Monday, 26 April 2010

Arty Farty Me

As a kid, I liked being in art classes. Well, I was no art genius, that's for sure, but good enough that Miss Rani, my class teacher had considered sending me, to accompany her favourite boy, Kumar, to some local competition downtown. We didn't win any prize but went home happy having painted something. Kumar continued to develop his talent and now an architect residing in UK. I, on the other hand, suppressed the little talent that I have in the name of science and now working in a factory making chocolates. Great.

Recently, I have decided to re-learn art, not to become a celebrated painter, but at least, learn to appreciate it. So off I went on a self-imposed mission to explore Art Dubai and to marvel at the contemporary work of art in the Middle East. Looking like an art collector representing Ah Keong's Kedai Tampal Tayar Basikal, I walked and wondered, stopped to flirt just a little bit with some promoters and snapped some photos of great creations that excite the remaining drops of creative juice in my head, which I try hard to preserve.

If you have been to a chocolate factory, this art piece looked like a block of cocoa butter waiting to be melted and mixed into the happy combo that makes a batch of chocolate base. I spend a fair amount of time staring at the piece while checking out that chic with a white belt. Marvellous!

This accentuates the hidden talent and the power of possibility. Who would have thought a mop in the bathroom can find its way to the international stardom.  Susan Boyle came into my mind.

The extremes in the Middle East, the faithful believer and the dreamer and the riches surrounded by  rubbles.  The American bills there say a lot about the power of wealth that mutes the unspoken and covers the unseen. What a strong political flavour!

It's not a photographed cat. It's painted in an unusual match of black and blue that makes a pretty face of a pussycat. Lovely.

This forlorn looking oriental girl delicately painted on a piece of wood. She reminds me of someone special from the past.

This potrait from an unusual angle reveals an admirable beauty. I couldn't help touching her neck when no one was looking. Me..pervert? Sometimes..

When  I was at this corner where the plants seem to defy gravity and grow in mid air, I felt dizzy, it's like I was having a supernatural episode of OBE (out of body experience). Weird...

To kill a mockingbird? A rather intriguing expression on canvas. I cracked my head hard trying to make sense of it. Any help on this?

A mother owl and her owlet having a good time hanging out and mimicking the bats in a starry, starry night. Very hynotizing, don't you think? I wish I have them framed in my bedroom. 

The thumb tales. Fascinating! Would be wonderful if it can be read like a book?

The world is flat and foldable, but still, the sun  rises from the same corner in Japan. A stubborn art. Period.

This is an amazing classic. It's simple and square, but I admire it the most.

This is it. The art collector posing with a proud purchase. Yeah, dream on....

So tell me which is your pick?

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Ploomer, The Popular Playmate

Ploomer has visited my playground for a few days. It is really an honour to have him around. He has travelled to many unpopular places on this planet that has made him popular. He has done so many awesome things that I wish I could have done in my life. He spent about 7 months travelling on a bike in the Indonesian archipelago. He went to Nepal twice and did bunjee jumping near the Tibet border. He blended well with the crowd of dark brown people in Bangladesh and the pale yellow people in Indochina. He flirted with the gorillas in Uganda, tried to track an elusive tiger in Sumatra, swam with a manatee and the list goes on. How I wish I have his freedom. Check out his cool blog, here.

One fine day when I was off duty, we drove to Al Ain to visit the oasis, museum and the breathtaking Jebel Hafeet. This is my second visit to the green grassland of Al Ain. We reached Jebel Hafeet about an hour before sunset. We parked Lucky on an elevated flat parking space, that's the furthest for things with wheels. We hiked further up to perch on the rocks which seem to be the highest accessible peak. Up there, I felt awesome. Looking up at the sky, I had my peaceful moment staring at some buzzards gliding majestically above us, while Ploomer was busy toying with his camera very skillfully and mimicking Borat aloud. Indeed, he is one great guy to travel with and quite entertaining too. He has taught me about living life for now,  enjoying every minute of it, travelling light in the passage of life, leaving the counter-productive bags of worries behind. When I came down from Jebel Hafeet, I felt anew. I can now imagine why people keep on climbing up from one mountain to another, though such activity may seem silly, dangerous and gruelsome. Indeed, when one is up there, everything else is so small and this perspective makes us realize what really matters in our lives.  

That's Ploomer, posing like a pro while photographing the rocks. I'll feign the same pose some day on top of Kili

Can you take me high enough? An old song that played in my mind seeing the mountains

Lucky looked like a tiny stuck up snail down there...

The sunset was gloomy instead of golden on the day we were up there

Ploomer has left Dubai and now wondering the less travelled place called Azerbaijan. He will continue his travel until one day when he decides to grow up. He thanked me well for my hospitality in hosting him and helping him out. What he may not realize is, how thankful I am for his presence that has sparked new determination in me to see the world as a big unlimited playground for those who dare to come out and play. He made me realize the things I have missed all this while. But hey, I still have time to catch up.

A few days after he left, I walked into a mall and brought home a new toy. It's a Nikon D90, to be tamed from now so that I can play with it later in my next climb up to Kilimanjaro in July. At this writing, I have no idea, who I will go there with, when exactly and how. Nevertheless, I have reserved 8 days from the my 30 days of holidays this year, to make it happen even if I have to scale it all by myself.

Hola! A new toy

Monday, 19 April 2010

I'm Back....

I have finally braved my way back to this blog after a long trip to Wonderland. Looking back at this blog, I do think it needs a  facelift. I wish that it was a little crazy and random from the beginning. But I guess it's never too late to add some fun, to be silly and stupid to shake things up and sustain that creative juice inside my aging skull. After all, I don't blog for medal or anything. So why be serious and so appropriate? Why do I really have to think what the hell to blog next? So here's the deal. That durian must go. It's not safe to play with spiky stuff and it's so uncool to snack on smelly thing. So I decide to discontinue the durian campaign. Working in a happy place that produces chocolate and chewing gum , I guess I should promote playground instead, where I can be happy jumping around and blogging along the way. So it's.......

 Jumper's Playground!

I believe there is still plenty of time to play, amazing toys to grab and dream about and awesome playmates to play with. Generally, this blog is meant to be a happy playground, but then again, life it's not all about laughter and good times. Even without much care in the world, kids cry in the playground. Some day we have to play alone and be that lonely kid trying to figure how to get amused on the see-saw by himself. Some day we get bullied by pushing a**holes and some day we become that bullying bull. So this is my playground. It's a moveable playground from Dubai to Disneyland and anywhere in between and you are always welcomed. 

This is me, 3 years to reach 40, in the dreamland of Dubai

The girl can be such a cry baby and the boy can be so noisy and pushy, but they are my best playmates

Me and my best toy, Lucky