Sunday, April 20, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

The conversation is worth more than a lesson in dialect. It's about warmth. It's about relationship. Even it sounds like an ordinary everyday exchange between grandma and grand-daughter, the love, the care, the sagely advice, the acceptance of the ways of the young. . . it's all there

Elderly ladies are interesting! My mum of 83 was a LKY fan until 2 GE's ago. For the life of me, I can never understand and I was shocked when she told her children and grandchildren that LKY was a nothing more than a "khim siew" [beast; animal]. Where she is concerned, LKY was a people's person until he got carried away with his power & money. His craze for immortality and dynasty after setting GCT up to warm the seat for LHL got Mum verbally ranting, "Arni lau, arni poo, arn chua mai pang leng? Thup pai ai oo say lat. Arn chua arni thum sim?" [So old, so rich, why can't let go? Want to have power all the time. Why so greedy?]

She's also very disappointed that founding fathers like Goh Keng Swee, Toh Chin Chye, Rajaratnam et al are not recognized as much by msm with LKY hoarding the limelight all the time. And yes, Mum was very very upset when late President Ong Teng Cheong was not honoured with a state funeral! Oh, Mum doesn't read nor write except in her younger days when she managed to scribbled numbers 1 to 12 in Chinese when she betted on "Chap Ji Ki" [Toto of the 50's & 60's) hoping to win some to add some nutritious meat dishes to our black sauced porridge. She gets her news from radio and TV. I'm proud that she manages to get the PAP wool out of her eyes when bombarded by Channels 8 and U. Of course, Chinese cable from HK and elsewhere helps her with a wider world view.

With my siblings (aged 40's to 60's) and our children avoiding msm and getting news from internet & blogs, Mum is the one with the latest news from PAP's mouthpiece (channel U & 8). Mum's rants on arrogance of ministers, their obscenely greedy pay and Longevity Noodles (aka forced annuities) during our weekly gathering got me started on my blog Her latest dig on the Mas Selamat wayang and WKS. "Kar tan pai kar, kar tan bo pai kar. Suka ee nan kong" [limp then not limp, Up to them to say] was hilarious.

With Mum, I have been blessed with 57 years of love, joy and guidance and I look forward to more good years with her!

Hokkien sayings from Mum has grounded and guided me well, teaching me not to allow adversity to overcome my happiness.

"Chit kee chow, chit thiam lor [a blade of grass, takes a spot on the ground]
Piak pee chow, tan hwee hor"[ grass along the wall, waits for slant rain]

Another gem that Eleetists may learn from Mum is:
" Chiak pa mai buay kee yeow!"[ When stomach is full, do not forget the hungry years!]

Thanks Rachel for writing about your Grandma. You have delighted me in what you write and invoke my sense of humility and gratitude (in a big way) to all the ladies in my life whom I'm always grateful. To all mums and grandmas, "HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY"

Thanks again Rachel, you have a Good One too!



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