There were times when I wished seventeen years ago, I submitted the form that my father had gave me. Yes, I did fill up that particular form but at the same time, I also filled up another form given to me by the Ministry of Education. I submitted the latter. When being asked by my father, I replied that “a person should only devour what they deserve”. Albeit the confidence of a young boy that can be seen quite clearly, deep down inside I was trembling, wondering if I had made the right decision. The devil was pouring doubt on me. Well, actually the devil has nothing to do with it. It was because of the repeated fascinating stories told by my father of his experience as a young boy in Kuala Kangsar to me since as early as when I was starting to develop my cognitive skills.

Obviously I stood by my decision, based on principles. I didn’t start the family tradition. Therefore I went south to Seremban. Two years later, my brother started the family tradition that I had abandoned, and then my other brother followed suit, then my youngest brother. I was evidently, a voluntary outcast.

*****

Should I have had submitted the form given to me by my father, seventeen years ago, I’m pretty sure that I’m a wealthier person with all the strings that I could pull, the buttons that I could push. I’m sure I’d be working for an alumni related company with a pompous position, custom made for me. Or even maybe owning a company together with some alumni members. I’m pretty sure I could be owning a house in the most pleasant area of the city. Of course I could be owning a fancy car, or maybe two. I could also be wearing that stupid bow-tie during some stupid dinner functions. Ultimately, I could’ve long ago be married to a TKC alumni, trophy wife who sits pretty all day.

Yet, I stood by my decision, based on principles.

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