These words are best whispered

Being Malay and coming from a background that never shown an affection of love in openly manner, has disfigured my sense of contentment toward my parents.  At home,love is of course all abound, free and willing but there is an absent of oral declaration to break this tattered culture.

This phrase of “I love you” has never found its way to my family.


I am desperate to hear these words exchanged between me and my parents.

The younger sister of mine had done something that grazed my heart and she knew that I was very unhappy with her. After a couple of months of unanswered calls and smses that she received from me, she decided to come to KL under the pretext that she was coming for her honeymoon. I have forgiven her long before her arrival and we both never spoke of the incident that has triggered the flare. On the day that she was to return to Langkawi, she hugged and whispered to my ear that she loves me. I was supposed to exchange the very same words but my lips were sealed, saliva drowned my tongue and I just gave her a gentle slap on the cheek. I hope she understood my real meaning of saying I love you too. The problem is, a hope alone was not good enough. I had the chance to introduce changes in my family but I had let it passed. I have wasted an opportunity to affectionately begin a new tradition.

Malaysians will be celebrating Mother’s day on the 9th of May this year.

I am finding ways to tell my mother cordially that I love her. The quest to quash the ambiguity of intention has yet to materialised.  I do not wish to let her think that her son is “buang tabiat”  or literally translated as me showing a sign that I am destined for the impending departure. Malays have this weird way of reading unusual or sudden change of characters as a sign of something bad going to happen.

I hugged her once at the airport and took my flight home. She kept calling me and I had about ten missed calls by the time I switched my phone back on. When I asked her why did she call me so many times and here was her answer;

“Ya la, hang tak pernah peluk mak, tiba-tiba tadi hang peluk, mak ingat hang dah nak pi la“(” You have never hugged me before. When you did just that, I was worrying sick thinking that you were giving me your last farewell”)

See what I mean?

This year, in less than 24 hours I hope I would have the courage to ring her up and tell her full heartedly that I love her and to wish her the deserving happy Mother’s day.

One day, hopefully she will learn the fact that I have written this piece to show how agonising it is to utter these words ” I love you” when it was never part of family’s spoken words.

To use this article as a tribute to my mother would be an insult to her sacrifices because I do not have enough words to string them nicely in showing her my gratitute.

I am not a poet.

The best is I am wishing her;

Happy Mother’s Day Mak….I love you very much!

In fact these words are best whispered to her ear. Let see.


7 thoughts on “These words are best whispered

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  1. i guess the modern mom will understand much better now.. and with the new generation to come it will b common.. and soon mom will be demanding for a day at the spa for her.

  2. Steve and Ali,
    Mother’s day to some is just another day. I was amongst those who never actually make use this special day to commemorate the hard work and sacrifices of a woman of whom we call her mother.
    Almost every known civilizations in this modern world are using quite a similar name in referring to our mothers. Mummy, mom, ma, umMie,mak and universally understood these words as if we are somehow genetically encoded to use them just specifically for those special ladies.
    As I grew older, I realized that each passing day is another day taken from us, and another quick day is gone, so do our time is roped from spending with our mothers. We may have noticed that emerging and sprouting gray hair on our own head and surely our moms would have more of those silver hair.It means one thing, the older we get, the older our own mothers are getting too.
    I am telling myself to appreciate her more and encourage my friends to do the same.
    Happy Mother’s Day to all great moms and insyAllah you be rewarded in what means Allah has bestowed upon you, Amin.

  3. I guess being the only girl in the family, I don’t have any problem showing affection towards my mak. I praise her anytime when she deserves it. I know she appreciates it because she has told me so! My brothers ( 3 of them!), on the other hand, hopeless!..Hehe

    1. In my family, it was the boys who have done most of the damages. They were the ones kept on hurting hur. Me included. She never actually said those thing but I knew she wanted me to get married and give her more grand kids. The problem is I could not do especially this ONE thingy! If you get what I mean. I am sorry mak, that is the only part that I think breaks her the most; her older son yet to get married.

      1. I get what you mean.Realistic vs idealistic. You can marry someone but live in a false pretense. Surely, you do not want the lady to be a “mangsa keadaan”, right?

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