Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Tuesdays With Bapak

Rocking Chair - July 17 2007

The place : Our house at 2 Jalan Lembah (5/2), Petaling Jaya, sometime in 1964.
Ompong (my maternal grandfather) and I were "lepaking" at the terrace that was facing the huge garden.
Ompong was reading a book. I was just lounging, enjoying the scenery.
It was a warm afternoon. There were butterflies in the garden.
We could see that the rambutans (on the tree at the edge of the garden) had turned really red.
Yammy (my "pet" hen) was leading her brood across the yard.
Then, I looked up at my Ompong.

Me: Ompong, nanti bila Ena dah besar, Ena jaga Ompong, ok?

Ompong: Ok. (smiling)

Me : Ena belikan Ompong rocking chair, ok?

Ompong: Ok.

Then, a gentle voice shot out from the dining room which was separated from the terrace by a row of louvered glass windows.

Bapak: Bapak nya? Ena belikan Bapak rocking chair?

I remember looking up to see Bapak peering through the window. I remember he was smiling. But, really, on reflection, it was his trademark cheeky grin, which he still wears to this day when he knows he has ribbed you or got you "there".

A little surprised, and somewhat embarrassed, I nervously smiled. Whoops, have I hurt Bapak, my little mind was asking.
Unhesitantly, I replied : Beli. Untuk Bapak pun....

Bapak looking somewhat satisfied with my quick response then walked away, still wearing that grin, and disappeared into the kitchen.

I was exceptionally close to Ompong whom I loved so dearly. Undoubtedly I was his very favourite grandaughter.
I'd go with him everywhere, sometimes, back to Singapore (by train or by taxi) for a short holiday.
Sumatra-born Ompong (Hassan Idris Lubis) collapsed while performing ablution for Subuh prayers and died at his Jalan Sudin home in Singapore sometime in 1975. He was 80.
I never got to buy him a rocking chair.

I still have not got Bapak a rocking chair.
I don't think he needs one.
But I will ask him, nonetheless, the next time I see him.


muststopthis said...

Hi Kak,
When I started out to work, and knowing that my mum was ever so keen to have her own vegetable patch, and flowers, orchids and all, I told her that I would save enough to move her to Cameron Highlands.

Till this day, she reminds me of my intentions which were good enough for her. After all that I have been through, my mum says she is proud of me for my 'giving' qualities.

Your dad must have been so proud to hear you say those words to your ompong.
I had tears in my eyes when my eldest said she would sell her drawings to earn money so that we can keep our house......
I guess fathers and daughters have that something extra. .

Mat Salo said...

Kak Ena,

Don't ask. Just go ahead and buy him one...

Now it's your turn to rib him with your mischievous grin!


Tony (mustopthis): tony, it is really the thought. and you were sincere. it came from your heart.

when we were kids, how we wanted to give our parents so much.

andyour daughter could, she would really do that -- sell her drawings.
that is touching.

Mat Salo: oh dear...perhaps i should.. nanti i'd end up rocking myself to sleep in his chair..


tony: sorry, there is a missing word in my response to your comment.
the word is "if".

it should read: "and IF you daughter could...."

Pi Bani said...

I agree with Mat Salo, no need to ask him, just go ahead and buy him one. Sambil-sambil tu boleh jugak kot you nak tumpang sekaki, or berkaki-kaki...

*am imagining you on a rocking chair with a laptop on your lap* :)

the Razzler said...

Kak Ena ...

I think you should get a pair of identical rocking chair ... one for your Dad ... & one for you!!

It would be a nice vision of your Dad & you sitting side by side .. rocking those chairs, sipping on drinks .. :) :)

Editor said...

Nuraina, good nice short story.

I think you should still get Bapak that rocking chair. I am sure he'll appreciate it. If he does not want, then you can use it.

Nice way to rock your way to sleep!

Anonymous said...

I was not close to my dad. When he died, I was 9 and he was 72. I can't remember any interesting conversations we had together. He spoke only Javanese which I understand but never knew how replied back in Javanese. The only memories I had with him was when he sent me to school when I started Standard 1. He told me, "Kalau kamu cuma mahu main-main, tak usah sekolah saja!" That really changed me.

wanshana said...

Dear K.Ena,

I'm with Mat Salo - just go ahead and surprise him!

I'm sure he would be really touched - after all these years, you still remember your promise to him...That's priceless!

Take care, K.Ena.

prufrock said...

Have you hurt Bapak? Don't think so. Intent is what it's all about. At least that was what was drummed into this idiot's thick skull during his sekolah ugama days. It's all in the niat, one that is sincerely thought through and thought out. Which is not to say that an involuntary response uttered on the spur of the moment is not sincere! As your good friend AI (no, it's not artificial intelligence, more like artificial itellectual) would have it -- nawaitu nak kena betoi.

Faten Rafie said...

kak ena, just get him one, don't ask.

make sure it's a real rocking chair, none of those 'massage chair' thingie! just because it doesn't cost few thousands, doesn't mean you love him any less.

really hated when they try to promote this 'chair' as the best and most appropriate gift if you really love your parents! cheap shot.

Rockybru said...

I can't remember promising to buy anything for mom or dad.

But my son promised he'd buy me a football field when he grows up. He was 7 or 8 then (he's 12 now).

I can't wait for him to grow up.

p.s. Buy 2 rocking chairs, Ena - one for your Bapak and the other for the memory of your Ompong. Ask Shar101, he's in the furniture business.

mob1900 said...

Rocking chair, vegetable patch, football field... me thinks the ante should have been up by now!

Who wants to buy me The Democratic Republic of Congo?

I will reward you with endless supply of bananas!

Anonymous said...

Ena: Undoubtedly I was his very favourite grandaughter.


Elah! Betul ke? He he he.

Ok-lah joke aside. Ompong loved all his grandchildren but Ena was definitely his favourite.

I suspect Ena reminded him of arwah Mak when she was a child. And Mak was his favourite among his four daughters.

Mak looked "mixed". (Ini bukan perasan. Ompong’s maternal grandmother was Dutch, She was a De Witt). Ena was a very pretty little girl - very cute with soft brown hair, pert nose and pouting lips. We call it the Bardot pout.

So what happened to you now, Ena?

Lol! Just kidding.

mutalib saifuddin said...

I have always heard that people who died on Subuh would be placed among the good ones.

Don't you think that your Bapak would say 'yes' this time? (Coz' believe that he would love it)..


pi bani: hmmm...on rocking chair with laptop on my lap..
won't be able to blog... tidur terus.

razzler: good one...Bapak and I side by side on our rocking chair...

rajahram: i should, shouldn't i?

basree: the age difference between you and your father i very wide...

wanshana: strange how i could never forget that incident..

prufrock: nawaitu... yeah, my nawaitu,.

athene: i'll make sure that it will a real genuine one.

mob: now what would you need that for?


pi bani: hmmm...on rocking chair with laptop on my lap..
won't be able to blog... tidur terus.

razzler: good one...Bapak and I side by side on our rocking chair...

rajahram: i should, shouldn't i?

basree: the age difference between you and your father i very wide...

wanshana: strange how i could never forget that incident..

prufrock: nawaitu... yeah, my nawaitu,.

athene: i'll make sure that it will a real genuine one.

mob: now what would you need that for?


mutalib: i believe so... or during any prayer.
i guess Bapak will probably say yes.

kak ton: hahaa... it's hard to believe, i know.
but when i remember kak piah and look at kak olin, abang med as a child (i've seen photos of him) and goodness, Irwan, Haris and Sofia...


rocky : lucky you... so far my kids havent promised me anything..
the only thing is that they want me to stay with them when i'm old and grey.

i told them to tell me that when they're older and married. i'll bet that would be a different story.

hmmm...do they still sell rocking chairs these days?

Keanorlinsya said...

My memory of wanting to buy anything for my parents will be when i was a toddler. Somehow i remember this.

If i found 20cents, i will hold on to it. Show it to my mum, (with the transparent plastic pacifier in my mouth) announced... "Udit...nak beli bina, pihahat, tuting"*

Hadoih. Such big imaginations.

*Udit means duit,
Bina means ribena,
Pihahat means Pizza Hut,
Tuting means puting.

Anonymous said...


I agree with Rocky. Get two rockers, one for Bapak and one for the memory of your Ompong. His pouty-lipped klein-dochter (as the Dutch would say) can do the honour in his memory. If she falls asleep while on it, that would be exactly what Ompong would have done, methinks.

hmmm...do they still sell rocking chairs these days?

Dekat sini, berlambak. Maklumlah land of rockers. Tapi kalau takde jual kat Malaysia, tempahlah Ena. I think IKEA has them too, tapi the ones I saw tak solid sangat. Balsa, no matter how treated, are just not the wood for these thrones.

You can get either indoor or outdoor (lawn or porch/patio) ones. But above all, they should be wooden. Not the newfangled upholstered contraptions. Those are abominations.

For people with bad backs (or preggers) a straight-back Kennedy is the best. The leading brands this side of the globe are Amish, Dutailier, Mission Oak, Brooks, Ultramotion and LL Bean. I'm sure some of them have websites you can check for samples.

Why am I blabbering on and on about this, because I'm a rocker-fan myself. I use mine for doing everything from watching TV to doing X-words to catching naps.

Everyone should have one. Just for that awesome pampered feeling alone, kid you not, they are so worth whatever you paid for it.

You don't have to wait till you're a golden-ager to have one. Go ahead Ena and peeps, spoil yourself.

You too, Kak Ton. The dash things are so comfortable, they'll bring the pouts back. Or bring one into existence if you aren't lucky enough to have one naturally. ;D

[Darn! if sales of rockers suddenly skyrocket in Malaysia, I should be given a cut of the profit.]

P.S. Love this entry. After all the nail-biting about the nabbing of Nat, found this very soothing.

Anonymous said...

Pn Nuraina,

u addressed ur late gramps ompong. thats new to me. i assume ompong is singaporean for atok or tokwan or something like that.

Anonymous said...

salam kak ena,
hmm...buy him one lah kak ena. nowadays punya rocking chair very canggih. they have one like 'buai' like that. the chair punya kaki tak bulat macam dulu, sampai takut siapa datang dekat tersepit kakinya. nowadays punya kaki, macam kerusi biasa. i hope they still callit rocking chair. asalkan it rocks! :D


kea: soo cute..

kerp: Ompong is grandfather in Mendahiling.

Accia: Yay....definitely will do it


mekyam: wow....
you are an expert on rocking chairs.
like reading a catalogue on rocking chairs.

really.... if i had scepticisms about getting one for myself, i certainly don't now.

thank u.

Anonymous said...

pi bani said:
*am imagining you on a rocking chair with a laptop on your lap* :)

I can just see myself doing that when I am 64 :-). None of that "knit sweater by the fireside" nonsense for this future sexagenarian, not even if the sweater-donners of the world beat a path to my door.

Ditto, get two rocking chairs Nuraina, one for your Bapak and one for yourself in proxy for your Ompong.

Anonymous said...

kak ena,

kids are kids, they cannot relate. when we're kids we said a lot of things we thot were sensible but when we looked back, they did not make much sense and we'll just say kids, that's what we were at that time. that was a noble thot then, but do you really wanna give Pak Samad a rocking chair now?

rocking chair = kerusi malas

sure thing old folks needs a lot of rest, but being malas, I tell you that's the last thing I wannabe as long as I live.

think again.



sesat: heheh....i can imagine :D

zainul: you know, i said that as a kid to Ompong. But I never forgot that and told him again when i got oler that i'd get him a rocking chair because i wanted him to rest and relax.
in a way, yes a rocking chair is kerusi malas.
but i wouldnt mind having this kerusi malas... can really rock me to sleep....
but thanks for the "advice" and "caution", zainul.
I do appreciate that.

zaitgha said...

only yesterday my 2nd boy told me that he would like me to stay with him even after he gets married ha ha ha.....reason being to him i am the best cook in the whole wide world...btw go get the chair Nuraina ..



i have been to your blog and if i were your kid i sure would want to live with you forever...
i go all drooling whenever i see those pictures in your blog..
you make and bake them?

zaitgha said...

i love to bake and cook and baking is the way i de-stress ha ha ha...to some ppl thats funny....but i just got hook with your "tuesday with Bapak"...thanks for visiting but unlike you i dont write very

zaitgha said...

lol...u see..i meant to say i dont write well...apology



i went to your blog again. and i must disagree. you do write well.
we'd all like to write like hemingway but, well...
and you can do something else too -- bake and cook!
thanks for visiting...

my sister, lalin, loves baking and i shall ask her to visit your blog.
thanks again.

Anonymous said...

kak ena,

yes I have visited her blog. I dont have one, but she can view my cake pictures at www.flickr.com/photos/takethecake