Sunday, February 25, 2007

Chinese New Year

While most people spent CNY lazing around at home, I travelled by car to the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur to visit my mother's relatives. My paternal grandparents and uncle happened to be holidaying there too, so both sides of in-laws got together for a reunion. I count myself lucky that they are on amiable terms. I relished eating my aunts' and my grandmother's delicious cooking, which brought back memories of past visits. Every year I return to find that my young cousins have grown. My cousin, who I first saw when he was an eight month-old baby, is now an elder brother. Even the newborn puppy has grown beyond recognition. One thing that hasn't changed is the room in my aunt's house I always occupy. It still looks the same, feels the same.

I really don't understand the rationale. What's wrong with missing the CNY celebrations to return to family or relatives? I find it terrible that some have to resort to drastic actions to fulfill a very simple need of seeing their family. It is the sad reality of modern lifestyle that so many of us have been displaced from our loved ones and our hometowns. Rules are made up by us. In imposing them, we must make sure that we don't lose touch with the elements which make us human. Sympathy, mutual understanding, we should not become so mechanic that we absolutely refuse to bend a few rules for these causes. Should you punish a student who couldn't complete his homework because his parents had a fight the night before? I don't know.

Friday, February 9, 2007

Scenes of the Orient

I was returning home late today, and happened to glance up casually. What I saw made me stop in my tracks. Stars, twinkling points of light, against the midnight blue sky. Orion was outlined clearly; for a moment, I felt like the ancient Greeks, visualizing a great hunter in the heavens. I stood very still on that dark road, the night breeze caressing my face. Sirius was pulsating madly, seemingly in tune with my own heartbeat, and I felt as though I was was absorbing its power and life. In that single moment that lasted for an eternity, the world existed for me alone.

I always marvel at the wonders of nature. Every time I get too settled in the mundane ways of life, something amazing happens that shakes me to my very core and makes me rethink everything I've come to hold as true. I'm not a strictly religious person, but beholding the sight of a rainbow, the healing power of a light rain, the energy of the stars, it's hard not to think that there is a God somewhere bequeathing these gifts to me.