Being alone

July 31, 2017

If one cannot find happiness being alone. It simply means the origin of that sort of happiness is from the external world…since it is not internally generated…it must always be stimulated externally thru either endless distractions, friends or constantly playing with the smart phone.

True happiness can only be discovered somewhere in the wilderness of the self….where does one find a sparkling diamond…is it not in the dankness of darkness deep in the bowels of the earth where even angels fear to tread. In the same way, true happiness can only be born out from the suffering of tragic loneliness…only from the wreckage of the human soul can one discover ones true self and this will be the key that will turn the lock to the door of true happiness within.

This will always be a mystery to those who always keep running away from themselves.


‘When a man stands alone and faces the capriciousness and vagaries of all that world would care to throw at him. The first thing he realises is – there is no one to blame except him when things don’t go the way it’s supposed to go. This man may at first kick the shit out of himself – but eventually even such a man will come to terms with how it’s best to treat the thrill of success and agony of defeat as one of the same.

Give more time this man may even treat himself better. For one he would beat himself less when he gets it wrong or when things don’t go his way…or maybe he would laugh out loud like some raving mad man when he reflects on what he once did just because he feared to fail….but eventually all men who have to confront loneliness can’t be too hard or judgemental or even sharp around the edges if they are to go on living in such a manner with the constant mistress of loneliness….a settling of sorts is bound to occur where water might just find it’s level…and when this period of reckoning comes to past.

I think all men who live alone will eventually discover happiness. That is really how I see it…one just needs to give oneself a chance.’

Some time back ago. I met a group of Singaporeans. We started chatting and soon they started complaining about this and that…that and this….etc etc. The conversation was typically predictable and if I had to summarize it. It could perhaps fit quite well into one statement…..things back home are downright awlful and terrible.

After their lengthy recount of the many things that is wrong or requiring fixing in Singapore…everything from the train blues to the high cost of living etc etc etc etc.

One of them turned to me and asked – what do you think will make Singapore a better place.

I told them all. Since they were all young, healthy and still have body parts in completes sets of two (two eyes, two ears, two hands, two legs, two gulis)…they should all consider going to Africa to work for at least five years.

That was when one of them turned to me and asked, how would going to Africa make Singapore a better place?

I merely quipped, trust me when you’re in Africa, especially in places where people regularly point guns at you or when you walk into a restaurant there is a big neon sign that says, no guns or knives beyond this point…Singapore will automatically be a much better of them stopped me and asked…automatic. To which I replied, yes you heard me right…automatic. That simply means. You don’t even have to do anything to make Singapore a better place… will all happen by magic.


‘It is conceivable I will never be able to fit in socially in Singapore any longer. It’s even conceivable I may have pushed myself to the outer limits of known consciousness that can only make me so different that it’s futile to even try to fit in any longer….it can happen. It can even happen to you! All one has to do is live and work outside Singapore for so long that everything back home just fades away like an old photograph. The images that were once sharp now suddenly look ghostly. They seem almost to merge imperceptibly together into some vaporous cloud where it’s even hard to recall how it all once looked like. That’s really how it is when things which were once familiar start to decay. It’s a idea that I find myself pushing to one corner of my mind whenever the subject crops up…most of the time when I find myself straining to remember my past life in Singapore – I am like a man whose trying to fill the blanks of a washed out photo. I say to myself, this or that was once there…that wasn’t like that, it was really like this.

I can never win….it’s really a war of attrition when memories begin to give in to a new reality that has nothing whatsoever to do with the past. As for the past it is hard to really know whether it is still there…there are times when I find myself reflecting during my midnight walks whether it may all be like those twinkling stars where the light the streams out may have been some remnant of a star that has long cooled, hollowed out and died.

During such moments I am confronted by yet another reality – I am no longer the same person I used to be….too many missing images from the past have been filled in by this reincarnate man. Images that have nothing whatsoever to do with the remnants of the past like a new house that is built on the rubble of a torn down house.

At times I do wonder to myself – how would this other man be able to fit in back home in Singapore…where all the pavements are so flat and level that he might even have to steady himself like an astronaut walking for the very first time on the moon…how would I even be able to walk without the familiar tug of my heavy parang on my belt. I am armed all the time in the field that whenever I visit the city and have to disarm…I find myself having to stuff so many coins and on one occasion even a rock to feel that weighty sense of comfort.

It seems I might have painted myself into one miserable corner like one of those people who only seem to commit crimes deliberately to get back into prison.

I say this only because I am acutely conscious of how living outside home has changed many of my attitudes and even some of my assumptions concerning the state of affairs back home.

Truth is life back home in Singapore may not always be perfect….but it is nonetheless a comparatively decent life….it’s life that regrettably one seems to be only able to truly appreciate when one is far removed from the idea of home itself…and that has to be very sad…to me at least.

Or maybe it’s just the way of the mind works. I am reminded of how the mind so often glosses over details with the chastening passage of time. All to often only the good and happy memories hold on….maybe it’s like that with me.’

The contract girlfren

July 30, 2017

I slept in this morning. Woke up around eightist which is quite late for me. I have not had a break for a very very long time. I drove to town…a very small town to have chapati and mutton curry for breakfast.

It was delicious and the first proper meal since I started the replanting project.

Thereafter I drove to the mall to stock up on much needed provisions. Hardly had I wheeled the trolley to the aisle. A girl stood before me. She was smiling mischievously.

She’s the girl who always seems to be promoting cars in the mall..the girl who keeps pestering me to take her on as a contract girlfriend.

Looking at her….I couldn’t help but wonder to myself…this has to be a miracle.

The way I figure it, is like this….everyone gets a miracle in their lives. I would probably never be able to summit Everest. Win the national lottery. Or contract a rare disease where hair starts growing everywhere in my body till I resemble a werewolf. May not even have the privilege to see a real life UFO and may probably have to settle for the everydayness of unleaded fuel only…..but if one considers the unlikeliness of all of these events as a whole basket of events….there’s always the possibility one of these unlikely events will happen!

There is a real statistical possibility.

I could have been struck by lightning twice in the same place. Seen it rain blood and frogs. Could have even made it as an astronaut to a Mars Mission. Be able to stand before a hundred foot tsunami wave and still survive and talk about it.

But my miracle is exceptionally different from all the above described. As my miracle is simply this – I happen to be the only man who this girl standing right before me considers to be the perfect prospect for her to offer her incomparable service as a contract girlfriend.

I will be perfectly honest….it’s not the first time that she has made such an offer. Infact on virtually every single occasion when I stock up on food in the mall – the contract girlfriend is always trying to convince me how great an idea it is…and on virtually every single occasion it starts, proceeds and ends the same way.p…She pitches. I make some excuse that it’s really something that simply will never work, while she helps me load up provisions.

We have covered all possible reasons why it’s a good and terrible idea everything actually from the wisdom of why leasing is much better to contracting to buy to the whole subject of why value in such a transaction can only diminish and end in acrimony….to how I could never be able to afford such an arrangement without running into bankruptcy.

The real miracle about my association with this girl is I even allow her to pester me no end, celebrate stupidity while constantly summoning my intellect to explain why it’s such a bad idea…usually I would make a growling face and these strange people would just run away….but no. It’s miraculous. It has to be. As I even take the trouble to be gentle, considerate and exceptionally patient to explain in every possible manner why it’s just a terribly bad idea.

That has to be surprising even for me…as I never knew that I had such reserves of patience, sagacity and even stamina to see it thru that way…in that sense it has to be a miracle.

I don’t really know whether this girl is just up to mischief or maybe I happen to be butt of some cruel joke….but whatever it is…it has to be a miracle of sorts in my life.


‘If you were born beautiful in the moment of your youth – do not try to be clingy to those things that were not supposed to last. Do not try to remain young and fresh forever. As all you are doing is fashioning a God of delusion that will lead you to endless suffering and cancer of the wallet.

I know there may well be many things one can do to seemingly preserve youthfulness, by all means go as far as you need too, if that make you happy and gives you confidence.

Only always cultivate a keen sense of reality and balance about the prospects of aging and above all don’t go overboard in trying to stop the chastening passage of time. That is hardly realistic nor achievable. You might as well go and plough the sea.

In other words learn to be comfortable with the idea – as you age into your thirties, forties, fifties and beyond.

Every level of life that you will go thru will provision loads of opportunities for you to be beautiful in your own way.

For instance a young girl may be beautiful in her twenties, but in her forties and beyond she can also be very attractive as well, as her maturity, quality of thoughts, rich experienced outlook towards life lends her character, complexity and depth. An ice cool coke may be great on a hot day! But sometimes you want a certain sophistication and refinement in a woman, like a 2009 Santa Rita Sauvignon.

It is same with a man, when he is young, he is like a wild open top roadster that can tear from zero to sixty in six seconds flat! But who is to say the man of seasons of his age, in his forties, fifties and beyond, cannot come across as attractive in his own right as well – as at that later stage in his life, he knows how and when to pick his battles like chess pieces. He even knows when to push hard and hold back. He’s got just enough scars to remind himself not to stretch his neck too far out – he takes risk, but only calculated ones….those are very attractive qualities in a man.

He is like a stately and polished S class Mercedes speeding thru the windy Pyrenees. Here there may certainly not be the rush of raw unplugged power like the feisty cabriolet roadster. Then again that is not a dimension of the driving experience one expects from a well heeled saloon…..the ride is tamed…controlled…but nonetheless powerful in it’s own right with the right driver behind the wheel. One may not feel the edge of the open cockpit driving experience, but it is undeniably powerful under its own terms in a very different sort of way that even makes it special, as the level of control is supremely confident and surefooted.

Power without the ability to control is worthless, now you know why so many rich idiots die in Ferraris with China prostitutes.

Both ideals, the beauty early and later on in a man’s and woman’s life are beautiful in their own way as what they offer is unique and different.

However, if you are in your forties, but you still have your eye in the wrong place and still furiously chasing youth like a teenager or pursuing diversions which cannot possibly be of your age. Or you like that contract girlfriend who is just milking her beauty and youth for what it’s worth. Then I say you are in very dangerous territory.

As when one invest in the wrong things in life, there can be no such thing as harmony….no symmetry….no adherence to form and function….no such thing as maturity even and very little in the way of lasting wisdom – as at that stage in life you should have already weaned yourself from meaningless and trivial self consciousness pursuits that add very little to your character.

If a man is in his forties, fifties and beyond doesn’t cultivate himself well. He will never develop the essential gravitas, depth and nuance in his character. Instead he becomes a caricature of his age….this to me is the height of ugliness.

Or if a woman in her forties is still making hay out of her good looks dressed as a teen instead of leveraging on her attractiveness…she too will be very ugly…a joke.

Do you see what I mean? There is this idea of the complex man and woman – the multi layered man and woman who experiences things in life, reflects on them and draws valuable life lessons.’

Today a villager asked me – why are you doing all these new things….I told him in a sardonic tone…one day you will know.

Truth is man does not respect nature. Not enough at least. His current methods of farming can at best be described as strip mining….but nature has began to fight back!

The occurrence of crop diseases has multiplied exponentially since man embarked on the whole sale exploitation of the land.

I choose to farm sustainably….as I have a deep respect for the land. I love her. When one loves….it is very easy to go the long and hard way…so easy.

I am returning precious bio material back to the land. Many of the trenches have been calculated to break down the material within a specified time. They may look like a simple ditch. But everything is very detailed and specific. When the bio material turns into compost this will nourish the land….and in the long term I will need to use less chemical and artificial fertilisers to grow crops.

That will be good for both people and planet….I so want to farm the right way. My hope is when I do this. More farmers will follow me…one day.

Many farmers do not realise why I go to such lengths…that is because they do not realise how vicious and vindictive nature can be when one disrespects and mistreats her….she will hold back!

The only way to change attitudes is to demonstrate to others my new methods of farming makes $ sense.

Many of the methods I have developed are new and they have never been seen before in the oil palm world.

Farming does not have to be based on a take, take and take philosophy. With a bit of thoughtfulness and consideration….it is possible to grow healthy and delicious crops and turn a decent profit without destroying the good earth.

Respect is very important.

Today I was able to get back from work earlier than usual – I took the dogs for a swim to cool down. As it’s another hot scorching day.

Froggy is the only pup that seems perfectly at ease with water. He likes to swim like a fish. As for the others, they seem a bit scadey cat….but that will soon past. Plantation dogs have to be trained very early on in their life not to fear water…as in a plantation there are many streams and even rivers than need to be crossed during a trek.

Tenzing is impersonating a submarine.

I am very tired. Sun burnt. Tomorrow is a Sunday. The workers have decided to take a break. As many are spent. I will go to the city and eat chapati and mutton curry for breakfast. I will look forward to that.

These days I tend to wake up suddenly at around three. Thereafter I find it very difficult to return back to sleep. Usually when this happens I put on my boots and take a walk with the dog around the plantation. I tell myself the night air will do me good and after that maybe I will be able to regain the line of sleep after I’ve completed the circuit….but it never happens that way, not that it ever stops me.

I walk slowly…. contemplatively…usually when I am beset by doubts. I tell myself time again….there is nothing to get work up over …everything is going to plan….it was very well planned right down to the details….the weather is holding up very nicely….work is progressing at double speed and we are scheduled to be two weeks early….everything is green…there are no road blocks none that we can’t go around.

But no matter how hard I try to convince myself there’s really nothing to worry about. There is always a lingering shadow of doubt that maybe it will all begin to unravel right before my very eyes.


‘I think when one is autistic it’s terribly hard to be truly self confident….only because no one truly believes in you. I know they insist they do! I even know they can look you straight in the face never blinking so much as once to tell you…they really believe in you…But that’s a lie. ‘They’ might believe in you if you told them that all you want to aspire to be is the best toilet cleaner in the world. Or even to put together vibrating toys that bring comfort and joy to spinsters on some conveyor belt where people impersonate hamsters running on a wheel…doing the same thing day in and day out with roughly the same processing power it takes to tie shoelaces.

You can never be really self confident when you’re autistic. Normal kids can. As when their parents and teachers say you can do it! You can even reach for the stars! You know they really mean it….but when they turn to you and say these very same things – it’s just a form of self denial…a necessary lie they have to tell themselves because they don’t ever want to come to terms with the sad fact…they have long given up on the likes of you…to them you’re just damaged goods….the ones where the blankness of your stare merely confirms what they have always really believed all the time….you can’t even walk down to the corner shop to buy a packet of salted crisp without messing it up!

I’ve seen this written in the faces of those who make a big fuss of showing their concern for me all my life….no, it’s impossible to be truly self confident of yourself when you’re autistic.

All you can ever hope for is to slowly build up your confidence all by yourself…it’s a solitary road where it’s best never to expect anyone to cheer you on…with small steps in the way a baby first learns to crawl only to eventually stand up and walk…It’s like a man trying to climb out of a hole. Not just any hole, but one where the sides are slippery like wet porcelain…at first you fail plenty…then you begin to gather nifty tricks along the way to get that foothold that allows you to step right out of the shit hole…but even then you can’t really say you’re self confident of your abilities. As no matter how many times you climb right out and shout out, ‘I did it!’ There will always be that faint watermark of self doubt that will always be an indelible part of who you really are….an austistic person.

I don’t blame anyone specifically for my condition of always succumbing to self doubt…I don’t even blame those who once told me straight to my face…I was only good for this or that! Or even those who once gave up on me….I don’t blame them at all.

Because once you ascribe blame in any shape or form either to a person or institution. Then you have by default given them power over your destiny….they have no dominion over my destiny! Fuck them! I am the master of my destiny – I am the great planter of lore….the one who everyone speaks about. As for them. They were optional then as they are now and probably in the future. I have the power to render them all irrelevant by just the mere act of taking full responsibility for my life!

Perhaps this is the way it is for even so called normal people…maybe they’re just pretending like me to make it all appear easy peasy? Maybe when they’re alone taking a dump in a toilet…they even actually say to themselves, ‘can’t believe I did that! Whoopeee! – there are times when I just want to stop someone on the road and ask him or her that question…is it normal to feel less confident even when things are going well?….or is there something very wrong with me?’

Early this morning I was asked by a big landowner to look into the mysterious death of a palm tree. When I arrived at the crime scene, nothing had been touched. As the farm hands had all been told earlier not to go near the area. There was an air of expectancy when I arrived. I could tell from the body language of the estate manager he did not like the idea of someone from elsewhere coming in to do his job.

I walked gingerly towards the tree and first thing I registered was the strong smell of sulphur – this is indicative of advanced biological rot.

From the looks of it – the palm fell on the east to west axis that at first suggested it had been an unfortunate victim of a freak gust of wind….but on closer examination the basal stem of the palm seemed to have snapped off due to rot…the basal material looked discolored despite being perfectly healthy and even productive from its outward appearance….no prior indication that it was even disease before it fell.

I went on to ask of the estate manager how many such palms have fallen in such a manner. The man replied a couple. Another man with an anxious countenance pushed forward and said, ‘quite a few!’ When did it start. I ignored the estate manager. He’s obviously stone walling me and directed my question to this other man. Who even volunteered to show me the records.

It all started about a year ago just after the prolonged drought. After reviewing the maps of the other trees that suffered similar fates – it seems there is no clustering to suggest this is a disease that spreads by way of proximity….it is random. Neither does there appear to be any form of discernable pattern or symmetry as how this disease is if it so spreads either…mmmmh very interesting. We are obviously dealing with a serial killer who is quite determined to hide his modus operandi as to how he goes about bumping off his victims.

I have asked for a detailed post mortem to be done on the deceased tree – it will be chopped into various cross sections along its entire length and I will examine it further to find out what is really the cause of this unexpected death – from what I have been able to work out so far it seems everything and anything is possible….I would need more time to look into this further…what a delightful mystery.

On the work front. Everything seems to be progressing as planned. The dry weather makes it possible to push ahead with very little resistance. We have started work at the outer edges and will move in slowly…earth works for replanting is like solving a jig saw puzzle one has to always have the end in mind from the beginning. Otherwise the sequence of work will all get jumbled and everyone will end up clashing only for the work to lose momentum and grind to a halt. This is the challenge…it is like blitzkrieg (lighting war) everything must be staged, planned so that the logistics and pace of work all converge at one point like a laser beam.

I’ve told the men to work only on the outer edges and to move in very slowly…the picture shows only 5% of the completed area, new top soil at the edge have been dredged up and a bulldozer has created a new layer…the old soil that is depleted of nutrients is pushed to the extreme edge where they will be renutrified in two years time as the cellulose material slowly breaks down …if everything is done to this level of quality and finish….I would be very relieved and satisfied.

The pressure to perform is something that weighs on me constantly. The pressure is relentless. There are times when I want to talk to some one…anyone. But since I don’t nearly have the latitude of luxury to show weakness, uncertainty or even come across as fickle minded. I find myself talking to my puppies instead….they seem to be good listeners.

It’s a form of DIY release I guess…

Talking about the puppies….they all seem to be transitioning marvellously from milk to pellets. A couple of them such as Ebby and Tenzing have grown to be so fat and round. They seem to prefer to roll than to walk. I may need to put these two nom nom machines on a restrictive diet to prevent them from getting obese.

Tenzing is so fat and round these days…he can no longer climb trees. As for Ebby she is so circular that whenever she gets into fights with other puppies. She will even make herself into a ball and roll knocking them down like Bowling pins…this is not the correct way. I will have to put these two foodies on a diet to slim them down.

As for Shadow. He seems to be finally get the hang of how to eat communally. He has figured out that if he puts all four legs into the feeding zone – then no one can possibly squeeze him out.

When it comes to pups who seem to be late bloomers like Shadow it is important not to interfere too much….and just allow them to find their line in life naturally. This is especially hard for me to do – as the natural instinct of the mentor is to always step in when things get a bit rough….but learning to let go is also an art by itself….as one has to trust the idea, everything will eventually work out for the best.

Moving earth by heavy machinery requires skill and teamwork and above all discipline. Without this three components working hand in hand, it is not possible to work effectively and safely and someone will die!

This morning on the crack of dawn – a lorry driver ambled to work half a hour late. He was informed to see me at lunch time at one sharp….but it seems he couldn’t make it as he is too busy playing games or chatting to China prostitutes on his smart phone…at the end of the day when he finally got around to seeing me at camp.

I counted off crisp notes thereafter I told him – it is better that you don’t report to work tomorrow…..I could tell the others were not comfortable as they may have considered this punishment too harsh.

Thereafter the was a lot of muttering amongst the men….I turned to them and asked – is there a problem?..everyone looked down and kept silent and that was when I walked off into the sunset.


‘Many people I notice like to make hay of Sun Tzu famous quote in art of war on the chapter on managing yourself and others and they especially like the aphorism – treat your soldiers like your children and they will follow you to the ends of the earth. But these same people often elide the stricture that comes thereafter…do not spoil your men or they will harry you with minor complains and they will be useless.

It is for this reason that this famous quote often misleads those who only seem to have a superficial knowledge in the art of war.

Experience informs me in the beginning of every big project – it is vital to find a scape goat, gather all the men around and shoot this person publicly…metaphorically of course.

This shocking example from my experience is usually enough to set the right expectation between superior and subordinate for the rest of the duration of the project as it conveys clearly the leaders resolve and his single mindedness on how to accomplish the mission…be ruthless….be impalacable and above all make it clear to the men….your orders are not open to any form of negotiations….it is not a bloody democracy!

If you want a democracy then the plantation business is not the right fit for you. As men in this business are hard as tungsten nails.

Without discipline. Nothing can be accomplished.’

I have started to transition the puppies from a milk based regimen to solids. Most of the puppies seem to be able to make the switch without too much fuss. This feeding method forces the puppies to jostle aggressively to get their chow…it also teaches them not to waste food and eat within a very short time – this is the first lesson all hunting dogs must learn from a young age….there is no such thing as a free ride. Everything even the right to survive has to be fought tooth and nail over….when a puppy learns this basic life lesson only then can it thrive and learn how to be independent in the hostile environment of the field….if not it will die.

This I imagine must be a very stressful period for Shadow as some of the puppies are so round and aggressive they regularly edge her out of the feeding zone…so I have to put her back into the feeding circle time and again to build up her confidence and aggression and sharpen her primal instincts to fight and survive…. it takes some time for Shadow to learn this lesson.

When the dogs move from a milk base diet to pellets…I will hopefully be able to get more rest. As I need to only feed them three times a day instead of sixteen million times a day.

Work has started on the first of many trenches. They are very wide and deep. As they will have to contain much of the cellulose material that was previously the old trees. The placement of these trenches is a constant cause of concern as I have to make sure they don’t inadvertently innuadate the land with water during the rainy season – I am relying on data that I collected during the previous rainy season to landscape the current network of trenches.

These trenches will keep the cellulose material damp and wet and speed up their break down into compost that will go back to nourish the land.

Many of the villagers have come out to watch these trenches been built. They have never seen such new methods of irrigating the land.

In the long term when the organic material breaks down and returns to the land – these trenches will serve as flood mitigation devices and also as canals to irrigate the land. If plantations in Indonesia all adopted this new method of oil palm crop management…there would be no such things as fires or for that matter the perennial haze.

Everything in life just comes right down to sound planning and competent execution.


July 25, 2017

Field conditions are taking a toll on my health. I have not been sleeping or eating properly. As I have to wake up every two hours and feed the puppies – fortunately some of them have begun to transition to solid food. That’s good. As it means they can go on a regular diet – I still have to feed Shadow like a baby though…she is a bit slow. But that is OK. Shadow sleeps in my boot.

On the work side. It is scorching hot during the day. I am completely blackened by the sun….I saw myself in the mirror today. I shuddered momentarily at the stranger looking back at me…he looked forlorned and slightly lost…I could hardly recognise myself – I look darkened…I must make an effort to shave and comb my hair and dress well. The heavy machinery came in at dusk…earth works will start tomorrow. I will have to supervise work like a hawk to make sure everything is straight as an arrow. I will have to delineated the trenches, bunds and finalise how to plant the seedlings – it is very labor intensive as I need to survey the land and make sure what I plan can be translated into reality. Usually reality and theory doesn’t quite march perfectly and I have to constantly fine tune with calculations….it is very time consuming and demands all my concerntration.

I find myself making silly mistakes all the time…as I am tired.

On the bright side, Shadow seems to have paired off with another pup – her name is Mao Mao. I have called her that as her Mouth Always Open. What it means or what she wants is still not clear yet…puppies are like that…Mao Mao will keep Shadow company when I work.

I hope Mao Mao doesn’t eat Shadow.


‘When a man dedicates himself to labor, it is absolutely vital for him to take exceptional pride in his work – it matters very little what this man does to earn his keep. He could well be a high and mighty minister or even a janitor. But to me it is the same….it is absolutely vital for this man to cultivate the highest level of pride in his work.

Without pride in work it’s simply just a way to get by in life…nothing more or less. When pride is imbued in work…only then does it have the power to transform itself into something greater and more meaningful.

The Cantonese have a saying – ‘Lor Tak heih, Fong tak Lok’ – it means what I can pick up…I can also put down. This meaning of this saying is somewhat lost in the translation. For one it is usually uttered with verve and forcefulness denoting manliness, duty and honor….it is to say what I decided to do I will see thru to the very end….I will bear the unbearable stoically and calmly like a man….but once I have made to decision to do it….I will see it to it’s very end.

This is a saying that is unique to only the Cantonese – as they are a discriminated race in China…the Cantonese were always seen by the Han Chinese as troublemakers since ancient times. So they had to bear many inequities ranging from oppression to discrimination – despite this, they have thrived in mercantilism…as the Cantonese is accustomed to suffering…he rarely ever complains and is very accustomed to working under less than ideal conditions.

This attitude towards work is very important if one genuinely desires to me successful in life – as when one looks around…there are so many bullshiters and half men who do not seem to take any pride in their work these days….I don’t want to offensive. But even for ministers, there are many who are just there for all the too obvious reasons, but they don’t nearly take as much pride in their work as they should to really make a difference. As a result many suffer because of their lack.

In the same way when a man short changes himself by either cutting corners, passing the buck or kicking the can down the road – then he desecrates his work…sullies his work and makes it a despicable thing. Many vocations suffer from this negative label because the people who do such work do not regularly take pride in their work…..hence the quality of his work can only suffer and he will always create plenty of problems for others to fix….those who are unfortunate to come across this scoundrel will curse him!

Because not only does he cheat others….but he also very accustomed to short changing himself till he stands for very little except maybe settling for contempt in the eyes of many.

But for the man who knows how to take up a thing and to put it down gracefully – he will never take shortcuts….he will never betray himself or for that matter desecrate his labor…that very idea is beneath him…it is an effrontery to the whole notion of dignity of labor and since it runs counter to his work ethic. He will take the high road even it means incurring hardship to always deliver quality and delivery reliability and satisfaction….as his labor is his hallmark of who he is and what he stands for.

Study and research this well if you don’t want to end up as a bullshiter in life.

You can lie to everyone in this world….but you can never lie to yourself!’

It is certainly possible for a man to look exceptionally good even after 50…this proves it is possible.


‘Don’t be a crab. There are so many men impersonating crabs in the internet – whenever they see a handsome man, they drag him down like crabs in a barrel. That’s why so many of them are bald, out of shape and all the girls think they’re creepy.

Try not to be a crab.

Don’t speculate either as to whether he went for plastic surgery, takes botox injections, hair implants etc etc…..for me it is very simple, if the ceiling in your house is flaking and bulging in all the wrong places. Then there is absolutely nothing wrong getting people who know about ceilings to set it all right. Either that or expect it crash on your bloody head one day. Then you have to go around in a big bandage like a turban.

Instead some of you crabs should go write directly to Mr Chuan and ask of him in a tone of utter humility – what is the secret to his youthfulness. The gentleman is obviously a guru when it comes to how to look very good beyond fifty.

Try to learn as much from Mr Chuan as you can…how many hours does he sleep. What does he chow. Might he consider sharing his health tips. Does he use sunblock. If so what brand? Does he dye his hair. What brand again. Because it can’t possibly be my $3 no brand Kampung variety that stains pillows and headrest and smells like diesel. The only thing it’s good for is keeping away flies in the field. Find out as well his fav tips on how to take selfies. Because all our selfies seem to just make us all look like crazed third world dictators like Idi Amin and Pol Pot. Go and make friends with him…..invite him for dinner…take him on a ride in a Hondajet etc etc…get all that sort of intelligence out of Mr Chuan. While you are at it go and find out the name of his plastic surgeon – because some of you may need to consider transplanting your brains from your ass to your head!

Just looks at his boots. That’s a seriously five chili patine pair of dress boots….that’s serious attention to detail in personal grooming..the man obviously knows how to put his best foot forward.

This is what a grounded, emotionally secure and wise man would do whenever he sees a dashing fellow…..he would give Mr Chuan nods of approval and even pay him plenty of compliments…..such an egoless being might even consider saving his instagram account….but instead many of you choose to run him down thereby reacting very much like crabs, that also explain why you all look so much like off season durians that no girl in her right mind would ever want to get down and dirty with….they dowan lah!

I was out in the field today. I stayed longer than usual. When I looked up I saw my friends…the birds flying south east. This can only mean one thing – the dry season is late in the coming this year and my fear is the heat wave is going to last longer than usual…perhaps maybe all the way into April and possibly May….my friends the birds are never wrong….they can sense these microscopic weather changes that even modern instruments cannot.

I have relied on my friends the birds to tell me what will happen to the weather for many years…they are very reliable and rarely ever wrong.

I must make hasty preparations for a long and protracted drought….I fear that things will get rough and tough…that is sad. As I had hoped to take it a bit easier this year so that I can go back home to Singapore….it seems I will have delay my break to next year.

I feel sad….as I so want to return back home and spend time with those who I love….I want so much to sit in East Coast park and eat my homemade sandwiches and drink Apple juice from my thermos… day I will return back to Singapore…I miss eating Mee pok with pork satay and drinking dinosaur Milo.

I will return I promise….one day.

Shadow is the odd one out in the litter of six pups. She has neither Spitz or Rotweiller markings unlike the other pups. She is much smaller. Neither is shadow cuddly and cute like the other pups…her head is slightly bent and her backbone seems to suffer from a slight curve. As such the other pups don’t seem to want to include Shadow in their play activities. Shadow is always alone. That is why I have called her shadow – as she is there with the rest of the pups…but never truly there.

Whenever shadow tries to join the other pups. They all growl at her and so she is always alone.

I have seen this before…this is nature’s way to kill off the weak and only keep the strong….but I know how to bring out the best in dogs…one day shadow will be brightest of the pack.

You mark my words….as what I say will come to past.


‘I once came across a man who once told me the reason why Politicians need to be paid millions in Singapore is because there is an acute shortage of talent. I went on to ask of this man…how this acute shortage in talent come about? He seemed quite irritated by my line of questioning that for some inexplicable reason he considered impertinent and even rude….only for him to answer back with a raised voice….we all know talent is finite…not everyone has the right stuff…you know what I mean?

I went on ask again. No I don’t have any idea what you mean. May I ask the question again…how did this acute shortage of talent come about in Singapore? Who is responsible for this sad state of affairs? Has this person been jailed for his incompetence and dereliction of duty in failing to do his job properly.

Finally this person got so exasperated he stormed off not before shouting at me.

Till today no one seems to be able to answer my question…I shall write more about this subject when I return back from the field. I need to pay more attention to Shadow. For one I need to teach her how to walk. She is a bit slow when compared to the rest of her siblings….but that is not something that cannot be easily fixed with a bit of patience and coaching…no. It is not a big problem.’

I have till now refrained from commenting about the recent unwise tweaks on limiting the selection of future presidents in Singapore based on race. My reasons for my reservations are very simple – talking about race based politics in a society that is supposed to be multiracial and meritocratic makes as much sense as trying to make progress by going backwards. By narrowing the choices of future presidents for Singapore based on race this will only further heighten the publics consciousness about race instead of adding any meaningful value to help build a multi racial society.


‘Is he or she Malay enough to be the next president of Singapore’ is a question that has never ever featured before in any public discussion in Singapore. Please don’t blame me for bringing this subject up! As I am not the one asking this question. I am just a simple autistic farmer who is digging holes in the field. As this is a question that is emerging from the Malays themselves in Singapore concerning the choice of presidential candidates….so if you want to take issue…please take it up with them….I am merely looking at a spade and calling it a spade….as it is very natural for them to ask this question since when something that has the power to divide and highlight differences is promoted. Then it can only play out to its logical end. Because the policy makers have inadvertently opened Pandora’s box – as when one limits the selection to ONLY race as a primary criteria. Then it is only natural for those within that segment of society to ask further about identity, culture, heritage, historicism along with all that they consider important within the ambit of race within and beyond its dictionary meaning….so now the Malay community are asking…how tall is his songkok? Is it three, four or six inches….then there are others who are saying if it goes beyond six then might it not be a Turkish Fez and not a songkok!

But you cannot blame them for quibbling about such these details as I said….when everything turns ONLY on race it usually encapsulates a wider and broader Paradigm of identity…so it is conceivable that some Malays may even ask…does the president ‘baru’ enjoy eating lemang and rendang on Hari Raya? Is the lemang cooked over a pokok getah fire or was it prepared with a modern induction oven…because if it is the latter then matilah he or she cannot possibly be a genuine tulin Malay…..and this will go on to such details as to whether the candidate might wear a sarong and if so how is it knotted….might the ends be pulled twisted then folded inwards or outwards. If it the former then it’s a Kelantanese corruption that goes back to their long history of fratenizing with the Thais…matilah some more…he can’t be 100% malay. If it is the former – is there are orthodox line that runs the length of the sarong that tapers ever so slightly only to converge at the fold around the waist….if not! Matilah three times lucky! He is not Malay enough again….my point is I have witnessed such discussions amongst my own workers whenever we live, work and play together in the field and usually such conversations never bring people together. Instead it becomes the causes of schism and divisions…and usually I just tell them all to shaddup lah!

This I can easily do. As I am seen as a patriarchal figure who is responsible for the well being on my ‘Anak bush’ – those who rely on my benevolence and grace to turn the wheel of life….so it is my duty to maintain the compact between land and man. No one will ever scold me in the Kampung if I tell them to shaddup if I nip in the bud anything that threatens the common good of the community….the problem is the same cannot be said about Singapore…that is a very big problem and there you have it the palm of your hands the seeds of schism where one day if it is not well managed Brother will even turn against Brother….this is not wise.’

China, Singapore & OBOR

July 22, 2017

To me it’s very clear that China means to outflank Singapore….it has become very personal – geopolitically, by deploying a strategy to degrade the US Singapore alliance and geoeconomically by setting into motion a plan to render Singapore irrelevant economically.

It is conceivable that China will also deny Singapore many business opportunities that OBOR is likely to generate.

Therefore it is important for Singapore to position herself to take and not simply accept this situation… is after all an economic war.

If Singapore cannot learn to take, take and take!

She is doomed!


‘There are many businessmen who are out to deny me business opportunities. Some times they form cartels to manipulate the prices so that I have to buy higher than them…at other times since there are more of them, they snap up the choicest land and throw me bones…..I can either accept the situation or fight back.

But each decision comes with a hefty price – if I accept the situation. Then things can only get worse. As experience informs me, whenever people feel they have every right to treat me like shit…then they will continue to treat me like shit and in no time my lot will get so small that I can only be overwhelmed by a mountain of shit.

But should I decide not to accept this. Then by default. I have to wage a clandestine war against these forces. War is war! There is no disguising what needs to be done….it is not a handsome thing. Not at all. As frequently one must betray everything including the self to set the conditions to secure a decisive victory.

By choosing option (2) at least there is a possibility of a better tomorrow for those in the homefront and even if things don’t improve. Since you have fashioned yourself as a world’s biggest troublemaker. You will cause so many in the enemy camp to suffer from high blood pressure that they may consider detente, armistice or perhaps even throw you a chicken wing instead of the neck or backside.

This is my experience when one is a small fry sharing the same pond with bigger fishes….it doesn’t pay to be meek. One has to be aggressive….and if possible snakey and manipulative.

As a clandestine war requires stealth, strategy and cunning. Men will have to be sent out to prospect for opportunities along the OBOR route. Most will be able to return home I imagine. But I have no illusions for those who have to be deeply embedded in this clandestine war – it will be a one way ticket for them – the best they can ever hope for is to be reunited with their loved ones in the next life.

It is very sad…but war is like that…sacrifices have to be made.

In war even an economic war – the needs of the many will always outweigh the needs of the few…without this cadre of hardy men to relay back vital and timely intelligence to enable the planners at the home front to craft sound strategies to outflank the Chinese and their allies….Singapore will not be able to win!

We will be isolated and marooned and our lot will only get smaller and smaller.

The mathematical calculations are very stark and brutal.

What I say is the unpalatable truth. A truth that no one wants to talk about. But I have absolutely no illusions what it takes to win this type of war!’

Everytime I turn my back…the pups are always up to mischief. They are all at that stage when they are very curious about everything…too curious sometimes…one of them got his head stuck in a funnel.

The planter’s world consist of very old things that seems almost to defy the chastening passage of time….it is as if they yearn to stop time itself by clinging to all from the remnants of a bygone age. Harking back to the romance of flying boats, white linen, fourteen foot ceilings, tea with crumpets at three sharp, waist pocket time pieces, Doris day dresses, fainting smells, mosquito nets, tar soap, ivory key pianos, gin and tonic etc etc… is an age that is not without its charm…but it is also an age that is responsible for fossilizing many of the old thinking that is the root cause for holding back the planter.

For the new planter to be reincarnated. The old planter and his ways must be destroyed from within….otherwise the planter himself will disappear completely.


‘New ways of doing things will always scare people who have only known one or two ways of always doing what they have always done….it is not the fear of not being able to learn new methods of doing things that usually causes them to feel anxious. Rather deep down it’s their inability to unlearn and forget many of the things that has managed to encrust themselves in their thinking.

When the mind is filled with old thinking…it is like a cup filled to the brim…it can hold no more and less of something new. So this cup first needs to be emptied. In the same way when one aspires to learn something new…it is first important to learn how to unlearn…it is this aspect that is problematic to so many people. As since they draw so much of their identity, character and self esteem from what they have accumulated thru the years. Frequently asking them to throw out the old is as good as demanding them to erase their entire life history along with who they are and what they aspire to be.

To be part of change itself – a man must first purify himself by striving to be prideless and egoless.

This is easy to say, but not so easy to put into practice.’

Going your own way

July 19, 2017

Going your own way will always be very lonely. I do apologise profusely should this revealation about the affairs of life come as a great shock to you – but it is what it is.

Do not try to seek fellowship with others in the hope that they will understand why you have decided to commit yourself to this solitary path. Just draw strength from your conviction that you have good reasons to commit yourself to this path that no one else dares to tread…..above all smile and learn to be comfortable in your own skin while you walk all by yourself.

At the end of the day there is no such thing as kicking the can down the road….you have to take full and complete responsibility for the decisions in life that you once made… will always be that way for the frontier man….that you could say is his karma.


‘I have never told anyone this before. There is a very good reason why my climbing boot was stored in a box and put under my bed for twenty five years.

It all transpired many years ago. By all accounts it should have been a routine climb. There were seven of us. We just tranversed the hardest section of the climb at sixteen thousand feet and the summit was just there right before us…it should have been a cinch stroll.

Then it happened. The rope tugged suddenly. It jerked so hard. I had barely time to dig my ice pick into the snow to arrest the fall. We were tethered to one another and eventually we all came to a sudden halt on the edge of a promontory. Two the last climbers were dangling in mid air. One them had a deep gash on his right leg. A part of the bone was sticking out…it was very bad.

Eventually we pulled them up to finally rest at the edge. We had only four hours of daylight left. The winds had began to pick up quite unexpectedly and from the wispy trails at the edge of the cloud formation. I knew right down to the marrow of my bones a hundred hour blizzard was headed straight our way…we had to get down fast. The temperature would drop like a rock. But there wasn’t nearly enough rope to fashion a rig. No way. Besides it was way too steep to lower the man who had broken his leg down. No way. No possible way. We had to get down. We had to do it fast.

They were all looking at me mournfully with imploring…pleading eyes. But I knew what had to be done….if we didn’t shuffle we would all certainly perish. The wind had begun to pick up in earnest. We needed to get down fast before that bitch curled her fingers like talons and start swiping at us. One of the boys screamed out – we can’t just leave him!…the wind tore his words into ribbons like a forlorn rag. Others had begun to fashion a rig of some sort with whatever little rope we had as if by dedicating themselves to some great act of futility they could somehow even out the lousy odds…or maybe they just wanted to do something…anything to stop them from facing the brutal reality of the incomprehensible odds. We were all young and undoubtedly stupid even when we all believed otherwise.then there were others who simply buried their faces into the cold abysss of the rock face and cried like children. While I looked on stoically.

I told the man who broke his leg. We would pluck him out at first light the following day…we no tentage…I took off my jacket. While the rest began to dig out a make shift cavern to slip him in to weather out the storm.

Thereafter I rallied the others to make haste to descend in double quick time. When the rest of the boys were busy roping for the descent. I went up to the man and slipped him a razor blade. No words passed between us. He knew. So did I.

The following at first light we barely managed five hundred feet before the weather pushed us right back like a wall of ice. God damn it! I tried to so very hard to break thru. But it was just bloody impossible to even see beyond my hand. It was a full toss blizzard. We regrouped into teams of two and tried thrice to break thru and on every single occasion we were beaten back.

On the third day. The weather cleared somewhat and one of the teams managed to finally break thru with the much needed rescue rope…but it was too late.

No one spoke a word on the way down. No one even so much as looked at another. I knew what they were all thinking….but it was six to one.

No spoke me after that day…I knew what they were all thinking….but it was six to one. I had to make that fateful call….it was six to one.

Fucking six to one! Do all what to die. It was six to one.

Six to one.

Six to one.

Six to one…..I had nothing resembling a choice. I had to make the call.

Six to one.

Six to one.

Six to one….six to one. No rope. One hundred kilo blizzard closing in fast and furious. Six cry babies who can’t even get their minds to wrap around those odds because they can’t bear to call it for what it really was…a hopeless situation.

Who else was there to suck up all the shit and get us all down. No! Fuck you all! I had to make the call. I made with my eyes wide open…it is what it is!

Six to one.

Six to one.

Six to one.

You’re all here because I made that call! You have every right never to talk to me again for the rest of your life. But you don’t have a right to judge me! That you do not have a right to do.

I go thru it in my head every day….maybe for the six millionth time…and it’s always the same brick wall….no rope. No way out.

Six to one.

Six to one.

Six who would live on for only one who we had to leave behind.

I am very very tired….and there is yet so much to do….but I am hopeful we can sew it all up before the arrival of the rainy season.

On the bright side. The weather seems to be regularizing. This should hopefully speed up work.


‘The pressure to perform is bone crushing. I’ve had to improvise endlessly due to the erratic weather. It’s not 100%. Compromises regularly feature. This cannot be done…so that must be done instead so the overall plan and strategy goes thru a series of modifications that takes it all elsewhere from where it’s supposed to go…sometimes to uncharted territory, it seems.

This makes me anxious. As I frequently find myself in places that I hardly recognise or want to be in….I struggle to constantly keep a happy line between my fears and the prospects of failure.

Many of the things I am doing have never been done before in the world of farming. They’re experimental and the cutting edge of agronomy. The villagers look at me with a curious mix of interest and trepidation… the way of replanting seems to be turned on its head – there are times when I struggle to reconcile myself with what I know and whether I should share….truth is it’s unnatural to keep on farming the same crop time and again on the same plot of land. This corrosive practice is called monoculture. And I know it’s unsustainable….it’s a mathematical connundrum that in my opinion requires many compromises….I have to play hide and seek with nature to win in this game – it’s not just a case of planting row after row of trees. No. To take on nature one has to be crafty….it’s a bit like mountain climbing. One can spend hours. A whole day. Week even studying weather patterns. Then when it’s clear. One rushes up her skirt to summit.

But this undertaking is very different. There is no promise of redemption. Not in the short run at least. I wouldn’t know for sure whether everything I have done would even pay off for the next four years. Agriculture is very slow to reveal her hand. Do it all wrong and it could seem right for years only for it to come back and bite you.

I wear an iron mask every day. Everyone only sees a man of steel. A fearless man who stares out impassively and knowingly at the capriciousness of fate and who is willing to do battle with her….today a man told me…what you ask of me cannot be done! I told him get back into the tractor and if you fail me I swear that you will not find work for two hundred miles radius for as long as you live!

It was done…the discipline must hold…the line must be tight as a drum!…do you think it’s a democracy! It’s a fucking military junta dictatorship idiot! How do you like my freedom to dole out a Kung fu panda flying kick! You want more or that!

In my private moments. I find myself turning to Homer’s Illiad for solace. I read slowly in camp….I have come down with dysentery and limping as an old climbing injury on my left foot is playing up again….I may have to use a walking stick in the field.

I chew usually on small bites of Homer’s classic, The Odyssey – often drawing strength from the characters….the steadfast loyalty of Penelope, who waits faithfully for 20 years for her husband’s return. Duty, Telemachus, who stands by his absent father against the suitors who have invaded their family home. Servanthood, Emacus the lady in waiting to Penelope. Sagacity, Eumaeus, the swineherder who has to bear the cruel barbs of the unruly suitors. Diligence in Philoetius, the cow herder who continues to bring milk despite his master’s absence are all exemplary in their loyalty, service and honor to their master and his possessions.

But the theme that resonates most to me is Odysseus tragic loneliness and how he tries to cope stoically at best he or for that matter any man can as he searches to return home to his loved ones despite his many trials.

Many at the homefront are not aware of my problems…I don’t want to burden them….so I bottle it all up….my deteriorating health…the hellish living conditions in the field…

I read it slowly savoring every sentence all the while wishing I had a neck as long as a giraffe. Yes…the idea of home can be so very compelling to a man who believes he is marrooned…so near, yet so very far that it might even belong to another age…another life – like one of those stars I find myself staring at from time to time…wondering to myself whether perhaps the faint light that streams out is all but a remnant of a star that has long since cooled and died…

I am the man of steel…the great planter who always surefooted.

Nothing in this world can be accomplished without iron discipline….we will win!

“By nights he would lie beside her, of necessity, in the hollow caerns, against his will, by one who was willing, but all the days he would sit upon the rocks, at the seaside, breaking his heart in tears and lamentation and sorrow as weeping tears he looked out over the barren water.”

Shame is a very powerful psychological weapon because shame makes us feel bad about who we really are. When someone or a group of people deploys this psychological crowbar on you….you must first understand how this weapons works BEFORE it is possible to render it harmless and benign.

The way shame works is to get YOU and not someone else to destroy yourself by first creating a conspiracy against yourself….that’s how it works…it has to first recruit you!

YOU are the one who flips this mechanism of self destruction on. Not those who are trying to shame you.

Once you sign into the conspiracy of self. You will begin to doubt the very core of who you are…where you’re heading…and how you are going about it…then it will all begin to unravel slowly…first you will start to question your identity and values. Then you will begin to doubt your very existence and your self-esteem will take a nose dive and soon your emotional well-being will begin to degrade.

It will degrade to such a point of failure where you will even begin to doubt the quality of your decision making and much prefer to sit in the dark and do absolutely nothing….because since you feel shameful….deep down you feel that you have done something terribly wrong and it is only right that you beat yourself up again and again.


‘The reason why I know how toxic and destructive shame can be….is simply because I’ve always had to live with it all thru my life. Since I was different from all other boys in the moment of my youth. It was not unusual for adults and teachers to instigate my peers to shame me into conforming. As a boy no one wanted to play with me. So I made friends with animals. I am by nature a gentle soul and since all animals have a keen sense of danger…they can see deep into my soul to know that I mean them no harm and so they take readily to me.

Many people have tried to shame me….they try to shame me into thinking and behaving like them. They try to shame me so that I will always be more subservient to them in order to control me. They even try to shame me when they realise that I am getting up in the world and becoming much more successful than them.

So all thru my life I’ve had to study shame in the way a commando takes apart an anti personnel mine to further understand how this device works. When one is autistic. One has to study the art of war from the inside out. One has no choice. Once one understands how the psychological weapon of shame works….then it’s almost impossible for anyone to shame you…it’s impossible.

Simply because no one on this planet can take away what is in between my head. I am the master of my own inner and outer reality. I can do many great things! That many other ‘normal’ me will simply make one thousand excuses why they are unwilling to even try. Truth is if these people try to even do a fraction of my job for so much as one day…the sheer scale and complexity of the undertaking will be so overwhelming by lunch time they would probably be shitting in their pants from a nervous breakdown! They will literally die standing! Because farming is tough as tungsten nails….I just make it look easy peasy.

So I know myself….and that is the anecdote against the psychology weapon of shame.

Not long ago I came across a village girl wandering my lands. She was crying her eyes out. She is not very pretty and has unusually large feet that the other girls like to make fun of. When I asked what was wrong. The girl told me that she wants to go to city to work, save up money and fly to Korea and get her feet reduced down to right size like all other girls.

I told her in a fatherly tone do not fret. I pointed to my car. Look I told her, my tires are big and knobby….I can go anywhere with those beauties….even if there is no road…with those big tires I will cut a path….it is the same with your feet. I bet you don’t have a problem lugging up a 50 kg bag of fertilizer uphill…see you can’t do that if you have slim and dainty feet that just look good but good for very little else. Besides all those girls with slim feet can’t walk long distances. They can’t shoot without losing their balance as they don’t nearly have the steadiness to keep balanced. They can’t even pull me out if I am neck deep in quicksand. Now what bloody use is that if you can’t even do that!

That was when the girl turned to me and asked, do you really mean that? I said please show me your beautiful feet. The girl began to take off her large shoes at first she curled them up to make them look smaller.

Then after looking at them I expressed…one day you will find a man. A real man, not a bullshit man. A man who knows the true value of things and he will look at your feet as an object of great and rare beauty and all those people who are trying to shame you will be so jealous because such a man. A man who can see real value and beauty when all others can only see ugliness is usually a prudent investor who is very rich…and when that time comes all those stupid people who are trying to shame you will be so jealous they will hold hands and jump into the river….that day will certainly come.

From that day onwards the girl with the biggest feet in the village walked proudly out into the world never ever knowing shame.’

One year back ago. A jealous man started spreading fake news around the Kampung that I am a grand practitioner of black magic. He would often be heard whispering to the villagers in hushed tones…he can speak to animals. They do his bidding like slaves…..only the devil can do that. He can even control the weather…do you notice it has been bone dry for the last two years….only the devil can do that as well. He can even transform himself into a big black dog and at times an eagle….and we all know only the devil has that sort of power….he is the devil!

One day I grew sick and tired of this man and his poison so I decided to give him back a thousand fold of his own medicine. When I appeared on his lands one afternoon – he demanded to know what my business was. I pointed to a durian tree nearby and quipped….I hear this is your favourite tree in this Orchard.

Thereafter I turned to the tree pointed at it said something to the effect of yabadabado and turned to leave. That was when the man asked in a raised tone…what did you just do?

I told him. You will find out this time next year and drove right off.

Thereafter this man started to water this tree every single day without fail. Ten times a day…so others said. Even during the rainy season he would hose it down as if trying to transform the poor tree into a fish….he also began to nourish it with the most expensive and rarest of fertilisers such as imported volcanic rock from Indonesia. And he would often be seen spraying the leaves of the tree with pesticide to ward of marauding insects so many times that even the nation of bees gave his orchard a miss …..soon the tree was so overwhelmed by all the unnecessary attention like a man being forced to eat ten million meals a day – it simply decided it had enough of this torture and proceeded to self destruct only to shrivel up and die within a month.

After that the worlds greatest village gossiper would often be heard recounting to anyone who cared to listen in the village…the man who lives on top of the hill cursed my tree and it died within that year it’self….only the devil can do that.

The irony was I did absolutely nothing and he did everything to bring it all to a very sad end…for his favorite durian tree that is.


‘Whenever I am asked by others how should one go about managing oneself and others effectively. I always tell them if you have nothing good to say. Hold your tongue. Better still excuse yourself politely pick up a spade and hit the field.

When they ask me why. I always share with them my observations concerning life and it goes something like….you don’t have to be a witch or warlock to weave an evil spell that can inflict pain or disable others. All you really have to do is to put them down all the time whenever you see them.

That is why if anyone tries to put you down. Just walk away. Better still run. And should you see them again. Do the same again. Never stay. It’s like radiation exposure…less is better.

You might not have the power to stop people from casting evil spells on you all the time in the office or even at home. But you certainly have the power say to yourself and them – I am not going to be part of this destructive agreement. Because once you allow even so much as a very small part of your mind to buy into that negative agreement then it can only take over the rest of the mind like an evil weed and soon you will believe in it…it is like poison…a little goes a very long way….you will even live that self destructive narrative and even fulfill that phrophecy of self destruction… will certainly destroy you!’