The very first thing I remember of my school-days is my first year at school. On the first day at school, I was one of the many teary-eyed kids hanging on to their mothers’ hands. Even now when I see those standard one kids coming to school for the first time, I know how it feels like. It is certainly not pleasant. Actually it is quite a traumatic experience.
I was herded into a class called Standard I F, the very last there was. There I sat with other apprehensive kids who were more interested in where our mothers were than with what the poor teacher was trying to say. I must say that it was no easy task for the teacher, having to cope with forty kids, half of which did not know what was going on.
Anyhow, we survived the first days and the consequent days. We actually became friends and carried on being so as we progressed up the education ladder. Some of my first classmates are still in the same class as I am although many have been scattered elsewhere.
That first year was eventful. I had my first fight with the school bully. He was a mean fellow from one of the standard, two classes. As he was slightly bigger than most of us in standard one, he went around every recess terrorising the smaller kids. Once-he come to me and started -pushing and shoving. I reacted by grabbing his shirt pocket and tearing it off completely. He was mad and started punching and kicking me. I was mad too and retaliated by punching and kicking him. In the end, I fell to the ground in tears. I could not fight anymore. To my surprise, the bully stood there, in tears too.
We were hauled up to the headmaster for fighting. Each of us received a stoke of the rotan on our buttocks. We cried more. That night I received further strokes from my father when he found out what I had done. Adults can be cruel and unfair, but after that, I avoided getting into fights. It was not worth it.
After that incident, the bully never bothered me ever again. Perhaps he too learned how painful fighting could be. He never really became my friend until many years later when we could recall our little fight and have a good laugh about it.
he years went by very quickly. We learned many new things, but most importantly we learn to mix with one another. I discovered that there were Malays, Indians, Chinese and the odd Serani kids who share the world together with me. We do not agree on some things but we were glad that we had the chance to meet one another and thus begin friendships that last even to this day. For that, I am thankful and not likely to forget.
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