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Tonight’s the night! Yes, I guess everybody is just as excited as I am. For the uninitiated, you may ask so what’s happening tonight? For those in the know, well tonight I’ll be appearing on Mediacorp TV Vasantham channel’s programme called Vasantham Express at 9.30pm.

Because of me, many of my non Tamil speaking friends, participants and ex-students, including my own family members will be watching an Indian channel probably for the very first time in their lives. Then again, there’s always a first time for everything in life :)

If you ask me to sum up my own experience recording the episode at Mediacorp Studios earlier and then seeing myself on TV, the only word I can use to describe it is surreal.

It’s surreal for many reasons but chief of them all is that I often see other people on TV but never thought I’ll be invited on the small screen as well. Many a times back in 2008 when I chose to leave my comfort zone, I asked myself if it was worth the risk.

But now three years later, it no longer feels like a dream. It’s a well trodden path that has started to bear fruit. Everything around me feels more concrete, especially both the familiar and new faces I see everyday; the lives I continue to touch; and the numerous thank you notes cum messages that I receive. The decision I made back then was the correct one. 

Having trained at over 70 companies and schools, I relish every opportunity that comes my way and will continue to make a positive difference in the lives of others through my grooming workshops, fitness trainings and other lifeskills programmes :)

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I value each and every opportunity given to me. Never one to rest on my laurels, I expect more from myself than anyone else. That’s why preparing and rehearsing for every workshop is of utmost importance. This is even more pertinent when I knew I would be training close to 100 ladies today from the PAP Community Foundation - Pasir Ris West Education Centre.

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Walking into the huge function room, I was warmly welcomed by the smiles and applause from the ladies who were patiently awaiting my arrival in ten separate tables of ten each.
 
With a rousing welcome like that, it really felt more like a gathering of old friends as we bantered and learnt together in this half day workshop. Sometimes, it felt like I had known these ladies for some time. Honestly, as a trainer, it was certainly heartwarming to see so many enthusiastic faces. 

It is never my style to just stand there and deliver. I enjoy walking around interacting with my participants and helping them understand themselves better along this grooming journey. What’s most important is we all have fun learning while enjoying every moment of it. 

As it was an all-ladies group, there was no need to be shy when it came to sharing trade secrets among one another. Colleagues from the various education branches under the PAP Community Foundation - Pasir Ris West Education Centre, the excellent rapport between them was extended to the various activities which we did in the class. Whether it was helping each other to measure themselves or draping themselves using their palette of shared clothes, it was a workshop best described as laugh a minute, learn a minute :)

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If you ask me if I felt awkward speaking about girls stuff to these ladies, my answer is no. Coming from a male perspective, very often it is more holistic. For those of you who know me, my style is to bare all and keep none. If I share, I share wholeheartedly. That was also why no challenge is too Herculean for anyone to overcome, unless you choose to not complete the task. 
 
So when a few ladies asked me to translate some grooming terms into Mandarin, I did just that. And guess what? Soon, I had a table full of ladies who flocked over from the other tables. While the other 9 tables did the activity in English, this table comprising Mandarin speaking ladies was given special attention and did the same activity in Mandarin, with me as the translator. I had done a grooming talk in Mandarin some months back to a group of staff from China so this was just riding on that same successful experience I had.

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My best memories of this jovial lot can be summed up easily. When I asked for volunteers in order to demonstrate the activities, hands shot up readily. The ladies were more than ready to be measured in full view of their colleagues. There was no hemming and hawing among these ladies. Loved that! When I did the actual demonstration, the ladies seated behind automatically moved forward to get a better view. Some even videoed the entire process. Loved that too! That was also why I shared a lot more of my personal DIY maintenance secrets with them. With positive vibes, big hearts and warm smiles galore, what’s not to love about these ladies?

If the workshop went well without any hitch, credit must definitely go to the ladies for helping me keep the group energy high and for creating the much needed excitement all the time. Even recalling it now, there were only highs in this superb grooming workshop.

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One group photo for memories :)
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