This is a true story. It’s so true even I find it hard to believe.
Last night my second cousin (my mum’s cousin’s daughter) and her young family came for a raya visit. They actually went to the wrong house (which was two units away from ours) but as luck might have it my family were there tengah beraya sambil melantak pizza dan mihun sup. Since we just got there as well and were enjoying our food, obviously we didn’t want to go home right away, so my mum asked them in to join us. I had never been close to that side of the family, so I just left the entertaining task to my parents. All I noticed was that she came with her husband and 5 kids aged below 12 y.o. (3 of them couldn’t be older than 5 y.o. including a few months old baby) and a young lady whom I thought was her relative or her kid’s nanny.
After about an hour they wanted to leave. My dad wanted to bring them over to our house, but after some conversations I saw them leaving without my parents, which meant that they were not dropping by our house after all. After sending them off, my mum returned to her seat with traces of shock on her face. I asked her who was that young lady who came with Kak M’s family? “Madu dia..” my mum said slowly, obviously still in shock. I was like, what?? Kak M is only about 3 years elder than me and her husband has already taken another wife???
Mum told me when Kak M introduced the young lady to her, saying “Maklong, ini madu M..”, all my mum could say was “Haaa???”. Kak M immediately replied “Maklong jangan pengsan pulak!”. After Kak M left, the topic of the night was not just how she tolerated with having a co-wife, but also bringing the girl together with her husband and her kids everywhere they went to and braving family members’ reactions when she introduced her to them.
Many more questions came into our heads. Any of the 5 kids are of the younger wife? My mum said no, they are all Kak M’s, including the little baby. Her co-wife hasn’t got any kids yet. I wonder what went inside Kak M’s head when she gave her husband the consent to marry another woman. Kak M is still young, in her early 30s, already she is a senior wife! And I must tell you that she is easily prettier and slimmer that the other woman, even after having 5 kids. I’m not just saying it because she’s my relative (after all I am not close to that side of the family), I bet anyone who has seen them will say the same.
Just a bit of background story, Kak M is a teacher, so is her husband, apparently so is the husband’s new wife. But no, they don’t teach at the same school. Kak M’s parents passed away several years ago. They were religious people. Her father was a respectable ustaz in our little hometown. Her mother was my first grade teacher. They took pride in raising their children in a religious environment and sending them to places like Egypt for further education. They were good people, but as many say, good people often die young because God loves them more. They left behind 7 children and Kak M is their third child (I think). Both Kak M and her husband are pretty good looking for middle class Malay standard. She’s really fair and average-sized, while her husband is tall and quite fair too. I can’t say much about what happened within her young family that has resulted in her husband taking a younger wife as I don't know anything about it. My mum obviously doesn’t know much either.
This entire thing reminds me of Akhil Hayy – Maizawati – Waheeda story. Handsome sweet-talker husband, pretty wife with a bunch of little kids and a younger other woman. Never have I thought that I would see it being replicated by my own relatives.
Kak M has preceeded something that none of our relatives (as far as I could recall) has ever done before – having a co-wife. While in some states like Kelantan and Terengganu, it is normal for men to have more that one wife, it is still pretty much a taboo in Melaka. I can imagine her being the talk of the town for many years to come. Thankfully she no longer lives here, so she doesn’t have to hear all that except maybe when she comes home for raya or family gatherings.
It was funny seeing my mum’s face after Kak M left last night. My mum for one can never ever even think about having a co-wife. Even if my dad jokes about it, like when she forgets to prepare my dad’s coffee and he says maybe he has to find a new wife to do that, she will immediately burst into tears. She is THAT paranoid, which might somewhat explains why Kak M’s family didn’t go to our house last night. Maybe my mum was afraid of “terkenan” kena madu!