Even Lisa my third daughter was up early. Why were we that early? We would go from Oxford to London today. It was the day we were waiting for - the ECKANKAR workshop of HOW TO MANAGE CHANGE.

The weather was cold. I have put on four layers of clothes. The bus came. We boarded it travelling down to Oxford city to where the bus terminal was. There it was the rail station. Lisa bought the return tickets cost £57 for the two of us.

We waited in the station. It was cold. The train came on time. We travelled from Oxford to Paddington.

After pulling out of the Oxford station, the train passed the countryside where I saw some farms and farmhouses all along the way. Some grow what is called rapeseeds. The train passed through various cities. Two of which I could remember were: Didcot Parkway, Reading. The journey seemed to be quite tedious. Then the train slowed down and pulled into the station. We left the train. We rushed over to the other form of mass transport the Tube. From there were reached a place called Baker Street, changed train again. Then we reached the station called London Bridge. We walked out of the station. We walked and walked looking around Traile House. It is there that we could find ECK according to the person who had given us the place name. We walked around quite a lot. Finally at about 11.55 am. We found the place. It was on the first floor. We went up and saw the gathering. THERE were many Africans and a handful of whites. Lisa and I were the only Chinese. We met Patrice the lady who guided us there via e-mail.

Traile House in London - ECK CENTRE. Immediately we registered. Soon the workshop started. An English lady spoke followed by two Africans. They talked about change and how to face change in our lives. Some gave very vivid stories of their lives.

There was a lunch break. For the first time I tasted African foods. We had rice, chicken, fish and cooked bananas. I spoke to an African gentleman who is a Nigerian. During lunch break I browsed through some new books on display. I bought a few of them.

After the meeting Lisa took me via the Tube to Chinatown. There we had lunch again - a proper Chinese meal. The waitress spoke in Mandarin. The chef wished and thanked us in Cantonese. He must be a Hongkie. All seemed to go on well. But disaster struck. I could not find my return train ticket. Well, bad luck Lisa bought another ticket for me. I was putting on and taking off my cold clothing a few times. The ticket must have dropped.

CSS - Wednesday 16 JULY, 2014.


I woke up from a good night of sound sleep. From 12.00 to 5.00 this morning sleep was in deep slumber. I felt so refreshed. The air here in Kuala Sawah was really fresh. I did not go back to sleep again though I rolled on the thin bedding on the floor of Yen’s abode. I waited till daylight broke. Yen was up; getting ready to leave the house. I took a cold bath - not really cold but cool and soothing.

When ready we drove out. Yen drove me out going towards Seremban town. At a distance a little before town, he veered the car to the right and entered a housing area. He was going to his friend's house. We stopped in front of a house. Two ferocious hounds growled at us from behind the heavily gated house.

Soon a guy came out. He was one of the guys whom I met the day before at the eatery beside Parkson. I asked Yen for the guy's name. Yen told me he was called Aloysius a Roman Catholic. We got into Aloysius's 4-wheel drive a rather rugged and mud spluttered vehicle. Mud had caked up to the roof and all over the wind screens. Aloysius drove us out to Seremban town with Yen sitting at the passenger seat in front and I at the back of the 4-wheel drive. He passed the town. He took the old Seremban-KL road. After a long drive we came to a little town called Mantin. There we entered an eatery to break our fast.

Mantin that's where we were in. As we approached the town, I saw a place named Hakka Village. Yen who is from this little town said there is also a Cantonese Village. These villages were formed during the Emergency from 1949.

The people we ordered food from seemed to be a rather noisy lot. Several of them were talking at the same time. The crowd of workers probably foreign did not know how to serve the customers waiting. We were waiting for quite a long time.

During the waiting, Aloysius and I started to chitchat. He said he was an engineer educated in India. He went to study in India those days because it was cheap for about RM100 a month was enough for his education and keep in India. Back here, he worked. Later he started a factory manufacturing radiators. Wow! What an enterprising engineer. He humbled himself saying his business was on a small scale only. He was not all out for profit. He has a very little interest in gaining material supremacy. I asked if he was born a catholic. No, he was converted after attending a mission school in Taiping during his younger days. The brothers of the school impressed him so much that he converted. So he was from Saint George's Institution (Malay: Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Saint George) a secondary school for boys (and girls for Sixth Form) and is one of the oldest schools in Taiping, Perak. The school is widely known as by its initial "SGI" and the students of St. George's Institution are called Georgians for boys and Georgianas for girls.

At the spot where Aloysius parked his jalopy there was a patch of land grown with drumsticks - the veggie. Yen mentioned the beneficial aspect of drumsticks.

Moringa nutrition facts
Moringa oleifera, known popularly as drumstick tree, is an herbaceous plant grown for its nutritious greens, flowers, and mineral- rich pods

Health benefits of moringa
Moringa plant supplements protein, minerals, and vitamins.

Leaves are an excellent source of protein that can be rarely found in any other herbs and green leafy vegetables. Dry, powdered leaves indeed are a much-concentrated source of many quality amino acids.

Fresh pods and seeds are a good source of oleic acid, a health- benefiting monounsaturated fat. Fresh leaves and growing tips of moringa are the richest source of vitamin A.

Fresh moringa pods and leaves are excellent sources of vitamin-C. The greens as well as pods also contain good amounts of many vital B-complex vitamins such as folates,vitamin- B6 (pyridoxine), thiamin (vitamin B-1), riboflavin, pantothenic acid, and niacin.

Furthermore, its leaves are one of the fine sources of minerals like calcium, iron, copper, manganese, zinc, selenium and magnesium. Iron alleviates anemia. Calcium is required for bone strengthening. Zinc plays a vital role in hair-growth, spermatogenesis, and skin health.

Note: Yes, I have eaten drumsticks (not chicken drumsticks or ice-cream drumsticks) but the real one I described in this article. Harwan Singh's spouse Gurmail Kaur once cooked drumsticks for lunch. We sucked and munched at the wooded sticks. Getting the taste from the sucking and munching is a real joy of eating drumsticks.



One day out of the blue, Mohammad Noor bin Ta'ayun called me. He said I had attended his daughter's marriage reception. Oh, I remembered it was a grand function held years ago, at some big convention hall.

Whithersoever did he want Mohammad Noor? He wanted somebodies' phone numbers, that's all. Without any hesitation I texted him some numbers reminding him to get back to me if he could or even could not get in touch with his buddies. Till now response from him stands at nil. But from behind the grapevines, I understand he had not only contacted his buddies, but had even visited them and dined with themin style.

On Hari Raya Aidil Fitri day I visited Munsir. We talked quite a great deal. There I met two of my Repas Village former neighbours. They recognized me but I could not make out who they were. Only after mentioning the place we lived and some familiar names, we knew who we are! Of course many of the names that cropped up are no more physically existing in this world.

Oh yes! I came to know that our Johorean from Ulu Tiram had visited Bentong recently and lunched with some of his buddies. Zubir aka Zabil had travelled all the way up from down south to this our upcountry town and hangout with his chums. Bravo! Old buddy from Johor.

A Mesian lady contacted me to find out where I wanted to go during the Eid festivals! But later when I wanted to present her with my programme she gave all the excuses to decline my suggestions.

Kumarasamy and me virtually contact each other quite regularly via the internet. He is on in Facebook. He used to find out my whereabouts and comments on my posts. A great cyber fan he is so.

John Chinniah phones me occasionally though he is always busy ferrying his third generation off-springs to school. "A very loving grandpa you are. What to do?"

One day I wanted to pay an old folk a visit at an old folks' home that I have been to before. The son of the inmate took the call. He shocked me by saying that his dad is no more!

We wish to express our belated heart-felt condolences and sympathies to the family members of the late LEE SAI KAN in their sadness and bereavement.


At a seminar that I attended in Singapore the topic of discussion was: Accepting change with grace. When it came to me to tell the changes in my life I burst out telling a series of changes I have undergone and how I took up the challenges and overcame the changes. I was so worked up in telling my changes that the whole hall seemed to focus on our group.

When the time came up for presenting our results of discussions I was requested to do it. Yes, I stood up and gave the following story:

I started my education in a Chinese school. After about a year English became of great importance due to the British administration in those days Malaya. There were also rumours that all Chinese schools might have to sit for the public examination in English in the near future. So my parents transferred me to study in an English school. It was a terrible change for me and I struggled to mug up some English vocabulary. I remembered, everyday the teacher gave me spelling. When I was asked to spell the word "buffalo" I got it wrong for almost a month. So every day the teach would ask me to spell "buffalo" so much so that my classmates started to nickname me "buffalo". I continued my English education till I finished Form 5. Then I went into college to be trained as a teacher.

When I graduated from teacher training college I started teaching. Soon, another change came that made my education obsolete. That was the change in the medium of instructions in the school from English to the Malay language. I attended an evening adult education class to pick up the Malay language. Then I took a public examination in Malay language. Luck was on my side, some months before the exam I had just bought a story book in Malay language and read it through. The comprehension passage came out from that very book I have struggled through reading it. When the results of the exam came I got a "KEPUJIAN" grade which I did not know even what it meant. I asked my friend who is a Malay who informed me the grade was "CREDIT" a good grade. With that grade I was admitted to the Language Institute for a one-year intensive course to study the Malay language.

The teacher who taught me the Malay language was my former English teacher in school - a Chinese. He had graduated from the University of Malaya with an honours degree in Malay studies. That inspired me to get more interested to study the Malay language.

After the one-year Malay language training I was sent to teach a secondary Malay Class. The students were all Malay boys and girls. There I picked up more words and expressions from my students while teaching them! Yes, I learnt from my students!!

I found the Malay language is not a difficult language. So I took up University of London external degree study for a degree in Indonesian and Malay studies. After three years I scrapped through the final examinations and graduated.

All these changes I had faced. I accepted the changes with grace. For that I was able to go on through life. Thanks for the applause. The seminar crowd settled down.



Green B'day Cake


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