The Bond Awards

The Greatest Bond – EVER! – Let’s start with the easiest. This one goes to Sir Sean Connery. Frankly, nobody does it better… Fans of Roger Moore might violently disagree. But hey! They should just stick to watching The Saint.

The Meanest Bond Award – Bond is British. But one guy took it a step further: Bond is now British as well as BRUTISH! This honour goes to Daniel Craig

The Luckiest Bond Award – This one goes to Timothy Dalton. Why? He got to play opposite the most beautiful Bond girl ever: Maryam d’Abo

The Unluckiest Bond Award – What can I say? George Lazenby wins this hands down. Why? Well, he actually went off and got himself married (albeit to Diana Rigg), didn’t he? And to top it all off, she got snuffed out by the bad guys.

The Best-Looking Bond – I’d say this would have to go to Pierce Brosnan. Then again, Bonds shouldn’t look pretty: they should just look like Sean Connery

The Should Have Stayed Home Award – How shall I put this? Roger Moore was sort of OK-ish as Simon Templer in the Saint, wasn’t he? He should have stayed there.

Langkawi Five-0

“You’re the biggest goddamn 12-year old I ever met!”

In some twisted way, that was probably the second nicest thing anyone said to me during our reunion at Langkawi last weekend. I was really touched.

It all began when about a year ago when a dear friend (and former employer) mooted the idea of a reunion for our batch (the 1975 intake of MRSM Seremban). Frankly, I was a bit sceptical because the plan specified, of all things, that the entire group shall be flown to Langkawi on a chartered flight. My mind immediately protested: collecting everyone’s portion of the charter was going to be a logistical nightmare. I would have been better off if I were to start building the plane with my bare hands right there and then. This way, we stood a better chance of arriving at Langkawi in the same aircraft on the slated date. Continue reading

I Love My Stan Smiths

I recall buying my first pair of Stan Smiths. It cost a RM45 a pair back in 1977. This was an insane amount for a pair of shoes when, for example, a clerk at MAS at the time earned only RM175 a month. It was even more insane when you happen to be a 15-year old student with no income to speak of.

But buy them I did. I even tried bargaining with the lady. Since I had rather dainty feet (size 6, actually), I argued they should be cheaper because less material was used. I thought this was rather clever. Then the lady replied, “OK, I understand. But if you want your money’s worth, young man, may I suggest you get a size 11?”

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Just the Two Of Us

The new 2010 re-issue of the CB1100

If you were in your mid-teens in the mid-70s – and if you had even a nano-gramme of testosterone coursing through your veins – chances are you would have lusted over a motorcycle more than you did over pretty little Kiah next door who was busily out-growing every new bra she bought.

Further, if like me you, too, were a teenager who lived with your grandparents, any access to a motorcycle would have been severely curtailed. They were dangerous, death-dealing machines. No amount of coaxing or cajoling (or emotional blackmail) on your part would have gotten you the permission to go anywhere near one.

Thus, without a bike to call my own, I quickly found out that access to Kiah was much more doable. But that – as I am fond of saying – is another story altogether.

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An Inadvertent Time Traveler

The training gig was scheduled to take place at the client’s training academy located in the quaint little town of Batu Gajah. Thinking about it, I realised that this was perhaps a peculiar (if not unfortunate) name for a town. Brushing aside the recurring vision of pachyderm testicles being displayed proudly by the townsfolk in the town square, I started my long lonely drive.

I thought the drive would take me to yet another faceless town like the many faceless towns we were likely to find off the beaten track. Instead, I found myself in a place where I had never been before but felt as if it was one where I had been all my life. Instead of arriving at yet another non-descript business destination, it felt as if I had found myself in a place I would have called home had I been around in the late 40s or early 50s.

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Here and Now

Suddenly, 25 years does not seem too long ago. I have Facebook to thank for this. The thing is I don’t know if this is a good or bad thing. Memories from a quarter of a century ago can play some pretty nasty tricks on you.

On the one hand, I still reel from the pain of kicks and punches I received in the ring when I competed in the kick-boxing circuit. But on the other, I have quite forgotten what the caress of the mid-spring breeze at Regent’s Park feels like. It should be the other way round, shouldn’t it? But it isn’t.

Similarly, the desolation I felt when I flunked my second year at law school is still very real to me. Somehow, if I can still dig up the elation of having cleared my A-levels in just six months, it would maybe balance things out a little. But I can’t.

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The Day I Almost Lost A Friend


When I used to flog life insurance for a living, we used to break our fast at the office. Firstly, being bachelors, there was nothing and nobody waiting for us at home. Secondly, the office WAS the closest thing we had to a home.

Like always, we waited for the break of fast by ribbing each other to death. The telly in the training room would soon broadcast the ‘Azan’ signalling that it was time gorge on whatever it was we had bought from the Bazaar Ramadan nearby.

On that day, my dear friend A had decided to plant himself in front of the telly in the training room to wait for the Azan. The rest of us, as usual, preferred to goof-off outside on the agency floor. So, off A went to the training room with his bagful of donuts and a Big Gulp he had bought from the local 7-Eleven.

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It’s A Train


People tell me there’s always light at the end of the tunnel. Of course there is! In my case, this light is usually a runaway train intent on splattering me all over the walls of the tunnel.

When this happens – and it’s been happening a lot lately – I hanker for a time when things had been very much simpler. It was a time when I had precious little to call my own: no money, no women – but best of all, no worries. All I needed were my guitar, a quiet busking pitch near Tottenham Court Road tube station and a gaggle of buxom Italian tourists who, for some reason, were always quite happy to throw money (and a few other things as well) my way.

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Rose Fatimah


These days, I hang out for quite a bit at a training provider located in Danau Kota. The strategy is simple: if they see me often enough, they’ll hopefully assign me to a training job or two. The good news is that it seems to be working. The better news is that Danau Kota is dead smack next to Taman Ibukota – the place where I grew up and learnt the things I should and also a few things I shouldn’t have as well. So, it’s sort of a trip down memory lane. Continue reading

Driving Instructors, Camels and Volkswagen Beetles


Unlike most males (adolescent or otherwise) – who got hard-ons from looking at the posters of sleek sports cars stuck to their bedroom walls – I was never very big on cars. Perhaps this was why I got my driving licence very late in life – when I was 31, in fact. Even then, the decision to go for driving lessons had been prompted by an ultimatum issued by my boss at work, “Get a driving licence or get a new job!” I guess that made sense: a salesperson without much mobility was probably pretty useless to the company.

Thus motivated, I enrolled at a driving school and started my lessons. Despite being reasonably competent at it, I had seriously unreasonable doubts about my own driving skills. That I might lose my job if I failed the bleeding driving test probably had a lot to do with this. So I hatched a scheme to stack the odds in my favour: I would give my instructor a carton of Camels (his favourite brand) every time I went for lessons.

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