EPISODE 2: MY MUM
Back to 48 years ago, a year after a new Sarawak was born. It was my mother, a daughter of a paddy farmer. 48 years ago, Miri was an isolated, small town located 156 km from Bandar Seri Begawan, and a surprising 2200 km from Kuala Lumpur, its own capital. Miri is like, in my analogy, a child in a boarding school, away from his own ‘father’, but very close to its ‘guardian’.
48 years ago (until now), Miri was the heaven of oil and gas in Malaysia. Despite being the first and the oldest oil refinery in Malaysia, it was a home for acres and hectares of paddy fields. Every evening during my mother’s childhood, her siblings would line up, with a device called the ‘crab’ in their hands; they have a paddy-cutting race. I don’t know how fun it will be for I was born just decades after.
My mum came from a below average family, but better than my father because they have a vast paddy field. Her family is big, with 11 siblings’ altogether, and she was the tenth. Four of them were died before I was born.
Seven was left, and my grandmother is still alive.
She was, she is and she will always be the best mum I’ve had. She was there when I was crying for milk. She was there when I was unable to perform simple division when I was 9. She was there when I was sick.
And lastly, she was there when I was there, looking for my SPM results.
And she was there when I was back from the NS camp.
And she was there when I cried for telling the truth about me.
And she is always at home, calling me to have a hearty meal.
I ever tell her that I loved Fatin, but I never tell her the same about WH. It seems like she likes me to befriend WH compared to Fatin.
Why? I will tell about it later, dear readers.
Just that, some memories and tragedies happened made me hated her, and the latter really disappointing me. A lot.
She had beaten me when I was 6, when I was refused to go to the kindergarten.
My cousin was sick then. She didn’t go to the kindergarten and I thought to be like her, to skip class. I don’t know, until now, what actually happened to my mother. She suddenly stroked me with the cane. My whole body was hurt. I went to the class, down.
12 years later, she hurt me once again. All happened after I had my SPM results. I was to apply the scholarship to the overseas. The options were plenty and I thought to apply for engineering in the USA. But then, my mum came. It was all about misunderstanding about the scholarship. She thought that all the expenses for transport, etc. was on our own expenses, and only the courses was sponsored fully; and her idea was totally opposite.
She asked me to apply for the scholarship for studying in the country. So I replied, “For what? It is useless to apply- we can still afford the higher education in the country!” with a loud voice. But then, she forced me to do so. I wanted so much to study overseas, and then, she refused me to.
Then the day of interview came. All of the interviewee was applying to go overseas. I had no necktie; thanks to somebody that kindly lent me his. I was feeling weird that all of the interviewees are applying for overseas study. I felt really useless. I really felt I was damn stupid that day. Why I said so? I already expected I never have a chance to get a scholarship to study in Malaysia.
My heart was broken when I didn’t get what I aimed for. I went half-crazy since then. In matriculation, even until now (I am still in matriculation), I am craving for that.
I was like crazy when I was informed that Fatin was succeeded to have a sponsorship for a biotechnology studies in the USA. Then my mood slumped again. I was really down for months, even until now. I suspected that is one of the events in my life lead me to depression.
I challenged myself to struggle in matriculation so I could study overseas. Malaysian matriculation program was awarded the ISO 9000 that enables the student to study at their fullest extent in the world.
Unfortunately, I just can’t. When I take my result for the end-semester 1 exams, my heart was broken into uncountable pieces. 3.47. I hate the number. WH got a 4.
Look, I really feel disappointed with myself and my mum. My hopes are broken into pieces. I really feel down for that. And for your information, I was performing at my worst in MUET. I got a Band 4.
I feel ashamed of myself. I’m sorry Mum; I’ve to tell you that I can’t forget that moment.