Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Wishful dreams Crappy days

I dream a dream today
A dream of going somewhere someday
A land where daydreamers are free to dream
Of going somewhere, anywhere, everywhere, any day

I dream of reading an Ode yesterday
An unfinished script an ode to a poet
Who writes to pass the day
Days just like today, yesterday and any other day

I might dream another dream tomorrow
Dreams that may or might be a dream I’ve dreamed
I wish it will be a dream I wish to dream
A dream I can dream about in my dreams

I wish I’m dreaming a wishful dream right now
Of vibrant places of exotic locales
Of beautiful people of friendlier faces
Of open skies of sunny, cool winds
Where every blade of grass is green and pristine
Where every fleck of snow is not bitingly cold
Where every ray of sun does not sting
Where the water is clear, warm and soothing
Every breath of air breathlessly clean

A place
I wish I be
Right now right here
Instead of just a wishful dream
I dream of daydreaming

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Decisive Nincompoops

All riled up from reading Sakmongkol AK47 “Truth is the ultimate blade to cut the crap”.

This once subversively-popular song springs to mind immediately. Links to follow if I'm "rajin" (Is there an English equivalent ?) enough.

Aku Bukan Musuh Harta - Kopratasa

Mereka kata :
Mengapa kita tidak kaya raya?
Tengoklah si fulan itu,bermewahan saja..
Aku bertanya : apakah caranya untuk aku kaya?
Tapi.. secara mulia dan tanpa berdusta

Bukan kita tidak tahu
Jalan, denai dan liku
Agar harta ditemu dan disapu
Tapi semuanya cara palsu dan tipu..
Bukan kita tidak mahu,
Tapi kita tidak mampu,

Takut dan terkedu
Mengenangkan Yang Maha Satu
Yang Tiada BagiNya sekutu

Ya, telah kaya para pengkhianat,
Dengan harta yang sarat,
Tapi mereka lupa akhirat,
Balasan yang berat,
Dunia, jiwa bertukar menjadi keparat

Ya, telah kaya para pendusta,
Syarat mereka : lupakan Yang Esa,
Harta rakyat, semua disebat
Harta awam, semua dibekam
Hukum syaitan, mereka bertuhan

Kita pun ingin kaya,
Ada harta, ada kereta yang istimewa,
Ada rumah mewah yang melimpah,
Ada hidangan yang bukan sebarangan,
Ada duit yang bukan sedikit

Tapi, jalannya hendaklah suci,
Bukan seperti seorang pencuri,
Jika ada jalan yang mulia,
Di hujungnya ada harta,
Tunjukkan kita, di mana saja
Kita bukan musuh harta,
Kita cuma musuh pengkhianat bangsa
Dan Negara,
Apatah lagi pengkhianat agama..

Dari Puisi Dr Asri

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Dubious Duds

Yann Martel’s Beatrice and Virgil starts like a foreward and that alone got me hooked to dwelve further. Brilliant gambit, if I may say so.

Actually, it was initially the size (actually lack) of B & V which prompted me to pick it from the tens of titles lining The Times Book Store’s “New Arrival” shelf during a lunch break.

Ever seen George Orwell’s Animal Farm? B & V is about the same size.

The summary on the back cover (Blurb, is it?) doesn’t tell you much about the storyline, except that it involved an author, a taxidermist, a donkey and a monkey.

It was only upon Googling the title up later that I came to know B & V was part fiction part allegory on the Holocaust (look it up if you don’t know what this word means).

A few reviewers compared Martel with M. Night Shyamalan.

(Not the “I see dead people” Shyamalan. The Happening and The Last Airbender etc Shyamalan.

Yes; the one (or two) hit wonder.

Having found Martel’s writing style to my liking, I was quite flabbergasted with the bad press. Could it really be THAT bad a book?

Writing is a tedious, lonely job.

Writers hope to excite, to enthrall, to give hours of page-turning moments, to provide imaginative avenues and probing insights, or to simply to help readers pass dreadful waits.

For your work to be called a dud is certainly a downer. Especially if you slogged long and hard to come out with your so-called masterpiece.

I suppose Martel took all the criticism in stride as he did mentioned somewhere of working on another tale. Kudos to him.

According to Stephen King, writers are needy. He’s probably correct. Otherwise why do you spend hours, months and, even, years writing, rewriting to get it right for the reader, even if they are purely imaginary?

So, will I be getting the book then?

I’m thinking I will after all.

It might not be are emotionally charged as one of Leon Uris’s epic, but a book that can pass the hours in minutes is worthy of the attention span.

Friday, 3 December 2010

Insightful Mergers

I used to be a bona-fide, die hard believer in the premise of our Perusahaan Otomobil Nasional Berhad.*

My first car was a white, black-bumpered, Satria 1.3GL before circumstances and bad financial/personal management saw me letting it go and replacing with a Proton Iswara 1.3GL.

As many Proton car owners would probably attest, hassle-free is definitely not something you equate with this particular car maker.

I persisted with a third model, the Gen2, and Proton rewarded my somewhat naïve "loyalty" with a horrendous lemon and after a few years of nervous, hair-pulling moments and much, much, outflow of money for repairs etc, I bid goodbye to the brand.

Never sagain, I promise myself.

By then, I had managed to experience the kind of mouse-squeak, bottle cap-rattle free motoring that should be the right of motorists paying their hard earn money – first a second hand Suzuki Swift, then an Inokom Matrix and a Perodua Viva.

The Swift had an early episode of a clogged up fuel filter during one early morning road trip south, but replacement was cheap at RM25, and then it was all fine and dandy, and now still providing its services to my brother in law, it’s 16-years age notwithstanding.

Yes, I accept that no car maker can assure total reliability, but in my case, two out of three models seemed like a chronic lack of a QC culture prevalent in the national car maker.

Just yesterday, I posted a short advise to another Gen2 owner whose engine temp had risen, much like what I had experienced countless number of occasions with my own before I said goodbye.

What irks me the most (and probably other Proton owners in similar predicament) is the stock standard answers we usually get when sending our cars for repairs, warranties etc: “Biasalah, Proton.”

As if that makes it all blipping all right. A kind of take it or take it proposition.

Just like the current “We want it, and we want it no matter what” attitude in pushing for a merger with Perodua.

Proton probably needs this to happen more than the latter. Reading between the lines of Proton’s man-in-charge statement seemed to point to it haranguing the Government to press its case home.

I have given up on the Proton ideals. So reading statements like “I strongly feel there is room to collaborate. It's not about Proton and Perodua, it's about the Malaysian automotive industry” is so gag-inducing.

The Malaysian automotive industry? Really? In what way? My feeble, non automotive-industry savvy mind can’t see how a merger of Proton and Perodua makes sense vis-à-vis the Malaysian motoring crowd, other than having lesser and lesser choices for the low-mid, mid price ranges.

A merger would mean that some line-up needs to be consolidated. I’m guessing the one doing the pushing for a combo would also be the one deciding which models are delisted.

Examples of overlaps: Saga and Myvi. Savvy (is this still in production? Not I really care) and Viva. Persona/Gen2 and Alza.

(Of course, this is the kind of worse-case scenario, conspiratorial outlook. Guesses. Opinions. Everyone’s entitled to them. This is mine.)

This is not the first time Proton’s man at the helm is pushing for a merger.

Usually I don’t give a hoot about what Proton does or doesn’t do. Not anymore.

Inspira a Lancer ciplak: don’t care. Exora going EV: whatever.

But a merger that might just consolidate the kind of “Biasalah, Proton” take-it-or-take-it attitude?

This I care.

Care that enough care needs to be put into its deliberation. Care that both sides are heard. Care that the interests of the motoring public at large is also considered.

Will they?

PS: Honda Insight at RM98,000: Cheapest Hybrid. My emphasis.

*Blame this on my once-upon-a-time TDM-reverence.