Thursday, May 17, 2007

Chapati Moments: Auntie Roopah and the Temple of Doom

It is now time to tell you a bit about Auntie Roopah. Though I find her quite a loathsome and pathetic creature, some of you might feel that she deserves our pity. I was hard pressed to find a photo of her. This is the best I can do. Androo's drawing of his mother when he was 4 years old. And this was drawn before he caught his father in the act of riding his mother like Zorro. Auntie Roopah is the daughter of an immigrant labourer - something our Cabinet Minister would call a "buruh kasar" (rough labourer/menial worker). You can read more on the Cabinet Minister's faux pas here (just click).

You don't really need me to tell you this about Auntie Roopah. You would have deduced it yourself if you had met her. She met Uncle Veloo when he was a nobody kitchen boy at an Indian restaurant where she worked as a washer woman. They were attracted to each other almost instantly - drawn and bound by their debased nature. These two debased creatures clawed their way up society through 10% hard work and 90% through their conniving ways. Having accumulated the restaurant and expanding it into a chain, they sought to reinvent themselves as people from an established and privileged background. But their coarse manner, garish mansion which they named "Castle Veloo" (not realising it sounds more like a pub than a residence) and peasant-like features fool no one. They have made sure all their sons are well educated and married off to well established families as though this in itself would erase their humble beginnings. All Uncle Veloo and his wife need to complete this picture is an honorary PhD bestowed upon them by some dubious university in India to make them feel legit.

And like most nouveau riche, who lacked the proper upbringing, they quickly forget their roots, talking down on their own kind who are less fortunate and treating their staff like slaves. Flashing their luxury car which they need to upgrade every year, Rolex watches, distasteful jewellery and overbright sarees at social events which they had to pay an arm and a leg to get an invitation. The only way they can get their faces featured in Tatler or Le Prestige is to take out a full page advertisement in these magazines. By now Auntie Roopah has already concocted some farfetched story that she is the granddaughter of some maharajah of an unheard of province in India and is ready to call herself Princess Roopah should Tatler choose to do a feature on her.

Yes, I know I have rambled on for 3 paragraphs now and have yet to describe her looks. At best, she is the closest thing one could describe as "the missing link". Yes, Darwin's missing link between ape and man. She has thick jet black coarse frizzy hair, a flared nose, thickish dark lips, a strong set of molars, bushy eyebrows forming a unibrow as they meet at the center, more than a hint of moustache above her upper lip, a big mole (which looks more like a wart) protruding at the left corner of her upper lip. There are at least 3 stubborn hairs springing out of this mole, taunting you as you watch her speak, driving you insane, provoking you to attack her with a tweezer.

Her arms and legs are covered with coarse hair. She is quite stout. Stout and squat. Her underarm hair is allowed to grow wild unchecked - quite an unpleasant sight when she wears those sleeveless saree blouses. Even the Italians and the French would find this sight quite revolting particularly if they catch a whiff of the pungent aroma drifting from this untrimmed undergrowth. Years of eating blue cheese would not have prepared the French for this assault on their seasoned nostrils. But you would not be surprised at all if I told you that Uncle Veloo loves to bury his nose deep into Auntie Roopah's underarm. The pungent aroma heightens his sexual senses. Anything goes with that Uncle Veloo.

Under the advice of an image consultant whom they engaged before their son Androo's wedding, Auntie Roopah had her hair straightened (rebonding they call it) and styled into a short bob. It looks like she is wearing an ill fitting wig though there is some slight improvement to her previous washer woman look. Uncle Veloo, under the advice of the same consultant, now sports a very short fringe across his forehead. One would think that there is going to be a remake of Spartacus soon, looking at them or another remake of Planet of the Apes.

Securing Maya for her daughter in law was a major feather in Auntie Roopah's cap. Maya is from a prominent well established family who made their millions selling plastic flowers to the Government. Only recently, Maya's ingenuous father secured a contract to design and build 170 pintu gerbangs all over the country. Pintu means door and gerbang I don't know how to translate. Its some kind of commemorative arch. A pintu gerbang is an objet d'art. A structure of great necessity to this country and its citizens. It gives people a sense of belonging and pride of the area they live in. It keeps people from getting lost and not knowing where they are. Just when you think you have been driving for hours and don't know where you are, a pintu gerbang looms up ahead of you with the words "Selamat Datang ke Sabak Bernam" (Welcome to Sabak Bernam).
A mere signboard at the side of the road is not good enough for Malaysians. They like to do things in a big way. They need a structure hovering over the road to welcome them to somewhere every 5 miles. And each State try to outdo the other in terms of design and uniqueness of their pintu gerbangs. Some may cost many millions to build. Certain States splurge out on canons strategically placed at each side of the pintu gerbang. Nothing like having canons pointing at you as you drive into a certain State to make you feel welcome. Like those canons perched outside the majestic colonial government building on top of a hill in Johor Bahru, pointing towards the teeny weeny island of Singapore, reassuring them that we are friendly neighbours. We should test fire these canons to see if they are still working. Then we can also gauge how many times we need to fire to sink Singapore.

Ok, ok, I digress from our jungle bunny Auntie Roopah. Auntie Roopah has a particular fondness for pintu gerbangs. When they were dating, Uncle Veloo and her used to meet at their nearest pintu gerbang. If anyone were to pen their love story (yuks!), it would surely be called "Cinta Pintu Gerbang". Cinta means love. Pintu Gerbang I have already explained at great length. See picture above.

Auntie Roopah is at the temple this morning. Once a week she goes there in the early hours of the morning to sweep the floor. You may think this is a very odd activity for someone who is trying to erase her background. But Auntie Roopah believes that by performing this service, the Gods will smile kindly upon her as they have already done through these years, raising her status in society from a miserable washer woman to a grasping rich wife. Little does she know that the Gods are planning to have her reborn as a fat hairy pig or wild boar in her next incarnation befitting her behaviour in this life.

Why do people not realise that God doesn't give a fuck whether the temple floor is clean or not??? For as long as your heart is unclean and you treat your fellow beings shoddily, you will surely incur God's contempt no matter how many floors you clean even if you choose to lick the floor clean out of your devotion. But still she continues to labour on, sweeping the floor each week, like the long suffering wife who diligently mops the kitchen floor everyday so that her husband will think himself lucky to have such an excellent homemaker - when in truth, he would rather she spend those early hours in the morning sitting on his face instead of seeing his face reflected off the spotless kitchen floor.

Unbeknownst to Uncle Veloo, Auntie Roopah also goes to church on Sundays. I can't rightly say that she is pretending to be a Christian. Auntie Roopah's concept of religion is a little different from ours. She doesn't see anything wrong in having several religions - what's wrong with adding one more God in your prayers? she thinks to herself. She quite enjoys herself at church. Here she is allowed to belt out hymns off key at the top of her lungs and nobody dares complain. She would have liked to go to the mosque too and be a Muslim except that she finds it difficult to pray to a God when she has no idea what he looks like. There isn't even a picture of their prophet let alone a statue of their God! The idea of praying to an unseen God is something she cannot quite grasp. On top of that these Muslims are a fussy lot - they don't like you stepping in & out of their religion like a yoyo. You could end up in jail. And these religious officers will be coming to your house checking if your husband and family are Muslims. No, no... she would rather not go there. There might be a tussle over her dead body when she dies like that mountain climber wots-his-name.

What compelled her to go to church initially was seeing the photo of the Pope's private secretary, Monsignor Georg Gaenswein. Oh what a dish! she thought to herself, salivating at the thought of confessing her sins to him. Swoon! She was the first person trying to get into the local Catholic Church that Sunday. She sat at the front row, only to be disappointed that the priest is another Indian like herself, whose face is as black as the kuali (frying pan) she uses to fry onions. Where are the Italian priests??? Such misrepresentation!

Nevertheless she persevered with going to church. She thinks the people there are refined and she can hobnob with the upper echelons of society. We should not condemn Auntie Roopah for what many people are guilty of doing in this country no matter what religion they profess. Friday prayers for the Muslims have now become a major networking exercise. People check where the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers and corporate bigwigs are praying before deciding which mosque they should go to. Partners of law firms study where their target clients pray and which restaurant they eat at after prayers. Then lo and behold! These partners are conveniently praying next to their target clients and later, eating at the same restaurant. Come next month, they are all chummy and going to Mecca together to perform their Umrah or Hajj with these clients. Annual trips to Mecca with clients, the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers have become the norm for those who want to get ahead in life. These corporate personalities and politicians will be travelling with their large entourage & posse of hangers on and sycophants. This is their ideal opportunity to get up close and personal with these dignitaries and important people. Not to God. In fact, does anyone even remember God anymore? Our Prime Minister stays up at night to pray hoping that God will reciprocate by running the country for him during the day whilst he sleeps through meetings and functions. Ah, the powers of delegation! The way we behave, you would think that humans created God to serve them instead of the other way round. The minute we hit the prayer mat, out comes our wish list. God please grant me :-

a. ...

b. ....

c. ...etc and the list is endless. "After all, I am doing what you are asking me to do ie praying, so now you must reward me for remembering you for the last 5 minutes of my precious time." Bloody hypocrites - that's what we are when it comes to God. We created God and Satan so that they can take the flak for all the atrocities we inflict on each other. In fact we put the blame on God more than we blame Satan for them!

The Spanish Inquisition - in the name of God.

The Crusades - in the name of God.

A busload of school children in Israel blows up - in the name of God.

President Bush (together with Blair and Howard) invades Iraq and kills thousands of innocent people - in the name of their God - Oil and their religion - democracy.

God doesn't need your prayers - you need them. Stop torturing God with your offkey yowling of what was once a beautiful hymn. Yes you may think that I am the Devil incarnate for saying all this. I am Loocifer. The much maligned devil. Let me show you the faces of true evil walking this earth:-

Oh yes, where was I? Auntie Roopah comes home from the temple, opens the front door and catches her maid, Rajustahoari, on her priceless persian carpet bonking her son Koomar ....

To be continued.


MSM said...

Is it fair to hogs to have Auntie Roopah reincarnated into them? Isn’t it bad enough for them to be already harassed with the likes of Asterix and Obelix?

Also is it my imagination or does Auntie Roopah have fangs? Whatever it is, she is one frightening looking woman. Can’t imagine what Uncle Veloo sees in her but then again, he’s not actually GQ material himself so definitely a pair made from somewhere.

Anyway, looking forward to the sequel.

the Anomaly said...

Actually you made a good point here. That wild boar in the picture looks kinda adorable. Auntie Roopah should be reincarnated as herself repeatedly until she learns how to be a better person. And people should stop hunting wild boars!

Err yes, I think Androo must have been terrified of his mother when he was a kid to come out with a drawing like that. Or maybe she does look like that. Some serious electrolysis should help.

art harun said...

Bloody excellent, as usual. Loves the take on Friday prayer networking and praying-at-night and sleeping-during-daytime. gives a new dimension to the phrase "God helps us!".

Tempias said...

Hmm..I think the pig looks adorable too.Now,the 3 fellas pictures at the end;not so adorable,in fact the last one is the reincarnation of the Planet of the Apes main actor - wots his name?