Going Through 'Mariah' by Husna Azhari

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The story must be in early 1980’s backwards because women in Kelantan after that did not wear ‘kain lepas’ anymore, excluded the oldfolks. The setting was in a small village on a main road Pasir Puteh-Kota Bharu. The plot evolves between few main characters. There are few supporting characters too. The ending of ‘Mariah’ was least expected, until reaching half of the story. This due to the gap between the characters involved. Such as ; the Imam as a holy man , who usually would not involved in women and should be strong at heart. Even if he wanted to get married after all, he should be looking for a woman who has more admirable behavior and pious. Mariah was represented as a seductive widow, or at least being an attraction to the men in this small village town, Molo. Mariah's character was less suitable to be preferred as the wife for a pious Imam. She herself was less pious, looks like did not mind socializing with men and an Imam should be the last option for her to marry. The Imam’s wife, Cik Yam was a model wife, and any husband should be grateful of having a woman like her as a wife. The Imam must be very desperate if he willing to take risks to ask for permission to marry again. Cikgu Leh’s character was initially more suited to captivate Mariah. Cikgu Leh looks like eating out at Mariah’s, plus rejection factor of his wife, the gossiper Cikgu Nab who was lazy and not know how to cook. Cikgu Leh seems to prefer socializing than the Imam. However, by entering the middle part of the story, early impressions of the characters started to change, especially the Imam. Although at first he looked perfect, but after being dragged into Mariah’s place by Cikgu Leh, he has begun to change. Imam begun to dream about her as she reminded him of his old love. The line “The thing that did surprise him was Mariah herself. At the thought of Mariah the Imam smiled dreamily to himself. What a woman she is! The Imam became transported to another time, his youth…”started...
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