Wanderlusting Sabah (Malaysia) – Part III

It was a week of full bliss. My sister is definitely the best host I could ever wished for.

You can’t say you’ve been to Sabah if you haven’t seen this. It’s the peak of Mount Kinabalu.

Dawn at Kinabalu Park.

The tree canopies are awesome. Hundreds of hundred year old trees providing protection for your fragile skin.

It was growing dark in the early evening.

You can’t really see much after 4-5 PM.

It’s a miracle that no one jumps in. We were going to Poring, a place known for hot spring.

I had a little leech on my neck. My sister noticed it and screamed. We were lucky that we had immediate assistance. I was dancing with goose-flesh for about 5 minutes.

Anyway it was the entertainment for the day.

Wanderlusting India – Part III

I went to a reserved park. It was a huge place so I rent a bike, a guide and off we went for a spin.

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This guy was having a break and nearby I saw a neat sight.

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If you saw his straw hut, you maybe won’t expect it’s solar powered. That was the most incredible sight! [In addition, I graduated from an Environmental Engineering course so this little thing made my day :)]That thing is expensive!

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I saw this little guy in the middle of the road. I stopped and put him aside, after a nice picture. You can see he’s quite shy.

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Then I went to a saree factory. They have a basement full of men working on embroidery.

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It was top quality too. This is a sample of an Indian wedding tunic for men.

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Upstairs, you can see the colors go on and on to infinity and beyond. Every combination color imaginable, every material you only see or read in story books are reachable on the wooden shelves from floor to the ceiling, the consultant will be busy studying the best color for your skin and making sure the drinks are flowing. It’s up to you then to make the best of the situation and get the best of price. If you’re lucky you’ll be invited for a free vegetarian lunch 🙂

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I was not very fond of the cold morning but Rajastan is a city you don’t wish to skip when visiting India.

Collection of Words III

1) Bizarre travel plans are dancing lessons from God
[Kurt Vonnegut]

2) When you’ve got something to prove, there’s nothing greater than a challenge.

3) Nobody’s ever drowned in his own sweat.

4) A ship in harbor is safe – but that is not what ships are built for

[John A. Shedd]

5) The key to failure is trying to please everybody

[Bill Cosby]

6) Travel light: own only what you carry with you. Know language. Know countries. Know people. Let your memory be your travel bag.

[Alexander Solzhenitsyn]

7) Be a fountain, not a drain

8) We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us

9) I will go anywhere, as long as it’s forward

[David Livingstone]

10) To travel is to live

[Hans Christian Anderson]

11) No man is a fool to give up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.

12) The biggest mistake is not making one.

13) If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.

[G. Anderson]

14) If your heart is pulling you in a direction that has mystery and wonder, trust it and follow it.

[David Wilcox]

15) May all your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing views where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your deepest dream waits for you.

[Edward Abbey]

16) Regret for the things we did can be tempered with time: it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.

[Sydney J. Harris]

17) You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you’ll discover will be wonderful. What you’ll discover will be yourself.

[Alan Alda]

18) Do not be timid or squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment.

[Ralph Waldo Emerson]

19) If you want a place in the sun, you must leave the shade of the family tree.

[Osage saying]

20) What we all try to complain about most people are those things we don’t like about ourselves.

21) Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.

[Goethe]

22) You can have anything if you want it desperately enough. You must want it with an inner exuberance that erupts through the skin and joins the energy that created the world.

[Sheila Graham]

23) The thing always happens that you really believe in: and the belief in a thing makes it happen.

[Frank Lloyd Wright]

24) A great pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.

25) Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.

[Reggie Leach]

26) A year from now you may wish you have started today.

27) Be bold – and mighty forces will come to your aid.

[Basil King]

28) The future always belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.

[Eleanor Roosevelt]

29) If you’re going to do something wrong, at least enjoy it.

[Leo Rosten]

30) To avoid criticism, do nothing, say nothing, be nothing.

31) Every man has the right to risk his own life in order to save it.

[Jean Jacques Rousseau]

32) There is only one success – to be able to spend your life in your own way.

[Christopher Moley]

33) Shiver awake at the doing of your dreams.

[Bob Savino]

34) There is 2 magical days in your life. The first day is the day you were born and the latter is when you know why.

35) Whatever you’re ready for is ready for you.

36) The bolder your promises, the richer your bounty

[Vickie L. Milazzo]

37) Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve.

38) Do something everyday that scares you.

[Eleanor Roosevelt]

39) To speak another language is to open another door to an entire universe.

[Ignacio Padilla]

40) Only when we no longer afraid do we begin to live.

[Dorothy Thompson]

41) The way to love anything is to realize that it might be lost.

42) Life is a daring adventure or nothing.

[Helen Keller]

43) Intelligence is like river. The deeper it is, the less noise it makes.

44) Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?

[Mary Oliver]

45) To live is the rarest thing. Most people exist, that is all.

[Oscar Wilde]

46) If you can dream it, you can do it!

[Walt Disney]

47) Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.

[Plato]

48) Intelligence is like underwear. We all should have it but we shouldn’t show it off.

49) No one realizes how beautiful it is to travel until he comes home and rest his head on his old, familiar pillow.

[Lin Yutang]

50) One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.

[Henry Miller]

The Pin – Part 3 (Last)

In total, Katniss sang 3 songs that had huge significance in her life. These simple songs attracted the mockingjays and like always, her lovely voice was appreciated by recomposing the song in their brilliant manner.

The first song was the valley song. We didn’t know the exact lyrics of the song because she hardly remember the occasion but that particular moment cemented Peeta’s undying feelings for the girl with the red plaid dress.

And I swear, every bird outside the windows fell silent.” [The Hunger Games, Chapter 22]

The second song was the mountain air song, the lullaby she used to sing for Prim, the same one she sang to Rue during her final moments. Not only she managed to fulfill her last wish, she realized what game the Capitol put them through and sent the message nationwide.

Then, almost eerily, the mockingjays take up my song.” [The Hunger Games, Chapter 18]

The third song was The Hanging Tree. Caroline McCormick sang it beautifully on the audio book and I found some nice melodic version of it on Youtube too. I particularly liked the way Ms. Lost-on-cloud-9 dissected it here. It was perfect!

Peeta’s right. They do fall silent when I sing. Just like they did for my father.” [Mockingjay, Chapter 9]

This is also the song in which Peeta showed some significant progress post-hijacking.

Just like the pearl from which we could relate beauty (that arose from pain) and purity with Peeta, the pin connected freedom and rebellion with Katniss. Note that both are gifts given to her and both are lost after Katniss went back to District 12. You can check her box. I tell you the pin and the pearl was gone, probably destroyed in the same fire that scarred Katniss and Peeta for life.

Why?

In my opinion, the writer omitted the reappearance of the gifts for some obvious reasons. The pearl symbolized Peeta and he was back in her life. She no longer had to kiss the pearl for missing him so badly. He is her pearl so she won’t be needing a substitute anymore. On the other hand, the pin symbolized the rebellion and there is no need for one at the time being. Panem is free.

I do believe that you never lost anything. It’ll just come back to you dressed in a different suite, different shape, different colors, so many different ways.

Like, perhaps two babies.qq

Chapter 1 – Part 3

Moving on with Chapter 1.

In the first book, The Hunger Games, Gale has suggested to Katniss that they could have ran away (was it in an indirect way saying that he loves her and wants to spend his life with her? Was it for the safety of their families? Or both?) and in Catching Fire vice versa (Snow was not convinced of the romance and Katniss could not think of anything else better than running away) which did not help in any way possible. In both situations they would end up dead or being turned into Avoxes. They are brave hunters and survivors but choosing to avoid the big theme was in no way guarantees their safety. They must know deep down inside that this is not going to work, not in the long run.

The story would be much shorter and Panem would always be oppressed by the Snow’s regime. Gale cannot provide the spark though he has the full strength of the wind to blow it. Pun intended.

bakery

Strangely, Peeta, the boy with the bread, (who is a whiz with fire. He coaxed fire out of damp branches and even Katniss can’t do that although curiously she is the Girl on Fire) the one that had no knowledge of hunting or killing, started the ball rolling by confessing his tragic love story on national television which resulted to a chain of very strange consequences, rules changed and uprisings included. He didn’t even expect to live by the end of The 74th Hunger Games, didn’t expect to win the girl in Catching Fire (Everything: his life, his love, his future, that’s what he gave Katniss and expected nothing in return) and went crazy in Mockingjay (he lost his most prized possession: his mind.) He lost his entire family, half of his leg, his identity but he provided a spark that liberated Panem. Without his love, nothing of the sort would happen. Can you imagine such power? This is the price he had paid for being in love.

I know Gale too, is in love with Katniss. It would be unfair to compare the levels of love professed by the two men since we know so little of Gale. Glimpses of this and that (stolen kiss, whipping, hunting flashbacks) doesn’t provide us with the full detailed story. I know they had a lot of happy moments and she remembered it fondly. They were quite a team, soul mates perhaps at the start of the story.

Maybe some people like to be loved like this, like Gale did. I have to admit that his love is quite superficial, to me. Some people might disagree. He admitted kissing girls (I see that as bragging) around District 12 and only felt something after Darius flirted with Katniss (competitive edge) and later see Peeta as a competitor too. He expected Katniss to love him back, got upset when she mentioned Peeta and scraped the plan he told Katniss 100% he was in. I am very annoyed when he started to guilt-trip Katniss with the talk of his pain and how that’s the only way that Katniss would pay any attention to him. Peeta had far worse incidents and did not come up with such excuse, rather encouraged them to be together. He was never a threat to anyone until he was hijacked.

Gale’s love is strong but wind and fire is not a good combination.

Don’t get me wrong. Both men are strong and smart in very different ways. Gale knows how to hunt, kill, good with traps and snares and a fine soldier, very much like Katniss herself. Peeta on the other hand is very domesticated but he’s kind, warm, has the ability to think straight in the midst of chaos and understood the big picture.

But the author had Katniss included in a big plan. The two men in her life represented the past and future of Panem and she chose the future. It could never worked for Gale however hard she tried.

The kids issue came up early and Katniss clearly stated that she doesn’t want any. Her constant reasoning was the Games. She seemed adamant that love is weakness. She sees her mother as a victim of it. She reinforced the idea of not having children with Gale (while pretending to be pregnant with Peeta’s child and had no problem with it). She even said that it was ‘a mistake’ if she and Gale had children but convinced that Peeta would definitely be a better parent. Since Peeta cannot procreate alone, it’s quite safe to assume his choice had always included Katniss. Peeta, on the other hand thought Katniss would be a great mother seeing her fierce love with her sibling and how she protects Prim anyway she could. In a way they both obviously admire the qualities that the other has and see the full potential he/she could grow into. Her little imagination in Catching Fire brought the reality in the Epilogue. I think she never subconsciously considered Gale as her romantic partner.

In the first book, The Hunger Games, Katniss made it clear that she doesn’t have anything romantic between her and Gale. But towards the end she was not very consistent with her affirmation in the first chapter. Not that I don’t trust her but she’s very slow in processing feelings or meanings. I think she was not ready to like Peeta or to feel something towards him but she did anyway despite all of her reminding herself not to.

Since the triangle theme came up only after she met Peeta (not Darius, though we can safely say that he liked her), I think she tried to set her mind against Peeta. The topic might not come up if Effie reaped someone else. She might go hunting merrily for years later until confronted by the love topic when she’s older. Marrying Gale or ending up with him is the right thing to do (everybody expected her to do that, it’s the norm) but she was caught by surprised when she couldn’t after Peeta declared his love. It made her look weak, she said.

Since debt is Katniss’s favourite subject I think this is one of her reasons to try and choose Gale. They’re best friends and had been through a lot. Both have experienced lost, both born rebels, survivors, main family breadwinners though not having enough food. Their family knew each other and they’re used to each other’s rhythm until she volunteered for Prim. Although many people would claimed that she fell in love with Peeta in Catching Fire or by the end of the Quarter Quell, I think she had set her eyes on him since they were eleven, when he tossed her that burned bread.

As a person who treats any relationship as a transaction (Gale and her has a symbiotic kind of relationship, both benefit from the other) she cannot comprehend kindness and that focused her attention to him, subconsciously. She had wondered why since then. If we examine her relationship with Gale, she actually didn’t trust him immediately. It took her months to return a smile. They weren’t even in a life and death situation, not even in a competition and there were plenty of preys abound in the woods. What took her so long to trust Gale? Was it because he’s a stranger? But the funny thing with Peeta was that he was also a stranger and a very treacherous one at it, too but she has a strong instinct to trust him. Although they’re in a game to fight to the death, she has to remind herself to not trust him again and again.

Many times that she caught herself surprised with her actions towards Peeta. The obvious one is the kind warning before the private session, other times how she subconsciously look at Peeta though regretting it almost immediately. Note that they were actually joking when they met in the train at Haymitch’s expense. She smiled. She warmed up to him a lot faster when she knew very well that he can spin a very convincing lie, planning a strategy ahead and this was before Haymitch ordered them to be friends. She told him about the Avox and counted her debts owed to the boy with the bread. I don’t think she ever meant debts. That was the moments that pulled her heart towards him.

I think she has a special spot for him since they were young, that day when she was sprawled under the apple tree waiting to die and that was what she meant by ‘it would have happened anyway.’ It has always been him.

It has always been the boy with the bread.

Chapter 1 – Part 3

Moving on with Chapter 1.

In the first book, The Hunger Games, Gale has suggested to Katniss that they could have ran away (was it in an indirect way saying that he loves her and wants to spend his life with her? Was it for the safety of their families? Or both?) and in Catching Fire vice versa (Snow was not convinced of the romance and Katniss could not think of anything else better than running away) which did not help in any way possible. In both situations they would end up dead or being turned into Avoxes. They are brave hunters and survivors but choosing to avoid the big theme was in no way guarantees their safety.

The story would be much shorter and Panem would always be oppressed by the Snow’s regime. Gale cannot provide the spark though he has the full strength of the wind to blow it.

Strangely, Peeta, the boy with the bread, (who is a whiz with fire. He coaxed fire out of damp branch and even Katniss can’t do that although she is the Girl on Fire) the one that had no knowledge of hunting or killing, started the ball rolling by confessing his tragic love story on national television which resulted to a chain of very strange consequences, uprisings included. He didn’t even expect to live in The Hunger Games, didn’t expect to win the girl in Catching Fire and went crazy in Mockingjay. This is the price he paid for being in love. 

I know Gale too, is in love with Katniss. It would be unfair to compare the levels of love professed by the two men since we know so little of Gale. Glimpses of this and that (stolen kiss, whipping, hunting flashbacks) doesn’t provide us with the full detailed story. I know they had a lot of happy moments and she remembered it fondly.

Both men are strong and smart in very different ways. Gale knows how to hunt, kill, good with traps and snares and a fine soldier, very much like Katniss herself. Peeta on the other hand is very domesticated but he’s kind, warm, has the ability to think straight in the midst of chaos and understood the big picture.

The kids issue came up early and Katniss clearly stated that she doesn’t want any. Her constant reasoning was the Games. She reinforced the idea in Catching Fire while considering Gale. She even said that it was ‘a mistake’ if she and Gale had children but convinced that Peeta would definitely be better parent. Since Peeta cannot procreate alone, it’s quite safe to assume his choice had always been Katniss. Peeta, on the other hand thought Katniss would be a great mother seeing her fierce love with her sibling and how she protects her anyway she could. In a way they both see the full potential the other could grow into. Her little imagination in Catching Fire brought the reality in the Epilogue. I think she never subconsciously considered Gale as her romantic partner.

In the first book, The Hunger Games, Katniss made it clear that she doesn’t have anything romantic between her and Gale. But towards the end she was not very consistent with her affirmation in the first chapter. Not that I don’t trust her but she’s very slow in processing feelings or meanings. I think she was not ready to like Peeta or to feel something towards him but she did anyway despite all of her reminding herself not to.

Since the triangle theme came up only after she met Peeta (not Darius, though we can safely say that he liked her), I think she tried to set her mind against him. The topic might not come up if Effie reaped someone else. She might go hunting merrily for years later until confronted by the love topic when she’s older. Marrying Gale or ending up with him is the right thing to do (everybody expected her to do that, it’s the norm) but she was caught by surprised when she couldn’t after Peeta declared his love. Since debt is Katniss’s favourite subject I think this is one of her reasons to choose Gale. They’re best friends and had been through a lot. Both have experienced lost, both born rebels, survivors, main family breadwinners though not having enough food. Their family knew each other and they’re used to each other’s rhythm until she volunteered for Prim. Although many people would claimed that she fell in love with Peeta in Catching Fire or by the end of the Quarter Quell, I think she had set her eyes on him since they were eleven, when he tossed her that burned bread.

As a person who treats any relationship as a transaction (Gale and her has a symbiotic kind of relationship, both benefit from the other) she cannot comprehend kindness and that focused her attention to him, subconsciously. She had wondered why since then. If we examine her relationship with Gale, she actually didn’t trust him immediately. It took her months to return a smile. They weren’t even in a life and death situation, not even in a competition and there were plenty of preys abound in the woods. What took her so long to trust Gale? Was it because he’s a stranger? But the funny thing with Peeta was that he was also a stranger and a very treacherous one at it, too. They’re in a game to fight to the death and she has to remind herself to not trust him again and again.

Many times that she caught herself surprised with her actions towards Peeta. The obvious one is the kind warning before the private session, other times how she subconsciously look at Peeta though regretting in almost immediately. Note that they were actually joking when they met in the train at Haymitch’s expense. She smiled. She warmed up to him a lot faster when she knew very well that he can spin a very convincing lie, planning a strategy and this is before Haymitch ordered them to be friends. She told him about the Avox and counted her debts owed to the boy with the bread. I don’t think she ever meant debts. That was the moments that pulled her heart towards him.

I think she has a special spot for him since they were young, that day when she was sprawled under the apple tree waiting to die and that was what she meant by ‘it would have happened anyway.’ It has always been him.

It has always been Peeta.