If you don’t know it by know, I’m a big traveler. My mother used to say I’d stare out the window when I was a little kid, point at the airplane and shout ‘Bootanna’ – the made-up word I had for the flying machine – repeatedly till it disappeared. The first time I got on my plane, I was so fascinated and excited, I couldn’t keep still. I felt comfortable.

Perhaps it was a premonition, or perhaps it’s just coincidence but till this day, I am hungry to see every inch of this world. The landscapes that tell stories of the earth, the buildings and food that tell stories of culture evolving and most importantly the people themselves that speak their own tales. It’s a romanticism, feeding off the idealistic tinge I possess, that wants to identify somehow with this place I call ‘home’.

I’ve never been romantically in love. I’m 22, and granted in this day and age that’s still considered young, but in a lot of ways I always wished I had taken more chances when I was younger with the infatuations I had. I had always suppressed my idealism in favor of studies (God, it’s such a typical Singaporean tale I’m sad I’m a part of it) but it was only towards my later youth that I allowed myself to chase what I truly wanted. By this point, I was already at a point where no lasting relationship made sense, not till now at least.

And yet, when I finally ‘should be ready’, I’m somewhat unwilling to be romantically involved anymore.I want to keep moving, to keep seeing this world. Yes, I’ve found people in countries I’ve visited that have captured pieces of my heart, but at the end of the day I must leave and move on. I could return; I could stay but my romantic side tells me I’ll play that card when the time is right, and the time hasn’t been right yet.

I shared a Facebook post on my wall recently where it told a story of a couple that met, fell in love and consummated all while on a six hour flight. To me that’s how I want my story to begin, sort of a ‘wanderlove’ experience. Someone who can embrace the spontaneity of life and in a lot of ways also search for lasting truths.

I’ve no longer accepted any one place as my domain. Singapore is my home, now and always, but I cannot exist in it alone. I must continue traveling, continue chasing the eternal unknown – what is it that makes us human?  I’ll document everything and I’ll share my journeys , and hopefully along the way I fall in love the same way the story on my wall goes. Or maybe not, it doesn’t matter , as long as it happens in true spirit of my ethos.

I am the nomad, and I will roam, because there’s something else behind this noise and I have to find it.



tell me a story babe

It’s coming again. The itch.

I’ve got an idea and it’s coming to life. The same feeling when I started The Hidden Good. The surge of energy, the excitement of possibilities. Oh the beautiful sensation to be glad to be alive.

Spring Quarter is proving to be a lot tougher than I expected. Everything’s starting to culminate, the year is coming to a close and symbolically (just the way I like it) – I will be ending with a spectacular bang.

Watermelon Bust. Dillo Day. Thiel Summit. Singapore. Birthday. Bangkok. Kuala Lumpur. India. MP3 Experiment. China. International Orientation.Wildcat Welcome. The Big Idea. Germany.

And there’s so much in between.

It’s not been easy, balancing all the commitments and taking five subjects and having to maintain the GPA requirements by EDB (3.8 is a lot harder than I thought). I’ve kept pace though, and I have so many of the people around me to thank.

I keep getting letters and postcards from all over the world; I have phone calls and Skype calls with friends from places I wish I could go back to; I have conversations with different personalities on campus. It’s the stories that drive me. I’m just grateful that people have kept me in their hearts and memories to keep in touch.

See, the thing about stories is that while you’re making them, you can get so absorbed in the moment you get tired out. What keeps me going then is the stories of others. Yes, I read back through my blog and energize myself by seeing what I used to do , but I get more excited when I hear the adventures others are on. I’m happy for them, and at the same time driven to make my own stories.


‘…and that everyone, is the story of The Hidden Good. Does anyone have any questions?’

The floor is silent. A teacher raises his hand.

‘Oh sure, go ahead’

‘I’m very impressed.’

‘Oh thanks’

‘Yupp, it’s definitely a lot of work you’ve done. And you’re helping so many people. You may not realize this, but the work you’re doing is going to help this country so much more than you see right now.’

‘Thanks, I really appreciate that.’

‘I just want to hear why you’re doing this. When I was your age, I didn’t think of spending my time like this. I was wasting my time. Looking back, I wish I had done things differently’


That wasn’t the first time I had heard that line. Yet, it was at that moment , it struck me hard. I was not going to look back and regret my decisions.

I was going to tell more stories as I grew up. These stories are made with others though; the magic of the moment is mostly seen with the light of a few others.

So tell me your story, and make me excited.

and then i’ll make you go wild.




death on campus

“I never realised how blue those sirens were” Tony said, looking at Jimmy.

“Yeah, I never thought I’d see the day when someone actually pressed one of those buttons. I mean I was actually curious but this kind of sucks.” Jimmy replied.

“Yeah, whoever did this is a sick bastard. I mean look at the way his body is placed. It’s almost like the headless horseman, you know with his head under his arms and all” Tony said, still slurping out of his Starbucks frappucino.

“I get it. You don’t have to be so damn descriptive, I’m seeing what you’re seeing.”  Jimmy remarked, and turned his head away from the body.

“Do we still need to call the police? The siren should have settled it right?” Tony asked.

“Ya, I think we’re good. I need to catch up on my Hearthstone anyway. ”

As the pair walked away, they saw out of the corner of their eyes police cars pulling up on the side of the residence hall.

“We should really get out of here. I don’t want to waste time being questioned”

The boys ran off , just as the police stepped out.

“God, a murder. That’s a first. ” one of the cops said, walking over to the body.

“And a gruesome one at that. He chopped off his damn head.” another pointed out.

“Thanks Captain Obvious. Lucky us , getting this on our shift. Think of the amount of paperwork we have to do now. Who is this fucking kid anyway?” the first cop said, squatting and turning digging into the boy’s wallet.

The second cop went over to turn off the siren. “This camera should be able to tell us who did it too. Let me get the footage for this . Our killer obviously didn’t think through this too much.”

“Fuck” the first cop shouted.

“What? What’s wrong?”

“This fucktard doesn’t go here. He’s a DePaul kid. ”

“Ah fuck us. This is going to make things so much more difficult for us.”


The cops stood up and stared at the body for a while longer.

“Alright, I’ll call the Evanston PD. You’ll get on the camera footage then?”

“Ya I’ll do that.” he said

The cops cordoned off the area and started making the necessary arrangements. The usual procedures occurred – the media swooped in, crowds started forming around the body, and people started sending Snapchats to their friends.

Campus the next day was rife with all kinds of gossip and smalltalk. Yik Yak had people exaggerating every detail. Perhaps the most interesting turn of events was at 2 in the afternoon , when a definitive Yak was posted.

Don’t get too comfortable Wildcats – it’s just the start . – True Wildcat.

It didn’t take too long for all kinds of responses to accumulate.

“This could be a poser” someone had replied.

“If you’re the killer, please know we can still help you. Just turn yourself in” another said.

The President sent an email out within the hour promising to find the killer and encouraging students to be safe. “Be careful, but keep going to classes” was the abridged version of the email.

Everyone was talking about what had just happened, except for Will. Will, built short and stubby with a hairstyle that was a bad attempt at Justin Bieber’s early days, had been sitting in his room the whole afternoon. He had brushed his teeth and eaten an apple before, but other than that , all Will had done was sit on his bed and twiddle his thumbs.

He had paused the twiddling of his thumbs every once in a while, to observe a very particular item. “It’ll still be there , why am I so scared?” he said calming himself down.

Finally, he walked over and picked the item up. “I’ll throw this into the lake” he said. “Away from Chicago, because the police are probably expecting something to be thrown.”

He looked at the butcher’s chopper in his hands.

“I’m sorry buddy.” he said, and kissed the chopper.

“I’m just glad Brian had to die.”

—-To be Continued—




sign language

story below. disclaimer first: i’ve decided to stop publishing the #77breaths on my blog mainly because I feel like I’m double-typing what I post on my instagram. You can follow the challenge on my instagram and facebook and even my snapchat!


it was one of those days for him. one of those lazy uneventful days in which all he had to focus on was the feelings in his heart and the tempo of his soul. he was in the University library – just browsing through the multitude of books that just sat around with no one actually going through them.

” the library is now just a destination of quietness , nothing more than the epitome of all things peaceful” the librarian had shared over a casual conversation. it’s ironic though, she had mentioned , because most of these books portray the largest wars of ideas ever seen.

mink was in the non-fiction section; browsing through books on philosophy and psychology ;hoping to find something to explain the irritating itch he felt in his brain. it felt similar to a literal itch and yet the doctors thought he was just imagining things.

his leg all of a sudden, felt something blocking its way. right inbetween of two shelves , on the carpeted floor sat an aged archaic book, calling for mink to open it. he lifted the book up to his chest level and laid it open to the mid-section.

“and when Life had departed him, it had nowhere else to go, and so became its own paradigm” he read out loud.

and there was nothing but a whisper.


the surroundings had changed drastically. what used to be a library was now a desolate forest. there were no signs of wildlife and all that mink saw were two stumps across from each other in a clearing . he walked towards them, and in a natural pull took a seat on one of them.

“welcome” the voice said. “don’t bother trying to look for me, i’m seated right across from you”

mink looked across and saw the faintest impression of a body on the stump. “how do i get back?” he asked hurriedly.

“that’s funny – it’s always the same question. you’re brought to this world, somewhere foreign and you talk to something you can’t comprehend; and all you want to do is travel back” the voice retorted.

“alright who are you then”

“you opened my book – so make your wildest guess”

“it said “The Book of Life” – but you can’t be Life…”

“and why not?


“so tell me, why am i here?” mink asked, while fiddling with his fingers. he noticed the forest had gotten smaller, almost fitting snugly around them.

“to talk. i do get lonely. tell me, how have you enjoyed your life?” the voice answered back.

“hold on, i don’t get how you can be life. do i become you when i die?”

“you don’t . your soul disappears – and i know not what happens to it. but life, the karmic essence that flows through you – all that energy ; that is what i am. i am an accumulation of the life energies of the world, from the dawn of time till the end of life.”

“and yet you can’t be seen? shouldn’t that much energy be too strong for me to behold?”

“ah that’s where you’re wrong, mr mink. you see, we’re all gifted with life in the form you enjoy right now. but my energy is only truly maximised when people choose to LIVE. to move past their current dreariness and completely exist. till then, i am just this echo. people haven’t truly lived.”

” what does it mean to live then? to have a family and travel, to see the world?”

“you can do that, but it’s not so much the what as much as it is the why and how that’s important. live with purpose, each day as a challenge to truly feel involved with everything around you. write, play music, exercise – but do these to enable all that you’re provided with. love, because that is the heart of living – let your heart be broken many times over, but let them be broken by people and issues that are important. never ever let the mundane be your comfort – give yourself to the whims of the heart.”

“and why are you telling me this? why of people me?” mink asked, overwhelmed at this point.

“because you have an itch in your head. because you think too much and sometimes love too little. and because you’re not the first. we spend too much time learning things that we’ll never use like partial differentiation and organic chemistry – but where do you learn lessons like humanity and empathy. these are the lessons that your world needs”


First I was dying to finish high school and start college. And then I was dying to finish college and start working. And then I was dying to marry and have children. And then I was dying for my children to grow old enough for school so I could return to work. And then I was dying to retire.

And now I am dying…

And suddenly I realize I forgot to live.



the intangible truth about me

unsaid words have beautiful implications sometimes
but the words never said leave holes unplugged
and holes unplugged leave spaces for things unnecessary
like hurt and disappointment and excessive behaviour
and we could honestly do without all that



viola scrambled up the hill to meet Grandfather. it was the annual Turning of the Moon and it was her turn to get a chance to tap into the wisdom of Grandfather. all of her friends who had talked to Grandfather had their lives changed and she was excited to hear more.

“who’s there?” the voice bellowed as she knocked on the aged steel door. the house was a tincan, built by sticking metal plates together and piercing them together with recycled screws.

“it’s me, second daughter of the Alkans and saviour of the line” she recited the rehearsed lines her parents had taught her.

“what’s your name darling. i asked them to stop with this cultic nonsense, i’m too old for this ” he shouted back.

“viola, sir” she answered.

“ah yes, come on in.”

viola pushed open the door and looked straight up at Grandfather. he was a looming figure, with skin that glowed like a baby.

“you don’t look old at all” she said

“trust me , i am. now tell me how can i help you?” he asked back

“i’m not really sure how it goes from here. what do i need to know for life?” she questioned.

he pondered a bit. “give me your palm” he said.

she excitedly reached it out to him.

he scrubbed his finger across her palm. putting it back down, Grandfather closed his eyes . he stayed in the same position for a good five minutes before Viola felt awkward.

“Grandfather?” she asked.

his eyes jerked open. “oh you’re still here. well miss, i’m sorry but i have nothing for you”

she stared back at him hopelessly. “nothing , nothing at all? but you’re supposed to change my life. you’re supposed to tell me what i ought to do” she started to cry.

“who told you that? i’m here to help those who have problems with their lives. you have the weirdest problem of all, one that needs no solving” he said back monotonously. he got up and moved towards his teapot to pour himself a cup of hot jystern tea.

“jystern tea?” he asked her.

“i hate that old brew” she mumbled, her reservations put aside now.

“hate is a strong word miss.” he said and walked back with his tea.

“look, some people need a helping hand to push them where they need to go. you don’t. in fact, any advice at all on specifically how to live your life is a detriment to you – because you possess a spirit of willpower. ”

“spirit of willpower?”

“the rarest of its form. you move to action and ideation. anyone who tells you what to do negates the effect of your will – you must make your own way. your life is yours and yours alone – the decisions you make must be completely trusted by your inner soul. ”

” but there are definitely times where i won’t be sure about what to do”

“then be ready to make mistakes and lose some. but your mistakes will only build you up, and your losses will help you gain more. at the end of the day, you must own your life. you must be completely comfortable with it and your decisions”

“i am who i am. these feelings, these impulses – these are real, unchecked but natural. my desire to live the world, to see all that it has to offer – that is my drive. i get it now. ”

“and remember, do what you must when you must. ”

Viola looked back at grandfather. he didn’t look that old anymore.

“I’ll head out now” She said.

and with that Viola was ready to move on.


you close the curtains and just escape
i live this way you say

how about you try my way i ask back
and we try making our own way
we do what feels right. what feels nice

‘cos nice is a pretty nice way to feel.