SEA Games 2017

The one advantage of living in a big city is you get to attend all the special events, concerts, competition and activities that are mainly conducted in the capital city. The moment I read from the newspaper that the SEA Games (South-East Asia Games) will be held in Kuala Lumpur this year, I was extremely excited. I knew I mustn’t miss this opportunity to watch it live in the stadium. I scroll through the schedule and check the ticket price multiple time. As each day goes by, the day of the competition grew closer. I arranged my schedule accordingly and make sure I had done my assignments and study for the upcoming test. I work twice as hard to free up my timetable so that I could squeeze in the little amount of free time I had to attend at least one event. However, I faced a few problems. Firstly, it is transportation. I did not want to waste my money on taxi so I did some research on how to get there through public transport. The journey took 1 hour and 30 minutes using the LRT. Next, my parents doesn’t really feel comfortable with me going alone, especially at night. But I did not want to disturb some of my friends who are preparing for their examination, and the few I had left, were either not interested or had gone back home to their hometown.

But I was determined on going, and nothing could stop me. I planned on getting tickets for the badminton finals. However, the tickets were sold out. I got confused with some of the other events and inquire my friend about it. He found out and told me that half of the events are open to the public for free. It definitely a hard choice on deciding which event to go to as I cannot make it during the weekday because my classes starts early in morning and end late in the evening. After asking my dad’s opinion, I decided to go for athletics. And guess what? My friend who was supposed to be going back to her hometown, had to work so she will be going home later and she wanted to join me. Then, I went and asked both my cousins, who are the same age as me, also studying in KL to come join us and they said yes!

We met up at Bukit Jalil Stadium as all of us are from different places around KL. I decided to book a taxi together with one of my cousin. Despite the miscommunication and not leaving our place on time, we still managed to reach the destination before the event started. It has been a very long time since I last saw my friends. Each of us were busy with our own life. Working hard to pass our assignments before the due date, studying for finals and the distance makes it inconvenient for us to meet up. I received a call from them asking where are we. I told them we were still in the taxi and I do not know where are we as I’m bad with direction. But, I realised, we have reached when I saw a tiny part of the stadium, peeking out of my window, covered by the high metal gates. I gave out a loud cry of excitement and the taxi driver laughed. We had a short talk about the Games and I asked him whether did he attend any of the events. He said he had not as he has to work. When I stepped out of the taxi and into the entrance, I was filled with awe and admiration. The stadium was huge and majestic. There was a long rectangle pool with a fountain and all around us, there were visitors taking selfies. The place was extremely beautiful. I have never though of Malaysia in that way before until that day. I couldn’t really describe how great and wonderful it is. Getting even more excited, I speak non-stop in a volume that is a bit too loud. Outside the entrance, there was a ‘keris’ statute and I could hear the crowd cheering. Their voices echo through the doors and the window and the sound of the emcee announcing what has happened with a grand and deep voice. The sound of the high jump pole dropping and making the familiar clank on the floor was so clear and loud in my ears. I wanted to be in there. But we had to wait for the other two of my friends. They were at the opposite end and when I saw them walking towards us, I waved frantically. I was surprised I could see them from that far a distance. I ran towards them and the next few minutes were filled with hugs and greetings.

We walked to the entrance and had to go through security checks like the ones in the airport to make sure we are not terrorists and did not bring any weapon. Then there is the turning door and I was smiling so wide, my eyes were nearly gone. The guards could see how excited I am and smiled at me. All the good seats in the stadium were nearly full but we managed to find one. I wore and orange shirt to show my support for Malaysia and we were cheering and shouting together with the crowd for our athletes. But I did not know any of them. Before the start of each event, they would introduce the competitors and I enjoyed watching their behavior and countenance. It was very entertaining. I was also amazed with the huge camera dangling in the air and the movable one, similar to those used in movies. Everything was new to me. It was my first experience and I couldn’t help but be filled with joy. It was exhilarating. The weather was great and it wasn’t very hot inside. The atmosphere of the stadium. The tension at the finishing line, the togetherness of the spectator and the fighting spirit of the athlete that never give up even though they are last. Everything was perfect. When I saw how the runner cried and knelt down when he won, I understand how exhilarated he was. He jumped on his coach and they were caught in an embrace. As he take up our country’s flag and walk through the stadium, standing proud and tall, thanking his faithful supporters. That day, I was brought back to my times as a student, competing during Sports Day.

At the end, there was the victory ceremony. They were awarded their medals, a Rimau soft toy and a sapling. I explained to my friends why they did so and though to myself proud I am when they did that. Taking the initiative to set some things right. Four navies were stationed at the flag pole. They were dressed in white and blue uniformed, quite funny in my eyes and the national anthem of the gold medalist were played through the loud-speaker. Everyone was standing upright, facing the flags and the camera zoomed in to see whether the athlete knew the lyrics to their anthem.

Outside the stadium, there were many stalls set up along the way to the exit. Selling all kinds of food from various countries. The spectators poured out of the stadium and started to line up to fill their tummies with the delicacies. Volunteers can be seen everywhere, with a big plastic bag and long tweezers to collect the rubbish. A few families are seated on the floor, taking a rest and still others were taking pictures. I received a message from a friend from my hometown saying he saw me in the stadium and I was elated to know that even in such a big place with that many people, I met someone so far away coincidentally. My friends and I took the LRT to the nearest shopping mall to had our dinner and we had a great time together.

I know, I wouldn’t forget this feeling in a million years. And when I’m old, while I am watching it through the screen with my children or grandchildren, I would be the one recounting this story. Reminiscing on the experience.

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Everyone is a fighter

” You want to defy the truth? Good luck trying.”

” Yeah. At least, I tried rather than just accepting it.”

” You’re always a fighter.”

The late night conversation with my friend, got me thinking how everyone has always been fighting. Each, with their own battle. No one else can fight it for you. For everyone, has a different battle to fight. What might means something to me, might mean nothing to the other person. I couldn’t understand why my friend would always work so hard and stressed himself up just to be the top of the world. But that might be all he ever lived for. Those goals may be the one that kept him going. Early in the morning, that’s what makes him get out of bed. When he faced troubles and challenges, it is the light at the end of the tunnel. If he fall down, he get up because he has a destination to reach. A goal to achieve. Objectives in life. That is what makes him look forward to the dawn. When a new day will start. He will be getting closer and closer to the end of his goals.

Do not think that you are alone. Don’t ever give up. Because, even if you are alone in your battle, there will always be someone. Someone who will lend you a hand when you fall. Cheerleaders to encourage you to keep going. If you can’t run anymore, don’t stop. Run slowly. As long as you keep going, it’s gonna be alright. When you stop, to take a breather, that is when the temptation starts coming in. You take one stop, two stops and another until you stop running. You give up. So, don’t ever stop running. Your Father is always with you. Though you cannot feel his presence, nor see or hear him. He is always with you and will never leave you alone.

Everyone is a fighter. The night is not endless and every single day, no matter how long the night might seem. The dawn will break through. And those rays of sunlight that shines through your window signifies the new rays of hope that are brought anew every single morning. To all of you fighting out there, no matter what it is. Be it sickness, pressure, studies, family crisis, financial problems, depression, anger and whatever tribulation and suffering that you going through, always remember. We are all fighting, our battle. So don’t stop.

 

The day I died 

I couldn’t remember what happened. The events that occurred was blurry as if a cloud of mist has covered the truth, not wanting me to ever find out what it means. We were in the shopping mall, strolling around the line of shops. Not wanting to buy anything, just to look around to while away our evening. Something brought me away from my family. I was a few levels down. Looking up, I saw my mother started scolding both my younger siblings. I never knew why she did that. People were stopped in their tracks and making a crowd, wandering what has happened as my mother continued shouting and screaming at the top of her lungs. I called her to stop. At first, she did not hear me but after a few attempts, she did and faced me. Her face were red with anger and fury and she rebuked me saying I did not know a thing. We exchanged a few sentences but all it did was make her even more mad at me, instead. She ran down and started chasing me. My innate response was to run the other way, away from her. My body can sense the danger and caution me to take more precautions. But she ran really fast and at last we were in s clothing store, running in circles, chasing one another. It was then I saw the rage that possessed her. Nothing can stop her. It is written all over her face. She started blaming everyone in our family. Even my father isn’t spared. Next it was me. The words pierced into my heart and as she kept spouting, it drained the energy out of me. Nothing really matters now.  I feel as if what she is telling me is that I’m a dissapointment. A disgrace to the family and never wanted. “Don’t blame other people!” was what I shouted and what brought me awake. My roommate has always complain of me sleep talking, and I didn’t believe her until that day when I wake up, shouting that sentence. There wasn’t an ending to that dream but I know it. Every single cell in my body can sense it. I woke up crying that day. Because I knew what happened after that incident. I killed myself. 

Country road 

I was sitting here, with a heavy heart, in a train, on the way back to Kuala Lumpur when I felt like writing this post. Despite the overpowering smell of perfume that is coming from the seat opposite me, from a pretty Malay lady with her big round sunglasses on, and the loud chattering voices and high-pitched squealing of the couple next to me, the journey was pleasant. But my mood wasn’t. It was like the grey sky. Drizzling a little and then stopping. It was dark and cast shadows all around. But the wind that blew and caress my face while I was waiting for the train was nice instead of the scorching sun rays that used to burn my skin. The wind blew my hair. Each strand was caught in it and dances around me. 

I didn’t want to be over here. Not this route. Not this way. I want it to go to the opposite way. The one, leading me back home. Not the one that brings me closer and closer to the city. Not the world that stops in the sentral where people would be bustling around trying to get from places to places. I don’t want to squeeze myself in the LRT filled of people who has just finish their work. Their unhappy faces. The shine has gone away. And what replaces it, is only a boring poker face. I don’t like the crowd. The city in itself isn’t for me. 

Bring me back home, to the place I belong. Where the sun will shine with faces filled with joy and happiness. Even the rain is something we look forward to. Children will come out to play. Running careless through the sand. Hearing the pittering pattering sound as large droplets of water fell onto the ground. The sky isn’t scary with thunder and lightning. And even if there is, it was warm and cozy as we cuddle next to one another. Huddling together in the small area where the candle or the torchlight would cast it lights. Shadows are used for plays. We would learn to make animals with our hands and role play different scenarios. That is home. 

So please, 

Country road, take me home,

To the place, I belong,

West Virginia, Mountain Mamma,

Take me home, country road. 

To Rachel

Dear friend,

I met you when I was fourteen

I didn’t know much about you

Didn’t know you would still be here,

Until today when I’m eighteen

Didn’t know how you would be,

An integral part of my life

And nothing could replace the you in my life

 

We were oh so young

So naive and dumb

But as time moved on

We grew

Not only in size

But also in mind

And felt things

That were sometimes,

Not so nice

 

All those late night talks

Those long conversations we had

The jokes we made

Were each a precious memory

We talk about guys

From crushes to admirers

We talk about life

How unfair it was

We talk about what we are gonna be

But that always left us

As confused as we can be

 

 

Dear friend,

Though I am far away

I’ll always be there

When you’re sad

And when you’re happy

Don’t forget me

 

I also want you to know

That it kills me slowly

To see how you belittle yourself

All those words that I said

I mean it truly

It always fell on deaf ears

But don’t worry

Because I’ll be there

To remind you daily

How beautiful you are

How wonderful God has made you

And it doesn’t matter

What the world has thrown on you

You would always be the best

And you already had the best

Which is me

Together we will be

Battling the world

And its constant troubles

 

Dear friend,

I’m sorry I couldn’t be there

To wipe away your tears

And when you cried yourselves to sleep

But I ain’t worried

Because I know

That He is always with you

For He knows you better than I do

Let Him be your refuge

And you can see

How I let it go

The things that try to drag me down

Into that dark abyss

 

Dear friend,

You’ll always be with me

In prayer and in mind

But don’t you lose hope

Let that light keep shining

And don’t you ever leave me

To fight this battle

To run this race

Alone

I know it would end

And when I had run a good race

And fought a good battle

I’ll be home

Where there would be no sorrow

Just pure joy and happiness

And I would be singing

Songs of worship and praises

And I know,

You’ll be there too

 

Dear friend

Thank you

For being with me

And every single day

Before I sleep

When I close my eyes

I thank Him for putting you in my life

For you are precious to me

Like a diamond

Who is ugly when it’s raw

But once cut and polished

Is priceless

I hope that you would see

And know in your heart

That you are a diamond

And every time something happens

You fall down

And get up

For I know,

You are a strong girl.

 

 

 

 

The Demon Inside Me

I couldn’t stop. Couldn’t do the things that I promise I would do. Maybe it was partly because I didn’t want to stop. But it was drawing me away from you and I know how much it hurts you. Your forgiveness is in vain. My words should not be taken seriously. I’m sorry I’m weak. I don’t deserve your love and your mercy. Your grace is not meant for someone like me. Thousands of times, I come back to you. Bowing down in your presence, to tell you I would repent. That I would stop. But it had never work. The longest it last is a few months. Then it would come back. Haunting me day and day. Making me feel guilty for I’m not clean. I’m not pure.

“She is innocent.”

“Don’t dye her black”

“Staining her with your dirty fluids and thoughts”

——————————————————————————————————

“You should see her in her original form”

“Right now you are seeing her innocent side”

Those words struck me. Because it is true. Time and time again, I try to remind my friends that I’m not a kid. I’m not innocent nor am I naive. No one would believe me. And I told one of the demon inside me. One day, I’ll know it will eat me and take away everything I once had and I wouldn’t be able to stop it. So kill me now. Keep me away from doing the things that I know would hurt you. Then, everything would have stop.

The city

This big city

Which never sleeps

In the day, the streets bustled with life

At night, beautiful lights lighted up the world

People said,

It is a paradise for the young

Especially those in the twenties and thirties

It is a theme park for teenagers

With thrilling roller coaster rides,

It is a place where opportunities knock around each corner,

For the jobless and the youngsters

It is a place where dreams came true

 

But it isn’t home

And all that I could see

Is this big bleak city

Where colors fade

Due to the ridiculous amount of vehicles

The sun either shines too brightly

That it scorched the skin

Or way to dimly

Nothing can be seen

This big city

Don’t eat me up

Don’t cover my eyes with a thick mist

That make everything so dull

Don’t take away this hope

This smile

That I used to hold on to

That I used to wear each day

For I

Am only a kampung girl.