Monday, September 3, 2012

Hopes, Heroes, and Changes

The title surely reminds me of an essay topic for GCE O'level English. Well, this piece is not meant to be a structured writing nor a narrative about a hero that rises in the midst of a hope-deprived society to defeat all forms of malice and evil. While the latter is very much desired, we know that they hardly exist in reality, and that simply is the harsh reality of life. Over and over again, the media would over publicise someone, be it politicians, sportsmen, or someone who survived childhood cancer, and stories of this sort sell like a hot cake. Perhaps this implies that our society has grown desperate of a change, one that will alter completely the lives of many who are oppressed and underprivileged.

I did not think much of this until recently the online media and public opinions in Jakarta are very much centered around the upcoming Governor election. Indeed, several videos and heartwarming stories have been circulated in the Internet, trying to win people's vote as well as directing sympathy towards a new pair of candidates challenging the incumbent Governor and Vice Governor. Ironically, similar thing happened during the previous election, where the current Governor was a new candidate with bountiful public support.

The same thing has happened over and over again in many elections across the globe. Take the U.S for example, when Obama was hailed jubilantly by the voters during the previous election, crowned as a symbol of change for the better and an end to racial prejudice. But now, public opinions seem to diverge as many feel the changes they want so badly have not been realised. In this manner public figures have risen and fallen from grace with their supporters.

Perhaps people are desperate, disappointed with the kind of life they are going through. Many of us here obviously feel the same, unsatisfied with everything around us, hoping for a change to come, desiring for a hero to emerge and fix everything in a single swoop.

When I was still in primary school, there was this Japanese manga (perhaps most of you have heard of it) called Doraemon. It was about a robot from the future, sent back to the past to aid a young, problematic student named Nobita. Doraemon will always come up with some magical tools that can solve any of Nobita's problems in a jiffy. This made me wishful, whenever the night falls on me, that a robot will come out of my drawer to my rescue. Since this has never happened to me, I also have stopped hoping for a hero to come. Some things are perhaps just meant to be and changes are not needed, come hell or high water.

Then, I came across a story of a Kenyan paralympic athlete, Henry Wanyoike, on Time magazine. A man whose vision was robbed in a single night, and along with his vision on that eventful night - a hope for a tomorrow. It has never come to me, even in my wildest imagination, that I would wake up blind, and live to see nothing but my own hopes getting crushed. While 95 percent of his world was gone on that single night, a desperate attempt by his mother for a cure led him to a German physician who did not restore his sight, but his vision. That was the trigger, and since then he has won a lot of competition, inspiring others to pursue their dreams in so doing.

Maybe heroes do exist after all. But some of their portrayals in many movies and comic books might have been over exaggerated. They do not beat up villains, and heal the corruption in their society in a blink of an eye. Heroes advocate changes, and time has its own luxury in letting them to take place and manifest. Sometimes the changes can be ongoing processes that do not even stop even when their advocates die. When Martin Luther King was assassinated, his dreams did not die with him, but keep on realising themselves even until now.

But most importantly, changes come from the individuals who wish them to happen so badly. Henry's German physician did not make him a winner, but inspired him, drove him to strife for his dreams. We do need heroes, but we are the one making those changes, realising the kind of life we want to have. Maybe this is a good thing to take note every time we complain about the kind of life we are living in, the kind of struggle we are facing on, or the kind of workload we are given with. Changes come from ourselves, and we do not need heroes when all of us collectively putting in effort to make them happen.

Friday, January 6, 2012


We were born with two things in common: equality as a human being and an overwhelming lust for power. The latter seems to be, unfortunately, more manifested than the former in every person - the desire to cling on to power and to top the food chain. Yet, most people often fail to see the great danger that awaits them in their quest for power. Power, in this sense, is truly a means to an end.

More often that not, the struggle for power eventuates in futile demise of the seekers. People who are obsessed with power would do every possible means to acquire it. A lucid example to illustrate my point would be the famous "Legenda Keris Empu Gandring," a historical recount of an ancient kingdom of Singasari which prevailed long time ago in Indonesia. The story tells about a coup d'etat orchestrated by the son of a famous blacksmith in the land who was killed by the king in order to obtain a kris. Later on, the new king was assassinated by the former king's son, and the senseless killing continued further down the generation. The story evinces how humans are akin to marionettes - manipulated by the string of their power-hungry nature. Power, in most cases, clouds humans' senses and drives them towards absurdities as they are most likely to succumb to its allure.

Furthermore, when men finally cling on to the power they desire the most, any means would seem legitimate and morally justifiable for them in order to secure their power. Unfortunately, innocent people are often the sacrificial lambs for the sake of those who wield the scepter of power. A case in point would be the infamous Colonel Muammar Gaddafi that clamped down every protest in his country through brutal means. Civil war was ineluctable, leaving hundreds of people killed in its wake. In the end, the Colonel was killed by his citizens and the country's infrastructures were badly devastated. The Country and its people were the ones who suffered the damages and losses, not to mention foreign workers who were displaced from the country. This prompts me to question: " If the struggle for power leaves nothing but gaping scar on the world, why then humans are still fighting for it?"

However, it has to be conceded that in the midst of power-hungry men, there exist some who desire power to better the lives of others. These few noble souls are leaders who fully understand the injustice in their societies and dedicate their life to reform their countries for the better. Benevolent leader like Nelson Mandela is a good example to illustrate the point aforementioned. Young Mandela saw the suffering of his people who lived under the oppressive apartheid law in South Africa and decided to do something about it. Along the course of his journey to claim power, many times he was thrown into jail by his political enemies. However, years of incarceration did not cloud Mandela's mind and resolute principle as he refused to prosecute his enemies when he finally procured the power he desired the most. Instead, Mandela abolished the apartheid law and led his citizens, black and white, towards and egalitarian future. Power, in Mandela's case, is a means to a new beginning.

Perhaps there is nothing wrong with the nature of power. Indeed, we must concede that in many cases, power leads to the deterioration of a society. However, there are also cases where power, in the right hand, leads to the betterment of a society. Hence, it is humans' inability to resist the temptation to abuse the power they wield that engenders chaos in the name of power. As Uncle Ben famously said to Peter Parker : "With great power, comes greater responsibility."

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Yeah, randomness. After a long time of absence from updating this blog. Life goes on in the way unprecedented for me. It accelerates in a rather horrifying manner, sapping the liveliness and calmness of my life slowly. Indeed, relaxation time has become a luxury that is quite distant from me.

Last Saturday was hotel performance, a five hours event that I wished would had lasted forever, so that Sunday would not come and Monday would not disturb my joy of living. Once schooldays come, uninvited, like a hungry leech yearning to drain off all my blood, bunch of homework and project will bombard me,

Now while I am updating this blog, I have my Microsoft Word opened, with an essay that needs to be edited. Furthermore, tomorrow I have geography challenge; which implies that I must work my ass off for this competition so that I will not disgrace my school's name. Well, it isn't that I don't enjoy this sequence of seemingly interminable activities and events, but I do wish to have a longer time to pause and rest. I need a vantage point where I can relax and watch the world goes by. Well, maybe it isn't the time for my prayer to be answered. For now, I need to fight, not only for the upcoming competition and the essay, but for my O Level that will determine my very future. Good luck for you guys who are doing the O Level as well!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Experience in Singapore

The hostel turns out to be very tranquil and calm. One can even assume that the third floor of CJC Hostel has turned into a dilapidated corridor of a house in a ghost town. Few days ago I sat, in this room, watching people went off from the hostel, straight to Changi Airport, heading back to Indonesia. Well, some of you might be wondering as to why I am here, trapped in this very corner of my room, typing this random post to kill my time, instead of going back to my beloved country.

Yeah, I am incarcerated in this country because of my CCA, scout. I need to come for 2 more trainings. I will go back at 27th, after all of these things finished. Listening to the song "I Wanna Be Free" by The Monkees adds up the mellow mood of my heart; of course, I want to be free, back to my own country.

However, as my monotonous days passed, I begin to muse through everything. I think about a lot of things that happened here along the course of my study in Singapore for this year. Then, I found my self quite surprised by the sand of time that has almost filled all the bottom part of the hour glass. I thought, at first, I had the luxury of time, everything will run out slowly and one year will be quite a lot of time for me to savour every moment.

Conversely, one year is relatively quick for me. The time we savoured together, now, seems like a distant memory stored within my jumbled mind. All of them happened and ended leaving a scar of yearning in my heart. Honestly, I really want to have a time alone in my room to muse about it and cry to my heart content for missing it.

Well, obviously, I appreciate every moment I have spent in this country. Should I have the power to go rewind my one year and make up for the mistakes I have made, I certainly will refuse to it. I have no regret over the things I have done in this one year. The bridging course with Ma'am Hamid, first day of school, Scholars Orientation, New Students Orientation, Class Bonding, and many other things I cannot mention right now, felt like it happened yesterday.

Then there were a lot of hostel events that made my stay in Singapore really worth the sacrifices I made to come here. Apart from the hostel events, my interaction with new friends, people with a whole gamut of exciting as well as enriching experience make my stay in Singapore to be quite pleasing if not blissful.

Like today, I've just came back after a trip with my tutor, Agung, and my fellow scouts, Max and Naufal. We went to karaoke at Cineleisure, Orchard for 4 hours. After we dried up our throat, and feeling enervated, we continued our trip to the eastern part of Singapore, where we ate steak at a restaurant there. Then Agung took us to a nearby restaurant to savour an extremely palatable Laksa I have ever experienced in my life. While, he told us the story of his life in Singapore, we ate the spicy Laksa. Then, he told us about another place where we can savour a delicious Nuttela Cake (I'm not sure about the spelling, but it's like a chocolate cake) which, he claimed, can make the person eating it feels a sense of happiness and pleasantness.

To be continued to the next post :p

Thursday, September 30, 2010

End of Year

Okay, it has been a long time since I updated this blog
Life has been flowing in an unexpected way, opened my eyes to a whole gamut of new perspectives as well as opportunities to be pursued

Right now, I am on a quest to improve my writing skill. My English teacher suggested me to prepare a portfolio to be submitted for Goh Sin Tub Literary Award, a prestigious award given by my school for prolific and skilful writers. She said that I have the advantage to receive the award since my last essay (End of Journey) won a bronze prize in Commonwealth Essay Writing Competition. Well, I feel that this is a challenge to be overcome, and thus I am very enthusiastic to hone my skill as a writer in order to win this award.

However, I must shift my focus from English first. I am currently seating for End of Year Examination, and so far only English papers have been completed. My exam will end due to 14 October. Therefore, I must endure this burning desire for Literature and English till then.

Well, there is not anything interesting apart from that award, so I just end my writing here.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

End of Journey

Okay Guys, below is the essay which I submitted to the commonwealth essay competition. Luckily I won a bronze prize at least xD. Enjoy your self ^_^ Special thanks for Putu Agung, my friend, who have helped me a lot in editing and choosing some appropriate diction as well as checking my grammatical mistakes. ^_^

End of Journey

Death is like the haughty and lethal tiger who will try its best attempt to hunt us. We may escape the predator several times in our life; however, it will not stop in its ultimate conquest, to feast upon us. It will always try to chase us, corner us, fill our soul with vehement fear and deliriously feast upon us.

I used to detest death; I hated its foul intention, separating people whom you love from you. Death is a boundary upon our endless road of progression; a limit to our ability to continuously improve. It had taken my parents, the most precious people in my life. I mourned fortnights long, thinking how lonely I was in this unjust world. Then, I grew up as a doctor, a profession where I could wrestle against death. However, as I progressed through my path, I realized that my fight was far from being over. I failed over and over again; I witnessed my patient dying on my arms; I heard their plea to be rescued, their desperate will to live, and then, there came a moment -- a moment when they choke in death’s embrace, and then they leave this world. I have been piqued by the haughty beast.

Since that moment I have begun to accept death as an inevitable fate of every living being. I have fallen to a gaping crevice of desperation; I had been engulfed by apathy. Life had turned insipid, if not brackish.

However, with an intricate twist of fate in a silent night, everything changed. Something broke that fateful night’s deafening silence, and it was in my front yard.

I was shocked when I saw that my front yard was in a total mess. Then, I saw a translucent spherical block of metal, which resembled a ship, landing near the trunk of my fallen tree. The ship was about 9 meters long, with a strange letter carved around the layer of the ship. Astonishingly, a grid of line appeared gradually in the surface of the spherical ship, forming a door. Then it opened, revealing a vague image of a living creature. Suddenly, a shimmering light emitted from inside the sphere revealing the creature’s appearance. It was barely a human; his head was smaller than an adult, and his eyes were big and black. His legs and hands were human-like, but his skin was very pale, devoid of blood. The only different feature that this mysterious creature had was a pair of strange looking antennae on his head.

I approached him carefully, but before I got anywhere near him, he gave me a sign for me to stop my movement. “I can speak to you from here, O denizen of the earth.” I was very perplexed to hear an English sentence uttered by this bizarre creature. “You shall not be perplexed anymore, for I have learnt your language before I choose to travel to this planet. My name cannot be uttered by your tongue, so it is pointless to introduce my real name to you, but if you insist, you can call me Nephthys. Let me get straight to the point. I have been sent to invite you, Mr. Christopher Richardson, to show you our civilization. Please step into the ship.”

I was completely bewildered. I could not find any logical explanation prior to this amazing phenomenon. Surprisingly, as if this anonymous creature could read my thoughts, he told me not to question anymore, but to step into the ship, and then my very desire shall be granted. In the end, driven by my own inquisity, I stepped into the ship.

It is impossible for one to articulate his feeling of amazement once he steps into the ship. The inner part of the ship emitted a dazzling green light and the wall was written with a lot of strange inscriptions. The machine of the ship could be operated by the voice of the pilot and the seats would obey its master’s commands. I sat on the seat. It was softer than any Persian carpet, and surprisingly, its fur caressed me very gently.

The next split seconds I felt a sensation as if I had been pulled from the end of my foot and my head simultaneously. I could barely breathe. I felt like vomiting to my heart’s content, but sadly, I could not.

Lucky for me that this unpleasant feeling only last for a few seconds, for if it were to continue a little much longer, I might be shattered into bits. As soon as I was relieved, he explained to me that we had travelled in warp speed and announced that I had arrived in his planet, Morpheus.

He asked me to step down from his ship and out into the planet’s surface. I did and as soon as I breathed the fresh air of the planet, another Morpheans approached me. “Welcome to Morpheus, Mr. Christopher. My name is Artemidoros.” I greeted him with a friendly smile, then he took my hand and I felt the same sensation when I warped to this planet.

Later, he apologized to me for not telling me first that he will warp me. Then, in front of me; standing like a haughty dame, was a gigantic screen. It suddenly projected a three-dimensional image of a coffin with a dying human inside with the snapped of his fingers.

“Death is the concern of every living creature which has dwelt this universe. It is the predator of every living creature, one that we have been trying to eliminate.” He explained. “It is one of human’s primary concerns also, I suppose. You humans have been failing to defeat death since the very beginning of your history. But, we, Morpheans, have succeeded in what Man could not do. We have defeated death itself.”
“Preposterous! No one can ever possibly defeat―”

“You foolish earthling!” Artemidoros interrupted. “We, Morpheans, are living proof of our conquest over death. I have been living for nearly 5000 years. Before we invented this miraculous technology, our life expectation only dwelt around 50.”

Then, to show another proof, he took out an old book – a tome, to be precise. A tag was attached to it, and I read in amazement and horror: ‘The Epic of Gilgamesh, Original Script’. First, I did not believe him, since ‘The Epic of Gilgamesh’ is in the form of a tablet. However, he suddenly touched my forehead, showing me an image of the king writing in a piece of paper. He explained to me that he gave the king the writing tools needed for him to write.

I could argue no more. I had not the capacity to argue with this creature and his irrefutable proof.

“Now that you have seen our victory over death with your own eyes,” Artemidoros continued, “I will be glad to share the water from our pool of knowledge with you, earthling. We have discovered a way to bind souls to our bodies and preserve the vitality of both.”

“There is no such thing as a soul in our history of science!”

“Foolish earthling!” Artemidoros retorted. “Souls exist within all life, and they are the essence of life itself. It may weigh lighter than 1 over thousand of an atom’s weight, but its power is supreme. No body with fresh and working organs shall live without it.”

I stood listening to his lecture on souls and how it is bound to their bodies in horror. I could not believe that mortals can bind souls or even that souls exist in the first place.

“Now, let me offer you a deal. I need one human’s corpse for us to examine, which should be easy for you, doctor. In return, I shall revive your parents, and you shall live with them for eternity.”

“How could you know that they are dead?” I inquired.

“It is a simple matter for us Morpheans; not even a single droplet of your darkest secrets is unknown to us,” he answered. “Think about it for a while. You may live forever with them – happily ever after, as you say it. Together with them, you may –“

The rest of his words were muted in my ears. I was deep in thought. I could imagine my father and mother beside me. But, will they be happy? Will they be angry at me, for I may have disturbed their peaceful slumber? Then suddenly, an answer came to my mind.

“Now, what about it, human? Will you take the deal, or –“

“No,” I cut him off sternly. “They will not agree to be revived, they need to rest. They have are tired of living in this world.”

“How about if I share my secret of immortality with you?” he tried another demand.

“You may seek another doctor then, since I don’t need it.”

“Inconceivable!” he shouted in shock. “No human can resist the temptation of living forever!”

“Well, I’m not your average human, then,” I shrugged.

“Take him back then! I shall hear no more from you!” he exclaimed in anger.
Soon after, Nephthys grabbed my hand, teleported me to the ship, and suddenly we warped back to Earth. He threw me out and left me alone, standing on the grassy plain of my front yard. I could not get a last glance of him, for he warped back to his planet, without saying any goodbye to me.

Now, you must be confused as to why I refused such a tantalizing offer. Actually, while he lectured me about souls, I was reflecting. I thought about the possibility for me to finally conquer death, and the sweet taste of satisfaction I would perceive. Then, I heard a whisper in my ears; it may be the voice of the deepest part of my heart or, to be irrational, my parents’. That whisper realized me that it is our right to avoid death, but we must admit that in the end, we must end our story and let next generations take our place and continue walking down our path. Those Morpheans were pitiful creatures, for they only thought of progressing and progressing, without giving any moment for themselves to rest.

To us, humans, time will lead us all to the same end. We cannot plug our ears and cover our eyes; we must remember that we are mortal. However, at the same time, we face death not as an enemy, but as a friend who will lead us to our eternal repose.

The End

note: the pace of the story is a bit fast due to the limitation of the words xD

Friday, August 6, 2010

Today was 4.3 !

Okay, it's not about how good today was. It is about the distance which I suppose to run during today Cross Country. It was very fun although tiring. We ran at Bedok Reservoir Park near Tampines. The weather this morning was auspicious, it's neither hot nor cold, a perfect weather for a long distance run. The place is lush and beautiful. The oxygen produced by the tree help us to cope with the seemingly insurmountable distance.

I have a cold, and seriously, it hindered my running. At 2.4 Kilometre, I was starting to be out of breath. I forced myself though, reducing my speed and inspire slowly in order to repay my "oxygen debt." Well, that method worked, as I was finally able to reach the finish line...I hope I am among the top ten in my class, I really want the pin badly xD ( They will give pins for the top ten in each respective class)

Then after that, I went to Grand Cathay, I watched Avatar the Last Airbender. The plot was quite interesting, yet the pace of this movie is just to fast, so I was quite disappointed.

Moreover, the result for the 2010 Commonwealth Essay Competition has came out. I hope that I will get, at least some prize for my essay xD. I will post my essay here, later ^_^

Overall, today was an interesting day for me. This weekend will be a peaceful one for me as Monday and Tuesday will be holiday! Hope I can get something good to be shared here in this blog ^_^