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HARESH SAYS: 'Thank you, Malaysia'

As published in Malay Mail today 

Haresh Says
By Haresh Deol

TAMIL songs greet you the minute you open the door. There stands M. Nagarajan with several strands of hair neatly combed on his balding head. The 53-year-old never fails to flash a smile at his customers as the scent in the barber shop — a combination of sweet smelling hair tonic and coconut oil — fills the air. It is never easy finding a barber you can ‘trust’. But with Nagarajan, I am able to sit comfortably and close my eyes as he whips out a good old straight razor and places it just above my Adam’s apple before he starts shaving. Nagarajan hails from Tiruchirappalli, 333km south of Chennai, India. I have been his loyal customer for six years. My last visit to the barber shop where he works in Lembah Jaya, Ampang made me a sad man. “I’m leaving Malaysia for good in August,” said Nagarajan in Bahasa Melayu. His command of the language is admirable; able to shame Malaysians who remain ignorant about the national language. …

Ordinary royals, extraordinary lives

As published in Malay Mail (June 13, 2015)
By Frankie D'Cruz frankie@mmail.com.my IT was a remarkable ‘newsroom’ filled with some of the biggest names in journalism, super rich with collectively hundreds of years of experience. With sacks of skills, these journalists told thousands of great stories, wrote thousands of headlines and made The Malay Mail your lunch companion. These heady editors, sub-editors and reporters had a magical knack of knowing what Malaysians were thinking, and this sharpness made them some of the best journalists the country has seen. All their gifts came together in irresistible abundance in a breathless recent catch-up of 18 ex-Mailers, from the late 70s and 80s, with former editor Chua Huck Cheng — now happily retired — who was on a visit here from New Zealand.  It was pure theatre. A convivial June 5, Friday evening had emerged at Pietro Ristorante Italiano in Damansara. Wine and stories flowed. Straight-talking rants and witticism ruled. Prolific is the…

HARESH SAYS: Help our talents hit the right chords

As published in Malay Mail today
HARESH SAYS By Haresh Deol


HER flaming red hair stood out among her peers on stage.
There stood Bihzhu(pic above) in her bubbly self. The fingers of the bassist and guitarist ran wild all over the frets but just as the Penangite sang, my left foot was already tapping to her jazzy tune.
Halfway through her performance during Moonshine at Publika last Wednesday, I asked myself why such songs do not enjoy airtime on radio.
Amir Jahari was next. The young Kuching lad went on to play several yet-to-be recorded songs, impressing those who attended the show. The others who performed that night included Bil Musa and Narmi.
I joined Amir after he performed and asked him how life had been in the scene.
“Bolehlah,” he said with a smile.
“I’m not making much, but it’s enough to put food on the table, pay the bills and do what I love doing … singing.”
Amir, who turned 23 on May 31, has come a long way since busking in the streets of Kuala Lumpur. The self-t…

HARESH SAYS: Salute to everyday heroes

As published in Malay Mail today


HARESH SAYS
by Haresh Deol

I THOUGHT I had given up hope on humanity. I was convinced generosity and even common etiquette had disintegrated over the years.

With news of corrupt practices, abuse of power, lackadaisical attitude and greed constantly highlighted, we seem to live in a selfish society that believes in ‘I’ rather than ‘we’.

But Aliyah proved me wrong.

I was with my better half at a mall in Taman Maluri on Monday where the missus decided to buy a silver chain and some other items.

She bought a chain she liked and we went to two other outlets before leaving the mall. Hours later, we realised missus had misplaced the bag of items which we bought from the first store.

She quickly called the store and Aliyah answered. The young salesgirl insisted the bag was not in the store. Wifey explained she went to two other stores after buying the chain.

Aliyah, out of her free will, said she would check and asked missus to call again in 30 minutes.

When she …

SEA Games: Hoi balik kampung, Singapore pressmen tell Malaysian netball team

HD says: We are all journalists, regardless where we come from. There must be mutual respect all around.