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January 1, 2015 / Justine

Things happen for a reason

Sometimes it feels like there are so many things that I want to do. I want to knit something proper, I want to bake anything that’s yummy and carb-loaded. I want to work with children, to help them, to influence them in whatever small way possible, to better them. Or actually, to allow myself a chance to be… ‘better-ed’ (??) by them.  I want to take a course in English Lit, to find out what it is that I’ve been missing out all these years. To let myself find out how mediocre my English standard is, and to improve it. I’m interested in so many other things: Law, maybe a little dabble in Finance stuff (just so I can finally understand what some of my friends are rambling on about), Psychology (like who wouldn’t be interested in that right), business management, people management. SO MANY THINGS that I can’t even..

And of course, there are the days that I just want to sleep in and read books and do nothing at all.

At times, I do find myself being absolutely wrapped up in little bubbles of problems, which in hindsight, would cease to be a problem after a while. Certain things just don’t matter, after a while. But then, if we all have the foresight, then what’s the fun in all of this. The struggles, the tears, the heart-wrenching moments that one gets; all these just add to the sweetness at the end of it all. I just have to understand that it is all these moments, that make me treasure all that I have now.

So I do feel lucky and privileged, to be at where I am now. To begin with not much, and being here, where I do have a lot more than most would. Some things, I fought hard to get. Some, are really just based on…?pure luck ?right timing

I guess I’ll never know.

I feel glad that my parents signed me up for the schools that I’ve been to. No doubt, they weren’t the best schools ever (not even near), but the friends that I made are one of the best.

I feel glad that my family wasn’t well off, and my parents didn’t mollycoddle but encouraged me to work part-time after completing the major exams. It was then I was exposed to Dentistry and realised that ok… this could be fun.

And because of the exposure, even though my grades were expected to NOT get me a place in dental school, I guess the exposure and reference I got helped? I guess dental school was kind of an elite place, where almost everyone was incredibly smart in their own way. Am glad that most of my class are down-to-earth and nice.

Fell out of love and then in again. Was sure that it wouldn’t lead to anything, and then we had to go for a movie with the random-est group of people ever. And somehow, right time right place, hands were held (albeit abruptly) and it started the ball rolling.

And… 3 years passed since we first held hands. :) Did everything that has happened, happened just to bring me to all my friends and you? Did everything happen, just so I could grow up a little bit more, and be a better person to my family? DId everything happen, just so I was ready for you and a relationship that really looks into the future?

2014 happened in a blink.

I hope everyone just gets happier and happier, until one day we burst from it.

April 18, 2014 / Justine

Words

Some days i find myself missing the words, the fact that i used to sit down here and ramble on and on without stopping. Like a pensive little thing. I used to fancy myself as one, but nowadays, words seemed to have failed me. Not that i mind. Most of the writings that i’ve been reading, seemed to have one thing in common: these people are still searching for something. Looking for something in their life; be it love, an aim or purpose, or sometimes i think they aren’t even sure what they are searching for.

But ever since you entered my life, there seemed to be no more questions left. At least, none that needed me to wreck my head, doubt myself and question my ‘essence of being’. Those  questions of enormity at that point in time – that i thought it’s normal to have those questions, to want to ask those questions and that if i ever get the answers from a person, it would better a relationship and affirm me – were simple self-doubts in disguise.

But you acted as an anchor, there was no reassurance given because there was simply no need for it.

And so, ever since you entered my life, my words left me. I seemed to have no use for my words. Because loneliness, sadness, yearnings – they are so expressive and words would be tripping over themselves to come forth and help describe them for me. But happiness… How exactly can one describe it?

I want to say i feel like everyday is a sunny day, that i felt like i’m bathed in the warmth of sunrays. But i hate feeling warm, and sticky, and smelly.
I want to say it feels like the wind is in my face, but that would have been irritating, blowing my hair everywhere and the possibility of sand getting into my eyes.
I want to say that it tastes like the first strawberry of spring but… hm. Actually that might actually come close, but i’ve never tasted one to know for sure.
I want to tell you that my heart flutters, that i would actually believe it skips a beat, but it does more than that and i don’t know how to put it in words. That my heart feels too big, too full for me.

I feel like i might cheapen happiness, if i tried to put it down in words. And nobody likes reading about people being happy. I don’t particularly chase blogs/writings that are filled with happiness. I like to read about the tangles of confusion one has, the knots of emotions one experiences, one’s angsts and desires. Unhappy thoughts seemed to reveal more about a person than happy thoughts. Unhappy thoughts make me want to know more about the person.

I’m contented with my life right now. But there’s this tinge of nostalgia i feel, for the me that used to be confused, that used to want things without knowing what i want. The naivety of the joy in delving into the unknown for the pursual of whathaveinot.

December 19, 2012 / Justine

Never thought i would be… not-needing this space. There’re so much things ongoing offline that there’s no need for me to be online. Too many precious moments to be missed. 

I used to think i know everything. Then i grew up a little bit, and thought i did not know everything, but me being capable of realising this point made me think that, now i do in fact know everything. And then again, the growing up came in bits and pieces and i realise that there’s a shitload of things i do not know at all, and tonnes of things that i don’t know i don’t know yet. 

I used to think that i’ve already met the one. In fact, twice. Then the place that i’m at now, made me understand that you cannot go into something with your eyes shut tight and hope for the best. That no one can be happy all the time, or even most of the time. So what matters is we make each other laugh, we make each other better persons. Sometimes i don’t think i’m doing my fair share at my side, but it’s amazing when tabs are not being kept. 

And that, makes me wants to be so much better at this. 

Maybe this is what it’s supposed to feel like. To want to be better, to want to do better, to be the best for each other.

***

And as life goes on, friends trickle in and out. The constant faces that i see, give me comfort. Some of the faces that disappeared were disappointing, for they expect friendship without putting in any work. Then i realised that some people are just not worth it. And moved on.

June 15, 2012 / Justine

She’s so lucky, she’s a star

There was this old lady, living at the end of the street. Almost everyone on the street knew her as ‘the poor old lady’. To everyone else, she was a widow with a threadbare amount of  retirement fund and her only son was an ex-convict. Little did they know, how lucky this old lady thought she was.

Since she was a little girl, she knew that she was lucky. She woke up in the mornings, thinking how wonderful it was that she had her sight intact, and was able to see the sun rays streaming through the windows. She walked into the bathroom, without accidentally jamming her littlest toe against the door jam. She was able to eat her cornflakes without ever choking on them, and the schoolbus that she took every morning had never met with an accident before. She was lucky that she had great teachers in school, and great friends whom would always be by her side.

She was very happy every single day, because she knew that she was a lucky girl. When she took part in the egg-and-spoon race, and her egg dropped and broke, she was upset for awhile. Then this girl came up to her and held her hand, and she knew then that she was lucky to have found her best friend.

She met this fabulous guy and fell in love with him. And lucky her, she found out that he was as in love with her. There were squabbles and whatnots, but she knew she was lucky to have found someone who was willing to work as hard as she would, to make things work and keep it going. They had a boy together, and he was a healthy boy (lucky?). She was lucky that he turned out fine – sweet, thoughtful. Perhaps a little too thoughtful, especially about the environment, as he did so many things to counter what commercialized firms are doing to the environment that they found something legal against him and put him away for a couple of weeks. It was a blemish on his record, but she was lucky that her son was resilient and stood up fine on his own. And it taught him a lesson, so he became more matured and came up with greater plans to save the environment.

Her husband and she worked hard, and saved whenever they could. They spent on the essentials and donated whatever they could to charitable causes. They figured that they were lucky enough to not have to worry about a roof over their heads, where their next meal was going to come from and that they should do something to help the others. They kept only enough for their retirement and nothing more, giving away whatever they could.

Her husband passed away due to cancer. She felt that it was lucky that the cancer was detected at such an advanced stage that it did not cause him much pain, and the fact that her husband did not have to face living a day without her. Her son and his family visited her every Sunday and Wednesday. She felt that it was lucky that her death was so timely, to have happened on a Tuesday night. Her son would not have to witness her death, her body would not have began smelling funky and the last memory her son would have of her would be still fresh from the Sunday brunch that the whole family would have together. Right up to the last moment, she felt that life had been good for her.

*****

Sometimes we lose track of what is important to us, and what are actually just paltry things that wouldn’t matter in the big picture. Would we still care as much about these things, five years down the road? Or even 1 year down the road? If it’s not going to bother/affect us even 1 year down the road, it’s not that big a deal in the end, isn’t it?

We’ve all got to count our blessings every so often, because we so tend to forget them so so easily.

Lucky that i’ve a reminder for it.

April 22, 2012 / Justine

Perfect

Until the moment i met you,  i never knew or understood why and how one can really feel this way about a person.

And for it to be mutual is

It just blows me away, every time i think about it

October 18, 2011 / Justine

A Microscopic View Of The Dental Caries

The sun bled through the trees, as papa threw his whole body against a tree trunk, seeking comfort in the shade. Mummy and baby trailed after him, panting in exhaustion. Papa looked into the distance, despairing. They were homeless, after a sheer escape from an earthquake that had loosened the foundation of their house and it had been all so bright. They ran away, thinking an asteroid was going to strike them. They hadn’t eaten for hours, and god knows what level their blood sugar had plummeted till.

Baby started crying and gnawing at the arms of  mummy who was carrying him. He was hungry.

A force tugged at papa’s left arm and he sniffed the air eagerly. “Hurry up, and be nimble on your feet!” papa exclaimed suddenly, causing mummy to drop baby on the grass which was thankfully soft and baby just bounced up and down for a few times. They spied their new housing, with big yawning pink gates and it was about the same size as their previous land. There was a rainbow near their house then, and judging by the frequent visits through the pink gates, papa could see that this was not the first rainbow to have entered their future house. Papa muttered, “Pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?Looks like a dozen pots of gold we have striked this time round.”

A gust of wind caught them mid-stream and lucky them, it was headed straight where they were going. The family of three held hands tightly and tumbled head-first into their future housing. Baby would have flown right down a tunnel at the back, if not for the tight grip papa had on him. Mummy’s eyes sparkled as her pupils dilated and she became alert in this dark and moist environment that made her feel at home. “Ahhh…” mummy settled comfortably into one of the grooves, with baby snuggling against her. “Look at the number of neighbours we are going to have!” Papa cried out, delighted at finally having company.

The pearly whites (or maybe not so…) were choke-full of craters of decay, and the new family of worms that just entered walked around their new housing estate, trying to find a good spot to set up their home. They had had a good but short stay in the previous home, where they had a fair supply of fine sugary sweets and sticky chocolates. Alas, all came to an end when their home was wiped out by the asteroid that came drilling into their home and the bright light must have burnt whatever remained of it.

Fellow worms shouted out greetings and helped the new family to settle in, bringing their supply of sugars as welcome gift. Although, to be honest, those welcome gifts were fairly unncessary, with the amount of sugars being deposited ever so frequently. “Gummy bears, lollipops, chocolates, caramel, sour sweets, sugar drinks. You name it, this kiddo has got it! This is the best home ever! I’ve been evicted from 3 houses before this, and this kiddo is just amazing. Never had an hour pass without some form of sugar being dished out to us. His meals last for at least an hour. He chews ever so slowly, pouches his favourite food (which are our favourite food too!) and delivers those milk sugars to us via the milk bottle. The darn rubbery teat, our children love to go on it. Strepto over there? We nearly lost him some time back, but in a few seconds, he was back with us, right as rain!” an overexcited worm, who kept quivering with every other word that came out of his mouth, informed them loudly. All the other worms cheered in agreement.

For the next few months, the worms co-existed in harmony. There were families that had been there for years, others who moved in just weeks before the newest family came. They reveled in the never-ending supply of sweets, and produced acids to create their homes. With so many worms, they had a tendency to show off. Underground garages, underground gardens, underground swimming pools, you named it, they built it. Some of them, like the coccus family, were so focused on expanding their housing, that they went dangerously near to the pulp of the teeth and had to be warned by the few ancient-looking worms (who were ancient looking for a reason) to not let vanity go into their head and safety was of utmost importance.

The ancient-looking worms from the family of mutans were always dishing out helpful advice:

(1) To expand radially, not longitudinally
(2) To deposit acid in a slow, controlled manner and not allow it to spill everywhere (certainly not leaking through one of the tubes which teeth seemed to be full of)
(3) To be patient and move slow.

The baby worms needed to be looked after constantly, because they are after all mere babies and would munch on anything, everything. They had be scooped up by their mummies from the acid-softened dentine, before they actually bite through into the pulp (consisting of blood vessels and nerves. the heart and brain of the tooth). So all these went well, with constant vigilance and everyone working hard together.

But this wouldn’t be a story, if the worms lived happily ever after. One day, something happened. Mummy worm went out to the market, to see if there were still any gummy sweets present. The kid had been eating so many lollipops and baby worm was sick of it. Papa worm was supposed to be looking after baby worm, but he was so fat and lazy now that they had settled into what seemed like a permanent home, and was dozing off in front of the television. Baby worm, given the opportunity, quietly waddled off to explore. Alarm bells started sounding, as the kid suddenly started shouting and crying to his parents. Papa worm jumped up from the cozy sofa he was drooling on and mummy worm, on her way back from the market, rushed through the door. They spied baby worm two teeth away, covered in blood. Gasping in fear, they bolted to baby worm and grabbed him away from the hole he had chomped through. The breathed a sigh of relief as they saw that it was not baby’s blood, but what of the chewed blood vessels in the pulp. Everyone gathered around and although some angry glares were targeted at the family, they all tried to salvage the situation.

The mood was sombre as the ancient-looking worms hobbled out and told everyone, ” Now we need to be on our alert. The kid would be brought to a dentist and the dentist would be able to see us. He/She would try with all their means to get rid of us. We must unite! And survive!” Everyone’s faces were grim and they went back quietly, preparing for war.

It began.

The kid and his parents were taught on how to brush the neglected areas (which the worms took up residence in). Thankfully papa was hardworking in the beginning and laid down a good sticky foundation to their home, so they weren’t easily brushed away. The Lacto family went away that way. They also started using this hateful thing called ‘fluoride’. Papa and mummy worms shuddered at seeing the fluoride soldiers, sweeping out everyone. They remembered that back at their homes when they were young, there were memorial grounds stained black with the dried-up blood of the thousands of brave worms who fought the fluoride soldiers. Papa and mummy worms were well-trained since young, and they hid under the roof of the crater they created, narrowly escaping those soldiers. Their supply of sweets dried up, and whatever little sweets that came by were washed away so quickly by the saliva and water that all they could do was make a quick grab for that one or two sugars. The kid no longer stored food in his mouth, and even the sugary milk was downed so quickly by a cup instead of through the rubbery teat which the baby worms all love to play on.

All forms of communication among the worms broke down, as their telco Plaque was removed so entirely that there was barely a thread of network remaining. Mummy worm reminisced about the dense network provided by Plaque, that allowed her to keep up with the latest gossips.  The family of worms could only hear their neighbours crying in a distance. The wails coming from the next tooth had trailed off to a buzzing silence two days ago and they dreaded going over to find out what had happened to the Bacillus. 

They saw enormous swords coming down to the tooth which baby worm chewed on some time back, killing all the worms that had dived into the hole in an attempt to hide from the fluoride soldiers. Blood came gushing out, and the worm community (or what remained of it) looked away, feeling sick in the stomach.

All of them knew, sooner or later, it would be their turn.

That day came for the family of worms, whom we had been following in this story. The lights came on and finally, it focused on the tooth that the family of worms had stayed comfortably in for the past few months. The worms hid underneath the roof of the crater, with papa worm holding the fort. “Hold on tight!” he shouted out to them, as the wind blew and water gushed in an attempt to rid of them.The asteroid came whirling down towards papa worm with a blinding light, and because papa worm was so corpulent and clumsy now, one of his hind legs got caught in the blade of the turning asteroid and his whole body was wound around it. The asteroid spun faster and faster, and papa worm did not even have the chance to cry out before he got mushed up into a shapeless, beige pulp. A pungent smell filled the whole cavity, because papa worm was very, very smelly. Mummy and baby worm trembled with fear at the sight of papa worm’s bloody body mangled by the round metal, but the acrid smell from papa’s body almost knocked them out, and they slowly slumped onto the floor, dazed. The asteroid, wiped clean of papa’s remains, caught mummy worm next, catching the chunky necklace around her neck and strangling her to death. She suffered; eyes bulging out, face turning green then blue and her tongue stuck out lifelessly as she tried to say goodbye to baby worm with her last breath. By this time, baby worm was staring blankly into the air and at his mummy, emptiness in his eyes. Baby worm watched as the soul (worm soul?) of mummy worm left her eyes and body, in her last breath. Baby worm watched as the asteroid, once again, sped up and crushed mummy’s lifeless body against the hard tooth surface which papa worm was only beginning his work on before war came.

More water and wind came, washing away the blood of his papa and mummy, the bits and pieces of his parents’ body, the remnants of their home. Baby worm sat in the same spot, immobile. Baby worm sat in the same spot, staring at where the asteroid had been, where his papa and mummy had been, gnawing at his lips. When the asteroid came again, baby worm looked straight into the light guiding the asteroid and the most excruciating pain came upon his little body which he could not even comprehend, as his head got ripped off first and few seconds later, his body got crushed. The family ended up as mushy piles of pulp.

“Now your tooth is clean and we’ll give it a silver star!” as the dentist packed amalgam into the cavity.

November 7, 2010 / Justine

Little Miss Perfect

Rays of sunlight penetrate  through the blinds and fall just shy of her eyes; on her cheeks, rousing her from sleep gently. She stirs and sits up, with her hair perfectly toussled from the good night sleep she had. She yawns with just the right amount of delicacy and stretches her lithe body under the warmth of her comforter, before pointing her toes to the dusky carpeted floor.

Today, she chooses a pair of speckled greys and slips the contact lenses on effortlessly. She squints at the mirror in the bathroom, before washing her porcelain face and brushing her pearly whites. She flosses, dancing in and out of each interproximal space in an efficient manner that could only come from a regular flosser. A few dots of foundation on her face before blending it in – to even out any irregularities in skin tone – and a brush or two of the rosy blush to bring out the greys of her eyes. She glues on the dolly lashes and glides on a layer of nude lipstick followed by a coatiing of sheer pink lip gloss.

Slipping off the oversized tee, she wriggles into a body hugging black dress and smooths it down where it ends just short of her mid thigh. A line appeared between her eyebrows, creasing her smooth forehead as she pouts, staring at the mirror. She needs to do something about her hair. She ups her brain powers trying to think of which hairstyle would go with the outfit and after some serious thinking, she decides on a riveting fall of soft curls. She feels happy just admiring the subtle copper highlights in the hair, that touches the small of her back.

Two puffs of perfume left and right, and she slips her size-4-and-half feet into a pair of 3 and 1/2 inches tall satin dusty grey heels. Off she goes to work, with her hand-held clutch containing just a Visa card, her car and house keys. Everything is a routine. And the day passes by, with her on auto-mode. The only time that she is alert, is in the morning while she is getting ready to look perfect.

At night, after a hard day of work and partying, she returns looking just like how she left in the morning. Fresh-faced, make up intact and not a single strand of hair out of place. She slips out of her heels, places her clutch on top of her dresser and once again, wriggles out of her dress. She tugs gently at her curls of the day, and hangs them up in the row of wavy mid-length hair. The top rows consist of short hair – bobs, china-doll hairstyle etc – while the bottom rows consist of mid-length to hair of length that goes beyond her back. There are loose waves, tight curls, straight hair, frizzy hair…

She removes her make up in a few wipes and scrubs her face free of any grease and grime. Her eyelashes are discarded into the bin. She takes out her teeth and brushes them again, examining vigilantly for any early signs of decay. She flosses again, before dumping both sets of teeth into a cup of fluoride mouthrinse. She tsks at herself for forgetting to arrange the annual visit to her dentist. She will have to do it the next day. She steps into this machine, that examines her for any loose screws and cranky joints. Creaky joints are not very pleasant, as she found out last summer. People get crazily suspicious when they see the rust staining her dresses and skirts. She didn’t not know which was more embarrassing, them seeing her rust or her lying that it was menstrual stain.

Feeling well-oiled (and she is thinking that must be how a good massage would feel like), she gazes in admiration into the mirror – at her face. A little squeal escapes from her lips before she knows it, as she spots a tiny craze line at the corner of her left eye. Darn, she really has to stop winking at the cute boy-in-the-next-cubicle. And now, she has to make another appointment to her technician. The number of times that she has added porcelain, she wonders if it is still possible to glaze her porcelain face smooth. Two appointments to be made, that is a lot for her to remember as she bites her lower lip… before realising that she has already removed her teeth. Giving a tiny resigned sigh, she decides to just go to bed.

Plopping down onto her bed, she removes her feet ankle-down and places them into a massager. The amount of stress her feet has to endure for the whole day, being squeezed into those impossibly high heels, is unimaginable to her. She squeezes out her grey eyes for the day, her lips turned down in disgust. After years of doing this, she still finds it gross to actually squeezing out her eyes at the end of the day. She removes the contact lenses and drops the eyes into a cup of desenitizing liquid.

And finally, little miss perfect drifts off to sleep.

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