Archive for February, 2012

Today is Valentine’s day and I thought it would be appropriate I share a very interesting piece from my favourite author Paulo Coelho. Incidentally this piece is from the book “The Alchemist” a book which I dare say changed my perception of life and made me realize that “one’s destiny is a person’s only real obligation”.

The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, is a piece of literary Red Bull that gave me personally enough energy to keep pushing me when there were times when I was ready to say “screw it”, “fuck it”, “I had enough”, and start looking at my life more meaningfully. I don’t want to say anything new about the book but believe me this book has awesomely inspiring power for anyone who is trying to carve their own road. Totally amazing. If you haven’t read it, you should go read it. I guarantee you this book will invoke an unattached, unmoved reaction. For me this book has always been a beacon of support and motivation as I begin my own strange journey with nothing in hand but a dream from destiny, and believe me, I found my treasure in the most unexpected place.

Here comes Paulo’s Valentine’s Day piece…

My heart is afraid to suffer”

by Paulo Coelho on February 13, 2012

“Why do we have to listen to our hearts?” the boy asked, when they had made camp that day.

“Because, wherever your heart is, that is where you’ll find your treasure.”

“But my heart is agitated,” the boy said. “It has its dreams, it gets emotional, and it’s become passionate over a woman of the desert. It asks things of me, and it keeps me from sleeping many nights, when I’m thinking about her.”

“Well, that’s good. Your heart is alive. Keep listening to what it has to say.”

“My heart is a traitor,” the boy said to the alchemist, when they had paused to rest the horses. “It doesn’t want me to go on.”

“That makes sense. Naturally it’s afraid that, in pursuing your dream, you might lose everything you’ve won.”

“Well, then, why should I listen to my heart?”

“Because you will never again be able to keep it quiet. ”

“You mean I should listen, even if it’s treasonous?”

“Treason is a blow that comes unexpectedly. If you know your heart well, it will never be able to do that to you. Because you’ll know its dreams and wishes, and will know how to deal with them.

“My heart is afraid that it will have to suffer,” the boy told the alchemist one night as they looked up at the moonless sky.

“Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And that no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dreams, because every second of the search is a second’s encounter with God and with eternity.”

From “The Alchemist”

Come elections Indians are the most sought after people. This time too political parties are queuing outside the houses of worship, houses of religious leaders, organizations, to woo the Indians ahead of the 13th General Elections which might be called anytime now.

Be it Barisan National or Pakatan Rakyat, they all are throwing bait to Indians.

Now even Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak is doing the same. At the Taipusam festival in Batu Caves a few days ago Najib urged Indian Malaysians to ‘trust’ him to improve their lives. Najib emphasized on “Nambekei” (Tamil for trust) probably that’s the only Tamil word he knows but nevermind, but he also said Barisan Nasional government will fulfil all its promises to the Indian community and guaranteed that every promise will be delivered.

Indian opportunities
The Barisan National and Pakatan Rakyat are talking about giving more oppotunities to Indians if voted to power. Each party is trying its best to portray itself as Indian well-wisher. Such tall promises are not being made for the first time. For the last more than 50 years political parties have treated Indians merely as vote-bank to be used during elections and then discarded.

The conditions of Indians have been deteriorating fast. Rate of illiteracy is high. Their youth continue to struggle to get decent jobs in the fast-changing corporate Malaysia. Women education is abysmal. Overall their condition is worse than all the other races in Malaysia put together. To get over the situation, the community approaches ruling parties with begging bowl to give them opportunities as if it would bring an end to their woes.

Who is to be blamed?
Who is to be blamed for their backwardness: Government or the community? It is not only political parties that have exploited them, even their representatives mainly MIC and religious organizations have taken them for a ride. For a few bucks and a coveted post, they bargain with political parties, leaving the community in the lurch. .

The situation is chaotic with some religious organizations and politicians allying with parties that can help them ride up the ladder and allow them to bring in money just to build and to beautify and improve the facilities at Batu Caves so that it can become a popular tourist destination or to get RM4 million project for a new building for SRJK Batu Caves or organize seminars and symposium targeting the elite class. Indian non-governmental organisations (NGOs) such as Mynadi and the Sri Murugan Centre are good examples and exceptionals. Nobody else thinks about the poor and marginalized section.

Making non-issue an issue
The situation is really bad with many religious organizations and politicians obsequiously surrendering to the ruling party whether it is the Barisan National at the centre or Pakatan Rakyat in states. In Selangor, two known religious organizations have sold their soul to the ruling government in exchange of a few million ringgit.

Raising sentimental issues have become a trend among Indian politicians and religious leaders. With election just round the corner many leaders in Putrajaya have started talking about opportunities for the marginalized Indians. They are not raising these issues because their hearts bleed for the Indian poor.The fact is they are doing so to cut a bargain with the ruling party and other political parties. Had they been their well-wisher they would have assisted the family members of those arrested under Emergency Ordinance (EO) and who are living in pitiable conditions in Simpang Rengam.

Community hijacked
The community has been hijacked by some opportunist politicians and religious leaders, who are just bothered about making money after coming to power or supporting certain political parties for their benefit. The middle-class has no time to ponder on these burning issues as most of their time is spend in improving their living standards and catching up with the elite.

The common and uneducated mass is left confused. With nobody to guide them they too become easy victims of political parties’ game, who promise them the moon during elections but deliver nothing after coming to power. When election comes, Indian voters prefer voting Barisan National as they feel that they would extricate them from poverty and illiteracy. Also, the voters are easily carried away by leaders’ skills to raise emotional issues.

The community has been severely hit by a leadership crisis. There is nobody who can dare air honest views. It is difficult to get hold of honest, sincere and well-educated Indian politician or religious leaders. Most of them have been co-opted by the government machinery.

The situation has come to such a passé that anybody with a few bucks want to be the leader of the community. Ironically, most of these messiah form their world and national view by religiously following third-rated Tamil dailies. Nothing seems to be changing.