There are many variations of this folk story. In Egypt, the dog is a mongoose. In Indian, it’s cat and closer to home in Malaysia, there is a variation of a bear that killed a tiger.

The story begins like this. A king returns from a hunt to find the cradle overturned and his chambers in disarray…the baby is no where to be seen. A blood-smeared dog is the only creature it seems in this room. Believing the dog has killed the child, the king in a fit of anger draws his sword and kills it.

Shortly after the dog’s dying yelp. The king hears the cries of the baby hidden beneath the bloodied sheets. She is unharmed and smiling. When the sheets are unfurled, there is a dead wolf which had attacked the child and been killed by the dog.

The King overcome with remorse buries the dog with great ceremony, yet on certain nights when the moon is full, he can still hear the dying yelp of his loyal dog.

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‘It is the durian season. Last week a distraught wife of farmer came to me and complained about her so called ‘wayward’ son – she said, he is rarely at home every night. God knows where he goes every night…probably to the tavern to drink himself blind or to lose himself in the floating world of the prostitute. She even went to recount to me, when her husband came down with a fever recently – he was nowhere to be seen! For days! Day and night, he was the invisible man! And when he returns home. His eyes are like a panda as he is whiling his time at night. He did not even attend the family dinner! Even his brothers who lived and worked in the city made it a point to come home to comfort their ailing father….but not this good for nothing son!

That was when I pointed to a large rattan basket of durians mounted on the motorcycle which belonged to the son of this mother just outside their yard – I then asked, ‘it seems heaven has blessed you this season with a bountiful harvest?’ She replied enthusiastically, yes, the price for durian is exceptionally good this year! It has been a windfall for all of us. Then I took off my sunglasses and my features turned very hard and I asked of this woman – tell me which of your sons has been gathering these durians for the family when they fall day and night in the orchard? Who have you put in charge of this family orchard?

The woman suddenly looked lost and absent minded. Then as if seized by a rare moment of epiphany. An awful realization overcame her angry features like a tsunami transforming it to shame as she exclaimed – oh my god, my son has been spending the nights sleeping in the orchard in a leaky atap shed all this while to protect our harvest from being pilfered…and it is the rainy season….the poor boy must be suffering with all the mosquitoes and bugs in the wild…no wonder he is always so tired and none of us has even noticed this. As he probably doesn’t want to worry his sick father or to stress me with money – worst of all, none of us have even brought him a hot meal during his damp and lonely nights during his night watch or to even thank him for his selfless deed to guard over whatever little we own….how wrong I am to misjudge him.

That was when the foolish woman began to cry quite openly and knell down before me in supplication when she suddenly realized how terribly she had misjudged her son’s character and even labelled him as a good for nothing unfilial son before the entire village – by recounting to everyone how her son was a good for nothing, she had already soiled his name. She was so distraught, this woman even knelt down and begged me to slap her for her shortsighted and stupidity to fail to make out the obvious.

I told her in a stern voice, woman make it is your duty to right this wrong. Do not delay. Tonite before he goes out to guard the family orchard prepare a hot meal in a thermos and provision a dry blanket so that he can keep warm for the night. Above all thank him with all your heart for his dedication to his duty for doing what a good son will and must do to protect and defend the interest of his family. This is the will of heaven as a mother!

Before I left, the distraught mother asked of me – how is it that you are so young but you so very wise?

I simply told her, it is very easy in this world for one to assemble the facts to enable one to think the very worse of others…because that is what foolish people usually do – they are rash…callous and they much prefer to live in the fog of lies…I went on to advise her – seek always to live within the truth…I went on to rebuke her – woman do you see the obvious – this is the essence of of what people mean when they say, never do to others what you do not want them to do to you. This is what it means when the wise say, we can either live in heaven or hell.

Just when I was about the take my leave, the woman wailed and cried and began hitting herself to atone for her foolishness with her slipper. I promptly gave her a five chili tight slap and told her in the authoritative no nonsense tone of a landowner – begone with your childish ways. You are no longer a girl! now go to the pasar and prepare some nourishing bone soup for your most filial son (this one can do in the kampung. As it is socially acceptable. But please do not do it in Singapore otherwise you will drinking kopi with a Bengali Singh in the police station with a big moustach and probably end up sharing the same cell in Block D of the IMH with Amos Yee).

Please don’t do this in Singapore….Please. As in a plastic society, people will think your peculiar and odd.

Thereafter woman bowed in shame and fell silent…this I told her is the way of heaven and earth.’

Relationships and Growth

December 13, 2015

No relationship can truly grow if you hold back mindlessly. If you remain cautious in the beginning to safeguard your well being and to protect your core. Then I say you are indeed wise to do so and I would even encourage you to always do just that….in the very beginning. But if you just stop there and never move on to discover the next level, then I say, you’re holding back mindlessly without rhyme or reason and that by every definition of the word holding back is essentially self defeating.

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My two and half years of prolonged solitude of living all alone in the wilderness without electricity, piped water and technology – comprised of long bouts of introspection, a growing awareness of my new surroundings and learning more about myself.

It’s a missing piece life that I’ve kept hidden from the world…till perhaps now.

Along with possibly what I am only willing to describe politely as a rigorous process of self interrogation that dismantled every aspect of who I am or who I thought I was at least.

The need to qualify the process of self discovery with that word ‘polite’ was perhaps due to my my militant refusal or inability to cope with the sudden transition from the creature comforts of flabby city life to the often violent and at times destructive harsh life in the field.

In the beginning after the novelty of field life had waned just around the fourth week. It would not be an exaggeration to say, I was constantly battling against crushing loneliness. My only solace then was the radio which was always tuned to the BBC world service. By the third month or was it the fourth, when the batteries konked out along with most other things I had long since learnt to live without. I found myself descending deeper and deeper into the essence of my being for solace. I read mostly to pastime and when I had finished the few books I had brought along I read them again and when I finished that I imaged the characters being played out somewhere in a movie theatre in my mind. I had began to shed so much weight by then, I had to punch new holes into my belt. I wish could say the experience was nothing short of life changing….but all could recall was the awful sensation of feeling hungry and lethargic all the time.

By the sixth month deep into the rainy season. I was bed ridden with Malaria. I don’t know how long how long I lapsed between moments of sleep and stupor. That I believe was the point when I became conscious of how mystery was furiously at work in the jungle changing me – change began innocuously. It’s one of those languorous arcs where I ceased completely to be bothered by creature comforts such as clean sheets or whether they were damp or dry. After my recovery when I was strong enough to hunt. At some point I immersed myself so completely in the jungle that even time ceased to exist completely. Or maybe I just didn’t see the need to wear a watch any longer. As since I wasn’t beholden to the concept of civilized units of measurement of time where one would track the passing of periods in months, days, hours and minutes – this soon gave way to a larger construct of jungle time, where it made far more sense to track time by how one season would bow out only for another to step in.

During this period in the wild which could have been anywhere into a full year or possibly longer my attention shuffled between deep moments of self introspection and outwards into the depths of the wilderness world.

By this time I learnt to hunt in the night. I had by then ceased tearing bits of myself to the bedrock of my elemental being to cope with life in the field. I had grown fond of my life as a wild jungle man. So fond that at times I often wondered to myself would I ever be able to rejoin the cacophony of world again, the ever spinning world? Would I even want to? A world that seemed so faraway and alien.

But that doesn’t mean what I experienced during that period which I’ve never seen the need to put down on paper was completely self annihilating and nihilistic – I did encounter great mystery like the time when the river turned opalescent emerald green in darkness on a full moon. Only to shudder in terror when I saw my own reflection. Felt the presence of the jungle gnawing at me in the night when she comes alive as I lay there in darkness.

Till today It’s not even clear to me why I persisted in this way of living for so long as I did without ever once considering the idea of returning back to civilization – perhaps what they said about me was true after all….I had gone too far of the edge. Like one of those mythical ships of antiquity that sails beyond the horizon only for everyone to believe it fell off the edge of what could only be a flat world. Gone so very far to the outer reaches beyond the stream consciousness spreading all of myself out like the roots of some majestic tree, drawing upon all the powers of nature that the duality between my conscious being and the wilderness had somehow merged and collapsed into each other where I vanished completely giving way to new stream of consciousness.

When I emerged from the wild and rejoined civilization. I experienced a terminal state of detachment from everything I once never felt the need to question – the prospects of ordinary life acquired a terror. I never once spoke to anyone concerning the extremities of having lived in the wild. I never told a soul. Neither am I certain whether my slow and painful osmotic reintegration into society might have constituted a form of subconscious repudiation and disdain for modern living which I now considered alien. I much preferred to return to the jungle where I belonged. Perhaps having traced the curve from before, during and after the last thing I ever wanted to do was to recount the arc of my average memoir of having lived in the wild in total isolation simply because I knew no possibly understand me.

It’s a fitting allegory how till this day all that I can ever seem to recount with uncanny vividness at the end of my prolonged two year absence from civilization was sitting all by myself in McDonalds and wondering how I would make it thru the rest of the day while savoring a hint of the wild still clung to the back of my throat while wolfing down a Big Mac.

I realized then. I was in a very alien and strange place that I didn’t belong any longer…all I wanted to do was to go back home to the jungle….you see it’s really a matter of commitment and where I see myself. I don’t expect anyone to ever share my conviction…how can they possibly understand how far I’ve gone…how? Where do I even begin to explain?

Just put all your time, attention and effort in living well. Never spend your precious time mulling over what should be….why do they treat me this or that way blah blah blah.

Let me share a truism with you that will repeat itself again and again thru out my and your life – it begins by first coming to terms with one phrase – it is what, it is.

In life there will never be a shortage of assholes, mentally challenged and unhappy psychos with axes to grind for whatever reasons, who will always try their very best to suck you into their world of doom and gloom….so don’t get dragged into their world – just focus on what you can exercise control over . Don’t ever waste your time trying to control others. Above all priorities the very idea of living well. Because if you do just that and that alone, no matter what others may think or say about you…..you are light years ahead of them, while all they are doing is chasing their own tails and going round and round.

Never sweat the small stuff….remember you’re part a grander design in the larger scheme of things.

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‘Understand this! Life is all about scale, perspective and how you see yourself in relation to others. It’s always been this way! If anyone tells any different, they haven’t lived at all.

Sure I have a lot of enemies who regularly say plenty of nasty things concerning me – but tell me what businessmen doesn’t have his fair share of detractors? The only person who gets along with everyone is probably someone with no opinion who is content to always go with the flow. But always bear in mind, this category of men are also seldom respected because they consistently demonstrate a failure to hold and defend a position. So don’t expect anything significant from people who get along with everyone. Neither does anyone bother to seek their counsel either. Simply because if the prevailing wind blows this way, then he will bend that way and vice versa. So to me, no one takes them seriously.

But if you’re a businessmen, then I say by default you are bound to accumulate your fair share of detractors – simply because you’re in competition and that by itself implies disagreement at every level of intelligence that cannot always be reconciled. You must learn to accept this gracefully. This is part and parcel of what it means to be a businessmen. If you are unwilling to buy into this baseline belief – then stay a salaried man all your life. But even should you do that, you are bound to come across your fair share of assholes, backstabbers and malingerers. That’s given! That’s life. Because where there is people who work in a hierarchy. There will always be power and politics – it’s no different from a bunch of monkeys fighting over banana’s and somewhere in this diorama of life – there will always be the king monkey who sits at the top of hill and everyone aspires to sit on that chair one day!

So to me conflict is given….it comes with the territory….it’s an occupational liability and if you’re not thick skinned enough to come to terms with this reality….you will be hurt…it will grind you down to dust and ultimately disable every aspect of who you were meant to be.

Never let that happen – allow the idea of conflict to go right thru you and let come out the otherside while you watch it’s passing wake.

Once you know this reality and even come to terms with it as a veritable fact of life like how mosquitoes and flies can never be completely eliminated – then it ceases to bother you. Then you can work confidently on how to live well without the slightest distraction.

Christmas dinner

December 11, 2015

Christmas starts earlier for me than everyone else I know. As I work during Christmas. In the plantation it’s just another working day. Since I am in the city, I decided to give myself a Christmas treat..rabbit marinated in young ginger, bamboo shoots and sesame oil lashed with onion rings.

My ultra rich city neighbors who are hermetically sealed from everyday life in their leafy make belief enclave of Shangrila are all worked up looking high and low for the rabbit raider. A reward of $10,000 has been posted for furher information. My rich neighbors who probably have too much time than they probably know what to do have even pooled together to hire an ex detective with a giant moustache to attempt to apprehend the fiend. This morning when I was interviewed – I suggested in a rather imperial tone of a landowner, they best direct their investigations into the labyrinth of underground long kang as I told them, ‘I am convinced I can’t be human…it’s probably a giant python with an acquired taste for rare imported Ukrainian rabbits. They all gulped looked at each other and wondered who is going to crawl down the tunnels. I offered them a $1.99 torchlight. Thereafter I told them brusquely, I expect you all to do your duty to the best of your ability and promptly left.

Since I will be retuning to the kampung tomorrow. I have every reason to believe no one is ever going to apprehend the mysterious nocturnal rabbit fiend. Whoever it is. If he’s human – he’s definitely a professional serial cat burglar with a penchant for living a closeted double life which involves scaling across electrified fences, evading armed Gurkhas along with being able to disable state of the art alarm systems and pick locks. Not to mention being able to render killer man eating guard dogs docile….so from this I have every logical reason to discount a human element in this crime. This will probably go down into urban legend as one of those Jack the Ripper mysteries.

But all is not lost. I’ve heard recently the super duper rich parents of this distraught girl has ordered a new consignment of long eared Ukrainian rabbits to replace the lost one’s.

How fortunate……how very fortunate.

My neighbor complained to me her daughter’s pet rabbits have all gone missing one by one recently. She has no idea where they have all gone. The entire neighborhood has even set up a night watch vigilante group to catch this nocturnal marauder….I’ve even volunteered.

I told her not to worry. I happen to know many restaurant owners, I am sure they would allow me to use their commercial kitchen to whip up some soul food to chase away the missing rabbit blues….my neighbor was excited, she asked what do you plan to cook…halibut…venison…wagu beef….lamb?

I told her it’s best to keep it a surprise….after all it’s Christmas.

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Strive always to understand the nature of things for what it actually is and not what you or others believe it should be.

The latter is an ideal – should be. There may well exist many compelling reasons why this or that should be like A, B or C. However just because something should be so does not necessarily render it reality. So if you invest too much of your time insisting on what should be instead of working around the reality of what is – all you are really doing is chasing an illusion. Hence if you devote your time and effort into the proposition of what should be, it will be like trying to plough the sea….it’s a bloody waste of your time!

What is – may not be a handsome, fair or even the right way of of doing things .But if it is what it is. Then it is real. When you invest in reality. You are with the truth.

Knowing the real nature of things and learning to accept it as gracefully as you can is highest form of maturity.

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The mature mind always go inwards first to seek the well of calmness before it moves into action. This is always the first discipline of all mature minds. That is why all acts and omissions that flow from the mature mind is free from self destructive and frivolous influences….it is very stable like a mountain, it never moves to the wimps and fancies of others. It rarely ever panics. It can never be gamed. Neither can it be swayed by anger, greed or the nefarious designs of others. The mature mind is very calm.

The immature mind however is elementally indiscipline and chaotic, that is it’s nature, it goes everywhere and to everyone to seek answers, assurances and a sense of security except where it’s most needful…. inwards. Because not only is there nothing except perhaps pure emptiness inside the immature mind. But because it is inherently chaotic and changing ten million times a day it is everywhere and also nowhere at the same time. Hence the immature mind can very easily be swayed, influenced and directed by others to the path of pain and suffering.

Notice if you will, it is very easy to make an immature person cry and feel small. Or to disable him or her completely with the just the power of words by playing on their fears and sharpening their sense of insecurity to rob them of their confidence. However, if you notice. A mature mind is like a diamond mind – it does not even fear death itself. Not because it is courageous…because it knows death for what it is…hence the mature mind is always calm and collect even under extreme pressure that will drive most people crazy. Neither will the mature mind malfunction under extreme conditions like the immature mind – no matter what is before it, it’s like Rolex submariner…it can always take a good licking and keep on ticking!

That is not only the difference between the mature and immature mind…it also happens to be the defining difference between someone who is going somewhere and another who is just going around in small and big circles.

So me, the difference between maturity and immaturity is not only a casual technical observation concerning the nature of a person – it is strategic, very much in the way a stealth fighter or a submarine fitted with an ultra silent power train is able to confer competitive advantage and even swing the outcome.

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‘No one is born mature. There is no such thing as a mature gene. Neither is it true to assume maturity comes automatically with having lived X or Y number of years on this planet. If that were really true how can one account for so many young people who are mature and so many old people who still demonstrate signs of immaturity. So maturity has nothing whatsoever to do with age, gender or genetics. Neither is there a correlation between intelligence or experience with the maturity quotient of a person – they all seem to be mutually exclusive.

This begs the question where does maturity come from? How does one go about the business of uploading it into one’s head where it can hopefully produce all the good stuff that we associate with mature actions, deeds and thoughts?

To my understanding maturity is a bi-product like how a tree bears sweet and succulent fruit. So when you ask the question where does maturity come from? It is like asking WHAT did the farmer of the orchard that yields sweet and succulent fruits do that season? Yes, fruits do come from trees of course, but that hardly answers the question if you can see where I am coming from, simply because not all trees bear fruit and even those that do may not always yield sweet and succulent fruit.

So the real question if you want know where sweet fruits come from requires a careful understanding of how that fruit orchard was tended along with perhaps a rudimentary understanding of the seasons. Similarly, when we ask ourselves where does maturity come from? We need to look at the discipline that produces this characteristic.

In my years of research I found one common trait among all matured people – they all make a point to set aside some quiet time every day to still the mind into a very calm state before going forward into the world.

YOU DON’T NEED TEN BULLET POINTS TO UNDERSTAND THIS! CULTIVATING CALMNESS DAILY , TILL IT BECOMES A WAY OF LIFE IS THE SKELETON KEY THAT ALLOWS YOU TO OPEN THE DOOR TO MATURITY.

It stands to the acid test of logical interrogation – when one is calm. Everything acquires the right scale and perspective. Everything is clear and unambiguous. There is room for exageration, embellishments and misdirection – so one sees the world as it is and what what others say it is. That is the goal!

To cultivate daily calmness in your life daily, one doesn’t have to something esoteric like sitting crossed legged and meditating before dawn. Or standing on your head while chanting yabadabado. No I don’t imagine for one moment that is the only way for one to still the mind to discover calmness. There is plenty of room for improvisation and even more for experimentation.

But whatever the shape and form of this daily ritual to instill calmness thag sets the mood that promotes a calm and collected state that last the whole day – could be starting off the day slightly earlier than usual that allows you take a calm leisurely walk to the MRT instead of rushing to work as if your hair is on fire. Closing your eyes and turning inwards when you’re commuting to work to gather all of yourself before a new day unfolds. Or even reading slowly and stilling the mind to bear out patiently the beauty of words in a chapter of a book….walking the dog before hitting the hectic city..but whatever that daily ritual, whatever that which you do to set the mood of calmness that will hopefully last till the day ends…. it always begins from within YOU and not by searching for it furtively outside the self.

FIND IT!

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A very simple question. A question which I feel is very compelling in our age. As there are so many cases of failed relationships and marriages one would probably have to have a hole in the head the size of a plate, if one wasn’t provoked at least by curiosity to ask, WHY?

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‘When I write about how to be alone. Or I expound on the theory, pain may be inevitable, but suffering is always optional. When I explain to others why loneliness should be embraced and never feared like the plague.

Many people will take the course of least mental resistance and probably conclude – this must be a mad man! He is after all written in a language that no one can decipher!

I imagine to some extent they probably feel right to draw such a conclusion, I must be very peculiar and odd to them. But I also believe they can really only derive at this misleading conception concerning me and no other, because they have never spent so much as a day, hour or even so much as a moment alone and cut off from the world…so it’s a bit ike talking about snakes to Eskimos….the bloody thing doesn’t exist in the polar regions so how does one even begin to talk about venomous reptiles to people who live in igloos?

In the same way how does one begin a conversation about loneliness with someone who is always marinating themselves in the world 24/7. Always tied to the umbilical cord of being connected to the world.

It’s impossible!

They are very different from me. You can even say, we come from different worlds. I work in desolation and isolation. Days can go by without me ever seeing a single soul. It is a matter of profound indifference whether it’s a Monday or Friday. They all the same in a plantation. All around me, I encircled by a sea of emerald palms that stretch beyond the infinity of the horizon that curls along the edges ever so slightly to still remind me the world is round. If anything it serves to only remind me that I am not on the desolate surface of the moon. At times my eyes are drawn to a thin line that streaks across the paraffin skies. I find myself looking it at this unfurling vapor trail longer than usual. Then suddenly I am jolted into the realization. I am living in the twenty first century….it’s a jet plane! – in certain respects, I am like the Omega man or Will Smith in that movie, I am Legend. So naturally, it’s quite natural for me to reflect deeply on solitude….loneliness and whole idea of being estranged from the world.

That I imagine is what most people rarely ever do, that is why they lack the insight that gives them the false sense of snobbery to dismiss what I write as rubbish.

But as you can see it all comes together, when we ask ourselves the question of our age – why do so many relationships and marriages fail?

To me the answer is lies in our in our militant refusal to gain a deeper understanding on the subject matter of solitude…loneliness and the whole idea of being estranged from the world.

Most people even those who may insist they are self sufficient and independent suffer a morbid fear of loneliness….they see it as purgatory, suffering and something loathsome. That is why they seek out others in probably the same way a cripple gets by with a pair of crutches – they think. They believe the solution to avoiding the terror of loneliness is to find someone to fill the void that exist in their life.

But tell me what happens when you get two scaddy cats who both suffer from the very same morbid fear of loneliness coming together in the name of love just to seek relief from the sum of all their fears….tell me is that really love or could it be escapism? Or a prosthetic?

Now you understand why so many relationships and marriages can only fizzle out and fail.

As what unites man and woman is not premised on the truth.

Rather it is predicated on the delusional belief the other person can somehow fill up that empty space within them that stems from the fear of being alone.

But tell me how is it possible for someone who fears loneliness and who has never ever experienced a day of solitude. Or even feel the need to seek out the deeper interiors of these apparent demons who they seem only to avoid at every turn and opportunity possibly be able to fill up that void in another human being who suffers from precisely the same fears as them? Let me paraphrase the question – can something ever come out of nothing?

Of course not!

Now you understand why these objects of interest I write about are far from frivolous.

If anything they go to the very crux of the issue – why two people if they really want to remain together should first rid themselves from their scripted and conditioned fears of loneliness and how if they remain oblivious or worse still choose to remain bovine about this, all they are really doing is coming together for all the wrong reasons that can only lead to unfulfilled aspirations only for it all to end in suffering.

I am not advocating that everyone on this planet should join the how to be alone club. Not at all.

All I am saying is, if you want to love somebody and devote yourself to him or her, then do it for all the right and not the wrong reasons – you owe yourself this much – because if you should be so silly as to take that leap of faith by making free use of the word love only because you are fearful and choose to run away from loneliness, then it’s better for you to remain single….that is all I am saying. Nothing more or less.’

Look around you. Look carefully everyone yearns to be happy. They seek happiness all the time – that is why they are always running around searching like a drug addict craving for his or her next fix.

What after all accounts for this deep yearning for happiness – if anything it is simply a very delectable form of escapism from reality; that’s what drugs and alcohols helps you to do – it makes you forget about your problems and while the high last, since you have taken a holiday from yourself. How can you feel miserable. Naturally you feel happy.

Indeed you are very happy so long as that narcotic called happiness flows thru your veins. Happy when you are with your friends who you want to be with…happy when you are going out for your lunch break with your office colleagues who you seem only to get along with….happy when you bought that dress that you have been saving all month for when it’s at a 50% discount….happy after two hours of standing in line, you have finally managed to get your hands on the latest smartphone before anyone else.

But do you notice the narcotic called happiness never ever last….friends drift apart with time…that is only natural. Colleagues even the very best will turn against when you fall out of favor….that too is very natural…as for that dress that once made you so happy…even it will fade and lose it’s allure…very natural. As for that smartphone….it too will end up one day in a forgotten shoe box where all your other old phones go to die.

Do you see how happiness is nothing more than escapism – an illusion.

Once a man understands completely how chasing happiness mindlessly is at best chimeric. He will not longer seek gratification for the sake of gratification, not even pleasure for the sake of pleasure and certainly not happiness for the sake of happiness.

Suddenly this endless pursuit of always trying to run away from the essence of his being becomes a great diffusion of energy representing nothingness.

Since this new man has a deep understanding of the nature of things and how they all wax and wane with the chastening passage of time leaving only his real being as the true essence of who he really is. He is already in the truth and once you are in the truth. There is no longer any need to seek out means of escapism. As when one is within the truth….only then can one be truly at peace…and peace and stillness is all that one ever needs in this world.

The rest come and go, they light up and dim into darkness, appear and disappear only to reappear again….but a peaceful and still mind is always there forever and ever.

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‘A very old wealthy landowner who formed a consortium to block me from buying more land once tried to intimidate me with all his money and influence. I looked at this man impassively and whispered to him, you speak so much about power and how you and your lackeys can move mountains, but tell me how many times do you need to wake up in the middle of the night to piss?

The wealthy landowner on hearing these words leaned forward and snarled at me baring his yellow teeth. But just as he was about to say something harsh. Suddenly like a man feeling a passing breeze on his cheeks that could only carry with it the knowledge of one season bowing out to another. His features began to almost soften into an abject expression of defeat as he sank back into his chair only to turn inwards deep in thought.

It was as if he understood completely the finality of the truth I meant to convey to him that day.

Perhaps the powerful landowner who believed be could move mountains finally realized how crumbly his reality really is before the power of the truth. Perhaps he even saw it then momentarily for what it is….his reality that he had derived all his strength from was nothing more than a well crafted lie. An illusion that could be smashed into a thousand pieces right before his eyes and there was absolutely nothing he could do to stop it.

As that is how it is when lies come before the cleansing light of the truth – they are vaporized into nothingness.

This is what happens when a man chooses to live in an elaborate lie all his life chasing worthless and meaningless things that he only thinks fashions him into a God, when what it actual does it to lull him into a delusional state of happiness like a opium addict.

Tell me what becomes of the man who is an addict when you suddenly snatch away his opium pipe and break it in half like a twig?

Does he even exist at all without his floating world of happy illusions? That is the question…the wise would do well to ask themselves from time to time.’

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‘If you work without love. Then you are no better than a slave. Let us not talk about passion in the context of work. Let us not ever do that. As that word is so frequently used by BS politicians and phoney leaders it’s hollowed out of all meaning. To me the word passion is just a bullshit word like right sizing.

Love is sufficient to convey what I mean. Love is all we need to explain the precise attitude that you should preferably have when you speak about your work…otherwise you are just like monkey trained to pick coconuts.

When you’re in love everything suddenly becomes fascinating….exciting and mesmerizing. It’s one of those few words that can step right out of the corseted terms of it’s dictionary meaning to embrace so many hemispheres of emotions that takes you to a heightened state.

With only the power of love suddenly what is before you becomes a thinking thing – it’s like the way a woman looks at a man who she loves. I am not talking about plastic love. I am referring to the ambrosia of love…total and complete love….the real Mc Coy. The one thing that can set your heart aflame and send your senses reeling as if you’re spinning in a blender. This woman who is raptured by her lover….only she can see and feel things that no other women can ever see in that man…it doesn’t have to be spectacular…it doesn’t even have to extraordinary…it could just something really mundane like the sound of his voice that she considers sonically beautiful…melodious…nuanced and layered with all that she just loves about him. Or the way he carries himself.

Love is the one thing that empowers one with an uncanny insight to see beyond flesh, bone and into the mind, that is why it is so powerful – nothing if ever noticed has changed. The world is the same as it was yesterday. Yet with love everything is transformed and suddenly nothing is ever the same again. Don’t you think that’s remarkable.

It’s like the feeling you get when you believe deep down the whole world just went thru a hump like a car momentarily floating in air when all it’s four tires are suspended in air….only you can feel this sensation…..only you know it has happened….only you can sense this microscopic and infinitesemial transformation.

Consider this. A man who chisels letters all day on stone, without love. What is he? He’s really just a technician. But once you present this man with the question – do you love your work? Suddenly his work is transformed into a thinking thing. He puts his tool to stone, strikes it with a mallet and nine out of ten it comes off wrong. You may well say, you disabled this man by clouding his judgement and sullying his skill as a stone carver.

But I say, all you have done is to provoke something very deep within him. As till then his work was just a dead thing and now it’s infused with life…it’s pulsing…growing and soon it tears out from deep within this man….that is why this man is confused. As till then his work was just a series of meaningless repetitions in perhaps the same way a man flips roti prata all day to produce X or Y number depending on the number of customers he has to serve….but once your work is transformed into a thinking thing – then love flows into that process called work and with it depth and a deep curiosity to explore further opens up an entire field of possibilities which never once existed and suddenly work becomes much more than just work….do you see what I mean?

Or maybe you don’t….yes maybe that is why you are just a slave….that was what I once told a man who drove a taxi. He used to be a banker. But he was retrenched and he was bitter about it. So one day I asked him – tell me do you love your job?. He was of course quite irritated by my line of questioning which he considered mildly condescending. But that day I was not in the mood for flippant answers, nor did I have patience to bear out his constant Lamentations as how life conspired against him blah blah blah – to cut a long story short.

I held this man down with a knife pressed against his throat. I took out his identity card and looked at it and told him in a rather matter a fact sardonic tone – I know where you live now….I want you to go to Africa to discover love. I don’t want you to drive a taxi any longer…there is no love behind the wheel…besides it’s bad for your back…you see I want you to be transformed by love. As what you are presently to me is an effrontery and it pains me to see you living the rest of your days bitter and angry, but worst of all I can’t bear the thought of a man impersonating a monkey trained to pick coconuts. So I rather kill you now and bury you somewhere in Bukit Timah.

I went on to recount to this man, If he didn’t make something out of his life in a two year period. I will take his pretty wife away from him. I will even make sure she kicks him out of the house….I will fuck her, split her in two like firewood and post it in Youtube for the whole wide world to see what a miserable poor excuse of a half man he really is.

This man just stayed there….he didn’t fight back. Then asked me, why are you picking on me….and I said to him….because you are not in love with your life and I so want you to experience what it means to be in it’s sweet embrace of this life changing force. I want you to feel love in the way Star Wars cognoscenti’s declare proudly – may the force be with you! As that is what you really need and since you will never ever find it behind the wheel of a taxi…it’s hardly a matter of choice for me…..I have to kill you!

Believe or not he was so scared and traumatized. He left for Africa within the week – poof he was gone – he mined gold. It was difficult for him at first. But that’s how it is when you fall in love in the very beginning with a thing that you hardly care to understand…it takes time…time for love to take root and curl around you like a vine…time for it to whirl it’s way into your heart filling every cavity of your being. But I put it all together – in the brotherhood we can do this as we have an extensive network of frontier men in Africa. It’s wasn’t difficult and soon the man was raptured by love….he was reincarnated as a gold miner. The sort that knows his craft so well that he can even roll a clump of dirt between his index finger and thumb, bring to his nostrils and he just knows….that to me is what love can infuse to the whole idea of work.

And one day when he had finally discovered his el Derado. I asked of this man again…tell me are you in love with what you do.

The man said, yes….it wasn’t yes like you would say it as if you’re just reading it from a laminated card. Or yes like I asked you whether I could borrow ten dollars. It was one of those epic yeses. You know the sort where everything is so very still and it leaves absolutely no room for doubt that this man is completely in love – as he went on to recount, it was the best thing that ever happened to him when he chanced on me along with maybe the idea of…jumping off the ledge only to discover he had wings to fly and to be caught by love in mid air. I saw it all as he spoke it in his the depths of his eyes.

Do you see how it is when you love your work?…suddenly you find that you can do things that you never ever thought you could ever do.

Many people censured me for what I did – they called me nasty names like Walter Kurtz. They said my methods were unsound. That I had unhinged. Lost my marbles . That is understandable. As my detractors don’t ever know what it means to fall love with what you do….if they did then I am sure they would have thanked me with bended knees in the way this man did – that is why they will never ever understand either my philosophy or methods….just as they will probably never understand how it is to fall totally and completely in love with your work.’

No great endeavor in self discovery is ever complete without a thorough understanding of loneliness as a subject matter in it’s own right.

If you ever have an opportunity to come across people who seem perfectly comfortable and at ease with loneliness.

My advise is observe this person and if possible find out more about his history. Because the chances are this person diligently cultivated such a state of mind. That is to say, this person who was once probably like you took the trouble to seek out the deeper meaning of what loneliness means. He cannot be an ordinary person as the vast majority of people are naturally uncomfortable with loneliness – as he is probably someone who knows this word beyond it’s dictionary meaning – for what it is and not what others say it is.

Beware of such men, because they will have absolutely no trouble whatsoever going their own way even should they encounter strong resistance.

However if loneliness disturbs you and you feel constantly assaulted by the idea of being marooned in a place where you rather not be and constantly find yourself moving from one distraction to another just to avoid the discomfort of loneliness – then it simply means you are living in a lie and everything in your life is probably an illusion as well – it’s all built on sand. It’s no good. As you are truly in dangerous territory.

Every great man knows this truism – it is one of the secret keys of power. If you take the trouble to read the unabridged history of all great men ranging from inventors to captains of industry. You will find to your astonishment without a single exception in the course of 2,000 years of recorded history – all great minds have one thing in common.

They are all very very comfortable with loneliness.

Many of these seriously successful men know that man of infinite wisdom called loneliness – he was there when they were languishing in dank prison cells when evil men incarcerated them for so very long but with this mysterious man beside them even time could crushed them to dust…same with the lone wolf inventor who struggles to make his ideas work when the whole world says it cannot be done….the Pulitzer book writer who hacks away….others struggled for years on end without even the slightest sign of light as they trudge thru the tunnel of darkness with only this man called loneliness walking by their side….the wise would do well to ask – would any of these men be great, if they never once bothered cultivating the friendship of that man who all fear and loath – the man called loneliness.

Take my advise. Get to know him well. Above all do not fear him. Because at the very top, that is probably the only friend who will always stay loyal and true to you.

The rest come and go….but he is the constant friend…the friend of friends…the man called loneliness.

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‘Do you notice. Man goes everywhere! Some called cavers even go deep down into the bowels of the earth in search of new worlds. Others go the very edge of the stratosphere where they can even make out the inky deep blue of space where they are not beholden to gravity and then there are those who will journey far and deep into uncharted territories, so deep and far at times they even run off the edge of the known map.

Man is a great explorer it seems……

But have you ever noticed, no one has ever made a conscious effort to discover his or herself – no ever says, ‘today I am going on an expedition to find myself!’ You will hear your friends telling you how beautiful tulips are in Amsterdam in August. How in Moscow in Mid July, the lingering sun hangs longer over the horizon anywhere else in the world and how big the moon appears in Bali in November – but again no one has ever shared with you what they have seen, discovered and found when they once explored deep into their being.

That is because so many have been scripted and conditioned since the moment of their youth to fear loneliness and to even regard it as a loathsome thing that one should be ashamed of. As it is often falsely sold as a big nothing that perhaps only nourishes human suffering.

But when we are able to set aside this mental road block and make a conscious effort to journey deep into the inner sanctum of our being – then we will be able to see loneliness for what it truly is and not what others say it is.

Then we will know, this is not something we should fear, avoid or shy away from. Not at all.

As when a man seeks oneness with loneliness. Only then can he acquire depth, gravitas and wisdom. There within the crushing walls of loneliness, this man will eventually have to go deep within himself to discover the truth – while at times pain is inevitable in this journey of self discovery….suffering is always optional.

It is only when we take the trouble to know loneliness like the lines on our palm from the inside out that we can see it for what it is – that we are able to make out how it steels our will, nourishes our faith and fills us with an unshakeable belief in ourselves. As loneliness is where everything in this world becomes so very still that even time stops and all illusions are shattered forever….leaving only the naked truth.

Many years ago I came across a man who was declared a bankrupt. He lost everything thru a series of bad investments and no one respected him. Even his friends abandoned him. As for his wife, she called him a good for nothing and ran off with another man. One day when I saw this man wandering my lands to end it all consumed in despair wailing that he was finished – I told him in an authoritative voice of a landowner, ‘no are far from finished…far from it my friend….as your journey has just begun, till now you have been living in an elaborate and well crafted lie…an illusion. Now you are basking in the full light of the truth.’

This fellow got angry with me when he heard this and demanded to know whether I was making fun of him. I went to share with him, what he’s experiencing now is just a set back and he most fortunate. As I happen to be very well acquainted with a gentlemen who can be of great assistance to him in his hour of need.

Before I went on this introduce this man. I stressed or this fellow – How can you say you are finished? Are you wanted by the FBI? Do you live in constant fear that men with no necks will rappel down from helicopters and send you to the maker with a bullet? Do you have terminal cancer? Have you been sentenced to death?

The man answered no and soon I encouraged him to walk with me as I recounted how in this new journey that he was about to set upon…he would eventually chance across this man who everyone fears and regards as the bogeyman called loneliness. That was when I stopped, turned to this man, took off my shades and looked him straight in the eye – and extracted a promise from him that when the nemesis loneliness appears before him – he must never fear him….befriend him….as only this wise man of the ages holds the skeleton key that will open the door to a new dawn….always remember the promise you have made to me. The broken man gave me his word. Thereafter we bid each other farewell.

Some years later when the man had settled all his debts and got back on his feet again. He sought me out to thank me for being the solitary tongue of light in his moment of darkness – When we shook hands and exchanged pleasantries I exclaimed ‘I see that you are doing well.’

The man replied, ‘Yes, our mutual friend was a great help to me.’

There is a very deep moral here, but I reckon on this occasion I shall leave it to you. The perceptive reader to ferret it out for yourself.’

YOU!

December 2, 2015

Let me share with you something that will transform the way you see yourself in relation to others forever.

Are you ready. Because this is very powerful! It’s so life changing that you can even say every single blog entry that I have posted since blogging for the last fifteen years really only comes to what I am about to say now.

So if you are not ready for this. Please click and go somewhere else.

Still here? OK.

Here goes.

No one can make you feel sad, angry or frustrated, except yourself. Others may well try to bring out the very worse in you – they may even succeed in doing so. But if the bough breaks and the torrent of anger, sadness and resentment overwhelms you….it is only because you opened that door to allow turmoil and chaos to flood into your life.

It is YOU! No one else but only YOU! As heaven or hell has always been firmly in the palm of your hands and no else.

The highest acme of warcraft is total and complete control over your mind. By cultivating what I refer too as the diamond mind every day, hour and minute. We can be in a state of peace even thought there is every reason to cause us to be sad, anxious and fearful.

We are like that well of tranquility and stillness within the eye of a raging storm.

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‘No one in the village understands why I am so patient with my neighbor. He’s a bitter and grumpy old man who likes to scold everyone. There is not a day that goes by when he doesn’t cause trouble to either me or others. Nothing good and pleasant ever comes out from his mouth. It’s always doom and gloom. If it rains, he complains heaven pissed on him. If it’s sunny, he laments it’s hot as hell and even on overcast days, he gripes about not being able to make out where the sun is in the sky. Nothing is ever right with this old man who can only see the world as one big conspiracy that is hell bent on making him miserable, bitter and angry all the time. That if you must know is why no one in the village can understand why I spend so much time fellowshipping with him whenever he comes over to my land like a daily ritual to search me out to vent out all his bile…and I listen to him patiently. Usually I just keep very still and quiet and I do very little except look on impassively. As I listen on to his perpetual lament about why this is wrong, not right or topsy turvy.

I do all this because very early on when I first ventured into commercial farming – I knew that it would be a very windy lonely road where I would always be marooned in my skull. I realized early on, if it’s going to ever flow sweet and clear. Then I would have to bear the unbearable and the only way to do this is to find a teacher to teach me how to be patient, kind and forgiving to myself. Because that is how it is when one starts a business from scratch with just a wing and prayer – one can easily fall victim to self pity, defeatism and feel victimized, that was why I transformed this grumpy old man with the power of my mind into my teacher.

Through the years when I listened patiently to the constant lament of this old man. He taught me a few valuable lessons about life – the first lesson. It is futile to control others, but I can always exert control over how I choose to respond to others so that their negative energy can never make me feel sad or miserable….I have all the power to do this. The second is no one can ever slight or disrespect me, if I don’t give them the permission to do so and finally, the most important lesson is although I am constantly besieged from all sides by the dark forces of anxiety, fear and uncertainty. No one can ever rob me of my courage to hope nor can they snuff out my burning will to succeed. Not even when I am outnumbered ten to one. They cannot. As within the four corners of my mind. I always have the prerogative to choose to live in either heaven or hell!….it all comes down to only me and no one else….but me!

All this I learnt from my greatest teacher, the old grumpy man who is my neighbor.

That is why when he passed away last month and no one attended his funeral, except for a few distant relatives. No one in the village could really understand why I sat there the whole night beside his casket….they will never understand I imagine…how could they possibly – that this old bitter man who whenever I encountered him. I was always forced to suppress the urge to walk away and hide so that he could never find me and instead muster all the patience and sagacity to greet him politely, smile and take my seat on a stone and listen to his daily lament till he had finished….who would ever believe that this old man could possibly be the greatest teacher who ever lived.

Do you see how in life it is often so ironical. As sometimes our greatest tormentors can even be transformed into great teachers.’

Understand this! Twelve year olds don’t ever read my blog. They all go to Stomp, Xiaxue or Mr Brown. Neither do people who are going nowhere except maybe round and round in ever diminishing circles read my blog either – even if they did, it’s unlikely to make a significant difference to their averagely miserable existence, just as probably if Amos Yee went around wearing dustbin liners, curtains and gunny sacks it would have zero impact on the destiny of the world and probably his life as well….it’s just a case of same shit different day with some people. That’s reality for some people – but have you wondered why the Russian elite along with very serious aspiring businessmen and people who are seriously committed to succeeding in life read my blog religiously!

Ask yourself just that one question – life is not about the numbers of hits you get…it boils down to only one defining factor, not the quantity, but the quality of people who read what you have to share…it’s been that way since the dawn of mankind. The French Revolution started with only six men..the independence of the Americas with less than eight and as for World War Two maybe fifteen….as for the vast majority of humanity, they’re just there for the ride. So if you say you have garnered X,Y or Z number of readers and you are in pole position, then I say go look at where Alvin Tan is right now…he’s still a down and out lowly waiter in LA whose surviving on pot noodle. Big deal!

One more time please, why do so many movers and shakers read my blog? The answer is very simple because what I regularly write about subjects that directly impact their lives. Enough times at least to come back for more. That is basic economics.

Now if you think wardrobe IQ counts for squat and has as much utility as mumbo jumbo, then invest three minutes of your life watching this.

I rest my case! Now you know why serious folk read my stuff. Because if they don’t then they would probably have to learn it the painful way from the University of hard knocks – my point is if wardrobe IQ is not important as some of you have written to tell me. Then I wouldn’t even bother squeezing my brain juice on the subject.

But let us be clear! How you dress is important! (Period).

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‘Be under no illusions how dress IQ has direct impact on how others are likely to perceive you – it may be a very subtle process but trust me, it is very real!

How you dress shifts perception, judgment and behavior in others. It has the psychological power to influence at every level of intelligence and even beyond to the subconscious realm. In this sense managing your wardrobe IQ is in my opinion a strategic precondition to success.

Because when you boil down everything that you have been doing to improve your lot in life – it comes down to one axiom, making the best of what you have! So if you are born stumpy and short avoid broad horizontal stripes. If your eyes are so close like a cyclops try to adopt a closed hairstyle to eventuate the distance and if something really bothers you enough to go under the knife – then I say if it gives you that extra edge go for it! Don’t set road blocks for yourself by saying you are never going to do this or that, not if it adds to the whole idea of making the best of what you have.

If you have any doubts about the importance of dress IQ. Why don’t you wear a gunny sack and put a smelly fish on your head so that a cloud of flies follows you to a meeting with your banker….I want to see how far you can go with that sort of bochap attitude.

Always remember a few truisms – no one owes you a living! Life is rarely fair! So tell me why should anyone in their right frame of mind cut you any slack?

Don’t you think it’s the height of arrogance to expect others to understand your life philosophy and what you stand for? Why the hell would anyone even bother to go that far and deep to know you! They have their own mission and challenges – what makes you think, you’re so special that the world must just stop for only you. That’s the problem in our age – we expect people to understand us. But even should you be so selfish and self centered to harbor that expectation – what gives you the sheer temerity to impose that sort of expectation and burden on others – let me put it another way, let’s say I am bidding for a land concession and I commute by bicycle to the meeting. Not the high tech sort, but the one the roti man uses and I walk in with slippers wearing a pagoda T shirt and shorts…don’t you think that’s inconsiderate, presumptuous and arrogant! Of course it is! Because by giving free rein to my individuality in such an open minded way where my brains are spilling out – I am making it so bloody darn impossibly hard for those people to give me the land concession – and if I don’t get it, I have no one to blame but myself because by expecting them to take me as I am – I am making it easier for them to say NO! Instead of yes. As by dressing like a bag man I don’t give them the respect, dignity and thoughtfulness they rightly deserve to say yes!

So to me this post modernist idiom – you take me as I am or screw it! Makes absolutely no sense to me at all. Because nine out of ten, unless you happen to be in who’s who publication, the chances are with that sort of self defeating attitude most people will have absolutely no trouble turning you down!

However if you dress correctly, then I say, you have the A,B and C’s covered. I am not saying by just paying attention to the way you dress you’re going to land that job, get that promotion or win that girl. All I am saying is it frees you up to worry about D, E and F and so on and so forth.

By paying attention to your dress IQ. I don’t mean you have to splurge out a fortune. I happen to have five percent body fat so even if I wear a pasar malam attire I look like a million dollars. However someone who weighs two metric tons can even wear a Zegna suit, but he still looks like shit…expensive shit it may be lah….but shit is shit. So get your basics right. Dress IQ has nothing to do with branding and everything to do again with what I mentioned in the very beginning, making the best of what you have.

So as you can see correctness of dress sense has nothing whatsoever to do with chasing haute couture or materialism…if anything, it is the art of being the very best that you can be in the timeline that you are presently in and that is what I always try to impress on my readers….make every effort to put your best foot forward.

Because sometimes in life you only get one chance to make a lasting and memorable impression. And if it’s gone for some reason beyond your control, that’s perfectly fine. But if it was gone because you were wearing loafers instead of laced shoes or a shirt that’s so crumpled that everyone is wondering whether you baked it….then I think you deserve to lose. Only bear in mind everyone is just given X number of opportunities in life and if you keep losing just because you didnt pay attention to the A,B and C’s. Then I say you are throwing away opportunities.

Now you know why movers and shakers read religiously what I write….because everything I wrote about making a lasting and memorable impression isn’t optional to them. They don’t see dress IQ as something they might do – to them it’s strategic because it gives them an edge to go that much further and that just happens to be the truth and nothing but the truth.’

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In the art of manliness, there is only one correct way to wear a khaki suit – la SAPE, short for Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes – the Society of Tastemakers and Elegant People. The SAPE, like any gentlemen’s club, has very strict rules of how to correctly wear a khaki suit; it’s centered around Brazzaville and Kinshasa Afrique style, the adjacent capitals of the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo, respectively.

Khaki or creme tropical suits are all made from the finest Egyptian cotton. There are many shades of khaki ranging from mustard to creme. But the best is the troupe le Francaise – a creme based much preferred by the French navy. First popularize by the French and Belgian colonist in the Congo. Khaki suits by virtue of their versatility and comfort gained popularity during the turn of the last century in colonial French West Africa, a vast expanse that covered present-day Senegal, Cote dIvoire, Mali, Guinea, Benin and Mauritania.

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Most city folk tend to shy away khaki simply because dark colors are much better at camouflaging sloppy tailoring. With khaki every mistake is amplified. That’s one reason why one seldom finds khaki off the shelf. As usually it’s tailored fitted.

A traditional khaki suit is a formal field attire. Hence the trousers are usually one or two inches higher than usual at the waist – this is a hangover from the old days to provision space for a revolver or Bowie knife or both. Although there are three buttons on a Khaki suit. A gentlemen only buttons up mid way. Never two. And God forbid three. The top most button is usually concealed and only used during formal sessions in evening functions where it’s permissible to use the top and mid button.

Waist cutting on a classical khaki suit is rarely nipped unlike dark office suits. They are always one full size larger with a pronounce bow as a khaki suit is after all a tropical formal attire that also functions as a bushjacket where it’s socially acceptable to put one’s hands in the trouser pocket. A strict no no in dark suits unless you want to come across as a used car salesman. The cut for the suit is usually a full inch lower below the knuckle, pockets are deep and slightly flared to provision for concealment of weapons and for horse riding. Suit pockets are all flapped as it also doubles as a sports or shooting jacket in the field as well.

A khaki suit should only be worn with a pristine white shirt with a Oxford collar and a striped old school tie. This is the golden rule. Break this one sacred rule and you destroy the old world charm and la effect of what a khaki suit is supposed to convey, understated elegance with a suggestion savior faire along and the hint of the frontier man.

Don’t be too bothered if your khaki suit wrinkles thru the day, that’s part and parcel of the understated elegance of formal field wear as it supposed to impart a wabi-sabi look on the wearer.

Wear Khaki ONLY for formal outdoor events such as garden parties, Al fresco luncheonettes, in the racecourse, regatta and when chaperoning plantation ladies during field inspection or city tours. If you wear a dark suit during daylight hours, someone is likely to mistake you for the waiter or a gate crashing insurance salesman. Never wear khaki to formal board meetings and during evening functions. Never wear khaki as well during funerals, sombre events or when you are holding very serious meetings….you are likely to come across as a lightweight.

Dress for success. Dress powerfully. Make a hard hitting impression. But above all take the trouble to know a thing for what it is.

Comparing Calvin Cheng to Donald Trump is like comparing a kindergarden paper plane with a modern commercial jetliner. There is absolutely no basis for comparison. Trump is a billionaire. A successful entrepreneur who has cut his teeth in the international business environment. Calvin is a nobody with a tube of Mentos and some loose change in his pocket, that is why the latter seems to always stir up shit because that is the only way for him to get attention and publicity.

If you want to compare. At least have the courtesy to do so apple to apple.

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‘Many people consider Donald Trump obnoxious, arrogant and uncouth. They consider him the quitessential American ‘red neck.’ But to me that characterization of the man and what he stands for demonstrates a lack of imagination along with an abject failure to winnow the cogent from the fluff.

let’s consider the hard facts, Trump funds his own GOP campaign out from his own pocket. To me that speaks volumes about the man and what he stands for. Some times in life you don’t need ten bullet points to win, not when you have one very compelling point that trumps all!

Tell me who else is doing what Trump is currently doing? I am not asking for ten names. I just want one! The answer is no one else is financing their own campaign. All the other Republican presidential candidates are soliciting donations from corporate lobbyist and special interest groups. They’re all no better than call girls and gigolos in pin striped suits.

Now you know why whenever Trump speaks, people prick up their ears and they all sit on edge of their chairs. As by doing just that alone, he demonstrates real commitment, real leadership and real will power. That is why there is no basis to write him off as a lightweight. That is precisely why what he has to say about current affairs commands a certain measure of respect and agreement from very serious people.

The same cannot be said about Calvin. He’s a nobody. A wannabe. If he is really a heavy weight he wouldn’t be capitalizing on his flash in the pan glorified where he once served an incomplete term as a NMP every two minutes. He would just be Calvin Cheng, the man of the moment. As for the media literary committee, they have more or less squandered a golden opportunity to come across as a level headed, reasonable and serious outfit that can add real value to the internet by associating with his ilk.

As by issuing out a veritable contradiction where on one hand, they have sanctioned calvin for using the phrase ‘killing children’ and attempting to qualify Calvin Fatwah as not amounting to hate speech. They have just committed online hara-kiri by watering down their condemnation along with confusing everyone….they were better off shutting up or going to North Pole for a very long sabbatical.

Now both Calvin and the MLC have both emerged out of this as the biggest joke in the town and both cannot be taken seriously by sane and reasonable people either…lose lose lah!

This is what invariably happens when one is silly enough to rub shoulders with pariahs.

Coming back to Donald Trump. To me there is nothing fundamentally wrong with what he has to say about his objects of interest. If anything it’s just his call a spade a spade candor and working class parlance that rubs the American elite the wrong way. If he were truly irrelevant and nothing more than a clown, Mr Trump would not be in the pole position in the GOP race. That’s not possible. Please understand we are talking here about the most competitive political arena in the whole wide world. The equivalent of the Olympics in the context of power and politics that requires the highest level of cerebral fitness along with showmanship. It’s so competitive that if Mini Lee was a white man he wouldn’t even make it thru the first hurdle let alone command air time and bandwidth like Trump.

This should prompt the perceptive reader to ask how did Trump get up there? The reason as I see it is very simple. There is an acute authenticity deficit in American politics these days. Most Americans are sick and tired of flowery rhetoric that only seem to embody the form without the content – they don’t want phony leaders any longer. They have had it up to their necks with bullshit. They no longer trust the system any longer and above all they’ve have had it with a genre of politicians who are no better than carpetbaggers – who say one thing before getting elected only to do another after getting hold of the reins of power – that to me is a perfectly reasonable and understandable backlash from the voting american public.

So if you say Donald Trump has nothing to offer except maybe controversy and divisiveness galore, then you’ve probably got the wrong end of the stick. As Donald Trump by just being Donald Trump is offering something that is intrinsically rare and valuable and needful…..authenticity along with the promise of real change. Above all he’s not pretending to be anyone other than who he is, Donald Trump and by being just himself – Trump is filling up a vacuum in the abyss of a deep collective yearning in the American psyche for a leader who is real and authentic.

Perhaps one would do well to ask at this point – if most Americans believe politics is real and bullshit free….where might you think the likes of Donald Trump would be today?

Let me answer that question for you. If everyone in American politics was really real, then authenticity wouldn’t be able to command the currency that it does today in the shape and form of Mr Trump!

If the average American really trusted their leaders and can be assured their rights would not be hijacked by corporate lobbyist and special interest groups – then the likes of Trump would have precious little to offer and probably end up like Calvin Cheng, the shit stirrer par excellence. But as you can all see for yourself, it is precisely because the American political arena is so riven with phonies that is precisely why the Trump brand can gain traction.

So if you want to blame anyone for the nascent of Donald Trump. Go blame the leaders that came way before he decided to run the GOP race. After all they made him! Or shall I say, they created ideal conditions for characters like Trump to command the trust and respect of the general public.

In the same way, if you want to ascribe blame as to who is really responsible for the hurtful statements like condoning ethic cleansing and genocide by ‘killing children.’ Then don’t blame Calvin Cheng. Because he is intrinsically a nobody. And I can even supply prove that he is a zero, simply on the basis – serious people who have a firm grasp of power and politics will never ever come out with such hurtful and divisive statements. The last person who did that was the greatest Singapore Bo Lang Ai spinster, Bertha Henson who assumed the mantle of a post modernist Joan of Arc and condoned violence against children – now look at her. No one respects or even takes her seriously any longer. But I digress.

Coming back to the subject of ascribing blame….blame the custodians of power for short listing Calvin for the role of NCMP. After all if serious people take every effort to ensure mental cases who regularly hear voices never end up in the cockpit of a commercial jetliner and they even go through the trouble of seriously psychologically vetting air traffic controllers who have a habit of breaking out in yabadabado tongues when they are stressed out….then why didn’t those same decision makers fulfill their duty of care to the tax paying public by taking every effort to ensure that potty mouth characters like Calvin Cheng didn’t get to rub shoulders with the movers and shakers in the corridors of power?

You chew long and hard on that! Don’t blame Calvin. Blame the custodians of power who created ideal conditions for a narcissistic, mentally unstable, congenital attention seeker and shit stirrer par excellence to rise up in our society.

Where are these people today? Why aren’t they taking responsibility for their error of judgement?

That to me is the question. As for Calvin….like I said, he’s a nobody.’