Tag Archives: story

Mother Fish

Between 1975 and 1996, over 1,500,000 people fled Vietnam. Of those, only 900,000 made it to land.
Refugees continue to arrive by boat even today.
According to the Refugee Council of Australia, “Fleeing by boat is often very costly and extremely dangerous, and asylum seekers are vulnerable to exploitation by smugglers. It is not a form of escape which would be willingly chosen by asylum seekers if safer options were available.”

I’ve also taken a personal interest in the area of music therapy and refugees, and this article came up in the search: Music Therapy Helps Refugees. The possibilities and potential seem endless, and I hope I get an opportunity to work in this area next year. .

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

A most peculiar read, indeed.

What intrigued me most was the fact that the photos used in the book were not fabricated, but they are actually real-life photos, by real-life photographers!

Made me wonder which came first – the story or the pictures?

Either way, Ransom Riggs did a really good job of creating a world of suspense and mystery, so much so that I actually enjoyed the buildup more than the climax itself.

The sequel came out this year. Will be waiting to read it.

A Street Cat Named Bob // The World According to Bob



I finished both books within 3 days – they were that easy to read.

At the end of it all, I closed the book and thought: This world needs more Bobs.

Bobs who are willing to see beyond our superficial flaws and shortcomings, willing to give us a chance to prove that we can make it with a second (or third) chance, willing to believe that everyone has a place and reason for being in this world.

I wish I had a Bob.

A Fraction of the Whole


A novel on one’s personal philosophy on life and living.
A story which reminded me of the fact that while we spend much of our lives trying to learn how to live in the best, most meaningful and productive way possible, how many prepare to learn how to die? Is it something that can be learnt, to begin with? Why do we live as if death is separate from life, when we have set up an appointment with death from the moment of our birth?

At the end of the day, what kills us? Is it fate? Death itself? The fear of death which results in a self-fulfilling prophecy? Or the fear of that fear?

Even as we live, what defines us? If we are a fraction of what our parents are, then they must be a fraction of what their parents are/were too. A fraction not only of physical build and personality, but also places and circumstances. And ultimately, we must all be a faction of a greater whole. What is that? God – in his/her different forms? Above us? Inside us? Will we ever get to see this whole?

As you’ve probably guessed, this is not very light reading, although it started out simply enough. A story of rather draggy proportions at some points, it ended as very thought-provoking food for the brain. For interested readers, happy contemplating your existence!

Story Within a Story

       She (Callie) often told the story about the time she was standing on the deck of a ship bound for Anchorage, pointing out a pod of humpbacks to the excited passengers, who were crowded around he railing, snapping pictures and shooting video. One elderly man stood apart from the rest. When Callie offered him her place at the rail so he could get a better view, he laughed, derisively.

“They’re just whales.”
      Later in the cruise, she gave a lecture about the order of the Cetacea. She showed video and talked about their complex communities and social behaviors, about their bubble nets and echolocation and the range of their emotions. She played recordings of their vocalizations, illustrating their clicks and songs. To her surprise, the old man was in the audience, listening.
      Later, they sports another pod, which came closer this time, treating them to a spectacular display of surfacing behaviors, breaching, spy-hopping, lob-tailing, and slapping. The old man came up on deck to watch.
      At the end of the cruise, as they were approaching port in Vancouver, the old man sought her out and handed her an envelop.
      “For your whales,” he said.
      When she thanked him, he shook his head. “Don’t.”
      They disembarked, and Callie forgot about the envelop. When she got home, she found it and opened it. Inside was a cheque made out to her marine mammal protection agency for half a million dollars. She thought it was a joke. She thought she had miscounted the zeros. She sent it in to the office and they deposited it. The check cleared.
Using the passenger list, she tracked the old guy down at his home at Bethesda and questioned him. At first, he was reluctant, but finally he explained. He had been a bomber pilot during World War II, he told her, stationed at an air base in the Aleutians. They used to fly out everyday, looking for Japanese targets. Often, when they couldn’t locate an enemy vessel, or the weather conditions turned bad, they would be forced to abort their mission and fly back to base, but landing with a full payload was dangerous, so they would discharge their bombs into the sea. From the cockpit of the plane, they could see large shadows of whales, moving below the surface of the water. From so high up, the whales looked small. They used them for target practice.

“It was fun”, the old man told Callie over the phone. “What did we know?”

– Extract from A Tale for the Time Being, by Ruth Ozeki

The Fault in Our Stars


“That’s what I believe. I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is improbably biased toward consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed. And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it – or my observation of it – is temporary?”

A unique story about life and love, steeped in deep-thinking themes and thoughts. Reading this book made me think about life, more than ever before. About what matters. About what it means to be living. About what happens to the world when people die. About the meaning of life, and how if we manage to look beyond ourselves for a fraction of a second, we might see so much more depth to our existence.

There were no answers, yet the thoughts kept coming, even after I finished the book. Perhaps, like the stars, our thoughts might just keep us from sinking into most feared oblivion.