Wednesday, December 10, 2008

28 frustrating hours

It began a few hours after I finished my Aidil Adha prayers at the Sikamat Masjid. I felt sleepy and went to a nap. Suddenly my wife Salmah woke me up and said she is going to her kampung in Merlimau, Melaka by bus and would return the next day. Our daughter Ina would send her to the bus terminal for this purpose.

She had planned to join her brothers and sisters in performing the Qurban that is the slaughtering of cows at her family home. I objected to the idea because I would be involved in a similar Qurban at our housing estate. Then we agreed that I stay home to join my neighbours while she would join her siblings' Qurban. For this she would either join my son Halimi or my daughter Ina and their families.

Little did I know that at the last minute neither my son or daughter could make the journey. She also did nor tell me that our son could not join us for the Aidil Adha. Had she informed me about these I would have cancelled my earlier plan and join her.

So for the first time I was separated from my wife for the Aidil Adha. It brought me memories when we were separated at Muzdalifah, Makkah when we were performing our Hajj last year.

But at least my three daughters together with Nazeem, Ina's husband and their son Haziq were with me.

At about four o'clock in the afternoon Ina, Nazeem and Haziq left for their home in Sungai Buloh, Selangor. Our youngest daughter Anis followed them since she is enjoying the school holidays. I was left with my second daughter Miza.

Just before Maghrib I sent Miza to the Seremban KTM Station so that she could catch the train to Kuala Lumpur.

When I returned home I was devastated. I was alone and did not know what to do. I sent an SMS to Halimi and asked if he and wife could help me. Halimi promptly called and asked what's wrong with me. I told him everything and asked if he could at least bring his two kids to visit me. He agreed.

Suddenly I felt better and called Halimi telling him not to bother himself by coming. Talking to him on the phone relieved me a little bit. At the same time I talked to Ina and Miza on the phone. Salmah also called and said she would be returning the next morning. Communicating with my family members on the phone relieved me from my stress.

The next morning I went to work but I still felt devastated. I called Salmah and asked when is she returning home. She answered it all depends on her brother-in-law Ishak as she would be riding his car home.

When I returned home after work I watched two Clint Easwood movies namely 'The Good, the Bad and the Ugly' and 'Thunderbolt and Lightfoot' on DVD. The latter I bought in Japan.

Salmah kept calling and said she might reach home only after eleven o'clock at night.

She did reach home around 11.30 pm much to my relief.

I remember a scene in my favourite movie 'The Godfather'. Vito Corleone alias The Godfather asked his divorced godson 'Do you spend time with your family?' The godson replied 'Yes, I do'. Then Vito said 'Because a man who does not spend time with his family is not a real man'.

I realised how true the Godfather is as I experienced it myself. I felt hopeless without the presence of my family members. I really felt like being not a real man.

I know of somebody who rather spent almost every Hari Raya with his parents and siblings than with his wife and children. He should watch the Godfather. For this I don't mind lending my Godfahter DVD to him.

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