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Morning wisdom


I was not a writer to begin with; I was a listener.

Erskine Caldwell in an interview with the Paris Review

Have a good weekend.


I have not fallen off the face of the earth. I am just plain unmotivated these days to sit in front of my laptop to write anything at all. It doesn’t help that my ‘4’ and ‘F’ keys are not working, adding another layer of challenge to my determination to write and leave comments on blogs.

The week in gist:

  • The intermittent haze is tampering with my attempts to go out, but it didn’t stop me from visiting the Art Science Museum. The Flux Realities: A Showcase of Chinese Contemporary Photography left me deeper impressions than I thought I’d have.
  • Reading Howard Jacobson’s The Finkler Question. I’m only pages into it, but it has already got me laughing out loud several times.
  • Some articles I had wanted to share on the blog but… just haven’t: Ancient city found, Raising daughters as sons in Afganistan, Compassion over empathy (I’m not entirely convinced by the argument, but I identify with the writer’s points to some extent.)
  • Booked my ticket to Bangkok. How does that city continue to excite me year after year?

On life


“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”

Do pardon me for my lack of updates here. Ever since my exam ended one week and a half ago, I have been catching up on everything I haven’t had time to do before. That includes household chores, Christmas shopping, and, profusely, watching tv and reading.

I spent a good part of Saturday afternoon googling Nelson Mandela, the man who rallied against apartheid (he is deserving of much grander words I know, but they have been used to death in recent media reports so I’ll rather not repeat them here). Anyway, I read some of his more famous speeches and quotes, and jotted down lines to serve as constant reminders to myself. Like all charismatic leaders, Mandela had a flair for oratory and he used it to move and give hope to his people.

 “There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

 RIP, Mr Mandela.