No limits in life

Today we had a lecturer who is visually-impaired. It was very painful to hear that he was not born blind. He had his sight until he was 17years old and lost it due to a ruby game. It must have been devastating for a young active man to lose his sight. From a world of colours and beauty, it became a world of darkness. Today, Mr Chandran is 81 years old and he has indeed accomplished much.

He completed his studies at the London School of Economics, and later on, to earn a Fulbright Scholarship to do a double Masters at New York State University. He was the founder chairperson of Disabled Peoples' International, and also for its Singapore Chapter, the Disabled Peoples' Association. He was also actively involved with the Singapore Association of the Visually Handicapped, Singapore Anti Narcotics Association, with social work and counselling. Much like Mr Nick Vujicic, born with no limbs but he has gone one to influence so many people all around the world. Nothing can stop us if we have purposed in our hearts to do what we have set out to do.

They may be handicapped but they are not disabled. Many around us are not handicapped but they are disabled.

Thoughts…here and there

The final lap is really the toughest. Almost every Saturday is a full day school. Assignments to hand up every month. Therapies are no longer so straight forward. Practicum to do, supervisor to meet. So much to do, so much to complete but…

“Life is an obstacle course. Neither moaning nor surrendering to depression can change things for the better. We have to roll with the punches, grit our teeth and carry on with life.”

“16 year-old Aloysius from Damai Secondary School committed suicide 3 nights ago in his family flat at Block 602, Bedok Reservoir Road, where he was discovered hanging from the ceiling by his distraught parents. Friends and relatives have all expressed shock at his suicide, with many wondering what drove him to desperation. Yet some classmates and friends of Aloysius have been blaming themselves for not spotting the tell tale signs of Aloysius' plans for suicide. According to a friend of Aloysius, the 16 year-old was not popular in school, although he had many friends outside of school. This is why Aloysius hated school and posted often on his twitter account about his feelings of loneliness in school. Another unnamed friend of Aloysius said that since February this year, Aloysius had started showing signs of depression, which may have contributed to Aloysius' decision to end his life”

I am blogging about this event because both boys are 16 year-old, both names start with the letter ‘A’. Both were lonely in school. Both vocalised their emotions on the social media. One caught the world’s attention because his expressions included that of a prominent person. The other one, caught the attention of his friends but no one did anything. He eventually died.  It is so easy for us to point our fingers at young people and tell them to show respect and be mindful of what they said in social media. Maybe it is time we pay attention to the other four fingers which are pointing at ourselves. Why are they not able to bring their thoughts to a physical being and get help? Why do we sensationalise a piece of news on social media for one and not the other? What have gone wrong in society that young people can only turn to the social media to release their emotions?

We wrapped up our session on Redecision Therapy (RT). Like TA, I find RT a very real therapy and one which can really help many people in need. It traced all the way to the client’s childhood. It is what we learned and experienced during our childhood years, that mould us and make us into who we will become when we become adult. So much truth in it. The kind of values we received when we were a child remained inside us. If they are good values, great! If they are negative values, it can create a lot of problems for us. This could result in marriage break down, depression, anger, anxiety.
There are children who never feel that they are good enough because their parents have told them they are never good enough. Like a friend of Ann. No matter how good is her score, she is never happy because ‘mum says unless it is this, you are not good enough.’

Finally, rejoice with me. We are now proud owners of a freehold office space which we have named it The Blue-Pencil. Meaning : to alter, abridge, or cancel with or as with a pencil that has blue lead,as in editing a manuscript.

Yes, that’s my job. To help others help themselves edit their script! In the meantime, it is work and more work.

Wrap-up for this posting…no matter how busy, there is always time for friends, food and durian

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What have been happening?

The kids have finished SA1. I am a mum who does not really care much about marks but I emphased a lot on attitude. If you have studied hard but still remain average, I would think that you are just not academically inclined and must really work hard on a skill. But…if you have the I-don’t-care attitude and get bad marks….it is all about making a change.  Kai continue to show average results. He is clearly an arts student. Double Math and double Science is just not doing him any good but will see. Can’t change now.

Ann continue to hand up careless work. She did well but it could have been a better result if not for her carelessness.  

Kai has been selected to attend the creative arts programme camp at NUS. He was away for a good four days. I believe he is now a more matured writer after brushing shoulders with some of the finest writers from other schools and learning from some of the who and the who from the writing field.

Good for him. I have decided to leave him. After all, he is already 15yo, he has to take responsibility for his own life.

I have started class. It has been hectic. Continuous weekend classes. Weekend class means full day from 9am to 6pm but it has been very enriching, learning new therapies. Although I must say that I don’t accept everything that has been taught but in life, we should just keep what is worth keeping. Last Saturday’s class was difficult to concentrate. It was the day where a group of primary school kids and their teachers were caught in the Sabah earthquake.

The latest news was that six children and one teacher did not make it. It was heart wrenching reading the news. So painful that these kids are gone just like that. It must have been frightening for them. According to news report, may of them still have their harness on them. Imagine, the very thing which was to save them, killed them. Perhaps, they just don’t have time to react. You know, what is really painful will be for their parents to carry on with life without their kids. I think many will leave with guilt – that they allow them to go. Of course, no one is to be blamed but it is human nature to react this way.

I told Ann, now you know why I don’t sign all the consent forms.

Haven’t blog for a while…

One event after another, life gets busier and busier. A stay-home-mum with no full-time helper is a very busy mum indeed. Each day just passes by with a blink of an eye. Finally, had my hair trimmed yesterday.
Kai has been selected for the Author Mentorship Programme. He is a happy boy. The no students from the school has been selected for many years now and this year, two students are selected and Kai is one of them. Yay!!!
School work has been getting heavier and tougher by the day. What are they looking for? The next Einstein ? Seriously, who in the world can solve some of these most ridiculous Math problems?
I will be starting school again, this Friday. The schedule is scary. One step at a time, one day at a time, I will make it with the Almighty’s help.
My little prince

Found this old photo of the spouse and little Kai
Kai was only about two if I am not wrong. Look at the little tiny man and his big papa.

Kai and his papa. A little taller than his papa now. Miss them so much when they were younger. Don’t you wish they just don’t grow up. Impossible, deal with it, mama!

My thoughts on the boy blogger who was charged…

I am really clueless as to what he is up to. Perhaps, he is out to prove something, I don’t know. I empathise his parents. To have a son of such high intellect and no fear for anything, not even the judge. I do not condone his actions but I think, the authorities should have handled it better.

“At about 6.10pm, Yee was brought to the bail centre, still handcuffed and with ankle restraints, accompanied by more than five officers. Youth and family counsellor Vincent Law posted bail for him.” (

Seriously, in handcuffs and ankle restraints? I thought these are meant for hardcore criminals?
Perhaps, I see the case from a counsellor’s point of view, to unlock this child, you just got to find the right keyhole and use the right key. I also don’t know how but I m sure there is a way of doing it. There is a need to trace his life from birth.

What a week it had been!

I think this is going to be a long one…

Our first Prime Minister, Mr Lee Kuan Yew has passed away. It was a week of mourning for Singapore and a week of history lessons for myself. I have finally learned so much which my textbooks did not teach me. I have finally understood the real meaning of rumours. Oxford defined it as a currently circulating story or report of uncertain or doubtful truth. All that I have read about him and his family on the internet were not to be taken as a fact. They were simply individuals’ perspectives and values. Live recordings can’t deviate very far from the truth.

Even my father, who was not very much pro-government, in his current old age, agreed that without LKY, we wouldn’t be here. Of which, I must I agree.

In the early 90s, when I was still with a publishing firm, the Indonesian and the Philippines offices were the most important offices for us. When the Indo and Phil sales managers wanted to stop print to insert a last-minute advertisement, no one dared said “no!”. Not even the GM. The reason given was always “you want your bonus or not?”. We, the operation side, would always be most unhappy. Stop print means delaying out-of-press date. Until year 2000 when I left to become a SAHM, no one cared about these two countries’ sales anymore. With the departure of their leaders, there goes the importance. Look around us, in this region, we have continued to shine.

During my three years stay in China, every Sunday we went to church, we must produced our passports or copies of our passports to prove we are foreigners so we could attend church. I am glad, we didn’t have to do that here. I think, this in itself, is enough to be grateful for a leader who believed in racial harmony and free religion for all.

One other thing which I have taken from this past week event was LKY’s deep love for his wife. I first got to know bits of it from his daughter’s writings in the Straits Times. In the Parliament tribute, Dr Ng Eng Hen related such a touching moment…

In 2009, Mr Lee led a delegation on an official trip to many states of Malaysia. DPM Tharman Shanmugaratnam and I were part of it. The delegation was having dinner, when Mr Lee asked to excuse himself so that he could speak on the phone to Mrs Lee. Due to previous strokes, Mrs Lee could not speak but remained conscious and aware. Mr Lee had made it a routine to speak and read to her each night. He did not want to break this routine even though he was in Malaysia on a long trip. He asked the nurse to put the phone to Mrs Lee and spoke to her. He did this every night while we were in Malaysia. We stood aside to respect their privacy, but that image of Mr Lee, hunched over the phone speaking to Mrs Lee who could not speak back, will stay with me for a very long time as a simple but pure picture of true devotion.

In the words of LKY when he gave his eulogy to his late wife… “you love the one you marry.”

Such devotion from a man with such a high status, I respect. If this virtue is rubbed onto every husband and wife, we would have very happy kids and happy families.

At the end of the day, this was a man of deeply-rooted values. A fighter for his beliefs right till the end. These words of his summed up why he did what he did…

This is my country. This is my people. You will trample over us, over our dead bodies. We dug our toes in, we built a nation.

For those who know me, you know I am one who will never Q for anything nor anyone. I don’t Q for even the best food in town. I don’t Q for kitties or doggies, I don’t and never will Q for any stars but last Friday, I saw myself Q-ing with the tens of thousands. It was very orderly, it was very respectful. It was very efficient. The system is what they called the chamber-system. From the city hall MRT station, we moved along slowly until we reached the Padang. Then we were asked to join the various chambers, there, we were told to sit and wait. It was about a two-hour wait. Then the long walk began from Padang to the Parliament House. Whoever came up with this was very clever. The walk took three hours, all in all, it was a five hours wait but I didn’t feel the wait was long because of the walk. We were moving and that really helped a great deal.

In these five hours, people were looking after each other. We were given free umbrellas, drinks, food, boxes were passed around to collect rubbish. It was the Singapore I knew. The real Singapore is back. Not sure about others, where I was, I saw no new citizens. People around me were the born and bred Singaporeans. You just know it when you see one. Don't label me as xenophobic, I truely believe that the true blue Singaporeans will always rise up in times like this.

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This was where it all began. Those were not litter. Cardboards for people to sit and wait. Bottled water for people to drink.  

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We were now behind the Padang. Yeap, free cold yoghurt drink for us. 

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Finally, the white tentage where bags were checked and the Parliament House.

On Sunday, together, with the thousands of neighbours, I stood under the pouring rain and said my last farewell to a great fighter. (No pictures taken out of respect for the great man). This is an experience I would not want to miss.

At the end of the day, I felt a strange feeling. “We could always call him back to office but no, he died, at 91, there was really nothing else he could do.”


A short trip to Bintan, first and may be the last… (Part IV)

This was the best meal.
Can’t get any fresher than this. Oh, we didn’t take the lobster. Too little meat for four of us!

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There were crab, mussels and fish…sorry too engrossed with the food, forgot to take pixs

This is how you provide clean water for your customers to wash hands. Creative to the max!

This place offers good and reasonably priced seafood but to get here, must pay S$50 taxi fare, so it is really expensive but good experience for the kids.

A short trip to Bintan, first and may be the last… (Part III)

What kids really want and what they really need…SPACE!
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…and we tried new things

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Riding the ATV – All terrain vehicle. Steady or not!
It was really exhilarating but rather dusty.

Then, the ultimate challenge... parents vs children


All pump up. Ready for challenge

The aftermath…final score 1:1