R.I.P. Michael Jackson (1958 – 2009)

Michael Jackson (1958 - 2009)

It’s been almost a week since the passing of the King of Pop, and everyday we see more tributes to his musical genius and reminders of how much of an impact he’s had on pop culture.

Continue reading R.I.P. Michael Jackson (1958 – 2009)

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AMBP-RACKL Project Gift A Kid

Project Gift A Kid

It’s that time of season, where merrymaking and gift exchanging (not to mention the stresses of finding the right gift in the first place) is uppermost on people’s minds.

Yet, during this time of joy and festiveness, let us not forget about the less fortunate ones among us.

Recently, as I was at a cineplex in PJ, waiting to go in to the movie theatre, I caught sight of a booth near the cineplex entrance. It was a UNICEF stand. I wandered over to find out more details about what they were doing there, and long story short, I decided to become a regular donor to their cause.

Unite For Children. Unite Against AIDS.

Some people hearing this would think, “well, he must have been suckered into it”. I didn’t. I wanted to contribute to their cause. Despite the economic slowdown, I’m aware that I still have it better than a lot of poor, impoverished people around the world, especially innocent children. I still remember clearly the sight of bedraggled, dirty little kids wandering around the streets of Delhi in India, begging for a little change, something to eat, a little bit of attention, please.

It’s a hard, difficult thing to experience, and it’s made all the more uncomfortable – and unforgiving – when you’re in an air-conditioned car looking out into the harsh, polluted, sun-drenched landscape, to which these kids are exposed every hour of every day.

Which is why I did not hesitate to part with a portion of my take-home income towards helping these children in need, through a reputable organisation such as UNICEF. Hey, it’s also tax-deductible, so really, what reason do I have NOT to help? Like a good friend told me, “it’s better that your money goes towards charity than to the taxman”.

Anyway, if you’re keen on lending some support for another good cause, the AllMalaysian Bloggers Project (AMBP) are calling out to bloggers to help with a project set up by the Rotaract Club of Kuala Lumpur (RACKL) called PROJECT GIFT A KID.

RACKL aims to sponsor 100 underprivileged kids’ aged between 6 – 15 years old back-to-school educational needs (books, stationery, uniforms etc) for the school term 2009. The kids who will benefit from this are:

  • Children of Rumah WAKE 1 (a home for HIV+ children and their affected siblings under the Pertubuhan Wanita dan Kesihatan Kuala Lumpur)
  • Underprivileged schoolchildren from SRJK(T) Cheras (many of the children come from the surrounding low-cost flats and squatter areas and most cannot afford school uniforms let alone school fees)

How can you help? Well, you can:

Sponsor A Child

  • You can choose to sponsor a kid from as little as RM10 to the full pack of RM150. A small step from you goes a long way in empowering these kids’ futures.
  • Let your family, friends and colleagues know about this project and encourage them to sponsor a kid. Alternatively, you could pool your resources together too!
  • This season of giving, why not sponsor a kid on behalf of your loved one (sure beats having to think of a material gift!). We’ll give you a gift card which comes nicely packed with an inspirational quote and ribbon that you can pass to them. That way you’re giving two people a gift at once!

– From the RACKL info page

To sponsor a child, you’ll need to fill out a Sponsorship Form and send it either to RACKL or AMBP (c/o Star Publications). You can get the Sponsorship Form and details on how to go about sponsoring a child from the AMBP Project Gift A Kid page.

Blog About It!

Hey, it’s what you do, so why not wield that mighty pen (or keyboard, as the case may be) and lend your voice towards promoting a noble endeavour. Get more information on PROJECT GIFT A KID at AMBP or from RACKL.

In case you need more incentives, United International Pictures (UIP) has agreed to sponsor a number of movie tickets; your one blog post will send one of these kids to the movies!

And if you really REALLY need more motivation, you can participate in the AMBP-UIP Caption Contest. Just caption a picture from the movies (either Wild Child, or Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging) and you could win yourself some goodies courtesy of UIP and EMI.

Example like so:

Angus
Ommm.. oh dear, suddenly I feel a hankering for curry, sarees, and dancing the ancient art of bharatanatyam! Yoga, thou art teh evil!

Yeah, I know, not exactly prize-winning material, but I’ll bet you can do better. 😉

To ensure that your blog post is counted, don’t forget to post your link as a comment at the AMBP Editor’s Post: Help us help a kid go back to school.

Ok, c’mon, after all that, and if you still can’t be arsed to do even the slightest bit to help out here, well, be sure to say hi for me to the Devil when you see him in hell, won’t you?

Shashi Tharoor on India’s Olympic failure

Ok, maybe failure is too harsh a word (India had won a few gold medals in hockey, I believe), but anyway, here’s an interesting article about India’s surprising ineffectiveness on the global sporting stage (cricket aside), by my namesake, the famous (but-not-as-handsome? :P) Shashi Tharoor.

Every Indian who follows the Olympics has cringed scanning the daily list of medal winners, eyes traveling down past dozens of nations big and small before alighting on a solitary Indian bronze in tennis or wrestling. Worse yet, we have all known the shame of waiting day after day for India to appear on the list at all, as countries a hundredth our size record gold upon gold and Indian athletes are barely mentioned among the also-rans.

An Indian beauty queen, Madhu Sapre, once became an unwitting victim of Indians’ sense of national shame at our sporting insignificance. She was unjustly denied a Miss World title in 1992 because of her answer to the final-round question, “What is the first thing you would do if you became the ruler of your country?” Her response – “I would build a sports stadium” – was considered stupid by the judges, and the almost-certain crown (she was the overwhelming favorite) slipped from her grasp. Sapre’s answer might not have been the brightest, but if the judges had any idea of how desperate Indians are for sporting success, they would have understood that she was not expressing such an absurd priority.

Shashi Tharoor, an acclaimed novelist and commentator, is a former Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Read all of it at: India’s Olympic Also-Rans

India Mari

Well, I’m back from India. An wow, what blast it was.

In about 14 days, we covered Delhi, Mandawa, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, Khuri, Jodhpur, Pushkar, Jaipur, and Agra.

We saw many historical forts, sneaked in a few touristy spots, did some shopping, rode some camels, ate great northern Indian food, got accosted by touts, beggars and guys asking us if we wanted to “smoke something?”, slept in the desert under the stars, fell sick, walked among rats scurrying at our feet, and of course, we marveled at the glorious beauty of the Taj Mahal.

Well, I would say much more, but I’m kinda down with flu, cough and some major bodyaches. So I hope these pics will suffice for now. (Click on thumbnails for slightly larger image).
Continue reading India Mari

We’re Brothers Forever – REMIX

I’m sure you’ve heard of the now-classic Renaldo Lapuz American Idol audition. (If you haven’t, you can check it here.)

Simon Cowell predicted that the song would become a huge hit.

Well, listening to the remixed version below, I have to say it sounds pretty cool. A little short, but still…

You can also download the mp3!

All together now, “I am your brother….”

Jom India!

India map

Yo, yo. Check it. We be going to the sub-continent, yo.

Right, enough of my lame hip-hop impersonations.

I’m gonna be flying off to India this coming Sunday, and will be there for 2 whole weeks, together with 3 other colleagues.

And we be backpacking, homie! Yo, check it!!

Ok, sorry, won’t happen again.

Anyway, travel plans are somewhat sketchy, but basically, we’re covering Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur and Jaisalmer, or at least as much as our limited time-span allows.

The Taj Mahal is a must see, of course. The rest… will be decided. Accomodation plans are still in flux.

And I tend to be anal about things like travel preparedness and such, but you know what? I should learn to relax and take things as they come.

And this trip will hopefully help me to achieve that.

Or end in a bloodbath. Either way, it’ll be an adventure. 😉

In the meantime, I still have some last minute preparations to take care off, so I guess I’ll see y’all in March.

(Hopefully the General Elections won’t be held till after we come back; I wanna have indelible ink on my fingernail too!)