Early this morning, I was woken up by my handphone beeping. Grumpily thinking, "Yarruda athu?" (Tamil for 'who the heck is that?'), I slid it open. It was an unfamiliar number, one of those five-digit ones, and I thought it would be another advert. I almost deleted it. Then I realised it was from the Ministry of Education. MOE: SIVAROOBINI D/O KALAIMANI, you are posted to NANYANG JC, ARTS (26A) under 2009 JAE. Pl report to JC/MI on 2 Feb 09 at 7.30am
Those capitals remind me a bit of the way Crowley in Good Omens
gets his orders from Hell, except of course they wouldn't say please; the supervising demons just hack into whatever technology he's using, like if he's listening to Freddie Mercury singing a Queen
song in the car, Mercury's voice suddenly goes CROWLEY. WE ARE DISPLEASED WITH THE WAY YOU HANDLED... or if he's watching the news, even if he turns off the TV the newsreader will still be onscreen, going, CROWLEY. WE HAVE SENT SOMEONE TO CHECK ON YOU. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO ESCAPE or something of the sort.
Anywhoo. At first I was actually pretty happy. Nanyang JC is the best I could hope to obtain with 11 points. And that also ends my track record of a dream coming true; a few nights ago I dreamed I was posted to Anderson Junior College, where my best friend Lakshmi is going. My other close friend, Sofiyah, is going to the Sciences stream at Nanyang, and I heard Meenatchi, another friend, is also going there, though I'm not sure which stream she's in. I mean, Victoria Junior College was an irrational pre-exam hope, and I had become resigned to Nanyang until that damn dream a few nights ago, taunting me with the prospect of being with Lakshmi at Anderson.
So aside from some faint disappointment and the usual I wish I'd tried just a bit harder; one more damn point and I could at least have made it to Anderson
and some hope in the fact that at least I had gotten my second choice, I was suddenly scared stiff. Not of A Levels and exams and lots of hard work in junior college, no, not really. I was scared of the people there.
I don't know what people see when they look at me. I don't know what kind of first impression or weird vibes I give off. I know I'm different, that due to my more traditional upbringing and my love of books and scorn for things like pop culture, promiscuous behaviour and pop songs, Friendster and all sorts of things other teens here see as oxygen, people see me as outdated and weird.
I was the outcast, the one who hung on the outskirts, watching the others make friends and laugh and exchange blog addresses and send each other games on their handphones. I was the one who sat in a corner with a book while the others laughed and talked and listened to their MP3s full of the latest English or noisy Tamil songs, while my Mp3s contain both old (as in black and white movies old) and new Tamil songs, with actual meaningful
lyrics, not just noisy nonsense words to give a rhythm for girls to gyrate to, and old English songs like Can You Feel The Love Tonight
, You're My Everything
and the Somewhere In Time
soundtrack, along with Hindu prayers and Harry Potter
and The Lord of the Rings
In secondary school, when teenagers are only just beginning to enjoy the pleasures of growing up with none of the responsibilities, when they're trying to be popular and cool and showing that they fit in being different can be deadly.
My classmates either hated me or looked down on me. They watched my every move and made fun of it. They made my life a living hell and completely humiliated me countless times, driving me to hurt myself so that my forearm still bears scars that only went away last year (my sister found out in 2006 and made me promise to stop, in addition to the promises I made to Sara and Carrie, mentioned below, that I would stop hurting myself). I can still see one or two faint marks. I cried myself to sleep many nights, developed a violent temper, attempted suicide and basically withdrew into myself; I hated life so much, and if I didn't have books and fanfiction, and wonderful people at forums who saw me for who I was and not what clothes I wore, who admired my love for books and writing instead of being derisive, I don't know what I would have become.
The people at www.darkmark.com
really saved my life. I was going through a couple of other personal problems at that time in addition to my social problems. Saradha, a senior, who I met after school one day when I got on the wrong bus, became a friend but we grew really close through DarkMark, after I introduced her to it. She and others I met online, like Sara, Carrie, Lindsey, Tania and Jessa, helped me deal with my problems. Saradha literally
and knowingly (after I text-messaged her a sort of farewell note) saved my life (who knew the insistent beep of a handphone could be so powerful that it draws you away from anything you plan to do or anywhere you stand?). She made me see reason and basically sort of made me see the glass as half full insteaf of half empty, which is what I do a lot these days. She told some other close friends at DM I was having a bad time and would appreciate some friends, so for a while after that everytime I logged in I'd get messages like, "Hey Siva, how are you doing? Just thought I'd remind you, I love you, you're a great friend! Talk to me if you need to get something off your chest, yeah?". Those messages really made my day.
I wrote tons of fanfiction, giving my characters the friends and relationships I could never have (I discuss how the tone of my writing is a clear reverse indicator of how my life is going here
) and also read a lot of it. I made some friends, like Lakshmi and Sofiyah and Meenatchi, and Sukhanya's been my friend since we were seven. I made some other friends. Life improved a bit but not much.
When we were sent to different classes in Secondary Three, to study different subjects, I was so relieved. My new class was better. I didn't have close friends, but I did have people I could rely on to help me out a bit if I needed it. They didn't hate
me either. My love for books, flair for English and habit of making sure everything I could possibly need, from medicine to USB cables to spare books to food, is in my bag, actually won me a bit of respect.
And we all got to know each other a bit more by Secondary Four. I dunno about polynomials or binomial expansion or completing the square or Fleming's Left-Hand Rule, but I sure learnt a bit about social dynamics. In any large group, there needs to be someone
to take the blame, someone
to laugh at to make yourself feel better, someone
to hang about on the outskirts being a bloody doormat or sit in a corner with a book and bring up the rear and wearily raise her hand as the only without a group for a project. I had to endure a lot of racist comments and personal attacks on things like my hair or the way I talk fast or my clumsiness.
But it wasn't as horrible as Lower Secondary was. I had won some respect for being fairly reliable and good at English and Geography and pretty helpful even if you were mean to me (I just can't say no sometimes, I wish I could). I made an enemy of the racist b**tard Yusaku but I made friends like Jean, Jiang Mei and Hidayah (the latter two were also not that popular for being different). Some of my classmates like Ranjini, while teasing me, would still invite me to join them for lunch. I remained closer to Lakshmi and my other friends in other classes, though, like the lovely group I mentioned who threw me a surprise sixteenth birthday party.
Wow, this post is really long. I can't believe I ranted that much. Anyway, I was happier in Upper Secondary, what with my friends and fandoms and LiveJournal and DM and my friends and responsibilities in the Library Club.
The point is, I'm worried about my fellow Junior College students. I really don't want to have to endure anything more like Lower Secondary. Yes, I've had to be learn to be strong, to take the crap life throws at me, and I've found better ways of dealing with it than what I used to do. But that doesn't mean I want to experience it again. I'm not asking to be popular, one of those girls who moves about with a group of adoring admirers, of girls who dress like and imitate and are fiercely loyal to her and boys who hang on her every word. I just want to be at least tolerably liked, to be accepted instead of scorned. The reason I'm so in love with the Marauders is that to me they represent eternal, unconditional friendship. I would like to find my own James and Sirius and Remus and even Peter. I don't want the popularity that come with James and Sirius being so charming and charismatic and everything. I just want the acceptance and friendship they embody to me, the way they accepted Remus although he was a werewolf. Of course, friends like the Marauders are hard to find and I'm thankful I have friends like Lakshmi (occasionally she does remind me of the Marauders). I would be so glad just to find another JC friend like her.
And of course, Lakshmi and I will still meet up. I'm going to miss hanging out in the girls' bathroom before Tamil class and gossiping/b**ching about stuff or laughing about this or that, and the way she'd drag me away from the library and down to the canteen during breaks to actually eat with other people. Lakshmi, if you're reading this, I love you, you're a great friend, and I'm really going to miss you!
Anyway. On a lighter note. I found this at vnfan
's journal and it's so hilarious! I showed it to my sister and we had a good laugh. If you read Stephenie Meyer's Twilight
series, watch this! Hitler complains about Breaking Dawn
And from there I found a link to this one, where Hitler moans about the Half-Blood Prince
Mmm, these noodles are delicious! XP I'm savouring a lovely bowl of curry noodles and reading some fanfic. And my apologies for this horrendously long, boring and depressing post.