Old love

I saw them a few times when I was at the Latin American Film Fest last week. An old couple, seated in the front row. When the show was over, I’d see them shuffle down the stairs. They would always be holding hands. I never saw their faces. Just their backs. 

They were not teenagers with excessive PDA (public display of affection). Just a quiet old couple spending time together. No grandkids to buffer them. I don’t think I ever saw them talk, but he would always hold her hand. 

Sometimes when I look at married couples, I wonder if they still love each other. If they enjoy being together. On their own. Not with the white noise of children and the drone of daily life. Do they still cherish each other’s company as much as when they were courting? Do they love one another out of passion and the goodness of their hearts, not out of obligation and ‘for the sake of the kids’? 

Remembering that old couple, I’m comforted by the sense that true love prevails. But what if one passes before the other? 

This is a love story that is inspiring and tragic. It took place when I was in my early 20s and it started with a death. 

Her name was Haseena. Her husband was Former Supreme Court judge Tan Sri Eusoffe Abdoolcader. He was her second marriage. I tried to find out more about them online but there is scant info on the two. I just remember reading the full page ‘ad’ he would run in the Star on the anniversary of her death. There would be poems in Latin professing his love for her, complete with English translations. I wish I had kept them. 

What is inspiring about them is the difference between the two. He was a learned man who spoke queen’s English and knew Latin. She was a simple woman who understood neither, so he would speak to her in Malay or Chinese. I read somewhere that they would just sit in front of the TV, enjoying each other’s company, holding hands. 

When she died, she left a big hole in his heart.  Three years later he filled it with a bullet from his gun. 

Here, I would like to share one of his poems, courtesy of another blogger

My love, Light of my Life!
I think of thee in silence
And often speak thine name
All I have are memories
And photos in a frame
To thy resting-place I wander
To place roses with love and care
But no one can know the heartache
As I turn and leave thee there
No monument can stand more stalwart
Than the everlasting love we share
Let’s then rejoice and ever bear in mind
That such a bond surely makes us but one of a kind


And here is one more from another blog.

My dearest darling, half of soul, light of my life and jewel of all wives
I think of thee, of thee and yet of thee, like thee there never yet can ever be
Thine two intoxicating eyes I miss, and thy cheeks and lips I used to kiss
If Helen of Troy were clad in the beauty of thousand stars, then thou gentle as evening air art in mine eyes, as shine the moon among the lesser fires
Of all the queens that ever lived, I chose thee to rule me, mine very own Haseena, my one and only, to the very marrow thou will see I love ye
O’ how in the world am I to live without thee?

To all who loved and lost, rest in peace.

UPDATE 17 November 2013

I recently came across an article by Wong Chun Wai in StarMetro that sheds more light on Eusoffe Abdoolcader. Read it here.


2 responses to this post.

  1. I was about 21 ; from one job to another in the hospitality industry in Ipoh. In 1979, one night, when I was on duty at a rather swanky pub and grill, I was directed by the Manager to wait on the guests at the wall to wall carpet zone. He looked tense and ditto the Captain wore a solemn expression. He instructed me to adorn the white gloves and right there I knew the guest list was going to be VVIP. The Sultan was swirling his Hennessy XO double peg in a goblet which I had to fix with ice and Coca Cola! Cuddled beside him was one of his chosen ones who seemed to be hungry all the time as she requested the menu a few times. She seemed to be confused about the names of the dishes. Who wouldn’t? Lobster Thermidor? Everyone was there. the CPO etc Then there was Justice Eusoffe Abdoolcader, who was nursing an orange juice while spirits were flowing. He sat regal and dignified. His mind was elsewhere. He was waiting out for the evening to pass. When it was time to part, he seemed to be almost relieved. He never returned to the watering hole. 9 yrs later he and his brethren were bestowed infamy, a bitter prescription, albeit from a less illustrious lineage. Following 5 yrs, his Ah Soh, Haseena passes away. In his apartment, 3 yrs following his beloved’s demise, the 2 Filipina maids hear the gunshot that blew his brains out. I think that he would have been able to take the sorrow of a demised loved one, but when both passions are removed by Nature’s creed and a politician’s greed, I am moved to empathize with this deed.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: