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On the 6th of September, 2007, we made our way to Toronto, Canada, full of hope, plus with a little apprehension for Sasha’s next phase in life – her tertiary education. 

She was among the first batch of seven students who received a scholarship from the Cuban government to do medicine. It was one of the first collaborative ventures between the Malaysian and Cuban government.

We decided to go with her to Havana to get a firsthand look at Cuba and its medical fraternity, having heard so much about their excellence in the field of medicine.

We landed in Toronto on the 7th  and having family there, they arranged a trip for us to the Niagara Falls. 

Needless to say, we were so excited to see one of the magnificent wonders of the world.

It was late when we arrived at the Niagara Falls, but I can still remember how awestruck I was with the mesmerizing colorful tirade of the waterfalls and its lit up surroundings. One can never put a finger to the exact words describing its beauty.

A little tired, we headed back to the hotel, looking forward to the next day.

Very early the next morning, the 8th of September, I received a call that my youngest brother had passed away. 

It was the worst nightmare that I went through after hearing that horrible news. I have still not got over the feeling of numbed loss that day. 

Just before we left, we had all gathered in my house and he stayed back to spend the night with us.

I was broken, shattered, and cried non-stop. I couldn’t imagine what Sasha, who was very close to her uncle, was going through. 

She was to begin a new life far away from family, and this was mind-shattering.

How do you deal with a loss of a loved one when so far away. I couldn’t make it back for the funeral. I was totally broken. All I wanted to do was to return home and be with the rest of the family.

Crestfallen, unable to express my feelings of devastation, I started writing poetry, hence, began my writing journey.

 His death gave me an avenue to an unfulfilled dream, directed me to a passion that I never knew existed within me. I am sure it was a gift to me from him. I owe him for charting a new direction in my life, a very noble and satisfying path for me, I should say. Just like him, I learned to inspire others around me with words,(I hope to, that is..)

Today, is his 13th death anniversary, and it is still so hard to come to terms with not having him with us.

 Rest in peace, Des. I love you.


You, the luminescence,

the tireless light that leads me,

I have walked through dark passages,


You were there, as always with your gentle smile,

Awaking me from depths of despair.

I love you.



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Sound of Silence

Do you remember this song by Simon & Garfunkel?

It has a beautiful story behind it. A friend of mine shared it with me this morning, and since I have always been fascinated with the lyrics and the song, I thought I would share it with all of you.

The story goes like this;

The song is a touching tribute to Art Garfunkel’s undying bond to
Sanford (Sandy) Greenberg, and the singer’s sacrifice that saved Sandy’s
life when Sandy unexpectedly lost his sight..

Sandy and Art met during their first week at the prestigious Columbia University in New York.

They became best friends and roommates having the same taste in books,
poetry and music. Art would play his guitar while Sandy would DJ.

Music filled the air whenever they were together.

They made a pact to always be there for each other in case of trouble,
and had no inclination that the pact they made to each other would soon
be tested.

Sandy was at a baseball game when his eyes grew cloudy, and darkness
descended upon his vision. The doctors thought it was conjunctivitis but
Sandy became blind days later.

He refused to see or talk to anyone.

He gave up his dream of becoming a lawyer having no money to finance his
education, and he became depressed, returning to his home in New York.

Art flew down to see Sandy, reminding him of the pact they made.

Together they returned to Columbia University. Art supported Sandy.

Art would often speak about Sandy to Paul Simon.

Simon wrote the lyrics to the Sound of Silence, infusing Garfunkel’s compassion as Darkness, Sandy’s old friend.

Sandy graduated with a master’s degree from Harvard and Oxford.

When Art needed $400 to get started to record his first album, Sandy
gave him the money for it. He had the chance to keep to his end of the
pact. Art taught Sandy the most important lesson of his life, to be an independent man in his own right.

Isn’t that just awesome!

Sandy married his high school sweetheart, and they had only $404 in their account, but he didn’t think twice about helping his best-friend,
Art. He gave Art the money.

That’s such a great bond to have!

The Sound of Silence hit the No.1 charts across the world, topping the US charts and going platinum in the UK. It was the soundtrack for the 1967 movie “The Graduate,” and was named among the 20 most performed songs of the 20th century.

This a story of good-hearted men. Men who inspired the world without knowing it and expecting anything in return! 

All it took  was kindness, compassion, with no regard for quite anything else in this case. It is how friendships are forged for a lifetime- one helping the other to reach their ultimate dream.

This world needs to learn from sacrifices like this, to wake up to the need for love, hope and cherish the peace that is slowly evaporating from our lives.

It takes a lot to gain peace and independence. It takes a lot to live dignified lives.   Have a great week ahead everyone.


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Sweet September

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It is hard to believe that September is as sweet as its name,

Except when, you see those maples trees turn in shade; red, yellow and a dusty strain. 

I walked under those trees one September, marveling at autumn, the breeze just a tad chilly, but,

never did it bother me.

I was from the tropics, while it was autumn where I stood, under those maple trees, in a land which was not weathered as tropical but continent – cold, snowy, freezing, just as winter.

Would I stay till winter claimed? Not I, my thoughts raced to another climate, perhaps that of the temperate breed.

Sweet September of those maple trees,

In you I have found the glory of colored leaves,

I stand amongst the beauty,

Of a windblown autumn, where sometimes the sun streams,

And sometimes it drizzles, wetting those charmed trees.


Have a great month ahead everyone. May it be the sweetest September you have experienced!


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