Tuesday, January 11, 2011

on boarding school, family and karipap panas

yesterday my brother went to boarding school. They grow up so fast, one moment they're watching the backyardigans on Nickelodeon and singing along to kiddie songs and before you know it they're in boarding school. mrsm, of course. and since he's in a tahfiz program, i guess that stands for Maahad Rendah Sains Mara. tee hee

Brought me back to when i first went to boarding school. On the first day, i remembered waving to my parents and brothers and nenek as they drove away, a rolled-up mat slung over my shoulder. that time i didn't cry, had to make a brave face you see. But when i went for my bath, i cried in the shower. before i went to sleep, i cried. there was this road sign saying "MRSM 4km" and when i saw it i cried. Hated that signboard. it was a miserable feeling.

boarding school was like this big, bad monster where your clothes got stolen if you put them on the clothes rack and lockers were occasionally smashed and seniors turned on their radio and played obscene songs. true experience. we are creatures of habit, and being thrust from Backyardigans to Hooligans is not a pretty thing, i pity my brother for that. But maybe because mine wasn't a Maahad, so maybe it ain't that bad.

Oh and it made me realise one more thing. My parents are usually well prepared and when it comes to first day at boarding school they'll pack everything from thirsty hippo to febreze to layering paper so our clothes don't get dirty from the locker. When you're in form 1 you don't appreciate these things and you don't really care because mum does everything and you take it for granted. but yesterday i called my mum and we laughed about packing thirsty hippo and all that and she said "well, we try to make it as comfortable as possible for you so it becomes more bearable". awww :') looking back, it did make life easier :) i remember looking at other people's lockers and there was no paper underneath their clothes and i thought their clothes must be dirty why didn't their parents bring some paper?

which brings me to the actual point of this post: family. Crying was actually a blessing-in-hindsight-in-disguise, i suppose, because it showed i had a family to miss and that was worth missing. whenever i went back home for the weekend my mum would always cook some dishes that were 'makanan wajib' and before i went back to school she'd ask me if i'd like something to drink and i'd answer teh tarik. and then my dad would drop by the 'karipap panas' stall and get me a karipap ayam panas (hot chicken curry puff..where is that stall now anyways??). And its those little things that you cherish. Not the food, silly. The love and attention that your family shows through all those little things, so life becomes more bearable. it took me 5 years of boarding school and 18 months of college and 1 1/2 years of university to put this into writing, *sigh* when all it takes for a mum is a single mug of tea.

and i believe that's where the education starts, at home. people who moved and shook the world were brought up in homes also, they were not born ready to give speeches, or to command armies, or to write books or blogs. I like this quote from Charles Lamb,

"Lawyers, I suppose, were children once."

i pity people who come from less than ideal homes. like this friend of mine who i met in boarding school in form 1. On our first chat he told me he was smoking and was in lock-up by the age of 11. Later i found out his parents were separated. must be hard being in his shoes. So be grateful if you have a caring family, don't complain-complain only.

Build a home on strong foundations, and you can build the world.


ffh said...

but i believe that boarding school made what you're now.haha

The Author said...

undoubtedly yes, although it was sometimes a less-than-ideal experience.