Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sneak Preview - A Husband for My Mom

They call me a bastard. I don't know what it means. I thought it sounded delicious, like a custard pudding. Ahmad said it's probably a sophisticated name for custard pudding, like creme brulee, which I thought is a sophisticated name for caramel pudding. 

Ahmad told me maybe I am called bastard because of the colour of my skin, pale yellow, which looks like a custard. I don't know, maybe. But mom told me my skin colour is called 'kuning langsat'. Maybe bastard is an English term for 'kuning langsat'. Ahmad and I often wonder whether bastard is some sort of sophisticated name of a simple dish or an English term of a colour variant. I am more inclined towards the first assumption i.e. it is a sophisticated name of simple dish in one of those fine dining restaurants that charge you exorbitantly for a price of a little portion of simple food with long sounding, tongue twisting name. After all, a simple lempeng is called 'crepe'.

Oh, I forgot to tell you. Ahmad is my best friend. He lives just 2 doors beside mine. We live in a flat, 2 rooms flat. Ahmad is 5, just like me. Ahmad is the youngest from 5 siblings. His father works double shift to support their family. A clerk by day and a taxi driver by night. His mother baby sits the neighbour's children to supplement the income. She baby sits three kids ranging from age 3 years to 6 months. At night, she also make 'kueh', to be sold at the stalls below our flat. That makes her a very busy housewife, and makes Ahmad a very lonely child. His other siblings are all grown up, or they consider themselves grown up. They refuse to entertain Ahmad. Ahmad told me that he came as a surprise to his parents. They were not expecting another kid, they thought Ahmad's sister, who was seven during that time will be their last child. And suddenly at the age of 40, his mother got pregnant again. 

I like Ahmad's parents. They are very nice to me and my mom. Ahmad's mother always bring us kuih or lauk. She keeps an eye of me while mom is working. Despite her busy schedule, she always try to take care of Ahmad and I as best as she could. Though, most of the times, we were left wandering by ourselves. Ahmad's father is nice also, he always buy candies for me and Ahmad. But he always make us promise not to tell our moms. That is because our moms are adamant at keeping us eating healthy, although I'm not sure how healthy is healthy when mom most of the times will buy food from outside, because she doesn't have time to cook except for weekends.

Anyway, we once asked Ahmad's mom, what is bastard? Can she cook us bastard? She look at us very weirdly, as if she was torn between wanting to laugh or to cry. She told us bastard is not a food. Ahmad asked her if bastard is not a food, then what it is? She grew quiet and changed the subject by asking us what we want to eat for lunch. I was disappointed, I thought bastard is a variant of a custard pudding. And I would love to eat custard pudding made by Ahmad's mom. She cooks mean dishes, and I especially love her desserts.

My name is Faiz. I am 5 years old. I live with my mom in a rented unit at low cost flat in KL and I am called a bastard by my neighbours. Here is my story about finding my mom a husband...

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