Monday, November 28, 2005

The end of long, endless day dream

November 14th `05 is a historical day for me. It was the day I officially become a graduate student with the pledge-taking as one of the newly registered graduate students in a local public university. I’m overwhelmed with excitement when I come to think that I’m back in school again after three years of leaving student days. Whilst on the other hand, with the new status and responsibility around my belt I’m a little scared; scared of the possibilities of not being able to complete the course excellently. Imagine this, I’ve been working for the past three years and I’m quite comfortable with where I am and what I am doing and I’m about to embark into the business school environment. I must admit that this is what I’ve always wanted and dreamt of; pursue my studies to a higher degree and get professional training in the field that I enjoy most. The thorough briefing and introduction on the institution and how reputable it currently is in the region had freaked the hell out of me. It made me wonder if I’m fully prepared and qualified to undergo this extensive programme which I heard as the toughest local business school. With minimal exposure to the management of the corporate world, I realized that I’m gonna have to work harder than the rest of the class and put 110% more effort than my coursemates since majority of them either came from business management background or are directly dealing with the corporate world.

My first class had awaken me up from my long, endless day dream of how easy a management course would be and made me realize that the two-year course ain’t any sit-back-and-relax type of programme. It requires a lot of hard work, effort and not to mention a lot of sacrifices from a number of parties ie; my children – they’re not gonna be seeing me a lot of me at home even if I were home I must be deeply indulged in my text books or busy working on the assignments; my hubby – his sacrifice will mainly be in monetary and most of the time, constructive idea generation and discussion among the two of us. Frankly, he’s the only person in the world that I feel very comfortable talking to and argue with. Well, these are just some of my prediction of how tremendously my life would change with my new status. I pray hard that all my predictions will be a reality, as I really need to work harder than I used to when I was doing my undergradute programme.

Life ain’t always a bed of roses. I believe everyone in the world has to work hard and put their effort in order to achieve and gain their goals and targets. If someone asked me what I wanted in life, I used to say that I wanna be rich and famous cause I always crave for fame and glamour. With my feet standing firmly on the ground, I realise that fame and luxury will never come with the breeze of the wind (unless you inherit them from someone may it be your predecessor or spouse). As what is clearly stated in the Holy Quran, “God doesn’t change one’s fate instead one has to change oneself”, I must no longer be in my relax mode and switch the gear to the hard working and study smart mode because I know for sure that I must no longer rely on anyone but myself. Frankly, I always found it hard to change myself and the way I perceive things and issues surrounding. But, like or not I’ve to get out of my sixteen-year old thinking and activate my current age thinking mode. If I fail to do the abovementioned within the short time constraint I don’t think that I’ll ever succeed in my studies and what more with my life.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Typical Malay

Today, I’m in no mood to do any of my normal daily routine. I’m unsure of the exact reason that puts me in this mode. As far as I can remember I had never felt this way before but I guess what I’d heard thru a friend of mine had left minor impact on the way I perceive things around me. Frankly, I don’t actually give a damn of what others have to say. Every body has their say and their own point of views and who am I to judge others on the way they perceive me. It’s not like they ever care about me. I’ll give a damn if they ever shown their concern towards thru one-way or the other. I started to realise now that my office mates are just a bunch of colleagues whom said ‘hi’ to me if I initiated the ‘hi’.

I guess this is a norm for typical Malay women, once they’re married they don’t keep many friends close to them, as they’re busy dwelling with their hectic marital life. They have their very own family to attend to, a husband to care for and children to entertain. I really don’t blame them though as I know that it ain’t easy to break the norm especially if one is married to a typical Malay man. That’s just one way to look at it, I haven’t gone into the dressing part. Most typical married Malay women tend to dress up to their status and age, wearing baju kurung to almost every function that they go to may it be to office or weekend outing with the family. Like I’ve said earlier, it’s really hard for any married Malay women to break out for the prescribed norm and it’s even harder to change and twist the typical Malay mentality.

Not to mention the deeply instilled sense of “malu”ness among the Malays. This sense of “malu”ness could be easily monitored in educational scenario. I’ve been monitoring this trait since my early education process; most Malays are easily embarrassed when it comes to making mistakes. Making mistakes is normal in any learning process. One will never learn if one doesn’t commit mistakes, hence the saying, “practice makes perfect”. There’s nothing to be ashamed off when it comes to learning. The same applies when one is attempting to learn conversing and talking in English among the typical Malays. I sometimes think that the use of English in daily conversation is forbidden. One has to learn to express oneself in a particular language if one aims to master a command of language, and in this; English language.

Typical Malays have this mentality of categorizing other Malays who try to converse in English as showing off. Come on guys, gimme a break. When and how are you going to master the language if you don’t practice using them in your daily routine? Those trying to converse in the so-called ‘bahasa omputih’ are not showing off, they’re attempting to learn. This is one of the main reasons why most Malay graduates fail to get a better job compared to other races. I’m not being racist but I’m really ashamed with my kind of people. Now, don’t ever blame the government for not helping our kind to get employment. You’ve got to change your mentality, get rid at least a little bit of that ‘malu’ness and stop being prejudice on others or you’ll never succeed in life.

Some of you may say that, “My ancestors were illiterate and they didn’t even need to know English to survive”. If you’re thinking that this still applies in our present time, you’re deadly wrong, man. We’re in the globalization era – those who lack of knowledge and expertise will be left far behind especially when almost all sources of knowledge are highly made available in the ‘bahasa omputih’. Simply put, like it or not you’ll have to learn using and mastering the command of the ‘bahasa omputih’.

You may think that I have no pride for my kind of people, again you’re wrong. I have total pride in my people, cause I realize that without that sense of ‘malu’ness deeply instill within each Malay our ancestors would have failed in cultivating and sustaining our unique culture and ‘adab’. Frankly, I still believe that ‘adab’ is important in our daily life since I think it reflects our personality. I actually passed on the Malay ‘adab’ to my children because it actually differs us from the rest of the world population and makes us unique in our own way.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Family Goss-files

This year’s Raya has taught me quite a number of things about my mother’s family that I fail to notice all this while; my mother’s relatives have one thing they love to do in common – gossiping. As I joined their convoy to a few relatives’ Raya open house, I realized that the topic that they cover most in their conversations was the hottest and latest gossips about any of my other relatives. I was amazed by their very updated version of gossips on each family member and how they could alternate their gossip on one family member to the other.

The other day while I was listening intensely to their conversations I got to know about my cousin sister that I hadn’t seen for quite sometimes, about her wedding arrangement that’s being planned out of her approval and how her father (my uncle) didn’t say a word about the wedding which was solely organized by my uncle’s ex-wife. I never really like this uncle of mine. According to my mother, this uncle is the ‘miang’ type of person. When he was still married to his ex-wife, he was busy wooing his new girlfriend (now his wife) who was back then working in Perak. I got to know that they got married in Thai, there was no proper wedding reception done. So, by then he had two wives; his ex-wife & his new wife. Sometimes later, I learnt that he had officially divorced the 1st wife. I wasn’t really sure of the main reason that led to their divorce but one thing for sure, it was the toughest time for his four children upon knowing that they were then a broken family. My uncle and my new aunt were then blessed with two children.

The latest that I heard about this uncle from my mother is that he’s been smooching around with a new girlfriend, a student in public university. According to my mom, this uncle has been complaining about my new aunt’s physical feature; her height. My new aunt is considered short compared to any average M’sian women. I could clearly recall my mom’s comment about my uncle’s statement, “when he was head over feet for aunt nor**** he failed to see her shortness and didn’t say anything about it. Now that he’s found a new love everything on her seems wrong”. My mom said that my uncle’s ex-wife made this remark to my new aunt when she got to know about my uncle’s latest update, “I’d gone thru my hard times, it’s your turn to go thru yours”.

Sometimes, I just don’t understand my uncle. What exactly does he look for and want from a woman? His ex-wife is always sweet, smart, warm and friendly. The only thing lacking with her (according to my uncle) is that she wasn’t good at doing house chores plus she is a few years senior than him. Come man, two bloody weaknesses should never outshine one’s strengths. And man, don’t ever forget that my mom did warn you over marrying a woman who’s a lot older that you. You even said this, “I don’t mind, I wanna be like Prophet Muhammad, he was a lot younger that Khadijah” to my mom’s remark. I was never proud to have an uncle like him, he’s the black sheep of the family. He is nothing like my grandpa. I didn’t know what went wrong that he doesn’t inherit sense of loyalty towards his wife from my grandpa. Maybe because my uncle favored my late grandma over my grandpa, so he may not wanna have anything in common with my grandpa. The other two uncles of mine are truly loyal to their respective wives; they intend to spend the rest of their lives with their loved ones and not seeking for new loves.

This is just one of the gossips that I learnt during my Raya celebration. I rarely go back to my kampung, so sometimes I think it was good to be in my kampung, you know just to update the bank of family gossips in my memory and the least is that I got to know more about my mother’s relatives. My only family gossip’s resource when I’m back in KL is my mother who gets to know about them thru my aunt. Well, that’s how the chain of gossips flows whenever I visit my mom at her place.