16 sweet tales of the seven seas…

Ok! This has nothing to do with Sinbad and his chronicles through the seven seas. But I am happy it got you here. And if you are so passionately curious then you will probably want to read this juicy trivia about me.

1)     I am a writer.

I am one of those people who can’t seem to just do one thing. As a writer, I have delved in medical, impact, advocacy, non-fiction, travel, fashion and creative writing.
Before this, I was a scientist for a decade! This does not hint at how old I am, but immediately qualifies me to write about educationhealth, diet and nutrition. What a package.

2)     I am a leftie.

I write and eat with my left hand. Everything else (which include throwing a frisbee) I do pretty much with my right hand. Studies have shown that lefties process language using both hemispheres of the brain, as opposed to righties, who seem to use primarily the left hemisphere for this purpose. That must explain how I was thrown in the deep end of consecutive interpreting and survived.

3)     I am a curious person.

My curiosity has landed me in foreign places. Sometimes, it made me grow up before my time. Some of my stories came from people I have accidentally interviewed. For their reference, I love asking questions and I can detect lies. I do so by scanning my subjects with laser-beamed eyes until they crack.

4)     I have some hidden talents.

I am a creative (surprise!). Not because I can play the violin and if you’re asking, I cannot draw like Picasso. I am a creative because I cannot breathe when I don’t write.

Here is the most apt definition of a creative.

“The truly creative mind in any field is no more than… a cruelly delicate organism with the overpowering necessity to create, create, create – so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.”

–        Pearl Buck

5)     I once saved someone’s life.

It was a fine summer’s day in a subway station in Manhattan. I found a woman wandering incoherently beside the train tracks. Her hair was dishevelled with grease marks on her skin, as if she had been run over by a bike. In the split seconds before she had a chance to fall into nothingness, I grabbed hold of her arm. When she spoke to me, my first thought was that she might have schizophrenia. Not knowing where to leave her, I walked 5 blocks arm-in-arm with this lady to find the nearest police station. All along the way, she spoke of her son who was waiting for her at home and how much he would love me. It felt like the longest time, but we finally found a police station where I was glad to hand her over. What came next, my young self could never anticipate. I was ridiculed by the officer who said, “What were you thinking? This is who you call a homeless person in Manhattan”. This however, was not more surprising than his next move. Very smoothly, he gave me his phone number and told me to call if I ‘needed to be shown some good time’ in the Big Apple.

6)     I am best at discovering people’s hidden talents.

Everybody has at least one talent. And I was given this supernatural ability to see it in people I came to know.

7)     I won a string of awards and medals.

I won gold medals in every sprinting and long jumping events when I was 10 and 11 (score!), and went on to represent my school in the district games.
When I was 20, I knew I wanted to do a PhD. That resulted in five academic awards at the end of my education.
But this does not compare to the single absolute, dog’s bollocks, feel good moment of my life…
When someone shouted “Hallelujah” to what I said at a job interview.

8)     I have accompanied Down Syndrome kids in their day schools, talked to cancer patients in their most down trodden times, danced with autistic kids who sang Bob Marley’s ‘No woman, no cry’ to me and taught a class of 20 children to sing ‘Skidamarink’.

I often repeat this song to adults too, on request.

9)    I lived in Malaysia my entire life until 10 years ago.

Because I needed to find my identity (yes I know you heard that before).

10)   I love any form of expressive art.

11)   I have once been the face of Nokia.

12)   I am the fastest dancer I know.

But not the best (clearly).

13)  I am very good at making crafty cards.

And will make on order.

14)  I have sold shoes, taught in a kindergarten, counted lots of money as a bank teller, made coffee as a barista, sold curry sauces in a food fair, interpreted what an asylum seeker said to the UK border agency.

I have also lived on £5 a week during the hardest of times.

15)  I want to live in San Francisco.

Even though I have never been.

16)  When I am older, I want to look back and see that I have affected change and understanding.

Starting here and now.