Tuesday, April 10, 2012

When names can be confusing

Three days ago I performed my Zuhur prayer at our surau. The prayer was led by the surau chairman who happens to be one of our imams. On the way out of the surau I saw a family of strangers waiting beside their car in the surau compound. From the way they were dressed I guessed they were either going to or coming back from a wedding ceremony. In the meantime they stopped at our surau for prayers. Their car registration number told me they were not from Negeri Sembilan. From the car brand I guessed they are in the middle income group.

Suddenly our imam called somebody among us and pointed to the family. True to my guess the family was going to wedding ceremony, only that they could not find their destination. According to the imam they have been looking for it for the past two hours. I did not know whether he was joking or telling the truth. So the imam asked one of us to show the family the way. By the way the man chosen by the imam happens to be a police officer, off duty on that day of course.

The head of the family, a man of about fifty years of age even showed the police officer his invitation card. Suddenly two things came to my mind. Normally a Malay wedding invitation card would include the location map guiding the guests to the ceremony site. Telephone numbers are given too. So either the map was poorly drawn or these particular guests could not read a map properly. I had no chance to ascertain my curiosity as both the police officer and the family were gone in no time.

On the way home a third thought came to my mind. The housing estate where the wedding  was held has the word 'Heights' in its name. As the word suggestes, the family must have thought this must be on high ground. That was they ended at our surau which is situated on high ground.

Our housing estate also has the word 'Heights' in its time, which is rather appropriate because we are staying about 100 meters above sea level. But the place where the family was going is only about 75 meters above sea level. Surely this can cause confusion. 

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