Saturday, 18 March 2017

jeune homme triste dans un train

Jeune Homme triste dans un train, 1911, by  Marcel Duchamp
Source : Wikipedia :
During this period Duchamp's fascination with transition, change, movement and distance became manifest, and like many artists of the time, he was intrigued with the concept of depicting the fourth dimension in art.[15] His painting Sad Young Man on a Train embodies this concern:

First, there's the idea of the movement of the train, and then that of the sad young man who is in a corridor and who is moving about; thus there are two parallel movements corresponding to each other. Then, there is the distortion of the young man—I had called this elementary parallelism. It was a formal decomposition; that is, linear elements following each other like parallels and distorting the object. The object is completely stretched out, as if elastic. The lines follow each other in parallels, while changing subtly to form the movement, or the form of the young man in question

So on 2nd and 3rd week of March 2017, I spent quite some time on train, MRT and KTM Komuter.

A. Business

Since I'm now doing freelance work (CAD drafting), I am busy yet free.

The busy part of it is the deadline. But when the job's done and sent to respective clients, I'm free as a bird.

I think, even if you are working full time on a fixed salary basis, it is good to have a "business-mind", ie. treat your job as if you're doing business. You are giving your effort, and your company pays you a salary, if you look at it in a different perspective, you are indeed doing business with your company.

You are bounded with your company by a contract, and most businesses run by contracts.

The idea behind this is that to focus on what you're delivering is what is required by the Company.

This idea has many advantages:-
a) for employers, the employees with this mind-set seldom slack off for tea or chit chat, just focus on the job's at hand, and settle it.

b) for employees, you just focus your effort and time for the job at hand, and try to complete it as efficient as you can, try to go back early if the job's completed, don't worry much about office politics and gossiping, etc.

Then on weekend, you can decide whether to partake on small business, freelance, or just resting. Remember, your body is your asset. Take care of your body and mind.

B. Business challenges - freelance

One of the challenges of freelance is payment.

It is best to get some kind of upfront. Anyhow it all depends on each person/company, you know best of your trade and yourself.

My way is, I try to complete a portion of the job and send it to Client and see their reply.

Usually a good Client gives a good productive comment, ie to get the job completed to the required specifics, and usually pays a small upfront to get the job going.

Sometimes what happened is, there are some people who want to "squeeze" you and gives unrealistic comments and most of the time, they will say "we can't use your product".

For me, once the Client said that, I will usually decline on the job because for sure, we are not on the same line and it is in the best interest that we parted ways.

C. Business challenges - quality, time and feel good.

The above is true, I think, not only freelance but on every business and every job.

You get work however you get work, but keep people keep working in a freelance world (and more and more of today's world is freelance), because their work is good, because they are easy to get along with and because they deliver the work on time.

And you don't even need all three! Two out of three is fine.

People will tolerate how unpleasant you are if your work is good and you deliver it on time.

People will forgive the lateness of your work if it is good and they like you.

And you don't have to be as good as everyone else if you're on time and it's always a pleasure to hear from you. - Neil Gaiman

But in the same time, I would like to add, that the "easy to get along with".

I observe some people, get mis-guided on this "easy to get along with" part so badly that they became the opposite from what they intended to be.

For example, my brother sent his Kembara for repair at a new workshop, which was proposed by my mother.

My mother told that the service was good.

The fella at the workshop sent my brother home, and during his chit-chat, the fella was trying to friendly intimate that by brother felt some uneasiness.

The fella asked about the family, the house my brother lived in, and other personal things that got nothing to do with the Kembara car.

The next day my brother went to the workshop by motorcycle and saw that the Kembara car is still outside the workshop waiting to be fixed.

For the next 3-4 days My brother went each day checking on the car, but surprisingly, :-
1. the car is still outside waiting to be fixed.
2. each day, different reply on the problem.

What irked my brother was when he found mineral water bottles, candy wrappings, and a plastic of keropok lekor inside the car, that the next day, my brother, my mother and myself asked for the keys and brought the car to a different workshop.

The car was fixed within two hours at the new workshop.

D. The silent nobodies

I thank God for his Mercy and Wisdom.

I remember in 2012 I wanted to be a writer but I didn't. I went back working in the construction line.

Recently I befriended someone whom I respected, because his writings are thought provoking.

Somehow, all that glitters are usually on the surface, you might be surprise sometimes when you peek through the insides and found hollowness, not substance.

First of all, I don't think anyone can achieve success in life if one is plagued with substance abuse.

The so-called 4-20 lifestyle,, embracing this lifestyle, then somehow writing about how Malaysian should progress, condemning the backward-ness, seems so hollow.

When I look at those who are popular now, I just find it empty even though it is glamour with its colourfully glitters, rhyming, condemning, commenting and preaching about change.

Nowadays I felt God's wisdom for the choice I made is because, the experience humbles me down, looking at the foreign workers, ie Indonesian, Bangladesh guys working their ass off in construction trying to make their lives and their families better.

Anyhow condemning people doesn't make me any better.

I just felt "thank god" for my experience that I do not think about popularity the same way as others.  I felt humble when I see those "nobodies" doing their things in life, in silence while the popular ones just being noisy about this and that.

In China old days (I'm not sure whether Malaysian Chinese kids learnt this at Chinese school), the Chinese kids memorised this by heart:-

锄 禾 日 当 午,汗滴 禾 下 土。
chú hé rì dāngwǔ hàndī hé xià tǔ

谁 知 盘 中 餐,粒粒 皆 辛 苦。
shéizhī pánzhōngcān lìlì jiē xīnkǔ

春 种 一 粒 粟,秋收 万 颗 子。
chūn zhòng yīlì sù, qiū shōu wàn kē zǐ

四 海 无 闲 田,农夫 犹 饿 死。
sìhǎi wú xiántián, nóngfū yóu èsǐ

The english translation of the poem is:

The farmer tills the land to grow rice under the noon sun.
His perspiration drips continuously on the soil.
Who knows that that rice that feeds,
Is the fruit of hard toil!

                                Spade    plant    sun     at      noon
                                 Sweat    drop    plant   onto     soil
                              Who    knows     plate    middle   meal
                                   Grain   grain     all     hard    bitter
Li Shen, with the courtesy name of Gong Zhui (unknown year of birth; died in 846) was highly esteemed for his works. Li Shen, Yuan Zhen, and Li Deyu were altogether given the name of “Three Talents”. The purpose of this poem is revealed clearly in the title. “Min” means to sympathize with, so “Min Nong” means to sympathize with the farmers. The first two verses depict the hard work of the farmers, and the last two aim at reminding people of how hard it is to grow crops. In this sense, nothing should be wasted. The poem is straight forward, but it sends an important message.

 The two photos above is the lovely scenery at MRT Kwasa Sentral.

E. Anywhere Is

I thought of my departed father too. I think I cried alone in the Komuter to KL Sentral from Sungai Buloh on one of the mornings when I travel by train.

You go there you're gone forever
I go there I'll lose my way
We stay here we're not together
Anywhere is

The moon upon the ocean
Is swept around in motion
But without ever knowing
The reason for its flowing
In motion on the ocean
The moon still keeps on moving
The waves still keep on waving
And I still keep on going

The photo above is the lovely scenery, I believe to be at MRT Kwasa Damansara.

G. Life and death is unavoidable.

I watched online the Korean movie The Admirals Roaring Currents.

There's one scene when Yi Sun Sin burned his naval base and rallied his troops.

 He said,

"It's shameful that you still only consider your own life. unavoidable.

Is avoiding combat the path to survival?

Will we be safe on land?

Behold! I am burning this land so that I can die at sea.

This is where we stand and fight.

Do not hold so much into this life.
If you crave life, you will surely die.
If you fight to death, you will live.
One man at the strategic point can fend off a thousand man."

Life itself is a journey.

One day we will die and be forgotten.

Or if destiny decide to memorialize us for eternity by some kind of mysterious future, we are dead anyway by then.
This Youtube videos were songs in my mp3 player that I listened when travelling by train this week.

Enjoy your weekend. Be happy folks.