Sunday, March 27, 2005

Emoticon

Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

Yoda - Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
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Bullshit.

Anger, fear, hatred should be seen for exactly what it is. An emotion. Something that happens. Something that cannot be controlled as it is.

Nothing more, nothing less.

And emotion serves as a catalyst. Nothing more, nothing less.

It may lead to other emotions. It may lead to action. It may lead to good, and it may lead to evil.

Anger may lead to a curiosity to understand. To understand why. And in understanding why, it may lead to ridding that anger.

Fear may lead to a definition. A definition of who we are. In knowing what we are afraid of, that definition may lead to a confrontation of our fear, for we cannot face something that we do not know.

Hatred may lead to action. An action that will lead to greater good, for in protecting that which is dearest to us, it may lead to the preservation of life.

Of course, all the above may still lead to death and destruction. Hell, the above may be exactly that. The trick, therefore, is not to control our emotions, but to control our reaction to that emotion.

Because what may come of that emotion, is a reflection ourself.

Not that emotion itself.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Dead End

Flying...

...is a nice way to die.

So is dying in your sleep. A nice place to die would be in church.

Die while sleeping in a flying church.

That would be a very nice way to die.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Hero of the Day: Fazly Jermadi

Every time I come home, he is there. Waiting, for something that he and only he knows.

He lies there, cross legged, on his sides, in front of the television. His fingers would be dwindling strips of newspaper, leaving a mess everywhere. I'd lean down and rustle his curly hair. He would look up, at me, through me, straight in the eye. Squints, almost as if he recognises me, then looks away.

I'll never know if he did recognise me.

I'll never know what my brother really thinks of me.

Fazly Jermadi is an autistic. He was diagnosed with autism when he was six months old. There are several definitions for autism, but I've always defined it as something that affects how you interact with others.

I write about him because he made me realise how difficult life can be for someone who is disabled or living with a disabled. He made me realise how difficult life can be.

I look at him and wonder how difficult it is to be him.

He reminds me that I have been given the chance to live, to lead a 'normal' life. It is a chance he will never have.

And because of that, I will never forget how lucky I am.

How lucky we all are.

And my brother goes on.

Waiting.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

The Thing About Valentine's Day

With the recent Valentine's Day having passed, there are no doubt many who celebrated it in the conventional style. Roses, dinners, and other treats.

And of course, there are those who don't. These select bunch tend to proclaim it to be "fake", the sort who believe that "love should be celebrated 365 days a year, not just on one particular day."

And that Valentine's Day itself is "something invented by shopkeepers and florists to make more money."

Which is kind of silly. It might be true, or it might not. My point here is that it is an excuse. An excuse for you to wine and dine your loved ones, or just to spend more time with them. You're willing to give up on potential time with your loved ones because of something that might or might not be invented by other people.

Of course love should be celebrated every day of the year. A lot of things should happen a lot of the time. But here's a fact: it isn't always so. For whatever reason, things just don't work out. Is this bad? Is this good? I don't know. But I do know that the celebration of love, rightly or wrongly, does not happen on an everyday basis.

It is like the movies. We go and wacth a movie. We know it's not real, but we try to enjoy it for what it's worth. Even if it purports to tell a true story, we know that isn't the real story itself. It would have been pulled this way and that to fit the requirement of your standard two hour fix.

Don't want to help those who apparently invented it to make money? Then don't. Whoever said you have to spend money on expensive flowers and posh dinners anyway? If you can and you want to, fine. If you can't, use your imagination. Take them on picnics. Make dinner. Organise movie marathons.

And if your partner insists on expensive flowers and posh dinners, you're probably better off without them.

Valentine's Day is fixed. It's fake. It's not real.

So what?

Celebrate love...whatever the reason.

* An article written for the February issue of Siren, an internally circulated COSTA publication within Monash University Malaysia.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Dark Horse

Q. What do you call a horse after sunset?
A. A nightmare.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Ugly Duckling

The sun sets, the river flows. Nearby, a flock of ducks paddled, a small one left behind. This tranquil setting is bathed with an evanescent glow. You can feel it, but you can't touch it.

You just know it's there.

The year is 1999. I am standing in someone's back garden. Someone that I had only just met, and yet had offered me a lifeline. An act of generosity that would shape me, redefine me, and reconstruct me into the person that I am now. It was not without strings. I would have to make sacrifices that I never thought I would have to at that age.

I would have to stop being me. And in doing so, I allowed myself to grow.

I allowed myself to be me.

But at that time I pondered. I was unsure of the path that lies ahead, and even less sure of how to walk it.

The duckling remains, its pack paddling away. It tries vainly to follow them, their trail mapped by the rippled waves left behind. The duckling is not the prettiest of the lot, its whiteness tarred by wet dirt on its side. Maybe someday, this duckling will become beautiful and fly, I thought to myself, as it paddles its way towards its flock.

I smiled.

This duckling will fly.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Timeless

Let me tell you a secret, something they don't teach you in your temple. The Gods envy us. They envy us because we're mortal, because any moment may be our last. Everything is more beautiful because we're doomed. You will never be more lovely than you are now. We will never be here again.

Achilles - Troy
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60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.

That's a lot of seconds in a lot of minutes in a lot of hours in a lot of days in a lot of weeks in a lot of years.

That's a lot.

So there's a lot of time. Right?

Wrong.

In reality, we only live in one moment. In the now.

Not in yesterday, not in tomorrow.

And yet many waits for tomorrow.

Waiting for a day that will never come.

That day will never come because it does not exist.

And not only us. But everyone else. And everything else. Everything that exists only does so in the moment that is now.

Right now. In this moment that you are reading these words.

This second is all that matters. Nothing more, nothing less.

Why wait?

Friday, March 11, 2005

Bittersweet Symphony

Bittersweet
by Anonymous

this morning i saw you on my pillow,
i smiled hello,
and peace came over...
the dream nearly lasted forever.

yesterday you said hi,
didn't we say goodbye?
you are the only in my heart;
we will remain apart.

i love bittersweet like i
love you; ecstasy and pain so sky high.
i rather not look at you to love you,
but still, i rather love you.