Wednesday, August 26, 2009


My version of freedom and being free is...when you're given the liberty to do the things you enjoy doing anywhere, anytime and at the same time, get others to join in. And freedom could be just a few minutes of light hearted moment dancing at the train station!!

This video was made in the Antwerp, Belgium Central (Train) Station on March 23, 2009 with no warning to the passengers passing through the station. At 8:00am a recording of Julie Andrews singing 'Do, Re, Mi' begins to play on the public address system.
As the bemused passengers watch in amazement, some 200 dancers begin to appear from the crowd and station entrances.
They created this amazing stunt with just two rehearsals!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I borrowed this DVD from my friend Derrick and watched it twice before returning back to him. 'Okuribito' or 'Departure' is a touching movie about a cellist in an orchestra who has just been dissolved and found himself jobless.

He decided to move back to his hometown with his wife to look for a job and to start all over again. He answered to a classified advertisement entitled "Departures" thinking it is an advertisement for a travel agent, only to discover that the job is actually for a "Nokanshi". "Nokanshi" is a funeral professional who prepares deceased bodies for burial and entry into the next life. While his wife and friends despise his job, Daigo takes pride in his work and begins to perfect the art of "Nokanshi" acting as a gentle gatekeeper between life and death, between the departed and the deceased family.

'Okuribito' is a profound and sensitive journey into the heartland of Japan and an astonishingly beautiful look at the sacred part of Japan's culture and heritage. It also uncovers the meaning of life and living.

- It has taught me that every death matters, every person counts and grief, which is as inevitable as death can be beautiful and gracious.

- It has taught me to look at every job / task with respect. No job should be seen as unclean or disgraceful...even the lowliest task, if executed with reverence will ultimately be glorified and find its own rewards.

- Daigo the "Nokanshi" touches me with his kindness and courage. Although he initially really dislike his job, one could see and feel that he still performs with all his heart. When his wife persuaded him to quit and look for a normal job, he replied, "Death is normal. Everyone will die one day. You will die, so will I."

Finally, I fell in love with this instrument called 'cello'. Just listen quietly to this beautiful theme music by Joe Hisaishi : departures

Friday, August 21, 2009

Soli Deo Gloria

Soli Deo Gloria is an Italian word which means everything is done for the glory of God. It was the theme of Ms. Moey's birthday; celebrating her 60 years of joyous living begining of this month. One couldn't find another better theme that fits her so well. For Ms. Moey is certainly such person.

Her birthday celebration was held at Equatorial Hotel with family, relatives, close friends, church members and a few students which made up to a hundred people. John and I felt privileged that we were in her guests list. I am extremely extremely fortunate that our paths crossed. She has been my teacher, my friend.
I heard so much about Ms. Moey during my primary school days from my neighbours who were all taught by her. I finally met her in Form 1 where she taught me Bible Knowledge. My God, how she made us all memorized the Book of Luke and The Acts of the Apostles!! Yet she made it so easy, for I began to understand that she wasn't teaching a religion, she was actually teaching me principles of life. Ms. Moey always emphatized, "to teach is to serve, to teach is to touch lives forever, to teach is to touch eternity". And she has certainly lived by those words.
Therefore, how can I thank someone who has taken me 'from crayons to perfume'? I just can not thank her enough.
I recalled when I first step foot into the cooperate world, my company sent me to Kuantan for a sales conference. Although it was only a brief domestic flight, it was my first time boarding a plane. I was excited and rang Ms. Moey. The first thing she asked me was, "How are you going to the airport?" I told her that I'll just call a taxi. Without a second thought she proposed, "Come and stay with me the night before. I'll send you to the airport. It's too early for you to get a cab."
Can anyone imagine this? Yes, I did stay with her. She did send me to the airport. Then my colleagues all thought she was my aunt or sister. When I introduced Ms. Moey to them as my teacher, they all confirmed that I was very lucky to have such a teacher. She also took me from the airport when I returned from Kuantan. From that very day, everytime I take an early flight, my heart is always filled with gratitude and never cease to give thanks to a teacher who has demonstrated to me how easy it is to be humble, how simple it is to be kind. Indeed I am so blessed to have been touched by her.

To me, Ms. Moey has created an infinite influence in just one lifetime. The way she lives her life actually influence me to want to do the right thing - without even realising it. I believe this is certainly the most profound and indelible mark a teacher can leave on a student. And that influence ripples on...

Ms. Moey has always a special place in my heart right from the begining because she didn't just teach me, she inspires me, she has touched my life!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Pictures of the heart

My first week of August kicked off with a big birthday bash for a great teacher and friend Ms Moey, the biggest ever school reunion and my first workshop in palliative care. It felt like going back to school and going back to work again. Of course, the highlight of the week was the long awaited BACK2BBGS alumni.

When one leaves school, one would think a chapter of one's life has come to an end. So I thought.
The BBGS alumni took place on the 4th. of August at the Bintang Circle, Pavilion Concourse where my Alma Mater used to sit once upon a time. It all goes back to September 2001 when she was torn and demolished to make way for the current shopping mall called Pavilion. I remember how BBGSians lamented and made a big fuss over it because it isn't just about saying a simple goodbye. Question like, "with no more school, will the BBGS spirit become a thing of the past?". Well, when I witnessed the crowd from as old as 80 to as young as 20 that gathered at the alumni that day, I instantly know in my heart that the BBGS spirit lives on. In corridors of every heart that she has touched...
For years now, the hazards and the necessities of life have taken us all down to different paths, yet many had taken precious time off their work and household commitment and travelled from all corners of the globe just to be back to BBGS. The feeling of pride in each of us is totally evident and can never be wiped away...
BBGS, we pledge to thee! But then, it wasn't just a pledge. It was this unshakeable feeling of love and loyalty to her that brought us back together, as Miss Moey so aptly mentioned in her speech. It was this desire to still honour and pay tribute to this great school that had shaped our lives. And if there's one thing my parents did right was they sent us (I am so sure my sisters will agree with this too) to BBGS.
One day my husband asked me, "Why? What's so special about BBGS?" It was a place where every student was given a place, a sense of belonging regardless of rich or poor, black or white, race and religion. It was a place where teachers were taught to love, to teach and to touch lives. It was a place where flaunting one's wealth or rank was frowned upon and humility encouraged. It was a place where we learned about love, simplicity and human kindness apart from Mathematics, Science or History. And a million more...
It is the place that taught us 'to bear the yoke in youth with steadfastness and careful truth. To delight in simple things. To forgive freely and love all we take our place as loyal women with our race.'
Of course for me, it is also the place where I met Ms. Cooke and Ms. Moey, both women of substance who had played such an important role in my life till today.
The arrival of our beloved headmistress Miss Cooke. As I stood in front of her to have her picture taken, she waved weakly to me. When I moved over, she asked me, "where have you been?" I was so shocked! "Does Ms. Cooke actually remember me? Maybe especially having built a notoriously infamous reputation with her, I guess it's difficult to escape her memory." But I just didn't know what to say to her, it was as if I had this big lump inside my throat. Ms. Moey helped me and told her, "This is Wai Mun." Even with that, I still stood there, speechless. In the end, all I did was held her hands and gave her a little hug. I don't understand why, but I count myself EXTRMELY fortunate to be able to get this close, while there were hundreds struggling and waiting for an opportunity just to say hello to Ms. Cooke. And that scene have been stuck in my mind for the entire week...honestly, I was just so thrilled!Every BBGSian rose to their feet and stood at attention as we sang the school song with pride. As the anthem filled the entire mall and voices soared in unison, precious memories of the school came surging and I thought for a moment my heart would burst. It was as if we were schoolgirls not too long ago, we sang the school song at our assembly every Monday. Ms Cooke would pace the stage, looking out for anyone who didn't know the school song by heart. Not only that, we had to make sure we shaped our words properly with our mouths or we might end up singing the school song or the national anthem over and over again like twenty times or more!
Reviving the Choral speaking conducted by an old girl Cheong Wei Lin.
Choral Speaking was an old BBGS tradition and trust me, it could only be heard at the grounds of BBGS. I remembered so vividly when Annual Speech Day approaches every year, every class could be heard practising Choral Speaking with utmost religious fervour. We were made to memorize the poem and recite it every day and night until nothing but perfection came out of it. Every pronunciation must be so precise and if anyone burps or sneezes, the whole class had to recite the whole poem all over again. Oh my God, we had so much fun!
Look at these loving hands...How weak and wrinkled they have become! Yet these are the humble hands that taught me, brought me up and moulded me in my growing years. They will always remain precious and special because these are the loving hands that left an indelible mark in my heart and in my life, and they mean the world to me!
Indeed, BBGS had given to me a warehouse stored with rich and happy memories in this lifetime which I will never forget and I will cherish forever.

Monday, August 3, 2009

No distance (markers)

I was still in sleeping mode when the Adidas King Of The Road started at 6.30am. So I decided to just run comfortably as I was pretty much on my own that morning. I had a ball of my time the night before at Ms. Moey's "Soli Deo Gloria" birthday celebration and slept late. I've always love spending time with Ms. Moey and John and I were so privileged to be amongst her chosen guests. It's amazing how once I was just one of her students and not even a good one and now I became her friend.

With some inspiring episodes from the celebration still lingering in my mind, I trotted along with the multitude to run 22.7km. I had no intention of running fast; so got myself into an easy pace and kept at it until I met YS Lee. It was a relief to meet him in a race cos' his pace and mine are rather close; usually with only a difference in few seconds to a minute. As I ran along side by him, he reminded me that the distance for this race is 22.7km and not the usual 21km. His GPS showed that we were only at 6.5km that time and therefore, he advised not to use up my energy too soon. I heeded to it and ran with him for quite sometime until I sighted a few lady runners in front. My legs were longing to overtake them (after all this is a competition). I left YS Lee to pass 4 or 5 ladies and also Patrick Lee.

Then Peter from Klang Pacer appeared out of the blue and he ran some 2 - 3kms with me. As the traffic were rather crazy (despite having traffic police on duty, they weren't very controlling), Peter very kindly guided me each time we reached a roundabout or cross-road. Thank you very much, Peter!

There was not a single distance marker found in this race, so I had not the slightest idea of how far I had actually run. As we were approaching the last roundabout or so, I met KK Onn who told me to chase a Thai lady runner in front. I left Peter to pass that Thai lady and ran all the way until I saw Tesco and a sea of runners from other catagories (11km & 8km). It was also here that I stumbled upon a worn-out Lee Woon Khau and I asked him if he has any idea how far we've run. When he mentioned about 1 to 2km, I tried to surge ahead but alas, the slope towards the finishing was not a short one and I couldn't push any faster than I hoped to.

Passing the tunnel into the stadium always gives me an incredible feeling. I passed by Cheah Mei Mei on the way but she overtook me again 20 metres to the finishing line! I was just seconds behind her and finished at 1hr 59mins. In the name of good sportsmanship, we congratulated each other and headed towards the water station that was overflowing with thirsty runners. I was lucky I managed to hijack 2 cups of 100 Plus.

Well, I guess I didn't fare too badly for a 22.7km and the fact that I didn't put much effort in pushing myself made it felt good. I came in 21st overall and 6th position in the Malaysian Women Open category. But I had the most chaotic time with the prize collection where my patience really stood the test of time. The time took to wait for our prizes were longer than running the half, I leave it to your imagination!!! In all honesty, it was THAT terrible! The past 2 years had been bad...but why must it gone from bad to worse?
Elsewhere, there were a few casualties that morning. Our friend Lian Bee Hoon suddenly fainted at about 300 metres to the finishing but she managed to regain her equilibrium later although it was not her first time. Then we got news that a 22 year old runner by the name of Gary collapsed at the finishing line. He was carried away by the paramedics to the medical tent. Then he went missing. This morning it was reported that his body was found at the basement carpark. I'm confused (???).

I am absolutely horrified by the news. My physician John Lew used to advise me not to run if I can help it (due to my high BP and so on), I know he meant well but how I detested him for saying that. Later, I came to realize that what he meant was actually run if you must, but always listen to your body, your mind and your soul. Don't go beyond what your body can perform...

After spending a few days at the Summer Retreat in Lucky Valley last June, I've learned to run with reverence or for a higher purpose and I'm embracing it. Yes, after 2 months of endless marathons and competitions, our bodies are telling us that they need to rest - so John and I will be taking a break. To our fellow runners and friends, life is fragile - run safely.