Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

“She is so beautiful,” I said.

“Take her then,” my uncle commented.

She was quite a beauty, she had these soulful brownish eyes that just lit up the entire room around her. She looked at me with such adoration, like she had loved me all her life. I fell in love with her almost immediately.

Little did I know that she would become a huge part of my life.

Preparing to leave my uncle’s place, I got into my car and started the engine. Was quite shocked when I heard the sound of my booth opening and in tow was my uncle with Maya in his hands.

As usual, my car was filled to the brim. It didn’t look like anything could fit in my car but uncle somehow found a way and there she was- this gorgeous eyed Husky seated beautifully in my car.

It was such a spur of the moment sort of decision, one thing led another and here I was with yet another dog in my car, looking at me adoringly.

Yes, Cuddles, my then 2-year old, mixed terrier was in the front seat, beautifully seated like a Queen, ready to go. She was rather troubled at the sight of another dog in the car- she wasn’t really known for her fondness of sharing her owner. I had been all hers for the last two years, she was practically attached to my hip.

Maya….. was a timid creature, she would jump at the slightest movement. Uncle had warned me that she might display such behavior. He had rescued her from a pet shop in Johor Bahru, barely a few weeks before. The pet shop had ill-treated her, as she was spayed and could not give birth-hence a no-no for breeding and not exactly a gold mine for the shop anymore.

Yet my first personal encounter with her was a tad scary. I was sitting down at the ledge of my front door so that she and I would be at eye level. As I looked closer into her eyes, suddenly she howled loudly for quite a while. I was quite startled and so was she, as she moved backwards like I was going to hit her.

This girl could really talk or should I say grumble.

It would be the the start of many other conversations I would have with Maya for next 9 years. She came along for the many car rides I would take from KL to Teluk Intan  to visit mum,  like her new-found sister Cuddles- [that ignores her almost all the time] she was a pro at traveling.  Not to mention the many moves, I would make over the course of the next four to five years from Sunway to Old Klang Road, Old Klang Road to Subang and then to Seri Kembangan.

Maya was a hyper active, noisy character and after living with me for a while, her past mannerism remained but only a past memory. You could never trace back that timid dog you would have seen years back.

Here was this gorgeous eyed Husky, standing tall, running around actively, always ready for a hug. Whether you wanted it or not, she would nudge you from behind until you paid her the attention she deserved.  If not for her battle with Mites, a horrible skin disease called Demodectic mange that came and went every 6 months or so, – she was a picture of health.

Unfortunately, her Demodectic mange became worse and she needed more constant attention after staying with me for a few years. I was working with the hotel then and often came back at 11.30pm almost every night. Even when I switched back to education, the hours had not changed very much and I often returned late- barely having any time for my doggies, as I rushed through peak hour traffic from Kuala Lumpur city. The daily treatments of oil and yellow powder at late hours of the night and trips to the vet for her Demodex jabs was not cutting it. She needed more frequent treatments and more attention.It took me almost a year to admit that I needed help .

With a heavy heart and gentle persuasion from my then-boyfriend, I said goodbye to Maya.  One weekend, I headed back to Teluk Intan, but this time around Maya didn’t return home with me to KL.  It was one of the hardest decisions I ever made- but deep down,  I knew my mum would be the best care-giver for this beautiful soul.

 

Over the last 2 years, I saw Maya grow more beautiful, as mum groomed her and was in turn- showered with Maya’s infectious dose of love. People often say that my mum’s dogs are treated better than humans.- so it was no surprise that she continued to bloom.

Maya was the queen back home, she had mangoes and apples in the mornings besides her daily bread intake for breakfast. Not to mention, amazing company with then-Scooter, Brandy, Tiny [all who have gone to doggie Heaven] and Simba. Even my dad,  didn’t scare her one bit-  a man feared by all the other dogs. She on the other hand, would just do as she liked, howling and walking about like a boss. My dad in turn would have conversations with her, just like I did.

Last weekend, the husband and I took a trip back home. Sadly, Maya had taken a turn for the worst after a day or two.  In the five days we were there, she had barely eaten. She spent most of her time laying down at the back of the house, dug holes and sat in them, but mostly she would put her feet in water and stand in it. We could not figure out what was wrong with her, Maya would never miss out on food. But here I was, feeding her 100 plus  and chicken soup with a syringe.

I was hoping she had gotten better when I returned to KL  last Monday, but yesterday my mum said that things were still not looking too good. She was not eating and test results had shown that her kidneys were failing. I thought she would be recover, she was so young and it was Maya. She had such a fighting spirit, if anyone loved life it was her! But I was sadly mistaken.

At around 3.30pm today, while I was invigilating, I received a very sad text informing me that Maya had gone to the Lord. It was hard not to react, to not cry, but here I was in front of 35 students in an exam hall. In between quiet sobs, hidden tear drops and bathroom trips to conceal my emotions, I managed to make it through 2 hours of invigilation.

Sitting here today, fitting back tears that continue to well up, I know it was your time.

I’m blessed to have been loved by such an adoring and loving creature. Maya, the husky, who stole my heart, always nudging me with her nose for attention.

You are finally home my love, rest in the abode of your loving father.

 

 

 

 

-An Entry on HighStage Marketing Perodua Service Centre In Teluk Intan- Unethical Behavior

On the 4th of July 2012, I drove back to Teluk Intan from my home in Kuala Lumpur, I felt something was not right with my brakes as it made some sounds (this was not the first time I have heard those sounds). The first time I heard them was basically right after Perodua Service Centre in Teluk Intan claimed to have changed my brake pads to new ones.  I did come back to the centre and there was no more noise at that point of time. But from time to time after that I kept hearing these noises, I even called the centre and mentioned this over the phone.  On the 5th of July 2012, I used the car around town and there was a loud screeching sound every time I used my brakes- I got very worried, the next day I went to the service centre.

I was informed that my brake pads was completely used and needed to be changed. I had already changed my brake pads when my car hit the mileage of 31,000km in September last year and found it very strange that my brake pads could wear out so fast. I told them it was impossible for such a thing to occur unless they had not changed my brake pads during that service.  My mileage is currently only 44,000km.

Upon checking, it was certain that the pads were definitely not one that had been changed-they had basically just cleaned it and ensured it did not make noise despite charging me for new brake pads. I was rather annoyed but was just glad that I had found out and something could be done.

I was advised to change it and agreed but I told them I would not pay for it again. They said they would change the brake pads for me nevertheless. The service advisor [Mr.  Liew Sei Lek   ] came by the service area, looked at the pads and disappeared-he did not say a word to me which I found was very rude. When I returned to the counter, the lady [Ms.  Vindra ] informed me that they would changed new brake pads for me. I was quite delighted about the news.

For some reason I felt uncomfortable and went back to the service area. I saw a used brake pad near my car and asked the mechanic if that was the brake pad to be fixed for my car, he nodded and said he was told to fix that. I commented that it was not new, he agreed.

I took the part and when to the spare part area/store and asked one of the ladies who was there concerning this, she said that was definitely not new- it was a display piece [I found it funny that a display piece was used- I wonder if their display cars are also second-hand?]

She said she would find out went back into the office and apparently was unhappy because I was causing trouble. At that point, I was pretty pissed that I was treated in such a manner- just because I was an Indian women on my own. I might not be a genius when it comes to cars but I’m nobody’s fool.

The service advisor re-appeared and told me it was courtesy for them to even consider changing my brake pads because it was not their fault and brake pads had no warranty. He also told me that brake pads only last about 30,000 km in terms of mileage, and mine had about 17,000 left. He also said that it must be the way I pressed on my brakes- that was the only reason it was worn out. I reverted by telling him this was not my first car and I knew better. He said what he could do instead is put back this old pads and ensure there was no noise.  I insisted he changed it and walked back to my car.

Moments later he came back to me after seeing me make a few phone calls with a different story altogether. There was also a Malay guy- named Yasir from Perodua HQ who was there, he insisted that the service advisor was doing me a big favour. It wasn’t his fault, he could not monitor everything- even if one of his staff did not actually change the brake pads he would not know. They had no service of who did what to whose car and since it was so long ago, it would be impossible to track [I do know for a fact that there is a customer history and I knew that a Chinese guy-the mechanic named Mr.Ho serviced my car during the break pad change- he has since resigned]. He was not always there to monitor, he could not be on top of everything- he insisted over and over again it was not his fault and that’s why customer feedback like mine was essential. He said out of courtesy he would change new pads for me [something he promised much earlier of course before I found him giving me old parts instead]

Through an inside source, I have reason to believe this is not an isolated incident. This is not the first time they have cheated people of parts or their service. It’s not just about buying something or replacing something, we are talking about lives. Faulty or non-functioning brake pads can cause lost lives, it is no joking matter. God knows how many accidents on the roads can be contributed to service centres like this.

I have been visiting this centre since I bought my car in 2009, I wonder what else I have missed or was not aware of- I’m deeply disappointed and worse still I feel very afraid for those people who have no voice-people who have no idea they are being cheated constantly. Being a small town like Teluk Intan, I never expected this would occur-small town people belief but it did and I will never return to this centre. I urged you to share this matter with everyone you know to push for an investigation to be made on this centre. If you have any information or share similar experiences with this centre please leave a comment here and contact me.

A copy of this will be sent to a couple of organization namely

PERODUA HQ,

PERODUA SERVICE CENTRE TELUK INTAN

CONSUMER ASSOCIATION

for now…

Inspired by Diana Owen’s blog posting[http://diane-owens.com/2012/06/16/day-152-question-152/] on this question, I’d like to take a swing at it from my p.o.v.

This strength that we are supposed to conjure up to save us from life, from daily struggles, from turbulence?

Reflecting on her question[ What was the last experience that made you a stronger person? ] has brought me to question the exact same thing. What has made me stronger?

I think to be honest, I do not think one particular experience can indeed make you stronger, it is possible that a base experience could provide the path for many other experiences to take form  into becoming something that indeed serves to keep a person stronger-sane I’d like to call it. To say that one(uno) experience actually causes this would be mere fallacy but I do believe that it could begin there, could be the starting point. Then again, I guess we all look at the world from a different point of view, so..

Back to the question: What was the last experience that made you a stronger person?

I guess for me there is only one, one that I hold on to with dear life. One that serves as that point, where I go nothing ….can be worse than this[ i will survive] Nothing at all. It serves as a great reminder to all things that occur around me[ but also serves to put a stopp.  To those who know me well, there would know that this experience would be the one in which I lost someone very close to my heart when I was 16.

Losing someone close you heart is like losing apart of yourself. Apart you possibly never knew existed, let alone was growing in you all along. When you do lose that someone, all sorts of feelings and emotions start appearing. Things you have never felt, things that normally meant nothing or could not move you to react among others. The thing about this sort of experience is that it changes you, for good? for worse? I do not know, all I know is as a result you become stronger, you become like a brick wall like the great wall of china sorta strength [really? yes really].

Now most would consider that as something negative to build up walls in that manner, but it kind of protects you, shields you. In turn it also feels you with something an amplified version of feelings be it positive or negative. It could be extreme paranoia, fear, desire, wants, needs, happiness among others. It is something hard to really tell what indeed is going on in a person’s mind to actually get to where she or he is.

But the answer to this question is like a double-edge sword, cause as much as it protects you, it also makes you just as vulnerable. Your experience also defines you, builds you to become who you are, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.

Strength can serve you well if used correctly, but wrongly can leave scars that forever remains. So you might be stronger than you think, but are you really strong? [yes, I can be very complicated, I barely comprehend myself sometimes :)]

 

Since Mother’s Day is tomorrow, today’s post will be on the top 10 things I would like to cultivate from my mum. Some are things that require time and effort, some are things that take years to build, some are things that might never be learned, some are things that comes with time and maturity- but all of these are skills I’d love to have if not today, one day.

So the top 10 are 🙂 Drum roll please!

1. Courage

2. Intelligence

3. Awesome cooking skills- mum says it comes with a lot of practice and passion.

4. Ability to forgive- mum is like a durian [appears to be very hard on the outside but super mushy inside-forgives so easily]

5.  Grounded

6.  Resourceful

7. Persuasive

8. Run a household

9. Tend to a garden

10. Be as close as she is…. to my daughter/son [if lah]

Living practically half of her life alone[my dad works overseas], taking care of three kids, holding up the fort at home and caring for our furry friends, she has been the torch of the Withaneachi household.  She was always the picture of calmness, strength, love and composure.

She never had it easy, we had to go through a lot as a family and had many incidences of ugliness reigning down on us at our home many a time from extended family members especially when my dad was away and some assumed we were left unprotected, little did they know mum is a warrior and nothing could shake her… My dad is Sinhalse Buddhist and mum Indian Catholic. Need I say more? 

During our younger days, she kept us in check, ensuring we were disciplined, held steadfast life principles while always reminding us that she had our backs and she believed in all that we were.

It isn’t easy being a women. It isn’t easy being expected to be strong all the time. It isn’t easy having to care for 3 kids with minimal help. It isn’t easy to be the picture of composure while carrying out all this task.

It was surely WAS not easy,..

When….

I got stuck in a Samsonite suitcase[I was probably around 2 or 3 yrs of age] as my naughty brother decided to lock me in just for fun and scramble the codes[my dad was again working overseas]- but she was calm, she told me to not be afraid-she spoke to me and calmly got me out of that scary predicament.

I got sick and starting having fits, without warning the sickness would attack- she would have to stay by my bedside during those long nights to make sure I was ok, to ensure I was safe.

I had to go for MRI scans and my mum had to hold my hand and tell me it was ok.

My brother had to go for a eye operation and he was barely 6 months old to correct his squinting.

My elder brother kept falling in drains and cutting his head open every single birthday…when mum had to pick him up and wash away the gushing blood, rushing him to the hospital each time.

She had to call my dad who was overseas to tell him that their son had been taken away from them…

She had to accept the fact that her son was gone and yet hold the fort, take care of arrangements and continue to care for us remaining siblings-she had to be strong even then..

She  shared my tears when my heart was broken,and helped me recover, piece by piece. She was my pillar of strength, my guardian angel.

 

This woman of steel has always been there at every point of my life and I always wish I could do more for her. I wish I could take away the pain she has to endure from all the trials and tribulations she has gone through in her life. I wish I could make it all better.

I aspire to be like you ma, to have her strength,courage, determination, intelligence…. to be the woman that she is gorgeous inside and out… I aspire to be everything she is…I wish that one day if I’m privilliged enough to be a mother, I will be at least half of what she is because she really brought us up well.

She made me who I am today, all I am and for that I thank her with all my heart and soul. I’m glad you are my best friend.

If I had even half of your strength and courage…I’d be quite a woman.

Love you ..

If you change your mind, I’m the first in line Honey

I’m still free , take a chance on me

If you need me, let me know, gonna be around

If you’ve got no place to go, if you’re feeling down

If you’re all alone when the pretty birds have flown

Honey I’m still free Take a chance on me

Gonna do my very best and it ain’t no lie

If you put me to the test, if you let me try

Take a chance. We often told numerous times in our life to just take that chance. Go out there, I mean what do you have to loose? If you have not accomplish anything yet, what’s there to loose? It applies in every facets of our lives from our careers, education and even our love life.

But the question is do we take that chance? Do you take that chance?

Taking chances, sounds easy enough. Simple enough really. You just go out there and seize the day, seize the moment, seize whatever comes your way. But is it really that simple? Is taking chances that easy? Is there no consequences in putting yourself out there?

If I say no, I’d be pulling your leg most definitely. Come on, how can there be no consequences when you put yourself out there.

It is like being naked. Being vulnerable. Putting your guard down.

Consequences will always be present. What you got to ask yourself really is if that chance is worth taking? Is it really? Are you taking that chance for yourself or because someone else wants you to?

How that chance is taken and how it will work or proceed is entirely up to you…I’m not saying that taking chances will result in having a positive outcome nor am I saying that it will guarantee happiness, money or even success.

That is the thing about taking chances. It involves a lot of risk.

It might leave you more bent out of shape that you were before. It might make you the happiest women/men alive. It might rob you off your self-confidence for a bit. It might make you see the world in a different light. It might take you on an adventure you would have never ever been open to before. It might open doors to the impossible.

The thing is that you won’t know which one of these possibilities will be your outcome.

What I can tell you is that taking a chance on something or someone is not easy, especially if you have been through a lot on your own, if you have been jaded in the past for whatever reason…it sure as hell ain’t easy and anyways saying it is ..is bullshitting you to the core.

Will you regret taking that chance, I can’t say. I’m not you nor are you me.

At times, I do wonder whether taking chances is a good idea because it can leave you freezing in the cold, gasping for air-wishing you had never crossed or walked that path. You might walk to the middle of the bridge to take that chance will the other person might leave you hanging mid-way. It isn’t entirely up to you. But what I do know is that…

…In that smallest gap of a moment, I think of all the wonderful things I did experience. while taking that path towards my chance and I feel maybe it was worth it after all. Even if it does hurt now.

I mean would you rather leave it to the universe to decide?  I wouldn’t.

ABBA  did set the record, years ago…