Saturday, July 31, 2010

Of Being Judgmental

We live in a world full of judgmental people. Whether we like it or not, that’s the reality of life. Sometimes, we are too quick to judge people; maybe based on what others say or just rumours. Sometimes, you just need to bear with these people. Life indeed will be dull if we don’t have these people. People are just getting more judgmental. You just need to tolerate with them.

We can easily criticise others without looking at it seriously. We can easily blame others without even reflecting ourselves

Teachers blame students for their poor academic performances without asking the fundamental cause of the problems.

Bosses blame workers without thinking that they bring influences to the work places.

We blame the environment we live in for our attitude without having self-reflection.

But, the reality is, we cannot judge people before we know them very well nor blame others for our own mistakes. I guess, that’s why people say don’t judge a book by its cover.

What you need to do every time you do any mistake, just take it and don’t repeat the same thing.

Experience is a good teacher. :-)

***Mr Amran said my p.s. is not touching enough. I should edit it more.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Short Story

I wrote this story just to brush up my wiriting skills :-)

I was looking at a photo album that stored a thousand vivid memories in it; some were bad but most were pleasurable memories. Looking at one particular photograph, I recalled an incident that completely ruined my life as a result of my bad behaviour at that time.

It all happened five years ago when I was still a residential school student. As usual, everyone was on cloud nine and our hearts exploded with joy when the school holidays came. I was one of them. I went back to my house in Cameron Highlands. It was the ultimate Tudor-style country house with latticed windows and wooden beams. The bungalow had an aesthetic style and emphasised high standards of craftsmanship. The wide cemented porches that lay flat on the surface and a beautifully lush landscaped garden with delicate pale-gold and purple flowers were a sight for sore eyes.

Upon arriving there, I saw my brother, Ameer. He was a man of boundless energy and single-minded drive. He was in his early twenties and he had been on his own since my parents passed away six years ago in a car crash.

“You said you would arrive earlier?” he asked, annoyed.

“I’m sorry, Ameer. I missed the bus. So, I had to catch the second one,” I explained while shaking and kissing his muscular hands.

Beside my brother was my maid whom I called ‘bibik’, although she was not from Indonesia. She was a lady of average height and in her early forties. She had wrinkled skin, an aquiline nose and arched eyebrows. With jet-black and shoulder length hair, she looked exactly like me at first glance. She was a widow, I guess, as her husband was no where to be seen.

I really despised her. I still remember how she got me in trouble. She told my parents that I had smoked in the toilet. My parents hit the ceiling when they found out and they decided to send me far away to study in a residential school. Until now, I cannot forgive her. She is a thorn in my side. What I really hate about her is that she looked exactly like me. She was, on the other hand, the apple of my brother’s eyes.

Upon my arrival at the house, I ordered her to take my bag in.

It was a fine morning as usual. The sun was about to rise and the cheerful chirpings of a multitude of birds could be heard. The earth was alive with insects singing and rustling about in search of food. There was also the blare of music from the radio and the soothing sounds of leaves. As usual, I went to the dining room to take my breakfast without knowing it would be a tragic day for me.

The aroma of freshly brewed coffee and the fragrant smell of nasi lemak - rice cooked in coconut milk served with anchovies, chilli paste, boiled egg, fried peanuts, slices of cucumber and lettuce made my mouth water. I sat on a unique dining table reflecting great English style together with my brother. I enjoyed that exotic culinary delight. Out of the blue, I could see something juicy, green and fat crawling among the lettuce on my plate.

‘’Eek!” I screamed in fright, a tiny worm just peeked at me from the pieces of lettuce leaves on my fork.

My face swelled in anger and I blew my top. I was not aware that my brother’s eyes were on me.

“Bibik! Come here!” I screamed at the top of my voice. Reacting quickly, I immediately threw the lettuce on my plate and spat the remaining lettuce from my mouth. In my frantic rush to the wash basin, I knocked over a chair. I washed my mouth over and over again. Bibik quickly walked towards me then looked down at my plate. She was speechless for along time.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t see the worm,’’ she muttered a hurried apology then colour drained from her face.

“What? Don’t fool around with me!’’ I raised my voice while throwing a melamine plate at her. She fell. I kicked her side. I took a few more melamine plates and threw them at her until she was knocked unconscious. When I was just about to slap her left cheek, I saw a photo of her with a baby fall off from her pocket. The baby was me!

‘’Enough, Zulikhwan! Stop abusing her!’’ my brother shouted at me while trying to lend his maid a hand.

What is this?” I replied while taking the photo from her. I was red with anger and my face turned ashen. I was about to slap her when my brother uttered something unbelievable.

“She is your mother, Zulikhwan!” he explained to me.

“What?” I shouted in shock. Bibik? My mother? That’s ridiculous. She’s our maid!

I was dumbfounded when I heard the news. My brother explained to me that she decided to work in that mansion as she wanted to be with me. She had to sell me as she did not have enough money to take care of my needs and give me a proper education. My late parents told this to my brother. I was totally shocked. I ran and locked myself in the room for a few hours and refused to speak to anyone. Out of the blue, my brother knocked on the door of my room. He told me that my ‘mother’ was unconscious and was in hospital. He decided to bring me to the hospital.

A few hours later, the doctor came out and told me that my mother had a brain tumour. Her condition was very critical and she could die. My brother and I were totally shocked. We really did not know about this. She wanted to keep it a secret as she did not want us to worry. I cried and cried. I blamed myself for acting the way I did.

‘Mom! Please wake up. Don’t leave me alone. I need you. I really need your love. Please give me a second chance,” I cried beside the almost lifeless body of my mother. My brother tried to comfort me.

A few days later, the doctor could not do anything to my mother anymore. Her condition was very critical. At 5.30 pm on 1st August 1990, she passed away without ever regaining consciousness.

I was so pissed of with my brother for not telling me the truth. I quickly grabbed his car’s key and drove his BMW 5 Series. It was rainy. The boom of thunders could be heard while I was crying and sobbing in the car, thinking of my mistake towards my mother. I was totally miserable at that time. Suddenly, I could not control the car. A big lorry was in front of me. Crash! I hit the lorry! I was semi conscious. It was my punishment after hurting my mother like that. I was sent to the hospital and the doctor told me that I would not be able to walk anymore. I accepted my fate.

I regret what I did to my mother. I was so filled with remorse. She was the one who gave birth to me but yet, I never admitted that she was my mother. She gave me up because she wanted to give me a good education as she was poor. I looked into the album that she kept for 17 years. She did not want me to know about this as she wanted me to be happy. But now, she is no longer with me and I am totally miserable. Despite all that, with hope, I looked forward to another new day