A Man and His Wallet & other stories took seven months to complete.
From the first draft until the finished product itself yet its journey could be traced back about two years ago during an unplanned encounter across the Causeway.
I first saw Yeoh Herr-Ling when he walked into the class inPenang Free School one day searching for somebody yet he wasn’t looking for me.
Then somebody told me that he was a fantastic swimmer.
We were in the same sports house, Wu Lien Teh yet we never interacted much.
He left overseas later on while I stayed back.
We spoke briefly for the first time.
Then we went our separate ways.
After that we were reconnected again in a Whatsapp Group Chat among the Old Frees.
We interacted a few times.
We then decided to put our heads together for this little project of ours.
The rest is history.
The release of this book coincides with Penang Free School’s, our alma mater, 200 years old anniversary.
This project, a collaboration between me and Herr Ling, is our way of giving back to the society.
Charity comes in many forms.
It could be a donation in terms of money or in kind.
Or it could be in terms of energy poured into the project.
It also includes spreading the values which are closest to our hearts.
The ones that should not diminish with time.
The unconditional love and respect to our parents.
That blood is thicker than water.
No matter where we are, our moral values should not desert us.
Irrespective of any elderly person that we speak to, they should be accorded the right kind of respect.
That we should be passionate about life itself.
And never stop believing in ourselves.
Even when everyone else has deserted us.
These six core values are found in the book of twenty eight short stories.
May the intrinsic messages be inculcated in the readers’ mind so that it will provoke them to reflect on their life in the most meaningful way.
May the key messages in this book be shared among friends, colleagues and strangers alike.
In a chaotic world, may we find tranquility that we seek.
As we forge ahead in life.