May 16, 2010

MALAYSIA: Getting to know her, again

PENANG, Malaysia / The Star / Lifesyle / May 16, 2010

By Tajul

YOU only require two things in life: your sanity and your wife.” Apparently former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said this on one occasion. Despite how often he blunders, I tend to agree with him on this one.

My wife, as cliched as it may sound, has been my rock and my pillar of strength for so many years. Unlike some men, I actually know how long we’ve been married – 34 years, and still counting.

I am the first to admit that I am not the easiest person to live with. In spite of that, she has stuck by me through thick and thin (thin and thick, if we are talking about my waistline). And although she nags and complains a lot, this wife of mine has the patience of a saint.

Truth be told, I miss her nagging and complaining when she’s not around. I’ve finally realised that it’s all for my sake, my health and my well-being.

I had been warded in the hospital for operations quite a few times, and each time, she insisted on spending nights at the dingy ward even though I told her to go home. Of course, I was just showing off the machismo side of me, when truly, I needed her to be by my side all the time.

She takes care of me like no other would and, often, the sight of her dozing off in the hospital chair moved me to tears (which I quickly wiped off, of course).

She truly embodies the epitome of “Wonder Woman” – there’s nothing she can’t do, from cutting the grass all over our huge compound to cooking for a dozen, and getting it all done in under an hour; driving non-stop for hours, and completing other hard work, even when she’s unwell.

I honestly don’t know where she gets her strength from.

It hasn’t been all rosy for us – raising four children, keeping the marriage and household intact, and overcoming life’s challenges and shortcomings have indeed been extremely difficult.

I know that I am guilty of taking her for granted, knowing that she’ll always be there for me and our family, no matter what, because that’s the kind of person she is – loyal and dependable.

As our children have all grown up and have families and lives of their own, it’s just me and her in the house.

Illustrative photo of Malaysian couple at food court

 As much as we are “enjoying” each other’s company (life as an elderly couple provides a different challenge), we’re also getting the second chance to know one another again.

We often go on dates, watch movies, go shopping, visit the children in the city, go on short trips or just stay home and watch TV.

I have even developed a penchant for Indian soap operas as she would be glued to them every evening, much to my daughter’s amazement.

We bicker like any other (old) married couple, but it’s different now that we’re accustomed to one another.

As a near-retirement police officer, I am used to giving and receiving salutations from my fellow men in blue. But here’s the biggest salute to my “wonder woman”, who beats me all the time in shooting competitions – even though she’s not in the force!

As corny as it sounds, I love you my Bibi. [rc]

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