After the raging storm, the skies became clear again. I wandered along a narrow strip of beach and chanced upon this teenage girl. She did what we all love to do on a patch of sandy canvas - draw, scribble. The smiley face she drew on the sand reflected the sweet relief everyone felt after having waited out the storm. It was then when she turned back and smiled - that was the beautiful moment.
The song "Windows" by N.E.R.D. comes to mind when I saw the following pictures. Never heard of it? It's playing on the radio stations now and it begins with this line :
All the girls standing in the line for the bathroom...
27 Aug 2008 Malaysia's opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim (L), Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng (2ndL), Lim Kit Siang (2ndR) and Wan Azizah Wan Ismail (R) celebrate after the announcement of Permatang Pauh by-election results. - AFP
Supporters of Malaysia's opposition Justice Party leader Anwar Ibrahim celebrate during the by-election in Permatang Pauh, Penang. - AFP
Georgians rally in front of the Russian embassy in Tbilisi to protest against the Kremlin's recognition of the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. - AP
England's Stuart Broad (C) reacts as he takes the wicket of South Africa's Herschelle Gibbs (R) during their second one-day international cricket match, at Trent Bridge cricket ground, Nottingham, England. - AP
Okay guys (from 1N3), this is long overdue. Apologies!
This boy insisted that I should put his picture up.
Okay some context before you think this is typical of a Singapore classroom. There was no work assigned for the relief teacher, that is yours truly, so after a little chat with 1N3, I decided to do something that will channel the energies of this very restless class to positive use.
There were overwhelming response for this Mr. Strongboy challenge. Boys being boys, they love anything physical. I know that because I was once wearing those same uniforms many years ago.
There were no winners nor losers. Everyone had a good, clean and fun time and I think, in this very pressurising academic terrain, the kids do deserve some fun.
The evening sky caught my attention as I was walking back to my vehicle at Expo carpark.
Bullet in the sky.
The wounded skies above, say it's much too late.
The above song title and lyrics to another tune came to mind as I pondered over the greying hues cast in a net of darkening blue. I don't know how long I had stood in the middle of the carpark just staring at the skies before I whipped out my Omnia to snap a few shots.
Soon the blues made way for shades of grey...
...while the chirping of birds and the evening breeze also fade away with the enveloping darkness.
Pain comes in all forms. The small twinch. A bit of soreness. The random pain. The normal pains we live with everyday. But then that's the kind of pain you can't ignore. A level of pain so great that it blocks out everything else; makes the rest of the world fade away. Until all we can think about is how much we hurt. How we manage our pain is up to us. Pain. We anaethesise. Ride it out. Embrace it. Ignore it. And for some of us, the best way to manage pain is to wish to push through it. There are no solutions. No easy answers. You just breathe deep and wait for it to subside. Most of the time, pain can be managed. But sometimes the pain gets you when you least expected. Hits below the belt and doesn't let up. Pain. You just have to fight through. Because the truth is, you can't outrun it and life always makes more.
Before I head off for my tennis game, there is an article on The Sunday Times you mustread.
This is the second scathing article titled, "Sidelined in the S'pore Survivor series" by the Associate Editor on the issue of singles and the recent pro-family benefits hich wthe government has announced to boost the nation's dismal birth rates.
Here's just an exerpt from her very poignant writeup....
Now that I have all married couples and parents reading this riled up, let me just say: Congratulations. It's about time the institution of the family got a boost.
May you use the money wisely.
You see, it's my money. And I want to be sure you don't squander it. And while you're spending it, try not to cock a snook at singles, as if we are pariahs who refuse to join the national campaign to mate and procreate.
It's just the sort of thing that happens in Singapore. An idea catches hold, everyone is doing it, and you're the silly one who's holding out - like smokers or minority owners in an en bloc sale.
Also, may you use your state-mandated maternity leave and infant-care leave with some prudence. After all, guess who's going to cover for you at the workplace when you are gone for 16 weeks or taking your kid to the dentist?
By the way, are you sure you really need 16 weeks? Where are your own mum and dad? Your in-laws? It used to be that they played a big part in bringing up grandchildren. Have they migrated to Perth?
And you are really taking your kid to the dentist and not off to play golf, right?
Some will say that the have-more-babies campaign hasn't been particularly successful over the years, given the way couples have, or rather have not, responded to baby baits in the past.
I think this time, the Government has got it right, starting upstream at teenage hormonal level right down to Baby Number XX.
What's good: It has stopped discriminating between graduates and non-graduates with the merger of the Social Development Unit and the Social Development Service.
It's an acknowledgement that educational levels really shouldn't matter when it comes to picking a life partner and making babies. Good brains can have bad genes; and vice versa.
It's helping those who desperately want babies - but cannot have them for some reason or other - get medical help to conceive. These people know the pain of going through failed cycles of in-vitro fertilisation but they're still saying, Baby, you're worth it.
So a wide $1.6 billion net has been cast and, hopefully, there will be a big haul.
As a single, I watch these developments with awe. So much money (mine) expended on getting the reproduction lines going...
Sigh. What to do?
While singles are seldom discriminated against in other similar big cities like New York, Sydney or London, here in Singapore, it's S.O.S - Singles Only Suffer (thanks to these reporters, it is no longer in silence).