On making the most out of our time comment
10.2.17


  For most of us, pastime is the time to rest our weary souls from the hustle and bustle of work or university life. But there's also the inevitable and almost all-too-familiar dilemma that we find ourselves in especially during the weekends and holidays- we had rested our tired bodies way more than how much our bodies have accounted for, what next? Some of us continue to over-rest our bodies by snoozing the rest of the day away. A common justification for this is that we'll not be able to compensate our weary souls for its due rest when life embarks back in it's humdrum. But then again, we're inevitably faced with the classical saying "Time is gold" that plunges us into abject realization that the free time should not be frittered away in idleness.


  With the realization that dawn upon us on how fleeting time is, it doesn't take us long to approach at yet another realization that we have to raise to the challenge of getting out of our comfort zone and kick-starting something worthwhile. It could be a hobby, a research online on things that interest you, or exploring and carrying out something new, something you've wished to try all along. As Philip Stanhope once said, " If a thing is worth doing, it's worth doing well". These mortal words of the earl of Chesterfield continue to be etched in our hearts and minds as means of motivation and justification to carry out and strife to be good at what we do best. For this, we have every reason to pursue the things within our realm of interest and to seek and garner efforts to be good at it. This need not be limited to a narrow scope that only concerns your job/ area of specialization but could also simply include your favorite pastime or a thing that you've been longing to pursue but due to constraints of time and resources, never had the chance to.

 Arriving at that, some of us fret upon the idea that it's a little too late to be good at anything they have desired. This fear is further bolstered by the 10,000 Hour rule that sees itself as the only sure-fire way to get exceptionally good at something. While this is somewhat a proven fact, a large majority of us would agree that the rule is a little impractical.

 And yet the idea of pursuing that very something that interests us always mellows down our seemingly hopeless souls and shines a fresh and unblemished beacon of hope, as crisp as it had been when were our younger selves.

Bottom line is, it's never too late to try out anything. Never be afraid to try something new for life in all its glory is itself an adventure with each opportunity that present with each elapsing time.

Cheers to making the most out of each of our time!


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Movie review: The Wailing (2016) comment
6.2.17

*Spoilers ahead*

  Sister and I were hunting for some good horror movie to chill to for the night. Came across The Wailing with pretty good ratings online. It's a Korean horror movie. I never really understood the fad with K-movies, K-dramas, K-songs and what not. But this was hard to overlook as it came with an interesting genre and compelling ratings.


The Wailing promotional poster
Synopsis
  The movie sets in a village in South Korea and follows the life of police officer, Jong Goo. The local villagers are plagued with some mysterious evil force around them. The first few victims show up with some uncanny skin disease with boils and rashes. Families are brutally murdered in their houses. These gory scenes become all the more familiar with Jong Goo and his colleagues as days pass by. What was initially labelled to be just some wild mushroom eating gone fatally wrong suddenly dawns on the authorities and villagers alike that they're actually dealing with something far more sinister. 

Sightings of a cannibalistic old man have been witnessed and widely reported in local tabloids. Around the same time, a Japanese old man who lives in hut on a mountain attracts the interest of Jong Goo who is dispatched with a fellow colleague to seek for witnesses and garner more information about the mysterious fatalities. He comes across a mysterious woman one day while on duty. She keeps throwing stones towards Jong Goo and his police mate. After a while, the woman calmly crosses the police line and enters the crime scene while beckoning for Jong Goo. She gives subtle clues as to who the perpetrator is. 

Jong Goo starts experiencing episodic nightmares since the first time he visited the crime scenes of the mysterious murders. Around the same time, his daughter Hyo-Jin falls sick. Her condition only worsens overtime. She starts cussing at her own father, much to the chagrin of her family members. Her grandmother realizes that it might be a symptom of an onset of a demonic possession. She then tells her son-in-law Jong Goo that she'll be calling in a well-reputed shaman to look into the matter concerning Hyo-Jin.
Jong Goo and one of his colleague goes up to the Japanese foreigner's hut to investigate the area out of suspicion. To both their horrors, they uncover an altar that resembles one dedicated to Satan. They also find photographs of various victims on the wall. The guard dog barks wildly at them and eventually breaks free and charges for them. Soon after, the Japanese old man returns and pacifies the dog. Jong Goo and is fellow police mates apologize and head back down the road. Jong Goo's police mate who had accompanied him earlier is visibly disturbed. He hands over Hyo-Jin's shoe that was found near the altar to Jong Goo. Jong Goo heads back home to find Hyo Jin's condition only worsening. She cusses at him repeatedly and retaliates violently. 
Distraught about Jong-goo's daughter, his mother-in-law seeks help from a shaman, Il-gwang. As Il-gwang performs a ceremony to exorcise the demon, Jong-goo finds his daughter in pain and interrupts the ritual, taking her to a hospital instead. The following day, he assembles his friends to hunt down the stranger, believing the stranger is responsible for the sickness and murders. They chase him, and eventually end up hitting him with their vehicle. They dispose of his body as Moo-myeong watches from the hills. When Jong-goo returns home, he finds that Hyo-jin's condition has seemingly improved. Il-gwang suspects they killed the wrong person. He encounters Moo-myeong, and starts vomiting blood. He calls Jong-goo, telling him that Moo-myeong is the demon.

Jong-goo finds Moo-myeong by his house. She asks him to believe her, telling him she had set a trap for the demon, but the trap won't work if Jong-goo goes back to his house. Confused, Jong-goo leaves to save his family, but Moo-myeong grabs him, her skin turning a ghostly white as he notices that she is wearing the personal effects of some of the victims. He tears himself away, and as he crosses his home's threshold, the floral trap withers. The priest encounters the still-alive old man in a cave and, after being photographed by the man, watches him turn into a demon. Jong-goo finds that Hyo-jin has murdered their family. He calls out to her, but she murders him and falls into a stupor. Il-gwang arrives at Jong-goo's house and takes photographs of the victims, returning to his car and dropping a box filled with photos of the other victims. 
As Jong-goo lies dying in his home, he sees visions of happier times with his daughter and assures her he will protect her.


The story was slightly confusing to say the least. So I googled up interpretations for the story and this interpretation by Ace was the best I came across.

1) It's a battle between the girl in white (good) and the old Japanese guy (evil) for the soul of the villagers.

2) The shaman is actually working for the Japanese guy (devil) because there are four important clues (a-d):

2a) the white Japanese underwear that he wore in 1 scene, which is the same underwear the Japanese man wears.

2b) his ritual was targeting the little girl, as the girl's pain corresponds to the shaman hammering the nail. The Japanese man also was in pain during Shaman's ritual, but these two were not connected, as there was one scene showing the girl in white (source of pain for the Japanese man) near the Japanese man during the ritual. The director made the two rituals parallel to make it seem that the shaman was targeting the Japanese man.

2c) Shaman meets the girl in white and vomits blood and white pukes, a strong indication of impurity. (also, any normal person would probably faint after vomiting so much blood and body content...suggesting the shaman is not just a normal person. Also, there was another murder scene in the movie, where the yard of the residence has ritual setups, suggesting the shaman's ritual did not work

2d) Another strong clue that the shaman is working for the Japanese man is that at the end of the movie, he has a box of pictures of the victims. The Japanese man claims that he has burnt them. In reality, he has given them to the Shaman for safekeeping.

3) the girl in white is good because she can throw stones (a reference to the Bible) and she is able to physically touch humans. On the contrary, the Japanese man has never made physical contact with anyone, suggesting he has no physical form.

Overall, this movie is about the devil fishing for human's soul. The theme is shown at the start of the movie as a closeup to the Japanese man fishing by the river. It is then echoed a number of times during the movie as well.
  
I highly recommend this movie to anyone who appreciates a mix of mystery and horror (and a tinge of faith lessons) 
I'll give this movie a 8/10 ☆☆☆☆☆☆☆☆

Have a nice day folks!



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Farewell to another sem [and hopefully to some bad habits] comment
31.1.17



  Perhaps the line it's been a while has found a place in being the beginning line for almost all my recent posts. Well, it has in fact, been a while. My second sem has been a very happening one with something always around the corner, busying my being around the clock. With finals and assignments just over, one can only imagine the relief that I am feeling💆

  I learnt a TON lot of things from this sem. Weird how most of us give chance for our guilty conscious only at the end of a year or a semester. We then go on to create goals some of which are, admittedly, unrealistic aspirations.

  I've successfully ditched a few habits from my first sem one of which is milk and nestum binge-drinking. This not only spared me from gaining more kilos but also gave me a new hope for an acne-free skin. And I was definitely not the ultra-geek that I was in my first sem as I was in my second sem. I started hanging out often with my friends, spending a shit ton of money on stuffs, and the worst part and probably the main reason I started stooping in my general productivity was not being able to say No.

  Not being able to say No in the very first instance of A lead to another set of events and so on. Then came instance B which was a direct resultant of instance A which I could initially not muster any courage to say No to. This instance B only ensued the drama that was beginning to unfold. I suddenly begun to feel like I was the busiest person in the world. Message after messages. Ignore these messages and I get confronted for it. Reply to these messages and the conflict only grows bigger.

It was emotionally draining especially with assignment dues around the corner and revisions that I had to catch up before my finals. First time in all the years I am a student, I had to pull an all-nighter with cat naps in between and a green tea overdose. That was the worst experience in my whole studying life so far. I always used to prep early for exams solely to avoid this kind of self-imposed torment.

  Not being able to manage my time meant not being organized and meant me doing things last minute or past the due date. I sent in my loan and scholarship application right at the eleventh hour The mails only reached their respective mailboxes way past the deadline. This landed me on a pool of anxiety and guilt and regret for maybe all of eternity until I am finally successful in a loan or scholarship application of which I highly doubt.You see how this one meager thing of frittering away my time lead to what is called the chain-reaction phenomenon. My sister is surely already hating me for this.


  Apart from all the chaos that ensued as a result of my mindless use of time, I also sucked so bad at managing my finances during my second semester. I was especially materialistic during this sem because for some reasons I thought having a wardrobe revamp would please my new friends. But one thing I can't deny is that dressing myself better improved my looks and gave me a confidence boost. But beauty for the most part or just in my case, came with a very high price and I bowed to that shit. Now I'm just a pathetic waste lamenting about the debts(money that I took from my student loan that was not intended for lavish spending) that I technically have to pay off with my soon-to-receive monthly allowance.

Here's to a chastised third sem

...okay just maybe until I pay off my 'debts'. 

I really have to learn how to manage my time and finance better after this...

or else it's farewell to all enjoyments I had previously and bienvenida to a life of being a hermit.


 Then comes the end-of-sem customary question of what I plan to do during this auspicious break.

I plan to play through the walkthroughs of the crazed-after Dota, learn how to make amateur videos, learn a bit of hand lettering, and blog all my way to an early grave for sloths.

Have a great week ahead everyone.




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A testimony to perseverance and diligence comment
7.12.16



The post above was posted by me yesterday into an anonymous-based confession page of my uni. I chose to hide my identity there as I didn't want to garner sympathy or praises of any sort from my fellow college mates for my own life story that happened as it did. Talk about being inconspicuous.

But seeing that it is also a form of testimony and could potentially serve as an inspiration to some lost souls, I would like to repost the original post with a few appends to it :)

Here's the full post :-

   To everyone grappling with financial struggle and constant civil wars within your families, please don't lose hope. Never give up. Know that every cloud has a silver lining. There's always a beacon of hope emanating from somewhere. We just have to keep working our way towards it. 

   Having been there done that, I can affirm that not being too absorbed in the hodge-podge but rather focusing on what's ahead and need to be done reaps a bounty harvest. And this would mean persevering through it all. 

I was and will continue to be a living testimony to this.

Here's my brief life story, the story thus far.

1) My parents, as I can vividly remember, would always quarrel with one another.
2) The financial strain my family experienced was always a mounting pressure.
3) My siblings and I inadvertently picked up hatefullness from our parents. We found ways to vent our frustrations at one another through dramatic sibling rivalries.
4) My parents eventually reached a mutual decision to not have anything to do with one another. My father ran away from home twice with the second time being the final time. He never came back.
5) My mother became a single mother henceforth. She works around the clock to make ends meet. Things have never got any easier.
6) My parents never officially divorced and that has been a major problem for me when applying for scholarships and loans. No information about my father. No proves that my parents are separated. No prove that my father is not contributing to the family's monetary needs.
6) Despite the struggles I faced , I managed to obtain straight A's for UPSR(5A's), PMR(7A's) and SPM(7A+, 2A's). I also had an excellent track record. This was achieved without attending any tuition centers. And no, I'm no genius or any sort like that. I'm of average intellect. I'm a slow but a steady and determined learner.
7) I was very hopeful about getting a scholarship to further my studies for pre-u. Unfortunately, of the 11 applications I sent in, I proved successful for none. 
8) On the brighter side, my eldest sister had migrated to US with her husband and they had been able to contribute for my pre-u studies on top of the partial funding I received from my study loan.
9) I'm currently in my second semester for my foundation course and I hold a 4.00 CGPA from my last semester. I am working towards maintaining a streak to hopefully land myself yet another scholarship opportunity. 



  Sometimes when I look back in retrospect, I do think that things were unfair at certain points of my life. I mean it is hard to forgo that natural inclination especially when you're surrounded by so many others who are clearly far better off than you, right?
Often when this happens I like to remind myself that life wasn't even meant to be fair in the first place considering how fairness in life would take into account all aspects one can imagine of. Put simply, a fair life is nothing more than just a figment of the fictitious world we sometimes pretend to live in- a place where all sorts of delusion flourish in. 

As someone wise once said, "Life is only unfair with the delusion that it should be fair". This quote spoke volumes to me.

   Whatever the stakes, we have a purpose in each of our lives. Petty first-world problems that come in in between are nothing but what they exactly are, first-world problems! 

Each time you are going through some hardship and feel like hoisting the white flag, think again. Reevaluate the problem. Come up with solutions. Think straight. 

  There are many others who are fighting a harder battle that are not even tantamount to what either of us are going through. This is not to say that you should understate and not acknowledge the problems you're facing, but rather you should be proactive in helping alleviate the very burden that is on your shoulders.




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