Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ali Marries Izrin: A Story of Tested Relationship, Late Night Guy-Talks, and The Best Man.

Summer of 2005. I think that was when Ali and Izrin got together. They've known each other for quite sometime, but it was during their flight back to London from that summer Euro trip, Ali cunningly found out from Izrin that she harbours feelings for him, and the feeling is mutual.

As they say, the rest is history, but not so for these two lovebirds. Fate brought them together, and Fate also took them through tortuous and uphill terrain very early in the relationship.

Shortly after the trip, Ali had to come back home to complete his studies here, while Izrin stayed in Cardiff to complete hers there. Ali didn't start right away when he came back. He had to wait for the academic transferring process to clear before starting. As he began attending classes again almost a year later, Izrin completed her studies around the same time and came back. Job hunting ensued, and she landed herself a job shortly after, and this went on for another year or so.

Imagine that. Spending the first two years of a relationship being away from each other, and going through stressful period with each others life at the same time; Ali having to transfer his studies here, a frustrating and lengthy rigmarole, and Izrin starting a new job and getting used to working life.

A lot of revelations will be made throughout this writeup, and the first one shall be about Ali's temper. Yep, he had this problem. Those who know him well since school days, know this. Not many people are able to handle this sticky situation. And in the later half of the two-year period, when things got stuck in a temper-ego stalemate - get ready for revelation number two - Izrin would call me to vent her frustrations. I just listened and didn't do much, really, other than telling her again and again to be patient. 'Dia memang macam tu, sabar je.' That statement has to be one that I overuse. And thank God Izrin is one tough woman. Not only she has to be patient with Ali, she has to be patient with me telling her to be patient.

As I endured this, I witnessed true love unfolding right in front of my eyes. Not surprising. I knew this has got to be it for the both of them very early when they got together.

See, Ali and I have sleepovers when I'm around town. Sleepovers isn't exactly the right term because almost every time, I would lose sleep. Most of the time were spent talking, and most of the talking was about how happy he became when Izrin came into his life. The story of how they met and the Euro trip that marked the beginning of their togetherness was re-iterated again, and again, and again every time we have sleepovers.

I remember the eve of Subang Jaya 10km run in 2006. Ali put up a night at my place so that we could go to the run early next morning. He spent the night talking about this Euro trip, on how he learnt deeply about Izrin when they sat together on a pebbled beach in Spain, walking around Monaco. Again and again he told me about the flight back to London where Izrin sat next to him, and their mutual feelings were revealed. And not to forget when they arrived in their respective homes in Cardiff, Ali walked to Izrin's place to hand her something (it was either chocolates or medications, I can't recall exactly, but it was supposed to make Izrin feel better). This was told to me on many nights, and particularly on that night. We ended up running the next day without any sleep.

It's not really about the depth and repetitiveness of the stories he tell, but the reactions that he showed that says everything. Obviously I can't see his facial reaction, because when we talk he'd be lying on the couch, forearm across his forehead and I'd be lying on the floor with arms crossed, both of us facing the ceiling, staring at the rotating fan. It was all evident from his tone of voice. Unlike the serious tone he always has, when telling these stories, his voice was calm, the pace of speech was relaxed and you could tell that he is at peace. Very rarely you get to observe this. And as rare as diamonds are, what he has is something precious.

I guess true love perseveres and true love changes people. Both of them endured the difficult times, and grew closer, with each of their own advantages complimenting and filling in the voids of the other. He is a changed man, admittedly so.

Changes occur steadily, and when Ali so-call proposed to Izrin by means of asking her to join Kursus Kahwin, it is only apt. It shows that marriage is an eventual step in their relationship, and not a spike in the journey.

On 19th of May, Ali marries Izrin.

Panoramic view of the Akad Nikah, Ali and Izrin sat at opposing ends. Photo by Ismail.

I was made the Best Man, but obviously, I wasn't the typical one. By conventional standard, I was probably the worst Best Man ever. I left the mas kahwin bouquet in the car, forgot to bring an umbrella for Ali when it was raining during the Akad night, left his phone unanswered that night, lost one of the hantaran tray, and during the reception, I didn't interfere when the MC mistakenly called the bride and groom to cut the cake while the wrong song was being played.

I have a very different idea of a perfect wedding. What I was aiming for that night for the both of them, was the culmination of what the last six years has been, re-living those moments and tying them to the climactic event of the night. In the midst of everything else, I wasn't sure if that got across, but the both of them was happy.

You'll Never Walk Alone by Gerry and The Pacemakers was not played on the reception night, but it is still their song. It neither made the song less meaningful, nor did it make the wedding less memorable.

In the spirit of re-living those moments and having sight of the future, may I dedicate this song to Ali and Izrin.

To Ali and Izrin, I wish for prosperous days ahead for the both of you, and please do something we already know you'll do; live happily together ever after.

Photos are by Samsul Tahir of Kaseh Photography.


Blogger Ali said...

my wife says this is the sweetest thing ever and I don't mean to sound gay, but I love you man! Thank you for sharing this.

25 May, 2011  
Anonymous YNWA said...


26 May, 2011  

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