Black Moustache vivianexvictoria

Monday, July 27, 2015

Humanity: At The Crossroads

“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.”
- Mark Twain
A good friend of mine once said to me, "your kindness will be your undoing". I can't say I agree, but I can see where she was coming from. I don't know about you, but I guess I can safely say that my society (arguably) lives by that statement. The unfortunate truth of the matter is that we, figuratively, are condoning and witnessing the loss of the core of our being - humanity.
You can't go a week without hearing the sounds of violent 'abuse' of the car horn or ludicrous,privacy-violating posts on online citizen-journalism platforms or social media here. As despondent as it seems, the fact that you can't really point your finger at someone or something does make the situation worse. Our conservative nature is inherent, and it has turned us clandestinely individualistic. Don't pretend this isn't true. If helping someone doesn't benefit you, you'd reconsider before helping them, wouldn't you? If you just heard rumors about an acquaintance, you'd avoid or be wary of him/her, wouldn't you? If you're stuck in a traffic jam,you'd use the car horn as a weapon and hope the rest of the drivers will open up the lane just so you can go through because you're just that important, right? If there's something stuck in your throat, you wouldn't even spare time thinking twice before spitting on the ground in public because your time is more precious than caring for the environment, right? If there's a queue for the toilet, you probably haven't considered the harms in taking your time to pee and using your phone while you're at it because those harms don't affect you, right? The list is endless. 
Picture this - you've just had a bad day. Your lover cheated on you, you just got retrenched, your pet goldfish took its last breath, and nothing is going your way. To find temporary relief, you find the nearest bar to drink your sorrows away, hoping they would actually disappear just as your soberness is. It didn't take you long to reach a point where you're on the edge of knocking out and you know you have to leave because you've spent all your cash on alcohol. You drag yourself out of the bar and towards the side of the road and try to hitch a ride despite knowing that carpooling isn't much of a culture here. Sadly (and not unexpectedly), you find yourself sleeping by the roadside and wake up to a crowd snapping photos of you to post on Stomp because you didn't manage to get a ride home without being threatened by the driver for payment on account of the law. 
Naysayers, or trolls (as the internet calls them), will obviously take a step forward to criticize me for contributing to the sorry state of our humanity as well. Don't act like that isn't going through your head right now. I definitely have. But that's just it. We all have. So who am I to blame anyone for it, or to say anything about it? I'm no expert, and neither do I have any important role. I'm pretty much nobody. I don't have the intention of blaming anyone for anything; what I hope to do is make a change. Just because everyone is doing it doesn't make it right, and just because not many who notice what's wrong are brave enough to try and fix things doesn't mean you should back out. It is time we stop the madness and embrace kindness.
Let's be realistic here. The state of humanity all around the world is far from excellence; we need to stop being delusional. Just recently, a 13-year-old boy was beaten to death in Bangladesh for allegedly thieving. The attackers, a group of men, tied him to a pole and began beating him despite him begging for his life, because (quoted from a report of the incident by The Straits Times) "his bones are okay". What is truly, absolutely disgusting is how they have the nerve to film the entire torture process and post the 28-minute video online. The incident "sparked huge protests". We have reached this point where there are people amidst us who can rationalize their attacks on the basis of allegations. If we don't do something about it, we will be on our way towards a dystopia, and yes, it is more than just being well-informed/aware of the news or 'hashtagging' for support on Twitter. It may seem as though there isn't much we can do, but if we put our heart into it, it isn't hard to realize that efforts to improve humanity must come from within and start with the smallest of things.
The case above, of course, is an extreme instance. I was in a lecture last week and this girl who sat in front of me dropped her pen which landed itself just below the seat of the girl sitting beside her in the next column of seats. The latter stared at the pen for a good three minutes before slowly bending down to help her pick it up, and even then it wasn't her who picked the pen up ad returned it to the owner, but the person who sat in front of her. While the majority of us have the heart to land a helping hand, there is still the selfish minority that, for whatever reason, don't, even when it comes to the smallest of issues, which makes it all the more abhorrent and vile. 
I guess what I'm really saying is it all comes down to the simplest of things. A world that embraces kindness and goodness isn't that much of a utopia if we all do our part. Sure it won't be realistic to think that of the whole world as a bed of sunshine and roses because evil dwells among us, but instead of resting on the grounds of all the impossibilities, think of what we can do if we trust in and embody the probability that such a world isn't far from our reach, no matter how small it may be? 
Next time, before you rush past a zebra crossing without giving way to the passers-by, or before you ignore the elderly lady struggling with her shopping bags as she crosses the street, try lending a hand. It can start from as simple as smiling at people as they walk by rather than burying your head in your phone screen. 

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Out of Love

hammer in ebony and corroded iron nails —
out of love,
you clobber us to the ground
to help us stand

microchips and monitor screens —
out of love, 
you dictate our every move
to show us how to have our own minds

bullhorns and amplifiers —
out of love, 
you howl at us for not pinning up our straitjackets
so we look appropriate to you

meretricious persiflage —
out of love, 
you keep us in chains in a forced order 
so no one can escape The Eye  

invisible tapes and shades of red —
you put on a mask of maturity.
look: your ridiculous atrocities are leaking

out of love,
I ought to thank you. 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Outlier

the edge of a sea of sober pensiveness —
I stood, silenced.
caressingly strangled at the hands of restriction,
I fell into dormancy. 

the oasis that is out of my reach: 
watch as they bask in the warmth of sunlight and 
ignorantly laugh at unimportance and
preoccupy themselves with meaningless small-talk that
defines their very existence to
justify the mockery they make of us for
what we are. 


winter's dawn:
no sunlight came to our side but
bitter chill —
and northern lights become mere myths. 
the world of greying navy skies and white ice
in which we condition ourselves to survive —
turns the fire in our hearts
to ash.

Darkness holds your hand
like a mother would her child. 
"Shut out love, my dear";
"is there goodness here?"
then, to your ear, she'd whisper, 
"when you cross the invisible line that
protects you, 
the end is marked near."

Thursday, June 18, 2015

still / broken


Staring at the purple wall behind her study desk that faced her, she wondered - why?

the purple wall packed with shelves and a framed painting faded to a blur 

She gave it everything she had. Everything then does not seem like much now, but for a fourteen-year-old girl, it took a great deal of courage for her to even think of doing what she did. She would know; and her six year experience in an all girls' school didn't do her much justice in this aspect. 

Then again, she still remembered what made her do it. There was a lot she could say; and, yes, it was those cliche reasons you'd see in a chick flick. What did you expect? For an immature, young teen-aged girl who was only in her second year of a daily encounter with boys in school, she only knew those kind of reasons existed. What really surprised her was how much it'd affect her. 

Go ahead, ask. What was the reason?

She'll still smile when she pictures it in her mind - his smile. His dimples fell nicely on the sides of his cheeks when he'd smile, and dimples are always cute; to her at least. Even now. Of course, that one plus point made everything about him seem almost perfect in the eyes of a young teen. 

In the early days of their acquaintance, she worked with him. His playful outward personality made her seem more like the teachers' pet, and she hated that it did, but she saw otherwise. You see, if a person was truly that playful - which was what they'd call "irresponsible" - he wouldn't have even bothered to reply her  text messages when she mindlessly freaked out over not returning the file to the office like she did. (It was part of their duty, and for her, it was a big deal.) 

He (and a friend) got into trouble once, and it wasn't those mild kind (like forgetting to do homework), it was pretty serious. To be completely honest, she still didn't know why they made it such a big deal. After all, it was only for dropping a bench and the loud bang led to a slight commotion. It was the only time the school was naturally "united" for something that wasn't an official school event. The hypocritical thing is that, with all the talk about establishing unity, they made that one instant seem a crime. (Don't blame them, this is the nature of our society.)

There was talk of a suspension. The ridiculousness of it all pushed her to write an email to their teacher to try to save him. Of course, being the coward that she was, she emailed it to the nicest teacher she knew then. She still isn't sure whether or not it worked. Perhaps the big trouble he was in was a compilation of all the minor mistakes. She didn't know anything. Still, she did all she could. Although, she shouldn't have assumed. She knew that. Who was she to interfere?

Everything else is a blur to her now. Even all that wasn't what she was confused most about herself. 

He never liked her back. Obviously. Why would he like an overweight, overtaken by puberty, goody-two-shoes like her? 

She did fess up to him before. At the bus stop on the way home, she mustered enough courage to text him "I like you". 

Yes, he used the "friend" tactic in his reply. Harsh? (It actually wasn't. It was pretty nicely put.) 

That wasn't enough to stop her.  

what was wrong with her?

She got a jar. 

And purple paper covering. 

She made 99 straw hearts. 

She put them in the jar. 

She gave it to him in class. 

Not the best idea. In class? What was she thinking?

She heard him mutter "walao". Okay, the sign of bad news. 

Long story short:

A while later, someone told her where it ended up. 

Then, she cried - long and hard. (that's what she said moment not intended)

Guess where it ended up.                                                                      

The pain still lives in her; it's just kept away, but she would never forget it. 

He wasn't mean to her or anything. He's a good person and she still believes he is. She doesn't have the right to blame him or think of herself and what she's done as 'spectacular'. It really wasn't because she isn't.

What do you know? A fourteen-year-old's idea of love. It's as innocent as that. 

The important thing is that, for what it's worth, she loved. It was an experience. :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

O heartbreak - fare thee well

they walk past me;
methinks love hast made me a fool.
      eyes of pity;
      tears - thin as tulle.

thou art my compass
      giveth me much comfort, but -
O, 'tis thee?
      nay, I beseech; wilt mine eyes hath failed me -
      just as my heart
which, at last, hast broken.

still, I pardon thee;
thou need'st not be sorry.
'tis fate - cruelly
showeth me that it shall never more be love,
for it never has been.

I shall pardon thee,
      pain hath befalleth us, I doubt it not;
            dost thou weep thus?

if thou could'st, thou wouldst hath loved me
as much; 'tis not in thy capacity.

      ay, fare thee well

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

the silent death

       a piece of creative writing
         by Victoria Chwa


Tuesday, March 3, 2015

The Forgettable and The Insignificant


She sat, alone, atop the hill beside the lake, watching as a single Redbud tree grew in full bloom. It's beauty captured her completely; she had not broken her gaze upon it.


What was there to not love? It was a magical sight — the simplicity of the little heart-shaped leaves as they rested alongside the delicate clusters of flowers naturally tinted in ombré magenta, all planted on a cleverly twisted trunk and outward spreading branches. There and then, the Redbud seemed to have enhanced the allurement of the whole scenery - the vibrant green of the frondescence, the soft blue shade of the sky surrounded the moieties of pure white clouds; its beauty was infinite. 


Yet, there and then, tout de suite — she was overwhelmed by dolor. Solitude hadn't bothered her before until its impendence sunk into her mind and heart. The quiet indulgence of every hint of peace and happiness that often came from innocent reclusiveness had become a sign of social suicide and, as the universal apperception would have it, there would be no survivors. Admiring the Redbud tree still, she screamed and began to tear. 

not good enough

The day was fresh, with a lively spring wind, but it was horrible to be among such amazing company without a heart to truly savour every bit of it. You see, pain was as simple as it looked - you had to cry and try to let it all out before you are silenced by the voices inside your head. 


But she stopped, remembering that screaming was not normal. You had to understand that eccentricity was a deformity. There were no positive connotations in being bizarre, and it certainly was nothing to be happy about. fall She stood, silently and slowly, as the pain gradually took control of her every subsequent move and thought. She forced a wry smile that pinched her face instead of smoothing it. As their words turned, repeatedly, in her mind, she began to realize that her life was one of experiment. lose The search for herself was entirely internal and she was fighting a losing battle against society. 

prisoner                                                                                                                                                    be free

Reality has it that you had to be normal to be accepted, which is subconsciously always being harped upon because your acceptance determines your survival. It was a social rule; non-conformity means death. Your thoughts didn't matter to society, neither did your feelings. Only achievements that are socially deemed as successful would acknowledged as 'true success'. It didn't matter whether or not you were beautiful, much less unique on the inside. Image had always been secondary to her, but not to society. You had to look the part to play the part. You had to be perfect. The irony - so much said about being yourself when not a soul was brave enough to stay true; fear her - especially. 


fade                                                                                                                                                          stay true

The vibrant flora, ardent blue sky and flawless white clouds became increasingly blurred.

The Redbud tree, once alive, dimmed into a dusty shade of gray.

Those who wandered - disappeared.

All that was once authentic - now a mere product of society.

Smiling, sincerely (for the first time in forever), she shut the windows to her soul and said to her beloved, "when we become forgettable and insignificant, always remember - we had today; then fade away and be happy."