I remember when I was younger, I had this little laminated card that could fit in the palm of my hand which I kept in my wallet. I can't remember who gave it to me, but I still remember what was written on that card.

On it, was a short extract from 1 Corinthians 13(:4) -
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.

Back then, I remembered this verse by heart. It eventually got me reading the entire chapter, which I wrote down in full in a book (which has also long been missing). This chapter became my favourite excerpt from the Bible (long as it is) and I would write down bits and pieces from it every now and then.

I guess the novelty of these words being so beautiful wore off after it was quoted way too often by me, and so I soon forgot how to recite it by heart.

But now, with the goings-on of our world today, we may ask why all of it are happening.
So much pain, lies, deceit, wars, almost short of saying this world is so broken and damaged, picking up the pieces and putting them back together may never quite fix it to the way it was. We can be so quick to point our fingers at others and fail to see what we are short of within ourselves.

Where are our hearts? Where is the love?

I might have turned more secular as the years go by but I don't think I've lost my faith in the things I have always believed in. And I certainly don't think I love any less.

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames,but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when perfection comes, the imperfect disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me. Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

(side note: When you speak of love, do not be confused with lust. There are many forms love takes, but never confuse it with lust.)

As I sit here wondering why I'm writing this, and reading this chapter from 1 Corinthians reminding myself how much I used to love it, I think this is part of growing up. You love a little more, but it seems a challenge when part of your world doesn't show to love itself more.

That little card I kept in my wallet has long been missing, but the words have stayed true.
will you still remember me
will it be like old times
will what you say still mean the same
10 years down the road?

will all the things I said
turn to dust
I hope not, because I only say
what I mean,
and what I mean comes straight from the heart

when I am with you
I remember how it was like
to feel like a kid again
you show me
what it was like to care
care so much that it could even hurt

I hope you'll be happy
when you grow up someday
just be who you are
for you are so beautiful
and remember
remember you
and me.
It's that time of the (overlapping of the) year again. Hello 2010!
Happy New Year to everyone!

Looking back at yesteryear, one always hopes for a better year ahead in 2010.
2009 bared itself a challenging one as well as one filled with many experiences that made me a stronger, more resilient person, with the entry into university, living abroad away from home, culture differences and everything in between. It was an enriching year.

It was unfortunate also, and utterly distressing at the end of 2009 when I received news of a friend's passing. I must say that it caught me off guard, as death always presents itself unforgivably.
I never had experienced such a thing before, not someone this close, no, not ever.
His death made me realise in its entirety the meaning of loss, for in his passing I shall only have the memories to keep. There isn't the him in person anymore. That's a very painful thing to accept.
I have to admit that the full impact of his demise did not sink in until two days after I got news of it. When it did, my mind was confused, full of disbelief and distress.
How can it be that God took him so early? How is it that this is not unfair? Why him, why now?
He was indeed, a person bursting with talent, his incredibly brilliant mind and knowledge. His impeccable English, something I could only dream of emulating, his libertarian spirit and enormous heart. For the person that he was, he will indeed be missed.
God bless his family. My condolences go out to them.

Goodbye Rajan. Have fun where you are, for eternity (:

Beneath the wide expanse
Of the night sky
Filled with the stars
I'm reminded
Of you
And how you have brighten
The lives of those you've met
Just like those stars
Of the night sky.

~In Memory of Rajan Rishyakaran, 1986-2009