Friday, September 29, 2023


Malaysian author/cartoonist/musician/poet KIT LEEE says he is a "walk-in." To be more precise, his multi-dimensional self - ANTARES NUMl*ON - recalls arriving on planet Earth on December 25th, 1968, as "an illegal immigrant" by "walking into and waking up" in the 18-year-old physical body operated by an Earth native born as "Lee Kit Fong" (pictured left). 

X-Fileophiles will have little difficulty accepting this as a fairly common occurrence. Apparently a large number of humans are waking up to the fact that they are actually "star-borne entities" on a special mission to reconnect Spaceship Earth with the rest of the cosmic community. But how will the Proton-driving, condominium-dwelling, cari makan-ing Malaysian rakyat respond to this news? To help shed some light on the matter, JOURNAL ONE invited Kit Leee to conduct an in-depth interview with his own "higher dimensional aspect" - Antares. Fasten your seatbelts, ladies and gentlemen!


K: How come I don't remember inviting you into my body?

A: Do you remember how many times you've lived on this planet? You could call it protective amnesia - it's essentially a multi-tracking phenomenon - you don't want cross-talk from your other dimensional aspects leaking through and distracting you from the tasks at hand. However, you can be sure of one thing: you agreed to this sharing of neural circuitry. Without your full consent it would have been-a transgression. There are cases where weak-willed personalities have been hijacked, taken over, possessed by some criminal entity. That isn't halal, as they say in this country.

K: Are you a figment of my own overactive imagination?

A: Well, isn't everything? No, I don't mean to be facetious. At the end of the day, so to speak, the Imagination is what creates all realities. Entire universes spring from the Cosmic Imagination. Hindus say it's only Vishnu dreaming. 

K: Does that mean my imagination is no different than Vishnu's – or the Prime Creator's?

A: It's a question of scale. In fractal geometry, the proportions are all-important, not the size. If you know the sum of two angles, you can figure out the third - no matter how huge your triangle. It could be an imaginary triangle connecting three star systems – the mathematics is universal. But I suggest we progress from triangles to tetrahedra: they're much more relevant to our experience of polydimensional reality. Think holograms. It’s a holographic universe.

K: Of course, it could also mean I'm schizophrenic...

A: Incidentally, that's exactly how early humans experienced contact with their gods - through auditory hallucinations generated by the right halves of their bicameral brains. The early gods were really a more evolved species with sufficient force of will to project images and, later, commands directly into the psyches of more primitive species. When these gods began interbreeding with the native primates, their progeny became the first monarchs, agents of the gods, and were regarded as the only real individuals - since the rest of the tribe was still a nebulous group-mind. The word "real" originally meant "royal." So much for reality. As for the syndrome labeled "schizophrenia" by psychiatrists, it all arises from a well-meaning but misguided attempt to define ourselves in terms of a stable, static, predictable - and controllable - social persona. The "normal' self is the product of wishful thinking, derived from genetic imprinting and sociocultural programming. Your name, address, occupation, passport and phone number... all that is just a convenient coordinate system to locate an individual within a particular social context. If you view Prime Creator or God or All That ls as the Supreme Personality, you're confronted with the archetypal case of schizophrenia - simply because that's how the One fragments into the Many.

K: Heavy stuff. Let's stick with more magazine-style questions, if you don't mind.

A: Why should I mind? I have no chip on my shoulder. You're the chap with the shoulders - and the chips.

K: Perhaps I'll quit trying to figure out what's happening on this planet and start a shouIders'n'chips franchise instead.

A: Provide your own canned laughter.

K: Right, er... Antares... where do you originate? Can I think of you as an extraterrestrial entity?

A: Everything comes from the One. l appreciate that you may find such a statement annoyingly vague. But it's the simplest and most precise response. l know you'd prefer some juicy so-called facts.

K: How about some nice, juicy so-called facts?

A: Sure. The name "Antares" connects you with stellar frequencies. Antares is also the name of a binary stargate. In Greek it means "counterforce to Mars (Ares), the divider"; and in Sanskrit it mean "interlink" (as in “antara” or 'between"). My most recent education was acquired in the Pleiadian star cluster - of which, by the way, our solar system is part - but I have intimate links with many other stellar concentrations of Consciousness. Being multidimensional means one can tune into several "lives" in several different frequency zones without shorting any circuits, so to speak. Venus is one of my favorite vacation spots in this system, and Satum is almost a second home. Earthbound science cannot as yet access the frequencies where sentient life is to be contacted on these planets. Remember, the present range of human sensory perceptions is extremely limited; and even the most advanced technical devices can only extend that range a little. Some of you are swiftly mutating, however, and are already able to pick up astral, angelic and higher mental octaves. You call such individuals psychics, clairvoyants, seers, channels. Humanity as a whole will experience a dramatic paradigm shift when enough of you let go of your rigid mindsets: that's the only barrier keeping you caught up in a tunnel reality that's seemingly futile, meaningless, and purposeless. In truth no external authority can keep you under post-hypnotic control forever. For most of us, the cage doors of consciousness are already unlocked. However, many have been "jailbirds" for so long, they're afraid to fly beyond the bars of visible reality.

K: Obviously, you can't stay away from the heavy prattle.

A: Heavy? This is light stuff. The annual report of Perwaja Steel - now that's what I would call "heavy."

K: How would you know about the corporate world?

A: Only as much as you know, plus I have access to the larger context in which these limited-objective games are being played. Glad to say, it's just a phase humanity has had to pass through. It's almost over, folks.

K: Would it be correct to regard you as my personal access to the Cosmic Internet?

A: Good analogy. Most of the Universe is already on-line, except for Earth - which is only now beginning to realize the vast possibilities of initiation into the interplanetary community. The Intergalactic Confederation? Not just yet... but let's say it's a matter of Time.

K: I'm editing out your chuckle.

A: That's fine.

K: Do you have the power to operate independently? l mean, could you coax me into doing something I would not do as the personality called "Kit Leee"?

A: We are NOT separate entities. Since you have only recently become fully conscious of your higher dimensional aspects, you're still in the habit of thinking in terms of "above and below," "higher and lower" - which is only true in a very limited sense. The expanded truth is: as your capacity for love increases, so does your empathy level - and that's the interface where we meet and fuse. Soon there shall be no visible splice between our programs: the personal and the transpersonal frequencies will be completely integrated.

K: Does that mean the demise of "Kit Leee"?

A: I have to point out that "Kit Leee" never actually existed as anything other than a form of station identification. Your essential being operates beyond names. It is, to add to the mystery, ineffable.

K: Ineffable? In-eff-able. You mean unfuckable.

A: I am unshockable. Words, words, words. The more the merrier in your case - since this magazine pays by the word. So go ahead and crack your feeble jokes. You've just earned RM1.5O, congratulations.

K: To change the subject abruptly, why are there still moments when I think the hardheaded pragmatists could be right after all? I mean, when l read the papers or talk with people, conditions on this planet appear to be worsening, not improving.

A: Appear - that's the key word. Haven't you heard? Appearances are deceptive. There's never been a finer epoch in Earth's history – by which I'm referring to the last 5,000 odd spins around the Sun. You realize, of course, that the Earth is ready to consciously accept the privilege and the responsibility of birthing the Divine Child – a brand new humanity endowed with the intellectual integrity of a Buddha, the physical agility of a Nadarajah, the compassion of a Christ - in perfect harmony with the Will of Allah (and therefore muslim in the essential meaning of the term, to be at one with the One).

K: Sounds too good to be true, what you say. l meet a lot of people who see life as a scary tightrope walk across an endless ocean of profound shit.

A: A very amusing and graphic metaphor. Gary Larson could go to town on that one. The fact that we find it funny means that it strikes a chord, cuts close to the bone - and, no doubt, such a perception of reality has been the "norm" for a very, very long time. Don't forget the Hindus call such a period of hellish darkness the Kali yuga. The good news is that a large percentage of humans have successfully broken through to higher consciousness, thereby rendering the experience of pain, horror, tragedy, and helplessness merely optional.

K: You mean we're free to change channels, so to speak?

A: Something like that. What has been happening with you, for instance, can be described as such a breakthrough. Your anxiety level has generally dropped to an unprecedented level; and you're no longer feeling chronic hostility towards emblems of external authority. Isn't that so?

K: You're right. But l continue to feel irked by events occurring on the mundane level. You know, Big Business, Big Government, Big Con Games like Wawasan 2020 or Agenda 2030. It's hard to keep quiet and watch ecocidal and genocidal projects being implemented. Look, how can we put an end to horrible scenarios like the Bakun Dam and blaming Climate Change on carbon dioxide?

A: It's all part of your final exam as a species. Humans are still wrapped up in economic and political power struggles - because the direct experience of Spirit has been effectively limited to a handful of holy rollers, hermits, aborigines, shamans, yogis, madmen, and so on. The last 500 years of scientific materialism and industrial development were a violent reaction against the preceding ages of superstition and tyrannical control by various priesthoods. Humans are now ready to find the right balance between faith and knowledge. Looking at it from a cosmic perspective, it's not really a question of who's right and who's wrong - or whether dams or windmills are necessary for your continued development. The key issue is: what are you striving to achieve, how are you using your energy? Are you perpetuating a social and economic system where only a tiny minority attains a lifestyle of unmitigated luxury, while the vast majority continue to struggle blindly, ignorantly, hopelessly, just to survive? If that is the case, then you have a moral obligation to swiftly outgrow the fearful, egocentric mindset that fosters such destructive and iniquitous activities. Just say "Boo!" and the specter of powerlessness will fade away. In other words, empower yourself, locate the spiritual center within, and kowtow to no false gods.

K: Easier said than done.

A: Even easier left unsaid.

K: You realize that this conversation could go on interminably.

A: It does. Isn't it wonderful to have a friend?

K: Damn right. Especially one who doesn't cadge smokes off me.

A: How little you know... oh well, a habit l picked up on Vulcan. Right, time for a ciggie break!


19 March 1996

Thursday, September 28, 2023

A LOVE LETTER TO PAS (revisited)

With reference to Malaysiakini's lead story on August 17, 2008:


Conservative Islamic party PAS has shelved a proposal to ban gambling and restrict alcohol sales in the four states it rules with its political allies.

Dear brothers and sisters in PAS,

Thank you for being so reasonable, so wise, so patient, and so accommodating.

Like most Malaysians, I am determined that differences in beliefs and ethnic origins must not be allowed to cause the disintegration of our beloved nation. Far wiser to encourage open and sincere discussion amongst the various parties in the Pakatan Rakyat coalition - than for the destructive forces of racial and religious polarization to be used as an excuse for the perpetuation of BN-style authoritarian misrule.

A great many of my non-Muslim friends have long held a negative perception of PAS - since the party is founded on Islamic government as a core doctrine. That Anwar Ibrahim has been able to pull DAP and PAS together in a political alliance with PKR is nothing less than a miracle. Since the euphoric results of GE12 which broke BN's two-thirds majority stranglehold, the BN-controlled mass media have gone out of their way to magnify every little disagreement within the fledgling Pakatan Rakyat.

Right after the elections Umno attempted to forge an unholy power-sharing pact with PAS behind closed doors. When PAS rejected Umno's engagement ring, Khir Toyo used these clandestine meetings as a weapon to plant the seeds of doubt, mistrust and fear into the non-Muslim psyche.

Fortunately, Tok Guru Nik Aziz, spiritual leader of PAS and a wise old fox, was able to reassure his partners in Pakatan Rakyat that all was well and that there was no possibility of a PAS-Umno merger. The coalition remains strong, despite the inevitable jostling for power and influence amongst the various component parties. In any marriage, power play is part of the learning process of attaining true harmony and cooperation.

From a personal perspective, I have no fear of PAS and their Islamic agenda - at least they are completely open about it. Ironically, I am aligned with many of their "Islamic values." For example, I detest gambling and generally shun alcohol; to live in a community free of these vices would suit me fine. However, I'm also a hardcore libertarian democrat in that I would defend the right of those addicted to gambling and alcohol to indulge their chosen vices. To my mind what each of us chooses to do for pleasure is nobody's business - unless, of course, these activities come with deleterious side effects that negatively impact on others. And here we enter a fuzzy area where there are no simple formulas and pat answers.

The entire post-industrial model of economic development is largely founded on financial adventurism, speculation and risky investments - euphemisms for gambling. What is the stock market if not a 24/7 gambling den for white-collar punters playing with blue chips? Financial catastrophes are mostly the result of inveterate gambling - whether the game is called derivatives, commodity futures, sub-prime mortgages or treasury bonds. Gambling or gaming run almost as deep as our hunting and gathering instincts. The adrenaline rush of winning a game of high-stakes poker or mahjong, or breaking the bank in roulette, or flogging off a bunch of dead-horse shares in the nick of time - these are "adult" pleasures akin to a night out with the boys at a karaoke club or a pornographic interlude online when your officemates are all out to lunch.

I have never been attracted to gambling, perhaps because I grew up in a household where neither parent was a gambler. As for games, I quickly got bored with Snakes and Ladders, Monopoly, Checkers, and Scrabble. The last time I played any card game was perhaps 35 years ago. Call me a bore but I would much rather lie in a hammock with a book or a cuddly friend. Never once have I even contemplated the possibility of buying shares in any company or investing my surplus cash in some sort of tontine scheme.

Perhaps I have been saved from getting addicted to gambling by lifelong penury. Having studied the nature of the banking business, I have a pronounced negative bias towards bankers, moneylenders and loansharks - indeed, anybody who uses money to make money, because this is ultimately what widens the gap between haves and have-nots. Alas, this planet is pretty much akin to a giant casino operated by international "banksters" - but it's obvious that time is running out for them, as more humans awaken from their hypnotic trance of powerlessness and reclaim their lives from the corporate enslavers.

Certainly I tend to have a puritanical attitude towards business investors who become entrapped by sheer greed. It's difficult to understand why anyone who already owns millions or billions would continue to "cari makan." How much can anyone eat at one sitting anyhow? Uneaten food is wasteful and shows disrespect towards nature. For me, therefore, Islam's edicts against gambling and usury are eminently sensible and fully in keeping with my own values.

As for alcohol, after a 10-day Mekong binge in Phuket twenty years ago, my body became allergic to the poison. When offered alcoholic drinks at a party, I tend to refuse half the time - and when I do accept I find it difficult to finish an entire can of beer. A champagne toast at a wedding celebration can enhance one's enjoyment - and on cold evenings a shot of Irish coffee is just what the doctor ordered.

Nevertheless, living as I do in an Orang Asli community where 90% of the men are compulsive and terminal alcoholics, I have grown disdainful of drunken behavior and have little patience with the idiotic babblings of the inebriated. In effect, I wouldn't miss alcohol if it simply vanished off the face of the earth. But, please, don't you dare take away my tobacco!

The more puritanical among us, regardless of religious affiliation, will always condemn certain behaviors as "immoral" - while to others these are merely a fun way to kill time. What constitutes "morality" can be debated endlessly and inconclusively - but most of us will agree that the Golden Rule, do as you would be done by, has universal appeal and value. Indeed, once we adhere to that ethical principle, all other rules become redundant.

To my brothers and sisters in PAS I would like to convey this message: I salute your sound moral sense and agree that we would all be better off living in a vice-free environment. However, to use the law to enforce "moral behavior" often leads to abuses far worse than the vices themselves. Look at what happens when agencies like JAIS are given the power to harass courting couples or rudely raid bars and pubs. They turn into uniformed thugs, fascist brownshirts who get their kicks by pretending to be morally superior and throwing their weight around. This sort of loutish behavior is far more dangerous, in my opinion, than allowing a few Muslims the freedom of conscience to imbibe alcohol or experiment with sexual freedom.

The imposition of external discipline has the unfortunate long-term effect of infantilizing the populace, because it treats people like wayward children rather than mature and self-governing, self-improving adults.

Ultimately, the goal of all religious teachings must be to help people attain mastery over themselves (not others!)

And the only way one can become a Master is through the trial-and-error of personal experience, through internal discipline, not through legislation and enforcement. Get the picture, Hasan?


Sunday, September 24, 2023

Le roi est mort, vive le roi... woof! (repost)

Mr Wong died shortly after noon on 25 August 2010.

We suspect he was at least 13 years old (91 in human years), though that's pure conjecture. Mr Wong's origins remain a mystery even if I'm convinced he was indeed the grandson of the venerable Madam Wu (maiden name Curly-Wurly or Curlington-Wurlington on account of her spitz pedigree), one of the original Magick River dogs.

He was also known as Mr Wong Beng Oi or Golden Boy. His official designation at Magick River was Head of Homeland Security. He was undoubtedly the Dog of Dogs, veritably an ascended canine.

Madam Wu was already at an advanced age when she moved to Ampang Jaya long enough to get impregnated by Mary Maguire's mutt, Deputy Dawg (originally of the Yap clan, judging by the nervous tone of his bark). When Mary relocated to Kuala Kubu Bharu in 1997, Madam Wu returned to her former life as a jungle dog, while her daughter Lulu Yap née Lulu Wu stayed on with Mary in Kuala Kubu Bharu and later Sungai Choh. Lulu was seduced by Milligan (a rakish stray adopted by Mary) and had her first litter when she was still in her teens. Lulu's pups were all given away as soon as they were weaned so I never got to know them well.

Sometime in 1999 I found a compact yellow dog lying weak with hunger under a rambutan tree. He had an ugly sore on his back, the remains of a rope around his neck, and his fur had been ravaged by mange. But his eyes sparkled with soulful intelligence and I was compelled to nurture him back to health. My black bitch Anubis took an immediate shine to the short-legged chap I decided to call Wong. Within a week Wong was looking fine and cheerful again. It dawned on me that he could be one of Lulu's pups, born in that very house more than a year earlier. Perhaps he had been unkindly treated and opted to break loose. His instincts had taken him straight back to his birthplace...

Wong and Anubis truly loved one another. She was fond of grooming him and when she got in heat, was exceedingly patient with him, crouching down to facilitate penetration (Anubis was much taller than her royal consort Mr Wong).

Wong was extremely gentle with humans and showed a great fondness for felines. His first cat buddy was Mira, who loved rubbing herself against her canine protector and purring loudly. In fact, Mr Wong was greatly loved by everybody who had any contact with him. Even the Orang Asli were fond of him, because he never once barked at them, chased their kids or harassed motorcyclists. They kept asking me for Wong's offspring but, truth be told, Orang Asli dogs generally don't live very long.

Barely a month old, Pocahontas discovered that Uncle Wong was a warm and wonderfully bullyable friend. She was undeterred by all the tall tales I told her about Mr Wong's murky past as Chief Inspector Wong of the Special Branch (dishonorably discharged from the Force because of his unorthodox interrogation methods)...

Mr Wong enjoys the cool of the evening with Marie Cocteau - who started a fan club for the Dog of Dogs and appointed herself Purresident. Poor Marie Cocteau vanished within a few days of Baggins and Milly's arrival in Pertak. Baggins and Milly are Mary's cat-chasing mutts who grew up in Puchong (a rough neighborhood overspilling with dog-hating datuks). Baggins got into my bad books almost immediately by biting Mr Wong on the leg in a kurang ajar display of alpha male superiority. This incident broke Mr Wong's indomitable spirit and caused him to feel uneasy in his own territory.

But over the last few years Mr Wong had been showing signs of breathlessness and several times became listless and depressed. After a booster jab of multivitamins and some antibiotics, he would rally and regain his bounce. The thought that Mr Wong was, after all, a mortal being and may one day have to leave us saddened me greatly. So when a pretty female pup with Doberman Pinscher markings spontaneously appeared on the scene one day, I decided to let her stay and named her Lulu (in honor of Wong's mum). Perhaps Wong will take her as his child bride, I figured, and from their union an heir to the canine kingdom would be conceived.

As it turned out, Lulu's first litter consisted of two roly-poly pups I named Rupert and Amrita. Neither resembled Mr Wong in any way. Both had inherited their mother's chicken claw - extra toes on their hind legs that look a bit like rooster spurs.

Rupertino, a Valentino amongst dogs, was an exceedingly handsome fellow. Tragically, he was murdered together with mother Lulu on 25 May 2009 by a gang of demonically possessed Orang Asli (no thanks to the cheap brain-pickling spirits they enjoy guzzling). Another great Malaysian murder mystery that remains unsolved...

About six months before she was killed, Lulu gave birth to a single pup. A fat and feisty furball I decided to name Roger Reginald Putra because he arrived aound the time Raja Petra Kamarudin (Blogger King and webmaster of Malaysia Today) was miraculously released from unlawful detention under the evil ISA. It was a day I shall never forget, when it felt as if the winds of political change would blow away the hoodlums in high office like so much dandruff (although it would take a great deal longer than we thought...)

This little tyke was unmistakably descended from Mr Wong Beng Oi - the extreme cuteness of his being and shortness of his legs were a dead giveaway. Roger inherited his mother's characteristic rooster spur.

Roger Putra enjoyed a supremely happy puppyhood, took endless naps, and was adored by everybody.

On account of his thick coat Roger always seeks out the shadiest spots on hot days. Indeed, as a pup he would disappear from sight for hours - only to be discovered fast asleep behind the dragon jar in the bathroom, the coolest spot in the house.

Roger and his father, Mr Wong, were great buddies and only once had a falling out. The bone of contention was, what else? - a smelly bone Roger had been gnawing but when he abandoned it, his father took over and Roger didn't like that. Thought he was strong enough to stand up to the old man... he never again picked a fight with Wong Beng Oi alias B.O. Wong.

Roger, Wong and Mindy Coots aka Mrs Wong chill out on the veranda with my pet djembe.

Apart from food, sleep is a major preoccupation with Roger Reginald Putra.

I suspect there is some Wookie in Roger's lineage as he often makes Wookie sounds. Remember Chewbacca in Star Wars?

In December 2009 (three days before I was rushed to the Sungai Buloh Hospital by ambulance), Roger Putra failed to come home after chasing monkeys into the forest. I went to the river several times a day, calling for him - but heard no signs of a dog in distress. Then, on 21 December, as I was heading towards the car to be driven to the KKB hospital for a blood test, I saw Roger limping home. The adventurous tyke had been caught in an Orang Asli snare and somehow managed to free himself, though the wire had cut almost right through his right leg. Mary took him to the vet and with some antibiotics, antiseptic cream and a massive dose of TLC, he managed to heal completely.

Roger with Ayita Randhawa (whose mother is from Pertak Village).

Mr Wong used to compete with Roger for my affection. But now that Wong's gone, his beautiful, brave and beloved son will surely miss the wise and noble company of his splendid father, even though he shall relish being the new Dog of Dogs and King of All He Surveys...

Roger Reginald Putra in typical Lion King pose.

[First posted 27 August 2010]

THE AQUARIUS PROJECT ~ a 30-minute alchemical docu-poem on WATER (repost)

In September 2003 a friend tipped me off that Discovery Channel was looking for 30-minute documentary ideas from untested filmmakers. He suggested I submit a brief outline and try my chances. Winning entries would be granted a production team and a $25,000 budget to realize the project. I just re-read this proposal from 9 years ago and decided it was worth preserving as a blogpost. Even with a $250,000 budget I no longer have the stamina to do stuff like this. But if any young filmmaker who chances upon this would like to pick up on it....

Preliminary outline

We are watery creatures living on the surface of a watery planet and are subject to lunar influences that generate a subtle emotional tide in our interactions with our environment.

Water is one of the five elements that constitute life as we know it.

No one can agree on what the fifth element is: the Chinese consider metal as the fifth element while Hindus say it is akasha, the ether. Recently, there has even been a suggestion that the fifth element is LOVE. But everyone accepts that Fire, Air, Water, and Earth are the elemental constituents of all life on this planet.

Fire is associated with Energy, represented in the Tarot deck by Wands and in the modern deck by Clubs. Air is Communication, represented by the Sword of Intellect in the Tarot and Spades in the secular deck. Earth is Material Wealth, represented as Pentacles in the Tarot and Diamonds in the modern deck.

Water is Emotion, represented by Cups and by Hearts.

Some astrologers say that on the vernal equinox of March 20, 2001, we finally entered the Age of Aquarius, symbolized by the Water-Bearer. Yet scientists have recently warned that water shortages may be a potential cause of violent conflict in the 21st century.

Water – in all its forms and moods and guises – is the main character of my proposed ‘alchemical docu-poem.’ Water in its literal and metaphorical aspects, as the source of life and the spring of our emotions: water is a liquid analogy for the entire gamut of feelings we experience – from mirthful playfulness to unmitigated rage, from transcendental serenity to violent agitation and profound sorrow. A few years ago I wrote a polemical tract which succinctly summarizes the poetic perspective I intend to translate into moving images and sounds:

Humility means acknowledging how little we know about the universe; and humility comes from realizing that nature’s beauty and mystery are worth infinitely more than our perverse obsession with illusory fame and fortune. Being able to breathe clean, fresh air and admire the distant hills every day may not get us into the Guinness Book of World Records or the Who's Who of the Banana Republics ‑ but it will certainly get us closer to regaining heaven on earth. So stop midway through this frantic and futile feast of fools and look up at the ethereal clouds in the sky, and remember why we chose to be born on this exquisite and unique gem of a planet.  Was it to puff ourselves up with toadish pompousness and amass a hoard of dragon's gold we could never bequeath to our grandchildren? Because our grandchildren would be too busy turning into cockroaches, rats and other lifeforms that can survive or even thrive in ugly and polluted environments.

Or did we come here to experience the separation of matter from spirit, and to learn how they can be harmoniously fused again? For this lesson would teach us that the outer reflects the inner.

Where there is drought in the external reality, it means our souls are parched of feelings, love has dried up. Where there are landslides and flash floods, it means our integrity is decaying and our emotions are murky and raging out of control, bursting the banks of tranquility. And where the air is thick with greasy crud and black with factory soot, it means our thoughts are indecent (i.e., mechanical, pornographic) and our spirit is exhausted.

The Aquarius Project will address the issue of modern technology indirectly, by demonstrating the intimate relationship between murky emotions and contaminated waterways. Humans and human activities play a supporting rôle in the fluid narrative which will favor the non‑verbal over the verbal ‑ although a certain amount of language will be used to help shape the form and intent of the flow. The sad state of human emotions in an industrialized landscape is revealed in our clogged and polluted streams, many of which have undergone the indignity of being turned into drains and sewers.

Only when absolutely needed will a voiceover be used. However, text will feature as an aural and visual element in the narrative, which will alternate between linearity and non‑linearity. This could happen as bits of spoken dialog, as recitations, as song, or as direct interviews with the poet-documentator and others.

I envisage working independently with a digital videocam as well as with a professional crew to achieve a balance between the intimacy and immediacy of an experimental short feature and the technical polish and authority of a conventional documentary. As a musician, I look forward to creating part of the soundtrack for specific sequences, and using library music and live sound for others.


  • Lots of generic water shots: cloud formations, dewdrops on leaves, cascading falls, ripples on lakes and ponds, reflections in puddles, slomo sequences of watery movement, torrential downpour, drizzle, dripping faucet, lawn sprinklers, bathroom showers, wet umbrellas, raincoats, flash floods, muddy rivulets, aquarium sequences, rolling breakers, shimmering seas, speedboat wakes, etc.
  • Whitewater rafters, kayakers, rubber‑tubers, waterskiers, fishermen, boaters, swimmers, kids in rivers, swimming pool sequences, bodysurfers, public urinals, sewage outlets, effluent pipes, drainpipes, monsoon drains, abandoned wells, gutters, stagnant ponds, poisoned streams, sanitation workers, laundrywomen, aquatic flora and fauna, pedestrians caught in thunderstorm, industrial carwash, glass & concrete urban gvs. 
  • Archival footage or stills of severe drought (Afghanistan), destructive floods (China, Bangladesh), famine (Biafra), pestilence (Kosovo, Cambodia), street riots (Indonesia), massacres (East Timor), massive catatastrophes (Kobe, Gujarat), destitution and suffering (Iraq, Sierra Leone), poverty and neglect (Chennai, Chow Kit).
  • General footage of industrial activity, environmental degradation, deforested hills, dust storms, physical and metaphysical desolation.
  • Celebrants and mourners: candid portraits of emoting humans (can either be original footage or culled from magazines, photo albums, libraries, etc.) 

My preferred approach to cooking is to select and prepare the ingredients, look up the recipes of a few tried‑and‑tested dishes ‑ and then leave it to inspiration (and the random factor) to integrate and synthesize the elements, trusting that my artistic instincts will unerringly guide me to making the right decisions. This could prove a chaotic and messy process, but having emerged from a commercial background where artistic self‑indulgence must always concede to entertaining, stimulating and captivating the audience ‑ and being, incidentally, a Capricornian with a hardwired sense of internal order ‑ I have full confidence that I can come up with an immensely watchable and memorable 26‑minute docu‑poem that's aesthetically more adventurous than the straightforward documentary, but still accessible to a mass audience.

I began using a box camera at the age of 6 or 7 and have been an avid photographer most of my life. In the 1970s I had the use of a Super 8 cinecamera and made several experimental home movies which, alas, have all succumbed to the ravages of climate and time. Although I have yet to own a digital videocam, I've handled them occasionally with wholly satisfactory results. I'd like to buy or borrow a decent digital videocam so that I can gather special footage unobtrusively and at my own leisure ‑ leaving the betacam sequences to more experienced professionals. As such, I'd like to be writer, co‑camera‑operator, editor and director on The Aquarius Project ‑ but would greatly appreciate the logistical support of a competent production house.

[First posted 10 August 2012, reposted 3 May 2017]