it’s 6pm. my room is cool and dark. outside, kids are playing some strange game that requires shouting various tamil phrases out simultaneously. my housemate is singing worship songs to God, accompanied by the strumming of her guitar. i can hear the footsteps of my other housemate outside my door.

and inside, i am searching for joy. not circumstantial happiness, but joy.

in the not-so-distant past, whenever i felt uneasy or uncertain or doubtful, i would get impatient and pray and pester God until a revelation drops or something happens. but now? i am in my cool and dark room, an opened textbook on the table, an unopened bible on the floor, merely consuming oxygen.

while my housemate sends praises to the God i worship too.

i know the joy is still there. i felt it when i laughed at a joke a patient unexpectedly told me mid-clerking. it emerged when an elderly patient, having spent 4 agonising days in the ward after stubbornly refusing surgery, said “God bless you” to me before he was discharged. i know it’s there because however stupid and put-down i feel each day, there really isn’t anywhere else i’d wanna be.

and still when i enter my room at the end of the day, it feels like a worthy prison for my equally cold, dark heart.



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