Village Destroyed

It looks like a War Zone, but it is not war.  We weren’t at war.  It was a disaster last Wednesday.  A fire broke out that afternoon about 4.  It was so serious that it almost destroyed the whole village.  More than 50 houses destroyed, and over 600 people lost their home.





I’ve seen a few fire before, but I think this could be the most painful moment I had.  This is a over-century old village and the fire almost wiped out the entire village.  Seeing all the people running away, rushing into the house and salvaged anything they could as the fire engulfed the houses one by one on both sides.

Yes, BOTH sides.  I was baffled when I arrived at the scene, and tried to comprehend what exactly happened.  Then some people said, the wind from the river was too strong that the fire spread across the road to continue its trail of destruction.


The road soon became impassable to the people as the heat was too intense.  It was a very chaotic scene, everybody was shouting, some people were crying, and some just stared at the fire helplessly.  Some even helped the firefighter putting out the fire.  The fire was not at its peak already when I arrived, but it wasn’t in control yet.








Contemplating Life

I traveled to the rural areas quite a few times in a year and their lives always fascinated me.  They make pictures beautiful.  They are the friendliest people I’ve seen in my life. Every time if i had a chance to drop by their villages, I always tried to capture some beautiful moments of them.  Maybe on the funny side, or just a showcase some piece of their lives.

These are the people who value the beauty of simple life.  The beauty of life in its simplicity.  It might not be the perfect pictures or the best pictures in the world, their faces are telling me what I had been missing something in my life.



Letters, The Personal Touch

Writing letters used to be one of my favourite things to do growing up.  I cannot say that I did it during my past time, but I do remember I used to write letters almost everyday.  To who?  My pen pal of course.  That was probably about 12 or 13 years ago.  Most of you, if not all, had at least one.  Some of you might still have it.

I cannot say that letters are words truly from your heart, maybe 50 per cent, and another 50 per cent was from your head.  That was my case.  No structure, no draft, no planning; just words that came out from you.  I have to admit, I was a very bad writer.  My sisters could write a lot better than me.  That’s the truth.  Funny, it all did not matter at that time.  Despite being a very bad writer, I kept writing anyways.

Sure, I always start with apologies.  ‘Sorry, my English is not very good, hope you don’t mind’, and ‘p/s: Sorry for my bad English.’  Nevertheless, no one has to be a good writer to write a letter isn’t it? There is simply no good or bad in letters.  And for sure, whatever you write, your ‘reader’ will connect to what you want to say or convey, and some even could feel your emotion.  Such are the great things about letters.

As I said, I certainly was not a good writer, but I could write up to three pages long.  I was amazed myself.  Maybe 80 per cent of the contains were bunch of crap, but still, they were good stuff.  The person on the other side will still read it, and anticipating for more letters.  At least in my case, I remember everyday, I kept hoping that Mr Postman would stop at my house to drop a letter or two just for me.  Nothing beats the thrill of receiving letters from pen pals; from friends outside the country, thousands of miles away from you.

I don’t do that nowadays, but I’ve been thinking about it.  I actually attempted to do it again since last December.  I wrote a letter to my friend, my ex-roommate back in the University to be exact.  It is a shameful thing to say that, that letter is still in my bedroom; somewhere on the table, probably covering in dust.  It all started when she sent me a card last Christmas, and I told her I should write to her one day.  I wrote, at least I kept my promise, but never got in the mail.  I’m still hoping that I would mail that letter.  Not sure what got in a way?

But, what is it about letters that gave me such thrill?  I believe it is something, which I called it ‘personal touch’ of the person writing to you.  What is she going to talk about?  And when you finished reading the letter, you just need to take out your pad and reply.  The person is not there, but letters are enough to feel the present.

It is a different feeling when receiving emails.  Sure, sudden emails from old friends will surprise me, but the anticipation will not be the same.  So why letters are so special?