Wednesday, October 10, 2007

crazy is just you or me... amplified

"Sometimes the only way to stay sane is to go a little crazy."
~from the movie Girl, Interrupted.
I'm reading a book by Paulo Coelho. The title is "Veronika Decides to Die", a birthday present from a friend upon my request. A weird and funny title, I know. The story is about a girl, Veronika, who seems to have everything she wanted - boyfriends, career, family, looks et cetera. But she's not happy. So one day, she decided to die. She took an overdose of sleeping pills but woke up in an asylum. However, though she failed to kill herself at that time, her heart had been damaged and she would die in few days. From there the story goes on to how she lived through her remaining time, things she uncovered, the meaning of life et cetera.

Like his every other book that I've read, I cannot quite grasp what message the author is trying to convey. What a shame... But there's one part of the story that I like a lot. The part where one of the inmates of the asylum told Veronika a story. The story goes like this...

A powerful wizard, who wanted to destroy an entire kingdom, placed a magic potion in the well from which all the inhabitants drank. Whoever drank that water would go mad. The following morning, the whole population drank from the well and they all went mad, apart from the king and his family, who had a well set aside for them alone, and which the magician had not managed to poison. The king was worried and tried to control the population by issuing a series of edicts governing security and public health. The policemen and the inspectors, however, had also drunk the poisoned water and they thought the king's decisions were absurd and resolved to take no notice of them. When the inhabitants of the kingdom heard these decrees, they became convinced that the king had gone mad and was now giving nonsensical orders. They marched on the castle and called for his abdication. In despair, the king prepared to step down from the throne but the queen stopped him, saying: "Let us go and drink from the communal well. Then, we will be the same as them." And that was what they did: the king and the queen drank the water of madness and immediately began talking nonsense. Their subjects repented at once; now that the king was displaying such wisdom, why not allow him to continue ruling the country? The country continued to live in peace, although its inhabitants behaved very differently from those of its neighbors. And the king was able to govern until the end of his days.

I was chatting with a friend on MSN and we were talking about weird people that we know. Now that I think of it, weird people are probably from that particular kingdom. Hahaha...

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Road Not Taken

One of my favourite poems. By Robert Frost.

Two roads diverge in a yellow wood
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim
Because it was grassy and wanted wear
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no steps had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way
I doubted if I should ever come back

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, and I –
I took the one less traveled by
And that has made all the difference