Wednesday, March 31, 2010


I’ve been having a lot of dreams lately. Not like an isolated dream here and there, but many dreams, within a night. Psychedelic dreams. Dreams where I can taste food. Dreams alone, and with people.

The dreams come to me in fragments. Sometimes I wake between fragments, remembering little except that I have emerged from a dream. Some dreams though, I remember, long after I’m awake.

I don’t know if I am somehow expected to fit the pieces together. Disparate dreams, where I am supposed to weave into a coherent narrative. I don’t even know, whether there is logic or method behind these dream fragments.

Every night, as I lie in bed, I will cajole “nice memories” to come. In hopes that my dreams can reconstruct those memories, and maybe even build on them, to prolong the “niceness”. Like daydreaming, but not really. My mind works like a broken record, always turning back to look at the past, forgetting the world of possibilities ahead of me.

There are some dreams you hope will never end while at the same time hoping that they will end.

Monday, March 29, 2010


They say survival, the urge to stay alive, is a basic human instinct. I wonder though, when push comes to shove, whether I will be desperate enough to, say, drink my own urine in order to keep hydrated? I think it takes guts to be that desperate, and I doubt very much that I have that in me. My gut is good at sensing things that go amiss, and not so much of a warrior charged to fight for my life.

I also wonder, not infrequently, if I’d been left to languish then, what would have become of me now? Probably still mucking around in the soft places, playing the tragic heroine to no one in particular. But I know for a fact, nothing would have persuaded me to drink my own urine to keep alive then. I would not have done it for anyone else, and definitely not for me.

Over time, I learn to be grateful, that I have not yet been put in a life-threatening situation. That all I have to do so far is just to play with the possibilities in my mind. I take each day as it comes. No more, no less. And when the day of reckoning arrives, well, we’ll just have to see how that goes.


Sunday, March 28, 2010

BeauTiFuL SaDNeSs

To my good friend P, who is hurting. I hope you find your peace soon.

"I love life...Yeah, I'm sad, but at the same time, I'm really happy that something could make me feel that sad. It's like...It makes me feel alive, you know. It makes me feel human. The only way I could feel this sad now is if I felt something really good before. So I have to take the bad with the good. So I guess what I'm feeling is like a beautiful sadness."

(Trey Parker and Matt Stone, South Park, Raisins)

Friday, March 26, 2010

uNDeR thE tReEs

Our friendship goes way back. To a time when it had seemed impossible we would be friends. But over time, reality unfolded in ways we could not have predicted. Life happened in ways we could not have imagined.

What first started was when you broke through my wall. The wall I had carefully built over the years to protect myself. Somehow, you saw me hiding behind the wall, small and scared. And you proceeded to take down the wall, brick by brick, until you could reach me. I have forgotten how long it took, except that I was both awed as well as annoyed at your patience.

Yet once we connected, it was electric. We were, for each other, the sibling we dreamed and prayed for, made more poignant because we shared no blood relation. We spoke daily, often more than once a day. It seemed as if we could never run out of things to say to each other. We would share our day in excruciating detail, and still we would be eager for more. I miss that sometimes, just picking up the phone to call you and have a conversation until forever (or until someone else needed to use the phone).

You were always the stronger one. You were always the one who took care of me. I was so unschooled in the ways of the world then. And you were, and still are, very generous of your time and love. For that, I will be always grateful. And I want you to know, that in your darkness, I am only ever just a heartbeat away.

I remember now. It was a sunny day, and we were standing under some huge rain trees for shade. That was when we spoke our first words to each other. Tentatively.

That, was where our friendship took flight.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

hABiTs & RouTinEs

The first thing I do when I wake up is to comb my hair. The last thing I do before going to bed is to comb my hair. I wonder when I started doing that. The first thing I do in the shower is to shampoo my hair. The last thing I do in the shower is to rinse the conditioner off my hair. I wonder how I started doing that.

Whether it is through boredom or a heightened sense of awareness, I have been observing my self closely these couple of days. It strikes me as interesting, that I don’t know when or how I picked up most of the habits and routines that guide my daily life and living. And I refuse to believe that these habits are instinctual, in the way that cats and dogs instinctively scavenge for food when they are hungry.

When I was working in market research, trying to uncover the mysteries behind these auto-pilot habits was akin to a pilgrimage in search of the Holy Grail. Businesses think, rightly or wrongly, that understanding how consumers react and interact with their products and services would provide the key to increasing consumption and therefore profits, making the world a better place.

I hope the Grail is large enough that everyone can take a sip from it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


They said I became very quiet when it happened. It was the world that appeared to be very quiet when it happened. Music stopped. The grand symphony of life stopped. Everything seemed to ground to a halt. And try as I might, I just couldn’t get the engine revving again.

That was, and is, the defining moment of my life. When I recognized that the world could actually go on without me. It was an understanding that brought about a great sense of relief. Without the weight of the world on my shoulders, I am free to explore and develop to my full potential. Without the need to fulfill your expectations, I can walk free from your shadow.

Whether I fly or fall, I’m on my own now.

tHE cLeANeR thE CuT

I was watching an episode of Grey’s Anatomy the other day, where I learned that if you have a severed limb, the chances of reconstructive surgery are much higher when it is a clean cut (as opposed to, I don’t know, a bad break with bone fragments?).

This is a very interesting bit of information, which I have been turning over in my mind for the past few weeks. Because I guess the same can be said for relationships as well – it is much better to have a clean break than to hold on to something that is messy and tenuous. Like sharing a pizza, where you want to make sure the piece you pick has been properly cut through rather than struggling with the whole platter of gooey cheese.

So I will be brave. I will let go and take the next step free-falling into the world.

No strings attached.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


The internet connection at home has gone a little wonky the past few days. I spent the whole of today trying to fix the problem, without luck but with lots of frustration. If only I could crack the secret code behind the IP and the DNS, just like how I managed to figure out the inner workings of the cistern when I was younger. I remember feeling very pleased when I could get the toilet flushing again, after I improvised a key-ring to fit the ball and the lever together.

Life without the internet feels a little awkward. We wander around the house, listlessly and aimlessly. As if the TV and the music and the books and the nature outside is not enough to occupy me. I wonder actually, what is the attraction of the internet, that makes me so dependent on it. After all, I had spent the first half of my life without it. And I got on fine. At least, I don’t think my life was compromised in any way without things like email or internet banking.

I do not like to admit, that I am defeated by technology.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

cOMinG UndoNe

You can delete a sentence that sounds wrong in a paragraph. You can untangle shoelaces that are tied wrong. You can spray-paint over that little scratch on your car. But how do you un-hug a person? How do you forget someone who has touched you this deeply, this powerfully, this intimately?

Perhaps you never do.

I spend my days looking. Sometimes frantically, sometimes deliberately. Looking for the piece of jigsaw that would fit. Looking for the pair of eyes that would meet mine. Looking for you. Because I desperately needed someone who could understand the pain of my loss.

Perhaps you never did.

Some things, when done, cannot be undone.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


"You and I both know, there is a great difference between justice and the law."

Monday, March 15, 2010

aND pEopLe Ask...

And people ask,
does Despair despair,
does Dream dream,
does Desire desire?

It is simpler than that.
He is Dream.
It is Desire.
She is Depair.
Take away the despair and there is nothing left.

(Neil Gaiman)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


A friend was telling me the other day about her son running the track-and-field heats in his school. It reminded me of the many runs I had to participate in when I was a young student.

There were those runs for Sports Day, of varying distances, where we compete to win trophies. I never won anything, not even a medal or a decorative ribbon. There were runs we had to do as part of our physical fitness test. I hated those, and barely made the passing grade each time. And there were the “X-country” runs, of ridiculous distances, that went on forever. I normally try to fall sick during those, or let myself be distracted by the scenery around me and veer off-course.

Not once have I come in first, or second, or third, at any running event. I guess I’m the proverbial kid who always gets picked last to make up the numbers, rather than for any sporting talent. Which was fine by me. I once even pretended I was allergic to rain to escape from a game of Captain’s Ball that my friends insisted on playing even though it was drizzling.

I think in life we encounter lots of different circumstances that mirror those runs. Is it a Sports Day kind of situation, where defeating everyone else is the ultimate aim? Or a physical fitness test sort of scenario, where you need to get a Pass in order to move on? Or a “X-country” long term thing, where you need to invest lots of time and effort and focus?

For me, being able to complete the run is an achievement in itself. So even though my friend’s son came in last, he still won.

Because maybe, all we need is to be slow and steady.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

NeW fRieNDs

I made many new friends in the last month. Which is a bit of an achievement. Especially given my somewhat lazy and anti-social nature. And as one gets older, there seem less and less opportunities to make new friends.

Surprisingly, I found myself enjoying the process of getting to know people. I like listening to the narratives of people’s lives. I like to tell stories about my life. And before I know it, friendships have formed.

It had been a good month in the hostel. We shared lots of laughter together. We shared lots of frustration together. We kept our doors opened for one another.

I miss the New Moon.

Monday, March 8, 2010


"Just because you are blind, and unable to see my beauty doesn't mean it does not exist."

(Margaret Cho)