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A Singapore MRT driver who loves his job.

December 4, 2014

Today, while my sister was on the train on her way to work, she heard a very amusing announcement by the MRT driver. She  recorded the announcement and sent it to our little family forum on Whatsapp.

It was too good not to share, so I wrote a story on it, with the video embedded.

 

 

How craftbunny found a home

July 7, 2014

She’s at a fair.

There are so many things to see

Clothing, jewellery, fancy crafted items.

Even cute little badges with teddy bears and unicorns.

And then…

It calls out, “Here! here! Pick me, pick me!”

From inside a big basket along with it’s friends,

She just knew, it was hers.

 

Cyril comes to town

May 1, 2014

I would have loved to meet him, but unfortunately he was here the weekend I was out of town. Nevertheless, here’s a little something about him and a magic trick to learn. Click the image below for the link to story + video.

800cyril

An eventful dinner

April 18, 2014
Balastier Road accident

I went for dinner with mum and sis the night of April 6 at the famous Founder’s bak-kut-teh on Balastier Road. That was the night an accident happened, between a lorry and a car. You can watch the video here.

We drove by that road just 5 minutes before it happened. After parking on the street perpendicular to that road, we walked up and saw a crowd of people with their phones. “What’s happening?” I thought, and then we saw the car, with it’s airbags out and bonnet completely smashed, in the middle of the street. A lorry that was trying to avoid a motorcycle had apparently hit the road divider, running into the car, and ended up across the road smashed onto the entrance of that very restaurant we were about to go to.

I whipped out my mobile phone and just like everyone else around me, began to take videos and images of whatever I could. Then I approached a few people there to ask if they witnessed the accident, and  managed to get a few eyewitnesses to share what they saw and heard. During that time, the Singapore Civil Defense Force (SCDF) hadn’t arrived at the scene. I was also told that the driver and car passengers were resting just around the corner, next to the restaurant. I ended up speaking to them and typing furiously on my mobile phone through Whatsapp, with a mere 20% battery life that was quickly depleting. It’s moments like that you wish you had your phone charged up well.

I’m glad no one got too badly hurt that night, as it could have easily been a fatal accident judging from the damage done.

A few lessons learnt that night:

1) Don’t ever leave home with low battery on my mobile. I usually have my mobile charged up, but that night was an exception. I really did not think I’d be needing my phone anyway, since it was supposed to be a quick dinner.  Alas, these things happen when you least expect them to.

2) Reporting for web is quite different from print media which is what I’m used to. I had to immediately think visual, grab the video clip, and upload it as soon as I could. Not having a notebook with me also meant i was typing out quotes as I spoke to witnesses and victims of the accident.

3) You need to know mandarin to do reporting in Singapore. Thankfully, my half-past-six mandarin was sufficient for that incident.

I’m just glad the people involved were all okay.

The bear who loves ice-cream

March 25, 2014

There’s a little chubby bear. He is chubby but no one really knows how chubby he is because he has a lot of fur. He is brown, and has an odd fluff on top of his head where the fur just never seems to fall in the right direction. He loves chocolate ice-cream.
A little girl lives in the woods and is the bear’s only friend. No one understands this strange relationship between the bear and this girl, apart from the both of them. The girl loves ice-cream too, but only the vanilla flavoured ones. She has straight hair that goes down to her chin, and wears a red bow in her hair.
Everyday, an old man will go past the woods with a bell that goes ‘ring, ring’ and stops. He waits only two minutes before moving on.
The girl and the bear sit patiently by a wooden fence by the woods at 4 in the afternoon, and wait for the old man.
They don’t talk.
The girl will walk up to the man, give him three mushrooms – two white and one brown – and gets two ice-cream cones from him. One vanilla, another chocolate. She gives him three mushrooms not because the ice-creams cost one and a half mushrooms each, but because the old man has three children, who love mushrooms.
The girl takes the two ice-cream cones and runs back into the woods.
The little chubby bear waves from the wooden fence and the girl gives the little chubby bear his chocolate ice-cream cone.
They take their first lick together.
Then they sit next to each other, not uttering a word, until the sun sets.
-the end-

Long-distance relationships

February 18, 2014

It has been a while since I’ve posted anything new, but mainly because I haven’t written anything new. In all honesty, it’s probably because my not-so-new-anymore job has been keeping me busy, but we’ll talk about that another time. Here’s a quick post to share the recent article I wrote in the Malay Mail for Valentines Day. Something different, perhaps, from your box of chocolates or overpriced flowers.

You can read it here.

Or if you would like to see it in print, here’s the PDF copy.

Special thanks to the people who shared their stories, and the editors for publishing my work. :)

Have a great week!

Story on storyteller Kamini Ramachandran is out!

November 5, 2013

It’s been a while since my last post, but a lot has happened since.

Firstly, I’ve started on my new job. *hooray* and I’m still working on my last few assignments from classes, while having taken on a full-time job. Time has never been so precious.

My main purpose for this post however, is to celebrate the good news that the article I wrote on Kamini Ramachandran, a Malaysian storyteller residing in Singapore, is finally published in Quill Magazine, by MPH Magazines. You can find the story here.

Too bad we didn’t take any photographs together (so I took a screencap of her website instead for a photo of her), but do read the story and you’ll find out just how fascinating it is to be a storyteller.

Have a good week! :)

This is a photo of Kamini, a screencap of her website. All copyright belongs to Kamini.

This is a photo of Kamini, a screencap of her website. All copyright belongs to Kamini.

 

A heart for people.

October 11, 2013

If there was one thing I learned from him, it is to be humble. He was always on time, and arrived at every assignment with a cheerful attitude. Sometimes he was early, and when I arrived he was already in full swing, shooting the best moments that would eventually accompany my story. Despite his years of experience, he never boasted, but always listened. There was once we were on a full-day assignment. I remember having lunch with him, and as we ate, he spoke about his children. He then asked if I wanted a drink and got me one. It was just a regular conversation of a happy father. Yet that day stayed so vividly in my mind.

When I resigned, I received a call from him. I was surprised. “You’re leaving already? All the best to you!” he said in his most cheerful voice while resting at home from a cancer relapse. I could only thank him and wished him all the best in his recovery, since he insisted that I didn’t inconvenience myself by going all the way to his house to see him. Not wanting to over impose and thinking I’d see him when he returned to work, I honoured his words. That call was special as I knew he really cared and in a way, I regretted not calling him before he called me.

We think we would remember the big events in life. But without realising it, we sometimes find that we remember people for the small things, the moments that make your heart smile. With him, assignments were never stressful. He accepted new ideas, and listened to deliver the best. He had a big heart. May you rest in peace, Uncle Chua.

Travellers tales

September 29, 2013

About two weeks back, a friend and ex-colleague rang me up asking if I was willing to share a few stories on my travel adventures. Apparently, he was working on a story on the phasing out of the trustworthy travel companion, the Lonely Planet. “Sure,” I said. Anything I could do to help, plus it was nice to be able to revisit those fond memories.

The phone call lasted about 40 minutes, mostly me telling all about my adventures in countries like Thailand, Spain, London, Japan, etc. I then sent a few photos over.

The article was published yesterday. Except it was written in first person, as if I was the one who wrote it. I didn’t. I suppose my friend was trying to do me a favour by turning my verbal stories into paragraphs instead of asking me to do it, and I appreciate the effort. But just as a disclaimer, I did not write the article myself. The other people who shared their Lonely Planet experiences were also a joy to read (and maybe they wrote their own stories… I wouldn’t know).

That aside, visit the page if you have time and perhaps you’ll be inspired to plan your next trip – with or without the analog version of LP. (you also get to see me proudly displaying my piece of artwork in a photograph – the day I realised maybe painting isn’t my forte)?

Finished a book – assignment untouched.

September 27, 2013

I had a whole day today, reserved for an assignment due soon. Alas, the lure of a good book was too powerful to deny.

____

So I spent all day reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky.

It’s an easy read, yet so honest (as honest as fiction can be) and to a certain extent, rather profound. I’m not planning to write a book review for there are heaps already, but if you’re even hesitating, I say just get hold of a copy.

Okay fine. I’ll tell a little here: It’s about a boy named Charlie, who’s a freshmen in high school with an IQ higher than his classmates, but lacks the social skills to be on the cool table. The entire book is a compilation of Charlie’s letters written to a stranger he calls “friend”. As the narrator, we see the world through Charlie’s eyes, and the struggles he faces.

Being a teenager is an awkward age. Its when puberty hits, but it’s also a time where one is transitioning from being a kid to an adult. There are things we learn through formal education, and the many other things we learn through our experiences. Having been a teenager myself and now “viewing” Charlie’s story from an adult’s point of view, it’s fascinating to see how Charlie and his friends handle their problems.

The book also addresses many social issues the youth face today. Despite being written in 1990s, the issues remain current and relevant, also demonstrating that regardless of the advancement in technology, there are certain things in life that don’t quite change (mix tapes aside). It also talks about generational sins that manifest in certain characters throughout the novel. It’s not the kind of novel that works towards a grand ending and everyone lives happily ever after, the end (okay, they do, but that’s besides the point). Rather, the point is to give readers a peek into a chapter of life, that precious or mischievous few years that we either want to cling on to or erase entirely.

Reading the book, memories of my freshmen year flashed through my mind time and time again, and I could sometimes relate to Charlie’s inability to “participate” as he puts it, since my freshmen year was when I transitioned into a new school, new system, in a new country. Hey, at least I attempted to decorate my locker. Of course, Charlie had it  many times worse but I won’t tell you why in case you intend to read the book.

I may not have spent my time in the way I had planned to, but this was certainly a day well-spent. Kudos to Chbosky for a wonderful piece of work.

I guess the next thing to do is to get hold of the movie – launched last year – and do the whole book vs film comparison :P