Comedian Sakdiyah Ma’ruf reflects on living with her mother again, and moving in the midst of a pandemic

Comedian Sakdiyah Ma’ruf reflects on living with her mother again, and moving in the midst of a pandemic


Text: Buro. Singapore

Illustration: Absurd Design

These are strange times indeed. Still, to quote Dumbledore, happiness can be found even in the darkest of times — if one only remembers to turn on the light. In search of some light in this pandemic, we got comedians to recount funny, ridiculous, and outlandish situations they've found themselves in because of COVID-19. In this instalment, Sakdiyah Ma'ruf reflects on living with her mother again, and having to coordinate a move in the midst of a pandemic.

"The past month of the pandemic has been difficult for me. It's getting harder to care for a dependant and to keep her safe. She started going out. She says she misses her friends. She says her friends are missing her as well. She says wearing mask is uncomfortable. She says the television gets really boring.

Oh by the way, I'm talking about my mom. Not my daughter. My daughter is great. She is doing fine. She is very well-taught and educated. By Sesame Street, but still. I'm proud of her.

So, my husband and I decided to invite my mom to live with us after the passing of my father. We are grateful to have her with us, but the pandemic changes many things. I mean, I've been hiding my comedy career from my parents and now I have to perform from home? Just last night, I was so nervous doing my set for Local Laughs (Melbourne), partly because of the gig, but mostly because my mom keeps reminding me to pray. Telling me, ‘I told you, comedy distracts you from God!' I almost lost my set when I heard myself doing comedy about my mom forcing me to pray. Well, there you go! The blessing of the pandemic.

Last month, I had to move out of my apartment. I have stayed in my hometown since March and now my family has decided that we are not going to extend the rent of our Jakarta apartment, at least for the next couple of months. We left most of our stuff in the apartment, because at that time we thought that we would only be in my hometown for a couple of weeks.

Technology has allowed me to pack our apartment via a WhatsApp video call with our doorman — who is such a godsend and was willing to do it for us. However, if I knew this was happening, I would have bought new underpants.

I mean, can you imagine how mortifying it is to have your doorman packing your granny panties? I mean, for all we know, he could be under the impression that my marriage is boring and I am bad in bed. I am Muslim, I cannot prove him wrong!! What a sad day."

Beat the stay-home blues with Discover's lineup of comedy shows in June, hosted by Sam See and featuring comedians from around the region. The shows are available to stream via the Circles Life app on the following dates: Singapore Stands Up Again (19 Jun, 8pm), Lady Laughs with Discover (26 Jun, 8pm), ASEAN Comedy Invasion (28 Jun, 8pm).

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