Monday, 21 January 2008

Sisterhood As I See It

If you were to ever listen to what my friends have to say about me, then they would get you to believe at the drop of a hat that I am a person with many needs and wants. Quite on the contrary, I am actually a boy with simple needs. Of course I have been ranting continuously about how it would be nice to be the owner of an iPhone and perhaps also the brand spanking new Macbook Air, but for the most of it, it's just hot air blowing. Perhaps when I get my first pay, then it'll be a different story.

No, I'm just kidding. The truth is, all I've ever really wanted is an elder sister. Yes, that's right. A sister who is older than me.

Sometimes it gets kind of boring being the eldest, and I'm not just talking about how you're expected to be a good role model, how you're always held accountable for your actions (and those of your siblings too) and how your parents so depend on you to advise your brothers and sisters when it comes to boy-girl relationships. Bossing around your siblings just because you can as the eldest also loses its fun once in a while - but only just.

So during these periods of self-loathing, I always imagine what it would be like if I had an elder sister. Would I still be this responsible? Would I still maintain my integrity because I am looked up to by the younger ones? Would I still be this poor? (stupid scholarship).

The honest answer is: I don't know. Though I do suspect that most probably I'll be a tad bit naughtier and perhaps have some of my work cut out for me when it comes to buying the latest toys. In fact, that is one of the reasons why I want an elder sister - so that she can buy me stuff.

I may be wrong in saying that God gave us elder sisters so that we need not wait that long in saving up our money (if we ever get it!) just to buy a Playstation 3, but from what I have personally witnessed and know, most elder sisters do just that i.e. offer to buy the poor brother what he wants. Just about a month ago, a really close friend who always spreads false lies about me in my comment box was treated to a Nikon D40 by his eldest sister. Imagine that! I'd be lucky enough to have someone treat me to the empty box or even the manual.

But elder sisters are good not only just for shifting responsibilities and buying stuff; I romantically imagine they would also be THE person to refer to when it comes to questions about girls. You can't go wrong when asking your own sister how come girls are so complicated and difficult to understand...or can you? Well, if I ever get an elder sister, I'm going to grill out of her the answer to that question and many more.

But like so many of my other dreams - to be smart without studying, be the first Malaysian to get shot into outer space or even just be seated next to an attractive stranger on public transport - the fantasy of having an elder sister will just remain at that. I suppose it's a bit too late to ask my mum for one and I certainly don't believe in all that kakak angkat nonsense. The only acceptable situation to tell other people that you have a kakak angkat is when you can specifically mention what it is that your sister is lifting in the first place.

"Eh, saya ada kakak angkat karung simen".

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

The Woes of Jaypee, eyh?

It goes without saying that there's a lot of frustration going about in the world today. In fact, there is hardly a day that passes by without one waking up only to feel depressed by it all and then pull up the blanket again. For the most of it, these frustrations can be broadly categorised into two: those that make you want to bang your head against the wall, and those that make you want to bang your head against the wall some more. I have had the greatest pleasure of experiencing a frustration of the second category for some time now.

Ever since our second semester started, oh say, about four months ago, I have been living off the sympathy of my parents and friends all due to the fact that my stupid scholarship has not arrived yet.

For an overworked(!) and underpaid student like myself, nothing spells out 'food' and 'basic necessities' so much as 'scholarship'. So you can imagine the state of living I have been in for the past four months without monetary aid from the government. Some friends have been quick to point out an alleged similarity to a malnourished caveman.

And it's not as if the students haven't done any complaining. About two weeks ago, a student rep asked the Deputy Dean of Student Affairs for her help in inquiring about the state of our scholarship. When the involved government body was contacted, the best answer they could give was "We have not yet decided on the amount. Please inquire again in a few days time". I imagined the department was probably full of little men in black suits and bowler hats spinning about red tape as if it were the last thing to do on earth.

I know it's no use complaining against bureaucracy. Half of the time your complaints get shoved down a garbage chute, if not your throat. And for the rest of it, you may very well go to prison for 'spreading false lies about the ineffectiveness of the government'. But what do they expect me to eat whilst waiting for their undecided amount of money - grass?