Thursday, July 31, 2008


I bought a bunch of bananas from the supermarket. When I got home, I noticed that one of them was bruised on one side. Further inspection revealed that only half the banana could be eaten. No big deal, I had 4 other beautifully ripened bananas to enjoy.

It’s a little like life. You decide to do some things. Some of the things you do follow the natural order of what you expected, and you are satisfied. Some other things that you do fall so far out of line with what you think should happen, and you are left disgruntled.

I guess, it all depends on the luck of the draw.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


In the distant sky, I see a kite. A kite, frolicking in the sky. She’s a pretty bird, that kite, reflecting rainbow-coloured dreams in her too long tail. I scan the horizon, but am unable to see who is flying the bird-kite. Later I would reach an open field. And I would see the bird-kite hanging limp, draped over a branch. On the branch of a tree, the bird-kite lays lifeless.

I didn’t do it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

it'S Not cLEaR

Sometimes we make it through when we cannot see the facts clearly.

Monday, July 28, 2008


When someone saves you from the brink of death, there is only one emotion you have towards them. Gratitude. Gratitude that runs as deep as the deepest ocean. Gratitude that rises as high as the highest mountain. Gratitude that is endless, infinite, that goes on forever and ever.

Some of the people who saved me I will never know. Perhaps, these are the unsung heroes who work quietly, tirelessly.

Some of the people who saved me I hold dear inside me. Perhaps, I hope I can return their favour someday.

I owe my life to you, to you, to you, to you, to you, to you, to you, to you, to you, to you, to you, to you, and to you.

Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

leTtER tO YoU

Dear you,

This letter is long in coming, but it is necessary.

I feel the distance between us growing, and that makes me sad. I miss those days when we could chat with each other freely, and frequently. It has been months now, and I don’t know how you are doing.

All I want is for you to be happy. Because you are a nice person, and nice people deserve to be happy. Nice people should not have to suffer the tragedy of pain or loss. Nice people should have nice things happening to them.

What changed between us? Is it something I did or said? Or perhaps something I didn’t do or didn’t say? If you don’t tell me, I will never know.

Maybe, we both don’t want to know.

Love, me

MovE oN

The human soul can be very fragile. The human spirit can also be very resilient. For example, you cry after you break-up with your partner. But given enough time and willpower, you recover from the break-up. Life moves on after all. You can’t be just waiting at one spot forever.

I remember, it was not until my 7th year of working that something at work made me cry. For a long time, I was very proud, that nothing at work could make me cry. But you break sometimes. I don’t think I can ever work with that colleague again. And I begin to move on.

A rolling stone gathers no moss.

Friday, July 25, 2008

A suPErFluOus LiFE

"It's the same with life: when all superfluous things have been discarded, we discover simplicity and concentration. The simpler and more sober the posture, the more beautiful it will be, even though, at first, it may seem uncomfortable."

(from "The Witch of Portobello" by Paulo Coelho)

Thursday, July 24, 2008


From this moment on, you are free.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

aLl roAdS LeaD tO RoME

The concept of life as a journey has been often discussed. We speak of choosing one path over another, of walking from darkness to light, of setting and achieving milestones.

And perhaps the perennial question is always, “Which way do I go?” The answer doesn’t come easy. Or rather, it is difficult to find an answer. Because circumstances and situations change. They affect each person differently. The path I take may not be what you would choose. The path you walk may prove to be arduous for me.

So it follows that each of us has to figure out our own journey. Or at least, we owe it to ourselves to keep trying. Some roads may be bumpy and you get really carsick. Some roads lead downhill making it easy to run. Yet other roads are so narrow you have to walk alone. Each road though, is never the same, even for you.

“Where are you going?”

“I don’t know.”

“Then how will you know when you have arrived?”

“That is a good question. A really good question.”

Monday, July 21, 2008


13 is my favourite number.
My current colour of choice is purple.
Beansprouts and mushrooms are the bane of my life.
I love rainbows.
I believe there are 7 pots of gold at the end of the rainbow.
I believe in fairies and unicorns.
I believe in love at first sight.
I believe in happily ever after.
I believe in life, light and love.

I do not apologise for who I am. Neither should you.


The Lord replied, "The times when you have seen only one set of footprints in the sand, is when I carried you."

(Mary Stevenson)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

hOw COuLd iT Be?

In a strange twist of events, something that I expected to happen did not. Instead, the opposite of what I expected to happen happened. It was bewildering, and frustrating. It got under my skin and it has become incorrigibly irritating.

My friend said, “No expectations, no disappointments.”

I don’t buy that. How can a person live without expectations? It’s like telling a fish to live out of water. It is with expectations that life goes on. Like expecting to see tomorrow, or expecting to be able to catch my next breath.

I am going to die. Aren’t we all?

Friday, July 18, 2008


Resilience and fortitude are qualities I very much admire in others. They are also qualities that I find lacking in myself. Perhaps that’s why I look up to those who manage to hold on even after a calamity. Perhaps that’s why I hold in awe those who walk on in courage even in the darkest of nights.

Whenever I encounter stories of heroism, altruistic or personal, they stir in me emotions so deep that they rock the very core of my being. And every once in a while, my faith in the human race is restored. Sometimes, it even seems possible to overcome our human condition and therefore strain towards perfection.

I have tried my best. Or else, I’ll die trying.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


“Do you think they’re in heaven?”

“What do you think?”

“I think they are still inside.”


“I think they are still inside waiting to fly up to heaven.”

“What are they waiting for?”

“For me to say goodbye.”

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

LonELy AloNe

There is something about hospitals that give me goose bumps. It is a strange sensation – partly dread and partly excitement. For in hospitals you find diametrically opposed emotions. Joy, sadness, recovery, death, laughter, tears. And behind these a complex web of relationships, that bind one to the other.

It must be lonely dying alone.

tHis, THis is My LiST

1. Please don't make me handle more than I can. I am helpless when you do this, and I hurt all over. Please, please, protect me.

2. I was born this way and can't change. I know you sometimes think something awful must have made me this way, or at least made me "worse", but that ought to give you even more sympathy for me. Because either way I can't help it. Either way, don't blame me for how I am.

3. What I am is wonderful - I let you sense and feel so much more deeply. I am really one of the best things about you.

4. Check in on me often and take care of me right at that moment if you possibly can. Then, when you can't, I can trust that you are at least trying and I won't have long to wait.

5. If you must make me wait for my rest, please ask me nicely if it's okay. I'm only more miserable and troublesome if you get angry and try to force me.

6. Don't listen to all the people who say you spoil me. You know me. You decide. Yes, sometimes I might do better left alone to cry myself to sleep. But trust your intuition. Sometimes you know I am too upset to be left alone. I do need a pretty attentive, regular routine, but I'm not easily spoiled.

7. When I'm exhasted, I need sleep. Even when I seem totally wide awake. A regular schedule and a calm routine before bed are important to me. Otherwise, I will lie awake in bed all stirred up for hours. I need a lot of time in bed, even if I'm lying awake. I may need it in the middle of the day, too. Please let me have it.

8. Get to know me better. For example, noisy restaurants seem silly to me - how can anybody eat in them? I have a lot of feelings about such things.

9. Keep my toys simple and my life uncomplicated. Don't take me to more than one party in a week.

10. I might get used to anything in time, but I don't do well with a lot of sudden change. Please plan for that, even if the others with you can take it and you don't want to be a drag. Let me go slow.

11. But I don't want you to coddle me. I especially don't want you to think of me as sick or weak. I'm wonderfully clever and strong, in my way. I certainly don't want you hovering over me, worried about me all day. Or making a lot of excuses for me. I don't want to be seen as a nuisance, to you or to others. Above all, I count on you, the grown-up, to figure out how to do all of this.

12. Please don't ignore me. Love me!

13. And like me. As I am.

(from "The Highly Sensitive Person" by Elaine N. Aron)

Sunday, July 13, 2008


Each of us has the right and the responsibility to assess the roads which lie ahead, and those over which we have traveled, and if the future road looms ominous or unpromising, and the roads back uninviting, then we need to gather our resolve and, carrying only the necessary baggage, step off that road into another direction. If the new choice is also unpalatable, without embarrassment, we must be ready to change that as well.

(from "Wouldn't Take Nothing For My Journey Now" by Maya Angelou)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

LapTOp CooLinG pAd

I recently bought a snazzy gadget called a laptop cooling pad. It looks like a miniature cooker-hood, with 2 fan-like things in place of the gas hobs. By placing my laptop on the cooling pad, the heat is drawn away from the laptop, thus preventing overheating.

After hours of using, my laptop still feels hot to the touch. But then I suppose the cooling pad must be working its wonders by keeping the overall temperature down. Or at least, I’d like to believe that’s what it does. I mean, I bought it because it claimed that that’s what it does.

Occasionally I’ll lift up my laptop to check that the 2 fans are working. Or I place my ears close to the cooling pad to listen to the whirring of the fans.

And sometimes, I wonder, is it because of demand that there is supply, or is it because there is a supply so we demand?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

tHE CagEd BirD SiNGs

A free bird leaps
on the back of the wind
and floats downstream
till the current ends
and dips his wing
in the orange sun rays
and dares to claim the sky

But a bird that stalks
down his narrow cage
can seldom see through
his bars of rage
his wings are clipped and
his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

The free bird thinks of another breeze
and the trade winds soft through the sighing trees
and the fat worms waiting on a dawn-bright lawn
and he names the sky his own.

But a caged bird stands on the grave of dreams
his shadow shouts on a nightmare scream
his wings are clipped and his feet are tied
so he opens his throat to sing.

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings for freedom.

("I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings" by Maya Angelou)


It was very late in life when I learnt a simple fact, that humans are not perfect. That we have our weaknesses, our failings, our bad habits, our share of broken promises. That we can’t always be right, that we can’t always be expected to be right.

For whatever they say about failures making us stronger people, about mistakes that empower us, about standing taller after we fall, I didn’t believe them. After all, my idols then were iconic figures in their own right. Margaret Thatcher, Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, Maya Angelou. They were indestructible. I mean, for the longest time, I was under the illusion that they didn’t even have to answer to nature’s call and go to the toilet.

I guess in my own make-believe world, equilibrium can only be achieved when everything is perfect, and perfectly balanced. Like a snow-globe. The beauty wasn’t in shaking and watching the snow fall. For me, it was the settling snow revealing the magnificent scene inside that mattered.

Have you noticed there are no shadows in an office building?

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

AnD TheN thERe iS ThiS

There are some lessons a whole life of learning doesn’t teach you.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

thERe Is THis

Nothing we learn is ever wasted.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

ThiS OnE'S For YoU

For paying attention
For listening

For not judging

For telling me to hold on
For showing me there is light at the end

For not breaking your promise

For stories of your son and daughter
For being human too

For not being right all the time

For keeping the cranes
For one day we shall count them together

For in the end
I hope to be your friend

Thursday, July 3, 2008

ParTy AwaY

I had a theme party for my 21st birthday bash. It was a dessert party, and the theme was Hawaiian. I was studying in New Zealand at that time, and my housemates all gamely helped with the preparations, from decorating, to making desserts, to picking songs, to dressing up. I had a bunch of people over, dressed in the coolest Hawaiian fashion, and it was great fun.

I had another theme party when I turned 30. It was a dessert party as well, and the theme was Candy. I made welcome drinks and gave out cupcakes and lollipops as party favours. This time, my family stepped in to help with the preparations. I had a bunch of friends over, dressed as candies, and it was great fun.

I like theme parties. I like things that have themes. I like the idea that everyone is participating in an event with a common goal in mind. I remember making my team-mates dress in one colour or another to come to office on our casual Fridays. We tried pink, red, green, white, polka dots, and it was great fun.

So, let’s do blue this Friday?

mE = 7 HeaDS?

My parents enrolled me in drawing lessons when I was young. Not that I remember them particularly, but I remember seeing my own crayon-coloured creations. I like drawing. Well, to put it more accurately, I like the idea of drawing. I think it is a gift to be able to draw well.

In school, we were made to draw many things. From bunches of grapes and bowls of apples and pears, to toothbrushes, to creating belt buckles and robots. And my most memorable, having to take off our shoes and draw them for our yearly art exam.

When our teacher decided to teach us how to draw humans, I was quite excited. It would be infinitely more exciting to have people in my illustrated stories rather than the usual talking flowers and butterflies.

So I learnt that a human body is roughly made up of 7 heads. Proportionately, a person would have 3 heads for the upper torso (including our original head), and 4 heads for the legs. Model-esque body no doubt. Which basically meant I was back to drawing ovals as heads, 7 ovals to draw a person. Like 7 apples in a fruit bowl.

I was never really good in art.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


Why does the nose run? Where does it go?

The plane flew off on a plane.

If you stretch the truth, do you get a tall tale?

Lend me your ears so I can play it by ear.

Would a fly without wings be called a walk?

An authentic replica that looks pretty ugly.

When it rains, why don’t sheep shrink?

I bit my tongue when I said something tongue-in-cheek.

Did you notice the tree leaves when the wind blows?