Monday, December 30, 2013

Four Years Later

"Four little ducks went out one day
Over the hills and far away.
Mother Duck said "Quack, quack, quack, quack!"
But only three little ducks came back."

Once upon a time, back when life was as straightforward as a small, inexpensive toy inside a milk chocolate shell, I convinced myself that the little duck in the nursery rhyme was lost. I remember singing (somewhat out of tune) to the song playing on the VHS and praying to God (because I still did that back then) to help the little duck find his way home. I remember feeling really scared for the little duck, and there was also a time when I wished I could share a piece of my milk chocolate with him, just so I could make him feel better, just so I could make him feel a little bit less lost. What I didn't realise back then, however, was that maybe, the little duck wanted to get lost. Because maybe, getting lost means finding your way. And so maybe, getting lost was the best thing that could have happened to the little duck; him, and all the other ducks who were brave enough to follow in his waddles.

* * *

With that short trip down memory lane and a nursery rhyme that is still very much out of tune, I am pleased to write that today is Life Unplugged's anniversary. If I'm being completely honest though, I'm trying really hard not to get over sentimental over the fact that this blog is now four years old. For one thing, it's a nagging reminder that life is going by rather quickly. Nonetheless, the fact that I still feel the urge to write after so many months, after so many words, could only mean one thing — getting lost means always having something beautiful and exciting to write about. In fact, now I know for sure; getting lost was the best thing that could have happened to that little duck in the nursery rhyme.

And even though life is no nursery rhyme, getting lost is the best thing that could happen to anyone. And so I urge you, I urge to you get lost. I urge you to lose yourself to happiness. Dip your heart in a jar of joy, and if that jar cracks somewhere along the way, I hope you'll find the strength to get a new one. I urge you to fall in love with someone who looks at you like you're the seven colours of the rainbow combined into one. And when you do, remember to hold on tight. I urge you to lose yourself to books and to music. Lose yourself to the words that inspire you, the rhythm that transcends the boundaries of everyday life. Most importantly, I urge you to lose yourself to life. Lose yourself to the beauty that surrounds you, that breathtaking beauty that you often fail to see. Look around you. Is it dark where you are? If it is, I urge you to open yourself to the light, to the magic of colours. Don't succumb to that ounce of darkness. There's a beautiful picture hiding behind the dull colours if you choose to open your eyes. Open your eyes. Be that little duck I used to sing about a long time ago. Lose yourself. It will be the best thing to happen to you this year. Trust me.

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 27, 2013

The Ventriloquy of Life

I had a serendipitous encounter with the universe last week, so I did what any curious human being would do, and asked him for the truth. It was short and it was bitter sweet. It was nothing more than a moment of weakness, but in that moment, I felt the need to ask the universe for the truth, so I did. Now, considering all the hurdles it throws at us on a daily basis, I thought my request was quite reasonable, but the universe laughed, thinking I'd gone mad, which, perhaps, I had. But this isn't about that. This is about the universe and his lame attempt at answering my possibly pathetic question, a question only a few have dared to ask. This is about what the universe said, or didn't, when I demanded to know the truth.

He hesitated at first, then something in the air around us changed, and he told me all about it. He told me that there is no truth, at least not in the strictest sense of the word. He told me that there is no truth, only perfectly moulded lies. And I believed him, mostly because I didn't know any better. I never do. He told me that the truth is like a Nintendo game with a clear beginning but no foreseeable end. It is complex and imaginary, an illusion if you will, like the magic tricks Houdini performed in the late 1800s. And like Harry's tricks, the truth is only temporary, so it is said to fluctuate from one show to another. The truth is, in fact, a circus show, and we are merely random wanderers who just happened to be passing through. We are the circus freaks. We are the dummy puppets manipulated by an introverted, invisible ventriloquist.

"I call it the ventriloquy of life", the universe said, smirking. And in his smirk I noticed something I failed to see before. And it was then that I realised that the universe is as clueless about the truth as the rest of us. He knows that it exists, and that it's there, but he knows better than to try and understand it. Because the truth is messy, and messy is complicated, and no one likes complicated, not even the universe himself. So then I made a promise to myself, a promise I knew I would break sooner or later. I promised to never ask the universe for the truth again.

Until today. Today I had another moment of weakness.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Rough Diamonds

And if this is the price I have to pay for letting you go, then I deserve it. But I am poor and I cannot afford it. You see, last night I had a penny, I had it in my right hand pocket, but it's gone now. It's gone, and I am poor. Just like that woman who I blindly assume is old because she cannot afford to look any younger, the same one I see every day, outside Sainsbury's, sitting next to the one pound trolley filled with useless crap she accumulated throughout the years, guarding it as if it was the most precious possession a human being could ever have.

And it's bone chilling cold outside, and she has never managed to sell that one over abused copy of National Geographic, but sometimes, when I'm not too busy wasting time on my overpriced smartphone (which, as it turns out, is not smart at all), I see her attempt to smile. And sometimes, I see myself attempting to smile back. And for that one second, I forget all the reasons why I chose to doom my day to hell this morning. Because now that I think about it, hell is not about waiting for something for an excruciatingly amount of time. Hell is not this.

Hell is watching people pass you by and ignoring you. Hell is going through the trash so you could fish out stale bread thrown away by big men in black suits. Hell is sleeping outside, come rain or come shine. Hell is having to wear the same dirty clothes over and over again. Hell is not knowing what central heating feels like. Hell is not having a place to call home.

No, hell is not this, and yes, I miss you, and the price I have to pay for letting you go is high, but I am not poor. We are not poor. We are ordinary people embellished with rough diamonds we are afraid to cut.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Twenteen

19

I wish I was good enough for poetry slam;
delicious, refined, like strawberry jam.
Because if I was, I'd perform one for you,
and it'll be the one you always turn to.

But I'm afraid I'm not that good yet.
You see, I'm like a lighter without a cigarette.
Instead though, I'm going to write this down,
all the way from the city people refer to as London town.

20

When you were born, I asked you not to grow up, but you did,
until eventually, I said hello to the adult, goodbye to the kid.
You were a beautiful baby, but even more so now than before;
your heart (especially) points to a path that goes straight to heaven's door.

And I know you don't really like to celebrate the date of your birth,
but some of us want to celebrate the day you came into this earth.
I for one, without you, would most probably feel lost,
like a snowman who's lived his life waiting to defrost.

You are everything I always wanted you to be,
just like that acoustic song I listen to on my mp3.
For you, I want every mountain to be moved,
and every last shred of sorrow, removed.

For you, I want the sea to smile at the sun,
and if there's sand beneath your feet, I want you to run.
Because this is your life and you deserve to live it,
so if fear keeps getting in the way, I want you to kick it.

Remember that happiness doesn't have to come at a price,
and that, for now, will be my last piece of advice.
Welcome to the beautifully complicated age of twenty.
And just in case you have forgotten – I love you, plenty plenty.