Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Sacrificial Love.


Rose is the youngest of almost a dozen siblings and is blessed with good looks and demure mannerism. Born in a small village on the west coast of the Peninsular. She was a child of post independence, the nation was in the process of building herself into what she is today. Rose’s parents cultivated paddy fields for consumption and to sell. Supplementing this they planted bananas, tapioca and other vegetables. Her father fish for fresh water prawns and hunt jungle fowl when it is in season. He had some buffaloes and a couple of cows of which the bulls are used to pull his ox cart. The cart afforded extra income as it was used to haul sugar cane harvested by Chinese farmers inland to the coast for processing. That was their life.

Being the youngest, Rose became the most educated of all her sibling. Even better than her brothers. Her sisters don’t count as her father is of the mindset that girls are supposed to stay home and do womanly things and that’s what they did. As a consequence most of her sisters are illiterate. In this respect Rose was lucky as it was during her time that it became mandatory for all children to undergo formal education. She manages to complete her education with acceptable results. Perhaps mellow with age and also at the insistence and encouragement of village folks, her father allowed her to go to the city to pursue a course in nursing. To pacify his concerns and foreboding thoughts, it was arranged for Rose to stay with a relative in the city.

All goes well till the end of the first year of Rose doing her nursing course. The beginning of the second year marks the turning point for her as it was during this time that she met Ray. He is an armed forces personnel who hails from the East Coast. They became involved and love blooms to such an extent that they had to get married. Rose sacrificed her nursing career much to the disappointment of her sisters who never got the chance but accepted with a sigh of relief by her father. His relief comes from the fact that once a daughter is married off, the responsibility is transferred from the father to the husband. For he is one who holds fast to the notion that caring for a herd of buffaloes is easier than caring for a daughter. Therefore, no one and nothing could stand in the way of their union. Her other family members just gave in and wished her well.

She did turn out well and became an excellent homemaker. The house is always spic and span. Not a book out of place. The children are always clean, well dressed and fed. It was an ideal existence until three child later when her husband opted for early retirement from the forces. On retirement he started doing odd jobs to supplement his pension. The scent of disorder began to surface once he started work as a truck driver. His work sees him away from home for days at a time. Woman's intuition made her query and investigate where upon the truth was discovered. He had another wife and toddler on the other side of town. She was devastated but her kids gave her strength. With no qualifications to gain financial independence, she accepted her fate and continues raising her kids as best she can. All she demanded was that Ray provided for her and the kids rightful subsistence which Ray provided. At his convenience...

What her family fails to understand to this day is why Ray chose to marry a woman who is less pretty and a much lesser home maker than Rose. This question arose after a few of her sisters went to confront Rose’s rival and had a glimpse of how she lived. Instead of a full frontal assault they pitied her existence. They would understand if it was a younger girl with better quality than Rose – so they say. A few years later Ray came back to Rose. He never left his second wife but made a more regular presence in Rose’s house. Rose never question him, she just accepted his presence back into her life but not the children. To this day they look at him with disdain and will never speak to him in the same tone as they would speak to Rose.

Love or the notion of love turns people into idiots. Would Rose have a better life if she were to wait until she finished her nursing course to get married ? Love is important yes, but it doesn’t feed you or shelter you does it ? Love is fleeting but feeding must be done at least three times a day, except during Ramadan of course. Think about that.


Maria said...

Capt, I strongly recommend that you publish your thoughts and stories. I am now reading this book called "I am Muslim" by Dina Zaman. I like the way she expresses her thoughts. She leaves alot of things for you to ponder on! Getting back to your story on Rose, I have one question to ask you or the other men viewing this blog. Why is it that men look for another woman when they have someone like "Rose" ? Apa lagi yang kurang? women always try their best to satisfy and fulfill the needs and wants of the family and especially the husband (well at least the women that I know)but why does the husband still want to look for another woman? I just don't understand sometimes. For all the "Roses'" out there, please, please, please, don't be fooled by the word "LOVE" uttered by men. If you are still studying, FOCUS on that. Always remember your objective and purpose when you decide to pursue your studies. Should anything happen, you have your qualification or work to fall back on. (That's what my mom has been drumming into my ears and head since I was young). LOVE comes with RESPONSIBILITY.

The Ancient Mariner said...

Why do men stray, indeed.

I remember actor Paul Newman, who spoke of his wife of 45 years (unprecedented in Hollywood), actress Joanne Woodward: "If I can get steak at home why would I want to go out for a hamburger?"

Now here substitute 'steak' for 'ketam masak lomak cili api' and you may have the answer ...haha

Apandi said...

Aik, marah sangat nampakkkkkk. BTW, that book by Dina Zaman is highly recommended by Suhaimi. Dah habis nanti pinjam.

Steak hari-hari nanti kena goutlah bang, sesekali nak jugak sushi ke, dim sum ke, amacam ?

The Ancient Mariner said...

Again you are proving my point, which also answers the question why men menggatal nak tukar selera.

Over to the ladies ...

Maria said...

Men and excuses!

The Ancient Mariner said...

OK, before the ladies go on the warpath with me, let me add...

I have been married to the woman I love for 35 years, but I am only human and will be lying if I say that I did not once consider the options. It doesnt help that there are women who have no qualms about being no: 2, 3 or 4.

But I do agree with Maria about love and responsibility. So to the single woman out there: Choose wisely.

Apandi said...

Heh, heh, well said bang. I do believe that the single woman out there are choosing wisely. Though the "wisely" now is not the same as before. Tu pasallah banyak yang rela jadi no. 2, 3 or 4... financial security, experience and wisdom. Maybe I will write about this soon.

Maria said...

Thank you Ancient Mariner. I agree with you that it would be a lie if the thought of having more than one wife did not occur in a man's mind. Even more when girls and ladies today are attractive and gorgeous. ( I don't use the word "beautiful" because that connotes inside beauty as well. Whereas gorgeous and attractive describes their physical.I think!)
But I guess this is where RESPONSIBILITY comes to play. Even when I asked my other half why men are like that, he couldn't answer me! heh heh heh

On Capt's point, it is true that women nowadays "think" that they are wise but fail to see the consequences long term. Sometimes I can be guilty of it too!But I am lucky to have people like you to get me back on track! heh heh heh

The Ancient Mariner said...

Nowadays my wife even jokes and suggests that I 'pasang lagi satu' who will take care of me in my cranky old age!

"Biar padan muka dia," she says, ha ha.

Maria said...

In reply to Ancient Mariner : Heh heh heh, now she can joke about it because she's probably thinking who wants to marry a cranky old man! but to all ladies out there, do be cautious and careful with your jokes! Remember what capt said about women nowadays being "wise"...heh heh heh...

ruby ahmad said...

Hi Apandi,

Oooh...you have posed some very difficult questions here. In life 'there is no one formula fits all'! It has to be case by case.

I believe in education!

It is one very important single comodity in life. Education gives us credibility. you are right Apandi. We need to eat 3 times a day.It gives us something to fall back on. When I say education it does not necessarily be just one route and that is the UNI. No there are many routes. One shd check them out and we choose which fits one. If we did not manage to go into Uni, look for skills that is beneficial to suit the individual.

Ok lets come back to Rose.

Gosh! What can I say about Rose accept that Rose knows best. This has to do with her man that she loves, her children, her family and other factores in her life.

When she fell in love she believed in giving her all to Ray. Nothing wrong with that. She is a lovely woman who is pure at heart.

The way I look at it, being a woman myself, having feelings like Rose (love, possesiveness, jealousy, affection, sense of sacrifice)...I think given the circumstance Rose is a fine woman. I take my hat off to her. She has been patient with her philandering hubby. Most of all she has been forgiving. Yes, we may say, she has no choice. I don't think so. All of us have choices. The fact that her hubby spends more time with her now and she accepts him, goes to show she is kind and generous at heart. Nothing wrong with that to my mind too.

Rose is not ego driven. I think she is mild mannered. So in the end I think Rose won. In not hassling the hubby, in not asking for a divorce, she kept the family intact. Hard, yes, but she must have felt calm the fact that she is not regarded as a divorcee. That's a plus no matter what. It is all a question of personal choice. I think Rose's good early upbringing and good education allowed her to be sensible when she needed to assess her situation. So that's her personal choice.

Some women would start to be cruel to their hubbies and in so doing drive them away even further.

Rose must have thought to be able to see hubby sometime is still better than not ever seeing him at all. We must empathise. She would have thought it had happened after al, anyway. Nothing would undo the situation.

So now Rose simply chose the route with the minimal damage and that is through forgiveness and acceptance and weave through the situation calmly.

Rose won as I have said in the end.

Now, back to the lessons.

1 Education is a must for us to fall back on for livelihood.
2 Education is a must to equip us with the fine art of thinking. When we are sanwiched or riddled with complex problems we are able to assess the situation and do good problem solving.
3 Education is a must to be forgiving because again it gives us the ability to think.
I can give 100 reasons more why we need education, but cukup lah sini.

As I have said earlier, Uni is not the only route. To my mind if I can indulge, I think even if a woman were already married, once the kids have grown, wifey can go back to school. Be it to study or to take up skills. Anything that one likes and that can be beneficial. Even learn to jahit labuci, why not? Something to fall back on anytime. In any case it will expand the mind and the socialising and the stories she brings home, will make her more interesting and even attractive to hubby.

Hubby suka juga dengar cerita2 lain selain dari hal2 rumah saja. This is the problem sometimes suri rumah tangga memperhamba kan diri to run the household and hubby gets bored with routine. That pushes him away to find change. Sad but true.

My take.

ruby ahmad said...

I think in any marriage we must not take things for granted. One can be the most beautiful, the best this and that, just look at Hollywood couples! Still plenty of divorces.

I think it is about the glue. The glue is about keeping each other inetersted in shared hobbies, or issues in life children, holidays, picnics, books, gyms, movies, art and numerous other stuff.

Yeah like what Paul Newman said, as mentioned by ancient mariner, I think Paul meant he had an interesting wife and not just a pretty face.

There are men who can't get enough of some women. Some women just know how to keep their men inetersted in some shared issues in life.

But as in everything it is all easier said than done. Some people would say dah perangai! As I said one formula does not fit all. We can but try.

I married at Uni. But I continued and pursued my degree, alhamdulillah. Not easy I admit.

Maria said...

Ruby, Hats off! BRILLIANTLY said and explained!

Apandi said...

Ruby, nice of you to drop by and gave your thoughts. Excellent thoughts too especially on the glue...

Jamal Rahman said...

Kapten, cinta tu kan buta.....

As for 2nd wife...I prefer 2nd body....camera body I mean. A D2Xs maybe. With f2.8 prime lens & VR!!

Oh...a 2nd notebook also can. Thinking of a tablet PC.

Apandi said...

Errr, Doc how about a second wife that comes with a set of D3Xs, a plethora of f1.4 VR lenses and accessories. The latest Fujitsu tablet. Ko, ni macam nak outline barang hantaran jerrr. Kalau perlu, bagitau, as I have to cari butang baju melayu... nanti aku bagitau, MS, DEE et al - ko nak pengapit kan ? LOL

Jamal Rahman said...

Then...where got time to shoot pics & to upgrade to Vista!!