Life isn't as predictable as it used to be. Not that it's a bad thing.
The past year has thrown up a number of surprises to relieve the monotony of unceasing weeks of work. Just when it began to seem that there never would be an end to listening to moaning users and reining in the unruly servers that insisted on crashing frequently, a little reminiscent of Indian politics, some special thing would come by to remind me that those few precious hours were what made life worth living, and I'd be a new person all over.
It is taking-stock time. Unpredictability, yes. I was supposed to return home this weekend, but after a few hours of suspense, will-they-will-they-not, my trip has been postponed to next Saturday. Doesn't make much sense to you, does it, that I would go around making such a fuss of just seven days? It does, to me. It is seven whole days that I am talking about, opportunity for another concert, or shopping (the song I'm listening to most now is Ka-Ching), or stumbling upon a perfect souvenir for somebody, going down an alleway expecting a hovel and tripping up on a castle- simply living out a dream for yet another week.
When you know it's time to say goodbye, it is hard not to ascribe a sense of finality to the smallest action of yours. Last week at Sentosa, it was about seeing the Merlion for the last time. It didn't hurt me much, because I've never been a big fan of this most famous tourist symbol and commercial money-spinner of Singapore- there are definitely better things here that the country can rave about. This morning, in a cab on my way to work, I watched with keen attention as the car burst through the Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway tunnel (called the KPE) out into the open- and what a sight it was. Illuminated skyscrapers soared high into a dim blue sky irregularly patterned with splotches of hazily grey-brown clouds. A faint peach flush coloured the distance where the sun was trying to break through with promises of a fiery flaming morning. The clouds won. As we neared office, the windscreen was speckled with droplets of water. Rain, sweet rain.
I didn't ruminate over how many times more I'd see the splendid sight of the city rising majestically in the distance, clouds hovering low over the buildings as they kissed the sky, a glimpse of the street circuit, the grandstand and the domes of the Esplanade- there is still a while left, and besides, it just hurts too much when you have to say grim goodbyes to things you know and like well. I'd rather be thankful for the chance I was given to experience things I could only have hoped for in my wildest dreams- the F1 race (which tops the list without doubt), an Il Divo concert, an ice skating show, the libraries thrown open to my ravenous appetite, the malls (I have turned into a slight brand freak- but it'll soon pass), meeting people from around the world- oh yes, it is a rather long list.
Goodbyes needn't always hurt. With a little artful convolution, you can always instill a sense of optimism into them.