Thursday, April 23, 2009

Boh... Rem... Han....

Today, I read in the newspaper about a new Malay movie entitled “Bohsia, Jangan Pilih Jalan Hitam”.

Have we run out ideas for Malay movies?

This film is directed by Yusuf Haslam’s son, costing RM1.5 million. For that amount of money, he could have thought of a better storyline.

This film is about two bohsia who got involved with some bad guys, one of them a Mat Rempit. For those who don’t know what a bohsia is, it is actually a girl (usually under aged) who is willing to go to bed with a man just for a ride on his bike and a cup of tea the next day. These kind of girls are quite prevalent these days, and they usually come from broken homes.

And a Mat Rempit? He’s the guy with the motorbike. He participates in illegal street racing (at nights usually) involving under bone motorcycles or scooters. They are quite rampant on Saturday nights, infront of Dataran Merdeka, and the strange thing is, they are hardly nabbed by the policemen even though they are such pests.

Anyway, I’m not planning to discuss about the bohsia and Mat Rempit here.

What I’m trying to argue is, why Malay film producers are so fascinated with stories of Mat Rempit & bohsia in their films? We’ve had Rempit 1, Rempit 2, Ramp It, KL Menjerit, Impak Maksima and a few other titles yang sewaktu dengannya. Semua ni cerita pasal budak2 merempit tengah malam and their social activities.

I’ve not seen any of these films (except for KL Menjerit, itupun tak habis), so I can’t tell what the moral of the story that they are trying to portray. Even if there is one, I don’t think it is something that will leave a huge impact or lesson to the viewers.

Tak ada ke jalan cerita lain? Buatlah cerita macam Benjamin Button ke, Slumdog ke, some heavy drama ke… like in Hollywood. Give us some GOOD movies, barulah orang nak pegi panggung tengok wayang. Kalau setakat cerita Bohsia or Mat Rempit macam tu, I think beli VCD pun I tak mahu.

I’m not trying to put down our local film industry, but that’s a fact. Tell me how many good Malay movies that you have seen so far? I can count with jari sebelah tangan sahaja. Even Indon & Thai movies have better quality and storylines than ours, so don’t blame us when we choose to watch foreign films.

Sometimes I feel sorry for our local film industry. Macamana nak maju kalau buat cerita tajuk “Anu Dalam Botol”. What is that? Come on lah! Firstly, you know this kind of movies will not pass the censorship board. It’s very controversial. Why make it in the first place? You’re just wasting your money!

Secondly, can’t you think of a better theme/title? Buat lah cerita pasal keagamaan ke, pasal keluarga ke… Like that Slumdog story, it’s such a simple storyline but with great acting and strong plot, it managed to win several Oscars.

When we argue about this, people in the film industry complain that they don’t have enough budget, no support, tak dapat enough slot in the cinemas etc, etc. They blame the public viewers for preferring to watch foreign films than our own local films.

But hey, kalau cerita hampas macam tu, siapa nak pegi tengok? Siapa nak allow viewing lama2 at the cinemas? You come up with a good story, then only people will come in droves to watch your film.

My BIL said that new cerita hantu, “Jangan Tegur” is quite good. It’s scarier than Jangan Pandang Belakang (which I think is quite funny because hantu dia kelakar!). Perhaps I’ll just buy the DVD. Kalau tak best, I can just turn it off !

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Third One

I received a call from my mother early this morning. An aunt just passed away.

That must be the third molar in my dream...

Al Fatihah.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Polygamy - does it work?

I've not been writing for over a week. Reason being ~ I didn't know what to write. These past few weeks have been really taxing on us. Funerals, tahlils, work, children... Everything seemed to be coming on to us at the same time. And it's exhausting, really.

Everyday I wake up wishing that the day would end quickly. And that I would have an extra hour in the evening to play with Nizzar. Unfortunately, by the time I arrived home, I'll be so tired. But I forced myself to stay awake and amuse him for a while. If I couldn't do it for a whole day, the least I could do is spare him an hour of quality time everyday. That would make me feel good about myself.

My husband has been bogged down with work. I don't want to write much on that. Nabila is studying for her exams, which will start next week. Nadira is "doing nothing" at home while waiting for her offers to come in. Nadim is being a good school boy. Everything else remains the same at the home front.

Ohh... btw, my neighbour is now the new Home Affairs Minister. That's good news, isn't it? Tighter security in our neighbourhood! MrNordin sent him an SMS the other day congratulating him. He replied with a note of thanks, expressing his gratitude to us for being "so patient" all this while (you know, cars parked haphazardly infront of our house and so forth). Did I tell you he offered to buy over our house before? No thank you, that was my husband's answer. We're not selling.

Anyway, let's move on to something else.

I received quite a lot of comments on my last posting on Aunty A. All have mixed feelings about it. Still on the same subject, let's dwell on it a little bit more, shall we?

This issue on polygamy, is there a formula to make it work?

I have this theory that polygamy can only work if the 2nd marriage has the blessing from the 1st wife. I believe, if the 1st wife is willing (not by force, ok?) and she is well informed of her husband's intention to marry another one way before it actually happen, the second marriage could potentially work. If not, it is doomed. The husband will have difficulty to please both wives, and there's bound to be war, like my FIL.

I believe, if the 1st wife is aware and consented to the 2nd marriage (for whatever reason there is), the subsequent marriages will work out by itself. Take for example that guy in Terengganu who has four wives. We all saw his picture in the newspaper grinning from ear to ear with all his 4 wives, who all seemed very happy sharing this one lucky man. And why is that? I think it's because the other 3 wives have the blessing from the first wife.

My point is this. If the 1st wife agreed that her husband takes on another wife, she herself will make sure that the subsequent marriages will work out. She will control the game. You know how women are, right? If they liked the other woman, they'll treat them nicely. The same with "madus". If the 1st liked the other "madus", she'll treat them nice. The four will be like sisters in the whole matrimony with the 1st wife holding the key to their happiness, the husband included.

So, the 1st wife is the key to a successful polygamy. But men failed to see this fundamental point. The 1st wife is always the last to know.

I have a cousin who is the No. 2 in her marriage. She married her husband when she was very young, 17 years old I think. At that time, her husband was living next door to her mother's house. He was a married man, his wife lived with him, but they didn't have any children. I remember everytime I visited my aunty's house at that time, I always met up with this guy and his wife too. They were just like family. The next thing I knew, he got married to my cousin. We were all shocked, but my cousin and the related parties involved seemed undeterred by it all.

It's been more than 15 years now and my cousin is still married to the guy. She lived next door to the 1st wife and has two boys (twins). The 1st wife worked, but my cousin stays home. She looks after both houses and do the household chores while the 1st one is at work. They attend functions TOGETHER, both she and the 1st wife, along with the husband. My cousin seemed more like a sister to the 1st wife and they all seemed happy.

But there are not many women who are willing to share their husbands like my cousin's madu. I, for one, cannot. Not at this point of time. It takes great pain and sacrifice to allow the man whom you have loved and lived with since you got married to love and live with another woman.

I cringed at the thought of my husband kissing me tonight and yet tomorrow night, he'll be kissing another woman. I don't think I can tolerate that. So the best way for me, if this ever happened, is to go our separate ways. That way, it only hurt for a while, not forever.

But I suppose if you don't have a choice (eg. you don't have a job, anak ramai, have always been dependent on your husbands), then when your husband states his intention to marry another one, perhaps you'll relent. These kind of wives, kata orang, akan "dapat payung emas di syurga nanti". Wallahualam..

So, to all the men out there, if you have the slightest intention to take on a second wife, please be honest about it and tell your wife. At least give her the respect she so deserves for being your wife and mother to your children. Don't shun her away and marry off secretly in Thailand because this is not the conduct of a man with honour. If you tell her and she agreed, you'll be happy forever. If not, I would say, forget it!

And another thing, if you're seriously unhappy with the marriage, please talk to your wife. Tell her about it, not tell another woman. Talking to a third party about your marriage problem is not going to solve the problem, it'll only to make it worse.

Having said all that, is there any man out there who is willing to do as I said?

I doubt it.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Can We Forgive and Forget?

Aunty A’s death marked the end of my MIL’s nightmare.

For the past 35 years, she and my FIL have been fighting over Aunty A, a third party in their marriage. My MIL could never accept her presence. Even on her death bed, my MIL never forgave her for stealing her husband.

This is a story that has run in the family for many, many years. It’s a well known fact that my MIL and her “madu” were public enemies. Every week, there must be at least one quarrel over this and it’s usually on the day when my FIL went to Aunty A’s house to spend the night.

I don’t really know Aunty A. I’ve only met her twice before. But from what I gathered from MrNordin, she married my FIL when my MIL was pregnant with her third child, ie. my youngest BIL. The marriage was kept a secret and my MIL only found out about it after two years. That’s what made it hurt so bad.

My MIL was a very devoted wife. To her, her husband is everything. So when someone else came into the picture and claimed possession of her husband, she was shattered. And she was mad, for a very long time…

She had so much hatred for Aunty A. The very mention of her name would send her furious. But my FIL played his cards well. Both never met face to face and he treated both wives equally. Only thing was, either way, sure kena marah punya. Bila pegi rumah bini muda, isteri tua meradang; bila pegi rumah bini tua, isteri muda pulak merajuk. Macam lagu P.Ramlee.

Kesian my FIL..

Like that lah for 35 years. Even at 73 years old, my MIL still had the energy to fight with my FIL over Aunty A. I understand she was bitter and angry, but still angry after 35 years? I don't know...

When I met my MIL yesterday after the funeral, she seemed somewhat happy. My FIL was obviously devastated. My MIL didn’t go to the funeral tho’ I wished she had gone.

As I was sitting in the mosque waiting for the body to come out of the bath, I wished my MIL had come, even for a while, to sedekahkan Al-Fatihah. Let by gone be by gone, kata orang. She’s dead now anyway.

If she had gone to the mosque yesterday, she would be blessed. She would earn the respect from everyone for doing such a noble thing. In addition, she would make my FIL, her husband, a very happy man despite the difficult circumstances that he was in yesterday.

But she refused. My SIL talked to her on the phone and asked her to forgive Aunty A for whatever hurtful things that she had done. But her answer was, “As far as I’m concerned, she does not exist”. My husband offered her a ride if she had wanted to attend the funeral, but she declined saying that she wasn’t well. Keras betul hati dia!

But then again, perhaps it was her ego that stopped her from going yesterday. Who knows... perhaps deep down in her heart, she has already forgiven her? We'll never know.

Sigh… what a sad ending...

As I watched all her children and cucu crying as they kapankan her body, I couldn’t help thinking that there must something special about this woman. They seemed to love her very much. She must be a good mother and a loving opah.

Usually, little children wouldn’t understand death and would just carry on playing at a funeral. But during Aunty A’s funeral yesterday, it was the little children who cried the most. One grandchild sat at her feet while another sat near her head, weeping incessantly. It broke my heart to see them cry like that.

I think, during her lifetime, Aunty A loved children tremendously.

And it was her rezeki when during the sembahyang jenazah, there were so many children from the nearby sekolah agama who came and pray for her. The masjid was full to the brim with children, said my husband.

And her last resting place?

It was surrounded by children’s graves.

Oh my... such is God's greatness!

May her soul rest in peace, Amin...

Monday, April 06, 2009

The Dream

On Monday last week, I dreamt I lost three teeth. Dua gigi geraham kecil dan satu gigi geraham besar, kesemua dibahagian bawah.

I was very disturbed by it because people say, kalau mimpi gigi tanggal, alamat ada saudara terdekat akan meninggal.

So I waited. Each day I prayed that I wouldn't hear of any death in my family. I was particularly worried for my husband who was in JB at that time. I was also worried for my parents. But thank God MrNordin came home safely on Tuesday night and my parents seemed ok the last time I spoke to them.

Just as the week was coming to an end, MrNordin's uncle passed away on Friday. He was my FIL's younger brother. I heard the news on my way home from work that rainy Friday evening. We were all shocked because Uncle Z seemed fine the last time I saw him a couple of weeks ago at someone's wedding. His wife also said there was no indication that he was "going" but I guess, his time was up and so he had to go.

I recalled the dream I had and told my husband about it. He just kept quiet, probably thinking about the same thing that I was thinking.

We went to the funeral and attended the tahlil for two consecutive nights. Tonight is supposed to the last night and I've planned to bring the kids along for tonight's tahlil.

Just when I was almost certain that Uncle Z's passing was what my dream was telling me about, we received a phone call from my brother in law early this morning telling us that my FIL's second wife has passed away at 3am.


That was another shocker. MrNordin had met her at the mosque during Uncle Z's funeral on Saturday afternoon and she seemed fine. She had asked about me, he said, and kirim salam to me as they spoke, so the early morning news came as a total surprise to both of us.

As I sat there on the bed trying to make up what was happening, it suddenly dawned on me that this could be the two small molar that came off in in my dream. Uncle Z was the first and Aunty A was the second! I was scared stiff and told my husband, "B, there will be another one... There'll be another one!" He didn't say anything.

Oh God, please don't let me hear any more bad news. This is such a bad omen already and I'm terrified! In the dream, I could clearly remember the last molar that came off. It left a big cavity in my lower gum and it scares the heck out of me!

What does it mean now? Will there be another one? A closer relative perhaps?

I'm praying hard that no such thing will happen. Please pray for me too!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

The Interview

I took a day off yesterday to bring Nadira for her interview with JPA. She has been selected for the interview along with other 7,000 candidates nationwide. We are very happy that she got the interview. Dapat ke dapat tu, is a different story.

From what I heard, 80,000 students applied for the scholarship this year but only 7,000 were short listed for the interview. Out of this, only 2,000 will be granted a scholarship. Tough choice, isn’t it?

The interview was held at Putrajaya Convention Centre (PICC). I must say, Putrajaya is such a beautiful place! I love the buildings and the road leading to the PICC. It feels as if you were transported to another place, not in Malaysia. I was amazed at the architecture and the beautiful landscaping. They have done a great job with Putrajaya and I’m very proud to see how amazing it has turned out to be.

Anyway, back to the interview. The first 2 days were allocated for students wanting to do Medicine. I think, that’s a good 700 students altogether. There was a good mix of Chinese, Indian and Malay students waiting to be interviewed and how they did it was by spreading the interviewees into groups of 5 students. At any one time, there’d be 12 sessions going on at the same time.

Each group would be interviewed by a panel of 3 professionals from different background. My daughter had a doctor, an engineer and an accountant (if I’m not mistaken) as her interviewer. The questions asked were pretty simple ~ 1) Tell us about yourself, and 2) Why do you want to do Medicine. This part boleh goreng lah.

But there was one question which required her to do a little thinking, ie: “Concerning the issuance of free syringes and condoms to drug addicts. What are your views?”

This, of course, has no right or wrong answer. They just wanted to see how well you speak and whether or not you have an opinion about something. Being part of her school’s debate team, my daughter had come across and debated on a similar question before and so, she could answer it pretty well. Overall, it was ok, she said.

Getting over the interview was one thing but actually getting the scholarship is another thing. I believe, yesterday and the day before saw straight A students being interviewed. These are all clever students, ok? These 700 or so students have to compete among themselves to get a placing. They are all smart academically, but what makes them standout from the rest is the other factors ie. personality, confidence level, thought process etc, etc.

And now that the scholarship allocation for non-Bumis has increased to 45% from 10% previously, it will make it harder for Malay students to obtain a scholarship. Not that they can’t get it, it’s just that it will be tougher. The privilege of being a Malay is no longer there and one has to compete on equal ground, which is not a bad idea actually because now, the Malay students will not take things for granted anymore. Whoever is selected is only the cream of the crop.

So, what I’m saying is, we have to tell our kids to always do well in school. They can’t afford to take a laid back attitude because then, they will lose out. Students are getting smarter these days, so if you slack, you will be left behind. Even straight A students are finding it hard to get a scholarship, what more if you only scored 5As or 2As for that matter?

(But if you are filthy rich, this issue will not be applicable to you)

Perhaps some people may argue with me, ie. good results is not everything. But for me, it is the first step to getting somewhere. I always believe that no matter what circumstances you’re in, you must have “the paper qualification”. It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to work in a proper organization later, but you must study all the way. Get a degree. After that, nak jadi a world traveler ke or radio DJ ke, suka hati lah.

The paper is like a safety net for you. Once you have it, 90% of your worries are taken care of. It’s an asset, not a liability.

Let’s be practical. Not many of us are like the late Tan Sri Lim Goh Tong who strike it rich even though he didn’t know how to read and write. If everyone is like him, tak payah pegi sekolah lah. Only one in a million people would probably turn out to be like him, but since the chance of this happening to ordinary people like us is very small, just go to school and finish your studies, kid!

That’s what I always tell my children. They hate me for nagging them, but I know they’ll thank me for this later on in life. I sure hope so.