In books, there are much buried treasures
I have a bookmark which has a few quotes printed on it...
"You cannot open a book without learning something." - Confucious
"A room without books is like a body without a soul." - Cicero
"The more you that you read, the more things you will know.
The more things that you learn, the more places you'll go." - Dr Seuss
I love reading but with the eye-sight failing me surely and quickly, I do get tired easily. One thing that is not very good about aging is that your eyes are failing you, your stamina is also slowly diminishing. So much so that I find myself taking longer and longer time to finish one book. But still, I want to carry on with this habit of reading because it rubs onto my two children and I want them to experience learning in various forms, I want them to be man and woman with a soul and I want them to go places...
When we went back home for the Chinese New Year, the first thing we did was to pick up books from our favourite hunt - The Bras Basah Complex, a huge mall selling new and used books. I casually picked up a book and found myself so absorbed by it. For once, I am thankful for the jams in Shanghai because it is in all the travellings, I buried myself with this good read.
Subhas Anandan - The Best I could
This book is about himself and the many infamous cases which he fought for. One of the top, if not the top criminal lawyer in Singapore. He said, in his own words " Even the most heinous offender deserves a proper trial". It reminded me of what Christ teachings are all about, "love the sinner but hate the sins." Now, let's be a bit more profound...isn't what a person does in their life time make him a good person or a bad person. So really it's not about the person but more about his actions.
That's how Subhas handle each of his case. He hated some of the cases, he hated some of the things that have been done but he fought his hardest for the accused. Something which many of us could hardly do. The more I read, the more respect I have for this man. I most admired him for being able to build good friendships with the good, the bad and the ugly. In our modern world, don't we just look for good, vaulable people to make friends with. It is a very sad truth.
In this book, I was opened to his way of parenting...I quote him,
"I have been asked many times why my son is not studying law as though it's given that he must read law. Some blame me for not encouraging him to be a lawyer while others accuse me of being indifferent. To me, it doesn't really matter if he is a lawyer, a doctor or a saleman. He should grow up to be a good human being. A person who will have time and compassion for those who are less fortunate than him. I want him to have a life where he has time to stop and smell the flowers. I want his life to be a journey of surprises and discovery, and not one where he is in constant rush. Let him be anything he wants to be as long as he is happy. He should lead a life according to standards he sets himself and he should not live to please others. He should have the discipline to resist evil and the same discipline not to overindulge. He knows my weaknesses and strengths, and with that knowledge, he should be able to build his own strengths and discard what is not good for him. I have, to the best of my ability, taught him to differentiate between good and bad. You don't need to be a lawyer to know that."
I have heard many parents talked about being stressed and the kids are pressurised... If only each parent can read and do a little of Subhas did to his son, we will have a generation of happy souls. That brought me to my two kids...you know, I often tell dh that they both should be lawyers, they love to argue with each other and sometimes with me and mind you, I don't always use "but I say so..." to shut them off because they do make a lot of sense sometimes and I don't consider that as being disrespectful to me. I let them know that sometimes, parents can be wrong and its ok to tell us. I also see it as a lesson for them to learn to speak up. I have often told them over meals that they should study hard and be lawyers, in that way, they get to do what they are good at and what they love best. Surprise, surprise, Kai said he wants to be a cartoonist and Ann, a fashion designer! Well, they can but they have to be the best in the world, if not, Asia...yes, my motto for them is "To be the best". Even if they are char-kuay-teow (fried noodles) sellers, they must be one where people drive big cars and Q-up to eat their food!
As a top lawyer, I am pretty sure his language skills, his English could be "Queens-perfect" but what made the book an absorbing read is that he wrote the book simply and sometimes, using words that are down right simple and with a local taste. Like what he said, "I have written for the man in the street, not for law students and lawyers to analyse" I remember when I was doing a writing course with the LongRidge Writers Group, a bestselling author was marking my assignments and she told me that a successful writer is one who is able to touch the readers. And I find so much truth in it and so much of it is found in this book.
Ok, I think I cannot go on blogging about this book, if I do, I think it will be running in pages. I do strongly encourage you to go pick up this book, at any leading bookshops or perhaps the library. (Gosh, I sound like an advertisment!) I am just so happy to be able to find it in an old tiny bookshop tucked away in a corner of an old complex.
Subhas Anandan - The Best I could
Marshall Cavendish International (Asia) Private Limited
ISBN 13: 978-981-261-457-5