When i asked my mom, where did I come from, she told me she bartered a kilo of rice for me with the baby trader at the market.. and I believed it for a very very long time. When I learned the truth many years later, I promised myself that I shall tell my kids the truth. After going to the medical school, I didn’t understand why parents dreaded the explanation part. I thought it is a simple task to tell the kids where and how they come from.. little did I know
Yesterday, a little voice asked me the dreaded question and some how my tongue vanished. My brain was eqivalent to a pudding.. My thoughts were in 18SX.. and my smart answers too were like a wobbly jelly. I couldn’t bring 18sx to PG version and I had no clue what to tell her.. Didn’t want to tell her the barter trade story, lest she would think like I did, about the unknown parents who gave up the baby to the baby trader. Stork was the next option.. but she is too smart to know that the bird really can’t carry such heavy weight.
We decided to go to the Library. There was a nice book about how willy the sperm, who is not good in maths still won the egg in the swimming race and how it became a baby. the baby later became big and she is too good in swimming and poor in maths… and now i am worried.. what if the kids tell some one who is bad in maths that the sperm that made them was not maths smart… or something like that..
What was ironic was.. the book titled “Where willy went, the big story of a little sperm” written by Nicholas Allan is printed in MALAYSIA…in my country, where sex education is still taboo…where this book would never be sold.
I once had a 6 month stint in Mumbai( the posting was for 2 years, It only lasted 6 months before I decided to quit). What I saw there was supeiority complex. Group of people who has money and thereby power would then rule the next level of people..it was like a ladder looking top to bottom. In a nutshell those who had money was always superior. They walked with their nose up in the air.
It wasn’t like the bumi non bumi divide in Malaysia. Although there is racism in Malaysia, what I experienced in Mumbai was something I have never known existed. My bumi neighbour who drove the latest merc never once acted funny with me. In fact I get the best beef rendang, practically everyday during the puasa.
In Mumbai, I was provided with a maid, who was provided by a maid agency, who sends her from one household to another. She works in 4 different household each day. I can’t pay her.. I must pay the compnay that provided her.. they in turn give her a share of her income. Exploitation in simple term. They owned the woman and her sweat and blood. She was like an ox in a field. It was hard for me to accept, I couldn’t cancel her employment, because they would punish her, for they would assume that she has done something terrible hence the reason I cancelled her employment. Although the contract was for cleaning the house and washing the clothes and cooking… I didn’t make her do much jobs. She was always exhausted by the time she reached my place. All I asked her to was sweep the house.(mumbai is the world’s capital for dust!!!). She would make chai and roti.. She had to make 15 roti. 6 for my family the rest for her family. I wanted to make sure that her kids would have something to eat as well. If i gave her money, either the company manager or her husband would take it from her. So food was the only way I could pay her. Her kids got to eat a lot of yummy Malaysian food as well.
I now figured out why my punjabi neighbour treats me shabbily. She thinks I am her servant. She is a Canadian,lives in a $500,000 bunglow, drives the latest car,while I am a poor Malaysian,live in a basement and no car and no job. She thinks she owns me.
Couple of days ago at the school play ground, the twins came and told me, aunty my mom is in the car park and she wants you to bring my brother to the car. I asked the them, why can’t your mother come and get her son? Oh she is not wearing her coat and she is tired. Well she waited for 15 mints hoping that I would bring her son to her car. After 15 mints, she realized that I am not bothered. She came out of her car and walked to the play groound and got her son.
Yesterday I was too stunned to realize what was happening..but no more.. She can think twice, before taking advantage of me.
To my mom and sisters: If you laugh at me one more time and call me a “maid for the punjabi’s” I swear you all will be 6 feet under and pushing up daisies.
It isn’t oftem that I get angry.. but right now I am hopping mad.
My neighbour has three kids, twins and a boy. They attend the same school as my kids.
We have made an arrangement that they drop my daughter to school in the morning and I fetch all the kids in the evening. It saves me an extra 2 km walk each day.
I have also been feeding these three kids for a while, as they seem to pop in just when i am serving lunch for my kids. I really didn’t have the heart to tell them to go to their own house to eat..
But now they are taking things for granted. Today, i went to fetch the kids, the neighbour came in her car, she told me, she is tired and going to her mother’s place. There is nobody in her house right now, would i mind taking care of her kids till she comes back. She just pushed off..( she drove all the way to school to tell me that!!!)
The wind was pretty strong today. I come back cold and tired, not enough I had to feed extra three kids.. She came back at 5PM…I must be an idiot
After coming to Canada, the worst part is feeding the kids. In Malaysia, it was easy. They had their breakfast at 6.45AM, went to school at 7AM, had snack(bun,milo and curry puff) at school at 9.30AM, lunch(pasta, chicken rice or things like that) at 12Pm and. School finished at 3.30pm. They normally had a curry puff or pisang goreng on the way back home from school. Dinner at 6.30pm..
Now my oldest don’t eat breakfast, she has 3 cookies for snack at school. She has a sandwich for lunch at school, she might eat something when she comes back from school. dinner.. no problem.. she will even eat an elephant. Dinner is the only solid meal of the day.
Much as I try, I can’t get them to eat the way we did in Malaysia. Even when i pack a nice lunch and send it in a keep warm box, she won’t finish..”The bell rang before i could finish” is the usual excuse.(she only gets 30 mints and being closer to a tortoise.. she would be nibbling the food)
A friend of mine who is a peadiatrician in Malaysia, said her son was the only recipient in his class for the govt sponsored nasi lemak, for undernourished kids.He was few kilos below normal weight.. My kids are following the same path.I am worried that one of these days, the child service would come knocking at my door to tell me that I am neglecting the dietry needs of my growing kids.. However that wouldn’t be as bad as what would happen in a couple of months.
In a couple of months from now, mom would be here.. At the airport She would lift each child and then she would shake her head left to right, making the ptu ptu sound. She would then look at me and ask me for sure” what have you been feeding my grand kids?? AIR??? Then the barrage of criticisms would burst out like a breach in the levee..
I must remember to buy ear plugs!!!
My sisters told me that, when dad left us, he never bothered to find anything about us, why should we bother about him now? For him, we never existed. Why should we find out where he is or what he does? My younger sister won’t even call him dad.. she just calls him ‘that old man”. I don’t blame her.. She was the worst off.. too young to understand how the loving dad, can turn in to a total stranger overnight.
Do I go looking for a man, who once was my father? Would it make any difference?
Yesterday I saw an ad in our local paper about a woman searching for her dad, who abandoned her mother 30 years ago.All she wanted to know is, if he is still alive. It got me thinking. Life is too short, whatever happend, my dad is still my father whether he liked it or not.
I haven’t seen or spoken to him for more than 12 years. I was too scared to open the part of life that has been closed all these years. Wasn’t really sure how he would react. I tried delaying myslef giving one excuse or the other.. The time difference, was a major concern. eventually i convinced myself if I don’t call him now, I may never do it. I took my phone book. Looked for his number and dialled..I met with a long silence.. no operator..nothing,, His number is no longer in service… That number is all I have of my dad. All these years, I was under the secure knowledge that, dad can always be reached by one single phone call. It never occured to me that, he could have changed the number.
I called my mom and my sisters.. all of us have the same number..The code is correct..So only explanation is he has changed his address and his number.What is worst is all these years we never bothered to find out anything about my father.. We don’t even know if he is alive. I must have really taken things for granted..
My fondest memory of dad is, him taking me for the fun ride. I was too short and he had to carry me on his shoulders, so I could see things. I felt like a princess sitting on his shoulder( he is 6 feet tall!!) and watching the world.
I didn’t speak to him, because I wanted to punish him for walking out on mom and us. Was i right? I don’t know. I guess I was stuck in the loyalty line between dad and mom. I can’t undo the past. But right now, I very much would like to know if he is alive.. and that is going to be a task
Growing up in the 80’s valentine’s day was a special day.. It wasn’t as commercialized as it is now. You get a nice card, probably go out to eat an ice cream and ride the bike to the beach and watch the sunset..the day is done.. Was it romantic? probably.. When you are lepaking( sorry no adequate english word to describe lepak in english), every day is the same.
Now it is a festival of some sort. it kind of make you inadequate, if you don’t have anyone to share it with or do nothing and don’t receive flowers. I know someone who used to send flowers to herself, so she won’t lose face infront of her colleagues.
In my family, my big sister would be hiding in her closet the whole day, worried that others would know she has no valentine to celebrate with . Both my youngest sisters would be pub hunting and having a jolly good time.
My mom would be shaking her head side to side and admonishing all the younger ones for wasting money on flowers and dinner.
My dad, I have no idea what he would be doing.. probabaly just another day for him.
My Kids are having a Velentine’s day party at school tomorrow. They made cards for all their friends.( Actually the school sends the name of all the kids in their class, so no one is missed out and nobody’s feelings are hurt)
As for me.. I shall bake a cake, kids can take to school. I hope it won’t rain, so I can show the kids planet venus( Venus is closest to earth this year..only 50 million Km way, normally 300 million KM away!!!!). probably tell them the story of venus, greek goddess of love.. and the day would be done.
I have probably reached the end of the tunnel and still haven’t seen the light..not even a tiny spark..
Whenever life overwhelmed, i remember what my grandma, who is a staunch Christian, used to say..God always shows the way….He shows you the right people at the right time. when I was a teenager, I used to shake my head side to side and tell her yeah yeah … and she would grumble and tell me one day you will believe.
Sometime all you need is someone to stand by you. Someone to tell you that you aren’t all alone. IT especially is true when you are miles away from home.
When I read Ahkhian’s response to my last post I realised, what my grandma said is true. God always shows the way and that I am not alone. I think my grandma is smiling in heaven…that I finally realised that god is there, keeping me safe.
Dr. R Veight. another Malaysian emails me often and sends me links and keeps telling me there is light at the end of the tunnel( ofcourse, between you and me.. I hope itsn’t from a train!!!)
To Ah khian and Dr. Veight.. thank you.. for being there.. Terima Kasih..
My dad was a professional in blame game. When anything goes wrong, he blames it straight on others.
Like the time he slipped and fell down walking in our field, It was because my grandma didn’t put proper drainage, which resulted water stagnation that made the algae flourish and which in turn made the path slippery… It was not he who wasn’t watching where he was going who should be blamed.
One time his bike skidded on an oil slick 5 km away from our home. My grandma was blamed again, because, she asked my dad to go to town and buy fertilizer for the paddy.
He blamed grandma for his choice of wife, for his failed marriage.. everything.
I am convinced that I am his daughter. and my kids are his grandchildren. Now a days when I am upset, I tend to blame my mother.
Like the time I went for the interview and didn’t get it, I was really mad at my mom, for not helping with the childminding which resulted in me giving up my career. Honestly I know she has done her job.. she raised her kids all alone and she really needs a break.. But someone had to take the blame..
My kids… they are learning too..Yesterday a glass was broken at home, it was because mama left it on the dining table. Not at all because, children aren’t suppose to walk on the dining table.
Pants were dirty, cause mama didn’t warn the wearer that, mud can stain..it goes on…
Life is indeed a circle.. what goes around comes around..Only thing is now I am at the receiving end
Me and god, we have personality clash. I have been raised in a very religious family. My sunday routine would be to get up at 6.30AM, walk to a pentecostal church 25 mints away from my home to attend their sunday school at 7 AM till 8.30 AM. My family aren’t pentecost, but my mom believed that no one teaches the bible better than the pentecost people and made all her kids attend the pentecost sunday school. After the sunday school I have to walk back to the church where my family goes to for the morning mass at 9 AM. Eventhough I can’t sing for peanuts, i was a member of the choir.( The only motivation for joining. christmas goodies after the carols!!!)After the service there would be choir practice till 12.30PM. By then the stomach would be singing songs as well. I haven’t had any food till now. So rush home, eat lunch, and then walk to the church again for our parish sunday school at 2PM. All in all I can certainly say that I really had a strong religious upbringing.
When I was little, God spoke to my mother. Everything that I wanted to do, mom would discuss with God. When i was 17 and wanted to go for a rock concert.. God spoke to my mom, that lots of people will be selling drugs and the cops would be there and I would certainly get in to trouble!!!!. What was worst is I already bought the ticket out of my allowance. Why couldn’t god tell me when I went to buy the ticket that he would be speaking to mom and they would decide that I shouldn’t go???
Now that I am matured(atleast have to act that I am!!) Me and god have sever communication problems. I have no idea what he is trying to tell me, and he has no idea what I want. I have been telling him I need a job(as though he doesn’t know), and he keeps sending me to interview after interview..Why can’t he just tell me what exactly he wants me to do, instead of this merry go round?