A Born-Again Singaporean!

hisnric

Dear readers, I make it a point to share my ups and downs with you through this humble blog. And today my friends, is a monumental moment in my life. If any Christians are offended by the title of my entry, I am deeply sorry. My experiences on Vasantham speaking about blogging has taught me not to hurt anyone’s feelings so please cover your eyes and get the hell (oops) out of here.

To the rest of you, today I became a Singaporean again. As many of you might already know, I am probably the most careless person to exist on the face of this earth. In the last year, I have lost my wallet 5 times, my ez link card twice, my NUS card thrice, my ATM card four times and my mind a million times. The point is, I am careless. Its a wonder I make it home without leaving my clothes at school. Reminds me of a time when I was 8 and left my schoolbag on the school bus. I never stopped to think why my back felt so light with no trolley bag lodged against it. Yes, trolley bags were in fashion at that time. My school even had their own “St Margarets” bag. But my mother being the fashionista she is insists we buy a cheaper trolley bag sold outside. It was cheap and a tad cooler but the trolley handle, I swear felt like 15 kg. It was pure metal or at least felt like it to a 24kg boney thing. Ah sweet memories. Anyway I digress… (See how bad my intellectual capacity is. I have the attention span of a goldfish)

Back to my story. Remember how we all get our ICs when we are 15 (if you got yours at 12, you belong to my sister’s generation – she’s gonna kill me for this). That proud moment where you go get your fingers pricked (which they don’t do anymore so that’s the new generation) and proudly get a card that marks your freedom to erm..virtually do nothing. (I always thought the IC was a useless card till this week). Speaking of bloodtests, when I was young, my sisters always cheated me with stories. I think it made them feel better about themselves given how incredibly cute I was. (again, I’m asking to get killed). One of the stories involved how the names we were given at birth are temporary and that at the age of 7, my mother was going to change my name to my permanent name which was Kuppama. Another, was that during bloodtests, the nurses actually suck out a syringe of your blood, then they use a straw to taste it to decide which blood group you belong to. I lapped it all and believed it amidst many tears and fears.

Again, I digressed.

Point is, I got my IC when I was 15 and I think I lost it between the ages of 16 and 17. It was never a big issue since I lost my Secondary school ezlink card when I was in Sec 2 and I used coins everyday and that didn’t bother. I never needed to show identification because being a geeky, braces wearing, bad hair, scrawny girl, no one figured I’d be anything else. So I was free..free of the need to be identified. Free from being tagged like a goat (do goats get tagged?).

It never bothered me when I went to college that I didn’t have an IC. By then I had a student card. When I came to the University, I had a tertiary card. There were that periods in time when I lost my cards. I remember having to show my passport to gain entry into Hard Rock once, much to the disgust of my ex boyfriend. I have done the same in Jeanz, Celebritys and a few other places, having been identified by my friends as the girl from India who carries her passport around.

But all good things come to an end, and so did this. In June, just before I turned 21, my passport expired (which of course I didn’t realise and still carried around my passport for identification). I noticed this lapse recently when my mother and I were planning a trip to Chennai. It was then, that I realise I needed to go there…

ICA. It feels like its in a land of its own. Lavender doesn’t quite feel like Singapore. The only times apart from having to make my IC that I went there, was when I was learning tuition from a cool center in that area. Point is, I dreaded making that trip. That trip I managed to evade for 5 years. So last week, I dragged my feet into ICA and submitted my passport application. It only required me to fill up a form as further identification only needed to be provided at time of collection. At that same time, I lost my ATM card again (only to realise I didn’t lose it but I had left it unclaimed at some place which my friend conveniently forgot to. by then the card had been blocked for safety).

With an expired passport, my birth certificate (left my student pass in school) I approached the staff of POSB in Textile Centre (near ICA) about this. They ask me for my IC to which I show them my passport. At that point in time, I am certain they thought I was half stupid. The lady attending to me was new so she turned to the mother hen of the counter staff and asked her whether this was acceptable. She was way too sharp… She noticed the expiry date. She asked me for some other form of identification. To this, I shoved my birth certificate across the counter. She looked at me in half disgust, half incredulity and said, “You are above 21. Don’t you know you can’t use your BIRTH CERT anymore?”

I was shocked, dismayed, disappointed and appalled. Okay no, that’s a tad too extreme. I never realise my birth certificate was that obsolete. She told me to go to ICA and get them to validate my existence and my identity. I had just walked painstakingly from there to get my card so that I could pay for my passport. I begged and pleaded with her. Went down on my knees and shed a few tears. Okay no, I didn’t. I just told her that I had just come from ICA and I really needed my card to pay for any sort of identification and that it couldn’t be coincidental that I had so many forms of obsolete identification – that I AM AARTHI SANKAR S87*****E ( I blanked it out in case you guys try to report me to authorities for having been an illegal immigrant for 5 years).

She sighed and said okay and let me get my card with a stern warning that I should go do something about this. It was then that I realised…

I need that damn pink card.

So I walked down to ICA to collect my passport and to push my luck a little to see if they would insist on an identification card for documentation. They did stare at me when I showed them my birth certificate. They told me I could collect my passport, but I would first have to go make my ic and bring along that little slip as proof that I have arranged for my IC to be made. And so I did. Hundred dollars to validate my existence. Seventy dollars to travel the world. The joy of being reborn: Priceless.

And thereafter, I collected my passport and in a month’s time I will have my IC as well which I am certain I will lose within the year. But I have a plan. Have you guys seen a chastity belt? I intend to create the world’s first identity belt. My most intimate belongings, my identity cards, my debit cards, my MAC powder will be locked and would always stay close to me. Imagine how fun that would be. Everytime its my turn to settle the bill, I would get up to unlock my belt and one of you would have paid for me already. Ah I am loving the sound of this. Either that, or I am stitching my cards to my skin. I will have to leave one end of my ATM card hanging so that it can still be swiped though.

The point is, I am a Singaporean once again. Ah the smell of freedom (with its limits of course!). Its revirginisation of my citizenship and it feels great. I am Sing-char-poh-ren.

To end off, here are a few replies I got when I told my friends I was Singaporean again and said Jaihinth! Vande Mataram!

“You mean they actually gave it to you? They didn’t deport you to Andamans? Wow the government is quite slack”

“Don’t bluff ICA la. New passport la, new IC la. You didn’t have these stuff in the first place because you’re an illegal immigrant. Shoo shoo! ”

“Vanthathey muthiram. Welcome welcome”

My favorite: “Anu runs to Malaysian High Commission in Singapore and replants the Singapore flag at the top of the building to symbolise Aarthi’s patriotism”

“Haha I say that calls for a celebration. Wadya say” (don’t mind her, she’s going to Alcoholics’ Anonymous)

A police friend who has been threatening to arrest me for the last week sent me a section of the penal code through facebook – National Registration Act (Chapter 201). (same guy who claims he’s gonna arrest me and shows me the keys to his handcuffs but keeps the handcuffs at home)
Tsk. Now that I have renewed my citizenship, its time to find new friends.

The Ifs and Buts..

What is happening around here? I think I’ve pretty much lost most of my readers since my comments and hits are slowly but surely dwindling. Sigh. The woes of growing up and having too little time to surf the net I guess.

Anyhow, I have been reading this book titled, “Things I want my Daughters to Know” by Elizabeth Noble”. The story is basically about a lady who finds out she has terminal illness and the letters and preparations she makes that change her daughters’ lives forever. She leaves each of them a letter with all the things she wants them to know as well as all the advice she wouldn’t be around to provide them with. She had 4 daughters and she prepared everything such that when her youngest girl turned 21 the year after, her husband was there to pass her a gift she had chosen before she passed on. Its a pretty good book and honestly, its as usual put me into a pretty contemplative mood.

I always have been curious about death. No, not in that is there an after life or do we just get swallowed by the ground kinda curious but more of a what death means and what would be the best way of dying. I know it sounds pretty sick but trust me that’s so not what I’m pointing at. I wonder if it would be better if I died suddenly, so I never spent days in pain or days worrying about an impending death. I wonder if it would be easier if I died knowing it was going to happen, being able to tell all the people I love and loathe what exactly I want to. I wonder if I would be missed, if tears would be shed, if secretly someone had regrets; an untold romance, an apology or even a complaint.

My friends often chide me for thinking about all these things and tell me not to think about my death which I hope is very far away (hell I intend to get married, give birth and do loads of things before game over!) But I am not worrying about it, I just wonder.

I wonder what I would if I knew by some stroke of chance my deathday.

I think I would spend a little more time cherishing you. Not snapping at you so easily when you ask me unnecessary questions. I would appreciate all you went through to get me where I am. And I would hug you and kiss you, something we seem to have forgotten to do all these years that it feels awkward.

I would thank you for putting up with my unnecessary requests since the time I was 4. For the various hairstyles and makeovers. For the moments at the swing and for always demanding to know what was wrong. For never letting me mess it up. For the times you stood up for me. I would spend a little more time trying to understand who you have become and I would insist on a margarita or a martini with you again. I would hug you tightly and tell you that while I may not always know why you do what you do, I will always stand by your choices and be happy for you.

I would thank you for snooping all the time because I always knew I had to behave cos you were looking over my shoulder. I would tell you to stop fretting about being right all the time. I would tell you its okay to fail once in awhile. I’d tell you that that time when I was 14 and told you I wish I didn’t have you in my life, I was wrong and I am sorry because there has never been another day I regretted it. Okay, I lie, there are days I wish you weren’t so sneaky or so fierce but I love you for that and I know I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I would tell you that I am sorry for hurting you despite the many times we tried to make it work. I would tell you that I could never learn to love you the way you love me. I would tell you that I don’t understand what it is you saw in me to stay so smitten. I would tell you that every one of those times, I genuinely wanted to make it work. I would also tell you that I was often so afraid that one day you might wake up and realise I’m not worth it. I will tell you that honestly Valentines Day only got exciting the moment we tricked an entire restaurant. I never wanted you to become my fallback plan, the person I’d be with to just settle. I want a crazy love story.

I will tell you that it is you whom I loved from the moment I met. You had me getting butterflies the morning after wondering if once the intoxication fades you will remember me. You made me swoon and although I don’t swoon anymore as much, I know you were the one I loved in abundance. I would tell you I wish it didn’t have to end but that I understand why it did. I would tell you that every minute of it was magic yet a terrible nightmare. I would tell you that the times you were away, I cried a lot and sometimes I felt it will never get better.I would tell you that as much as I liked lilies, I lied when I said they were my favourite flowers. I didn’t have a favourite flower then, I said it to be smart. But now I do, and they are lilies. I would ask you if you still read my blog.

I would tell you that I wished we never stopped being friends. That you made me very happy and feel so girly. You got me excited and you got me to be positive. But I would also tell you that you have become so negative, if I dared sit through one of your emotional tantrums. I would tell you that there were many things I hid from you, but it was all because I wanted to protect you. I would tell you that you let far too many things have more impact on your life than yourself. I would tell you to fall in love, really.

I would tell you that I hate your guts. I hate the way you always turn out to be right. That if you’ve read thus far, you’d have spotted enough errors for me to want to kick your ass. I would hug you and tell you that you made the last two years so much easier. I would gain the courage to tell you that I wonder if we could have been anything more than what we are. That secretly, everytime we talked about what others say, I enacted the itty fantasy of us together in my head. I would also, if i dared, tell you that the fantasy seemed nice. I would tell you that you were perfect and that you always smell very nice. I would tell you that you’re the bestest buddy in the wholewide world.

I would learn how to cycle and swim. I would learn how to drive and hone my skills at Daytona. I would dare to wear that denim skirt that makes my butt look a tad too big.

I would dare to go out there and take those silly videos of me dancing and pretend I can make my own little Youtube performances for all the happening Tamil songs I adore.

I would admit that I do worry what people think of me though I pretend not to care. I would admit that I still have girly crushes despite how I try to evade all questions about them. I would then try not to care so much and blog everything that comes to my mind. Hmm maybe that would make for more exciting posts that you would actually feel like reading.

I would tell you two that you’re perfect for each other. In all the time I’ve known you both which hasn’t been very long, I’ve hardly seen a large display of affection but in your eyes I always see that concern. The way you stay close because you don’t want him to worry and the way he despite being the life of the party, often looks out to see if you’re doing okay .

I would tell your mother to let you live your life not based on any horoscope of yours. I would delete all your profiles on any matrimonial site and tell you to start treating yourself better so that someone could come treat you the same.

I would tell you to make up your mind. I would tell you that you’re free to cheat and lie but to pretend like you’re the good one after that just isn’t fair.

I would want you to know that I could never be like you. Be able to let everything else go for a dream which seems more like a fantasy to many. But I would also tell you that I wish I could do what you do. Give up everything and perhaps dance all my life? I wish I was like you but I know I am much too pragmatic to be able to do that.

I would tell you not to be so hard on yourself. But I would also tell you to quit brooding and acting like its all your fault.

I would tell you that I had the greatest fun lining up your presents. I enjoyed going through your 22 years of memories to pick the best and I can tell you from a completely neutral perspective that you’ve lived a fantastic 22 years. I would also tell you that your Dad is proud of you. And I would tell you to quit waiting it out and just get into a damn relationship with her.
I would tell you that as much as I always claim you two bully me, if I was lucky enough to have younger sisters, I would steal you both from your brother and make you all mine.

I would tell all of you thanks for giving me the chance but I am much too arrogant for my own good that I shut people off the minute they say or do something that irks me. I would tell you that on a normal day, you would have made me swoon, but I think no amount of charm can make me swoon anymore.

I would kick your ass at Air Hockey. Maybe if I’m lucky, Daytona too.

I would tell you that I don’t really like sushi very much, but subway I adore. I would tell you that though we joke about it all the time, the possibilities never left my mind. I would tell you that I do wonder what’s going on in your head when you seem so lighthearted about relationships and love. I would let you choose all the ice cream flavours and force them down my throat however badly they suck. I would tell you that I was flattered and am always flattered by your remarks and that you make me feel very pretty and talented.

I would perhaps not worry so much about whether the Honours is a good idea and follow myself. Join the police force? Join the prisons force? Do whatever it is I feel like doing, regardless of whether you think its a good idea.

I would dance a little more. I wouldn’t worry so much about stretching my legs a little further lest I fall when I bend. I would lose myself in the song just so that at least once my bhava is perfect. I would thank you for guiding me always and for all the side advice you’ve given me. I would tell you that you were the embodiment of love and that I yearn to have half of your zest for life.

I would visit my Primary School again not to see my teachers or reminisce, but just to drink that Chocolate milk and sit along the drain. I would not worry so much and carry you in my arms. I would daringly go for a facial. I would tell my hairdresser how incredibly hot I think he is.

I would dance in the rain once more. I would tell you that I don’t care if the words I love you are too serious and strong, I’m gonna say them anyway. I would tell you not to bother calling him if he doesn’t want to talk to you. I would tell you to walk away cos you deserve so much more.

I would want you to know that its fine to get hurt.

I would watch a lot more of Gossip Girl and Samantha Who? Maybe even pay to subscribe to Megavideo so they don’t cut my serials in between when I’ve watched too much!

I would tell you that I never liked you. I would tell you that I was envious of your ability to always be right, to always do the right things, to always be approved as the epitome of what a girl should be. I’ve tried doing that, and I never felt quite so comfortable being judged against a template of what I should be doing.

I would tell you that I do get jealous but I am just a much better actress than yourself.

I would tell you that I lie, that I have hurt, that I have done some things I have not been proud of. But that I would never regret them. Wait, I lie, I do regret them and I’ve spent hours wondering what it would be like if I hadn’t done them.

I would get that tattoo. That same one I’ve been pondering over and considering as an after arangetram thing.

I would tell all you girls how much I adore teaching you. How I see a small part of me and my friends in each and everyone of you.

There are days I feel like I say too much and there are days I feel like I hold back. Today I know I’ve said far too much but it still doesn’t feel like I’ve said enough. After all, if I were to base my entire life on this one entry, it just doesn’t say much about the life I’ve led.

To all those of you were mentioned here or not mentioned here, please do not come ask me if this was you or this wasn’t you. If the glove fits, wear it. (Is that even the right expression? Is it shoe? cap? Ah you get the point) I’m not about to name people one by one and in some instances one statement could have referred to more than one person. If I wanted you to know, I would have put your names there.

Oh and if you’re wondering why parts of the post keep changing and keep getting longer, its because I’ve decided that this post will keep changing. It will keep changing till the day I decide it will not change anymore or till the day I’m certain I live with no regrets.

Butterfly Kisses

I was going through my files and found a video my eldest sister compiled for my 21st. Many of my friends haven’t gotten the chance to see this so I thought I’d share it with you guys here. Its probably the sweetest way one could document my memories and I’m lucky to have an amazing family to whom I’m always a little princess.

Its amazing how just looking through these pictures gets me a little teary and more importantly reminds me of how precious my family is to me.

You’re not Black you idiot, you’re Indian.

I am very glad that Obama has won the elections. I wouldn’t say that I have watched the elections like a hawk, but I definitely know Obama as well as McCain’s stances on important issues (i.e:economy, Iraq). I also found certain things McCain has said in the course of the elections disturbing (such as the issue of birth control). BUT THIS IS NOT A POST ABOUT THE ELECTIONS.

This is something I find extremely annoying and I promise to knock the head of the next person who claims to be a faithful Obama supporter yet knows shit about the elections. If you don’t know anything about the elections or the candidates, its fine – just don’t talk about it.

Today, I noticed a friend’s display picture on MSN and it was of Obama. I was amazed since I never knew that this friend actually followed the elections. So I asked him why he supported Obama, just to see if his answers would go beyond the standard “He’s African American” reason. Instead, this is what I got.

(F) ************* (6) says:

at first i thought he is soccer player

Ranganayaki- https://clawsandjaws.wordpress.com says:

lol

Ranganayaki- https://clawsandjaws.wordpress.com says:

and then

(F) ********** (6) says:

i found out abt mr. usa

Yes my friends, the above is a true conversation. Then I saw another friend’s nick – it mentions something about Obama. So I messaged him to ask him when he started following politics – and this was what I got.

 

Ranganayaki- https://clawsandjaws.wordpress.com says:

since when did u start following american politics

********! says:

alwaes..

Ranganayaki- https://clawsandjaws.wordpress.com says:

hahaha so why do u like obama?

********! says:

u seem naked in da pic

In case you’re wondering – it was just because I was wearing a tube. The point however, is that he appears offline right after that.

 

In my curiosity, I decided to search my MSN contacts to see how many people had nicks about Obama – I found 8 – of which I could safely say 4 would have some understanding of American politics.

Then of the other 4 – I found one that really takes the cake…

MY MEN , UR MEN BARACK OBAMA(PROUD TO BE AN BLACK) YESH!!! WE CAN!

 

And no my friends, he’s not AN Black. He’s an Indian.