Introducing Mok – the living legend of bitchiness.
At 70, Mok is still strong and energetic. She lives alone in a house next to my family’s house. It is the gracious gift from her children who do not want to live with her. Even her many grandchildren are reluctant to stay near her sight. But that’s not a problem for Mok, because Mok is very rich. To accompany her at night, she pays Mok Nik Jaroh (an old friend of hers) RM5 per hour. Hmm, that’s RM1200 per month, considering that Mok Nik Jaroh spends 8 hours every night with lonely Mok.
But there is one little problem – she is extremely senile. She keeps her money everywhere in the house and she doesn’t remember where she puts them. During Hari Raya, kids like to visit her because, if they get lucky, Mok will give them RM50, which she mistakenly thought as RM2. God Bless Mok, say the kids.
So what makes her a living legend? Her powerful tongue.
Everybody in the kampong knows that she likes to mind everybody’s businesses. Just right after her return from Mekah, she couldn’t wait to catch up the latest gossips – whose wives just got divorced by the husbands, or whose husbands just got beaten by the wives. Adding to this naturally-acquired skill, she likes to pass glaring remarks for my family members behind everybody’s backs. Eh, why your sister so clumsy? Hey, I think your brother is so stupid. Isk, how can your father drive Toyota only? Hey, why your sister study in Egypt when she becomes ustazah only? Alahai Cekmi, why he want to be a lousy teacher like his father?
Of all these poor victims, the person who suffered the most was Ma, my late mother, who befell under Moks’ powerful regime for many painful years. For many years of Ma’s life, Ma always became the subject of Mok’s nastiness. Being bullied mentally, Ma was tolerant with Mok’s meanness. I remember Ma’s cool and patient face whenever Mok said unpleasant things to her. She just smiled. She indeed sacrificed a great deal to please Mok’s crazy demands, which included taking care of Mok’s paralysed mother for many months.
However, nothing seemed to satisfy Mok’s hunger for sweet brutality, as if Ma was her biggest enemy. Mok sometimes said the meanest things to Ma in front of close relatives and friends during Hari Raya gatherings. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to ask Ma about what actually caused the bickering relationship between her and Mok. I am not sure whether Mok had asked for Ma’s forgiveness before Ma left this world for good, but I am sure Ma has forgiven all of Mok’s various sins.
Did I hate Mok? Nah. How could I? No matter how much I detest the holy bitchy Mok, she will be forever stuck in my family, because she’s in my blood – she’s my auntie, my father’s one-and-only sister.
For all Ma’s sufferings, I wish Mok a good life in Heavan. Opss, not yet, she’s still around.