This is what I didn't get to see when I was still in the Arab World.


The green leaves are coming back. They always do.

This tree is as gnarled and broken as I felt last night & earlier.

It's barely 2 months into the year, and the amount of regrettable events in my life and around me are already mounting up, like it's November already.

For the first time, I woke myself up, screaming from a bad dream. It was real. I heard it. I felt it. I can't remember the dream now but the pain was just so vivid. Still is. 

I am amazed. And disturbed. 

Now those coconuts, they're a pretty sight and all,
 but they could fall at will and crush your skull, you know.
But there's gotta be some thing better that's coming. For sure. And I'm holding on to that.


Meet Ali Abdulhadi Mushaima. Bahrain's Feb14 Martyr.

Ali is a very passionate young Bahraini Shia, who loves Arabic music, fizzy drinks and over-speeding. The only western music he claimed to like are Bob Marley's and Michael Jackson's. Ali is a former co-worker. He was about 19 when I first met him 2 years back.


5 Days Without Rice: An Experiment

I did it, all the way, as in, absolutely no feckin' rice for five days straight, make that, absolutely no feckin' rice, 15 meals straight.

But that didn't mean no carbo, I had bread and noodles and sweet potatoes and pasta. Day 1, it was like normal. Like I was busy (and I was) and couldn't be bothered with full meals. I had noodles for carbo. I would've had more but I wasn't prepared. I only decided that day. I woke up, and told myself, hey, what if I went riceless for the week? And that I did.

Days 2-3, I was more prepared. I bought bread. I had cheese. And fish mostly. Days 4-5, was the toughest. I felt week, lithe and rickety at the same time. And these days were when I had to write the hardest. I had deadlines to catch.

But that's all history now. I'd probably not do it again. I just can't eat well without rice. I can't eat viands that must be paired with rice, that was a conscious decision I made from the start - or else I'd just go into a rice frenzy. In essence, I was barely, eating for 5 days. No, I don't think I need to do this again.


Gong xi fa cai!

I've got to have a Chinese New Year/ Spring Festival post, why not? I just remembered, because the greeting card from our friends at the China Guangxi International Youth Exchange Institute lying on my desk keeps poking me. So, gong xi fa cai! There.

That China experience, I've never really gotten to writing lengthily about it. I've set up a blog and all (I was even feeling ambitious enough to imagine it as a book, a novella or something in the making - ha!), but it just keeps on getting pushed back, by stuff, life, ennui, Bahrain, heartbreak.


I stand with the women and men of Egypt in their fight for genuine freedom and democracy!

I don't know much about modern Egypt, which is sad, in a way. I only even heard about this Anger Revolution in the 29th of January from Devi. Three days I'm not on Twitter, and so much has happened already. And I didn't even know the background of this revolution. I didn't even know there was a background to this revolution! (Same with Tunisia's, but that was worse, because I didn't even know where Tunisia was, or that there was a modern Tunisia, as I could only associate it with the shroud of Tunis?)

From Wikipeda: "The 2011 Egyptian protests are an ongoing series of street demonstrations, marches,rallies, acts of civil disobedience, riots, and violent clashes that began in Egypt on 25 January 2011, a day selected by 6 April Youth Movement organisers[10][11] to coincide with the National Police Day holiday.[12]"


"I don't want to walk this earth if I gotta do it solo."

I should be somewhere in Malaysia right now, in a train pushing towards Thailand, the moving images of eerily familiar homes and greeneries, fluttering past, and fast, while my eyes flicker as quickly, in both awe and wonderment. That, or I'd be in a half-sleep half-awake state, still relishing the adventures of the days past, the sights and sounds of Singapore, the food and groove of Kuala Lumpur, while excitedly anticipating Souther Thailand, Bangkok, possibly norther Thailand and Laos, definitely Cambodia, and of course, Saigon.

But this is all fiction, now. Just like that, because I can't travel alone. Because my travelling companion cancelled. Abruptly. Without prior notice. (3 days is not prior notice). Because he couldn't run away from responsibilities at work. Because I, too, can't make him do that.

Because. It's. Just. Not. Happening.

(For now.)


[Nair: Let's see you make it up to me. It better be good, 'Dong. It better be.]