Archive | Ponderings RSS for this section

Approximately One Year and A Half Later: Mubarak Finally Sentenced

I’m not sure what exactly drove me to write this post. Suddenly, after reading a post entitled ‘Life is Just a Bowl of… Tart Cherries’, I suddenly felt compelled to write about Hosni Mubarak’s current situation. I don’t think that there is a particularly close relationship between cherries with Egypt or Mubarak or the revolution but whatever. Or perhaps its because of my highly enthusiastic observation during the original revolution that got me writing about this particular topic again.

Tart Cherries

Do these things have anything to do with Egypt and Mubarak?

As most of my close friends know, I was highly passionate of the Egyptian revolution when it started on the 25th January 2011. I was a Malaysian living in Malaysia yet somehow followed the revolution day by day until it ended after 18 days of protest. I even got one of the articles I wrote about the revolution published in a magazine called ‘Milenia’.

Even before the revolution started, I had always read about war stories and I had always admired those historians who go at great lengths to record the history of the wars so that people won’t forget them. Seeing a conflict ongoing live on TV was perhaps what made me wanted to document everything so that I could someday ‘publish’ my memory of the revolution. But alas, I did not record everything but hey, at least I got one article published.

English: A Egyptian football player kicking Ho...

Mubarak didn’t actually leave office until the 11th February but you get the message.

Two days ago, I had heard the news that Hosni Mubarak is finally sentenced but not to death as most people predicted but by a  lifetime in prison, which is not that long considering he’s really, really old. Appearing solemnly in court, he was a different man than Saddam Hussein long ago. I had always compared Hosni Mubarak to Saddam Hussein and I expected their behavior in court to be almost alike but it was not.

Whereas Saddam was still energetic and had yelled like he was still the ruler of Iraq, Mubarak was less discrete and looked defeated. He was indeed an old man and old man don’t do much. In the end, his sons were free after cleared of bribery charges and Mubarak is going to prison forever for ordering the murder of protestors during the revolution.

English: President George W. Bush and Egyptian...

These times did happen before. Never again…

Needless to say, people were not happy. Last time I checked, people went to the streets demanding that he get the same treatment that Saddam Hussein got, death by hanging. People are not very forgiving. I heard that Egyptians are especially a rough bunch and hated just being pushed around by normal people. But they were lied to by the leaders that they had trusted to manage their country. As a result, they were poor people who lived along or below the poverty line everyday. So it came to no surprise that people didn’t like what Mubarak got.

But still, he’s an old man. He may have done some crime but did they think that the court would sentence a man so frail to death by hanging? That would be even crueler and would show the wrong message to people of other countries. That temporary action may have gotten those protestors support but it won’t take long for people to realize that the court is stooping to the same level that Mubarak had once.

Português: O presidente do Egito Hosni Mubarak.

He was never the same man again…

Whatever I have written is purely my own opinions. I do not endorse nor do I not-endorse anything that has to do with the politics of Egypt. I’m just writing.

Advertisements

Mind Lapses: Brilliant Yet Dangerous

First of all, I would like to point out that I have no certificate or whatsoever in psychology, neurology or any other thing to do with the study of the brain and its function. But I’m one heck of a debater. Sorry, just wanted to slip that right in. Anyways, my point is that whatever I am writing, I am writing purely of opinion and my writing is anything but scholarly. It is purely for pleasure and perhaps for the mind stimulation of my readers.

Daydreaming gentleman in 1912

This image actually has nothing to do with this post. I just thought it was creepy.

Now, referring to my title, what are mind lapses? I know not of the scientific term for this ‘phenomenon’ but in simple terms, people will call it daydreaming. Yes, what I have creatively named  as mind lapses is just daydreaming. There is a reason for that which I will touch on later.

Now, what I will be telling you is based simply on my own experiences and I do not know if anyone else have these ‘phenomenon’. If you do, feel free to comment below.

Why I can my daydreams as mind lapses because while I daydream, my mind will be ‘transported’ and will go ‘somewhere else’. No, I am not experiencing a spiritual phenomenon or even extraterrestrial. My mind likes daydreaming so much that it pretty much escapes from whatever I am doing. As such, I sometimes forget what I was doing and most of the times, my eyes go out of focus as an effort to focus more on imaging my daydream. That’s why I call them mind lapses, my mind simply becomes some sort of blank, thus creating lapses in my mind.

Now, keep in mind that my theory may or may not be true but the circumstances of these ‘mind lapses’ are true. Sometimes, these lapses become so serious that my focus are diverted from whatever it is that I am doing. But luckily, these mind lapses are short in time. It usually lasts a couple of seconds before I realize that I was just daydreaming. But even a few seconds are vital when driving and I do, I repeat, I do have these lapses during driving. They are dangerous as hell.

Whatever you readers may say, whether I am just over reacting or I am just having a simple case of extreme daydreaming, it occurs enough in my head that I felt the need to write this in my blog in the Ponderings section. But hey, I may name my ‘condition’ as mind lapses but even I know that I am just daydreaming, heavily.

Oh, and about the brilliant in the title, I sometimes love these mind lapses because it solves problems. Like, seriously. Things that I have been thinking or trying to solve for a while are magically solved with my brain during my lapses. Is it a gift, a health hazard or just creative daydreaming? You decide.

Added Writing: I just saw some recommended tags and it said mind-wandering. Maybe that’s also what my condition is but point is, it distracts me too much that I lose focus from whatever I’m doing. Dangerous mind-wandering.

More Added Writing: As I was editing this post, I thought of a theory to my ‘phenomenon’. What if I was time traveling? That’s plausible, right? I’m doing something, have daydreams that resemble the future and then continue what I was doing slightly further in time. Time travel, it explains everything!

One Week After: Chelsea are Kings of Europe after Prestigious Double

There are numerous reasons why I haven’t written anything about the Chelsea victory over Munich exactly one week ago but I won’t elaborate any of the details. Instead, I will tell you about my experiences during that Champions League final.

Chelsea are playing virtually away. Munich on their home soil. Tickets are sold equally but you know that the Bayern fans will cheer louder. Meanwhile, I was in Malaysia waiting for the match. The time is 2.45 am. Another 15 minutes and the ceremony will start.

At that point, I kept thinking about how crazy Chelsea’s season had been. At the start, people were talking about Andre Villas-Boas as if he was a new transfer player. Then there was the streaks of wins and defeats under Villas-Boas. Chelsea’s defense crumbled under him. Every game won must have at least one goal conceded. Then rumors of the Chelsea Old Guard unrest. Lampard is rumored  for a January transfer to Manchester United. Then there was the Carling Cup elimination by the hands of Big Four rival Liverpool. They will later win the Carling Cup. Then, there was the threat of FA Cup elimination after drawing with Birmingham at Stamford Bridge forcing a replay at Birmingham’s home. Chelsea was slipping down the Premier League table. Then Napoli delivered the final blow. At Italy, they came from behind to beat Chelsea 3-1. Only three teams have overturned two goal deficit in the Champions League. Under Andre Villas-Boas, it seemed unlikely that Chelsea would be fourth.

Andre Villas-Boas, perhaps the worst man for the Chelsea job. He was good at Porto, brilliant even but he was way, way to young for Chelsea. And he was way, way too oppressive. And he was way, way too funny on the sidelines. I mean, look at him!

Chelsea’s season is over. Pundits said that this will be the worst Chelsea season in the Roman era. Changing managers had been a bad thing to do. Chelsea were not consistent. But Roman heard none and sacked Villas-Boas in the threat of Champions League elimination, a trophy he so desperately wants. But he had spend a fortune on Villas-Boas who delivered results like Shevchenko and Torres. A third name would join those two in infamy, Villas-Boas. To save money, he gave Villas-Boas’ job to his assistant, Roberto DeMatteo. He was a Chelsea player once and won the  FA Cup with them but as a manager, he did not shine.

Villas-Boas and DeMatteo could not have been any different. Whereas Villas-Boas was overly confident and quite a drama queen on the pitch, DeMatteo was cool, a man of few words and had only reacted when he needed to. In times of crisis, it turned out, DeMatteo was the man for the job. His coolness and respect for the team was exactly what Chelsea needed at that time.

The coolest Chelsea manager, hands down!

“There will only be one DeMatteo,” that was what the Chelsea fans chanted by the end of the season. They were correct. What DeMatteo did was nothing short of a miracle. He won it on Birmingham soil. He overturned a two goal deficit at Stamford Bridge. He won 10 of his 11 matches. He was DeMatteo. A man who put on a poker face on the field. Whenever someone scored, he just kept quiet, smiled and waved his index finger around. Totally different from Villas-Boas who imitated his mentor Jose Mourinho, yelling and jumping around when a goal came.

Look how relaxed DeMatteo is among all the shouting Chelsea players. He’s totally cool about it, perhaps because he has already won this cup before. Or he’s thinking about the Champions’ League final. I think its the latter.

And before anyone ever knew it, Torres scored a goal against Barcelona under DeMatteo. THAT time he showed emotion, not to mention Gary Neville as well (you know what I mean). DeMatteo first won it against Barcelona and drawn them afterwards. And at Wembley, for two games DeMatteo had the help of the Wembley Expert, Didier Drogba. He and Chelsea had long considered Wembley their second home which made people think: “Why haven’t the seats at Wembley changed to blue yet?” Under DeMatteo, Chelsea has won another FA Cup, their fourth in six years. Talk about dominance. And they went to the final beating Tottenham by scoring five goals. At the final, they beat Liverpool with two goals. Blue vs Red, Blue won.

I didn’t have that flag but believe me, I cheered!

It seems that this year was the Year of the Blue. As I sat down the television at 3 am, I was wondering whether or not Blue will win in another Red vs Blue final. First half, there was nothing much to show. I haven’t slept till that morning, I drank a couple cups of coffee and Chelsea was being assaulted. I was alone at home and I was glad. There were cursing, they were kicking and there was shouting, lots and lots of shouting. Half time, I relaxed my vocal chords.

Then the second half. My eyes were wide. Chelsea were defending. I cursed. Then at the 83rd minute, Muller scored an easy one. I cursed and cursed. I stood up and didn’t sit down until the WHOLE game was over. I was jumping, cursing, willing Chelsea to score. And during Chelsea’s second corner kick, that miracle happened. Drogba, now Chelsea Legend scored the equalizer.

Didier Drogba, a Chelsea player, a man, a legend!

I shouted like crazy. Yet I knew that it was not over. For the next half hour, I have never cheered for Chelsea as hard as I did then. There was shouting and jumping and also kicking. That was what you needed to know. Robben had a penalty after Drogba fouled him in the box. I cursed, thinking that the Legend has became our destroyer. But then, Cech somehow saved it under his crotch. That was amazing. And before I knew it, it all came to the penalty shootout.

I wanted Chelsea to win. Penalty was all luck and skill. But stats were favored towards Bayern and even the commentators had said that when it comes to penalties, Germans have that nasty habit of winning it all. And queue the short nightmare for Chelsea fans.

Not only did Lampard wanted to shoot at the Bayern fans goal, but he gave Bayern the choice to shoot first. But little did we know that Lampard would only assist the drama. Lahm went first and scored. Mata went next and missed! What!? Did the commentators words would become reality? Gomez went next and scored and Chelsea changed gear. They were focused. Luiz was up next, a surprise considering that he missed one against Genk in the group stage. He scored. And then Neuer scored. “He saves and scores them,” said the commentator. The night’s captain, Lampard went with power next and scored. And then, Olic went up and can you believe it? He missed! Ashley Cole was pressured but he scored a brilliant penalty, one of the best I’ve seen. “That’s a brilliant penalty, by the way,” the commentator praised. At that moment, it was tied 3-3.

No man was more disappointing on Chelsea’s night of glory than this man. Bastian Schweinsteiger survived an early yellow card only to lose the game by his penalty miss.

Then came Schweinsteiger. He won it against Real Madrid in the semis. He must score now, right? Fate didn’t think so and by the slightest of touches from Cech, it deflected on the post. And quickly after that, Drogba’s figure loomed in front of the goal. He was composed. He was carrying the teams hope on his shoulder right now. A goal would ensure victory. But Drogba didn’t rush. He took his time, made Neuer sweat and with one of the most easy-going penalty ever, he scored. Neuer went the wrong way. I bet even Drogba didn’t expect that because he was crying and showed a face of disbelief. After eight years with the club, he has finally won it a Champions League.

Eight years with Chelsea and countless hardships including a red card in another final in a CL Final in Moscow, Drogba has won it for Chelsea!

Happy players, happy fans. That is what a club should be like.

But sometimes, things don’t go like you want it to. In the beautiful game, there is a winner and a loser. The winner doesn’t necessarily have to play beautifully. The winner is the one to adapt and prevail. Bayern didn’t adapt.

What happened after the penalty shootout was a mix of pride, adrenaline and tears. The game ended about 6 am in Malaysia and I didn’t sleep till 8 am. And that was not the coffee working. That was the adrenaline. Adrenaline and pride didn’t allow me to sleep. Instead, I kept thinking and thinking about Chelsea and how proud I was of them. Finally, a star above our logo. Proof that we are Kings of Europe. Shame that Drogba could not wear that kit next season.

His dream fulfilled. After nine years, Roman Abrahimovich has finally won a CL trophy. Now, about the appointment of DeMatteo…

Under the Roman era, this season was probably the season that people least expected Chelsea to win a cup double. I call this double the Prestigious Double. We were six in the table. We didn’t win the Carling Cup. Instead, two of the most prestigious trophies there is, the FA Cup and Champions League trophy were ours.

DeMatteo delivered a miracle, perhaps the best in Chelsea history.

So, did Chelsea play beautiful football? No, they did not. Did they have solid strategy and immense luck? Yes they did. Did they deserve to win? That is up to opinion but to me, after that hellish season, they deserved to win. But, quoting the words of pundit Jamie Redknapp, this Chelsea team has defied logic this season time and time again. Chelsea did defy logic this season but by doing that, they won the Prestigious Double. The future will be tough for Chelsea without Drogba but at least Torres is staying. Whatever happens, for now, for the present, we know that Chelsea are Kings of Europe. We know that Chelsea has won the Prestigious Double! Our boys have kept the Blue Flag flying high!

Hopefully, we can count on Torres next year to replace that leading role Drogba has left open. Support Torres!

Images courtesy of Chelsea Newsletter.

Forty Years After: Remembering The Godfather

I first watched The Godfather when I was 14 years old. I still remember that night. There was a trilogy screening on cable. The trilogy will be showed back to back from 10 pm until 8 am. I watched the first film out of curiosity. I had always heard that The Godfather was a good film so I tried watching it. To my surprise, it was very good. So I stayed and watched the second film. Halfway, I got sleepy. It was three in the morning, so no matter how good a film is, you must feel sleepy at some point. But for The Godfather, I stayed. I boiled some water and made instant coffee, two times. That made me stay awake until eight. By the time 8 am came, I was tired and quickly fell asleep. Thank god it was a holiday so there was no school.

After watching all three films back to back, I slept with only The Godfather in mind. In my dreams, I was Michael Corleone, son and successor of the Corleone Family. But in the dream, I didn’t kill people. Far from it, I made peace. But hey, it was a dream after all. No one said it had to be logical. I still don’t know how all the Five Families made peace with me in the dream but because I just watched three Godfather films, the dream of being Michael Corleone was truly vivid. When I woke up, I was scared. I didn’t want to be Michael Corleone.

Read More…

Prompt: Brotherly Love

Henry woke up with a sudden jolt. His eyes ran wild, scanning left and right but all he saw was darkness. Where in the hell is he?

His eyes adjusted slowly to the darkness. He could make out shapes now, there were pillars, lots of them. He looked above him, more pillars and even horizontal ones. He touched the ground, it was dirt. The ground was rough and cold. He sighed, mist forming in an instant. It was winter and Henry was freezing. He didn’t have his jacket with him. A couple of hours here and Henry would freeze to death.

He stood up and looked around. Henry had a good idea where he was. He was at a construction site, that much he knew.

“Henry!” a voice yelled out in the distance. Squinting, Henry could barely see a figure running wildly towards him, emerging from the thick winter’s mist. It was his friend, his classmate Max.

“Max, you’re here too?” he asked.

“Do you know where we are, Henry?” Max asked, gripping Henry’s shirt frantically, demanding an answer.

“The hell I know,” he answered roughly. “This is a freaking construction site. That much I know.”

“How did we get here, Henry? I don’t remember a thing!”

Henry visualized his final memories before he got here. Blank. He was the same as Max. He didn’t have a clue how he landed in this place.

“I don’t remember, Max. I seriously don’t. All I remember is us and Michael going back home and then… That’s it. That’s all I remember.”

“Me too,” Max said, his voice slowly trembling. He was going to cry.

Henry slapped Max in the face. “Keep yourself together, Max. Are you a man or a woman, huh?”

“I’m sorry,” he answered, slowly returning to his senses.

Read More…

One Year After: Always Stay Strong Japan!

I planned to post another chapter of Dangerous Creek For Balls today but I stopped when I looked at the date, March 11th 2012. That’s right, its been exactly one year since the 2011 Tōhoku Earthquake and Tsunami that resulted in a nuclear meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan. One year has passed and Japan still stands strong despite all odds.

The Great East Japan Earthquake or the 311 Earthquake was memorable to me because of the scale of it and the gruesome images I saw. I still remember tuning in the news, watching those mud waves ravage countrysides like they were a piece of butter that very day. People died that day. People who had a future and people who had a role to serve in this world. But all that ended that day for those people and the people of Japan grieved in unison.

But in adversity, heroes were brought forward. The Fukushima 50 stayed behind to make sure that the people of Japan did not survive a tsunami to die in a nuclear meltdown. They endured and saved countless lives that day. They were true heroes, a symbol for Japan to move forward and to endure in face of adversity.

Read More…