Monday, August 27, 2007

Not On The Train But in PD Witnessing (or should I say photographing) a Wedding, Aug 17, 2007

We checked in into Laguna Condo Resort just before 1400 as I promised the girl when I called the day before. As we walked towards our unit on the 4th floor of block A I could not but felt that the place was neglected and obviously not popular among tourists. However for the price I was paying, considering the beginning of the school break and I am being I am always making my reservation late that was the best for us. The building was pathetic with lift not working on certain floors, pools that were murky and walls that need paint job very badly. Our spirit was lifted a bit once we were inside our unit. Since we had had our lunch all decided to try for forty winks. Not wanting to disappoint the groom I set the alarm at 1530.

Everyone was already at the entrance to the colony when we arrived and as soon as we were alighted we walked to the bride’s house for the akad nikah. The Khadi and his two witnesses were already inside waiting. Without missing a beat the Khadi started the ceremony by welcoming us, little information to explain to An on how it was going to go down and started on the khutbah nikah. At this point I already passed the camera to Baqir as I anticipated I was going to be the witness as well. Apparently I did not have to and I let Baqir continued to be the photographer with me giving constant instruction. I do not wish to make fun of the groom but before the akad he fumbled on few easy questions. Nervous? Or too eager to get married and forgot everything that he memorized while driving there J))). Whatever it was clues and hints coming from me from behind didn’t register on him either. In the end the Khadi helped out. To his credit though he nailed the akad nikah in one go. Looking at his bride seating not far away I could see relieve on her face. My theory is that the Khadi must have another wedding to do that was why An had it easy J)). I am very sure best practices would not do it here as the situation could be very complex. You may think you nailed the procedure after witnessing several weddings and attending courses but the reality was totally unexpected. For one the ceremony that was supposed to be conducted in the mosque was moved to their resident that adds additional anxiety to the groom. Secondly, expecting the Khadi going to be tough he delivered you a curve ball by being nonchalant in his way. Thirdly, you were caught of guard by the speed of the events. Thus, you forgot what you supposed to answer. Well, the small number of people in the house worked in An’s favour. Ensuing photography session took place in the bride’s holding bedroom and I decided on the normal shots and avoiding the cliché. I just love to shoot as things are happening not really waiting for my subject to get ready to pose. Posing for the camera for me is just for classroom or football team shots.

In any case congratulation to both of you, An and Gie, and remember marriage is something you work at, about compromises and understanding of each other. Accept each other shortcomings and; husband and wife spat. Do not put materials first or in between both of you as those things would not last but your love to each other will. The most important thing of all jangan tinggal sembahyang. That is how your Ucu and I survive all these years.

The rest went home but three cars turned left towards our apartment for a night stay in PD. Even though the water was murky we decided to do the pool before Maghrib where I managed a few laps.

We do not have any specific plan for the night but one thing for sure all of us do not wish to stay in our rooms. So after Maghrib we drove out towards PD town and ended up having our meals at our usual hawker place in town. It was not so much of the meal but sitting together talking among families that made being there a worthwhile thing. Family relationship, trust and the moment, if not environment, enable us to share each other stories and perspectives. In my younger days it would mean during a kenduri kahwin with the main house lighted just by gasoline lamps we sad among the older village folks to hear their tales. In fact we ordered whatever we fancied and stayed talking until quite late even for Mar and Qhila. We tried to find something interesting to do on the way back to the apartment but we can’t find any.

Once in our apartment everyone started to find their own space for the night. Just like chicken going into their coop and knew exactly where their place was and we settled for the night. At least one of us was asleep contented and anxious waiting for tomorrow and the reality on just had been a husband to somebody. Me? ……..

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