Saturday, July 25, 2015

The other family

Life is undeniably tricky. It humours you,It made you laugh. But there are also times when life pushed you around and laugh when you fall face down. I suppose everyone learns something from their life story. A simple example, the hardships one encounters in his or her childhood made them strong and fearless when they grow up. Early childhood caring upbringing perhaps moulds people to become caring and sensitive too when they are adults. So they grow up to become volunteers and social care workers. I bet there are scientific evidences to this; only that I am not about to quote them here. So here is a glimpse of my life story. It probably began when two people fell in love and were fated to be together to have me and my two siblings. It was a short marriage. Ended after 5 years and since then I learnt that daddy no longer lives with me. My first impression at that age was, he was taken away from me (like being abducted) by this new family. But I continued my childhood relatively smoothly. There are odds and ends where other kids at my kindergarten couldn't understand why I live with my mom and my aunty and my cousins instead of in a normal family consisting of mom+dad+siblings... I got bullied pretty often. but I never fight back. They would hit me on the head, pinch me on my arms, called me names, may be also call my mom with ill names that I have completely blocked out from my memory. I survived my preschool years with more questions than answers. I have learnt since that the english word for bercerai is divorce and that separated means berpisah so that I can explain to my english speaking teachers the situation in my family. Mom tried her best to give us the most normal upbringing possible. but without a father in the house, it can never be normal to a kid. But mom was good in a way that she never cry in front of me or show any hint of weakness when handling 3 children singularly. Now I know that not many mothers can do that. Especially not when your eldest is 5, followed by a 3-year-old boy and a 4-month-old infant. my relationship with dad and his new family began one day after preschool. it was probably 1988. Dad picked me up after school for something you'd now call a playdate. I was about to be introduced to my stepmother and my stepsister. I still remember that the afternoon was scorching hot, we travelled in this smallish reddish burgundy car to a village house in Meru, Klang. That was when I first laid my eyes on my stepsister, soon to be my best friend. She was very friendly for someone who is so young and small. She is this kind of person who has no prejudice, a good heart and altogether a very genuine person indeed. When dad walked into the house with me, she radiated with joy. Dad picked her up, lifted her in the air and hold her for few minutes asking her to be nice to me. A hint of jealousy struck me and I realised that it remains there until now. I whispered to myself, "Daddy used to lift me that way. Now he lifts this girl. So this is how he spends his time now... with another child." We were then introduced. I was Suhana, anak Abah Zul. And she was simply Anifah mama's daughter. I immediately tried to spell her name in my head, but I couldn't. I made a point that I will ,ask her how to spell her name later that day. Because how would I tell mom about this new friend if I couldn't spell her name? Because only when I can spell them properly, would I be certain how to pronounce them properly. For a child my age 'Anifah' is a very unique name indeed. Anifah was a very friendly little girl and was very cute. She was 1 year younger than me. When I arrived, she was playing with a set of colourful plastic iron and a few doll clothes. she was pretending to be ironing. I thought how lovely the play set was. I have only ever seen the real thing. So I was very amused. Anifah demonstrated to me the many functions that fake iron has and we made believe together for few minutes before we were called for lunch. There were many people in that house. There was Atuk Jaafar who was always sickly with conversation I could barely understand. He was religious and prays a lot. He was also very old. Nenek was Anifah's grandmother.She was not that old. She had a peculiar characteristic that was not typical of other grandmothers I have ever met. Maybe because she was not warmed up to me yet. She always looked at me as if I am a strange subject to be studied. But years down the road, I have grown to love her to bits. Other than these two, Anifah lives there too, with her mama; my stepmother and my dad. It still hurts to write about it... the fact that dad actually lives separately from us. More about Anifah and mama in next entry.
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