Wednesday, 29 December 2004

The Live Commentator

My Mother has opinions about everything. Her views cover a wide range of subjects, such as fashion (no, my brown tudung doesn’t go with the dirty green kebarung), food (save the sugar for the deserts, lauk-pauk should never be sweet), driving safety (the slower you go, the better), child care (you should never let your child cry it out, it hardens her heart), politics (vote for your relatives, regardless of their political stand), time management (if you have an appointment at 3.00 pm, you should be ready by 2.45 pm), etc.

My Mother is a product of strict discipline. She tried to impose the same standard on her children, but when the number of children you have is a big as a football team’s, it’s not easy to keep an eye on everyone.

Nowadays she keeps herself updated with the ‘current issues’ by reading Jelita, Wanita, Keluarga and An-Nur and watching Wanita Hari Ini and 999. Her idea of entertainment is the Sembilu series aired on RTM2 and Samarinda on TV3. She gets her motivation from the numerous motivation speakers that appear on TV.

My Mother is completely civil with strangers and friends. She is that agreeable sweet old lady who goes “emmm” and “oohh” in conversations. However, with her children and grandchildren, she can be very generous with her thoughts. Be assured on second helpings and toppings to her continuous banters.

She is very observant of her surroundings and does not hesitate to share her views with us pronto. Sometimes she reminds me of live telecast of sports programme where in the background, you’ll hear the commentator making comments on everything and dramatise the whole thing to add excitement to the programme.

One such event happened a while back in our family home in Kelantan. The whole family was watching a cooking programme. The show was on exotic food comprising reptiles and amphibians, among other things.While the rest of us went “ugghh”, “eeehh”, “eeiiiuuu”, “uwek”, my Mother was unperturbed by it all and couldn’t help giving a live commentary of the whole thing. It went something like this:

“Ooh he’s skinning it now. He’s cutting it into huge chunks. Now he’s cutting it into small pieces. That’s how they clean the meat, just put it in the basin and run tap water into the basin. He’s heating the oil. It’s going into the wok now. Ohh, it’s a stir fry. He’s adding salt and ajinomoto. It’s ready. They’re eating it.”

Her banters can be tiring at times, but she doesn’t get to see us often. Of her 11 children, only 1 lives with her. I myself get to see her only a few times a year. A good part of her days are spent alone while my sister is at work. She normally sits near her koi pond, observing the fish and listening to the sounds of the water oozing from the small fountain built in the pond. She claims to feel a sense of peacefulness whenever she sits by her koi pond.

The neighbours are nearby and they often drop by at my Mother’s house. But it is with her children that she feels most comfortable to talk about everything under the sun. For this reason, I try my best to be interested in her conversations. After all, she has lived for 69 years and amassed a lot of experience. If I listen carefully, I can have a glimpse of the real person within that cool exterior and learn a thing or two from her.


Bustaman said...

I guess mothers are the same all over. Cherish your mom as long as you can.

Yasmin's Mummy said...

Pok Ku.. agreed totally.