The Toy

Simon liked his new toy. He played with it every time his parents left him alone. Today the toy seemed to be not working in the usual manner. It kept malfunctioning and jerking.

Simon was cross. He wanted to play with the toy. He wondered what could he do to make it work like before.

Continue reading

Why You Should Write A Letter

This year as part of my 52 challenges for the year, I began a practice that I soon hope to transform into a tradition. Writing letters, old school style with a pen and paper. I’ve been writing one letter each month to my parents and elder brother and his family, who reside back home in India. In fact my habit has got them writing back as well! Continue reading

After All…

Ryan was looking into the mirror. He looked great in the black suit. He wanted to look his best.
After all, Ryan was 
headed out on a date to the best restaurant in town.

He got into his car and drove to the main driveway. He looked around to check if there were any oncoming vehicles.
After all, Ryan was the most cautious man in town.

Continue reading

10 Tips For A Better Life

This post is not entirely an original one. In fact it isn’t even mine to begin with. This isn’t my list . One of the many talented contributors to the mail subscription Listserve had written this brilliant piece when they had won the email lottery. I found these tips so basic yet so profound in their impact on our lives that I felt compelled to share it on my blog. So here goes, 10 tips for a better life  –

  1. Call your parents once a week and tell them you love them. If not your folks, call someone you love. Never underestimate the power of your voice expressing affection upon someone.
  2. Live below your means and work to save at least 20% of your salary. Set up automatic withdrawals to a separate account. Maximize your retirement contributions. It is never to late to start saving and yes, every penny does count.
  3. Little habits make all the difference in life: Stretch & Touch your toes in the shower every day. Brush your teeth. Put your fork down between bites.
  4. Do something nice for someone once a day. The cumulative effect of random acts of kindness are worth striving towards.
  5. Eat less meat, processed foods, and exercise more. Little changes will always add up.
  6. Read more – just not on electronic devices. There’s beauty in focusing some time to shutting off all distractions and reading a book.
  7. Music – Make more music, or listen to more Classical, Jazz, and ambient music. All great genres to help meditate.
  8. Never stop learning: Learn something new every day. Read something different, draw something, cook something new.
  9. Be Optimistic. Before you say or do something, think. Take your time, choose your words carefully, and always be optimistic. This time will never come again, make it count.
  10. Save a life – adopt a pet. You may find that your pet may be the one saving your life.


Conversations with a Singapore Taxi Driver – The Experienced One

For this encounter it is worth mentioning that this ride was taken on 31st October in the evening. You’ll see the significance in a bit. Our cabbie friend (a local Chinese descendent from his demeanour) asked if it was pay day, cause a string of passengers had paid with shiny 50 dollar bills! This led to him talking about passengers in the past who paid taxi fares with big bills. Apparently he even had someone who wanted to pay with a 1000 dollar bill!

He spoke in detail about a particular incident involving a passenger who paid for a S$4 taxi fare with a $100 bill. Our cabbie friend mentioned that from the very beginning he felt something wasn’t right about this but proceeded to return the change of S$95 to the passenger.

Unable to shake off the feeling that something was astray the cabbie asked his next passenger to help check if the $100 bill was a counterfeit one. Unfortunately the passenger was a teen who proclaimed that she wasn’t well versed in the art of spotting fake currency.

Our cabbie friend tried his luck with the next passenger, an elderly auntie. Fortunately for him, the auntie was a cashier at a local kopi stall and most certainly qualified to examine the currency note. His nagging feeling was confirmed once the auntie proclaimed that the note was indeed a fake.

Our friend was obviously disheartened on learning this because this meant he lost S$100 that day (the S$95 change and the actual fare of S$5). He called it a day and just headed home to sleep it off and forget the whole thing. Unfortunately there are some things that you just can’t forget.

Today, he still has that fake $100 bill as a reminder to never accept large bills from passengers, especially for small fares. He says the experience was a costly one, but a valuable one.