There is beauty in teenage angst 

Nobody understands me.

Easily the mantra of every angst-ridden teenager.

Nobody understands me.

The declaration that plagued me and probably every single teenager who has ever stormed off in a snit.

Nobody understands me.


Possibly the most life-altering thing I have ever learnt is that nothing I have ever felt before is unique to me: it has at some point been felt by someone else.

I learnt this the first time I read Plath.

Comforting, but also terrifying because life then becomes a game of combinations and permutations, the same old human experiences in jumbled up chronology, with a myriad of filters and geotags slapped onto them. Perhaps all you are is yet another notch on the bedpost of life.

Nobody Everybody understands me.

The former seems preferable.

To someone whose priority in life is individuality, this universal camaraderie is terrifying. Being alone, though painful, conjures up singular and original. Being part of this transcendental humanity, though comforting, conjures up hackneyed and ordinary.

To my younger self: there is beauty in teenage angst. 


Here’s to capturing little memories.

Today was the last official day of my first year at college and I’m just recalling how I came so close to (stupidly) leaving all this behind but I am so glad I didn’t because nothing beats the happiness and comfort I found in NUS.

I can’t possibly stuff everything in here, but: minority lunches, ridiculous lit exposure mod lectures, Crocs are Kool, Bollywood chaos with Miyuki, uTown study sessions and slacking on the green with my one true love Dana, walking from uTown to KR because shuttle buses are crap, being in a constant sweaty as heck state, constantly laughing in marketing lectures with Darren (with amazing teachers who come up and thank you because they are just that humble), being challenged every minute in Crit Reading, being absolutely befuddled by totality, Crocs finding out about Oedipus for the first time, his shorts, Un Chien Andalou, leaning on Aisyah during an intense moment in class and not getting shrugged off, R21 Thursday lunches with 1Fass, EN Alots Anonymous, “please be my doctor”, horrid groupwork, “media are”, bitching sessions with Doob, Fluff Bakery, Miralliance, SyaSya, all the birthday surprises, #alagucomestonus, umbrella feet, last min essay rush all-nighters, my gurl Amy, ‘whispering’ stupid things to Crocs and getting into trouble because he always laughs way too loudly, always having Aisyah (even if she does give me too much tough love), freezing lit lessons, cute encounters with cute white boys, collab commons, compliment circles, “ooookay, okay okay, ooookay”, getting lost in FASS pretty much every day, “Darren is a good guy! It’ll be fine!”, bad printing memories in CLB, reading short stories in class complete with voices, finally learning more about my indian history, favourite hugs from Mira, picnic on the patch, unexpected fanfic company with Jingyin, “I only wear these shoes with this outfit cos they match”, spontaneous lit lunches (and planned lit lunches), bad module bidding memories, hangman with Mei Jia, screaming with Gerrie at The Player and so many more wonderful, beautiful, fabulous, precious, insane memories and even if I may not always remember them all right this moment, I’ll always remember how they made me feel: 100% young, free, wild (using this ironically, I promise)

Ended off the year in the best way possible, with an amazingly standard school day with great lit baes, Thursday lunch, and dinner at uTown. Lying on the green holding hands with Amirah and Dana (cos i’m a ho) (sorry Aisyah we luv u), staring at the sky and pretentiously trying to identify stars, rolling down the slope like madwomen under the cover of nightfall, finding the best seating positions with Dana. I can think of no better tribute to the emotional roller coaster of an academic year I’ve had at NUS, and right now I’m so unbelievably filled with warmth and happiness and goodness and it sucks that every happy moment is turning into a memory so swiftly but I’m so prepared to enjoy every bit of the next 3 years to come and just AIYA I’M HAPPY I STAYED IN SINGAPORE AND WENT TO NUS AND EVERYTHING OK EVERYTHING IS GREAT LET’S HOPE I DON’T FLUNK OUT.

This is important.

“The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”

The Basis of Our Beliefs

The truth is, humans are all just stumbling around in this debased world trying to find a way to make ourselves feel better; to feel good; to feel justified. And this is the basis on which we build our value systems.

We prioritise traits we think we possess because that means we are doing something right. It speaks for our place in the world and that we are basically winning at life.

Humans tend to exploit our best individual characteristics and try to mould the world in a way that gets us the best deal. This is the same in every other systemic problem- the ones propagating inequality are always the ones with the better lot.

We need to understand that with every belief that you propagate, there’s a flip side. With every person who says that intelligence is crucial and that human life should be measured by the quality of one’s ideas and thoughts, there is someone struggling over grammar, thinking there is no way he could ever be spectacular. With every person who thinks attractiveness is of paramount importance, there is someone with road maps on her thighs, not having the courage to pursue the life she deserves.

Attributes like intelligence and beauty should be admired, not pursued to the point of insanity. Ticking hourglass bodies waiting to shatter into a million starving girls, and ink-stains seeping into bloodstreams turning people into meaningless equations and scientific formulas shouldn’t be categories you fall into to have a fulfilling life. Life goes on if you’re not smart. Life goes on if you’re not attractive.

The only quality we should all strive towards in unison is kindness. Being accepting and loving towards all the different kinds of people that make up this strange world is the belief system that we should all subscribe to.

Angry Bitter Rant #2

This can be seen as a sequel to my previous post on stupid tumblr girls. Another one came on my dashboard (looks like the world really is full of them)

  1. When a guy calls you, he wants to be with you. What if he called to tell you that he’s engaged? Or that he’s gay?
  2. When a guy is quiet, he’s listening to you. Maybe he’s sleeping. Maybe he’s playing Counter Strike. Maybe he’s knitting IDK.
  3. When a guy is not arguing, he realises he’s wrong. There is a high possibility that he’s just like “What is the crazy bitch on about now? It doesn’t even matter. I wonder what’s for lunch…”
  4. When a guy says, “I’m fine,” after a few minutes, he means it. What if it’s a pause like “Is this the time to tell her I fell out of love with her 8 years ago and am now in an affair with her best friend? Nah. I’m fine baby”
  5. When a guy stares at you, he wishes you would care about him and wonders if you do too. Maybe he’s confused by the proportions of your face. Maybe he suddenly realised that you look like the Pringles dude.
  6. When you’re laying your head on a guy’s chest, he has the world. No, he just has your head on his chest.
  7. When a guy calls you every day, he is in love. MAYBE NOBODY ELSE WANTS TO TALK TO HIM. Which means there is probably something wrong with him and you should cease all contact immediately. Or maybe you give good advice. OR MAYBE HE JUST THINKS YOU ARE A GOOD FRIEND IS THAT REALLY OUT OF THE REALM OF POSSIBILITY?!
  8. When a guy says he can’t live without you, he’s with you till you’re done. Awh honey, I’m sorry to break this to you, but people lie. He might have been caught up in the whirlwind of love, or maybe he just wanted another notch on his bedpost.
  9. When a guy says, “I miss you,” he misses you more that you could have ever missed him or anything else. This makes me MAD. Why does any emotional declaration from a boy mean more than one from a girl?! I mean sure he may mean it, but that doesn’t mean your emotions mean any less! That doesn’t mean you don’t miss him as much. And are you seriously telling me that this is more intense than any kind of loss you would ever face? How about if your best friend died from cancer? Will missing her be the same as 3 stupid words that some insignificant person whispered to you over the phone after 5 days of knowing each other? Please. IS THIS REALLY THE MESSAGE THAT YOU ARE TRYING TO PASS ON TO IMPRESSIONABLE YOUTH?!!?!?!?!?

Once again this is me being crazy, please don’t be offended by my crap. I swear these girls just drive me nuts because they just put stupid meaningless sweeping statements everywhere and frustrate me. I wish boys would post something idiotic like this so I can rant about girls too sigh.

Why Babies Are All Beautiful

Today my friends nearly killed me by going on about how some babies are ugly and there is no point “pretend gushing” over them.

This horrified me on so many levels.

One of which is: when did we extend our societal conventions of beauty to BABIES? I mean, when we grow up, sooner or later, we are all going to feel pretty shitty about ourselves, we are going to be judged based on how we look, we are going to have all our flaws pointed out to us. Does this really have to begin at birth?!?! Soon enough, there will be plastic surgery for babies (“which is highly recommended because babies have elastic, highly malleable skin!” can’t you already imagine the terrible adverts with people pinching babies’ cheeks oh god) and low-fat baby food, and corsets for baby girls so they grow up to have stunning curves or something equally heinous! WE CANNOT LET THIS HAPPEN. Enough teenagers and adults are battling every day from self esteem matters, can we please not expose infants to this?? Let them decide what they wanna do with their bodies once they grow up, and don’t let their awful parents make all the decisions regarding their bodies.

Secondly, I really think all babies are beautiful!!! I mean, I suppose if you look at it technically, they might not have perfectly symmetrical features or a cute little button nose or cherry red lips. But how many people do we look at everyday, despite their flaws, and say “wow that person is pretty beautiful”. Babies have a kind of ethereal beauty about them. Eyes that have never seen bad and registered them, ears that have only heard the pleasant sounds of cooing and lullabies, tiny fists that have never curled up in anger or to beat on someone’s back in hatred, delicate little feet that pad only on the softness of pillows and bedspreads. The innocence that we see in babies is something that we yearn so deeply ourselves. And when a baby looks at us, with that completely clear gaze, lets out a gurgle and grabs onto your finger with a little giggle, it fills you with this enormous swelling feeling that something so pure, that something so delicate and little could give you its attention and affection so freely. Babies are the only ones who love without judgement, the only ones who look past who you seem like on the exterior and manage to wrench out that emotion from you. And all this contributes to a beauty, to an adorability, to level of cuteness in babies that cannot ever be measured solely by the technical proportions and measurements of their faces.

Hatred isn’t all that bad.

So I was lying in bed this morning, shortly after I woke up, and was thinking about how I have started hating so many more people, things and ideas in the process of growing up, and whether that has made me a worse person.

I don’t think so.

People around me are always beating themselves up for hating people, but why? If you ask me, we should all hate, to some extent. To live a life without hating, is to live a completely desensitised life. How can the world encourage us to love everyone and everything when there is so much wrong with our world at the present moment?

Are we to love bullies? Are we to love abuse? Are we to love inequality? Are we to love the poison, the toxin, which runs through everyone’s veins urging them to claw their way up to the top, not even thinking about the numerous people you will maim and destroy? Are we to love that?

Of course, you can tell me “No Arathi, these are big issues, what I am saying is about PEOPLE! You shouldn’t hate people because it destroys you.”

But aren’t all big issues made up of little people? They represent something, a mentality, a norm, an idea. Hate the representation.

So I say: Hate.

Hating people, ideas and things makes us stronger people. When we believe in something, when we truly stand up for something, it gives us purpose. When we hate something, we see the will to fight for something better. When we hate someone, we hear a voice in us, driving us to be better than them. When we hate a mentality, we are willing to picket and protest for issues that are not even remotely related to us.

Hatred makes progress. Hatred spurs revolutions, hatred spurs reforms, hatred spurs improvement and hatred spurs change.

But don’t get me wrong. Don’t hate easily, don’t hate frivolously. Hate for the right reasons. Don’t hate people for shining, don’t hate people for being better than you, don’t hate people for succeeding, don’t hate people for being strong, don’t hate them for being special, don’t hate them for making you better, don’t hate them for being different.

Loving all the flaws in this world makes us settlers. We are willing to live in a tarnished world with all these awful little people. Our love is a precious thing. Don’t love these people. They don’t deserve our love. Not those who take advantage of this mangled society to be abominable individuals. Loving them will only encourage them; loving them will only validate their actions.

The people who deserve our love are those who are willing to do the right thing, who are willing to stand amidst the debris of this broken world and believe in something good, something better, something golden.