Recently embarked on a posthumous reading adventure – writers whose books got published after they died. Sometimes I think the thought is rather depressing – life goes on when you are removed from the picture, and someone else will derive financial and emotional benefit in your absence. It is sort of like one of Christie’s deaths by the Nile, really, the detective sequences afterwards overshadow the actual moment of death. There is the feeling – that you are just one bit of the universe, one bit out of many, many things – and nothing will stop the world for you. It is not that I’ve ever felt like I’m in the center of my universe like my kitten, quite to the contrary, I’ve always felt as though I was spiralling to all corners, sort of a hare clutching on to the edges with my pink ears – but it always felt like my universe. In the middle of a book, sometimes, for the authors which are my favourites, I suddenly recognize a certain gasp of words, perhaps a little biographical note, the voice of the author in a revealing subconscious moment of tastes and favourites. It is actually quite precious when you are able to trace the patterns in someone’s mind. But then it is gone, and writers’ deaths are perhaps just the same as everyone else’s. And similarly, so it will be, my absence will be the same as many, many others. These days I live, the little sadness which sits in my lately, the way I see colours in my sky – all this will go, and there will be nothing much left behind after that moment but a post-mortem of vibrant, vivid living. It is the living that writes stories for itself.
I was happy to meet A, a little burst of a wonderful, Simon-like personality in the macabre boredom of the week. We went for ramen at Millenia Walk. She speaks of her business, of her creations which she loves, and of her dreams. I remembered Simon at once – a close friend of mine in London, who had accompanied me on some of the best little journeys in my life, teased my imagination with his dreams and ambition. S – frightfully intelligent, a jewel of an ego, and so much fun. S had a remarkable talent for just somehow being able to soften the people he met – you would find yourself irresistably drawn into warm conversation, and trust him with your secrets. You would find yourself on a plane, suddenly lost in a certain stage of your life and puzzled about your outstanding list of things to do, and the S (es) of the world would charm and challenge us, and make it one of the best parts of our week. The S (es), I’ve learnt to recognize, are well suited for the business world, and I have faith in them somehow, and at the same time I love them tremendously in the way we engage, puzzle and revel in each other. Meeting A and feeling her spirit was like meeting S all over again, and I was really glad for it.
A loves too, little girly things that I love – like fashion, little dramas, places…and she is also a literature girl, which is wonderfully rare to meet someone like that. When she talked about her love for Wilde and classic gothic literature, I was so excited I think I was lost for words in the taxi for those moments. I spent a very nice evening with her in Axis Bar, Mandarin Oriental, and the drinks were relaxing at the end of a long day. She is in finance, but that is not her first love. I admire her, the way she is brave, the way she is independent – and how she speaks her own mind. Oh, how much she reminds me of S, and how much she makes me miss S! But I was glad to meet her in this part of my life.
Interesting thing that happened- realized that N.S, who is running for the NSP (couldn’t resist that coincidental quip, haha!) was my theatre studies senior in Victoria Junior College. We are also of the same age. But I would say, against the whole wave of criticism against TPL, another young hopeful, that one should cut her some slack, and I will only form a judgment after meeting her. I note that she has been in working in grassroots since she was 20, and it is not as easy as some people make it out to be. The media might be capturing a shade of her personality, and things are best proven through time. If she manages to survive this ordeal, and prove her mettle by achieving actual results for her constituency behind the scenes as well, I think she should deserve our support, regardless of her age. Only time will tell.
Regardless, the elections are such an exciting prospect this year. I am no longer on The Business Times team, but I still remember the wonderful memories rushing to rallies to cover the speeches and meeting the personalities. I think I might attend some of the WP and NSP rallies. The media feeds me too much on the ruling party, anyway. But I think there should be greater attention paid to issues, and that even the ruling party cannot afford to buy itself out by the promise of development programmes, all the time. We might instinctively know what the result will be, but it will be how fair and true the fight will be, after all.
And I’ll definitely be there, watching.