Saturday, August 30, 2008

On The Train, Aug 29, 2008

I was expecting a pack train and it was but I was surprise there was one seat remain to be ‘grabbed’ but ignored by most. I began to suspect ‘foul play’ but after a while I just sat down and opened my laptop. My plan was go home and do some grocery shopping and bowl at Alamanda but when I waited for the train I was not sure if I would be able to reach home in decent time. Nevertheless I have my hope intact. It was also the last night of the MIFC’s firework display at Putrajaya and I knew would not be able to make it. Not like last year where I went to most of them. Not expecting to see the extra ordinary I sort of skip this year competition.

The train ‘waited’ at KL Station for a while and I knew it was because of the congestion at KL Sentral. As we moved further the train kept on picking more people at each station and it remained as a sardine can. Just now the PM gave his budget speech and the whole nation was expecting several good news but to me just get this train mess in order once and for all. I hope enough measures and budget were put in place for us. We have suffered long enough. In my case, despite my love connection with trains, five years of torture.

On The Train, Aug 28, 2008

At KL Sentral boarded a young couple who looks like Malay. The young man I guess barely 20 has tattoo the full length of his left hand. However when he spoke it was obvious that he was not a Malay maybe Indian or Sabahan or a mix. Making him surely a Malaysian. Then I realized he wore a Buddha necklace. He got down at Mid Valley and the couple said good bye to one another concluding to me that there were not a couple but friends or working colleagues. I was too quick to judge that was my problem. Despite learning and trying hard not to do it I judged.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

On The Train, Aug. 27, 2008

As I was reading about Theroux's experience riding his train in a rain crossing Hungary and Romania it was pelting outside my train at the same time. Although his experience is nothing compared to mine still I felt the sense of sameness in our situation. At least looking out into the same drabness and dampness outside. 33 years since he took the same train both countries remain as they were before. For me after five years the Komuter service got even worse LOL.

As what the weather can do to you it was at least different in my train. Commuters seem to be alert and happy. Including myself there were three people I observed reading a book. Another lady I saw was writing in her notebook that has a Komuter railmap pasted in it. If she were a regular commuter I had not seen her before or at least I have not noticed her before. A lady who had just got a seat in front of me also took out her book from her handbag. There is still hope for Malaysia.

On The Train (In Arabian Nights), Aug 25, 2008

A few minutes after pulling out of Salak South I finished Tahir Shah’s In Arabian Nights : A Caravan Of A Moroccan Dreams . It was an engaging reading and as engaging as The Caliph’s House that I read last year. Well, frankly it was because of The Caliph’s House that encouraged me to pick this book up at Kino a week ago. I was sure then it would be a good read as it was supposed to be a continuation of the author’s life in Casablanca, Morocco. If you were in the same age group as me you would know about The Thousand and One Night stories where characters like Aladdin and Sinbad are two of the famous ones. This book is about that Arabians Nights and more. However after reading the first few paragraphs I was transported into the world of stories and story telling within the Arab worlds. To encourage the subject even more the author went onto a personal search for ‘a story inside my hearts’ that any Barber believe to be within every one of us. The Barber, if not Arab, tradition says every one of us is born with a story. This book is a story telling within a story. I love it as I believe story is a powerful learning tool that most cultures begining to forget. We are not talking about telling stories using modern media here but instead story telling in the original form. Face to face, man to man, or in a public place where several people would sit around a story teller. Through reading this book also I learned that the author Tahir Shah is the son of the famous Idries Shah, a story teller himself, who wrote a lot of book and a brother of Saira Shah a freelance journalist. I have not read any of Idries Shah’s books but read few citations of the exploits of Mulla Nasrudin from Exploits of the Incomparable Nasrudin :Subtleties Inimitable and Plesantries of Incredible Mulla Nasrudin. Tahir Shah also wrote about his Baba, father, and his upbringing that shape his life. It is his Baba’s conviction that story and believes all stories are teaching stories that was passed on to him and to be kept alive for the next generation.

Knowledge is more important then wealth as knowledge will take care of us – Commander of the Faithful Ali

Thursday, August 21, 2008

On The Train (Leadership 2.0), Aug 21, 2008

Recently in our strategic conversation we talked about the difficulty in dealing with cultural issues and one of the things that we proposed to do was to get a greater leadership buy in and to get them involve more. Perhaps the Leadership 2.0 written by Edgar Tan of Straits Knowledge is another perspective that we can look at.

I was to post this when I read that the PM took a surprise visit to check both the Komuter and LRT services. Well his statement was what all of us knew already. You wanaa bet whether the service will improve? And for how long?

On The Train, Aug. 6, 2008

I had intended to go home a bit early and as usual I was only kidding myself. But I was not that late. Five to seven I walked down to the station to wait for the train. I boarded the same train as yesterday and it was still a hot coach and just like yesterday I was lucky there weren’t that many people on the train.

The interesting thing was that suddenly I felt the urge to start writing a book. Maybe for a start a compilation of what I wrote so far.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

On The Train, Aug 5, 2008

As the train approached I looked up at the board and I was astonished to find out the train was two (2) minutes early. Good for KTMB at least today I would not be bitching it. The train was the old train with seating arrangement that I do not like. The cabin air conditioning system was not working properly though and we were lucky there were not many people on board to contribute more bodily heat.

Coincidently, today my friend blogged about his frustration with our graduates and indirectly our education system. He described the graduates as Graduan Rebus. Of course what he wrote is not something that is alien to me. I faced the same dilemma and frustration every time I interview our graduates. This has a bearing to what I wrote last week about my son.

On The Train, Aug 1, 2008

No use to keep saying the obvious and lament the obvious as well. With August at the door we have to be very focus in whatever we are doing for the rest of the year and I am not purely talking about work but also human development in general. I no less need a lot of that. While in a meeting yesterday I received a disturbing massage that kept me thinking the whole journey home. I just could not concentrate on anything. What I was thinking then primarily was about the make up of my children’s education. The process and the environment they are in. To begin with I already disagree with certain philosophy of our education system and in so many ways impart this to my children. The question I was asking myself yesterday was, ‘Have I been pushing it too far for them.’ In coping with the reality of the school system and at the same time to engage in meaningful learning they may have been frustrated to the point of projecting a visible protest. In doing that he could have been relentless and just do not know where and when to stop. That’s what probably is happening to my son where yesterday was one of the trigger points. Probably their teachers also would not know how to react properly to all the signals he has been sending. In the case of my son probably his schoolmates also could not understand his frustration and react in the way they only know how. Getting nasty at each other. I am as much at fault here as I have not been preparing them carefully and properly. Another dimension to this is that because of the prevalent of technology in their live we got an immediate as well as personalized ‘complaint’ from his classmate via a text message.