Falling in love is just possible, and easy too. Just close your eyes and believe!
Falling in love is not just possible, but easy too. Just close your eyes and believe!
Rose-tinted happily-ever-after images in fairytales and romantic fiction spoil us for the real thing. Pre-conceived notions and expectations ensure disappointment even with the best. So sharply focused are we on expectations that we sometimes fail to objectively evaluate or appreciate reality. So, if you have been brought up on the raging passions and sky-rocketing Big Os of Mills & Boon, or on stories of a Prince Charming who carries girls away on white steeds, your real life romance has fizzled out even before it got a chance to sizzle.
However, don’t lose heart. This is not to say that love cannot happen. It can and does but only to those of us who believe in it and make the effort to build it for ourselves. Note, not find love, but to build or create it for yourself. Most make the mistake of looking for that ‘one’ man, or that ‘one’ woman, who is perfect for them. There is no such thing as the perfect soulmate — there could be any number of them and so long as they fulfil your basic criteria, all is good. The critical part is recognising one of them who crosses your path and then to fall, or rise, in love. Research has shown that it takes between 90 seconds and four minutes to decide if you are attracted to a person. Fifty-five per cent of your decision is influenced by body language, 38 per cent through tone and style of speaking, and just seven per cent is dependent on what is said. Rest is all a matter of intent and application.
The one thing to remember is that most of the time you need to close your eyes to build your world of romance. Romance is certainly not going to happen with eyes wide open! Romantic love can happen only when you close your eyes to everything, including sometimes, the object of your affection! For, love and romance is more about convincing yourself than anything else. You can fall in love with someone and choose to remain in love for as long as you like. And so long as the object of your affection doesn’t do something unpalatable to break the illusion, nothing would go wrong till you decide to get bored or move on.
Start off with the belief that there can be no one person who is perfect in all respects. We all have good and bad facets, and one person’s evaluation of you could differ dramatically from another’s, depending on body chemistry and shared experiences. We all know people who are fond of us and others who aren’t. If we choose to focus on someone’s not-so-nice side we are bound to build up negative feelings against the person; however, if we choose to ignore the negative for the positive, we will appreciate the same person. The power of imagination is helpful for lovers. Use your imagination to believe you are totally in love with your beloved or spouse. Whip up the passion, feel it, let the rose-tinted glasses fall in place and then turn the love-laden gaze towards your partner. Even if it doesn’t always kick start your heart into overdrive, it will definitely keep the love going strong.
A friend and mother of two has this habit of looking adoringly at her husband, shooting indulgent smiles and stroking his cheek. Believe it or not, the man is in a state of constant adoration for his wife! I refuse to believe that in their decade-long marriage, they haven’t had problems, or haven’t seen the worst of each other. But they have chosen to focus on what they love and express it openly rather than trying to improve what they don’t like. And it works fabulously for them. Most marriages that last are those where the couple has chosen to reaffirm their love by building up spaces and activities where they can share togetherness. Leading researcher on love psychology, Ellen Berscheid, talks of how new lovers magnify each other’s virtues and explain away flaws. It doesn’t need rocket science to explain that continuing to do so would ensure lasting love; indeed, love needs to be blind! And to prove that falling in love is quite easy, New York-based psychologist Prof Arthur Arun asked subjects to find a complete stranger, share intimate details for half an hour and then stare deeply into each other’s eyes for four minutes. This resulted in most of his subjects feeling a deep attraction for each other. Reportedly, two of the couples even got married!
When it comes big bucks, First Lady of Malaysia Rosmah Mansor – known for her business savvy – is never shy to jostle for first spot in the queue and woe betide anyone who doesn’t make way for her. Given such perseverance, it is no surprise that her protege Deepak Jaikishan is back with a bigger and more sensational RM1.5bil oil and gas deal to shock the share market – especially the penny stocks – to life again.
Suppose the chairperson of the National Commission for Men (if there were such an organisation) were in a speech to describe men as hunky, or ballsy, or used any other adjective denoting macho masculinity. Would menists (the male counterpart of feminists) get up in arms and demand the resignation of the person whod made the remark, which was deemed to be objectionable as it portrayed men as sex objects for women?
Not likely. So why all the fuss about Mamta Sharma, the chairperson of the National Commission for Women, who in an address to young women in Jaipur told her audience not to be afraid of being sexy? Feminists — of both genders, you dont have to be a woman in order to support womens causes — raised a chorus of protests, claiming that Sharma had by her remark denigrated Indian womanhood by endorsing the male chauvinistic typecasting of women as sex objects to be exploited in the pursuit of masculine gratification.
Despite Sharmas clarification that her remark had been taken out of context, and that in any case the word sexy did not have a derogatory context in contemporary idiom, in fact quite the reverse, many of her critics demanded her resignation from the womens organisation.
Why should it be deemed a compliment for a man to be described as a virile stud, say, while for a woman to be called sexy is considered to be a slur which reflects adversely on her social status and her moral character? The answer, of course, is obvious. Men being the physically and socially dominant gender, they are far less likely to be victims of sexual subjugation — from so-called eve teasing (a vile euphemism), to enforced prostitution and rape — as women routinely are.
This obvious answer serves only to reinforce gender stereotypes. Men can, and ought, to take public pride in their sexual identity, in their masculine virility, be it symbolised by John Abrahams celebrated abs or Salman Khans equally famous smooth-shaven pectorals. Indeed, John and Salman are hailed as being role models for men in terms of physical appeal. In short, its fine for men to be sexy, in all senses of that ambiguous term which can mean anything and everything from exciting, to stimulating, to thought-provoking (as in Stephen Hawking has made astrophysics a sexy subject).
But sexy women? No way. Not in the Indian subcontinent. Where a Poonam Pandey who posts skimpily-clad images of herself on a social networking site is strictured for her sexual audacity by Bangladeshi writer and arch-feminist Taslima Nasreen, herself a victim of male chauvinist prejudice.
In patriarchal societies, women are enjoined — often by other women — to be ashamed of their sexuality, which is seen as a stigma, and are forced to conceal it as much as possible lest it provoke male lust. This is the age-old plea on behalf of the rapist: Of course she got herself raped; what did she expect, dressing and behaving as provocatively as she did?
The more male-oriented a society, the more is womens natural sexuality repressed, often by other women. The power of Shakti is bound in chains, by the imposition of social dos and donts in terms of dress and behaviour. In extreme, but not uncommon, cases such social taboos are supplemented by barbaric practices such as female circumcision, which denies women the sinful pleasure of orgasm.
Mamta Sharma did a truly scary thing when she urged young Indian women to be sexy. She raised the frightening spectre of Shakti unbound, of a radiant and all-powerful Durga who, if crossed, could turn into a raging Kali.
Women? Sexy? No bloody fear.
Deepak plans to inject this contract into Envair Holdings Bhd, an ailing firm in need of new businesses. That Envair, a small-time air and water filter maker, can transform itself into a player in Malaysia’s competitive but highly lucrative O&G sector is mind-boggling.
The Malaysian O&G sector is basically dominated by national oil firm Petronas and its units. Riding on its coat-tails are service providers such as Scomi and Kencana-Crest-Sapura, which derive their revenue from Petronas-related contracts. Not surprisingly both firms are controlled by the sons of former premiers Abdullah Badawi and Mahathir Mohamad respectively.
Business sector is where the action is, as regime change looms
But business in Malaysia has always been intertwined with politics. And now with the country on the brink of an expected regime change, the business sector has become a hotbed of highly questionable deals, many of which are blatantly shady. Recent deals like the 60-year-toll concession for the West Coast Expressway, the Kidex Highway, 1MDB’s RM8.5bil acquisition of tycoon Ananda Krishnan’s stale power assets are among major deals that have raised eyebrows.
“This is the last chance for the Umno-BN politicians to get their deals through. It is not so much to finance the 13th general election because billions have already been raised. This is for their personal kitty and whether these deals can stick depend on whether BN retains power,” an analyst at a large brokerage who asked for anonymity told Malaysia Chronicle.
Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim’s Pakatan Rakyat coalition is rated to have a more than even chance of trouncing the Umno-BN led by Rosmah’s husband, Prime Minister Najib Razak.
Indeed, there have been frenzied attempts, including Najib’s latest U-turn in agreeing on a historic debate with Anwar, to deflect attention from the business sector, where a slew of deals are being pushed through, nearly at the rate of one per week.
In the latest Envair on-off rescue, Business Times reported Deepak as having bought about 12.4 per cent of the firm’s shares via an off market deal over the past two weeks. He has also assumed the post of managing director of the company. Deepak also said that he and parties aligned to him intend to take up an entire 30 per cent placement put on the block by Envair’s old directors.
This ia a major turnaround as Deepak had in December sold off all his Envair shares and donated the profits to charity amid speculation that Mahathir – who is also the Petronas adviser- had objected to the Najibs moving into the O&G sector, where his son Mokhzani wields influence and had previously also encountered accusations of conflict of interest.
Deepak and his allies are expected to inject an oil and gas project worth as much as US$500 million (RM1.51 billion) into Envair. The project is believed to be located in eastern Europe, and the Envair board expected to announce a name change for the company to Raya Energy Bhd soon.
Famous for his denial of being Rosmah ‘toy boy’, Deepak first made the headlines when he was accused of having bribed private investigator P Balasubramaniam into reneging on an explosive statutory declaration implicating both Najib and Rosmah in the 2006 Altantuya Shaaribuu murder case.
Deppak is the scion of a middle-class business family with a carpet retailing shop in Kuala Lumpur. That he can catapult himself into such big-time business and in a sector seemingly reserved for prime ministers and their sons certainly lends credence to the speculation surrounding the Najibs and Altantuya, who incidentally was also murdered by two former bodyguards of the first couple.
Both men are still on death and their appeal pending since April 2009, when they were sentenced to hang although one of them had claimed he was paid to kill Altantuya. The Malaysian court had refused to allow defense lawyers to investigate into this claim, prompting US embassy officials (as revealed in WikiLeaks) to question the quality of the justice dealt to the two men in the court’s perceived bid to cover up for those pulling the strings from behind.
Too many coincidences or not, but there are many more trails that connect Altanutya to the Najibs. She was the mistress of the PM’s close friend Razak Baginda and claims to have helped Baginda seal the Malaysian government’s purchase of 2 Scorpene submarines ordered by Najib when he was defense minister in 2002. Four years later, she came to Malaysia to collect her portion of the RM570million illegal kickback allegedly paid by French arms maker DCN to Najib for agreeing to buy the subs from them. But she ended up killed, and till now the Immigration authorities cannot explain why they have no record of her entry into the country amid accusations that they were ordered by someone very high up to erase her ‘existence’ in Malaysia.
‘Pied Piper’ for the retailers
Against such a controversial background, Deepak will have to work extra hard to prove his business integrity and reliability to established and serious investors. To the retail crowd, who see him as Rosmah’s proxy, his larger-than-life persona, due to the Altantuya connection, actually makes him Pied Piper of sorts. But win or lose, at the end of the day, Envair’s profitability will hinge on the oil contracts it receives, most of which can reasonably be expected to come from Petronas.
It must be stated that Deepak has previously refuted that his Envair dealings were connected to the Najibs. “I want to make it clear. I stand on my own two feet. Please keep me out from your vicious cycle,” Deepak told Malaysia Chronicle in December.
Meanwhile, in a filing to Bursa Malaysia last week, Envair had announced it was proposing a private placement of up to 35.57 million new shares, representing 30 per cent of its issued and paid-up capital. The exercise is part of the firm’s plan to venture into the distribution and trading of oil and gas products. The shares will be placed out to Deepak, Envair directors Mohd Anuar Mohd Hanadzlah and Mohd Shukri Abdullah, as well as an independent