December 12th

These blog posts are thinning out to say the least, partly because I'm busy, and partly because I've already said a lot of things I wanted to. Which is better, repeating yourself endlessly, or staying silent once you've said your piece?

Quote of the Week

  • "This house has been far out at sea all night, |The woods crashing through darkness, the booming hills, |Winds stampeding the fields under the window |Floundering black astride and blinding wet |Till day rose; then under an orange sky |The hills had new places, and wind wielded |Blade-light, luminous black and emerald, |Flexing like the lens of a mad eye." - Ted Hughes, Wind

Saturday, 30 August 2008

Love: Hope and Fear (part I)

He was at home on holiday with his family, and thousands of miles from Anne.

His mother was trying to convince him to watch a movie, one of those that were part romantic, part self-discovery, and improbable in the real world. Step Up, it was called.

He never liked that kind of movie. The plot was too predictable, the coincidences too unlikely, the romance too blatantly obvious. Obviously the girl had to be pretty and the man handsome, and obviously they would get together at the end of the movie, and everyone would live happily ever after. He much preferred books, which could convey a more subtle and varied range of emotions, and didn’t need to stick to tried-and-tested plot lines for the sake of profit.

Anne’s presence, or lack thereof, was making itself felt slowly but certainly. There had been something there. He had brushed it off, but the chance meeting with her at the dining hall and his realisation about Rachael was leading him on a dangerous path – his prior experiences with love taught him that it could hit him where it mattered. He was afraid.

He brushed the fear aside, tried to be logical about it, and failed miserably. Love wasn’t logical! He knew that by now. Every other emotion – joy, sadness, even fear and hate – they were logical, you could understand why you felt them, and you could try to control them. Love, on the other hand… That was something else. It gave you fear and hope at the same time, and the more you hoped the more you feared losing everything.

Ultimately, his logical mind boiled down the choices to two that every other star-crossed lover had to face. Tell her, and risk everything; or hide it, and gain nothing? He deliberated. On the TV screen, the two actors swayed and laughed; the image of perfection. He decided the movie was getting to him. He also decided that he would tell her.

He excused himself, saying that he had already watched the film before, and went to turn his computer on for another day of mind-numbing videogames. Before that, he signed into his instant messenger, hoping for some conversation.

Blue text appeared on his screen almost immediately.


It was Anne, Anne had pinged him.

how are you??

His heart leaped into his mouth. He had to calm down. This was too sudden! He wanted to tell her, but not now, not unprepared like this!

i’m good thanks
how’s it going?

It bought him enough time to slow his heart rate to a manageable level.

For a while nothing happened, and he looked at the screen a little uncertainly. Then, waves of text appeared.

it’s been great actually.
i got through the exams after all,
my family is taking me to France for the holiday,
and me and liam got together.

He hadn’t fully read her reply before he started to type his own, and it was only after he had finished congratulating her that he noticed the last line of text.

To be continued.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

I Am...

…A medical student with a bright future, and also a teenager with much angst and little direction.

…A person with a mission, yet weighed down by inertia.

…An artist, a social commentator, a philosopher, and a scientist, with no ideas or experiences of my own to draw, to comment about, to muse over, or to research.

…Yearning for change, but comfortable with the schedule I already have.

…Knowledgeable in many areas, but clumsy in my day-to-day life.

…A person who decries cheap labour and animal abuse, but buys from Tesco and eats at KFC.

…A rebel at heart, but in practicality I accept the way things are being run now.

…Angry about the wars and fighting in South Ossetia, the Sudan, Sri Lanka, Iraq, and Afghanistan, but I play computer games depicting glorious wars all the time.

…A person with very strong ideas about love, yet I have no one whom I can love.

…A person who tells his younger cousins to be careful about alcohol, but I drink every Friday night in University.

…Chinese, and yet not Chinese.

…Malaysian, and yet not Malaysian.

…Not English, and yet I speak with an English accent.

…A big eater, but I think I’ll be able to avoid health complications in the future.

…A person with great ideas, who gets many of them from the bookshop in the next door mall.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Illusion Broken (part II)

The realisation stunned him. For a while he really thought that he had been trying to achieve a tangible goal – and it turned out the Rachel whom he met was not the one he loved. Instead, he had created from her another girl, who never really existed in the first place.

Questions flooded in. What could have possibly led him to this? How – why – did he do it? It became clear on hindsight that the two were radically different. Why had he been deluding himself for all this time? He had to find out where it went wrong – and what to do now. Memories would have to be trawled through, and with them some painful reminders of his past mistakes.

He went to the kitchen and made himself a drink, then sat down and started thinking. But memory distorts with time, certain details are highlighted while the big picture blurs and fades, and the mind has ways of altering memory to suit its needs. Fragments of what he needed to know whispered by as he tried miserably to hold on to them. He shut his eyes in frustration, trying to concentrate.

The room was still. Occasionally, distant music could be heard from other student rooms, but otherwise it was quiet. The ice in his forgotten drink began to melt, and clouds drifted across the November sky.

Hours passed. The clouds were gone. It was noon, and the sun was shining. Still he sat as if comatose.

Outside, a bird sang.

He looked up with a new look on his face – a look of tranquillity, and some would say, relief. He had made up his mind – the imaginary Rachael would stay. He no longer loved her, nor did he cling on to the hope that he would once again meet and claim the other. He created her to be his conscience for three years, and she had done her duty faithfully. She would remain to counterbalance his darker side, a symbol and beacon for his crusade against his inner demons, but no longer would she hold sway in the matter of love. In that respect, he was now his own master.

He felt a sudden urge to be outdoors. Picking up his coat, he stepped out into the sunshine. The illusion was broken. He was free.