28 February 2012

Accidental - The Way We Live

Accidents happen all the time. We bump into other people, step on their toes, smack them in the face, try to apologize and poke them in the nose in the effort of doing so. Well, okay, I guess that was a bit too overboard but you get the point, yes?

Accidents happen all the time. Sometimes we like it especially when it's a surprise birthday celebration with cakes and balloons and confetti and friends and all. Sometimes we hate it especially when most of the cake ends up on your face instead of inside your tummy.

Accidents happen all the time. Accidents are always a surprise, surprises are not always accidents. Therefore, surprises carry with it some degree of control although the power is not in your hands  in both cases.

Pleasant or unpleasant, accidents happen all the time. And like I said, we have no control over it. The best we can do? Take it. Eat it (if it's food). Swallow it. Remember  it. Learn from it.

On a more personal level, I myself have had a fair share of accidents and surprises. Frankly, I owe most of what I know to these unexpected turn of events. Because we rarely (if ever) get a chance to prepare, we end up a better person after the incident has passed. Plus, the uncertainty adds an aura of suspense and drama to the otherwise regulated life we live.

Truthfully, the best of people I've met were met accidentally, the best of places to eat was found accidentally, the most precious of possessions I've lost accidentally, the best of ideas comes accidentally, the funniest of jokes were blabbed out accidentally and the best of songs I've heard, I stumbled upon accidentally.

So what is an accident then? If everything and everything is planned by God, then is there something as accidental as accidents? Was my being born an accident of nature? Who knows?

Lastly, a little something for all of us to ponder upon: Is the world just as accidental?

25 February 2012

A Promise Is A Promise

A promise is a promise. You cannot turn back on it nor can you break it. Just because you don't see me doesn't mean I'm not there. In that sense, you failed to comprehend the true meanings behind my words and actions. Looking at it now, you even failed to notice me as what I am - a human being just like you.

It is true that I laugh at what life has to throw at me. I smile even in the most dire of circumstances. And I don't seem to care enough to notice others and how they feel. You're gravely mistaken. If that is the way you saw me, then consider you've not seen me at all. I'm not like that.

I'll never leave you. Sound familiar? It better be for you would come to fathom the truth sooner or later. (More likely later than sooner.) I'll leave that matter to you. I'm not without a loss here, but to give and to take is the essence of this life. You simply can't have one without the other.

And it is here I add this: though I say it with no emotion, I assure you I have emotions stored somewhere deep within my being. In due time, all will be answered, but it saddens me so that people fail to ask when asking is the core to learning. You yearn for an answer, yet you never bother to ask. Or rather, you never ask the right question.

A promise is a promise. But promises in this life has a border, a limit to it. Certain conditions must be met first.  Failure to abide by the Rules means nothing more than a forfeit agreement. A forfeit life. I do not want that. Not for myself, not for my family, not for my friends, not for anyone...

Imagine living years of struggle to gain nothing out of it... That, my friend, is a life forgone...

23 February 2012

Beating of Hearts

Our lives are all tied and interconnected. Everyday, we meet people, we interact with people, we bond with them. And this bond. Someone once said to me it was a thin string holding us together. It is so fragile it could snap at any given moment. Had it not been too thin for the naked eye, it would've snapped easily. He may be true. But I failed to see it as he saw it - easily broken and weak. I failed then, I still fail now.

Personally, I think a bond is much much stronger than anything. Stronger than glue, tape and the strongest of chains. And my views are not without proof.

It started out with this:

I was one of the many there that night. We were all there as brothers. Not in blood but brothers still. Standing tall together, going down together. When one spoke, the rest listened intently. Once he finished, we stood by what was said, agreeing on the truth of truths.

My one hand over the other. Everyone was the same. None held on to differences. We were all treated as one. And in that moment, I almost cried. In His house, we were of the same stand. Skin colour, height, size, language was not a limiting factor anymore. The young and the weak stood as tall as the strong. The white and the black mixed without prejudice. Hand over hand. Hand in hand.

Thud... Thud... Thud...

Breathing slowly, even our breathing were one. Our hearts? Even more so. We were engaged in a ritual as old as time itself. We were in a formation so formidable - war general at the tip. His right-hand man just behind followed by the rest of the armada standing shoulder to shoulder in a wall unbroken and straight. But we were not facing a seen enemy, only battling a battle unseen.

Thud... Thud... Thud...
Bonds. I feel it!

Four skirmishes later, we broke formation. The procession of brothers dispersed, no longer bound physically. But as we walked apart, strings thicker than elephants' trunks pulled us in more directions than we dared count. Up, down, left, right, everywhere, bonds renewed and revived joint our hearts until that moment tomorrow when it would pull us together once again, only to start the historical ritual all over again.

21 February 2012

Home and the Homeless


I remembered it as clear as the morning sun: "I promise we'll go there one day, son". Looking at her there, lying in bed - sick, weak and crippled - I can't help but ponder "Will she ever make it?". She smiled ever so softly. Her smile is the only thing unchanged, the only part of her still alive. I couldn't do anything, instead I smiled back and took her rough hand in mine. We stayed like that for hours, until late that night when I felt her hand grow cold. I looked up to find her at peace at last. "But you promised...," a low croak came from me accompanied by a single bead of pure grief at the lost of my last family.

Everywhere I looked, I saw them. Vivid memories kept playing in my eyes. The living room where we would lounge on weekends. The mess on the kitchen floor after we decided one time to bake together. That night when we watched ghost stories and got too scared to go to bed, creeping like little monsters to my parents room to sneak under their covers. All gone. All taken away.

If living here means torturing my mind, I'd rather leave and never return. Which was exactly what I did on the day I turned 8. I didn't know where to go. I don't have anyone to turn to. But I knew deep inside I needed to run away in order to keep my sanity. I did spare one last look at the old wooden structure that held memories of my family - memories to painful to live with. "Just one look," I told myself out-loud, more so as a means to stop me from rethinking my actions. It worked and I never took a second peek.


How long has it been since that night? 10 long years if I'm not mistaken. I can't believe I'm here at last. "Just as you promised, Mom, we're here at last". Observing the park got me laughing a small laughter for I was probably the only guy there for himself. Others were there with their kids. I wonder if all these people made such promises too...

Finally reaching my goal, I had nothing to do. I was at a serious standstill. I decided then and there to just watch. Somehow, i found it soothing. But only at first. Soon after an uneasiness started in the pit of my stomach. If anyone had been a little less oblivious, he or she would've seen a young man crying silently on the bench. That young man was me. Crying at the loss. Crying in pain. Crying due to longing.

In that moment, fate decided to put a small girl in front of me. I knew her all too well. Alice. A girl paid to act lost all for the sake of making kids happy. "That's Alice!", they would point out. Their parents would then take pictures of their kids with the classic character. I don't have a camera. I don't even have parents.

"Sir, can you help me sir? I am lost and I need to find my way back home. My mother must be worried sick. Please, help me sir," she said in a voice all too real. She's good. A young girl paid to act. Also a girl placed there to help me see the obvious truth. I kissed the girl's forehead after that moment of revelation leaving her awestruck - she has not rehearsed for that act.


These streets. I know them. These lawns. I miss them. That house. It was still the same house I left all those years back only older and not as tall and proud as it used be - all grandeur lost licked by rain and wind - but somehow, it looks more inviting than ever. I hesitated at the door. Right hand halfway outstretched to grab and turn the knob,I touched it.

" Mom..."

I'm going home,
To a place where I belong,
Where your love has always been enough for me.
But these faces and these places are getting old,
So I'm going home


"I'm home, Mom..."

(This is not even close to .1% of how beautiful the original piece was.)

19 February 2012


Men has many weaknesses. One of it: forgetfullness. Period.

Miracles In The Eyes

Perfection is subjective. It is never truly the same from one being to another. Subjectivity is what makes the world wonderful. It means that in a world of imperfections, perfection lie for those who look - for those who knows where to look and what to look for...

We all dream of achieving perfection be it in the smallest part of our being to the largest of matters in life. We all wish to pass through our days unscathed and whole but it is never so. We all avoid conflict or tend to resolve it in the best way we can think of...

Sometimes, a crack opens up. We go around it, jump over it, carefully tread around it and altogether with all our might, evade. Even after all those precautions, we often trip and hence, the crack will grow. With one trip came the second, the third and the so on and so forth. Soon, as is the will of the universe, the crack grew and with it the uncertainty we felt and faced. Fear comes to grip us, threatening to engulf us...

Fear of one that is uncertain against the rest of the room we have still - that which is solid and certain - and which do we pay more attention to? The hole, I guess. What a waste...

I say: damn the darkness! Illuminate and wash it away! What is there to fear in something unknown? Not much, only uncertainty. And isn't there enough of it in the world? Why add more to it?

15 February 2012

Till Death Do Us Part

A doctor's job is noble. You treat, you make better, you save, you touch hearts and lives of so many others. It is one of the most heroic career choices to date. Heroic because of the risk doctors take, heroic because of the period of study, training and overall education doctors go through, heroic because of the weight of responsibility doctors burden their shoulders with.

Being a doctor meant you had to face blood and the bleeding - a feat more easily said than done.

Being a doctor meant you had to sacrifice your life to make others healthy and happy even when sometimes you yourself are not.

Being a doctor meant you had to share not only the joy of those around you, but to take in as much pain, suffering, and sickness - both of mind and body - of your patients and their families.

Being a hero meant, sometimes, you do all you can only to realise a life had slipped through your bloody fingers and you are not so heroic afterall. Killer. Murderer!

Life is so full of uncertainties but we strive to prepare for all those murky days - days we could not see coming and going. Death is certain and yet we never make amends for the life hereafter. What manner of logic is that?

Life is also this...for the growing good of the world is partly dependent upon unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.
Middlemarch (1871), George Eliot 

Doctors, they lead hidden lives, encased in masks that conceal emotions, work with hands steady and strong, only to die unbeknownst to all, at the hands of the foe they themselves fight. Winning skirmishes and losing some, eventually doomed to death by war.

Death is a friend. It teaches us to value life - both ours and others'.

Heroes are born. Ultimately they die. But the acts don't. I know what I want to be. A hero!

Although reality and fictional aspirations rarely go hand in hand, the one thing both agrees on is but one: Heroes too embrace death....

12 February 2012

Heavy As Lead, Slow As Lightning!

Who would've thought the two arms we were born with, that we so faithfully brought with us everywhere we go, the one thing we never forget to bring along can be so heavy. I almost dropped it there a second ago - the bottleneck I was clutching that is, not my arm. I wouldn't know what to do if my arm had been detached from my shoulders.

Would it be painful? Maybe. Maybe not. I could try it one day (if I can muster the courage to chop it off, though I doubt I will ever).

Pain, it seems, has been an everpresent being in my life lately. Pain and all its brothers - numbness, hurt, soreness, aching, scars, scratches, an occasional wince now and then, hitting, splitting, bleeding, cracking, splitting, stabbing breaths - are my newfound friends. I call them friends because they say finding companionship in good times is easy, but true friends are those that stay by you in times of hardships and times of laughter and fun.

Since pain and his brothers only comes at times of hurting, I decided they are friends not true friends but friends all the same.

Their presence has led me to thinking of one thing: just how much suffering can the human  body take? It seems just impossible that all these feelings can be contained in one body at any one time. I felt like bursting. I really do...

And, on another unrelated thought, who would've known that lightning fast can be so slow? To share is human, to sacrifice divine. I made that up, by the way :]

11 February 2012

Change Is Good

Tunes are everchanging, never constant, never the same. Likewise, people, places, time and faces evolve. The fact is so and that is how it was meant to be. So be it!

Life's wheels rotate and you steer it, change is merely an instrument to measure how far you've traveled - how far you've traversed -  and in which direction you have driven yourself in.

Tunes are everchanging, never constant, never the same. So be it!

09 February 2012

When Is Time?

Tired. It was as simple as that. That one thing that drained you of all your will to move, your motivation to work, your drive to do anything. I couldn't pay attention in classes, heck I couldn't even stay awake long enough to start paying attention. I'm not proud of it, you know. And the pills aren't helping.

Nevermind that though, I did not start this post to tell you of my problems. They're mine and mine alone, thank you :)

Moving on. Today, we had a celebration of sort. It was done quite late frankly for the real celebration had died out sometime last week (at least I think so). But, we did it anyways for two reasons. One being the lack of available dates on our academic calendar, second being there was no stop to celebrations in Malaysia. As long as there's time, there's a thing to celebrate.

The event was successful I think albeit some problems did rise in the course of the day. A good slap in the back is deserved by the ones responsible for bringing the day all the way till the end. They've earned it.

But after all is said and done, there always comes a time when the fanfare has to end and the dreaded workload comes crashing in. Just as it did. Just as it is. And with it comes the regret of playing too much to the point of overexertion. If only I hadn't used my arms too much two days ago.

What's a quarter to an hour's win to not being able to write that essay waiting to be finished? Two essays to be exact. What's four hours of fun-filled ball play to two days of fatigue and soreness?

For now, I have to stop. Two essays and three more questions are beckoning. I've procrastinated enough and on that note, I stop.

07 February 2012

Making Merry, Mates and Memories

I didn't feel as happy as I would've thought about going out on a trip for the weekends. It was a 4-day holiday, and I can't stop going through all the things I could've done instead. Being in that state, procrastinate I did until the very end. By that I mean this: sleeping late the night before, waking up very early that very day but not packing up to an hour before departing.

Of course, as all late packers like us know all too well, we left a few things behind - some important, others trivial but left it all the same. And, obviously, we didn't realise until the point in time when we rummaged through our bags to find nothing that we didn't put in.

Sitting in the bus was a bore to say the least. I kept watching popping my head behind the blinds to see the passing road which gave me something to do to keep busy. It was enlightening, first because of the once in a lifetime chance to see - actually observe - the path I'd gone through more times than I could or would count. Hard to believe I've passed this route almost every week yet not knowing what laid to its left and right. Second, because of the calm and tranquility it provided.

Coming here again felt good. It brought back memories although somehow the place felt different. It has expanded I realised but it felt smaller someway. Maybe it's just my growing up. Who cares? All I know is that I'm here for the weekend. A weekend with no traffic, no homework, no worries :)

Then, I sort of forgot what happened. I do remember getting bored again, wandering the area looking to swim, acting crazy all the time. Failure to find a deep enough pool of water and a clean enough pool (more importantly) forced me and the rest of our small circle to play cards. We looked like homeless people really with shorts and t-shirts, a towel on our necks, playing cards on the bare ground. I honestly felt like going home that time, I was just a phone call away anyways but I held my hand and tongue.

Sleep didn't come to me that night. I was alone, and cold. One, two, three o'clock. But still I was wide awake. Why can't I sleep? Had I been younger, I would've been scared shitless but I wasn't. In fact, it was the best time I had at camp so far. I played the events of the day over and over again in my head, the BBQ dinner, the night walk which was a bummer for being too short-lived, the endless boredom of wandering without aim, the ice-breaking session, the new names that I couldn't match with a face, and somewhere along those lines, the lines of dream and wake blurred...

Next thing I knew, it was sunrise. Not really, it was still half-past four. More waiting commenced and day two came along.

I was asked by a friend to help with the morning session. Oh well, why not? Then it was breakfast followed by a long trip up and up the back of the forest we went. Fueled by the anticipation of a waterfall at the top, I went on ahead a little bit lightheaded than the day before despite the lack of shut-eye.

Up and up and up we went. Crossing small rivers, jumping from one moss-covered stone to the next, falling a few times in the process, leaping over roots of trees and fallen logs, up and up and up we went. Then came the distant sound of water over water over rocks over a huge fall. Distant at first, closer and closer then on. Until a clear cut torrent laid before us. Not magnificent but worthwhile it was.

Finally! A clean and fresh gush to cleanse away my worries! Not thinking half, I jumped in the cool water, splashing around (due to slipping most of the time) like an idiot. it was pure joy I tell you. Then it started getting a little bit too crowded for me. But I didn't mind: there was a secluded area where the first of the falling stream fell and that was where I went.

Getting up there was easy, staying there with water pounding your head and body was not but I welcomed the effect it gave: I heard nothing more of the others, not even my friend who had followed me there siting beside me yelling at the top of his voice. I didn't see them either for my eyes were shut tight to prevent water from entering. I wished I could stay there forever.

Alas, all good things come to an end. The whole trip was good too, and therefore it too closed with a snap. However, as one door closed, more than a dozen new ones opened. Remembering names may not be my forte but keeping hold of faces and memories are. With that note, thank God for the chance You gave, thank you friends for making this work, thank you mates for making my life that much more colourful :)

We don't stop playing because we grow old,
We grow old because we stop playing.
-George Bernard Shaw