Monday, December 27, 2010

Boxing day and the truth it brings

26/12. Boxing day. An annual pilgrimage of keen shoppers all over to the high streets in the chase of tempting bargains, massive discounts and reductions which only appear on this very day. They came in masses, flooding the roads like a sea of men sipping into every space of the stores. This is the day when friends from near and far would assemble in London for the thrill of the 'hunt'. I have to admit that shopping is not an activity i consider as my cup of tea. Instead, i am more interested in something more priceless and valuable that they have to offer; information and the truth.

I have to admit that i can easily give in to shallow words and shallower promises. At times, i have only see the best in people, especially those who are markedly significant and prominent, that you put so much trust in them. I end up being oblivious to the red flags which warns me of the sinister back-stabbing plots which yet to follow. They masked themselves in the veils of innocence and kindness, hiding conspiracies and scandals which has only left me in shambles. Times are difficult. Though dissapointment has only elevated my concentration to focus on my studies, accepting the dismal conclusions was like swallowing a bitter pill, and it only makes me more thirsty for the truth. With friends coming from all over, i have the chance to reopen my past and start arranging the missing pieces.

I am not here to condemn any parties or individuals, and the details of my conversations i refuse to disclose, but i am writing just to point out my own weaknesses which has lead only to my own turmoil. I realised that i am naive and gullible, easily being fooled by empty talks and shallow promises. I must not let my guard down, and be more cunning next time. I also noticed that i have compromised a lot of my values for a mirage of pleasure and enchantment. I let emotion besieged rationality, altering my reality to her mold. For years, i have accommodated myself to the wants and demands of others,but in my absence, deceit and betrayal became my only reward.

Most importantly, i realised that i am weak. Once i fell, i had to crawl, walk, and by then, can i only run back again. But the truth i got, though hurtful, has brought me back to reality, as quoted by Jim Davis 'The truth will set you free, but first it will make you miserable'.

Just would like to share an excerpt from Greys:
'The truth is painful. Deep down, nobody wants to hear it, especially when it hits close to home. Sometimes we tell the truth because the truth is all we have to give. Sometimes we tell the truth because we need to say it out loud to hear it for ourselves. And sometimes we tell the truth because we just can't help ourselves. Sometimes, we tell them because we owe them at least that much.'

Some art pieces from Malaga i would like to share :
by Juliao Sarmeto, 2000-2010. Taken from MALAGA CONTEMPORARY ART CENTRE

Sunday, December 26, 2010

A fling with the military

I remembered when i was 13, i fancy being in the military, and i always fantasised myself being in army uniform, serving at the front lines as a medic. I run towards the battle-scorned field without hesitation against the current of civilians running away, in the shower of bullets, attending a wounded soldier; a true angel in the midst of the battlefield. Therefore, i found the Royal Military College in Sungai Besi as my first stepping stone to turn my day dreams into something more tangible. But judging from my not-so-tall physique, i have to contend to the idea that the military is not made for a 'petite' guy like me. So, my fling with the military slowly laid to rest in time.

Until now.

I had been eying a book for a quite some time, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man by John Perkins and thankfully, i had the whole 2 weeks of my winter break in Spain to finish the book together with Amartya Sen's Development as Freedom, away from the hassles and packed schedule of my medical studies ( though i have tonnes of research paper to go through). All of the sudden, my long-forgotten dreams of being in service is raised from the dead, incarnated in a whole new form, utilising tools which i believe are more effective and systematic than the use of force and violence; developmental economics. Given my full time commitment in the medical field, i acknowledged that i am in no position of critiquing the the current state of the economy or suggesting economic models that could release millions of people from the shackles of poverty and famine. I am also well-informed that my inadequate knowledge of politics would not put my opinions of governance in a place where it will be valued.

But what i can say is this. i realised that most of us who are privileged enough to obtain a decent university education are not just bounded by the responsibility which are set on the piece of paper after completing our degrees, but it goes far and beyond that. Being pragmatist (maybe a bit of realist as well), i believe that our ignorance towards the issues around the world has led to further deterioration of what now can be classified as humanity crisis. It came to me that my list of duties and responsibilities also includes towards humanity and community, especially after i opted myself in medicine, and i realised that the least i can do to fulfill this call of duty is to be aware of what's going on in the world and the struggles of millions who are in dire need. I had a conversation once with Ammar Roslizar, and he instilled the idea in me that in this era, human science will prevail as a driving force of civilizations and whoever could master this realm of knowledge, he or she will become the masters of the world. This notion enticed me further to spur my understanding of development, governance and economy.

So, i might opted to go into the army, after my conversation with Saffa about the excitement of being in the military, maybe travel around the world to see and meet more people and to have a larger perspective of the world, or i can march myself towards the front lines, with governance and economy as my preparation, medicine as my uniform, values and principles as my compass, my voice and actions as weapons. Or God-forbid, i might not do anything.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Of sleepless nights 2

Whose very existence is sustained by superficial recognition and attention; fueled only by hauteur,

I rise above and beyond.

And i am capable of better.


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Of sleepless night 1

I noticed recently that i showed signs of pseudo-imsonia, where my efforts of shutting my eyes to a good night sleep seem so futile. Rather than wasting my time counting sheeps, i feel my nocturnal active state of mind is best to be put to good use by brushing off the dust of my blog i left for more than a year, and hopefully, i can dozed myself to sleep with all the boring stuff i post on it.

My second year promises me a whole lot more clinical, with more patients and more real-life health conditions. Most medical students has this sexy fantasy of patients coming to them with a constellation of symptoms, and using their medical wisdom, they would trace them back to their diagnosis. Sounds something out of House, but in reality, it is not as exciting as it is on the tele. I thought that it would be dry; student gets patient's history, student figures out the diagnosis and treatment, student presents findings to the consultant, student gets his/her butt kick for giving the wrong diagnosis. Very typical. However, my recent sessions at the hospital and consultations have given me something more than what i bargained for.

Consultations room are windows to humanity at its darkest and finest hours. It is the very place where doctors would break the very bad news that would turn the patient's life upside down. At the same time, in that very same room, i watched courage prevails in the chaos of struggle and devastation. Their conditions are more serious than a mere fever and winter cold; these are conditions that shackle them to a life-long regime of drugs that they have to take in dozens a day. It's not easy to accept the fact that an expiration date has been put on you, and you see death lurking in every dark corners. But despite it all, they have shown great determination and courage to stay alive. Science can only do so much, but what really brings them through the ordeal are the very same thing you find in the eyes of a child in a refugee camp and in the tears of a single mother who raise her children all by herself; strength, courage and hope. It is at times of struggle, that men returns to their most admirable traits and qualities, which forever resonates into the lives of many, becoming a source of inspiration to those who seek or suffer.

And for every second i spend on this path, i am truly grateful.