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Today is an auspicious day at Karma Kagyu Dharma Society Kuala Lumpur. The relic of the late 14th Kunzig Sharma Rinpoche was brought to the center and many were there this morning to welcome the holy object. It was at this event too that Marcus Liew and I met up with Lama Kherup again. He was our first Dharma teacher. He did not look a day older than when we last saw him twenty years ago. Serenity, peace and loving compassion were written all over his kind looking face. “Keep up with your dharma practice!” he said smilingly to us. He is a Rinpoche now.

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With our beloved first Dharma guru – Lama Khedrup. We last met him some twenty years ago.

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Pema is a hyperactive puppy and Tara is a meek kitten. Pema was found in th e drain near a rubbish dump on the 5th day of Chinese New Year while Tara was found in the wet market on the last day of Chinese New Year.

The puppy followed us back to Ipoh for Chinese New Year. She slept throughout the journey without a single yelp and seemed to enjoy the stay there. But she misbehave once back in Kuala Lumpur…. :)

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KONG HEE FATT CHOY!

A bit of everything or a sort of potluck – that sums up “Poon Choy” which is a Hakka dish eaten during Chinese New Year. It is actually layers and layers of food piled up in a basin and eaten without rice. Yummy! I would like to wish all my readers and friends a prosperous new year 2015.

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19th January 2015 – Jigme, our youngest kitten, fell ill two days ago due to bacterial infection in his lungs. He could not breath properly and this afternoon, was admitted to the hospital in UPM, Serdang, and is now in critical condition. My family is praying for him to pull through.

20th January 2015 – The hospital called just now – Jigme has passed away an hour ago. Jigme is just a kitten we saved from the street late last year, but he was to us, a precious little life.

He would always be the first one to station himself in the kitchen when it was lunch time. While I prepare his food, he would climb up my legs like a monkey would climb up a coconut tree. Quite irritating at that time, but I am going to miss this little monkey.

He also likes to suckle one of our female cat although she was not his mother. She too, finds him irritating. I don’t know whether she is going to miss him or not. She is asleep now and was not aware that little nuisance was gone.

Thank you, Jigme, whose name means fearless in Tibetan. You have shown us how fragile life is, how impermanent everything is. You are our little teacher.

Our only regret is that we have not shower you enough love and also, our days together was so brief. Nevertheless, you will stay in our heart and mind for a long time.

May you rest in peace and gain a better rebirth. Om Mani Padme Hum, Jigme.

Happy New Year 2015

Here is my family’s terrific ten. It has been a year of ups and downs for my family and our kittens. Laughters, tears, pain, sickness – we have it all! Wishing everyone a Happy and Blessed 2015.

Terrific 10

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2014 has been a mixed year for me. Whilst I have found much peace, hope and comfort from a spiritual journey, I have lost two wonderful people in my life – a beloved family friend and a brother-in-law. They were unexpectedly taken away in August and September respectively. Yes, the shock and pain is still there.

This year, I have also met some new friends who gave me their support in my writing. My second book is taking shape but I still need a bit more time to make sure I am comfortable to release it. This is because what I have written in this book reflects the adult in me. When you read it, you are reading the present me.

Reaching the mark of half a century this year does not stop me from wanting to learn and grow. Everyday is a new learning and growing experience. Everyone I have crossed path with is my teacher. They have taught me to either emulate them or not to be like them at all. I am very grateful to have them as my gurus (teachers in Sanskrit).

I have a feeling 2015 will be a tough year. I have been through many storms before, so I am not afraid anymore of another one. Each storm toughen me up and for that, I have no regrets.

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Tina Isaacs moderating the reading event

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Writer & poet Deborah Wong

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Writer Suraiya Abdullah

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Spoken poet Jamal Raslan

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Writer Suscelah Fonseka

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Travel writer Judyth Gregory Smith

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Spoken poet Melizarani T. Selva

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Writer & poet Frances Yip

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Some of those who came to listen

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All ears on the writers and poets

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Some of the books on sale

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And finally, a group photo after the reading session

              

Despite the rain yesterday afternoon, the reading session went smoothly. Six writers and poets were invited to read their works. They were Deborah Wong, Suraiya Abdullah, Jamal Raslan, Judyth Gregory Smith, Suscelah Fonseka and Melizarani T. Selva. I read three poems from my collection. The event was moderated by Tina Isaacs.

My heartfelt gratitude to Vlad Slavin, Jang Bu Yeon, Markiza and Peter Brown for coming to support us. We all had a wonderful evening. More reading events will be coming up next year at d7 The Refinery.

Thank you too, Ben Toh for the venue and the excellent photos taken.

When I was 16, I wrote a poem called “The Executioner’s Song” for the school magazine. It was promptly rejected and got thrown into the bin by the teacher. The poem was about the injustice felt by some condemned victims on their way to the gallows. I was inspired by the two Aussie men sent to the gallows at Pudu Jail for drug trafficking. I have already forgotten the content of the poem, as it has been thirty-four years already.

Today, my daughter Alexandra, a poem lover herself, and who was very taken up by the title of this poem, challenged me to write another poem of the same title and also, about the injustice felt by recent condemned victims.

Why condemned victims? Because, to both of us, each life is precious.

This poem was composed just now (took me an hour to do it) and it is a tribute to a brave young lady called Reyhaneh Jabbari who was hanged in Iran last month after being accused of killing her rich and powerful rapist, a crime she vehemently denied till the end.

The Executioner’s Song (2)

In the solitary wards of Evin and Shahr-e Ray
You were brutally beaten beyond recognition
Your long and polished nails could not prove to them
That you will not kill even a mosquito or a cockroach

Wealth and power – how evil and cruel is this combination!
You, a young girl of nineteen out to defend her modesty
But was instead accused of killing her ruthless predator
All because he was so arrogantly high and mighty

Where have justice flee to or has God gone to rest?
Or are you simply His lesser child, not worthy of His love?
All pleas fell on deaf ears, even those from your poor mother
What has become of this world, where is humanity, I wonder?

Cry no more, Reyhaneh Jabbari, blame it on your fate
Of being born into a place where women are not feted on
But were treated like the lowest of the low, almost invisible!
Maybe you will find peace at the hangman’s noose?

Your heart, your eyes, your kidneys and your bones
Surely, they will bring some hopes and cheers
To those who got a part of you and values it dearly
Despair not, for in them, you live on, brave lady!

(Hope this one will not get throw into the bin!)