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Mom, Dad,
When you two separated
She was torn apart
She prayed everyday
She wished during every birthday
She loved Disney for that happy ending
She believed in dreams
Of holding Mommy's hands
And holding Daddy's hands
At the same time
She waited
Day after day
Week after week
Months to years
Until that child faded
But this adult remembers
She became I
And I fear
And I swear
To never make the same mistakes
To never create an image
Of a happy family
And tear it apart
If I could
I would
Tape it back together
I know
It's all
She ever wanted

(Poem by Yuumei)

I saw you at the train station
It was almost five o clock
I didn’t hear what you said
But it sounded like you wanted me to come home with you
It took me five minutes
But I get it now
I’ve done what the voice told me to do
“Seek boy, just seek”
I found you at Hellerup train station

Yeah, yeah
You make me a man, baby
I wash my own clothes now

I wash it myself
I sort it myself
And I went grocery shopping on my own yesterday
So come into my arms
I wanted to give you my name
But you didn’t want to be called Rasmus

I look at you for hours
Until you close your curtains
I’m just so full of love
So why involve the police?
It’s just a flirt
Nothing to report
I broke into your basement
I just want to help wash you clothes
After smelling it

Yeah, yeah
I use lukewarm water, baby
So the smell doesn’t come out entirely

I wash it myself
I sort it myself
And I build a nest of your underwear
We play tag
I grab you
Why don’t you want to be called Rasmus?

Do you feel like me?
I can see you’ve been crying again
Tell me if you feel sad
I’m always here for you like a friend
Now you say you feel bound
And that you’ve been in the basement for a month
I want to get under your skin
Have you on me
Like a jacket

Yeah, yeah
You make me a man, baby
A man with lady skin

I wash you myself
I iron you myself
And you protect me from the weather
No longer imprisoned
You’re close to me
I’m inside you
My new jacket is called Rasmus

(Lyrics translation by Humon from Rævesovsen - Vasker det selv)

When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I've got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

Suddenly I didn't know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly.

She didn't seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn't talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn't love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company.

She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn't have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane.

When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn't want anything from me, but needed a month's notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month's time and she didn't want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day.

She requested that every day for the month's duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane about my wife's divorce conditions. She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn't had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, daddy is holding mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don't tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outsidethe door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn't looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me.

On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn't tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me... she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it's time to carry mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn't noticed that our life lacked intimacy.

I drove to office.... jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind...I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won't divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn't value the details of our lives, not because we didn't love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart.

Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away.

At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I'll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed - dead.

My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push thru with the divorce.-- At least, in the eyes of our son--- I'm a loving husband....

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves. So find time to be your spouse's friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!

P/s : Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

Two weeks ago I met a beautiful young man who changed my life forever.

I first saw him in front of a Monorail station while he was about to cross the road to the other side. It was a red light, nobody tried to stop him and some pedestrians even stepped on his walking stick by accident! Sighted people are always too busy walking fast they do not even realize the possibility of having a disabled person walking/standing right in front of them.

Nobody had courtesy to apologize neither did they offer him help to cross the road. I quickly went to him and asked, "Abang nak ke mana? Saya boleh tolong." (translation: Brother, where are you heading to? I can help you."

He is a 5 feet 3 Malay chap, soft spoken and humble looking. He told me he wanted to go to KL Sentral to have his lunch at KFC. I smiled and said, " I will take you there. Do not worry."

The blind man introduced himself as Ridzwan and asked me what was my name. As we entered KL Sentral, Ridzwan asked, "Would you know where I could find thumb drives?"

Tati: I am not so sure if they sell any here in KL Sentral but I will find out.
Ridzwan: How about camera shops? Do they have camera shops here? Maybe they sell thumb drives there. If you are in a rush, it is OK. I will try to find it myself. No problem.

Tati: Oh no! I am more than happy to help you! Hang on! They do have a camera shop! We'll go there OK?

The camera shop had no thumb drives but the staff helped us find a small computer shop at the departure hall.

At the stall...

Tati: Hi, do you sell Thumb Drives?
Shopkeeper: Yes we do. Which ones would you like?
Tati: It isn't for me. It's for my friend here. It's best if you explain to him the models in detail.
Shopkeeper: Sure, no problem. How can I help you Sir?
Ridzwan: Hi. Hello. What sort of thumb drives do you sell?
Shopkeeper: Ok, we have 1 gig, 2, 3 and 4...

After discussing with the shopkeeper, Ridzwan decided to buy a 1 gig SanDisk thumb drive priced at RM28. The shopkeeper gave him a RM3 discount. Ridzwan took out his wallet (a wallet which I used to have when I was 13) and took out a RM50 note.

Ridzwan: Sir, how much is it?
Shopkeeper: It is RM25.
Ridzwan: Oh, I meant the note. How much do I have in my right hand now?
Shopkeeper: Oh sorry! You're holding a RM50 note.
Ridzwan: Ok, let me get a smaller note.

After taking out a few notes, Ridzwan paid the shopkeeper with the RM50 instead as he did not have any small change.

Ridzwan: I am so sorry for the big note. I wish I had some small change.
Shopkeeper: Oh no worries.Thank you so much. Please come again.
Tati: So, where shall we go now? You must be hungry yes?
Ridzwan: Yes, I'd like to have lunch at KFC. I hope I am not disturbing you. If you must go please, I do not mind. I will find my way. You are so helpful.
Tati: Oh, no worries. Please, I really don't mind. However, can I ask you a question?
Ridzwan: Sure, ask me.
Tati: You just bought a thumb drive. Do you know how to use a computer? I thought you are blind? Forgive me if I sound offensive but I am just very curious.
Ridzwan : (Smiling) Yes, I do know how to use the computer. We have a special software called JAWS. It's a software that tells us every letter that we type and every word is also pronounced by a computerized voice.
Tati: Oh wow... that is amazing! Good stuff. Technology ehh? I am impressed. So you can send emails and 'read' them too?
Ridzwan: Yes I can. I just have to memorize the keys that's all.

OK, the first time this blind man impressed me was when he took out his wallet. Not that I am judging him. The wallet was so simple- something you could buy for RM5 at night markets. It was an item I used to have when I was in primary or high school. And why would he care how the wallet looks like? All he wants is something comfortable and inexpensive.

While he was talking to the shopkeeper earlier, I actually took the time to observe this blind man. He was clad in a simple pink cotton shirt and a pair of earthy brown pants. Simple bag. Simple shoes. And yet, he was a happy man.

Look at me, I thought. There I was, fully sighted and yet, super ungrateful about many things. OK, that was the first. The second time he impressed me was when he was asking the shopkeeper about the note he was holding. Unlike most notes in other countries, Malaysian Ringgit have no Braille dots on it. I felt bad for Ridzwan as this is one of the things he has to go through daily. If only Malaysian notes had Braille dots on them, it would make Ridzwan's life a lot easier.

The third time he impressed me was when he told me he knew how to use the computer and the internet. I was already in tears by the time he told me this and I thought to myself, " Hey I am studying Industrial Design! I could probably design something for the blind!".

As we were walking towards KFC, I told him that I could only bring him to the food counter and that I had to leave him there as I had to rush for class. My class was scheduled at 2pm and I only realized that I was late when he said, " Oh it's 2pm already. That's fast."

Tati: How do you know it's 2pm? Your watch is digital?
Ridzwan: *Smiling* Yes it's digital and it has a computerized voice which tells me the time.
Tati: Wow! Impressive!
At KFC...
Tati: Ok Abang, I have to leave you here, is that ok with you? (Abang means Big Brother in Malaysian language)
Ridzwan: Sure. Oh you are still studying? Where are you studying?
Tati: I am studying in Subang.
Ridzwan: Oh that is nice. May I ask, what course are you taking?
Tati: Oh. Indus.. I mean Product Design. (Product Design is a more common term than Industrial Design and so I said the word 'product' instead)
Ridzwan: Oh WOW! That's nice. So cool. Does that mean you get to design 3d in computers???
Tati: *laughs* Yeah, I use a special computer 3d modeling software and it's really interesting.

I was about to say "I could teach you too...", but I forgot he was visually impaired.

Ridzwan: Wah... Computer 3d modelling? Wow! Sounds so nice... so cool...

When he said that, it broke my heart. I was already crying in KFC in front of so many people. I felt so bad for him for he is blind and yet still hungry for knowledge.

Tati: Ok Abang, I leave you here OK? I have to go now. Will you be alright on your own?
Ridzwan: Yes I will. Thank you so much. It is a pleasure meeting you.
Tati: Likewise. Till we meet again. Be careful OK? Assalamualaikum (peace be upon you)
Ridzwan:Ok. Waalaikumussalam. (peace be upon you too)

On the way to college after that, I cried non stop. I felt happy to have met such a wonderful person and at the same time, I was ashamed of myself for being so silly, ungrateful, and inconsiderate about certain things in life. You name it.

I tend to complain about some things, well not always but I know I do at times. I am choosy with the things I buy such as clothes, bags, books, food etc and this blind man cannot even afford to choose yet he is still so happy.
Ridzwan is my new hero. He has totally changed my world.

The week after, I told my lecturers, about my ideas on creating a special device for the blind. Initially they were not impressed at all, thinking 'WHY?'.

Then, after I told them about my encounter with Ridzwan, their faces changed completely and that gave me some hope. Industrial Design students at our school are participating in this years Malaysia Young Designer Award. It is my first time and I had no clue of what to create earlier on but I think I know what to create now.

Last Friday I met another interesting blind man. He is a Sarawakian lawyer who became blind at the age of 14. Imagine this: he still remembers how colors and his favorite things looked like. I will post his story tomorrow.

I hope Ridzwan's story will be an inspiration for you too. If only Malaysians paid more attention to the disabled community. Unfortunately, the disabled are seen as unimportant to many. Please visit for more details on the visually impaired in Malaysia and ways on how you can help them through donations, volunteer work etcetera.

And no, they are not blind... In reality, it is us (the sighted) who are blind.

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