My India Trip

For those celebrating the end of the fasting month, I wish you a fruitful Eid Mubarak!

I’ve been overseas these past few weeks, on a community involvement program.  My organisation has partnered with SCAD, an organisation which oversees several projects helping a range of people from various backgrounds. As it was my organisation’s first OCIP trip, we decided to work on a simple project with a special needs school in Cheranmahadevi, India.

Based on a prior visit by the recce team, we split our project into a few parts. The main portion was the refurbishment of the school’s relaxation corner – a room where these underprivileged kids could play games and toys. We painted the room, and filled the shelves with toys which we collected in Singapore.

Another portion of the project involved adding games catered to the needs of these kids – most of whom had learning disabilities – such as texture cubes and a race track corner. The aim here was to engage the sensory and motor skills of these kids, to complement the academic portion for which they were already in school for

Then there was an interaction session with these kids – a simple art session where we made paper-plate jellyfish and a simple origami dog. These kids don’t really get to do artwork and it was heartening to see them expressing themselves. They may have been aged from 12-20 but the 3 teens I worked with were really kids at heart. The simple joy of writing your own name on your own artwork is something that most of us take for granted, but for these kids, it made their day. I’m glad that I was able to help them achieve that.

After the CIP portion, we had a small heritage tour of the region, stopping by cities such as Tirunelveli, Madurai, Tanjore and Tiruchi. My friends fell sick one by one, but I was the last to fall sick. They had all recovered by the last city Tiruchi, so they left me in the hotel while they went shopping and watching movies. I kept running to the toilet every half an hour, inflicted with a terrible bout of stomach flu which made even the plain water I drank to come out of the back door. That was the only time during the entire trip which I (terribly) missed my Tenas.

There was one toilet-training incident which I observed, and it shook me a little. I was in a toilet cubicle and there was this conversation between father and son transpiring in the next cubicle. The dad had brought the boy to the toilet and he asked him, “do you want to poop”. He didn’t answer. “Have you already pooped”. No answer again.

SLAP. “No, I don’t know”, he replied sullenly. The dad started to take off the boy’s diaper, grumbling loudly that he didn’t know how to tell when he needed to go and how his mother was going to be furious etc. So he sees that the diaper is clean and he gets frustrated. “Why don’t you just answer me properly?” SLAP. “Do you need to go poop now?”, he asks and the boy mush have shook his head or something because the dad roars “I want you to sit on the toilet and poop now“.

As I stood up and left, the kid was sobbing and pooping. They were an urban middle class family, but what struck me was the amount of intimidation that was used in potty training. That’s their way of life there, slaps as punishment. I was slipping in and out because of my stomach flu but that incident stuck to my consciousness. The kid moved from diapers because he was scared that his dad would hit him, not because he wanted to be like his peers.

Overall I feel that this trip did open my eyes to this part of the world. It was a memorable trip, and I feel that I gained valuable skills and insights through this trip.

– Selv

Good Reasons To Wear Diapers In College

So here I am, uncontrollably going in my pants… Thankfully my diaper is in there too. The stomach bug is really getting onto my nerves. But I’ve spent an unusually significant portion of my time in diapers when I’ve been in my hostel room due to the incident that happened this week.

You see, living beside a forest has its perks. You get to see birds of paradise, cute squirrels and playful monkeys. But you also have to contend with wild boars and snakes. Urgh.

Sometimes they just come down the hill bordering the hall and they rummage through out barbequeue pit dustbins. But my hall is lucky in the sense that it is fenced in, so we only get anteaters. They come down, inspect the slippers outside our rooms before climbing up, satisfied that there’s nothing edible that hasn’t been left eaten.

But snakes! Those slithering villains like to hide in dark, wet places. And yes, toilets fit that description perfectly, especially at night after the auto-lights go off. My first floor toilet is a prime location, with my block located at the end of the cluster of halls, surrounded by forest. My peers don’t really get frightened too much. Girls might scream, guys might huff like a locomotive, but are usually calm enough to call campus security.

But still, the idea that a snake might be lurking in the toilet is reason enough to wear diapers, at least at night when they are active. They come in, possibly lured in by the presence of rats and field mice (and maybe by our resident hall cat?). Sometimes the bats in the trees die, and these present a snacking opportunity.

But there are plenty of reasons why you should wear diapers. For one, there’s the added benefit of not having to leave the comfort of your room, not having to interrupt your YouTube binge (Netflix hasn’t caught on here yet), or if you are the studious type, not having to get up from your notes.

Then there is the diaper itself – it acts as an extra layer of soft padding. Very useful when you are sitting for hours on a hard plastic chair. When you pee, the padding conveniently grows, until it nears capacity. Invest in a nighttime diaper, like the Tena Slip or Lille Suprem range. After all, you’d probably spend about 6-8 hours in the diaper.

I guess the downside is having to put on and take off the diaper. That can be done in the guise of taking a bath i.e. once you return to your room you shower, and put one on. In the morning before class, you shower and take it off. That’s what I do, and with a little bit of tweaking, can be done even when using communal toilets, like the ones at NTU. There’s also the noise, but that’s where you should invest in noiseless cloth-backed diapers.

And in case you’re wondering, yes, the snake in my hall’s toilet story is absolutely true, as captured in this CNA news article. I’m not not referred to in the article, so don’t ask. I only remember a whole lot of screaming and yelling, and I came out of my room to ask these people to shut-up. But then I saw the pest control people and the bulging sack, though I didn’t get to see the snake itself.

– Selv

Random Rambling Week

School’s not going well, and it’s not because of the studies part. Been uncovering quite a bit of cynicism among my classmates, but let’s not talk further about it.

I guess the highlight of the week was today’s picnic at Sembawang with my cca mates. Some say that the way into a girl’s heart is through her stomach, and today I see that it is true. I made some marshmallow rice krispie treats, lathered on team and melted chocolate and rolled it up swiss-roll style. I can sense y’all drooling…  Unfortunately, the girl I was eyeing thought my confection was not vegetarian so she didn’t try them out.

Finally managed to buy some diapers last week. But it was only this week that I managed to get some extended mileage in one. Sat in my Uni room studying for a math lecture test the next day so managed to wear from 8-5. However, nature called in a big way, so I had to take it off.

Yeah, I know my diaper is messy… room, I meant!

– Selv

What A Day…

I apologise in advance, I really have to let this off my chest.

It’s been an upsetting day of sorts.

I witnessed a WhatsApp fight on a school CCA group. Nothing unusual.

While I attended my business module, I witnesses the ugly side of Singaporeans, where people scrambled to shoot down my group, as well as others. For what? To beat the bell-curve? Fine, but no need to be cynical! My group escaped the bloodbath that engulfed the next group thanks to my seminar tutor. But the next group’s woes were sickening because  after the audience killed them, the tutor himself insisted on correcting a technicality, while the all-girl group maintained that they were right and he was wrong.

People were relishing in that heated dialogue between tutor and girl-group. Some did their best to get to the defence of the group, but many others were sniggering away. I’m not a person who enjoys seeing others suffer. But they cynical and ugly singaporean trait of kiasuism (fear of losing out) reared its ugly head. Why must people shoot down others, just so that their group can do better? Don’t they believe that they will be affected next week when it is their turn? It may be true that karma doesn’t strike people equally but is that a reason to hurt another person’s feelings (don’t talk about the grades anymore)?

I’m honestly very glad that I’m taking an engineering course where people are very supportive of their peers. Unlike Business, and Humanities courses, I’ve heard.

Post-script:

But the day couldn’t have ended without me witnessing a couple fight in HSS. I was waiting for my dad to pick me up when I began to write the above post. Some of you may have noticed the incomplete earlier draft.

A guy comes along to meet his girl at this place where I’m seated. The guy is furious. It seems that he had been waiting for her for 3 hours. The girl in turn was frustrated because he didn’t pick up her calls to him.

Stuff was being said, but I didn’t bother until the guy threw his phone onto the adjacent table. She mumbled something, to which the guy raised his hand to slap her.

I intervened. I went up to the guy and asked him if this was how he should treat a woman. They asked me to f*k off, but I didn’t. I reminded him that each relationship will have problems and that you don’t beat a woman for it, that he could have simply gone up to her location to ask instead of sulking and switching off his phone.

“Shame on you’, I scolded at him before the girl’s senses kicked in and they both barked at me to not interfere in their personal matter and that I will find out the hard way when I get a girlfriend blah blah. So I unceremoniously walked away, but I hope that they patched up afterward.

Please people. It is more important to be a good human being, than to be the best human being.

– Selv

Sinusoidal Feelings

Alright.. I had been a little emo in my last post (pun not intended), but guess that’s part of life in one form or another. I mean, love is a delicate topic that has inspired many tales and battles.

I had gone for the aforementioned society’s interviews for entering one of their sub-committees, Events. The interviews were in group format, so there were four of us in a group that was being interviewed. All 6 committees were being done in one room, so everyone could see each other.

Throughout our interview, a guy kept looking at a girl. I knew her from last week’s event, and I knew who she was, so I kept paying attention to what the interviewers were saying. But the interviewer had noticed his expressions and he blurted out ‘R—- is actually our vice-president S—-‘s girlfriend’.

The poor guy’s face just changed. In one sentence, his hope had been dashed. And that is the nature of love – your desire gets smashed as fast as it gets built-up. I heard later that he declined to join Events, while I was posted to P&P.

As for me, I fell into a sad state last week. In my main CCA, a photography club, the boys like to link me up to another indian girl. I too didn’t regard it too much – until one of them brought it out into a club meeting – where that girl was present.

I held my tongue until after the meeting, then I blasted him. But the damage had already been done – that girl started to avoid me.

Or so, I thought. Fast forward to another event today. I had no idea that she was there. But towards the end, she came over and we chatted for quite a while, until she had to leave. While it probably doesn’t mean anything, it shows that she wasn’t angry about the previous debacle during the photography meeting. #gotchance

Hmm, this post turned out to be emotional too…

– Selv

It started with a handbag

Went for an NTU orientation event last Saturday. I may be in my second year, but I wanted to join different committees, meet new people. So I went for an event that said come, let’s become friends.

I could go into the details and all but it would be boring. But basically we playe some station games and they drilled us participants about the society, in a bid to make us join eventually (their interview is at the end of this week I think). 

But it was what one of the girls in my group said that registered in my mind. It didn’t catch my attention, because I was so jaded by that point of the day, but it did register in my mind.

There were 9 of us, and we were walking from one station to another within the campus. 

One of the other girls started by asking ‘hey, why did you bring your handbag around, isn’t it cumbersome?’

She replied a string of words which I feel lazy to translate but, as you can guess, was related to her going through ‘the time of the month’. 

I instinctively tuned out, detached myself from the girls group and caught up with the boys. But then I heard it, something that I haven’t heard in a while.

“I hate when it gets heavy”,

“Just wear diapers la”

“Ya, I also wear them. But now it’s school and it hard to take care when you are staying in hall”.

Three of them giggle, before realizing just how candid they had been in a large group that included the opposite gender.

There was a very awkward silence before our group leader, a boy, changed the topic to how steep the slope we were climbing was, while the assistant leader, a girl who did not laugh, cooked up an excuse to detour away from the group for 5 minutes.

Yet again, it seems that these anecdotes are too fictionlike. But this happened, and it serves a a a reminder on just how dynamic human relationships can be. 

– Selv

The Well of Withdrawal

Am gradually being sucked into a well of withdrawal…

School’s started in earnest, there are quizzes to study for, social events don’t feel social anymore and the search for a romantic partner has flatlined. I welcome myself to week 2 of the academic year.

The urge to wear has been popping up constantly, but these seem like minor afterthoughts rather than the urges that I got during the holidays. Somehow I just want to withdraw myself from the crowd and bury my nose in my books, which is the ‘official’ point of going to college anyway.

And there’s also the teeny tiny issue of a possible rat infestation in my hall, where my room is on the first floor. I thought that they were rumours. But I heard one for myself. Wearing diapers would more than halve the time I spend in the hall toilets. But that’s a pipe dream. #reasonstoweardiapers

I’ve lost a tonne of sleep, and it’s not just because of my rush to keep up with co-curricular activities as well as tutorials. No, it is because of my roommate’s insistence on switching on the air-conditioner to 16 deg C. Mind you, I’m a fan person and despite this being a tropical country, I find the air-conditioning cold. Needless to say, my roommate got the long end of the stick and I get to suffer.

Thank goodness I get to come home on the weekends. Now it’s time for me to catch up on a week’s worth of sleep.

– Selv

 

Back To The School-ture

School has started in earnest. I told myself that I wouldn’t miss lectures this semester, or even tutorials for that matter. But as of present, I have 5 hours of lectures pending. And I missed a tutorial, for a module which takes attendance.

I haven’t had much thought on wearing, because as with last time, my roommate is not local and thus is in the room 14/7.
Hopefully I clear my backlog by tomorrow afternoon. That way, I’ll have some free time. I’ll then do some writing, and maybe sleep a little.
Now it’s time for me to revise some physics, before I hit the haystack… erm… springstack covered with a bedsheet…
P.S. The campus shuttle services have gone from bad to worse over the holidays. Campus Rider Green was the most reliable last academic year, but now it’s more irregular than the rains.

The Toilet vs. The Diaper

Sometimes I like to ask Tumblr users this question anonymously (if i notice that they are into this aspect). But I’ve never been asked this question, so I thought I’d share my thoughts about it.

Which makes you sadder – having to poop in the toilet because you can’t use a diaper, or being unable to poop when you are wearing a diaper.

Some people replied that one leads to the other, which overall leads to an upset. Others picked one, without addressing the other 🙂

As for myself, I do feel sad when I’m wearing a diaper but I can’t move my insides. But that means that, I don’t pee, I can re use the diaper. Or if I already have, then I can wear it for a longer period. But I do feel downtrodden when I have to use the toilet. It usually occurs when I have something important in the morning, or my roommate is in. Unfortunately, my roommate for this semester is yet another foreigner, which means that we will be in our room for most of the time.

Having to use the toilet is a reminder to be in adult mode, to mentally prepare myself for the upcoming events and to forsake the comfort and security of my diaper for something that is more practical.

In other news, Singapore has celebrated our 51st National Day, minus some of our favourite elements. But the best gift so far came when Joseph Schooling won for us our first Olympic Gold Medal! We wish to congratulate him for his achievement in the 100m Men’s Butterfly swimming race, smashing the Olympic, Asian and National records. We wish him all the best for his career and future. Our hopes are also with the rest of Team Singapore for the remaining events of the Games.

As for me, I’ve been helping out in my school’s Photo-Video Society’s freshman orientation programmes. We held a zombie-themed event for a night, where participants had to navigate a zombie-infested building and snap picture in low-light conditions. The participants enjoyed it, but we too had great fun setting up the place and acting as Zombies. But now that is over, it is time for me to focus on my studies 😦

– Selv

Back Home!

Hi guys, I promised that Ill be back on the 7th, but I’ve been extremely busy for these past few days. As the school vacations have started, I’ve had to clear out of my school Hall, and I’ve been very busy looking for a job to occupy myself, as well as to get some pocket money.

I aim to finish my book by the end of this month, and then I’ll be starting on a secret project. All I’ll say now is that graphics technology has finally caught up with the home consumer…

In the meantime, I’ll continue to blog as per usual – twice a week on Tuesdays and Saturdays, and I hope to continue with my pending diaper reviews. My Tumblr short stories series has been on hold, and will continue to be on hold at least till I publish my book.

I also aim to make my saturday posts more engaging, so if there is any topic that you’d like me to write about, do drop a note. Or you could drop a note just to say hi!

– Selv