I write & shoot (photographs) occasionally

thoughts from the park bench


as i walk through the park the sunlight is brimming, bubbling beneath the thick treetops. gold catches on the water hidden by tall straw coloured grasses. i haven’t been properly in nature’s hearth for months now, locked up in rooms of white paper and black print. my body hasn’t been conditioned to exercise but even as i take it at my own pace, i don’t feel left behind; i don’t feel any need to keep up. i remember what my friend said: outside of school the world isn’t the same. as she ran an old man kept pace with her, and when she slowed down he shortened his footsteps as well. before, nothing ever seemed enough; my smallest efforts were insignificant, my largest efforts were insufficient and i was stuck in the cycle of chasing my own tail, a loathsome quest for self-improvement. today as i complete a short distance i am happy. in a shaded corner before the water thinking, at peace: it is enough for me today.

the world is easier in words:

this is only the beginning of the end

my life lies ahead of me

all this won’t matter a few years down the road

but all this is fiction i create

and i am immoveable in reality

8 oct 2015

if there’s anything i want to remember from jc it’s the days like these, working together in occasional chatter and stretches of silence, working but not working so hard our brains hurt and we just want to cry. lingering in homerooms until night has fallen and we only realise when we see the deep blue sky outside the window. the light-soaked corridors in the day become new strangers. days that remind me i’m not all alone on this treacherous journey, when the simple presence of the people around me is enough to lubricate the difficulties of studying and ease me into a carefree laughter. trivial conversations and frequent queries and food breaks and raucous noise and discussing music styles. support has become so, so important.

the sparrows are floundering in the haze because their solid resting ground has become obscure

in these moments i almost feel like i am not existing; a drifting presence, a person among people undetected. and we are all doing our things, the cars moving and the toddlers running and the friends talking and i am suspended before a glass wall looking out into the world, contemplating the remnant scenes of a movie i’ve just watched but haven’t understood. my mind is running and i am speaking to myself without moving my lips and i cannot even begin to tell what i am feeling or doing but all alone this feels strangely right.


somehow it felt like I would stay seventeen forever; for years and years and indefinite lengths of time. it felt like i would always fill in personal information with ’17’, summarise social media biographies with ’17’, be barred from watching M18 movies always. but i guess it’s the same inertia we feel every time a new year begins; writing 2014 behind the date and admonishing ourselves for absent-mindedness. pretty soon 18 will be normal- everything peters out into normalcy with time.

it just feels a little strange now, this small sense of being quite a lot older, being accorded more legal power, yet still living the exact same life. perhaps i will realise how different things are/ can be after all this is over, and the weight of a moment is really just what it is, not saddled with guilt and regret and extra grams of knowledge of opportunity costs that accompany every move. perhaps when i’m truly free 18 will welcome me with open arms.

today at 3.30am

the fear of being forgotten by those who matter to you is so real every time. tiny glitches in time thrown off course and veering undecidedly into space, floating and wandering through dark masses. yet time always wins, crackling back into life, propelling forward assuredly, confidently. hours pass and you enter the moment and it is so much more than what you’ve believed it to be. the forays into my negative imagination are always reduced and negated by the love that people can have, and that is what surprises me every time- that people bother to remember; bother to take out their phones and write 12am texts; bother to write a card; post a dedication.

the gifts are lovely, but at the end of the day it is the affirmation of friendship and love that i most appreciate; that feeling that washes over me anew when i re-read cards years down the road.

we all just have that one day which is absolutely special to us, and to others that’s just a passing day. but they’ve made it so special for me, and for that i am immensely and overwhelmingly grateful. i really shouldn’t fear if i can help it; not at all.

primary school quirks

filled water bottles the breeding ground for tornadoes; artful twists of the wrists that allowed a rising column to spin and spin and disintegrate into bubbles- we used to challenge each other to see whose tornado could last the longest. clicking pens and releasing them on table tops to see how high they could jump, walking along drains to see if anyone had dropped change in the deep recesses. nike water bottles and the signature spray. the same piece running through different fingers on the cranky old piano with stuck keys in the canteen; i don’t think i will ever forget the song that every piano kid seemed to practice to mastery, still tingling on my earlobes. spinning coins with a single hand, velcro wallets inevitably attached to a rainbow spring; we used to play it like a yo-yo until the springs got twisted and could never untwist again. little inflated plastic packets that exploded on touch. fascinated with secret stairways in a school so tiny that nothing could really be considered secret; all alone in trios in shaded corridors and obscure places feeling brave and grown-up.

what graduation might feel like

it feels a little like graduation today, the mass gathering of souls (this came to me so easily- i wonder if i’ve read it before) for the final time before the banks can no longer hold back the river. there we will be, lingering in the last time for what feels like forever, for a moment that we never thought would arrive so quickly. praying to stay a little longer in the glare of phone camera flashes; enclosed in myriads of embraces; shallow brushing ones and heart-filled impressions from those who matter.

and then the moment cannot catch us anymore; the system has no hold over us; we can no longer hide in this refuge. and we stumble through the doors, pushed and shoved by biting whispers echoing ‘go forth and meet reality’.

a small something

the 16th year was a blur. i barely remember who i was; i have to piece together my identity with old photographs and letters. thoughts and feelings have long escaped

and it comes again to this feeling of clouds in my lungs, waking days drifting through repeated realities. i keep experiencing deja vu; is it just that i’ve been living this same life ten hundred times over? every day comes with its small mountains in different forms and courses, but in the larger scheme of things they crumble to vague difficult terrain. yet did i even remember the very terrain upon which i trod? maybe i want to remember this mind-numbing feeling

even if it’s no feeling at all. having too many things crowd my mind at night, the powerlessness of being unable to chase them away for good, finally slipping into slumber i don’t know when. this emptiness overwhelms, and if there is nothing at all

still i hope to write, and remember the nothingness for as much of a something it is: children sleeping in dark classrooms and hoping for more time before the teacher steps in.


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