From the age of 5 years old, my heart no longer belonged to me.
I fell hard – head over heels in obsession – the moment I could string alphabets into words and words into sentences. My heart had been lost in love in the world of wonderful stories and astonishing fiction a long time ago.
Until now, my heart is yet to be retrieved.
Readers, I have never recovered from the burdensome infatuation of reading stories where protagonists face hardships in solving conflicts or mysteries and then their persistent great efforts yield the inevitable happy endings. The protagonists may lost someone they love, may even lost life or limbs in fighting a great enemy, they may be exploited, subjugated, oppressed; they may be demoralized, dejected, depressed for a little while; in some stories they even died and then reincarnated….but I keep cheering them on to the sweet happy endings where their efforts finally pay off, their enemies are vanquished, the balance is restored and justice reigns once again.
This is why I am addicted to fictions with happy endings. It celebrates our values and our belief system that good MUST triumph over evil, that the humble underdog MUST overcome the arrogant favourite, that justice MUST prevail at the end of the day, that all conflicts MUST resolve and all mysteries MUST have a closure.
Anything less is NOT acceptable and won’t sell in the market. It SHOULDN’T.
“But, that’s childish and amateurish, Afiza. It is not REALISTIC.”
I don’t care.
I am not childish. I am only celebrating my belief system and my core values in choosing my books. It keeps me optimistic and it teaches me – again and again – that resilience and persistence will always yield good result.
It reminds me not to give up because that is not a quality of a hero.
I have always wanted to write a good story. Always imagine writing it.
When I first heard that MH370 had inexplicably vanished on the 8th of March 2014, every possibility of how this had come about and how it would end, came flashing into my mind. I refused to write a blog post about it from the very beginning. I followed all updates in the social media and the mainstream media first. I waited for the story to have its good ending in which MH370 was found and everybody on board was safe and sound. Only THEN, would I publish a blog post about it. Or so I thought.
So I waited, refusing to publish any blog entry regarding MH370 yet until I could give it the good ending that I crave.
I imagined writing that the Search& Rescue team had found the plane in the middle of a deserted island where the pilot had succeeded in making an emergency landing.
I imagined that maybe the plane did crash, after all. But there would be some survivors floating in the vast ocean only waiting to be rescued.
I imagined writing that there really was a terrorist in the plane but somehow all the kidnapped crew members and passengers – led by a certain brave and intelligent hero among the passengers – had come up with an inspired and brilliant plot to overthrow and conquer the evil enemy.
So I prayed. And I waited. All the while anticipating the blog post I was going to write : how heroic the crew and passengers were, how selfless the SAR team was, how cool-under-pressure our military was, how brilliant our leadership had been in crisis. And like any good story, there MUST be a villain. CNN can play that role, I had thought, because they ARE the arrogant villain in this whole tragedy with their skewed and biased reporting towards Malaysia, the underdog hero. Of course, a good story must also be laced with some humour. And for the comedian role, I had assigned the shaman/bomoh with the coconut fruit and the flying mat to be the hilarious character in this story.
But the good ending had not come.
When our PM announced that MH370 was presumed to have crashed into the southern Indian Ocean last Sunday, I fear that people have been right in accusing me of being unrealistic in wanting my good happy ending no matter what.
I believe that until it is a happy ending, it is not an ending.
Not in this world, at least.
In books that I read, people face lost of loved ones too. What makes them a hero is when they rise above the grief eventually. That’s where the book ends.
In books that I read, people face pressure and taunts, face being mocked by a superior entity too (in this case, CNN and the superpowers), but that’s not where the book ends. The book ends when we prove them wrong.
In books that I read, people make mistakes again and again. In this case, our military force (how pitiful is our Malaysian air defense when they did not act immediately upon detecting the presence of unidentified aircraft on their radar, some had scoffed), our custom security (the use of two stolen passports, remember?) maybe MAS itself had made mistakes, even our leaders did not escape unscathed (how they conduct themselves with the media is the prime example). So yes, people make all sorts of mistakes in the books that I read. But the book is not worth reading if that’s where it ends. It ends when all these people learn from their mistakes, take steps to prevent the same thing from happening again, and when a bigger conflict or catastrophe comes approaching in the future, they emerge victorious.
I refused to be forced to accept that the announcement of the crashing of MH370 in the South Indian Ocean is where the story ends.
It is not an ending until it is a happy ending.
So believe me when I said that the numbness of grieving that we are undergoing now is not the ending to the story of MH370.
Believe me when I say that in this story, there is a happy ending but it is delayed.
Wait for it.
Furthermore, of those who believe in the hereafter, we know VERY WELL, that the sadness of death in this world is not where the story ends. In fact the story does not end.
The souls of the passengers and crews on board MH370 have escaped this world into eternity where there isn’t any ending.