Never Say Die Read Count : 57

Category : Blogs

Sub Category : Miscellaneous
He sits by his desk looking at the pile of stacked books on the floor waiting for him to autograph. He picks one nearest to his reach and slowly runs his finger across the author's name: Ismail Ariffin. He smiles a smile that warms his heart yet, a smile that doesn't really reach his eyes. 

On the surface, looking at him, some would say he is a man who has always got it together; the person who always has all the answers. Looking at him, they would say he is a man who is always surefooted; every step he takes is with steady and firm assuredness. In many ways, they are not wrong in their assessment of him. Confidence exudes out of every pore of his being, that to most, he seems untouchable and unbreakable. In their eyes, he represents strength and power; a solid, indestructible pillar. Again, their view of him, in many ways, is spot on. With his big and generous heart, his selfless 'always ready and willing to help' demeanor, a lot of people turn to him in their hour of despair, distress and darkness. And being the person that he is, he goes out of his way to help in whichever way he possibly can.

Underneath the surface, he is a master of illusion who is brilliant with his disguise, clever with his camouflage, and the facade he puts on with the masks he wears. 

He holds the book to his chest and closes his eyes, allowing a silent tear to roll down his cheek. He offers a silent prayer, grateful for the blessings that he has received, thankful for being alive.

Truth be told, he couldn't believe how his journey had unfold. Born to an Indian father and a Punjabi mother who felt he was unworthy, he was abandoned when he was only a few weeks old. A kind Malay man found him and brought him home to raise as one of his own. He never knew his roots as he has never met his biological parents. All he knows is the life he has had with his family who do not share the same DNA as him. Yet, he was loved fully, he was taught the Islamic religion, the Malay culture, and with that, he had found peace. For that, he would always be thankful. However, knowing the truth of his existence, he was struggling with so many questions. "Why did my biological parents abandon me? Don't they love me? Wasn't I worthy of their love? What was so wrong with me to make them throw me away, forgotten, as though I had never existed in their life?"

 Then a few nights ago, my prayers were answered. He painted a rough sketch on the blank canvas in my mind. From the rough sketch he gave, I felt his pain deep in my soul. I felt helpless because of his pain and also because I could feel his own helplessness in battling his pain. Through every stroke of his sketch, every form of the picture he painted, my heart bled and broke for him. At that moment on that night, he allowed me to see his truest self. I feel honored by his trust in me and I am truly humbled by it. 

Initially, I think he was not sure on what move to make, for his pain is a multiple level of pain piled on top of one another. People always say that when it rains, it pours. However, in his case, when it rained, it didn't just pour but he got the massive tidal wave of tsunami thrown in the mix. His pain is a delicate kind of pain that needs to be treated with extreme care. A regular band aid is not going to cut it. Proper planning and moves are required in this operation which is going to involve a lot of time. Will he be left behind for stepping too slow? Should he step sideways to avoid sudden injury? What if he moves briskly forward, will he crash? Should he take it slow or should he just blaze forward and go for the kill? 

Looking from his sketch, it appears to me that he has, in some ways, found his footing. The foothold may not be as strong as he'd want it to be right now, but it is still a foothold. At least he is no longer slipping and sliding in his climb. But for someone who has had it all, this progress may seem too insignificant for him to acknowledge. Yet, no matter how small it may be, it is still a progress.

Sometimes you win some, sometimes you lose some. And right now, he is losing bad. For so long, he has stood on this stage of life shining out light and reminding the broken that everything will be alright. It is easy to sing when there's nothing to bring him down. But, what will he do when he's held to the flame like he is right now? They say it only takes a little faith to move a mountain. The good thing is, his faith is strong. And though sometimes God choose to leave mountains unmovable, I pray God gives him the strength to still sing out loud and that all is well in his soul. 

He is a man born for greatness. This complicated and delicate battle he is going through will further prove that he is unbreakable. This war he is fighting right now is not going to end him. He may end up battered and bruised, but he will make it to the other side.

Art heals the artist.

Your creative process is your tool to move energy through. To turn your hardest emotions into something beautiful. You are transmuting darkness into something else, something that doesn’t need to live inside of you.

So turn your despair into dance.
Let your sobs become songs.
Write your pain into poetry.

Celebrate your life as the masterpiece it is.


  • May 15, 2022

  • May 15, 2022

  • May 17, 2022

Log Out?

Are you sure you want to log out?