Thursday, June 6, 2013

Veronika decides to die - Paulo Coelho

We should have been a little madder.  I thought I was mad enough. But maybe in my search of madness, I’ve drawn walls so high, my madness has become an illusion of security.  What I really wanted was on the other side.  Not to have the strength of an independent rebel but the fragility of a child who wants to be part of others and for others to be part of.  Such madness I’ve built that I have been blinded and celebrated it as uniqueness, a feat that only a brave lone soul could victoriously enjoy.  Imprisoned by this concrete castle of madness, I’ve disabled judgment and criticism or even when they come, they should bounce off nonchalantly because they didn’t matter to me.  I am not the criticism of others and I have no ears for that.  I was drowning in my own mirage of perfection.  No wonder success evades me for I have not known how to turn love into blessing, the art of getting rid of bitterness.  Happiness is the absence of bitterness.  How could someone who has everything and owns anything the heart desires, surrounded with beautiful people, still fall into depression?  They call it low-level serotonin but in fact it was a poison more venomous than all venoms, more toxic than all toxins, so unassumingly named Bitterness.  A destroyer of passions, an anesthetic of feelings, a murderer of dreams.  Bitterness has caused my fear of failure deeply underestimated as I continue to spiral into a frenzy of indecisiveness and confusion.  I was so afraid of goodness and light, afraid they will deject me when I finally make friends with them.  I would not allow myself to a sliver of possibility that my old wound from years of abandonment could be cut open.  I’d rather bleed profusely and go to bed, unawake forever.  This fear which gripped me so greatly that when I let love in, I disarmed it in case it crumbles my wall and throws off my routine.  As such I began to understand that excessive fear is an imbalance, I’ve been hoodwinked into believing in my nonexistent equilibrium.  I’ve been against the law of natural change for the longest time and my soul is desperate to be set free.  My eyes opened, my hands agitated to deconstruct this illusive dark palace that I’ve named Dignity which such pride, in there I sought not comfort but solace for so many years.  I am tired now.  And I’m ready to leave and live.  Madness is not lost of control.  To control is madness.

Paulo Coelho is a genius, nothing short of artful brilliance.  Buy.

I Have a Strategy (No You Don't): The Illustrated Guide to Strategy - Howell J. Malham Jr.

One of those easy books to understand the definition of strategy as there are simple explanations and illustrations of different case studies from everyday situations to big political decisions.

What I got out of it: A clear definition of strategy and how to illustrate it in your work in a simple manner that should tie all loose ends and put everyone on the same page.

What I didn't get out of it: Some of the 'jokes' and how to design sound strategies.

This book provides an easy framework if you need a guideline to help simplify things at work but you know what they say: Garbage in, garbage out.  So at the end of the day, you still need to be able to think both strategically and creatively on your own to fulfil your intended purpose.  It does help though to have a format which you could easily translate the bits and pieces of your thoughts into one coherent argument that puts everyone on the same page.  Great especially if your strategy needs to be translated over and over again to different stakeholders.

It's definitely a good to know :)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The letter.

Dancing in the rain,
I taste these droplets so divine,
Knowing you are near,
Though I am so far behind,
I rushed home, I need to,
I desperately struggled for the next breath,
I shut the world away from me,
I met my silent death,
And suddenly, appallingly,
You pulled the strings,
The curtain of darkness fades away,
I utter in disbelief of the joy your world brings,
My hands trembled,
They shook,
Longing for another to comfort me,
Something in me ran wild,
I can't control it anymore so I let it be,
Just be.

Circa September 2001

Thursday, October 25, 2012


I dreamt of seeing the world,
Crossing oceans and venturing the unventured,

Dreamt of power,
And empowering whom I love and had loved,

Dreamt of naked trees,
Waiting to bloom, slender branches stretched and curved,

Dreamt of you,
The beautiful you, affection undeserved,

Dreamt of me,
My curious soaring dreams,
Yet here I am,
Rooted to the earth,

Circa September 2001

Sunday, October 14, 2012


As tears fall silently,
My smile rushes through the capillaries from my heart,
I craft your silhouette,
Moments slowly part,
Paint your face with pallets of rainbow,
Your eyes piercing through mine,
I pray and hope your love will show,
Angelic rays shining aligned,
I have loved you,
Through words and words alone,
Hanging on, today I still do,
Feelings unspeakable, untouchable, unknown,
Cries, they fall into the depth of silent night,
Glimmer, a mix of sadness, joy and purity,
I rather have one moment and lose my sight,
Than forever breathing in this insanity.

circa September 2001

Saturday, October 13, 2012


You promised we will sit all night in the park,
I went there but you never came.

You promised we will watch shooting stars,
I laid awake but you never came.

You promised all things nice and sweet,
I waited with patience abounding,
But you never came.

You promised we will be on top of the world,
I wanted so much too but you never came.

You promised you will handle me with care,
I was ready but you never came.

You promised a million words,
I listened with my heart,
You promised to bring me with you,
I packed my hopes,
You promised the world,
I was ready to embrace,
You promised to dry my tears,
I let it all fall,
You promised to be there,
I went searching,
You promised you won't break my heart,
I took the risk,
But it was all the same.

circa Sept 2001

Friday, August 24, 2012

Yasmin How You Know: An unfinished tribute to Yasmin Ahmad.

I've only had a brief encounter with Yasmin.  Okay, no, make that TWO brief encounters.  The more memorable one was when I was a junior planner and was so smitten by the Petronas ads she wrote, I couldn't resist but hunt her email down and wrote to her.  I did not bother with classy opening paragraphs.  I immediately jumped into my curiosity.  I told her how amazing I think her ads were and specifically: How do you write like that?

To which she replied (after a very polite Thank You): From the heart.  And perhaps that was one of the single most career-changing perspectives I've ever experienced.  The thing is, it's such a simple truth that in retrospect, it just seems stupid for anyone to NOT know.  Well, I was stupid then.  And complicated.  If you have experienced a tiny spark of brilliance in pulling something simple out of your innocent advertising mind but crossed it out because you feel someone would ridicule you or try to back-rationalize it till it sounds complicatedly intelligent, then my friend, you're like me.

And sometimes, honest truth, I still do that.  This is a vicious industry because it isn't like sales nor production where calculations are tangible and goals are in black and white.  This is an industry that needs to not just make money for ourselves but for the clients we are accountable to, using highly intangible emotional play.  Truth be told, no one in the boardroom will ever know the exact outcome till it's out, isn't it?

I've never met or heard or read or come to know a person quite like Yasmin.  Leafing through pages and pages of her tribute from her colleagues, friends and families; one thing for sure about this woman is her genuine consistency.  She has no second approach to anything.  Just one: Love.  With a dash of humour, just to lighten tense situations up.  And a LOT of logic.  I can't name and/or recall any figure in the industry as important and pivotal as her.  And it ain't just coming from me, as you may account in everything everyone says about her in this imperfectly perfectly bound pages.

So, fast forward a decade now.  I realised that that one email has impacted my life more than I thought it would.  Because since then, I've always written from the heart.  Maybe not for everything.  But for everything that has meaning to me.  Writing to friends, family, loved ones, writing my heart out, campaigns that matter, work that matters, projects with high resonance of personal passion.

And I will be an observer of humans, sensitive to emotions and keep writing.