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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"The one with the two weddings..."

It has been a while since I've recounted anecdotal posts this side of my annals; it may be a departure from my conventional posts but alas, a refreshing one at that. Tiptoeing past draggy monotonous scripture, let me share some thoughts off pictures taken from my last excursion home.

I enjoy weddings (with the exception of implying my personal interest for another one!) because in the proceedings of one, the air is simply filled with merriment and the almost pungent odor of happiness. The symbolism of a wedding conveys a personal significance to the newlyweds and their families, but at the same time is also very public that everyone can easily bask in the celebrations. Among the throngs converging the masses, it's hard to find a gloomy face among the crowds - but even harder to find one that is not at least smiling. It is at these coincidences you perceive man's absolute capacity for love and empathy.

Recently I took a trip to Kuala Terengganu, the birthplace of my wonderful wife in lieu of our friend Yam's wedding.


Both Fifah and I feel very affiliated with Yam's wedding, because she has been a very good friend and are among few of our mutual acquaintances who have been with us through the thick and thins of our relationship. So when she expressed her notion to get hitched, I made it a point to be on the guest list for when she becomes someone's wife.

Since her solemnization was in Kuala Terengganu, I opted for a flight in - it was the school holidays and thus by association, the wedding season as well so there was a potential 5-7 hour drive-through in traffic-congested roads to digress from.


What really was interesting to me, is how the weddings are conducted this side of the country. Kuala Terengganu, contrary to popular belief of everything wedded bliss - doesn't necessarily bow to the usual over-the-top ambiance we usually associate with such events. Nope, no big crowds and exhibitions of massive props. No humdrum of the kompang nor a local DJ in sight. It is here that I first experience a very mellow, quiet but quaint wedding. Although it doesn't protrude the exorbitance one would expect from such an affair, but in a way it condones somewhat a more personal touch to it. There is no sense of hurry and rush; you have more time to appreciate your surroundings, the people, the culture. There is a scent of calmness in the air, a serenity that you don't usually get in such a comprehensive affair.


So in that engagement - you have more time to feel that you are part of the process, the proceedings, you feel more engaged. Like you're one of the family. I kinda like that, for a change.



Like I said - a very small, close-knit but momentous wedding. 

It seems that as you mature older in life, these sorta events are the only instances where you could catch up with old friends and the rantings in their lives. Had the opportunity to meet up with our close friends Azfar (whom had recently married his wife Hanum), the always bubbly Faeza, and Ismaq who has already been blessed with a wonderful daughter of her own.



It was also a very fulfilling trip for me as well, since I had the fortuity to share yet another part of Fifah's origins - this is her mother's hometown, so she has spent a considerable portion of her childhood here as well. 


We spent the following day visiting the local sights, and she said no trip to Kuala Terengganu is worthwhile without a visit to Pasar Payang - the local market most known for its wide selection of Malaysia's traditional art of Batik.





Me and Azfar, my longtime mate whom has tolerated me for years now. Would've been great to have Fadil around as well, but you make do with what you get.


Throughout our stay there, we were most grateful to stay under the roofs of Fifah's grandmother - more warmly known as Che. I've always loved Che even before marrying Fifah; she reminds me so much of my late grandmother Wan Bentong so I've learned to regard her as my own kin. Before we left home for Kuala Lumpur, she concocted one of her signature dishes; ikan singgang (I think?) which simply means fish cooked in tumeric broth.


Fifah and I, with Che.


I have a deep appreciation and affinity to this picture, because I can see a lot of Fifah in Che. Two generations apart, but tightly-bonded in blood. Both equally beautiful in their own age.


Leaving Kuala Terengganu, though being my first visit - I departed with a heavy heart. You can't help but easily fall in love with the town; though blisteringly hot you just acquire an almost quiescence sense of belonging here. 

The following day we made mark for yet another wedding my father's side of the family. This time its paying homage to the solemnization of my cousin Imran, with his childhood sweetheart Mardhiah.

Papa's always had this inherent affection for kids. He doesn't necessarily expresses them in words, but verbal flair has never been his forte; he instead is someone who believes that actions always speak better than words.


The women in my life - Aiysha, Tiqah, Fifah & Mom. At times I feel I need to constantly remind myself that both Aiysha and Tiqah are no longer my little darling sisters I grew up with; they have blossomed into confident, beautiful women now. Though at times they exhibit their own fondness for tantrums and hysterics, but they have also matured as independent individuals.





As for myself; though now married and pushing on latent age - would like to think am still the vexatious child I once was.


The custom of every Malaysian wedding - sampling the wholesome, but not always dietary recommended food. Always a welcomed pleasure (or risk), I'd say.


Fifah and I thought we'd kidnap Kak Long Fariza's son for a picture. Definitely can be used as a ruse to entertain those countless questions about when our very own is due! (None at the moment, but keep watching this space.)




It's a wonder where my mom gets her youthful look from - I love this shot with her and the fan.


It's hard to get pictures of my parents taken together in a frame, so this is one definitely for the keeps.


Another wonderful addition to the growing family of Pak Ndak and Mak Ndak.

A photo of myself with the father-of-the-groom.



There exists subtle reasons as to why God had made everyone in this world unique, indifferent to each other to the very cells that make up our bodies. Yet in spite of all these differences we are somewhat similar in many aspects in life. Despite all of our distinctiveness, we are wired to instead honor the congruities in our lives - we are taught to relish not what that makes us different, but to celebrate what unites us instead. That's the beauty of families and friends. A collection of different individuals associated with a common element; like peas in a pod. God created diversity so that we can learn to appreciate people for who they are, understand and cherish them not by the color of their skin nor the sparkle in their eyes - but by the moments we share together.

That's why I love communal gathering such as these. They never fail to remind me that I am constantly surrounded with love, that I am never alone in this temporary life. Because I believe that the richest of men aren't those who always look for things he does not posses - but those who always realizes the things he already has.

-JeP

2 comments:

Nor Fadzlina Nawi said...

AHHH Picture posts, I like ;-D

Anyway, Che reminded me of my late grandma...they look alike...oo sungguh rindu sekali :-(

amad108 said...

nice picture jep.. really like it.. ahaks..