For the love of the written word

Song’s Books


The Pilot's Wife
5 of 5 stars
How would you feel if a person you thought you knew was a different person after all? What would you do if you found out that your husband led a double life? Anita Shreve’s novel plays with this central theme in this book. Kathryn Lyon…
A Thousand Splendid Suns
5 of 5 stars
Khaled Hosseini never fails to captivate readers with his picturesque locations and vulnerable characters. Set in the backdrop of the Afghan-Russian war, Hosseini weaves the poignant story of Mariam and her seemingly blinded adulation f…

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Book Review: Gladwell’s Blink

Blink: The Power of Thinking Without ThinkingBlink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking by Malcolm Gladwell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Have you ever made a snap decision which you felt was probably baseless or only a gut feel but turned out to be one of the best decisions you made? Gladwell looks at the tendency of people to make quick judgments and how these decisions may in fact be based on solid and reasonable grounds though we may not realize it immediately. Reading this book will make you realize that there are some decisions in life where you don’t really need to know everything — but only just the right amount of information to make very good choices.

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An Accolade


For every winning streak
And countenance of victory
The humbling words remain
the garland of success.

For is it not in every combat
An effort pushed and heaved
Beyond the face of adversity
The winner reigns supreme.

Be not afraid to waste
Sweet words of glorious praise
To the victor of the battle
The winner of the race.

In every man’s time is a time
For sweet triumph and bitter defeat
Yours may come too soon
Yours may come too late.

Lee Kuan Yew: The Grand Master’s Insights on China, the United States and the World

This man is truly a wise leader. Reading his insights on the future of China, India, and the US as well as the pitfalls of Western (American)-style democracy and the direction of globalization, one gets into the mind and character of this great political leader. One will realize the reason why Singapore rose to become a developed and modern city-state it is now. A recommended read for leaders!

I borrowed this book from the office library, curious what this man had to say about global issues. His insights are very detailed and spot on. He doesn’t mince words with his views on America and other countries. While not a philosopher (he is the very first one to say this), his beliefs impinge on a combination of Sun Tzu, Machiavelli, Confucius and other contemporary political thinkers–and these all appear very seamless in him.

The book, released by the MIT Press, is a compilation of interviews and talks by Lee.

Favorite quotes from the book:

“A nation is great not by its size alone. It is the will, the cohesion, the stamina, the discipline of its people, and the quality of their leaders which ensure it an honorable place in history.”

“Contrary to what American political commentators say, I do not believe that democracy necessarily leads to development. I believe that what a country needs to develop is discipline more than democracy. The exuberance of democracy leads to undisciplined and disorderly conditions which are inimical to development. The ultimate test of the value of a political system is whether it helps that society to establish conditions which improve the standard of living for the majority of its people, plus enabling the maximum of personal freedoms compatible with the freedoms of others in society.”

A Smile at Christmas

Painting by Ilir Pojani (Source: Fine Art American)

Painting by Ilir Pojani (Source: Fine Art American)

This little boy I saw across–

the park, and watched his pallid face.

In tattered clothes he was dressed

It looked so awfully old and grey.

What was in his mind, I couldn’t say

He neither looked worried nor depressed.

Walking the path in small, easy steps

He looked so tiny, fragile and weak.

He teetered and trotted for a while until

He landed on my lap to rest.

And then something happened–as though by will

He reached for his pocket and stretched his fingers


for upon his palm was a candy there

offering me his last reserve.

And what was more, it seemed so queer

that such an act like that would appear

from an innocent child who should know more

than let go of his only spare.

I couldn’t say if I cried or smiled

He looked at me with such tranquility and strength

Why should he smile when I gave him–

not a single cent for the candy shared?

But I know now he wouldn’t have cared.

Giving was all he ever dared.

Let Me Be









Let me be alone in this world

And find the abode of my Self

Let me be with all the creations of the world

And let these be my wealth.


Let me be like a bird flying high

Reaching the heavens with my wings

And, like a prayer soaring in the sky

Let me praise beauty when I sing.


Let me be the gentle rose

With petals as red as blood

And let there be beauty in a prose

As subtle as a flower bud.


Let me be like air that I breathe

And drift a-swift in the land

To carry with me wayward seeds

And paint the ground a-grand.

The Diary on the Shelf



A word is just a passing thought

until you write it down.

A word expressing feelings, anger or disgust

or just an event around town.

The memories so fresh now it seems

may be blurred with the passing of time.

And hard you may try, you’ll never recall

For when you’re past your prime.

Reach out for a pen and jot it down.

And let memories freely flow

You may discover soon beyond these events

A memory that’s meant to grow.

Book Quote on Markets and Inequality


Quote from The Price of Inequality:

“… market forces are real, but they are shaped by political processes. Markets are shaped by laws, regulations, and institutions. Every law, every regulation, every institutional arrangement has distributive consequences-and the way we have been shaping America’s market economy works to the advantage of those at the top and to the disadvantage of the rest.” –Joseph E. Stiglitz, Author

One of my favorite quotes from Stiglitz’s book.  He poses a very interesting observation in American society today which may very well be applicable in other countries as well–that the wealth of the nation is only distributed among the rich, what he calls the “top 1 percent”, and no one else down below.

Save A Smile For Me

(Source: The Monarch House (


If I could only paint a poignant tree

But then you know, I really can’t

Do not say anymore kind words for me

–only save a smile for meP1060178

When I’m down, do not despair

For sunny skies are ours to gain

Do not taunt me for my failures

–let the smiles on your face remain.



If you are in trouble, I will stand beside you

I love you, don’t you see?

And when you are down, I will give you in return–

the smile you gave, way back, for me.

Slow Me Down



When everything seems to be running fast when it shouldn’t

And I must take my time to rest but I couldn’t

When all things must be thought hard but it wouldn’t

I pray, my Lord, to slow me down.




 When time seems like it’s not enough

And I must have to be strong and tough

When life’s pressures begin to become fierce and rough

I pray, my Lord, to slow me down.




 When things cannot wait that I have to go

And work the merits for my future to sow

When there is not enough time to grow

I pray, my Lord, to slow me down.




When I seem to forget the blessings You give

That it seems I need more than a big, big heave

When I seem to forget the meaning of why I live

I pray, my Lord, You slow me down.



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