Hello friend. Thanks so much for keeping track of my fightback progress and being part of my rocky journey. I come to the last part of my blog series since I don’t even feel close to depression now. I am charged up, motivated, burning with desire, gaining peak confidence and increasing the spring on my steps. I have started attending social gatherings, looking for emcee opportunities, going for vacations and also opened my life to multiple other possibilities.
VALIANT & TRUTH
Whatever happened, had to happen. And, left with no choice, I am happy it happened this way; and to me. Most others would not have been able to bear the now, nine-month-long, traumatic experience. The internet now has more negative news about me than some of the global terrorists and scammers – just Google my name and find out!. And I haven’t stolen a cent nor physically hurt anyone ever. If anything, during my emcee and social media stints I have only wanted to spread smiles, happiness, pride and rationality. It still had to be me … and this way. But it could have been worse… a deadly disease could have caught me or my family, an accident, losing a limb or even losing a life. Touch wood, it wasn’t any of that. Instead, I now have an asset.. a big asset.. popularity on the internet and a building story of fighting against the odds, turning back from the dead in the very country I got shamed, stripped of my job and respect. The internet now tells many things. These anarchical things can even happen even in a glistening, gleaming, shining perfect country too. And it had to happen.
My post was never the intention that it got interpreted; far from it. People loved the post when I had put it and some even asked where could they get the T-shirt. And those people, I can assure you, are ones who love Singapore infinitely more than the ever-grumbling trollers. Even the 500 odd trollers know it. They also know versions of this image have been circulating here since Malaysia elections (early 2018) and even today in the United Kingdom (image below), as that country warms up to the Cricket World Cup 2019. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the image. If anything, it says the body belongs to the resident country. If there was anything wrong, someone would have bothered to tell the T-shirt manufacturing website to stop selling that image or to remove the thousands of similar designs it has. It doesn’t need to, there are millions of more offensive T-shirts being worn freely outside. That image was fine and I predict, its a matter of time, people will be wearing this image, all over the world, with pride. Maybe the day a Hollywood star wears it to an award ceremony, he would have played the pied piper to parts of the world. The message in it, for anyone with the ability to think, shows love and respect for two nations and not be a one nation, one community, one religion loving radical.
THE TROLL WORLD WE MAKE
But when you are hell-bent on targeting a community, you will let dumb trollers rule the roost. Buoyed by a plethora of fake news, the trollers soon got ammunition to post my personal pictures and family images all over the internet. Weak institutions trembled at online brunt and reacted as any unprincipled and crowd-pleasing entity would do. Online trolls? Really? Do you remember who was trolled last week or the link you received a week before, on your WhatsApp Messenger?
But it had to happen and God only chose me and my family for it. I have been now made permanently unemployable here and I won’t get a job here unless someone with spine stands up to believe in me and the situation. Compare this to the worse case punishment the law gives – only a fine of 1000$ for someone who actually tears a physical flag. That didn’t happen, making me permanently unemployable happened. And since it took six months for a leading national media to come forth with a rationale side of the incident, what are the odds of a corporate high flying executive or department here to stand up? Low, very low. That’s why I have now minimized applying for jobs – tired of the ‘regret to inform’ reply emails or those discussions where I keep explaining and the person in front keeps getting skeptical. I have adjusted to my fate…and it was fate.
YOU CAN’T FIGHT DESTINY
Consider the eerie coincidences and you may realize the big role destiny had to play in this incident. That day even if I had put a post of a rose, something bad was destined to happen. The chronology of events and their dates almost certify that. Consider this..
- Post was put on 15 Aug 2018 – India’s Independence Day and exactly the date we had arrived in Singapore, dot ten years ago. Destiny. Destiny.
- I was separated from my job on 24 Aug 2018 – The exact date I had joined DBS, Singapore, four years ago. Destiny.
- Authorities clear me with a warning 2 Oct 2018 – Mahatma Gandhi Jayanti day. Destiny.
- Channel News Asia comes up with a voice which finally tells my side of the story 26 Jan 2019 – India’s Republic Day. Destiny.
- I join a small company to work, as a lovely Singaporean Chinese gentleman (to the core) believes in me. I will forever be indebted to him; and to another lady here who gave everything to get me a plum job. It was emotional and heart warming to see two Singaporeans stand up tall to amend what they thought was sheer injustice. Joining Date 20 Mar 2019 – Holi, India’s festival of colours day. Destiny.
- My last day of work will fall on yet another auspicious day (which I choose not to reveal). Destiny.
I have decided, having proved that I can get a job in this land, I need to look at better opportunities in life. I need to live life on my terms, on my families wishes than circumstances forcing me away. This incident was God’s way so that I chart out new paths, discover people who blindly backed us during this phase and filter out the ones who never respected me/us. I can choose to live the rest of my life a lot better and happier than be that corporate 8 am to 8 pm slave to ungrateful paymasters that I was, for 18 years. Same corporate, where people who knew me inside out, for decades, couldn’t find their backbone for me.
THE SYSTEM THAT WORKS
Meanwhile, the Singapore system has also acted upon some key changes that will ensure another resident, family or community is not racially hounded and targeted in the future by trollers. Kudos Singapore for passing two key bills in the last six months.
- The fake news punishable bill.
- The illegal circulation of anyone’s personal pictures or information bill.
It was more of these that did me in than the forward image put with a positive intention. To add, one of the fake news spreading websites have been blocked forever and another one, taken to court. Kudos Singapore, again. One day I wish to take on these fake news bloggers and their troller fan base into a live television debate… and prove to them that people coming from outside are far more appreciable and loyal to Singapore than what they (pretend to be) are. I am still around, aren’t I?
Till such time, I move on… to get into areas where I can touch common people’s lives, and their dreams. I too have a dream. That one day, I grow big here, on my feet, enough to give jobs to locals here. Maybe after that, I will ponder which would be the better place for me and my family to settle.