Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I Met a Herbivore!

I had the fortune to be invited to a farewell B-B-Q party yesterday. The occasion? Jai Harpalani is finally leaving us and returning to a sorely-missed place called Dubai. I used the word "fortune" because it was not your typical B-B-Q fare since I had my fill of oyster mushrooms and corn-on-the-cob. And as Jai would have put it, vegetarian food is not only simple, but also nutritious and healthy. I must confess that I am a carnivore (surprisingly, my teeth wasn't gnashing at the thought of meat yesterday evening), but after last night, I must admit too that vegetarian food is alright! So I must thank Jai (he is a herbivore, isn't that right?) for this introduction and especially, his concoction of salt, curry powder, and lemon juice to be had with the common corn-on-the-cob. When I had my first bite, I thought it was "uncommon" (to put it politely), but when I progressed into my second corn-on-the-cob, I could happily describe it as "unique" (this was a tad more positive). And by the time I was into my third corn-on-the-cob, I was (dare I say it?) relishing it even. So, thank you, Jai! And Jai, if you read this, thank you for your friendship, and ahem, keep reading this blog, okay?

Today's mainstream newspapers trumpeted the dip in petrol prices (15 cents for RON97) – the third in so many months, which won't be appreciated much, believe me. After all, other prices have already gone up in tandem with the steep 41% increase in petrol price announced by Abdullah Ahmad Badawi sometime in July 2008, and prices of many essential goods and services are not likely to come down because of this foolhardy act of political myopia. So, the cost of living continues to remain high and Life continues to be very difficult for many people, especially the low-income and average-income wage-earners.

I am currently immersed in two books - the first on Globalization, called The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman, and the second, The Fiefdom Syndrome by Robert Herbold . Both are interesting reads, very topical, if I may say so. The former reveals that the world is flattening, but that this 'globalizing' phenomenon can be a force for good - whether for business, the environment, and people everywhere. Well, that's Friedman's perspective, which is predictably ultra-positive. The latter deals with how turf wars and bureaucracy are undermining companies. It's very political because of destructive individuals (The Sun newspaper calls them 'little emperors') who have their own agendas that, for sure, are at odds with their organizations' goals. Reading it made me realize that many Malaysian organizations are afflicted with this syndrome, and I am talking of personal experience here! In fact, this particular book is a real bargain, because this hard-cover was priced at a very affordable RM19 at MPH Subang Jaya - part of a small collection that was on promotion that day.

Anyway, it is nice to know that I am back into an active reading mode, and that I do read other stuff, besides the mandatory textbooks that I must devour because of my teaching interests. Didn't Mortimer Adler once said "Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life"? Now if I can only get to a beach (Teluk Cempedak comes to mind since I did spend 3 years in Kuantan a long time ago) and being able to relax on the gilded sands while reading a book. What bliss! Actually, this is just fanciful thinking on my part - with the sea breeze caressing my sun-tanned frame and the rolling waves breaking into a lullaby, I am more likely to fall asleep in four seconds flat.

Reading and writing - I am rediscovering myself again. I am just so pleased. Ralph Waldo Emerson did say, "Whenever you are sincerely pleased you are nourished". Isn't it great?

1 comment:

Kelvin Soh said...

my friend, i managed to find GLOBALIZATION in your blog...thanks for helping us to READ and understand the book The World is Flat.....really appreciate it ...we are still surviving here....