A Bit of My Past..

This is not going to be a happy post and it’s photo-less too. Not that I am unhappy. In fact I am now very happy and contented. True, I was lonely a couple of nights ago but that was temporary.

I have been wanting to write this a long time ago, but I was afraid that I might hurt certain people’s feelings. On the other hand, I am close to 50 yrs old, I might not live long enough to have the opportunity to tell this to you (whoever is reading my blog). Today after reading a sad status of someone that I care on Facebook, I am moved to write a bit about myself, or rather about my past. I hope by doing so, I would be able to motivate that person to strive on and be strong to face life.

I used to tell my students about my past. My past is never meant to be a secret.It normally started when I tried to advise my students, and I got responses that are something like this: “It’s easy for you maam, because your life is good!” How wrong they were. And that would be the catalyst to a long history lesson for them ๐Ÿ™‚ .

I was adopted, as I once blogged here, but I didn’t know I was adopted, until I was about to get married. The only parents I knew worked hard to make ends meet, but they never made me realise that I came from a poor family!ย  They provided well for me. I never knew that a bus driver earned so much less than many other people. I remember how I used to stand up in class, loudly and proudly tell the class that my father was a bus driver,ย  each time we had to tell about ourselves and our families.

The only mother I knew (though not my biological mother) passed away in Mecca when I was in Form 1 (I was 13 years old), and my father passed away 2 months before my MCE (equivalent to “O-level”) examinations.ย  I just turned 17.

My parents had children from previous marriages, but between them they only had me. I have 2 brothers from my mum’s previous marriage. One was not so poor but was hardly nice to me (that’s the reason I do not go back to my home town) while the other was very nice but poor. I always had the impression that the former never liked me. When I became the state best student for LCE (equivalent to PMR) I received a lot of congratulatory wishes from friends and neighbours alike. But what did that brother say to me? I still rememberย  the cynical remark very well: “Pah mu raso mu biso lah?” (So you think you are so great then?). A neighbour said to me, if my mum was still alive, there would be a big feast from her to celebrate my success…

When I was at the final stage of getting the scholarship to study in Australia (well before I sat for my MCE), the same brother’s remark was (translated) “so you think you are so good to get the scholarship?). I remember he was reluctant to pay for my MCE examinations fees. I was lucky because I was one of the 4 Petronas scholars (for upper secondary school), and Petronas really took good care of us including paying for our examination fees!

His negative attitude towards me continued well into my marriage. By then I was indifferent towards him. I did help pay for some of his kids education but I did so because I kept on telling myself that they are my late mum’s grandchildren.

Apart from losing my mum when i was only 13, I also had 2 step-mums! The first one lasted for less than 2 years, but the second one lasted until my father’s demise. During the last few months of my father’s life, he was quite poor, and had his wife and 2 small kids to fend for (one from his wife’s previous marriage). He asked me to ask for help from the brother I mentioned above (to dad, it was quite fair because dad took care of him from the age of 9ย  until he got married), but getting money from him (my brother) was very very difficult. Most of the time I survived on the scholarship money, or money given to me by my close friends, cousins and aunties. Yes, I did have aunties and cousins who were sympathetic towards me, and they remain my close and loved ones.

Financial problems, emotional problems, you name it! My studies declined, but luckily it wasn’t that bad, hence I managed to secure a scholarship to study in Australia.

When I was about to fly to austalia, I asked that brother, how would he send me off. His answer was very demotivating, and again I remember it very well: “if you take the bus, I’ll send you to Kota Bharu, if you take the train, I’ll send you to the train station”. He was referring to the trip to Kuala Lumpur. At that time, Kota Bharu was easily 12 hours drive away from Kuala Lumpur. Most families would hire a car and come down to Kuala Lumpur to send their kids to the airport.

How on earth did he think I, a 17 -year old girl would find her way to the airport (which she had never been to?). I decided to leave from my auntie’s house in Muar (Johor) because my cousin (demised many many years ago) had promised to send me to Subang Airport if I were to leave from there. What do I get from my brother? A scolding for being biased towards my aunties in Muar!! How could I not be so? They showered me with all the love I craved for!

My auntie was only a rubber tapper. My cousin was a government clerk who owned a very old Volkswagon. They told me, they could help me as much as they could, as long as it didn’t involve money, which was scarce to them. Despite that, my auntie had a kenduri doa selamat for me the night before we left for Kuala Lumpur (airport).

Much later, when I was already working they told me that the volkswagon broke down in Port Dickson on their way home! The car never travelled that far before that, so maybe it was too much for it. There was only “Senawang-Air Keroh” highway, while the rest was done using the old federal road!

I still remember the night at the airport. While all my other friends were well dressed in 3-piece suits that their parents ordered for them, I was only wearing a pair of Peter& Jeannie cotton jeans, a simple blouse and my prefect’s (school) blazer! Luckily the scholarship officer didn’t seem to mind my casual appearance!

Oh, where was my other brother, you might be wondering…ย  He was very poor then, but his heart was (and still is) full of love. I didn’t like to trouble him, but most of the time, he was always there for me. He visited me at the hostel regularly. Each time he came, just before he left, he would take out his wallet, counted his money. If there was RM10, he would give me RM5 and said to me he would use the other RM5 to buy fish for him to hawk the following day!

He was very angry when I told him what the other brother said to me. So he went to see his brother, and he said to him “If you are too busy to send our little sister off, give me some money. I need to buy the bus ticket and I want to send her off!”. That’s right, at the airport, I saw him waiting and smiling at me. Even now, 30 years on, i’m still chocked with emotions when I think of that night. He came in patched shirt but stood proud of me. He related to me how he went to see the other brother and got the bus-fare money from him!!

The moment I set foot on the Aussie soil, I said to myself, “I am in charge of my life now. It’s up to me what I want my future to be”. And the rest is history….

I always tell people I can forgive, but I will never forget.Our history isย  a big factor to what we are and how we feel today, trust me!! And now I think you will understand why close friends and caring relatives are of utmost importance to me!

If you’ve been following my blog, you would know that I still visit that brother who now lives in the house I grew up, though I no longer spend my night there.

I’ll continue my story later, if I feel i am up to it, hence no promise of “to be continued” ๐Ÿ™‚

20 thoughts on “A Bit of My Past..

  1. and experiences have taught you well. you are one friendliest and loving friend which I would love to emulate. we love you very much sabariah.

  2. Salams Dear

    The past is long gone n please do not grieve.Be thankful that Allah has given U intelligence.Always look at the bright side.Go to sleep in peace.God is awake.

  3. Diah,
    Thank you. I hope the blog entry can help others face their problems better, knowing that there are many other people (moi included) who have faces problems before and came out just fine ๐Ÿ™‚ .

    Zarina, I also hope that my life experiences will only make me a better person as time goes by. It’s a pleasure knowing you too (you are very kind too, esp to your “little people”!) and I think we form a great bunch of people (of all races), without having to shout the “1Malaysia” slogan. It’s all inside our hearts..

    Wawa, worry you not for I no longer grieve. I wrote this blog with the intention to make others realise that they are not alone facing chalenges in life. It’s not what we face that really matter, but WHAT WE DO when we face the problems and challenges.

  4. Sabariah,saya mengenali awak dan keluarga. Mak awak..berniaga kain di dalam Pasar Tanah Merah. Seingat ayah saya sering pergi beli kain di kedai emak awak..tu..Rumah awak pun saya kenal di jalan pondok lama,warna putih…saya pernah sekali bertanya tentang awak kpd emak awak..tentang diri awak..Itu kisah 1974 lah…

    Awak bernasib baik…..cerdik,cantik dan mempunyai kawan yang menyukai awak..Ingatlah semua peristiwa masa lalu itu adalah pengalaman hidup yang pernah dan perlu dilalui oleh seseorang. Apa yang pernah berlaku dulu adalah mujizat tersendiri yang menjadikan awak hebat pada hari ini….

    Walau pun kita mempunyai sekolah yang sama ,guru yang sama dan mungkin kawan-kawan yang sama tetapi saya tidak bernasib baik seperti awak dalam kejayaan akademik semasa remaja..
    Saya melihat ramai-rakan2 yang bijak akademik ..berjaya dan tidak berjaya dalam dalam hidup..Ingatlah bahawa apa yang ada pada hari ini adalah ketentuan dariNYA….

    Apa yang menyeronokan..ialah cerita awak mengimbau kisah-kisah lama di Tanah Merah..kehh

  5. DTMS,

    Terimakasih atas pujian2 tu… Saya setuju dgn apa yg awak sebutkan tu.. Saya pun kekadang rasa agak keciwa kerana saya tidak menjadi “seseorang” yg dikenali, terkenal dan berjaya (di mata masyarakat). Tp bila saya fikir dan ukur pencapaian saya pada skala saya sendiri, saya amat bersyukur atas apa yg telah saya lalui dan capai. Saya mungkin tidak menjadi org tersohor, tp saya cukup bahagia dgn keluarga saya sekrg, juga dgn kesihatan saya (walaupun kecantikan yg ada dulu sudah hilang). Semoga saya dipeliharaNYA lagi drpd musibah2 yg tidak tertanggung oleh saya sendiri..

    Saya byk simpan kenangan lama ๐Ÿ™‚ . cuma menunggu masa utk dicoretkan di blog ini…

  6. by the way it is very hard 4 me to get semesta phone no. 4 ur known i left from the smsk at 1974 during the fusting month 4 transfering 2 another boarding school.

  7. m s yah,

    me too came from a ‘very bad’ family background. but money never is the major issue. its really hurt to hear someone calls u ‘ank pungut’, ‘biawak hidup’……but now, i’ve proved to them that i’m not a loser! i know your story mostly from abe and ma. i have to admit part of my motivation comes from u….i agree with u, i will forgive but i’ll never forget.

  8. Nadia,

    Tu lah… we are not alone, ramai lagi org yg went through bad childhood. Tak pe lah, we can tell our kids how we got out of the rut. Itu lah sepatutnya motivasi utk mereka to do much better than us.

    Agak2 bila you habis belajar? MS Yah rasa nk gi lagi, nk tumpang duduk with you and family – jimat duit on accomodation ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Salam sis

    Saya pun ada citer sedih..Tapi kerana kesedihan tu yang mendorong saya untuk mengubah nasib saya sendiri..dan sis juga menjadi idola saya.. ๐Ÿ˜€

  10. ma’am..
    mind if im asking..
    i continue reading your story and i realize that Abe mat u mentioned is a very poor guy..but he have a Honda motosikal..n the other brother that not too poor what does he have??
    n how did abe mat went to tnh merh to meet with that brother??
    aiya sudah pening ooo..hehehe

  11. Apa yg tertulis sungguh mengguris perasaan kami adik beradik, bagi pihak bapa kami , kami minta ampun dan maaf diatas kesilapan nye pada maksu yah dahulu..kami pun amat terhutang budi dgn dgn bantuan kewangan semasa belajar dahulu, sekiranye perlu dibayar semula bagitaulah supaya tdk lagi diungkit sampai bila2..kami masih kecil dan miskin maksu sahaja yg berduit pada masa itu. Yes we are yr late mom’s grand children..kerana keadaan, terpaksa minta bantuan drpd maksu.Kami bukan tdk ingat budi maksu tapi layanan maksu kpd kami ( aura benci itu) since kecil hingga skrg menyebabkan rasa rendah diri dan tak selesa utk bertemu dgn keluarga maksu yg kaya dan berkedudukan sedangkan kami cuma orang biasa yag tiada apa boleh dibanggakan.
    Maaf diatas segala kesalahan kami sekeluarga.

  12. Maaf terlupa nak inform, the other brother yg badly treated maksu tu is our father, he was’nt senang/kaya masa tu, cuma ada basikal buruk sahaja, of course le tak boleh nak ke Kb selalu.duit pun tak byk sgt anak kecil2 ramai.tanah Merah ke Kota Bharu lebih dari 1 jam perjalanan bas.Hope can clarify this to all yr fan bloggers..
    Tapi skrg Alhamdulilah dpt le kita tukar basikal jadi kereta, wlaupun dgn gaji yg kecil & tak sehebat Mak su yah.
    Maaf jika terkasar bahasa.

  13. Salam Niece,

    Ini adalah kisah perjalanan hidup maksu, yg kebanyakan adik beradik Niece tidak tahu.

    Apa2 yg telah diberi dah lama dihalalkan.

    Oleh kerana Niece (yg tidak mahu perkenalkan diri) sebut beberapa perkara, maka izinkan maksu sebut beberapa perkara juga:

    1. Tiada rasa benci terhadap Niece dan keluarga. Yg maksu rasa ialah maksu tak pernah di”terima” dari awal lagi. Zaman maksu budak2 dan belum kerja, jadi tiada kes kaya miskin.

    2. Abah Niece masa tu berada di zaman “kemuncak” perniagaannya, dan mmg maju ketika itu. Ayah mat ada motor sbb dia guna motor buruk itu utk mencari rezki.

    3. Maksu pernah luahkan rasa keciwa (baca betul2: keciwa, bukan benci) kerana takde sorg pun anak2 dia dtg jengah maksu d Shah Alam. Jawapan dia, “abg P dh cakap, tp budak2 ni tak mau, nk buat macam mana…”

    4. Maksu masih pergi TM, kerana ingin teruskan ikatan tp selepas 30 tahun, statusnya macam tu jugak….

    5. Niece masih kecil (atau mungkin belum lahir) semasa semua ini berlaku, jadi byk benda yg Niece tidak tau… Juga ada juga perkara yg hanya abah anda dan maksu je tau yg maksu akan rahsiakan hingga ke liang lahad :((

    Dan sebagaimana yg tertulis di atas, ALL HAVE BEEN FORGIVEN, though not forgotten.

    Terima kasih kerana singgah di blog ini..

  14. hehe gatih basikal la ni from tm to kb..jauh oo..
    bsikal tua plak tu..xkn bsikal frixie kot time 2..
    ptt la other brother sush nk g jmpa..n pkara org slalu kta tgk cm xska kta 2 pkara
    biasa ma’am..my dad pn slalu kutuk2 even i think it can make him proud of me
    maybe by doing that u got sumting to show him what he said is totally wrong..
    hehe..hopefully xde gdh2 dh..cm suasana tegang je ni..hehe

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