Duniya Ku

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Long Exposure: A SWAN SONG

Among the people you’ve known for a long time, who is the person who’s changed the most over the years? Was the change for the better?


Linda* was my classmate from primary school right up to Form Five (O-Level).

We were never close, but to me, Linda was unforgettable because she was the only girl I knew who hated coming to school.

The one memory of her that’s still etched in my head till today was when we were in Primary Three.

It was 7.30 in the morning.  The first bell had just rung and all the pupils were lining up outside their respective classrooms, eager to begin the morning session. Mrs Martinez, our Headmistress was there, fussing as always, to make sure we all behaved. Two by two now Children, no talking and no pushing, she’d cluck, just like a Mother Hen.

And it was then that little Linda chose to join us in class, and boy, did she know how to make an entrance! Most of us could already hear her coming even before we could see her. From the school front gates (ours was a small school) Linda could be heard wailing and screaming, and throwing tantrums as she was dragged down the corridor by her mother – yes, literally, dragged by the hand, into the classroom! If you could imagine a wild horse trying to break free from its captor, well, that horse would be Linda, and her mom, the bad human – without the whip!

Needless to say, every one including Mrs. M, was stunned. The mother ignored us as she walked into the classroom and practically plonked her squirming little offspring onto a seat; and just as soon, she coolly walked out of the classroom as if nothing happened. Linda had by then stopped screaming and was instead sobbing away noisily whilst she called out to her mother to take her home.

Poor girl! Linda was a mess by recess time at noon — eyes swollen from all that crying, her pinafore snot-sodden. Eew! It was pretty obvious that that girl just didn’t want to go to school that morning; but still it was quite a traumatic experience for my 8 year-old mind to digest.

Unfortunately for the rest of us, Linda’s little classroom drama continued and became a familiar scene for many months that year. She’d have a permanent scowl on her face throughout the day and behaved quite aggressively if any of us came close or tried to speak to her. So we were all happy to leave her alone to sulk.

But as the years went by, she began to change her ways for the better. Whether on her own volition or by force, I don’t know, but Linda eventually straighten up her act and stayed in school till the end. By the time we all finally left school, some 10 years later, Linda had managed to transform herself into a pleasant and bright young woman. Hallelujah! 

I then lost touch with her and quite frankly, I had forgotten about her until a few years ago. I was reading the newspaper about a terrible road traffic accident which resulted in a dozen or so casualties being treated at a local hospital, when lo and behold, I saw her name. It was printed in bold, and – get this – Linda was the Resident Doctor heading the Emergency Unit!!

I can’t remember if I had laughed or cried then. Maybe it was a mixture of both. But I sure was proud to know she turned out good, real good!   Dear Linda, you go girl!

*not her real name

Thanks for Reading 🙂

5 comments on “Long Exposure: A SWAN SONG

  1. bkpyett
    July 13, 2014

    What a delightful memory with such a successful ending! Wow, this is the sort of memory worth keeping! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • raroto
      July 13, 2014

      Thanks Barbara 🙂
      I just hope “Linda” will get to read this some day. Wherever she may be..


  2. ChristineR
    July 15, 2014

    Oh Raroto, you have brought to mind the image of my mum carrying my little brother all the way down the long driveway to catch the school bus on his first day of school. He kicked and screamed the whole way. Mum had to shove him on the bus! For some reason I was staying at home, thank goodness! (I think it was when I had a badly cut foot, couldn’t move off the couch for a few weeks.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • raroto
      July 15, 2014

      Hahaha him, too huh?!!
      Did you like going to school? I did. The best part of going to school was getting lunch money! 50 sen a day, that’s what Father gave when I was in primary school. During secondary school, he gave me 2 ringgit per week. Didn’t spend much and so I had quite a fortune in my piggy bank!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. ChristineR
    July 16, 2014

    I loved school. I was a bit of a teacher’s pet in primary school. Had to chuckle at the image of you weighing up lollies or savings. Well done. 🙂


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This entry was posted on July 13, 2014 by in Daily Prompt and tagged , , .

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