Last Saturday, I celebrated my 2nd anniversary attaining my driving license by driving up to Fort Canning to finalise my registration for my wedding at the Registry of Muslim Marriages (ROMM). Aida and her parents were together with me. We thought that the place was gonna be packed with people finalising their respective registrations so we set off early and arrived at about 7:45am. We were 45 minutes early and I was famished as I had been working out over the past week and looking after my diet (For the record, I’ve lost 2kg in one week. Hooray!!!). We were the first to station ourselves outside the entrance. I was sitting at a couples’ bench by the porch facing the entrance, quite a distance away. To kill time, I was listening to my Ipod and reading the newspaper.
At about 8:20am, another Malay couple arrived with the girl’s parents. From where I sat, I noticed that the groom-to-be was no more than 18 years old and the gal looked as though she was only about 16 or 17. I thought perhaps he would be the brother or something but saw no other males accompanying them other than the girl’s father. The girl was wearing a jubah and hijab but I could see a bump on her stomach which made me sad somewhat thinking of another addition to the rather alarming rate of teenage pregnancies in our community. At 8:30am, the entrance was opened and we were the first ones in.
I was extremely surprised that the so-called interview ended by 8:45am for me, Aida and her father. We had been discussing on the way to Fort Canning the questions that we would be grilled on, like if we attend religious classes or if we recite the Holy Qur’an and if we have completed it. But all those were not asked. The kadi, Ustaz Karim Ahmad, just enquired if the particulars we gave were true and we were made to swear an oath that they were indeed true and that was it. I told Aida perhaps the “tanda sujud” (prostration signs) on my forehead might have spared us from the grillings. The signs are nothing to be proud about actually. In fact it is a heavy responsibility to uphold cos I believe a lot of people have good impressions of people with these signs. But I’ll be the first to admit I am no angel as some of you might have witnessed first-hand when interacting with me.
We had breakfast at McDonald‘s Funan Centre. Then nature called and since I hate public toilets since most of them do not have taps in the cubicles, I drove to the nearby Omar Kampung Melaka Mosque behind the Ministry of Manpower building to do my transaction. We still had a lot of time to spare since we had planned to tailor our baju kurung for Hari Raya and another as a wedding gift at a tailor shop (Surip Enterprise) at Peninsular Plaza. So we killed time by shopping at CityLink Mall. We were surprised when we reached the tailor shop at about 10 minutes to noon to find it closed. Attempts to contact the tailor proved futile as he did not pick up. So we left disappointed a second time as previously we had encountered the same thing about 2-3 weeks earlier. Abg Surip, the tailor, only sms-ed an hour later when we had reached home to apologise and say that he had an appointment to attend to…
As my parents had wanted to go out later in the evening, Aida and I took a cab down to Tampines after Asar to attend an invitation by Mr and Mrs Suhairi (also known as “Pak Kuntet” & “Mak Kuntet” on RIA 89.7FM). The invitation was a celebration of the first year of their son, Md Amerun Aqiff. The event resembled a wedding celebration. A pity when we arrived, there were not that many guests but the food was superb. If only I was not on diet, I would have eaten the “sop tulang”, to top off eating chicken satay and fried rice. I also had to pace myself as I had a wedding invitation to attend later that night. So everything was eaten in very small proportions. I was amazed by the beauty of the birthday cake as I had never seen a 3D cake before. Respect goes out to the bakery shop for a job well done and yes it was an honour and a pleasure to have finally met Esra & hubby in person…
The birthday boy himself, Md Amerun Aqiff…
Our wedding dinner that night was at Jurong West. We had expected a few of our listener friends to attend the birthday celebrations before going to the wedding so we could at least share a cab or hitch a ride in their cars but none of them were there when we left so we ended up taking the MRT. It was a blissful journey no doubt as Aida and I slept our way till we reached Clementi, about a good 40 minutes nap. We alighted at Lakeside then took a cab to Masjid Assyakirin to perform Maghrib. They were having some function at the mosque with renowned Ustaz Ahmad Dahari leading the congregations. From there we took another cab to the wedding venue.
When we reached Jurong West Street 74, we hung around at the adjacent block with Lan Tawei & Mike Perakos, 2 of our fellow RIA listener friends, since the newly-wedded couple, Ronzi and Nurhafizah, had not arrived. When they arrived, they were escorted by a motorcade of their biker friends in black and white shirts. They rumbled into the carpark making such a din but it was all in the name of good fun. We decided to join in along with the other guests. Some of the bikers were also our very own listener friends as well and we sat with them at the frontmost table. The host of the event was local comedian Yusoff Maruwi.
We were treated to a Dikir Barat performance, a magic show by 2 boys as well as a karaoke performance by the bride and her niece. The bride and groom looked radiant, even though there was a tinge of tiredness etched in their eyes. Aida and I just loved the simplicity of the event, the wedding dais, everything. There was even a birthday cake-cutting ceremony for the bride who celebrated her birthday the day before and a few of her friends who celebrated their birthdays around the same time.
Watching them more or less increased the excitement that Aida and I have on our coming marriage. Here’s wishing the newly-wedded couple many blessings and sustenance in their new journey together.
I’m actually looking forward to my wedding dinner cos I’ve always liked to see a groom and the bride in their regalia. But that too is the one that’s giving me the most headache in terms of inviting the guests, as I only have 300 friends to include and most of them are long-time friends who have known me and Aida since secondary school. So to those of you who are not invited to the dinner, I apologise from the bottom of my heart, but you are most definitely welcome to the day reception. There’s not much difference anyway, maybe because people always have this mindset that wedding dinners are more exclusive, grander and more glamourous than the day event. I foresee my day and night event to be almost the same, maybe the only difference is I’ll be singing at night. *wink* So just wait for my email or sms asking for your respective addresses. Or you can just mail me your address after you’ve read this…
Lately, I’ve been quite down, worried even, seeing different sets of friends at odds with one another and I’m caught in between. One even went as far as saying that he will not turn up at my wedding if he knows the other party would be coming. Yes it is that serious but please don’t think badly of him as you might not know the actual problems that hit him. Aida and I have always been approached by friends asking for advice or having people sharing their problems and grievances with us, mostly about other friends. We’ve always adopted a neutral approach and prefer not to take sides. Aida and I value friendship too much to bear any grudges at anyone for whatever problems they have with others.
Whatever problems they have with anyone, we just provide the advice they need but it is always to remove the tensions and make the warring parties come to a peaceful ending. The rest is up to them. Deep down, we just pray that all will be back to normal and the friendship would resume as before. But it is very depressing to hear a dear friend saying that he will not turn up at my wedding just because of conflicts with a few parties. It’s a good thing Almighty God gave us the logic and sense to be neutral in such circumstances and not judge too quickly without hearing from all parties involved. However, being the middle person, you are absolutely torn between the warring parties as each have their own agendas and mindsets. *Sigh*