Monthly Archives: December 2014

A Question of Honor

arab eatingBaniyas, a few kilometers from Abu Dhabi. This was more than 25 years ago. I was invited to dinner at a chieftain’s home somewhere in the desert.

About a hundred men sat crossed legged on the floor around the carpeted dewan. I sat beside the host, an elderly version of Captain Jack Sparrow – same headgear, coal around his eyes, rolled up sleeves, a tattoo visible on one arm.

When dinner was served, we ate with our hands. I made the mistake of finishing the food faster than everyone else. I was hungry.

When the chieftain saw that I was done, he licked his fingers and scooped more rice with that hand from a big plate and poured it on mine.

“Kul,”he said, encouraging me to eat some more. What did you think I did? I nodded, smiled, and finished the meal.

To decline would be to offend the man’s honor. No choice

Karma or fate?

I was standing at a curb waiting for a cab. A young lady appears and stands in front of me. She knows I am waiting for a cab. She keeps looking at my direction and then starts to move forward nearer to the bus stop. This is a typical Singapore culture of being afraid to lose. But I am a believer of fate and if fate wills it so be it. Then I see a taxi coming. The young woman flags it down. But the cabby doesn’t stop, and instead drives towards me. I raise my hand and it stopped. The young lady stares at me with that “What magic does he have?”look. I asked the cabby why didn’t he stop for her and he replied that he couldn’t because she was standing near the bus lane. The moral of the story is…

  • Keith Thomson

    Author of the New York Times Bestselling novel Once A Spy
    Khaled Talib’s novel Smokescreen is a cocktail of Deighton, Ludlum, Hitchcock, and two parts adrenaline.
  • Ruth Harris

    Million-copy NYT bestselling co-author of Hooked and Brainwashed
    Devious! Diabolical! Lurid! Intelligent and deftly plotted. Pick it up if you dare. Put it down if you can.
  • Jon McGoran

    Author of Drift
    In this action-packed thriller, Khaled Talib explores the little known relationship between Singapore and Israel, spinning a web of international intrigue that expands across the globe as inexorably as it tightens around his protagonist’s throat.
  • Jake Needham

    Author of The Umbrella Man and The Ambassador’s Wife
    I have published two novels set in the police and security services in Singapore, and I am here to tell you that SMOKESCREEN is nearer to the truth of that closely controlled little country than you might believe. It is a gripping and creepy tale of how governments can rig the way we all see the world.
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