension

So the Prime Minister announced that the lock-down or Movement Control Order (MCO) has been extended till April 14th 2020. I think most Malaysians were sort of expecting it. Earlier today, I went to the grocery shop, near my house, to get some basic food items. Huge crowd and a long queue. I was a bit hesitant to go in but decided to just go and browse some items while waiting for the crowd at the cashier to disperse.

Most items were sold out. No eggs, no Atta flour, no salt(!), no bread, no onions. There was a lady and a man who were engaged in a shouting match at the counter. Seemed like she was unhappy that he was either allegedly cutting the queue or buying too many things. Then there was another man who came and bout 10 bags of rice. That’s a whopping 50kgs of rice. The store lady told me that eggs will be arriving later in the day, so I asked her to keep a tray for me, which I will collect later in the evening. Took a few things which I needed and headed home.

Wanted to pack some thosai from the stall nearby the grocery shop. I placed my order and as I was waiting, an older man arrived and ordered thosai but was turned down as there was no more flour. So I cancelled my order and told the stall uncle to pass it on to the older man. I think he was really looking forward to eating thosai. He seemed like a regular. In fact he brought his own Gingelly oil in his bag for the thosai! I packed some sambar and decided to make my own Rava Thosai.

First time trying to make Rava thosai. Came out crumbly but was still very tasty. Somehow eating food you cook yourself is always satisfying!

I’ll have to accept the fact that my classes will continue to be cancelled till the 14th of April and hope that it does not get further extended. Yesterday, India announced a 21-day shut down. Imagine all the people who get paid daily (construction workers, restaurant workers, cleaners etc.). Will be a very tough and trying time for all of them.

For once, Donald Trump actually made some sense. He tweeted:


This is actually true. In the case of India and the poverty stricken, many may end up with starvation, hunger and possibly even suicide. We pray and hope that things will turn around soon for everyone affected by this.

Prayers and blessings to all. 💜💙💚🧡


Stop Spreading Fake News

One of the big challenges that I face during this lock down period is the amount of WhatsApp messages being shared around, with all kinds of alleged incidents. Considering that I am not in many groups, I am sure that others are receiving much more.

If you received any such messages, before forwarding it out to others, do a quick search online to verify if is true. Otherwise, you are not only guilty of spreading false new, but also instilling unnecessary fear in others.

It would be helpful if that one actually finds any useful information and share that instead such as scientific articles. Earlier today, I read a wonderful informative piece on Malaysiakini, which was made available for free. (you don’t need to be subscribed to read the full article)

Covid-19: Who gets tested and how it works

Such a wonderful piece by Koh Jun Lin. If you are looking to better understand the procedure to be tested by Covid-19, do read it up and share it with your family and friends.

This type of information should have been published on official channels. Kudos to Malaysiakini for getting this out there. I am sure it will be widely shared on social platforms as this is the type of information the public is looking for.

Stay safe. Stay at home. In the meantime, watch this video below which explains a little about the virus.


Social Distancing or Physical Distancing

Found this interesting quote on Matt Mullenweg’s blog. Probably sums up the proper term that we should be using all over the world.

I’ve really had enough of this term “social distancing.” That is not at all what we are looking for, is it? It should be “physical distancing.” In these times of rampant loneliness (especially for seniors), disconnection, and lack of empathy and compassion, we need the opposite — social connecting. And we need it under these circumstances more than ever. Let’s be creative in finding new ways to come together.

Adam Gazzaley, M. D., Ph. D, University of California, San Francisco

The government in Malaysia is trying their level best to educate the public on the need to be at home. But many are still not bothered defying orders. You even read about a man who despite being suspected and tested for Covid-19, (results show positive now) defied everyone and took a bus from Johor to Pahang quitely, potentially infecting others on the bus. And finally, people are now stealing hand sanitisers from hospitals.

The government is mulling over the idea of imposing more restrictions if compliance is still low. We shall see what happens in the next few days. May the divine bless everyone everywhere with love and compassion.


Trudging Along

So it’s Day 2 of the partial lock down due to Covid-19.

I’ve postponed most of my classes for now. Still not heard back from a couple of parents. I was reading the news earlier today and it seems that the many still have a “tidak apa” attitude not realizing the whole objective of this lockdown. What’s more distressing is reading about the 83 Malaysians who have gone to Indonesia for a religious event despite the warnings and Coronavirus outbreak.

Under the movement control order that is now in effect, the 80 participants would be required to undergo a 14-day self-quarantine upon returning to Malaysia.

How are the authorities going to ensure the above? And what if they end up with the virus and then infect their family members, who are not under the quarantine, and they go on to infect others. What about the passengers of the plane in which they are returning to Malaysia in? As you can see, every single action of ours has a ripple effect across that not only affects us but everyone around us.

Apart from all of this, the one thing which is upsetting me the most is the amount of ridiculous false messages being passed around on Whatsapp aimed at driving more fear among the already panicked stricken mass. Some of the messages have already been previously debunked online but still being circulated. All it takes is maybe a few minutes of our time to verify if the information is correct before passing it around.

We will have to just wait and see where it all ends up.


The need to be certain

The only thing in life you can be certain of is uncertainty. I think most people will be reflecting on this over the next two weeks as the government ordered a partial shutdown for two weeks (March 18-31) to combat the Covid-19 pandemic. This means, closed schools, offices and restaurants.

Most salaried employees will be able to enjoy a full salary as the two-weeks are expected to fall under the “sick leave” while those providing services and those paid on a daily basis will be financially hit as they go on unpaid leave. I fall under the second category as I run my own business (504 Studios & Joy With Music). For my music classes, since they are private one on one classes, most parents are asking me to continue the lessons. There are a few who have opted to break till April 2020. I am still processing everything and will have to play it by the ear.

Since I will be home bound the next two weeks, it gives me a good opportunity to wrap up some ongoing projects by putting in extra hours and attempting to finish it early.

But what happens after 31st of March 2020 is a bit uncertain for now. I enjoy routines and some level of certainty when it comes to day-to-day living but this type of uncertainty, whilst triggering some fear, gives me an opportunity to reflect, understand and remind myself that everything about this world is uncertain and nothing is within our control.

Such thoughts have led many to panic over the last couple of days and you can see the fear in their faces. Yesterday, as I was having tea at a restaurant, I saw the owner and his wife looking extremely stressed out at having to close the restaurant for two weeks. The workers looked gloomy perhaps wondering if they will be paid during this shutdown period.

All that aside, this is a good time to just be, think about our fears, try to understand them and have a fresh outlook on life

Anything that is overcome has to be conquered again and again. No problem can be finally overcome, conquered; it can be understood but not conquered. They are two completely different processes and the conquering process leads to further confusion, further fear. To resist, to dominate, to do battle with a problem or to build a defence against it is only to create further conflict, whereas if we can understand fear, go into it fully step by step, explore the whole content of it, then fear will never return in any form.

– Jiddu Krishnamurti

Movie Reviews

Oh My Kadavule – A surprisingly great movie

My Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Just a quick warning if you have watched the trailer. Vijay Sethupathi’s role in this movie is sort of a cameo/supporting role despite him being shown throughout the trailer. The good thing is that the director placed his cameo scenes throughout the movie and not just at one part and it works exceptionally well.

Oh My Kadavule is a fun, romantic movie that keeps you engaged throughout. You can truly feel the chemistry between Ashok Selvan and Ritika Singh (especially in the second half of the movie).

There is never really a dull moment throughout the film and that was a surprise considering how many Indian movies these days end with a ridiculous lengthy fight sequence that brings the whole movie to an anti-climax. The soundtrack by Leon James goes well with the movie but I could not find any outstanding songs. Perhaps, Sid Sriram’s Kadhaippoma would be a decent pick. The scene with the motorbike reminded me a lot of the Simbu solo travel in Vinnaithaandi Varuvaayaa.

If you are looking for a nice feel good movie to wind down after a tiring day or just want something light and easy to watch, then Oh My Kadavule is the perfect movie for you. Definitely a good directorial debut for Ashwath Marimuthu and hope we can see more great movies from him.

Highly Recommended!!!