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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

17th of November. Mom's Birthday.

It's 5am now. I'm supposed to wake up in 2 hours to go for an early (press?) screening of ZERO FOCUS at Shinjuku Wald 9.

But then, it's my mom's birthday, and for two consecutive years, I've always made an issue out of it on this blog (read my 2007 and 2008 blog post). This year will not be an exception, since I won't be able to dig out some lost videos of my mom floating around on the Internet like I did last year, I'll share some anecdotes with you all.

There's this restaurant called ORGANIC RECIPE. It's located in a condominium called Casa Utama, at Bandar Utama in Petaling Jaya (note to international readers: Petaling Jaya is where I live in Malaysia, a city next to Kuala Lumpur)

Organic Recipe restaurant

It's a nice-looking vegetarian restaurant.

Organic Recipe restaurant interior 1

Organic Recipe restaurant interior 2

Serves some really good food.

Organic Recipe restaurant food
That's Vegetarian spaghetti

Look on the right of the photo below. A newspaper clipping is framed upon its wall.

Organic Recipe restaurant interior 3

It's an article of its, ah, 'endorser'.

Mom endorses Organic Recipe restaurant

That's my mom.

Mom seriously endorses Organic Recipe restaurant

Originally I was going to stop my blog post here. But then I realized that aside from photos of the restaurant above, which I visited sometime around August, just before my trip to Seoul, there are still a couple of videos and photos I shot in Malaysia that I've forgotten to upload.

On August 31st 2009, Malaysia celebrates its 52nd year of what we can reluctantly believe as independence.

Mom attended a Buddhist ceremony.

At the 15-second mark of the video below, you'll see my mom (well, her back anyway) and my grandma.

(click here if you cannot see embedded video)

When your friends and family are also at the ceremony (aside from Grandma, my cousins, my aunt etc. were there), how can you not enjoy the solidarity? My mom sure does.

Having grown up in such events (Buddhist praying ceremonies, I mean), and having attended a few myself. I always thought that they were endurance-testing processes, where you have to try to push away physical discomfort and impatience.

Buddhist ceremony

During a Buddhist ceremony

People bowing during Buddhist ceremony

Buddhist hall

(click here if you cannot see embedded video)

When I was 13, I was brought to one ceremony where I had to shave my head and 'become' a monk for a week. I wasn't alone. I was with some of my cousins, and some dear friends too. There were seven of us, and being among the youngest in the temple then, we were later given the nicknames 'Seven Little Fortunes'.

It was quite a test for me, but like I said, once you realize that you're not alone in this, the experience can be quite memorable. Enduring an entire day of non-stop praying and chanting together, and then enjoying the simple little pleasures together. Ah.

My attention often wandered during a prayer ceremony, I would look around, studying faces, look at those I know, spot the recognizable ones, and admire the fact that their attention never seem to waver like I do.

I digress, but my point is, this camaraderie, this solidarity, they are definitely something my mom cherishes in a Buddhist ceremony.

Here's mom with her mom.

Mom praying with grandma
(mom and grandma)

Happy birthday, mom.

(... now, leave your birthday wishes here)