All posts by Tharaniya S Nair

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. 😀

Tales from The Jamban

For the first time in almost forever, I had a free weekend to spend as I wish last week. I brought The Little Twin to watch a show in Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (klpac). There are two reasons for this, 1) I have almost successfully turned her into a Potterhead over the past couple of years, so I figured let’s brainwash her into something else I’m starting to like, i.e. theatre shows! and 2) I don’t get to spend as much time with her these days, so I had compensate.

Now, back to Tales from The Jamban. As you may have already guessed (you did right?), the play is all about anecdotes from toilets. The two-hour show featured 10 short plays, all set in different jambans. From severe constipation, loan shark violence, daunting pregnancy test, poop analyser, vandalism and the world famous haunted school toilet, the show had almost everything that you could think of a toilet.

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Some scenes are definitely not U-rated by Asian standards. Some dialogues were definitely racial/religious controversy by Malaysian ideals. Some were even seditious enough to trigger Pak Jib fans, Jabatan Intip Hotel and all the other touchy groups that there is laa. All the more reasons I had fun watching Tales from The Jamban. It’s rare that some of these things are said out loud in Bolehland, so it’s exciting to watch it all out in comedy.

One of the plays was about custom-made toilet bowls for all the races in Malaysia. Malay toilet that could fit four wives and ten children, Chinese toilet that dispenses tissue paper and Indian toilet that comes with a left hand (I had tears laughing by this point!). Although the show was presented in humour, there were few meaningful thoughts. One of it is to look beyond racial and religious constraints. ‘No matter what race we are, we all shit the same. It doesn’t matter!’.

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I thought the final play of the ten was the most brilliantly thought-of. It was about a tourist having to choose between 5 different toilets, each who claimed of greatness and benefits. On the hind side, each had their own demands. One which demanded 5 poops per day and a big one on Friday, another which demanded only vegetarian poop on some days, and others which demanded poop in moderation (not too much, not too little) and on Sundays in particular. Did you figure yet? So yea, this is why the show could be potentially offensive to touchy people. In the end, the tourist found out that she had another choice, which had no demands.

My only regret was that I brought a 14-year-old with me. She seemed to enjoy the show, but I was on the verge of blindfolding and plugging her ears in some instances. I really did not want be the one explaining what happened in the toilet during break time after two men saw their sexy colleague walking by in short dress. Sound effects did not help at all. I sat in the front row poker faced. *awkward pause*

You could still catch the show on 31st March 2017 and 1st April 2017 at 8.30 p.m. Tickets are priced at RM 43.00 each.  You can either purchase the tickets online here, or at klpac’s Box Office counter on the day of the show.

Experiencing Disney Magic #disneyonice

Back when life was all about reading Peter and Jane books, and bugging my Acca for a mug of milk in the middle of the night, I also had another obsession. Cartoons! Disney cartoons to be precise. I have always been one of those kids who got excited over anything Disney. Amma even bought a  set of original Disney Princesses books with four story books (which got passed down little cousins who ruined the set years later..  I was heartbroken!). I wasn’t that excited for the Princesses, but I was just amazed by the stories. Which explains how I sometimes still am delusional/day-dreaming semi-adult.

So, when I used to see the Disney on Ice ads on newspapers, I used to go puppy-eyed asking my parents if we could go. Spending RM100+ for a 2-hour show never appealed to them . Once, when I was in primary school, I participated in a writing contest in Kuntum magazine (do you guys remember Si Pintar, what was he, a bee?). I won! And the prize was 2 tickets to watch Disney on Ice. Unfortunately, Acca has to attend a meeting somewhere, and I did not go. I cried myself to bed.

A couple of months ago, I received an email with a subject ‘Staff Discount : Disney on Ice‘. Oh yes baba (ooppss)! The Mister did not need too much convincing, almost no convincing, I must say. Within the next day, I had the tickets. For the next two months, I was excitedly looking forward for the show. The day finally came last Friday!

The show started with Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy in the quest of The Greatest Treasure in The World. They found a book of clues with all the different Disney stories like Lion King, Snow White, Toy Story, Finding Dory, Aladdin and Frozen.

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My top 3 favourites were Lion King, Aladdin and Frozen. The guy who played Genie had so much hip-hop swag, and he did great! Scar scenes from Lion King was oh-so-intense, with all the red lighting to match. Frozen was unbelievably magical with the effects on the ice rink. Elsa and Anna floated so gracefully on ice.

My verdict is… THE SHOW WAS AMAZING! It was grand, magical, nostalgic and everything Disney was, is and will be! If you follow me on Snapchat, you would’ve watched my Snap stories filled with snippets of the show. These pictures does no justice to how fluidly the actors skated so beautifully.Too bad, I can’t upload any videos due to plan limitation of my WordPress account (hmmpphhh). The only downside was the price of merchandises and food during the event at Stadium Malawati. Parents with little children probably had multiple holes in their pockets for that Olaf mug filled with shaved ice. RM50 yo! Even the popcorn was RM3o. The Mister and I had sausage in bun (wieners? what’s the name?) for RM16 each.

Otherwise, it was a great show! I enjoyed it thoroughly. I am really really glad that I fulfilled Little Thara’s dreams. She’d say, Heeeeeeeee!

P/s: Mickey and friends later found out that The Greatest Treasure in The World is LOVE! Awwwwwww… Faster, say Awwwww!

5 Tips to Survive Your First Day

Even after surviving a series of first days in kindergarten, two schools and two tertiary institutions, I found myself turning and  twisting in my bed on the eve of my first day at work in Pichonkun’s. I started having jitters and felt sick to my stomach as I reached the security post to register myself. You see, the downside of having a chattery monkey mind is that I always end up having wave of thoughts when something major is about to happen. I didn’t want to mess up, I had all these expectations on how well I’m supposed to do, also I kept playing the guessing game of how it’ll be like working there. I sorta panicked!

I blamed myself for wanting to be an adult all the time. It happened! Clearly I wasn’t ready for this. C’mon, I was a 23 year old whose parents had just dropped her to first day of work. I took a deep breath. I got this. So, this time, despite the nerve-wrecking description as above, I had a plan in mind.  So, here are few things that I consciously (if you’re even slightly paranoid like me, you’ll tend to be extra self conscious)  did on my first day :

1. Keep a notebook in hand (at all times)

First day mean lots of new information. Unless you’ve got excellent memory enough to win IQ contests (which I obviously don’t), it’s always good to have a notebook to write down anything and everything. Although I probably did not need to know the size of bolts used in an air-conditioning unit, I was glad that I wrote down some of the other useful things. Also, if you like me, have tough time matching names with faces, it’s good that your write down the names of people you meet. I wrote notes on their work stations or some ‘descriptions’. I think this time I remembered more people faster than during other times.

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Or you could try hard to peek at their name tags the next time. 😛

2. Ask questions

A lecturer once told our class, ‘Don’t make assumptions and make ass of yourselves!’. As much as we are all told to make assumption in Engineering schools, it is not a very wise thing to do in life. If you’re doing on-site tasks, it is even more undesirable to assume things. You wouldn’t want to lose a finger just to avoid looking stupid for asking a question. In most places, people are more kind to newbies, they’re happy to explain do’s and don’ts. Sometimes, what you may think is obvious may not be. If you’re in doubt, ask!.

3. Leave your expectations 

Just because someone you know has gone to this place before, and has shared their thoughts with you, don’t expect the experience to turn out the exact same for you. While it is always good to refer to someone to gain information, it’s not very advisable to have preconceived notions before you have experienced something yourself. Your circumstances could be different. This place you’ve heard not-so-nice things about could turn out to be awesome, and another place where your senior seemed to be so happy be at may not be a great place for you after all,. So, wherever you go, on your first day, go with an open heart. Expectations could damage your morale.

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4. Smile.

Smile. You don’t want to come across as snobbish. Some of us *clears throat* do not have pleasant rest face. I’ve even stood in front of mirror trying to fix my resting face (okay, now you can forget that you ever read that sentence!). If you work in a place where everyone wears the same uniform (like I do), it takes time to recognise the bosses. During my first week, our GM actually sat in the same aisle as me for lunch, and I had no idea. High chances that my rest face didn’t give very good first impression. People notice the newbie. It’s always good to nod and smile as you see strangers along the way. You get to pick one, either be the budak baru sombong  or budak baru yang senyum tu. If you’re the latter, chances are you find your job easy in future.

5. Take Initiative

During my internship, I learned one important lesson; don’t expect people to teach you every thing.  I have heard of my peers and seniors who took pride in doing nothing much during internship, because their bosses were too busy to entertain them. When you’re not being assigned to anything within a week, you should take initiative. Browse through the PC at your work space. Read the available documents (SOPs, policies, working instruction), basically anything and everything you have access to. It is not a good sign if you’re sitting there doing nothing.  You can always ask your colleagues if you can help them with something, or if there’s something you could do.

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When you leave a place, make sure you gain something.

It’s now been three months since my very nervous first day at Pichonkun’s. Safe to say, I survived. Coming to think of it, it feels all funny that I was even that nervous. But it’s always like that, isn’t it? We all have anxiety and stress when going to a new place.

If you too are anticipating for your first day soon, keep the above in mind. 😀 Good luck!

4 Resolutions I Always Broke

I’m amongst millions of people on planet Earth who thinks it’s imperative to write down my resolutions as the new year dawns. Some years, I even plan weeks ahead, strategizing my resolutions, planning how in the upcoming 365-ish days I will become this person worth being a TEDex presenter. I soon came to realize how some of my resolutions were repetitive year after year, reflecting how ‘progressive‘ I was. New year’s resolutions can be likened to making babies; it’s easier to make them but keeping up with them could be the exact reverse *awkward pause*.

This year, I resorted to analyse why I keep breaking these few resolutions of mine, and attempt them in a different approach. Here’s the final results of my analysis :

Resolution #1 : To lose weight.

On the first week of the year, I will browse through every weight loss article online, trying to plot my way to be Deepika Padukone look alike within 3 weeks. Then, I tell myself that next week I’d start running 5 km daily, eat healthy, reduce carbs and etc. I once ate mashed cauliflower for a week, eventually when life got busy, I ended up munching on potato chips for lunch. I never did ever get on the treadmill.

Lesson Learned : It’s a PROCESS. Start slowly, but be consistent. Eat healthy and work out to your capacity. Do some research to help you through the journey. Like the one below, not very community friendly though.

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Okay, well. Not all sources are as trustworthy. 😛

Resolution #2: To be part of the 5 a.m. Club

This one has been on my resolution list since I was 14 when I sat watching The Opera Show on TV. On the show, they discussed about successful people who woke up early in the morning and how it led to their success. I have my alarms set to ring from 4 a.m. just so that I could snooze every one of them and go to bed. Some days when I’m on my disciplined mode, I used to wake up at 5 a.m., revising, reading or writing. This too usually does not last. On the days I had to go to bed late, I console myself to tarnish my 5 a.m Club attendance.

Lesson Learned : I think this was on my resolution list solely because I thought it’d be cool if I was in the 5 a.m. Club. I wasn’t really convinced about this theory. Yes, it’s always a good thing to follow the leads of successful people. But, if you do not truly believe in something, it’s not worth pursuing. In 2017, I’m not carrying on with the 5 a.m club resolution.

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Important question before resolution.

Resolution #3: To be happy.

Well, I am a happy person. I have not faced great tragedies in life. But, I always wrote this on my resolution lists because I thought I needed black and white announcement to myself. I never scratched this one from the list every single year I wrote it. I kept believing better things will unfold as the new year comes.

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Some days of the month makes it all more complicated.

Lesson Learned : Resolutions needs to be clear, better if measurable or quantifiable. Happiness is an ongoing process that has no deadline. This year I resorted to listing down all the important things in my life, making a mind map to what I wanted to accomplish for every one of them.

Resolution #4: To make the scar on my forehead fade.  

I think my parents are most concerned when this resolution never get crossed year after year. The scar on my forehead is self-inflicted. If I were to say that it’s skin picking disorder, certain person would roll their eyes saying that I am developing the scar just so that I could tell this cool story. *rolls eyes* But when you’ve been doing something for almost all your life, it’s hard to stop.  I pick on my forehead when I read, write, study, sleep or when I’m just bored or zoning out.

Lesson Learned : Bad habits are hard to break. Very hard, may I add? But it’s not impossible. Quoting my skin doctor, “You just need little bit of cream and lots of discipline.” I am currently making the best progress ever that is even surprising to my parents.

So, learning from these four recurring resolutions, I think I made better resolutions this year. Hope this helps you to reflect on some of your always-broken resolutions (opppss! if I am the only one with broken resolutions). Do comment below on some of your resolutions, or how you broke or achieved your 2016 list.

*raises imaginary glass for all your resolutions (and mine) to work this year!*

Why 2016 Became My Favourite Year?

It’s that time of the year when there’s plenty of reminiscing and memories-videos popping up on your social media feeds. As a self proclaimed word bum, it’s my utmost pleasure to help you spend your last day of the year reading this post, although you’re actually not bothered at all how my year went (heeee. Thank you for reading this though. Yes, you!).

So, 2016 tops my list of favourite years ever since I came into the world, kicking and crying (1994 is a close runner-up because I probably was a happier person when I slept 15-16 hours a day). Here a list (duhhh..) of why this year is my all-time favourite, some of the lil things, some of the major ones :

1. It’s been a good year for me academically. I scored my highest GPAs during my final year.

2. I graduated with my favourite set of people.

3. I read complete set of John Green’s (and while I could’ve bought the books in local bookstores, I had the books imported for me all the way from Goa and Sydney).

4. I also crossed another item from my bucket list (big shoutout to Keshy a.k.a Thenmoli, Seko and Lotus) – this should be left unelaborated.

5. I drove a car with no supervison beyond the boundaries of my taman. I then became the proud owner of red Cliff (everyone should name their car, no?)

6. Crossed another item on the bucket list, which is to purchase a blog domain.

7. I started with my first ever real job.

8. I had the best last days in campus, unexpectedly (thank you for relentlessly dragging me out of my room and driving me around, Keshy, Vimmy, Shaavesh, Vinod and everyone!)

9. It’s been two awesome years of Woofness.

10.  It’s been a year of plush toys gifts. I don’t remember having many plush toys as a kid. Now at the ripe age of 23, I find myself sleeping with a team of plushies. 

I am thankful for the beautiful memories this year gave me. Thank you to all souls who have been part of my happy journey in 2016. To all my kawans, who always have the kindest, most motivating words to tell me (you know who you are), lots of love to you.

Let us all look forward to a better 2017. Wishing all my readers the best of everything and strength to face every challenge that life has in store for you. 😀

HAPPY NEW YEAR, y’all! 

Gingerly Heaven – Teh Halia Titiwangsa

While the Malaysian hipster café scenes are becoming increasingly famous and Instagram worthy, there are old-fashioned, simple hawker stalls that still attract many customers. One such hidden gem is Teh Halia Titiwangsa, which is a little tea stall located in Jalan Pahang, Kuala Lumpur. My father used to bring me here whenever we had to run errands around the area. He’s been a satisfied customer of this stall since his early working days.

It is an understatement to say that this stall serves the tastiest ginger tea in Malaysia for only RM 2.70 per cup. Its owner, Subramaniam Govindapillai, better known as Uncle Subra, has been serving his special ginger tea for about 28 years now.

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Uncle Subra single-handedly brews every cup of tea that’s ordered in this stall.

Besides its famous teh halia which is an absolute pleasure to one’s senses, the stall also serves assorted Malaysian teatime delights such as curry puffs, nasi lemak and pulut panggang (grilled glutinous rice in banana leaves).  These snacks are perfect compliments for the spicy hot ginger tea which is brewed to perfection. I prefer having my cup of ginger tea with plain bun dipped.

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Memories from childhood, no? Plain bun dipped in hot drink.

Unlce Subra says he uses about 300 kg of ginger on monthly basis. Besides serving his loyal customers, he also receives orders for different events around Kuala Lumpur, sometimes up to 5000 cups. Despite being in the business for many years, Uncle Subra has not put up any signboards for the stall. He solely depends on the reputation of his tea and recommendations of his always satisfied patrons.

Another special element of the stall is its setting that encourages people to make conversations and forge new friendships over a cup of spicy ginger tea. If you are up for a change of setting from the oh-s0-famous cafes, or looking for a place to have a classic teh tarik session, this is the place to go.

Teh Halia Titiwangsa operates daily from 2.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m., only closes for Deepavali.

Caution : Be ready to brace the hot Sun if you intend to go around 3-5 p.m. 

Location on Google Maps : Lorong Titiwangsa 5, Jalan Pahang, Titiwangsa 

This article was originally written as submission for The Star’s 45@45 Giveaway contest.