Archive for September, 2015

When Childhood Ends

September 28, 2015 Leave a comment

When you stop
To look at the full moon
And utter soft whispers
To the starlit sky

When you climb trees
Or play in roadside puddles
And dance in the rain
in gay abandon

When doubts rise from your bosom
And your eyes light up in wonder
When you move from one task to another
Without loss of energy

When you see no divisions
in colour, caste, race or religion
When you can laugh with joy
Or dance like nobody’s watching

Then there is a child in you
Brimming with boundless joy
Who knows only love
And Childhood never ends

© copyright, skm, 28th September 2015

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Sunrise at Broga Hill & Seminyih waterfall trek

September 20, 2015 1 comment


(source: Wikipedia)

In the wee hours of 19th Saturday we grouped in front of BK at Causeway point.  It was my first trekking experience and we were going to climb Broga hill in Selangor and on our return we were to visit Seminyih waterfall.

Broga is a small town that sits on the border of Selangor and Negri Sembilan in Malaysia. It is situated 50 kilometres from Kuala Lumpur and approximately 33 kilometres from Seremban the capital of Negri Sembilan. Broga takes its name from the River Broga which runs through the area. The name Broga is believed to be derived from Buragas, a mythical beast that lives in the forest.

Broga Hill is frequented by casual hikers. It is approximately 400m in altitude and is easily climbed by most people. The hilltop is unique as it is rather devoid of trees, which is an uncommon sight amongst tropical rainforest. Remnants of burnt out tree trunks indicate that the area may have been ravaged by a forest fire and the trees did not regrow. It offers a good view of the surrounding area and has become a popular picnic and photography spot. (source: Wikipedia)

The trip was well arranged by our lead VJ who has extensive experience in trekking and adventures.  We reached the foot of Broga hill by 6:15am and we started our climb.  It is considered a basic climb but can be a challenge for new trekkers like me.  I found the morning climb energizing and the view of the sun coming out from behind the clouds in the early morning was breathtaking.

Being in a group of 32 people – including Indians, Philipinos, a German and Chinese  also helps us to share our experiences and have fun during the trek.  There are two points before we reach the peak at 400m.

On our return we took a bath in the waterfall at Seminyih.  It was a cooling experience after the climb and we felt refreshed.  After that we proceeded for lunch nearby.  We then boarded the coach for our return trip to Singapore.  We arrived back in Singapore by 7pm.  I found this first trek of mine a wonderful new experience and would love to try similar adventures in the future.

As I had not prepared my handphone, it was not fully charged and I could not capture any pictures.  For my next trip I will not make this mistake…

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Fasten your seat belt

September 4, 2015 Leave a comment

This is the transcript of the speech that I delivered at the Area Z3 Humorous Speech contest held yesterday at Katong CC.

“Passengers travelling on flight  TR2652 to Bangalore please proceed to boarding gate 42”.

I had overslept and just made it to the airport in time.  I checked in my baggage and proceeded to the immigration counter.  I handed over my passport.  The immigration officer looked at my passport and gave me a long hard look….”You have a moustache here”.. “Um – I shaved it off”.  He then looked at me like I was a convict.  He  gave me a dressing down from head to toe before he let me go.

When I  reached the boarding gate I hear the announcement.  All first class and priority passengers can board the aircraft.  Then its the turn of passengers with children.  And finally it’s the turn of the   cattle class to board the plane.

When I finally enter the plane, the first class passengers are already seated.  They have already got their laptops and tablets ready.  And they look at you with a scorn – as If to say “Yeah, Im making money even now”.  You losers why have you entered our domain. 

Contest Chair, Judges and fellow toastmasters –

In the earlydays , air travel was a luxury. Male passengers wore suits and ladies wore dresses . Passengers were treated like royalty and waited on hand-and-foot by stewardesses who looked like Angelina Jolie or Sharon Stone.

Today, air fares have become  so cheap  that on some airlines you may be greeted by uncles and aunties.

Air travel has its quirks and has always been a conundrum for me.

When you enter the economy class.  you find a tall, huge man is trying to fit this big, bulky bag into the overhead compartment.  He is oblivious to the queue of people forming up to enter. Finally he realises that the bag cannot make it after all and the air hostess helps him out.

When I am travelling alone, I always like to select the window seat or the seat near the aisle.  This is because in the middle seat you are awkwardly sandwiched between 2 complete strangers.  On my recent flight I was delighted to get the window seat.  Then this big fat man comes in and occupies the middle seat.  He extends  himself to both sides like an  octopus.. I was left with no choice but to look out of the window.

Once the flight took off, the man in front of me reclines his seat all the way until it falls into my lap. So there I was trapped in my seat with no escape route.

I am anxious during take-off and landing.  Because my wife grabs hold of me all of a sudden. She is afraid of heights.  And I am afraid of her.

Then this gorgeous lady comes in wearing a yellow jacket .. and proceeds to give the safety announcement.  She is so fast that you cant catch any pause fillers.   But no one pays any attention.  “Fasten your seat belit like this. She then proceeds to do the Macarena There are 2 exits in the front, 2 behind and 2 at the sides.  In the event of a sudden drop in cabin pressure oxygen  masks will drop from overhead..  Please put on your mask like this.  If you are travelling with children first put your mask and then attend to your child.  In the unlikely event of having to land on water,  put on the life jacket,  blow into the jacket like this,  and blow the whistle like this.”

And then you can see that another air stewardess  looks at you from behind the curtain that demarcates the boundary of first class and economy.. and then she gives you a look…(as if to say…work harder and if you are lucky you can sit here one day)

Then it’s the turn of the pilot to make his presence felt.  So he comes on air – “Welcome aboard Tiger Airways. This is your captain Derek Marshall speaking,.  Today you are being served by our two charming ladies Vera Wee and Celine Goh. We are currently cruising at 37000ft above sea level and our current speed is 400 miles/hour .   On your left you can see the Riau archipelago and on your right you can see Legoland. At this rate we should reach our destination ahead of schedule”

Once the plane lands, the people scamper and  rush to open the overhead compartments, handphones go ring ring, and people are scrambling for the exit as if there is a bomb on the plane. Even school children are better behaved when the bell rings for end of school.

We have new experiences that amaze us from time to time and we have to be grateful to the pilot and the crew in making each of our flights a safe and pleasant journey!”

Traveling not only teaches us the value of life, but also exposes us to the sights , sounds , and stories of near and far-off places. It compels us to think about everything that is right and wrong with this world

In the words of Gustave Flaubert –

“Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.”

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