Saturday, 28 February 2009
1:00 a.m., 2:00 a.m., 3:00 a.m.
Love is putting peanut butter on anything as long as they'll eat it!
Love is knowing how to disguise vegetables 30 different ways.
Love is reading the same bedtime story for the 999th time.
Love is a hug around the knees.
Love is watching Mr. Rogers instead of All My Children.
Love is cutting off the crusts.
Love is a refrigerator covered with creative works of art.
Love is not grimacing through the dirtiest of diapers.
Love is trading in the Camero for a station wagon.
Love is the magic kiss that heals all owies.
Love is a cuddly kid in a blanket sleeper.
Love is the first kick, first smile, first laugh, first step, first
Love is your child pointing to a picture of Christie Brinkley and saying
Happy 22nd Birthday to you my dear, Vivian. Mama will even cart away the monster for you, wherever and ever. Loads of LOVE from all at home.
Friday, 20 February 2009
While I worry about the poorer Singaporeans who will be hit hard, perhaps this recession has come at an opportune time for many of us. It will give us an incentive to reconsider our priorities in life. Decades of the good life have made us soft. The wealthy especially, but also the middle class in Singapore , have had it so good for so long, what they once considered luxuries, they now think of as necessities.
A mobile phone, for instance, is now a statement about who you are, not just a piece of equipment for communication. Hence many people buy the latest model though their existing mobile phones are still in perfect working order.
The same attitude influences the choice of attire and accessories. I still find it hard to believe that there are people carrying handbags that cost more than thrice the monthly income of a bus driver, and many more times that of the foreign worker labouring in the hot sun, risking his life to construct luxury condominiums he will never have a chance to live in.
I am not a particularly spiritual person. I don't believe in the supernatural and I don't think I have a soul that will survive my death. But as I view the crass materialism around me, I am reminded of what my mother once told me: 'Suffering and deprivation is good for the soul.' My family is not poor, but we have been brought up to be frugal. My parents and I live in the same house that my paternal grandparents and their children moved into after World War II in 1945. It is a big house by today's standards, but it is simple - in fact, almost to the point of being shabby.
Those who see it for the first time are astonished that Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew's home is so humble. But it is a comfortable house, a home we have got used to. Though it does look shabby compared to the new mansions on our street, we are not bothered by the comparison.
Most of the world and much of Singapore will lament the economic downturn. We have been told to tighten our belts. There will undoubtedly be suffering, which we must try our best to ameliorate.
But I personally think the hard times will hold a timely lesson for many Singaporeans, especially those born after 1970 who have never lived through difficult times.
No matter how poor you are in Singapore , the authorities and social groups do try to ensure you have shelter and food. Nobody starves in Singapore. Many of those who are currently living in mansions and enjoying a luxurious lifestyle will probably still be able to do so, even if they might have to downgrade from wines costing $20,000 a bottle to $10,000 a bottle. They would hardly notice the difference.
Being wealthy is not a sin. It cannot be in a capitalist market economy. Enjoying the fruits of one's own labour is one's prerogative and I have no right to chastise those who choose to live luxuriously..
But if one is blinded by materialism, there would be no end to wanting and hankering. After the Ferrari, what next? An Aston Martin? After the Hermes Birkin handbag, what can one upgrade to?
Neither an Aston Martin nor an Hermes Birkin can make us truly happy or contented. They are like dust, a fog obscuring the true meaning of life, and can be blown away in the twinkling of an eye.
When the end approaches and we look back on our lives, will we regret the latest mobile phone or luxury car that we did not acquire? Or would we prefer to die at peace with ourselves, knowing that we have lived lives filled with love, friendship and goodwill, that we have helped some of our fellow voyagers along the way and that we have tried our best to leave this world a slightly better place than how we found it?
We know which is the correct choice - and it is within our power to make that choice.
In this new year, burdened as it is with the problems of the year that has just ended, let us again try to choose wisely. To a considerable degree, our happiness is within our own control, and we should not follow the herd blindly.
*The writer is director of the National Neuroscience Institute, Singapore and also, daughter to Lee Kuan Yew. *
Tuesday, 3 February 2009
He was busy chatting with a group of visitors at the living room. And I sort of "barged" in to greet him and requested for a photo taking opportunity with him. He gladly obliged while Thila was introducing me to him and relating to him my blog that she had shown him in the public library following our visit last month (they often use the facility in the library to check emails or browsing of internet.).
Praveendran recalled and thanked me for the help extended of which, I quickly brushed it aside with a signal of "ah, just a small thing". But deep inside, we all know how powerful it is when internet is put into good use...
We had a jolly good time with the kiddos. June, my sister-in-law joined us by giving Ang-pows to all at the home. And Vivian was busy checking out Pathmini, the little darling she got acquianted with the last time.
Overall, improvement was seen done to the home. Some volunteers came to clean up the surroundings and painted the planter boxes and extension work has since completed providing a new dining place. Tarring the road will soon begin. Meanwhile, the girls' dormitory is being expanded in order to accommodate more beds. Books and computers were in place, this shows that education is something Praveedran never compromised.
With the help of M.I.C in constructing a new premises, the overall hygiene of the place and well being of the children will soon be even better taken care of.
It is a picture of relief and is light at the end of the tunnel for Praveendran and his team.
In my personal opinion, Praveendran has put in his heart and soul into this place and we could witness this through the abundance of love and bonding demonstrated by the children.
No doubt that there are many ways to help Sinthamani Divine Life Ashram, but, I believe it only need one simple way, just give your unconditional blessing and support to Praveendran.
To reach the home:
Sithamani Divine Life Ashram
Rumah Kebajikan (ROC No. 001529609-H)
No:1112, Block 150
Kawasan A, Rumah Panjang
52000 Kuala Lumpur
Mr Praveendran : 016-9046358
Praveendran, me with little cutie pie and June