Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Coach, you hear??

Day One.

I nervously stood at one corner, along with the other first timers. He stood there, inspecting us from afar. He was tall, and an air of silent menace surrounded him. He stood with a slight slouch to his back, his lanky arms dangling loosely at his sides. He was the Coach.

He kept staring at us, as if he expected us to do something. Finally one of the older first timers plucked the courage to walk up to him and ask him what it was that he wanted us to do. And so the Coach had us line up in front of him. As he stared at us, I noticed something hellish about his eyes. They glinted with malicious light, as if he were the devil himself! Cold sweat trickled down my spine.

"Let me ask you, how long do you think I have been standing here?" His voice was soft, but it was the sort of softness that could cut through flesh and bone faster and more effectively than any steel blade. I started to tremble like a leaf. I also noticed how the seniors had edged away from us first years, avoiding our gaze. "C'mon, tell me, how long have I been waiting here?"

"Um... about twenty minutes sir," squeaked one of the boys, clearly scared out of his socks.

"Twenty minutes?" His eyes hardened. "Lets get one thing straight, vermin. I hate to wait..."

Day Three

"Move move move move move!" the Coach bellowed at us as we dashed to and fro across the hall. We were made to run across the length of the hall two hundred and fifty times, having to bend down and touch the white line at the end of the hall, under a time limit of fifteen minutes.

My breath came out in ragged gasps as I ran. Sweat pouring out of my head, soaking my clothes thoroughly. I clutched my side, trying my best to ignore the stitch building up there. Several people had passed out after a few laps, and more were fainting as they ran.

I felt the bile rising through my throat as I pushed myself to the limit. I had just made it past two hundred laps, when my legs gave out and I crashed to the floor, hard. My body trembled violently, sweat streaming out of every pore. I must have been lying there for about five whole minutes, before I felt a sharp kick to my ribs. I opened my eyes, and saw the Coach's shoes inches away from my face. I looked up, begging him with my eyes. His own eyes hardened, and he mercilessly pointed towards the track...

Day Five

"You are not warriors, you're all whimps! I'll be damned if I ever saw a more useless bunch than you lot. What the hell do you think you're doing here?!" The Coach narrowed his eyes "You think this is some kind of joke?! You think this is just an ordinary battle school?! If you do, then stop waisting my time. If you think that I'm being too hard on you slugs then leave. Because if you want to stay, you damn well be sure that you're up to mark. Because if you slack off in my Academy, I'll make sure you never get the chance to slack off ever again. Oh yes, death happens to be part of the training. Did I mention that? You ether meet the mark, or you die trying..."

Day Six

I spun around, barely managing to block a slash. Sweat poured out of my every pore, plastering my hair to my head. My body ached, and the dozens of cuts I had taken burned. I stepped back quickly, all the time keeping my eyes on the opponent. I struggled to recollect all the battle lessons that I had learnt. It was hard. No matter how hard I tried to remember my previous stances and techniques, the information kept slipping away, like how people sometimes try to remember dreams, but never can. That's when I first felt it. My frustration gave way to anger. I wanted to jump out and slash wildly at my opponent, to hell with technique! But I realized instantly how stupid this would have been, and managed to calm myself down, for now. I then decided to take a gambit and went into direct assault.

Grunting with effort, I raised the blade above my head, preparing to attack. My muscles screamed in protest, my sword arm trembling. Ignoring the pain, I lashed out. The battle was short, it was violent, it was ruthless. My opponent knocked my blade aside with a simple flick of his wrist. His fist slamming into my face, breaking my nose. Then suddenly he was behind me. I tried to twist around and block the slash that I knew was coming. Too slow! I felt the the cold steel open a gash down my back. I screamed, my blade falling from my now limp hand. Flashes of pink and red danced before my eyes and I was faintly aware of the blood flowing down my back, soaking my battle tunic. Pain overrode all my other senses, leaving me blind and deaf to everything else except the pain. Pain so intense that, when the blackness of oblivion came for me, I welcomed it gratefully.

Day Nine

I grit my teeth, and heaved my body over the ledge. Then I rolled to my feet, and continued the run along the platform. Ahead of me I spotted the rope. It was dangling about three feet above platform height and roughly six feet away from the edge. Running off the edge of the platform, grabbing the rope and swinging over the edge of the wall on the opposite side was easy enough. Doing it with weights weighing half your body weight tied to your body was another thing altogether. I ran, struggling every step of of the way. Despite my screaming muscles, I jumped and caught the rope. I figured that the best shot I had of sailing over the edge of the opposite platform was to do it on the first swing, when I had maximum oscillation. That's when things went wrong. I misjudged my timing, and let go about a second too late. With weights weighing you down, this could prove fatal. Instead of landing gracefully past the edge, I fell short. With only a second to think, I straightened out my body, and reached for the edge of the wall. As soon as my fingertips touched the edge, I curled my fingers into the small groove that ran along it. My body swung violently and slammed into the wall. The breath was forced out of my body and my vision blurred. I drew in ragged gasps of air, my chest burning. My half healed back started to throb, and my fingers started to slip.

That's when I heard it. Laughter. Mocking laughter, aimed at me. I could distinctly hear the Coach's voice, his unmistakable cynical laughter. Rage welled up inside me. I tried to compose myself, but this time, I could not. My aching mind and body would not let me. Immediately I felt the adrenaline rushing through my veins. My grip on the ledge tightened. I roared, and with an astounding burst of effort, swung my body over the edge of the wall and landed on the other side. The laughter died down immediately. I looked ahead and, ignoring the pain, ran.

Day Ten

"Hit harder!" the Coach yelled into my ear. I grimaced as the sound waves assaulted my ears. I struck at the dummy again, my hand hardly leaving a dent in the wood. The dummy was made out of wood, with steel restrainers. The wooden bits were our prime target in a battle. And so we were working on it. I struck the dummy repeatedly, legs, body and head.

The Coach walked away from me, inspecting the others. After about half an hour of dummy hitting, the Coach allowed one student to stop. A few minutes later, he asked another to stop, then another, then another, until finally, I was the last person left hitting the thing. He walked up to me, and I expected him to let me off too, but he remained silent. When I stopped hitting and looked at him, he arched an eyebrow and cooly gestured towards the dummy. I turned back to the dummy, and started hitting it a lot harder, my anger rising. Why was he picking on me? Hit. What did I do to anger him? Hit. Can't he just treat me like everyone else? Hit. Whats his problem!? Hit. I was faintly aware of the blood that was flowing from between my knuckles.

"Hit HARDER!" the Coach suddenly roared. I jumped, suprised. I then pulled my fist back and struck the wood. A slight crack formed across the wooden face. "HARDER!" I struck again. "HARDER!" This drove me over the edge. My rage came out in one, long primal roar. I lashed out with my heel, shattering the dummy's wooden legs. I then dropped to one knee, and elbowed the chest, snapping the dummy's torso in two. I then stood up, and, using my other elbow, elbowed the dummy's head so hard that the head flew into the wall behind it and shattered there. I then lashed out at the dummy stand with fists and feet, my blows ripping the stand off the floor and sending it crashing into the wall. I then faced the Coach, looked him straight in the eye, then turned around and walked over to the benches. I hardly felt the pain from my knuckles.

Day Seventeen

"Today one of you will get the chance of a lifetime, a chance to fight me and not end up dead, like a lot of you ought too. This will be an unarmed duel, no weapons, no restoration potions or salves, nothing." The Coach's degrading tone stung. I clenched my fist. We were sitting in a circle, with the Coach standing in the middle. He then walked along the inside of the circle, looking each of us in the eyes. Some students looked away, unable to bring themselves to look into his cruel eyes. Some met his gaze, but flinched. When he walked past me, I did nether, but met his gaze as steadily as I could manage. This seemed to suprise the Coach. His eyebrows shot up a fraction, and an amused smile touched his lips. I fought to control the rage welling up inside me. He walked past me, looking at the others. He continued walking till he was directly opposite me, facing away. He then spun around, pointed a long, menacing finger at me, and hissed "You!"I did not move for about five seconds. Then I slowly rose to my feet and faced the Coach square off. The Coach stripped off his tunic, his muscles rippling in the light. I moved into one of the battle stances, waiting for him to make the first move. We circled each other, waiting for an opening to strike. We moved in a tight circle just out of striking distance.

I waited a bit longer, then got the opening I was hoping for. I noticed the slight tensing of the Coach's leg muscles, indicating that he was about to attack, so I prepared myself. The Coach struck out suddenly, leaping forward and lashing out with his foot. I leaped high into the air and aimed a counter kick at his face. He ducked it almost effortlessly and moved forward. I landed behind the Coach, rolled to my feet and spun around to face him. He attacked again, sending a flurry of punches at me. I blocked every single one of them, then stuck out with a few punches of my own. I hit nothing but air. Then I attacked. I kicked out twice, feinted a punch, then threw a far deadlier cross punch to the ribs. The Coach swatted both my kicks away and dodged my punches, coming up beside me. Before I could move, I took a solid kick to the ribs and a punch to the jaw. I fell backwards, rolled and leapt to my feet. I attacked again, lashing out at the Coach's legs, but this time I took a full foot in the face. I felt my nose break, and tasted the coppery taste of blood in my mouth.

I circled the Coach again. Then I tried a suprise attack, executing a flying kick, but the Coach blocked it and countered it with a kick to my knee and a fist to my gut. I backed away, then attacked again, feinting twice then kicking at the Coach's ribs, but he saw that coming. He easily caught my leg, twisted my ankle sharply, kicked at my other leg and shoved me backwards. I was sent sprawling. I leapt to my feet and attacked, but I was pelted back with a flurry of blows that seemed to hit every unguarded part of my body. I staggered back, one eye turning a nasty shade of blue. I attacked again. And again. And again. And again, but it was all in vain. Each time I attacked I got beaten up, and yet I could not land a single blow on the Coach. After about ten minutes of trying, I was exhausted. My hands trembled violently, blood streaming out of my nose and cut lip. The skin above my ribs were a mass of bruises that had now acquired a nasty purple shade. My left eye was swollen shut, and I moved rather stiffly due to a damaging kick to my left leg. Why can't I hit him?! Frustration fueled my anger. I clenched my fist to stop my hand from trembling. Why is he so bloody fast!? My fingernails cut into the flesh of my hand, and I felt the blood flowing between my fingers. I fought to control my anger.

"Why do you do that?" I heard the Coach ask. "Do what?" I replied through clenched teeth, venom in my vioce. "Fight that anger. Why do you hold back all that rage?" He was talking softly now, so that only I could hear. "Because," I remembered my previous mentor's words "because to perform best, one must first have complete and absolute control over his body. This includes the physical, mental and emotional." The Coach laughed "They told you that, now did they? Then tell me, boy, why aren't you beating me?" I clenched my fist tighter, my mind barely registering the pain "I have not yet attained complete control over myself," I continued through clenched teeth. "At least there's still hope for you," the Coach's tone of voice had superiority etched in every syllable.

The blow came so unexpectedly, that for a few moments I just stood there blinking. "Let it out," came the Coach's commanding voice "Let your rage out! You want to try to control anger?! You fool! Anger is your greatest ally in a fight!" The second blow made me see stars. "Let it out!" The next blow struck me between the eyes. "Let it out!" A foot slammed into my kidney. "Let it out!" A punch to the jaw. "LET IT OUT!" the Coach roared, punching me in the jaw again, and kicking my feet from under me. I crashed into the floor. Control! I struggled to control myself. Then a sharp kick slammed into my ribs, and I lost it. I let the sheer power of rage surge through my body.

I rolled on my back, grabbed the Coach's arm, and yanked him down. He was forced into a sort of bow. That was good enough for me. I uncurled my fist, lashed out with open fingers, and raked my fingernails through the flesh of his cheek, drawing blood. His eyes widened in shock, then a glimmer of realization flashed through them, and he smiled a satisfied smile. I yelled the vilest of curses at him, and tried to punch him, but he moved away. I rolled to my feet, murder in my eyes, and attacked. I wanted blood! Charged at him, throwing a hurricane of blows. Fist, elbow, knee, feet, anything I could lash out with. He blocked as well as he could, but I was relentless. I kept attacking him, forcing him backwards. He struck out at me violently from time to time trying to knock me off, but I barely felt the blows.

Then I spotted it, the opening I needed. I changed my stance and attacked immediately. The Coach spotted my movements, and tried to deter me by kneeing at my stomach. I took the hit to the stomach, but loosed five damaging blows to his solar plexus. The Coach groaned and staggered backwards. "Okay boy, that's enough," gasped the Coach, doubling over in pain. I was in no state of mind to listen. I attacked him again, forcing him to back up against a wall. When he finally did, I smiled a triumphant smile, and threw a ground shaking punch. The effect was spoilt when the Coach moved away and my fist connected with the wall breaking all the knuckles in my hand. "I said," hissed the Coach, while he threw a crushing blow to my unguarded kidney. I gasped and doubled over. He grabbed my head with both his hands, jerked me downwards, then brought his knee straight into my face. "I said," he repeated, as he swung me around and slammed me into the wall "that's enough!" I looked into his eyes and saw for the first time, a sort of self devouring, mindless rage.

Day Twenty Eight

"Work that anger!" A bucket of cold water hit me in the face. I gasped, struggling against the chains that bound my hands behind my back. "Let the rage course through your body!" Another bucket of icy cold water to the face. I spluttered, then cursed the Coach. I had been violently dragged out of my room, my hands handcuffed during my sleep, and into another room, where I was thrown violently on the floor. "Thats it, curse all you want, let your rage take over!" said the Coach with satisfaction in his eyes. I cursed and called him every name under the sun, and then was, again, nailed with a bucket of cold water. There were five hooded, masked men in the room aside from the Coach. It was these men who were alternating between pouring cold water on me, and hitting me. The next blow landed between my eyes, and my vision swam for a moment. I focused on the guy who had hit me. He will die.

This is an unfinished post that i had written a long time ago. Just had a chance to go through it. I decided not to finish it, I think its beautiful the way it is. Oh and all the fencers in my school will know who I'm referring to in this post ;)

Sunday, October 25, 2009


     Hey all, I know its been a long time since I last blogged, but as you all know, I had my PMR exams to deal with (not that I was studying or anything).

     Today's post will be about my friends. Not all of them, just the ones I hang out with at school.

     Lets start with Arthur 'Terrapin' Tan, the weird and whacky one in our group. Being a master at origami, no paper is safe from Arthur! Seriously, he can fold anything from a gargoyle to a three-headed dragon to a 'Trycerafrog' (its a frog with three horns that makes it look like a Tryceratops). Quiet in nature (until he met us, that is!) Arthur is funny in his own way, his jokes usually needing good English, and wide general knowledge, to understand. His name Terrapin comes from the tortoise-like look that he gives us from time to time. All in all, a great guy. 

     Then we have Amandeep 'Topdog' Singh, the coolest nerd in our group. He's usually up to date with all his homework, and all the teachers like him. But don't be fooled, there are two horns hidden somewhere on his head! A natural stand up comedian with a great sense of humor. One can never be bored around him. Great music taste too. I was always a music listener, but he got me hooked. When it comes to my music exposure, I owe it all to him. Not only music. He got me hooked on ventriloquists and stand up comedians too. Gotta love him.  

     Now lets go to Aidan 'Underdog' Yeoh. He is the most, no wait, the second most annoying person (the Chongs beat him here) I have ever known. Enthusiastic in nature, Aidan has been a real asset to our group. He is the type of person who would make a decision and stand on it no matter what anyone else thinks. His words have a way of making people think. He's also an aspiring musician. 

     I have been saving the best for last. This is none other than Julian 'Chotta Don' Sebastian. He's the main humor generator of our group. You may have had the worst day in your life, but a few minutes with Jules and you'll be on the floor laughing. Trust me, I know. If there ever was a Humor Central, the host would most definitely be Julian. But beneath this comedian front is a loyal and caring person, with only the best in mind for his friends. He truly is one of a kind. 

     Now, to the person who gave me the idea for this blog post, and has been the inspiration for a lot of my previous posts: Sonia!  It is said that everyone needs a shove once in a while to get them moving. My shove came in the form of this person. By far, Sonia is my favourite chat buddy, and my youtube 'reference book'. Sensible at best, she's exactly what the world needs t0 combat my craziness. She's a fun lover with an amazing personality. She is one in a billion. 

Monday, August 24, 2009

Operation S.T.E.A.L.

It was on the 21st of August 2009 (Friday). The attendance was 11 out of 39 students. Arthur had asked me to bring my guitar, so I brought it to school (its not like we were going to study anyway). So Arthur and I played a few songs and sang to it. The others in the class joined along, and we were a bit too loud.

We were so loud, we woke the Goblin of Saint Paul's. Her very presence instilled fear in the bravest of hearts, and she could make the strongest men grovel at her feet in terror. It was this very being that arrived at our classroom. Those singing stopped abruptly, and those who were doing other things stood rooted in fear. She licked her sharp goblin teeth, scanning the class. Her little piggy eyes darted to my guitar, then to me. There seemed to be a hellish light in her eyes, as she stared at me. I stared right back. It was a stare-off that seemed to last an eternity. I gripped my guitar, knuckles turning white with effort. The power behind the eyes of the Goblin was enormous. I put up a good fight, I stared at her with such intensity that she started sweating under the strain, but it was no good. She had had too much practise, she was too powerful. I averted my eyes and slumped on my chair, all the energy leaving me.

The Goblin smiled and wiped her sweat away. She then pointed a hooked claw at me and screeched "Hand the guitar over to me! I am confiscating it!"

The class was silent as I walked up to the Goblin and handed my guitar over to her. Cackling like the goblin she was, she left. I dropped into my seat, and exhaled slowly.

"That was a custom made jumbo guitar, probably worth more than 500 bucks," said Arthur.
I raised my hand, silencing him "I need to think."

A minute or so later, I looked at Arthur and grinned. Arthur, knowing me well enough said
"You're not going to let her get away with this are you?"
"Nope. I can't out muscle her, I'm just going to have to out smart her."
"You do realize that the rest of the team is absent right?"
"We'll manage."
Arthur grinned "Whats the plan?"

I needed a third agent, so I recruited Nicholas. We all sat around a table, and I told them the plan:

Operation S.T.E.A.L.

Codename Watchman (Arthur)
Codename Infiltrator (Nick)
Codename Shadow (Azriel)

The Mission:
Retrieve stolen good from the Goblin's Den  

After school, 1225 hours.

Watchman takes up position, checking for Goblin. If Goblin is present, Watchman makes his move, and lures her away. Infiltrator then moves in, locates the prize, scan the surrounding for traps and obstacles, then moves out and reports to Shadow using hand signals. Shadow then slips in and out of the Den with prize.

The bell rings at 12.25 p.m. The agents are in position. The goblin is not there, so Watchman pretends he is on the pay phone, keeping an eye out for the Goblin. Infiltrator enteres the office, then out again. Through hand signals I gather that the prize is in the Goblin's office, but Aru is a potential threat to the mission. Nodding swiftly, I walk up to Watchman and swiftly whisper my plan.

Both me and Watchman move into the office. Watchman engages a teacher in conversation just outside Aru's office door, so as to block Aru's visual (his door has a 'window' on it). I dip into the Goblin's Den, grab my guitar, and then stroll out casually, so as not to look suspicious.

Operation S.T.E.A.L. was a success!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Happy Birthday Anne

Today's post is special. Today's post goes out all the way to a person who has had a great deal of influence in my life, someone to whom I have (and still!) looked up too, a teacher, a mentor, a friend: Tan Szet Anne.

Out of the eight years I should have known you, I have known you only three, and you have been a blessing to me. And, like someone-i-forgot-his-name said, "A teacher never knows where her influence stops," others have been blessed by you through me. Your life has always been an inspiration when ever I am in need of one. Ever, during a time of prayer, when there is no pressure, and you have all the time in the world, take the time to thank God for all the people he has placed around you, to help you grow, learn from, and love? Guess whose name stood out in my mind? Yours.

In every one's life there are a few special people (family not included) that mold and shape and mold a life, and these few special people will always be remembered. I have had the opportunity and the privilege to to meed one such person in my life: you. You are a mighty leader, a good listener (goodness knows that is true... I still don't know how you hear of news that fast...) a wise counselor, a good friend. I thank God for placing you in my life, and meeting you has been one of the turning points in my life, and it has changed me for the better. Thank you Anne, for being all that you have been to me.

In the mire that is life
There are a those who glow like light
Shaping, molding, touching one,
Blessing one like me, a ton!

PS: Happy Birthday Anne

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Crazy Hat Day!!

I know, I have not been a very faithful blogger. Anyway, this post is about my school life. Think you know me that well? Read this blog, and see for yourself.

Let us start with the 'Crazy Hat Day!'

I can't remember exactly what day it was, but Arthur and I were feeling really bored. The teacher was droning on and on about something and I'd bet you anything the entire class was not paying attention to her. As usual, Arthur was folding a piece of paper while I was writing a short story on a piece of paper (somehow our friendship, our very lives seem to revolve around pieces of paper).

Then at one point, I looked up and stared at Arthur. He was wrestling with a piece of paper, trying to fold a corner in or something. It looked like an overturned saucer with one flat side.
"Hey Arthie, what is that?" I asked.
"I have no idea. I'm just folding whatever i can find, see what comes out of it."
"Well, if its any help, it does look sort of like an armadillo shell cap, like the one from Dukes of Hazzard," I injected.
"A what?! Hey cool!" with that he jammed it on my head. The both of us burst out laughing.

Then an idea hit me like a pile of bricks. As Arthur reached to pull the hat off, i knocked his hand away, and winked at him. He looked at me, then at the cap, then at me again. Then his eyes widened in realization, and he grinned.
An entire silent conversation seemed to pass between us:
"You're gonna wear that hat around??!!"
"All day??!!"
"In front of the teachers?!"
"You're insane!!"

Then, in actual words:
"Are you serious?"
"Dead serious," I reply with a smile.
"You do know that everyone is gonna laugh at you, right?" he said.
"They might, but hey, whats life without a few laughs here and there right? Besides, wear a crazy hat long enough, and it'll catch on. Just you wait and see. By the end of today, I won't be the only one wearing a ridiculous paper hat!" I said

So then Arthur made a weird hat for himself and wore it. Julian, looking at the both of us, made a hat of his own, and wore it.

At first people laughed at us, telling us we look like complete fools (to which our typical response was "Hey, we never said we weren't!"). Then they tried to knock out hats off our heads. Then they started snatching our hats, trying them on, then putting it back on our heads. Then, one by one, students started making hats of their own and wearing it. At last, when our History teacher came in, she was greeted by a sea of white paper hats.

The class was so taken up with the hats, that when the teacher ordered the entire class to remove their hats, the hats came back on minutes later. Every time the teacher made us remove it, the hats somehow resurfaced (if you think Arthur and I had anything to do with it... you guessed right!), to the extent that the teacher could do nothing but teach a class full of students embarrassing themselves (on purpose) by wearing dumb paper hats!

When the bell rang, signaling the end of school, Arthur and I walked out of the class in silence. I caught his eye, and the both of us grinned like a pair of jackals.

Monday, June 1, 2009

S.P.I vs Garden International School

Okay, so you all probably want to know what happened at the Fencing tournament on Saturday.
Well, bad news, SPI lost (got second place). Good news, the best Fencer was from SPI, and our fledgling fencer actually beat one of their trained fencers! But I was humbled and taught an important lesson too.

So, in the morning (6 a.m.!!) I get a call on my phone. The SPI fencers are eating breakfast in some shop. Marcus and Wei Loong call and want me to come. I tried refusing a couple of times, but they were persistent. Believe it or not, they were willing to drive all the way from SPI right up to Rasah Kemayan to pick me up from my house, just because I am one of SPI's best fencers! How does one refuse in such a situation? So they all came to my house in one van, at 6a.m. in the morning.

Our trip there was uneventful. We arrived there, and split into groups, 3 from SPI and 3 from GI (Garden International). Then we sparred. The game went that the first contestant to score 3 points wins (or the one who scores most points by the time limit). I said a quick prayer, depending on God to see me through the matches with minimal injury.

I was first in line to spar for my group. My first opponent was a girl. I was weary at first, thinking she was good, but, as soon as she made her move, it was evident who was the better fencer (and it was not her!). So I decided to bully her a little. I was really mean. Every time she took a stab at me, I easily parried, and then ether stab back at her arms and legs (so as to prolong the match, and not end it), or whack her with the flat of my blade. One time, she tried a feint, but I saw it coming. I blocked both her feinted stab and her actual stab, and drove the point of my rapier into her mask, knocking her backwards. I finished her off 3-0.

I got big headed. Sirajudding was next after me, and, when he too had a flawless victory (6-0), it added to my overconfidence. Wei Loong The Great (he had only gone for one fencing lesson, yet he was fighting like us seasoned fencers. Hats off to Wei Loong) won his match, taking two hits, placing us at 9-2. Me and Sirajuddin breezed through the next two matches, taking a hit each, leaving us with 15-4. I thought we were invincible. I thought we had this game wrapped up, and at 15-4, victory seemed to be ours. I knowingly pushed God aside, saying I can handle this on my own. And the worst thing was, that I was aware I was pushing God away.

Our luck ran out. We got hammered 16-18. A crushing blow. I was next, and I thought I could handle myself. I was sadly mistaken. Sirajudding after me fared no better. I went in after that, trying to recover, but we took it bad, 24-27.

We were crushed. Having victory snatched from our hands was painful. And, when we saw our next opponents, we had no hope. They were big, huge, collage level students!!

Sirajuddin was up first. He could not score a single point. I went in after him and fared no better. At 0-6, (SPI 0), Wei Loong was devastated. But he fenced like a pro, and managed to score a point.

I knew that something was not right here. We could handle these guys, yet we were loosing. I sat down in the far end of the room, thought for a while, and prayed. I apologized, and asked forgiveness for not putting Him first. I then asked God to take over from here on. I asked Him to let me bring glory to His name in this competition. Then I resumed the game, feeling like the true champion I was.

Sirajuddin was after Wei Loong, but he was not able to score anything. The points stood at 1-12 (SPI 1). Then I went in. God gave me the wisdom to test my other opponent, and not leap straight into battle, as was my style. I found out that he was fast, but his moves were predictable. I knocked his blade to one side, only to have it swing back and knock mine away. I repeated the same move, only this time, when his blade swung back, I disengaged it (so that his counter-parry wont work), and stabbed at the exposed part of his shoulder. I scored a point. My confidence blossomed. I pressed on the attack, slashing, stabbing, feinting, lunging etc. Each time I attacked I scored a point. But time ran out. Still, the scoreboard now read 10-13 (SPI 10).

"$#!t man, 10 points!" shouted Sirajuddin, a stunned grin on his face.
"9" I corrected him.

Wei Loong and Sirajuddin fenced with renewed vigor, scoring a point each. Then Wei Loong and I swapped places, so that he would go before me, and I would play the last match. Wei Loong did not score a single point leaving the points at 12-24. Then it was my turn, and I would be facing off the best, the team captain.

He was weary of me. He had seen the way I had handled his friend. We met in the centre, and, in the blink of an eye, stabbed at me. I parried his blow with equal speed, then took at stab at him, but he had already taken two steps back. I took a step forward, and did a full out lunge. He parried it, and lunged, but I, with lightning quick reflexes, recovered from the lunge, and knocked his blade downwards. Then I extended my arm in a semi-stab. His blade raised a welt in my thigh, and I drove the point of my blade into his mask, making him stagger backwards.

I was running out of tricks. I needed a new one fast. My opponent knew all those common moves, and was prepared for it. So I pulled one very very very (very!) dangerous stunt. I stood my ground and waited for him to attack. That means I am allowing him to plan his attack, and advance. It means that I will be relying on speed alone, to react to him. He advanced, testing me with slight jabs. The he lunged. I parried the blow, and stabbed at him, but he was to far. He tried to parry my stab, but I disengaged him, and when he tried to parry again, I counter disengaged him, took a step forward, and did a full out lunge. He was not prepared for that. I nailed him.

Man, my next move really caught him off guard. As soon as the coach said fence, I covered the distance between us in a matter of seconds, and the next instant, was on his side of the line. He was so shocked at my sudden aggressive attack, that he did not know what to do. I stabbed him, he blocked. I stabbed again, he blocked. I stabbed for the third time, only this time, I dropped my blade in a small circular arc under his blade, so that his parry missed, exposing his shoulder. I drove my blade into his shoulder, earning me another point.

We fenced what must have been the greatest fencing match of my life so far. Lunging, parrying, stabbing etc. By the time we were done, the scoreboard read 20-27. recovering 8 points was no small feat. SPI lost, but on an individual scale, I owned the game! I was crowned best fencer.

I dominated the rest of the matches. Enough said.

But this post is to glorify God. Believe it or not, this really did happen, exactly the way I told it. No exaggerations, nothing. I just witnessed a miracle. No way I could have held out so long on my own against those fencers, who, by the way, have been fencing longer than I have.

This was a humbling experience. I was beaten by those of lesser experience than me when I left out God, but I beat more experienced fencers, when I let God take over. All glory to Him.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Arthie Arthie

It was Wednesday I think, when Arthur, Julian and I had to stay back to finish our Living Skills (K.H.) wood work (I couldn't finish mine on time because I attended drama practise). As Julian and I were doing our work, we suddenly herd a yeowl, followed by a curse. Looking up from my work, I saw Arthur jumping about clutching his thumb tightly. Julian shook his head and resumed his work, while I laughed.

After a few moments, I heard another curse.

Arthur: How do you all get the nails to obey you??!! My nails are bent on making my life miserable!

Me: Its called skill Arthie, not something you are familiar with.

Arthur: I am carpenter-illy challenged!

Julian: That you are!

A few minutes later I heard the fall of a hammer followed by a prolonged groan.

Arthur (holding up a bent nail): How do you get the nails to go straight into the wood?!?! How do you keep your nails from bending, when you hammer it?! Hey, maybe I'm the Last Nail Bender!!

Julian dropped his hammer and burst out laughing.

A little while later

e: Hey Arthie, do me a favor and get the Shellac oil from the K.H. store.

Arthur: Okay.

Arthur came back holding a big container and several brushes.

Arthur: Since I brought you the Shellac, I get to use it first.

Julian and I: Okay

So Arthur poured the liquid into a bowl, dipped a brush into it, and started coating what supposed to be his wood work. It took me a while, but then I noticed something was wrong. Instead of the brown Shellac oil, the bowl was filled with a clear white liquid.

Me: Arthie where did you get that liquid?

Arthur: In the store room, why?

Me: Because that's not Shellac.


Me: That's not Shellac

Julian looked at the liquid, then at Arthur, and burst out laughing.

Julian: Looks like Turpentine.

Arthur: What is that?

Me: I don't know what that is, but I sure as hell know it's not Shellac

Arthur looked mortified. Then he let out a long, anguished wail.

Arthur: Curse you Two-pen-tein!!!!!

Me: Its Ter-penh-tine

Arthur: No, its Two-pen-tein. It has a 'U' in it.

Julian examined Arthur's woodwork, and laughed a whole lot more louder. Arthur had coated half his woodwork in Turpentine. I then went back to the K.H. room and get some proper Shellac oil, and Shellac-ing my woodwork. Julian did likewise.

Arhtur: Oh bugger the whole thing!! I have an idea!

With that, Arthur emptied half the Shellac bottle into a small container, and then dipped his woodwork into it.

We went to class laughing like a trio of drunkards!