Happiness is ……

Where can one find happiness?

This story is written from a video – credit NTD Inspired Life.

A beautiful, well dressed lady went to her psychiatrist saying that she felt unhappy and her life was empty and meaningless.

They psychiatrist called the office cleaner, an old lady and asked Mary to share how she found happiness.

Mary put down her broom, sat on a chair and told her story.

Her husband died of malaria and three months later her only son was killed in an accident.  She could not sleep, eat and never smiled anymore.  She even thought of taking her own life.

One evening a little kitten followed her home from work.  It was cold and Mary let the kitten in and gave it some milk.  The kitten purred and rubbed against her leg.


For the first time in months, Mary smiled.  🙂

If helping a little kitten could make her smile, Mary then decided that she could help others so everyday she tried to do something nice for someone.  It made her happy to see them happy.

Since then, she started sleeping and eating well and have found happiness by giving it to others.

The rich lady cried on hearing this.  She has everything that money could buy but she had lost the things which money cannot buy.

The beauty of life does not depend on how happy you are but on how happy others can be because of you.

Happiness is not a destination, it’s a journey.

Happiness is not tomorrow, it is now.

Happiness is not a dependency, it is a decision.

Happiness is what you are, not what you have !


Viceroy’s house

History is written by victors.

– Quote Gurinder Chadha,
director of Viceroy’s House and film maker behind Bend it like Beckham.


I had a lazy afternoon yesterday at the cinema, watching a historical movie about the inside life of the Viceroy’s House in 1947 during the Partition of India.

An amazing opening with the above quote and introduction to the Viceroy’s House with numerous  (some 500) Hindu, Muslim and Sikh servants cleaning the Lutyen’s masterpiece, the lawns, carpets and marble floors to greet the last viceroy of colonised India, Lord Louis Mountbatten – or Dickie, as he was known.

His full name was Louis Francis Albert Victor Nicholas Mountbatten.  Such a mouthful but Richard was not any of his name.  His initial nickname among family and friends was Nicky which later became Dickie.

Viceroy House’s grandeur was alarming.  It has 340 rooms and 12 indoor courtyards.  According to Lady Pamela Hicks (Lord Mountbatten’s daughter), the house was so vast one had to allow 10 minutes to arrive at dinner on time.

I dozed off a bit at the earlier part of the movie but midway through till the end, my heart was heavy and sombre as I watched the Great Divide.

In August, 1947, when, after three hundred years in India, the British finally left, the subcontinent was partitioned into two independent nation states: Hindu-majority India and Muslim-majority Pakistan. Immediately, there began one of the greatest migrations in human history, as millions of Muslims trekked to West and East Pakistan (the latter now known as Bangladesh) while millions of Hindus and Sikhs headed in the opposite direction. Many hundreds of thousands never made it.

Across the Indian subcontinent, communities that had coexisted for almost a millennium attacked each other in a terrifying outbreak of sectarian violence, with Hindus and Sikhs on one side and Muslims on the other.  Independence also brought violence and tragedy.  Ten million people were uprooted from their homes. Hundreds of thousands died, and women were sexually assaulted and kidnapped, in the upheaval that followed.

This August will mark the 70th anniversary of the largest migration in human history.

Have Pakistan and India put their post-1947 partition feud to rest?


The End of an Empire. The Birth of Two Nations. VICEROY’S HOUSE tells the true story of the final months of British rule in India.

Viceroy’s House in Delhi was the home of the British rulers of India. After 300 years, that rule was coming to an end. For 6 months in 1947, Lord Mountbatten, great grandson of Queen Victoria, assumed the post of the last Viceroy, charged with handing India back to its people.

The film’s story unfolds within that great House. Upstairs lived Mountbatten together with his wife and daughter; downstairs lived their 500 Hindu, Muslim and Sikh servants. As the political elite – Nehru, Jinnah and Gandhi – converged on the House to wrangle over the birth of independent India, conflict erupted. A decision was taken to divide the country and create a new Muslim homeland: Pakistan. It was a decision whose consequences reverberate to this day.

The film examines these events through the prism of a marriage – that of Dickie and Edwina Mountbatten – and a romance – that between a young Hindu servant, Jeet, and his intended Muslim bride, Aalia. The young lovers find themselves caught up in the seismic end of Empire, in conflict with the Mountbattens and with their own communities, but never ever giving up hope. VICEROY’S HOUSE is a film that is both epic and intimate, with an inspirational message that celebrates tolerance. Many of the events depicted are either unknown or forgotten, but all have strong contemporary relevance in terms of lessons to be learnt concerning the politics of division and fear, the origins of religious extremism, and our moral responsibility towards migrants fleeing violence for a better life.

It is a story that is deeply personal to the film’s director Gurinder Chadha, whose own family was caught up in the tragic events that unfolded as the Raj came to an end.

Click here to read Fatima Bhutto’s summary of the film in the Guardian

via Daily Prompt – Unmoored
 I am still drifting as I tried gathering my thoughts on what to write on ‘unmoored’.   Like a vessel that is not anchored, my thoughts are loose and scattered.  The movie I watched yesterday had an impact in my mind so this blog is about my thoughts on Viceroy’s House.

Year end laughs

A friend sent me an email today saying ……………

I found this very amusing and laughed a lot.  Hope you get a laugh as well.

The laugh was about the translation of a hotel brochure into English.  I always had good laughs over Chinese (Mandarin) to English translations as they often translate word by word and the result is either confusing or humorous.

I doubt there is actually a Brilliant Beijing hotel, obviously fictional but let’s enjoy it and have a little laugh on this last day of the year.   **

 Goodbye 2014 & Happy New Year 2015.

Have a laugh, a smile and a happy year ahead.

Brilliant Beijing Hotel Brochure – Translated as only they can.

A friend went to Beijing recently and was given this brochure by the hotel. It is precious.
She is keeping it and reading it whenever she feels depressed.
Obviously, it has been translated directly, word for word from Mandarin to English.

Getting There:
Our representative will make you wait at the airport. The bus to the hotel runs along the lake shore. Soon you will feel pleasure in passing water. You will know that you are getting near the hotel, because you will go round the bend. The manager will await you in the entrance hall. He always tries to have intercourse with all new guests.

The Hotel:
This is a family hotel, so children are very welcome. We of course are always pleased to accept adultery. Highly skilled nurses are available in the evenings to put down your children. Guests are invited to conjugate in the bar and expose themselves to others. But please note that ladies are not allowed to have babies in the bar. We organize social games, so no guest is ever left alone to play with them self.

The Restaurant:
Our menus have been carefully chosen to be ordinary and unexciting. At dinner, our quartet will circulate from table to table, and fiddle with you.

Your Room:
Every room has excellent facilities for your private parts. In winter, every room is on heat. Each room has a balcony offering views of outstanding obscenity! .. You will not be disturbed by traffic noise, since the road between the hotel and the lake is used only by pederasts.

Your bed has been made in accordance with local tradition. If you have any other ideas please ring for the chambermaid. Please take advantage of her. She will be very pleased to squash your shirts, blouses and underwear. If asked, she will also squeeze your trousers.

Above All:
When you leave us at the end of your holiday, you will have no hope. You will struggle to forget it.


** No malicious intent – This post is meant to be read only as a cool joke.

The Kiwi Buzzy Bee

The Buzzy Bee is a popular toy in New Zealand.

It is made of wood and resembles a bee with rotating wings that move and make a clicking noise while the toy is pulled along the ground. The bee had two spring antennae topped with red beads. Yellow acetate wings rotated and the toy made a “buzz-buzz” sound as it was pulled along on two wooden wheels.

It was designed and first produced in New Zealand in the 1930s, by Maurice Schlesinger and became popular during the post-war baby boom. Its bright colours and clicking sound call are familiar to many New Zealanders, making it one of the most well-recognised items of Kiwiana (icons from New Zealand heritage).

This toy was popular through till the mid eighties.  It received a good deal of free promotion with the visit of The Prince and Princess of Wales in 1983 with their infant son, Prince William of Wales, who played with a Buzzy Bee.

I remembered seeing it being sold in South East Asia in  ‘Toys R Us’ and other toy stores though not many people would have known the origin of this toy.

Have you ever seen, owned or played with a Buzzy Bee?

Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
How could the wooden toy bee be such a famous Kiwi icon?

Puff the magic dragon

Puff, the Magic Dragon” is a song written by Leonard Lipton and Peter Yarrow, and made popular by Yarrow’s group Peter, Paul and Mary in a 1963 recording. The song achieved great popularity.  (This song is as old as me.)

The lyrics tell a story of the ageless dragon Puff and his playmate Jackie Paper, a little boy who grows up and loses interest in the imaginary adventures of childhood and leaves Puff alone and depressed.

After the song’s initial success, speculation arose — as early as a 1964 article in Newsweek — that the song contained veiled references to smoking marijuana.  The authors of the song have repeatedly rejected this urban legend and have strongly and consistently denied that they intended any references to drug use. Peter Yarrow has frequently explained that the song is about the hardships of growing older and has no relationship to drug-taking.

Puff, is he the magic dragon or is he marijuana?

No matter what, I love this song.

Good old childhood memories.

Crazy Rich Asians

Browsing at an array of books in a bookstore at Changi airport’s departure hall, Crazy Rich Asians caught my eyes. When I glanced at the author’s name, immediately I thought about my blogger friend Mabel Kwong who blogs about culture and aspires to write and publish a book.  Indeed even the last name of the author sounded so Mabel like.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan accompanied me on my eleven hour flight home.

Mabel just posted today about ‘How to make your dreams come true’. One of her dreams is to write and publish a book about what it means to be Asian Australia. This Asian Australian blog was featured in a national print and online magazine and reached 200,000 views.  An international ‘best seller’ already in the bloggers’ world and an author in the making.

The debut novel, Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan became one of the industry’s most hotly pursued titles thanks to its international appeal.

Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.

When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn’t know is that Nick’s family home happens to look like a palace, that she’ll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia’s most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back.

The novel is built on an intricate web of shopping expeditions and gossipy lunches hosted by scheming ladies with boundless amounts of time and money. They’re aflutter at the return to Singapore from New York of the supereligible, Oxford-educated Nicholas Young, heir to a massive fortune that symbolizes old South-East Asian money.

If you do not intend to go searching at your local bookstore or perhaps shop online at DoubleDay or Amazon to buy this book, then click here to read the full review.

Lately I have not been able to focus especially when reading a book.  Not being able to finish a book is my shortfall. Crazy Rich Asians however is one book after a long time that I find hard to put down. There is a family tree of the characters in the book on the introductory page.  While reading this book, every now and then I had to flip back to connect with the characters to identify who is who. The interesting local terms brought back good memories. Dialect that my grandmothers and aunties used came alive in this book.

Color Force has nabbed big-screen rights to first-time novelist Kevin Kwan’s comedic best-seller Crazy Rich Asians.  In an interview in June 2014, Kevin Kwan, the author and producer said ‘The movie is progressing really, really nicely. They are working on the script right now, and were hoping for that to be done in the next couple of months.’

Meanwhile he is working on a sequel called China Rich Girlfriend and it sort of continues a lot of the storylines of what happened with Crazy Rich Asians, where many of those characters in the first book will be returning, but there will also be a lot of new characters, and new locations, and plot twists, and surprises.

Some crazy rich Asians, indeed.  I wish I am one of them but nevertheless I will be waiting for the big screen coming to a cinema near you !

Last but not least, Mabel, looking forward to your book launch some day.  Asian Australian, perhaps one day soon, you will make it big.  In the footsteps of Kevin Kwan, from author to producer to author again with a new sequel and another, another perhaps.

Perhaps I should start dreaming big and find my passion too.

Do you dream?



Related articles

Goodreads review of Crazy Rich Asians

Color Force nabs film rights to best seller Crazy Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians’ movie adaptation, and book sequel title announced

Crazy Rich Asians tackle stereotypes via Satire

Edge of the Frame – The cyclo driver

A rickshaw is called a “cyclo” in Vietnam.  This poor cyclo driver (actually may not be this particular cyclo in the photo nor its driver) when the cyclo that we rode on broke just as we arrived at the hotel in Hanoi after a night out.

An eventful ride indeed.  All of a sudden we felt we were falling over as our whole weight fell back and ended up with our legs in the air.  Luckily we remained intact on the seat but the poor cyclo driver fell off his.  A blessing no one was hurt and strangers from the street came and pushed our seat upright so we could get off!  I honestly cannot recall whether or not I took a photo of this poor driver before the incident.  Grin.




We often capture strangers in photos we take in public. Open your photo library, and stop at the first picture that features a person you don’t know. Now tell the story of that person.
via Edge of the Frame.

Weekly Writing Challenge: Fifty – That Guy with a Label

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.

– Antoine de Saint-Exupery

We can never achieve perfection — we are only human. But if we aspire to it, we may attain quality; we may write well.  So, can you tell a story in just fifty words?

via Weekly Writing Challenge: Fifty.


Image credit Tiffany & Co Outlet Store

Image credit Tiffany & Co Outlet Store

Wearing Tiffany choker to impress.  He boasted being a good cook. Will bring a dish to her party.  He turned up, empty handed.

Two months together, he wanted intimacy.  She refused.  For that reason, he agreed they weren’t compatible.

Two days later, he walked right past her. He wasn’t alone.