Grab free online courses available now during lockdown

Thanks to one of the Instagram influencer that I was following recently, I got to know that there are free online courses available on the internet for everybody since the whole world are currently in lockdown or in strict movement control. You can just type “free online courses” on google search to find these free courses. I found interesting classes offered by Harvard University on Hinduism. It is totally free.

I find Coursera has a lot of interesting classes. One of the classes that I am currently following is “Learning How to Learn”. There is a timeline to finish this course with due date for assignments or quiz. I learn by watching videos and interviews given in the website. There are tons of other free courses too. Perfect way to spend time during this lockdown.

If you wish to get the certificate upon completing the course, there are some fee that you have to pay. This certificate you can attach on your LinkedIn profile for professional credential. So what are you waiting for? Grab this opportunity and google now to check! Share this information to everyone in your circle. Happy Learning!

Detachment is key to happiness

As I was preparing home made mask, my thoughts wandered. What is the cause of unhappiness? I realized that whenever I wanted to own something but I couldn’t afford makes me unhappy. Once I own it, again I become unhappy. I am single, desperately wanting to be in relationship makes me unhappy. But when I am in relationship, I’m still unhappy because I now have new desire which I haven’t own. I desperately wanted a specific job, I am unhappy when I couldn’t get it. Once I get it, my happiness doesn’t last long. The process of attaining something doesn’t make me happy nor does achievement makes happiness long lasting. So what is the key to happiness?

We always wanting something. That branded clothes. Expensive handphone. A job promotion. A friend choosing us instead of another friend. Wanting attention from special ones. Upgrading car to better ones. Ability to travel everywhere without worry. Extra money. Wanting more followers. Become famous. Become better than everybody else. We have so many desires. When we are unable to achieve something, we immediately become unhappy. Even if we don’t have much desires, we think we are okay with whatever that we have, still we are unhappy. There is a feeling of void inside of us. Do you feel this?

How if we are able to detach ourselves from the very thing that makes us unhappy? How if we can achieve a mind state that we will be completely fine whether we have certain things or not in life? How if we can separate the pain we feel in our heart and observe it as a third person? How if we can control ourselves by merely observing our thoughts and changing it? Once we are able to detach, then pain will no longer be there.

Detachment over non living things

Once we lose something we value like an expensive watch or brand new car which worth thousands can send us into deep sadness. Because we feel we have invested so much of money into it and now that it is lost from our possession, can make us really unhappy. We could be cursing ourselves for being so careless. But if we were to accept the fact that nothing belongs to us, everything we own in life is just temporary, then we know that we shouldn’t be attached to the non living things. If lost, we can always buy a new one. Maybe not the same, but it is replaceable. Having this mindset helps to balance our emotion in case something goes out of our hand.

Detachment over living things

Nobody is going to live forever and ever. The maximum lifespan one can live is only 100 years. Lifespan differs according to a country based on their lifestyle, eating habits, environment conditions, etc. Our loved ones will leave us one day. One day we might have to survive all on our own. Maybe with our own little family. Sometimes we do go on our separate ways even when they are still alive. Maybe we are no longer in good terms. Our ability to detach will ease this pain of separation whether they are still alive or left to another world.

Detachment over our own weaknesses and strengths

Sometimes we are attached to our own weaknesses. We feel this is how we are. We will always be like this. If we are lazy, we think we always will be lazy. Any weaknesses we have can be improved if we work on them. Attachment over our weakness makes us feel down whereas detachment gives us hope that one day I will be able to be better than who I am now. Attachment over our strengths makes us become egoistic. Maybe we are better in dancing or singing. We are so attached to our strengths that sometimes we couldn’t accept any other person is better than us. This can also lead to jealousy. Detachment over our strengths and weaknesses gives us the ability to observe ourselves. Reminds us to be conscious of our own thoughts.

Detachment over time

Everybody born at different time and grow at different places. Some are born rich and some are born poor. Some are meant to be a server. Some are meant to be a ruler. Everybody has a different timeline for important occasion in their life. Some graduate early. Some graduate late. Some will join workforce early and climb up the corporate ladder early. Some will become famous. Some will remain hidden under the sea. Everybody meant to live a different life. Life will be boring if all were to live similar life. Life will be predictable and will not be exciting if we know what is going to happen. Sometimes we chase time so that we can achieve things faster. But again the question of happiness comes in. Are we happy chasing the things we want? We could be chasing living things or non living things. Maybe we want to achieve things earlier than others. If we don’t, then we feel unhappy. Detachment over time is needed so that we can allow time to reveal things at the correct time. Maybe what we really needed will be given to us once we pass the current life exam. We have to let the life to unfold on its own. Our work is to make sure that we are happy going through it. Not to stress ourselves too much on why certain things are not happening.

Detachment is inner work

It is not easy to become detached from something or someone or time. We have to go within ourselves to be able to detach ourselves from this pain and suffering. Everytime we go crazy over attachment, it is important to keep reminding ourselves. This thing is separate from me. I don’t own it. This person is separate from me. I don’t own it. This is something I desire and I let time to unfold it. I don’t own time. I can’t control circumstances. I am aware of myself and my capabilities. What I meant to receive, I will receive it. What I meant to lose, I will lose it. We have to learn to become detached. We have to become separate. We must know how to live separate without attachment. Because attachment will bring us down. But detachment will bring us happiness.

Maintaining sanity during Covid 19

In Malaysia, we are currently under third phase of controlling the outbreak of Corona Virus. The first phase started from March 18 until March 31. The second phase started from April 1 until April 14. From April 15 until April 28 will be the third phase. I have been sitting at home for most of the time during this Movement Control Order (MCO) by our government. Once a week, I have been scheduled to work. The only time I was allowed to travel (of course with official letter from my employer). The other time, I limit myself from going out except to buy groceries.

My father is a type who don’t like to waste food. He doesn’t like buying and keeping stock at home. But I definitely do not want to starve in case we are not allowed to go out completely, so I do buy extra food and keep at home. Food that can last like flour, food in tin, noodles, etc. To avoid going out often, I will try to buy as much as possible that can last one whole week. There are news circulating that indicates total lockdown maybe on the way if Malaysians continue to go out and the cases are still high in numbers. The longer we are at home, the higher chances for us to lose our job. The economy will be badly affected. There are a lot of common people who don’t understand this doesn’t matter whether they are schoolkids, adults or senior citizen. Some declared they are ready to die but fail to understand they are infecting others and killing others too indirectly.

There are days I’m completely lazy, there are days I’m more productive. But it doesn’t feel the same like before. The energy level definitely dropped. Uncertainty, fear and negativity all comes together to attack my sanity. There are days I’m hopeful that things will be better once this pandemic is over.

Some of us might be going through hardship at the moment. Maybe unable to get food to eat. Maybe already sick but unable to get proper treatment. Single parent finding ways to feed the kids. Single ones might be feeling lonely. Husband and wife or boyfriend and girlfriend might be missing each other so much but unable to meet each other. Maybe parents unable to meet their kids. Some of us might have lost our family, friends or colleagues. Some of us might be stranded alone somewhere in the country. Unable to go home. Now Raya is coming. Even Bazar Ramadhan will not be opened to public. Probably delivery will be done instead of walk in.

This is a bad time but during bad time, we will be tested. We saw how the health ministry is handling this pandemic. We saw how the government is helping Malaysians to cope up with unpaid salary or job lost. The banks have deferred payment up to 6 months so that we can survive. So many NGOs, common people are coming out to help the needy. Not forgetting some are taking advantage at this time too. Some are delivering drugs under Grab delivery service. More scammers trying to cheat people. There are cases of burglary as some has left house for long time. But police are doing their work fast. We get updated news that the violators are getting arrested quite fast after they have been reported to the police.

For me, I keep my sanity by talking with my mum and siblings who are far away. Most of my time spent online in FB, Insta and Youtube. Plus the government has allocated 1 GB of free internet everyday from 8am to 6pm. Not much, but it definitely helps me to save my data as I’m always online now trying to keep myself occupied. Watching some good movies online. There are a lot of links given freely in FB. There are many who are now showcasing their skills by cooking. Dalgona coffee has gone viral. But I’m not really a cooking person. So you can’t really see me putting status of my cooking. I’m more into writing. So I keep writing. Just like a delicious meal takes time and practice to prepare, a good writing requires time and practice too.

If you are going through depression or any other mental illness, please seek for help. Depression is common now. Everybody goes through it. It is no longer a taboo to speak about depression. There are kind people who willing to help. You just need take a step out and look out. Avoid anything that makes you depressed. But during lockdown, it might be a bit difficult if you are staying with someone who is making you depressed. Just hold on. If it is physical abuse, please call for help. There are NGOs out there who is working to help you.

It is during this time that we can finally understand how those animals kept in zoo, in circus and in slaughter houses might be feeling. We have been thinking we are greatest creature on earth and that nobody can do anything to us. Now an invisible virus is threatening the entire human population. I hope once this lockdown is over, we will be more kind to mother nature and animals.

Hiking @ Broga

I guess it has to take a heartbreak in order for you to move your ass around and finally doing the things that makes you excited. I was keep talking about going hiking to everybody that I know. How nice it is to be in nature and surrounded by trees and greenery?! Most people unfortunately do not understand this. Probably because it takes a lot of effort to climb up and getting sweaty and aching muscles as a result.

I was keep telling my ex that I wanted to go for jungle trekking, to which he kept failing to fulfill with the excuse of busy working schedule. Finally after being single back, my cousin came to rescue me. When you are going through heartbreak, you need to keep yourself busy. Avoid thinking about past. Avoid going back to the very person who don’t deserve you. It is very tough for a person like me. Once I get attached, it takes super long time for me to heal and finally let go of that person.

So thanks to my dear cousin, Hemz who invited me to go to Broga. She is also a nature lover like me who loves hiking. At the back of my mind, I was bombarded with questions. “Am I fit to actually climb up? It has been more than 2 years since I last went for jungle trekking. How if I get dizzy half way?” While my memory recalled how there was once I couldn’t climb up due to not enough energy (I didn’t eat anything heavy, so half way I started to feel dizzy).

But I was more excited than feeling fear. I told myself I’m going. Nobody going to stop me. So my cousin reached my house around 5.30am in the morning. My mum managed to prepare some breakfast for us. We left the house around 6am. By the time we reach Broga, it was about 6.45am.

It was still dark at the time. I saw cars were queuing up to enter carpark, it was a bit jammed in the morning. So I decided to park along the roadside. Thinking I don’t have to pay for parking. But a chinese lady stopped us and asked us to pay RM1 while we were passing the carpark area. We thought it is the entry ticket, hence paid for it and started walking. There were some who were using torchlight. I was glad we only reached at this time because we didn’t bring torchlight. We could still see the path and followed the other people who were going in front of us. After about 10 – 15 minutes, there was another chinese lady collecting money. We thought we could just show our ticket and we will be allowed to go in. But no. This is another RM1. Apparently we are paying for farm. But there isn’t any farm nearby. I asked the lady what is the difference with the payment near the carpark. The lady pretended not to hear my questions and continued collecting money from the people who were queuing up. Having no clear understanding, since it was mentioned by another blogger that they too paid twice and since it was a minimum amount which is just RM1, they paid and hence we too paid. Everybody was paying. Then we continued climbing.

My cousin posing for a picture. We had to queue to climb up because there were a lot of people.

The path was dry and slippery. We had to use our hands to hold some of the trees as we climbed up. There were a lot of rocks along the way and in some places there were ropes to help you to climb up. Since I had low stamina and not fit enough, there were moments I had to sit down to catch my breath. As I was scared that I would start to feel dizzy just like last time. There were others who were also resting like me. After resting about 3 – 5 minutes, I would continue my climb up using the easiest path that we can find.

We took a break to click some picture.

Then we came to a huge rock that will require one person to lift you up. My cousin is thin and small in size, she managed to push herself through a small hole in between the rock and climbed up. She couldn’t lift me up as I’m bigger than her. Not knowing how to go up and there were already a queue behind me and they all shouting “You can do it, climb up!” It is impossible as I don’t strength in my hand to lift my own weight. Then a Malay guy climbed up on his own and helped another girl who was with him. By this time, one Malay guy came down from up. I told this guy that I need help to climb up. So he grasped my hand and pulled me up. Relieved. I thanked him and continue to climb as he continued to help others to climb up. There is another huge rock but this rock comes with a rope. You need to hold this rope to climb up which also required a lot of strength.

Beautiful sunrise view.

Here also we had a Malay girl to help us. She already climbed up and was sitting on the rock. While my cousin and myself try to climb up, she pulled the rope to make it easy for us to climb. I was thankful again. What a tough lady! We reached a few nice spot to take nice pictures. You have to wait for your turn as people will be busy taking selfies and group photos with different angles and styles.

Looking away…

Looking around, there were a lot of people climbing up and down. Definitely will not feel lonely. In few spots, we stopped to take a sip of water and then continued. Along the way, there were a lot of friendly hikers. You can see Malays, Chinese and Indians. Some will motivate you, some will sing song, some will be joking around. Some will wish you good morning while passing by.

After much hassle, with thoughts to stop at second peak as we were getting tired, then we saw the final route to the top of broga. The view at this point looked so refreshing with light green color with long grasses. We took few pictures here before climbing up to the final peak. There were a lot of people up here. You have to queue to take pictures with the peak sign here. We managed to click a picture before deciding to go down as we wanted to avoid hot sun. Broga is not dense with trees, so high chances for you to get burned after 10am. By the time we reach peak, I think it was about 8.30am.

Loved the view here…
We had few seconds only to take picture because there were queues behind. This is me reaching peak of Broga.

Since climbing up the rock was a nightmare, we decided to take another route to go down. This route was tough as well as it was dry and slippery. We had to sit down and slide the way down to avoid falling. Both the palm of my hand looked red and felt as if it is going to be bruised due to the friction against the sand to control myself sliding down. Because I was uncontrollably sliding down and unable to stop if not because of my hand trying to grasp something at the harsh and dry surface. There were no branches to hold on also. You can be assured there were a lot of screaming episodes happened during this phase going down the hill. Actually it was fun. 😀

I started to think, next time I should bring gloves to protect my hand. While we were going down, we realized there were much less people using this route. There were a few Indian girls and boys behind us. Then we came to a point where there were one route going down, another going to the right. The route to the right looks like less travelled compared to the one going down. So my cousin and myself decided to slide down again. Only to realize the path coming to bushes, the path not clear, looks like not many people used this way. This doesn’t look like hiking trail. We couldn’t really see the path going down and it is surrounded by a lot of trees. We saw two chinese boys were running this way and went into the bush and disappeared. We looked at each other. Definitely we didn’t feel good going this route as we can’t see any other hikers apart from us, the few indians and the two chinese boys who just disappeared into the bush. We climbed up again and took the other route and continued straight. Then we bumped into other hikers, we found the main route where everybody was using to go down. Relieved and feeling safe, we continued down.

I can assure you both our hands and legs started to feel so much pain. My toes were hurting. I was carefully and slowly putting one by one leg forward. We were so tired. Then we came to a small stall by the same chinese lady who didn’t respond to our questions earlier. She was selling coconuts here. We wanted to buy but she was facing the hikers who were coming down. She couldn’t hear us calling at the back, then after few minutes waiting, we decided we will just buy from the small shop near the entrance.

We bought the most tastiest coconut water ever. It was without any added sugar. It was fresh and the price is very reasonable. It was the most refreshing drinks ever. We were really hungry. Both of us were vegetarians so we could not find any vegetarian food nearby broga. We thought we would eat in Seremban town. So we drove back. It took us about 40 minutes drive to reach Seremban. We wanted to try a new vegetarian restaurant in town but was disappointed as it was closed on Sunday. So we decided to eat at a restaurant just opposite the road. Since we both were very hungry, we decided to take early lunch. We took mix rice (rice, curry and some vege). To our surprise, the food was super tasty. We were wondering if the food was tasty because it is really tasty or is it because we were too hungry.

After having a feast, finally we went back home. The cost for both of us was only about RM9.00. It was cheap and delicious. Basically we both successfully completed our first broga hiking experience. It was worth it and pain followed us after. For the next two days, I could not lift both of my hands. I was having difficulty to walk properly. On the third day, my big toe was hurting so badly that I couldn’t wear cover shoe to work. On the fifth day, everything went back to normal. No more pain.

This hiking happened before movement control was announced due to Covid 19. Now I can only sit at home and watch movies. Hmmm…hopefully can continue hiking again soon.

Ugly ones are lucky

I recently watched a Hindi movie “Chhapaak” featuring Deepika Padukone and Vikrant Massey. The story is about an acid attack survivor fighting to get justice against her attacker in court and how the whole family was affected due to this. This story also has love story. When it comes to Bollywood, it is almost impossible a love story not shown in the storyline. The story depicts how love blossoms between the survivor and the guy who fights against this crime.

It makes me to think how many of us will have a man to love us if we were ugly and looked horrible. Most men comes after us because we have fair and flawless skin, attractive body, sweet voice, looking pretty after wearing all those make up. Some of us are naturally pretty without make up. Some have to rely on make up to make us look pretty. For those who were naturally dark skin have to use all kind of products to bleach the skin so that they too can look attractive.

I am yet to find one man who can look at me beyond how I look physically. I was born fair but naturally turn dark as I grow. I used to question my mum how my skin color changed when in the baby picture, I was looking fair. Growing up, my siblings were fairer to me. They used to tease me for being dark. Sometimes when relatives visit home, they questioned what happened to me as I was looking even darker due to playing sports at school. I used to feel inferior and compare myself to everyone who is looking fairer and prettier. Not forgetting some of my friends who mocked me they couldn’t see me in dark.

Thanks to fair and lovely, a product that I never forget to use in hope that one day my skin will be fair and I will be accepted by my peers. I never really liked disturbed by males, so I made no effort to actually look pretty when I was younger. Even the slightest effort to tie my hair differently will be noticed by my mum and I will immediately stop changing anything if I were questioned. But one thing I really liked, was the attire. I loved dressing up, wear something nice and look confident.

I thought I don’t like attention until I was working and started to do some drastic changes in my diet. In 2014, I was working in a local bank. Initially when I joined, I paid little attention on how I looked. Then I joined a health and fitness club near my workplace, I changed my diet and followed a new routine. I was encouraged to trim my eyebrows and change some of my outfits. Within a week I took this diet, my skin started to look healthy, fairer and radiant. A male colleague who always flirt with other female colleagues, suddenly started to notice me. I was always there. But this time he noticed because I started to look more attractive to him.

Even managers started to notice me and soon you can say I was famous in that office. Why all these happens? Purely because of physical reason. The same thing happen when I changed job and met someone with whom I fell in love with and the interest was mutual. He was definitely into me because of how I looked. If I were ugly, he wouldn’t even have noticed me because I’m talking about a good looking man who knows how to flatter a women. Even when I got into a relationship with someone who seems like one kind of psycho, this guy also into me because of how I looked.

I didn’t like arrange marriage because number one criteria the family will be looking for will be how the girl look like. Is she tall or short, thin or fat, dark or fair, etc? I didn’t have a single marriage proposal that they want to know me as a person first and know my character. It is all physical.

I feel jealous of a woman whose physical is destroyed by some sort of accident or attack but they found a man who really loved them beyond of their physical look. These women are really lucky. Yes, they might be receiving all kind of weird look from people around them but they have true love. They have someone to love them unconditionally.

This is a reality in this world. If you are pretty, you will be noticed easily. If you are not, then you need something in order for people to notice you. Courage, knowledge and self confidence are some of the traits needed for people to notice you. But beware of physical attraction. Because once the attraction fades and the body loses its beauty, what is left is only the inner self. If the relationship is purely on physical, the relationship may not last long. The challenge is to find someone who is really into you, into your soul. Will I ever be able to find someone who is into my soul? Only time can reveal.