Malaysiakini Letter

History Class

Anushka Anastasia Solomon  |  Published:  |  Modified:

In History Class, Mrs Raj, wound up in a green sari,

Talked around the clock about kapal-kapal

Iropah

that would dock, occasionally, as I nod

Off, Mrs Raj would stop.

"Pull up your socks!" she'd say, like a siren

Distressing our ears, and all the poor dears

In History Class.

I. PULL. MY. BLOODY. WHITE. SOCKS. UP.

And gulp.

"You must mix history up and drink it down" Mrs

Raj said in a voice, cold as glass and Seven-Up.

"No, no, no!

ABSOLUTELY NO.

Sleepy heads in class. You go!

GO! And stand outside.

I Decide. This is a circus,

Madness! This is NOT, this IS

THIS IS HISTORY

CLASS".

We, the locals, find this funny and laugh.

History for us, like the cannons, is a blast.

Someone who'd been to the ISKL - for a period

As short as a bell - barfed in the back of the class.

The ISKL is the International School of Kuala Lumpur

It is the Upper Class, you and I, are DELETE.

NOT THE ELITE, so love song,

You and I can read

History and Law

But there is not one place INTERNATIONAL, you

And I can go, Love song!

No matter what seeds we sow

The Malay language and elite

Sit on our head

As we row the same boat

"Duduk! Duduk! Duduk! Sit down you clown!"

"But Teacher, Mrs Raj, you told me to GO!"

"Yes, but you don't go till I tell you to GO!"

"You girls are getting as bold as brass. Don't think I

Don't know," she said, lifting her eyebrows, "What

You are doing outside

THE CLASS."

Then calming down, "History is a subject you cannot

Afford to reject, the old truths are always there."

"Ah yes, teacher, the world is laid bare

But it is not fair, alas! It only belongs to the fair!"

Said one poetic soul whittle thin like a pencil

Boring a hole in a desk.

Drama. Melodrama. That's one of the girls from Ipoh

Not to sink so low, and mention Michelle Yeoh,

Who also Escaped

Mrs Raj's History Class

With James Bond

No Less

Because Tomorrow Never Dies

History Never lies.

So many of us go! Love song!

It seems so wrong!

"Not necessarily, you know. History is about old

Souls, not our rice bowls, learn all you can

Spread yourselves out

Become a Red Chinese Fan

Find another land...

The Bell Rang.

History Test is Tomorrow, alright GOOD LUCK,

said Mrs Raj, her voice slipping like sand

In an hourglass, I am leaving THE HISTORY

CLASS.

"And You, pull up your socks, don't be lazy

Or the facts will be hazy.

Don't Go Outside The Class," said Mrs Raj,

Asking another girl to carry our books

To the garage.

"I won't go outside the classroom, Teacher!

I'll stay here and wait for the bridegroom

Mr Wang is teaching the next class".

"You girls are getting as bold as brass. Don't think I

Don't know," she said, lifting her eyebrows, "What

You are doing outside

THE CLASS."

We, the locals, find this funny and laugh.

History for us, like the cannons, is a blast.

The writer is a prize-winning Malaysian writer in voluntary exile. Her published work can be viewed here .

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