Monthly Archives: February 2010

To be or not to be.

As posted on my FB notes.

This question, has been on my mind for the longest time.

Whenever I have to fill out forms that need to state what my religion is, my thought goes out to my folks who has, since I was granted existence in this lifetime, raised and ‘conditioned’ me as a Buddhist along the years. I was taught the arrangements of how we should pay our respects to deities, prepare our little offerings, number of joss sticks to burn, special days and traditions we should observe, stuff like that, but was never allowed to question why is it has to be done this way or how it came to be.

I guess when you start to question what you did, especially when it comes to religion, things sort of loses its authenticity and some Godly touch, but as I got older, I begin to feel a build-up resentment for what I have been put through to commit, at least for as long as I’m staying with my folks.

It’s not that I blame them for ‘making’ me a Buddhist, but it’s how generations after generations of most traditional families, mine included, has been taught to become a default follower of religion without allowing ourselves space to become one. Without a certain gain of understanding, you follow like a little lamb. But I don’t see religion as something we should trot ourselves around and about. We should be the bigger picture instead, a believer of the word ‘religion’, and the categories of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism etc are pretty much up to our personal freedom to fill… or maybe we should open ourselves to all religions out there and not need to fill it at all. After all, how can you become your religion if you don’t believe in it in the first place? And even if you commit yourself to one as a devout, it doesn’t automatically make you a believer either…

The fading yellow strings on my wrist would have meant nothing more as an accessory if I want to, but anyone can wear it for many fancy reasons. In my case, I’m carrying this constant reminder of my personal agenda and what my folks expect me to answer on what my religion is. It’s only a matter of time where a decision-making between the two has to come, for better or worse. Hmm.

Will you carry my pain?

About a year ago, there were several occasions where whenever me and colleagues go out for lunch, she would always be seen on our way, pledging for sympathy from passers-by to drop a few bucks into a plastic cup that she carried with her. I would described her as an able elderly woman who can afford to carry her legs all over Sunway, or Subang for that matter since I spotted her once in Asia cafe. Or maybe she belongs to some beggar syndicate who sends her everywhere to beg, if I’m being cynical about it.

I saw people surrendered to her teary, puppy eyes and proceed to hand in a few notes (in exchange of a compassionate relief?) and of course with no exception to some who hums along to the tune of Phil Collin’s Another Day in Paradise and simply ignore her presence while she mumbles incoherent speech over their cold shoulders.

I don’t know how long she’s been around in the begging business, but I was one of those who fell into the compassion-selling trap of hers. One day, I decided that if I see her again, I’ll buy her bread instead of giving her cash.

I mustered up the courage to hand over the bread to her personally and thought my deed is done there and then. But I caught the look in her eyes… which got me trembled all over. She took the bread and mumbles something I didn’t understand… because I wasn’t listening. I was trying to hold my tears together and hope to save myself from embarrassment of being seen crying in the public and left the scene red-eyed and shrugged off a passerby who questions the drama between me and her… it was only for that split second moment where I felt sorry for her, and stupid. What was I thinking? Think she’ll stop begging after some vulnerable sheep buys her bread??

Of course, a few days later we saw her again with her plastic cup.

oii orang giler!

What would you do if someone you know call you a maniac in a crowded mall bustling with shoppers during the first day of CNY? Would you turn over to answer? And yes, this entry is specially dedicated to you because most unfortunately, we turned over to look, to our horror, him in a muscle tee, in ong colour summore, calling us orang giler! Goodness!!

lor yau.

This entry was written almost a year ago, but I wonder why I didn’t post it until now…

Went for New Year visiting at mom’s friend’s place. We brought over some oranges and snacks. Aunt M insist on offering us something in return to bring home. She walked about her kitchen and spotted some Ipoh-mali pomelos in the corner when she uttered this (sorry but you need to understand Cantonese in order to make sense of this entry):

Aunt M: Come, come, lei oi meh yeh? [come, come, what would you like to have?]

Mom: Ohh, mm sai kham hak hei lah… heheh [oh, that’s all right… heheh]

Aunt M: Oi lor yau mou? […]

Mom: …

Mom heard it. I heard the same thing as well, I swear to God I did! It happened in a split second fast you could barely had the time to come up with some appropriate response, but mom was quick to save her friend from embarrassment by laughing it off like it was a joke. Joke gone bad I presumed.

Mom: Ohh! luk yau hai mai… hahahahaaa *fake laugh 1*
Aunt M: Hahahahaaa… yes, yes, luk yau… hahahaaa *fake laugh 2*

Lor yau means ass, literally. Luk yau is of course the culprit pomelo.