If any one of you have seen the ER gazette on television, some may have recalled the scene where an old man bended down towards his wife,( probably around the same age), and kissed her while she lay there dead on the hospital bed. That scene almost always hit my tear gland, causing my vision to blur with tears .
Its probably the only scene besides the famous Hindi movie where the son runs in the rain, soaking wet with medication he afford to purchase by selling his soul to the bad guys, only to find himself 6minutes late and the mother had already died,that have managed to make me cry a river, over and over.. I mean,whoever Murphy was, his law applies to almost all Hindi movies. If anything could go wrong,.... or not, it definitely will, in these Bollywood masterpieces...
No wait, i think "hati mere sattee" stole the limelight...the whole theatre violently cried over the death of an elephant...i mean, how gripping is that?!! Here we are, turning the pages of any of our local newspaper casually giving light comments on people dying in Iraq,Africa and of course Palestine, or small little children being slaughtered by their own parents as we have gotten so immuned to that, we hardly so much as grimaced. And all of a sudden, we cry and sob over a dead elephant on a hollywood movie rerun.....Yes, my dear friends.. Tears of mixed emotions, that's what I am talking about.
For those of you who do not know what ER series are all about, please come back to earth. It’s the medical drama series that earned the most awards, ever to run on history of television. You know...ER? George Clooney? Hello people…how can anyone not know him...voted sexiest man in the world, and probably the whole galaxy,( since the Extra Terestrials do not cut it as sexy...)for two consequetive years..Come on!! Is there any woman or gay on earth ( or galaxy gays )who do not know who this guy is and what television drama he acted in? I repeat, its ER...
Anyway, back to the original topic, sorry, George Clooney always have this effect on me…I get very side tracked. That scene got me thinking,(no..not the scene of the dead elephant...the old couple lar...) about my parents. They’re in their early 70s now. Although sometimes, looking at the way they squabble with each other, one may think twice, or perhaps more than that, before committing to a marriage. Two old people arguing about who snores louder isn't exactly what I have in mind of a "and they live happilly ever after" marriage
And yet, it tickles me at times at the magnitude of arguments. It is like they are done with the major conflicts and arguments, done with the "periuk belanga terbang melayang layang...", the "hantar saya balik rumah mak saya abang..sob..sob.." , dramas, throughout their marriage, and that what’s left to argue about are the little things that to people surrounding them, deem totally insignificant.
The most frequent source of dispute is the lack of hearing, on both parties. I mean, for example, my father would tell my mother, “Sani jemput kita, kenduri kawin anak dia kat Jalan Ampang...", and my mom would scold my dad, "siapa kata anak Sani tak kawin dapat anak gampang, mengarut je orang tua ni?" . Then the argument would start. It doesn't help that my father talks like he's chewing some sirih, most of the time, he mumbles. I think, that is partly the reason all four of his children are quite good in cross word puzzles. We had good training early in life ,picking up pieces of letters and making them into sentences.
Another source of dispute would be the battle of the bad memory. One insists the other is senile, when in actual fact, both are....The worst fight would be the combination of both senility and hard of hearing. For example,when they forgot something they heard wrongly in the first place. What started of with a simple misunderstanding, escalated into a full blast argument, and without fail, the other unresolved non relevant isssues will pop up as well. In the end, they ended up arguing about what they were unable to settle last month when one of them walk off the room , plus the new issue at hand. So you can calculate that the future argument, should one of them walk out of the room again, would comprise of the new issue, plus the issue they just argued yesterday and the ones unsettled before. That is when the children leave the room.
One the other hand, in a way, it is God's blessing in disguise that the human looses their hearing ability to aging process. We all know how sensitive we human can get as we grow older. So actually, the less things we hear, or perhaps if we hear them wrongly, the less hurt we may hurt us too.
Notice this phenomena I'm about to uncover amongst your parents?. They would sit in the same car or space, not talking to each other for what seem like hours, but passing glances that seem like they are transfering some secret information to one another. I mean, sometimes I do not talk to the workers coming for FOMEMA medical check up, whereby I do not really bother having any form of convesation with them, while performing my examinations. But that is different because there is no point talking to someone who cannot comprehend any language spoken by any race in Malaysia. And even if I do, most of them would lie anyway.(Just like what Dr House would say...) I have had an Indonesian house maid who denied strongly that she was coughing at all, when her chest X-Ray clearly showed her lungs was rotting away from Tuberculosis. Is there any point of talking to them in the first place? Exactly. Pointless. With all this language barrier going on between the employer and employee, it is no wonder that most of our buildings have a history of falling apart. The workers probably misunderstood the employers' instructions and ended up putting more sand than cement into the recipe for erecting a building. So the contractors would claim when asked by Karam Singh Wallia.
Do you notice that? The telephatic info transfer I mean..You wonder sometimes, whether they are bitching about you, or perhaps having an argument with each other again, in their subconscious minds. My parents use to converse by spelling jawi in a very fast manner. I remember it use to be frustrating to all of us. My dad would spell very fast,"jim nga nun ba alip gha yaaa dal yaaa alip pa raw ga yaaa" ( it spells "jangan bagi dia pergi , or "don't let her go") very fast when I ask my mom,"Ummi, boleh keluar tengok wayang dengan kawan tak?" ("mom, may I go out with my friends to go to the movies?"). What is worse was that they would have that smug expression on their faces when they knew that these fast spellings communications annoyed us. That explains why all four of us know fairly well how to write and read in jawi. Talk about parents' way of building childrens' communication skills.
I have to admit though. Looking at my parents, I wonder what makes a marriage go the distance. There were ups and by God there were downs. But somehow rather, no matter how tough the going gets, the tough will get going and they will stick by each other even more closer than before. It gives us, the children a sense of security. Maybe that is why despite my many disheartments, I still remain optimistic about the possibility of a perfect marriage. It has to be perfectly imperfect with both parties having the highest level of tolerance and love most of the times.
What is it about the elder generation that the younger generation lack in a relationship? What did you say? The women were more tolerant towards the husbands' nonsense? Partly true I guess. The ladies of this millenium earn money just like the male counterpart. No more Mr Caveman slamming the deer he had just hunted onto the dinner table. So less dependency means more chances of not dying of hunger should she decide to wave her middle finger onto the husband's face.
Its a matter of choice I suppose. When two people have decided to stick together through thick or thin, it is a choice that they have made to live up to the vows. Perhaps its about loyalty. You choose to be and stay loyal to your spouse. You muster the strength to not up and leave your partner when he is blinded by midlife crisis, or pre menstrual stress, or menopausal crisis or debelitating diseases. For better or for worse. Really, it is about making the right choices and sticking by them. (women by statistics tend to stand by for worse and the male, for the better. Malay men obviously are the champions of all champions. Most of the time they will start looking for replacement at the onset of the worse.)
Patience, knowing when to remind yourself of the love and the good times especially when you think you have fallen out of love due to emotional turmoil.
Time. You need to spend time to rediscover each other. When we were young, our parents use to sneak off, leaving us with someone to babysit. We were quite dissatisfied when left at home, unable to follow our parents. The next thing we need is another baby to bring down our hierachy in the quest for seeking the most attention . Hitherto, my parents would still go out on a date, just the two of them. They'd probably come back with an argument,(most of the time it would be my dad getting lost on KL roads, refusing to take directions from my mom...what is it about men and their ego on taking directions especially from women...then again, it took Adam 40years to find Eve..its possibly genetics then..) but when later that night, when no noise seemed to be coming from their room, we'd know things are still cool between them. We use to enjoy teasing our mom when she gets up and wash her hair the next morning.
I guess, to the elder generation, the saying "Sehidup semati" really applies unlike the later generation whereby, "sehidup semati" could actually mean "se hidup, se lagi mati" ("se" in Kelantan dialect means "one" )..Looking at my parents today, I finally figured out why, despite my many heartbreaks of attempting to rebuild my life and in search for a new life partner, no matter how jaded I get, my glimpse of my parents life would be enough to convert me back to an eternal optimist of love and marriage......Till death do us part.....
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