September 19, 2015


September 14, 2015


Ragu son of Arumugam. The fifth generation rubber tapper doubled as the curator of the plantation Kalimah temple. Standing before him that morning before the sun broke was the man in his trade mark bush jacket and sun glasses. Ragu turned to the night watch man who nodded his head as if both men knew what had to come thereafter.

Long before the stranger had made his appearance. The night watch man had woken up earlier than usual for the whole week to keep the tongue of light in the shrine burning – this was their only protection against the malevolent forces of darkness.

As a boy, Ragu had been innitiated into a sacred ritual by his father and the elders on the importance of placating malevolent forces, it had began with the grave words, “listen very carefully and do exactly what I tell you” – and now the mythical creature had appeared before them – Ragu steadied his nerves as he enacted the ritual that had been handed down to him by his father and his father before him. It was a ritual as old as the hills – a ritual that would never be allowed to see the light of day.

The night before. The villagers were told to keep their doors and panelled windows tightly shut till Ramu, the jet black, white footed noisy temple dog howled three times. Menstruating women and virgins were told not to bath, wear perfume and stay indoors. A vegetarian meal had even been prepared for all the villagers the night before. All this was done to ensure that the ritual of receiving the devil passed smoothly. And now as in successive generations – he had appeared as it was written.

As Ragu looked on at the man who stood motionlessly before the shrine. He shuddered slightly. At age 65, the curator of the Kalimah temple realized deep in his bones. This day would surely come. It was after all written in the annals of plantation history. As even both the Mahabratha and Ramayana bore witness to the existence of the devil – the unwritten chapters that is, the unseen chapters that no one ever read except those who knew the ancient ways.

And now that Ramu VIII, the 30th descendant of the noisiest pariah dog in the world who no one could ever silence in plantation history- not even the curator himself who fed him everyday had come to stand quietly and obediently beside the stranger – the curator of the temple and the night watch man both surmised – the man, the devil stood before them – it must be him.

This strange scene had been played out for generations – both the curator and the night watch man knew it as a ritual as old as the hills itself. If there was even a single deviation in the ritual – that whole year a curse would befall the villagers. There were after all omens and strange occurrences that had come to past before the arrival of the stranger. Just the other day when fresh milk was offered as alms to the naga shrine, it had curdled and soured almost as soon as burnt sandal wood was offered – followed by a sighting of a golden cobra in the temple grounds. This was preceded by elephant sightings and the reversing of the river that ran along the temple grounds. Even the elders who had seen the passing of more seasons than they cared to remember realized surely this must be the handiwork of the devil himself. During the evenings when the cicadas murmured along side the rustling of swaying palms – the curator had sat beneath the shade of the ficus trees and asked the village elders,

“How shall we deal with the devil when he appears.”

The village elders who knew the ancient way of the hills had merely sighed and mentioned,

“We will have to deal with him in the way our forefathers had dealt with him – he will not be denied entry into the temple grounds. He cannot be denied. He will have his quarter. Give him what he wants and he will bless us all.”

And now the man had appeared at dawn. Ragu had wore his black dothi instead of his traditional white prayer tunic – as for the night watch man, he had worn a white shirt. Both men as boys had once heard their fathers recount to them, be respectful to the devil and never deviate even as much as one hair breathe from the ritual – his bushjacket must always be hung on the highest post to the right on a copper nail. Never on a steel or iron nail. That may bring the whole roof down – he must never be offered blood offerings or there will be much mayhem – if the ritual goes well, he shall keep the covenant between man, land and the heavens in perfect harmony.

It was a ritual that was steeped in plantation tradition. A ritual that even the man who wore the bushjacket and sunglasses wondered how he had slipped into, in the way an actor suddenly stumbles on a script only for all to expect him to play his part – the man did not ask why or even how – he would play this role year after year unfailingly.

After the ritual when the naked stranger placed his ten fingers and on the kolam (rice paintings) and blessed the grounds – both the night watchman and the temple curator approached him to offer him a morsel of sweet coconut. The stranger took a mouthful and gave the remainder to the night watch man to be burnt as offerings to the Gods.

It was then that both the curator of the temple and night watch man breathe a sigh of relief. The ritual had come to an end – each step had been executed to true perfection with not even the slightest deviation – the great wheel of life would turn smoothly that year. The stranger smiled, dressed, shook the hand of the temple curator and disappeared into darkness.

Soon a new and beautiful day would unfurl.



‘To me superstition is the ability to provide a believable account of why the sea is filled with dead fish on a Monday in July. Or why birds are heading North instead of South the week before. Maybe even to make out how many evil spirits have been staying in a building that no one wants to spent the night in and most importantly which party is going to win in th next general elections.

And of course, if possible to have the uncanny ability afterwards to explain why it all didn’t or could never have happened at all.’

Living in NOW!

September 13, 2015

It is very difficult to remain a sane person in this age. Simply because everything in and of this modern world, does so very little to encourage that sort of balanced outlook in life.

There are so many crazy people around that most of the time we don’t even realize they have lost the plot completely…that is the paradox of our age. Mass insanity has now been successfully sold and marketed as normality.

Look around you! Everywhere 24/7 someone is always trying to plant a flag in your brain. Buy this! Be that person. Look at me! Do I have your attention! Sign on the dotted line. Get that package. Come on board. Live your dream!

Can you see how so much of the way of the modern world is premised on heightening our feelings of inadequacy and lack….sharpening our sense of imaginary wants and desires…..that steers us to live either in the past or future…but never in most needful place…which is NOW!

Do you notice. No one ever sells you NOW! Because if anyone ran a business marketing NOW! They would have absolutely nothing to sell you and most probably end up bankrupt. So the marketing manifesto is always the case of – you need this or that to complete your life and make you happy….you need a six pack….a car…or whatever.

The only way to deal with this avalanche of over stimulation is to be mindful of the pull of the past and the future – that is because the past is no more. As for the future…you are yet to cross that imaginary bridge. So it is also a none event for now at least.

That leaves only one question – how do I go about living in NOW!

Do I forget the past? Do I psycho myself into a self induced state of amnesia? What about the future? How do I stop thinking about it? Do I suspend my powers of imagination? Or would it be better if I keep distracting myself all the time, so that I don’t need to think about the future?

The perceptive reader will by now be aware I am making a big deal out of HOW to live in NOW!

That is because I have noticed no one ever teaches another HOW to live in NOW! They all say live your life in NOW….and it all begins and ends right there. That is a bit like saying…go fish. But how do you even begin, if you don’t even know how to tie a robust knot that doesn’t work it’s way loose only to lose the fish?

So I will teach you HOW to live in NOW.

It begins by being a simple witness of your thought processes.

It is simply, witnessing the thoughts, passing before you. Just witness, do not strain yourself to understand or to even judge, because the moment you form a train of thoughts…even an opinion, you have already put one foot into the river of the past or future and lost the NOW. The moment you say “this I like, that I dislike,” you have already broken the magic spell of NOW.

Do not expect instantaneous results. That is not realistic. If you do that – all you are doing is setting yourself up for the proverbial fall. That is because the moment you take the position of the witness. Your mind will begin to turn against you by prompting you to take a position….form a judgement…so be kind to yourself and be patient. As it takes a little time to create a gap between being witness and watching what flits in and out of your mind. But once, you create that distance between the watcher and what goes in and out of your mind.

That’s the moment of enlightenment. That is the moment that you become for the first time in your life a new creation – who truly lives instead of just exist.


‘The past is just not the past. They are like very strong tensioned springs that should you jump on them…you will bounce into the present and even into the future. That is why so many people bring their past hurts, anger and resentment into a new relationship, job or enterprise. And in this way, they sabotage their own happiness, confidence and instead instill fear into a new chapter of their life. So as you can see, when I use the phrase, you live in the past. This does not mean you are thinking about your teddy bear that you used to have as a kid. When I use that term, I am referring to the state of mind that sabotages your success and happiness.

The same holds true for the future as well, it is not just a place somewhere ahead of the timeline – rather it too can be a solvent that corrodes your will power, confidence and belief in yourself – there have been many occasions when I have found myself feeling small before other men who seem to have accomplished more than me…only to find myself questioning endlessly…why have I accomplished so little in life?….why can I not be a better provider…father…etc etc. Do you see it too has teeth.

I am simply saying once we become mindful of the dangers of the past and future and how they can both conspire to undo us – that is power.’

Significant moments

September 12, 2015

I can see so much of myself in my children….so very much.

The boy who talks to trees

September 12, 2015

Early this morning I came across a knot of villagers wielding sticks hell bent on teaching a boy a lesson of his life. I stopped my car , strode up to the mob and demanded in the authoritative voice of a landowner, ‘what is the meaning of this?’

Someone in the crowd shouted out, the boy needs to be taught a lesson as he has a habit of fibbing…others added, he was scaring people with his weird stories. Then an old man shuffled up to me, held on to my sleeve and whispered, ‘the boy claims to be able to talk to trees.’

I demanded the villagers to take me to the talking tree which was five minutes away. When I stood before the old Chingay tree, someone exclaimed, ‘this is the bloody tree that the boy claims can talk!’

I looked on quietly and impassively, when another man was about to say something….I flashed him a stern look of rebuke and told the rest to keep very silent…shhhhhhhhhh….I went on to add casually, it’s impossible to hear what the tree was saying with all the ruckus.

At first everyone exchanged dumbfounded looks. Then gradually a spell of silence fell over the mob and soon one by one they loosened their grip on their sticks and began to listen to what the tree had to say, that was when I noticed, the boy who looked scared just then was smiling at me.

I winked at him.

In the city. Everyone seems to be under extreme pressure to search out for that special someone who is supposed to complete that missing part of their life….they all believe in this idea unconditionally in the city.

City folk all believe, if they can only find this special person who can make them 100% whole and complete …then all of life will just pour into their boring mundane life in full technicolor and stereo sound blah blah blah.

Hence the perpetual quest…but despite their fervent yearning…they will never ever find this mythical being that will somehow complete them….because the true essential nature of every man and woman is to be found only in loneliness.

And even should this other person who can someone complete the incomplete person be discovered….there will always be loneliness even in togetherness.

One reason why we all seem to suffer from an automatic loathing of loneliness is because our scripting and conditioning informs us, loneliness is synonymous with suffering….but nothing can be further from the truth.

As a man and woman can really only attain maturity and wisdom thru an appreciation of loneliness. Once all the contours of loneliness are known like the lines in the palm of one’s hands – then the idea of solitude is born within the crèche of loneliness.


‘Man is the only creature on the surface of this planet who seems to regularly experience great difficulty in being man.

Don’t you think this is very odd?

Even monkeys, parrots, snakes, dogs, gold fish or for that matter any other species doesn’t suffer from the same affliction of man’s confused state about his elemental nature and being.

For example, you don’t see a cat behaving like a crocodile or a rabbit impersonating the dietary habits of a grizzly Alaskan bear.

In nature a monkey behaves like a monkey, just as a dog behaves like a dog…there is a natural order to the affairs of things.

But for man…because he always confused as to what his BEING should be or NATURE should rightly be – he is always in a perpetual state of identity crisis.

Hence his fixation in creating all kinds of social constructs to define who he is along with fleshing out his terms of engagement with the world.

That is why the dellima of man compels him to look everywhere for answers as to WHO he should be and HOW he should manage himself and others…he looks everywhere except in the most needful and resourceful place….deep within himself!

As a result the average person falls into a vicious cycle where gradually he is scripted and conditioned to only find his place in the world thru the superficiality of friendship, social role playing, political games, movies, pulp fiction, the meniality of work, religion and what I can only describe as shallow social associations or any other social construct where people are regularly falling over each other because they are all confused and lost!

But never forget…..understand this clearly! The main impetus, the engine, the primary motivation that compels all men to devote so much of their time and energy into this meaningless pursuit is simply because he suffers from a morbid fear of loneliness.

We are all trained and conditioned to perceived loneliness as suffering, a dark bottomless pit, a terrifying wasteland almost like death itself.

So to avoid this imaginary hell hole that our mind has constructed….man will always have the habit of looking for answers outside himself….in the company of others…thru conversations …he is always running out of himself…always not at home…the constant wanderer…always believing the answer is somewhere to be found elsewhere.

The main problem is that prevailing attitude where loneliness is so often equated with fear – this in my opinion is the worst possible basis for any relationship to be premised on, because bear in mind…in all likelihood, your partner is probably coming together with you out of fear as well!

Now instead of one fearful person….you have two!

And this unity of the fear of loneliness is what a reasonable man and woman these days is supposed to call love.

Can you see how crazy the world has become.

This is supposed to be their temple of spiritual flourishing..their sanctuary…their secret garden of harmony…and bliss and emancipation….do you see why it is doomed from the word go!

Do you see how this is the tap root of why so many relationships can only start off hot only to fizzle out or worst end up smashing into the rocks – as it is a relationship based fundamentally on all the wrong reasons and worst of all it is premised specifically on the fear of loneliness.

How can the fear of loneliness possibly be the basis of a solid relationship?

That is why only those who can love well are absolutely fearless of loneliness – this is why I often say, the nature of man is essentially loneliness! As only thru the deep study of loneliness can one discover solitude that is the skeleton key that opens up the door to the awakened mind.

It is like a restaurant that serves good food – the light is subdued, the sights and sounds are kept to a bare minimum…this like loneliness is not deprivation. Rather when all these distractions are cut away, then our senses is enhanced and comes alive to enjoy a work of art. In the same way to live well…we must never fear loneliness. As only in loneliness can a man really find himself and know his place in this world without the distractions of illusions. Rather allow loneliness to guide you….do not fear it…as it is a natural power to be sought after, not avoided and
East of all feared.’

End of the day in the city

September 10, 2015

The city is a Mecca for bullshitters of every conceivable variety and kind. Since I happen to be the only one who seems to be able to cobble together a believable account of why it continues to rain despite being an epic El Niño year….many leading businessmen have sought me out as some new age soothsayer…oracle….great all seeing eye.

Usually to perform this role admirably – all I have to do is stuff my mouth full of one Michelin star curry puff….look slightly perplex (like ten minutes after murdering someone and figuring out where to bury the corpse etc etc). Since I happen to have one of those dead serious, no nonsense and 100% assurance of impeccable trustworthy faces….most people who seek my opinion concerning El Niño read whatever they want to read out of the questions they ask me….most of the time providing I continue to stuff curry puff in my mouth and talk at the same time…some will even elect themselves as interpreters to offer an insight as to what I really mean to convey…most of the time, this is how it begins and ends with everyone muttering thereafter…he has such incredible foresight and insight!…..he’s so intelligent…he’s a lateral thinker etc etc…..this is how it is in the city….people will see what they want to see even when there is nothing really there!

This is a question that has vexed me no end for the whole of this year…finally the answer. It’s just a scrap. Not much. But it explains many things that has been bothering me….now all I have to do is work around this assumption.


A typical El Nino creates a low pressure system above the eastern equatorial Pacific bracketed by high pressure systems on either side that reduce rainfall over important crop production areas such as India, Southeast Asia and Australia.

However, due to the Modoki El Nino, there was a low pressure system over the central tropical Pacific and a high pressure system over the eastern equatorial Pacific.

When the water started warming in the eastern Pacific there was a failure in the low pressure system to develop because the Modoki event had already put a high pressure system over that water.

That disrupted the normal chain reaction of weather events.

Once you screw it up with Modoki you screw it up for the rest of the world and we can’t have the same level of abnormal weather.

The Modoki event has gradually died out over the past six to eight weeks giving rise to more traditional El Nino weather patterns but it is has already missed the growing season in many areas of the world.


September 6, 2015

I don’t blame people if they don’t have faith in me. It must be incredibly hard for them to make head or tail out of what I am doing…harder still for them to understand what’s it all for….or even whether it’s worth it.

There used to be a time not so very long ago, when I would feel the compelling felt to explain the why’s along with how – but these days, I don’t feel it’s necessary for me to do so any longer.

It’s not ambivalence or that I don’t care any longer that accounts for my militant refusal to supply an account…as in truth even for me I can’t really be cock sure any longer…there are no guarantees….no certainties….no promise that it may all end well…or that I will not reach the end of the road without regrets.

I don’t ever want to make promises I can never keep or sell a dream that I know will never materialize….truth is things are just darn uncertain…so murky that at times I can’t even be sure any longer.

So I keep quiet.

Going around in circles

September 6, 2015

Going around in circles is all people seem to be doing these days with the spluttering economy and crappy price of commodities. Big and small circles.

Endless circles with no beginning or end. Just going round and round. Circles within circles. Sometimes it’s slow, at other times it speeds up, but it’s always the same when one is in the gyre.

I try not to think what the future may hold. I push that thought away by transforming myself in the the very shape and form that I find myself imprisoned in…a circle. A machine that keeps going round and round without any thought or rhyme.

Today I planted one sapling after another from dawn to dusk. The series of movements are all circular. I dig a circular hole, sprinkle some rock phosphate in a circular motion, remove the sapling carefully from the pot by edging my fingers to loosen it in a circular manner and after burying it, I press it all down into a tight circle to hold the plant straight to the light. Thereafter I push the wheelbarrow back to the house, fill it with more saplings, head out to the field and repeat the whole process again….a perfect circle within a circle.

There are no thoughts when one is in the flow of the gyre. No sense of time or for that matter place either….only the endless continuum…like the image of a water buffalo milling wheat by going round and round, turning a heavy mill stone to the faint sound of creaking timber…round and round.

From time to time I stop suddenly for a water or cigarette break.

Then very slowly like an ant that finds itself trapped in a circular vessel I begin to grow aware of my surroundings. I touch the texture of this circular surface with the hands of my mind….it’s smooth like porcelain, I murmur…there is no possible way to climb out of this shit hole without my mountaineering kit…then the terrible thoughts hits me.

I am in a circle.


Deep listening

September 4, 2015

Most people do not listen with the intent to understand completely and absolutely. Trust me, they do not. Instead they listen with the intention to cut in mid way during a conversation. Or to keep the conversation going on and on for the sake of responding aimlessly – this is because our scripting and conditioning of what is a good conversation leads us to believe, if we put in an effort to craft intelligent, witty and responsive replies, then we will be more engaging, impressive and interesting. But this assumption misleads terribly – as true communication first requires one to understand completely and absolutely….and this is only possible when one cultivates the habit of listening deeply and talking less.


‘Listen….listen…..listen very carefully to the sound of the voice…feel the texture of the words as they are formed. So many words can get lost or lose their meaning when the mind is distracted with the desire to reply for the sake of just replying….judging when judgement is not unnecessary….filling up the blanks because one is impatient to bear out the sentence to the very end. Do not feel pressured to reply or to impress others with you point of view…that is not necessary…instead allow the words to coil slowly around you like a vine. Feel the emotions in the words. Be mindful of their weight and where the conversation is going. Do not do anything else besides listening with every cell of your being. Do not be distracted by all other things. Never interrupt, just listen quietly and impassively and above all never ever break the magic spell….and soon everything will be so very clear and calm.’

The city is one giant kryptonite rock to me. It is constantly radiating it’s death rays and wearing me down. Whenever I visit the city, I have to be mindful to take precautions. In the city, I am not so different from an astronaut in a hostile and strange environment.

I have to be mindful all the time of over exposure….crowds…noise etc etc etc.

Fortunately, I have a network of ‘safehouses’ dotted around the city that allows me to be alone far away from the ceaseless noise and maddening crowd of the city.

When I first told a few wealthy plantation ladies concerning my allergy to the city and how I could feel it’s death rays drawing out my life force…many people thought I was making up stories. Some even got angry with me. Till one day when I was found slumped in a mall with my tongue sticking out somewhere in the city.

These days to avoid this from ever happening again – my rich and influential friends have created a network of secret gardens in the city where I can dine alone in privacy, read a book all by myself, sit by a lush garden etc etc. At times, when exposure to the city’s death rays is severe, patrons even have to be evacuated. In one particular restaurant, the walls had to sound proofed. At another windows had to be solar screened.

This is all very inconvenient for me whenever I visit the city.

To the best of my knowledge I seem to be the only sufferer of this rare and incurable disease in the whole wide world, that I have called Citisystis.


A Litany for Survival

For those of us who live at the shoreline
standing upon the constant edges of decision
crucial and alone
for those of us who cannot indulge
the passing dreams of choice
who love in doorways coming and going
in the hours between dawns
looking inward and outward
at once before and after
seeking a now that can breed
like bread in our children’s mouths
so their dreams will not reflect
the death of ours:

For those of us
who were imprinted with fear
like a faint line in the center of our foreheads
learning to be afraid with our mother’s milk
for by this weapon
this illusion of some safety to be found
the heavy-footed hoped to silence us
For all of us
this instant and this triumph
We were never meant to survive.

And when the sun rises we are afraid
it might not remain
when the sun sets we are afraid
it might not rise in the morning
when our stomachs are full we are afraid
of indigestion
when our stomachs are empty we are afraid
we may never eat again
when we are loved we are afraid
love will vanish
when we are alone we are afraid
love will never return
and when we speak we are afraid
our words will not be heard
nor welcomed
but when we are silent
we are still afraid
So it is better to speak
we were never meant to survive.”

Audre Lorde

Only a mature mind can take constructive criticism confidently. That is why it is able to grow from strength to strength and attain a mature state.

An immature mind can never take criticism constructively. As soon as one criticizes, the immature person is likely to take it personally and become defensive and start justifying themselves.

That will always be the defining difference between a mature and immature mind.

The mature mind is naturally self assured, confident and at rest. Assured of his place in the world and very confident of his skills. So for this man, he is like a mountain, very few things can shake and unsettle him.

The immature mind is the complete opposite of the above that is why all immature people suffer from the habit of going round and round in big and small circles all the time while making a lot of noise, it is impossible for immature mind to grow organically. As since it’s nature is so heavily invested in the wrong place – the self… instead of fertile the plains of the mind, like in skills, knowledge and wisdom – when an immature mind is pushed. It can only fall like a bowling pin, it can never stand alone or be self assured.


‘In the bazaar in pointe noire in the Congo, Africa, many years ago, there once lived chinaman who every coffee trader revered and feared – the man had an extraordinary talent of revealing by just crushing a few beans and bringing it to his nose…where it was grown..what year…by whom and most important what was the price.

For years he raptured the price of coffee…controlled in even, thought he was rumored to be a wanted man with a bounty on hi head. An infamous gun runner along the Gambezi and a illicit trader of blood diamonds and ivory.

The traders in the bazaar all revered him as he was the Shahidi – the man who wore a creme colored panama and suit with a shouldered holstered revolver and moved around in an ivory colored Mercedes with a white woman – they all referred to him as ‘ouya’ , the wise one…the mysterious one.

One day he just disappeared. Never to be seen again.’

It is not easy not be self conscious all the time. That is because so much of our conditioning has been designed to make us fully self conscious to a point where this is the only way we can interact with ourselves and others.

It is only when we are acutely aware of our human conditioning that we can slowly begin to untangle the self from our consciousness.

When we have ceased to be self conscious – the ego will naturally fade away – without the ego, there can be no self and this is the only way we can be fully conscious without any interference from the restless mind.

The images that come to our mind will never be colored by desire, greed, envy etc etc, so these images will always be very clear. As since our senses are no longer slaves to the self aka the ego, we will see the world clearly for what it is and not what others say it is.


‘To see the world clearly there must be no stray thoughts coming in between the observer and the thing observed.

But if you care to observe humans, that is seldom the case. Only the other day when I decided to pull my car to the side of the road to take a sweep of a magnificent estate, one of my friends remarked, ‘How blessed the landowner of this parcel of land must be….I wish, I too can own such a beautiful estate.’

Can you see how my friend’s scripting and conditioning prevents him from appreciating a view for what it’s worth. Instead the beautiful view becomes a benchmark for him to compare his lot against others and worst, it even causes him regret and much pain since it seems to heighten his awareness that he has accomplished so very little in life. To put it simply, my friend has lost the point of why we stopped by the side of the road.

On another occasion involving yet another friend. This fellow is a constant sufferer of low self esteem. As his scripting and conditioning has managed to convince him – everyone is looking down on him – it doesn’t take a lot for him to be assaulted by such feelings, a little seems to go a long way with my sad friend. All you have to do is be slightly better off than his lot or even have a more expensive car than him and that is enough to set his insecurities on fire. While he beats him up all the day long wallowing in the cesspit of self pity.

This merely illustrates, why if we really desire to see ourselves correctly the world for what it is and not what others say it is – we need to strive to see the world without scripting or conditioning.

This is not easy to do. It may be easy to write about. But doing is another thing entirely. As since our ego is so intricately encrusted with who we believe we truly are – it is very difficult to try to separate the ego from the self. As soon as you try to untangle the two, the mind will begin to resist you forcefully!….it will even fight you tooth and nail. That is why if you care to observe carefully so many people are caught up in the vicious cycle of petty concerns that only seem to sabotage their happiness – they will mull endlessly like a broken record what this person said and did to them…they will read continually into the actions of others, each time trying to find fault…they will even try to be someone who they are not meant to be, believing that if they can somehow succeed in that feat…people will respect and love them…..and soon their entire world is swarmed like a man trying to eat in a cloud of flies. This is what invariably happens when we allow the capricious ego to rule our lives thru the self conscious mind – it will take us to a form of hell!

Observe carefully! Listen attentively! Think properly! And you will see it all around you….some people have been doing this for years, all their lives even…for so very long that they don’t even know they are in the ego inspired self conscious trap.

But when a man strives daily to attain an egoless state of mind, then one day when he lays his eyes on a flower….he will only see the flower and nothing else…..this man is not overcome by stray thoughts of how can I take this beautiful flower home. Do you notice there is no power and politics…only the unalloyed act of appreciating flower along with the grace of it’s stem and texture of its petals. Neither are there any other thoughts that will sabotage this man’s happiness. Like, why can’t I seem to be able to grow such beautiful flowers. What kind of fertilizer is this farmer using to enhance the colors of his flowers.

Instead one instinctive knows, to truly take in such beauty, it is never about possession as much as appreciation.’

The Tao of Sardine curry

August 31, 2015


I cook a delicious canned sardine fish curry. It’s so dam tasty, I never fail to eat it at least three times a week.

This is the only brand of canned sardine I ever use, make sure it’s sardine and not mackerel that you’re buying!

Canned Sardine fish curry

1 large can sardine (425g), tomato sauce flavour
1 tomato, chopped
1 tbsp of chopped ginger, garlic and onion
3 sprigs of curry or one bay leaf
1 onion, sliced
2tbsp cooking oil
100ml water

1/2tsp mixed mustard seeds
1/2tsp coriander seeds
1/2tsp cumin seeds

1tsp salt of taste
1tsp sugar
1tsp light soy sauce
1tbsp fish curry powder
1tsp red chilli powder
1tsp turmeric powder

1. Remove sardines from can, retain the tomato sauce
2. Pan fried sardines (without oil) in a non-stick pan, till both sides turned brown, set aside.
3. Heat oil in a wok, add in ginger, garlic and onion paste and curry leaves, stir fry till fragrant.
4. Add in mustard, coriander and cumin seeds, mix well.
5. Add in the canned sardine’s tomato sauce and water, add in the seasonings.
6. Once sauce boiled, add in the pan fried sardines, cook for 1min.
7. Add in chopped tomato and onion slices, cook for another 1min.
8. Dish out, serve hot with steam rice.


‘Many people make fun of me in the village, they whisper amongst themselves, he doesn’t have a wife, that’s why that bugger wears khaki all the time…it hides the dirt and another thing… he only seems to eat canned sardines all the time.

But these people don’t ever know that I can transform the humble canned sardine into something wondrous and magical – to me, the entire world and much more can be found in a can of sardines.
That is simply an allegory of how 99.9% of life really is, to put it another way, it’s all up there in your head!

If you can somehow convince yourself a can of sardines is just a cardboardish meal on the go – then it becomes precisely that. But if you have the power to reveal it nuanced subtleties…then it can be a meal comparable to that served to a maharaja.

By the same logic, if you can somehow convince yourself, you are suffering – then suffer you will. The reverse holds true as well.

But if like me you have the uncommon knack and knowledge to transform the mundane into something special…then suffering will always be highly optional…Often in life when we come across others who seem to have it all together….it is quite normal to feel assaulted by the nihilistic idea…you are missing out in life.

In this way we script ourselves inadvertently into victimhood simply because, one side of our mind is able to convince the rest, we are missing out on something good in life that everyone else seems to be enjoying.

Usually that sense of missing out is misplaced and overrated and it can only serve to mislead you into believing you are suffering, when you actually have the option to be happy.

It’s very easy for me to be happy even when I eat sardines. As I love sardines. A can of sardines makes two meals. The first I have with rice usually in the evening after a hard day in the field and the overnight portion I will mush up to spread on sandwiches with lashings of cucumber for the following day. I can go thru about ten sandwiches when I am out in the field. I can even eat canned sardines three times a day, 365 days a year. I am not kidding…I am the God of canned sardines!’

Today a bunch of lowlives in the village asked me why I am rich and they are so poor. I told them quite plainly. I mind my own business, unlike them who seem to do very little all day except mope around the kopitiam wasting their lives gambling and gossiping about people who they hardly know.

I don’t ever waste my time doing stupid things like play games on my phone or masturbate six million times a day – every waking hour is spent on improving my land so that it remains high yielding and productive.

So how not to be rich?

Thereafter one of them challenged me to a fight. I beat the shit out of him.

End of story lah!


‘What instills real worth in a man is the quality of his labor. It doesn’t matter how high or low, educated or uneducated, rich or poor you are – you can be a minister. You can even work in the circus cleaning up after elephants 20 minutes after their meal…whatever…but you should at least do yourself a favor and strive to be a master in your craft.

Don’t look at your work as work. Because when you do that, it’s impossible to be excited and energetic…regard your work as a living thing like an art or craft – something that only you can infuse with verve and meaning.

Because if you can be excellent in what you do – people will always respect you and entrust you to do big things.

They may still say unflattering things behind your back, but because you are the man who can deliver the goods – you will command automatic respect! Along with a certain degree of fear. Your words will be weighty. People will not consider you a wish washy person.

But to pull this off! You must be mindful of one truism. In this world there are million of illusions along with false Gods that will prevent you from being the man who you always want to be. Do not cling to them! They are illusions. Do not allow them to cling to you like seaweed either. Otherwise they are likely to steal the best years of your life.

Be clear all the time about the type of people and things that come into your life. Do not just let anyone step into your life…be mindful…in the same way, remain mindful about things, especially those that you like doing or bring you happiness…as even those things can often rob you of your life.

Above all do not neglect your primary reality in life – that is to strive continually to be as close as possible to excellent in your chosen field of expertise.

See thru illusions like – you should care and bother what people say and think about you. Or you should chase what they chase and aspire to be who they want you to be…see thru all these illusions for what they are…the God of nonsense.

You don’t! Your life is your own – understand this! Understand it clearly! You will always be the master of your destiny – if you fuck it up! You have no one to blame but yourself.

You better learn this from a very early age and the sooner you upload this into your brain the better it is for you because it is the only reality that is likely to keep you in the long journey in life – no one is ever going to come into your life and make you rich and happy, except you. It all starts and ends with you. You will always be the major stakeholder in your own life. You are the CEO of who you claim to be. So you better learn to see your life in that sort of clear and unambiguous perspective.

Never spend your time being seduced by meaningless illusions.’

Rained just now

August 28, 2015

For one hour. Good moderate rains.

Thoughts about the rain

August 28, 2015

Just fertilized my lands. Fertilizers are pricey this time round. They’re like gold dust, so I need to make every gramme count. So far only three days of rains in the last week and a half. Not nearly enough for the fertilizer to seep into the ground and nourish the trees….I need more rain.

But it’s turned on it’s axis ever so suddenly. I didn’t even register it. Do you notice….it’s getting hotter and drier of late.

A new season has kicked in. I can’t read this one like the others….I cannot….it’s an unknown quantity…something profoundly alien….written in a strange alphabet that I am unable to decipher. All I can do is run my fingers along it’s deep etched groves as I wonder to myself what lays instal for me.

The sensation is like a giant hand pulling on some great lever that sets into motion an entirely new scene with a new script and a new story and obliterates the happy story you have in your head of how things will or are supposed to turn out.

I am not so sure now there is rain after today…I know the skies are dark…humidity is high, but I don’t sense the life giving rains at all…it’s like not there.

If that turns out to be true. Then I’ve miscalculated terribly, bad move. No happy story for boys who make silly mistakes. Sorry, It’s not going to be one of those stories where the hero goes thru buckets of shit in first two thirds of the movie only for him crush the serpents head, save people and planet along with get the girl as well. That’s fine with me as I know – that’s not what life is really all about…it’s not like the movies.

Sometimes things don’t ever come full circle like a one hour, forty five minutes movie. They just stretch right on like of one of those roads that seem to run so far out into the horizon that it disappears into a single point….like a solitary star.

Could be a crippling disease. Feeling useless because you can’t get a job and bring back the bacon like you should. Or maybe it’s the terrifying prospects that you’re not going anywhere at all with your life…that it’s just stuck there in a rut. Whatever it is that you have to sort out keeps going on and on with hardly any certainty at all or even with the slightest promise it will all end well – all you are conscious of is how every moment of this uncertainty cuts you up like a knife, it’s like living in the razor’s edge. The tension is so high…it’s unbearable.

That if you must all know is the sum of all reason WHY so many people much prefer to live with the happy illusion that life is certain…must be certain…knock wood some more certain lah!

My fear is the rain might have stopped completely. I may have miscalculated. I timed the fertilization to coincide with the arrival of the South Westerly monsoon that is supposed to kick in this time of the year…but there is still no sign of the monsoon…that Primadonna is late by a full two weeks and a bit this year. Close to a no show. I can’t read the weather this time round.

I may have miscalculated terribly…but look on the good side. It’s not really hazy yet, that means rain clouds are still breaking far to the south west and it’s dumping all it’s load into the seas…there is still the hope of rain coming my way.

I need all in all twenty one days of rain. Less could do. But twenty one is the best, three down….eighteen to go. I am not too picky. Don’t care anymore could be short, tall, heavy, skinny, or even Amos Yee rain. Thunderstorms and tornado’s auto invite. Need it! Otherwise fertilizer will just be completely wasted….it will all be for zero if the rains don’t show up.

Otherwise I would have read it all wrong this time…I better polish up on my rain dancing gig.


‘There is no such thing as certainty in this world….is there? That is just a sugary illusion most humans believe in like the tooth fairy…a necessary lie that takes the sting out of how we could just as well end up as victims of randomness.

The power of certainty palliates fears, nourishes the infantile dream – tomorrow will be better than today, if we just keep our shoulder to the wheel, like one of those colorful postcards of distant lands that we stick in our cubicle, it’s there to gives us false hope by nourishing our yearning to know where we are along with where we might be going too.

Truth is ordinary living is at best a capricious affair. The sort that doesn’t even require you to operate heavy machinery or hang at the end of a flimsy rope could just as well do you in and change your life for the worst…or better….it happens thousands of times everyday, miss a bus, catch one just one millisecond later or earlier, scratch your balls in the wrong or right traffic light and the right or wrong person sees you…and somewhere within that calculus where opportunity intercepts destiny and your whole entire life could very will change for the better or worse rolls like a dice… decide to scribble down six at first and instead go with eight because a fly with eight legs, or that at least is the number of legs you think it has, at the national lottery counter, smile or growl at the auntie who finally hands you your ticket and it could just as well end with all the magic numbers lining perfectly or everything remains exactly the same where the only thing that seems certain is the new found belief teeth are not meant to last beyond 40 and you’re no longer a spring chicken….but there is never any certainty about life at all is there….that has to be terrifying to most people and that may very well account for why we need to fashion the God of certainty..that deity of all shattered hopes and dreams being superglued back together and made whole again.

Yes…I see it now, the expectation of certainty in this world is at best a worshipped illusion.

Having said that doesn’t stop politicians and hacks who may still peddle their kow Yok message of only we can be the reliable purveyors of some of ‘let the good times roll!’ or to sell themselves as architects of something that just keeps on going forever. But that doesn’t happen anywhere at all…..may last for a while, but soon it all comes crashing down….doesn’t matter what it is, stock markets, the fortunes of a country even the weather…they’re all filled with terror of uncertainty….in 4,000 years of human history – humanity has always been in a state of perpetual flux, there has always been political, economic, social and sectarian upheavals bubbling to the surface of the great human experiment, but one common denominator features as a recurrent theme in the entire timeline of human history – there is no such thing as certainty.

It’s like talking about snakes in Norway – the bloody thing doesn’t exist at all!

What has always existed is…the awful reality the only thing you can ever be certain about is more uncertainty. Uncertainty. Wars. Famine and human conflict. Economic shifts. People voting with their slippers en mass and just picking up and walking towards a better tomorrow. Or that at least is what they believe. If they can just keep putting one foot in front of another and head North and not bother too much about the pesky details…then everything might just get better. The key word is ‘might’ and it falls short of the golden standard of certainty. Nothing is ever certain.

Right down to things like whether it’s going to rain tomorrow….

It is only when one is mentally prepared and mature enough to come to terms with the idea the world is elementally uncertain…that this is intrinsically it’s essential nature in the way only leopards have spots, then we will not be unduly disturbed, worried or even anxious about what the future may hold for us.

As when we continue to expect certainty from something that cannot ever be certain, this will only cause us untold suffering….this is what happens when one invest in a lie wholeheartedly – as a result we worry constantly about the bad things that will probably never happen at all.

Will the ringgit continue to fall? Maybe. Maybe not. I don’t know. But what I do know is even if it goes right down to the proverbial long kang….life will still go on. What about the great Chinese economy, is it spluttering and bleaching out smoke and just starting it’s great swan dive? Again. I don’t know. But let’s say the equities market in China tanks and everything slows right down to a grind….life will still go on.

Is it really true that this year is the mother of all El Niño? The weather boffins have all been chanting, burn baby burn! Since May. What about Najib, can he last the full term? What happens after him?

Whatever the answers. Whatever the outcome and however it all pans out…good or bad. Only one thing will always hold certainly true – life will go just right on and on and on….may have to make a few adjustments here and there, but for the best part, that how it will be – just like one of those straight roads that I talked earlier about that seems to stretch on into the yonder of infinity forever till everything converges on one point, like a solitary star in the night sky…that star could be billions of miles away, could even have died out a long time ago and all you’re seeing is a remnant of what it used to be, as it’s all cooled but died…but life will just go right on.

I know….I know the world may seem as if it’s pouring out all of itself into the long kang…but I am still very glad to be part of it. As that is really how life is. It’s always been uncertain.

Will it rain sometime in the afternoon or night today? What about tomorrow…I don’t know…but like I said, I know life will just go right on. Maybe that’s all that really matters…to know deep down that whatever comes….life will be able to go right on….well with a few bumps, of course!’


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