Falling leaves

View of Montreal

Leaves shook on the branches, causing hushed whispers to suddenly sound all at once overhead. A leaf, slightly curled up and crisp from age and the pendulum swings between the warmth of an Indian Summer and a foretaste of the frigid chill of  Winter, fell slowly.  It wandered in mid-air, almost hesitant and cautious of its fall. For a few moments, the breeze carried it. On invisible wings, the leaf blew sideways and almost brushed against me. Then it spiralled, turning and twirling like a ballerina, before it softly landed and became lost among its other fallen brothers and sisters. Falling leaves almost always return to their roots.

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“No.”

Airport security

“No…”

“No?” He looked at me right in the eyes, with surprise and suspicion.

”No.” Clear as I could be, unflinching as the short but powerful words escaped my mouth. Two letters, one syllable, and no doubt as to what I meant or what I wanted to mean. No means no. It is my right to say no, contrary to popular belief that one does not have a right to say so. It is my right as an ordinary member of the public not to be subject to a humiliating and dehumanising strip search in the name of safeguarding aviation security. (more…)

Ça Marche!

Ça Marche 2010

The normally wild and boisterous main thoroughfare of St. Catherine suddenly descended into silence. Save for the murmur of traffic in the background, the crowd that had gathered stood still. Faces turned stern, others closed their eyes and lowered their heads. There was coughing, and the occasional sniffing, triggered by a runny nose or perhaps moist eyes. Yellowing leaves rustled overhead, almost careful not to make too much noise. (more…)

Long, long journey

The tires hummed lowly together with the mechanical sounds of the bike chain that spun at my feet’s command. The wind blew on my face, and the fabric of my shorts and T-shirt waved like a flying flag. Overhead, colossus, white cloud formations floated softly across a blue sky, at times greying suddenly as if with old age and spelling signs of the inevitable fall of rain. There was a change in the wind, I could feel it, I could smell it. A change in the wind that was blowing away the intense heat and humidity of summer, a change in the wind that brought with it the gentle cool and colours of autumn.

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Welcome to McGill!

McGill, braving the cold and snow...

“I was so wasted…”, she said, rolling her eyes as she recounted how she doesn’t remember stumbling home and dragging herself out of bed for the French language placement test at nine o’clock in the morning. I smiled, trying to picture her pains and remembering those days gone by. The corridor was filled with (mainly) first-years, boisterous chatter and loud laughter. To be honest, I felt a little out of place and embarrassed to admit that I’m already a graduate. And of all things fun and exciting, a grad student… in air and space law.

One guy a few steps down the line bragged (perhaps too) loudly how he and his new mates managed to sneak into bars and get drinks with fake IDs. Many wore bright colourful matching t-shirts, with equally bright and colorful wrist bands that betrayed they were fresh  newbies. Others, perhaps feeling awkward, feeling alone, had their head down as they rapidly thumbed their phones to keep in touch with familiar friends or family far, far away. (more…)

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