So I'm in a Spider-y mood right now.
A few days ago, upon returning to the land of Harvard (Bedong), I went straight to SK Ladang Harvard to attend the school's Speech Day (Hari Anugerah Cemerlang, not Hari Ucapan). My youngest brother (now in Standard 6) was getting a prize, and my mother who is a teacher there was the MC. I acted as the unofficial photographer. Equipped with my father's 550D alongside my baseball cap worn backwards, I certainly looked the part. All I needed was a speedlight and some gloves to complete the look of a stereotypical event photographer.
Moving on, Ainul (the youngest brother of mine) got 2nd place in his class, and got a few books for his efforts. Congratulations to him, and I hope he gets great results for his UPSR (which will come out on the 11th yaw!).
Besides speeches and prize-giving, there were also performances by the students to keep the audience entertained. There were nasyid performances, story-tellings and the like. But one particular performance stuck out from the rest. It was a sajak recitation by a Standard 5 girl.
She recited a poem entitled "Ibu dan Ayah". It was a short one, just about a minute long. She started the sajak like any primary school student would. You know, how they ALWAYS recite a sajak? Too bad this blog doesn't have audio, or else I could have demonstrated it to you who still don't get it. I'll have to settle with assuming you know.
It seemed like there was no feeling at all in the recitation. Like she was merely reading out the words of a poem that her teacher gave to her yesterday. Honestly, that was what I was thinking.
But then, after about 3 quarters of the way through the sajak, she hesitated. When she restarted, her voice started to get shaky. A few lines later, a tear appeared out of nowhere, quickly wiped away nonetheless. She promptly ended her sajak and ran off the stage, crying.
I smiled. Wow, I said to myself. How I was mistaken. That kid really knew what she was talking about. It was a thank you note to her parents, their hard work, their determination in giving their child everything she needed within their means. She realised her parents' sacrifice and could only express her gratitude through words, which she realised, was very little. But that was all she could do. She wasn't big enough to do any more. That was all she could do, write it and recite it. She wished she could do more, but she couldn't. That was all she could do.
It made me realise that there's no one way of expressing love and appreciation. I thought I knew this already, but this kid showed me that I was wrong. Even if we don't see the love, even when it is being said out loud, it doesn't mean it isn't there. I was wrong in initially assuming that the poem that the kid was reciting was given to her by her teacher and she was forced to recite it on Speech Day. Even though it seemed that way to a neutral spectator such as myself, there was much more to it. It had more love than some could even manage to muster in a lifetime. It was the realisation of the efforts of loved ones and saying "thanks for everything". It was emotion, expressed unemotionally (initially).
I salute that girl for being able to get up on stage and recite the sajak in front of her parents. I wish I could do the same.