I once wrote about this place... iris's flight of fancy

Where the brook turns into a pond, the sunlight makes the water turn golden and the little fish swimming by are surrounded by a halo of light. There was something unreal about this place, being there after a day in school was like stepping into a whole different world, a place where the word peace was written in a flowery handwriting on every leaf and petal. Inspiration was like the flow of the water, clear and mysterious, and Iris was used to it finding its way into her mind and it was in this way that the magic was brought on the pristine white sheets of paper she brought there. Fantasy had a whole different meaning in this pretty world.

Iris sighed and put down her pen. Life was so much easier in her stories, so much simpler. She drew a circle around her face in the water, sending ripples shivering through the picture reflected. Sometimes she wondered what it would be like to be that girl in the water, frozen in a pose of bliss, forever happy and carefree. Sometimes she wished she could drown herself in her reverie and stay entrapped in her world of fantasy.

A breeze passed by, tickling her skin, a bubble of laughter escaped her lips. It hurt her face when she laughed however, so she stopped and gently ran the tips of her fingers over the bruises, it would take more time for them to heal. She had grown to like her bruises; they were part of her now, like creases are part of an orchid crushed under the tires of a car… When the scabs fall, they reveal a better skin.

A new variety of flowers had started to grow on the banks of the brook; they smelled like baby’s breath. They bowed towards the water, trying hard to catch a glimpse of what they looked like but never really succeeding. A yellow butterfly fluttered by Iris’s head, then changed its mind and flew away. The sun had begun to set slowly, soaking the woods in a reddish glow. It would be dark soon.

Iris knelt besides her friend the brook and leaned as far as possible over the water and kissed the girl reflected down there. Her loose ponytail became undone and her hair flew forward to hide her face like a golden curtain. She gathered her things and stood up, locking the moment away in a secret place.

A single tear fell on the pages; the book was closed and put back on the shelf.

I wrote this piece when I was seventeen, and I always knew that it would be Page 1 … of something…

What Next?


I just turned 30, completed the first year of my part time Masters, have a “good” job, am happily married and … just can’t make up my mind on what to do next. And this inability to make up my mind, while my biological clock is ticking, just drives me nuts.

Any sane person would think I’m plain crazy, and maybe I am. Or maybe this is just the product of a life driven by goals after goals. When the goal is not clear anymore, nothing makes sense. School was for good grades to get into a good university, university was to get a good job, and now what is a good job for? “To be comfortable and content for the rest of my life” would be a sensible answer. I guess… Maybe it is “the rest of my life” part that is particularly scary. And the funny thing is, for once, the source of the pressure is not from family or society, but from myself. An unconscious pressure coming from deep down to do… something more with my life…

Having a stable job is a trap in itself. You work hard to achieve it and when you do, it traps you into thinking you cannot survive without the comforts that salary provides you. Will I be able to afford going for my spa days or spending on average Rs500 each time I step into Intermart (which is almost everyday) or indulging in my yearly overseas trips without that salary? Probably not. But it’s not like these are life necessities. Being financially independent is nice, sure. But the price to pay is corporate slavery. One of my colleagues retired this week after 21 years at the company. I looked at her with envy. To retire early is such a sweet, sweet dream. But to do what?

I think I should have a taken a full gap year to devote to discovering myself. To travel. To think and dream and take my time. Of course, I could not afford that, I did not have the money to travel. Or the patience to sit still for a minute. Well, that was then and this is now. I am 30.

And the options are as follows:

  1. have babies (still have to work to feed them),
  2. write a book (if it sells, quit my job),
  3. attempt CFA (least favourite option),
  4. go abroad for further studies (and more importantly a last free ramble in a new country) (if i win the lottery),
  5. find a genius new business idea (if it works, quit my job),
  6. devote my life to charity (still have to work to feed myself),
  7. try to improve my cooking and housekeeping skills (yawn),
  8. travel the world (if i win the lottery).

I sincerely do not know how our parents did it. They say it’s a beautiful thing when a career and a passion comes together. The other day I watched a documentary on Daft Punk, how two ordinary guys transformed music from nothing. I want that kind of passion. I doubt whether that’s possible in a finance job. Fulfillment will not come from a 9 to 5 job, that’s as plain as day.

And I hate to settle, so I will keep looking.