Monday, 11 March 2013

Life of Pi – The Spiritual Adventure

When I finished watching Ang Lee’s film Life of Pi, I immediately jumped on the book like the hungry Richard Parker and Pi after being stranded in the sea for 227 days. I wanted more than what I had just gotten from the movie.

I could not agree more that the cinematography was stunning beyond any description. I said this, not only because I could save the effort of raking my dictionary to search for some divine words to describe it, but even that would not do enough justice. I also loved the soul searching and faith testing plot punctured with some humour. When the curtain went down, I was too stunned until I was literally transfixed in my chair, wondering what the hell was going on the screen for the past 2 hours. Maybe my brain was too slow for the 120 frames-per-second technology?

Thus, my journey on the award-winning and best-selling book began.

As with my previous experience, I had mostly enjoyed the books better than the movie adaptations. I believe the movie version of “Eat, Pray, Love” and “Memoir of Geisha” did not do the book justice. Elizabeth Gilbert and Arthur Golden are both astounding and amazing in their storytelling. But “Twilight Saga” movies are better because of Robert Pattinson. But despite Stephanie Meyer’s creativity, I still prefer Elizabeth Gilbert’s witty and bewitching style. Even as a Twilight fan, I bemoaned the fact it dragged quite a bit in the movie as much as in the book.

But Yann Martel is a marvel and a true master. He is superb and spectacular in his story telling and twisting.His words are never dull even when he was describing the slowest animal on the planet. He made the zoo came alive and all the animals jumped up and down for me. Yann Martel has a gift to make the mundane memorable, routine enjoyable, eccentric comprehensible, and the norms questionable.

I especially like the idea of the general perception that animals should be roaming free and wild in the jungle instead of being caged and restricted in the zoo. If that is the case, do we humans want to be chased out of our houses and roam freely in the jungle, expected to be eaten at any seconds? His metaphor is right on and it begs to challenge all our conventional thinking. And what about the uniqueness and differences between all the 3 religions that Pi embraced? Pi quoted Mahatma Gandhi  on All religions are true and asked a question comparing nation and passport respectively to God and religion –  If there is only one nation, won’t all passports will be valid?

And of course, one will never contemplate in a million lives to be stranded on a boat with a Bengal tiger. But instead of being a foe, the tiger became a saviour in the sea of emptiness. It is another metaphor for us to embrace our darkness because it can be our saviour and teacher when accepted as part of us. (By the time, I completed this post, I just finished reading “The Shadow Effect – Illuminating the Hidden Power of Your True Self” and I realized this statement is very true)

And with most fictional books and movies, the ending gave us a twist and dwell on the uncertainties that are open to our interpretation based on our individual belief. I feel Life of Pi delivered this feat in a unique and truly successful way. Just a tiny speck of uncertainties, the ending was fulfilling and also left a question to ponder on.

Life of Pi, as I conclude, is a quest for freedom, told in a refreshing and emboldening way.

Since reading “Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho, I felt I probably won’t find another great storyteller who seems to be able to weave the depth of spirituality into a story of an adventure in life.

Life of Pi changed my thought.

This is also posted to

[Dear Dr. Sus] The Best Relationship Advice Ever!

Dear Dr. Sus,

I am in deep shit and I need your advice.

My girlfriend gave me an ultimatum and said she would leave me. She claimed I always do not make an effort to connect and care for her, thus I do not really love her. I do not know what she means. I called her, texted her and went out with her. I bought her dinners and gifts, brought her to watch movies, went shopping and to any place she wanted me to go.

She insisted despite I had done all these things for her, I did not do them CONSISTENTLY EVERY DAY!!! How can I have all the times to do that every day while I need to work, socialize, eat, play, pee, shit, masturbate and watch football and all other sports? I really think my girlfriend is making an unreasonable demand.

I attempted to call her every day. But whenever I called her, she talked and talked for hours, in what seemed like an interminable conversation. When I excused myself to go to watch a football game, she said I always love football more than her. Why do women always like to put always in their statement? I really don’t understand. When I said I need to go out for an appointment, she asked who I was meeting. I usually say Alex, George or Christian but they were actually Alexandra, Georgeann and Kristen.

There was one time, I slipped and told her I was meeting Kristen. I then have to tell her Kristen is my 50-years old aunty who just got back from Canada. Of course, I did not tell her Kristen is actually a hot 36-24-34 chick whom I often socialize in the pub.  I don’t know why she has to make me create all these stories and names. Do you know how stressful is it for me to keep track of everything and try not to give her too much information for fear I will say something that does not correlate with all the stories I created. Why do men always have to do all the works and answer all questions to please their girlfriends?

I also have tried to text her every day. I often asked her how she was. She replied in very long paragraphs starting with “Dear Diary”. I do not know why she had to tell me things in such details. I don’t really care whether her friend, Bobo got dumped by his boyfriend, unless Bobo has unusually large breasts. If Bobo has that (large breasts), she did not tell me. Then she asked how my day was. I told her in less than 3 words  - Fine, Great, Not So Bad, etc. and she started to ask more and expected me to reply to her. And this became an endless ping pong. Sometimes, I purposely let the ball go off  – STOP ANY REPLY. After all, what am I supposed to respond when she told me her cat was constipated. But she said I always ignored her and did not care for her and her cat (always again!!!). My female friend advised me, in regards to the constipated cat, I should have said –  Yes, I understand how it feels. My dog was just neutered yesterday. But I don’t have a dog!

How am I supposed to know what to say even when I want to say nothing? Can’t women understand that men need space and peace? Why can’t she allow me to have my space and peace?

Should I dump her and get a new girlfriend?

Yours truly,

Dear Man-In-Trouble,

Yes, you should absolutely dump her and get a new girlfriend. I strongly recommend you to get a cat as your girlfriend this time. A constipated cat may be even better since you do not need to clean up her shit so often.

The benefits are endless. You don’t need to call or text your cat. Ever. You can speak of Georgeann, Alexandra and Kristen in front of her and she will not pull a whisker. I bet you can train her to do all the things that your girlfriend has been doing for you. Beware though, cat like to bite on things. So, don’t put anything in her mouth that you don’t want her to chew on. If she steps into your space when you do not want her, like when you are watching a football game, you can always lock her up in the cage and let her meows all she wants while you turn up the TV volume to the maximum.

I am sure, by this way, you will be able to get more space and peace in your life.

Yours sincerely,
Dr. Sus

About Dr. Sus:

Dr. Sus is a relationship coach who helps you solve your relationship problems with unproven, untested and outlandish but very sound advice. Her Dr. title was not due to a doctorate degree, but she used to Play Doctor while in a psychiatric hospital where she was admitted as a patient for 5 years after killing her neighbour’s cat. In 2013, she was discharged from the hospital and started the “Dear Dr. Sus” column where readers with unsound minds continue to seek advice from her.

Blog posted at

My review and reflection for The Garden of Words

I just watched this short animation work from Makoto Shinkai. I had previously watched his grand hit 'Your Name' and absolutely fel...