Friday, June 19, 2009

Badminton match at Garment Land

25 Jamadil Akhir 1430H



Once upon a time...

anywhere in the realm of imagination; the prosperous Garment Land, formed by 13 diverse clothe racks, was ruled by the ingenious ruler, Royal Tengkolok.

One day, Tengkolok ordered a royal mixed-doubles badminton match. The chosen participants were Baju Melayu and Baju Kurung, Changshan and Qipao, and, Kurta and Sari. Garments from across the racks came that placid morning.

As the match progressed, an odd-fashioned garment suddenly descended into the court. The Security Uniforms immediately detained the intruding garment. Introducing itself as Lingerie, it offensively challenged the players to a back-to-back duel.

Unbeknown to the arrogant Lingerie, the players are professionals refining their ambidexterity by playing in their less-dominant hand. The match was intended as a ‘warming-up’ session.

Tengkolok sent the participants on a trip to meet the glorious Champion’s Robe while Lingerie was sent to the horrifying Washing Machine who lived in the neighboring Dhobi Land.



Thanks to Ian Yates for the Adobe Illustrator tutorial :).
See the tutorial here, Create the First Page of a Fairy Tale Story Book, with a Hint of Kitsch.


Thanks to Mei Mei for the help with the terms: Changshan, Cheongsam, and Qipao.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dad & Computers

23 Jamadil Akhir 1430H



Dad has a faintly bad spot for computers. Computers are as foreign as the continent on the other side of the world – behaving like you know, and yet ignorant of its customs.

Dad is a Generation Jones, who came to know computers some 20 years later in life. His acceptance is fair as he was once a typist – tapping away the QWERTY buttons on the old-fashioned typewriter.

Rapid evolution contributed to the bad spot; the old man was slow to catch-up, consequently couldn’t grasp the knowledge firmly although gave learning some tries. He was left at the furthest station.

Dad says modern life is too challenging for him, that it’s not a place for old men. He hates wearing glasses meant for his farsightedness. The glasses are aging traits that reminds him.

However difficult to assimilate computers in everyday life, and avoids being ruled by them, Dad does use the computer at work. At home, he uses it to listen to religious recitals.

Dad spores a similar spot for telephones, but that’s another story.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A letter to Dad

20 Jamadil Akhir 1430H



Dear Dad,

How are you and everyone? Hope all are in great condition. I am writing so as to tell you I am doing well at this college.

On Monday, i was 10-minutes late for the assembly. A facilitator stopped me in my tracks and asked, “What good is he, if a man does not keep his word?”, and then let me off. He sure is a wise one as the wise say little, while the fools babble.

About 3 a.m. on Wednesday, all 13 of us each ate eggs fried on a clothes iron. Hungry men aren’t picky about their food, you know. Lucky we ‘cooked’ on the 7th floor; as the smell of butter was noticeable. The saying, “It takes three-years to learn something good, but a day to learn something bad”, was proven. Half-bad, I presume.

All work and no play make me a dull geek. Next weekend I’m going for a dip at the hot springs; the stream afterwards.

A strong steed cannot be raised in the yard. Thank you, Dad for not sparing the rod over me. That goes to show how an old horse knows the way.

Send my regards to Mum.


Yours,

Son.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ducky & Skwik’s Communication Myth

19 Jamadil Akhir 1430H


One myth. Two myth busters. Three endings: “Busted”, “Confirmed”, or “Plausible”.

One of the myths in human communication is, “Men are from Mars, women are from Venus”.

At a mamak eatery, Ducky the Martian Darling and Skwik the Venusian Scatterbrain were unintentionally putting the myth gears to work.

“Ducky hunny, why do we always fight? Where did we go wrong?”, Skwik asks.

“Both sides need to commit for a two-way communication to be. That’s where we fail, dear”, replies Ducky, ending with a sigh.

“But Ducky; what comes out your mouth contradicts what is written on your face. Should I believe what you say? Or trust what I see? It’s better to see once, than to hear a hundred times.”

“So, if you look ill to me, I’ll just drag your tail to a vet, even if you’re screaming fit and healthy”. An evil glee grew on Skwik’s face as an invisible syringe plunges the air.

Let’s leave Ducky and Skwik to themselves to finish their talk. The possible ending for Ducky and Skwik’s communication myth is: ...

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Dead Cat

16 Jamadil Akhir 1430H

From Gulaley the pink cotton candy


A cat that loves to purr doesn’t catch mice; the saying goes. Neither does a dead cat.

The news of death instantly stuns consciousness to a standstill. Its momentum freezes everything. Blood flushes out from the head, following the force of gravity. Disbelief -- a self-created shield reflects the momentum. Denial -- an absorbent to dampen oscillation in Disbelief.

Outside, the stunned’s awareness seems lost in space. Motion is paralyzed. Mind is in coma.

The heart grows hollow; the contents drawn into a black hole. A painful void sums up inside the chest, alternately appears and disappears at intervals before agonizing ripping.

The void and ripping reiterate as memories of the lost loved ones flicker. Indescribable agony substitutes the lost.

I can feel your lost. Care to feel mine?

Ignorance is bliss; some say. Can it be ignored?

A lazy cat won’t even catch a dead mouse; the saying goes.

You don’t care to feel my lost. Are you lazy? Or are you dead?

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Sinking Joker

15 Jamadil Akhir 1430H

From Gulaley the pink cotton candy


Eating junk food before the swim was my bad idea. I struggled in the pool like a half-choking engine. Food waited to become vomit as i tipped myself the wrong way.

“Abang, how did you learn to swim?”, I asked my significant other after the night’s dip.

“I just kind of jumped in the water and moved about. Friends gave lessons too”, the silhouette countered the question with a trail of mouth exhaust. It took in another puff.

Self-learning, you are your own teacher.

“If sinking is considered swimming, then i’m a gracious sinker”. That’s my reply whenever asked about my swim skills. That’s the cross product of penaakulan mantik with a sinking joker. My way of admitting i can’t swim.

A Dad-narrated swim story flashed somewhere in my brain hemispheres. Dad came to realize the preciousness of life and learn to rely on one’s self when he almost drowned, alone, in a gulf. A secret only he knew, kept for decades long. A hard-learned lesson. Poor thing.

The car rumbled away to an eatery. Supper time!