Welcome to Darkside Daily

When I'm not writing about my experiences in this journey called 'life', I'm singing and uploading my own interpretations of modern music. Click on "Cover Songs" to hear them, or on the YouTube logo on the right to see my YouTube channel.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Suicide - Part 2

(continued from here)

When I wrote Part 1 of this entry on Suicide, I was a little hesitant to publish it. Most of my posts, be it my headless videos or my other random musings are generally received with mixed emotions, and so I was slightly uneasy as to how people would perceive this attempt at semi-fictional writing, especially since it was in a rather sensational and over-the-top style, if I do say so myself.

Still, I published it, and even I was slightly surprised at the different types of comments and feedback I received regarding it; on Facebook, the blog and even in person. Some focussed on the writing style, and commented on that, while others were more focussed on the content. Some noticed the “Based on a true story” at the end, and were confused by it. Still others were eager for part 2, to ‘see how the story ends’. This, I suppose, was the most unexpected response.

Because, you see, this really is based on a true story. Luckily, it was not someone that I knew, but my friends had told me of this incident recently and it greatly disturbed me. For, in real life, there was no happy ending. There was no ‘part 2’. She texted her friends; and she jumped.

Suicide is a ‘phenomena’ that is disturbingly prevalent in our communities. When I was in school I used to hear tales of how school children jumped in front of trains when they got bad O’ Level or A’ Level results; I simply could not wrap my mind around it then. Last year we read of suicide in a prominent girl’s school in Colombo, all due to some petty matter regarding the possession of a cell phone. I read those articles too, and I shook my head in disbelief.

I do not look down on people with suicidal tendencies; in fact, I understand the thinking behind it. I’m sure that every one of us, if we peer inwards with honesty, will admit to having considered the thought of ending one’s life, simply due to the burdens we bear on a daily basis. This world may be more technologically advanced, but the average individual is now more stressed and pressured than ever before, making us susceptible to depression, anxiety, and suicide.

To be completely and brutally honest, even I went through a phase where I wondered about ending my life. I was in my late teens, studying abroad, and I felt I was in over my head. I just couldn’t handle the stress, expectations and decisions of life with regards to family, friends and studies, and the thought of escaping all that with a simple decision was indeed intoxicating.

Yes, at the end of the day, it really is about escaping. I sincerely doubt anyone that commits suicide pauses to think of where they are escaping to, as long as they get away from where they are. Over the last year I have heard people who are dear to me talk of suicide, and wanting to give up on their lives. Rarely have I ever been so heart-broken than when I heard them say so. It is a bitter reminder to me that I live in a world where people rarely stand up tall when the storm comes.

We have become a people of quitters. We sometimes mock celebrities for their string of failed relationships, but in the end we are people who would rather save a rainforest than save a marriage. We would rather compromise than stand firm. We would rather get high then get real. We would rather end our life than actually live it. This is no way meant to be condescending; it is just a conclusion I have reached after endless encounters where I am left holding the strings as someone I know and love gives up and succumbs.

Our world is changing before our very eyes, and we seem to be unable to cope with it. I read of teenagers, no older than 15, going into depression because of the peer pressure to lose their virginity. I read of senseless murder and assault, done merely for entertainment sake. I read of false religious leaders hiding their perverted fantasies behind the guise of ‘faith’. Whether you’re a Christian, Buddhist, Muslim or an atheist, believe me when I say – there is a storm brewing. It’s time we took up a stand, because from now on, we are literally fighting for our lives.

Friday, April 23, 2010

My World Is A Lie That's Coming True

I feel this post links up with two posts I wrote earlier; one is "Wrestle The Angel", in which I linked to Switchfoot's "Twenty four", and the other is "Soul Song" which I wrote way back in January.

There is something special about that moment of surrender, when all hope seems to be lost. It is a moment when words are not really needed, where articulation does not need to be conscious, as long as the emotion is released. It is a difficult place, where we go against every natural instinct to stay in control with our hands on the wheel, instead of just letting go.

I have always wanted to sing, not merely to sound good but to sing out with all my heart. We live in a world where we are so confused about who we are and what our purpose is, that we blindly hold on to the convictions and hopes of those around us who seem more sure of what they are doing. We sing their songs, we claim them as ours, and in the end we don't find out who we are.

I am not a 'religious' man; in fact, I hate the term. I would much rather be called a man of faith, even if more often than not, that title does not befit me. It amuses me when people label Switchfoot and their music as 'religious' - somehow, bleach-blonde surf-crazed rockers hardly go with the word.

But this song, it speaks to me. It stirs something inside me that has been lying dormant for so long. I keep coming back to it ever since I first heard it; indeed, the whole album seems to have that property. I envy Jon Foreman, the lead singer/guitarist/song-writer for the band. I envy his ability to verbalise what I so often can not.

I hope you enjoy the song. Click here to read the thinking behind the songs from their new album.


I'm on the run
I'm on the ropes this time
Where is my song?
I've lost the song of my soul tonight

Sing it out
Sing it out
Take what is left of me
And make it a melody
Sing it out
Sing out-loud
I can't find the words to sing
You'd be my remedy
My song, my song
I'll sing with what's left of me

Where is the sun?
Feel like a ghost this time
Where have you gone?
I need your breath in my lungs tonight

Sing it out..

I'm holding on
I'm holding on to you
My world is wrong
My world is a lie that's come true
And I fall in love with the ones that run me through
When all along all I need is you

Sing it out..

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Suicide - Part 1

She screams.

“SHUT UP!!! SHUT!! UP!!”
The room spins. The phone drops to the floor.
His words echo in her head, over and over again.
He’s lying. She knows what she saw.

I saw you!! I saw what you did!!

The smell of cigarette smoke on her clothes mingles with expensive perfume, and reminds her that she could use a smoke.
She digs into her purse, a vulture clawing at helpless leather.

Where did I put it??

Finally, it yields one, but the quick tug and the slow exhale do nothing to stop the damn spinning.
She craves release, and the cigarette fails to deliver. She throws it off her balcony in disgust, and watches as the dying embers plummet into the darkness of night.

She screams. Again.
But this time she’s not sure who she’s screaming at anymore.

She looks on, at the dancing lights of the city, full of life yet unfocussed and blurry in her eyes; and then, in that moment, there is clarity.

She stumbles into her room – damn tequila – and finds her phone.
Somehow, she types a short text message, and sends it to her friends.

They’re not really my friends!! I don’t HAVE friends!!

She goes back to the balcony, not feeling the cold chill of the night’s breeze.
As an afterthought, she drops her phone on the balcony floor.
The screen fades on the words of her last text message, just as she hooks one leg over the rail. It says “Goodbye”.

She screams. One last time.

Wind by ~tA-89

To be continued..

Based on a true story

Friday, April 9, 2010

Under The Bridge

Once in a while, you hear a song that goes on to define a certain period of time in your life. For me, there are many songs that remind me of either high school, college, or some other specific time period. This could be either due to the way in which I first heard it, or where I was when I used to listen to it, etc.

Then there are songs that go bigger, and are forever associated with a generation; a decade even. The Red Hot Chili Pepppers "Under The Bridge" is one such song. Few songs define the 90's like this classic, which cemented RHCP into the minds of all those 80's babies forever. Even the music video is a classic, something that is instantly remembered for the young fresh-faced Frusciante in the beginning of the video, and the long haired, bare-chested Anthony Kiedis running in slow-motion towards the camera.

Recently the topic of song meanings came up in a conversation, and I mentioned how interesting it was to find out what the artists had in mind when writing the lyrics to certain songs. The meaning behind "Under The Bridge" is haunting; a personal statement from Anthony who wrote this song after he had given up drugs. Due to his newly found clean-streak, he felt somewhat alienated from his band mates who would continuously get high while practising and jamming, thus making Anthony feel a stranger in his own band, and to his own friends. This forced him into long drives around L.A, helping him recall the days when he would do anything to 'score' some drugs, even once pretending to be the fiance of a local drug lord's sister to gain entrance into their circle, all this while having a loving girlfriend waiting for him at home.

Without much further ado then, here is "Under The Bridge". This cover is also special to me because it's the first one featuring my kid brother on guitars, so do take some time to appreciate his fancy finger work as well. If you haven't checked out the video before, you HAVE to do so! Click here for the original (it's not on youtube, but be patient and check it out), and click here to download the audio for the song. As always, I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

If You Only Knew

I am always slightly amused at charitable donations by celebrities that are "advertised" in the media. I understand the thinking behind it; they're celebrities, and they need to be marketed. So if they do perform some form of kindness, whether it be honest or contrived, it should be mentioned so that the public says 'hey, maybe Kanye does care about the community and not just himself'.

I get it, I really do.

But more often than not, the more cynical (and perhaps the more astute) observer will note that such donations of charity should not be made public, especially if they are done out of good will alone. If not, then there aren't many things lower than using the under-privileged as a media tool, which sort of defeats the purpose of your marketing plan in the first place doesn't it?

I guess the same goes for individuals, because aren't we just like that? More often than not, we hear people talking about the beggar they generously helped, or the good deed they did for someone else, while at the same time proclaiming how 'humble' they were. I always crack a wry smile and nod in amused understanding and fake approval; that is, in the end, all that they are looking for.

But let's flip the coin. How often have you wanted to tell someone that hey, this is what I feel, this is what I really think, this is what I did for you even though you didn't know it was me, this is what I gave up for you even though you never realised? What if for one clear moment, all our intentions and motivations were out in the open, and we were able to look around at the people around us and really 'see' them for the first time? While many (myself included) would hesitate to have their darker secrets revealed, I would be more interested in seeing what made other people 'tick', and how they really thought about me and life in general.

There's a verse in the Bible about how God looks at man:
But the LORD said to Samuel, "Don't judge by his appearance or height, for I have rejected him. The LORD doesn't see things the way you see them. People judge by outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." - 1Samuel 16:7

I wonder how that must feel, to look at a man and truly understand what kind of person he is. I wonder how it would feel for someone to look at me and straight away understand who I am and what I stand for. No explanations required, no disclaimers necessary.

How refreshing.

Then again - I wonder what they would see....?

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