18 June 2021

My mother defeated the COVID19 virus and is back home

 A post I made on Facebook a few days back.

Our Ima is finally back home and happy. 

We did not even have time to mourn the passing of our Baba, our Ima was hospitalised the same day. It was my childhood friend Dr. James Elangbam who convinced me to have my mother hospitalised. We thought that she would be in for a couple of days but in the end, it turned out to be a roller coaster ride of 21 days – emotionally, mentally and physically, especially as we are all so far away. It was like a Korean drama – my wife corrected me; it was more like a Hindi movie with a happy ending.   

She was initially diagnosed as asymptomatic, and the doctor expected her to be discharged in a few days but later her oxygen saturation or SpO2 levels dropped and she had to be put on oxygen. Later she became so weak, that she could not get up let alone walk to the bathroom. At one point, Dr. Goldie was visiting her and found that Ima’s SpO2 levels had actually gone down to 70 – something really serious for those who are not aware. Then, there was the problem of her blood sugar which was erratic – sometimes really low and then shooting up. Just a couple of days ago, she literally collapsed, and it was Che Thoi, who had the presence of mind to quickly feed her some food and alert the nurses.  She slowly recovered and we really must thank Che Thoi, our cousin, who really took great care of her. 

Anyway, we are really glad that she is out of the hospital finally. She is not out of the woods just yet but when they last checked her SpO2 levels before leaving the hospital, it was 99 (which is good) without oxygen support. 

There is a long list of people who helped us reach this point. First of all, I would like to thank the Almighty God who opened the hearts of so many people to help and guide us. Dr. James was among the few who got back in touch with me when I reached out to many of my doctor friends on Facebook. He along with Dr. Reena Arambam, part of the RMC colony gang, helped us to get Ima into Shija Hospital. Dr. Reena was in constant contact with us, even when she was down with dengue. Vimala Rajkumari who helped us to get Ima a room at the hospital. Ka Meghraj who was always there with us – advising and listening to us. This has brought us close to our cousins Che Thoi, Suranjoy Singh Loitongbam, Asangbam Satyabarta Singh, Sonalika Khoirom and Dipu Khoirom. Our Aunts Nene Mutum Hemabati and Nene Tondon. We don’t know what we would have done without them. We cannot forget Newmai and Rose who took care of Baba during his last moments. I also reconnected with Dr. Ashangbam Vivekananda Singh, through Dr. James. Thanks so much for the oxygen concentrator. 

Last but not the least, our spouses Ezlika Ghazali, Fred and Sumit Taluja and our children, for supporting us during these few tough weeks. 

Please forgive us if we missed anyone here. I know a lot of friends and family prayed for her. 

We will not forget your kindness.  May God bless you.

Dilip, Juliana & Diana 

18 March 2021

Thabal chongba, Nati, Dabke and other similar dances

I was going through YouTube videos and came across Dabke folk dances from the Levantine. I realised that there are some similarities with the traditional Nati folk dances native to the states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttrakhand in India. There are also similarities with the Thabal Chongba dance from Manipur and traditional dances from Greece. Nati from Himachal Palestinian Dabke Lebanese Dabke Kurdish Greek traditional dances Manipuri Thabal Chongba  

08 January 2021

Reviewing Extra Virgin Olive Oil Brands

Have been trying out different extra virgin' olive oil brands.

Extra-virgin olive oil refers to oil from cold-pressed olives, not processed and often more expensive than regular olive oil.

So far I have tried 5 brands, namely, Filippo Berio (Italian), Colavita (Italian), Red Island (Australian), O' Forest (Malaysian brand but using Olive oil from Spain) and California Olive Ranch (American).

In the end, after the taste test (yes, we consume it raw) the clear winner is the Australian brand, Red Island. Really mild, smooth and delicious. 

It is also the most recently pressed 2020 as compared to the others which were cold-pressed in 2019. I am not sure whether it tasted better because it was the freshest. The others have a slightly more peppery after-taste. Supposedly the more peppery, the higher the antioxidants.

Let me know your favourite brand and why.

07 October 2020

Blogiversary 17 Years

My Blogiversary passed and I didn't even realise it. I started blogging on my ah ok lah blog on September 2003. 


That was actually 17 years ago.

I was still single then, much slimmer and had just joined academia as a lecturer at Universiti Utara Malaysia.

Brings back a lot of great memories. 

I have not been blogging much recently but I plan to start blogging on a regular basis.

Happy Belated Birthday to my blog.

05 October 2020

Thinking about zombies

Yesterday, I was finally able to catch the final episode of this season's The walking dead, one of my favourite TV shows. 
I am not sure whether other people have thought about this as O know most watch it got entertainment, however I was thinking of the science. The only way to kill the zombies or walkers is to destroy the brain. Even though the show is now supposedly several years after the zombie apocalypse, there are thousands of zombies walking around. They are supposed to be dead and as we all know dead people will start decomposing, including their brains. The fact that they can walk and even tear apart stuff means that their brains are still alive, blood is still flowing and muscles are still functional, and can still bite. This is not really believable as the brain is among the first organs to decompose. If a few years, that is fine. However, to see so many zombies decades later is simply not possible.
In some episodes we can see zombies without the body and only the head hissing and moving the mouth. 
The explanation may be that the zombie apocalypse was caused by super microbes which take over the dead body and specifically the brain and keep it alive. Or alternatively a more credible explanation from a scientific point of view, may be nanobots released into the atmosphere which are now in the bodies of all human beings and which are activated once the body dies and they take over. 
I know this has been a slightly morbid post. However, I would love to hear your theories of you are a fan of zombie movies and still reading my blog. 

28 May 2020

Review of Kedai Kaki Lelong second hand store at Section 19 PJ

I strongly believe in the 3 Rs: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle and in the UK, I loved going to the car boot sales and all the charity shops in our locality in Coventry. There were lot of great deals on books and other stuff. 

I am currently working on a DIY project and need some speakers and decided to go to the Kedai Kaki Lelong second-hand store at Section 19 PJ. It is easy to miss as it doesn't even have a signboard. It is opposite the BHP station and near the Caltex. The address is:

4, Jalan 19/1b
Seksyen 19
46300 Petaling Jaya

I have been here a couple of times and have bought a few things. When I went there yesterday, there were not that many customers, probably because of the MCO and I thought I might get some good deals. I thought wrong.

Most of the stuff here is quite overpriced - for used items. There was some nice furniture but I was thinking that you can add a couple of hundred dollars and could get brand new ones. 

Anyway, I couldn't find a pair of good speakers I was looking for. There was a nice Panasonic mini HiFi system but I was only looking for speakers and the price of RM250 was too high for an old set. In the end, I decided to go for two computer speakers which were from different sets. I was about to pay and I think the lady there was unsure of the price and called somebody - probably the Boss. I was shocked when she told me that the price was RM100 for the pair of speakers - the old, small, dirty computer speakers. I offered to pay RM50 but she told me that the last price was RM80. With that price, I can get a brand new pair of computer speakers on Shopee or Lazada. 

In the end, I came back without buying anything. I don't think I will be going back again. If you are looking for used stuff and don't want to waste your time, I suggest that you look at Mudah.com. Lot more variety and numerous great deals. 

Can you recommend a good second hand store in Malaysia?

26 May 2020

Why do people buy expensive watches?

This is an updated version to an answer I wrote on Quora some year back.

Some asked why people buy overpriced watches and what's wrong with a simple Casio? Here is my answer:

There is nothing wrong with a simple Casio and in fact, the popularity of the simple Casio F-91W is an indication that many people still use the watch for utilitarian purposes - to tell time.

However, for many people a watch is more than just a tool for telling time, it is something that represents their personality. For them, it is a fashion accessory. They wear a watch as a fashion accessory. Something that goes with their outfit, something that enhances their overall look. They often have watches in different colours and materials to match the OTDs.Many have multiple watches - some which they wear to work, others for more formal occasions, others for sports and so on.

I know of people who save up and spend thousands of dollars on a watch which is several times their monthly salary. It may be a reward to themselves for something they accomplished - to remember an important occasion. For example, I bought myself an expensive watch when I got promoted.

Others use the watch as a status symbol, to show off: “Look at me! I am wearing a really expensive watch!" The thought that you have something that not everybody has, is quite appealing to a number of people. It can be a signal of who you are and what you have achieved in life.

On the other hand, I know several people - the so-called "watch nerds", who choose certain brands, which are quite expensive, because of the quality that goes into the making of the watch. This includes the materials used, the complications. They love the engineering and art that goes into the wristwatches, the overall quality - not just the movements but the polishing, the decorations on the movements which others can't see and even the straps. They also celebrate the heritage of the brands as well - waiting and searching for that rare grail watch, for which they are willing to spend thousands of dollars

In conclusion, there are numerous reasons why many people buy expensive watches.

Why did you buy your expensive watch?


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