Wednesday, March 31, 2021


I wonder if I would have made a good TV writer. I think I watch a fair bit of TV but more than that, I internalise it and my brain churns out thoughts in the formula of TV writing. You know, when the woman knocks on the man’s door on Christmas to make a declaration of love, or when the guy arrives at the airport a tad too late and makes a PA announcement to stop the love of his life from boarding the plane to relocate elsewhere in the world. I have made grand gestures, more than once. I write long, elaborate notes. I write them on owl postcards, on the back of packages. I wonder if they still exist in the world, or if they’ve long been incinerated. In TV world, grand gestures almost always work. The recipient changes their mind, and they choose each other. There’s a literal scene in Grey’s Anatomy, where Meredith says “pick me, choose me, love me”, embodying the literal version of the pick-me girl. 

I wish I weren’t such a person, but one of the values that motivate me is most definitely acceptance. It’s highly likely due to the fact that my father left the family (ish) when we were young, and my mother literally doesn’t accept the non-Muslim, tattooed, physically “promiscuous” person I am. She refuses to acknowledge that part of me, which is a big part of me. When I see workplaces professing to be families, I gag because it’s just a way for capitalism to legitimise the gazillion hours you spend slaving away at work. And yet, I always absorb myself into my work teams and treat them as I do my family members, or better than, because they treat me better than my family members treat me. They see me, hear me, acknowledge and validate me, and I cannot help but appreciate them for it. 

I have a colleague whom I really like, her name is Mel. I don’t know why, but I like her a lot. Sometimes we just spend a few minutes chatting at work, and she always gives off the chill vibes I aim to internalise and embody. She reads as much as I do, or perhaps even more, and sometimes she talks to me about books and restaurants. I think she knows a lot of things, but she’s always professional about her work. When she has fun, she really has fun. When we were unboxing new things at a shift, she’s the kind of person who would act like she’s Paris Hilton DJing in Bali, she’s just weird like that. She also recently bought a mini basketball game for the pantry, to hit free shipping on an order. I want to be that kind of person. I want to be the person who knows many things, but also has my shit together. 

Apropos of nothing, I really don’t think, given the global situation we’re all in, happiness is an attainable goal, nor should it be. We’re living in an age of social media and information, it is impossible or at least unlikely that you can stay unaware of global inequality. I just watched Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez make a three-minute case on her Instastories, about the migration crisis, which she rightly says is not simply a migration crisis. The crisis was created because imperialist America invades and destabilises other countries and regions, capitalist America thrives off consumerism and contributes a majority of carbon emissions, and the climate and economic crises force the global South to relocate, for lack of a choice. 

Every day that you don’t consider the interconnectedness of everything is a day you choose to be wilfully ignorant of injustice. It is necessary that you don’t numb yourself to the ills of the world, to the Asian hate crimes, to police brutality, to Myanmar’s decades-old and ongoing political instability, to bigotry that the LGBTQ community face everywhere, it is necessary that you don’t literally buy into personal joys and happiness, at least not most of the time, because it is only when you face facts, that you begin to want to effect change. If you don’t see how broken the world is, you’re not paying attention. When was the last time you cried?