One Million Stars , One Million Hopes  To Women’s Empowerment

PHOTO-2020-02-23-18-55-41 One Million Stars , One Million Hopes  To Women’s Empowerment

International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on the 8th of March every year. To commemorate this event Sharpened Word is proud to collaborate with Perak Women for Women’s Society for a one day only event on March 14, 2020.

Sharpened Word (SW), under the auspices of Perak Society of Performing Arts (PSPA), is an interactive and educative platform that brings together aspiring talents, creative artists and the community.

Perak Women for Women Society (PWW) is a registered, apolitical, non profitable and non-governmental organisation (NGO) set up in 2003 to enhance the status and lives of women in Perak irrespective of their race, religion and social background

I am  honored to tell you that they have chosen me as one of  resource speakers and panelists for the event “One Million Hopes  To Women’s Empowerment“, along with the talented story – teller and award -winning writer Saras Manicham.

For more details you can check out SW’s  facebook page.

I would like to thank Sharpened Word for the trust and confidence and to Perak Women for Women’s Society for providing me with a platform to help victims of abuse and violence.

Ode to the Sunset (in Bali)

 

Ode To The Sunset (in Bali)

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oh, sun so beautiful
when you set
you silenced
everyone
in a place so crowded
they gaze and marvel at you
with intense in all its glory
while i stood quietly
in awe
in amazement
in wonder
you make my heartbeat
one with the waves splashing
and for the first time in a long while
you calm the storm raging in me
my heart that was once in fury
is now tempered.

oh, sun so beautiful when you set
you bring the magic back in me.

Photos are of beautiful (beautiful is not even enough to describe it) sunset in Bali.

Bali has long been a popular travel destination,  known for its beautiful beaches, great food and incredibly welcoming ( and i meant it with all my heart) people.

Another big Bali draw is the sunset and the plethora of stunning locations to watch them from. No visit to the island is complete without gazing from a beach, a cliff or jungle as the sun disappears into a colorful haze.

Apart from the magnificent sunset, i noticed that though the beach is crowded, yet not a noise was made as we all await for the sun to set. The world stops for a moment. It was so quiet;  so quiet we only hear the wind blowing and  the waves splashing.

P.S.

You can now add writing poetry to your “must do list in Bali”.  Find a spot amidst the crowd and write.

After – Rain Skies: A Million Stars [Update]

Here is another excerpt from my book “After – Rain Skies: A Million Stars’

 

In Memory

 

In memory of the woman

Who screams silently

The secrets of her soul

May she rest in peace

With her lost words

And intimate beauty

 

Kayla would have been just a manufactured memory to her family, friends, and children, had she not taken the courage to walk away from her abusive husband.

Kayla’s husband portrayed her as the best thing on the planet to ever happen to him, that he loved and adored her, and they had the perfect family. And she was outspoken as a child, so people believed that if something was wrong, she would definitely speak up.

They were married for five years, and though he was very controlling from the moment they met, the abuse really started after she had their first baby, and her husband never left her alone with anyone, so she couldn’t speak about what was being done to her.

Kayla had no idea that it is possible to get help and even leave her abusive husband. She was a young bride when they got married. She was never allowed to find a job herself so that her husband provided everything for her.

She had no idea police would get involved and care, or that anybody else would care. That had been one of the main reasons she did not attempt leaving him. If she had known that she had the option, she would have left a long time ago.

She found out she could leave only after he tried to kill her.

Her mother, brother, and uncle went to the hospital and spoke with a hospital social worker, who told them the story her then husband was telling them about how she was burned. He told hospital staff that Kayla’s scarf had caught on fire while she was warming herself, as she is a Muslim.

But her family thought something wasn’t right.

What he actually did was pour turpentine on her and set her on fire.

It was that same fire that ignited the flame inside Kayla to leave her abusive husband for good. It wasn’t easy though, as her husband had long been prepared for the day she would finally have the courage to fight back. He had prepared his own supposed truthful and almost believable version of the story to cover up the abuse. But it didn’t stop her from getting help and finally seeking for a restraining order.

 

P.S.

I want to say “A MILLION THANK YOU” to all those who purchased the book and helped in our advocacy.

Special thanks to Mal Das  and to Mei Kuan of Ipoh Echo 

 

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More poems and stories of abuse and violence are available in my book “After – Rain Skies: A Million Stars”

Books are available for sale at

The PWW Centre
15 Market Street
30000 Ipoh
Tel : 05-2469715

https://www.facebook.com/PerakWomenforWomen/

https://www.facebook.com/1MillionStars/

“After -Rain Skies: A Million Stars”

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It is with great joy and gratitude that we have finally unveiled the gallery of stars for the “One Million Stars to End Violence” advocacy of Perak Women for Women’s Society. At the same time it was the formal book launching of my book “After Rain Skies: A Million Stars”.

 

I am sharing with you all the short talk I gave during the event.

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It was a random trip to Ipoh that started this incredible journey. I was taking a stroll down Old Town Ipoh, along Concubine Lane, when a small shop with stars hanging all over caught my eyes.

 

It was the Perak Women for Women Society’s shop. They were advertising their latest advocacy of “One Million Stars to End Violence,” to support women and survivors of domestic violence, and I was so inspired by it that I wrote a series of poems and reflections about it on my blog to encourage my followers and fellow bloggers to join me in helping the foundation hit their one millionth star.

The response was overwhelming. I received comments and emails from survivors of domestic violence from all over the world, sharing their stories, expressing their support, and just reaching out to be one with this beautiful advocacy. There were people who knew someone close to them that had survived domestic violence and wanted to help in any way they could to end the culture of cruelty and suffering.

I realized that with our words, our voice, our passion, it is possible to rally a community into taking notice, and then defending, helping, and understanding to a certain extent our sisters, our daughters and sons, our friends who do not know how to defend themselves, who do not know who to trust, whose voices are being silenced by fear and hurt and hopelessness.

So I got in touch with Ms Yip, to tell her about the people who had been moved by the PWW’s advocacy and efforts. And we decided we could do more. We decided we should do more. Thus came about this book.

Let me read to you the following story/excerpt:

“Erin was a vibrant, happy, and joyful woman. To her many boyfriends, all of whom mistreated her verbally and physically, she was patient. To Sufi, she was a great human being, and an even better friend.

To herself, Erin was unfair.

She grew up believing she only deserved the kind of love that did nothing but hurt her. And Sufi watched her pick partner after partner that mentally burned her out, and repeatedly destroyed her heart.

Still, Erin’s aspirations, inspiration, imagination, wonder, dreams, pursuits, creative brilliance, her magic, remained bright as stars on a cloudless evening, always.

Until they didn’t.

Abuse is not at all clear cut. But Sufi  remembered with perfect clarity when her best friend lost the sparkle in her eyes.

First, the silence. Even though marrying the love of your life should be a nervous, excited, rambunctious affair.

Then, the realization of her colleagues that Erin was living with a man who was comfortable with sending his wife to work with bruises and a black eye.

And the dark understanding of the weight of Erin having a son, and nowhere to go that felt safe enough to risk her husband following them, and breaking them worse than he would if they stayed put.

Sufi suffered watching her, but all everyone that genuinely loved Erin could do was love her, until she began loving herself enough to see that she too was deserving of better treatment.

It took years, and all their support, and the kind of bravery you only learn while trying to fight through a thunderstorm, but Erin gained the self-respect she needed to leave the one that was drowning her light.

Coming home should be the safest thing we ever do in this life. Where we lay our heads at night should be where monsters will not reach us. And yet, so many find themselves making homes with monsters instead.”

Erin is just one of the women whose stories you can find in this book: After-Rain Skies: A Million Stars. This is a compilation of inspiring true stories of domestic abuse survivors, their struggles to break free from the cycle of abuse, and the courage it takes to build a new life for themselves after finally getting out.

These stories were shared some by the survivors themselves, others by their loved ones, in the hope that their testimonies could give the kind of help, and hope that they themselves had needed during their time of need, to anyone who might be going through what they went through.
These stories were shared by survivors who wanted to make people pay attention to the members of their society that need assistance and protection most of all.

It is also a compilation of poetry that I’ve written based on those survivors’ experiences. As a woman, as a mother, as a fellow human being, it is with great pride and honor that I present this book to you all with the hope that it will help create awareness on abuse and violence so these evils will be stopped.

Abuse and violence of any form is unacceptable and should not be tolerated.

The works of PWWS has inspired me so much that I was compelled to take part by lending a voice to those unable to speak up for themselves.

This book, my actions, is just one hopeful light in our dark world of today. I hope it sparks a change in you and all those who read it. Let’s end abuse and violence together.

Stars Fled from Your Eyes

 

Stars Fled from Your Eyes

 

stars fled from your eyes

and the shadow of death
cast upon your face
on this dark gloomy night
filled with goodbyes
and unending sighs
of a once promising life

stars fled from your eyes
and you stop dreaming
of what could have been’s
and what if’s
a future you may never see
for it has become so bleak
and gloomy

stars fled from your eyes
and it may never come back
unless you take the courage
to speak up
seek for help
and maybe, just maybe
start anew

stars fled from your eyes, but you’re not done yet

 

Things that break on earth don’t reach the clouds above us. Burning villages don’t change the schedule of sunsets. And stars remain stars, no matter how much land we destroy.

But when the sky loses all of its lights and unleashes a thunderstorm, everything drowns.

Erin was a vibrant, happy, and joyful woman. To her many boyfriends, all of whom mistreated her verbally and physically, she was patient. To Sufi, she was a great human being, and an even better friend.

To herself, Erin was unfair.

She grew up believing she only deserved the kind of love that did nothing but hurt her. And Sufi watched her pick partner after partner that mentally burned her out, and repeatedly destroyed her heart.

Still, Erin’s aspirations, inspiration, imagination, wonder, dreams, pursuits, creative brilliance, her magic, remained bright as stars on a cloudless evening, always. Until they didn’t.

Abuse is not at all clear cut. But Sufi remembered with perfect clarity when her best friend lost the sparkle in her eyes.

First, the silence. Even though marrying the love of your life should be a nervous, excited, rambunctious affair.

Then, the realization of her colleagues that Erin was living with a man who was comfortable with sending his wife to work with bruises and a black eye.

And the dark understanding of the weight of Erin having a son, and nowhere to go that felt safe enough to risk her husband following them, and breaking them worse than he would if they stayed put.

Sufi suffered watching her, but all everyone that genuinely loved Erin could do was love her, until she began loving herself enough to see that she too was deserving of better treatment.

It took years, and all their support, and the kind of bravery you only learn while trying to fight through a thunderstorm, but Erin gained the self-respect she needed to leave the one that was drowning her light.

Coming home should be the safest thing we ever do in this life. Where we lay our heads at night should be where monsters will not reach us. And yet, so many find themselves making homes with monsters instead.

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P.S.

More poems and stories of abuse and violence are available in my book “After – Rain Skies: A Million Stars”

Books are available for sale at

The PWW Centre
15 Market Street
30000 Ipoh
Tel : 05-2469715

https://www.facebook.com/PerakWomenforWomen/

https://www.facebook.com/1MillionStars/

 

 

After – Rain Skies: A Million Stars

“Coming home should be the safest thing we ever do in this life. Where we lay our heads at night should be where monsters will not reach us. And yet, so many find themselves making homes with monsters instead.”

 

 

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The best things in life happen unexpectedly, and come from where and when you least expect it. Such is the story behind the birth of this book. It was a random trip to Ipoh that started it all. I was taking a stroll down Old Town Ipoh, along Concubine Lane, when a small shop with stars hanging all over caught my attention.

The PWW Shop is owned and managed by Perak Women for Women Society, an organization that is geared towards providing assistance to women in need. They sell new and pre-loved items that help fund the foundation’s various activities.

I was so inspired by their “One Million Stars to End Violence – Malaysia” advocacy that I wrote about it on my blog, and also encouraged my fellow bloggers to join me in helping the foundation hit their one millionth star.

The responses were really overwhelming. Many shared their own stories of abuse and violence and how they struggled to get help. The stories shared were so inspiring that it prompted me to send an email to the foundation, and, as they say, the rest is history.

May we all be inspired by these stories; as these are not only stories of abuse and violence, but stories too of love, hope, joy, forgiveness and healing.

****Initial copies of the book will be available for sale on September 21, 2019 (Saturday)  at BALLROOM, SYEUN HOTEL, IPOH .

****If you are interested to buy please leave a comment below.

 

Respect

When all else fail
and respect is gone
listen to your own heartbeat
and you will hear
the sound of your own voice
screaming silently with courtesy
and consideration

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Respect comes in different forms and appears in various LAYERS it could be a show of  esteem or honor for someone or something. An example of respect is being quiet in a church or truly listening to someone speak. Walking around, rather than through, in a  protected wilderness is also an example of respect.

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The children’s book I read from the National Library of Singapore which has inspired me to write is poem

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This part really touches my heart.

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Written for calmkate’s yFriday fun challenge – layers https://aroused.blog/2019/06/29/friday-fun-layers/