Factual fiction.


To fill up a sentient existence, we must first be useful beings. This can be done by living out a purpose that rouses as much as it gives, personally and professionally. Alas, this is more difficult than one would anticipate. Of course, if this were a perfect universe, there would be no such thing as double-parking, homeless people, racism, obesity, or the capacity to overanalyse emotions, in which case there would only be basic music based on basic emotions. Yet this world we live in is far from perfect and can often be discouraging in the way of which it is governed, in the way we govern. And so we are not given much of a choice in choosing to yield or to be unyielding in the face of the unknowing. Have you ever wondered if this has all been just a simulation game? But it’s not, of course. Wake up and check the remaining balance in that bank account, a reminder of mortality if any.


Sometimes, in the quest of our indefinite being, we tend to forget. Mother likes to butter her bread first before adding on either strawberry jam or kaya. Father’s feet lands heel first and the resounding sound this makes in the double-storey terrace house, even on shoeless feet, is audible even from downstairs. That vinyl player from the 80s still plays Prince in 2015. You asked me if I see myself here forever and on how I feel about this place. How I feel for this country is very much similar to sentiments about family. They know all the right buttons to push, how to hurt you best, and yet in spite of it all you love them nonetheless. I still don’t know what to make of ‘home’.


Union of unions. Disparate joy and obdurate despair. A friend said in terms of emotional considerations, it would not be worth the effort. I said, speak to me of God and lovers. I said, remind me of the amazing ability to survive being tender and savage at the same time for many years. I said, remind me that fidelity isn’t a myth like everything else is. The heartwarming spouse, the unresponsive stupor, the built-up house. Remind me again and again that something is worth the fight, I’ve witnessed its worth and maybe sometimes that in itself is enough.


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