When we talk of a wedding feast, we talk of fun, laughter, colour, food glorious food and music; we talk of fiesta. Any groom would want his wedding feast or kenduri to be such. He would want it to be a memorable day, a day he will never forget for the rest of his life. Yes, I can say to my nephew his kenduri was memorable indeed. Its not always that one has such a feast 4 days after one's father's death; 3 days after burying one's father.
The kenduri on Sunday started a little bit late coz the caterer was caught in a jam. By 12.30 the three canopies were full with people. I got to meet some old friends who came for the kenduri and also to offer their condolences. There were also those who did know of the death 4 days earlier and were visibly shocked when told of the news.
The bersanding which was planned was cancelled. It was at the behest of the groom himself. I would have put my foot down if they had wanted to go on with it but common sense prevailed. He had taught and raised his children well.
Despite the full attendance and the colour and the hustle and bustle and the presence of 4 YBs, there was something missing. I dare say that what was missing was the most important ingredient of a kenduri. What was missing was a beaming, smiling and proud father. The mother was there but she was in tears. She greeted her friends not with pride but with tears.
Most of the conversation, at least those involving us the close family members, centred not so much on the bride or groom but on arwah.
When the eldest got married 3 years ago, we had a deejay and ended the feast with a karaoke session and arwah was so happy. Arwah was a singer himself, singing part-time in nightclubs for many years. He had long hair and sang only rock numbers. This time around there was no music to entertain guests.
At about 5pm things started to taper off and by 6 the last of the guests had arrived. Then it was cleaning up time. The groom, despite our protestation helped in the cleaning up. I guess he wanted to do something to keep himself occupied.
At about 8 there was hot kopi-o served and the groom and I together with a few of his friends were resting and chatting. Then he said, "Uncle Ajit, this time he goes for good. He has gone for courses for weeks but this time he is not coming back." I decided to be brutally but not cruelly frank with him. I told him that after this they are going to get lonely. When all is over, the relatives would have gone home and they would be left at home to pick up from where things had temporarily stopped, they are going to feel very lonely but life must go on.
I told him to take care of his mother, keep her occupied and not hurt her. He asked me to keep on visiting them to which I say I would.
Now all is over and today, just about 2 hours ago, begins a new chapter in my life. Nothing very significant to others but important to me and my family. I just sent my wife to the GH where she was warded. Tomorrow she would undergo surgery to take out a ovary. Yes, it is quite a common procedure nowadays but every invasive surgery comes with a certain amount of risk.
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