This is my letter to the world, That never wrote to me, -- The simple news that Nature told, With tender majesty. Her message is committed To hands I cannot see; For love of her, sweet countrymen, Judge tenderly of me! - emily dickinson -

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

north

we left early to head for that school with the unusual name. we needed to arrive at the school by morning for the registration. since my brother-in-law grew up in that place called kuala kangsar, and he also went to a school just across from where i was headed, a school with an english name, my father decided that he would drive us there. my brother-in-law had only been married to my sister for a couple of month then. so, i guess he had no choice but to oblige. i still wonder why he never told me anything about the school i was going to.

i remember lying down in the back seat of the car. the windows were down and the chill was blowing in. mother was sitting beside me. she was all bundled up in a loose sarong to ward off the chill. i wanted her there beside me forever. father was in the passenger seat in front. no one said anything throughout the entire trip. at one point, my mother removed the sarong and placed it over me. how i wished for the warmth to last forever.

i couldn't sleep even when i tried. i just laid there staring out the window. i could see the stars blinking down at me. the drive north seemed to take forever.

i guess the worst part of the trip was not knowing where i was heading to. the input from watching that tv program earlier did not help allay my anxieties. why was i headed to this place, of all places? what was it about the name of that school? why did they use ‘college’ instead of ‘school’? why ‘kolej melayu’? why not 'sekolah melayu'? Or, why not ‘kolej kebangsaan’? and why would i be separated from my family over such a distance? was this supposed to be the reward for being the school kid that i was? the kid who didn't like the books, never cared to read them much but impressed the teachers anyway. was i being punished for making fools of mrs. loo, puan fatimah, mrs. jagjit singh, puan lamah, cikgu mat, cikgu yazid, mr. how and cikgu harun? oh, please help me God!

and then guess what i saw? a falling star.

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