Monthly Archives: August 2009

Of writers & photographers…

My loves in life

I’m a huge reader. I carry a book with me virtually all the time. I get excited about trips to bookstores. I’m obsessed about keeping my books in pristine condition. I look forward to signing & dating each book that I buy. I have a library at home.

That about sums me up as a book worm person :)

So imagine my excitement when I heard that Tim Harford (he’s the guy who wrote The Undercover Economist and The Logic Of Life) was going to be in town for the Sime Darby Lecture Series! It is incredibly rare for Malaysia to be graced by best-selling authors, let alone one that will be in town to give a lecture on a topic of social relevance. I rang up the hotline a month back, only to be told that it’s ALREADY fully booked out.


But as luck would have it (and with some alignment of stars :) ), 2 hours before the lecture series began I got a phone call from my dad that he’s got extra tickets! After all the scrambling & dashing back home to grab his books (for him to autograph, hopefully), we finally got meet & listen to the man in person.

The lecture was on Adapt: Solving Complex Problems in a (Really) Complex World; and I must say it cannot be anymore relevant to our world than it is now. With all the complexity & complications of modern life, we often lose the building blocks (read: mistakes via trials & errors) that got us to where we are today.

Anyway, in short I got to meet the person who wrote the books I’ve thoroughly enjoyed & got totally flabbergasted when I finally met him in person. So much so that I spelt the name wrongly for him to autograph on the books! *shy*

The Undercover Economist himself

The books

YAY!!! :D

I honestly wish that more distinguished authors would grace our shores, as we hardly get the priviledged ritual of having book signings/readings at bookstores here… unlike in the States/western countries. It’s just one of those things to meet the person who has penned down their thoughts & evoked yours along the way, much much more rewarding (IMHO) than meeting popstars or celebrities.

This reminds me of the time we got to meet the legendary Steve McCurry this year too. That too, was another experience to behold. As a travel photographer & one who has grown up reading National Geographic, it was an absolute honour to be able to meet him in person & gawked at his marvellous images from FRONT ROW YO!

Super super super happy, haha :)

The legend with his most famous shot

This shot is courtesy of Mun Keat – I couldn’t battle the crowd =_=”

Of legends & inspirations, one must always remember despite being humbled by them, we must also strive to achieve the best with our craft. There ALWAYS will be room for improvement, and the odd inspiration to others :)

So keep shooting/writing/filming! The impossible is nothing.

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You can BE all you want to be…

… just BElieve, then BEhold at the marvellous changes that you had BEcome :D

Lo & BEhold!

Most of you would know I’ve been practising yoga for more than 2 years now & it’s something that I have to admit (as cliche as it sounds) – changed my life. I’m not preaching meditation & tucking legs behind your head (it’s not impossible btw, just need lotsa practice & belief!) but yoga is more than trying to levitate or twisting yourself into awkward positions.

It’s made me slow down, reevaluate & reprioritize things, achieve more of a balance in this crazy insanity of my whirlwind life :)

I fell into it in March 2007, when recovering from a sprained right ankle (yes, that’s sprain #1… I do seem to injure myself a fair bit o_O) Had no choice but to stop my other high impact sports (I hadn’t started running yet then) so I gave therapeutic yoga a go.

Tried it out for the first time, very surprised that I sweated a bucket & felt super awesome after a Hatha class. So I went to enquire a bit more & started practising at YogaZone, where I met lotsa wonderful people & teachers.

As a relatively active person, I was quickly surprised by yoga that it works you a lot harder than it looks. Below are some general perceptions of yoga:

– it’s boring cuz it’s slowwwwwww pace (coming from guys AND girls)
– it’s not a macho thing to do (from guys)
– it’s not a workout (since it’s just changing poses in a slow pace)
– it’s all about meditation & weird unhuman looking poses

Anyone that has the perceptions above just need to attend one yoga session & be surprised in no time that all of the above are not true. OK, maybe you hate the slow pace but trust me, when you’re being worked so hard, you’re thankful that you aint in a Vinyasa class (Vinyasa means flowing from poses to poses, synchronized with each intake/exhale of breath)

OK, not everyone can do this the first time...

It forces you to clear your mind, just by being still & paying more attention to your breathing (no, this is NOT meditation) & with that, you get to put aside your daily stresses (even just for an hour) & helps you ‘defrag’ from the day’s happenings. Next, you get to release all tension in your body & joints, pumping your blood circulation & you find yourself sleeping soundly very soon.

Last but not least, the most frequently heard phrase after a yoga class (by gym junkies/people that say it’s ‘slow’) is:

Shucks, I had no idea I could ache in these places! (cuz a lot of muscles you didn’t know had before is now sore)

So yes, yoga awakes a lot of the muscles which you had no idea were there before. Each stretch helps lengthens & stretches muscles which we take for granted all the time, hence you hurt like no one’s business when they are awakened. Having said that, with time & practice these are the same muscles that make you stronger & more flexible, helping you avoid injuries & going that extra mile/stretch when you need it.

Everyone needs a bit of help sometimes...

So yes, despite all that I’ve shared about yoga itself… the place which I’ve practised at was embroiled in such controversy last July. To cut long story short, they closed down & there were plenty of hoo-ha. I was ‘homeless’ so to speak but decided not to kick up a fuss (about the money etc that they owe me) & just continued practising at home.

Which just isn’t the same.

So when I heard that Ninie & Azmi opened BeYoga, I was super happy & went to suss it out. And as cliche as it sounds, it felt like home when I first arrived.

Of course, it really helped to see Ninie & Azmi again. I followed a lot of their class during YZ days & thoroughly enjoyed their torturing teaching. I honestly owe a lot of my good foundations & techniques to them during my early days. So BeYoga it was, and I was back to my pretzel-ing days :D

So when Ninie asked if I will photograph our gorgeous studio, I immediately jumped at the chance. Coz seriously, we have such a kick ass awesome studio!

Take that, we have a LOFT!

Become studio

Believe that you can...

Behold what you have Become

You can become whatever you want to be...

BeYoga bunting


Awesome, right? They have free Wifi & comfy couches (and plenty of coffee & tea) for everyone to chillax before/in between/after classes; shower & locker facilities and of course, fabulously fun teachers that pretzel you into shape! There’s even Kids Yoga classes for the little ones, and every Sunday there’s Karma Yoga (free class with theme) so there’s not a boring day at BeYoga.

So if you’ve always wanted to find out a bit more about yoga, swing by BeYoga & look out for chirpy Ninie or other helpful staff :)

I’m looking forward to my weekly Monday dose of pretzel-ing tomorrow already…. :) Be well!

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The week that was…

Farewells are part of life & we just need to be thankful for the times we had in between the hellos & goodbyes.

Thanks for all the comforting words that’s poured in after the last post.

I’d be flying to HK at end August to say my goodbye to my aunt.

But just as life have been for eternity, when one door closes another opens. I have been experiencing paradoxical weeks recently, of good & bad news alternating at an insane pace… making me all dizzy trying to comprehend. But again, all part & parcel of life.

Some snippets from the past week:

– accompanied my manager to get her first ever tattoo. It was quite an experience, despite me being a big fan of Miami Ink & seeing many people get their ink and of course, the stories behind it, my first experience of seeing ink in skin is still… different :) Somehow it’s just not the same but twas a fun process nonetheless. In case you’re wondering if I work for a mafia lady, I don’t. Here’s what she got:

The tatt before it was inked

Her daughter’s name, sooooooo sweet :)

The stuff made out of dreams...

– I’m going on my first ever overseas assignment shoot! Most of you will know I do a lot of travel photography, dabbled in planned shoots here & there… but come this Sept, I will be assisting the muscular fabulous Anna-Rina for a wedding reception in Bali :) I’m so excited when I saw the venue shots that I shuddered – super jaw-droppingly gorgeous place! Soooooooooo excited about my first ever overseas wedding shoot & back at one of my fave locations in the world – honestly did not expect this at all so am giddy with joy :)

– Speaking of shoots, I am also very honoured to be photographing the fantastic yoga studio where I get pretzeled weekly. BeYoga is the brain(heart)child of Ninie Ahmad & Azmi Sandjanga – both my teachers which I’ve been following since YZ days. They are some of the most cheerful & encouraging people, not to mention looking super smokin’ hot with their flexible ways ;) I am soooooo sooooooooooooooo soooooooooooooooooooo looking forward to it cuz I’ve been having all these images in my head when I practise at BeYoga. Can’t wait!

– On the work front, we are about 80% at the end of the race… really looking forward to see what the next steps are after 2 years of working on this project. My Masters-in-Europe dream hinges on it & it is indeed one of the most important keystone in my next career progression step. All these years of battle have made me a stronger & better person, and thankfully not a more jaded person.

– Also on the work front, an interesting opportunity has opened up… It’s not everyday that you get to meet individuals behind an organization that shares the same values as you do, as an individual so that was something I’m happy for. I am one person who don’t believe in lying to yourself & pretend to live a different life (my life so far has been testament of my frankness to meself & others) so it would be some very interesting times ahead…

– Of course, the most fabulous way to unwind a long hectic workweek will be to meet up with some mates & chillax… and chillax/camwhored/talkcock we did :D Finally got to meet the infamously funny Eeyern together with the usual suspects of MK, YY, Jon & Kenneth. Laughed & laughed we did, and as I get to know them more my respect for them & their craft grow even stronger… check out their fabulous work as linked above.

Three stooges

– Last but not least, I got to spend some quality time over the weekend with two of my most favourite people in the world, Woods & CC :D Twas some overdue catch ups no doubt, but in this life where the 3 of us are constantly spending lots of time in planes & hotels, it is this kinda meaningful catch ups which I cherish the most. I honestly don’t know where would I’d be without the support & love of them two, so it was really really lovely spending some time with them. As we speak, one is already overseas, one is flying tomorrow & the other will be eagerly waiting for them to return before she flies off herself :D

Three monkeys :D

Absolutely *heart* them soooooo much :)

In this long journey of life, it was what keeps you going that counts. Because had you not enjoyed the process of getting there, you would not have lived to begin with.

Have a good week ahead guys!

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