rise above the storm Malaysia, rise above with renewed strength and dignity!
Selamat Hari Merdeka Malaysia!!
Malaysiaku (My Malaysia)
My Malaysia, in you I have my birthright,
A sense of belonging,
The joy of knowing that I am part of the past, present and future.
This land of great beauty, of exoticism, of many cultures, of varied races,
stands for unity, justice, and hospitality.
It is the home where peace, love, freedom and hope resides.
rise above the storm Malaysia, rise above with renewed strength and dignity!
Selamat Hari Merdeka Malaysia!!
A little bit about Malaysia:
Malaysia gained independence from her colonial master, The United Kingdom, on 31st August, 1957.
A strategically located country in South-East Asia, consisting of two regions, Penisular Malaysia and East Malaysia, it is a federal constitutional monarchy. It has thirteen states and three federal territories and has a population of 32 million. Kuala Lumpur is the national capital which boasts the iconic Petronas Twin Towers as one on of its main attractions. Putrajaya is the seat of the federal government.
Negaraku, (Our Country), is the national anthem of Malaysia. Quite interestingly, the tune was originally the regional anthem of Perak – Allah Lanjutkan Usia Sultan.
A federal constitutional elective monarchy, the system of government is closely modeled on the Westminster parliamentary system, from the time of British rule. The head of state is the King, officially titled as the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, who is elected to a 5 year term from the nine rulers of the Malay states. The current Yang di-Pertuan Agong, is the 16th Supreme King, from the state of Pahang, Duli Yang Maha Mulia Seri Paduka Baginda, Yang di-Pertuan Agong XVI Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah Ibni Almarhum Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Al-Musta’in Billah. His term began on the 31st of Januari, 2019.
Legislative power is divided between federal and state legislatures.
The flag of Malaysia called Jalur Gemilang (Stripes of Glory), consists of 14 stripes of equal width representing the equal status of the 13 member states and the federal territories. The 14 points of the star represent unity between these entities. The crescent represent the official religion of the country, Islam, while the blue canton stands for unity among the Malaysian people. The yellow color of the star and crescent is the royal color of the Malay rulers.
Some days when I think of all the blessings in our lives, I give thanks and praise to the Lord, especially for the gift of life. There is a reason why prayers become part of our lives, to give us direction and peace of mind. The most important lesson your learn in life is to do good unto others. Words become your cornerstone. Every religion teaches us the same thing, the way we worship may differ, but humanity lives within the boundaries of compassion, love, understanding, and kindness. If all these things come together – there good will prevail.
I listened to mass today, and Father asked a very pertinent question – Who are you? How do you define yourself? It is one of those questions that need deep reflection before you answer. Have a blessed Sunday, everyone. -shobana-
Do you believe in arranged marriages? What do you think of it? Well, I wrote this story about a girl from India who leaves her home country to marry a total stranger from Malaysia. The wedding is an arranged one, and here is an excerpt of it.
She heard a rumor that she was to be married off to someone from Malaysia. Walking back home from school one day, Aruna was teased by her schoolmates about this bit of news they had heard.
A relative who attended the same school with her had mentioned it to a friend, who in turn told another friend, and soon it became a hot topic of conversation in school, without reservation, it spread like wildfire to the whole housing colony where they lived.
The news surprised Aruna tremendously. Were they talking about her? If they were, she hadn’t heard of it, till then. How was it that the relative was more informed about the proposal than she was?
It was a life-changing matter for her. One that didn’t amuse her one bit, not to mention how everyone else knew about it even before she did! Who was this man she was supposed to get married to?
According to Aruna’s relative, the boy’s mother had spoken to her elder brother, asking for her hand in marriage.
Her elder brother had agreed without hesitation. He thought it best in her interest to marry her off to a family of wealth and good reputation, and have her migrate to a land of great opportunity that held a promising bright future.
Moreover, their elder sister was married to a Malaysian, and lived a happy, luxurious life there.
Malaysia – held in great esteem, renowned as a favorite destination for migrants because of its economic progress during an era that saw its inception as an independent Country, was a land of job opportunities, and trade.
Immigrants from India were flocking there to create a better future for themselves, and to make it their permanent home.
It is an honor to have someone ask for her hand in marriage, especially someone from a promising land like Malaysia, her brother told Aruna, when he finally spoke to her at length about the proposal.
“Think about it Aruna, you will be living close to our elder sister who is living a life of wealth and prosperity, who has a wonderful man for a husband. I am sure the boy you are going to marry is the same,” her brother had consoled her, when he saw the stark fear of getting married reflect in her eyes.
He had a good job in the government sector, so she had nothing to worry about, as she was assured of a good secure life, were his parting words to her before he left for work that day.
Aruna didn’t really listen fully to what her brother said. She only listened to bits and pieces of his conversation with her, and even then, vaguely. She was still trying to come to terms about her proposal from a total stranger.
She was not in any way interested to hear about the man she was due to be betrothed to, although common sense prevailed.
She knew that it was in her best interest that she had a little knowledge about what “the boy” does, and get to know something about his background.
She cried bitterly after her brother left for work, deciding to speak to him when he got back that evening about her reservations of marrying a totally unknown person, not to mention, moving away from the rest of the family in India, quite shockingly giving up her education in favor of a good proposal.
Aruna was sure that there would be other suitors like him who would ask for her hand in marriage, at an appropriate time when she was ready to get married.
She really couldn’t believe what was happening to her. It was always someone else that she heard about, some other girl from another family whose marriage was arranged, so she was at a loss at how to accept a proposal, when not ready to get married!
After dinner that night, she approached her brother a little warily about her reservations.
“Chetan, I don’t want to get married now. I don’t think it is the right time for me because I have not finished my degree yet.
Not only that, I think I am a little too young to get married in the first place, and I don’t want to leave all of you here or leave India for that matter, to move so far away, or make a foreign land my home, that too, by marrying a total stranger. I am really scared about the whole thing.” As she laboriously finished her sentence, she felt tears sting her eyes.
Her brother listened, while turning the pages of the newspaper he was reading, totally disinterested at her point of view in the matter. He saw her fidgeting a little, while waiting for him to say something to her, so he put the papers down before continuing in a coaxing manner.
“I have already agreed to the proposal Aruna. As you know when I give my word, I don’t like to go back on it. This is a chance of a lifetime for you. You must understand that I had your best interest at heart when I agreed to the proposal.”
He saw the tears that Aruna tried hard to hold back, spill at that moment. Telling her gently not to cry, he continued,
“Your elder sister and brother-in law find the boy a very good match for you.
They were approached first with the proposal by the boy’s mother in Malaysia, before his mother came down to India to ask for your hand. I know you haven’t finished your studies, but then you can always continue after you get married, can’t you, if it means so much to you, not only that in India girls are married off to good suitors at your age.
Age shouldn’t be an issue. Further more, how do you know that you will not like the boy or like to live in a Country like Malaysia, if you haven’t met him or experienced living there?
God has blessed you with a chance like this Aruna. You should be grateful, and accept it in good faith. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can say or do to change my decision. All the arrangements have been made for you to leave to Malaysia soon.”
Aruna sobbed loudly, running to her room after hearing what her brother had to say to her.
Before that, she tried pleading again with him not to send her away. She was only sixteen. She wanted to stay in India – her birthplace. She wanted to continue her studies. How could she leave her studies halfway? How could she be separated from the rest of her family members in India? She would miss them terribly, plus wouldn’t they miss her in return? She would especially miss her best friend, Nila! They were supposed to graduate together, maybe even get married some day, and live next to each other!
Is it already Friday?? Well, there goes AUGUST in its august way, breezing past us into a new foray:)
I was just thinking how life throws us some inevitable questions? And, here are a few of mine I want to share with you.
Mom says I speak my mother tongue, Malayalam like English. I studied intermediary French and am still trying to speak French like the French do, though it has gotten rusty over the years because I never had a chance to practice it with a real life person! When I worked with the French years ago, I was still in the infancy stage. The only one I could trust to speak/listen were those internet tutorials! And, that has also taken a back seat for the longest time due to my interest in writing and stuff like that…I am still trying to get somewhere with the writing!
So then, would you laugh at Malayalam spoken the English way? My mom says that it is better to keep quiet than try to speak it that way. “Just say what you want to say in English, please, mola. But mom, how do I improve then?”
Have you had people come up to you and tell you that they are not really sure what you want to say in your poem, but, they preferred your book better. That was clear cut – whatever was written in the book, I mean!!
But then, poems are not meant to be fully understood – or are they?
Where did you learn how to write poetry? The Bible – it is all in there.
I swear I don’t know the full text of the bible, but I read verses and passages, and it has been years and I still haven’t nearly completed the whole text of the bible. But, I do read Psalms, Solomon’s Songs, Job’s laments, and I believe it teaches me how to write poetry my way!
The answer I get:- Really?? Gosh! I think I will stick to the conventional way of learning how to write a poem! They walk away looking at me funny!
Having said that, I read a lot of famous poets and learned how to write poetry the conventional way online, and am still learning…
3. Do you fear for your life in any way?
Of course, but who cares! I can fear for my life all I want, no-one will know or take an interest in it, and anyway isn’t it my battle to be won.
Then again, being fearful taught me to become fearless. Yes, it does get to that point, someday!
4. Do you believe that your life is your own?
Well, hmmm, NO! I think I have lived all my life for the sake of others! You need to live for/with others in order to live – period!
Is that correct? – any comments.
Have a great Friday everyone! Don’t forget to read my story and vote for it by liking it or leaving a review. It is a short story. Contest ends 31/08/2020 – just a couple of days to go.
Life is as fragile as the Bunga Raya petals. Value it. Even when its beauty fades, didn’t it outshine once to leave a lasting impression?
I woke up, so I am gifted with another day.
I watched the dark clouds as it turned into lighter shades, before the morning I welcomed.
I lifted my soul to a Sunday’s sunrise, where quietude resides.
I found a new flower that bloomed overnight, it stood resplendent amongst the soft fall of the morning drizzle. I thought it looked as fresh as the world around it.
A cup of coffee, breakfast of my choice, I read a little, and write a lot.
Ah…yes, the rest of the day I have to do as I please…
Have a lovely Sunday everyone, and you are most welcome to read a fairy tale I wrote. Fairy tales take you to far away places, and lets you imagine. It is magical, and it lets you forget the weariness of a tiresome world. So, imagine, and live life like there is no tomorrow! -shobana-
Happy 73rd Independence Day to all of India, with special mention to the staff and editors of Subtledge-Indus – India, who published my article on their website to commemorate the auspicious occasion. You can view it here.https://lnkd.in/gSvASUi. (The Fire of Independence Burns Steadfast by Shobana Gomes)
I was in New Delhi, India, two days ago, and I saw the transformation that India is undergoing as opposed to a trip I made nearly a decade ago.
I always have a fascination for India because some of the most intelligent people on the planet are from there. I have noticed a graciousness about them around me and their ever so “willing to help” attitude.
The place was a contrasting subject all on its own. There seem to be history attached to everything.
At the Novotel, where I stayed, I saw a pamphlet display this verse :-
“ I asked my soul : What is Delhi? She Replied : The World is the body and Delhi its life” – Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib. I mean who thinks like this except for Master poets and visionaries!
I was totally captivated by the verse, and relished in the thought that poets are in a class of their own. Centuries of classics are attributed to them.
Somehow, the newer generation of poets pale in comparison.
As you read the verse, you can feel their patriotic souls come alive, especially in those verses that have become synonymous with the people.
During that trip, I had the privilege of joining their 70th National Day celebrations.