Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Shamini Flint

Is it just my imagination or has BBGS produced inordinately large numbers of lawyers and writers? Thanks to Facebook, I was recently re-introduced to Shamini Flint, who is a poster child for both professions. Sham, a lawyer-turned-author, shares her story with us.

When were you at BBGS?
From Standard 5 to Form 5 - I left in 1986 to go to St. John's to do science subjects for my A-Levels (that was a waste of time!). It seems like a very long time ago.

What are some of your fondest BBGS memories?
My favourite memories ...the biology teacher who lost all our exam sheets when her car got stolen, English classes with Mrs. Aziz and Mrs. Abraham, lots of friends including a few I am still in touch with like Sharon Kaur and Valerie Kuan, the beautiful old building (I can't believe they knocked it down), choral speaking (although in retrospect I am not so sure), those polyglot days when were were fined for speaking the wrong language...

What did you do after you left school?
I studied law in the UK, did a Masters, worked in KL for a few years and then for Linklaters in Singapore. I finally quit the law when the first of my two children was born (yes, I have children! It is a shock to me too!) and took up writing...

What are you currently doing?
I started writing children's picture books, expanded into Asian crime fiction and now write children's novels as well. My breakthrough came when Little, Brown, UK bought the rights to the first three crime fiction novels - look out for Inspector Singh Investigates - A Most Peculiar Malaysian Mystery! due out in May 2009. The website has further details...

As a successful published author, do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Advice for new writers - don't do it!! Seriously, it is hard work and success is not guaranteed. However, if you have a story to tell and faith in your own abilities, the the most important assets are perseverance and perseverance.

What are some of the BBGS values/lessons that you still treasure today?
BBGS values or universal values? The importance of friends, loyalty, self-discipline, hard work, personal integrity and the conviction that every single one of us has something valuable to offer society - once we stop shopping!

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Surprises in the mail

Writing a blog is not the easiest job in the world. Especially when your audience comprises passionate women who live up to the highest ideals.

Sometimes, I really have to rack my brain to come up with memories worthy of our beloved school. To do that, I dip into old school magazines and the Centenary publication. An idea forms and is slowly nurtured into a story that is acceptable by BBGS standards. It is a slow and often painful process.

But you know, all the hard work pays off when I start receiving emails from readers far and wide, who tell me how much these blog entries mean to them. Take for example this recent email from Mr. Eric Gray -


Thank you very much for putting Lalitha's poem in the BBGS "blog" site. I am the late Lalitha Gray’s husband. I was very moved to read the poem (also Miss Cooke's words) as it is years since I had seen it.

Reading an account of a Phyllis Thom/Briggs, who was imprisoned by the Japanese during WW2 and recently died at 100 ys:-

Someone reminded me that Miss Glasgow, former Head of BBGS, was likewise imprisoned, and lived to be 100 too. It appears, she also wrote an account of her war imprisonment, for a few friends. I wonder if anyone who reads this site has a copy, which they would not mind sharing (maybe by scanning)?

I see you were one of Soosila and John Hillman's guests in Brisbane. I forwarded the poem to them.

Eric Gray
Bedworth, Warwicks., England

Monday, 6 October 2008

A beautiful woman

For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child his or her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk in the knowledge that you never walk alone.
People, even more than things have to be renewed, restored, revived, reclaimed and redeemed; never throw out anyone.
Remember, if you ever need a helping hand, you will find one at the end of each of your arms.
As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands; one for helping yourself and another for helping others.