a little mustard seed

A seed is full of potential... let alone, nothing will happen. It needs light, water, nutrients,the right time... and a willing farmer...

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Christmas 2006

This post is dedicated to all my Metro friends and especially to those who are overseas.

Christmas at Thirumal's this year was quiter than last year. Quite a number of 'regulars' didn't turn up this year. Maybe because it's on a Monday and most of us had to go back to work the next day. Also, there were a few who were stuck in foreign land... you absence did make a difference...
This year, although there was no carolling, we had a great sing-along session. I'll let the pictures tell the story...
"This is how we are gonna sing it..."
"Music..." "...and.. On the first day of Christmas my lover gave to me..."

Singing was actually a rather tiring activity. We needed to replenish our energy, and so, the eating continued...

Of course, there were a few who stayed back for the camera while the rest were pigging outside...

The photos of Christmas past (Christmas 2005), which I have held back for one year. Do accept my apologies... it is now available. Just drop me a line.

... and that's me.
Hope you have enjoyed the photos. I wish you all a very blessed New Year and may your walk with God be strengthened, and the Lord shall bring many blessings and opportunity to you for the year 2007!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Santa didn't Make It After All!

This is a sequel to "Santa Clause Ain't Comin To Town"

Date: 25th December 2006
Time: MYT 1705hr
Temperature: 33 Degrees Celcius

Sigh... waddya know... It's already Christmas. and there were no presents found under my mango tree, bonsai tree, Longan tree, and every other tree that I have planted...

Since there were no news whatsoever about the whereabouts of Santa, we could only make the following assumptions:

1) He did try to come to Malaysia. But the hot weather dehyrated his reindeers, and they all crash landed into the sea and drowned, or smashed into the mountains and fused with the rocks at the mainland.

2) Arrested by the Malaysian police while trying to break into the houses of Malaysian residence to deliver presents. (If Santa was to be arrested by the Malaysian Police, I bet his reindeers would end up being Ramli burger patties! ^o^)

3) Retired and now residing in the Islands of Caribean (=.=), or


Truth is, boys and girls, as much as you would like to believe about his existence, I think point number 4 is the most likely answer. Well, you can blame Thomas Nast and Coca Cola for making Santa popular. It was Thomas Nast who breathed life to the image of St. Nicholas (a.k.a Santa Clause) and later commercialised by Coca Cola Corporation, where Santa got his famous red coat with white hairy edges. (do click on the links above to find out more)

So why on earth does the world even bother to acknowledge Santa? ...

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Santa Clause Ain't Comin To Town!

Date: 24th December 2006
Time: MYT 1810 hr
Temperature: 30 degrees Celcius

... Still no signs of Santa Clause. Wonder if he will come tonight... I have been a good boy this year. I should deserve some gifts. Let see what gifts he will bring... Deep down in my heart there is a doubt that I will receive anything from Santa. Not because I have not been good, but because I'm in Malaysia. I figure, if he were to come to Malaysia, he'd probably crash land into the South China Sea (If he were to be coming from that direction). The logical reason would be IT'S TOO DARN HOT IN SOUTH EAST ASIA!

His reindeer would probably dehydrate before arriving at the Malaysian shores. They would have passed out and spiraled into the open sea. Should that happen, Santa's thick red coat would have soacked up so much water during the crash, and its weight would have dragged him down into the abyss!

Anyway, these are just my anticipation... Let's see what will happen tonight. If he survives, he'll have one more hurdle to go through. There's no chimney in Malaysia, so he will have to break into the house from else where. He'd better be good at picking locks! Suppose he manages to break in, I hope he knows where to leave the presents because we have mango trees, Yam trees, Bosai trees, Neem trees, and all sort of other trees but Christmas trees. Okay... maybe I'm exaggerating... we do have fake Christmas trees... But, what does Christmas has to do with Fir trees, Cedar trees, or Spruce? (These are the few common species of trees used as Christmas trees if you do not know it by now)

If he does his job right, he should just leave the presents and go off. But if I find him kissing my mom (for the all wrong reasons), you will have to get your presents from him at the Sungai Buloh Jail next year. Don't expect to get luxurious presents by then because the good ones would have been confiscated by the jail wardens.

For now, I'll just be patient...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

The Day That I Fell ...

All my life of hiking and climbing, I have sustained injuries like scratches, cuts, hit by a bicycle saddle at my groin, but never one so serious that I had to be on crutches, or in a wheel chair.

On the Sunday of 10 December 2006, everything changed...

I was again hiking up Bukit Tabur with two friends. It was a beautiful morning. The sky was clear and blue. This time, Lydia was setting the pace. We were hiking into the lower parts of the hill, at the second decend. This part of the hill is usally well shaded and cool - a perfect habitat for moss and algae.

While busy chatting, I misplaced my footing and slipped. My body weight pushed my right leg downwards, perpendicular to the ground. The angle of the rock where I steped on caused my foot to twist inwards. The forward motion of my body caused it to further bent leftwards. To absorb the impact, I lunged my body forward and leftwards (to avoid falling off the edge). The leftward motion pushed my ankle further in. This caused a huge jolt at the Calcaneofibular ligament and the Anterior talofibular ligament. The downward force applied at my ankle during this moment was approximated to be more than 1400 pounds (body mass (kg) x gravitational force x 2.205).

The pain was excruciating. I quickly elevated my foot and checked for damage. There were no swelling, bruises, nor crunching sounds. All seemed fine except for the throbing pain. I was thinking to myself "God, help! Christmas production in 3 days away, and I'm one of the cast! Oh let me not me cast away! Please heal me..."
I stood up to test my foot. I could still stand, and walk with a little limp. I was quite confident that there were no broken bones nor detached ligaments. Saw, my good friend passed me a make shift walking stick and advised me to turn back. But I insisted to continue as we were more than three quarter of the way to the sweet spot. And so, we pressed on. It was worth while as you can see... sunrise at Bukit Tabur.

The view changed as the sun warmed up the morning air...

Miss Bukit Tabur shying away from the sun until...

She noticed my camera aiming at her... (actually I asked her to post for my camera lah)

My good friend Saw eager to get into the scene as well...

I must say, they sure no how to post for the camera!

The lady and her homemade carrot cake... though the cake didn't turn as how she expected, it still tasted rather good! (what did I do to crack her up like that?)

Saw and my walking stick...

That's my injured foot, basking in the glory of the 8 a.m. sun!

All was well untill after breakfast at Melawati town. That's when my foot swelled up. It was so bad I could not walk. Saw had to send me to the hospital, and that was when I had to walked on crutches and sat in a wheel chair! This was indeed the day that I have fallen! But thank God, the doctor confirmed that there was no fracture, only torn ligament. (what were the names of the ligaments again?)

By God's grace, I will be able to make it for the musical! I even invited the doctor to come.

Come and watch Word On The Street and experience the Spirit of Christmas at the Grand Ballroom of Flamingo Hotel this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (15, 16, 17 Dec 2006, 8pm) - more details at www.christmas.metrotab.org

Monday, December 11, 2006

Paintings of the Almighty

A dedication to my Maker, friends who couldn't join me that day, and friends who are now over seas. Also, I dedicate this to Poh Lynn's father whom I met on my way down from the hill.

It was a gloomy morning, about a week or two after the hazy days in KL. "The haze is finally over! I need to climb! No matter rain or shine, I need to go outdoors!" Why am I so gungho? Cuz I knew that the haze is going to be back... question is, when? So I called a few friends (only one managed to join me), and told them we will be starting our climb at 6.30 am. And so, we did...
Date: Sunday, 11 Nov 2006
Time: 6.56am onwards...

Mid way to my favourite spot of the hill... We could hardly see the Klang valley... The fog kept getting thicker and thicker...

I looked back to take a peep at the east side of the hill. Lo and behold...

I was mezmerized by its beauty. The sun was rising fast. We hurried to our favourite spot, where we can get the best view of God's art. When we arrived, the sun was a little too high up, but the view was still 'Jaw dropping'!

We chose a spot and sat on the flatest rock we could find. The morning breeze quickly swept our sweat away, as we rested and feast our eyes on the beauty of the hill. You are looking east of the hill. On the right, is KL city, and on the left is the Klang Gates damn. At the horizon is Pahang.

The breeze that came from the north gathered dense fog from the Pahang rain forest, and was trapped at the hills. It became so thick that it overflowed into the other side of the hill. We could feel the chill of the water droplets that made up the fog as they gently brushed against our cheeks when they passed us by.

When we started our journey, we thought it would rain. The clouds that we thought would bring rain was actually a very thick layer of fog that had engulved the entire Klang valley and major parts of the Pahang rain forest. As the sun rose higher, the clouds from the stratosphere onwards dispersed and revealed the blue sky.

The rain forest soon revealed its crowns as the fog dispersed.

The fog soon achieved a level of equilibrium as it spilled itself over the hill to fill up the entire Klang valley.

The scenary slowly transformed into one that resembled the limestone hills of Guangxi province, China. However, this is a granite hill. Such view is rare and only appear several times in a year (during the rainy seasons). I thank God for that day...

I could hardly spot KL city accept for the distinctive KL tower and Petronas tower.

We would sit there the whole morning, but I had to rush back to reality - the hustle and bustle of life... On our way down, the glitters from a spider web caught my eyes.

... and there were more... I was hoping for a bigger one so that I could take a good shot. ... and I actually found one! This spider is called a Signature Spider, or Argiope sp. of the Araneidae family.

It was when I was taking the photograph of this particular arachnid that I met Poh Lynn's dad. I should have taken a photo with Mr. Ng, but I was rushing down...
Another jewel caught my attention!

We then hiked through the lower parts of the hill, where it was dense with vegetation. The ray from the morning sun penetrated the thick foliage and lighted the jungle trail with a beautiful glow...

... which interestingly reminded me of a verse in the Bible, Psalm 119:105 "Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path".

That morning itself, I felt like I have travalled to several places around the world, although I have only climbed up the back yard of Taman Melawati - Bukit Tabur.

I must say that this is is one of the many show cases of God's magnificent paintings. It never ceased to amaze me.

At first, I was a little hesitant to show the photos I took. I feared that more people would frequent this place, and as a result, the entire hill could risk being damaged by tourists. People might come and take whatever that might appeal to them, and leave their garbage behind.

I am not being selfish about this place. I very much would like to share its beauty with the others (hence, this post), but are they willing to share its beauty with other people?

Already, there is enough damage caused by some climbers now. There are huge rocks disappearing from the hill, and plants being dug up from the soil. There are even grafiti on some of the rock walls. There are garbage scattered along the trail.

Do these people actually think forward before doing anything like this? I figure they did but just couldn't care less. If everyone who frequents there takes a stone, or a plant, very soon, the entire hill would be totally destroyed in time to come. The implications could be larger than you and I could imagine!

However, I have decided to publish the pictures in hope that those who sees them, will learn to love the place and conserve it. Bukit Tabur is a priceless comodity, and it is one of the last few natural wonders standing in KL city. I would call such place a natural gymn, a place to destress, a place of inspiration, and a painting of the Almighty. Naturally, it also serves as part of a natural reservoir as well as a baricade to the Klang gates dam. It acts as a natural protection for our water source.

We now live in a fast moving world, where nothing last as long as it used to be. Parents seldom pass anything down to their children anymore as most of the items can be purchased with money. The sense of conservation is not as strong as it used to be in our society of this era.

No doubt, clean air, natural resources and natural wonders, in a way can be bought with money. However, unlike handphones, clothes or cars (a.k.a. perishables), we cannot produce them. If we lose them, we lose them forever! As such, we cannot treat natural resources like we would treat the perishables! If we continue with our current consumer attitute, we will have nothing left for the generations to come.

As a child, I cherish what my parents gave me. As a parent, I would like to give my children something to cherish. Showing our children such natural wonders is something worthwhile giving. Though I'm not a father yet, but I would like to see my future generation experiencing a piece of God's wonderful painting.

Therefore, I urge you readers out there, the next time you plan to go to Bukit Tabur, or anywhere at all, go with a heart to conserve! The earth, no matter which part of it we are at, is our home. Protect it!

Gen2:15 "Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it"