Things That Annoys The Ikan Out of Me

Have you ever been in a situation when you simply wanna run your car over someone or you would just want to put a knife through someone’s gut? Okay, not so violent la . But, most of us have those instances when tiniest of things would annoy the fish out of our sane selves.

You see, as much as I’m not a very choosy or particular person (I’m very low maintenance like that laa),  I’m so easily annoyed that I can even write a blog post out of it. So, here it goes, some of my pet peeves, which you possibly (hopefully) could relate to as well :

1.Indecisiveness

It usually starts with ‘Where to eat?‘, ‘What to eat?‘ then to “Where to sit in the restaurant?’. Inside my head, I’m basically restricting myself from turning Hulk. I hate it when I have to walk 6000 steps before deciding on a makan place. I’d get silently very annoyed if people weigh their options too long (my time frame is 10 minutes max), before buying something. Although I almost always regret buying things without much consideration, I just don’t like when someone get too analytical before they buy or do something.

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My alter ego : Dey, just pick one! Please!

2. Mistake of Race, Religion, Ethnicity, Language

Ignorant Person A : Eh, you Malayalee right? Don’t celebrate Deepavali ah?

Ignorant Person B : I’m not Chinese, I’m Christian.

Ignorant Person C : My uncle’s neighbour got married to an English woman last week. I’m Eurasian now.

Ignorant Person D : You know how to speak Indian ah? Yes, I even speak tosai and chutney. 

To the above people, sorry, but you should’ve paid more attention to Standard 2 Moral Studies. Not too late, still can use Google to find out about these.

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It’s not rocket science is it?

3. Basic Linguistic Mistakes

I get very annoyed reading when  the words like you’re, your, life, their, there, they’re, live, life – are used in the wrong context. You see, I’m not like the Goddess of English Grammar (I judge correctness of language by how it sounds, if sounds okay means correct la). But sometimes it’s like people don’t even bother to correct themselves with these words. Another thing that annoys me is when UTPians type/write University Teknology Petronas, or Universiti Technology of Petronas.

TOLONG LA! It’s Universiti Teknologi PETRONAS or Universiti Teknologi Petronas. Simple, right? If you insist to translate a proper noun, then I’d humbly like to request you to translate your Indian name in English and Malay respectively. Can ah?

4. When The Mister is Happy* (whilst I’m not having fun)

Yes, you read that right. You see, I’m generally a very nice person *clears throat*. Unless you’re my boyfriend and you’re having fun while I’m busy getting my assignment done. It makes me oh-so-annoyed, that I’d turn into this girlfriend from hell.

Okay, maybe that didn’t come across too well? Let me put it like this. When you’re really really attached to this person, you tend to think that your life is integrated with theirs. Which means, if you’re up all night studying, you’d expect him to live the bore life too? I’m being overly honest here, aren’t I? Fine, I’ll say it. I kinda get annoyed if people have some fun without me. *pulls up blanket to hide the shame*

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When I’m not in the Happy Equation 😛

5. People Throwing Rubbish Out of Their Cars

If only I had the courage of a knight, I’d chase down every idiot who throws rubbish out of their vehicles whilst on the road, and knock them on their dumb heads. But like a true millennial, I don’t try to act heroic and all. I just tweet and whine about it on social media.  But like WHY! Can’t you wait till you reach your destination before you throw that tissue paper? Would that McDonald’s take away bag bite your ears if you kept them in the car before throwing into the dustbin later?

I don’t know why, but it’s almost always people with the more expensive vehicle who’re throwing rubbish out of their cars. I see it almost daily in MRR2 on my way to work. You idiots are one of the reasons of flash flood (but you, the one who’s reading this, I’d never call you an idiot, no! heee..)

As I sat down to write this, I thought I’d never go past #3. But here I am, full of emotions, actually feeling all the annoyance as I type this blog post out. Looks like my list of pet peeves is longer than I thought. Other things that annoy me include :

  • When people think I won a technical essay competition because my ‘English is good.’ or that I got an A for projects/reports because my ‘English is good’. Boo you for saying that to me! My heart cried a little, you know.
  • When people don’t let an immature driver like me to switch lanes

I think I’d better stop now before my keyboard gets annoyed with intense typing.

So, could you relate to any of these at all? Do let me know in the comments. 😀

Credit : A tiny part of the content of this blog post was the brainchild of The Mister who’s the future author of a possibly bestselling book entitled ‘Ultimate Guide to Annoy Your Girlfriend’. 

A Letter to My Younger Self (s)

Dear 4 Year Old Self,

Remember that night, when we were in the car heading to grandparents’ in Bahau. You were fast asleep in the car, when the Acca suddenly pressed the brake. You fell down, and hit your face on the car seat, and you cried in pain. Acca said,  a cow drove recklessly. You just nodded, and sat through the rest of the journey imagining a 4 legged animal driving a red car. A driving cow made your lips bleed.

No, Thara. Cows don’t drive cars. And the Moon doesn’t play hide and seek with you.

Dear 8 Year Old Self,

Remember that girl in school everyone made fun of, because she wasn’t quite right in the head? You too, did the same. You used to walk away if she sat somewhere near you inthe canteen or assembly. You thought she smelled funny. You even laughed about it with your friends. But she was always smiling, greeting everyone. Until, one day, she just wasn’t coming to school anymore. Teachers said she shifted to a different school, with a special class.

A few years later, you’ll see her, clad in secondary school uniform, walking with her mother by the road.  She smiles as she walked by. You sat in the car, with heaved heart and teary eyes. She was just trying to make friends. You should’ve been nice.

Dear 12 Year Old Self,

You thought you had it all. In fact, you felt superior to your peers. You were the school topper, Head Prefect, and you knew that the 2005 Tokoh Pelajar Award had your name written all over it. You enjoyed being in the limelight. And you just knew, you were destined for bigger things.

You didn’t know then that all the medals and certificates you took pride in would mean nothing to your purpose in life. And do not lend your books, especially Harry Potter to others! It’s funny how you were so clueless, yet confident and snobby.

Dear 16 Year Old Self,

By now, you learned that the world revolves around everything, but only you. When you get your exam results, you convince yourself, if you could do this good even without even trying hard, imagine what could happen if you worked as hard. That’s your recent area of expertise. To convince yourself, to come up with reasons and excuses. You aren’t doing as good you ought to, but you aren’t doing bad either? You had great friends, you were in the Top 10. You’ve still got some limelight, although you’re not in centre stage.

You just know that if only you put in some work, you’ll ace many things in life. Well, lemme just tell you, you never got around doing much. Neither did you become a freelance writer, nor did you become a Toastmaster. Nope, not even a scholarship. Maybe, I was meant to be just an average kinda person? Good bye, 12 Year Old Thara.

Dear 20 Year Old Self, 

One day, the only friend from school that you have on campus told you, ‘You’ve changed ahhh’. You used to put yourself first, before anything else’. Her words would be a knock in your head, how you used to love yourself. You would never do anything to harm/hurt your precious self. But you chose to ignore, just brushing off her comments. You just chose to not see things as they were. You got name called behind your back. People were talking. You were just not bothered. After all, they don’t know what was the real situation.

You were just covering up with other good things. You had just won a national competition. You were reading more than before. Your grades were falling, but you could do better if only you tried right? Just so you know, you were wrong. You should’ve listened to your sane self. Oh, and that boy who bought you soup noodles when you were sick? He will mean more to you, than just a friend with car.

Dear Me-Now,

Every bit of experiences you’ve had, has made you the person that you are now. That said, none of those define who you will be as a person. Maybe it’s time you dig up all your To-Do’s and little projects you had in mind, and get started.

No, you don’t need 12 hours of sleep on the only weekend you’ll have off until the semester’s over in January. You got this, girl!

5 Things to Expect This Diwali

I had just finished a meeting at 5.15-ish on Friday evening, when almost all the bosses rushed out of the Conference Room, speaking of kacang putih. No, you did not read that wrongly, it IS kacang putih. If that wasn’t weird enough, at 5.30 p.m, our PA system blasted Naan Siritthal Deepavali. At this moment, I had simply wanted to bury my head somewhere (you would too, if only you have the lyrics figured). The Little Thara in me finally kicked out of slumber, feeling all excited. It’s Diwali in a few days!

So, what more apt than a blog post to kick start the beginning of the festive feels. Here’s a list of things you should/could expect this Diwali :

1. Deepavali versus Diwali

As a matter of fact, this is something you could expect every single time. Deepavali OR Diwali? It’s fine either way, guys. Although since Primary 1, we were all taught that it’s Deepavali, Diwali is fine too. It’s just the same with colour and color, British vs Americans. In our case here, South Indians vs North Indians. Blehhh..

2.  The Muthusamy Karrupiah Ad

Ever since Petronas came up with this advertisement, it has been one of our favourites of all Deepavali ads. Years passed, and yet, this advertisement always creeps out of hiding to entertain us all during Diwali celebration season. No doubt, you’d also see it again this year. Do me a favour, will you? Don’t just scroll down if it appears on timeline, watch it once again, okay? Because sometimes, we all need a reminder to be proud of who we are.

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Once, the most popular Paati on TV.

3. Jimki Kammal Themed Boomerangs OR Pictures

I’d even bet my fat tummy on this, that you’ll definitely see at least one (or more) Jimki Kammal themed boomerangs/pictures on your social media. As much as jimkis or jhumkas have been worn over decades/centuries ago, it’s only after this year’s Onam, this piece of accessory gained immense popularity (it might even be popular than some of our representatives in parliament). God bless all good souls who are about to be victimised to get just the right Boomerangs this Diwali.

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I’d better start practising the head move before the big day.

If you’re one of those katak di bawah tempurung who has no clue at all about what’s this even about, just please! It’s a catchy song, which is in trend. *hint hint*  You should watch one of the many versions, but this is the original version here.

4. Food in Hall

If your mother has attended the Indian Amma’s Convention (most likely, she has) , food in the living area is a big No-No. The only time where you get to keep the snacks within reach of the comfy couch is during Diwali. You get to munch on your favourite Diwali snacks, while watching the many shows on television. This could even go on for a week if you’re lucky.

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While Amma worries about crumbs on carpet..

5. Noisy Nights and Free Fireworks 

It’s apparently a tradition these days to have fireworks during Deepavali. I don’t remember seeing so many fireworks going at once as a child. It’s rarity back then when fireworks were only for Hari Merdeka and New Year’s Eve. These days, my father doesn’t purchase even the smaller firecrackers. We simply grew out of it, I guess. So, for a few years now, I just go to my parents’ room and watch fireworks from the entire area. It feels magical for the first 10 minutes, then it gets slightly louder. By the time it’s 1.30 a.m, I consider calling the police to whistle-blow on my neighbours. Psssss.. It also causes air pollution.

As much as I’m heartbroken about thinking of my not-so prosperous angpau collection this year (apparently working adults who are still kids at heart do not deserve money packets), I’m still as excited. For the food, and simply the joy of festivities.

Happy Deepavali to all! May this Festival of Lights bring you all glimmer and shimmer that you need in life. ❤

Turning 24

Note: Blogging since 2008, and I’ve never written a birthday post for myself. So, this is pretty much just me talking to myself. Psssss.. I’d let you listen too. 

On the eve of my birthday, I laid in bed just wildly imagining if my life would take a drastic turn as clock ticked to mark my birthday. You see, as much engineering school teaches one to think with logic and facts, I sometimes (okay, more times that I’d like to admit la) fail at it. I’m one of those delusional types who let her mind wander nonsensically, and reading fictions has only worsened it. I diligently set my alarm at 6.15 a.m., so that I don’t miss out on the exact moment I turn 24.

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This is how I pictured myself waking up, turning 24 and all, you see.

The alarm rang. It was dark, and nothing seems to be happening. I rubbed around my to find my glasses, because maybe my poor vision was distracting that ‘something’ from happening. I put my glasses on, and still, nothing happened. I just twisted and turned until I was completely awake. And then reality hit me. I was taking this little game far too seriously, wasn’t I? It really didn’t mean much, to want to be awake at the exact moment I turned 24. I just shook the thought out of my mind, quite literally so, and resumed my slumber.

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Pictured above is a hidden camera footage of how I fell back to sleep.

Reminiscing all the above after about 2 weeks since it happened, it dawns upon me how much I’m still so same and different at the same time. I still make up little pretence games, get paranoid over unanswered phone calls (limited persons only) and tear up when I’m actually angry. But, I’ve also changed so much!

10 years back, I was at least 15 kilograms lighter, and thought I’d never grow my hair beyond my collar (so that I won’t have to tie it). That obviously changed, because, now, I am at my (psssss.. *whispers*) heaviest weight and longest hair ever since Amma pushed me out. I’m far more emotional these days, when back in the days, I couldn’t care less. I used to have many friends, but I barely made an attempt then. Now, I sometimes make an attempt, but I have far less friends. What used to be limitless hopes and exciting dreams are now trimmed bucket lists, hidden somewhere in a box on my bookshelves.

Okay, maybe this all sounds too miserable now. I’m actually doing fine. It’s just that all the birthday game got into my head a lot more than little. This is simply a self reflection. A reminder to myself to stop spending too much time with my BFF whose name is Sleep. To those of you eavesdropping, let this string of words remind you how all those dreams and hopes you have for yourself still could happen. You just got to start doing something. Even if it means writing a long blog post that probably wouldn’t even mean much to others.

P/s: The last time I saw myself in the mirror, I still don’t look like Rihanna. How long you reckon the full transition will take? 

Birthday Special : 12 Random Things About Rice

I’ve written a Birthday Shoutout for this person a couple of years ago, on my old blog. I would’ve conveniently recycled that post (it’s been appearing on my Facebook Memories all day!), but since I’m expecting this person to invest in my dream ‘Reading Room’ and gastranomy adventures, I shall spend some time to write this la kan. So, on the day The Mister turns 24, here are 12 random things about Rice *drum rolls* :

  1. He might vomit if you asked him to blow a balloon. It’s VERY amusing to watch.
  2. If he’s down with flu, he does not blow his own nose because he finds it disgusting.
  3. He is one tough critic when he is proofreading essays and writings.
  4. He sings absolutely EVERY song that there is with the wrong lyrics.
  5. You should never ask him to pick a restaurant (or you’ll end up walking kilometres before you could start eating).
  6. If you asked him to cast actors for a movie, he’d choose the darker shade for the villain role (Okay, let’s not make a big deal out of it la?)
  7. He used to play with imaginary sharks, because he found it more amusing than playing with other kids.
  8. He gets annoyed with hot weather, excessive whining, certain tone of speech and harsh English words spoken by me.
  9. When he retires, he’s ought to write a book entitled ‘1001 Ways to Annoy Thara’.
  10. I’ve not met any adult who can speak gibberish as fluently as he does.
  11. Two years passed the previous blog, and he still needs his Mum and Aunt to clip his fingernails for him.
  12. Some days, he gets into this Strict 90’s Parent mode, and goes on lecturing me in oh-so-uncle-ish ways.

That’s twelve completely random things that you probably don’t even want to know about Rice. As I write this post today, I am genuinely feeling grateful that life has crossed my path with The Mister (you could gag, if you want to from this point forward. Heeee..) I’m probably extra extra nice due to hormones and it’s his birthday.

Happy Birthday Mister!

I wish to be bugging you with lame games, lots of questions and stories for decades to come. Thank you for being a very responsive human diary, even if that sometimes ends in tears and phone hangs. 😛 Thank you for being quirky, humorous and sensible all at the same time. With this, we will end your birthday celebration and forget that I owe you gifts. Heeee..

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I have to recycle this picture, though! 😀

4 Things I Miss About Campus Life

Having an entire week off from work (thank God for maintenance shutdown) actually makes me feel as if I’m on a semester break. Those were the days when I sat at home, with lots of To-Do items and lil projects in mind, almost never executing any. Those were the days I zapped mindlessly from channel to channel, and had nothing to look forward to (except results and traumatic course registration, of course). I’m not sure if it’s a blessing or curse that The Mister is easily annoyed if I lived a sloth life. Hence, *drum rolls*, here it goes, four things I miss about campus life inspired by The Mister’s #throwbackThursday and reminiscence.

1.Being My Own Boss

In campus, we planned for dinners and suppers past midnight with no second thoughts. There were no strict curfew. There were no guilt if you went out for movies every week. Now that I’m back in the Nair household, I’d get 5 calls after clock ticked 9 pm. I reached home at 11.40 pm last week only to find my father fast asleep on the sofa whilst waiting for Baby to back *oopsssss*. Father just looked at me, then his phone, and said, ‘I don’t like this.’ I quickly ran upstairs (silence is the best strategy, ladies and gentlemen). You see, my parents don’t forbid me from hanging out, but it’s all way too exhausting when you have to rush back, and wish to be honest (but you can’t). This is already starting to sound like I’m a bad child, I’ll stop it here. I love being home and all, but, I miss late nights and early mornings. 😦

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2. Food, Food and Food

I used to complain A LOT about food while on campus, but I take my words back now. It wasn’t too bad actually. Since graduating, I’ve not consciously enjoyed National Chinese Breakfast Day (which is celebrated every time I crave for Tronoh aunty’s noodles, if you’re wondering). Cafeteria at my workplace could never possibly match Choy Pin lunches. That late night roti banjir with kari campur, that I always asked for tapao. Mi Sedaap from Rahman for teatime, or that shawarma I used to walk all the way to V4 for. On my lucky days, I get egg tarts and tau foo faa from Ipoh. Oh, and how can I forget the nasi lemak from V4 with squared papadoms (Yes, I have a thing for papadoms!). I miss how after tests or major presentations, we go in convoys to makan sessions. If I were to ever visit campus again, I’d write down a list of these, and make sure I don’t miss any!

3. Lazy Days and Randomness

If I were to plot a  pie chart of the distribution of all the things I miss about campus life, this would probably have the biggest percentage (no shame, sloth life is the best life!). Waking up late in the afternoon, binge watching on television series while munching on cereals with my legs up on the table,  late night conversations with the roommate and listening to her singing same lines of a song for an entire week. All these  definitely made life more bearable than my ordinary work weeks. We shouted by the lake (something I’ve been wanting to do since Foundation) after prayers in Tronoh temple. We drove aimlessly and ended up in Teluk Batik. We drove aimlessly and ended up in Ipoh, the other time. Actually, what I miss the most is, piled up clothes on my bed and feeding myself fat with junk food. Nobody really cared back then.

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4. Humans of Tronoh

Okay, so this is a little hypocritical of me to say. I’m such a douche when it comes to keeping in touch (and all of my close crackos are too, coming to think of it). Some days, I miss friends who used to be around me. I’m putting the blame on adulthood exhaustion that I don’t usually text or call up someone when I miss them. Back in campus, when you miss someone, you could just walk and knock their room doors. In most cases, you met them too often that you want to shut the door and pretend to be asleep (no, I’m kdding). Colleagues are fun people, but a good catch up with college friends is something that I want these days. The reminiscence gets really critical sometimes that I’d hope someone would actually tell me to wait at the V5 palang to go for dinner.

I have come to a conclusion that campus wasn’t the worst of place to  live in after all. All that ‘Can’t wait to be out of jungle‘ talks was pointless. This is a oh-so-cliched graduate who is shamelessly confessing that she’d travel back to campus had she a time machine. To those of you counting your days to leave campus, DON’T! Cherish your time there.

Tales of WhatsApp Groups

Let me begin with a hypothetical question.

If you were told that you could only keep 1 app and delete the rest on your phone, which app would you choose to keep?  *clears throat, refer title above*

I’m going to assume that all of you said the obvious answer in your mind (How many of you lazy bums did not even think? pfffttt..). So, yes, WhatsApp is probably that one app you’ll choose to keep. Yes, I’d even bet my fat thighs that everyone has WhatsApp groups which they are both willingly and unwillingly part of. So, here are tales from different WhatsApp groups. 

1. Extended Family Groups

You and I know that there’s a solid reason why people no longer choose to stay as ‘Kuttu Kudumbam‘ (joint families). Because, when there’s too many nosy aunties, know-it-all uncles and touchy cousins under the same roof, it’s not good for the family. So, the modern version of joint families are family WhatsApp group with about 20-30 members. It’s like having to attend a family reunion DAILY. I’m not saying that family groups are synonym to dramas, bickering and annoying sarcasms all the time. But when such occasions arise, it’s very damaging to spirits. People leave the group, and then get re-added. People send sentimental quotes and videos directed to a certain somebody. People sit and check who’ve read the message they sent and yet said nothing.  There’s a second group created to exclude the black sheep. There’s plenty going on. It escalates from Hum Saath Saath Hain to WWII (War of Quotes & Lengthy Messages) real quick sometimes.

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At the end of the day … *sings I love you, nananaa *

C’mon. I can’t be the only one who has muted the group for a year, never downloaded any of the  good morning messages with life quotes. Admit it, you!

2. Parents’ Reunion Group

God forbid that your parents have reunited with their Standard 6 classmates  on a WhatsApp group *plays friendship song BGM*.  This  sentimental reunions spark a walk down memory lane. In the first few weeks, it’s really very exciting.  Members of the group diligently look for old photographs. They recall memorable (often funny) anecdotes from their younger days. Even if you’re just a secondary member (like me, listening to my father listening and replying voice notes), you tend to feel the fun of it all. It’s like watching ‘Autograph’ movie first hand in real life. After a few months, number of active members slowly reduces. But then, there’s this uncle who refuses to give up. He sends voice notes mentioning every member of the group, calling out to them to reply, every single day! Another aunty who’s always asking what everyone else is up to on a weekend. Then, there are requests to send latest pictures with spouses, with children. Sharing of a viral video, and inviting everyone to share their opinions. All in VOICE NOTES.

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When Dad plays all 3705 voicenotes on a weekend..

3. Abandoned Groups

These are probably groups created in the past for assignments, projects, birthday planning or events you were a part of. For some weird reason, nobody left. Nobody sends any messages, but it’s just there,  with members whose names you’ve probably even forgotten by now. How many of these groups do you still have?

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4. BFFs Groups

This is that group which has different names every other week. Probably one which you spend most time scrolling through. One that is fed with screenshots from Facebook & Instagram posts, gossips, insults and is possibly named as Bat Boys. Opppss? This is that group that your boyfriend keeps replying on your dates. One that makes you so curious so as to what they discuss. Okay, enough of mockery. So, this is the kinda group that keeps you sane, and probably the only group you’ll sign up for if you had a choice at all. See, at least there’s one group that worth not muting.

5. ‘Noted’ and ‘FYA’ Group

So, this is the group with your boss and colleagues, where it’s mostly boring work stuffs. Sometimes, you notice the message coming in, and choose to not click it open in fear of what awaits. This is that group which one cannot mute. You have to think before sending a reply. If you’re too quick to reply, that kinda shows you’re on your phone A LOT during work hours, and if you don’t reply that shows you’re lacking ownership towards a task, It’s a sticky situation if you actually think of it. Mostly replies are standard ‘Noted’, ‘Okay’ and ‘Thanks’. Okay, well work groups aren’t so much misery as I portray above. Discussing lunch plans, and potlucks are fun too!

So, that’s the end of it. Tales from 5 types of WhatsApp groups in our daily lives. Hope you enjoyed reading.

Psssstttt.. You also did mute that group, didn’t you? 😛

First Job : Expectations vs Reality

This week marked my seventh month on my first very ‘real’ job after graduating (if you don’t count my Dobby moments in the Nair household). I finally got my permanent name tag instead of the laminated ‘Probationary Pass’. I had my salary adjusted for confirmation. I undoubtedly learned more things in the past seven months than I would have in two academic semesters. So, what brings me to write this is the monkey which lives in my mind, constantly creating problems and stirring thoughts. So, here it goes, expectations versus reality of my first job.

1.Trust me, I am an engineer.

Graduating from one of the top engineering schools in the country, surviving through lots of projects and papers, 8 months of internship (mine was 9 months, mind you, because my supervisor loved me plenty and asked me to extend, and later enslaved me with documentation for that extra month), I thought I finally was ready for work. *Too long of a sentence, that I missed my point there.* So, the point is that after graduating, I kinda thought that I am finally this engineer who’s ready to take on the world. That little bubble I was in got crushed soon after. When a 56 year old operator uncle with less than high school qualification explains about wastewater treatment processes to you, and you’re trying not to look too confused, that was the end of ‘Trust me, I am an engineer’.

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My first job has taught me that to trust myself as an engineer takes years and years of experience. Trust me not yet, I am learning to be an engineer.

2. I will be rich. 

When I was younger *clears throat*, I used to think that engineers earned a lot. During  final year, in that annual career fair, they distributed a book, ‘Salary Guide in Malaysia 2016‘. I merely rolled my eyes as I saw the figures, thinking graduating from a school with wild boars, pontianaks and drugs would land me higher income anyways *insert haha*. Well, news! That salary guide happen to be true. PTPTN started sending blackmail emails. I had to pay for that red car that brings me around. I decided to continue with school. I have to pay RM 5 for company’s Sports Club. On my first payday, I was happy.  I splurged on myself and others. These days I just watch my bank balance shrinking within 4 days of payday.  I’m  caught between saving and spending. I’m not poor, no. But I kinda thought I’ll be richer?

My first job has taught me the truth behind, “You’ll only know the value of money when you start earning it yourself”. Yes, guys, Amma is almost always right.

3. Pursuing Passion

I wrote a complete list of what I wanted to do after graduating.  From dance classes, to picking up my bow and violin again, to learning new languages, freelance writing, teaching tuition classes, and list goes on and on. What really happened was, I got home from work, showered and slept before 9 pm. The last time I completed a book I picked up was in January. I slept at any chance I got. I can sniff your mockery, Rice! Well, it’s a bit unfair for me to say that my first job made me lose my passion. I also have an equal share for procrastination and being lazy, I must say. It’s just that 9-5 drains me both mentally and physically. All I want to do is to hit the bed at the end of the day. In the past week, I’ve been improving slightly, solely because I have no other choice.

My first job taught me why most adults become boring people. They are just tired. If I wanted more out of life, I must stop whining and work for it. 

4. I’ll be lovin’ it.

What do engineers do? Wear coveralls (I have a thing for coveralls, idk why!), work on site, do calculations and stuff, right? Some days I spend hours to decide on where to strategically locate all the tong sampahs in Operations area. I spend hours preparing slides for presentation and writing summary reports. On my lucky days, I get to learn about processes and think hard about improving environmental performance. Some days, I lie in bed dreading as I watch the alarm ringing. On Sunday nights, as I iron my uniform, I mourn for myself. Am I going to be doing this for the next 30 years? The idea that this is the person I am going to have to be taunts me. Is it the same in other organisations or am I the unlucky one? I don’t know what seems to be the problem, me or my job, or both. And then, out of the blue, some days I just wake up excitedly for work. It’s like my mind zaps from one channel to another. It’s probably symptoms of quarter life crisis. One day, I blurted out to my uncle, ‘You told us to study hard to land a good job. But look at me now’. He answered, ‘You have a good job. I don’t see a problem’. I just kept quiet, rethinking my life choices.

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My first job has taught me how much I should have appreciated campus life. You see, no one could thumb in on your behalf on your bad days. You just have to suck it up and turn up for work. 

This piece is vastly inspired by my current phase of life, obviously. I don’t mean to state that your first job would be a grief (I’m not even sure if mine is, actually). Some people seemed to be genuinely happy. Whether you love it or don’t, just remember it’s just a phase. Try to learn as much as possible, wherever you are.  We will all see better days. We will, right?

Confessions of a Confused Feminist

Disclaimer: This post DOES NOT speak for every lady out there. I’d be thrilled if you find it relatable (High five!), but to each, their own.

Weeks back, it was International Women’s Day. So, like every other celebrated days, there were plenty of posts about women in general. Some of the posts about successful women and their stories were definitely inspiring. One word that kept popping was ‘Feminism’.

You see, as much I used to think I was pro-feminism, I was also a hypocrite. Often, I thought that I was on the opposite lane of feminism. Or, was I even confused about what feminism really was? So, here’s a confession piece of a girl, who’s torn between believing in feminism, but also is partially confused about the idea.

So, let me begin what I think is feminism. Feminism, as I believe, is believing in the rights of women, without any discrimination. Feminism seems to be associated with women who are strong, independent, invulnerable, ready to take on the world. I have the highest respect for women like Oprah Winfrey, Michelle Obama and many more who’re extraordinaires. But, what about us, the ‘ordinary’ girls/women?

The Confusion

When there’s a heavy chore to do, or there’s this shady crowded place I’d want to go, I look for my father. When I dress up, I’d secretly expect compliments. When it’s that time of the month, and I feel all grumpy and emotional, I’d expect The Mister to tell me the nicest things and ‘let it go’ if I tried hard to pick a fight. When my cousin brother visits us, I always washed his plates after he has eaten (and I know that I wouldn’t if he was a girl, instead). Weirdly, if he was around whenever I got back from campus, he carried my bag up to my room (note the fact that I carried it down 3 floors in hostel, fine by myself). When I interned in Moo Town, I was the only girl in Production Department. The operators and technicians basically pampered me through internship, even helped me if I was transferring items using a pallet truck. I loved receiving real gifts from The Mister and cheating him with handwritten/drawn notes and cartoon.

I was enjoying the privileges of oestrogen. Does that mean I’m less feminist? 

God forbid if a man has catcalled a woman, or insulted her. He’s dragged to the road and judged upon. But we did ask for equality, didn’t we? We thought that a girl being able to utter F*ck and swear in public is an accomplishment. Why can’t we deal if a man used another swear word against a woman? Boys do that all the time, don’t they?

But no, they can’t do that, you say. Because you are a girl. They should respect you. 

The Misconception

Feminism is not about being able to walk with your multi-coloured bra strap seen through your tank top. I don’t understand this particular idea of modern day feminism. Does it really matter? If I preferred to not show some skin/cleaves, am I any less feminist because I’m not loving my body enough? Am I supposed to be less vulnerable or emotional in a relationship? What about abortion, it’s women’s right, right? Does running without a sanitary pad/tampon during menstruation prove a point about the period stigma? These are all the questions that I have asked myself. Honestly, I still do not  know if I have the right answers for the above questions. But I have a message, both for the ladies and the gentlemen who’re reading this :

Ladies, 

Feminism IS NOT a Boys versus Girls fight. Feminism IS NOT about being independent of men. Feminism IS NOT about bra straps. Feminism is you believing that  any woman deserves the kind of life she wants, anyhow she wants to live it. Feminism is you respecting another woman, regardless of her life choices. Feminism is you giving yourself and another woman the benefit of doubts whenever the situations arises. 

Gentlemen,

Do not deny the ladies in your life the simple pleasures of using you (that’s a little bit one-sided, I know. heeeee…) Okay, seriously, do not tell them to stop doing something just because they’re girls. Don’t make us choose between what we want and  what is ‘conventional’. Also, would you please read One Indian Girl by Chetan Bhagat? If you’re one of those lazy types (see, I’m allowed to stereotype here), I’d make life easier for you, by quoting one of my favourite lines from the book:

“Women want to fly and we also want a beautiful nest” and she asks them earnestly, “Do male birds tell female birds to choose?” – Chetan Bhagat

Okaaay, so this got a lot longer that I initially had in mind. So, that’s pretty much it. Do comment on what are your thoughts about this, I’d love to hear (read them, actually). 😀

3 Reasons Why Online Articles Are Actually Messed Up

Well, it’s a lil hypocritical and ironical that I’m also telling you how online article are messed via an online article, but you wouldn’t roll your eyes, would you? We are forgiving netizens, aren’t we?

So, what inspired me to write this piece is that abundance of online articles on Facebook and Twitter these days. Abundance doesn’t even do justice to the number of articles appearing on our feeds these days. Perhaps like “bagai cendawan tumbuh selepas hujan“? (Suguz would be proud of me if he read this!). I used to be a junkie who clicked open almost every article I saw on my FB and Twitter feed. How do you resist if the title says, “22 Things Every 22 Year Olds Should Know”.  As it is, I was absent when the “How To Survive Adulthood” reference book was secretly distributed (Please give me a copy if you have it!). I definitely wouldn’t miss these free life consultations, eye opening advice that this writer who has a Sports Science degree is going to tell me.  Right?

Wrong! Not too be brutal to these articles or anything, but sometimes in midst of us indulging in these articles,but here are 3 ways how online articles are actually messing up our lives :

1.Expectations

When you read an article about ’10 Ways Real Man Treats His Girl’ or ‘5 Ways If You Are Dating The One’, it subconsciously messes you up for worse. You read that fifth sentence and it says, “He shares his food with you.”. You pause staring at that line, and try to recall if bae had shared his favourite mutton briyani with you. And you start panicking! He ate up every grain all by himself.

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Definitely failed Item#5 of Bae For Life checklist. 😛

Oh, no. Now you go on to the next point, it says, “He always plans for your dates.”. Another bummer, you were always the one who had to plan on where to go, what to eat. So, is he The One? *sends link of article to bae, for reference* 

Subconsciously, the next time you go out for a date, you insist to go his favourite restaurant just to see if he offers you a bite, (he would if he had read that article), but if he doesn’t that’s a big No-No because Item#10 on that article said that, “He would genuinely care to open every link you send him.”

2. Fitting in Moulds

If you are like me, an almost horoscope addict, you would also find articles like “ How Every Zodiac Sign Ruins Their Own Life Without Even Trying To” or “5 Things To Be Aware if You are a Virgo”. You don’t think twice and click it open. It has a list of how, based on your horoscope sign, you would potentially end up in poverty if you aren’t too careful. Or how your personality should be determined by your birth time. As much a I am fascinated with reading horoscopes, I find that these articles are somewhat stereotyping. Most of these articles tend to pre-define how a set of people are.  These articles create a mindset that we all belong in groups, in clusters. And that we should exhibit the same characteristics. We aren’t chemical compounds, for God’s sake. You and I don’t have to belong in a group, just because we have the same horoscope sign or because our parents are Asians. We are all different, that’s the beauty of us, no?

3. Bandwagon Syndrome

This is generally related to keeping up with the trend. Well, it’s no harm that we are want to be dressed in a trendy way, or eat at that famous choc-yucky place. What could do worse damage is trying to keep up in life, as what’s trending. 10 years back, being a founder of start-ups and travelling were not the measure of happiness. In recent years however, it seems like we can only be happy if we quit our 9-5 job and travel the world. Online articles definitely is one of the culprit that somehow keep pushing people into these preconceived notions. Am I supposed to be less happy because I have no grudge about my oh-so-boring 9-5?  Like I said in the above, we all have different preferences. How does that articles even warranty your happiness if you quit your job, and decide to be a full time blogger, in hopes to receive free Pampers samples for your unborn child. (Okay, you probably had to read twice to get that! :P)

While some of us may claim that we are all adults, and how we don’t live by every little piece of information  we see. But, I really do feel that somehow, when there’s plenty of articles, and every single one of it says almost the same kinda things, you start doubting yourself. I have to also shamelessly add that, I too read these articles and smile sheepishly when I see something that matches. But, it seems like writers are desperately out of content, because more and more articles are purely nonsensical. If a writer comes up with things like “Things Your Ex Was Afraid to Tell You Based on Your Horoscope Sign“,  you know how these people deserve the Balderdash Award. Let me not even get started with those articles with misleading titles (such cheap trick to get people to click on them!). The once-upon-a-time glorified internet, is slowly turning into a trash can we have to scavenger through to get some valuables.

Do comment on some of the worst things you have read online. We can share a laugh. 😀