Sunday, October 29, 2006

I was thinking about my voice

Please take note: Bear in mind that I'm not being or trying to be obnoxious. Read the post at your own risk.

During our long journey home cut short by abah (heran aku tak nampak pon polis sepanjang hiway)... the said topic was on my mind. But first let me tell you, I'm a breed of a sekolah menengah kebangsaan agama.

My high school mates kept telling me I had this kind of sweet or lemah lembut sangat kind of voice - konon dangerous la kalau bercakap ngan *ehem* lelaki. It's too menggoda they say. I never knew what it meant. The first person who told me not to speak so sweetly when on the phone was abah. I was 12. He has a very gentle and subtle way of getting the message across (who could blame him - I was only a kid), I never exactly got what he meant until I was in high school.

As far as I can remember, the other person who was told the same thing about her voice was Pelut. Well, she looks and totally embraces of being graceful and ladylike and perempuanmelayuterakhir-like. Me on the other hand, I don't think I posses that kind of quality. Not in that much amount to qualify as one at least. Yet I was told to change my tone of voice or be careful when speaking up in an audience of men. Perli and kata-kata pedas did come my way but being a rebel at heart I was screaming out loud you can go to ##@#&%! I mean these people (who was using another person to get back at me - another sad true story) were telling me to do things that's so ridiculous, it really got in my nerve big time. Oh heck they're just jealous lalala. They can't make a man melt at the mere sound of their voice so being catty and all they just want to argue something stupid. Who can change the nature of themselves anyways? We come all in one package and that's all there is. What the hell is wrong with my voice anyway? Geez if you can't deal with it then you can shove all your complaint up in your ass. Period.

So you think I stayed with my rebellious ways and live happily ever after? For some part yes. But for my voice - I chose no. I'm not that big headed that I refused to think for myself. Some things they said was partly true. I mean the women should keep their voices low when talking to bukan muhrim right. Suara tu pon aurat jugak so kena la jaga. And also I didn't want to be known as mengada or gatal and the like. I listened and I evaluated. The action, though, was not taken immediately. Actually I didn't quite get it when they told me the first time. Too menggoda? How menggoda then? Too lembut? How lembut? How do I make it normal, or less lembut, or whatever so you'd stop saying things to me? The annoying part was that they couldn't pinpoint me to the direction. "Alah keras kan sket suara awak tu". Fine, keras it is.

So I began my new chapter of life with practicing new tone of voice. I was pengawas asrama then so I yelled a lot - "Lights off!", "Baju sape tu oi!", "AJK Kebajikan turun!", or changing my word emphasis when public speaking. Hey don't think I was a bully haaaa because I wasn't. I had no problems with the juniors, only the with the management. So I kept on practising even though it was hard. There was improvement but the old tone was still there. I got to the point where I decided to hell with this all. I had tried and whatever comes out of this, I'll deal with it.

Suffice to say that I had succeeded in a way because there were less people talking to me about it and then none. Maybe they had grown tired or they couldn't care less or I had truly succeeded. Hurrah.

Fast forward 8 years later. I have the keras tone with me now, mixed up with the lembut tone. I know it's not all gone because I still have the effect on people sometimes. Both good and bad.

Good's: one example - one man from insurance company calling me up was flirting with me like crazy the other day and it's not because of the insurance I can assure you.

Bad's: I get misunderstood lots of times. If the person I'm talking to is not looking at my face, some time through the conversation, by only the hint of my voice; they'd think I was mad at them/tengah perli diorang/I mean bad things. Although I don't feel that way in any way remotely possible. If they had looked at my face I was smiling and meant no harm. This is especially true on the phone.

I welcome all the boons by all means come come come. They're both flattering and a confidence booster. But the bad effects oh god help me. I'm a nice person. I don't mean anything hurtful please understand. I can be asking someone a plain routine question "Ni ape benda ni ha?" and that someone would reply me back "Eh apasal tetiba nak marah ni?". You know it's depressing to explain to them back I'm not angry or anything I was just asking blah blah blah. This is where I blame my keras voice. And because I've been doing it all these years it's difficult to change it back. I sound really kasar if I'm not careful. This is what I get from playing along with the idea of 'dangerous voice'. Aiya this is a burden.

So now, when I reached home, I've decided to get my lembut voice back. I know it's in me somewhere and I have to get it out. Lantak le whatever people want to say. It seems the keras is giving me more troubles so keras must go.

Lembut. Welcome back.

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