Reunion (A Sherlolly fragment)

written on January 29, 2015

Sherlock….deleted Molly from his mind.

Nine years later

Sherlock entered St. Bartholomew’s Hospital. Time to check some things for his case. He walked down the hall, and suddenly bumped into someone. Books fell. Papers flapped into the wind.

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” exclaimed the woman he bumped into, and he stooped down to help her pick up her books. Pathology. Forensics. Essentials of Pathophysiology: Concepts of Altered Health States. All were well-worn.

“I really need to have a cuppa!” she laughed. “I am clearly not awake.”

After they stood up and recovered, she stared into his face. Sherlock thought she must’ve seen a ghost. Her books fell down again.

“Sh-Sh-Sherlock….Holmes?”

Sherlock nimbly caught her books.

“And you are–Molly Hooper?” he said, after glancing at her name tag on her white lab coat. Now there was something in his mind, a long-forgotten memory, but he couldn’t really grasp it. What?

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Kathmandu: tea and protesters (One-Shot)

writtern on September 16, 2014.

Kathmandu. The dust and the fumes envelop its valley, yellowing the newspapers that flap through the wind and the people who walk in its streets all day long. The tea on the box it was set upon has already gone cold. Cars, sometimes red Ford trucks and battered Maruti cabs side by side, honk their horns, screech their brakes, and make the dust fly all the more. Chickens in the tiny bazaar across the road wander around and the children play along with them. Above, the skies are a dichotomy, grey and blue clashing together. Black kites, house crows, mynas and sparrows make it their playground, coexisting together.

A young man to the far right across the road cautiously evades the cars as he crosses, dark, curly hair bobbing with the hands that signal the cars he is crossing. He shuffles by, stepping onto the sidewalk. Looking around, he skips towards the shops along the roads that sell khaja, candy, sim cards and other articles. His shoulder bag’s flap sways away from its body, and he fumbles to close it. He glances at the two cups of cold tea atop a box. “You’re here,” he says, his face creasing with surprise. “Ah, life is full of surprises my dear friend. Besides, you are late… again,” I utter, taking a cup and trying to remember what cold tea tastes like.

* * *

Kathmandu. The sweltering heat of the summer beats down on every monument, mandir, monkey, and man. Even though “man” is a singular pronoun, right now they are against each other: protesters versus the police. The protesters think they are defending themselves, their rights as the citizens, and they think the police is their enemy. The police think they are defending themselves, their rights as the government, and they think the protester is their enemy. They are a dichotomy, but they are all human, still they are one.

I am standing in the middle of the crush of protesters. We have heard the crackle of gravel, rocky sidewalks, torn plastic bags, and broken baby dolls under our feet in our march from the campus toward the main road. Our voices thirsty, ever screaming. Protesting for eyes to be opened, equality for the peoples. But how will that ever happen, when every human being is corrupted, drinking the cup of suffering down to the dregs? Oh heck, I didn’t ask to become part of this rally, much less this philosophical pondering.

All of the shops have been closed, because for a reason that involves the happening the next minute. We pass by one that’s open, and suddenly four radical youngsters start throwing stones into the windows. The malik and a few patrons flee with horrified faces, not wanting to see the funeral of the doomed shop, which was now heaved down with more rocks.

I myself want to escape from this throng, the action too much for my easily-swayed heart. And the stench of unwashed bodies and noise of desperate and hoarse voices too much for this upper-class toff. So I poke my head up from the sea of faces. Suddenly, one head with a shock of curly hair dashing from the edge of the people catches my eye. My young cousin-brother. He looks old enough to pass as one of my classmates, but as his cousin, I know that he is still a developing fifteen year-old. I thought he knew enough not to get involved! I think angrily. This is too dangerous for him. He struggles to get past the rally and frenzied people, as the opposition between college students and enforcers intensify. Finally, he heaves a sigh, having reached his destination.

“You’re here!” he breathes, and gasps for air. His hands reach up to his silver-rimmed glasses and continues to rub them on the sleeve of his tangerine shirt. I frown my brows at him in disbelief. “Why – why’d you choose this, of all times, to pay me a visit, Ranjan?! In the heat of a protest march in the middle of Kupondole! I thought we agreed on nine AM, you duffer!”

“I had no choice,” he says. But before he can continue the crowd heaves and pushes us forward.

The students next to us now have their fists up in the air, and in the front where there is more space, flags of red and white now wave swiftly. The chant of “Chai dai na!” erupted from the same hoarse voices that had now regained strength.

Then a whisper spread through the middle of it all. For one second, everyone stopped. No one knew why, but nonetheless we froze, feet rooted to the ground, and brown eyes searching. In the sky above us, a pure white dove glinted with the sunlight of the noontime sun. The symbol of peace. We knew not where it came from, or why it beat its immaculate wings in the centre of the heavens. I looked back down and saw the sad eyes of tired men and women, hoping it was a sign. But there was somebody at the vanguard of the battlefront who couldn’t take it anymore. And a gunshot sounded.

I formed a human shield out of my skinny limbs around Ranjan as the stampede made it impossible for us to flee.

* * *

Ranjan sat on the Cadbury chocolate storage box converted into a seat next to me. A few moments passed with us just watching the road, people passing by, just living, almost without a care in the world.

“Hm,” Ranjan finally said. “You remember that rally four years ago?”

“Yeah, and I dragged you to the hospital on my shoulders. Thanks for making me remember. You had blood all over-ooh!” I couldn’t go on.

“At least I guess it’s over now.” His caramel eyes focused on the local newspaper heralding good news.

“The peace. Do you think this will be let up for long?”

“I’m not sure, cousin. But let’s drink to the day when it won’t ever stop.”

I give him the other plastic cup of tea, and he smiles, thankful. Then he immediately spits the milky brown drink out to the sidewalk. I laugh so hard, that all the passerby stop and stare at me.

“You just gave me cold tea, you bloody idiot!”

“Oh, cousin!”

glossary:

mandir = temple

malik = shop owner

chai dai na = no more!

Rain

from August 23, 2014.

The rain is pouring so hard, and some might say life is tough because of that. Yet, the rain heralds the beginning of life, frees the seed from its bondage, returns what it has taken, beckons the adventurous and the ones with hearts of children to dance in it because no one has done it before, and is a sign from God that His blessings will arrive just as it gives itself up freely, with no bounds.

My manifesto

What’s wrong with the world that I find it my personal mission to address and make right?

  1. The suppression of youth today. What do I believe in that counters this problem?
  • I believe in Jesus Christ. He’s my Saviour and God, and He lived a life that is the best example of how to live the way we’re all meant to live.
  • I believe in a good family that will never forsake any of its members, love and forgive each other unconditionally, and encourage each other to change to become the best.
  • I believe that our leaders should set a good example.
  • I also believe that our leaders should be men and women of faith, who are not afraid to trust God wholeheartedly, who intentionally forsake their comfort zones for the sake of surrendering the fact that they can’t do anything by their own strength.
  • I believe that every person is influencing others. The thing that matters is whether that influence is positive and makes changes for the better.
  • I believe that you and I can be leaders.
  • I believe that each of us is given special, unique, and amazing
  • I believe we’re given stewardship of those talents to use them not only to achieve success for ourselves, but to benefit others.
  • I believe that we are given so many second chances.
  • I believe that no one is beyond redemption.
  • I believe that origins should never be a barrier to success.
  • I believe that change starts with me.
  • I believe that no matter where we are right now, that place is always good enough to start from, enough to start looking at ourselves and seeing how we can change for the better.

Back to the problem I wanna fight!

Continue reading “My manifesto”

Waiting.

Waiting for the light to come. Waiting for Windsor Airlift’s “A Lovely Marriage: Snow and Sky” to come round again. Waiting for another moving president’s speech such as Ronald Reagan. It was so surprising to have come across this song mixed with his speech. I think he was an artist too, or whoever wrote his speech. Nevertheless, his voice portrayed the feeling in his words clearly.

I feel that it was a time for him and the whole of America to stop waiting for the salve for their grief and just be still at that time, paused in time, staying wholly in the present.

Maybe when we truly feel and allow ourselves to be moved is the moment we stop waiting for something new to happen, and open our hearts to stay in the moment.

We lavish each second in those times. We wish they wouldn’t slip away from our fingers like sand. When they pass, though, we return to the past and wish we were stuck in those memories forever. They touch our hearts now even if they happened a very, very long time ago.

Why are they like that? What is their purpose? Maybe to remind us that another world, a world apart from this world of strife, is possible. It is manifest during those moments of time when we feel alive in emotion deeper than our soul.

The early part of my writing journey

I began my love of writing at a very young age by writing in journals. I started with a High School Musical book and penned the happenings of my daily, ordinary, and fun homeschooled life. I moved on from notebook to notebook, adventure to adventure, until I took on writing a fanfiction of an Enid Blyton character I had a crush on, during one boring day I had to wait while my parents attended a meeting.

I’ve loved books my whole life, and they fed my mind and avid imagination. I used to make up tons of headcanons at night and at naptimes when I was supposed to be sleeping. My stories did not have much importance till that day I chose to write that fanfiction. My own, made-up history for Lucian made so much sense to me, because the possible background that he had was so close to life.

I also wrote a second fanfiction, a mash-up of a mystery I got the wind of from a real life social situation concerning important people in my life, Club Penguin, and my own characters based on birds’ species names and crushes.

Both of them are pretty bad, but I remember my passion and fiery imagination during that time, so I appreciate my old self for such creativity back then.

Continue reading “The early part of my writing journey”

‘Loving Vincent’, and my first movie review – ish.

I started this off by saving a picture of Douglas Booth as Armand Roulin, the main character, besides the eponymous man, of Loving Vincent.

roulin loving vincent
Honestly, he’s more good-looking as a moving painting than as he appears in his Google photographs. Through him, I noticed how the characters’ eyes sparkled beautifully.

I also found out that the actor is dyslexic, which is somehow connected to van Gogh’s overcoming spirit as an artist and person. (Just think about how hard it must be for Booth to read out his lines!) I read the whole Wikipedia page on van Gogh one day at a cafe, and I realised how tragic this man’s life was. He was rejected, under vices, uncelebrated, and he relied on his brother for paint money – and yet, as the blue inn lady Adeline Ravoux in the film said, “he was a kind, quiet man” who worked hard to finish many, many works. He proves to be an inspiration to me, because he only took up painting when he was 28, and still ended up as a master!

Well, after seeing the trailer two years ago on Facebook and missing the film showings in Manila and Yerevan last 2017, I finally saw it tonight at a free movie showing in a room with twenty-plus Armenians and a small German library at the back. (They played a 15 facts about van Gogh video first, which taught me that I’ve pronounced his name wrong all my life. Instead of my ‘van Go”, it’s like “van Goh” with a g stuck in your throat and a hard h.) Unfortunately, the ‘Loving Vincent’ film which they’d downloaded from the Internet was in the 16:9 setting, which means that top and bottom parts were cut off. I also badly needed to pee. But besides those annoyances, I had a good time. I even won a Starry Night magnet at the discussion afterwards!

Since 2016, I yearned to see this film because it was about van Gogh and the story was told with his actual paintings. If you’re an art aficionado like me, this is a must-watch, and I would describe it as the film equivalent of strolling down a museum for an hour and 35 minutes.

There are two styles of art in the film: van Gogh’s signature brushstrokes and palette, and a film-ish monochromatic filter for the flashbacks. It’s absolutely breathtaking how they portrayed motion – thick, patterned rays of light encircling lamps and stars; the rustling of leaves; the flight of crows; light dancing in the characters’ eyes, and van Gogh washing his face in a basin. Weather was also particularly interesting; watching the rain pouring on Roulin was delightful, as well as the shadows deepening on his face as the day grew longer. It rained outside after the movie, which I was grateful for, and I began to see the reflections of lights in a different way, a Vincent van Gogh kind of way.

The heart of the movie is Roulin figuring out why Vincent van Gogh committed suicide. He’s the son of a postmaster who’s managed thousands of Vincent’s letters to his younger brother, Theo. Roulin’s quest is to deliver Vincent’s last letter to Theo, and on the way, he encounters several people who knew van Gogh and he interviews them to know more about what happened before and during van Gogh’s death.

I didn’t connect much to the story because I couldn’t really understand it, and there were so many conflicting views, but I guess the emotions portrayed by the voices and gestures of familiar-looking actors (such as Aidan Turner, who plays The Boatman and heartthrob Kili from ‘The Hobbit’) sort of compensated for me. The bittersweet ending was also thought-provoking, but since I didn’t get the plot, I’m not sure if it’s satisfying. I did get turned off at one of the early scenes, which was inappropriate and included a prostitute. It’s a scene I’d pay to forget, so, I’ll warn you to look away and mute the sound when black-and-white van Gogh goes into a dark alley. Ugh. There’s also blood and a severed ear, plus lots of drinking and smoking.

Anyways, I really commend the directors and artists for labouring for four years to give us this movie, which rather parallels to van Gogh – who worked hard to make something good out of himself, giving us another master to celebrate.

The way they pulled off the wonder of moving paintings is worth watching, although the story is draggy sometimes. The characters were interestingly built, though, and the music and cinematography complemented them. ‘Loving Vincent’ does justice to and is as memorable as any painting of Vincent van Gogh.

A sweet reliance

I’ve always considered the idea of an introvert ending up with an extrovert romantic. I say this because I think there’s a sweet reliance between the two.

The introvert is by nature a man of few words, but when faced with his love for the extrovert, his feelings spill out of him and he has to forsake his comfort zone for the sake of pursuing and confessing publicly his affections and intentions to the woman who has won him.

As for the extrovert – I speak for I am she – the introvert’s quietness piques her curiosity. Why isn’t he like everyone she knows? His silence and one-word answers makes her want to tear out her hair in frustration, but, his timidity, his shyness, and his slight smile is charming. The scarcity of his spoken thoughts make up their value. She yearns to hear more and since she is left with those few words, she is forced to interpret them and forced to gently get more out of him. And when he finally accepts her and opens up his life to her because he’s been comfortable enough and he’s observed her enough to trust her, she rejoices.

I see this complementary relationship in the husbands and wives I’ve met, and when they show how they’re opposites of each other and yet their affections bridge the gap, my heart is moved. No wonder I’ve had four long-time crushes on four introvert friends. HEHE 😀

Kiss with a Fist?

8/7/14

“If a clock could count down to the moment you meet your soul mate, would you want to know?”

The alarm rings. I shudder in my white bedsheets, and tap the desk by my right. When I have finally admitted my wakefulness, I rise to begin the routine of each day. But then I do a double take, and remember something that has gripped me since last night stretching out to the week before. It’s today. I whisper it at first to myself, say it out loud, then shout. I quiet at once, remembering my father in the next room. But it’s today! I hurriedly raise my left wrist to my eyes.

One minute and fifteen seconds.

He’s got me pinned on the wall. I can’t move, I can’t get myself free, I can’t even crane my head around in desperation to see who they are.

My father. He’s making every second of my life suffer ever since Mom died. I tried to get away, but he’s got me. Got me now, right at this moment, and he’s taking me away from the soulmate.

Fifty-five seconds.

I can only see the blank white wall and I squirm with all my might.

Forty-three seconds.

“Father… why are you doing this? …to me?”

The left hand which holds the time is under the shadow of my dark, long hair. I can barely see the numbers.

Thirty-six.

“Please, Daddy! Please! Let me find them and let them find me!”

I am pinned harder.

I must knock some sense into him.

Twenty.

“What if you were stopped like this… so you would never, ever find Mom?”

He stops pinning me.

I break free.

Ten.

I look around, but there seems to be no one yet.

Seven.

Then my father grips me.

Five.

I see his wrist.

Four.

We are in synchrony.

Three.

Three.

Two.

Two.

One.

One.

“Your mother…” he gasps softly, as he falls on his knees, tears slithering down his cheeks. “We were never meant to be. But then we never relented.”

“And now she’s gone,” I cry with him, and we embrace. “We’ll never see her again.”

“It’s just us now…”

“Just us.” I smile, laugh and cry at the same time. “Just us…”

They Are Matches

An incomplete story about some kids and dragons.

Mikhael found me on the cliff pondering to myself. And I almost fell off the cliff after he came.

“Aleksandar!”

I snapped away from the murmurings of my half-asleep mind. The sight of the sea – pristine, vast and unbroken – crashed into my newly-opened eyes. It was instantly gone as I swivelled my head back at the voice who called. The voice came from Mikhael, a quick, musical and youthful voice that seemed to skitter and waltz in the air.

Mikhael, Mikhael.

The first most interesting person I have met in six years, and the harbinger of catastrophe. Naturally, because he came to my town on a dragon.

–*–*–

Continue reading “They Are Matches”