Monday, November 26, 2007

Karma - The Great Equalizer

If there is anything that I desperately hope is true, it isn't God. Rather, the concept of karma. Many of us believe in it perhaps as a way to console ourselves with regards to unfortunate situation that are beyond our control. On the other hand, it only makes sense to subscribe to it because it seems to be the universal balance keeper.

Karma. What is karma?

According to the dictionary, it is "the cosmic principle according to which each person is rewarded or punished in one incarnation according to that person's deeds in the previous incarnation."

Karma, it seems, stems largely from religious principles and dogmas (Hindus, help me out here?). It involves living a fair life in order to bid for a better one in the next. Though it seems to refer to reincarnation and such, the more modern concept of it conveys the same theme as the Bible's Golden Rule -- "Do unto others what you want to be done unto you." Similar, yes?

The universe has its own mechanism where it imposes natural balance upon itself. There is the good and the bad, black and white, heaven and hell -- the yin ang yang of life. It is said that for every misdeed that we commit, it will come back to bite off our behinds at an aggravated degree. There is justice and there is fairness.

I cannot seem to agree more.

If it were up to me, I would like to be the one to inflict justice in my own life. I wish that I can have matters in my own hands whenever I get wronged or taken advantage of. However, life isn't as rosy as such. I don't think it's entirely possible to think clearly -- more so think of justice -- when one is ridden in rage and anger over an incident. Various people deal with obnoxious emotions differently and these people also act differently in certain situations. It will be an unfair system if people lived in my ideal world. Most importantly, who are we to decide what kind of justice the wrongdoer must receive?

To believe in karma is to award the divine with the task of maintaining moral equilibrium on earth -- or in the universe. Believing in it allows me to pick myself up after a messy fall, to dust my hands quickly against each other, and still hold my head up high with a smirk. It comforts me greatly knowing that I need not lift a finger in order for some people to experience the vileness that they inflict on others. It is all taken cared of.

Karma keeps us humble. Knowing and acknowledging its power keeps us in check because ultimately, our actions are a reflection of ourselves.

There have been many occassions that I have been duped and toyed with -- in all aspects of the words. And just like everyone else, as I would presume, I wish nothing short of misery and pain for those people who have engineered the scenario, no matter how big or small. I can be completely high strung and vengeful (as a matter of fact, isn't that part of being a Scorio? *wink*) and my emotions can get the best of me sometimes. If I act upon any of them, I will probably end up doing something I would regret for eternity (I already have some regrets as it is). My only option is to leave it to the professionals -- to those up there controlling the karma switchboard.

Unfortunately, patience is greatly needed in this whole karma game. It isn't up to us when the shit will hit the fan for the other side. We only see the smaller picture, but karma sees the larger one and will know where it will hurt the most for them. We can do nothing but wait until that moment emerges -- and one can only hope that he or she will be present to witness this sweetest thing called revenge.

We are not entitled to play God. We are not God. Even if someone doesn't believe in God or any kind of god, it is still not up to him or her to take control and ensure that justice will be served for every fault held against them. If we follow the karmic school of thought, doing so will only entail a bigger blow against one's self in the form of higher karma. It's one vicious circle that we wouldn't want to get trapped in.

God has given man free will. Whether or not someone decides to choose evil rather than good is his or her choice entirely. However, the consequences can be pretty dire and there really is no way of knowing when the ax will fall. That, I believe, is God's greatest disclaimer.

Whilst we wait for all the pieces of the universe to all fall into place, we can always resort to swearing, yeah? It's harmless and it's therapeutic. Then we sit back and enjoy the ride.

And if you're anything like me, I would be hoping the worst for that person.

(I can so totally feel the gates of hell opening up for me now)


My apologies for the negligence, I'm aware that it has been a while since my last post. And perhaps, I am also guilty for the dwindling quality of the posts. Caught with the holiday madness, wrestling with illnesses and dealing with year-end wrap-ups, I do not know when I am expected to catch up on my sleep. Nonetheless, still toiling hard.

To those who celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you all had a good one! Brace yourselves for another holiday filled with lots of food and excessive spending.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Love Actually

It was a little before seven o'clock at night and I just finished attending church. It was still twilight outside and I decided that I didn't want to go home just yet. After all, witnessing twilight is such a novelty nowadays with me trekking out of work so late on weekdays. I approached the vendor selling street ice cream and purchased a yam-flavored one. Not exactly the healthiest option, but when cravings call, who am I to deny it?

Content with my indulgence, I walked around the town center where people were lazily milling around and trying to savor the last few hours of their weekend. I took a double take at this couple who were having an incredibly intense conversation -- neither were they being discrete about it.

Call me nosy, but I was simply curious, I found myself sidling up to the bench next to theirs and pretended to be very interested in my ice cream.

The guy was probably in his late twenties. He was wearing smart clothes -- a crisp white shirt and black trousers -- and his face looked tired despite the twinkle in his eyes. The girl was sporting a barely there dress with her hair piled on top of her head immaculately. Her ankles look like they're screaming in torment judging from how swollen they were inside her super high heels. Her youthful face betrays her looks and demeanor because I get the feeling that she wishes to appear older than she really is.

"I'm sorry, but we couldn't do this anymore," the guy told her in half Mandarin, half English.

Swollen Ankles tilted her head to the right showing me her despondent expression. "But I really enjoyed last night," she said. "You were so good. I felt really one with you. I'm glad you were my first."

Crisp Shirt blushed. And I blushed for him.

With her right hand, she untucked the left side of his shirt and she slipped it underneath. From the corner of my eye, I could see her hand making rubbing gestures against his rib cage. Seriously... we're in public, people!

He gently took her hand away from its position. "No, don't," he pleaded. "We can't do this anymore."

Tears started spilling from her eyes. "Why not?" she asked with desperation rising in her voice. "You said you love me. I love you. I love you. I love you. Wo ai ni!"

Crisp Shirt shifted in his seat restlessly.

At this point, I was really feeling for the girl already. She was about to get hysterical and I could sense the frustration in her voice. Her naiveity was killing me.

She tried putting her arms around him only to be met with restrain. "You said we'll be together forever," she said accusingly. "You said we'll get married. We don't have to tell my parents, we'll just run away."

My ice cream was already melting in my hands. I couldn't eat and listen at the same time -- I'm apparently a bad multi-tasker. I stole another look at the couple and in doing so, it astonished me how young the girl looked. She couldn't be more than seventeen years old. I hurriedly tried to lick the dripping liquid yam from the cone.

"I'm sorry," he repeated. "Look, I'll give you some money and I'll buy you that mobile phone that you wanted. But we just can't see each other anymore."

He took out his wallet and gave her several hundred dollar bills. Swollen Ankles held the wad of money stiffly in her left hand. Her nails were painted a deep dark purple. Some fingernails were already beginning to chip.

She looked at him with confused eyes. "Do you not love me anymore?" she asked. He had on a face that was short of sayin "Oh god, give me strength."

He sighed. "Love is a very strong word," he answered uncertainly.

It was my turn to give an "Oh god, give me strength" face. I rolled my eyes at my fast-melting ice cream. This guy needs to get some new lines.

"I do love you," he said to her. "But I don't love you the way that you want me to love you."

What a freak! He says this after he takes her virginity the night before?

The girl burst out crying. "Why?" she wailed. "Why are you leaving me? Was it something that I did? Was I not good in bed?" Then she said something in Mandarin that I didn't catch.

He held her hand. "Look," he said. "I'm really sorry. There's something I must tell you, but please don't hate me."

She didn't say anything but looked at him expectantly.

"You see, I'm married."

My eyes bugged out of its sockets. The ice cream has totally been forgotten now.

"And my wife's pregnant with twins," he added. "We just found out this morning."

Swollen Ankles didn't say anything. If my head was swimming in so much thoughts, I could just imagine what in the world was going on in hers. I was too scared to look over her way, but I'm fairly certain that the words KILL and HIM flashed through her head at one point.

"Mei Li," he called out softly. "Talk to me."

She was still silent. The earth seemed to have stopped moving for a few seconds. The next thing I knew, she reached out and slapped him right across his face. He sat there frozen, probably in shock. And for good measure, she reached out and did it again -- harder this time because I heard a snap like a dry twig breaking.

A few people walking by stopped to look at the scene. Thank goodness they were all decent enough to keep walking as they realized what was going on.

"You bastard!" she bellowed at him in full force. "How dare you?!?"

She grabbed her bag and ran away from him despite the swollen ankles. He sat there utterly dumbfounded not quite realizing what had just taken place. A few people started hushing with each other. I was simply biting my lower lip and concentrated on searching for a tissue in my bag.

I decided to give Crisp Shirt some privacy and headed towards home. It's amazing how these things just unfold within a span of minutes. And for Swollen Ankles sake, her life just turned around rapidly within twenty four hours. Her heart and spirit had been broken, and she has been robbed off her innocence in broad daylight.

I wanted nothing but for her to come to terms with all the incidents that just took place. It's almost unfair that girls like her has to be taken advantage of. Then again, it always takes more than one to tango -- usually two, but sometimes there are more dancers to the music.

Seriously. When did the world's events start warranting so much cynicism?

I just hope that she will be getting one helluva mobile phone.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007


This was inspired by something that I read in a forum. And this is my attempt at freeing some of my demons.

Here goes nothing...

1) Sometimes I wish that I were one of those cutesy ditzy girls that I hate just so I can get people's attention easier.

2) Sometimes I feel bad for not feeling an ounce of remorse for the bad things that I do/have done.

3) Sometimes I feign dumbness and ignorance about a particular topic that I know about because I'm afraid that the person I'm talking to would think I'm Ms Know-It-All.

4) Sometimes I put up with people I don't necessarily like just so I can have someone to be with for a while.

5) Sometimes I just want to ask telemarketers if they enjoy their job.

6) Sometimes I take the longer way home just so I can watch people live their everyday lives.

7) Sometimes I get so bitter about why even ugly and fat girls can get a boyfriend... while I can't. Then I ALWAYS feel instantly bad for thinking they're ugly and fat.

8) Sometimes I wonder how people would react if I shaved my hair off my head completely.

9) Sometimes I think about how my funeral will turn out and I wonder who will be attending it.

10) Sometimes, when I get scared, I sleep with all the lights on even if my conscience gets racked with guilt about the energy and power that I'm wasting.

Your turn now.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


I have never really been one to read and follow horoscopes faithfully. Once in a while I would glance at it to get myself a dollop of amusement -- I can just imagine how many Scorpios there are in the world that's reading the same blurb and trying to fit their daily life into that mold. Don't get me wrong, I don't dispel astrology and psychic powers and such. I do believe that to a certain point, there is some truth and reality to it, and that God indeed has created such gifted people. My skepticism only stems from being realistic and the refusal to seem gullible enough to be taken for a ride. Throwing salt behind one's shoulders has never hurt anyone, yeah? In any case, my religious beliefs go against the concept of fortune-telling and the like -- I love having that excuse whenever my opinion is sought out about it. It's like a quick ticket out of a sticky mess. I'm aware of the differing opinions that people hold about it. Let's just put it this way: I don't believe in it, but I won't get surprised if one day, I discern that it is all real. I like keeping an open mind.

Just the other day, I was reading the profile of a typical Scorpio. It wasn't the first time that I've seen one. I know the basics and yeah, agreeably, some of it are applicable to me but also some traits of Geminis, Leos, Cancers, blah blah blah, you get the point. I refuse to get boxed in a profile just because I was born on a certain date. However, there was one thing that caught my eye whilst reading it. Allegedly, I ultimately seek for independence and freedom in life. True -- can't argue with that, but who doesn't? And then it said "she [a Scorpio woman] will constantly show you that she loves freedom. If she has freedom, she will not leave you, but will love you even more."

I couldn't have said it any better.

I'm not an expert on relationships -- far from it, as a matter of fact. However, I do know that in order for me to stay in one, I do need a fair amount of freedom. I don't ask to be completely independent because I believe in being somewhat attached to your partner as a result of special bonding. I want to feel the beauty of being needed and needing. Emotional dependence can be good as long as it's manageable.

It only dawned on me then that the only way to keep me nearby is to avoid putting a leash on me. I need trust, I need respect and I need freedom. Well, enough space and elbow room, at least. I hate being told what I can do and what I can't do. And I especially hate it when someone acts as if they own me.

I dislike being provoked. The best way to get me to do something is to tell me exactly the opposite. I am notorious for disobeying for the sole purpose of spite. I can be in total agreement with a particular task, but if the method of being asked rubbed me the wrong way, I will drop it like yesterday's lunch. For this reason, I know I will make a horrid secretary or assistant. I demand nothing less than proper respect and consideration. I believe that it is entirely possible for a superior to still command a sub with respect. Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against authority and I do not seek for power. I am not the quintessential alpha female that needs to be in control all the time. I can be a fiercely loyal follower to the right master. And I can be a faithful partner to a deserving one.

It took me a while to learn this about myself. I found myself in a serious relationship at a young-ish age and I still had yet to know myself back then. I couldn't understand why I felt purposely deviant and vengeful towards my boyfriend until I realized that I was badly reacting to his attempt of controlling me. We had passionate arguments about how I allegedly never listen to him, and how bad I was at keeping a relationship. This affected me for a long time. I sincerely thought I wasn't ready for a commitment and I even blamed myself largely for the wrinkles in our relationship. And I began doubting myself.

Now that I've grown a tad wiser (or so I'd like to think), I discovered that putting a leash on someone can only drive them further away instead of keeping them closer. Though I may have the tendency to be territorial, selfish and possessive, I would always have to put myself in people's shoes and rethink. If I loathe the feeling of my leash getting shorter and shorter -- or even having a leash in the first place -- what right have I got to do that to others?

I believe that it takes a pretty big person to not need a leash. However, it takes an even bigger person to let go of the leash. The magic will work on itself. The moment we let go, it's pretty surprising how we can gain so much more -- instead of losing something. A little bit of faith is all that is needed.

I'd like to think that this is a universal thing and that it is not something only exclusive to Scorpios. If it is, then by golly, more people would have to mate in February.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Birthday Cake, Tea and Sympathy

Now that I've moved, I pretty much have a few new things in my life -- new keys, a new address, new bedsheets, new(ish) furniture, new neighbors and a new commute. Riding the train is now included in my daily routine and is admittedly growing on me. I've forgotten how much I like trains. It allows me twenty minutes twice a day to be one with my thoughts and not have to worry about keeping anyone entertained. With my music blaring in my ears thereby shutting off the rest of the world, I find the ultimate peace and enlightenment.

It's like being alone amid a thousand people surrounding you.

At promptly six thirty-five in the morning, I make my way towards the nearest train station to catch the six forty-three ride to the central business district. I count exactly seven stops and estimate about four songs on my iPod before I get there. Luck is never usually on my side when it comes to finding a seat. The train is always filled with students heading to their respective schools -- college students with their textbooks in tow, female Muslim students with their white uniformed veils perched on their heads and the male ones with their black velvet hats, and Chinese students with their squeaky clean white sneakers.

It wasn't too long ago that I was one of those students. Well, except for the train bit, I never had to take it back where I grew up since there really wasn't any. I used to take the school bus at what seemed like the crack of dawn as the bus service always attempts to beat morning traffic. It was only later on that my parents took pity on me and had me driven to school instead (bless them!).

It only seemed like yesterday that I was roaming the high school hallways with my friends and beating deadlines for book reports and science investigatory projects. And then having powows with the group in the school cafeteria during lunch or the steps in front of the high school building after classes. Our schedules were comprised purely of schoolwork and friends -- we were one of those lucky ones who only had to worry about so much. We invented drama in our lives and dwelled on it, not realizing how ludicrous we were being and how clueless we were about how the world really worked. I was once one of those kids who thought I knew everything there is to know in this world. I was once one of those kids whom I've grown to hate as I got older.

Now, I see these kids on the train every single day as I make my way to work. I feel compelled to tell them to take it easy and to have fun while they still can. After all, being a grown up is so overrated -- why are they rushing to get rid of their youth? Get rid of the nail polish (it'll just make your nails yellow), lose the make-up (believe me, when you get older, you will wish you can pull off not having to wear some), don't get too serious with the opposite sex (you have the rest of your life to get headaches from them), wear clothes that suit people your age (count your blessings that you can still follow trends), and most importantly, stay in school (believe me, you will miss it when you start scraping up your own dough). What I wouldn't give to be able to switch places with them.

In about a couple of hours, I will be marking my twenty-sixth year here on earth. Another year added onto my life. That means, I would have been one year wiser from my last birthday. Somehow, I don't feel any older or wiser. I feel like a fraud. This year will be my official foray into the "late twenties" group and I still feel the high-schooler living vivaciously in me -- just a little more saged and jaded with experience but nonetheless still the same uncertain person that I always was.

I don't think we really let the child in us grow out completely. I like holding on to mine because it reminds me of that time in my life when I was deliriously happy and truly innocent. If only I took out the time to protect those moments instead of robbing myself off youthful naiveity, I could have enjoyed it that much longer. In my entire twenty six years, there isn't one day that I didn't refer to my past and search for little nibblets of happiness for me to ponder on. The happy memories keep me going in hopes that I will find more along the way.

I wish the kids on my train would realize that in ten years' time, they will be in my shoes looking back into their pasts desperately searching for something to hold on to. That they will be wishing for longer childhoods and more time to make mistakes. If only I can convey the sadness that I feel for them on how they seem to be losing their childhood faster and faster each day. And if only I can show them how precious they are at their age. I don't understand why they want to grow up so quickly.

It's funny, isn't it? Kids will do anything to be grown up whilst everything that adults want is to be kids all over again -- devoid of all responsibilities and obligations.

Happy twenty sixth to me. And happy sweet sixteen to the kid still living inside me.