... in which I kill time by the hour ...

Nov 19, 2010

Poetry: "Crossroads of Life"

The plague that is drugs. 

I've never experimented with any, but I've seen the effects and aftermath of those vile intoxicants up close. I've seen what they can do to a "good" person from a loving family, and how everyone around him is inevitably affected by it. I've seen the incessant tears, the fights, the fear, the helplessness and the hatred that come with it. 

And I bloody hate the b@$t@rd$ that deal them, not to mention the @$$#0l3$ that take them, even while knowing perfectly well what they can do to you.

Wrote this poem a long time ago and it shows, I think. But to me, it still speaks true. It's the narrative of a drug abuser who comes to regret the choice he made.



CROSSROADS OF LIFE

I stand still as the world moves around me
Time ticks away, ever changing as the sea
Pushed into this timeless void I’ve been
Perhaps never again to be seen

How I came to this end, I know not
Forever to stay, decay and rot
Never again to see the light of day
Imprisoned in the darkness of night always

What made me take the wrong turn?
At the crossroads of life; I’ll forever mourn
The decision I took, that will never
Relinquish me from this agony ever

A piece of Heaven, yet a slice of Hell
On my foolishness, my mind now dwells
The sweet intoxication that once comforted me
Made me the monster that now you see

I stare at the hand that I had raised
And brought down upon my mother’s face
With sorrow I recall the crystal tears that’d
Filled her eyes; and she’d turned her head

Away from her son, who in a drunken state
Had dared to raise his hand; now it’s too late
I close my eyes, all alone in the cold
Lost I have all that dear to me I hold


Image used is borrowed from loveparadiseforyou

Nov 15, 2010

8Uppers, Monologue and Ryo-chan

Remember the crazy beldam I mentioned in my first ever post? Yeah, Nao, that's the one; the crazy fangirl who introduced me to awesome and diverse addicting Japanese dorama and, in the process, converted me into a crazy fangirl, too. 

And while I'm ranting about this, I might as well add that she is responsible for the corruption of my cousins too, because despite the fact that I'm the one who passed along the J fever to them, it all comes back to Nao. *nods  very seriously*

Anyway, the aforementioned beldam is not satisfied simply with addicting me to the doramas alone, oh no. No, she also experiences the deepest desire to bring me up to be as big a flailboat fangirl as she is. Thus, she takes it upon herself to sit me down in front of her computer and keep my poor, helpless eyes fixed on the screen (let us ignore the fact that I go to her corruption sessions more than willingly) while she fills my brain with doramas, interviews, variety shows and music promotional videos of popular J-pop boy bands, the members of which, amusingly enough, turn out to be the main leading actors starring in 99% of the previously mentioned doramas.

My cousins and I have an inside joke about all the hawt heroes of doramas being in one boy band or the other. (It wouldn't be a lie to say that every leading actress turns out to be a model, too :P)

Now, with that introduction out of the way, let's FINALLY move on to the point of this post. In our latest corruption session, Nao showed me the music feature film, 8Uppers, starring members of the insanely outrageous popular band, Kanjani8. 
(Yokoyama You, Okura Tadayoshi, Nishikido Ryo, Maruyama Ryuhei, Shibutani Subaru, Yasuda Shota and Murakami Shingo)


The movie was about, as DramaCrazy puts it:
Seven men with different tactics for killing are bound together by their brotherhood and similar background, but their way of life is about to take a plunge towards the surreal when a woman abandons her baby near their van, leaving the group with a new kind of job. The quirky musician group Kanjani8 interpret a hardened group of patchers (clean-up hitmen) performing mercenary work focused on assassination as well as, "getting rid of" the most bothersome of top officials and company CEOs whilst now balancing "motherhood." Can a group of hardened killers really take on the weight of raising a baby? A light story examining the cold facets behind life, death, and family fuelled by a Eito-heavy soundtrack.

My view on the movie is that it is certainly worth your time. I was amazed by the beautiful cinematography, wonderful editting, great soundtrack and top-notch direction. The director and producers damn well knew what they wanted to do and how to do it. 

The story itself was pretty good. I was at a slight disadvantage on account of the lack of English subtitles, but Nao and her amazing Japanese-to-English translation skills helped me out there. While the plotline is not the most original story ever conceived, it was entertaining and credible enough to keep me absorbed to the very end. The dialogue was great (if Nao's translations are anything to go by :P), especially considering how the characters were mostly just exaggerated personalities of their real-life counterparts according to Nao ha ha.

Speaking of which, the acting was definitely note-worthy. The characters were diverse and the actors portrayed them wonderfully. I was amused by the motherhen/womanizer Okura, milk-obsessed/martial artist Maru, dead-fish/gun-wielding Subaru, bespectacled/video-game-geek Yasu, baby-loving/brotherly Hina, level-headed/cool-leader Yoko and chain-smoking/gangsta Ryo. The chemistry and interactions between them meshed together so well that they really brought out the essence of their "brotherhood" and friendship.
Special kudos to the baby, who not only was ADORABLE, but made the other actors look even more adorable than should be allowed. xD

Moving on, the one thing that really stuck with me after watching 8Uppers is Ryo's single for the soundtrack, "Monologue".

I'm not ashamed to admit that I'm a humongous Ryo fangirl. For one thing, I find him very attractive (no, not on an omg-so-handsome-and-sexy level, but rather a there's-just-some-charismatic-thing-about-him-that-makes-him-extremely-appealing level). It's also noteworthy that he's the only guy I've ever seen that makes smoking and throwing back drinks look downright S-E-X-Y. Like Nao said, with this film, Ryo just shattered decades worth of anti-smoking campaigns LOLZ.

For another thing, I highly admire him as an actor. Not only did this movie prove that point, but 1 Litre of Tears, anyone? In that drama, I practically fell in love with his character. Not many actors can make me do that. 'Nuff said, I think.

But with "Monologue", I've also come to recognise him as a brilliant singer, songwriter and composer. The music simply refuses to leave my mind and the lyrics are deep, sad and meaningful. The song speaks to me like few songs ever had. It's beautiful and haunting.



Nishikido Ryo image borrowed from shinie165
Monologue's English translation stolen from Nao xD


MONOLOGUE

It will all turn into ash someday, cigarettes, me, and that town
Beginnings are always from a single tiny ember
Reflected on the rectangular screen, is a boy lamenting at the sky
If you press the next button, stars falling from the night sky; a kiss scene... kiss scene

Conventional everyday comes and greets me every morning
Trade in polite words with an appropriate attitude
A yearning for someday remains eternally as a yearning
If I write today’s events on paper, it seems it can be settled in around 2 lines

Even if I shout, there’s no such thing as a place for it to resound
Only to surpass, today too, after all, just to pass through
Footprints are buried and covered underneath others
Because I wanted some sense of meaning, I crash into the shoulder and spit out

Tightening my fists, I’m fighting
If it’s pain, the greater the better
Even I will be acknowledged, by the man in front of my eyes
It’s all adding up, I myself, as I am, now

What are you searching for? A place where you can feel at ease?
What are you seeking? Is it somebody’s approval?
What are the things you’ve achieved? A second of supremacy?
What have you lost? While on your quest for answers

Even if I shout, there’s no such thing as a place for it to resound
Only to surpass, today too, after all, just to pass through
Footprints are buried and covered underneath others
Because I wanted some sense of meaning, I grab the hand and steal a kiss

With gentle words, I’m embracing
If it’s power, the greater the better
Even I will be acknowledged, by the woman in front of my eyes
It’s all adding up, I myself, as I am, now

Tightening my fists, I’m fighting

With gentle words, I’m embracing

Nov 1, 2010

Short Story: "Devil's Hands"

This a 600 word story I wrote for the Commonwealth Short Story Competition back in 2009. Sadly though, we found out that my English teacher, who had recommended me to try it, had been mistaken and that I did not meet a certain requirement to participate. Something to do with age, I think. I forget. Anyway, my submitted story was probably disqualified, but I quite like how it turned out.

The title was "Devil's Hands" and the content of the story was left open to our imaginations. I was thinking about the abusive treatment of red-haired women back in the middle ages - ya know, the whole burn-the-witches-at-the-stake drama? - and how some people claim to have Healer's Hands. I decided to write a narrative of a woman who was labelled a witch and driven out of her village by the "normal" people. The idea seemed to tie up quite nicely with the title.

I kept her thoughts vague. I tried to avoid speaking of the matter directly (like writing, "I was exiled by my people because they thought I was a witch yada yada yada") and instead tried to describe it. You could say I was experimenting with my writing style; I wanted to see if people would understand it despite the vagueness.






DEVIL’S HANDS


Eighteenth century England – it was a time and place of superior lifestyle where people had enhanced outlooks on the world; or so we were led to believe. The lamentable truth was that, underneath that deceptively elegant exterior, there lay a hostile world engulfed and torn apart by millennia-old superstitions and beliefs; false notions that were passed down from father to son, and which were wholly accepted by young, innocent minds without question.

These same superstitions were the ones that had brought my life – which had never been of much significance to begin with – crumbling down to its very foundations. The tears that had been repressed by the feeble force of my willpower broke through and rolled down my cheeks, merging with the rain that fell down in torrents from the stormy sky overhead. I hung my head as I dug my nails into the soggy bark of the log on which I had been perched for the past several minutes, finally allowing myself to cry.

‘Narrow-minded fools,’ I thought bitterly, shivering as the cold downpour soaked into my simple grey dress. My sodden hair, with its vibrant red hue darkened to an unsightly shade of auburn by the dampness, hung before my face dripping water. A corrosive hatred began to rage within the confines of my heart as I glared at the limp, crimson strands with loathing in my eyes. How I abhorred that colour now! How I longed to tear it out with my bare hands.

Squeezing my eyes shut, I began to curse them: the unattractive tint of my hair that had alienated me from this brutal world, my God-given endowment of healing that had eventually lead to my undoing, the Lord who had paved a vindictive road for my life that had now terminated at a cruel destination – I cursed them all with the blackest oaths my mind could conjure. Most of all, I cursed those bigoted villagers that had exiled me from my parish with torches and pitchforks; my “brethren” that would have had me bound to the stake and burnt alive had I not managed to escape them – all that hatred merely because I was different.

The blasphemy gradually subsided, but not my fury. My resentful gaze turned to my calloused hands. “Healer’s Hands,” my late mother had called them, “a wonderful gift from God.” That declaration held truth to the extent that the power of healing was indeed bestowed upon me. However, it was no gift, but the very bane of my existence.

A red-haired woman with seemingly magical healing powers – it was hardly surprising that I had been driven away. Foolish superstitions about sorcery and Dark Magic still ran rampant amongst “civilised” society; their illogical phobia of such “evil” was embedded deep in their minds. It was no wonder that they had feared and despised me, but that did not lessen the pain in my heart. Nor would any amount of healing mend my shattered spirit; some scars could never be healed with time.

“Witch! Spawn of the Devil!” Echoes of their angry voices seemed to ring in my ears. Another sob escaped my lips and the agony within me intensified tenfold. There was no question of ever going back, that I knew, but to where would this merciless life lead me now? There was no hope of a future for myself, no silver lining on the clouds; just an endless void that stretched on forever. Thunder continued to roar and lightening flashed as the heavens wept, and along with them, my heart bled its loneliness and anguish out into an uncaring world.


END