Since we had a long break, we decided on a last minute trip. But as soon as I started checking for tickets online, I found to my dismay that most hotels were fully booked. So, we decided to go to Kuala Lumpur. We booked our stay at the Royal Bintang hotel in Bukit Bintang.
At the hotel we found that we could hire a limo to tour places in Malaysia. So we decided on making a full-day trip to Malacca. The road trip to Malacca was great. The highways are lined with palm cultivation. Malaysia is the world’s second largest exporter of palm oil after Indonesia. About 60% of palm oil exports from Malaysia are shipped to China, the European Union, Pakistan, United States and India. They are mostly made into cooking oil, margarine, specialty fats and oleochemicals.
Malacca rose from a humble fishing village to become a major center of the spice trade forming a vital link between the East and the West. Since it’s founding, circa 1400, by a fleeing Sumatra prince, Parameswara. In 1511, the first of many foreign invasions of Malacca took place when the Portuguese arrived. The Portuguese were determined to control the East-West trade; so Malacca still retained its importance as a trade center until 1641 when the Portuguese surrendered Malacca to the Dutch. The Dutch who had a stronger foothold over the Indonesia archipelago swung the trade center over to Sumatra. In the meantime, Malacca’s trade also declined due to the silting of its port. In 1795 Melaka (Malacca) was given to the British to prevent it form falling to the hands of the French, where the Netherlands was captured during the French Revolution.
is the third smallest Malaysian state, after Perlis and Penang. It is located in the southern region of the Malay Peninsula, on the Straits of Malacca. It borders Negeri Sembilan to the north and the state of Johor to the south. The capital is Malacca City, which is 148 km south east of Malaysia’s capital city Kuala Lumpur, 235 km north west to Johor’s largest city Johor Bahru. The monarchy was abolished in Malacca when the Portuguese conquered it in 1511. The Yang di-Pertua Negeri or Governor, rather than a Sultan, acts as the head of state now.
We saw many interesting places like International Bee Museum (Muzium Lebah Sedunia), Christ Church, Jonkers Street, St. Francis Xavier Church, Stadthuys, St. Pauls Church, Cheng Hoon Teng temple, Malacca History Museum, The straits of Malacca etc. Malacca is a historical city which is now declared a world heritage site.
On our way back we visited Putrajaya which houses the buildings of the Malaysian Government as well as the PMs office. Named after Malaysia’s first Prime Minister, the late Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj, this landmark complex stretches over 11,320 acres. More than 70% of Putrajaya is devoted to greenery and water bodies with 13 different gardens.
(This is the text of the speech I delivered at the Humorous Speech & evaluation contest of Bishan Toastmasters Club)
Can I have a show of hands – How many of you are married?
Well, the rest of you – what about you? – don’t worry – i wont tell anyone else.
Alright, alright… I will tell you — ALL OF YOU ARE MARRIED – married to technology
Contest Chair, Judges, Fellow Toastmasters and friends –
Our generation is a wired generation exposed to so many gadgets like laptops, netbooks, ipads, smartphones and social media that we are all wedded to technology.
This morning as I was coming by the train .. I saw everyone was looking at their gadgets, toying with them, fondling them and staring at them with such fascination that it would put your friend to shame.
Then I went into a dream world. I imagined that in a few years from now – Steve Jobs, Marc Zuckerberg and Larry Page would have an additional responsibility – as marriage counsellors.
And I imagined how my marriage would be solemnised by Steve Jobs.
Do you take this iPhone to be your wedded wife?
Yes I do
Will you feed her with juice everyday?
Yes – 230V of power supply
Yes I will
Will you take care of her today, tomorrow and forever?
Yes, I always take good care of her
Will you keep her close to your heart?
Yes, I always keep her in my shirt pocket.
What if some sweet, sexy and charming model calling herself iPhone5 were to cross your path one day? Do you promise that you will not ogle at her, not even touch her
Yes, I promise(wink)
Ok. Now I pronounce you man and wife.
After the wedding, it was our first night. I was head over heels in love with her – all excited. She was decked in the most beautiful outfit and she had a feather touch. At first, I was shy. But then, I relaxed, touched her, caressed her. I don’t want to get into the details…. and then we went to sleep.
Early morning I was awakened by her sweet ring – Tring Tring…
And then the days of our honeymoon began.
You have heard of men who pamper their women with handbags, shoes, nailpolish, mascara, perfumes etc etc. Well I started pampering my partner with accessories too – An armband, a different case for each day of the week, spare batteries, screen protectors, a stereo Bluetooth adapter, wireless speakerphone, and even a dock powered by tube amps
She introduced me to all her relatives right from the smallest ipod nano, ipod shuffle, ipod classic, ipod touch, Macbooks and the iPad. They were all so charming that I considered myself lucky to be a proud member of the Apple family.
Every day she would wear new apps – one day facebook on her menu would beckon me to dare to caress its button , the next day twitter winks at me and entices me with her latest tweets, the next day foursquare . When I was hungry – she would show me the nearest restaurants
When I was lost .. her GPS would show me the shortest route. And when I was in a playful mood she would present fruit ninja, cut the rope.angry birds. If I was bored she had music, she could take pictures on her camera…. When it was dark and scary, she would light up my path. When I was at a loss for words, her dictionary would help me out. She had an answer to all my questions. What more can you ask from your wife?
Then one fine day, I realised, I was being overwhelmed by her. – she was a wolf in sheeps clothing. She had taken control over my life. She had made me a vegetable. I remember – that I would occasionally go for a jog, skating or cycling. But now I could not leave her for even a second.
I had forgotten the real world outside – things that I loved – nature, the sea, sun , the stars and my family. I said…. enough is enough. Please do not cling to me anymore. I cant be with you 24 hours of the day.
My dear friends if you do not want this marriage to technology to ruin your life then you have to learn to balance your virtual life and your real life.
By the way the iphone5 is really nice – you know?
I stand amid the vast fields
And gaze at the expanse of nature
Looking at the horizon
Where heaven and earth unite in embrace
I am filled with peace
The blue skies beckon me to reach forth
To explore new frontiers
Everywhere I look I can only see
A manifestation of your glory
The tender weeds sway with joy
A fleet of birds glide in the sky
And natures rythm echoes
Through fields and birds and skies and me
© copyright skm, August 18th, 2011
Our universe is so BIG (i can’t find an adjective to describe its size) that it is quite difficult to even imagine its size. Here are some facts about the size of our universe! After seeing some videos, I find myself and our earth so insignificantly small in this whole scheme of the universe .. it always baffles my mind!
If our sun was hollow, it could hold about 1 million, 300 thousand earths
We thought the entire universe consists of what we know today as the Milky way galaxy. But today we know that it is just one of hundreds of billions of other galaxies
Each galaxy is home to around 200 billion stars. This is more than the grains of sand on all the beaches of planet earth
The largest known star – Epsilon – is so big that, if hollowed out, would hold 27 billion of our suns.
On a trip round the sun the earth travels over a million and a half miles a day
It would take a car travelling at 100mph more than 29 million years to reach the nearest star
And here are some videos to try to visualise the extent of our universe
SIZE OF THE UNIVERSE
STAR SIZE COMPARISON
My first e-book of 25 poems is now on Lulu.com. It is a compilation of poetry on themes like Nature, emotions, leadership, musings, life and our world.
Hope those of you who are interested in poetry will find this work interesting enough to buy a copy.
Here is a link to a preview of the ebook:
Here is my blog post for this contest:
WHAT INSPIRES ME TO BLOG
An outlet for creativity
Blogging is a creative outlet for me. An outlet to express my emotions. An expression of love, a celebration of success, an inspiration on the joys of life and a search for the truth.
Blog to inspire
We can blog to inspire and motivate and develop the leaders of tomorrow. To instill values that stand the test of time. To inspire people to live a life of value based on simplicity, truth and courage. To stop the mad rat-race and greed that is leading to our downfall. To seek to know the true purpose of our life.
A stand against injustice
Blogging also enables us to take a stand against injustices prevailing in society like corruption, child labour, rape, terrorism, atrocities against women, racial distinctions etc. By blogging we can take little steps to enlighten and educate people of the ills in our society.
A fight for a noble cause
Blogging helps us to undertake and mobilise people to work for noble causes like education for the poor, the fight against poverty, environmental causes, food and water for poor etc.
The recognition of the oneness in us
Blogging opens our heart to the world. It recognises the oneness in all of us. And by sharing our joys, sorrows and successes we recognise and re-inforce the belief that a community effort is more successful than a lone voice that cannot be heard. It helps us to mobilise people towards a noble cause.
We can blog to inform, to educate, to share, to lift the spirits, to lighten the mood, to seek the truth, to inspire with poetry, stories, art, travel and photography.
And here is the link to vote for me: (Just go to the voting gallery and click on my name)