I recently watched a movie on Netflix about the life of Gautama Buddha and it had a profound effect on me. I was eager to learn about the life of this prince born into privilege who gave up everything and everyone to search for the ultimate truth.
Is looking after a dog one dog too many? How about 40? There are some rules and habits you can stick to, though, to make it all work.
A few weeks ago, I received a message from a friend about the publication of a new book called The Ordinary Chaos of Being Human. I found this title intriguing and went about looking for more information about both the book and its author. Duly fascinated, I made a request via my friend about whether or not the author was open to being interviewed. She was. So, without further ado, I allow me to share, in her own words, the story of The Ordinary Chaos of Being Human and its author, Marguerite Richards.
I want you to know that you are the best thing to ever happen to me. I have loved many of your kind my whole life, but you are something special. For you, I feel my heart grow bigger and beat louder. I love you with a love that I have never experienced before and I believe it is because you are different from anything that has ever entered my life. Even when I am not perfect you still look at me like I am. You are, without a doubt, the beat of my heart.
When I was still contributing feature articles to the New Straits Times, one of the most curious assignments I had was to work on a story about a quiz master. I never forgot this story for a few reasons. One, a quiz master? What on earth was that? Two, the gentleman in question had a unique name (although I suspect that like most Indian names, it’s probably not unique in his hometown) – Phanindra. Three, Phanindra turned out to be one of the most enthusiastic people I’ve ever interviewed – you could practically feel the energy bouncing off him. Four – his general knowledge was vast.
Even at four months of age, anyone could see that she was no ordinary dog, IF they looked beyond everything that WAS ordinary about her and looked into her eyes. She had already seen too much for a puppy that young. It was like her heart was already broken, but until her body broke, too, she would still need to feed it. But her eyes were there for everyone to look into – a peculiar mix of sadness tinged with a tiny sliver of the gigantic love she was so capable of giving and yearning to receive. She just didn’t understand why it had to be this way. This is the rags to riches story of the one we shall, for now, call ‘the dumped dog’.
Echo, as we came to name our sweet Dalmation, was born with his disability. Despite being deaf in both ears from birth, he is the calmest and happiest puppy I have ever met. He doesn’t know any differently and perhaps thinks that silence is just life. He will never know or hear his name being called or hear other dogs bark at him or be afraid of the sound of thunder.
“In my books, I try to bring my settings to life by giving minute descriptions of the buildings, the way of life of these ancient peoples, their food, their farming practices as described by the archaeologists and scholars who studied them. This is how it works sometimes in science fiction and most of the time in historical fiction. Writers create (or recreate) the universe in which their story is to unfold,” VJ Singam, author of ‘Disorientation’.
Although the concurrent legal jurisdictions of Syariah Law and the Civil Law is unique to Malaysia, they continue to cause problems and there is a growing air of pessimism all round.
Ramli Ibrahim, the legendary odissi dancer, narrates the journey that women choreographers in odissi have taken and the central role that Sutra Foundation has in bringing them to the fore.