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Showing posts from November, 2011

Just a Few Steps Ahead - The Walk of a Mentor

"I really can't wait to eat Claire's delicious dinner. She has always prepared a sumptious meal all these years... But this crazy rain seems to get heavier by the minute, and the traffic is really crazy... I wish we had arranged another day for our mentoring session..." That was my lament to Sue as we drove last Thursday to the home of Ben and Claire, the lovely couple who have been our relationship mentors even before we got married. The December monsoons had come a few weeks early, peak hour traffic was almost at a standstill, our son Z was getting a little cranky in his car seat, and we were very late - almost one hour to be precise. But the moment we entered the house, all strain and tiredness seemed to evaporate like the springtime mist. Ben was all smiles as he greeted us. "There's no need to apologise," he voiced, as we articulated the long story behind why we were so late. "What's most important is that you're here," echoed Cl

Do i Really Win?

i has taken the world by storm. Today there are few people who do not know what an i Pad, an i Phone or an i Pod is. And that does not preclude children under the age of eight. According to a recent US study, about half of children aged eight and below have access to a mobile device such as a smartphone, a video i Pod, an i Pad or other tablet. The October 2011 study of 1,384 parents by San Francisco-based Common Sense Media explained the findings, saying that the figures reflect the trend among adults, given that parents continually model such behaviour for their children. This trend is not exclusive to online media. According to the survey, the television is still the main entertainer for a child. Results showed that children under the age of two tended to watch an average of 53 minutes a day of TV or DVDs, and about one-third of American children that age have TVs in their bedrooms. When Sue and I first read the survey findings, it brought a certain feeling of dis-ease to us. In

Of Friends and Fellowship

We had a lovely weekend. Saturday was spent going for Z's swim class in the morning, followed by his usual nap before we headed off to spend the afternoon with one of Mark's very good friends, Edwin, and his wife Christine. They have three girls. It was a time of rest and catching up. The fellowship was comfortable, our shared commonalities made for insightful conversation, the children played well together, and most of all, we once again felt refreshed in the presence of good friends.  I have come to not take these moments for granted. Ten years ago, in my yet unmarried state, no housework or babies to tend to, these moments were far easier to obtain and I believe I must have taken them for granted. In my university days, or just starting work, there seemed to be so many more evenings which could be spent just hanging out with friends for dinner, or catching a show. There have also been friends who have come and gone through the years, and I have learnt to take friendshi

Of Parents and Grandparents: A Symphony of Love

We celebrated Amah's 91st Birthday yesterday. In just three days' time, my maternal grandmother would have taken her first year into the tenth decade of her life. The grand lady gripped the harmonica purposefully. With her hands tightly grasping the metallic instrument, she blew ernestly into the holes, and spun out the tune of the great hymn "Whispering Hope". At her side, Uncle Peter, who had flown in from the UK for the occasion, tuned his ears to identify what key to play, before joining in on the guitar to smoothen out the musical piece. The symphony was completed by the rest of Amah's children and grandchildren, who formed the choir in a most uncoordinated yet harmonious manner. Our son, Z, gazed intently at his granduncle. He watched his granduncle's deft fingers strum expertly at the guitar. With an expression of complete amazement, Z turned to look at his great-grandmother, clearly in awe at the tenacity with which she was playing the harmonica. It wa