1. Thank you, Lauren,

      I imagined your family to be a “huggy” one. It comes through in all your poems and writing.


      Close bonding with hugs
      Building strong family ties
      Lessons for children

      The business community knew Amarjit Singh as a ruthless investor and asset stripper. But he saw himself as diverting and allocating funds and talent from dogs to stars. He taught his employees to be equally ruthless and pushed them hard. But he also worked himself harder.

      And more often than not, his bets paid off. After the initial pains, the stars became cash cows and the people who remained with him grew in wealth and stature.

      That was what the world saw.

      But at home, in his villa where his extended but close knit family lived, they saw another side of him: a grandson who revered his grandparents; a son who fell readily at the feet of his parents; a father who loved his children with a fierce pride; and a grandfather who dotted on his grandchildren.

      And all of them worked in his business empire.

      ‘Wealth creates divisions, but not in your family,’ said a reporter. ‘What is your family secret?’

      ‘We are all eating together, playing together, and laughing and crying together also,’ said Amarjit, shaking his head as he spoke.

      ‘And hugging one another,’ said his wife, with a shy laugh.

      ‘Yes, yes, the hugging is always there.’

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

      1. First of all, thanks for your kind words, Eric, and secondly, your story is amazing! I’m in awe that you can just write on a whim. Love this one, especially, so thanks for sharing!

    1. Hello Stephen,

      Yes, it does. Though you lost me with your question – what Imogee?


      Sunny smiles of mine
      Bring sunshine to my loved ones
      I bask in their warmth

      The women’s group in church loved to hold their gatherings at Esther’s home. It was a modest house but one filled with joy. When the monthly meetings came around, the venue was not discussed, it was a given.

      Esther’s teenaged children were respectful and considerate, and made the women feel welcome. When the women arrived, the children, always cheerful, would appear, greet the adults and, after a few polite minutes, withdraw to their rooms.

      Some of the new members, led by Josephine, complained. They wanted to take turns to host the group. But it was obvious to the older members that the newcomers wanted to flaunt their rich lifestyle.

      Esther, to avoid petty conflicts, agreed that taking turns as hostess might be a good idea.

      At the next meeting, held at Josephine’s lavishly furnished house, only Esther and two other women turned up. Even the ones who had supported Josephine did not attend.

      In time, the women’s group became defunct.

      Note: Based on a true story.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

    1. Hello Windy dear,

      That’s a thought. The Singapore government is so bent on raising taxes on everything – yes, perhaps they might introduce a ‘happiness tax’.

      ‘You’re happy because of us, so pay a tax!’


      Here is a “free” hugz for you,

      Rich buy smiles and hugs
      If taxed, rich will pay the most
      Poor don’t need to buy

      Born into fabulous wealth, Sinclair had dozens of friends. His parties attracted the lettered and luminaries. He was a much sought after person and held court wherever he went. The jet-set laughed at his jokes and paid attention to his tales of conquests of towering mountains, raging rivers, and the great beauties of the world.

      Then the crooks in Wall Street, in cohorts with confederates in government, media, and academia, brought his gilded world down on him.

      He lost his billions but the few millions he managed to retain were small change. His mansions, private jets, and yachts went, as did his fast women.

      For a time, he still had a few friends, hangers-on who hoped to leverage his name. But as the lawsuits from the Wall Street fallout mounted, he lost his last million in legal fees. And his handful of friends too disappeared.

      At age forty-five Sinclair went incognito. He grew a beard and allowed his hair to grow long and turn silver. He entered the labour force: polishing shoes on the sidewalk.

      He passed on at age seventy-five. On his death bed he told the priest that the previous three decades were the best years of his life.

      ‘How so?’ asked the priest.

      ‘I learned,’ he said. And he sighed and smiled.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

  1. I remember my wife telling me of an experience passing someone and giving them a smile as she went by. The woman stopped and came back. She said you’re the only person who smiled at me all day. She thanked her and went on her way smiling in return. Smiles are catching. Be careful who you hug under what circumstances. lol

    1. Hello Ian,

      Fantastic – what your wife did and the response her smile triggered. Bless her. Amazing is it not, and so simple to uplift someone’s day and spread joy.

      Hugging strangers, acquaintances, and even friends – in the current heightened atmosphere regarding harassment and so on, I will not risk it. LOL! Hugs are reserved for special friends and close family.

      A smile to spread joy
      A smile for a dull stranger
      A bounce in your step

      Even on a freezing Monday morning, and after a long weekend, Hakim would walk into the office beaming from ear to ear.

      ‘Had a great weekend?’ asked Sales Guy.

      ‘Yes, actually,’ said Hakim. ‘I helped my neighbours shovel snow off their driveways.’

      ‘You should move to another neighbourhood,’ said Sales Guy. ‘I bet at fifty, you’re the youngest dude living on that street.’

      ‘Why should I move?’

      ‘So you can get a life,’ said Sales Guy.

      ‘I do have a life,’ said Hakim in his cheerful way.

      ‘Okay, Mr Sharp, I’ll break it down for you,’ said Sales Guy. ‘Now that you’ve a green card, you can stop doing shit. Do real stuff, you know, get laid, anything to make you happy.’

      ‘I’m married. I don’t need to get laid,’ said Hakim. ‘What’s more, I’m already happy. And if you need me to help shovel snow off your driveway, let me know.’

      ‘You’re shitting me! You’ll do that for me?’

      ‘No, I’ll never shit on you. This is a promise. And yes, I’ll shovel snow for you. Why not? We’re friends, no.’

      Hakim gave a wide smile and started to mop the floor.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

      1. The flip side is a true report on one day I was walking with the then senior VP of a University. He was a venerable old gentleman of long experience people looked up to as a leader of their community. As we walked by a student he stopped and wished the old gentleman a good day. “Who told that fellow to wish me!” was the response. lol. The student went on his way with his tail between his legs. 🙂

      2. That is sad is it not? An educator who is himself uneducated. In the student’s eyes at least, that Snr VP’ esteem must have tumbled.

        Unfortunately, Ian, I have met many such “teachers” in my school during the years 1962 to 1971. I harbour no anger – but I also never saw them as my teachers.

    1. Thank you 🙂

      Versions of the truth
      So true, gloriously true
      In good fun, I say

      Ah Gong looked forward to his granddaughter’s visit.

      Su Ling was the only one from his vast family who came to see him at the home and she did so every Sunday after Mass.

      She would give him a hug and chatter away in that bubbly manner of hers. And it gave Ah Gong immense pleasure to hear her recount her week.

      The joy she left behind would shine in his face for the whole week, and the staff at the home noticed it.

      When he passed away, the staff told his family that Ah Gong died a happy man.

      For once, the staff did not have to lie.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

    1. Thank you 🙂

      Pressed for time, effort
      Truth revealed in a few words
      But a truth no less

      They had known one another for thirty-five years and been married for twenty-five of those years; with three lovely children, now all young adults.

      After their wedding anniversary dinner, a private affair for two, they strolled down the waterfront boulevard; she, resting her head on his shoulder, and he holding her close.

      They stopped to take in the city skyline and the lights shimmering on the water.

      Turning to her, he planted a quick kiss on her lips and smiled.

      ‘Why do you love me so much?’ he asked.

      She had been the prom queen and could have had any hunk of her choosing but had decided on him, a kid working nights and weekends to put himself through college.

      ‘Because you make feel like a queen, every single day.’

      ‘But I never served breakfast in bed, and did not give you flowers, not even once,’ he said.

      ‘But you shower me with smiles and hug me every single chance you get.’

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

    1. Hello Bill,

      It’s so obvious, is it not? Yet, many people and in many families do not even smile to one another. Okay, in some societies, people are not into hugging; just as in others, people do not bend down, take their elders’ hand, and kiss. But a smile?


      Smallest investment
      In terms of time and effort
      Cascading returns

      Emilio’s mother, Isabel, did not hide her disapproval when he brought his new friend, Juan, home. But his father found Juan to be a nice boy. He was polite, greeted them with all the respect due to elders, and chewed his food with his mouth closed.

      But one look and Isabel did not like him. He was bare feet, used a thin rope instead of a belt to hold up his two-sizes too large trousers, and though his shirt was laundered and clean, there was a prominent patch on the shoulder. It was obvious the boy had been doing manual labour and whatever he hauled, had worn through the fabric.

      Emilio’s father was the richest man in the city and Juan had no address—he lived in the outskirts, in a shanty town.

      As the weeks progressed, Emilio spent more and more of his time with Juan.

      Furious, Isabel sent her servants after Emilio. They found him outside Juan’s “house”—a structure thrown together with corrugated tin for roof and discarded cupboards for walls.

      ‘And what do they have that we don’t?’ Isabel screamed.

      ‘They have a happy home, Mama,’ said Emilio.

      His father grunted his approval and went back to his papers.

      Haiku & Story: Copyright @ Eric Alagan, 2018

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