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Time For Heroes

'We'll die in the class that we're born. Well, it's a class of our own my love.'

I'd rather be a romantic failure than a predictable success.

We're born. We go to school. We work. We retire. We die. A life like any other, bound by society and its unyielding reach that traps us in this monotony. Rigid timetables and bundles of paperwork keep us company as we sit, tired and uninspired. The commute home is silent, thoughtless, and blank. Whatever rest we manage to muster is only interrupted by our alarm clocks. Our days are like a Halloween pumpkin, moulded yet hollow, smiling wickedly at our dissatisfaction. We'll tire, and not the sleep kind. Imagine this repeating. Everyday.

I wouldn't be able to bear it. I can't even bear thinking of the possibility of this as my future. Such strangled repetition, and for what? Money, probably. That little palm-sized piece of paper that guarantees happiness, or so we're taught. I've never understood the value of it. People question me, asking 'Don't you want to have a big house and nice things?'. I've always said no. It's not about that. It's not about living an unfulfilled life for the sake of temporary pleasures. We forget those in the end. Our memories don't save space for such things. I want to do what I know I'd love to do, not something forced and meaningless. Apparently that means I'm destined to fail.

I don't mind. What would I be failing at anyway? Would I be disappointed that I couldn't impress people with expensive cars and pricey trinkets? The world is pretentious. We're deceived into pursuing things that we don't even want. A ceaseless chase which traps us with the belief that we'll be set free by it. We fear the dark, yet we chase shadows. I don't want to be tied down by that, to have to sacrifice my own happiness for 'happiness'. If that requires me to fail, then I will. I'll enjoy every second of it.

'Sleepwalking through every moment we took for granted.'
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Too Many Sorrows You've Enjoyed

'I've never liked puzzles. I always preferred to play with words.'

I've always resisted from writing about politics or national affairs. All those newspapers and TV shows forcing politics down my throat is enough for me. Sometimes though, I need to express these strands of thought that weave themselves into a pattern that becomes impossible for me to ignore.

Our textbooks tell us all the same thing. We must be united. We must live harmoniously. We must ignore our differences and focus on our similarities. It's a good effort on promoting unity, but it just doesn't cut it. Unity is an emotional bond. It possesses your heart naturally, growing through heartfelt ties and heartless episodes. You can't teach unity the same way that you can't teach love, or fear, or happiness. 

I just don't feel that in Malaysia. I want to, I really do, but with all the splits and divisions, we're heading so far from that goal of togetherness that I've become lost in my own country. Where do we stand when our own people don't want to be part of their nation? There's only one time when I truly feel as if everyone cares about the same thing, no matter what differences they may have. Sports. It's a rush, that moment seeing thousands of people in a single stadium and not defining them by race, but just seeing them as Malaysians supporting their country. I love that.

It's because we've never had a common enemy. Post-independence, we've never had any incident which the whole country was against. No great war, no revolution, no famine. Nothing where all of us had to genuinely band together in the hope that our willpower would get us through such a traumatising tale. Fear and grief; two basic human emotions, yet so strong and uniting. In times of terror, our vulnerability leads us to find comfort in the vulnerability of others. We see ourselves in the fear around us, and it makes us feel safe. We look past our faces and grudges, connecting through emotion. We've never had that.

If I were a politician, I'd create a ghost enemy. A fabricated terror, something to unite everyone against. United in fear. It sounds Machiavellian, it sounds immoral, and it sounds deceitful. Welcome to politics. Naivety gets you nowhere at the top. Politics is a game; politicians should learn how to play.

Our lives are too comfortable here, too safe. It breeds complacency and disillusionment. Look at us, we fight over the smallest things. Humans are creatures of conflict; peace never lasts long. We just create our own problems, over and over again.

What saddens me the most is that some people are only Malaysians by luck of the draw, merely because they were born here. They feel nothing for the country, content to live their lives without even glancing behind their arrogant backs to remember where they're from. It's not for me to tell them to love their country; that would make me as bad as any of the textbooks we learn from. No, it's all up to them. I just hope we don't need World War Three to truly be united. 1984.

'Negaraku. Tanah tumpahnya darahku.'

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My brother and I were oh-so bored. The fruits of our procrastination. We aren't the best singers in the world. Enjoy :)
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Fault Lines

'Wake up, try on your new disguise. Would they recognise you anyway?'

We're all strangers, even to ourselves.

It's unnerving when this thought runs through my mind. We know people, yes, but we don't really know them. Masks are all we see. Everyone wears an imitation personality, a synthetic shadow that casts doubt in my eyes on who they really are. We all portray ourselves as someone better than we actually are, and like makeup our masks highlight our best features while subtly veiling those all too familiar blemishes. It's a facade we accept because no-one is exempt. All we can do is imagine those fronts as a reality. That, and trust.

Trust isn't real though. It's just an imaginary bargaining chip, a forced trade where the outcome isn't even confirmed to meet our expectations. We have a word for when it doesn't. It's called 'disappointment'. Why we rest so much hope on something so flimsy as trust, I'll never know. I guess those masks that people wear look real enough to be believed.

Maybe that's what love is, isn't it. How I cringe at some people's views on love. That it can be bought with money, with time, or with words. That it must be expressed everyday in the most public spaces available. That it needs no effort, that 'true love' just is how it is. To me, love is the chance to bring down the masks we've all grown so accustomed to wearing for others. When our shadows give way to what we really yearn for others to see. It's probably the only time when trust feels real.

Please, please, please, please forgive me for that cheesy monologue on love. I just had to say it, and when you talk about love it always sounds like a greeting card.

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Forgo the cliches

'Disillusionment has taken over all my stray thoughts,
And I'm delusional, my view obscured by things that she was,
The sun won't dare to move, in fear that it may never rise again,
It sits there patiently as I wait for dusk to break the light.'

A verse from a song I wrote a few months back. I quite like it.
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You can rely on me, honey

Originality is dead. 

She has been for a while, actually. It's just taken me a little time to realise it. A few fragmented memories still and will live on in the best of us, but it's safe to say that she's gasped her last mouthful of air. Left for dead by the persistent, purposeful chase of the generic. May she rest in peace.

There's nothing inspiring anymore, is there? I'm desperate for a spark, something that really awes me. Inspiration is easier to come by when you're younger. You haven't seen enough of the world, too naive to grasp what it really means to be a cynic. Everything amazes you. But then, sooner or later, you notice that everything has been done before. All we're left with are imprints. Of imprints. Of imprints. Disheartening, to say the least. And I'm only eighteen.

It's all become so mundane. We're locked within the borders that we raise in our heads and our hearts. We're not led by our own emotions or thoughts, but by how others might perceive our actions. It's unfortunate how peer pressure never lets anyone out of its grasp. We'll reluctantly accept its audacious demands, too scared to act against it, dreading the jeers that are sure to follow. It's normal though, isn't it? We all crave acceptance, it's human nature. A sharp, piercing desire to be recognised, a lusting for pride. We're not human in the absence of an ego. 

I miss creativity. Flickers of magic do appear every once in a while, and they raise my spirits in the hope that maybe all is not lost. Sometimes I see people actually being different for once, daring to smile back at the cowards who'd never try. False hope. Everything ends up a shell of what it used to be, falling back, hiding behind plastic smiles and pretentious eyes. Recycled lines and stagnant minds. 

I guess, we're not ourselves if we're not ourselves.