The boat that draws me to dad

After the fanfare of Mother’s Day, it is tempting to spare no expense so Dad feels special this Father’s Day. But before we book a fancy dinner or pick out a gift, here is an afterthought: a day in honour of a parent is not a popularity competition between the two. Why not consider the most important part of this equation: fathers themselves?

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Click on either image below to read.


Keep on keeping on

What do an empty hospital walkway and a canal in an open field have in common? Nothing, except that I was there on each occasion to take the picture, and at both times mortality was on my mind.

Last Christmas eve, as I traversed the deserted corridors of Tan Tock Seng Hospital, the few sentences cycling through my mind struck me as rather poetic. “In the end, there’s very little that matters a lot,” was one of them. The other: “In order not to die, one must live.”

But several months prior, before my mother was hospitalized for spinal surgery, I had already been thinking about mortality.

While on a morning walk in a field behind where I live, I had stared into the depths of an open canal and tried to calculate the height at which a person could fall in without dying. Though I wasn’t actually contemplating the act, I also knew this sudden fascination with the physics of falling from a height ran deeper than morbid curiosity.

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Reunited and it feels so good—or does it? Have you seen Friends: The Reunion?

How I feel about the Friends: The Reunion is how I feel about most reunions in general. The idea of catching up with a bunch of people from a long time ago is nice, but only if I’m in the mood—and it depends on who’s going. Maybe it boils down to the fact that I’m just not a reunion-y sort of person, which might explain why it took me three sittings to finish the Reunion.

The first time I tuned in was because my husband had put it on. “What? I thought you were a Friends fan,” he said, upon seeing my surprised expression. “Of course I’m a fan,” I insisted, before hearing myself complete the sentence in my head: “except I’m midway through a gripping KDrama.” (Move to Heaven, if you were wondering).

I believe that if the Reunion special had aired five (even ten) years after the show’s final season, I might’ve been more curious about what the actors looked like and what they were up to. But nearly two decades later, most fans who grew up with the show have inevitably grown old(er) and moved on. So why a reunion now?

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