Oxford Shenanigans

“Oh, so you blog?” “Yeah, I do! Well, kind of.” That murky wave of guilt laps at my conscience and I remember that it’s literally been months since I last posted. Sitting across a new friend at a beautiful coffee shop in Oxford, I begin to recall why I started blogging in the first place….

Fat Pig, Pangdemonium Productions

I have to admit, I watched this play twice. Twice? Forget the outraged (and at the same time rather smug) voice in your head going: “Twice? Such a luxury! What a spoilt thing!”, and listen up for a moment. Watch this play. (Well, it’s over now – but do catch it elsewhere!) You won’t regret…

MOE Cuts Funding to Independent Schools

The funding cuts for the top independent schools in Singapore have recently raised quite a furore over the fairness of such a move. Six top independent schools in Singapore have had their funding cut and, along with other mission schools, have been told to moderate fund-raising activities for campus upgrading. In addition, they will have to…

Brideshead Revisited, by Evelyn Waugh

Sometimes, I feel the past and the future pressing so hard on either side that there’s no room for the present at all. Beautiful, reflective, and charmingly nostalgic, Brideshead Revisited paints a captivating picture of the British aristocracy in the prosperous age before the Second World War. This is a novel that speaks of religion, love, art,…

London: Singular Sunlit Solstice

London. There is something inherently exhilarating about megacities that compel us to marvel at the achievements of human existence – the skyscrapers that seem to stretch for eternity into the sky; the varied architecture that hints at periods of intense demolishing and then robust development; the multitude of people that crowd the streets, each with…

Italy: Vibrant Hues

The psychedelic colours that saturate this film absolutely stun me; the vibrant hues of foamy blue and blood orange coalesce into some sort of dreamy, eternal-sunset-splashed heaven. Italy is indeed a beautiful place: elderly centenarians (perhaps not quite; but the Dumbledore-esque wispy white beards seem to make them decades wiser) stroll along the cobbled streets;…

New Year, Old Concept, Same Life

At the debut of every new year, the vast majority of the 7 billion (and steadily increasing) human inhabitants of this earth sit down at their desks (or stand in their showers, take a run in their parks, do handstands in their rooms for all I know) and mull over the past 365 days with…

Household Gods, by Philip Hobsbaum

Household Gods “I mirrored their breaking lives,I saw their pale Distraught coming and going, lined despair, His shaken bulk, her calm pose in the doorway— I saw them. I was there.” “I have so long been silent, even now Hardly at all remember how her slim Long fingers once caressed me—was that how At one…

There but for the, by Ali Smith

It was one of those rare december break mornings; one where I actually woke up with the burning sensation (rather, a pounding heart attack) to get a start on my holiday homework because oh lord why is there always so much work. Knowing that staying at home would eventually lead to languorous inactivity, I wiggled…

While the Light Lasts, by Agatha Christie

I spotted this gem amidst the rustic bookshelves of Sister Srey café, a charming little nook along the riverside of Siem Reap’s bustling Old Market area serving good ol’ Aussie nosh tosh. The amazing food aside, this petite café had a charming shelf-load of books on its second floor free for anyone to take. Having…

Siem Reap: Savong’s School

I slept and I dreamed that life is all joy. I woke and I saw that life is all service. I served and I saw that service is joy. – Kahlil Gibran The rickety drive up the bumpy, pot-holed path to Savong’s School was always one of suppressed excitement; the pit of my stomach would…

Siem Reap: Colorful Characters

The most exhilarating part of traveling is chancing across an intriguing, colorful array of people along the way. This trip to Siem Reap not only led us on a journey of self-discovery and service, but brought us on an adventure to meet a myriad of different characters, each with their own riveting stories. Often taxi drivers…

Siem Reap: Epicurean Explorations

Food is the language we all speak. Food is also the door to another culture; the physical manifestation of complex undertones of emotion, complicated webs of history, and ineffable human connections and individual refinements that all coalesce in a beautiful explosion of flavors. One mouthful is all it takes to taste the rich Cambodian history,…

Siem Reap: Culinary Creations

The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude. – Julia Child The kaleidoscopic array of colors arranged so stunningly in an amalgamation of lettuce leaves, carrot strips, cucumber bunches, crisp basil and petite onions sat alluringly in the center of the table. Dinner plates from…

The Outsider, by Albert Camus

Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee? It is this strange  insouciant detachment that characterizes ‘The Outsider’; that makes it such an unsettling and yet morbidly compelling read. It is a story that leaves you with an aching sense of gaping vacuity, a feeling that perhaps life has no meaning, and no…

It’s All in the Mind.

It’s that time of the year when work starts piling up- multiple IAs and assignments lie in a stack of unkempt, disheveled papers at the corner of your desk- constantly reminding you, beseeching you to pay some thought to your neglected duties. But all you can think about is how to avoid studying for your…

Why Teachers Matter.

This post is dedicated to all the teachers out there. To the teachers that have touched my life, and the lives of many others, from tottering toddlers to angsty adolescents – this is for you. I simply cannot express how much my teachers have influenced my life – every single one of them. You get…

Taking a Nap: A Break from the World

I never really believed in the power of naps – quite frankly, I considered them a waste of precious time that could be put to use productively. It pained me to think of wasting thirty minutes on pure lazing around: there was simply too much to do to take a break just for the sake…

Zero: The Biography of a Dangerous Idea, by Charles Seife.

Nothingness is being and being nothingness… Our limited mind cannot grasp or fathom this, for it joins infinity. – Azrael of Gerona Connections, connections, connections. There are many things in life that have inconsequential beginnings: things that are only discovered by chance (and on curious whim). When nonchalantly sweeping past the library bookshelf and fingering…

Sri Lanka: Rustic charm amidst quirky delight

Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world. -Gustave Flaubert I’ve always loved elephants, so I was delighted that we were going to the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage this trip. Baby elephants are always objects of wonder for children and adults ‘ooh’ and ‘awwwh’ over, but a small pat…

Lean In, by Sheryl Sandberg

I am a feminist. Abashedly, such a declaration makes me cringe. A voice in my head adamantly screams fury and repulsion, refusing to let me associate myself with the characteristically outspoken, obstinate, and vehemently bitter female advocates of feminist rights. But I am a feminist. I believe in social, political and economic equality of the…

Why I Love Maths

Why; I Love Math Yes, you heard correctly- Why I Love Math. A question people ask frequently It never ceases to puzzle me How could you not love math? It is wonderfully adept with many possibilities in fact Infinity to be exact. It is much like a lover. A lover, you say? Yes, a lover…

Hidden Hideaways: The Lemontree Bistro

Culinary Appreciation Society. A mention of the club brings amused chuckles and knowing glances- everyone takes it as a barely concealed excuse for spoilt kids with a buck to spend to rack up the CAS points whilst spending time with friends. Oui… Mais non. Finally some bona fide food enclave searching; purveyors of unbeknownst cafés and bistros…

The Importance of Being Earnest, Wild Rice Productions

It is a terrible thing for a man to find out suddenly that all his life he has been speaking nothing but the truth. Can you forgive me? Words cannot begin to describe the stomach-aching, cheek-muscle-straining, giddiness-inducing two hours of utter enjoyment that Wild Rice’s production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest brought to the…

Krabi, Thailand: Foodscapade

Seize the moment. Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart. Life is short; why not eat? Good food is a work of art in itself- and like art, food has a immense history of culture and intense flavors that shape each type of cuisine. Thailand is no exception; perhaps…

Krabi: Escape into idyllic paradise

The throaty rumble of the boat across choppy waters Whooshes to secluded beaches in little splutters Advances towards the blissful haven Isolated; radiant heaven Waves roll gently in, caressing the golden sand Gritty specks, grasped in outstretched hand Blossoming flowers, tucked behind ears Whisper soothing tunes for all to hear There is little hurt blowing…

All My Sons, By Arthur Miller

‘[…] the underlying fear of being displaced, the disaster inherent in being torn away from our chosen image of what or who we are in this world.’- Arthur Miller, Tragedy of the Common Man.  The fear of not being that which you want to be. A pervasive fear; one that everyone falls prey to at one…

Elements of Thought

Throbbing aches Of a newly formed notion Coaxed out of tranquility; Conjured from wispy thin air- Forced to materialize, to be made aware Retaliating Lashing out Coiling spindly fingers throughout Leaving us with no choice but To live in perpetual fetters to inescapable contemplation In transient delusions of liberation Tied to aphoristic observations Significance in…

Nothing Good or Bad, Only Thinking Makes it So

Thought. The throbbing ache of a newly formed notion, coaxed out of the tranquil state of wispy thin air and forced to materialize in the depths of our minds- retaliating; lashing out and coiling its long fingers around our brains, leaving us with no choice but to live in perpetual fetters to its inescapable contemplations……