Sunday, July 5, 2009

From Dowdy to Dazzling

In a world that devotes a disproportionate attention to how one look and often judge a book by its cover. The story of Susan Boyle is uplifting.

Susan is a dowdy housewife who spends most of her time taking good care of her household - keeping her house spick and span, her family members well-taken care of. It is a 24/7 job with no pay but the immerse satisfaction more than made up for the monetary consideration. Then she takes part in Britain got talent and woos the world with her angelic voice. Consequently, she also pays more attention to her appearance.

Susan reminds me of my mother - also a housewife. But unlike Susan who is 47, my mother is much older and crossed the 60 age-mark. My mother is also illiterate. Born in a poor family in a fishing village in Malaysia, she has to give up studying as her family simply could not afford it.

Instead of pursuing an academic education, my mother turned to learning tailoring in a bid to support herself if need be. She worked for short spurts of time only to be interrupted by the then-so-common strikes in Singapore and Malaysia.

Her worklife was cut short when she got married through match-making to my father, a Singaporean. For years, she applied to be a citizen of Singapore. Being illiterate and a housewife did not make the task easy, I remembered the frequent trips to the Immigration Centre to extend her stay in Singapore.

Though my mother is not a career woman, she is a very successful woman. She has a blissful marriage, grown-up children who take care of her.

But unlike Susan, my mother will never take part in any singing contest and hence may always remain dowdy. Nevertheless, this is only in outward appearance, in my heart, my mother is a dazzling lady in her own right.

I love you, mother.

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