Monday, October 25, 2010

One shy MIL

All pictures are courtesy of googles.

My first mother-in-law(MIL) was a very shy lady. When I first joined the family, I tried to make a small conversation with her only to find her talking in monosyllable and then dashed off to the kitchen on one pretext or another.

One Ramadhan in the 80’s, my late X (Al fatihah) and her two sisters and families went back to Alor Setar to celebrate the Eid with their parent or my parent-in-law. As the Eid was still a few days away, the husbands of two SIL went out visiting long-lost friends/ relatives or attended to other businesses. They went out in the morning and came back a short duration before the time for breaking of fast or ‘buka puasa’. The three sisters would be busy preparing the house for the Eid or exchanging news.
FIL would be busy reading the newspapers and reciting the Book, whereas MIL would be busy with the household chores in the morning and preparing food for ‘buka puasa’ in the afternoon. Yours truly ended up, a ‘free roamer’ having ample time with little or nothing to do.

After competing for a glimpse at the newspaper with FIL, I tried to make myself useful to my MIL (partly because FIL would be reciting the Book and three sisters doing womanly things together, it took too much effort for me to join in). I ended up following my MIL every activity, helping her de-husking the coconut, grating the coconut flesh, preparing the fire, kitchen and what-not. That 2 or 3 days helping my MIL in the kitchen ended up with MIL getting a little bit comfortable to talk to yours truly. This, however, did not go unnoticed.

One of my SIL confronted my MIL (jokingly) a day after the Eid, “Ooih Mak ni bila dengan suami saya, mak tak cakap sepatah pun, bila sampai tang si Sharif tu, mak bukan main lagi.. bergebang sakan” ( Ooih Mum, when my husband is around you did even speak a single word, but when it come to that Sharif fellow, mum talk like a long lost friend.. like there is no tomorrow).

“Ooi, aku nak buat lagu mana, si Sharif tu dok ikut aku tang mana mana.. dok tanya itu, dok tanya ini, tolong sana , tolong sini ..apa aku nak buat dia nak tolong. Sampai aku terpaksa sembang dengan dia. Laki hang mana pernah lekat kat rumah dan kalau bercakap dengan aku pun bukan pernah lebih dari 5 patah.. lepas tu aku naik malu aku pi ke dapoq.. (Ooi, what can I do, that Sharif followed me everywhere, ask this and that , help here and there.. whatever I wanted to do he wanted to help, until I no longer feel too awkward to talk to him. Your husband has not been in the house too much and if he talks to me, it would not be more than 5 words before I feel embarrassed and ran off to the kitchen..).

So every time I came back o Alor Setar I made it a point to help my MIL in her kitchen. My MIL could not get over her shyness as far as sons-in-law are concerned. When she has a prolonged sickness (something to do with wrong medication for diarrhoea), she specifically sent out words that she would be very embarrass if I were to see her in her condition, then. Unfortunately that health problem brought her to the end of stay on this earth. Her passing away saw me taking 10 days leave to accompany my FIL.


Unknown said...



There's much in the world that you can't explain.
It's revealed for you to remember
by the whispering voice of a distant train
or a midnight rain in november.

Horizon within! You can always find
the keys to Enigma. Let's mention
one basic Truth: of spirited Mind
is Nature naught but extension.

Internal expanses! In dreams, ridden
by fear and longing you roam
that deep Southeast in your soul hidden
...on your random journey back home.


As a native Swede, I am particularly proud of my love poetry suite Sonnets for Katie.

My Poems


La présence; un coup de vie morte? non, ce n'est qu'être. Et puis pour l'errante fenêtre: étant vue la nuit, dans tous le coins des rues de la veille la même étoile.




Schwarzez birne!
Aufforderung zur Erotik.

Fremde Gedichte


My Spanish Poetry

And: reciprocity: for mutual benefit, you will do me a favor promoting your own blog on mine!

The best way to do it is lining up as a Follower, since then your icon will advertise you indefinitely, and I will follow you in return. Let's forge a mighty alliance of synergy and common interest.


- Peter Ingestad, Sweden

Sir Pök Déng said...

I'm not a talkative kind of man. Yes I can talk murai-ly... just with specific types of people. The problem I'm facing now is that, I don't know how to start a conversation with the unknown elderly. I can't imagine one day I'll have to make myself banyak mulut to get friendly with my future father/mother in law, I'll probably end up menyakitkan hati mereka instead.

"You really wanna marry this guy, Salmah? He really doesn't know what Semangat 48 is!"

Lee said...

Hello Wan Shariff, your 'first mother in law'?
Regret read of her passing away.
I guess most mother in laws are shy with their Son IL.
Then again ada the opposite, garang macham harimau at zoo nanti makan, ha ha.

Very interesting posting.
Best regards, Lee.

Naz in Norway said...

*hi five* for bits of Kedahan here :)

I have yet to experience having a son/daughter in law but I think, I will try to be a good, supportive one.
Jauh lagi nak sampai ke situ so boleh lah goreng goreng for now ;D

Cat-from-Sydney said...

Ayoh Wang,
When I marry all my fiances (last count = 3), my Mama would have to deal with 3 SIL. Imagine.... Anyway, both my Mama and Dad don't have MIL's so sad...I have no Grandma.
I like the effort you put in. Following her and helping out in the kitchen. That was a noble thing to do. purrr...meow!

Martin Lee said...

My MIL used to follow me wherever my wife and I went for holidays. She liked to mingle with us more compared to the other families of SIL.

Unfortunately she passed away young and we got along pretty well. On the day she had her funeral service, I unboarded a plane and went straight home for that! By the way, she talked a lot!

Ida BorneoLove said...

when i first joined my hubby's family and had to live with my in laws.. I 'stay out' of our own room as much as i can. When she cooked, i asked her this and that and how to make this and that.. she still remembers of how I wondered how she made daging masak sos kicap all watery and not dry.

if i stayed in the room and buat 'kasam', i'm sure susah for me to get along with my mother in law that time.

other ppl cannot force us, we have to have the effort to make other ppl fond of us and not shy towards us. I felt awkward at first, but i thought it would be more awkward if i stayed away.

Wan Sharif said...

Dear Peter,
Welcome to my humble abode,
Thank you for your vote of confidence.. will be following on some of your blogs.

Wan Sharif said...

Dear Sir Pok Deng,
I must admit that I have a lot of practice on the small pulau Duyong when I was a teenager. I used to hang around the wakaf where the elders share their stories, play checkers (read dam haji) and play card (read terup keling).. one thing that can help you with old folks..
be patient..
always lend your ears...
wait for your cue..
if you hang out with them long enough you would know when to blurt and what to blurt out...
and remember treat them with utmost respect does not matter if for some reasons you think they do not deserve it.. have fun

Wan Sharif said...

Uncle Lee,
You read it right, my first MIL for 10 lunar years was from a kampong some 2 1/2 miles from Alor Setar somewhere between sekolah teknik and kampong Tandop.. so I frequently spent my Eid there.. on rotational basis, then..
My second MIL is from Sungai Udang, Dungun, Trengganu
Somehow I was and still is rather lucky as both of them treated me better than any other Son IL.. I guessed I has worked hard on my relationship with them ..
OOps yang garang macam harimau.. mintak simpang lah.. but then kalau dah cinta kat anak dia kenalah usaha kuat.. supaya MIL yang garang akan jadi anak kucing yang jinak dan manja.. ouch..

Wan Sharif said...

Naz dear,
I could speak Kedahan well when there is a need to.. but to write .. it is rather difficult..
Like you said jauh lagi you nak jadi
mother in law.. InsyaAllah kalau kita lebih peka dngan pengalaman kawan kawan dan pengalaman kita sendiri.. tentu kita boleh menjadi MIL atau FIL yang baik dan supportive.. yang lebih tu kena banyak berdoa.. supaya kita sentiasa dibantu untuk jadi yang terbaik.. Non?

Wan Sharif said...

Dear CiS,
Your mama would have to deal with three Sons IL at the same time... and you have to deal with three husbands at the same time.. oh sure is too complicated for my old mind ..he..he
Yeah it is so sad .. for you not to have grandma anymore....
The effort I put in.. to win the heart of MIL.. it is sometime necessary to make life a little bit more bearable if not more cheerful..

yohteh said...

...antara babak-babak kecil... pahit manis untuk dikenang, dikongsi sebagai teladan sebagai sempadan... apapun gambor kkorang kukur nyor tu menarik perhatian saya... saya pun masih lagi taruh sse d'rumoh hok pusaka sebagai kenangan dan sesekali digunakang... bab koyok nyor, takdok haa, memang expert... hehehe...

Wan Sharif said...

Ha, you are also the favourite SIL.. Martin Lee.. The fact that your mother in law talked a lot sure help if you are the kind that like to lend your ears... regret to read of her passing away..

Wan Sharif said...

Thank you for sharing your experience..Aida ..
It make the elders very proud when we refer to them and asked them on whatever they are doing.. the fact that you make those efforts tell Ayoh Wang a lot about you.. you are one clever lady after your in-laws hearts..
Life is sure a lot more bearable when people enjoys having us around.. Non?
Stay young, healthy and beautiful for sayang and your loved one...

Wan Sharif said...

Wow.. Yohteh ada simpan kkorang kukur nyor d'rumah.. ayoh wang dulu ada gok nampok mok dan mok tua ayoh wang simpan barang barang lama saperti buyong tembaga, kacip sireh pinang tembaga dan lain lain barang.. malangnya ada lah pulok geng geng "doktor yang suka injek diri sendiri" yang gi ketek jual benda benda Allah tu nak dapatkan sejarum dua..
Ha ha.. ayoh wang masih ada problem dengan koyok nyor pasal ayoh wang dok berapa reti asoh kapak dan golok.. bila benda benda Allah tu tumpul gelebek nyeng.. payoh dooh lah pulok nok cokeh sabut nyor tu.. kena gi ngaji ngan yohteh bab bab ni.. ke guane?

Anonymous said...

Pak Wan - tengah surfing2 kat ninot aziz terbaca Pak Wan cari title lagu arwah aziz jaafar & arwah Normadiah - dah dapat belum?
Anyway titlenya Cinta Sejati - mendayu2 seh (I like)
- Dinda... lama sudah ku cinta......

Wan Sharif said...

Dear Anon,
Thanks for the input.. (belum dapat)
Oh are you also in awe of that Ninot's works?. Awesome! don't you think?

Anonymous said...

salam AyahWang... and yes... this is the song... CINTA SEJATI... NORMADIAH and AZIZ JAAFAR....

Grandpa said...

Salam Wan, thanks for dropping by at The Farm with your comments. I think you applied your PR correctly to your mil, that's why she opened up to you - in a way you've changed her for the better.

Pulau Duyong is the location for the famous monsoon cup, isn't it?

Al-Manar said...

Ayah Wan,

Don't tell me you are still using that kukurang. I have gone electrical fro grating but I still dehask with the old faithful Bong.

Wan Sharif said...

Salam Budi Rijali,
Oleh kerana Ayah Wang buta nada.. Ayah Wang ingat ingat lupa aja lagu lagu ni semua.. dah tua ni baru Ayah Wang tahu yang Normadiah was one of the good singer during her time.. (the best lady singer then??)

Wan Sharif said...

Salam Grandpa,
It was my pleasure really .. to have a chance to increase my knowledge on farming. Yes! you are right, the Monsoon cup location is the Pulau Duyong I am referring to. That island was previously (without the land reclaimation) about 1.5km long by 0.6 km wide and with some 2-3 hundred houses there is practically no small or big scale farming activities can be carried out there. If chicken/ duck rearing under the house built on stilt and "tanam pisang tepi telaga" is considered as farming.. then that was probably the only farming there was then and probably now as well.. So whatever tips and pointers Grandpa put up in "at The Farm" Ayah Wang is going to swallow them all.. hook, line and sinkers..

Wan Sharif said...

Ha..ha.. PakCik..
I was all smile reading your "old faithful Bong"..
It brought back a lot of memory .. Golok Bong and kkurang.. as Pulau Duyong is densely populated with "pohon nyor"..
We have electrical grating machine in Dungun.. elsewhere in KT we still use old faithful kkurang.. in KL kita beli Santan.. dok payah nak perah..
Oh how I missed those grated kelapa yang belum tua, to be used on pulut cawan or ubi kayu rebus.. musim hujan ni.. gittulah sokmo rindu kampung halaman.. with all the simple dishes..

Unknown said...

What a fantastic post! Thanks for sharing about your nspiring life experiences and beautiful family ties.

Take care and have a great weekend.


Unknown said...

Booker Hooker

Wan Sharif said...

MWS, thank you for dropping by.. have a great week a head

Wan Sharif said...

Kraxpelax..thank for dropping in and Booker Hooker is superbe..

ninotaziz said...

Ayoh Wang,
You have become very quiet and shy. Do come over to Pakcik's for berbalas pantun!

Wan Sharif said...

Dear Ninot,
Has been contemplating to join you, Pakcik and Awang Goneng at Pak cik.. could not focus my energy to come up with something worthwhile to post at Pakcik's..
Shy is the right word.. belum boleh berpantun secara baik.. too busy trying to be a successful farmer??!

Aishah said...

Assalamualaikum Wan Sharif, Kedah/Northern people are typically warm and chatty people. They may appear shy, but that only last for about two minutes!:)

You are a good person to be a kind and helpful son-in-law. I can imagine the cheer you have brought to your mother-in-law. A parent-in-law becomes our parent for life regardless of our jodoh.

Lee said...

Hi Wan Shari, wishing you and family selamat hari raya aidil fitri. Best regards, Lee.

Wan Sharif said...

I can not agree that all Kedahan are as you described.. On her death bed 'pun' the MIL mentioned wished that I do not see her suffering her last ailment.. thank you for stopping by at my once a blue moon entry blog..

Wan Sharif said...

Hi Mr Lee,
Could not be updating the blog.. too much work at the office and too much concern on my agro friend.. hopefully he will fare better this time around..
Thank you for the good wish and hope you are feeling young and happy always.. take care Lee..