I spent most of my Hari Raya Korban sleeping. I did my share of crying too when I watched the proceeding of the hajj. Shots of hajj goers crying their hearts out reached into my well hidden insecurity. Just the thought of the possibility of being in audience with god is heart wrenching. I went straight to the toilet and cried quietly. And when I was having lunch with my family, I told my grandmother "Afiq nak pergi Haji before 30!"
If it's possible, I want to go sooner.
I've to admit though, I got a tad bit emotional yesterday. I know for a fact that the absence of my brothers cut me deep and god offered comfort with the mere thought of the Him. I called Hadi and Saiful but they were indifferent, almost ignorant of how I missed them. Hadi picked up the phone and I told Hadi to hand the phone over to Saiful. "Saiful tengah urut Tok Nda."
"Okay. Bagilah phone dekat Aful kejap. Kejap je."
"Jap, Aful tengah urut Tok Nda lah Abang."
"Hadi, Abang nak cakap ngan Aful kejap, hari raya ni..."
"Jap." Hadi directed the phone to Saiful's direction so I could hear his voice. "Dah dengar?"
"Bukan, Abang nak cakap ngan Saiful, dah 3 bulan Abang tak cakap dengan Saiful." I began to sob but I quickly recovered.
"Hai Abang." Saiful got on the phone.
"Aful! Aful sihat?" My sobbing got a bit out of control.
Suddenly I heard a ruckus in the background. I vaguely heard my mother saying "Tak sabar sabar..."
"Abang, nanti Hadi call abang." Hadi hung up.
I knew that second that he won't call me back. It hurts me that they were so indifferent towards me but I learnt from my past experience to never show my emotions to anyone, not even to the people I dearly love. I also knew that I shouldn't blame them for being indifferent and rude. They were with my mother and they knew it is in their best interest to keep her happy, no matter the cost. I was in their shoes before. I know.
What saddened me is that even though they vowed to not be like me when they get older, their exit from home is inevitable. They will know things they never knew before about life, love and human nature. They will grow up soon and learn the other side of the story. Knowing this and the inevitability of it all, I constantly remind them to always love our mother, no matter what. No matter what.
It's nobody's fault. We are all prisoners of our upbringing.
"And remember Hadi and Saiful, I hope in the process of growing up, I hope you gradually muster the courage to love others unconditionally no matter the consequences."
"Because I can't."