Outside the station of either Admiralty or Sembawang, there will usually sit a blind Malay man, playing the keyboard whilst singing. By definition he’s a blind busker. The wife and I, will almost always never fail to just put in that $2 note into his box. And we both agree, that we are not doing it out of sympathy. We appreciated the quality of his voice. Melodious and soothing, especially when he gives a flawless rendition of “This I Promise You” by N Sync.
That Blinding Truth
He has more often than not, brought a surreal sense of peace and appreciation about life, in my perspective. As much as it may sound idealistically ridiculous, I will gladly trade my life with his. The often coined remark that God is fair, can never be further than the truth whenever I look at him. For the absence of sight, God blessed him with the gift of a beautiful voice, designed to cheer and sadden the emotions of those listening him. I shudder to think of the difference he may have made, to weary train commuters, listening to his voice. I forgot the number of times, his renditions of beautiful songs just threw me back, blasting into the past.
He has a passion for music, in which he made into a livelihood. I admire that. I’ve seen his family, children and wife, helping him move from point to point. And I choke with regrets about how I’m living my life. Seeing how despite limitations, he still is blessed with a family, a means of earning and the almost divine gift of making a difference in people’s life.
In my opinion, we are sometimes just crippled and disabled with our normality, to really see the flip side of life. An alternate universe, where we could ask, “What if I did not have…?”. As a community, we are still lauding success as the equivalent of either being a Suria artiste or just plain wealthy. We still connote normality with lavish weddings and expensive expenditures. In this reality, disability is resigned to that scope of sitting in a chair, singing.
What Could Have Been?
Kai mentioned to me the other day, that perhaps my self professed loss of passion was right. And I agree. I gripe too much and I whine too much these days. To the ultra successful, I am seen as just another individual not realizing a potential. To the ultra normal people, I could be seen as a contradiction to the idea that normal people should live normal life.
I was clearing some stuffs from my cupboard yesterday, and copies of my cartoons from my days of being a cartoonist was strewn all over the floor. The wife picked it up and asked me, rather poignantly, “Why didn’t you pursue being a cartoonist? You could have been a Pixar or Disney animator. Or doing animations now? That used to be your passion right?” I dejectedly kept quiet. She’s right. In that realm of possibilities, I could have been such. But then I settled for the best paying job, with the so called best challenges and prospects and the rest is history. Someway or somehow, the normality virus got into me, making me fearful of possibilities. I told myself that cartooning had no prospects. Doing workshops had no future. Being a speaker paid little. And so many other “doomsday” prophecies. And what happens? At the age of nearing 30, I tell myself that I could have been so many things, but I settled for a normal career that provides a normal process of work.
I am telling myself now, that I have a disability. And I will have to make time, to discover a different facet of myself to accentuate and magnify, to be able to live out a more fulfilling life. I am not gonna let the repetitive cycle of expectations bog me down. I want to be the blind man, who can light up that flicker of hope in your life. I want to be that singing voice, that will just soothe your weariness away. I want to be the blind busker, who chooses songs that rejuvenates romance and love. I want to be that peaceful man, who does not worry about who puts in how much in that small box of mine. I just want to sing my hearts out, doing what I love doing.
It’s not really that difficult. I just have to blind myself to the world, and start seeing me inside…