Monday, November 14, 2011

Phoenix Rising

*Disclaimer: Not suitable for those squeamish about male body parts - wooden, wax or otherwise.*


Phranang Island, off the coast of Krabi, Thailand, has some interesting folklore associated with it. During my recent trip there, I was fortunate to have a friendly lady boy named Michele, who took it upon herself to explain it all to us in great detail. As I loitered around near a tiny shrine planted inside a cave on the island, Michele launched into the story with much aplomb. Since religion isn’t really something that floats my boat, I didn’t pay too much attention initially. My wandering eyes came to rest on the hundreds of wooden sticks scattered around the cave. They looked strangely phallic in nature.

I chided myself. “Behave, pervy woman. This is supposed to be a place of worship. Those are stakes of some kind. Nothing more.”

My attention wandered back to what Michele was saying. I apologise for this somewhat abridged version of the story. As I said earlier, I was not paying too much attention initially.

Princess Phranang, the most beautiful woman on the face of the earth, fell in love with a sea monster, who took on a human form. On her wedding day, the old man who had granted her parents’ wish to have a child heard about the imminent wedding and came to stop it. He took the help of a warrior monk, who battled with the sea monster and killed him. A sorrowful Phranang vanished into the cave. The rocks closed behind her and she was never seen again. However, she now grants the wishes of people who come and pray to her.

Michele continued, “So if you want happy for you, or for your lover, you make wish here. Local people, they come make wish. They give a wood in shape of a phoenix….”

“Phoenix?” said several of us, eyebrows raised. “Those sticks don’t look like a phoen—“

“Oh!”, we said collectively. Realisation had dawned. I had been right all along. In fact, this “offering”, some feet away from where we stood, removed any lingering doubts.

“So make a wish to Princess Phranang. If you want happy for you or happy for your lover”, Michele instructed, and went on to tell us about Phranang’s many “success stories”.

“No harm in making a wish, eh?” said KO and we solemnly bowed our heads in front of the shrine.

Present Day

Basically Blah’s Open Letter to Princess Phranang

Heya Princess P,

I hope you remember me from my recent visit there. I was the little thing in bright red playing “retriever” – repeatedly fetching her companion’s flipflops from the sea. I was also the only one taking pictures of the giant wooden thang on the beach while everybody else photographed the beautiful jade green ocean. I’m the one who sprinted ahead of everyone else declaring, “I do not want to kiss the boatman”. I will explain later.

Anyway, I have a complaint. There appears to be something of a mismatch between what I wished for and what you (I assume) delivered.

For instance, I believe I asked for “tall, dark and unconventionally handsome.” I am not sure whether it was the sound of the crashing waves or the fact that you’re behind solid rock, but you seem to have heard wrong. I most certainly did not ask for “small, daft and convinced he’s awesome.”

I know I whined about how the men I’ve dated are never based in the same place as yours truly. But does that mean you unleash a whole hoard of the male species from my current home turf upon me? I’ll take quality over quantity any day, please.

I also think you may have mixed up my request with Michele’s prayer for a “happy lover”. How else does one explain my being asked out by gay men?

Speaking of gay, the KO I’ve known has been anything but. Would you, by any chance, have something to do with her scaring the living daylights out of me when she said, “If you beat me at Words With Friends, you can take me on a date”? (Words With Friends is freakishly addictive, by the way. If you’re on Facebook or Android, play! It sure beats spending your days looking at a rock face, moping about someone who became sushi.)

Also, I am positive KO wished for hundreds of rock-hard buns. I certainly did not ask for men seeking a mother for their future hundred sons.

I may have said he ought to know, among other things, his “halters and ladles” – meaning awareness of women’s clothing and culinary/cutlery knowledge. I definitely did not ask for men who constantly throw the prospect of altars and cradles at me.

Finally, I’m not sure whether this lousy customer service stems from my inability to give you a phallic-shaped wooden stick at that time. Would you still accept a mini one fashioned out of candle wax by a slightly inebriated BC? If it would help my case, I can also throw in these glow-in-the-dark “phoenix” earrings – a lantern for your cavern.

Why do I have these in my possession? Same reason I have the “phoenix”-shaped ice tray.

Hoping for a change in fortunes.

Yours truly,
Basically Blah.


  1. My phoenix is pounding like anything in self-deprivation.

  2. What door do keys that hang on that key-chain open?
    What juices do you serve on that tray?

    I need props for my new movie.

  3. Wilbur.S, need a hand?

  4. Vidya darrling, you must try every hole, key hole, then you will know.

    No juice. Only ice.

  5. Ayoh Rama, Sita, Pushpanjali – what bleedin’lies, I say!

    ~~~KO’s rep hath been ruined~~~

  6. If words be the feud of friends, play on!

  7. @Kaotic: I speak nothing but the truth. Quick Y/N: Did you or not demand that a friend of yours parade around you in her bikini and heels? Now go play WWF - it make happy for your lover. :)

    @Anne Hathaway: Peril of wisdom from your diary, princess?

  8. What u got against small men, ya?

  9. Hobbit, she wasn't referring to height there.... if you get my drift.

  10. @Sepo: What causes that reaction? The wooden sculpture or the phosphorus accessories? ;-)

  11. My boney lies over the ocean,
    My boney lies over the sea,
    My boney lies over the ocean,
    Oh, bring back my boney to me.
    (Prayer to Princess Phranang)

  12. @Napolean Bopanna: Princess Phranang make happy for you and make happy for your boney. Don't worry, make happy.

  13. This is quite a seminal piece of work. You're never really hard up on entertainment quotient na. Your trip companions seem really fun. At least now you can empathize with people who have to hang out with a couple of nuts everyday.

    P.S. Do visit Japan during this festival kanamara matsuri. You will like, I think.

  14. @NG: That's ridickulous. There's a vast defrens between entertainment and weirdness. Yes, now I can completely understand why people who hang out with a couple of nuts everyday are so testy.

    P.S. I shall steel myself for the Japanese festival. ;)

  15. what u write describes ur state ff mind.. being off the flow is good but only if u knw wt ur looking for...


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