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.
Aneeta Sundararaj is fascinated by the removal of celebrities’ wedding photos because of venue. Is this likely to happen in Malaysia?
Mbeke and I first met a year and a half ago during a celebration hosted by 7C Life RealiZation Centre. A few months later, during the full moon, we travelled together to a resort in Sepang to take part in a session called ‘Gratitude of Life’ where we immersed ourselves in seawater. The purpose of this session was to express our gratitude to Mother Ganga and set our intentions for a successful and happy life. It is said that during the full moon’s heightened gravitational pull, the power of our intentions increases which allows them to be manifested quickly. During the journey back from Sepang, we discovered that we lived in the same area and from then on our friendship developed. She asked me to submit a story to an anthology she’s working on (please see below for details) and I was deeply honoured. She shares her story with us in this interview.
A story about a Malaysian author, a locally-published book and a miracle in a faraway place a few days before Christmas.
It’s been just over two years since Aneeta and I first met. I was the subject of her article ‘All Paws For A Support System’, published in New Straits Times in March 2017. She gave me the privilege of sharing with her the story of ‘Pawse For A Cause’, a project I founded that brings the entertainment industry together to raise resources for needy animal shelters.