web counter The Madness of MokcikNab: Syd Barrett Didn't Die for Nothing
The Madness of MokcikNab
Motives, movements and melodrama in the life of a thirty something mum.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005
Syd Barrett Didn't Die for Nothing

At the bottom of all emails I send to people, is a piece of Pink Floyd, reasoning set to rhyme by Roger Waters. "And did you exchange", was the question, "a walk-on part in the war, for a lead role in a cage?"

The line is there mostly to remind me why I left the cold comfort of my old job, and why I chose to be hungry but free. In two years, I learnt more than I ever did in two careers, and I learnt the true meaning of potential, because potential is a secret no employer wants you to grasp.

If you ask me, oh yes, Elida bahagia sendiri, just like it says in the papers.

On closer inspection, though, you'd be able to see the cracks in my seemingly blissful facade. Freedom is all well and good, it's the hunger that's killing me and my children. After years in the wilderness, the family has made the heart-rending decision of sending Father out to Work.

We have come to a point where access to a monthly income is necessary. We don't have the luxury of choice, the luxury of freedom. I am tired of counting pennies when we shop for groceries, and I'm saying that in the literal sense. Month after month, we do our best to make ends meet, yet we're still left with our butts hanging out. The kids have been so understanding it brings me to tears; they've never asked for anything, knew not to expect presents, have even offered up their own savings. For Saiffuddin's birthday last month, I couldn't afford anything, so my children enlisted the help of our maid, baked a cake in lieu of a gift. They don't deserve to be shortchanged any longer.

But at the same time, I feel really bad, and really guilty for making Saiffuddin get regular employment. Regular employment is the bane of independence, and Saifuddin is nothing if not a sovereign beast. I can't see myself behind a desk again, and yet I expect him to do it. The poor man has been psyching himself up all week, getting used to the idea of going nine-to-five again. He's also apprehensive about the possibility of having to cut his hair.

Saiffuddin has decided to return to the company he used to work for, a recently listed entity currently flavour of the month in business papers. The managers are ecstatic. "Just come back", they tell him, "even if there's no post, we'll create one for you". I think the thought of being appreciated, for once, will ease the transition.

There are other thoughts that are troubling me, though. Projects are mostly out of the country, in places like Sudan and Oman and Burma. He'd be away for six months to a year. We've never been apart for more than two weeks. Sure, there were times when I wish he'd get out my hair, leave me alone, but this is one instance when there'll be too much independence for my liking.


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