Lunar New Year

It is impossible to miss the coming of Spring if you’re in Singapore: there’s a riot of reds and golds, loads of seasonal (and fattening!) foods and snacks, dancing dragons, prancing lions and a few days off work.

Here’s a picture from my visit to Singapore’s Tanjong Pagar, a busy commercial hub.

This was taken in front of an office building.

It features the first 6 animals of the Chinese zodiac; the first animal of the zodiac cycle is the rat (this year’s animal), which is on the extreme left.

Sadly, a crowd prevented me from taking a picture of the remaining 6 animals on the other side.

But imagine coming to work and seeing these colours! Should put a real spring in your step!


Is This Aesthetic?

I had a chat with some teens last month about their social media use; specifically, we were discussing what they post on Instagram and why this photo and not that one.

The answer? Aesthetics. Ok, so what’s aesthetics? How do you decide what’s aesthetics? The 13 year old stared at me and said, “It’s what will make me happy if look at it again.”

Buoyed by the memory of that conversation, I present this photo:

taken from my plane seat over Dubai.

Is it beautiful? Not particularly. I didn’t plan it or compose it or do whatever it is that photographers do. This is just a snapshot taken on a 3 year old cranky phone through a window.

Is it meaningful? I’m in a man made machine, in a privileged window seat up in the air watching a sunrise whose colours and transformations no man could make more beautiful. So, yes.

Is it aesthetic? Even with the blob of engine in the corner? I think the engine provides context. So, to me, yes.

And it makes me happy to look at it because a sunrise is a new beginning.


Lights Up!

I had the pleasure of a quick night time drive through Orchard Road in Singapore in mid-November.

These shaky cellphone pictures from a moving vehicle really don’t do justice to the Christmas lights. The theme, which some have questioned as being un-Christian, is ‘A Disney Christmas’.

But what struck me was how, a three-minute drive from the end of the shopping belt, we came across this other light up for Diwali or Deepavali – the Hindu Festival of Lights, in Little India in Serangoon Road.

This festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil, knowledge over ignorance and light over darkness.

How wonderfully brilliant that two diverse festive occasions can be celebrated peacefully and harmoniously almost side by side.


Plaintive Plantains

Yes, I know plantains are not bananas, but are members of the banana family. I’ve tried eating one on its own so I learned the hard way.

Nonetheless, I needed a creative literary sounding title to sum up this situation at the supermarket, hence the title.

A supermarket with a sense of humour is just the thing in the shops today.

Have a great weekend!



I came across this simple but poignant poem while on a train in London.

The search for better circumstances has long been a motivation for the paths and choices of living things. Even when those choices weren’t really choices but instincts for survival.

Migration is indeed today’s word. As it was yesterday’s. As it will be tomorrow’s.