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Heal Me

The following entry tells a great deal about Hilmi’s ongoing confusion with his own identity. It was originally published in on December 19, 2005. He’s really a confused man. Poor thing. 





Firstly, I have a problem in truthfully introducing myself to others – I am always unsure about what kind of impressions that I should deliver first, and what unique characteristics of mine that I should prioritize in order to leave a good impression of myself. Perhaps I am still struggling with a self-identity crisis, a prolong series of my painful teenagehood. This so-called crisis took place in many different types of occasions and audience I was attending to. Funnily, it involved lots of half-truth strategies with creative versions of answers. Let me give you some examples.


Situation 1: New students in a classroom at the beginning of a semester.


Students: Tell me about yourself, Sir.

Me: My name is HILMI. Please, it is HEEL ME or HILL ME or HEAL ME. But I would prefer you to HEAL ME because it sounds so healing for me. And for God’s sake, don’t ever HELL ME because I am from HILL, not from HELL. If you ever HELL ME, you‘d better get the HELL out of you.


Students: Okay Sir Hilmi.

Me: One more thing, don’t ever call me “Sir”. I have never been to England and the Queen has never conferred me the title “Sir”, unless Sir Elton John is ready to share his honorable title and wealth with me. I know it is so typical for Malaysian students to call their male English lecturers “Sir”, but I would prefer to be called CHE MIE. I like it. It sounds so simple, friendly, Malay, and less British.


The truth: I am not a HILL man, I don’t mind to be HELLed, and I am proud to be “Sir”ed.


I was half-lying.



Situation 2: New lecturers in a formal gathering.


New lecturers: Where are you from?

Me: I am from Melaka.


The truth: I am from Kelantan, and this fact bothered me for quite some time because I was not comfortable to be associated with typical Kelantanese traits. (Yes, Kelantanese out there, damn me. You can label me then as a murtad Kelantanese).  Once these people found out the truth, I would usually defend myself: “My mother’s parents are from Melaka, and my father’s are from Kelantan.”


I was half-lying. 



Situation 3: Makciks in kampungs.


Makciks: Are you still single?

Me: I am married with 3 kids.


The truth: I am happily single. The fact that I am still unmarried bothered so many people, especially those kepohs. Once they found out the truth, I would defend myself: “I am married with 3 lives – my students, my friends, and my family.”


I was half-lying. 



Situation 4: Complete strangers in a junior friend’s house.


Strangers: Are you a student or working?

Me: I am a student.


The truth: I was and still am a lecturer, which sounds so old and sickly-matured, doesn’t it? Being in a jolly situation with crazy young friends, I didnt’t want to expose myself to some delicate issues or spoil the impression of my “youngness”, “smallness”, “funkiness” and “cuteness” by saying the truth. Once they found out the truth, I would defend myself: “I am a master student in TESL studying in International Islamic University Malaysia.”


I was half-lying.



Yes, having triple lives has driven me crazy most of the time. It makes me a half-liar.


My goodness, saying all these is really HEALing ME.


Welcome to my blog.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. For You To Guess permalink
    August 20, 2008 9:16 pm

    Hey!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You have a masters in TESL!!!
    Salute you man! I am currently doing my Foundation Studies in TESL.
    You rock!


  2. October 11, 2008 7:16 pm

    my best lecturer…uncnciously u already give me ONE support…make me stand in my leg…now i hold that selfconfident that u creat in my soul..u are the best…


  3. April 18, 2011 1:06 pm

    Don’t get pening lalat…I’m myself a makcik who’s doing MA n I’m really proud of myself to be a mokcik who could beat the younger generation in my class ( well experience does play important role!) I’m proud to be a Kelantanese coz they always say I don’t sound like a Kelantanese n I would say” Kelantan Antarabangsa” is global!


    • April 20, 2011 10:47 pm

      Love the attitude. Keep it up 🙂


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