My teachers always told my parents: “Er, he’s probably a late developer.”

Years later, I’m beginning to ask how late is late, exactly? Could it kindly be THIS side of the after-life, please?


Don’t you just hate people who seem destined for early success?

Reader Anita Chau sent me a report about pregnant UK woman Amanda Collins who entered an ultrasound scan of HER FETUS into a baby beauty contest.

Contest officials accepted the entry, although waited until after birth to give the baby her prize certificate.

They could have rolled it up really tightly, I suppose. “Hello, fetus. Sending something up for you.”)

*** But her actions raise the parenting bar to a worryingly high level for the rest of us.

School admissions officer: “Mr Vittachi, can you list your child’s achievements before birth?”

Me: “Er, well, she kicked a lot, probably, and practiced, er, breathing, no, wait, there’s no air in there, well, she kicked a lot, probably.”

Like that’s going to get her into a decent school.


Can you actually change your fate by sheer determination?


A deaf thief robbed a house recently, taking his sign-language interpreter with him to facilitate the intimidation of the householder, says a report forwarded to me from a news site in Scotland.

Now you have to admire that guy for not letting his disability limit his ambition.


But more common are news reports like the one about the one-legged teenager in Malaysia some years back who joined a snatch-and-run gang, and got caught by police on his first job as he hopped away.

Why did his school careers advisor not warn him?

*** Yet those experts can be wrong.

When my school careers officer asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I said: “A member of the British royal family.”

She told me that there were limited openings for small Asian people in that line of work, so I ditched the plan.

You can imagine my fury when in 1995 Princess Diana fell madly in love with a handsome south Asian guy (Hasnat Khan) and started dressing in sari blouses to court him.

That could have been me! I could have been married to a dangerous scheming woman who slept with her bodyguards and ruined her husband’s life.


Still, I continue to HATE the phrase “follow your dream”.

This may have something to do with the fact that my most common dream is being naked in the supermarket.

A psychologist told me this is an extremely common dream which signifies that you feel inadequate as a human being.

I told her, no, it signifies that my local supermarket chain (Parknshop) is run by an ORGANIZED CRIMINAL GANG which takes everything customers (“victims”) have.

*** So late bloomers, don’t despair.

Novelist Jean Rhys wrote her first bestseller at 76, and Indian polymath Nirad Chaudhuri wrote a book at the age of 100.

No need to rush.

*** Meanwhile, there’s another baby beauty contest coming up.

My kids are too old to enter, but I may follow Amanda Collins’ lead and send in an x-ray of my reproductive system.

This may be an arrestable offence, but at least I’ll get some headlines and finally prove my teachers right.