Ikansingapura: The Myth of the Lion Fish

May 31, 2014 0 Comments

Have you ever seen this sea creature before? This cat-fish organism that mews while swimming?

Scientists have described it as such:

Common name: Lion Fish
Scientific name: Pterois Leo

Habitat: Unknown
Conservation status: Unknown
Behavior: Unknown

Although not much is known about this highly elusive species, local fishermen have imagined several myths associated with this creature. One is particularly memorable:

Once upon a time, there lived Sang Nila Utama, a handsome and kind prince.

He ruled wisely and were respected by his soldiers. Villagers adored him. Even trees willingly offer their most succulent fruits to him.

One day, he ventured overseas, to find a place suitable for a new city. However, he was caught in a great storm.

Trapped by the churning froth, the sailors threw everything heavy into the sea to prevent their ship from sinking. There was nothing left to discard but water was still leaking in.

To soothe the sea gods, Sang Nila Utama threw his crown into the sea. Immediately, the storm stopped.

On board, there was a curious mewing. The waves had stranded a school of sea creatures - each half-cat and half-fish - that were now struggling on the wooden floorboards.

Sang Nila Utama believed that these creatures foretold great things. Henceforth, the prince decided that the city was to be named 'Ikan-singa-pura' (Malay for "The Land of Lion-Fishes").

However, the name was too long and the local people referred to the place more fondly as 'Singapura'.

Here's how the drawing developed, in reverse order:

Thanks for reading :]


Cracks All Around

May 11, 2014 0 Comments

At times, people need professional help. For setting up websites, offering medical services or delivering goods. They may need advice from the mundane to the psychiatric. Some problems can be resolved easily and others, less so. A broken tap is easier to fix than a damaged worldview.

And yesterday, a psychology-trained friend - currently working in a local public hospital - shared fragments of what some people had experienced. In his work, he has come across incidents that mere words cannot describe. Issues that involve children, that involve young people. Issues without clear solutions, that professionals with years of wisdom cannot unravel.

The details of the following cases have been modified to maintain the confidentiality of the victims.

There is a 6 year old Caucasian boy. This child was studying in an overseas international school. One day, he was gang-raped by a group of 6 male cleaners determined to halt the advance of the White People's Moral Decadence. Although he managed to escape, his friend did not. His parents transfered him here to seek urgent medical care. This traumatised boy continues to feel guilty for being unable to help his friend.

There is another person, a teenager. His divorced parents have been co-habiting while maintaining multiple sexual encounters with other people. This teenager was under the impression that his parents were only having extramarital affairs. Only recently did he discover that his parents had divorced years ago and his family life was a fabrication all along. He began to engage in casual sex with partners found in online forums and am now suffering from a sexually transmitted disease.

Another child was given up for adoption by a single parent. This child was bounced between foster homes for he was simply unmanageable. Eventually, recently and unfortunately, he was hosted in a family where he tried to strangle his foster sibling with a shoe lace. The staff have been wondering if they should recommend him to be sent to another foster family or to a boy's home (which would probably spell the end of his life).

Look, there are so many people who are always complaining, always on the verge of giving up, always with complaints perching at the tip of their tongues. These people expect life to be smooth sailing. They expect everything to blossom according to plan and whine, more or less incessantly, when events do not go according to their whims and wishes. And they are heavily self-centric too, so wrapped up in their worlds of perceived inadequacies. They may see the misfortunes of others and think, at least I'm not suffering so.

This post is for these people. To let them know that the world marches on regardless of their floods of complaints. That there are people who are experiencing hardships, desperately tough ones. If possible, offer support, offer help. If not, at least quit complaining.