It's just after midnight and I just got back from Nazrul's wedding. Nice ceremony - sweet and simple, not too elaborate, yet very memorable. The power point presentation depicting how the newlyweds met really stole the evening, I must say.
In any case, this wedding ceremony is rather unique to me for a number of reasons.
The first reason has to do with something I remarked at the wedding. Back when I just got back from Glasgow in 1996 up to around 2001, there were a lot of weddings that involved my friends. Sometimes in a year, there would be up to 5 weddings. These days, weddings are getting fewer and far in between. The number of friends who are still single are getting less. And Nazrul's wedding, as I feel it, is perhaps one of the last few weddings involving my friends from my Glasgow days.
I think in the next few years, the weddings that I'll be attending would mostly be those of relatives - cousins, nephews and nieces. Of course, in the next couple of decades, if I live that long, the weddings that I'll be attending would be those of children of my friends.
Anyway, the second reason why this wedding is unique is that it serves as a reunion of sorts for us "Glasgow Mafia." I have not seen many of my friends in ages, and it was indeed wonderful to be able to catch up, albeit briefly, with my long-time friends.
I went to the wedding with Ibzaini (Ib). We were in the University of Glasgow way back then, and he was also my housemate during my bachelor days in KL. While I see him quite often, since he lives near my home, it was nice to be able to chat with him in the car, catching up with old times and the likes.
Haizal was also there. He has changed a lot. I barely recognised him. The last time I saw him was at a wedding in Bangi in 1999, I think.
Nasrul came all the way from Kuantan for Nazrul's wedding. Again, this is another friend whom I have not seen in years. Nasrul was together with Nazrul at Langside Road (where they stayed in Glasgow).
Ariff, another former housemate of mine in KL, is someone whom I've not bumped into in quite a while. It was interesting to hear his stories --- funny as usual.
Azri, my housemate back in Glasgow, is having a bad cough, apparently something he caught when he was in Sudan about a month back. Last time I spoke to him, he was in a cab from KLIA after arriving from Sudan. I remembered he was coughing badly back then, and he is still coughing badly tonight.
Izwan hasn't changed much since last I met him. The only thing that changes for him is his job. Since coming back from Glasgow, this is his third outfit.
Alfonso also didn't change much. Unfortunately I didn't get to talk much to him tonight, as he seems to be busy taking photos. It was good to see him again after all these years though.
Zuhairie Suffian (Wak) came with his wife and 2 children. Wak was also my housemate during my bachelor days in KL and prior to that was Nazrul's housemate in Glasgow. While we don't see each other that often these days, we're in touch quite regularly. The last time we met was in Putrajaya a few months ago at another friend's wedding.
A sight for sore eyes is Fudin. Fudin was the groom's housemate in Glasgow in 1993. I find it touching that he came all the way from Miri to be at his friend's wedding. To me, this is a sign of true friendship.
Another friend I was eager to see is Azhan. He was my best man when I tied the knot in 2000. I had wanted to meet up with him several times before, but our respective schedules made it almost impossible to meet up.
While Nazrul's wedding is a reunion, it also serves in its own unique way as a farewell to Azhan. He will be leaving for Switzerland towards the end of the month to take up a new position offered to him by his company. For Azhan, I suppose the wedding was a perfect occasion to bid farewell to his friends, in particular Nasrul, Fudin and Nazrul. These four were actually in the same group when they flew to Glasgow.
For me personally, I am happy to be able to catch up with old friends. While I do notice that the topics of conversation have changed from guitars and hi-fis to changing diapers and career plans, one thing still remains the same. The warmth, laughter and sincerity of friendship is still strong.
No matter how long people stay apart, true friends will always come together.
To Nazrul and his wife, I pray that this union will be blessed by Allah S.W.T.
To Azhan and his family, I wish them all the best in their new life overseas.
To everyone else, it was good to be in the company of friends again.
May Allah S.W.T. shower all of us with good health, good fortunes and strength, and may our paths cross again soon, insya-Allah.