Thursday, May 27, 2010

First Email Of The Morning

Dear Mr Mok:

Thank you for emailing us sample chapters of your proposed book.

Our editorial and marketing people and distributors have taken a look at it and we sincerely regret to inform you that we have decided not to pursue it any further as it does not meet with our requirements at the present time.

We wish you all the best.

Best regards

XXX Publishing


After that, the rest of my day turned out fine.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Ad Of Awesomeness

The other day, I chanced upon this must-share ad on Malaysia's No. 1 station, TV1.

(Some details may have been slightly modified or exaggerated, because I have better things to do than fully remember a TV1 ad. And it wasn't available on Tiub Engkau.)

It starts with a group of multi-racial colleagues entering a mamak shop and sitting down at a table. Let's hear it for 1Malaysia!

Fat moustached mamak bos comes along to take their order.

"Wokay, mahu minum apa?" he asks while shaking his head, like all Indians on non-violent TV programmes are compelled to.

"Teh tarik satu." grins the dashing young Malay executive.

"Teh tarik satu, wokay. You miss?"

"Mm...Milo ais kurang manis satu."
the lass smiles sweetly.

At this point, I quickly dismiss the ad to be some Utamakan Kesihatan tripe about reducing sugar intake, eating fruits and running around parks with an attractive member of the opposite sex 60 times a week.

"Bagi saya teh ais limau satu." says the next girl.

"Teh ais limau satu, wokay." Mamak bos turns to a final Indian dude who is frowning for some reason. "Awak, bos?"

After some dramatic glances at the television, the dude proclaims:

"Berikan saya...TV SATU."

I swear, I almost fell off the chair laughing.

In one stylo-milo sweep, the mamak bos points a remote at the TV and it switches on to reveal the TV1 logo, followed by a football match where of course someone scores a...


All the colleagues and the mamak bos randomly start jumping up and celebrating with each other. Over the goal, I think. Or the fact that this mamak had TV1. Or because they were united in multi-racial harmony. Or because they appeared in an ad. I think it was probably the goal.

Ending super/jingle:


Gotta hand it to these fellers lah. Just when you think you've seen all the kerajaan ads.

Someone give this ad an award please!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Elisa & Ilisa

A story inspired by a beautiful song. Went through loads of character and plot tweaks before I settled on this.

There once were two doll sisters who grew up in the toyshop together - Elisa and Ilisa.

Since they were little, Elisa always fantasised about living the life of dreams - meeting big fancy toys, bright lights, bustling cities far away from the toyshop. Ilisa, on the other hand, wanted nothing more than the simple pleasures of being cared for by a Child.

Different as day and night, both waited patiently for the day they could venture their lives down the paths their hearts chose.

It came sooner than expected.

One morning, Ilisa woke up to see Elisa scrambling out the door, suitcase in hand. She stopped just long enough to explain that she was joining a traveling toy fair leaving for the next town today. A hasty goodbye later, she left the shop for good.

Ilisa would never see her again till three years later, when the fair returned to their town. By then, so much was different. Ilisa had eventually found her Child and moved to a cosy new home, where she spent her days dressed up for pretend tea parties with other toys.

Elisa, on the other hand, was quite changed. Decked in fine jewellery and expensive clothes, she spoke with a posh accent about places and people Ilisa could barely comprehend. She described her travels on a cruise liner along the isles of Scilly where the people sipped champagne and danced the Viennese waltz all night long. Ilisa's eyes widened as she elaborated about the gourmet wonders of Toulouse and glitzy street carnivals of Andalusia.

"...ever so gently their feet kissed the floor..."

"I tell you, sis," she paused to powder her face. "You have no idea what you're missing out on."

Ilisa wanted to share about her Child, but was cut off by the loud chime of a bell.

It was time for the fair to get moving, taking Elisa away.

This time, another five years would pass before they met again. The Child had now outgrown Ilisa and passed her down to her Sister, teaching her the little games they once shared for hours. The Sister was a loud, boisterous girl who fancied rougher games and was careless with her toys, but Ilisa loved her all the same.

The passing of time, however, had been much kinder to Elisa. Looking hardly a year older than the day she left, she bubbled over about meeting the Queen in Copenhagen and the larger than life toys of Amsterdam. Through the peaks of Switzerland, over the unending pastures of Scotland to the serene bliss of floating on the Danube under the stars. Truly her life was a never-ending storybook of dreams lived and loved.

"...floating beneath the stars of paradise..."

"Wow," sighed Ilisa. "It all sounds so lovely."

"You should follow me, sis. Look at yourself. You're becoming so...shabby."

"It's okay. I have my Children."

"I've seen more Children than you'll ever have, dear sister. And they're all the same. You're not going to be around forever. Live the sweet life while you can."

With those words they parted ways once again. This time, they never met again for many years, more than both could remember. After the Sister, Ilisa had several more Children. She was sold at a flea market to a Child who kept crying for her Brother's toys, then given to some Orphans who always had grimy hands.

The seasons changed swiftly, silently, each turning her into an old doll and making Elisa an increasingly distant memory. Nonetheless, she loved every Child she ever played with and could only reflect with a smile on the days gone by. Such is life - you spend your days of youth looking ahead and days of age looking back.

Elisa and Ilisa's final meeting came in the most unlikely of places with the most improbable of endings.

After an unfortunate accident that left her squashed beyond repair, Ilisa was chucked to the dumpster where she calmly awaited her fate. Looking left and right at the sprawling pile of unwanted objects, she prepared to shut her eyes one last time when another doll landed beside her.

It was Elisa!

She was still dressed to the nines, but a far cry from the ever-smiling, ever-youthful Elisa of days gone by. Where there once was radiance in her eyes, now only hollowness remained.

"My sister," Ilisa cried. "What happened to you?"

Elisa shook her head, weeping bitterly. "I woke up one day, and there was this younger and prettier doll in my place. The People at the fair said I had gone out of style. Nobody wanted to see me any more. So they threw me out."

"All those years, I never realised how lonely I really was. After I left the fair, I had no one to turn to. No Children or homes or other toys. Just my pretty clothes and precious memories."

Ilisa smiled at her sadly. "You'll always have me."

"Thank you. I missed you."

As the two sisters sat there in embrace, life's final lesson dawned upon them - their life of dreams existed not in People, Places or Toys. It was there all along - in their hearts.

"You know what, sis? It was all a lie. In the end, none of those cities or adventures mattered. I saw all these Children and People crowding around me, taking pictures of me. They admired me and talked about me. But none of them ever loved me. All those other toys - living lives as empty as mine. Putting on our best faces and enjoying the attention while it lasted. But deep down, I simply wished to have wonderful Children like you did. Children who would love me in return."

Ilisa shut her eyes, nodding.


The next morning, a man dutifully collected both dolls for disposal. Some say that Ilisa was never seen again, but Elisa was passed to the Orphans who cared for her till she too left the world.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Senyum Seindah Suria

All right, since everyone's complaining that my blog is getting depressing and twisted and all!

A song to put a smile on your face. =)

Senyum seindah suria
Yang membawa cahya
Senyumlah dari hati
Duniamu berseri

Senyum umpama titian
Dalam kehidupan
Kau tersenyum ku tersenyum
Kemesraan menguntum

Senyum... kepada semua
Senyumanmu amatlah berharga
Senyum... membahagiakan
Dengan senyuman terjalinlah

And if that's not enough to make you smile, the Magically-Appearing Agong now has his very own Facebook fan page! Join now and make a bitter old man happy!

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Mother And Child

A post dedicated to Angela, because you made me start writing this. Looking forward to reading your version of it. ;^)

And no guys...Angela is not my mother. ==

Happy mother's day in advance, by the way!

"Hi, Mummy. I made you a card." he beamed the widest he could manage.

She flipped it open and browsed through his note. "That's sweet." Quickly putting it down, she went about her business, not even sparing him a second glance.

He pouted. He wasn't used to not getting her attention. "Mummy, where are you going?"

No reply. She acted as though he didn't even ask the question.

"MO-MEEEE...where are you going?"

She stopped for a moment to wipe something from her eye. Without a word, she started opening a suitcase and throwing his clothes in.


"You're leaving."

"What? When?"


He peeked at her face. It wasn't her angry face. But it wasn't her happy face either.

"Mummy...did I do something wrong?"

She choked for a while. And started crying. It made him feel even worse.

"Mummy," he tried to hug her. "I'm sorry if I was bad."

"No," she pushed him away. "Go away. You're leaving."

"But why? Why can't I stay?"

She sobbed even harder. It broke his heart to see her this way. Someone must have hurt her badly.

"Mummy, please don't cry. I hate it."

"I'm so sorry," she buried her face in her hands. "I'm so so sorry."

"For what, Mummy?"

"Don't ask any more. Just go away."

"What's happening Mummy? Is Daddy taking me away?"

She shook her head and shut her eyes, willing him out of her sight.

"Mummy," he put his hand on hers. "Just tell me the truth."

"I-I don't know where your Daddy is. I miss him terribly too."

A harsh series of knocks on the door made them jump.

"Mummy," he peered out of the window. "There's a strange man outside."

She pulled her hand away from his. "He's here to take you away."

"What?!" he shrieked. "You can't let him do that!"

She covered her ears and turned away from him. Her tears, however, betrayed the depth of hurt hidden in her heart.

"Mummy, please!" he ran and tried to cling to her, as the door opened. "I'm scared!"

She fell onto her knees and let loose a wail of anguish. This was her child whom she had suffered much for. Like all mothers, she had once promised him a lifetime of love and protection in her arms. She had on countless nights held him dear and watch this sweet angel sleep away in his own world. She had given so much of herself to give him life, hope and affection.

But now, by her own will and against it at the same time, this child was being taken away from her.

"I'm so sorry," she cried till no tears were left. "Forgive Mummy."

"Why? Did I do something wrong Mummy? Just tell me."

"No, no, no. It was never your fault. Remember that. It was Mummy's fault."

With wide unblinking eyes, he was snatched away, innocent till the end.



"Yes, doctor?"

"Your abortion was successful."

"Thank you."

She stared lifelessly back at the grey ceiling, drained of all emotions. Deep in her heart though, she wept softly for the child she never knew.

Monday, May 03, 2010

3 Guys At Work

There once were 3 guys working a long, boring shift together.

Type, type, type went their fingers like feelers on a songless piano. After a while they stopped and waited together for a cue to start again.

"Guys," Roy, who manned the Motion Discontinuation department, yawned. "We've been doing this for 3 full years. 36 months. 1095 days."

"That's nice to know." replied Oliver, head of the Advancement Suspension Preparation department dryly.

"Incoming, Oliver." Greg, Initiation of Passage department leader called out routinely. "In five, four, three, two, one."

Oliver worked his controls nimbly. "Roy. You next."

Click, click, click. I could do this in my sleep, sighed Roy.

"Over, over, central headquarters. This is Greg, No. 24. You are clear." Greg droned over the phone. An affirmative later, he hung up. Predictably.

"How long do we have, Roy?"


"Great. Time for a cold one." Greg tossed them a couple of beers.

"No. Not this time." Roy put down his unopened beer firmly.

The other two raised their eyebrows.

"I've lost my passion."

They didn't know what to say. This was a highly inappropriate time for career talk.

"I want a change. Something more challenging and meaningful."

"But you're good in what you do."

"No, it's not about me. I just feel like... we're wasting our time here. Day in and out, we sit here waiting for cues and pressing our buttons. I mean, any idiot could do this job. I don't think anyone even knows or cares what we're doing here."

"The headquarters know." Greg retorted.

"Yeah right." Roy snorted. "There're tens of thousands of other guys like us everywhere. What makes you think we matter so much?"

"Everyone is important, dude."

"Well, suit you guys. I'm outta here. Time to rediscover my life purpose."

"Hey! Our next shift is starting soon. Can't you wait till they find a replacement for you?"

"Are you kidding? I'm physically, mentally and emotionally drained out. I just can't take another second of this. Besides, like I said, it doesn't really matter. The world will go on fine without one little insignificant guy like me."

"Er...I don't..."

"You can fill in for me." Roy slapped Oliver's shoulder, hopping out of his desk. "Go for it, pal. See y'all around."

Oliver and Greg stared at each other, scratching their heads.


"Oi DBKL! Itu tlaffic light ah, sudah satu minggu losak. Lu mau tunggu sampai bila balu lepair? Mau tunggu accident ah?"

No matter how boring your job seems, it plays a very important part in making the world tick smoothly. So stop reading my blog and get back to your work!

Happy Belated Labour Day to all!