Wednesday, December 31

09

Wishing everyone a wonderful New Year filled with love and joy with family and friends.



[+] CosmicDiary

also introducing

[+] [the feast of minds - memories of tomorrow]

Tuesday, December 30

Sri Marathandavar Temple

I had one last road trip left before then year ends. We traveled to the temple of miracles, the Sri Maranthandavar temple near the town of Maran, in the east coast state of Pahang. (Marathandavar means God of the Tree; Maram means tree). The temple dedicated to Lord Muruga is located about 3 hours away from KL and has been one of the most important Hindu pilgrimage centres in Malaysia.

Entrance

This is one of the 2 sacred trees at the temple. The original miracle tree has died and the bark is preserved and embedded in the sanctum behind the statue of Lord Marathandavar.
(the link sourced from this blog shows the apparition of Lord Muruga and his wife Deivanai on the bark of the miracle tree)

Flight of freedom, again :)

The temple itself is built to the shape of an octagon.

The Sri Marathandavar temple has beautiful architecture to be admired.

[+] The story of the origin of the [Temple of miracles].
[+] Two very good guide blogs to many famous Hindu temples of Malaysia [Malaysian Hindu Temples] and [Mystical Temples of Malaysia]

Saturday, December 27

Strawberries!

We interrupt your regular Christmas programming to bring the Attack of the Killer Strawberries!!

Red hot!

Strawberries dipped in chocolate...heaven!

Fried prawns...served hot with chili sauce
This is a non veg blog after all :p

Honey comb
There are a few honey bee farms in the Highlands

We traveled to the coldest and coolest and highest night market in Malaysia,
located at the Cameron Highlands.
(Friday and Saturday, every week from early evening till midnight, Brinchang Town)
Cameron Highlands is the biggest among the hill stations in Malaysia, situated in the state of Pahang on the Titiwangsa mountain range. It was developed during colonial times, the cool climate and ancient rain forests attract many local and foreign tourists throughout the year. It is very famous for its tea plantations, both Boh Tea and Barath Tea own huge tea plantations in the Highlands and famous tea stops among the hills.
And of course, not forgetting strawberries, the ever famous Highland strawberries are grown there. The Highlands also serve as an important source of vegetables and flowers for Malaysia and Singapore.


Suddenly the country seems so small when we can just hop in the car and drive anywhere...


[+] Travelers; Indran, Lina, Kumar, Kamales, Ghost.
Location; Cameron Highlands.

[+] Our first jump to C_H [Ghost_Flickr]

[+] The mystery of Jim Thompson

[+] Wikitravel guide [Cameron Highlands]

Wednesday, December 24

Happy Holidays


Wishing everyone a safe, wonderful and memorable holiday.

Hope that we all take time to...
remember the less fortunate
remember the victims of the 26th December Tsunami
remember the ones who departed too early this year,
from us, from our hearts

remember our roots,
remember the histories,
remember the colors and cultures,
and travels :)

remember our parents,
appreciate them for everything,
love them for making you who you are,
taking care of them,
for they are your existence

remember to say thank you,
remember to hold the door,
remember to help someone
remember to love and show kindness

remember how far we have came in life,
and how hard we worked for it,
so that we can teach others to come up,
and help them to be strong

remember to make that one call,
to say hi, to be that someone,
to make a day happier,
to make a difference

remember to plan for the new year,
to take note from past experiences,
to learn to survive
and to always remember,
there are beautiful tomorrows

remember that I am here,
for you
and for me to remember,
everyone being there for me

lets take some time,
to say thank you to a great 2008
and to anticipate a greater 2009

have a nice time
love you all

gP2008


[#] For everyone traveling this holidays, have a safe safe drive, trip, flight :)
Buzz me if you drop into Malaysia :D
Ill get back to blogging hopefully in the new year, unless of course I get bored of the real world sooner :P

Monday, December 22

Guess, 3


This will be the final contest for this year.

Guess the name of the (i) City and (ii) Place; where this monument is.

The country is India.

Same rules apply as the previous contests (Guess 1 and Guess 2) for who can and cannot enter. Comments will be moderated.

And all who have guessed will get a Book or DVD of their choice posted to them.

Previous winners may enter again :)

Competition closes on the midnight of 24th December.

*Prizes for all 3 contests are sponsored by the Northern Lexicon Translation Agency.


[[#]] Winners of Guess 2, please mail me your addresses at humanuniverse[@]gmail.com. Or just buzz me in Gtalk or YIM.

Saturday, December 20

4th anniversary


thank you for 4 wonderful years in this electronic world
and a lifetime of memories from the real world :)

this blog, and myself went through a lot in 2008
memories that i will never forget
love and joy to cherish everyday
regrets and pain that will never go away
but i find myself
waking up another day
and many more tomorrows
within them i find my answers
i am still alive
the world is still here
bold and beautiful
what matters is taking a step forward
making someone happy
changing something
being the change
and living your life
may we have another wonderful year
and many more lives to touch
and not a dream lost
love all



[+] Place: Tanjung Dawai beach, Kedah. Travelers; Kumar, Indran, Ghost. Shutter light tracer; Indran.

Thursday, December 18

Guess, 2

Winners: manisha, milady, stpdsor, brocasarea, jeevan, karthi, anitha, nachi, ne, arv, neha

This is the second quiz this month, since I'm so in love with December.

(i) Guess which movie the following lines are from - title, actors.
(ii) Name A very famous song from the movie - title, artist.

I would rather have had...
one breath of her hair
one kiss of her mouth
one touch of her hand
than an eternity without it.

Should be very very easy if you're a movie buff. And definitely NO CLUE this time. :P Oh btw, its an English, Hollywood movie.

Remember BOTH questions must be answered.

The Prize will be: A DVD or Book of your choice mailed to you :)


[#] I'll moderate the comments for this post, Everyone who gives the correct answers will get the prize.

Contest closes exactly 24 hours from now (Malaysian time 3pm /GMT +8) - 19th December - Friday (wherever you are :)

[#] My immediate friends in Msia and the Chumma Travel gang is not eligible to participate. As well as the winner from the previous contest. Sorry :p

Best of Adventures: Adventures of the Year

[a must read!!!]

This was the price, finally. The planet can look small, and an adventure exciting. You can chart out detailed routes and plan to cover thousands of miles and many months. It can all seem so straightforward and plausible. But then you find yourself in one particular place at one particular time, and the world feels as vast as it is. You wait to find out whether you're going to die.

[read full] [180degrees.com]

[+] Read All The Adventures [NatGeo Adventures of the Year]
[+] 2007 Adventures of the Year

Monday, December 15

Down to Earth


end credits from Wall-E,
featuring the song Down to Earth by Peter Gabriel



[#] a fine, fine movie. so much to admire, so much to learn :)

Sunday, December 14

tied travails

sometimes we wonder
if buildings can indeed be the identity
of cities or countries

and in another moment I would like to make a biased generalization
saying that
this would indeed be the only towers that represent a culture of modernity
with a touch of familiarity
giving a strong identity to the city and country
the twins are tied so close to the hearts of the citizens that we cant sever it
however way we look at it
in whatever moments of humanity
we see the struggles of a nation
birthing a monument of splendor
of excess beauty
with nothing to compare with
and among the mindless fractured modern cities around the world
I see scrapers rise from sand and stone
but none has the character or life or soul
of this fantastic existence

and from a distance in time
I see how the towers of 9-11
has become an identity of change and fear
of hope and eternity
how changes can happen
as radically as any building could be
smoldered to the ground
and among the rubble's we find
our voice to speak against tyranny
among the dead souls
we find no solution
for the reason
of majestic buildings
that changes history
that changes the landscapes
of the modern era

and reasons are what we live for


[#] a calm Sunday in busy KLCC, travelers Vj and Ghost. PC Fair 2008 sucked major!
[#] the post title is actually derived from the blog title of Ramya. thx da :)

Friday, December 12

Many Miles

during the days of remembrance
a moment of retrospection
a deluge of memories
drains your life
makes you
stop


[#] Niki hit 20000 km today...in 5 short months. How many memories the car share, how many more to discover. I hope I dont stop walking the roads... :)

Xmas at the Valley

Xmas at MidValley Megamall

hey! :D

Framed...Circled? Sphered!

the one tree i really like
made of ribbons

And this is at The Gardens, the decor was really good...

and it was a huge huge cage!

yeh...now you know where I live! :D

this the season to scare your children silly
...at the Valley...tralalalalaa la la la... :D

[#] Xmas decors is a big craze at local malls. And since the tree at KLCC turned a dud this year, I think MidValley and The Gardens shopping mall did good for this season. Hope one day I get to see the Rockefeller Center tree :)
[+] Travelers Velan and Ghost

Wednesday, December 10

Of Driving

This could be rated as one of the most pressing matters in the world today; Driving with your parents (and grandma). And its going to be a very long drive. I woke up this morning to find all my CDs missing from the car! No more Nusrat, no more Atif, Maroon 5, Bocelli, they even took away my Dalai Lama chants...oh come on. And there's a lot of CD's with no name...which I'm gonna presume are really really sad 70's and 80's Tamil songs...

I really dont mind the driving part, its a pleasure to take them along and knowing they would be happy to travel as much as I am, but music always puts me in a spot during these times. And I will do anything not to switch on the radio during drives with family. Because at moments you least expect there will be a bloody radio show about arrogant children who don't take care of their parents, or something about marriage, work, etc. And along with that will be some free advice from grandma about marriage, etc. We cant talk back. Probably I should just shut my eyes my ears and drive!

Come to think of it, this is equivalent to an astronaut puking in his suit. You cant dont anything but absorb everything that comes your way. What can be worst?

Strangely, I think parents driving their children would say the same right? :P

Whats your driving experience with family?


[#] The competition is still on at the post below, please do take part. There will be alot more this month and next, its my 4th blog anniversary on the 20th :D

Sunday, December 7

Lata Bayu

Its so good to wander, coz there's heavens to be found :)

But it was not an easy task...

it needed some heavy duty lifting...

and searching...

and goofing around...

before heaven is found

The Lata Bayu waterfalls.
(Lata Bayu loosely means Cascading Breeze / Breezy Cascades? :p )

symmetrical evolutions

majestic beauties

and mysterious creatures...

Rest of the snaps at [Rain Forests - Malaysia]


[+] Lata Bayu
[#] Travelers Vj, Indran and Ghost

Friday, December 5

Rainforest, 2

On the road again...


[+] B32 and N32, Semenyih to Kuala Klawang, Selangor to Negeri Sembilan. Beautiful hills, reserve forests and beautiful waterfalls. The waterfalls are actually littered all along the route. Larger falls are deep in the jungles.

Thursday, December 4

Cosmological Nomads / Moving

Finally I've started packing, cleaning the apartment to move out. I will really miss this place, the quiet night hills and memories. I'm moving to somewhere a zillion time busier but who cares since its all relative anyway. Its a new dawn for me, with renewed spirit and I foresee a lot more travels in the future. I love this nomadic nature of life and I really want to travel.

Just like a few months back, I'm on a mission. It looked impossible in the beginning, but when I make it happen the world will seem a lot more easier to live. Making it happen is hard, but its almost done. I am proud with myself for starting it.

In the photo is my model B17F Flying Fortress (build by Bob and myself 3 years ago). It stands testimony of what could have been, what can be achieved. But people change and I have no regrets now. Especially today, I have no regrets at all.

I have accepted the fact that there are some out there who cant see who I really am. I was ready to give everything, because I was already sacrificing alot along the years. The cold long years where I suffered enough to write my pain here. No one knew except the very few. But life is not a thesis, it doest summarize anything. It just shows where you stand. So there are no place for stupid people, there are no place for anyone who still delineates humans according to religion and race. Its just colors and fake magic. For me, what is precious is life, love, family and voices, languages and cultures. Grand cities along majestic rivers. I will find someone who shares my dreams.

It takes a good while to come to accept the fact that we need to drop people off at unscheduled stops along the long road to the end. To salvation, to Elysium even Valhalla. The end must be grand, it must be big and it must mirror your struggles. No one taught me this, I learned it myself, just like I learned life for the past 29 years. People taught me to slow down, to stop and to die. I wont accept that. And I really hope in time they accept that also. Its a big world out there with an equally big, chaotic and uncharted future. I want to live the moments, but I also want to see tomorrow. And right now I have good friends with me who share my dreams and good friends who showed me I can do something without stopping for others who decided to rot. My teachers are my God, their words is my religion and my journey is to fulfill their aspirations as well.

I'll end this with some lines from Bob...

Just like them planes ready to fly,

Just that we don't have them, runways.

To Bob: It was a good journey bro and now I wish you all the best in life. But I'm not recharting the past anymore this time, so it is the end. The rocket ship is ready, we dont need runways bro, we dont even need clearance, we just make it happen. God Speed.


[+] A long while back I wrote a much bleaker future for this cosmological nomad; [Silence is the future for the cosmological nomads]

Shabir / Alaipayuthey


Alaipayuthey - Shabir
[link back up! all hail free domains! :P]

[#] A very good Tamil song by Singaporean artist Shabir. The song is from his bestselling 2006 Album of the same name. Shabir has recently launched a new album called TraffiQ (urban Tamil compositions ?) which is airing strong on the local radio stations.
[+] Shabir.Com.Sg

Monday, December 1

Violations




[#] downhill, tirumala hills, ap, 2008
[+] click on the image for a bigger version

Mumbai, 3

[removed]

[#] Took a while for me to come to my senses, a thank you to Nachi and Milady for the fine reasoning (do read their comments). I've removed the cartoon.
[#] This ed-cartoon has many meanings. What I see is a lawless country, where sanity is dead i.e. Pakistan. And from their fractures, its neighbors are paying a heavy price.
[#] The terrorists want attention, and dirt. They cant have dirt, but attention they get everyday from the media. What we don't have to give them is any reason, logic or rationale for their actions. We can condemn them and their ideologies, we write about them and we never forget.

Sunday, November 30

Mumbai, 2

[By Suketu Mehta]

...

So I’m booking flights to Mumbai. I’m going to go get a beer at the Leopold, stroll over to the Taj for samosas at the Sea Lounge, and watch a Bollywood movie at the Metro. Stimulus doesn’t have to be just economic.

[Read the full op-ed: What they hate about Mumbai]
[Via: Kavi's Twitter]

[+] I think I jst found a stronger reason to return to India sooner. But am not sure if the world will always remain the same, will it always absorb the pain fast enough to make us forget the past atrocities...

Of Life, Of Love

For the question of whats next; the question of love and marriage, as much as I try to find the answers I really cant. What makes life put so much hope and desire in one person, I have no answers for that too. I pray that at this juncture in life I get to have it my way. Hopefully.

Friday, November 28

Mumbai

Why are you not doing anything yet India? I'm with Kavi on this, its time to get tough. No more negotiations, no more waiting and no more speculations. Just get them, and clean up the country. This is ridiculous, I've been watching the news since morning and no one has any idea of what the hell is happening there. Seriously, what is happening in Mumbai? One army officer says there is an hostage situation, another says everything is cleared. And then politicians offering lip service, bullshit. What's worst in this is, if a country like India is caught offguard (for the nth time!!!), what will happen if it happens in Malaysia? What are the intelligence service doing? Is CNN better than the intelligence services? Twitters and blog updates are faster than the army and commandos. Who do you want to trust your safety to now?

[+] Mumbai Help

Wednesday, November 26

wanderers



[+] click on the image to make it larger :)

[#] I cant forget the memories of the blue skies of Shimla...mesmerizing as ever.

Divya

Meet Divya...my occasional rant friend. But of course she doesn't understand a word I say.


It'd Divya's birthday today :)



[#] Apparently I suck at taking human photos. :( I took me a lot of chocolates and another 4 people to coerce her to stand still for this photos...oh sigh. Why r they scared of me...like I'm a ghost or something... :(
[+] Im seriously swamped with work...hope to be visiting all the blogs this weekend, sorryyyy...

Monday, November 24

Rainforest

Before the events of the previous post, we went to the jungles of Mount Jerai, to a waterfall named Batu Hampar, in Kedah.

crystal clear waters

a giant poisonous man killer bug thingy, probably a meter long
a giant centipede, common in the Malaysian rainforests

evolution

it was so hard to get this shot,
wished the other butterflies and dragonflies cooperated as well

slow shutter, but it turned too bright


[#] Travelers Velan, Vj, Indran, Ghost and Kumar
[+] will upload the rest of the pics in my flickr

Sunday!

I had an awesome Sunday...

- Seat belts saves life
- Airbags should be made standard on all Malaysian cars
- And, there still are dirt stupid idiots who make sudden stops and
u-turns in the middle of busy traffic


[#] My cousin and his buddies went for a ride, and decided to do a Bond. They're all safe, with some stitches and minor bruises. Am really impressed with Perodua MyVi, the structural integrity is very good, but air bags would have been better, just that there are no laws for mandatory airbags here and well no rules against street stupidity. Oh and everyone thought I'm a reporter! :D

Sunday, November 23

random hearts

im back home in Malaysia now...
and figuring how to answer
when everyone asks
which is 'better'
India or Malaysia
now how do you make a choice like that?
i'm not going to answer them on that
I've just been smiling for the whole day now...
i think
when the time comes
for us to live our dreams
and others are left just a glimpse of it
there is no room for justifications
jst memories long lasting
:)


[#] will be there soon...in ur writings, in ur dreams. Have a good weekend :)

Thursday, November 20

Days are Forever

As my journey comes to an end, and many of my dreams fulfilled, good and tiring days, traveling many cities in such a short duration, and that too while swamped with work really messed my schedules. Missed to meet many good friends along the way. But I always believed what is meant to happen, will happen and last Tuesday I met my long time blog traveler, and the person I admire the most in words and writing and in courage, my brother Jeevan.

I cant describe my happiness walking the long courtyard to his house; it was a bright and sunny Chennai morning. He was in the hall and that happy smile broke all the tiny awkwardness of meeting for the first time.

A quick chat with mom about his ailment brought me to understand more of his situation. Jeevan is diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy. He is undergoing regular therapy and are trying new treatment methods which keeps his muscles active. It is infact right now an irrevirsible ailment and research are being conducted actively around the world to find a cure.

We shared many past memories of the 3 years we have knows each other in the blogsphere, and indeed the conversation led to the memories of oldschool bloggers who seemed to be missing right now. We started back then reading legendary bloggers and wished they would come back into scene. Talking with Jeevan will not reflect someone who is sad with his condition, he showed me courage that I never had. I have known this by reading him for such a long time, but then again meeting in person and failing for some moment to understand his predicaments makes me sad. I hope his blogging, that at most times is our only window to his life doesnt stop. His fingers are not as fast as before, but hopefully this too will be cured in the near future. I hope to see Jeevan walk one day, and hope to see him fulfill all his dreams.

I admire his courage and hope. His words reflect someone who is living the present, who has dreams and wishes and are fulfilling them. His writings are from the heart and his passion and aspirations flows in his blog. I think, him having met many blog friends is much more comfortable when talking, I was just stuck at times of keeping on asking about his health condition, being worried myself but he has words that makes us feel so much at ease. And trust me, he is one person who reads all our posts patiently and remembers it :)

And eating lunch with Jeevan, delicious homecooked meals that his mom and sis prepared, after 2 long months of eating out will forever remain in memories. He have often written about the sacrifices of his parents and family for him. I can see the love in his eyes, and the love of his mom towards him. And receiving me into his home, into the family made me not wanting to leave him. I did not get to meet his dad, but he did call from office. I do hope more blog friends get to visit Jeevan, he is such a kind person and I do hope everyone can learn something from this great soul. Somehow the minutes and hours envy our conversations. Wished I could stay longer. But I will come back soon, for Jeevan.

Love you forever brother. Lets not end this days and moments.

[+] Jeevans post of our meeting.

Randomism and a Weirdo :p

Miladysa tagged me with the weird and random tag thingy, and here goes:

[Rules]
1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself - some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.

[The Answers]
1. There is one memory that I remember from childhood as my 'first ever memory'; waking up and seeing the sun rays through the window, not sure how old I was then btw. I cant remember anything else from that time, and my next good memory of my childhood is when I was 5 years old and in kindergarten.
2. Whenever I go out, for shopping or eating and I withdraw money from the atm, the bill will somehow come to the exact amount I withdraw. It happens 9 out of 10 times. Its freaky.
3. There was a time when I was in lower secondary, I only liked green toned shirts. Good God.
4. I get sudden flue which lasts for a day and disappears, it happens once a month or so.
5. I love traveling, but when I get to the destination, I will get this strange feeling of leaving really badly for a good 20 to 30 minutes. Anywhere I go.
6. I used to sleep in my lab for whole weekends in my research years. This is not weird...but random :P
7. I can loop songs or albums I really like for days straight. Now its Atif Aslam...going strong for 5 days. He is really good.

I am tagging:
Jeevan
Cinderella
and the first 5 commenters who are not already tagged. Thank you. :P

Friday, November 14

out here we be rockstars

let me be selfish tonight
for one night
of whats left
in the dissolving days
let me be selfish
for having
the best of friends
for I may never find
such genuine ones

let me be selfish today
let me live my life
for eternity
with this great feeling
of peace and calm
in the days of autumn skies

as I leave
not saying goodbye
but with silent words
~why end
something that we started
in our innocent years
searching
for something beautiful

as I leave
not wanting any
but hugs and kisses
let me be selfish
for one night
of many
that I hope to
encounter and live
years to come

-gp-pune-nov2008-

it takes a lifetime, but when it happens, its beautiful :)

[#] nah, not a poem, just rendezvous with great souls, rock stars and more :)

Friday, November 7

Thank You!

snow covered peaks of the Himalayas,
taken from the Jakhu temple,
situated on the Jakhu hill in Shimla


Jhaku Temple, a Lord Hanuman temple,
I cant describe the feelings and emotions at that moment
being in the temple, seeing the Himalayas,
the serenity of it all, and the sweet prasadam given,
life changing...

I like this photo a lot :),
Jakhu Temple

Daymoon,
at the Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla


snapped at the gardens of the Institute of Advanced Studies, Shimla


Today I trekked the hills of Naldhera,
near the Mashorba Valley a short distance from Shimla
and I saw the snow covered mountains of the Himalayas
one of my dreams came true
I want to thank Life for this :)


[#] Its so close yet so far, one day I must set foot in Nepal and god willing, climb the Everest :)
[#] Btw, I think this picture turned awesome...
[#] As usual, anyone wants hi-res images of above, please buzz me, TQ!

when

it rains around the world sleep welcomes the dream, and  enigmatic souls awaken along the eternal shores of destiny