Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Sequel (KL : Aug - Dec 1993)

Okay. Two intervals. Time to get this sequel to Cerita Chenta over and done with, huh? ;)

About a week after his Swensen's proposal, Ayah and I had to part ways. He had to go back to the UK to start his housemanship at the QE in Gateshead, while I had to continue with my chambering in Kampong Attap. By that time, Ayah had already discussed with his parents as to the next step which we had to take to ikut adat, i.e. merisik.

I can't remember clearly what actually transpired. The only thing I remember was that my (then "future") MIL had called my Mommy to discuss on the most suitable date for Ayah's family to pay a visit and bawak cincin tanda. And I remember my Mommy telling me to be prepared to meet Ayah's parents, uncles and aunties on one of the Saturdays in September (or was it October?!) 1993.

And when that Saturday finally came, I was numbed...I was petrified! It was scary enough meeting the parents at his place, now the whole Kac**r clan of his Pak Long, Mak Long, Pak Ngah, Mak Ngah, and not forgetting his parents, etc., were coming to meet my Abah and Mommy for the first time, and of course to see me for themselves, and Ayah was not be around! It felt like I was put under a microscope that day!

The whole time Ayah's rombongan was downstairs with my Abah and Mommy, I was upstairs in my room. I knew the whole purpose of merisik was for the bakal mertua (and segala pakcik makcik) to see the bakal menantu for themselves, but, I just couldn't bring myself to go down to see them. Macam nak pitam!! Finally, my Aunty Wah came up and knocked on my door and asked me to go down with her.

God...When I was walking down the stairs, I could feel all eyes were looking at me. Finally, I got to meet the Kac**r clan whom Ayah had talked so much about! I salamed everybody as I was introduced to each one of them, (and I guessed they were curious, too, to know who I was, how I looked like, whether I was worthy of Ayah, etc!) Ayah's Mak Long then beckoned me to come to her, and then asked my Abah and Mommy if she could sarung the cincin merisik on my finger. And just as she was slipping it onto my finger, she said, "Cincin ni tandonyo niat 'tok masok 'minang lopeih ni, den haghap di-boietau pado somoghang yang Haizal dah "booked" Shana ni nak dijaiekan isteghi..." (in her thick Nogoghi dialect!) Alamak...I dah kena "booked", you all...Hahaha!

I remember going straight into the kitchen after that with Aunty Wah to help serve the food and tea for Ayah's uncles and aunties, trying VERY hard not to let the plates clang against each other, or slip from my hands. It was so crucial for me to create a good impression on the Kac**r clan! The two parties then agreed on a date for the engagement that December.

It felt like forever before Ayah's rombongan merisik finally went back that evening! Phew...What a relief! And right on cue, Ayah called after they left to find out how it went. I guessed he was anxious, too, of the outcome of course. Mana la tau, kot-kot my Abah "reject" ke pulak last minute...Hahaha!

And then, the preparation for the December engagement ceremony began. Ayah was lucky to have his sister Ly** who was in Nottingham then to help him get all the hantaran from there (except for the kain and tudung). I think they actually spent 3 weekends to shop for the stuff in London! And I was helping my Mommy to get and prepare everything in KL. It was pretty difficult, in the sense that his Mom insisted that the colour of the material I was getting for Ayah for his hantaran Baju Melayu MUST be the exact same colour as the material she had got as hantaran kain for my Baju Kurung, etc. But, in a way, it was a blessing in disguise as I had to discuss things with her in Ayah's absence, and the pre-engagement period became the time when I got to know my MIL, and for her to get to know me better (without Ayah lurking around...Hehehe!) But, of course I couldn't help but feel VERY sad at times, going about preparing stuff, etc., for the engagement on my own, when I see other couples doing it together. And I was really missing him...

So, it would be an understatement when I say that I was SO happy when Ayah finally came back to Malaysia a week before the engagement ceremony. The most important item for the engagement had yet to be acquired - THE RING. At least Ayah was with me when we chose the ring, and that meant a lot to me.

But, it wasn't as easy as it seemed. I lost count of how many PKs, HJs, WCs, Ss shops we went to within that one week, just to find the ring that both of us agreed on. And his Mom would always be there with us, NOT to dictate which ring we should get, but as our expert haggler. She's a pro when it comes to haggling for jewelries. I never knew that one could actually go down as low as 50-80% discount from the original exhibited price of diamond rings when one haggles!! But, leaving it to the expert, Ayah and I just let Mak do all the talking whenever we found the rings which we liked. And we finally found the perfect ring at PK @ The Mall just a couple of days before the ceremony. The 5 digit numbered price was successfully haggled by Mak to become a 4 digit numbered price at the end of the day. Phew...lega! THAT shows how "terror" my MIL is when it comes to haggling maaa!Hehehe!

And the day for the engagement ceremony finally came. With 7 dulangs from Ayah's side, and 9 from my side, surrounded by families and friends, I officially became Ayah's fiancee when his Mom slipped the ring onto my ring finger on that morning of 19th December 1993...

And 3 days after that, Ayah had to fly back to the UK, leaving me yet again, in KL...


To be continued...


Madam Tai Tai Again said...

Shana, your engagement ring is already a 5-digit RM worth! Wow...terrornya! I'm sure the wedding ring had costed even more...

You lucky girl!

wanshana said...

Madam Tai Tai,

Thank you :)

But, both Ayah and I were just looking at the 4 digit priced ring at first when his Mom asked us to look at the 5 digit ones - she said not to worry about it as she could surely ask and get it for much less for us. And true enough, my MIL managed to get the ring at a 60% discounted price!

Ye lah...masa tu, even though Ayah was earning in GBP Sterling, he had only just started working for 4 months, manalah could afford all those 5 digit priced rings! On top of that he also had to foot the bills for the rest of the hantarans, including the sepersalinan jewelries. And those who know Ayah well would know that he would not let his parents pay for the hantaran, etc. Sampai my MIL sometimes nearly merajuk with him!

And oh ya...for the wedding, we decided to just get a simple gold wedding band :)

FYI I wear ALL three rings (risik, engagement and wedding - in that order on my left ring finger) EVERYDAY without fail since the day we got married. So much so, even though I've put on a lot of weight over the years, the rings could stll slip in easily until today. Hahaha!

Madam Tai Tai Again said...

You know when my MIL bought my wedding ring...and she sengaja took a size bigger. She told MrS, "Tak pe..she will grow into it later." I'm like - what?!

Thankfully my body and I managed to prove her wrong. :) The ring masih terlampau longgar untuk dipakai.I've not worn it for a long while.

On our 15th year anniversary MrS has finally substituted it with a beautiful Tiffany platinum diamond ring which we chose together. Tapi tu pun I seldom wear..not because I don't like it or because the size is too big - it's more the case of sayangnya nak pakai every day!

Personally I think a wedding ring would have more a sentimental value if it is chosen by the couple themselves, and not by a third party. I guess my 'real' ring only came after 15 years of marriage.

david santos said...

Great posting!
I loved this post and this blog.
Happy day

Amy said...


MrsNordin said...

One question: Why is it that everytime orang pihak lelaki datang merisik/bertandang, the calon menantu must always have to serve tea/coffee for the tetamu in a dulang? Why, ahh? I never had to go through that. Dinner was served for me and my parents the first time I met my in laws (sans MIL). But I'm sure you must be very nervous that time!! I would too!

The search for that perfect ring, I was expecting something like your experience actually. But thank God I found it at the very first kedai we went in, and we bought the first ring that caught my eyes. Save all the troubles! But now, the ring dah ketat sikit lah... hee.. hee...

wanshana said...

Madam Tai Tai,

Serious?! I would have gone - "What?!!!" as well, if I were in your shoes. But, bravo to you for proving her wrong! Hehehe!

Anyway, if every now and then you feel like wearing it, what you can do is go to any jewelry shop, and get this piece of gold strip which you can clip and adjust to the ring to make it fit your finger.

But, if I were you, I would just stick to that Tiffany platinum diamond ring (WOWWWW!!!!) which you chose with MrS. I agree with you, it's more meaningful if the ring is chosen by both of you ;)

Don't worry about the ring being 15 years late - it's TIFFANY! And if I may add - PLATINUM DIAMOND ring some more maaaa!!! ;)

wanshana said...

david santos,

Thank you :)

wanshana said...


Thanks! ;)

But, it didn't feel "sweet" at all, when I had to face Ayah's uncles and aunties masa merisik tu...

More like "SWEAT"! Hahaha!

wanshana said...


I guess it's just customs and traditions - which I personally think is still very relevant and unique.

I was served lunch when I first met my in-laws, but on that merisik day, it was the FIRST time my parents met Haizal's parents and uncles and aunties. So, the whole risik/engagement/wedding for us was still very much a VERY traditional Malay do.

And despite all said and done, I wouldn't change a thing, and in fact, I would insist on doing the same for my kids nanti :)

Lucky you - not having to have to turun naik all the jewelry shops in search of the perfect ring!! Penat!
I bet, the ring tu pun, kira "love at first sight" jugak for both of you, kan?

And about the ring being slightly ketat now - don't worry about it. If you wear it everyday, your finger size and bone structure will somehow follow the ring size eventually. OR you can use the ring as a pendant for your necklace - it'll be positioned very near your heart :)


Madam Tai Tai Again said...

Shana, it's me again. The wedding ring my MIL bought actually came with the gold strip adjuster!!!So sad kan...

Btw, thanks for displaying the link to my humble blog. :) Tersipu-sipu I tengok link tu..

Anonymous said...

Ala... Now I have to wait for Raya or Q1's bday party to intai those three rings...! he he. Nice meeting you Kak Shana.


Kerp (Ph.D) said...

i knew it. since you guys got engage in december 93, i'm sure its only a matter of months before the big day arrived. i was spot-on when i predicted you guys tied the know in 94, didnt i? hehehe...

lepas ni wedding episode, kan? hehehehhehe...

wanshana said...

Madam Tai Tai,

The adjuster came as part of your wedding ring? Serious?! Hmmm...she probably had a good reason (only known to her?!) why she did that... But, never mind - cerita lama, right? ;)

Oooops! Sorry...I seem to remember requesting your permission to link your blog to mine. I normally would do that, but maybe, in your case I terlupa kot? So sorry.

So, let's start again - hope you don't mind if I create a link to your blog from mine, Madam Tai Tai? ;)


wanshana said...

Hi Amy,

It was nice meeting you, too! :)

I know it wasn't the first time we met as you and your family have always been one of the regulars coming to the two Qs' bday bashes and also Raya dos at my MIL's. But, Saturday was the first time we really "spoke" to each other, kan?

Itupun not really having a conversation. You know la how it is when Ly** throws a party for her Qs - macam kerja kawin!! Hehehe!

I told Haizal that you read my blog, and he cringed - segan that his sister's friend knows about our Cerita Chenta, coz' even Ly** doesn't know the whole story (unless she also reads this!), and Ly** has always had a very high regard of this brother of hers, and I don't think she could imagine him as he was during our courting time dulu. Hilang Ke"macho"an her Angah! HAHAHA!

Hope y'all had a great time at Q2's bday do last Saturday, and insya Allah, we'll get to see each other again :)

Cheers, and take care.

wanshana said...


Getting there...getting there ;)

Yup - just around the corner! Hehehe!

Tunggu dan lihat, okay?


wanshana said...

And Amy,

You can intai the rings anytime we see each other - not necessarily at the Qs' bday and/or raya dos at my MIL's ;)

Dalam Dakapan Ibu said...

Shana... terjalin sudah ikatan.. cewaah... Yes, if you keep on wearing the 3rings on the same finger, you'll have no trouble at all eventho you gain weight later in life. Macam I la... I can still wear my engangement ring on the same finger walaupun 17 years later I dah 20 kgs heavier.. (isshh.. gemuknya aku..)
Anyway, My wedding ring punya cerita - during the fitting session at Habib, after making the payment, we requested the ring to be resized - to a smaller size.. After paying, not before ... St*pid ke apa? Atau excited sangat kot.. I could still wear the ring until I stopped wearing it for year or so. Lepas tu dah tak muat lagi dah... he..he..

IBU said...

5 digits!? Oh...less one than mine. But mine, 6 digits, including two decimal points. Muahahaha....

Can't update mine yet - masa tak menghizinkan. Leaving for HK later today. Nak kirim?


wanshana said...

Dalam Dakapan Ibu,

Weighing 20kg more after 17 years is still okay if you were <45kg to start off with ;)(That's the excuse I will always use anyway ;) Hehehe!)

About resizing your ring AFTER dah bayar tu - memang SAH excited nak kawin lah tu! Hahaha!

And as I mentioned to MrsNordin, if jari dah tak muat, tak jadi hal. Can always use the ring as a pendant - nearer to your heart.

wanshana said...


HAHAHA!! Berapa banyak decimal points mau, aaaarr?!!

I still remember your hantaran jewelry set maaa... So very cantik!! Mine, only the ring has "batu-batu" one.

I say, you're off to HK today?! I thought you were only proposing the idea of the HK shopping trip for the MT this weekend to get some idea of how many takers! So, are the rest joining you this weekend?

Gua definitely cannot join. Gua punya MIL involve in this Dinner do and the whole family is going.

Nak kirim JT handbags 1 dozen, bleh?! Hehehe...

P/S : When's your flight to HK? Kot-kot terserempak dengan Tuan Doktor who's taking the 1200 flight to Bangkok today?

MAMAMIA said...

6 digits ring? Wow!!!! Mine was very low budget engagement do. Masa tu dua2 tak mampu, tapi tak lah sampai kena ambil loan....

I don't put on the ring always. sebab kita kan 24 jam kena buat housework, kalau nak menyental dirty dishes & toilet, tak sesuailah nak pakai emas segala macam. Tapi nasib baiklah, I ni ada gene yg tak boleh gemuk, so masih muat lagi cincin tu....

Since sekarang dah mampu sikit, maybe I shd submit a proposal for an upgrade, macam Mdm Tai Tai...

Kmar said...


I dok bayangkan cerita ´Labu-labi´... bawakan air utk Hj Bakhil... terketar-ketar... langsung jatuh piring air.. ha.ha..!! Anyway, luckily you did it well.

So kiranya, in future bila you nak dapat menantu, kena bagi ´test´ serve the drinks first.

Wow.. your engagement ring cost a fortune!! Boleh bagi ´pingat´ kat your MIL with her bargaining skill.

You are so lucky laaa....

wanshana said...


The price on the engagement ring price tag was RM5-digit, but, Ayah only had to pay RM4-digit for it after the 60% discount...

Kalau RM6-digit, I tak pakai hari-hari... I simpan kat bank or dalam peti besi kat rumah and hire one personal Gurkha guard to jaga 24/7! Hahaha!

Yang 6-digit tu, Ibu's engagement ring (which included the 2 decimal points she said....Hehehe!)

Hmmmmm...maybe it's high time for you and Papapia to pay another visit to the Jewelry shop for an upgrade? ;) Submit proposal tu cepat-cepat, Mamamia!!!

wanshana said...



I rasa it's the other way round - I yang kena train anak-anak dara I yang dua orang tu on how to serve drinks, etc. Kalau you were to ask them to do it now, memang sah dapat kosong markah!

My MIL memang terror bab haggling ni. Tak kiralah di mana jua. Kat kedai-kedai Bond Street London pun she would try her luck and show her haggling skill!

Myself - I'm very much like my Mommy. Kalau the seller quotes RMxxx, then that's the price we'll pay! Kat pasar malam pun we all tak reti, or rather - tak sampai hati nak bargain!

Theta said...

Great engagement story, Wanshana.

I agree with the other readers, you're lucky to have such an expert haggler for a MIL. :D

A tradionialist, my mother would have wanted the three steps - risik, tunang and kawin - but we thought it wouldn't make economical sense for my in-laws to fly all the way from Kuching for merisik. So I got the risik and tunang rings at the same time during the engagement.

Pssssttt....any wedding pixs to post next time around? ;)

wanshana said...

Thanks, Theta :)

You should also see my MIL in action when she haggles for materials/fabric from G**atis, B*n*anis, and Eu** *oda!! And of course - getting the groceries from the wet market! Hehehe!

Yes, it makes perfect sense to have your merisik and bertunang ceremony sekaligus, given the fact that your in-laws hail all the way from Kuching.

Actually, it's quite common (even if both sides stay not to far from each other pun) to have merisik, bertunang AND nikah at the same time! 3-in-1 :) Senang - sekali harung.

Wedding pics? Insya Allah ;)