Dance..

arm667indian-dance-posters.jpg

When everything else in your life is amiss, turn to something constant. Something that loves you and embraces you no matter how many times you might have let it down. Something that lets you release and lets you relieve every possible emotion in your heart,soul and mind. I have friends who go on shopping sprees and ice cream binges when they feel hurt, upset or simply disturbed. For me, there’s been but one constant in my life despite the many gaps and moments I have chosen not to believe in it. Dance.

I am not referring to my Dhool or other fancy stage dancing or the many dance floor moments. Those are all dance and a certain release too. But there is one artform specifically that always manages to discipline me, give me direction and forces me to face my reality with upbeatness. That is Bharatham.

I have been learning dance for many years now. And many a time, I have stopped because I was too tired, too lazy, had exams or was simply disinterested. Yet it was and still is dance that gives me the endless beautiful experiences in my life. I remember being part of the Little Angels troupe, representing Singapore at some festivals amidst other kiddos from various ethnicities. I remember the mad and crazy weekends of lathering on all the makeup and accessories and flying off to temples for dances. I remember the Sunday mornings at Kallang CC where we’d practice and be so proud of our little achievements and that walk to the bus stop some of us dance girls would have. Vishnupriya, I am sure you’d be smiling if you read this. =)

There was a time I thought that I would never go back to dance. I had become jaded and disinterested, upset with the wa my life was turning out. I never blamed it on dance, but I felt that it was too difficult to go back since I had quit for awhile due to exams and my Dad’s demise. However, recently, I pushed myself back into dancing. Its been about 2-3 months and I’m finally getting the rust off my creaky legs.

Last week I found immense bliss as I practiced a beautiful piece at class. I felt so in tune with the song and my legs were moving in speeds that I am unfamiliar with. It was the most wonderful, exhilarating moment I have had in the last year. I cannot match that feeling up with words, but I felt like sharing with all my wonderful readers. I am finally back to dancing. To ensure I do not quit and ensure that I attend all my classes regularly, I am putting it up on my blog now. So all of you have the right to scold me or frown upon me if I ever say I don’t want to dance anymore.

On a realistic note, my legs feel like jelly and it was a bitch climbing down the ladder from my bed today. Thankfully the soreness should wear off in a few hours or so. Hopefully I get to share more of my beautiful experiences and connections with dance with you guys in days to come.

Dancing is like dreaming with your feet! ~Constanze

People who piss me off..

There are some people in this world who can be incredibly, unbelievably stupid and extremely lowdown in character despite their apparently superficial levels of education and culture. People who know exactly which forks to use and which spoons are for soup but know nothing about love,friendship, basic etiquette and sometimes even simple logic.

What is the point of being able to dress up beautifully when all you’re masking is an ugly heart, one tainted with bad blood towards people you barely know? What is the point of being able to write incredibly insightful pieces of work when you can never ever practice what you preach. Why bother with all these false pretenses when all you are actually good at being is a very unclassy person?

At least when I do something, I am honest with it. As how a good friend once put it, “Good girls are bad girls who haven’t gotten caught”. And that is definitely you. You are lucky that you have met gems thus far, because if not your life story would be splashed over every wall. Learn to think before you come up with silly little assumptions in your airy-fairy world. If you need to gain some kind of control over this world, remember to at least keep your shit out of mine.

As far as I’m concerned, I don’t know you, I never did and your false pretenses are but another aspect of a world unknown to me. If you’re so caught up and interested in trying to control those around you, make sure I am at the very least not involved in this entire mama-drama of yours.

Because really woman, the makeup’s cracking and we all can see your true identity.

Don’t you guys hate people who don’t know you at all, run their mouths off to their heart’s content about you, then end up doing the same things they accuse you of doing and be really deluded and eventually tell people to keep off you.
I thought you were clever. Pfft.

*Disclaimer: If you thought this post was for you, it wasn’t.  

What Love Feels Like..

Do we need a perfect person to be in love with? Someone who’d worship the ground you walk on, strew flowers at you and treat you like the world’s most divine creature? Give you everything you want, let you make all the decisions you, pull all the strings and get it your way. Is that want you want in love? Tempting, no?

I think I’ve come close to having all that and many a time people have felt like slapping me in the face because I turn it away, time and time again. Most people think I don’t know what I want and that’s why i keep pushing aside these gems. Gems they certainly are. Not mine to keep though. I always make fun of the “Sweetie theory” my sister and her friends had about guys who wait on their ladies. Unfortunately, those things are only perfect in my imagination.

I want someone who’d fight with me. Piss me off by keeping the toilet seat up. Yell at me for taking too long. Sulk for coming late. And yet forget it all the moment I pout. Someone who’d get drunk by my side and sing the craziest songs from the craziest genres. Dance with me in the rain and be convinced to take his shirt off. Blame me the next day for making him go to bed wet.

I want someone who won’t message me to tell me how they miss me. Magically appear at the carpark across my house much to my bewilderment. Make me angry by appearing at all the wrong places but the moment they leave, my heart sinks. Someone who’d do crazy things to spite me in their drunken stupor but sober up the moment I threaten to leave.

Someone who’d laze around in bed for hours despite my desires to have breakfasts. Then he’d wake up at 1130 and rush to have breakfast with me and pray and hope someone believed in breakfast at noon.

I want someone explicitly imperfect. Cos I am not perfect either. I don’t wish for someone to live their life giving into my flaws while I can bask in their perfection. Instead, I rather be with someone who I love,loathe,worship,condemn, fight with,and pamper. I want someone who’d love me when my makeup is off and my eye circles show. Who would gladly wipe my dribbly nose when I am sick and likewise snore as loud as he wants till dawn. Someone who’d never tell me how much I mean to him, but show me in the depth of his ways.

Someone who I’d eternally yearn for. I want it to be the first date, everyday. The butterflies in my stomach to linger forever. My heart to skip a beat the minute I see an alert on my handphone with his name. That’s what I want.

Some of you might say that these are things that only happen in fairytales and I should be more pragmatic and settle with someone who’d be committed and sincere. Unfortunately, I believe that someday my prince will come my way..

Chivalry IS Dead

I am highly perturbed. This post was due about a month back. 

Two weeks A month and two weeks back, I joined a group of acquaintances, for dinner and to celebrate a friend’s birthday. It was a nice gathering considering none of us had any time to relax the last 3 months what with the crazy schedules we had swung into. As much as I loved the company and those people are true sweethearts, I left having lost my appetite as well as feel very disillusioned. This might be a small issue and some might even think I’m really making a mountain out a molehill but at that moment I really did feel pretty crappy.

I’ve always been blessed to have wonderful male companions. They might not open doors for me all the time or offer to pull out my seat but they are generally very courteous and protective over me as a whole. As much as I am up for the entire emancipation deal, I do feel that women and men owe it to each other to behave and accord certain respects towards each other in public.

I do not yell and scream disrespectfully at my male friends, call them derogatory names nor say anything that might hurt their egos especially in the presence of girlfriends or lady friends or even other men for that matter. It’s all for the simple fact that I’ve always felt that a man’s ego is important to him and whatever you take a swipe outta a man, you don’t mess with his ego.

Similarly I’ve always felt safe when my male friends check on me, make sure I am feeling alright, help me order my food or at least signal to the Auntie in the shop so that I can make an order. Hell they don’t even need to go that far, simply inquire if I have ordered and I’d feel okay enough.

However, during this particular incident, I was shocked. Firstly the guys chose to sit in the middle tables leaving the girls on either corners of this long table. Now, there’s really little wrong with that and it could have been overlooked. However, if one notices Newton Circus well enough, they’d know that all the persistent tissue uncles/shop uncles and everyone else bugs the people in the corners. Furthermore, it really looks quite terrible when you see an entire chunk of boys sitting in the centre with girls bordering them.

So forget it. Maybe I am trivial. Let that pass. So then, one of the girls turns to the guys and goes, “Eh I want stingray!” and she gets a reply, “We order already! You call the Auntie and order for your table.” I wasn’t asking to have my entire order taken for me, but perhaps even to call the Auntie on our behalf would have been nice.

But I’m going to give these guys a break. Probably not their fault and they truly are nice and well-meaning chaps.

But imagine my shock. Maybe I’ve grown up amidst uncles, fatherly figures, teachers and male friends and brotherly figures who often shelter me or I’ve been used to having such treatment around the men who surround me. Make no mistake, I am no brat and I am no bimbo who needs a man to determine and define her existence. Nope.

I only feel that it is nice to have someone treat you like a lady. To have someone check on you and make sure you’re doing fine. Don’t need to hold open any doors or pull out our chairs. Be courteous, civil and a little protective. Treat a lady like a lady and she will behave like one.  In turn, she will not yell at you in public. She will not bruise your ego by asking too many forthright questions.

I don’t think this is a matter of equality though many a time, guys when it comes to this topic claim we women are hypocritical. Standard argument is “Aiyah! You all want equality then take it all the way la. Go get public caning also. Capital punishment. And don’t ask us to open doors all!”  People who push for such an equality, at least on a feminist stand i.e: equality in all sectors and aspects of life are radicals.

But for most of us, we are content with equal respect. Equality is not about being able to do the same things. We are biologically limited in certain aspects. So we don’t of course expect of us to be equal in every aspect. But don’t take us to be opportunistic because of that, wanting only the positive aspects of equality and pushing aside the negative. Because if we wanted radical equality, we’d demand you guys find a way to bleed monthly too.

What equality in a more generally accepted sense is, is about understanding either role in society, realising that gender is socially constructed, that either gender is capable of many things, not putting down anyone under the name of bias. That’s all its about. Similarly, its about according respect to either gender and trans gendered people as well. So give a little respect, get a little respect! Not very difficult to follow I presume.

I know that I might have analysed the incident above a tad more than I should have and I reiterate that I do know these chaps are well meaning. But I have come to realise that men as a whole are getting a lot less chivalrous and women a lot more scathing in nature. I think its incredibly scary when a relationship can work with a guy getting punched in the nose by the girl for calling her something derogatory. And yes, they claim to love each other.  Similarly I always find it very repulsive when men refer to women very frivolously and of late, I’ve come to realise scarily that some women do it too.

It’s all about love. As much as I believe gender is a social construct, I believe that a larger group of us were made the way we are for a reason (once again, do take into account transgendered people who are alternative). So why not fit like a puzzle, the way we were supposed to instead of breaking the entire puzzle and hurting yourself while at it?

Parts of this entry may not make sense since they were written over a few occasions and I am largely tired thanks to terrible school days and have forced myself to complete this entry.

Toxic Friends

One of the things I have learnt over the years is that you tend to become or at least get shaped by the people you are surrounded by. If you are surrounded by positive, optimistic people, you are bound to feel optimistic. If the only people that you are surrounded by are all so negative, you will start becoming like that too.

I have always treasured my friends and held them dear to my heart. I am extremely protective over them and would go to any length to make them feel loved and secure. So imagine my horror when I hear from people that someone so dear to my heart actually said, “she calls me her best friend, I’m simply going with the flow”. To many of you the previous statement wouldn’t have made much sense, but to me and to those who are in the loop (hopefully including the person herself) this statement should make some sense.

I am disappointed at you. Ok I shall give you the benefit of the doubt that you never ever said the above statement. You may have meant it in so many ways so I shall forget that. But what about every other ounce of your behavior. So many promises broken, so many words unkept, so many important occasions forgotten, so much concern not given. And yet, I have always placed you as a top priority in my life. Maybe I should have learnt.

To all those of you out there who give your girlfriends more priority than your boyfriends, to those of you who value friendship, to those of you who have sat through break-up sessions and been there, to those of you who actually give a damn.. Kudos.

To the rest of you, be ashamed. Be very very ashamed. I cannot be bothered anymore and I am glad that God is slowly showing me who really stays. To the people who have been there with me through every little step, thank you so much.

Toxic friends, fair-weather friends and friends who are only there when they need you are people who deserve to be removed from your lives. And that’s exactly what I am going to do now.

For Better or For Worse.

Today a dear friend shipped off for a mission in Iraq. He is one of many navy men who would be representing our country in the reconstruction efforts in Iraq. Make no mistake, I don’t support America’s war campaign and I am not even a fan of some governmental policies instituted here. But I am extremely proud of him and the many other of SAF personnel who have taken that brave leap forward.

Before he left, in our drunken stupor one day, we talked about patriotism. That happens to be one of my most lasting and most impactful conversations for a long time. I don’t think we live in Utopia. Heck, I am a Sociology student. We revel in nitpicking at society’s flaws and failures in social systems. I do think we have a long way to go in terms of achieving a true democracy. In fact, there are times I have been gravely disappointed by certain turnouts before. But if you were to ask me to migrate, to choose another place to live, to rewind my life and start it somewhere else, I would tell you NO without a blink of an eye. I am extremely patriotic and I think I have all reason to be. My country has never failed me and has never turned her back on me no matter what.

We often mistake the government or the rules or even the little annoying habits of our people for our nation’s features. I cannot emphasise how wrong this is because even if your country is a one-party or one-party dominant state, nation should always be separate from party. Nationalism is different from loyalty to a certain political party. And thus I would proudly say, I love my Singapore.

True enough, I am going to have work doubly hard before I reap my CPF,  labour force situations might be gloomy when I graduate, education systems have always been complicated and competitive and I can never completely say my country practices freedom at its entirety.

I am not going to justify anything or any of our policies, but where else would I be able to walk out of my house after 7pm without the fear of being robbed? Where else can I be sure that my children would not be threatened by other kids who carry guns to school? Where else can I be assured that my house would not be torn apart by any angsty minority group when I leave for work? Where else can I be sure that my children’s education and the degrees they earn would be recognised worldwide?

Sure, I cannot voice out all my fears and discontent without getting hounded for causing potential threat. Sure, my homosexual friends in Pink would be facing more of their parties and gatherings cancelled. Sure, I may never actually be able to bravely vote for opposition without feeling fear of being shortchanged after the elections.

But let us put all that aside, and ask ourselves for once, where else can we truly call it home? We were born here, we grew up here and nowhere else would we be able to go to sleep with the satisfaction of being home truly. What’s the point of getting entangled in an entire chase from one country to another seeking a better life, a fairer life, a freer life when there’s never going to be a perfect place? How much are you willing to trade for freedom of speech? Your safety? Your children’s safety? I know one can easily criticise my argument saying that there should never be any trade-off of any sort but that my friend would be an idealist perspective. There is never not going to be a trade-off . There is no perfectly run country.

Why do I want to stay here? Because I was born here. Because we have a promise and an obligation to this country in return for having given us a place to live. We owe it to her to be here, for better or for worse. Don’t look at it as a one-party state, as a place where only the Chinese are given privileges (this can happen in ANY society where there is such a large majority) as a country where there are so many rules and regulations to stick by. Look at it as a country rich in heritage, rich in YOUR heritage, rich in YOUR history and YOUR origin. Stop looking at your Ministers and all the Singaporeans who scamper for Goodie Bags. Think instead, of your ancestors who worked hard to pave this path so that you could live happily and peacefully with all your values intact.

I agree, there are many ugly sides to being a Singaporean but for every reason you can find me not to be here, I can find you two to be here. I love my country and I want to thank all of you who have made this country this much safer and secure for me to be here.

For better or for worse.