Invictus

I had a horrible day today. It really was a pretty shit day, I sort of stared into the night wondering if I could manage, if I could just get up tomorrow morning and continue on fighting.

I think of others before me, men and women who were ridiculed for their efforts and their beliefs and how much they persevered. As the tears fell from eyes,  I kept repeating these lines: “My head is bloody, but unbowed” over and over again on automatic, they were the only words that came to my mind.

As the evening draw to a close, as I think about what happened, my spirit is hurt but unbroken. We shall persevere, we shall overcome. We are unconquerable, no words can bring us down.

“I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul”

Invictus by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed
.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

Can We?

Goodness me! It’s been ages since I’ve blogged. I blame the new job I’ve been attached to for the past two weeks. I’m on the LRT every morning and every evening, and the last thing I want to do at the end of the day is blog. Plus, a new attachment especially one where I have to be physically in the office of a client means I have to go through the roller coaster of emotions of starting a new job. The usual 7 steps to acceptance, grief, anger etc.

But I’m getting used to it, and on some mornings, despite being crammed into a tiny little space called the LRT, listening to music every morning (preferred soundtrack of choice for the LRT journey is “Tum Se Hi” from Jab We Met) and watching KL wake up in the morning. The people outside of the train, usually around Taman Bahagia, PJ are waking up, the ones on the train usually are still half asleep, half-passive aggressive in our politeness: “Would you like this seat?” is usually accompanied with a half-threatening glare that suggests that if we were to accept, there would be TROUBLE.

Most Malaysians surprisingly ARE polite on the train. We queue, although sometimes the thought of waiting for three trains to pass by is just too much for some of us that DAMMIT, GET OUT OF THE WAY, I MUST GET ON THE TRAIN but for the most part, yes, we do queue. We do give up seats to the elderly and to the pregnant. Pregnant women however get the worst end of the deal, I think people are unsure if they’re pregnant or if they’re fat. It’s a terrible thing to offer to a woman who is fat suggesting that the are pregnant. It’s a terrible thing to also not offer someone who is pregnant a seat, so it’s a lost cause either way.

Or some of us are just rude, but I’d like to remain a little bit optimistic these days. I’ve started my descent into pessimism, blase and indifference and I have just about as much hope for CHANGE and IDEALS as an empty tin of biscuits. Which is to say, about crumb-level.

Tonight however, is all about CHANGE. In Caps. Caps because I’ve discovered the joy of the CAPS LOCK key and that means I don’t have to press the Shift button with my pinkie. But I digress. Tonight is all about CHANGE because it would be Obama’s inauguration, something some of my friends are looking forward too very much. Some of them had shed tears before he won, when he won and I’m guessing tonight when he will be sworn in, more tears will be shed. Possibly by the bucketload.

Not to say that I think that’s a bad thing. I think that’s a GOOD thing. In a way, I’m jealous. I’m jealous that people can have faith in their leaders, can have faith in anything that things can change. I wish I could have faith in a leader the way some of my friends do. I wish I could fight for and believe.

I had this conversation ages ago with David, and he said I don’t have to go about my life believing. But I do. I need to believe, I need to believe that there are people willing to do good and willing to do right. I need to believe that we all can make a difference and that we can change.

Perhaps that is the reason for my hesitance. I’m reluctant to put all my hope in one man who promised that we not, he can change things. Yes, we can but unfortunately, as an economics student, we also know that it’s more beneficial for the individual to free ride as opposed to working together to change things. I think my reluctance stems from the fear that if Obama cannot do what he promised is possible, I would be too heartbroken to fight on.

It’s a very odd thing to feel, to feel a sense of “outsider” hood in the entire events. I love politics (the study of, not the practice), I love my Economics, and had followed through US politics ever since I was a teen in India. Hell, I even considered moving to the US one day and becoming a citizen. One would expect I’d be over the moon over tonight’s inauguration. Instead, I feel like an outsider, that this is not a celebration that I can join in or belong to but one that I can pat American’s on the back, congratulating them.

But Obama’s win is not my win. Nor was it the world’s win I would think. We had to watch an election where a man was picked and whose decisions affect the world and our lives and yet, it was not our choice to decide who will have a great influence on our life and livelihood. The fate of my country is dependent on the decisions of a giant who can make or break this tiny country in the tropics. It feels strange to celebrate that “Yayy! We’re not going to be crushed like a bug like we were for the past 8 years”

The best I can sum up my feeling is hope. I hope that the president will show countries like mine compassion in dealing with us in the future. We will not be the United States nor will we ever be and it sucks to feel, well, irrelevant. Perhaps that’s how I feel about tonight’s inauguration. I’m happy for the States but it sure does feel like it isn’t my place to be happy.

Still, having said all that, I shall head home early today to catch it on CNN. It’s going to be a one great party and I’m going watch it, with hopes that one day, we can join in and feel the same kind of euphoria the Americans are feeling.

And the Eleventh Doctor is…

Quickly now since I have plenty to do, including errands to TTDI and then MammaMia! as a treat from my favourite aunt in the world (hehehe). The news about the new Doctor so, just close this link if you’re not interested. Although I don’t know what rock you’ve been living under since it’s been announced on BBC News.

Anywayyyyyyyy, so I stayed up till 3am last nate, fervently waiting for news in the UK on who the new Doctor is. I had texts coming from the UK, MSN up and running as I went into total geek-mode. I foresee myself severely embarrassing my future children, but that’s okay.

And the new Doctor is….Matt Smith. Um, Doctor Who? Literally. I had to admit, when the news was announced, I was a little disappointed because I had been holding on for Patterson Joseph, whose presence would have been commanding.

But having said all that, I am going to reserve judgment. I was unconvinced by DT earlier, when he became the Doctor but I grew to love him deeply (yes, Eizwan knows this, I love DT) and so, I would not be surprised that I’ll grow to love Matt Smith all the same. He probably won’t be MY Doctor like DT is, but I am sure, Matt Smith is a worthy successor. I hope he’ll have a fantastic costume too!

The 11th Doctor

Boy do I sound like a fanatic with complete faith. Heh.

I’m going to miss you loads David Tennant, you were fantastic as Doctor Who! But welcome Matt Smith to the wonderfully barmy world (read: incredibly opinionated fans who get a little too excited) of Doctor Who!

2009 Resolutions

A few years ago, I said I don’t believe in resolutions. And I refused to make one. It was a bit silly to make resolutions especially if you don’t follow through with them. But I’ve changed my mind since. I think resolutions are a great way of going forward in your life, gives you a goal and a direction to follow through, and even if you do fall off the band-wagon (e.g. the losing weight resolution which everyone always makes each year), it’s about trying over and over until you reach your goals.

So my resolutions for the year.

1. Do something fantastic with my writing – I think I’m done with dabbling with writing, I want to go forward with writing and push myself into being a professional. I want to write screenplays, plays and stories that are seen more than just my private circle or Kuala Lumpur. I want something bigger and better just because. So, I’m aiming, a screenplay, a few short pieces that will turn into mini-episodes or webisodes and maybe another play?

2. Editing – I want to finish editing all the stuff I had written over the year, including my own Doctor Who fanfic (read: vanity) piece. Honestly, it was that piece that really jump-started my writing and it’s only fair that I ought to try and put it up online.

3. Publish my novel – ahem? I can’t bring myself to talk about big projects without getting this off the ground. This is something I really want and I’m going to work hard to get this done.

4. Lose weight – Hah. There will be one year when that is NOT a resolution.

5. Be a better person – I need to give more to charity, think of others and not be so quick to judge. It’s not as quantifiable as the rest but I think I need to remind myself to be a better person or I’d just be content with not doing anything!

Heh. 5 resolutions. Hmmm…sounds like a fantastic start to the year.

2008 in Review

Hah! So the final month of December, despite workload being the lightest happened to be one of the most hectic, personal life-wise. It was a roller coaster of a month, it had its ups and it had its downs, but overall, despite how difficult this year had been (and, ooooh, trust me, it’s been very difficult) there are some wonderful ups.

Some of the wonderful ups that happened this year:

1. My first play! Coming Out of the Closet was not easy, there were tears and there was anger, but there was also lots of laughter. COOC taught me quite a bit as well about who I am as a person, and more importantly who I am as a writer and an artist (haha, as cliched as that may sound)

2. Savannah, Georgia – My brother studied at SCAD and for his graduation, the whole family hauled ourselves to the South for an entire month. The American South has it’s own culture, not quite the culture that we see on telly, so the experience was an eye-opener and of course, a ridiculous amount of fun with my family. It was Savannah, Orlando, Atlanta and Savannah again. I’m so glad I went back to the States after 7 years of a self-imposed restraint.

3. David – My best friend of 7 years – gosh, have I known you for that long? – finally made his way down to Malaysia. It was a whirl-wind of a visit, but it opened my eyes to the prejudices that I had against my own country and realized that hey, maybe, Malaysia isn’t that bad after all. Plus, from the moment we landed, we chatted at a rate of a mile a minute to the moment he left and it’s friends like these that makes me very grateful for the life I have.

4. Writing, writing, writing – I’ve written a lot this year. And when I mean, a lot, I mean a lot. I spend at least an hour a day writing. So far this year, there has been a play, a fan-fiction that I haven’t gotten around to editing and posting and finally, my first novel which I’m still working on. And plenty of shorts that I’ve been saving on my pc.

5. Losing weight – Not quite to that bikini body yet, but getting there.

6. Eizwan – Eizwan and I reached another milestone in our relationship. It’s not something I want to elaborate here, it’s something very private between the two of us but it means a lot to me, and it’s a sweet way of remembering what was a tumultous and difficult year.

Were there downs? Oh God, plenty. It was a ridiculously difficult year this year and I’m being rather stiff upper lip about it but there were nights where I wondered if I could make through another day, and I wondered if things ever were going to be okay. Despite all the great things of 2008, I am glad that it’s over and I look forward to 2009. With some trepidation, no doubt, but boy, I’m just glad 2008 is over.