Saturday, April 11, 2009

Of Slumdogs and Island

(Original post 21/02/2009)

Last night I watched the much-talked-about Oscar hopeful Slumdog Millionaire on a borrowed DVD. Verdict ? Very very good, I like it. Some scenes were brutally harsh and honest, I guess that's the real picture of life in the heart of Mumbai and perhaps most of India. Whatever controversy or protests resulting from its too honest portrayal, end of the day, I always say, it's just a bloody movie. Fiction. If anything, the movie has raised greater awareness of slum life in India, how cruel life can be for some of us humans on this earth. India is not all romanticism, Taj Mahal, dripping in hundreds of years of culture. Life is harsh. 

Anyway, go watch it if you haven't. It is based on roughly the life of Jamal the slum boy who has made it to the last round of India's version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? (In this case it was 20 million rupees) Dev Patel as Jamal the chaiwalla is cute despite looking geeky. Freida Pinto's role is so secondary I don't understand the hype. So, next I'm looking for the Benjamin Button DVD and The Reader DVD.

After the movie I continued reading Bryson - am loving this book so far. My next trip I need to look for more Bryson for my collection.

Well today I went to the islands with my sister - Manukan, to be exact. After a late morning (feeling lazy to wake up, haha), we finally made it to the terminal at about 11 am, got our tickets and waited another 20 minutes for the boat to fill up. Reached the island around 15 minutes later, there was already a sizeable crowd. What a lovely island! The water is still quite crystal clear, plenty of little fishes in the water. Haven't been here since ...gosh, probably more than 12 years ago, I don't remember to be honest. I went to Gaya around May last year for an 'official' lunch with the team. That was my last setting foot on an island.

I didn't plan to swim so just walked around, then settled under the tree where I read, ate, napped, people-watched, then walked on the beach, collected some shells, read and napped again. I was quietly being grateful and appreciative to God - how 'lucky' we KK people are to have the islands and beach just minutes away from the city! Nowhere else in Malaysia can we find such a perfect location..

What struck me was how quiet the island is despite the number of people around. Only later did the resort restaurant played some local kulintangan music. People, tourists and locals alike, were sunning themselves, taking pictures, napping, eating, snorkelling...and I was visualising how it would feel to be around the beach for a long long time. Would I get bored? Would I like it? Well, I decided I might not enjoy it too much if I didn't have some basic creature comforts. And provided the weather remains relatively nice all the time.

I made sure I applied and reapplied sunblock lotion so I won't look like a lobster tomorrow. Actually it's not so much for vanity, but for protection of my very sensitive skin. Most of the time I wish I had super durable tahan lasak skin so I won't need to be bothered with this and that; alas, prevention is better than cure and God has given me this type of skin, so I am left with no reasonable option than to slop on some SPF30 for the body and SPF 50 for the face.

The boat back is only scheduled to pick us up at 3 pm so it was way too much time on the island for those who are not swimming. I just read and napped. Next time, I will swim and snorkel and have that BBQ lunch :). While half-asleep I made mental notes on what to bring for a perfect day out at the island : sunblock, water, wide hat, beach mat/towel, good book, shades, snorkelling gear, extra towel/sarong, slippers, snacks.

At a quarter to 3pm we made our way back to the jetty along with other groups of people. While waiting for the boat, took some more pictures and watched the lovely little fishes in the bluey water under the jetty. Our boat finally came, which sped like it was helmed by the marine version of Schumacher. Crazy but we thought it was fun the way the boat pounded on the waves like it was on a high speed chase or something. We could see the dark clouds looming on the city skyline, so it was probably for the best to arrive in the shortest time possible. It took about 11 minutes, and it poured the moment we reached the terminal.

The sun makes you tired they say I guess that is undisputedly true. Will continue to read tonight and perhaps sleep early for tomorrow's adventures.

I leave you now with something from Slumdog :

What does it take to find a lost love?
A. Money       B. Luck        C. Smarts         D. Destiny

I bet we all know the answer to that one.

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