Welcome to my Kuala Lumpur

This is my way of sharing my discoveries, re-discoveries, memories & experiences

as well as other bits & pieces of information I have of

growing up in Kuala Lumpur.

Your comments & suggestions to make this blog your reference to all things KL would be very much appreciated.

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Thaipusam 2011

Thaipusam this year was on January 20.  I thought that I should visit the Batu Caves to share some of the photos here.
The crowd was already there and the people were inching their way both ways on the stairway.
A large screen was hanging so that the people could have a better view of the happenings there.

This is only my 2nd time at the Caves and I could recognize some of the devotees from last year fulfilling their vows again this year. 
With the kind of weather we have here, it's a good idea to have devotees well hydrated.
This lady was sitting there seemingly oblivious to the crowd.  At places like this, one is never sure if the person is fulfilling their vows or just plain loony.

Among the many young devotees fulfilling their vows.
While most of the children were carrying milk kavadis, this young man had taken a bigger challenge.
I overheard this young devotee asking his father to attach the stalk of neem leaves to his pot of milk.  I think the leaves were given to him along the way, by another devotee.
I used to belief that the devotees go into a sort of a trance like state to enable them to carry their kavadis...

... but seeing how conscious the devotees are during the whole process, I now think that it is a question of 'mind over matter'.   The person preparing the devotee also needs to be experienced in what they are doing.

Having said that, I need to add that the energy, exuberance, music and chants that take place there can cause some people to get into a frenzy, or enter into a trance, and become unconscious of their surroundings as I witnessed happening to the young lady below:

After awhile her friend managed to bring her back to consciousness, but both she and friend appeared extremely exhausted after that.
As always, crowds provide an opportunity for any enterprising person to make some money.
This shows that photographers can create their own fun wherever they go.
Sometimes I wonder if clowns have a place at a religious event, but then again, who am I to judge?
These people know their target audience.

"Cleanliness is next to Godliness," they often say, but even a religious function such as this generates so much litter.  Hindus are not alone in this.  Muslims, Christians, Buddhists in fact any religious function where crowds gather generates large quantities of litter, what more non-religious ones.

Maybe this is a blessing as now we have a common issue to discuss in any inter-faith forum, and it does not involve any 'fundamental doctrine' issues which could become very sensitive. 

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Early Morning at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa

I seem to be more busy since falling out from the rat race.  There are more people clamoring for my time than before.  I'm also finding time for things I like to do which I could not do earlier.

One of my current daily routines is an early morning walk around the lake at Taman Tasik Titiwangsa (Titiwangsa Lake Gardens).  The view is fabulous.  I brought my camera along the other day and these are some of the shots I want to share.
There are a lot of people at the gardens at that early hour.  These include those who use it as a short-cut to get to their places of work; workers of the local authority (DBKL) who are there to maintain and up-keep the gardens; and people who use the tranquility offered by the gardens at that hour to exercise, to socialize (this is particularly true of the older visitors), and generally to have fun.
There is, however, another side to the gardens, which I feel is disheartening, that is the littering.  Based on my Bukit Tabur experience, I realize that people who take care of themselves are also the ones who will take care of the environment and everything else around them.  Those who 'couldn't care' are those with a low self-esteem and low self-respect.  Maybe some of the NGOs who are shouting about this and that 'rights' should actually be looking into these two aspects of Malaysian life.  
This reminds me of a Tamil song I heard long ago, where part of the lyrics translates something like: 'before you start demanding your rights (urimai), look at how well you are discharging your responsibilities (kadamai)'.
The above are just some of the 'less distressing' shots of the littering problem there.

One of the rules or by-laws of the park states: "No dogs allowed!"  So while there are plenty of stray cats around, you'll never see a dog at the gardens.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Pesta Chow Kit Kita (part 3 - last part)

They came from all over.
A visitor checking out the leaflet that was distributed.

Local artistes were on hand to lend support to the event.

The highlight was the unveiling of the Chow Kit map mural by the VIP guests...
... who were non other than the young participants themselves.
One of the activities was the walk-about tour of the area with small skits being performed by the participants.
A short briefing to those who registered for the walk-about.
One of the stops was Jalan Chagar, where I grew up.
A game of marbles anyone?
One of the children playing badminton with a racket made of cardboard.  Guess who he was portraying...
... ME!  (The banner says, "Rubbi as Uncle Shaik.")
Every of the children performing had an adult 'side-kick' as a safety precaution.
In addition to those on took the tour, passes-by also stopped by to watch the performances.
Each of the performances was based on an actual person in the Chow Kit area...
... and it was carried out as close as possible to where event took place.
The two street painters at the graffiti wall.

The local arts community lending support to the event.  Sorry that I'm not able to identify them.  (My age shows, doesn't it?)
The facilitators being recognized.  Kudos for their untiring efforts working with the children. 
One for the album, the children and the volunteers that day pose for a group photo.
Three cheers for a job well done.

I'm so looking forward to Phase 2.