Thursday, May 22, 2008

Champions Of The European Champions League Final - M. United

I'm standing on top of the world right now as my all time favorite team, Premier League Champions (for a second straight year) - Manchester United have triumphed yet again for the third time, as (Europe's elite club competition) European Champions League winners! Manchester United had their previous winnings back in 1968 and 1999 respectively.

At the end of their ninety minute play at Moscow's Luzhniki Stadium, Chelsea and Manchester United were still tied 1-1, in the first ever all-English final of soccer's Champions League history.

Manchester United striked first through Cristiano Ronaldo in the 26th minute of the first half, bringing his goal tally to 42 goals in the season. Chelsea equalized this right before the stroke of half time (45th minute) through their midfielder Frank Lampard.

This eventually brought this years European Champions League finals well into extra time play after having a goalless second half. Players from both sides were noted to be extremely lethargic as extra time progressed, and Chelsea well deserving of a win, missing a couple of good goal scoring opportunities. Unfortunately, tempers were running high as both teams were eager to find the winning goal in the match at this point, causing Drogba and Tevez to end up with a slight scuffle which saw Drogba being shown the Red Card in the final moments of the ninety minute schedule.

Now, the Champions League finals in Moscow would be decided through penalties between the two English sides. After seeing a suspense filled penalty shootout, where Cristiano Ronaldo took United's third penalty kick and missed finding the net, and for that moment, I thought that Chelsea had their greatest chance of capturing their first ever Champions League title, but luck was not on their side in the Luzhniki Stadium, as John Terry hit the post wide. Manchester United's keeper Edwin van der Sar became the hero of the match when he dived to bat away Nicolas Anelka's drive and sealed United's Champions League title for the third time in many years.

Final results - The rain-soaked penalty shootout saw Manchester United beat Chelsea 6-5 to win the European Champions League title in Moscow on May 22nd, 2008.

United will surely be celebrating this victory for a long time to come as its yet another prestigious trophy in their hands for this year alone, and not to mention the £85m in prize-money and commercial spin-offs that would follow-suit.

Today's Champions League final between Manchester United and Chelsea (which sadly hasn't won a trophy this season) will surely go down in books as being the richest match in the history of football.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Do You Believe In Luck Transfer - Part II

So let's begin from where we left off from part I - "I'm going to share with you an unusual story that was related by a friend of mine, who knew an acupuncturist who lived in a remote village. It's a story about an old man who goes to see this acupuncturist, well known for his vast knowledge of the human body."

This acupuncturist was also a good conversationist, engaging his patients in chatter to distract them from the many needles poking their body.

The old man, who was his patient, meanwhile, answered his questions like a dreamer in a hazy, semi-conscious state. The acupuncturist was in complete control of the entire conversation. Towards the end of the treatment, the acupuncturist declared that because of an act by the old man's father long ago, his family was now suffering a spell of bad luck.

The old man was at once surprised, because his father had actually done what the acupuncturist described - and in so doing, had sealed the fate of his descendants.

The old man's father, who had owned a fleet of lorries, had in the past, ordered his workers to remove a boulder from an abandoned quarry which faced his home. The father ordered that the rock be placed beside a large pillar at the main entrance to his home. By doing this, he hoped to force the lorry-drivers to slow down their vehicles when they entered the compound of his home. In that way, he thought, he would be minimising the danger of a careless or impatient driver damaging his house.

Not long after carrying out this seemingly trivial deed, the old man's father passed away peacefully in his sleep. However, the cause of the death, whether due to his old age or illness, could not be determined.

Now the responsibility of running the entire business fell into the hands of his sons but, somehow, things didn't go as what they had planned. Their business began to suffer and the company's debts escalated.

The son's tried to look for solutions for their many problems but eventually, the majority decided to throw in the towel and winding up the company was their only way out.

The now abandoned quarry across the road, was later reopened when another firm took over its operations under a new management team.

Surprisingly, the business picked up, after a short time for the new firm, and buyers for their rocks seemed to appear out of nowhere. The now-booming business, made the new owner a millionaire not long after that.

In conclusion to this story, we feel that the old man should have left the quarry alone. By him moving the rock to the front of his house, he had brought about a surge of negative energy from that vicinity into his own house. But in reverse, the removal of the rock brought about good fortune to the new quarry owner.

There are so many rags-to-riches stories out there for us to learn from. One such story - Where a poor man who makes good refuses to throw away or let-go with certain of his items, which he had been using for a long time or which had been of some use to him during his lean periods.

We even hear stories of self-made millionaires who hold on to their old cars jealously, although they now even own expensive new cars in their huge garages, simply because all these so-called old cars were at one time their only means of transport.

Of course, it could very well be for some sentimental reason as well, but, then again, many of them believe that the old "junks" may have brought them some good luck and success, thus will not part with them at any given price - for it would mean giving away their precious believe, they all call ... Luck!

So now, "Do you believe in luck transfer?"

Friday, May 16, 2008

Do You Believe In Luck Transfer - Part I

My million dollar question for the weekend - "Can luck be transferred from one object to another?" Scientifically though, it may sound totally absurd and completely illogical. It is no doubt a difficult subject for an individual to grasp and while there is some truth to it, it is often stranger than fiction to many.

But before we dwell further into this, could there be such a thing called Luck? Because I'm pretty sure there are still many who would like to say that there is no such thing as luck.

Strangely though, when you ask many of today's successful people about this subject, in turn they would make it very clear to you that they personally never really expected to achieve the level of success that they have achieved right now. So, in reality, what that goes to say is that it wasn't all due to their big picture intention-filled plan after all.

Take these examples for instance;
  • Bill Gates did, at one time, admit that his biggest part of his initial success was due to luck.
  • In an interview not too long ago, Donald Trump admitted to believing in the thing called luck.
  • America's first black woman billionaire, Oprah Winfrey, had said that she once figured that if she could make a million dollars in her entire life, she would then consider herself a huge success.
  • Keith Richards from the band - Rolling Stones, said that when they first started out, their ultimate ambition was to be the biggest band in ... London!
From all these examples available out there in the world, it becomes clear to us that sometimes the most extraordinary successes known overtakes the very individuals experiencing them.

Now back to our initial question at hand. I'm going to share with you an unusual story that was related by a friend of mine, who knew an acupuncturist who lived in a remote village. It's a story about an old man who goes to see this acupuncturist, well known for his vast knowledge of the human body.

So, do remember to check back tomorrow for "Do you Believe in Luck Transfer -Part II"

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Farewell Amma

To be honest, this post ... would be the most hardest to complete, and might even be the most longest in my entire life. For it comes straight from my heart ... for someone very special, and she meant the whole world to me ... my dearest Amma (mother).

It has taken me a while to think over these last couple of months that has come to pass, with the recent loss of my Amma to cancer.

She was indeed the most loving mother any child could ask for - compassionate, sincere, kind hearted, forgiving, etc. Singled handedly my mom, Shirley, as all her close friends and acquaintances called her, brought up six children with pride and dignity. Never once, have I heard her complain or belittle her children to her friends. To her, we were her pride and joy ... children who would one day appreciate her for who we are today.

It was just about a year ago that I dedicated a post to honor my dearest mom on this very special day we all celebrate as "Mother's Day". Reading it once again, breaks me down to the point I wonder : "Did I do everything right, did I make her proud?"

I ask this same question over and over again, how long will this ripped out part of my heart last? I reckon, only God will have the actual answer to that. I've lost my Amma. She was cremated some two weeks ago, but I still can't get over of the fact of losing her, and cry every night silently in my room. I think about her all the time. In this life, she is gone, she is no more. I will never hear her voice again, or ever see her smile.

What I've learnt from this situation is that when a loved one dies, we experience various stages of grief. Basically there are four key stages : Shock, Denial/Anger, Sadness/Depression, and Acceptance. And trust me, there is no pre-set time limit on how long it might take a person to move through this stages, and the stages can recycle over and over again, throughout one's living life.

I found that spending every chance my family and I get to be with my dad (if there's an award for the most understanding and loving husband/father, my dad, will surely top that list, anytime!) over the weekends is important during this trying times. Friends tell me : "Nihal, you need time to adjust to a life without your mother, and this takes time. Allow yourself the time to experience the pain of losing your mom, and after awhile, you should be able to return to the things you enjoy doing." But believe you me, this is so damn hard to practice in real life.

I have learned a lot about the grieving process and have come to realize that eventually I will never get over the loss of my mom. I do not feel I will ever truly accept her loss, but have learned to acknowledge the loss of my Amma, and will try to move on with my life, and will make sure of keeping her a very part of it all.

I used to think that Mother's Day was just another simple holiday? The day where all the children were especially nice to one another so that our Mom could enjoy some "peace and quiet," and it's definitely a commodity which is in short supply in most of our mothers' lives nowadays. But I know that we treated our Mom as a "Queen for the Day" in those less-harried times.

Children — even when we've become adults — we need a way to express our love for our Mom. It was easy back then, when we were young and could easily fashion a statement out of some paper and glue. But sadly to some, It gets harder when their lives become filled with new duties and obligations. Being the youngest in the family like me, we're showered with all the examples and reasoning's the eldest always give. When we grow up, we need to find a new way to say "I love you", once you do this ... it is everlasting! Believe me ... I saw this in my Mom's face, every time I told her this.

Maybe it's just me, but Mother's Day will never be the same again. To me, this has to be THE day, if you're too busy chasing your financial freedom that other 364 days, a child needs to reflect on the sacrifices a Mom had put in raising them up, never once ever complaining, making sure there's food always on the table, and ultimately cherishing sweet memories and for that one day in your life ... if you could ... just say out loud, and raise your arm and give her that big warm hug that a Mom truly deserves, and you tell her with all your heart ... "Mom, I love you so much, you're the greatest. You have brought me up well!" This will surely send them a message that "I still remember all you did for me."

What I will miss though from my Mom's absence is : Her frequent calls to me, her regular stays at my house, her visiting my daughter at the hospital (take note, this is a lady who practically can't see anything beyond five feet away from her very clearly, and yet she's there after catching a cab, at the hospital ward, showing her support for her youngest grand-daughter), her charitable deeds (all her grand-children calls her 'Mother Mary' for this), her positive attitude towards life, and her missing the sight of seeing my daughter walk on her own, but mostly, ... I will miss her smile, her touch and seeing her enjoying her holidays, more so when she's always around her daughter, my only sister (she is indeed another Angel sent from heaven above).

Amma, thank you for who I am

Thank you for all the things I'm not

Forgive me for the words unsaid along the way
And for the times I forgot

Amma, remember all my life
You have showed me love, You sacrificed
How I've changed along the way

And I know you believed
And I know you had dreams
And I'm sorry it took all this time for me to see
That I am where I am, because of your truth
I miss you

Amma, forgive me for the times you've cried
Amma, forgive me for not making right
All of the storms I may have caused you
And I've been wrong

Amma, I hope this makes you smile
I hope you're happy with my life
At peace with every choice I've made
And I know you've believed in all of my dreams
And I owe it all to you ... Amma

And I will forever be your son (in this life and the next) ... this I promise!