Saturday, November 30, 2019

Priya and the Lost Girls

Priya and the Lost Girls focuses on sex trafficking and it is said to be the definitive comic book of the #MeToo movement. 

Inspired by ancient mythological tales, this graphic novel tells us of Priya continuing her adventures with her flying tiger, Sahas (Hindi for courage). 

She returns home and discovers all the young women have disappeared in her rural village including her sister, Laxmi. 

She discovers they were taken to an underground brothel city which is ruled by Rahu, a demon living in a volcano, and who draws his power through fear and entrapment of women. There, women exist to serve and please men; those who resist are turned into stone.

The city used to be a tranquil kingdom run by Manidhari, half-snake and half-woman and her husband, Paatal. But, Rahu tricked them and turned the kingdom into a wasteland and put his servant, Amrit, in charge of luring women and controlling them. 

Priya has to convince her sister and the other women to leave Rahu and break his spell over them. 

When the women escape and return home, they face the stigma and prejudices from their own people and family – which angers Priya and leads to a dramatic conclusion.

HANKidz President's Speech Contest

Today, I was one of four judges for the HANKidz President’s Speech Grand Final held in TTDI, Kuala Lumpur.

This is totally non-Toastmasters and I love it! 

HANKidz Academy are a children's learning center dedicated to empowering children from 5-12 years old to build leaders of tomorrow.

This Contest amply showed the abundance of talents that reside within the young children enrolled at HANKidz! 

Three contestants per Category. 

Category 1 (5-6-year-old) finalists:

Category 2 (7-9-year-old) finalists:

Category 3 (10-12-year-old) finalists:

And there were sideshows too that ensured we did not just listen to a continuous roll-out of speeches, awesome as they were!

A Saturday well-spent! And I can candidly admit that I am impressed!

Friday, November 29, 2019

Crusaders Keep Name, Change Logo

New Zealand’s Canterbury Crusaders announced Friday that the team will retain their name but change their logo – after a review sparked by the deadly mosque shootings in its home city of Christchurch in March. 

Critics had said the name and branding referencing medieval wars between Christians and Muslims were inappropriate after the attacks, in which 51 Muslims died in attacks allegedly carried out by a self-declared white supremacist. 

Immediately after the killings, the Super Rugby giants stopped parading chain-mailed knights on horseback as pre-match entertainment at home games, and indicated the team logo of a sword-wielding crusader would be phased out. 

But there was resistance among fans to changing the name of arguably the world’s most successful club rugby side, with a record tally of 10 Super Rugby titles, three of them won in the past three years. 

The club finally made the sensible decision to keep the name, but that they would adopt the meaning of crusading for good, rather than the war-like meaning of the term. 

The new logo is a Maori tohu (or symbol), resembling a stylized letter ‘C’ in the club colors of red and black. 

“Ultimately, it was decided that no name better represented the club’s commitment to living their values – crusading for social improvement and inclusiveness, and crusading with heart for our community and for each other – than Crusaders”, chief executive Colin Mansbridge said. 

The club will begin using the said logo immediately but it will not make an on-field debut until 2021, with next year’s kits simply carrying the Crusaders’ name.

Celtic confirmed top spot in Europa League Group E with one game to spare after a comfortable 3-1 win over Rennes on Thursday. 

Lewis Morgan's second Celtic goal came in the twenty-first minute and a Ryan Christie effort (45+1) put us in a commanding position, and Mikey Johnston added to the tally with a superb one-two finish in the seventy-fourth minute. 

Celtic will conclude their campaign in Romania against Cluj in two weeks in a game that is now a dead rubber.

We may have already qualified for the last 32 of the competition but boss Neil Lennon had stressed the importance of winning a group for the first time to ensure the possibility of a more favourable draw.


Malaysians will know that kaya is a kopitiam staple. 

If you’re into the breakfast scene in this part of the world, roti kaya (left) is as traditional a breakfast as you can get in urban Malaysia and neighboring countries. 

It’s a deceptively simple meal that has lashings of margarine and kaya spread over fresh or toasted bread that goes very well with the strong Liberica coffee beloved of kopitiam regulars. 

Anyway, check out Disney’s Mickey Go Local and this Episode 5 is on How Do You Make Kaya?
Yesterday’s traffic was unbelievably horrendous – so much so, we almost couldn’t have our bi-monthly KPP Toastmasters meeting. 

One of our members who holds the office key was stuck in Kuala Lumpur traffic as he attempted to make the arduous and fatiguing journey from PWTC in the city to Bandar Sunway. And since we couldn’t use our regular premise at 6-3, Jalan PJS 8/4 in Sunway Mentari – we did the next best thing. 

We went across the road to Restoran Asam Pedas & Ikan Bakar and had our meeting there! 

I almost didn’t deliver my speech – but glad that I did. It was a CC #10 speech titled Sahut Cabaran – and thus completing another round of the Competent Communication manual. In fact, this is the second time I completed my CC in Malay!

So the story has a happy ending after all. Even for the fellow with the key because he finally arrived just as we concluded the meeting!

All's well that ends well!

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Dumb News

We all know about fake news proliferating everywhere. 

But do you know there’s dumb news too? 

Here’s a sample of news clippings:

On Wednesday, I was at the CIMA Malaysia Toastmasters meeting in Bandar Utama in PJ, Selangor – and I must thank the club president Paul Tan for arranging me to speak there. 

I presented an Advanced speech from the Humorously Speaking manual titled When Pigs Fly. 

And I was voted Best Speaker. 

One more speech remaining before I earn another Advanced Communicator Bronze award.