Words of Wisdom

In life, we have to choose between the jeans and the cookie jar. Liz Hurley chose the jeans and I chose the cookie jar

~ Nigella Lawson....(on women's body image and her own voluptuous body)

Monday, August 15, 2011

My first "broken heart anthem" and goodbye Jani Lane

Goodbye Jani Lane.

For those who grew up in the glorious days of 'hair band', this name was the ultimate epitome of hair metal cheesiness. From a trivia given on the American Top 40 radio show I used to listen to back then, I found out that the name Jani was ctually his twist on the pronounciation of his name was meant be pronounced Jah-ney, hence J-A-N-I. However, when he used that spelling in LA, people read it out as Jay-ney. So, the pronounciation stuck.

Being offline for a few days, I wasn't aware of Jani's passing till I saw a posting on the band Ratt's Facebook Wall saying RIP Jani Lane. I wasn't shocked by the news as it has been well-documented how Jani struggled with alcoholism for years. In fact, I'm sure I read somewhere or heard an interview with another musician from that era that Jani had been warned by doctors that if he didn't sober up, he'd die within a year. His condition I believe was THAT serious.

I remember Jani during his happy days when Warrant had a Top 10 album back in the late 80s. I saw behind-the-scene pictures of the Cherry Pie video shoot in Metal Edge magazine and immediately had the feeling that Jani and the model Bobbie Brown were attracted to each other even though she was dating Matthew Nelson (from the Nelson twins) at the time. In fact, Matthew was there at the shoot visiting her. I was right, Jani and Bobbie married just months later.

I also remember buying the Cherry Pie album one night on a school bus trip to the town that my teachers arranged when I cried in front of them at the teachers' office. Embarrassing to remember my crying scene in front of my Chemistry and Art Head teachers but hey, it got us the evening out in the school bus!

Jani of later years (one of the better looking pictures)

......and Jani as I knew him back in my school days........

It was shocking to see how Jani looked like years later. With the grunge years, many 'hair' rockers fell on hard times financially but the depression and failed marriages probably took a toll on him.

As for me, I will always remember Jani as the guy who wrote my first 'broken heart' anthem. At the time, I was going through my first 'heartbreak'.....ya..ya..ya..back in school. When I bought the tape, I immediately took a liking to TWO songs on it. One is the brilliant Uncle Tom's Cabin which showed off Jani's ability to write darker songs and this one.......I Saw Red. It was written from his own experience but I feel he captured the ultimate betrayed feeling of catching the one you love red-handed with someone you know. In my case, a girl I helped writing her English essay for was seeing a guy I liked without me knowing. Hey, if I knew, I wouldn't have bothered helping her. Thanks Heaven, I had this song from Jani to bury my 'misery' into.

So this is how I will always remember Jani....

Jani and the song I will always remember him by....

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Why are they sending kids on the streets to be beggars?

The fasting month of Ramadhan has started for Muslims all over the world. It started on 1st August in my country. Sure, in this holy month, we are encouraged to be more charitable and helpful to other people but there was an incident that just happened that put me in my own moral dilemma.

I was filling up my car at a petrol station when I saw a girl with a receipt book standing and walking around approaching people. Asking for donation. I'd seen at the same station a few days before that and I was surprised to still see her there that day.

As expected, she then approached me saying it was for an orphanage. I just grinned uneasily. This is hard for me. Yes, I do feel sorry for her having to walk to strangers asking for money. Yes, Islam teaches us to be charitable to the poor, the needy and to the orphans but at the same time Islam does not teach us to be street beggars. You know what I mean?

It's ok for orphanage or any non-profit body to ask for donation but I think sending out children on the street to beg for money from strangers is NOT the way to go. I believe in 'raising funds' instead of begging. Why can't these kids be taught the right way to make money? By actually working for it? I mean, why can't these orphanages organize a Bake Sale for example or put up a food stall at a Ramadhan bazaar? Let the kids take part in it by taking turns with each other. Or how about getting them to make and sell Eid Cookies through proper channels or even NGOs? This will be more character-building for them instead of walking around as beggars.

I refuse to support any begging activity especially if it involves sending children out on the streets to approach strangers for money. So, I didn't give her anything as much as my inner conscience shooting guilt in the back of my head. I still think begging is wrong. Sending children out to do it is almost equivalent to human trafficking crime to me.
It's hard as I was torn between the issues of Humanitarian, Human Trafficking and my own Moral Dilemma but I chose my stand that day.