Life gets you sometime. You feel low, down and out. Can you possibly crawl out of this? Do you deserve to be in a better place? All of us go through this sometime or the other in life.  But all of us have an incredible force within us. This force is the same force that has created everything around us. We have an incredible power. Power to overcome almost anything and everything. Power to create something that seems impossible.

But how do we tap into this incredible power? How do we find that life force to be able to tap into the most amazing thing right within us? It can be hard to even realize or know that this force exists when you are going through something bad. You feel like a victim- you feel like complaining- or you might feel helpless.

The way I think we can tap into this – even in the darkest of our times is to deeply realize and reflect the mission we have. All of us has an incredible mission. That mission starts with just bringing positivity into the world. I feel the world needs it. Just by having good and optimistic and positive thoughts we are making the world better. The next step is to take actions on this thinking and help others in some way.

There is nothing more satisfying than seeing your work making someone happy or bring smile to someone’s face.  There are several challenges in this. Devilish functions are fierce and they will not let you move so easily in this mission. You are likely to face several obstacles and obstructions – sometimes seemingly insurmountable. But you know what – you can do it. There is always some sliver of hope that you can build something on from. There is always something that you can build from.

There is a unique mission for all of us. What’s yours? Working towards it is definitely the way to get out of thinking only about oneself and think of things in a bigger picture. Happy travels!



It’s been a while since I have checked-in here. I wonder if there is anyone who will be reading this, I guess its kind of liberating- I can be free in what I want to write.

The realization I hit today is that any form of success comes with pain.  I had been working hard on a release- spending countless hours and nights on working on my craft to get it ready. There was a built-up anticipation and we were just getting ready to receive the comments and feedback…but it failed — the previous release had been an overwhelming success and I was just getting used to it: and now the new one totally bombed and crashed. And there is no reason to know why. Sometimes its the whim of the audience, sometimes its luck, sometimes its something you just missed. Whatever it is- you never know how the audience is going to react.

But then how are you going to keep going on such days…

I guess the answer is to just follow the process, in India we have a word called ‘bhakti’- I love this word because it talks about devotion to a supreme being without asking much in return – its innocent, its child-like devotion – that the supreme being out there is going to be with you. Apparently ‘bhakti’ has led people to feel miracles beyond the power of rational thinking.

How can we use ‘bhakti’ in making a product? Being humble and devotional to your craft and your product and to your audience. You can only guess what the audience likes- at the end of the day they decide what is good and what is not. Instead of getting swayed by that reaction, devoting ourselves to the cause and the process of incremental improvement everyday – going to any length to make that slight improvement.

And then- not asking much in return. It’s a hard balance to reach but I believe that if we can develop ‘bhakti’ for the audience, we will be much more happier in this process of product development – we will not crave for attention but at the same time really deliver something which audience wants. Wishing you the best of ‘bhakti’ in life!

Happiness, I feel, is not in great or grandeur things but in really small things, its all about taking notice of them. Once we notice and appreciate the small things, they can really make us happy! Here is a small list of things, feel free to add to the list!

The fragrance of flowers in the air
The sight of a bird taking flight
Listening to a quiet song and the memories that follow
Gentle rainfall in the distance and that muddy smell

Seeing a baby smiling
The sight of full moon when you least expect it
A simple tasty meal when you are hungry
Meeting friends after a long time

A smile from a stranger
A call from a friend after you had lost touch
Staring into the sky and watching the colors change
Having a cup of coffee in the morning


Listening to a favorite song being played in a restaurant
Getting a drink with friends
Having a bowl of noodles with a favorite TV show
Giving up a seat for a stranger and feeling happy

Driving through forest and seeing sunlight through the leaves
Getting a random compliment from someone
Making someone happy after complimenting them
Accelerating past a changing traffic light

Feeling so small while driving through the mountains
To laugh out so loud that your stomach aches
To find something to eat in the fridge when you are hungry
To do random little things which only you know about

And to contemplate and think about life
And feeling happy and smiling, life is good!

What the Heart Says…

I go through the week from Monday to Friday, waking up, taking the train, signing into the machine, working, looking forward to the upcoming Friday and heading back home in the evening finding it hard to find either good company or good food for dinner. It follows by watching Youtube videos and being on Facebook for a few hours, getting up again and repeating the cycle. And such has been the case for the past nearly-2 years. And nearly every Sunday evening, I ask myself the same question. Do I really want to go to work tomorrow? Am I at a place in my life where I want to be? And I get filled that feeling, of wanting to be elsewhere, doing something else…

Whenever you read blog posts from influential coaches and people like Steve Jobs, Anthony Robbins and Robin Sharma, you get a very similar answer, things which have started to sound “cliched” now. “Follow your dream”, “Follow your passion”, “Do what your gut feeling says.” “Follow what the heart says.” And then there is this overwhelming notion of quitting your job and travelling or starting your own company. Even this has started to sound cliched. It seems that the world around is bent upon making you follow your dreams. Or making you own a start-up.

But then why are so many people not doing it? Why do I see so many people in trains and on the roads not happy with their lives at all? Why is there this sense of dissatisfaction in people? Why do I hear my friends complain about lack of purpose in life?

I feel there are two reasons for it. Firstly, we keep looking at people who are way better than us and we feel we will never be good enough. We will never be like Steve Jobs. We will never be like that awesome person at work or like that person who seems to be attracting the attention of everyone. We compare with people who seem to be more richer, more famous and more attractive. Secondly, sometimes we hardly appreciate what we already have. Small things like having food to eat or friends to have good times with. Being able to see the glittering stars in the sky or taking a walk in the woods.

We need to look deep within ourselves. We have one life. We have a different trajectory. We are unique. We have a different calling. We need not force our trajectory to emulate someone else. And we have come a long way already. Yes, there is a long way to go but we are getting there. But our life is not that bad. We have a lot already. We need to see that fact. One of my friends Hari told a story of this guy whom he met while on his travels who used to always say “Life is good!” every so often and it was so infectious. And I so agree with that.

So to follow “what the heart says”, we need a right mix of courage and foolishness at the same time. Having that raw passion to live the life completely helps. And top it off with having that hunger to learn and become a better human being. To be honest, I am still trying to develop that courage. And one day I hope to be able to take the plunge. I promise to let you know when the day comes.

Anyways, I sincerely hope that you will be able to find things that make life worth living for its own sake. I hope that you will follow “what the heart says.” And this ends my thoughts which might have already started to sound a little cliched.

I am the Universe

As the rain falls outside the window, and as the guitar rolls on the speakers, I look at myself. There is nothing out of the ordinary that I see. This is me, and this has been the case for the last 2 decades. But I am struck with this feeling of amazement and wonder, something which I knew all the time, yet I hadn’t ever really grasped the meaning thus clearly. Perhaps it is the rain or the music, or maybe the mix of everything.

Science, or rather astronomy, has shown us that Universe is made up of trillions of galaxies, each having trillions of stars, and then this accounts for 5 percent of the Universe. The other 95 percent of the Universe is made up of “dark” matter and “dark” energy, things which we only have a vague idea about. The reason we need these terms is to account for the ever-expanding Universe, something which we cannot explain with our current knowledge. Its like throwing an apple in the air and it keeps on getting faster with time. Human beings, arrogant as we may be of our intelligence, are still clueless about most of the Universe.

One thing we can be certain about is that Universe is indeed big. As Carl Sagan puts it, Earth is just one pale blue dot in the cosmic ocean. In all this massiveness, where do we, Earthlings, fit? How do we find sense and meaning in this life form we find ourselves in? Can science even begin to answer the question? Are we humans attracted to religion because of our inherent need to find purpose and meaning in the nothingness?

Yes, there are way too many questions to answer. And, answers cannot be found from just one source or one book. If that were the case, everyone would have found their answers by now. These questions require constant self-searching and I feel each person answers the questions, his or her own way. There are many philosophies and religions available for us to choose from. But one thing is certain, science has a power to show us, awaken us and enlighten us about how precious and rare we are, as living beings, in the cosmic massiveness.

Our body is made up of multitude of elements ranging from iron, oxygen, nitrogen, potassium, sodium, carbon and so on. Where do all these elements come from? How did Universe create these elements in the first place? The answer lies in the core of the stars where nuclear fusion creates all known elements in the Universe. Following the death of the star, all these elements are released in a massive explosion, spilling them across space. And its these elements which lie inside our body now. Its in the death of stars that new life awaits.

Instead of we being separate from the Universe, we are part and parcel of the Universe. I am the Universe. And Universe is me. The atoms and molecules that sit in our body today have undergone countless cycles of birth and death across massive portions of the Universe since the birth of the Universe: the Big Bang. Guess, its safe to say that we were born 14 billion years ago. And to top it off, through the incredible process of evolution, we have been gifted the intelligence to fathom this fact. I find this incredibly amazing.

So, what is the moral of the story? We are made up of the Universe, and perhaps we have only one life to experience the beauty of the Universe. We must take steps to not only appreciate what we have, but also use this incredible power as human beings to do things which matter to us, things which might be very small, but gets us closer to realizing the beauty of this Universe we find ourselves in. Showing love for the loved ones, making others a bit happier, taking time to enjoy the nature, appreciating the multitude of cultures, enjoying art, pursuing our passions and putting ourselves through myriad experiences are some ways I feel we can justify being “alive”.

We all are awesome. And we all are a part of one big human family. After all, how many pieces of matter in the Universe have the ability to think, enjoy, love, feel and appreciate what they find around them. There might be other living beings in the Universe, but for now, we are the only ones we know about. We are the products of the magnificent workings of the Universe, which has amazed us and will continue to amaze us for eternity. No matter how we may look, feel, or act, we are all awesome in our own ways, after all we are the products of the Universal amazingness.

The Gift of Life

They say life is essentially simple. It is meant to be enjoyed. But, what is “enjoyment”? Many people have different interpretations on what “enjoyment” actually means, my definition also varies from time to time. Some people think its about indulging in self-pleasure and some people think its all about living in the present moment. But, what I feel is that enjoyment of life is all about experiences. If this were the only life we had, are we experiencing the life to the fullest with whatever means we have?

There are many things to experience in life. Experiencing and learning about nature gives us the understanding of how incredible we are, and how incredible the planet we live in. Experiencing and learning about cultures gives us the understanding of how interconnected we all are, and how incredible we are as species. Experiencing growth by using our strengths and overcoming weaknesses at work, sport or personal habits makes us in touch with the massive potential we have. And then there is so much, so much more to do, feel, see, hear, read, talk and experience. The list is endless.

We all are indeed awesome. Usually, we end up in this sinusoidal state of life which fluctuates with external conditions. External situations take control of how we feel. But, if we elevate ourselves to make ourselves truly experience the wonder of this life, external conditions would rarely affect us. No matter how many setbacks we may encounter, in the end, we would still be alive. And after everything, if we are still alive, we have the most precious gift that the Universe could give us. The gift of life.

A Singapore Story

A Singapore Story from the eyes of a cleaner, someone I came across while walking on the streets of Singapore..

I live in Singapore- the city of dreams. People from all over the world come here for different reasons. They always seem to have a lot on their minds. Perhaps wrapping up a business deal or catching the next train to make it in time for a party. Its a good place to live. Infrastructure works all the time. Everyone is efficient. And the city is spick and span. In fact, I am responsible for it being so clean. I am a cleaner. I pick up trash on the roads, I make sure that the roads are clean, parks neat and everything looks nice.

I was born in Singapore couple of decades back to Malay-Chinese parents. And like most other kids I grew up learning mathematics and science, something which I find myself having no interest in whatsoever. I was always a kid interested in painting. And in politics. But given my family background, my parents did not really encourage me to follow either. So here I am. Going through the lowest rungs in school, I eventually dropped out from poly. I was a failure, maybe I am a failure as far as what the society thinks of me. But I am smart. I read whatever news I find in the scrap newspapers on the road, I overhear people speaking. Thankfully I am fluent in Malay and Chinese and I can manage English decently as well. It helps.

My locations to clean the public areas are mostly Brasbasah and Dhoby Ghaut, which also happen to be the places where all the museums are. Usually I cant really afford to go in, but I try to sneak in whenever there are Open Houses. I got an idea to write this when I overheard someone talking about writing an autobiography. I think I was in the park right in front of Singapore Art Museum that time, picking up a trash can of coke.

Singapore is a good place to live. But its expensive. But I am still happy, because I can make enough to eat rice in hawker centers and get a bed. I have rented a room with three other fellow cleaners and we all take up bunk beds. Since I cant afford to buy an iPhone or an iPad, I cant stare at that screen when I am free. So, I just walk. I go to Orchard, Somerset, Little India, Chinatown and the rest. Singapore is really beautiful. As for the other cleaners, they dont like to talk to me. They think I act too smart or something. I dont want to talk to them anyways, they barely have an opinion on anything. All they talk about is girls, food and holidays.

One thing I have noticed in Singapore is that people sometimes look too depressed. I happen to pass condos in Orchard and Serangoon sometimes, and all I see is people who are either too busy or too depressed to smile to each other. I wonder if I would be the same if I were in that situation. Seeing them coming out of their BMWs looking all sad makes me sad. I mean getting into those BMWs is what we all are fighting for right?

Another thing about Singapore is that people work hard. They work from day to night and night to day. One thing that I would like to see more is people coming out and walking on the streets laughing, playing, doing something. I guess everyone is too busy with their iPhones. Thank god I dont have one. Would I be like them if I had one? I wonder what is so special about iPhones, it has made people forget that people exist!

You will be wondering as to why I am not talking about myself. You see there is nothing interesting about me. I haven’t had any girlfriends. So I dont have much to say about girls. You see, the problem is that I like smart girls. But they don’t seem to like me. They want more sophisticated guys, and my position as a cleaner does not help. The girls I meet are usually working in someone else’s houses and all they care about is their looks, food and holidays. They keep on harping about things which frankly do not interest me. Ah I am getting tired of them!

Hmm, what else? Singaporeans are well-educated. Most of them. Even though I would love to talk to them about the current issues in the society, my position as a cleaner does not help. Is being a cleaner so bad? I mean I am responsible for keeping the country clean, something which every Singaporean is proud of! I feel bad sometimes. I hope I get some credit some day. Perhaps, someone will read this story one day.

You might be wondering what is my name. But, again like my existence, my name does not matter. I am just one of the millions which inhabit this lovely country. I am a Singaporean. Perhaps if you happen to be near the museums one of these days and if you happen to throw scrap around, I might be the one picking it up. See you then!