Wednesday, 23 April 2014

What The Tea Leaves Say

(This little story was a comment in an SBM  post on FB featuring the picture above. Someone said it represented a woman and her child. The rest, as they say, is history (and this reply))

You are right. She is breastfeeding on the MRT making everybody uneasy. Rush hour some more. There's a halo light on her as everybody gives her space. The back people kenna squashed against the door, not knowing why. A man is making sucking motion with his thumb trying to communicate to the people whose faces are pressed against the door. A woman looks terrified. 'Why is that man making that obscene gesture?!!!' Is he asking me to suc..... She shuts her eyes and covers her mouth with her handbag. But the train is moving at a snail's pace and she feels a cramp coming. The tracks are weak and due for maintenance. Meanwhile, the breastfeeding woman's hubby looks down at his wife, eyes brimming with pride. Ah, she is so brave and wonderful! (Ignoring the angry look of one elderly man who is thinking society's decorum has gone to the dogs. 'In my day, no man would let the public see his wife's neck, let alone her neh-neh,' he fumed, wanting much to smack upside the breast-feed hubby's head. But he then feels he shud reserve his energy for the young chap fast asleep in the Handicap Seat. The nerve of young people these days! Don't they have grandparents? Meanwhile the baby jerks its feet as it enjoys mommy's warm, fresh milk, slightly flavoured by the assam laksa she had behind Aljunied's MRT station. The baby would grow up migrating to Penang for reasons he couldn't explain, fortunately bringing his parents along as the cost of living in Singapore had become untenable... so much so that mothers couldn't even afford formula milk anymore. The MRT then created a special Breastfeeding Coach on most of its lines as more mothers returned to Basics. Also, that old man had written to the Forum Page about the issue before he passed away, standing one last time in front of a young person on the MRT. His name was Harvey, but in honour of him, folks nicknamed the special coach 'Gravy Train'. Small comfort but loads of irony for folks not riding Porsches or are into investment banking.

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