Beyond GE14


GE14 was a big step forward; vital in reinstating belief in the rakyat that our votes mattered, that our voices could make a difference and in our abilities to make an impact.

However while the battle for GE14 is over, the Battle for Malaysia isn’t.

In fact it’ll never be.

Like everything else in life, It is and always will be an ongoing battle. And we just gotta Keep Moving Forward.

A constant and perpetual series of ups, downs, corrections and over-corrections, that hopefully form a desirable trend line — desirable being a subjective matter which we’ll get into another time. #KMF

#arkaysThoughts

#BattleForMalaysia

Storytelling, The Common Denominator.


In light of my recent post about passion, coupled with the writing of my resume cover letter and subsequent discussions and insights thereafter, a question arose.

Could it be that my passion, lies in the act of storytelling?

Over the years I’ve noticed myself being drawn to and appreciating great storytellers, whether they’re stand up comics, vloggers, filmmakers, public speakers and so on.

So is that the common denominator that lies beneath the media experiments I’ve undertaken, whether text, pictures, audio or video?

Is it the also then the common denominator of projects I see myself wanting to explore when I look forward?

Do I continue to see myself telling stories, irrespective of the medium?

Yes. Yes I Do.

I want to tell stories.

No, not simply my own, but also stories I’m drawn to, empathise with or simply enjoy.

Now all that remains, is to tell stories.

But where to start?

This post was originally written in July 2017

8th August 1990, The New Normal.


Look at this dumbass, smiling like an idiot, does he not realise what he’s just been through? Dumbass baby 😂

It’s crazy really, that I don’t remember a time that set the base tone for the rest of my life, but then again, do I actually wanna remember any of it?

Nope, pretty sure I don’t haha.

It’s interesting to think about it though, how something that I have no memory of, has played such a large role for me, essentially establishing the foundation for the rest of my life.
It’s interesting to think about what-if I never had AVSD & Co, would I be the same person I am today? Probably not, but the question is how much would I and this alternate, Earth-2, version of me differ? 
Would it just be me without the insecurities that stemmed from my health? Would I have been this “strong” anyway, or was that something that was built because of the hurdles I’ve faced? 

Not everyone deals with the same issues in the same way, so, I guess the question is, was I born with this innate ‘fight’ to not go quietly into the night, or was it nurtured into me by life and my personal hurdles? 

Well the answer is, very anticlimactically, we’ll never really know haha. 

That said, it’s the line of inquisition that is more interesting to me, not the answers so much.

The extraction of lessons & thoughts that I find valuable, in that they, how do I explain it, helps me with perspective, to understand myself a little better, if that makes sense. 

I have a slight feeling that today’s ramble is a little on the… random & ‘Possibly Doesn’t Make Sense’ side of things.

Rambler’s Block maybe? Haha. 

Anyway that’s it with this Series of photos, not sure what’s next, I guess we’ll just have to wait and see haha. 

#KMF

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#arkay1990 #arkayAVSD #roshankanesan #arkayinaussie #arkayinMelbourne #arkaysJournal

Post-Op


Feeling VERY self-conscious about this post, not sure whether to post it or not. I’m worried about how it’ll come off… then again I post for myself, this being a platform for my thoughts & all…
Screw it, enough self-doubt, let’s get started.

AVSD: Atrioventricular Septal Defect possibly courtesy of Holt Syndrome. 
In my case the AVSD entailed a hole in the septal wall between the ventricles of my heart alongside damaged valves that were leaking and an SA Node (natural pacemaker) that wasn’t working as well as it should have been, although I’m not entirely sure if that’s part of the AVSD, Holt Syndrome or something else. 
Thankfully the surgery, at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, patched up the hole & reduced the valve leakage, drastically improving my quality of life going forward. The dysfunctional SA Node was left as is and only addressed in December 2005, when it was necessary, with a pacemaker. That’s when I became a self-declared cyborg haha 😂
I keep this photo close, to not only remind me how lucky I am but how far I’ve come.
Life could’ve been much, much worse.

What if I couldn’t get the surgery?
What if we didn’t get the help & support we did?

What if my AVSD was worse?
Some of the questions I think about, but don’t want to answer. Simply asking them seems to be enough to make the point.
To be grateful for my life as is, yes it could’ve been much better, but it also could’ve been much worse. 
Plus I like who I am, for the most part anyway haha, and I wouldn’t be who I am without all the… hurdles. AVSD, fibromyalgia & all.
Sure it can get tiring, frustrating & infuriating, but that’s when I take a step back, remind myself that life isn’t a sprint but a marathon & when I’m ready, get back to it (more on this another time).
And that concludes today’s Journal a.k.a. piece of rambling,

#KMF

31st July 1990; Before Surgery


31st July 1990; Before Surgery.
6 Month Old Me has no idea what’s going on & what’s about to happen. Look at him being all cute and shit haha. Ignorance truly is bliss.
Been thinking more & more about that, ever since the Kimmel monologue.

How lucky I am to… be as healthy as I am, trying to imagine what a crazy time it must’ve been for my folks, contemplating whether I’ll even have kids, out of the fear that they might get my health issues; i’m not sure if it’s hereditary, been too afraid to look it up and know conclusively, will deal with that later when the topic of children becomes more… relevant, whenever that is.
Anyway, decided that this week I’ll share 3 photos (including this one) from that time over the week alongside random thoughts like the above. Let’s see what these… writing cues bring about. =================================

#arkay1990 #arkayAVSD #roshankanesan #arkayinaussie #arkayinMelbourne #arkaysJournal

Different. Weird. Alien.



Just a few of the words that were used by some to describe an already insecure kid in the very early days of primary school, a kid, who like most, just wanted to fit in.

Two decades later I’m grateful for the few. They helped me realise how ‘fitting-in’ was overrated, they helped me build the internal strength that I needed to face the last 7-8 years of being chronically ill.

Kinda poetic really.

#KMF

Photo by Ban Teng Ruen

I’ve finally graduated 🎓


After 5 years since first enrolling in Monash University, I’m finally, officially, unconditionally, positively, absolutely, done with my Business school degree ✅

Watch the Vlog on YouTube: https://youtu.be/rfwRITro45M

Or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ARKAY6/videos/1631046370530791/

It’s been a long journey 🗺 and there were many times i wanted to give up 🏳, whether it was because of the stress 😣 of handling fibromyalgia (my chronic illness) 🤒while trying to fulfil the self-imposed pressures of wanting to do well in uni📜, or simply from the exhaustion of doing something that never seem to want to end or whether it was from the stupid, unexpected roadblocks and hurdles ⛔️ that just seem to pop out of nowhere and increase the burden on me 📉.

Thankfully 😅 throughout all this I had a hellagood support system, my family and best friends who stood by me, never let me give up and provided the some stability (as best as the could) in dimensions outside of education and fibrofighting.

I’m also so incredibly privileged to have parents that were both accepting of my new found slowness & diminished capability 💾 and able to allow me the time ⌛️ and space needed to fight ✊🏾 through the last few years.
They essentially protected me from the realities and financial burdens 💵 of the real world 🌎, beyond the fact that I was didn’t have to worry about a roof 🏡 , food 🍔 or transport 🚗, they provided me the safe space to hide away and focus on fighting my fibromylagia, when needed, and I didn’t have to worry about anything else. 
I am INCREDIBLY and perpetually grateful 🙏🏾 to Life for that, it may have taken away a lot for me but I was lucky enough to have loved ones who were not only able, but wanted to help me Keep Moving Forward 🏃🏾.

There are so many people out there who have their own issues and problems but aren’t as lucky 🍀, and with that, this privilege, also comes guilt, the guilt of being lucky when there are so many who aren’t.
My health 💉 is a lot better than it was 6 years ago, but that doesn’t diminish the fact that the next stage is going to be goddamn scary 😟, especially with regards to the question of whether i’ll ever be able to achieve independence and “take care of myself” 👤, but I look forward to the challenge, i think haha, and even if I didn’t look forward to it, it’s still looming ahead, and i can’t exactly run away from it.

So to that I say, Keep Moving Forward Roshan,
 Keep Moving Forward

#KMF

Just Gotta Keep Moving Forward


Watch the Facebook Live session here

Sidenote: this was spoken/written last night

So yea, today things flare up a little. I’m not sure how much of it is fibromyalgia related or from my recent lung issues or from a cold or a combination of all 3, but what I do know is that I was definitely not doing well haha

I was in bed for 12 hours, 12 hours! And even after that it still felt like a goddamn struggle to get up, and I’ve learnt from the past, if it’s that difficult to wake up, then I should listen to my body & get a helluva lot of rest before things get worse.

And as per usual, the regular thoughts of ‘letting people down’ and ‘not being able get things done’ and FOMO (for work & fun) come about.

But I alway have to force myself remember just how far I’ve come, and although it’s not ideal, and sure my route will be longer than others, that if I put in the work, sustainably, which means not rushing & being patient with myself & my hustle, that I’ll eventually attain what I want.

And the basic testimony to that is the journey I’ve taken over the last few years,

Since falling sick, My route has been a longer one (when compared to my peers, or even those just younger than me) but it’s still a path forward, I’ve failed, I’ve cried, I’ve wanted to give up, but I kept moving forward, and through all the failures, tears & darkness, there were wins, achievements, joy. Sure, sometimes they’re wins others would take for granted, but what matters is my relationship with those elements & what I do about them, and I will not go quietly into the night.

Just gotta keep moving forward.

The Couple


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What’s up guys,

I’m sitting here at Butter + Beans, enjoying the cool air from the rain with the lovely voice of Lana Del Ray playing through my headphones while I enjoy my flat white   and think.

Thinking about my life and my journey thus far; of the major factors and influences that lead me here, and amongst the greater positive influences is The Couple.

3 years ago at my 21st Birthday party I was given the gift of a certain book from The Couple, a friendship in which they started out as my tuition teachers but as time went on they not only became role models and mentors, but also close friends; a relationship that has had significant positive impact of my growth and development, as I mentioned a few lines back.

Anyway, this book went on to sit on my book shelf for a year, what was yet another tough year for both my mental, physical and spiritual health, until I picked it up to accompany me on a family holiday to visit my dad, who was based in Mumbai at the time. As per the norm that is a family holiday there wasn’t much reading involved, that is until I was hit with a virus and was thus confined to a bed for the whatever remainder of the trip, then there was much more reading involved, in fact, if i remember correctly, I finished that book in 2-3 days, but that was not the end of it, the effects of those words were not at all confined to the printed pages; that was the beginning of much, much more.

That book smashed a hole that let the light back into this dark room that I had called home for much too long, a room built upon the foundations of pain, darkness, reactivity and victimhood. A little place I had run away into to play victim in which I reassured myself that the world was conspiring against me, that life was unfair and nothing was my fault. That I was forced into this position.

That is by far the lowest point in my 24 years. I was a powerless, depressed, self-pitying victim that was letting life act upon me, I may have been alive, but I was not living. (A Tale of Two Minds, iCloudedTwo roads diverged in a wood)

All that changed when I got back from that trip, reborn from the ashes of allowing Fibromyalgia wreck havoc on my body, my mind and most importantly, my spirit. The light that shone in bright through that hole Rekindled my Spirit. The book made me self-aware of that position that I had put myself in, and that’s when I decided that I was going to sit down and let Fibromyalgia stop me from living and growing without a fight. That was a little more than 2 years ago and I have never been better, I’ve had a few crashed here and there my Life Line of Best Fit is still going up. #KMF.

This also coincided with the proper start of my blogging, from a few dark victim-like posts to writings of self-belief, hope, my growth and much more.

So why bring this up?

Well over the last 9 to 12 months I encountered a different type and scale of issues, issues that affected my Social-Emotional health; issues that, although I wasn’t aware at the time, had almost entirely wiped out my sense of security. I won’t go into details here, but essentially my teen life and beyond was about my friendships, and my sense of security was derived from that. The closer and better my friendships, the more secure I felt and vice versa. The thing is over the last 11 years nothing really big happened in that section of my life, until last July that is.

So shit happened that resulted in major damage to my sense of security  and what did I do? I ran away again. I was of the mind that it would better to isolate myself than risk hurting the relationships in question even more…

or maybe i just didn’t want to deal with it all.

Time went on and it became easier to isolate myself, I made other friends, I reconnected with older friends, I had my best friend and I got a helluva lot closer to my family; parents, siblings, cousins and all.  I went for class, I started running and getting healthy, I had exams, I flew off to London, I came home to Christmas with the Jessy’s, had #anotherjessywedding and proceeded to travel around and visit my family in Penang and Singapore… and the next thing I know it’s the end of the Summer holiday (Australian calendar) and I could count the number of times I hung out with the people that just only a year before used to saturate most of my days with their presence.

But this piece isn’t about my Coming Out of the Darkness or my sense of security, but of a the gratitude I feel towards a friendship, not the once in question above but my friendship with The Couple, whom gave me the vital tool to start my fight back in 2012, and this year they did it again.

At my 24th Birthday party they gave me another book, the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and they are 2 for 2. This book that has not only profoundly changed the way I see things but as a result has helped me identify the root problem that lead to a big part of the last 9 months; the fact that my sense of security was centred around my friendships, particular the very very close ones, both in physical presence and emotional; a highly volatile and swaying core to centre my life don’t you think? Since I started reading I have, over the last month, worked at cleaning up my lenses and recalibrating my sense of power, security, guidance and wisdom.

It was hard at the start, not to change my paradigm but to act upon it, to be more proactive and take more responsibility for my life. To be more accountable for my life and exercise my freedom to choose my responses to stimuli, but just like my running, I started small and worked my way forward. I’ll talk about this in more detail soon, but for now:

As Emerson puts it so aptly;

“That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the nature of the task has changed but that our ability to perform it has improved.”

I’ve seen great changes in my self-awareness, proactivity and the identifying of my core values since I started reading the book, nothing’s for certain at this early stage yet, but what I am certain about is that I feel and see differently.

I don’t think I’ll ever be able to thank you enough for this gift, it’s not just a book, it’s the next level of my growth, awareness and personal development.

And I guess this is only the beginning.

Straight From The Heart

Roshan Kanesan

 

That which we persist - Emerson.jpg

 

https://arkaysthoughts.com/2012/06/04/bracing-the-storm/

 

Coffee & I: A Story of Escape, Recovery & Love… of sorts.


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What’s up guys 🙂
I’m back at Artisan with a flat white next to me, or what’s left of a flat white, thinking about coffee…

Coffee, a strange thing to get excited or be fussy about i know, but i love it. I love the aroma that hits me as I walk into a coffee shop, the whiff of freshly grounded beans with their hints of dark chocolate, the taste of a good cup as it lingers on the tongue, the Zen I feel as I think & write at some of my favs and of course, the alertness that presents itself later in mid writing or conversation.

Coffee is a relatively big deal to me, others love their food and perfectly poached eggs, or their ice-cold beers straight out of the tap or out of the ice box, others their favourite whisky on the rocks or neat or their glass of red wine as it swirls around, gently caressing the wine glass before taking a sip.
I love my coffee, not the 3-in-1 stuff, not the instant stuff, the freshly ground, non-economies of scale roasted Papa Palheta/Coffee Societe/ Artisan Coffee/ Podgy and the Banker stuff.
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I’m not an expert or barista or anything like that, yet :p, I’m just someone who started out with freeloading off Starbucks Monash’s ambience with my green tea in my nice green Starbucks Thermos, that is until I met their Cafe Mocha and thus began my love affair with coffee, March 2012. This relationship went on strong for a while, almost a year i think, until I, erm, had an affair with Artisan Coffee BV2 which lead to my breakup with Starbucks, and for a while I was playing the field, going to different places for coffee and blogging but could never find the right one, either the coffee was good but not conducive for my writing or vice versa, until I bumped into Coffea Coffee Bangsar. I found myself at Coffea almost everyday, things were good for half a year until a friend introduced me to the newly open Artisan Coffee HQ; great coffee, 6 minutes from home, lots of natural light, comfy and free parking right smack in front… 20130815-154021.jpgSince then Artisan Coffee HQ became my regular place, I am comfy there, most of the people behind the counter know me, they stick my little yellow notes behind the counter, always make me feel welcomed and the coffee is good, there are days where it isn’t good and they fix it, and then there are days where it’s great, like today, great, a perfectly balanced flat white.  It’s been a good 7 months since and though I do try out other places (which greatly accelerated over the last 3 months as my Instagram account & Arkay’s QOTDs will testify show haha; i started trying other places around PJ, #CoffeeCulturePJ, & KL, #CoffeeCultureKL, checked out as many places as i could when I visited family in Penang, #CoffeeCulturePG, and Singapore, #CoffeeCultureSG, oh and even when i was in London, #CoffeeCultureUK) no one place has the whole package, Coffee, Comfort, Character & Compatibility, as I feel Artisan Coffee HQ has, and is still my regular place, as my yellow notes on the wall will show 🙂
“…coming to my favourite coffee place to enjoy a good coffee with appropriate music in solitude is when i run maintenance on myself and clear out some of the mess within so that i don’t reach a Level 10 meltdown. I’ve realized that my major Meltdowns come during periods where i don’t do any writing = i haven’t been spending time alone. I find that with my regular QuietTimes, i’m doing less frantic running around to put out fires and get more things done because my head is much clearer in comparison to other times without “maintenance”.
Coffee and the establishments that supplied it to me have played a significant role in my life over the last 2 years, they’ve played a part in my recovery.
Seriously.
Coffea Coffee, Artisan Coffee HQ and also Flat White SS 15 provided my a place to run away from the noise and mess of the world and be at peace, an environment that somehow quieten my mind and helped me focus, think and write…. and without my writing I probably wouldn’t have made half the progress that I’ve made. That’s how it all started, I was just looking for a place to runaway to and it’s grown into this love and appreciation.

I guess i just want people to understand that coming to Artisan or Flat White (or Coffea) isn’t just about the coffee, the coffee is great, but more importantly, it’s a place in which i’m protected and sheltered from the outside world

The world is a messy place, and even more of a mess when you have Fibromyalgia. Constant pain, sensitive nerves (to stimuli like lights and sounds too) and almost always so tired… combined that with a brain that doesn’t work as efficiently as it should and i’ve got a situation in which i’m unable to process all these details appropriately so it all just ends up as a mess in my mind.

So it gets very very difficult to have to deal with the normal suff in life…. the regular things like academic pressures, getting stuff done traffic and especially dealing with people… i.e. family and friends. (I love them to bits but sometimes it gets very hard for me to deal with the mess that comes naturally)” 

Here I am, 2 years later sitting at Artisan Coffee HQ, sipping a perfectly balanced flat white in an environment that allows me to feel somewhat Zen, away from the noise of the world, a home away from home.
So, aside from being part of the recovery cocktail that’s got me this far, the question now is… has coffee become a passion of mine?
 
Yes. I’m pretty sure haha.
I see myself learning the art of The Barista and doing it part time; I see myself writing more about coffee, be it reviews, general thoughts & the progress of my coffee education; and even, hopefully, eventually, see myself owning & running my own place, a place just for coffee & cake filled with regulars illuminated in natural lighting amongst the beautiful buzz of great conversation conceiving great ideas and thoughts over lattes, brewed coffees and juices with a little stack of random Arkay’s QOTDs on each table, sort of like a fortune cookie but instead of a fortune they’ll get one of my favourite quotes that will hopefully spark the great conversations. Hahaha, yes, i’ve thought about this quite bit 🙂 I’m not sure about it or anything, it’s just something i’ve been playing around with in my head for a while.
There’s a long way to go if I want that to happen, I’m going to need to learn more, practice, try more and experiment, I’m going to write about it all. The different shops and coffees on my coffee trail, my trial and errors at brewing & barista-ing, the ups and downs on this specific journey.
I guess only after all of the above will I be able to tell if I truly have this passion for coffee or whether it’s just a casual fancy. Time, and effort, will tell.
Keep Moving Forward #KMF
Straight From The Heart

Keep Moving Forward

Oh, One More Thing…
That’s the thing about coffee places, it’s a place you can be alone but not really feel alone. It’s a sort of mid point, away from people that you are always with which explains how one feels alone but surrounded by strangers that cause a little background buzz, a sort of background connection to humanity that brings about the feeling that you’re not alone. Essentially the difference being that you’re alone on a conscious level, a level where you’re alone with your thought and the other being you’re not alone on a subconscious level, where you are aware that there are people around you but you don’t think about it, it’s all just background processes that don’t matter at the moment, just background music if you will. Just comforting background music because, I think, even when we want to be alone, we don’t really want to be completely alone in silence. Why? Because we feel disconnected from humanity, and most would rather not have that. Especially now, in an age of extreme connectivity. “