Awakening the lizards

How many of us remember the first time we actually gained conscience? I do not know whether I actually had a downtrodden childhood, but I do know that I wasn’t recorded or photographed.

The first thing I remember about myself is that 20-year-old picture folded in small pieces- a flabby, chubby little baby splashing water in a red bucket. Apparently I was bathing. I loved bathing in such a way, squeezed into that particular red bucket, with warm water. Now I know where my knack for heaters came about. All the more peculiar was my spiky hair, I can’t remember having anything but a lazy set of hair, which would fall back sloppily back on my forehead no matter how much I try to make it stand still. That’s why I gave up on gels, bylcreems and what nots. Heck, I did not even bother to comb my hair this morning when I came to work. My pair of hands always seem to do the trick, a couple of brushes, and walla, there you go. All set.

I was imaginative when I was young itself, another thing I knew. I did not have siblings. When I had active conscience, we were living in small shop house just by the side of the road. Nothing spectacular. Shop in front, and further back of the settlement was a spacious room which was our living room. My life was filled with Lego toys, constructing, dismantling, constructing again, and then losing all of them again and crying for new ones. There’s a sense of satisfaction when I manage to build the toy like I wanted to. But I never actually did it. I am bad at mechanical constructing, and I guess I was born with that defect. My mom built those things for me. I’d be spending ages fondling them, and she would sit down, take her time, and come up with it. Obviously, she would teach me how to do it, but the last thing I would be doing is concentrate. Why concentrate? There she is, my mother, to build it for me.

It sticks till today, the constructing or mechanism bug. I never know how things work mechanically. I guess my sense of creativity is too liquefied that mechanical matters never stick in my head. I can’t fix a pipe to save my life. And people will be busy telling me ‘you are a man, do it’.

Errr.

Well, that’s where my blurriness started too. I hate it when they ask me to do things I have no idea of. I climb, I touch it, but I know I’m never going to do it right. Sometimes I manage to fix things, but that just happens, I always have no idea how I do it. These are things I’m bad at. Everyone has something they are bad at, but unfortunately my shortcomings were never viewed objectively. It was unbecoming of a man, that’s what I was told.

Well, back to that topic in hand, imagination. Yes, that. I had nobody to play with. I stepped outside of the shoplot, to an open space we have right outside the shop (a space between the main road and the shop entrance), and played by myself. There always was an imaginative friend. But I can’t recall who that imaginative friend was.

I used to study the way I was told to, but looking back, it is a stated fact now, I was never good at studies in the first place. Yes, there were an abundance of As in my report cards, and my mom would have a satisfied smile every time that happens, but eventually, they did not matter to me. I did not want to study. Till today, it remains; I do not want to study. I want to learn. I wanted to learn. I asked questions for which I knew I wouldn’t get a definitive answer.

The most striking image I remember from my childhood was that of a lizard roaming around without a tale. Peculiar, abstract, I know. But that’s how my mind worked. Probably how every child’s mind worked; Always looking at the world with the spectacle of wonder. Glasses that adults will never desire to wear once they take it off.

I would sit and gaze at such images for an awfully long time, no matter how short and small I was back then that my neck would hurt from having to gaze upwards to the ceiling for fifteen continous minutes with my mouth wide open. Or there will be moments when our necks would hurt from gazing below and wondering at something.

There are wonders both above and below us- to our right and left. But as we grow older, we develop a stiff neck. We refuse to look anywhere but just in front, one way, in front. Whats above us and below us doesn’t matter anymore. There is only us, and where we are heading to.

And then the biggest crime happens- in the quest for a destination, the journey is lost.

I’ve got my destination, but I’m taking my time to enjoy the journey.

As we turn into adults, just like the lizard, we cut off the tails in order to survive, we cut off the trails of our past memories, these little things that stick in your head. We are surviving, just like how the lizard does.

But I don’t cut my tails. That is what making me write this today. I’ve retained that wondrous way of looking at the world- Looking at it through a microscope or a binocular, with wonder and agape. That little boy who splashed water in the red bucket I am not anymore, but the soul which exuded that excitement is still alive.

I don’t have videos or photos who frame my childhood. Whatever came from it is embedded here, deep within. Why need photos then?

I don’t feel deprived anymore when I have to tell people I don’t have pictures from my childhood. For I carry so much of it within myself rather than trapping them in an old dusted photo album.

Afterall, lizards are lizards and humans are humans. Aren’t they?

Diaries of a burning lamp

I have heard so many people talk and cite so many problems as to why Malaysia is still struggling to fulfill its potential as a nation. There’s always been some big promise somewhere; but end of the day it becomes half-baked, with its leftovers doing as much damage as it does good for the country.

Of course, we can go on an endless rant what is actually missing in this nation. All sorts of political statements can be dished out. Something about the system. Something about the people. Something, something…but what is it? We try our level best to set things right; we believe telling the truth would make a difference, some of us believe being non-prejudicial would make a world of difference. I was looking for this missing puzzle, like I believe many of us were as well; in short, we were soul-searching. There is a Malaysian essence, and we know it. An essence of Malaysia as a whole. There is a spirit there, an embodiment, an identity. But we don’t seem to be able to quite put our fingers on it; or maybe we are just clueless as to how we will go about to bring that essence out and make everyone feel it.

But lest we always seem to forget an important fact- it all starts with a little reflection. The answers lies within the image you see in the mirror every day. At least I realized that. What is this country missing? Forget the politicians, the corruptions, the so-called racisms, the you-don’t-talk-shits, and everything else associated with it. Because I look in the mirror and I know, for a fact, I have something to offer. I do matter. As a citizen of this ‘visionary’ country, I have something to offer. I have a potential. Me as a person and my abilities. But I’m missing.

You look into the history of so-called great countries, and you find embedded in them, a persona of art, someone who dared lift stories from a daily baking oven to the pages of a book, or with the weave of a brush on a canvas, an ink feather on a citrus paper, a hand strumming a guitar, a picture captured through a wonderful lens. My Malaysia is not made up of people who do not know where and when to make a statement, or a lawyer who strongly believes a person can commit self-strangulation. It is made up of things such as that small hawker stall, a warm smile on a hot day, a breeze of wind in early morning, a descending mist on your car window as dawn approaches- the things that actually matter.

Art is no small matter. For those who have it will know the velocity of having something so mystic brewing inside you but not being able to express it out. Am I the first person in this country to have this eye, an eye for depth, an eye for invisible connections? Definitely not. There are many who have preceded me, for sure. But lights die out when nobody takes enough care to let the fire burning. You let the wind blow it off, and the light fades. There have been many who have faded before me. And this country keeps losing the every grain of chance it has to finally find some soul. People don’t listen to you when you look back one day and say this is the land of the great KLCC or Pavilion or billion-dollar investments. Heads will turn back when you say this is the land which produced human beings of exceptional qualities rather than buildings of exceptional qualities. Art is an universal language. All heads will turn upon you when you manage to ruffle a peacock’s feather and find the beauty of it. I am a dreamer, but I am ignored.

A sense of belonging gets deprived somewhere along the way as these chain of events continue. When a lifelong Malaysian comes back to his country one day and says he couldn’t care less anymore about the so-called progress the country is aping to capture; that he misses being in Vietnam rather than being in the mighty Kuala Lumpur, that is already a big slap on any Tom, Dick and Harry who thinks they know how to make this country progress.

Does Hanoi have more developments than this country? In our obsession to race heading to the goal posts of economy, we are losing our souls. People like me, like him, like many others, can form the Malaysian soul. But when the country has very little regard for these souls; we are better appreciated in other lands.

And I sit and think again: Why of all places, Malaysia? Why did YOU choose me to be born in this country?

And my question is someone else’s big failure. Or maybe we all should take collective responsibility for my questions.

For we have been busy thinking legends are made anywhere else but in Malaysia.

This country’s biggest sinking ship is not its submarines or billions of ringgits, but rather this soul. You’d be forgiven for thinking I have given up. No, I have not. The lamp is still burning, hope is still there. But I have to say this; this lamp will burn somewhere else one day if not here.

The last thing I’ll do is let my lamp be blown by the wind in this country. But till then, I’ll still fight.

On a cold Friday afternoon

A water drop departs a green leaf and lands in to the streaming river.

Serene.

The sun glides its way across the sky in the morning, as morning dew draws a mist on your window.

The creation.

The rain leaves a trail of wet leaves on the pavement,

With a cup of coffee and a blanket, you watching it, still.

Indulgence.

The wind blows your curtains away, stripping your world and adjoining it with a world you can’t see.

Submission.

You emerging from shallow seabed, the sea strewn in front you,

Sparks of the sun coveting an endless horizon.

Curiousity.

A meteor races its tails in a momentary glimpse, the stars left minutely blinking,

Like a call from somewhere beyond everything.

Amazement.

Dusk, with it’s confusion of colors,

Like a sun spreading its arms wide to bide a goodbye,

Beyond comprehension.

The moon,

Saying a glittering faint hallo in the night,

Dark facades on the corners evoking a desire to know more.

Helpless.

A storm brewing, the dark clouds gather to create lines of connection to earth,

You need to hide,

But the clouds erode that fear.

Illusion.

Like someone turning on a light beyond the clouds,

Thunder.

A sign of warning.

The universe’s language.

You yearn to learn.

She smiles, eyes closed,

arms reaching to hug instinctively.

Love.

Beyond description.

Now in Chennai,

hands on a keyboard,

He knows what I’m writing about.

What I’m feeling about.

What I mean.

As his fingers strike a note, and his voice hums a note.

It’s all obscure, you do not know where its coming from,

but it flows through your veins,

It purifies you, nourishes you,

makes you a new man every moment.

Is it the hand of God? You do not know.

But your hands play.

It’s a gift.

Not a gift of Oscars, but a gift of feeling connected.

Connected with the real orchestrator of all these opulent designs.

Your hands on that keyboard is your gift,

My hands typing this out here is my gift.

All the miles apart,

We live in the same world,

I know what drives you, as it drives me too.

But you have travelled the path before me.

Thus I look upon the mountain peak.

Humility.

And I know I will get there, to join you.

Dreams.

The best thing of them all.

Ram Anand. 2010.

Dedicated for AR Rahman.

Preview of TAsB’s treasures

THE RAINFOREST UNICORNS

Set in the backdrop of a contemporary Kuala Lumpur, TRU explores the most diverse plateaus of human emotions- driven by six characters who are totally different in their own ways.

In a world where many of us stumble as we try to decide what will we use as our life’s guide and measure, the only common characteristic that pertains these six individuals would be their decision to just follow their heart completely.

As with anything, following your heart completely and jumping into vital decisions based on that faith does have its own ups and downs, but one thing is ever so apparent- the heart never fails to tell you a story.

From a buccaneering female lawyer to a young college student confused of her sexual identity- TRU is a bold, enigmatic, imaginative reveal of how life measured by heart breaks endless barriers and is constantly changing.

A REALITY WITHOUT A SHADOW

ARWAS is a criminally imaginative story, also one of my earliest and most ambitious brainchild. An epic science-fiction caper, the story not only explores the medium of science fiction itself, but also has elements of human attitudes strewn into it.

Sometimes the ambitious and seemingly ridiculous dreams you develop when you are still a raw teenager does seem to have the deepest substances, it only takes you time to realize what you were capable of.
Writing ARWAS again is an abode to my fiery, radical-minded youth, something that we have to keep flaming with a measure of maturity and calmness if we were to attain and fulfill our potentials in life.

ARWAS starts with the story of two close friends who are deported to India in a special program as junior police officers, and how a series of mysterious murders set a chain of events that went beyond everyone’s comprehension, leaving the baffled characters to pursue a larger truth that puts the entire humanity’s longevity at stake.

TRU will post its first episode on August 8

ARWAS will post its first episode on August 10.

Ram Anand. 2010.

The Journey Begins.

Hi everyone,

This is the first post and although I have plenty of content that I wish I can just dump into the vortex of this site right now and let you pore over them, I have something to say (write) my heart out.

But of course this is the starting of something special and I need to share how, where and who made this all happen. My extended thank you to Fhonsekha Subramaniam- who not only initiated this idea, but also took care of the hosting and domain (since I know nuts about how to actually construct an Internet website), and every logistic involved so that I could do what I do best from my type-at-your-will comfort of my keyboard.

Also there is Rathimaithily, (Ok, easier for you to see- Rathi Maithily) who came up with the title- Thou art So Beautiful. Part of the description that you read in the page about the website is also an idea from her-so you know how much easier my work was end of the day.

But hey, I guess that’s where live brings you first when you pursue your dreams honestly- you find that there are more than a few people who want you to succeed honestly, without any malicious intent, and would even go that extra mile to do what they can to inspire and help you up.

I have to say this because for the larger part of my journey up until now, loneliness is a feeling that I have acquainted with a great deal. There were times when it felt I was fighting a battle all by myself; that I had to swallow my miseries and joy all within myself.

But now when I look back, I know now I’m at the most important phase in my efforts to touch that glistening trophy laden somewhere beyond the silhouettes of beautiful mountains- but I also do know that at such an important time- I’m not alone anymore.

This website is the proof of that. I couldn’t have done this alone, nor even thought of it, or dared about committing into it. I know now I have genuine people with genuine interest in my success who are by my side.

I do not know how to sum up this site if you are still looking for an objective explanation. I mean, is life objective by any length? Do we have all the A,B,C,D answers for it? Do we even know what are the choices and potentials that we can actually have?

Life is subjective, so that is what this site is all about- it celebrates the opaque nature of life, but draws a firm picture of the infinite qualities that define life- love and dreams.

Let me tell you one personal thing that always has inspired me. I love dusks- the time of the day when the sun slowly sinks somewhere beyond the sea- and on the process releases a splatter of colors across the sky. There’s yellow, orange, colors beyond definition. If you walk to a common man and ask him what significance they see from dusk, they will tell you it’s going to be night soon. True.

But what about now, this moment, is a beautiful moment? True as well.

What about sitting there and just enjoying the scenery because you really must count your lucky pennies when you manage to come across dusk at its very peak? True.

What about, we’ve had our day, let Mr.Sun go and makes sunflowers rise at the other part of the world, while we enjoy the liberty of the moon? True.

And let me tell you something original- Life, is like dusk. Many of us miss it. How many of you actually even noted dusk? How many of you are even aware dusk is called dusk whereas you do know dawn is called dawn?

Life, like dusk, is about how you view it. How you interpret it. It’s open ended. What you think of it is what you will give it, and that’s how much it’ll give back to you in return.

I choose to see the final truth, the infinite one about it lighting up other lives, and my turn will come again. But the moon is never a bad company. Because it still reflects the sun’s ray upon us. And it is no less beautiful.

Life is NOT about looking at the brighter side of things. That’s a fact.

It is rather about discovering the Beauty beneath everything life offers.  Because when you find that beauty, you are not just convincing or telling yourself to choose a reality anymore. Beauty, as you know it, doesn’t have a dark side.

So, discover the beauties, shall we, my fellow travelers?