The Story of Thousands (6A26)

The Story of Thousands

Hey everyone, I am Andy from Class 6A. Usually, I’d kick things off immediately because I know how busy you all are and some of you might have some unfinished business to deal with if you know what I mean. But let me just quickly say that I am glad to be able to stand before this mic once again before I depart from this school, and I am proud to present to you my article that won a merit award at the 8th English Writing Competition. It is an original work written by yours truly, titled “The Story of Thousands”. Ladies and gentlemen, please sit back and enjoy the story.

Tick tock tick tock, I could hear the ticking noises of the clock even under my blanket. “Raj! Dinner is ready! ’ My mother’s voice echoed across the entire house, as she called me to the dinner table.

But I didn’t feel like eating at all, just the sight of the pile of assignment on my desk at a height on the verge of collapsing was enough to take my appetite away. So I declined with the usual ‘save it for me, I will take it later.’

It has been three weeks since I came to Hong Kong. I imagined life would be different, that it would be easier here than back in New Delhi. But after all I have been through, maybe the old country wasn’t as bad as I thought. Our dad got us to our ‘mansion’, which turned out to be an apartment in a two-story building that looked like it came straight out of the dumpster, at least it had electricity I will give you that. But everything else was just. Well let’s just say we have some unwelcoming guests in the house and their size is no joke, so who knows how many are lurking in the shadows? Thinking about it makes me want to throw up.

The mansion is by no means ‘big’, it is a 6-room apartment and each room is the size of a shoebox. In my room, I have a little desk where I work at, but I struggle with the limited space, as the number of books, worksheets and assignments just keep piling up more and more, but at the same time, my desk isn’t getting any bigger.

Despite only arriving recently, my dad had already secured a school for me to transfer into. I thought I would finally be able to have a proper education like everyone else, primary, secondary, college and finally get that white-collar job that everyone tells you to get. I know it’s a pathetic milestone but hey, it is better than catching fish. But reality never ceases to disappoint me. On my first day of school, I was immediately isolated from everyone else. I was avoided like some sort of plague because of my skin tone. I was bullied and was called names like “poop boy”. I tried to deal with the insults but they just wouldn’t stop. After school, our parents came to pick us up. I thought the insults were finally over for one day, but then came Medhi, the top-dog of the form, along with her mother. They came to my mother and asked ‘Hi! You must be the new immigrants! I hope your son gets along with my daughter in class. They are in the same class, right?’

My mother reluctantly said ‘My son is in class 1B….’’ Then Medhi’s mom’s eye had this evil look, she smiled and said ‘Oh. My daughter is in class 1A… oh would you look at the time, well we have to go, bye!’ ‘How Great!’ I thought, now even the parents are picking on me. The next day when I was having lunch, when I was using my bare hands to eat my prate in the canteen, everyone looked at me in a distasteful manner. Then Ms.Top-Student showed up and said ‘How uncivilized. Eating with bare hands at this time and age? It looks like you need to be showed some proper manners. Boys, teach this poor immigrant a lesson.’ After that, all I could remember was being hit all over the place and my lunch box was tossed in the garbage can.

The bullying didn’t stop, every day Medhi and her gang of elite egotistic friends came and gave me all sorts of ‘lessons‘. I spoke to the teacher about it, but they just turned a blind-eye to her acts. It made me wonder if it was just because she was a top-student and she got all this special treatment or it was just because I am brown. If the teachers won’t help me at school, who will? I gave up after a little while.

‘Uwah!’ The voice of my baby sister crying snapped me back into reality. Then followed another whining voice, my baby brother. My family struggles to live every day, not only do we have a lot of mouths to feed, we get exploited and underpaid because we are ‘filthy immigrants’. Every time when I saw dad coming back from work, he seemed to be upset about his pay, said something about the boss taking advantage of him and overworked him without paying him. Then there is my mother, who occasionally returns home with bruises which she deliberately tries to hide from me. God knows what kind of work she has got herself into.

Maybe you think this is all made-up, or you think that I should just suck it up and quit whining about it. But I disagree, my family came to this land to look for a future. A future which can only be found in the Pearl of the Orient, the land of opportunity. But what did we get for coming? We were treated like garbage ever since the moment we set foot in this city. I am not asking for pity, but I am willing to tell you about my life, to tell you the story of how many South-Asian Ethnic families like us are being abused, whilst no one lends us a helping hand in our time of need.

Every night, I hide under my blanket and shed tears to relieve my sorrows, hoping that tomorrow would be better. But time and time again the same scenes of my parents in pain, my siblings in tears and the cold treatment from my schoolmates flashes before me, terrorizing my dreams…

‘What are we going to do about the rent…*sob*…’

‘Uwah!’

‘Go away creep.’

‘Go back to your country!’

If hell is real, this is it. If hell isn’t real, then this creates it.

That’s it for my passage. I guess the moral of the story is to pay more attention to the people around you. Not only South-Asian Ethnics get abused or bullied, even your fellow classmates sometimes. You might be targeted by bullies like Medhi as well if you help those who are weak, but my advice is ‘don’t be a vigilante and stand up to them’,  because you can win if you know you are right’. That’s about it, thanks for listening to everyone, have a nice day.