Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Reunion

I have just finished packing. A chore which I wish someone could complete it for me. But thinking of the many things that might be left out, I might as well do it myself. Yes, we are going off again. This time it's to Incredible India.

This trip is a holiday cum a reunion & what better timing than this month of Syawal. The elder girls at the beginning were not so keen to go. The thought of having to skip school for a week isn't that appealing to them. Anyhow, I recently realised that the only days they are cutting class are this Friday & the following Monday. Thanks to the extra raya break & the UPSR.

Not many are aware or even crossed their mind that HB has Indian blood flowing in his body. His late paternal grandfather originated from India. It has always been HB's dream to take his father to India & visit his late grandfather's grave. But he didn't know where to start. Early this year his intention was made easy by dear Uncle Guthoose.

It was the day when my PILs' place in Klang received a surprised guest all the way from India. It was my FIL's half brother whom he didn't know he had. OK, let me guide you to memory lane. I have always been a good & tentative listener to my FIL & here I am putting them into words.

Uncle Ghuthoose is the one in blue with his wife next to him. My PILs are far behind, standing.

Arwah atuk (my late grandfather) came from a wealthy family in India. He was married to a local there but she died at a young age. They had a son but arwah atuk was devastated with grief & left India for Malaya. He was a good man. An honest merchant. His fluency in English helped the locals to communicate with the English who then were ruling the country. Due to his kindness, he was offered to marry a local girl, arwah nenek (my late grandmother).

They were granted with 3 children. A girl, the eldest & 2 younger boys. My FIL is the elder son. At the same time when arwah atuk & nenek were living happily, arwah atuk's mother in India was hunting for him. She sent a search party to Malaya & they found him. Arwah atuk wanted to take his wife along but her family in Malaya rejected. So off arwah atuk went alone.

In India, his mother was overwhelmed to see him but he didn't know her other intention. He was to marry another local girl in India as to secure the family wealthiness. It was a forced marriage which even Uncle Guthoose admitted it (my FIL was happy to know this new piece of news). Arwah atuk had always been an honourable person & when it came to his mother he had nothing but to give in. From that day arwah atuk had to cross the Bay of Bengal often to visit both his family in Malaya & India.

Being the eldest son in the family my FIL had to sacrifice a lot. He was most of the time the head of the family since arwah atuk's nature of work as a merchant required him to travel. It was when arwah atuk passed away that life became more difficult for his little family in Malaya. My FIL had to do all kinds of work even at his young age to support the family. They were poor to the bone.

I have always lent my ears whenever he starts telling me about his past years. From there I gather why it is only now he has agreed to meet his step siblings in India. Uncle Guthoose somehow has opened his heart to accept them.

I still remember the day when my MIL gave us a call. She would normally talk to me & ask about my girls. But on that particular day, she asked straight away for HB. Once they were done talking, HB made this announcement.

"Let's go to Klang. We have guests. Family from India!"

Even I was nervous with this small reunion. My concern was my FIL. How would he take it...?

The moment our car was parked at the front yard, I saw a glimpse at the door. My girls rushed in to get their grandparents but it was this man with my FIL's resemblance who greeted them. He put on this cordial smile & the spark of happiness showed in his eyes was genuine. My girls shook his hand & kissed it as we normally respect the elders here. His response was the light pinch on the tip of my girls' nose. Pretty much like the Hindi movie I used to watch! ;-) Once I saw my FIL's face, I knew it was a great sign.

Tonight, InsyaAllah we will again be meeting Uncle Guthoose & through him, we will meet the rest of the clan in India. To think of the heat & the 7 hours drive from the airport to Thanjavur (the town Uncle Ghuthoose resides) gives goosebumps. My prayer for our safe & easy journey. Amin... So India, here we come!


tireless mom said...

Wah... memang macam cerita Hindustan or paling tidak similar to the uncle janggut putih jual roti yang ada 2 wives, satu kat sini and satu kat India.

Have fun in Incredible India and enjoy the new found members of the family.

Sathiya said...

Enjoy urself Jaa.. dont forget to ambik banyak gambar n have fun at the same time .. hugs n hope to catch u soon .

a&a'smom said...

Wow, totally unexpected ur Hub's Indian blood!

So which part of India r u going to? Cant wait for ur blog update on this trip. We r all going to Kerala, India for a mth in Nov as to show my boys their roots.

Wishing u a safe & pleasant trip!