Who is Aling? No longer has anyone known, and nobody cares.
Except for the caring few; and that consists of her late mum, a brother, four sisters and perhaps, some nieces and nephews – not sure either. The fact is that, they formed the innermost circle of the family. The team later joined by the sister in law.
This small wagon acted as the only bridge for Aling and our world, and becomes a life support system for her. This way, her misfortunate endeavor in the hideout continues till the day she dies.
But whatever it is, I am quite sure it doesn’t even include all family members. For example, one of the brothers can’t remember he ever met Aling since 1970s.
On the day she passed away, the undertaker service immediately called upon to the village. The servicemen then asked a villager where about the location of the deceased. The man responded, he knew the location well, but can’t remember there is any members of the family in the said house had just died, if any.
He clearly excluded lonely Aling from the list!
As for me, it was my wife who woke me up at 6 o’clock in the morning, and informed me about the news. “We have to go back”, I replied immediately.
Its quite disturbing on the way back as my maid asked too many questions to whom actually had just passed away, where did she lived, why the funeral is going to take place in grandma's house, etc.,etc.,. At the end I simply lied to her to keep the mouth shut.
That was the first time I saw her, upon my arrival. O my God, this must be Aling. A middle age with small, built, thin, toothless, and lifeless body with short hairs; lied down on the mattress. Her eyes sunk deep inside the sockets - as if to tell everyone that’s how exactly she was hiding deep inside the house for most of her life. She clearly wasn’t in a good shape when God called upon her. The face implied misery, lots of them. The expression on her face contained a mystery that is known only to her. And to God, who dictates the unique path for her in this world.
Imagine the will of God, and how He dictates Aling on how to live her life in this world. It lies well beyond my apprehension, as well as my poor imagination.
It is a lonely world, no matter how we look at it. It is terribly slow, everything moves at a snail pace. Time is incredibly abundant when it’s all about living in a room, if I must describe here. Every moment goes nowhere. Everywhere it’s all about gazing on the wooden floor, wooden wall and a tin roof. With unlimited time in possession, eventually you will be able to recognize every crack on the wall, or to memorize every hole atop, or to pinpoint every pattern and color around you. For every second you tend to submerge in limitless wild imagination, the mind ocean of yourself. Your heart beat, your breath becomes perpetual life music. The heat of the rooftop becomes the permanent crowd, and the wind’s whirling sound becomes your only friend. Once or twice a day the door squeaks open, and a familiar somebody enter your domain as their duty call. This is the only time when your infinitive wandering takes a break. Perhaps is serves as a reminder that there is still another world apart from your own mind; that you corporeal body must still eat and nursed in order to survive.
But what if it’s actually the other way around? Aling may in the wonderland for all these while, ours' too preoccupied and materialistic mind simply couldn’t understand. From this perspective, what we may see as misery may not misery after all. She may love her tiny world that we see as a pitiful cage like no other; and the old house had fulfilled whatever desires she may had in her lifetime. Maybe she treated every break whenever somebody enters the room as unnecessary disturbance that she hated most; who knows? Perhaps this is why, according to the auntie – do not undermine her ability to badmouth anybody who happens to visit her once and a while.
"I couldn’t remember how she like, I can only recap the glimpse of her past by looking at the photo”, said the brother. Whatever.
But I honestly still don’t understand to why she did not move to grandma’s [then] new house instead of staying in the old one. Why she never had been exposed to other family members; she deserved it, like it or not. Why there were no further efforts to cure her on the first place. And why they never openly discuss about Aling, she was a family member, and should be treated as one. These question marks will be buried together with Aling, I suppose. As for me, I won’t ask again from this point on. No heart feeling, sorry; I just speak up my mind.
Looking back, I now realize that whatever God had determined on Aling’s fate, actually it is for us to ponder upon. In my view, it’s all about God’s mercy. It is the mercy that rules, well above anything else. For if God’s judgment is actually based on bad, or good deeds of every human being, Aling are clearly an exception to the rule. What are there to judge when Aling did neither good nor bad for 37 years?
The brother swears that he saw something extraordinary on Aling’s final moments. His spiritually untrained eyes caught the bright white, yellow, green and red lights, akin to firework on display minus the cracking sound, well above the old house for several minutes. However he doesn’t understand what it’s all about, he even drives to work as usual; only to be informed later that the sister had gone forever.
To all the good bountiful souls that taking a good care of her for decades, as a fellow human being, I humbly praise your all.
Praise to you bapa & mama Jojo, mummy, mama, mama Ijam, auntie Alan, Ida, Ali and others, whoever you are, for the distinctive long service of humane effort. All of you are worth mentioning here.
May God bless us all, and rest in peace Aling!
So that's what I mean, my friend's story is exceptionally interesting - Arimi.
your fan - 37 real |2008-11-17
is this real?