For You, Daddy!

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

“People Will Never Forget How You Made Them Feel.”

Filed under: Family,Giving — by For you, Daddy! @ 7:00 am
Tags: , , , ,




Last week, I went to my cousin’s home to pick up a wall hanging that she wanted to give me. The wall hanging was in the TV room. I was so excited about getting an unexpected gift and so focused on remembering my cousin’s instructions on how to retrieve the item, I did not realise the television was on, which meant that someone was in there watching telly.


Two steps into the room and I realised Zach, Cousin’s 7 year old boy, was nestled on the couch eyes previously glued to the screen, but then on me, temporarily startled by my intrusion.


“Oh, hi Zach, I didn’t realise someone was in here. I’m sorry I barged in without knocking.”


And then …


“Hi Kate. That’s okay. You can barge in anytime.”


Bowled over, I leaped onto the couch and nearly crushed Zach with a hug for his generous spirit.


“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said,

People will forget what you did,

But people will never forget how you made them feel.”

~ Maya Angelou



Me, Zach’s Grandma and Zach’s Mummy at a family birthday

Me, Zach’s Grandma and Zach’s Mummy at a family birthday








Friday, 1 August 2014





I wrote the following mail to my contacts this past weekend.



‘Sup peeps!



So. Didja enjoy your Sunday Special breakfast/lunch/dinner today? So did I! But. Not everyone is as blessed as you and I are, you know?



It’s no secret that I live to eat. So I’m going to get right to it. Earlier today, when doing my nigh daily bread thang at one of my fave sites, Upworthy, I watched this vid:

And being the nosy person that I am, I then went to their site and read this:
But I can’t do nuffink because there’s a hitch. I don’t have an alter ego a social networking account. Yeah, still. I’m still JOMO*-ing my life under a rock. Now pick your jaws off the floor and focus, people. This ain’t about me and my persistent pitiful non-existence. So yeah. I don’t do e-socialising, but you do.
Now. If you have the time and inclination, please watch the vid and/or read the site. And if you like what you see and read, and you still have the time and inclination, go ahead and ka-pow! your next meal, heck, all your meals with a #mealforameal and bam! them onto your InstagramFacebookTwitter or wherever you kids hang out these days.
Now y’all are clever and all, and y’all have got to the bottom of this mail. You know that this mail:
1. Has nothing to do with my obsession with food, but everything to do with my obsession with Richard Branson’s locks.  
2. Has nothing to do with my volunteer stint at the Daily Bread Food Bank in Mississauga (Canada), but everything to do with how shocked I was to see how many ‘normal’ looking people were our clients; and how they all told me that they regularly endured periods of *gulp* starvation. I can’t even imagine that. 😦  
3. Is proof that I’m still a raging slacktivist.
4. Is my poor excuse for a newsletter.
Never mind me. Please share those links above with your friends. Oh, if you do it via e-mail, you’ll be a sweetie and merely copy the links instead of Forwarding this entire message of mine, si? And you’ll BCC instead of CCing your contacts, too, right? Aww, you’re smarty pants, darling.
So. Let’s all channel our inner Marie Antoinette, tag our piccies and “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche.”, I mean, “Let them eat cake.” Bon apetit to the fact that we can make someone live those words.
Thank you very much for helping me help complete strangers vicariously, me lovelies.








I give Thee thanks, Almighty God.

Spicy Breadfruit

Chorizo Stir Fry with Boiled Potato ‘n Boiled Egg

Brown Bread

Hershey’s Chocolate (On the table at 12 o’clock)  




This is exactly what my plate looked liked before I tucked in last night. When I looked at this shot up on my PC, I realised it is a very good representation of me.



The corners of the slices of bread cut off

The slices themselves not arranged so that both slices are visible

The traces of gravy around the edges

The mismatched egg halves


The rather sloppy placement of everything.



This is who I am as a person; imperfect, but substantive (rather, I’d like to think of myself as substantive), unconcerned about slapping on the glitter to gloss over the grime beneath.



Similarly, so why should I treat my routine dinner plate any differently just because it could be viewed by people I don’t know?



WYSIWYG with me.



Oh, if you noticed the grease congealed in the Chorizo Stir Fry, brownie points for your eagle eyes! The art/photography flop that I am, I didn’t think of nuking my dinner before I snapped it. 








Saturday, 1 June 2013

Listen To Your Heart




Oh, hello Internet! Couldja please indulge me while I … I … I’ll be back in five! Wait! I mean, 5:04!



I simply gotta, hafta, cannot NOT listen to my ❤ …..



*bouncing off my chair*





Song: Listen to your heart

Artist: Roxette

Album: Look Sharp!

Even here at home, with my little, humble speakers, I can remember the bass thumping the club floors all those years ago.



Thank you, Internet, for waiting patiently while I danced (YET AGAIN!) to that Roxette number in the vid above.




The month of June – past, present and future – has a few things that are important to my heart. Hmm. That’s just like all the other months in the year. Never mind. Since it is June now, I will list 3 of those important-to-my-heart things in the month of June here.



The order of the events I talk about in today’s post is:  

Future i.e. ongoing

Present i.e. soon-to-be present







It is World Environment Day on 5 June.

And you know I lurve ma otha mutha AKA Mother Earth.




Lovely pic, innit?
I stole it from

This picture reminded me of one of the few times in my life I felt my jaw slacken in awe. 

It was when BFF Two and I flew into Ürümqi, 

the capital of Xinjiang Province in North-West China. 

Shortly after the craft had begun descent,

I glimpsed similarly majestic mountains for the first time.







I live with my mother. Yeah. I’m one of thoseA parasite single. Bite me.   



I like hanging out with Mummy. Tomorrow, Mum and I will leave on a 3-week holiday. During this time, we will visit a few relatives who are now housebound owing to age-related incapacitation, and we will spend a week in the mountains with friends.



I ought to be anxious about this trip because this is my first long distance trip with Mum since 2006. Mum is bearing down on 82 now, and predictably, has slowed down a good deal since we traipsed across the Far East 7 years ago. Two years ago, Mum visited The Holy Land and parts of the Middle East with friends, but this unholy Jane did not tag along. Mum did very well on that trip and that is probably why, I am more excited than apprehensive about travelling with my older parent now. Meh, I won’t mess with my head-in-the-sand brain. 😉




Mum singing ‘Tennessee Waltz’ at her 80th birthday do nearly two years ago.
This song is one of many that Daddy and she enjoyed waltzing to.




Oh, since we’ll be outta here early tomorrow morning, if any of you* leaves a comment, I will only approve your comment, but not respond until we get back. I switch to ‘Unplug Mode’ in general every chance I get when I’m on holiday. Thank you for understanding.  


*I’m looking at you, Hook, and Elvie Rose. 🙂



Hook’s, um, hooked up at:


You’ve Been Hooked!  

Observations from the trenches….




The Book of Terrible

Shining a Light on Mankind’s missteps…



Elvie Rose blooms at:



MY WORLD IS A KALEIDOSCOPE OF COLOR! Paintings of my life’s journey, experiences, cherished memories, emotions, thought, ideas and other interesting stuffs.







Below is an excerpt from the newsletter  I sent out to my (personal) contacts in June 5 years ago. To be precise, I sent that newsletter on Friday, 27 June 2008. That date is significant to what I’ve referred to in the excerpt next.





Guess who’s my latest Hero of the Day?




This image is from ‘All Things D(igital)’.

When looking through Google Images for a picture, this one cracked me up.




Bill Gates. Yeah, THE Bill Gates.



I’m a decade too l8, you sneer? Oh. Actually, I didn’t much care for him during his reign as the human Uncle Scrooge.



[In the last annual listing of Forbes Fictional Richie Richs, Scrooge McDuck takes the top spot. 


The Forbes Fictional 15


( ]



Sure, Bill opened the floodGates in terms of technology in our daily lives and I tilt my hat appropriately to that.



But he’s landed on my ‘Wow’ list now because today, Friday, 27 June 2008, is his last working day at the almighty Microsoft. (Apologies, MacUsers!)




Nate’s a Mac user. It’s his birthday this month.




As you all know, Bill Gates is leaving that daily grind to focus on his charitable foundation. And that’s what elevates him in my eyes.



Why should he care about the underprivileged around the world?

I mean, why should he care as much as he does?

Doesn’t he have the world to run? 

The top rung to keep warm on that Forbes list? 



Those things might have been important to him earlier on, but apparently, not anymore.



There must be others like me, who cannot believe he’s chucking aside all that to pursue something less glamourous in the eyes of the business world mainly, but I admire him now for having the courage to follow his passion and go after what’s important to him.



I’ve got to add, that I believe, that what he’s going to do now on is no more significant than anyone who places their own personal happiness over the perceived standards of the world.



For instance:


A person who chooses to give up a powerful position at work to become a stay-at-home parent. 




A jet-setting professional who gives up a lucrative career to live on a farm. 



To me, (the examples of) the two people I’ve cited above are just as heroic.




I believe


the most important thing


for me

to direct my listening inward,

tune in to my heart



what my little ticker tells me

is likely

to make me





While doing what makes me happy, be it something elementary or eminent, if someone else can benefit, too, even better, me thinks! 



Bill Gates is yet another person I know of who listened to his heart.




For opening the Windows of the world to us




For being yet another person to propel me to listen to my heart,


‘Thank You’,




‘Good Luck’  

With your new “career”, Mr.Gates!





Thank you, Taking Back Earth, for signing up to follow my posts.


Thank you, You’ve Been Hooked! and FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie”, for commenting on my last post.


Thank you, You’ve Been Hooked! and FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie”, for liking my last post.


P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.

I like both these practices of acknowledging the time and effort made to comment, and the free advertising! So I’m doing what I do well – being a copycat! 





Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Loves’ Labours Not Lost

Filed under: Giving,Personal Beliefs — by For you, Daddy! @ 4:30 am
Tags: , , ,



Today is International Workers’ Day.



May 1 is also called Labour Day in some parts of the world.




This image is from




Last May Day, I wrote about some of the wonderful people who toil to make my life comfortable. That post is titled:


With A Little Help From My Friends




This post is about a few others who earn their living by making my life easier.



And it’s about what I try to do to ensure they receive a little additional gratitude. Hence, the twist of that Shakespearean story in the title of this post.



I am a little biased towards helping people I know personally. There is a need everywhere in the world, but I have found that, when I enforce my ‘Charity begins at home’ mantra, the personal interaction with my clients (as I call the beneficiaries) fulfills a certain emotional need in me.



Remember I said this a while ago?



I will share some details of my work with my cousins in a future post. Oh, don’t worry about making me cross my heart. I will brag. 🙂



In my first post of 2013? No?

That post is titled:

A New Day Has Come’.

Not even the faintest of tinkling bells? Oh well. You’ll just have to take my word for it then, won’t you?



Nearly 5 years ago, I gave up a high flying job and lifestyle and … whatwho?


The Monk Who Sold Her Ferrari?

Do I look like a person who has COMPLETELY lost her mind?

Why on this climate changed earth would I sell a Ferrari if I owned one?

Ditch those wheels to trudge up some mountain?






And to think, that you thought, that I was the ridiculous one. Ha.




So let’s get back to the point, shall we? I worked at a few companies in a few countries and I was happy. Until I grew a pair had the courage to admit to myself that it was ephemeral happiness.



Nearly 5 years ago, I moved into the slow lane. Seeing the difference in my life overall, towards the end of last year, two of my cousins decided to weave in and out of that lane.



Being the lazy wench that I am, I will copy the rest of the background story about my cousins from my earlier post.




Late last year, when I went away on assignment, September-October, to be precise, two of my cousins gave me a wonderful surprise. The timing is uncanny because these two cousins are not related to each other.



One is Mummy’s younger sister’s son and the other is Daddy’s younger brother’s son. Both are from different parts of the globe and though they have met each other on occasion over the years, they are not in contact with each other. But they both came up with the same thought, and they both approached me with the same request, at almost the same time.



They both wanted to do something about, what I call, their Personal Social Responsibility or PSR for short. Since I switched careers to social service 4 years ago and am thriving* in it, they decided to seek my guidance.



*Not in terms of salary earnings, but the emotional millions I’m raking in.



So there. That’s what’s been eating my time since October last year. Because this is completely new to both my cousins, and I work alone with each of them via Skype, I have had to spend time I didn’t quite have.


I call the cousin who is older than I am – Gun.

Because it’s his high school ‘street name’ for his biceps back then; which he only used to peacock around with, not beat anyone to a pulp.

Gun calls me ‘Chick’.

Not because I’m female, but because I’m the younger of two sisters. Chick is not offended in the least. She cheeps in delight, in fact.



I call the cousin who is younger than I am – Dawg.

Because we both like dogs. That’s a lie. But I really can’t tell you why I call him that.

Dawg calls me ‘Dude’.

Because I spent 5 years in my earliest career in his city, and during that time, I spent a lot of time with him and his (then) school and college bloke buds, who are still his closest mates today. I was (and still am) like just another dude to them.




I had a few ‘rules’ for my cousins when we discussed this project. The two biggies I insisted on were:



1. The clients be people I know personally.


2. Gun and Dawg would have to meet the people they help when they visit Mum and me. Until the visits happen, I would send them detailed reports about my interactions with each individual/family every time AND that I want feedback from each of them.



Both cousins requested anonymity with the clients (and in general) and I respect that, but I stressed that they must visit the families the way I routinely do.



Years ago, I’d found that writing cheques and giving cash donations to organisations made me feel good about myself, but interacting with the clients, especially in their homes, makes them feel good about themselves. And whoa! Don’t even ask how I feel when I see the unbridled delight over my visits to their humble dwellings!



Gun doesn’t travel very often on work, so I usually Skype with him.




Three years ago, Gun and his friends travelled across a few seas.
So did I.
We spent a few days being the kids we refuse to stop being.




Dawg has, what I call ‘ants in his pants’ i.e. he’s a globe trotter, so we communicate more frequently via e-mail.



Below is an excerpt of my mail to Dawg when I introduced some possible clients. He gladly adopted this group.




1. Gisele: As in Gisele Bündchen. That’s what Mum and I call our tribal banana woman.


We call her Gisele because years ago, when Mum told her she (Mum) wanted to get her (Gisele) a new pair of flip-flops to replace her well worn ones, she had told Mum she preferred the Havaianas* brand because she had heard that they didn’t hurt the feet. She walks around with a basket of bananas on her head. She’s pint sized and a very chatty old woman. And yes, Mummy did get her a very colourful pair. Mum said Gisele’s face glowed just as brightly as the new pair of Havaianas on her feet when Mum gave them to her.



*As you know, Havaianas  are originally from Brazil. Then they, like Gisele Bündchen, made a splash in the world of fashion.




2. Grumps: Our tribal veggie woman.


I named her that because it took me three years to get her to crack a smile. She used to be very serious, almost sullen. My ‘May God bless you’ in local speak, which works as ‘Thank you’, and ‘May God grant you a good day’, a typical parting line, were ignored the first three years. A year and half ago, she began grunting a response. A few months ago, she began to reciprocate more coherently; sometimes, not always. And she even manages a hint of a smile on occasion when I gently tease her.



Giselle and Grumps are a dying breed of door-to-door salespeople. They don’t have much longer either because nearly all the tribal women sellers are a weathered, wrinkled lot.




3. Smiley: Our baker.


Smiley is a very pleasant person and I bestowed that monicker because of his bright and ready smile to all his clients. I think he’s in his late twenties. He looks after his sickly mother and Smiley himself suffers from kidney stones. The boys at the traditional bakeries lead very hard lives. 😦 




4. Dormouse: He is a quiet, skinny, um, insignificant worker at our grocery store.


He has a 7 year old daughter. He hails from a very poor family, and he is oh-so-humble, Dawg, it makes my heart ache for him. 😦





The above mentioned four people and a few other families now enjoy the blessings (as I call the monetary assistance) from both Gun and Dawg every month.

Dawg is a Financial Consultant and has founded his own company in a country far from where I am now.




Dawg ‘n me
when his family and mine
went on a little holiday two years ago.




By January this year, barely three months in, Dawg developed a virtual umbilical cord with each of his clients. He was so thrilled with how well this had taken off, he got greedy. As in, he wanted to go for scale with this venture. So he dangled a delicious carrot.



Did this bunny bite?



Read on to find out.




Dawg: Yo, this gig is going great guns! I love reading the reports of your visits. It makes me feel like I’m right here with all of you! So I began thinking. What say we go global? Come on, Dude! Think about it. No, do it. Whatever you decide will become our CSR initiative and you will be officially appointed as the (Company Name) Brand Ambassador for this. 🙂



This is your project, Dude! Make a plan and let me know!!! 



Me:  Great stuff, huh? Not so fast, sez me.



CSR? No. I’m still for your PSR.



Brand Ambassador? No. No pictures of me on your website.



Well, I took on the PSR project with you because I really could not resist something so tempting. Sigh! But I ain’t signing on no dotted line, Dawgbert, because like it or not, I am grounded. I’m done with slavery work related overseas trips.



Hmm. I would like to think that you made me this offer because you think I qualify to take this on. But that’s not why I think you did it. You’re just jealous of the fact that I only traipse around the country on work now whereas you still do those crazy around-the-globe stints.


You know the me-of-old would have seized a juicy challenge like this, but, dear cousin, I am completely unaffected by your dazzling offer because I know you. You are so from the Dilbert world. Fancy shmancy title for blood, sweat and tears disguised as Air Miles. Keep ‘em f…lying miles, Dawg. 




Least concerned about his masking his intent, he shamelessly (as ever) returned volley with this cartoon clip.




This image is from




Still, my PSR work, right here in my own state, is not without its travails. As I wrote above, I meet and interact with the clients who mostly live away from my city. After I meet all of them each month, I send detailed reports to Gun and Dawg.



And then, there’s the accounting. Arrgh!



Me: Attaching the Excel sheet I’ve made for [client’s name] account.



Will send you the estimate for [another mini project] when my head stops hurting. You can work on it when you get back from … Singapore? Finland? Brazil? Japan? Where the heck are you this time, Dawg? Oh, stuff it. Who the eff cares? 😉



Dawg: Dude, I am really cool with you handling this as per your  judgment. What I am saying, O Cranky Cuz, is that you don’t need to keel over an Excel sheet with all the itsy bitsy details and then send all those details to me. Keeping me in the loop is good, but not if you tear your hair in the process. Leave Excel and numbers to the accountants, and do what you do best. 🙂



Me: You know how to tap into the best of a slave an employee!



Yes, you’re right. This stuff really freaks me out! I swear, you are the third* and last ‘money donor’ I’m taking on. But I want to do all the accounting myself because one of my big concerns with organisations is transparency/accountability.


*Big Sis was my first ‘money donor’ three years ago. Now Gun and Dawg have joined that club.



Second, I need to keep track myself, although my abacus era methods are foolproof. Then again, I’m the fool, so yeah, no jazzy formulae with me. 



Third, Daddy had taught me accounting* and this is my nod to him. Okay, this last one doesn’t make sense. But I feel nice thinking he approves of the colourful stuff in the spreadsheet.

*Daddy was a (Certified Chartered) Accountant.




Thank you, Sekhar Chakrabarti, for permitting the use of your image.


Readers, are any of you (postage) stamp collectors?

Then head over Sekhar Chakrabarti’s blog 



peruse your little philatelic hearts out!




I do not think the clients I help Big Sis, Gun and Dude with have the luxury of the second and third sections in the above photograph. I hope that the blessings they receive from my relatives and the time I spend with them help correct that imbalance in some manner.



And so, this is the reason, since the start of this year that I chose to further decrease my publishing schedule to once a month.



Working with Big Sis, Gun and Dawg means I don’t always read your posts upon publication.



It also means I comment far less than I used to. But when I do mouth off, by gad! It’s like I never left, yeah?



Oh, then you wish I would leave?



I can take a hint, people.



*storming off*




Thank you, The Ranting Chef, for signing up to follow my posts.


Thank you, You’ve Been Hooked! and FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie”, for commenting on my last post.


Thank you, You’ve Been Hooked! and FLOWERSBLOOMS by “Elvie”, for liking my last post.


P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.

I like both these practices of acknowledging the time and effort made to comment, and the free advertising! So I’m doing what I do well – being a copycat!





Saturday, 15 December 2012


Filed under: Blogging,Celebration,Giving,Personal Beliefs — by For you, Daddy! @ 4:30 am
Tags: , , , ,



It’s that time of the year again when I take stock of my doings and undoings and mis-doings.



I have two lists specifically that I work on at this time. I call those lists ‘Diamond’ and ‘Coal’.



Coal is about the ‘bad’ things that were lumped my way this year. But those things are never bad entirely, because coal can turn into diamond. So one way or another, I’m wiser.  



Diamond is about all the precious things that were heaped upon me this year. Some rough, some sparkly, some well-cut, some odd shaped, but all of extremely high value.



The Coal list gets done with pretty quickly, so I get that out of the way first. And then I savour prancing around like Richie Rich with his diamond studded toys.  



Among the many things I am thankful for this year is



No, he won't hurt you.



Yes, YOU reading this right now.


(Bestie Boy burning up the floor with one of his classic moves.)



YOU have given me the all important impetus to keep this blog going since I began 13 months ago. If my Stats chart was white all the time, I would have given up writing here a while back. But I get white columns twice a month or so.



I’m happy with blue columns that reach for the top margin, I’m happy with blue columns that hover around the bottom margin and I’m happy when I get white columns*as well. Those white columns give me a fresh lease on my rather relaxed approach towards my blog.



*Non-Wordpress bloggers, blue columns correspond to the number of visitors to the blog i.e. y-axis on a particular day i.e. x-axis. The white column is really a blank column on the Stats chart; an indication of no visitors to the blog that particular day.  




The Stats chart in WordPress.



I am also very grateful that YOU allow me to maintain privacy with those ugly strips across the eyes. Avoiding the kind of attention I dislike is something I fight in real life. I’ve discovered I now have a reflexive aversion to most kinds of attention that come my way, until I feel safe or comfortable with the source. Here’s some more light on this matter.



This is an excerpt from my e-mail last year to a friend. 



I find it degrading that I garner attention primarily because of my matchstick body when I have so much more to offer as a person. Oh, I am very grateful that I get attention, even after so many spins around the sun. I’ve been blessed to never not get attention my entire life, so I don’t know what harmful measures I’d resort to if I were to crave attention. Still, I am human and it saddens me that people [guys especially 😦  ] do not see the non-physical side of me right away or even after a while.  



In some strange manner, covering my(/our) eyes makes me feel less noticed. For putting up with the (wholly inartistically) defaced photographs I (dare to) share, a special ‘Thank you’, dear readers.



So. Why all this gratitude towards YOU?



Because YOU – lovely peeps I do not know (personally) at all – make this blog happen.



Well, yes; I do all the writing. But how boring would my words be if I did not jazz up my somnolent soliloquy with a picture here or a quote there from YOU?



How would I have been thrilled had 13 among YOU not chosen to Follow my blog posts or subscribe to them?



How would I have felt that sudden, tiny surge of triumph and pride had YOU not Liked my posts?



How would I have been delighted to yammer away in response to practically every line had YOU not Commented?



I began this blog to merely share what I’ve learnt from and what I’ve laughed at in my own life. I wanted to share these in the hope that, just like I did via blogs of strangers I had read and stories I had heard in person; YOU, too, could learn without having to endure the uncomfortable side-effects of certain experiences, or to relish the fun of my lighter moments.



I have stayed on track with my blog


I could focus primarily on what I love i.e. writing


I did not have to fret about making my posts more visually appealing


YOU graciously permitted me to share material from your sites


YOU thrilled me when YOU






on my posts.

Oh, even when YOU visited and read silently. My Stats don’t lie, yo.  



For giving me the opportunity to bask in all those lovely feelings and for letting me enjoy the main reasons I began this blog, thank you, YOU. 🙂



But I’m not done.



You know how I like to brag, right? I also like the share the lurv



So here’s the Who’s Who behind making this blog one of my many bright spots this year.  There are four ‘categories’. They are



I. The Large Hearts

II. The Brave Hearts

III. The Make-Me-Chatter-Away-My-Heart(s)

IV. The Warm-My-Heart(s)



I will list every one of YOU in the following manner:



Your Website Name

Your Tag Line and/or Organisation

Your Website Address  


(A few names are repeated across ‘categories’.)




I. The Large Hearts AKA The Generous Lenders

I have been very lucky every time I’ve sought permission to “borrow” an image (primarily), a website or a quote. I have never been turned down by anyone. Had a few requests not answered at all, yes; kicked to the curb, no.



One thing that surprised me many a time, was how surprised people were that I made the effort to ask for permission to use some of their material when I could just, um, help myself. The blogosphere is a pretty big place, after all. But if I did do that, I’d be forgetting one of the many little lessons Daddy (and Mummy) taught me:



“Do not take someone else’s things without asking them first.” 



So, these are the lovely people who were generous with their material that I used in my posts since I began in November 2011.



This image is from

This image is from




Andrea Pascale

Word Decor ‘n More

I got my Gravatar image from Andrea. Daddy’s Girl is still lovin’ it!



Jean Browman

Cheerful Monk



Colin Gibson

Dunedin Methodist Parish



Van Wijnen



Sidney Snoeck

This is a photo blog about the Philippines.



Heidi McDonald
Creator and Website Manager
Unique Teaching Resources
“Engage Your Students in Learning!”




English Department of



Margo and Alan

DIY STRESS RELIEF everyday . living . better




Rocco’s Pop Revolution: Seen through the eyes of someone living it



Susan, John and Erin

Happy Life U



Bahar, Hadhoud, Rasha and Ahmed

Chapter Q8



Bill Hitchcock




II. The Brave Hearts AKA The Followers

I am a little possessive about my e-mail space and I do what I can to avoid waking up to a bulging Inbox every day. Not everyone has my phobia, it seems, because these people, by Following me, have chosen to let me invade that space with my posts that are hot off the press!



This group, Brave Hearts, also includes those of YOU who have RSSed my blog or Bookmarked me in some way.





Cheerful Monk



mj monaghan

A steeping cup of infotainment.



365 Veterans

Project 365/ honoring a Veteran a day, for a year.



Believe Anyway

Finding Ways to Be Optimistic Even During Trying Times




How Orples Came To Be, and other interesting stuff




Every single story has a beginning at its end.



Parashar’s Tales

Woman – Vulnerable, Strong, lover, hater  




MY WORLD IS A KALEIDOSCOPE OF COLOR! Paintings of my life’s journey, experiences, cherished memories, emotions, thought, ideas and other interesting stuffs.  



Girl Meets Bulgaria



domestic diva, M.D.   

my mother raised the perfect housewife…then I went to med school



Official Website of Alberto Monnar

Composer, Saxophonist, Pianist, Vocalist



JUMP FOR JOY! Photo Project

Showcasing the beauty of the human spirit — in mid-air — around the world




I am love. I am divine. I am grateful. I am bliss. I am here. I am Sufey.




III. The Make-Me-Chatter-Away-My-Heart(s) AKA The Commenters

Aww, you lot! YOU get me to do exactly what I was born to do love doing – blab blab blabbedy blab!




This image is from



I sincerely appreciate the time YOU take to think things over and type out those comments. It’s something I don’t do often on most of the blogs I read, but that’s a choice I make for a handful of reasons; the main one (which, I know full well, is also the most stupid one) being – EVERYONE will see me! (*rolling my eyes* … for you. 😉 ) So although I have things to say almost every time, I have to warm up to someone(‘s words) and THEN! Just ask the unfortunate ones below.




How Orples Came To Be, and other interesting stuff



mj monaghan

A steeping cup of infotainment.  



You’ve Been Hooked!   

Observations from the trenches….

The Hook’s got a book! It’s called ‘The Bellman Chronicles’. Deets on his blog.



Cheerful Monk




MY WORLD IS A KALEIDOSCOPE OF COLOR! Paintings of my life’s journey, experiences, cherished memories, emotions, thought, ideas and other interesting stuffs.



Parashar’s Tales

Woman – Vulnerable, Strong, lover, hater  




IV. The Warm-My-Heart(s) AKA The Like-rs

I like! I really, really like! I get royally chuffed when I see that YOU have Liked my post. It’s the simplest way to high five me.  




This image is from



But do I do that when I know I want to press a Like button on someone else’s post? Haven’t you been paying attention to my mewling? People will see me, um, People.



vikram roy’s blog

Free Thinking, Motivation, Poems, Art, Literature, Music, Love, & Oxygen: A Complete Blog



You’ve Been Hooked!   

Observations from the trenches….

Haff you checked out ‘The Bellman Chronicles’? Best place to start? Hook’s blog.



maze a day


Welcome to the #1 Featured Photographer Blog on the web!



mj monaghan

A steeping cup of infotainment.




How Orples Came To Be, and other interesting stuff



Bucket List Publications

Indulge – Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences







A forum for creative and analytic discussion of the text that surrounds us 



Rantings of an Amateur Chef

Food…cooking…eating….tools – What works, and what doesn’t!



“Ka-byahe ~ The Island of Your Imagination”

Robi assures you that through this blog, he will get you far than you imagined!






my zen city




Every single story has a beginning at its end.




Unique Art by RAY FERRER – Business or Residential








And that’s the end of one section of my ‘Diamond’ list for 2012. 




If you celebrate Christmas,


La Familia

My Family

To Yours,

Have a very merry one!



If you don’t celebrate Christmas,

May this time leading to end of the year

Be a cheery one!



 Cheer is a freebie!



And on that sparkling, frosted note,

My dear blings

(YOU’re on the ‘Diamond’ list, remember?),

‘Thank You’ very much


Your support and encouragement

in 2012.


See YOU All in the new year!



::   ::  ::   ::   ::  ::  ::  ::  ::     A SPECIAL HUG   ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::   ::   ::   ::   ::

I miss you, Marcy*. Every so often, I think of you, Magi, Oscar and Olivia, and everyone else I got acquainted with through your delightful narrations. I hope all of you are well. Please come back soon. Oh, and Dora** sends you the pip-pest of her squeaks. 🙂

*Marcy is The Orples’ – Olivia and Oscar – brain mama, as I call her. Because this lively pair of orange (the fruit)-people siblings were “born” in her mind. (

**Dora is my “pet” dormouse. Like me, Marcy is fond of animals and remembered my dormouse after I referred to her[(?) Dora] on Marcy’s blog a while earlier. Needless to say, I was chuffed that Marcy remembered me little, um, rodent.



Thank you, Sufey, for signing up to follow my posts.

Thank you, The Book of Terrible, for commenting on my last post.

Thank you, Urban Wall Art & Murals, The Vibe 101 and The Book of Terrible  for liking my last post.


P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.

 I like both these practices of acknowledging the time and effort made to comment, and the free advertising! So I’m doing what I do well – being a copycat! 




Wednesday, 15 August 2012

What Forgiving Gives Me

Filed under: Giving,Personal Beliefs — by For you, Daddy! @ 4:30 am
Tags: , , , , , ,

In my last post, I told you about Justice Sach’s magnanimous forgiving spirit.

Forgiving people who have hurt us is something Daddy and Mummy advocated and practised. Growing up, I did not realise the exact painful ramifications of what my parents experienced, so I easily accepted their reasons for forgiving a wrongdoing.

The Gold Medallists

                                                       Mum          Dad        Me                Big Sis

This was taken on 24 August 2002 (yes, 10 years ago) at their Golden Wedding Anniversary celebration.

In my late teens, I began to understand the grind my parents were put through by some unscrupulous people. Worse still, people they knew personally and had close bonds with. A few examples next.

i. A relative who reneged on his financial commitment when the fledgling business that was started by Daddy, this relative and a common family friend began to flounder. When Common Family Friend began baying for blood, Daddy was saved from landing in the slammer by his three younger brothers who paid Common Family Friend off.

ii. The supervisor of Daddy’s construction arm of the business who fled the state with the workers and equipment. It was Daddy’s reputation that helped assuage his angry clients as Daddy scrambled to put together a whole new operation to complete the projects he had started and had promised on paper. As a result of those enormous losses, our family endured a lean decade financially without the frills we had had all our lives until that point.

iii. During that dark decade, a whole group of (former) friends who did not invite my parents to their celebrations because my parents could no longer afford to reciprocate or socialise at their usual highfalutin hangouts. (When we bounced back, Daddy and Mummy were civil to those people, but did not renew social ties.)

iv. Clients who did not pay Daddy. My father was not the sort to push either because “he/she is in a far worse situation than us, so how can I ask him/her for the money?”   

v. A (now deceased) relative who was part of a religious order who told Mummy that she would “go to hell” because she bore an offspring who married a person outside our religion.

Relatives, friends and prayers helped my parents during those dark times. And my parents’ spirit of forgiveness.

Although I saw my parents forgive people, I couldn’t quite understand it. They talked about the anguish of betrayal and we all experienced the pain of deprivation. And then, they’d say they understood the person who caused them grief. And prayed for them!

When I left home for university at 19, I got a knife in my back for the very first time in my life.

Not the backstabbers.

With my closest group of friends in our final year at uni. All aged 22. 

I overheard my (supposed) friends at uni making fun of the way I walked upright and spoke crisply. All because of my academic and extracurricular achievements (that I slogged for, d#mmit!), and the trendy clothes I sported despite me telling them that most were Big Sis’s (admittedly very cool) hand-me-downs.

Decades on, I can still hear the words that hurt like I had never been hurt until that point. After the pain subsided, I tried to do what Daddy and Mummy did, that is, forgive them.

Uh uh.

Not so easy.  

This image is from

For a good decade and a half, I ignored Daddy and Mummy’s practices and their advice each time I shared my problems with them. Because I just could not forgive the people who hurt me (fuggedaboutit!) and I just could not pray for them (not a prayer!) as my parents did and suggested.

Instead, I seethed. I railed to my inner circle (other than Daddy and Mummy). I flooded my mind with horrid thoughts about the person who played dirty. I tried to think of ways to hurt that person in some way, got stunned for thinking along those lines, slunk around in shame, and simmered under a façade of ‘I’m golden’.

Until my mid 30s.

Then I understood that Daddy and Mummy had a point about forgiving and letting go.



It was a fairly easy transition because the resultant changes in the way I felt physically and the way my mood lifted were immediate. And addictive.  

Today, I’m mostly a ‘forgive and let go’ kinda person. But I’ve taken it one step ahead of what Daddy and Mummy taught me.

I try to understand the other person.

I still get angry instantly, but soon – sometimes a day, sometimes an hour, sometimes right away! – I begin to conduct a postmortem of sorts. I have learnt that looking to understand the motive before the deed was done helps me deal better with the fallout.  

I have found that I feel lighter, better, freer when I turn the focus away from the ‘What’ to the ‘Why’.

This image is from

  Thank you, Nancy, for permitting me the use of your image.

A little side story.

When Nancy responded to my request to use this image with a wave of the green flag, she signed off with

loving intentions and deepest gratitude”.

Simple words, profound impact.

I look to figure out why someone hurt me instead of they hurt me doing such-and-such.

I choose this route because I am more interested in finding out how I can prevent a repeat.

How I can avoid being in someone’s line of fire again.

Or even how I can avoid becoming the perpetrator of a heinous deed myself one day. 

Anyone else take this ‘Why’ approach?

What do you do to dissipate anger, hurt, resentment or revenge when you are wronged?


This image is from

Thank you, Gustavo, for permitting me the use of your image.


Thank you, mj monaghanThe Book of Terrible and Elvie Rose for commenting on my last post.

Thank you, mj monaghanThe Book of Terrible, Ellis Nelson , and Zen in the City for liking my last post.


P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.

 I like both these practices of acknowledging the time and effort made to comment, and the free advertising! So I’m doing what I do well – being a copycat! 

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

A Few Good Men

Filed under: Giving,Personal Beliefs — by For you, Daddy! @ 4:30 am
Tags: , , , ,



Over the past year or so, I have attended talks by a few people who were in town for various reasons. I am going to highlight the three who wowed me the most.


First, I will list their names and the topics they spoke on.


1. The Dalai Lama
Ethics for the New Millennium


2. Justice Albie Sachs
Light on a Hill


3. Dr.Karan Singh
The Relevance of Vedanta* in Today’s Context

*A brief explanation further down.


Each one of these speakers impressed me, and I learned a little something from all of them. Also, each of these speakers had experienced personal hardships, either in their childhood or later in life. Despite covering various subjects, I found a common theme among all three in their talks:


– All human beings are equal. There should be no divisions of any sort in the human race.


– Each one of us has the power to make changes in the world. The changes don’t have to effect large sections of society because it is not the amount of change that’s important. It is making that first small change that is most crucial. The rest will follow.


– Materialism does not bring happiness.


Each of the three spoke well and each was humble about his accomplishments and his stature in society today.


Having heard him speak several times earlier on TV and YouTube, and being a bit of a fan myself, I had expected good oratory from The Dalai Lama. I went in not expecting anything in particular from either Justice Albie Sachs or Dr.Karan Singh. In fact, I had not heard of either of them until a few days before I went to hear each speak.


And boy, did these boys blow me away! They were soft spoken and those sort, coincidentally (or not), are my kind of guys. 🙂



1. The Dalai Lama
Ethics for the New Millennium


This image is from


I chose this picture deliberately because it captures that mischievous twinkle in his eye as he is about to slam dunk a purposely playful response.


As I said earlier, I had heard The Dalai Lama speak a few times before, but this was the first time I saw him speak live; 6 rows away from me.


I am not going to tell you who The Dalai Lama is and what he is all about because he is a bit of a rock star. What I will share is that I found him to be quick witted, humourous (although he admitted to having a bit of a temper), shorter than I had imagined and not pudgy at all, as I had imagined. In fact, he struck me as lean; muscular even. He needs to fire his stylist for draping him in those shapeless tents swaddling robes. 😉



2. Justice Albie Sachs

Light on a Hill


This image is from


A South African Constitutional judge, a Human Rights activist and the former dean of Harvard Law School.


Justice Sachs, 77, was a victim of a targeted bomb blast in Mozambique in 1988. He lost his right arm and right eye in that attack, so he is slightly bent in posture, but his peaceful aura stands tall.


Shortly after he recovered from that gruesome attack, Justice Sachs asked to meet the man who deliberately planted the bomb in his car. He wanted to tell him that he was not angry with him, that he did not hate him.


When they met in the prison where the man was incarcerated, Justice Sachs told him that he forgave the man for his heinous* deed.  

*My opinion; not the word Justice Sachs used. In fact, when recounting this experience, he abstained from all judgmental words.


What left the deepest impression on me was this.


At the very start of their conversation, Justice Sachs apologised to the perpetrator for using his left arm (instead of the traditional right arm) to shake hands with him! Wow.


How blissful he must be to be rid of the burden of revenge and resentment that we typically tend to harbour!


In my next post, I will share my experience of the power of forgiveness.



3. Dr.Karan Singh

The Relevance of Vedanta* in Today’s Context


*This is the simplest explanation of Vedanta that I found on Wiki:

“A group of philosophical traditions concerned with self-realisation by which one understands the ultimate nature of reality.”


Still confused? So am I.


This image is from


A former member of the Indian parliament and a champion of interfaith dialogue.


Dr.Karan Singh, 81, was my absolute favourite! 🙂


He was born a prince in Jammu and Kashmir. When he was old enough to understand his privileged position, he consciously discarded his royal title, thereby ending the royal lineage in Jammu and Kashmir. He lived like a commoner, chose to be an educator and worked towards dispelling barriers to allow those at the very broad bottom of the Indian pyramid have a chance at a better life.


As if all this weren’t fantastic enough, he is the most wonderful orator I have heard in recent memory. Frail and mild to the eye; but strong in the convinction of his beliefs and practices. He had me in a trance as his rich language flowed from the very first sentence, and he whisked me away for the rest of the all-too-short-a-time that he waxed eloquently.


You know how some lucky winners, celebrities or contestants (usually) are asked which idol of theirs they would like to have dinner with? I don’t fall into any of those categories, but if I were handed such a momentous opportunity, my answer, without a moment of hesitation, would be Dr.Karan Singh!


I’d actually make a special request – I would ask it not to be a dinner meet.


Because by God, even to an avid gastronome such as myself, food would be inconsequential when I have his eloquence to drool over! Sigh.


Thank you,  The Book of Terrible  and mj monaghan  for commenting on my last post.

Thank you, The Book of Terrible, for liking my last post.


P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.

 I like both these practices of acknowledging the time and effort made to comment, and the free advertising! So I’m doing what I do well – being a copycat! 


Thursday, 15 March 2012

The LLONNGG And short Of It


Today being the Ides of March, I come bearing news of a hair-raising experience. Well, a lot of hair was involved and there was some gladness raised somewhere. That’s not what ‘hair raising’ means? Oh.  *shrug* Could you please read my story anyway? You might just about change your mind.  

Hair Today

Shorn Tomorrow

Ta da! I loved my new hair style!

When I chop ‘em tresses all off, I get a lot of “I didn’t recognise you!” and “You look wild!”. My favourite is a visiting cousin’s declaration once, “You look like a punk!” Truth is – I felt wild and I felt like, um, a punk? Alright, enough narcissism.

Three years is the usual time frame for me to lop it all off and donate it. I first heard about donating hair in Canada and I decided to do it the very first time I read about it.   

In my mid 20s, I had pledged my body for donation after I flat line, but it’s kind of a drag that I have to wait patiently to do something that I strongly believe in. Donating my hair every 3 years has helped assuage that restlessness. (I’ve looked into live skin donation, too, but sadly, the success rate for this isn’t encouraging.)

I followed in the footsteps of Daddy, Mummy and my older siblings, and became a regular blood donor from the age of 18. It helped that I am  B-ve  because it is not a terribly common blood group. That is not good enough today because I am not allowed to donate blood anymore. Over the past decade or so, organisations have became stringent about body weight, among other things. We have to weigh 52 kgs, at least. I’ve never ever touched 50 kgs in my life. So my blue blood now courses solely through my veins. 😦

A little side story. I have instructed my family (and my closest friends around me when I am away from home) that upon my death, I want whatever parts of me – all organs, of course, but also skin, bones, hair, nails, whatever – that can be used for others in need to be taken from me, and the, um, scraps to be handed over to the students at the local med school. But Big Bro vows to follow through with his plan. Um, what plan?

This one – he says he’ll douse my, um, “carcass” with ATF (Aviation Turbine Fuel AKA jet fuel) and toss a lit matchstick to ensure I turn to absolute cinders. No, no, Big Bro is not heartless. He says it’s bad enough there’s one of me on the loose now. If anyone gets bits and pieces of me, he’s afraid they’ll morph into clones of me. Forget December 21, 2012, he frets, the day I die and re-incarnate via others through my donated organs; that day will be the true end of the world, he claims. Aren’t big brothers the best?

Back to me and my tail tale. 

I donated my hair twice in Canada. The first time I was told that it would wind up at Sick Kids (the children’s hospital in Toronto). The second time my hair went to some theatre group in TO (Toronto in local speak). 

The last two times I donated my hair were during visits to Kathmandu, Nepal and Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India. In both cities, I did not find hospitals or organisations that accepted hair donations, so the salon folks kept it each time. I told the people I knew who asked about “all that hair” that I had donated it to the salon. I got mostly positive responses, but two people I know argued that I should not have given it to the salon because they would make money off it. Hair stylists are rich enough already, they thundered, and clients have to pay a pretty packet for a hair piece. Well, I countered, that’s even better than I expected because now two people would be happy – the client, of course, who would have flaunted my, ahem, luscious locks AND the stylist who would earn from it. I had not factored the latter.

I also added that it is not for me to judge who is rich and who is not; and only those who can afford to splurge on a wig or extensions would do it. (Not quite true, I know, but that’s a whole different story.)  If I could make yet another person happy in the bargain, “Go, Me!” I say!

So please feel free to voice your different points of view at any time, all ye detractors. I welcome those because one way or the other, I can learn something else via the argy-bargy.

For any of you considering donating your hair, here are some tips give the best you can. Before that, I want to brag about this – I had no split ends. w00t w00t!


i. Minimise styling: This includes colouring, changing the texture (straightening/perming) and blow drying. Ideally, doing none of all that is best. Yes, it is possible. Mine was virgin hair. No, I did not make that up. It is a technical term for hair that has not been chemically treated at all. 


ii. Minimise use of chemicals: Those used on a daily basis e.g. styling products, perfumes.  


iii. Tie it up: (When possible.) It reduces the impact of pollution on the strands.  


iv. Cover up: The same reasons as above. When in the sun, of course, but also from wind. 


v. Lifestyle: Hair is yet another part of us that mirrors our lifestyle. Our diet, exercise regime, sleep patterns and stress levels all play a role in the quality of our hair. 

Oh, look at all of you! In awe of me for bragging telling you about being a serial donor. I did not donate blood every six months (a long time ago) and I do not donate my hair every three years now because I care about some poor person in need. 

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” ~ Dr. Howard Thurman (American philosopher and educator. 1899-1981) 

So you see, this is why I am generous with bits and pieces of my being. I do not just want to ensure I live on after my mortal demise, I’m so .. so… full of myself, I want to share while I’m alive!  

You still don’t buy that I’m egotistic, do you? Oh, I know. I’ll tell you what I do when I miss my hair after I donate it. I go for one of these options that always work – beg, borrow or steal.

Borrowed Tresses




:::  :: ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::     READER  REQUEST      ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  ::  :::


One of my blog buddies is MJ. MJ is fun and a good sport. Most of all, I like that he is generous with his time and encouragement with all those who visit his blog and leave a message. That, and he is just plain nice. 

MJ made this request via a comment in my earlier post titled ‘Giving Up. And Taking On.


>Do give an update on how the lenten activities are going when you get some time.

– I promised to update you in my next post only (meaning, this one), MJ, because I would have had some more time with my challenges and I would have a better picture of how I am faring now. (And more time to get my, um, act together for the “report”.)

About the things I’ve given up. Giving up all the food was easy. I’ve got a few years of practice under my belt, so it’s no biggie today. As a matter of fact, I am pleased that I do not crave my meat, fish and all things sweet. I don’t fantasise about them either. I don’t even feel sorry for myself for abstaining! A far cry from not too many years ago.

Refraining from checking out new articles online is much harder. I try to stick to health related articles, but have caved in and read non-health related articles like:


Sara Blakely: How one woman made a billion from big pants–how-one-woman-made-a-billion-from-big-pants.html


5-Week-Old App Draw Something Hits 20 Million Downloads And Generates 6-Figures Per Day 


Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs

Headlines like these grab me. I remember my vow, hesitate, then cave in. I do not feel too bad about breaking my Lenten decision to refrain from mainstream news online because these kinds of stories (which to me, are more about the human spirit than the dosh) feed my soul. I learn about their doggedness and I learn from their doggedness. Now, using that same doggedness with my struggle to pray and reflect is a whole different story. 😉

I still read three (hardcopy) newspapers a day, so it’s not like I’ve given up on news entirely. That would be very hard. So I won’t even go there, except when I’m on holiday. Then, I truly do not care about what happens in the big, wide world. 😉  

About the things I’ve taken on.

Not going to mince words – I did a lousy job the first week in. Just could not focus on prayer or the Scripture readings. Today, I am more settled in that groove, but I’m still not groovin’. Know what I’m sayin’?  I wish I would look forward to that hour of prayer and reflection, but I don’t. I even feel a little relieved when I finish. Relieved, as in, ‘Done! Let me check this off my list’. I am disappointed with myself about this because I know how good I feel when I pray, I know how good it is for me, but I just do not seem to put in the effort required for me to reap bigger rewards that I (also) know are so easily within my reach.

I don’t beat myself up though. I also enjoy being human. 🙂  

Thank you for asking, MJ. Knowing that someone (in this case, you) asked that, made me a little more, uh, accountable. I am quite confident I would have been lackadaisical a little longer had you not asked for feedback. So ‘Ouch!’ (initially) and ‘Thanks’, too, MJ!


Thank you, misslisted, Cheerful Monk, The Book of Terrible ,ElvieRose,  orples and  mj monaghan  for commenting on my last post.

Thank you, The Book of Terrible and orples for liking my last post.


P.S.: Cheerful Monk adds a footnote to every post acknowledging those who comment on her previous post. She also links the commenters’ names back to their own blogs.

 I like both these practices of acknowledging the time and effort made to comment, and the free advertising! So I’m doing what I do well – being a copycat! 


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