Tender is the Night

Last night, deep in incoherent thoughts, I asked myself “what is it that I am looking for?” Screaming clients, endless court hours, enduring judges’ mood certainly were not part of the plan. I questioned the same thing to my closest friends, time and again. Tonnes of crappy answers got in the way. No offence guys, but really!

It is fait accompli perhaps – at this stage of life – I might be pondering about choices I previously made.  I wish I could plan my life with mathematical precision but I know it would be unrealistic. Maybe I just need a break.

It has been so long, since I care to remember, the last time Jefree and I were alone. So, we are packing our bags this weekend to hide in the quietness of Tanjung Jara Resort. What would I do there? May be I would put the mobile on a silent mode, leave my faithful laptop behind, catch up on my reading and sleep a lot. Perhaps, I’ ll hold Jefree’s hand a little. I know he found it “rimas” to hold my hand but the hell I care.

As such, Write Away will be hushed for a while. In the words of Shar101, “don’t mess up the furniture folks!” Take care.

Oh yeah, one more thing. Son, even if we are not bringing you along this time, that doesn’t mean we don’t love you. We love you, always.

Stockholm or Geneva?

You told me you are going away. I paused in response. Emotions took over – I rather not talked about it. I thought about our light-hearted conversation years ago.

What’s gonna happen to us?” I once asked you.

Like this lah! we grow old together and drink coffee.” You answered in all honesty.

Wherever is that you are going my friend, please come home and grow old with me. Happy Birthday. Oh well, I love you.

The Wise Kahlil Gibran

Recently, my dear sister of 3540 Jalan Sudin, put up a posting about a poem for the prime minister from another minister. Enough said, I shall forever hold my tongue to save myself from getting into trouble. In the post’s comment section, my brother Rocky narrated a poem by Kahlil Gibran. It was beautiful, I fell in love with the words.

I confessed, I have never read the poem before and dare I claim myself to be an avid reader! I reproduce the haunting poem below for us to ponder upon -

Then Almitra spoke again and said, 

‘And what of Marriage, master?’

And he answered saying:

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.

You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.

Aye,  you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.

But let there be spaces in your togetherness,

And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another but make not a bond of love.

Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.

Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup.

Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,

Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.

Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping.

For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together, yet not too near together:

For the pillars of the temple stand apart,

And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.

*This is for my husband. Thank you for always giving me the space to be who I am.*

Our Story – Part I

[Yanti & I, 84 Stafford Street, Spring 1998]

Scene: Can’t remember the house number, Stafford Road, Sheffield

Season: Winter 1996

Temp: Freezing cold!

Background: Clueless the movie blaring from a distance. Zeera relentlessly cooking a dish with Yus the ever-obedient helper, hovering near. Something good was bubbling on the stove for dinner. Me lazily reading Yorkshire tabloid with yet another juicy gossip of the famous royal family. Nurul was strumming the guitar on a battered sofa – completely oblivious to her surrounding. Yanti came down, fished a jacket out from the rack. Where this insane woman could possibly be going in this kind of weather?

Yanti: “Mish, nak ikut aku gi train station?” she asked nonchalantly.

Me: “Why?” I shot back at her with a frown on my face.

Yanti: “Because En is coming!

Noren, our dear friend would religiously endure the 5-hour-train-ride from Cardiff to Sheffield every fortnight to spend time with us.

Me: “Why do I have to go? Apsal Nurul tak payah? Apsal Zeera tak payah?” I childishly confronted her.  Please take note that it wasn’t me talking at this point, it was the narcissm in me.

Yanti: “Apsal ko nih? Zeera kan tengah masak, yang ko dengki kat Nurul tu apsal?

I could see Nurul poking out her tongue at me. The brat!

Me: “Okay lah…

Off we went to pick En at the train station. First we passed Amin’s sundry shop, then the Cho Suey bar, then the Barracuda fish shop. Further up, we crossed the council flats. Stop for a while to catch our breaths. It was so freezing, conversation would be a torture.

We trudged down hill, passed the supertram station, went up the connecting bridge between the tram and the actual train station. Ah, finally! A glimmer of the platforms. A sure sign that this torture would soon end.

Ten minutes later, a British Railway train from Birmingham pulled over the platform. Hordes of travelers alighted from the coach. One small figure in a brown bubble jacket carrying her overnight suitcase rushed over towards us. We hugged. I took En’s bag and we headed back to the house. The rest of the weekend in this far away place was great with En around.

That’s Yanti. Who is always quick to slap me with a dose of reality. Who sees logic in all circumstances thrown to her. Yanti, who cheekily pushed the window beside her bed every morning, wiggled her hand through the small opening to know the extent of the day’s coldness then decide what to wear. As to why she didn’t believe in the room thermometer back then? Don’t ask me, I don’t know.