Thursday, November 20, 2008

mappila songs (മാപ്പിള്ള പട്ടു)

Mappila song are folklore Muslim songs sung mainly by Mappila Muslims(Malayali Muslim minority in Kerala)and is a unique mixture of middle eastern and indian music.I found this wonderful clip in Youtube.Enjoy listening to it even if you do not understand.....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

my journey to Bukit Laksamana

Bukit Laksamana is one of lofty peaks on Penang,at around 740m in elevation.(Hills in Penang do not exceed 833metres and even a 700m hill is considered high) It takes a long, tenuous,backbreaking hike of approximatety 2.5hrs to 3hrs to reach the peak of Bkt Laksamana.(depending on fitness levels some may take more than that to reach the top)I will relate to you my jouney up to the top of this jungle clad hill.
It was a usual Sunday morning,when most people were sound asleep,i had to wake up early.I remember vividly,the handphone showing 6.06am,the exact time i set the night before.The temptation to lie on my bed again was strong,and before long i succumbed to my temptations only to be woken up again a few minutes later when my father stormed into my room.After making necessary preparations and having a sumptuous Keralite brunch that morning,we headed north to Teluk Bahang Forest park,where the hill is located.

We were greeted by nature's ubiquitious sounds and there was no indication of human presence there except a few local children roaming about here and there.At around 8.15am we embarked on our uphill trek.The forest was damp and layer of mist suspended above our heads.The air was so refreshing and rejuvenating.About twenty minutes later the 'morning walk' was over.From here onwards it was a strenuous uphill climb.
After the steep uphill climb we reached the first of the stations.I pushed myself up the rough topography,constantly reminding myself of the reward (a sip of 100plus drink!!)waiting for me once i reach each Station.Even if it may sound strange but this was my motivation which pushed me to go faster up the hill.At every station along the trail,i rewarded myself with a sip of 100plus!! Syriac hyms rang repeatedly in my mind helping to offset the pain and exhaustion caused by the hike.Let me fast foward a bit.....Slowly, we passed each station and constantly kept track of our pace as the trail got steeper along the Laksamana hill ridge.After 2.5 hours we finally reached the top,and the view was breathtaking and awesome.

The hill side facing Western hill and the main Penang Hill ridge was covered in a yellowish greenish carpet of sun ferns and other secondary shrubs, while the other side facing Balik Pulau was covered by verdant trees.There was a dilapidated viewpoint on the hill,which gives a good view of the Telok Bahang village,the dam,Batu Ferringhi and other hills.It was indeed worthwhile to climb all the way up.We satisfied our stomachs with sublime indian food(we brought it for the hike)before heading down.The journey down was also steep and this took its toll on our knees. We safely came down at 2.00pm.


Hi everyone.After days of thinking and pondering,i set out on a new and radical mission to start a blog.I wish to expose my ideas and principles through this blog and hopefully have discourses about any subject which interests me This blog also gives me a golden opportunity to enhance language skills and be a well equipped person ready to face the challenges of this globalised society.I am deeply interested in Middle Eastern topics,especially the study of middle eastern minorities,the arab-israeli conflict,the arab question,syriac and assyrian(ethnic group) history.I am also a nature lover or in other words a self described environmentalist.I hope to publish monthly periodicals about my weekly adventures in the forests.I am an open minded person and do not treat constructive criticism with contempt.So feel free to comment about my articles and ask me questions.Thank you.Shlomo.