Saturday, October 18, 2008

2nd Draft: MY DARK PAST

My dark past

My childhood was the thing that I did not want to remember the most. It brought more pain than pleasure to me. These deep cuts and bruises, I wondered when they will heal. Unpleasant past memories that inflicted on our family were still haunting us. Poor my sisters, they were the ones who were affected the most.

For 23 years our family had lived with the idea that people with dark complexion were considered ugly and should be avoided. All these years we were suffering, it was all because of our grandparents, especially my grandmother. She was my mother’s maternal mother. She was the queen control, the dictator of the whole family. She decided what would be the best for her children. She even surpassed the limit; she wanted to take control of her grandchildren as well. My grand father was slightly nicer than her. Still, he had once discriminated us.

How did all the sufferings happen? The vital mistake came when we were born. My father has dark complexion compared to my mother who has fairer skin complexion. As a result some of us were born with dark complexion. My brothers all have fair skin complexion compared to the girls who have dark skin complexion. It was something that my grandparents did not like because they were expecting their grandchildren to have skin as fair as snow and very cute to their eyes. Being born to this world with such physical condition was a sin to us. I kept on questioning myself, why should my grandparents allow their marriage if they did not like my father right from the beginning? Then, we would have never suffered like this.

As a result of having dark complexion, we were treated differently. The treatment had never and would never change towards us. I still remembered when we returned for Raya we were always asked to put our staff at one corner of the house. At night, we would sleep in the living room. My sister and I used to sleep with our aunts. That was because they were still not married. But later on, when they had married I could feel the gap between us. The obvious discrimination came when our cousins were born. My grandmother would always praise them and gave them all the needs that they needed. On contrary, we were expected to serve them. Compared to our cousins, if we did not help to cook we would be scolded. We were not even allowed to touch expensive things. Our drinks were only cups and plates made of plastic. During Raya morning, our relatives would enjoy the Raya dish first. We would have them later. Some of us even did not eat at all because the food was not enough for us. Adding to the wound in my heart, some of our cousins saw us as sore to their sights. They would say “hitam melegam” (as dark as charcoal) to me as I had the darkest skin complexion compared to my other sisters.

The most unforgettable thing was when my mother revealed a very hurtful secret to us. When she was with the second child, which was my sister, my grandparents had scolded my mother for being pregnant again. She was showered with insulting words and threats. Not every second of the day she did not cry. They despised having family members who had dark complexion. One afternoon, thinking that my father had slept my great grandmother said to her quietly, “Jangan dok beranak banyak-banyak dah. Nanti dapat anak semua hitam macam pungkuq belanga, ”(don’t give birth anymore or they will all ended up having skin as dark as the back of the pan). My father overheard that. Those venomous words were like arrows that struck his heart. Until now he still remembered that. Afraid of getting insults and warnings from my grandparents, she would hide her pregnancy from them. She would try to make her appearance look as normal as usual. There was even one time my grandmother said that my younger sister was annoyance to her when she wanted to make calls. My mother’s heart shattered into pieces. Until now she always brings up the point why should she be treated meanly when she was pregnant whereas her sisters were treated nicely when they gave birth to many children.

Having the idea that fair complexion people were beautiful but dark people were ugly made us think that we were the ugliest human being on earth. It had been a burden that we had carried till we grew older. With this idea, my mind could only see our existence was not less than a slave for other people. We deserved to be bullied and to be insulted. This thought had wiped off our belief to stand taller, to have the belief that we were like other people too, deserve to have dreams and special in different aspects. In my secondary school time, I dared not be-friend with fair complexion people except the ones that I trusted and comfortable with. I dared not speak to guys as I always thought that they would be disgusted by the gloominess of my skin colour. I learned to judge people nothing but their appearance. Getting married seemed ridiculous and unfulfilled dreams to me and I even had fantasized to become beautiful as the white people. I despised taking pictures with my friends as I would appear to be ‘a piece of shit’ among the pretty flowers.

The society around us had never been helpful to us. As ex-neighbours, they were just like my grandparents; judging people based on physical appearance. Although they never mentioned that they looked down on us, but I could see that from their look. They had the eyes that sparked sense of discrimination and domination. They always praised their daughters as they were much beautiful than us. Each mistake that we did was vital that they will scold us continuously when we were child.

Luckily I have Islam as my faith. I always stick to Rasulullah’s sayings, “be obedient to your leader, even though he is a Bedouin.” As my knowledge has deepened, I learned that Rasulullah had many friends who had dark skin complexion like Bilal bin Rabah. He was even darker than me and yet he had one of the highest positions in Islam. Islam teaches us that we are not judged based on our physical appearance but the purity of our heart, akhlak, and our good deeds. The chance of furthering my study in this teacher training college was the most blissful gift to my entire life. I learned that I was special and had my own strengths. As I have mentioned before, my sisters were the one to be affected. My elder sister was beauty conscious. She would always buy whitening products and beauty products as she wanted to look best in other people’s eyes. If my face became tanner (darker of course) she would always ask me to immediately wear whitening products. Until now, my younger sister would never have confidence in herself. She would always see herself ugly the way I had seen myself before. Right now I am helping her to gain more confidence and hopefully he would be able to do so.

Today, my grandmother has treated us better than in the past. Still she discriminated us but I did not mind about that. This invisible pain would still remain in my heart, it will never cure but I am still overcoming it with positive thinking. Thanks to God, my parents and friends who are always there for me.


hanmie7227 said...

Good elaboration in each points that you have. The contents are interesting, and it flows really well.

For your writing. I think that you should check on this one.

"Past memories that inflicted on past memories were haunting me and not only me, my family members as well."

something wrong with it. Right now i couldn't think what's wrong with it.

I think you should organise your essay a bit more. The length of each paragraph should be in balance. For examples are paragraph 4,5,6,8

That's all.

yagami said...

forgot to tell you, the "past memories that inlicted on pasat memories"
Thanx for raising it up or else I did not notice

hanmie7227 said...

hahahahaha......... i know are excellent in writing after all. it's very difficult to find flaws in yours. maybe i'm not good in evaluating someone's writing

yagami said...

I don't think the balance of paragraph is important. The most important thing is whether the paragraphs are linked to each other.

Plus, if I do like you say, I'm afraid it would interrupt the flow of the essay as the links are not in different paragraphs.

hanmie7227 said...


well...if you say so.

persona non grata said...

your article was very good to read. It made me very difficult to find any mistake in there. I think that I need to learn from you on how to write an essay perfectly.

There is nothing much that I can say… I like to hear from you.. maybe u need to elaborate your point in last paragraph. What do you mean by saying that your grandmother has treated you better? In what way? Why she had change? Example of situation?

That’s all, good job!

nEuRuLe @z@Ni said...

hi..your paragraph organization this time makes me feel easy to read because you have arranged your points accordingly. your word usage is very powerful and meaningful until i can feel the pain that you have gone through and the hatred that u keep inside u.but i think u can change some of your sentence structure to be more santai and not very blaming your grandparents.. please love yourself and dont hate your family members. maybe you can pointed out the aspects that your grandparents have discriminated you in one paragraph with a sample and the positive side di sebaik setiap tohmaan dan cercaan. also how you ovrcome that. then the next paragraph you can point out the other can arranged your paragraph by starting with what happpened to you when you were small and you u express ur feelings in the next paragraph, then the negative effects , positive effects and finalize with the ways u overcome your problem or the moral values of the stories. but i admit that ur language is superb dude.

fahmi said...

this time you add more story to make reader can understand what actually happen.

the content are good but i don't know how to comment because your essay good to release your pain. it's good to tell people about our pain. so i can help your emotion much more stable.

keep up food work. so u can write another essay that much more intresting if u want to publish next time

onekyh said...

I think you have improved this time in term of organising your essay. However, there are still grammatical errors and wrong spellings. There are such as "grand father" should be "grandfather", "staff" should be "stuff". Wrong use of transition word such as "on contrary" should be "on the contrary".
Furthermore, "My brothers all have fair skin" should be "All of my brothers have..."

Maybe there are some parts where I missed. You should review back and insyaAllah your essay will be perfect.

onekyh said...

owh, I forgot to tell you there is obvious pronoun error in your second last paragraph.."Right now I am helping her...hopefully he would be able to do so." should be "she"

babysbreath said...

Sorry for the late comment...

There’s not much for me to comment except that you might wanna check a few sentence structure such as in para 5 “Not every second of the day she did not cry”. It’s double negation. I had to read several times to get the meaning.

Another thing in para 5, can you explain about this sentence…
“There was even one time my grandmother said that my younger sister was annoyance to her when she wanted to make calls” She wanted to make calls? You mean phone calls?

blueberry said...

the introduction seems to be better than the first one.
it tells us briefly on what you are going to convey in you essay.
adding more stories will help the reader to understand better on the things that happen. it good.
good luck for your final draft.

Anonymous said...

it was all because of our grandparents, especially my grandmother. She was my mother’s maternal mother. She was the queen control, the dictator of the whole family. She decided what would be the best for her children. She even surpassed the limit; she wanted to take control of her grandchildren as well.


i like dis sentence. it fulls of hatred. THOUGH I THINK U SHOULD NOT HAVE. but still i like d sentence.

it conveys a dramatic sensation, maybe u could arrange it from less dramatic to most dramatic sentence. i think the sentence (She was the queen control, the dictator of the whole family.) should be at the end, then u put an exclamation mark. it will look like u r shouting ur emotion to audience. :)

i noticed redundancy of skin complexion, complexion, how about u use other words such as colour or juz skin, i tried to find synonym form complexion in mr cambridge but couldnt find any.

myb u can change some of d sentence like

My father has dark complexion compared to my mother who has fairer skin complexion.

my father is darker than my mother.
wut do u think of my idea

lupikirlah sendiri said...

excellent piece of essay! u really have a talent for a maestro in writing hehe. ur writing from the first until the end is never boring. u r good at choosing words that will make readers want to write more. luckily u are not affected much by those kind of tortures and craziness, after all what our religion teaches us is the best!!:>
keep up!!