Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Precious Friends


This plate of vegetarian fish in sweet and sour sauce looks so real.

Jasmin and Amu

Phoon Yew Tien and Jasmin Patel

Jasmin carrying Ning, (my grand-niece), and with niece Yann and husband, Yap Chin Hoe at Art Folio. The lovely paintings on the wall are by Yap Chin Hoe.
Posted by Picasa

As usual, when Amu heard that Jasmin was going back to India, she wanted to give him a treat. Since Jasmin is a vegetarian and has grown to appreciate Chinese vegetarian dishes, we went to a Chinese vegetarian, Forest Dew Restaurant, located near the Boon Keng MRT station. Wendy, my kind neighbour, had brought Jasmin there once and he likes the food. To me, it would be a nice change, because I had often brought my tenants to Anda Bhavan or Komala for Indian vegetarian dishes. Through my Indian tenants, I learn to appreciate Indian vegetarian cuisine. In fact, Jasmin learnt to appreciate Chinese vegetarian food when he first tried it at a charity dinner in Chinatown, hosted by my friend, Patricia Chew, a devout Buddhist.

I always thank God for my good friends. I have known Amu for well over 15 years, and we have been the best of friends. Though Amu is illiterate, she is wise and kind. Amu teaches me Tamil while I teach her some English, especially spelling and recognising some words for Amu is very fluent in spoken English. Many people often mistake her to be a well-educated lady.

I have been fortunate in always having good tenants all these two decades. Whether they are from China, India, Mongolia, Malaysia or Australia, my tenants are made to feel at home, for I am easy-going. I hate to be possessive of my belongings, for to me, people are more important than things.

Jasmin is probably one of my best tenants. He treats the home like his own, helping to clean the apartment whenever he has time. He also helps me to walk Toby and look after him when I out of the apartment. He has also taught me many things pertaining to the computer, mobile phone and television, for I find it difficult to handle electronic gadgets. While I nickname Toby, "Moorti Moorti, (Fat, Fat), Jasmin calls her "Nalu Nalu" (Small One, Small One). Amazing how Toby responds happily to both names. I suspect it is not so much the words, but the loving and gentle tone with which the names are being called. Animals know instinctively when they are loved.
Jasmin is like my younger brother. He nags at me when I don't bother to see the doctor about my ailment and when I don't have enough exercise. Like Wendy, Jasmin is also good at yoga and he taught me some breathing exercises to improve my health.

Jasmin enjoys some Korean and Chinese TV programs while I also enjoy the excellent Hindi movies from Vasantham and Zee TV. We often went to the Jade cinema to watch some excellent Hindi movies, namely, "Ghajini, Rabne Bana Di Jodi, (Marriage made in Heaven) What is Your Rashee (What is Your Horoscope). Frankly, I seldom enjoy English movies because I sometimes could not catch the words perhaps due to the strong accent and my less than good hearing. However, through Jasmin, I learnt that we could play video tapes of English movies with English subtitles. Hence I learnt to enjoy movies like "Rambo, Mummies l,2 and 3, etc. Many of my friends also like Jasmin for he is pleasant and amiable. My best friend, Soh Wah and her husband Yew Tian, also gave Jasmin a farewell vegetarian treat at Lingzhi Restaurant, run by the Tung Lok Group.

My previous Indian tenants, Ashok, Avinesh, Anu and Jasmin have taught me some Hindi as well. Hence, it is a thrill for me when I try to speak both Hindi and Tamil. Once I was surprised when an Indian whom I met confessed he only spoke English. At that moment, I certainly felt more Indian than him!

Soh Wah and I are looking forward to attending Jasmin's wedding. He promised that he would start looking for his "Rashee" (bride with the matching horoscope) after Deepavali celebration. We wish Jasmin all the very best, and may God bless him with a "Rabne bana di jodi" (A marriage made in heaven).

Without a shadow of doubt, our world becomes more interesting and meaningful when we relate well to both homo sapiens and four legged creatures.

Gan Chau

No comments: