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Location: Dublin, Republic of, Ireland

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Something About Me (Part I)

Belfast is beautiful and Dublin highly romantic in a different way. Ireland is magic although it's bitterly cold at the moment.

For the book-lover and writer, literature shouts its history, from over the shoulder. It brushes the dust off your collar...it urges you to view aspirations in a new light. Constant renewal is on the cards just like the changing moods of the Liffey River or maybe another, the River Boyne with its crowd of dancing ripples, up north, where glistening rays from a vague sunlight, shapes up the scene like a painting come alive.

The north of Ireland is picturesque with its outlying farmlands, church bells, fat Fresian cows and happy skippy lambs gambolling about the green fields, close to their mums. Twinkling Christmas trees still peep silently from tiny cottage windows far away. Picture too, the grandeur of rolling hills that charm you up the secluded highways or steep corners and the grey wintry skies with its threat of angry nimbus clouds, not yet having made up its mind if it should spill the rain or wait for a bit in the sly. With no walls to their palaces, the enormous clouds are showy.

When I was a little girl, I always wanted to see Belfast & London.

Then I was thousands of miles away. And now fate has brought me in an incredible way to Ireland where I could be in Belfast or London every other week if I wanted to. When I look back to my life as a 6 and 7 year old living in the small port town of Klang, Malaysia near the capital Kuala Lumpur and this with my host of picture books, a loving father, my friends next door and at school and a beloved servant; and remember how I harboured ambitious dreams even then, never wanting to be parochial in my thoughts and everyday living, but to travel and broaden horizons and challenge my own perceptions; destiny in spite of a few hiccups along the way, has silently paved that path for me. My favourite fairy tales and Toyland stories simply pushed my ideals along.

Today, I think as a Malaysian Indian writer who has been up and about the globe, for days or months or even years at a time and often by myself whenever the fancy would so strike me; that I am blessed. Indeed, I am blessed. Except for one or 2 heartfelt desires, all my childhood dreams have been granted me.

The buildings in Belfast are highly decorative, where attention is given to stylish detailing. It's people are very friendly and decidedly humble. The air of a quiet humility is evident. They're a beautiful people to watch. All of a sudden, I could have been back in England. The moods, culture and change of pace of the city are different to its sister Republic. Here in Belfast, I do miss the Gaelic language on signboards.

The currency notes in pounds are also minted differently to British sterling although coins and a fiver note looks the same. But of course, British sterling is straightaway accepted as the North of Ireland stays a part of the United Kingdom. The food's good too. You could pick up a frozen sandwich at a cafe and it tastes utterly delicious.

Like a willing sponge, my heart easily soaks up the beauty of a new land. Now I just want to write with a view to being published in print and for my work to be performed on stage or air - to return to the writing exhilaration which I had enjoyed in my 20s and to engage my thinking skills in the reading and writing of high literature.

At the time, I had dreamt of coming to Europe to fulfill expectations. I had not yet been. And now I am. I would also like to engage in a cafe culture, to join a book club, writers' groups and so forth. To be surrounded by the joys of artistic living. But one thing at a tme.

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