White lies

People lie to conceal.

I know I did.

Sometimes, lying is the only way to protect ourselves and/or the people around us. A mom has to lie saying that the new doll is ugly when in fact she can’t afford it. A sister has to pretend she’s OK because she has to put a smile on her younger siblings. Doctors have to act brilliant because the patients are relying on them.

Yesterday, I had a pep talk with my colleague. She said,

Life is fair.

I didn’t buy her. I know that life isn’t.  It’s just how nature works – or is it how we manipulate the world. In short, how we see things.

I have a feeling that I’m going to ramble in this post. I really do.

Okay, breathe in, breathe out.

White lies. I have been lied too many times than I could remember. AND. I have told numerous lies too. With every stage of life, the reason for me lying changes.

When I was a kid, I lied because I didn’t want to feel left out. When I was a teenager, I lied because I wanted to be free. When I was a young adult, I lied because I wasn’t ready to spill the bean. None of these reasons justify my action. I did it anyway for myself and hopefully for the people that I loved. – I lied. Again. I did it because I don’t want to be judged.

I knew all along that lying isn’t good. No one should live in lies. And I had been telling myself everytime I intend to fabricate things, lie doesn’t stop at one, it starts at one.

Things aren’t make easier if people were to be honest all the time. Truth hurts more at times. People go crazy over some newly-found facts, they regretted their curiosity. Would you be ready to be told that your long-time lover is attracted to your sexual attractiveness rather than your soul? Would you be fine to find out that the parents you knew are actually serial killers? Would you not get flustered to discover that your crush is actually your family?

Life is complicated. We’re entangled. We’re so diverse that it’s almost impossible to find a common ground.

Alas, that doesn’t serve as a reason for us to be ruthless and ignorant. No matter how hard life hits us, we have to get back on our foot. Regardless of how unjust things are, we have to move on. Make our lives better for our own, not for others.

Till then, may peace be upon you.

Sisters

I used to think that I’m closest to my brother and I dedicated a post for him in my previous blog.

Although I’m still close to my brother, I found a new sibling-friend; my sister. I’m 5 years older. So, we didn’t really have much things to talk about when we’re younger. I was always too old and she was always too young. So, there was nothing to talk about.

Time flies by. She started to copy my style and secretly adored me. Then she found her own style and defined herself without having my influence. After that, she started to pretend not to listen but silently agreed to my advises. Now, we’re sharing more things than we could ever imagine.

Out of the blue, she’d text me and recommend songs to listen to and I’d return the deed on some other day. I can now actually ask for her opinions on things that I want to buy. Recently, my mom called and told me to get rtw baju raya (basically new cloth for Eid celebration) with my sister cause she doubted that we’ve enough time for tailored ones. I asked her to go ahead and find theirs first. Then, my mom said that my sister wanted to go with me.

On another occasion, my sister was exhilarated when I told her that I’m coming home and asked her for a sisters-hangout. She obvs reached the mall earlier than I do. When I reached the mall, she was standing at the higher end of the escalator. She was wearing a really big smile and waved at me in the middle of the crowds. I doubt she was happy to see me but it was more like, “Yeay, I’m gonna have some fun time and eat everything I want and my sister is gonna pay for it all.” I personally think it was also because she got to experience what a young adult life is – to go shop without parents nor using their money. I – am honoured to be part of her grown up experience. I still remember wishing that I’d have a sister whom I can have girl talks. Now, I have one.

Till then, may peace be upon you.

p/s: Sure, we have disagreements but that makes us sisters. Sisters of our own identity – we have enough people mistaking us for one another.

Ripped

It was in my hand. I was happy to have it.

Until…

We sat for our last paper today. We were joyful, to a certain extent, because the questions were manageable. Then, we received an email saying that our essays (which was returned to us a month ago) had been remarked. I reached to the line when the lecturer actually apologise for releasing the marks earlier. At that moment I knew something wasn’t right.

The second marker came into picture and he decided to pull down my marks by more than 50%.

I felt robbed.

I thought I had it all in place. Things were going fine and I had the motivation to proceed. I was wrong. Feeling unjustly marked, I went to speak with the head of department/module leader. Well, most of the time I was quiet and the rest did the talking. I wanted to know so badly what had gone wrong and everyone was absolutely outrageous by the horrific incidence.

Truth is, I still can’t get over it and I don’t really know why do I feel so unsettled. I knew that partly it’s my fault but really, how ridiculous to have such different opinions from two markers from the same institute?

“That’s just how things work. We don’t take the average of those two marks. We take the one that we agreed on.” Yeah, only that the one you agreed on is the lower one, much lower.

It really takes its toll on me. I am extremely demotivated and today is supposedly a happy day because it’s the beginning of summer break.

Nonetheless, I try to see the silver lining. One thing for sure, God is teaching me for the third time, neither success nor failure is permanent. One second you’re on the top, the next time you’re at the bottom. Really, it takes consistent effort and everlasting faith to keep things up.

p/s: I could really use a venti Java chips of Starbucks with a caramel whipped cream now.

Maggie 2

Miss Stewart is rushed to the school infirmary. A stack of thick files fell on her fragile frame. Luckily Miss Stewart is already expecting another staff, Mr Albert. It was Mr Albert who alerted the nurses. As for Mag, she is escorted by a prefect to her room.


The birds are chirping and the fresh smell of freshly mown grass after rain are Mag’s forte. It is a lovely morning in the new environment for Mag. She puts on her khaki pants paired with loose off-white knitted sweater since the weather is quite chilly. It’s almost spring. Mag explores the school compound. Class will only commence in two more days.

The school has three major buildings; the girls’ building on the right side, the academic building is in the middle and the lads’ is on the left. At the centre is the infamous Espionnage square. The students believe that whoever walks across the square would fail their exams – absurd but it helps to keep students from ruining the landscape. There are tulips, roses and peonies planted in the square to form a circle outlining the school initial; AI which stands for Avicennia Institution.

AI is head by Professor Prescott. He is recognised nationwide as a respectable yet humble man who fought for education and thorough human development. Prescott is tall with broad shoulder and decent build. Mag can see him through his window office. Unexpectedly, the Professor turns to his window and notices Mag. He smiles at her and takes a sip of his drink. Then, Professor Prescott returns to his work.


“Blimey! What has got into your head Hannah?! You’re all dirty now! Let’s get back to your room and change. Ughh.” “I’m sorry but I can’t just sit back. I have to help the duckling to be with its moommmm~” Two girls walk pass through Mag in hurry. One of them is covered with mud while the other is fumed with anger. Hannah accidentally bumped into Mag. They both lose their balance and fall on the wet soil.

To be continued…

Maggie

A 16 years old girl standing at 5 ft. 4 in. with silky straight black hair, brown almond eyes, sharp nose and bow-shaped lips is looking flustered at the corner. She might not be the prettiest but she has decent features and athletic build – minus the extensive muscle bulk and prominent abs. Her name is Mag; Maggie J. William.

“Sweetheart, have you got your keys?” asks Miss Stewart to Mag. Miss Stewart is a late 40s college advisor. She is wearing a cat-eye glasses that suits her oval face. She doesn’t look her age. Miss Stewart’s motherly voice and warm smile relaxes Mag.

“Yes, but I haven’t got a clue where my room is. I missed the tour group and am waiting for the next one” Mag explains herself. “Oh dear, that was the last for today.” Mag is perplexed to hear Miss Stewart’s response. Miss Stewart pauses for a minute and talks to someone on her phone.

“Oohhh… Shame on me. I haven’t introduced myself, have I? I’m Miss Stewart, the students’ advisor and will be taking care of you and your friends throughout your stay here, so that’ll be a brilliant 4 years. Yes?”  Miss Stewart smiles again, flaunting her straight pearly white teeth. “… and what’s your name again, darling?”

“I’m Maggie Williams but you can call me Mag. Nice to meet you Miss Stewart”. “Likewise. Now, I’ll be taking you to your room but would you mind if we stop at my office on our way?” says Miss Stewart; not really looking for Mag’s approval but is just being courteous.

 


 

“Have a seat, please. Help yourself with the chocolates!” Miss Stewart bubbly shouts as she walks into another room filled with files. Mag is left alone in Miss Stewart’s office. The office isn’t too big but looks very comfortable and spacious enough for Miss Stewart and a couple of guests. Mag looks into a bowl filled with chocolates; there are Hershey’s, BonBon, Mars, M&M, Cloud9 and Snickers. All of Mag’s favourite. The snacks outpour the bowl  and to Mag least ethical conscience, she starts to take one each. “Well, Miss Stewart wouldn’t notice it because God knows how much she has in this bowl”, Mag trying to wash away her guilt.

While she’s savouring her guilty pleasure, Mag hears a loud crashing sound.

To be continued.

Cold-hearted

I am not quick to forgive.

There has always been a trend in news articles. One time, it was about rape, the other was about homicide, then there was child abandonment. Now, it’s time for bullying reports.

Not saying that the news aren’t good but the fact that people; precisely newspapers and local news authors, would only shed light at the subject once there’s something big happened is absurd – just like how the Paralympic athletes were glorified only after three of them managed to bring home our first Paralympic (and thus Olympic level) gold medals. Pity.

Since a few weeks ago, the new have been flooded by in-school torment. It all started when a child had to be amputated and died not long after the surgery due to being unjustly tortured by the school warden. If you read the paper today, there’s a list of bully cases.

It is a long overdue duty of the public communicators to drive authorities’ attention because that’s how things work here. The authorities are very economical at giving attention to the mid&low-class citizens. Things should have been handled long ago. Rules and regulations should have been put into practice when things were only budding. Children’s voice should have been heard and attended to. But being in a society where the elderly is always right has put us in jeopardy.

When I was in boarding school, I experienced somewhat senior-junior nasty treatment too. The juniors had to stay awake up until 4 am to decorate the dormitory while the seniors were sound asleep. We had to do it in the dark and weren’t allowed to do it in the study room (with lights) because someone else is studying. Some of us tried fixing the norms only to be verbally assault by the seniors. We tried telling the teachers, parents and whoever there was. It was to no avail.

Try to talk it through with them.

Try doing it at other times.

It’s okay. You’re gonna be doing the same thing once you’re a senior.

These are some of the useless advises we received. The last one caught me the most. If an adult could be saying those words, there shall be no end to the vicious cycle. I had it enough that if I were to be given a chance to relive the experience, I won’t do it.

This is not a small matter that could be silenced. I surely hope it’s not. Drastic yet pragmatic measures should be taken. The youths are our future. If schools and home don’t curb the violence of any form now, I can only imagine a barbaric 2030.

The world is already filled with problems. Having another problem would only break the society harder. In a world full of injustice and filthy things, let’s make a room for hope. A hope for the better.

Till then, peace be upon you.

Free-rider and victim player

I can’t believe that I’d encounter these childish memories again.

The difference is, I stand up for myself now.

I really hate it when there’s a person in my group not doing his/her job. I usually give people chances to prove me wrong. I got really angry when I’m not. Being in a group, regardless for whatever reason or how small the thing is, means that everyone has to play their role. Respond to every questions thrown, get involve in every discussion, complete your task, know your responsibility and all the common sense a cute 5 years old would have understood.

The second type of people which I find utterly, unbelievably rubbish are victim players; the VPs. These type of people are the ones who create the storm and hate the rain. But guess what, you got into your own trap. There’s this person whom I work with. She was nice and friendly. I realised that she was slowly becoming unfaithful with her job. One day, I texted her because she wasn’t being honest with her clock-out time. I asked her if she wrote it wrong and whether she’d like me to help her inform our manager that she had to go home early. She replied yes and so, I helped to inform  about her calamity because we weren’t allowed to leave early without a strong reason. Then, she got mad because I corrected her time-out. I was confused. Can you do the Math for me, please? Of course the manager would realise her incorrectly written time-out since the manager had been informed of her early departure. I just saved her bloody ass and she got mad at me!? Things were left as it is.

Recently, starting from last month, I realised that she’d been cheating her clock-in an clock-out time again. First, it was 30 minutes, it progressively became 3 hours. She dared to text me and A telling that she’s gonna be late and we’re allowed to leave early. Basically, she was trying to claim for the early hours and wanted to be fair. Neither me nor A replied her. Unfortunately, I was working double-shift and couldn’t leave early as she wanted me to and A wasn’t working the said shift. A was working the evening shift. I decided to discuss with A without disclosing her name because I wanted to have a neutral opinion just in case I got carried away by emotions.

A was spot on. I didn’t need to tell her name because guess what, she’s been doing it to everyone and A happened to realise it too. So, we got to a final decision and went to see our manager the next morning.

The manager wasn’t surprised because that girl is known for her troubles. The manager went to talk to her and listen to her part of the story. She was lying here and there, unconsciously setting her own trap. Later, she sent in her resignation text and expressed her ghastly sadness for being ‘backstabbed’.

There were dramas in between. A and I couldn’t be bothered, she was begging for sympathy and making us look bad.

Little did we know, she went to see the vice and told the vice her loop-sided story. She was stern on her decision to quit due to tremendous stress. Naturally, the manager was called in. When things were made clear, she had no one on her side. The manager was indeed pissed off. The manager tried her very best to keep it out from the vice so that the ungrateful child won’t get penalised for I) lying II) unprofessional behaviour and III) breaching the employment contract. Now that this small matter has become big, I doubt she’d feel anymore peace than she was.

Truth is, it’s really annoying to deal with these kind of people. When you try to correct them, they get angry. They want the results but don’t work for it. Let’s face it, people like these are still around. I wonder if there’s a rehab for them.

Readers, regardless of what religion you believe in, there’s this rule where we get what we give. Some call it karma. Be kind to one another.

Till then, may peace be upon you.

 

Heartbroken

Trust me, I tried to include a picture but the tech failed me.

Or maybe it’s helping me not to embarrass myself with my crude photography skills.

Anyway.

Who hasn’t been heartbroken? From Timberlake-Spears to Bieber-Gomez to Jolie-Pitt breakups. But I guess the most childish yet realistic heartbreak would be seeing your crush got hitched  by someone else. *laughs-cries-laughs-cries

Here I am, listening to Tat’s – B.O.M.O on repeat trynna make myself feel better.

Wait. Don’t get the wrong idea.

I have many crush-s (???). Never have I intended to come clean or confront because I know it’s all temporary. I’ve had a decade long crush on Daniel Radcliffe and guess what, it’s all history now. Oh, one national athlete was in my crush list for 3 years too but I decided to call it a quit when he got married. Bahahaha. I KNOW RIGHT. *rollseyes.

I don’t think it’s wrong to have hidden feelings for others as long as it doesn’t turn us into perverts (or monsters). However, it does cost us a lot – not wanting to wake up when you dream of your crush, replaying the dream over and over again, making the effort to create a new storyline based on that one dream and here’s the killjoy, knowing that you’d never be together.

So, here’s to those who get me:

We could be so damn good together, but I could do so much better on my own.

I’m better on my own, oh yeahh!

Till then, keep chasing your dream and peace be unto you.

Severus Snape

Many of my friends are well-informed that I’m an avid Potterhead. It’s just so hard for me to not like it even after re-running the series a few times.

I’ve to admit that I started watching HP with no expectation. I was 8. But, Daniel Radcliffe was so adorable that I could hardly wait for the new series. The gap period was a torture.

Like everyone else, I age with HP, gracefully I hope.

As I grow, I realised that my perspectives of the series evolved and still are.

Awhile ago, I tried to view the whole series in Snape’s perspective. My job was made easier with Pottermore. It was gobsmacking.

Viewers were surprised with the plot twist towards the end of the series. Snape who was once thought to be the villain was actually an unsung hero. Well, I’d call him stupid for not coming clean with Harry earlier but that won’t make it the HP we know today. Urm well, that also made Harry look bad – ungrateful.

Well, things are like that in real life too. Not appropriately acknowledged for our own work and worse, another person gets all the credit.

I learnt not to be judgemental. It’s hard not to jump into conclusion so quickly. To be able to think rationally and put aside our emotions are not easy but nothing is more ethical than that. We ought to mix our emotions when we decide instantaneously and that’s why first impressions aren’t always right. Ironically, people emphasise on that. Even when you’re out to buy some fancy fish, the fishmonger would unintentionally analyse you from top to toe. We’re living in a judgemental society. Who can we blame?

Bringing it to a different context – racism, phobias, supremacy, etc.

I have seen how people categorise others into whatever that suits them just by a few encounters – not all black people are gangsters, not all muslims are terrorists, not all white are great, not all Asians are “kiasu” (in fact, Asians aren’t just Chinese or Japanese), not all handicaps are disabled. People really need to stop labelling others.

My take home message is, stop judging and start to understand.

Till then, may peace be upon you.

Parents

I thought twice to write this.

I didn’t want people to misunderstand me but sometimes, I need the reminder.

When I was small, I couldn’t wait to be a grown up and have everything on my own. I thought life was very simple. Finish school, get a job, buy a house and a car. On days when no boy ruined my mood or I met a cute one, I even hoped for a husband. I’ve also planned to buy brilliant things for my parents and repay their deeds.

I don’t know if its age or peer pressure. Either one, it’s pushing me to do things instantly. As you may already know, I do part-time work and thank God, I’m paid every month accordingly. I have this urge to spend it on my family, especially my parents. I plan to bring them on a vacation, a short get-away. One that’s within my budget yet nice. It doesn’t have to be Europe or a 5-star hotel. As long as I can afford it and it’s fun for them, I’ll be more than happy.

However, my parents have not agreed to any of my proposals. They want me to save it for myself. They said I can do that once I’ve graduated and got a proper job.

I can’t even pay for their meals. I might have done it once but that’s because my parents forgot to withdraw their money and I was already sprinting to the cashier. I went straight to the toilet afterwards so they couldn’t catch me to pay me back.

Parents are one of our best treasure. The best gift in human form, really. They always put us first. They don’t mind starving whole day at work just so their children get their pocket money. They don’t mind working extra hard to earn more to ensure that their children get the best.

Sometimes they came back from work looking weary and we greeted them with, “You’re late dad/mom. Where’s food? I’m starving to death”. At times when they had nothing left in the pocket, we ungratefully asked them for money “Mom/Dad, I need RM15 for a school trip”, and when they asked us to wait or explained that they had no money for that, some of us refuse to understand. RM15 might seem little for some but not until you’re the one who have to work for it and pay for everything.

I get really upset when I see young teens getting all dressed up and wearing expensive clothes and make-up if I know that they’re not buying it using their hard-earned money. I know some people who spend beyond their limit and keep asking from their parents when I know they are from low to average-income family.

I’m not stopping them to enjoy their youth but there are so many ways to do it. Spending a small pool of money on a RM20 cup of coffee, RM200 jeans, RM300 shoes, RM15 movie ticket, RM10 on popcorn set and God-knows-what is just, ridiculous. I don’t mind if your parents are wealthy. Go ahead! I’m not going to stop you.

In short, I do think people need to learn and spend within their means. Secondly, we need to appreciate our parents. We’re not going to be here if it’s not for them. Thirdly, choices are ours, so do the responsibility of making the choice. Be wise.

Till then, may peace be upon you.