Sunday, August 31, 2008


I recently applied for, and failed to get into, a speech therapy course that I am very interested in pursuing. Obviously, I am very disappointed, and perhaps a little upset with myself. Or maybe, I am upset with the lecturers who interviewed me, for not thinking that I am “good enough” to be accepted into the course.

And I have been fixated with the idea of “good enough”. Where does “good enough” end and “enough is enough” begin? For every thing I do, I could have done it better. So is it about following the perception of an ideal, whatever that may be? Or is it about performing to the best of my ability? And in such a case, who determines or defines what is my “best”?

They say beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder.

aN IntEREstinG ExPEriMenT

The basic experiments on learned helplessness use two dogs, each in a separate room. In the control dog’s room, after a bell rings the dog gets a mild electrical shock — just enough to annoy and surprise him. This dog has a switch to turn off the shocks and quickly learns to use it.

The second dog is yoked to the first but has no bell and no switch. Every time the control dog gets a shock, it too gets a shock until the control dog flips its switch. So, objectively, both dogs get the exact same treatment, but the yoked dog has no ability to predict or control the shocks.

Next comes the test. Both dogs are put in a “shuttlebox” — a large box divided into two compartments by a low fence. From time to time a warning light comes on, and a few seconds later the floor of the shuttlebox emits a mild electrical shock. If the dog jumps from one compartment to the other, the shock is immediately terminated. Even better, if the dog jumps over the fence upon seeing the warning light, there’s no shock at all. As you might expect, the control dog quickly learns to jump over the fence on cue; though understandably a bit anxious, he’s relatively happy.

And the second, yoked dog? You might expect it would be just as motivated to escape the shocks in the shuttlebox. But this is where the results get very interesting, and somewhat depressing: The yoked dog just lies in the corner of its cage, whimpering.

The yoked dog learned in the experiment’s first stage that shocks happen unpredictably and inescapably — and it carried that mind-set into the shuttlebox. This dog learned to be helpless in its general approach to life, exhibiting symptoms similar to suffering chronic clinical depression.

(above taken from Dan Ariely's blog "Predictably / Irrational", 28th August 2008)

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Recently, I have been contemplating doors. The opening and closing of doors. Doors as barriers. Doors as passageways. Doors that keep things in and shut things out. Sliding doors. Swinging doors. Revolving doors.

There have been many doors set before me through my life. I have opened many of them, just as I have left many of them shut. Some of the doors I opened led me to dead-ends. Some of the doors I opened led me to more doors. Some of the doors are easier to open. Some of the doors need a bit of oiling. Some of the doors I went through alone. Some of the doors I needed a friend to walk together.

It’s been some time since I ventured out to open any doors, I have been in hibernation for the last 2 years. And it’s like suddenly there are too many doors, yet not enough doors. She said when one door closes another one opens. And she said when the time is right the door will open.

What happens when there are no more doors left?

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Irony. Is not lost on me.
Sarcasm. Creates a sizeable chasm.
Puns. Can sometimes be fun.
Metaphors. The might behind the force.
Alliteration. An affective adoration.
Satire. When old jokes tire.

So what’s it for you? A gaggle of geese, a litany of saints, or a side dish of greens?

fEeLIng OlD

I miss that. I miss the wide-eyed wonder I used to feel in my job. I miss the passion with which I would rush home to tell stories of work. I miss the human companionship of colleagues. I miss having a goal that I resolutely believed in. I miss all of that. And more.

Taking time off from work has given me a lot of time to think. Somewhere, somehow, work lost the spark it once held for me. Or rather, I lost faith. It is sobering, after 8 years of working, to question where I am now compared to where I was 8 years ago. What have I gained? What have I lost? Am I stuck in some kind of quarter-career crisis?

I want that back. I want to feel for my job. I want to help people. I want to be able to defend the values that are inherent in my job. I want to be able to look back 8 years from now and feel I have gained more than I have lost.

The struggle is always, am I willing to give up what I have built up over the last 8 years (knowledge, recognition, status, money) and trade that for something else? What if this something else is my true calling, would I be able to give up the potential monies I could have earned to start from scratch again? What if this something else is what I resolutely believe in, would I have the patience and energy to go back to the basics again? What if this something else disappoints me 8 years later, will I still have the strength to stand up again?

Suddenly, I am reminded of how old I am.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


"You are sad. That proves your soul is still alive."

(from Manual Of The Warrior Of Light by Paulo Coelho)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I have always been afraid of falling. Down, that is. Even when I was a little child. I don’t remember myself actively exploring the world around me. Unlike other kids who climbed trees and stood on swings or caught fishes in the drain and dissected insects, I was acutely afraid of the world. Or rather, I did not feel I had a right to mess with things of this world, that seemed so huge and insurmountable to me through my little child’s eyes.

I was always the prim and proper girl. I sat feet-first down the slide. I never tried to stand on the see-saw. While others played for the thrill of playing, I played because I had to. And the time when I was blindfolded and told to “catch” my classmates, I wandered so far off from their hushed whispers that I fell down the stairs.

Will there come a day when you have fallen down so many times that it doesn’t hurt anymore?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

wOunDS & sCAbS

Itchiness is a sign that the wound is healing. When the scabs begin to break off from the fresh new skin underneath. And all that’s left behind is a light-coloured scar.

There is a certain level of patience you need to muster when dealing with wounds and scabs. If you try to peel off the scabs before the wound has properly healed, you’ll end up with a new wound on the same site. And the next time when the scabs grow over and the wound begins to heal, it feels doubly itchy, like there are 2 layers of wounds trying to heal.

The itch is getting to me.

Saturday, August 23, 2008




Thursday, August 21, 2008


7 colours of the rainbow.
7 wonders of the world.
7 dwarves and Snow White.
7 days of the week.
7 deadly sins.
7 heavenly virtues.
7 habits of highly effective people.

In 7th heaven!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


One of the hardest things to grapple with is disappointment. That sinking sensation in the pit of your stomach. That awful choking in your heart. The sigh that goes on forever.

At 30, I can accept that I will probably never be able to do a split, never be able to pirouette as gracefully as the young girls in my ballet class. But at 30, I am unable to accept a rejection of my intellect, unwilling to accept a denial of my academic capabilities.

It is really difficult to do a split, the thigh and calf muscles pulled so taut they feel like they are going to snap. It is even more difficult to hold back the crying. How do you un-cry the tears? It doesn’t work, no matter how many deep breaths I take or distractions I try. Because by the time you realise you are crying, the tears would have filled over.

Disappointment sucks big time.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


"When fate intervenes in our lives it often does so with no warning. It is only when you look back that you see that that was the day which changed your life for ever."

(Child of Happy Valley by Juanita Carberry with Nicola Tyrer)

tHE hARp

If I could have a glamorous career, I would love to be a harpist. I love the lilting twang of the harp. I love the sheer size of the instrument. I love how the harp sounds like angel music.

If I were a harpist, I could wear beautiful gowns and look pretty on stage. If I were a harpist, I could make heavenly tunes that enchant everyone. If I were a harpist, I would make sure I practice hard every day.

I have always admired musicians. Because I think it is a great blessing indeed to possess a talent for music. For it is a gift to be able to master this magical language that transcends all differences of race, of language, of religion.

I would love to be a harpist.

I would love to be someone glamorous!

Friday, August 15, 2008


I recently participated in a great writing experiment. The task is to write your personal memoir in six words. Just six words. No more, no less. Legend has it that Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in only six words. His response? “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”

As I sit hear listening to my favourite Bandari music, I muse on my life. The “achievements” I think I have attained. The “successes” I think I have accomplished. The “dreams” I think I have realized. Do I measure out my life with what is and was?

What about the things I never did, heights I did not reach for, fragments of my life left incomplete? What about the time I walked away from a beggar on the street because I was in a rush? What about the time I refused to stand up in a crowded train for an old man because I was lazy? What about the times when I just wanted to sleep into a forever slumber?

And I thought, what would sum up my life in six words? If I were to die, what would I want as an epitaph on my gravestone? What legacy do I want to leave behind?

I tried my best. And again.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Bin THiS

I am stumped by the amount of rubbish we generate. Often within a matter of minutes. Like eating. The remnants we leave behind, not just crumbs from our meal, but the packaging that comes along with it. Which always seems more than the food itself.

Ever been to a picnic and found yourself with more bags of rubbish than bags of goodies you brought along? It’s a very interesting phenomenon. One that I haven’t been able to get my head around, except to accept it in mocking defeat.

Just looking through the 3 pieces of mail I received this morning. Ten over sheets of paper. Only one of which I need to keep. The rest? Trash. If trees had spirits, they would have sought redress many lifetimes ago. I am just an unwilling participant in this tree-killing game.

This blog, my poor attempt at saving Mother Earth.

Get PerSOnAL

You know how they say not everything is personal? I have never quite understood that. Of course things are personal, otherwise there’s no point in their being, or doing. Actions are personal. Objects are personal. Situations are personal. Memories are personal. Stories are personal. It is because these things are anchored to our person as a reference point that they take on meaning.

So don’t tell me things are not personal. Because they are, to me at least.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

i Am sORry

I lost a friend because of something stupid I did. And now I feel really bad because I miss my friend. I miss being able to call my friend at any time to chat. I miss having someone around who understands my quirks and accepts them. But most of all, I miss that feeling of connectedness with another. That feeling of, yes, I am part of humanity after all.

I lost a friend because of something stupid I did. I wish I could turn back time, but I can’t.

I am sorry, friend. Will you forgive me?

Sunday, August 10, 2008

tO Fly

It is dark out. Even the tiniest sliver of moon is gone. The night air hangs quiet, still. And a kind of uneasy calm settles. I had hoped the rain would come, but something is holding it back. The world waits, with bated breath, for the tension in the sky to ease.

Like a balloon, filled taut with air, waiting for that last breath that would burst it.

I have always wondered, how many helium-filled balloons would it take to lift me off my feet?

Thursday, August 7, 2008

RigHT & lEft

"Wars are fought not to see who's right but who's left."

(spotted on a T-shirt)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

mY DrEAm

I dreamt I was a phoenix bird
Mystery and Magic surround my name
For I fly, I soar, I burst into flames
Only to be resurrected again

I dreamt I was a ladybird
A Simple, Pretty, Little thing
I don’t bite or scratch or sting
Watch me flutter my blood-red wings

I dreamt I was a mockingbird
Royal Blood flows through my veins
Let me sing, sing, sing for peace to reign
Yet to die under the slaughter of human stain

Monday, August 4, 2008

TaKinG tHE RisK

"Most of us are familiar with the idea of keeping it real and have an intuitive sense about what that means. People who keep it real don’t hide behind a mask to keep themselves safe from their fear of how they might be perceived. They don’t present a false self in order to appear more perfect, more powerful, or more independent. People who keep it real present themselves as they truly are, the good parts and the parts most of us would rather hide, sharing their full selves with the people who are lucky enough to know them.

Being real in this way is not an easy thing to do as we live in a culture that often shows us images of physical and material perfection. As a result, we all want to look younger, thinner, wealthier, and more successful. We are rewarded externally when we succeed at this masquerade, but people who are real remind us that, internally, we suffer. Whenever we feel that who we are is not enough and that we need to be bigger, better, or more exciting, we send a message to ourselves that we are not enough. Meanwhile, people who are not trying to be something more than they are walk into a room and bring a feeling of ease, humor, and warmth with them. They acknowledge their wrinkles and laugh at their personal eccentricities without putting themselves down.

People like this inspire us to let go of our own defenses and relax for a moment in the truth of who we really are. In their presence, we feel safe enough to take off our masks and experience the freedom of not hiding behind a barrier. Those of us who were lucky enough to have a parent who was able to keep it real may find it easier to be that way ourselves. The rest of us may have to work a little harder to let go of our pretenses and share the beauty and humor of our real selves. Our reward for taking such a risk is that as we do, we will attract and inspire others, giving them the permission to be real too."

(article from Daily OM)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

SorRY, cOMe AgAin?

I had a beautiful closing line to this blog when I woke this morning. Unfortunately, I have since forgotten what that line is. I’m sure it’s still somewhere inside me, but I have clean forgotten the words, or the sequence that they are in.

It exasperates me sometimes. I’ll be walking from one end of the house to another, only to walk back and forth aimlessly trying to remember what it is I wanted to take. Or I’ll see a face I recognize yet unable to name. Other times, I just don’t even remember what I wanted to say.

We used to joke, it’s early-onset Alzheimer’s. And the joke isn’t that funny anymore.

How fleeting are thoughts. Or perhaps, I just have a short memory.

Friday, August 1, 2008

ThERe & thErE

There is me. And there is the little child in me.
There is rain. And there is the rainbow after the rain.
There are stalactites and stalagmites. And there are glow-worms.
There are happy moments and sad moments. And there are unfeeling moments.
There is yellow. There is blue. And then there is green.
There is Mummy. There is Daddy. And then there is little baby.

There is life. There is thought. And then there is consciousness.