Love.

Love. The kind through which one first enters the heart of another. Pure, fresh, unblemished. The kind that emerges with the exchange of that very first glance. The kind that, for a moment, dissolves everything else into oblivion, and engulfs two souls in a universe of their own. In that single moment, all that two hearts seek and yearn to offer transpires between them: fidelity, friendship, acceptance, comfort, relief, loyalty, eternal support and companionship. This single moment is the culmination of all that a mortal heart desires from a mortal being. But it is a feeling that is as fleeting as its existence: one that never returns after it has passed.

Once pure love makes its visit, it is gradually worn down by the weight of expectations, selfishness, impatience, untempered words, betrayals big and small, unbridled ego, deliberate injury and ingratitude.

Ah… pure love leaves behind such a shadow of itself, that the heart exhausts itself for a lifetime seeking just one more moment of that unblemished love that pumped life through its every vein.

Why do we feel what we do? Why do these bonds come into being? Why do they take root where nothing was meant to grow? How will they end up if they are nothing like the way they began? Why do they begin if all that will remain is their end?PC @diegoph

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The Decreasingly Human Being

I put my son to sleep, watching his sleepy fingers fidgeting, holding onto and letting go of his favorite blue blanket.
The house is quiet and my husband is away at a meeting. Dinner’s ready, I just need to make some bread. My work for the day is done. Some deadlines approaching but I don’t want to give them space in my head today.

Headlines I’d heard of swirl in my head. Is the conflict getting too close to home? I’d stopped following the news a long time ago. There’s only so much your senses and heart can take before nothing shocks or hurts or moves you anymore. When you take in too many lies, you lose the ability to see the truth in anything. ISIS, Al Qaeda, Saudi, Yemen, Iraq, Egypt, Palestine, Israel, Al Nusra, Somalia, Pakistan, India, North Korea, Iran, America, Syria, Taleban, Russia, Kashmir, Al Shabab, Boko Haram. Trafficked migrants drowning in the middle of the sea, child molestation, environmental devastation, job insecurity, financial fraud, bribery and corruption, gross parental abuse and neglect, raping refugees, looting war victims, medical crime, withholding cures, intentionally spreading epidemics, genetically modified fruit and vegetables and grains, artificially enriched eggs and bread and milk, chemically treated water, 100%-chemical soap and shampoo and cosmetics and toothpaste, artificially cooled spaces, microwaved ‘food’, chemically colored hair, fake eyelashes, botoxed bodies, virtual socialization, tasteless fashion, senseless art, packed yet dead silent trains, queues of heads bent into screens, selfies with corpses.

Why? By whom? For What? Till when? 

Have we again come to a point in history where we begin to devolve as a species? Could I really be less human than the generation before me? Will my child be less human than me?

Will he know what it’s like to read a paperback book in the morning sun, while lying down on grass and sipping home-made lemonade? Will he know how to smile genuinely from his heart when he is photographed? Will he know what a naturally beautiful woman can look like? Will he taste the fruit of a plant that was never changed since God created it? Will he ever taste water directly from a pure natural spring? Will he hear birds outside his house every morning? Will he have the courtesy and courage to smile at a stranger he commutes with? Will he know what peace and security feels like? Will he know what its like to have neighbors welcome him in their homes? Will he have thick, natural hair and naturally white teeth? What will dessert consist of when he places an order? Will he know how to comfort a lost child if he sees one? Will he know how to enjoy the sea and the breeze when he’s on holiday? Will he know what it feels like to contemplate? What level of brutality and inhumanity will he need to see to be moved? What will wearing clothes look like in his time? What will family time look like when he’s a parent? Will he ever see a virgin coral reef? Will there be such a thing as immorality when he’s grown up?

What will good mean, and what will bad look like, in his world? 

The Past After the Future

It was one of those ritual trips to KLCC that students take while trying to deal with the short-semester boredom. As the LRT rolled on, the three of them sat watching the rain battering against the train windows… trees swinging wildly in the wind, cars caught in the jam below… and they began to talk about the train. What could possibly have existed a 100 years ago along the same route they were travelling on? People moved about on foot, rode animals, primitive carts maybe; taking hours to cross distances that we now cross in minutes. Their clothes, technology and food would have definitely been different from ours… ours developed, exotic and stylish; and theirs quite dull and monotonous. But what if, for a moment, we were one of those people who lived a 100 years ago that these bored friends were talking about on a train? Where exactly would we be as they spoke?

Somewhere deep below the ground, walked upon by millions of busy people. Rarely or never thought about. Our faces nameless, our positions taken over, our institutions and houses destroyed, our contributions ridiculously insignificant, our lifestyles outdated… our entire civilization buried. Our once existence on this earth would be imaginary.

Caesar’s dead for all you could care to know about him today. The mighty Pharaoh lies lifeless in a box somewhere in Egypt. The affluent Ottoman Empire has crumbled. And we would never ever know the multitudes of common people that lived during those generations. So too, we will one day be. Meaningless to those that live when we are dead.
If to learn from the past is to realise the true insignificance and temporariness of everything that humans have always cherished, it is also to marvel at the timelessness of the lives of revolutionary people throughout the ages.

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