Archive for October, 2012

Marriage is not a fairy tale!

October 27, 2012 Leave a comment

(This is the text of the speech I delivered at the Div Z Humorous speech & evaluation contest on 27th Oct 2012)

How many of you have read the story of Cinderella?
The beautiful princess Cinderella married her charming prince who found her missing shoe and they lived happily ever after?

Contest Chair, Respected Judges and  fellow toastmasters

Stop reading those fairy tales  – I say!  If you want to get the girl of your dreams or you want to have a happy marriage – stop reading those fairy tales.

We read these fairy tales and grow up in a world thinking marriages are made in heaven, marriage is  a bed of roses with no thorns.  But in reality,  marriages are made right here – on earth and they are a bed of thorns with roses a few and far between.

And the modern day girl thinks her boyfriend  is the knight in shining armour who comes on a horse in ‘Gangnam style’ and sweeps her off her feet.

Before marriage men and women only present the best sides of themselves.  The guy is


Financially independent

Witty and cracks jokes

In good shape

takes her to expensive restaurants

Before the marriage the boy is head over heels in love and cant wait for the big day to arrive.  He shops for a diamond ring.

Every day he wants to take his girl friend to candle-light dinners

He has the memory of an elephant – he remembers her birthday,  and even her mothers birthday

Changes, his shirt and  ties everyday

Works out in the gym everyday to impress his girl friend with those ‘Hulk Hogan’biceps and 6 packs

Before my marriage my wife tells me that I used to lecture a lot to her.  But after marriage I have become quiet.  That is why  I take part in humorous speech contest every year because it is the only time I get 5-7 mins of uninterrupted attention and everyone including her thinks we  are all having fun!

After the marriage  –

Instead of taking  her to expensive restaurants – now he takes her to McDonalds once in a while

the same guy with the memory of an elephant  cant remember his own birthday – and when he goes to the grocery store he goes blank and has to call his wife to ask her what he has to buy.

Now instead of changing his shirt and ties – he changes diapers for his new born baby

He used to be handsome – now he he starts to grey and lose hair

He used to shave everyday and put on perfume – now he shaves on weekends

He had a 6 pack = now he thinks his pot belly  is a sign of his prosperity

Before marriage a woman is –



Does not like shopping

Does not like to talk

After  the marriage the girl only has–

2 hobbies – shopping and talking. The third one is ‘cooking’ is thrust on her by her mother-in-law.

She thinks that shopping malls were made for women.
When she goes shopping she needs the husband to tag along to carry her handbag and to pay for the purchases. Man the guy used to go everyday to the gym to build those biceps!  Those biceps are not meant to carry ladies handbags.. they are meant to hold weights, haversacks and lift his girl while he is doing the salsa.

She thought her prince does not burp, does not dig his nose and does not break wind  but after marriage all hell breaks loose – and he does all three at the same time.

So here are some tips for guys for survival..

First –  listen, listen and listen but do not speak.  Here you may have to practice some neck exercises.  You can also practice using as many pause fillers as possible – like Ah, umm, ohoh, ok   So she will think you are paying full attention to her even if your mind is elsewhere!

And for girls –

Do not try to impress your husband – instead you have to tackle the VIP the very irritating person– the mother-in-law.  Be at her beck and call. Be ready to do anything for her.

Marriage is not about waiting for prince or princess charming to come – it is about making things happen.  It is about simple things like sitting together on the beach and watching the sunset, it is about valuing each others freedom rather than tying each other in knots.

So put your feet firmly on the ground because no knight is going to come to sweep you off your feet


Fasten your seat belt

October 13, 2012 Leave a comment



(This is the text of the speech I delivered at the Humorous Speech & evaluation contest of Bishan Toastmasters Club)

Fasten your seat belt because I am going to take you on a ride – a taxi ride.

Contest Chair, Judges, Fellow toastmasters and friends

After having lived in Singapore for more than 20 years, the person who strikes me as being the most worldly-wise and knowledgeable is our humble taxi driver.
Who else gets to meet people from all walks of life – the student, the housewife, the doctor, the engineer, the businessman or the lawyer?

Having said that, getting a cab in Singapore can be a nightmare on some days and really easy on other days.

Murphy has his own laws for taxis:

If you need a cab – you won’t get one &
If you do not need a cab – there is a queue of taxis waiting for you.  You feel  like a celebrity and they are all waiting to take your photographs.

If you are waiting to hire a cab and you see the signs BUSY, CHANGE SHIFT, HIRED, ON CALL etc then you better look for an alternative because that means you would have to wait for another hour

The first thing a taxi driver asks you when you enter the cab is “Which way do you want to go?  CTE or PIE or SLE or AYE?  It is a polite way of saying – I’m new to this job so could you please guide me?

Now, hoping that you managed to get a cab, you can come face-to-face with a host of drivers

The talkative driver
He is dying to start a conversation with you.  He fires a volley of questions at you.  PR of Singaporean, how many years have you been here?  Is this your own house?  Only 1 daughter – you should go for another one?  Suddenly you forget why you are sitting in the cab and by the time you recover your senses, you have overshot your destination.

The angry driver
He sizes you up in the rear-view mirror.
Uncle – North Bridge road please you say
Taxi driver – “Ah”
“I said North bridge road”
Taxi driver “You think I cannot hear ah – I have been driving this taxi for 20 years ok.”
After that you just want to be safe rather than sorry.

The mobile phone addict
This driver needs only hand to drive his cab.
“Hello Ah-boon  – I’m droping someone to Woodlands.  Can we meet today.. near the Woodlands Mart – that Kopitiam.. at 5:30 pm sharp. Me – I’m fine, happy-go-lucky”
“Sir – which block did you say”

Then there was this driver who took me all the way to his home in Sengkang.  He said that he knew the way to any place in Singapore only from his home.  He reminded me of a PC or phone that had hung and needed to be reset.

The F1 driver
Ever since the F1 race began in Singapore a lot of drivers like to emulate their stars like Sebastian Vettel or Jensen Button.  The taxi driver is no exception.  As soon as you get into the cab, you better fasten your seat belt.  The speed indicator alarm goes ‘peep peep peep’.  He cuts across lanes like he owns the road, he does not signal and when he reaches the destination – he raises his hands in joy just like he won the F1 race

The sleepy cabbie
Once I got into this cab.  The guy either went into a night club or karaoke the previous night.  He was dozing away and I was trying to keep him awake.  Ya – take the next right, then keep straight until you reach the car park.  He would wake up and say ‘Ah Ah ok’.  I was sitting on the edge of my seat throughout the journey and when I reached I said “Uncle, keep the change” and just rushed home.

The PhD cabbie
Singapore has a PhD taxi driver.  Cai Mingjie has a PhD from Stamford University and also writes a blog

Some taxi drivers are very organized.. they keep their taxis spick and span, coins neatly arranged, display some souvenirs and they treat their taxis like a little home

Whatever quirks they may have, the taxi driver is the pulse of our nation.  They are the people on the ground who are aware of almost everything under the sun – be it economy, politics, stocks, property, sports , his family, your family and so on.

So, the next take time you take a cab give the driver a big smile because he goes all out to make your journey comfortable and he could make your day!!


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