Friday, November 17, 2006

Moon River

Moon River, wider than a mile, I'm crossing you in style, someday.... ~ Henry Mancini (music) & Johnny Mercer (lyrics)

My dearest E.,

This may turn out to be your current, favourite bed-time song. I sang it to you tonight and watched as your big round eyes quietly surveyed my face. You looked at me for a long time, your little face content and silently happy, your eyes beckoning sleep, as Morpheus rocked you in his arms with your head on my lap.

I don't remember how I came to sing this song to you. I just did. And it must have been magical because you immediately fell silent upon hearing my voice. You stopped climbing over our pillows, you stopped laughing and smiled instead, and cleverly laid your head down on my lap, your tiny fingers twirling your favourite blanket.

"Moon River" is the original theme song from the black-and-white classic film, Breakfast at Tiffany's, produced by Paramound Pictures in 1961, starring the everlasting beauty, Audrey Hepburn. Breakfast at Tiffany's, the movie, was based on the short book by renowned author, Truman Capote (You will find Capote's books on my book shelf, lovey. He is a wonderful writer with an honest, vivid imagination).

Here are the lyrics; sing along with me if you remember the music...

Moon River
Wider than a mile
I'm crossing you in style
Oh, dream maker, you heart-breaker
Wherever you're going, I'm going your way
Two drifters off to see the world
There's such a lot of world to see
We're after the same rainbow's end
Waiting 'round the bend
My Huckleberry friend
Moon River, and me

Silent Soldier

A lawyer without history or literature is a mechanic, a mere working mason; if he possesses some knowledge of these, he may venture to call himself an architect ~ Sir Walter Scott

My dearest E.,

If you do not already know by now, I am a lawyer. I do not say I am proud of my profession as some are wont to do. My profession is my job, my livelihood, a means whereby I earn to put the food on our table. My job is just a job. I had fervent passion for my work many years ago when I was young and naive; then upon witnessing the ugliness of this world, moulded myself into a realist, so to speak.

I attended an Extraordinary General Meeting of the Bar Council of Malaysia yesterday, E. The Bar Council is the general body (run by lawyers elected by lawyers) who govern the legal profession in our country. The calling for yesterday's EGM was an extraordinary motion put forth by a learned lawyer, a Dato', no less, for a vote of no-confidence against the present office-bearers of the Bar Council, people, if you must know, the aforesaid Dato' probably voted for, or if not, did not object to their holding office. Now this EGM spanned almost 5 hours in debate time; and with all that I had heard yesterday, my love, I now realise why I could never be what the people in my profession would call "a brilliant lawyer".

I do not particularly like lawyers, sweet pea. It is funny, I know- but that is true. Mostly I detest the arrogance, the insufferable holier-than-thou and I'm-better-than-you attitudes. I detest the over-rated intelligence, purported eloquence of speech and the misconception of the glamorous lifestyle lawyers lead. But most of all, I detest some lawyers have become a joke, who have brought disrepute to what was once an honourable and highly-revered profession.

These attitudes I detest, they are prevalent in some people who, perhaps are "brilliant" by certain standards. I know I could never become one of those. At most, I am good at my job, but I am certainly not brilliant. I simply silently soldier on with quiet confidence. And I do not detest them because they are "brilliant". I know no envy, resentment or jealousy. I detest them because they have allowed overwhelming pride and arrogance in the profession precede their pride in humanity and selflessness.

But please, do not mistake this for ingratitude. I enjoy what I do and perhaps I do have a small amount of passion which passed over from my growing years as a young lawyer. I do not seek to condemn the profession that now feeds me and my family.

Lesson? Do not be arrogant, even if you know you are a cut above the rest. Do not throw your weight around and think that you are supremely revered, someone will be laughing behind you and you will face your come-uppance certainly one day. Do not display over-confidence and a laissez-faire attitude, if you fail, you will shock yourself to a point of no return. Do not belittle or laugh at others who may not be as fortunate to be blessed with your intelligence, God is usually fair and what you may have, which another doesn't, may not be as valuable as what another has and which you don't.

Be quietly confident, generous and ethical. Be the moral person that I shall raise you to become. But most of all, be the Silent Soldier who marches on for your quest to Goodness.


A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie ~ Tenneva Jordan

My dearest E.,

I was so proud of you; that you have now learnt the concept of sharing. You may not, at this juncture, realise the importance of sharing- your actions are unconscious, perhaps, but it shows me that you begin to pick up the little things you observe in your everyday world, and I am glad for it. You are, after all, only almost 13 months old, but your wisdom in observation astounds me.

You are a lazy little babe, I must admit sometimes! I was afraid that you would never learn to hold your own milk bottle, always having the luxury of me, or your father feeding you, pacifying you, and spoiling you. But two nights ago, you held your own bottle with own two hands, your expression earnest and your smile infectious at the joy that you had grown up a little.

You drank your water, suckling with quiet engrossment, and suddenly, you held your bottle out to your father, whose smiles lit up the whole room. He pretended to drink from your bottle, sweetums, and you giggled like a little fairy. You promptly grabbed the bottle back from your father, and began drinking again, all the while a mischievous grin showing through; and you handed the bottle back to him again soon enough, as if urging him to take a sip! This play went on for a while, and even until the next day, when you played with me.

Discovering the new things you do excites me tremendously, mostly because you are simply adorable. It seemed to me that you had learnt how to share your belongings. When your godmother Jean came over to visit you another night, you shared your little toy with her (but grabbed it back a while later).

There is a saying that goes, "Sharing is caring". And I do hope you understand the importance of sharing. Unless one is a mean person, the happiness you receive when you see another's joy in your selfless act of sharing, is priceless. It is better to give than to receive, they all say: but I add on that you should give when you can afford to, and at the same time, you do not make excuses as to your affordability. If a blind man comes up to you, you give him what you can. I would like to be the perfect Samaritan and say, "Give him all you have, because you have so much more and he has none". But I wish to teach you to be realistic also, my sweet pea. If giving your all would mean the end of your survival, then give only enough to provide for the other's basic needs and keep what you have for your survival.

There should be no conditions to a selfless act- but it is alright to be human and maintain a little self-centredness, or we would all be destitute with no homes, no food and with no means of survival. The key is to strike the perfect balance between these two.

But what I fervently wish and hope for, E., is that you share your thoughts, your emotions, your heart, your being, with me and your father. Just as we have now not only shared our lives and existence with you.

You are a ray of sunshine, of hope and love. I would be happy to see you share this sunshine with those around you, because when you do, your happiness and humanity shall be enriched threefold.