Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Dean (USM) Art Faculty

I decided to do an outdoor painting on a 2x4 feet canvasse using acrylic medium and chose the Art Department building on the uSM campus for the location. Borrowing an easel from the office of the faculty i found a corner to work from that gives me a part view of the building's entrance and its front. The trees around this area are old and makes a good subject to work with. I worked till the early afternoon and was often interupted by faculty members and students who had a question or two as they stopped by on their way to or from classes. I was doing my publicity stunt for my upcoming show! Soon just about veryone on campus would know about the show, I hope and who knows one or two might even decide to drop in and view it.
The Dean of the Art faculty is a friend of my twin brother and so are a few of the other Art Faculty members and they know me from my looks which is the mirror image of his. I told the Dean that i was going to the Nothern state of perlis to see a healer for me and for my wife and how i met a good masseuse. He immediately became intrested in joining me of my next trip as he had been looking for a good massage himself. So I told him i would try and make the arrangement for him as it was not entirely for me to decide but my cousin has to give his okey too.
It is strange that when my friend the late Cikgu Yusof was alive he had told me that the Dean is a distant relative of his and that the dean was sicj and in need of help to remove whatever has been cursed on him. Physically he was sick at the time and most doctors and friends thought it was cancer but he seemed to have recovered after seeing a healer and now after all these time we met and here i am taking him to a healer myself without him knowing that i have known his situation through my late friend the Cikgu his distant relative whom he refused to see back then and accept the offer to help. What is my intention at the end of the day? I want to do my masters degree and he can make a difference in my being accepted or not but that is in the distant future and in the mean time i have just to carry out my long term plan of selling myself and hopefully my works in the process. I had tried to make a direct approach before and was snubbed by him and the rest of the faculty members in the past but now i have drawn them out into the open and peeled the layers of skin they wear for masks, now I have come to know who i am dealing with and who i should deal with if i am to get anywhere at this University.
Thus far i have got to use the printmaking studio and materials provided, printed some 70 good mono prints worthy of the upcoming show. I have procured a solo exhibition at the Muzium Gallery of the Campus which is the number two most prestigious Gallery space in town. I have established my name in the who is who of the artists in the Northern region of this country and to my pleasant surprise strangers are begining to I have heard that name before when I told them who I am. By right i am about ready to launch my career as an artist at long last! ha! My hair is growing long and i have decided no more haircuts and my facial hair too is being left to grow freely to create a new look for this next phase of my life as an artist. As artists they say we can look as ugly as we want to and there is little anyone can say about it and it does work although the government agency officials frown at you when you step into their space. I want to look like El Pacino in Serpico! The older version of him that is.
In April next year i have been slotted to have a solo exhibition at the state gallery here, the main gallery in town. It is gratifying to know that my application was accepted without even a deliberation whether i should be allowed to or not, maybe it is my old age! I look forward to this show already! I dont know what the hell i am going to produce or what or how I am going to pay for it but hell that is what being an artist is all about aint it? As an artist what else can one leave for posterity and for one's cildren as a proof that one's life was not lived in vain? That it all di not boil down to nothing, Nada! No, at the very least as artist leaves his works here and there scattrered all over the world in homes and offices in galleries and hey why not muzeums!! Yeesir! It is all out there and written in the sand on the wall and under the bridges, the Bahari is about to become known to the world just as the Cheeseburger Buddha is about to puke all over the internet blog!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Pink Floyd-Wish You were here

So, so you think you can tell heaven from hell blue skies from pain... can you tell the green field... your heroes were ghosts... hot ashes to dreams... cold comfort for change.... did you exchange... I am at the cyber cafe with my two i wish you were here...running over the same old ground...the place is filled mostly with Chinese and a few Indians. Its a pleasant change from the regular place that I would write from where it was mostly Malays and the atmostphere was like serious. This place is located in Ayer Itam and where my son would hang out at thwenever he visits his buddy Fahim and stay overnight at his house. How I miss the good old Pink Floyd days when I was a student at the University in Wisconsin often flat out on the living room floor in one of my Thai student buddie's dorm and with earphones stuck into my head with this song blasting away into my soul...Wish You Were here...
This place is alive and i am glad my son had insisted that we came here tonight after the breaking of the fasting.

I wonder what battles are raging between my spiritual healers and the bad guys who had decided to hex my wife. I wish i could be in the foray and wielding my own sword cutting down the demons that were employed to do the dirty work of corrupting souls like they tried to do to my wife. But who am I kidding? I am no Costantine and there is still a part of me that is skeptical about the whole thing still and that part is the weakness in me that doubts when pure faith is called for, that fears when pure courage is called for, that gives up when perserverence is called for. For most of my life i have been trying to locate and remove this part of my being but every so often it gets the better of me and that is when i stumble and fall walking the same old ground, more as Pink Floyd would have said it like living in a fish bowl. The Buddha called the dual thinking mind and in Islam it is called...Nafsu. The state of mind that bows to the whims of one's lower desires or give in or give up ever so easily and readily without a fight.
I am however not one to walk away from a fight when push comes to shove and especially when the safety of my loved ones comes into question, I too will be will to reach into hell if need be to grab my wife back. My love for her has grown more and more since we were married and it was not a love at first sight for us it was more of lets give it a shot kinda and make it work for both of us for we were both in bad shape when we met , we had no sense of direction and were still working out our neorotic lifestyles at the time. When it comes to relationships my wife's is a story of a battered woman who was ill treated by three separate men in her life at least that I know of and each leaving her with an abortion and as for me i had the same option for her but decided to take on beigna husband and raising my child instead. No sense in looking back too much it only makes for sob story and sob stories is not what i have in mind on this day of the fastinf month of Ramadan!


The Long Distance Healing

Today I decided to continue painting on my large canvasses for the exhibition and yesterday I completed one with ease and liked the outcome. I decided to paint of lanscapes from around the campus in black and white as the show is primarily in black and white. But it is raining and so I decided that i'd opt for an indoor activity instead and seeing that i am close by to the CC, here I am.
For the past few days i have been driving north with my cousin brother and family to see a faith healer cum religious teacher. He claims he can cure my wife of her ailment of which the doctors here in Malaysia and those in Illinois in the USA have claimed that my wife is beyond any cure. Her Alzheimers or dementia is rapid and she has come to the point where there is no hope for her medically and two medical specialists written to me from two medical facilities in the US where she has been admitted.I have accepted these dicissions medically speaking as i do not doubt they the doctors being experts knows what they are talking about.
However, here I am not totally convinced that my wife who is still relatively young for here to have Alzheirmer's which in most cases are attributed to old age like in the seventies and eighties. I have been skeptical about her condition from day one but had no way of proving my suspicions except through talking and and making enquiries through people as to why or how or what might be wrong with my wife. Sending her back to Illinois was decission i had to abide by as it was requested by my mother -in-law and she was right in making sure that my wife got the proper medical care given by the best in America and i respect her wish as a mother to make sure that her daughter is well cared for there as she might not get over here being a foreigner and unable to speak Malay of any other malaysian languages even though she speaks Japanese fluently enough to have a certificate to teach it.
Now the time has come for me to set in motion the healing process of my wife who according to almost all those faith healers, spititual healers, bomohs and so on that i have talked to have all agreed that my wife is a vicitm of a sick mind that had the desire to possess her and went about it in a diabolical way. I was told that my wife was made through black magic to forget me totally but instead of forgetting me she forgot who she is and the rest is history for her. So now I have employed the services of a Religious teacher to free my wife from this curse imposed upon her which todate is about to cause her to become a vegetable and even die. The process is to remove whatever was fed to her that made her ill and this will not easy as she is not here ans so it will be a long distance faith healing kind of thing. If the mailman can deliver his mail around the world Allah can deliver Hu's Grace anywhere He wishes in this Universe ans all it takes is Love and Faith and I love my wife and have great faith in my belief and in the Al Mighty's Grace worked through those capable in delivering His Miracles.
For those involved in this inhuman act that is destroying a beautiful person who has dedicated her life towards education and who has not a bone to pick with anyone all i can say is that Allah is Merciful but I am not and so what has been done to my wife will be returned to the perpetrators. This is how it is done over here when you deal with the supernatural to get what you desire. So in the next few days should tell whether there is any truth in the whole matter or it is just another hoax that I have become a victim of on top of having about lost my wife.As they say it is all in His hands, Insh'Allah!

Friday, September 21, 2007


Its here the month of Ramadan, fasting and observing the strict moral codes of a good Muslim, performing the whole act of total submission in the form of Taqwa towards the Al- MIghty (AST). It is going on a week exactly and I am not doing as well as I should so far but i have been observing the fasting as far as eating and drinking is concern but when it comes to the rest of my senses I am still under the sway of the Al-Mighty Shaitan! God I need a Woman in my life to even things out! It has been more than fifteen years now since I tasted sex believe it or not, and I have not even taken any vows of celibacy!!

I went to have a talk with the person in charge of the foreign student admissions at the Education Department here and was not surprised by the banal and almost to the point arrogant treament i was given by the man in charge. His name was given to me by my son's school teacher who handled the issue, it is Ibrahim Yaacob, I am writing it down so I do not forget this character for future refrence. He told mewith a smirk on his face, that there was no way he could waive the fees for my children as it is the law. However there is a way he said. I could go to the school principal and ask the school to pay for my children as they have allocated funds to take care of these matters. If it had not been the fact that I was fasting and was in no mood making a dickhead of myself I would have told the jerk off a thing or two. Being tired and fasting I walked out of his office less then happy a fellopw Malay, Muslim Arsewhole of a bureaucrate playing me the ping pong game of go back and ask the China man to pay for it, I am becoming the pawn in their interdepartmental feud. The good old racial ping pong match on who has the authority or who can outsmart who in this matter.
Today my trip to the principal's office accompanied by the same teacher who sent me to the Education Department was quite enlightening. Also present was an Indian lady teacher who has my son in one of her classes and the four of us includiong the Principal a Mr. Khor had it out for some time. Mostly i was given the spill about my responsibility as a father and the fact that God would want me to settle my debts and how dissappointed he was in the the fact students defaulted their loans and how I should move pout of Penang area if I cannot afford the life style and so on.
When he was done I told him that the answer is no! He or the school is not going the help and thats all i wanted to know so i can go back and tell the other guy at the Education Department. The Principal was caught offgaurd and a reiterated the facted he has offered to look into the possibility of helping me and on and on he went again. In essence everyone of these bureaucrats are looking into laying it thick on you when they thing they got you and when they dont they look to covering their arse.
I told him that it is not that i dont have the money right from the start it is the fact that why should i pay foreign student fees for my two children when i am a Malaysian! Is this what it means to be independant for 50 years? A man has no right any more that an immigrant worker in his own country and on the other hand the government that he voted for is bragging about how it is helping the people in educational costs!! Read the news papers!
I told the principal that if my children were deprived of their education or they are out of school the government can deport them to the US and if and when that happens I will end up in the court of law along with the rest of the Government agencies and the characters like himself to testify over the issues and offcourse i will make it happen through the help of the opposition leaders who would be a little more sypathetic towrds my years of agonizing life here in dealing with the so called System of which He the Pincipal is one of them. LIke a the string of well intentioned people who had been offering me advices over the predicament I have with my children's citizenship issue, Mr Khor asked me to look up a datuk or someone influential in the government to intervene for me, the last sympathetic note that I have gotten from just about everyone.
Ironnically the word Datuk in Malay can mean a title given to someone by a ruler for his or her contributions towards society or it can also be used when one speak of a Bomoh or faith or spitiual healer. The Chinese uses it more commonly when the speak of this or that datuk who has strong powers in healing or giving accurate four digit numbers. Later today I will be going to visit a datuk of the later kind the Bomoh with one of my cousins here. This man claims that he can heal my wife despite the distance from here and Illinois in the USA. I beleive in Miracles and who knows in the month of Ramadan where all is possible with the AlMIghty, the datuk can deliver what he claims even if it is to the tune RM 500 for the effort.
After all it is the Month of Ramadan!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

What;s going on these days?

Had to pay a visit to my son's school to find out that both my children might be getting booted out of the educational system here as their school fees have not been paid. Being foreign born they have to pay extra and I have not been able to come up with the amount to cover their fees to the tune of 800RM. At my last look I had four RM in my bank account no where near the ammount required. If my children does not attend school they may be deported as they would automatically become illegal aliens in this country. They are here so far on a student visa untill they finish their education. Things are getting to the point where i am about had it with the System.
My art show will be held next month at the USM Muzium Gallery and I am praying that I will sell afew to cover for next month's rent and car payment and as for the school fees I have written to one of my nephews for help and hopefully my son in the US will also come through.
Iy is not a pretty picture for me financially and for my children their future seem bleak too as I really have no idea what the hell to do anymore. Where do I go from here?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Great teachers and friends- Penang

Here in Penang where i was born and raised in my childhood I had the privillage of having a few great individuals in my life, those who affested me one way or another through making their acquaintances. One such individual was my auntie who was the midwife and about whom I might have dealt with earlier on. It was from her that I learned about being charitable toward all those in need and serving those who need to be srved. I learned about patience and knowing when to take crap and when to hand it out. In her the saying that one person can make a difference bacme a reality for me in the ways she had served this community. I am proud to have been and indeed privillaged to have been a part of her life growing up, those years that mattered most. An incident that touched me most about my auntie was when I saw her giving away the 'pengkeras' or the payment for her services as a midwife. Usually it was in the form of some rice and a piece of damar a, a lime and a piece of new sarong.