Monday, April 29, 2013


I  went numb after hearing Beyonce and André 3000's version of the late Amy Winehouse's 'Back To Black' (which is from the soundtrack of 'The Great Gatsby', which is also another remake). The atrocious remake of one of my favourite songs was too much for me to take. There is no emotion and no depth in the delivery at all. It's cold and soulless especially when the song production is dominated by the heavily-synthesised downtempo bass sound. Trying to make the musical imagery much darker, more ominous, more hypnotising and more drugged-out than it originally is, I think. Well, to me the song fails big time. Totally different from Amy's version which can seep right into my heart's core. I am not going to hate on Beyonce and André but I feel it is downright shameful for a classic song to be butchered and ruined that way. I'm pretty sure many of Beyonce and André's fans will say that the new version is fantastic but let's be objective about the whole thing, okay? There is no doubt that Beyonce can sing but certain types of songs are not suitable for her. Songs that tell stories are best sung when the singers can relate to the stories. Amy was clearly conveying her emotions in 'Back To Black' and that's why you can 'feel' her soul. Beyonce was merely singing (if  her whispering can be called a form of singing) and she couldn't capture that feeling. She couldn't get herself down there, to the place where she should feel her lowest. And I don't even want to say anything about André 3000's rapping...

p/s As much as I love Whitney Houston, I have to admit that her version of 'You Light Up My Lie' does nothing to me compared to the original version by Debbie Boone.

Friday, April 19, 2013


Colours play a very important role in our life. Certain colours can calm us and there are others which will irritate the hell out of us. To me, a colour is a colour. It's all a matter of preference since it's just another hue on the palette. However, it is sad and frustrating when certain colours are strongly associated with certain things and ideas. It's okay if the correlation is all positive but what if it's the other way around? I have always been partial to black and unfortunately a lot of negative images are associated with black. Black magic, black market, black sheep, black hat, black list, blackmail etc, etc, etc. I have always wondered who started the idea that a baby boy's room has to be blue and a girl's has to be pink. There are many boys (and men too) who like pink but unfortunately, they have to hide their preference due to society's perception and preconceived notion. Certain political parties and preferences are even associated with certain colours. The General Election is coming up and I can't even wear a certain shade of green or blue or red or yellow before hearing a certain smart aleck commenting on my colour choice. It is obviously superficial and absolutely not smart when a person is solely judged based on what is seen on the outside. The world might be heading in a new direction but if the mind remains static, we won't be moving anywhere at all.

p/s Maybe I should wear something transparent so as not to evoke any unwelcome comments from others. But then, it will probably evoke something else.

Thursday, April 18, 2013


My childhood home was near a river and before the government began supplying piped water to homes, that river was the main source of water for the villagers. I know that it sounds so 'pre-historic' to a lot of people nowadays but that was the actual truth. My Mum would go to the river almost daily to wash our clothes. When the water level went down, my second youngest brother, my cousin and I would tag along. We would take some food and there, we would have our small picnic. There was nothing elaborate and fancy about the picnic. Usually, it would be 'jemput-jemput', simple 'nasi goreng' or 'kuih tepek' cooked by my Mum (I'll write about these 'delicacies' in another post later but don't count too much on it). There would be an instant sandy beach spread before our own very eyes, sometimes even stretching to the middle of the river. The adults could go from one side of the river to the other easily. The water was clean and cool. The surrounding was beautiful and peaceful. You could see the little fish swimming in the crystal-clear water. By the bank of the river, bamboo and 'sentul' trees grew abundantly. Sometimes we would collect the fallen 'sentul' fruits from the trees. Our favourite activities were building 'nests' for the freshwater prawns and competing who could dig the deepest hole on the beach. It was fun splashing and playing in the water but it would have been better if I knew how to swim. I never understood why floating and swimming was problematic for me until later. I had learned how to swim properly (unsuccessfully nevertheless) but since I have scoliosis, breathing under water and coordination can be quite difficult for me. FYI, scoliosis is curvature of the spine which can be quite severe in certain cases (More about scoliosis in another post if I have time). I've been back to the place where my childhood home was a few times and the area around the river is as beautiful and peaceful as ever. The 'sentul' trees are nowhere to be seen but the 'magic' is still in the air. I wish I could let go of all my inhibitions and start acting like a small kid again; frolicking in the cool water and doing silly things without a single care. But I guess that wish will always remain a wish...

Monday, April 8, 2013


This is the eighth year since your passing and I should have gotten used to the fact that you are no longer around. Yet, I still feel empty and on certain days, totally hollow inside. I think about you almost every single day and it is especially hard when a lot of things around the house still remind me of you. As the one who is left behind, I am constantly surrounded by memories of you. Everywhere I turn, there will be something that will make my heart ache again. The lazy chair where you used to sit. Your clothes still neatly folded in the closet. Your pictures on the living room table. The flowers that you planted around the house. Your old watch that I wear to work every day. And the list goes on and on. The others have moved on, I think and I am glad that they have. They have their own lives to live plus a lot more to experience and see. Abah, I am still missing you. Much more than I can ever express. May your soul be blessed. Al Fatihah.