“Deepavali is a religious affair, but I also see it as a social event, an opportunity to meet up with family and friends who I don’t get to see very often. I think that’s how most people take it, especially the younger generation today.

Is it hard for people to meet up otherwise? Yeah. Why? Well, I find that people tend to burn themselves out here in Singapore. They are so concerned about what others think about them that they just forget about everything else.

There’s this culture here where people just follow the herd, and the problem lies in the fact that the herd do really stupid things sometimes. There’s no sense of self; you can even call them zombies.

I belong to the younger generation too but I don’t subscribe to that way of life. I help my firm with investment recommendations and it’s an intellectually challenging job. The hours can be long, but I make time to live life too. Over the weekend, I enjoy discovering new cafés and eateries with my friends.

The way I see it, the ‘suffering’ that people go through here is self-imposed sometimes. The good part about it is that it’s reversible; all it requires is a change in mentality and the person can get out of it.” – Haresh, 29