Archive for November, 2015

Non-Regional Diction

November 23, 2015 Leave a comment

Write about whatever you’d like, but write using regional slang, your dialect, or in your accent


This problem so cheem
I never do before
Eh goondu help me lah
Don’t yaya papaya

I know you very clever
But don’t hao siao
Want to impress
That pretty charbo

Lets go makan
I am so hungry
Walao this chicken rice
Makes me so song

I am sorry lah
Paise Paise
Never sabot you lah
You are my kaki

Why so sad?
Who takan you?
Don’t sit like a bodoh
Later kena mati

So kepo for what
Why you wayang wayang
Eh abang get lost
I taboleh tahan

You macam blur sotong
Suka suka park your bike
Don’t say never tell you
When you get saman

You speak like angmoh
Wah – powderful man
But when you see spider
Why so kancheong man?

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Categories: Books

The Power of Touch

November 20, 2015 Leave a comment


Textures are everywhere: The rough edges of a stone wall. The smooth innocence of a baby’s cheek. The sense of touch brings back memories for us. What texture is particularly evocative to you?

The skin is the largest organ in the human body and thus the sense of touch plays a big role in our lives.  Touch is regarded as the mother of all senses as it is the first sense to be developed in the embryo. However, how many of us even utter a compliment, let alone, give a hug, a kiss, a congratulatory pat, a high-five or a handshake.

Our touch can be used to convey emotions of caring, friendliness, support, encouragement, suggestion, provocation, offense, dominance or lust. Gentle touch or caress secretes happiness hormone Oxytocin inside the brain. A slap, a hostile touch or an accidental touch can lead to fights, anxiety and vulnerability.

Touching is also a subject to societal, cultural , gender and regional norms.  In some cultures, hugging and kissing is considered acceptable to convey love, affection and support whereas in other cultures it can be considered taboo.  In a study done by Jourard (1966), people from different cultures were observed in casual conversation. He counted the number of times they touched during a one-hour period. Touching occurred 180 times an hour in Puerto Rico, 110 times in Paris, in London, 0; and in the U.S., 2.

Touch has been an essential part of ancient healing practices.  Touch has roots in shamanic and religious practices, and is reported to have been an integral part of health care practices and medicine since their emergence from the realms of religion and magic (Levitan & Johnson, 1986; Smith, Clance & Imes, 1998).

Recent research done by the Touch Research Institute has demonstrated that touch triggers a cascade of chemical responses, including a decrease in urinary stress hormones (cortisol, catecholamines, norepinephrine, epinephrine), and increased serotonin and dopamine levels. The shift in these bio-chemicals has been proven to decrease depression (Field, 1998, 2003).  The immune system’s cytotoxic capacity increases with touch, thus helping the body maintain its defense against pathogens (Field, 1998).


Touch, is one of the most basic forms of human relatedness, and has immense importance and positive potential.  It can play a big role in healthy development and healing.



  1. To Touch Or Not To Touch: Exploring the Myth of Prohibition On Touch In Psychotherapy And Counseling, Clinical, Ethical & Legal Considerations By Ofer Zur, Ph.D. & Nola Nordmarken, MFT


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Ripped from the Headlines

November 13, 2015 Leave a comment

Head to your favorite online news source. Pick an article with a headline that grabs you. Now, write a short story based on the article.

The article that grabbed my attention was the Myanmar election news on Yahoo news.

It was heartening to see how Myanmar held an election without any major hiccups.  The world is watching to see how the democratic process in this country will evolve and if the army will give a free hand to the elected leaders to draw a blueprint for the future of Myanmar.

The Nobel peace laureate and longtime political prisoner Aung San Suu Kyi has finally been able to contest the election and her party the National league for democracy (NLD) was able to garner an overwhelming majority of the votes.  But due to a clause in the constitution, she is barred from holding the highest office of the President (as her 2 sons and late husband hold british passports).

It will be interesting to see how Suu Kyi is able to work around the constitution in establishing democracy in Myanmar.  How long will a true change in the country take?  Will the army give her a free hand to run the country?

Foreign investors will be most interested in how the developments unfold.  Myanmar can see a huge inflow of investments and economic development if there is a  broad consensus and understanding among all political parties and the army to chart the future of this country together for the best interests of the people.

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November 2, 2015 1 comment

You are locked in a room with your greatest fear.  Describe what is in the room.

Fear is an emotion that everyone experiences sometime in their life.  Be it darkness, heights, spiders, cockroaches, loneliness, silence, ghosts etc.

Being Halloween season, it is a time to dress up in spooky outfits and scare the wits of your friends.

I believe that living humans are more scary than any ghost. There are many humans who harbor vengeance, racism, prejudices, anger and lust and these humans can be very dangerous.  For some reason they have suffered a traumatic childhood or abuse of some kind and they grow up crying for attention.  Such individuals need the help of society and if not they can resort to killing innocent people or wreaking havoc with peoples lives.

The greatest fear is of a repressed person – person who grows up in a family with stoic parents or is bullied in school or a wife who suffers daily abuse.  When we lose our freedom of speech and expression an individual bottles up his/her feelings and eventually it will flare up and lead to an outburst.  Societies who have been treated like slaves for years, have risen in revolt and overthrown dictatorial rulers.

So being locked in a room alone or with such a person is my greatest fear – fear of bondage.

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