Dashini Ann Jeyathurai
11th Grade
Johor, Malaysia

International Winner

1. Life means getting up in the middle of the night and creeping downstairs after my parents for toasted wholemeal bread with melted butter, sugar and a steaming cup of Milo specially made by Mummy.
2. Life means craving after those barbecued strips of satay with peanut sauce done perfectly, tough enough for a good battle and tender enough for a good victory, and then finding out Papa had bought it all along for dinner.
3. Life means picking up a Jane Austen Novel and devouring page after page. Although nothing much happens on each page and then realizing that's the mark of a masterly author.
4. Life means the moment papa gets into the next lane at the Causeway to Singapore, the cars in our ex-lane zooms ahead of us.
5. Life means that every key but the last will not open the door on a rainy day.
6. Life means that the day I get a queasy feeling in my stomach before going to school, the bus driver forgets I exist and speeds off to the next pick up point.
7. Life means looking at a really tough physics question the day before a the exam and deciding no teacher in her right mind would set that in a paper and then seeing the same question word for word the next day.
8. Life means worrying myself to death about a problem that either didn’t exist in the first place or worked itself out without any of my endless worrying.
9. Life means looking everywhere for the perfect prom dress and then collapsing into the changing room with one final piece and realizing that's as perfect as I'll get.
10. Life means getting excited over a bouquet of flowers and then realizing the bouquet was for my sister.
11. Life means counting the days and hours before my sister comes home and getting so excited when I wake up in the morning since I've covered a good eight hours.
12. Life means submitting an essay, forgetting all about it and then finding it in the latest issue of my favorite magazine.
13. Life means entering a contest about the meaning of life and not reading Hegel, Descartes, Spinoza or Plato because the meaning of life is written not by them, but by me.
14. Life means not caring whether or not I win this contest because I've beaten three quarters of the world's population to the ultimate question in life.
15. Life means living the way it is meant to be lived, taking in each breath, each fear, each anxious moment, each moment of absolute pleasure and each moment of sorrow like it was my very last.
I was born an empty slate eighteen years ago and I haven't even written on a quarter of the slate. My life means that on my last day the chalk would have no more space to write. That is life. That is living.

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