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Colours of My Soul

If you do not understand my silence, you'll never understand my words...

Friday, February 23, 2007

Curls, Curls Curls...

Hair... this is something I have been having a problem with since my secondary school days. It was not a problem before that because my mother used to be the one managing its style. I 'hated' my hair back then because to me anything sticking out (wavy hair tends to be like that) was considered "not nice" and messy. So, usually, after coming home from the hairdresser, where I had insisted on a certain hairstyle which obviously won't work without a considerable amount of hair products, I would spend hours trying to push my hair back into place and tug at the very short hair hoping it would grow out quickly. You see, the thing about wavy/curly hair is you CANNOT, and i mean CANNOT cut it too short. You have to accept the fact that you are limited to certain types of hairstyle and length. But at the time, i was young-er and adamant to sport the kind of haircut my straight-hair friends had. So I had to face the consequences of not listening to Aunty Mo Mo (my Chinese hairdresser who understands curly hair very much) and my mum. And, oh boy, let me tell you, there were some extremely disasterous hairstyles which I have had in my young-er days. Since my uni days though, I've come to terms with what I can and cannot do with my type of hair, so I stuck with keeping it long ... and I've also learnt the wonders of hair-straightening with chemicals but even better, not too long ago, my cousin's wife bought me an "iron" (hair-straightener which I can use at home), a cheaper and more convenient alternative. This way I can have straight hair if I wan to, and if I want wavy hair, I can have that too, naturally :). However, every once in a while, i'd be itching to try something new, especially since I started working. Today was one of those days. Thank God though, I listened to Aunty Mo Mo and surpressed my urge to do anything crazy. I can't afford to have a dramatic hairstyle in the profession I am in ... critics all around ;)
An interesting thing happened at Aunty Mo Mo's shop today ... there was a lady there who was paying RM 300+ to have her hair permed so that she can have big curls, and there I was right beside her, trying to "iron" out the very same curls which was given to me at no cost at all ... hmmm

Monday, February 19, 2007

Lies at the Altar: The Truth about Great Marriages

I love Oprah Winfrey. She is one of the world's most loved and respected women and I have been an ardent fan of hers for as long as I remember! During one of her shows, Dr. Robin Smith, a licensed psychologist, revealed a book she had written entitled "Lies at the Altar: The truth about great marriages"; a book meant for couples who are planning marriage, are newly married, or who have been married for years.

Excerpt from the Oprah Winfrey website:
"In Lies at the Altar: The Truth About Great Marriages, Dr. Robin Smith addresses the unspoken needs, unasked questions, outrageous expectations, and hidden agendas that often linger beneath the surface of the wedding vows and appear later to cause power struggles, suffering, and feelings of hopelessness in marriages."

Dr. Robin Smith outlines 5 categories of questions which must be asked and answered BEFORE (if possible) one says, "I do". The 5 categories being work, money, sex, parenthood and religion. Check it out here:
http://www.oprah.com/relationships/relationships_content.jhtml?contentId=con_200605_questions.xml


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Blood is thicker than water....

This morning I attended the 31st day death anniversary prayers of an aunt. This is a ceremony practiced by most Ceylonese families, although specific details of events that take place during the prayers may differ. Why it differs may have a lot to do with which part of Sri Lanka their ancestors come from, present day circumstances or sheer ignorance on religious practices. I don't want to start a discussion about what is based on culture and what is based on religion. What I do notice is that there are some people who condemn religious practices while they themselves have not taken the initiative to learn and understand it. How can you comment on something that you yourself can't comprehend? Anyway, I am no angel and have done my share of bickering on why things are the way they are.

During lunch, right after the prayers, the usual mingling took place among the relatives. I was every once in a while beckoned by my mother/father to be "introduced" to some relatives and as usual a conversation ensued about how much I have grown up in the last 20 sumthing years (duh!), a show of 'genuine' interest on what I am doing now (working, studying etc) and the most vital question of all at my ripe young age of "2*", when are you going to get married? The irony of this is after today we will all meet again in someone's wedding or funeral and the same people will be "introduced" again. I understand that in today's fast paced world, we all do not have the luxury of time to be going "visiting" ever so often, but I find it rather difficult to fathom how we will "find" the time to visit someone only when people are hospitalized, when they are getting married or when they are dead! Why is it that we can't "make" that time when everything is going well?

As part of the prayer ceremony, the family of the dearly departed will make offerings of food (the deceased favourite food). The family would go to great lengths to ensure all the favourite food of the their loved one is "offered". One of my very elderly aunt's commented today, whats the point of all this? All this "effort" should have been put in when the person was alive. Hmmm...thats so true, our parents give birth to us and more often than not, put their own lives on hold as they strive to ensure their children have a good future. They hope and pray that their children will benefit from the sacrifices they have made in bringing them up. But today, when the "children" complete their studies and start working they make an "unwritten" and sometimes "unannounced" declaration that they need to live their lives and cannot be expected to "entertain" their parents. There are people who complain that they are very busy and they have no time to spend with their elderly parents. But the next "free" time they have, they choose to go off on a holiday with their friends instead. They then say, "No choice la, all my friends were able to get leave this time, everyone working, very hard to get such an opportunity la". They go on to justify their choice by saying that they will spend time with their parents during the next holidays. But the next holiday comes around and the same thing happens.

There are times when we go all out to please our friends, but a simple request from our parents is ignored. We walk on eggshells with our friends, not wanting to hurt their feelings, but we snap at our parents for the simplest things. Why do we do this? I sat there just staring at my dear parents and all of the memories of days gone by came flooding into my mind...the sacrifices they had made for me and my siblings... the time they spent with us.... the advice they give us till today. I am always grateful to my parents for being with us, being there for us and making us value "family" just by the example they had set and the love they had showered on us. As I write this, tears well up in my eyes and my heart feels like its gonna burst with all the love I feel. But the thing is I am only human, and every once in a while forget whats most important. I too get into squabbles with my parents and I too snap at the most silliest things.

We very often take our families for granted. I think its simply because we know that blood is thicker than water, and no matter what, our family will stand by us. I'd like to share something here that I always remind myself and tell my good friends. "Its good to be ambitious and strive for excellence. This is what our parents and families would expect us to do. But in this pursuit of excellence, always remember the clock keeps on ticking, and by the time we are ready to slow down and spend time with our parents, they may no longer be with us". So my dear friends, let us all remind each other from time to time on what is important and lets MAKE time to do the things that matter most... tick, tock, tick, tock.....

"The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone."~Harriet Beecher Stowe