Remembering Ramadhan and Syawal of 1976 -- Aug 14 2007
Ramadhan is a huge affair at home with Bapak. Just like in most Muslim households.
It's a whole month of fasting and having meals together as a family when dusk falls and just before the break of dawn.
What I remember most about Ramadhan was "sahur" or the pre-dawn meals. I know some people prefer to skip "sahur' because their sleep is more precious.
But, to this day, I never skip "sahur", if I can help it which means if I don't, for some strange unexplained reason, oversleep.
I know some people cannot have a full meal that early in the morning. A biscuit, a slice of bread of something light would suffice.
Some people would just have a cup of tea, and would go back to bed.
Me? Like the rest of my siblings - though I know one or two of them later in life prefer to have midnight meals and then sleep through sahur until dawn -- I love having a real good meal, plus dessert and a cup of coffee thrown in. And oh yes, a bite of chocolate. Then, the last two things I down are a "kurma" and a glass of water.
Some of my friends think I'm nuts. They'd rather get it all over with and go back to bed.
Bapak has a , er, peculiar way, of waking us up for school in the morning when we were young.
He'd sprinkle water on our faces.
So we learnt to wake up before he did that.
Most times, the person who got sprinkled with water would get up and wake us all up.
The problem was it was usually not as effective as water on our faces so Bapak would be going from one child to another, a "gayung" in one hand, sprinkling each child's face with water.
I remember almost everytime he did that, I'd feel as though I was in the rain. Dreaming that I was in the rain.
Everybody would almost instantaneously wake up when Bapak sprinkled water on their faces.
I'd take a little bit more time and after about 10 seconds of sprinkled water on my face, I'd open my eyes, awakened from wet-in-the-rain dream, and whose face would I see, mischievously grinning at me? Yep, you've guessed it.
And that was how Bapak would wake us up for sahur.
In those early years, the only place we could get Ramadhan fare -- kuih muih and other dishes -- was in Kampung Baru.
Bapak would gather us all at about 4pm (sometime earlier depending on the buka puasa time) and drive to Kampung Baru.
It used to not be crowded but later, perhaps in the 70s, it got to be so congested that we'd be spending more time looking for a place to park our car than for those Ramadhan goodies.
Still, we enjoyed the whole experience of going to and from Kampung Baru. It was always worth the drive.
When I went to college, I missed breaking fast and sahur with my family.
At college, the dining hall did not open for sahur but served midnight meals.
So we'd pack the food and eat it later.
There were times, in the beginning at college, I'd sleep through sahur.
That was when I'd strangely be missing the water-sprinkling-on-the-face ritual.
In those days, during weekends, our house would be full of our cousins who were studying at UiTM as well as our out-of-town college friends. And during Ramadhan on weekends, it was really great.
The first Ramadhan without Bapak was poignant.
We were thinking about what Bapak would be having for buka puasa and sahur.
Who would he be having meals with?
Bapak was not in the detention camp in Kamunting. He was in solitary detention in an undisclosed location somewhere in the Klang Valley.
In a way, it helped that I was in campus and not having to feel the void that Bapak's absence had left.
During weekends, everyone tried to keep Mak and the kids company.
Abang Med would make a point of ensuring that there were the "kuih muih" that Bapak used to buy.
Kak Ton and Kak Piah too would bring some "kuih" or other dishes for "buka puasa".
Still, it was not the same without Bapak that first Ramadhan in 1976.
I love Hari Raya when I was a kid.
In those days, we could play fire crackers. In those days, I got "duit raya".
I love the shopping for clothes and shoes.
Until about 10 years old, we got our dresses at May May which was located along Batu Road (now Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman.)
After that, the dresses seemed too kid-ish for us. But there were no decent stores selling clothes for 10 year-olds like me, pre-teens like Kak Eda or young teenagers like Kak Olin.
The only practical option was for our dressses to be sewn.
So we had to buy materials to be made into dresses. Kak Piah and Kak Ton were given the job of sewing our Raya clothes.
When we moved to Section 16 and Kak Piah had already left for Canberra, Australia to join her new husband and Kak Ton entered Universiti Malaya, we had to find a tailor.
We did. -- in nearby Section 17.
She was a very patient lady.
Our first Hari Raya without Bapak was in 1976.
Were we able to see Bapak, we wondered?
Since his detention, arrangements were made for us to visit him. But it had not yet been regularised, although our visits always fell on a Tuesday.
During Ramadhan, we got to see him twice. So we were not sure if we would be able to visit him on Hari Raya.
Would there be humanity and compassion in the powers-that-be to allow us to see Bapak on the first of Syawal?
The only way to find out was to write an appeal letter to the Prime Minister (Hussein Onn).
We did and we CCed to the Deputy Prime Minister (Dr Mahathir Mohamad) and the Home Affairs Minister (Ghazali Shafie).
I think Mak sent the letter about three weeks before Syawal.
We waited for a response.
Two weeks passed and there was none.
But we never stopped praying and hoping for it.
Would we have to be resigned to the fact that we would not be seeing Bapak for Hari Raya?
Prayers helped to re-inforce our hope.
Nevertheless, the show must go on. Ramadhan would still be ramadhan as we remembered it to be. And Syawal would too, for the sake of the little ones, especially Lalin and Nina.
But truth be told, it was the older ones who felt the emptiness.
It was the eve of Syawal.
Kak Ton was at Mak's in Section16, helping with preparations for Hari Raya.
The eve of Syawal was always a busy day.
What was the plan for tomorrow?
We wondered who'd be visiting us this time.
There had been no reply to our letter appealing to visit Bapak on the first day of Raya.
We wondered where Bapak would be?
No lontong for him, that's for sure.
Just then, we saw a police outrider turn the corner into Lorong 16/7C.
What would a police outrider be doing around here?
A VVIP visiting our neighbours, perhaps?
Haha, we chuckled. Poor guy. Must have lost his way in Section 16!
Then he stopped in front of our house. Our house.
Kak Ton looked out.
"Probably he wants to get directions," she remarked.
The policeman stepped out of his mean machine and waited for someone to meet him at the gate.
Kak Ton, wearing a quizzical look, approached the man.
"Puan Hamidah?", he asked.
Kak Ton was taken aback. Momentarily silent. Then she regained her composure and replied that she was not Puan Hamidah and what was all this about. A little curious but a lot worried.
"Saya dari Pejabat Timbalan Perdana Menteri (Dr Mahathir). Ada surat untuk Puan Hamidah Hassan. Maaf, lambat," he replied, handing to Kak Ton an official-looking envelope.
Did Kak Ton hear him apologise for being "lambat"?
Kak Ton's heart beat faster than she could walk. She rushed in, called out for Mak and everyone, and opened the letter.
"...... dengan sukacita.......", and signed Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Timbalan Perdana Menteri.
It was a reply to our appeal letter. Not from the PM nor the Home Affairs Minister. But from the DPM.
We were allowed to visit Bapak, same place, same time on the first day of Syawal.
Mak, who was making preparations in the kitchen, came to the living room and listened to every word read by Kak Ton.
She raised her hands in supplication.
It was the last day of Ramadhan.
Her prayers were answered.
I got the water-sprinkler treatment during Ramadhan when I was a kid, too. It'd be one of my sisters or brothers, mak and abah never had to resort to "renjis air". My eldest bro would use that bottle of water-sprinkler used in those days to help iron our starched shirts and pants. Remember the coal-powered iron?
The one technique I really no like was when they put a bit of garam at either corner of your mouth.
As the youngest in the family, I was always at the receiving end. But thank God, only in Ramadhan.
And, ah, of course that letter would not have come from Ghaz or Hussein Onn. They would rather keep Pak Samad and family apart. I wonder if Dr Mahathir even consulted with the PM. He certainly wouldnt have asked Ghazalie's permission.
I was told that Dr M was against the detention from the start, and had openly voiced out his reservations at the Cabinet and Umno meetings. I am not sure how true these stories are.
But Dr M did order the release of ISA detainees once he became Prime Minister and your dad was one of them. If Dr M had taken over earlier, your dad and those others detained without trial would have gotten back their lives as free men earlier.
rocky (ahirudin): you know i use the renjis ritual on my kids too. a little differently, though.
i would wet my hand and then slowly wipe their face. i'd do it gently.
but these days, i only need to do it during ramadhan for sahur.
poor you...the youngest always kena.
But i'm sure when you got to be taller than all of yr siblings, they backed off...??
you know, it still baffles us until today...whether Dr M ever spoke to Hussein Onn or he replied to us anyway, regardless.
For that we thanked him.
It is true that Dr M and Musa Hitam were against the detention and said so in Cabinet and in Umno.
I did not just hear about it, I was told about it by senior Umno leaders (at that time). And then later, after my dad was released (i think a year later when I returned to the NST after my studies in the US), Musa Hitam confirmed it to me while we were in Tokyo. I was there to cover his working visit to Tokyo just after Dr M promotion of the Look East Policy.
The same year he assumed the premiership of the country, he ordered the release of some 120 or more ISA detainees, among whom was my dad, the 2 Uncle Dollah and Uncle Samani as well as I think ( maybe wrong here) Pak Habib (Syed Husin Ali).
Some people just can survive with sahur with only a kurma and plain water, and they somehow became more energetic than people who eat heavy!
Sprinkling water is even better than shouting in the morning, suppose saying. If one 'kena gertak' for sahur, surely they would become angry, and sometimes getting a headache.
Kampung Baru's bubur has always been scrumptious till today. Yum.
In UiTM (branch campuses, Melaka in particular, and in Shah Alam, they're still doing the same like that in your time, i heard), dining hall opens at 0400hrs, and on the first day, by 0415, the food is gone! But day after day, the 'deadline' goes later and later, as students would prefer sleeping or minum air for their sahur.
At least, Dr M has fulfilled your family's hope, of having your family's wish granted. Finally, after such a long time.
mutalib: i know... amazing those people. i eat more during sahur than buka.
I suppose some things dont change at UiTM.
Yes, it was good of Dr M to all us to visit our Bapak. It meant a lot to us.
thanks, Mutalib for visitng..
Never had experienced ramadhan and Raya without my dad when i was young, and your TWB made me wonder today as my siblings and i would have these coming 2 holy months without my dad for the first time, i am not sure how its gonna be. Of course, he did missed breaking fast and sahur with us those days when he had evening shifts, but we would know what he would eat as either my mum or me would have packed food for him.
I never had the renjis air done to me as i was a very light sleeper until now, but the brothers had. And like you, i would wake up for sahur and fav dishes for my hubby and kids are just fried rice or the sambal bilis garing with potatoes...even when i was in college i would wake up for sahur but i prefer 2 slices of toast with soft boiled eggs and coffee and that was the time i wondered what my family back home would have had for sahur and breaking fast...
thanks for TWB today...
My abah did the sprinkling technique not only for sahur but every morning at subuh.
But I learnt fast. I would wake up before he did that, wet my face, move to the back room and went straight back to sleep.
He would come around and ask me if i had prayed and i just nodded ,half sleeping.He was always convinced that i did...
Well now, for sure my children can't turn that trick on me...
I too would wet my hand and then slowly wipe my daughters' faces to wake them up - but not only during Ramadan but almost everyday. Liat nak bangunlar my daughters. Macam bapak dia orang.
Anyway, it was good to read that the family got to meet Pak Samad for Syawal - definitely the power of doa orang yang teraniaya
It would have been a much blessed Hari Raya, if the letter said your Dad has been released! Do you really know as to why your Dad was detained in the 1st place? Even then i did not see him as a threat to national security or my well being in the country!
2 plates of rice is a must for sahur, then a bottle of soda to quench the thirst, 2 glasses of plain water for supplement and i'm ready for puasa come subuh.
1976- pn nuraina, do u still remember which month 1 syawal was? just curious. i was born march that year.
so sad to hear about your dad. I'm sure you all will be missing him....but i am also sure that you all are strong.
have a good ramadhan and syawal, nevertheless...ramadhan is next month... rasa macam baru lepas Raya.
your sahur is actually your breakfast, kan?
take care, zai...
wak segen: i am so glad to know that my Bapak is not weird, because from rocky, mutalib, zai and now you....i've been told that every dad had done the renjis on their kids at some point in their lives.
and i thought Bapak was weird.
i think you are right.... your kids will do the same trick on you...but you are one step ahead...you know the trick.
thank u for dropping a line..
yes...Tun Dr Mahathir is such a huge figure in that part of the world. They have so much regard for him.
i was in pakistan in 2005 (my last year at NST before I left) and met a group of intellectuals who kept asking me about Tun Dr M although they knew he had stepped down. They said we were so lucky to have him bring Malaysia to where it is today. There was so much Pakistan had learnt from Malaysia, they told me.
I know because when I was in the US in 1979-80, Americans had hardly headr of Malaysia.
WHen I became a journalist and throughout that time when I was on assignment overseas, people knew Malaysia and of course, Dr Mahathir.
Your sister Kartini, was in Business Times, right? I do remember her. Is she not with Bank Negara?
A John: Oh yes.... indeed it would have been.
Bapak was considered a threat to national security, a subversive element and was made to confess that he was a communist.
If we had known then what we know now, we might have taken steps to go through the courts to have him released although he was detained under the ISA.
If there were NGOs then, perhaps the situation would have been different.
perhaps, not...because the situation then was different from now.
Bapak and three others were detained under the ISA for alleged communist activities. Their detention was the result of political intrigue and power struggle in Umno following the death of Tun Abdul Razak.
thank u for visiting.
kerp: yeah. man.... way to go!
oh...a 1976 baby....so young-lah kerp.
anyway, i don;t quite remember the month although I know it was at the end of the year..
i love especially love your post today. it's 'romantic' and has a happy ending. more, please!
happy belated birthday! i know it is reallllly belated.
how's being 35 been?
when I was 35, i had just become a mum of one year.
i was enjoying motherhood, my job and everything else.. i felt that the future was great .....life was wonderful..
anyway, thanks for visiting.
Mior: how are azian and the girls?
you know, i tak sampai hati nak renjis air on my kids' faces..
in fact, when i want to wake them up pagi2, i call their name softly, sampai diorang bangun... sometimes they open their eyes but find dificulty waking up, so i ask them : "can i wipe your face with a bit of water to wake you up?". they always nod their heads.
take care, Mior....will be visiting your blog lepas ni...
right now, i'm reading your dad collection of writing from majalah gila-gila (sorry, i forgot title of the book, terbitan creative enterprise, 1996).
very fun n intelectual actually.
quite irony too, coz such a good writing keluar in GG.
maybe u can write something abt that n any other book/writing from yr dad..
zypsy: I have the 1994 Creative Enterprisecopy -- "Tan Sri A Samad Ismail Menulis".
I think writing for Gila-Gila was one of my father's most liberating moments...it was for a different group of audience. I think, the young Malays.
Many people asked why a journalist of his stature would want to write for a magazine like Gila-Gia. He'd ask back: Why not?
For him, it is simple -- as a journalist, he makes no distinction. He found Gila-Gila refreshing. I also think that the owner of Gila-Gila was an old friend.
I love reading your 'Tuesdays with Bapak' infact I was looking forward to read it every Tuesday. For this week post, I found it a very touching one as it brought tears while I was reading it.
Another thing, mdm ena,
Just read the orange book (ASI, Journalism and Politics, by Cheah Boon Kheng) for assignment, and read the entry from your late Mak as well as Dato Ahmad Sebi. Is that true that plans for having a restaurant by your Bapak were being put down because of ‘sumpahan 7 keturunan'?
And perhaps, another updated edition of the orange book should be published…apart from TWB…
thank you for visiting TWB.
i hope you are not too sad by the posting this week.
see u next week!
my dad's family believed in the sumpah... i dont know what to make of that. ada lagi pantang larang -- cannot wear all black --inside and out.. but i think we have passed the 7 generations. Oh wait...maybe not.
yes..i think the book has been reprinted.
In my case, its my mum who wake me up by sprinkling my face wit water because my dad doesnt wake up for sahur.
Tapi lama2, mama also give up. Its easier for me not to wake up for sahur. Die senang, i pon senang.
If i sahur, lagi cepat lapar. hehe
Hi Kak Ena,
I've been reading your TWB, and I love this post the most, it's so sweet. Like aidareda said, it's romantic! My ayah never did the water sprinkling method, what would wake all 8 of us up is my mum's cooking. Somehow the smell of fried rice and telur mata kerbau or anything on the sahur menu would creep into our dreams and make our tummies rumble :P And because of this, if my mum didn't wake up on time, all of us will miss sahur hehe.
As for Dr M, I miss how he made us all feel so proud of being Malaysian. If anyone is capable to create a 'bangsa Malaysia', it's him.
kea: hello, Kea. How are you?
Kea boleh tahan puasa tak sahur? Aunty Ena, kalau boleh, tak nak miss sahur.
please kirim salam to your mum and dad.
WOw...your mum prepares hot meals during sahur.
I just heat the lauk-pauk in the microwave.
I popped by your blog... amazing. you post about hadith and all.
i will ask my children to go to your blog.
thank you for visiting..
Thanks Kak Ena. Blog hadis tu dah lama tak di-update-kan :( will post in it more often now, it's pretty hard to find hadis yang betul-betul sahih online. Oh yeah, kalau free visit http://keretamayat.blogspot.com/
Just Nad: that's very good of you to being doing it.
i shall certainly visit the blog.
"Then he stopped in front of our house. Our house."
My heart skipped a beat when I was reading this, and the words ".....dengan sukacita....." filled me with a sense of exhilaration.
This is a very moving and engaging piece of writing, and romantic to boot. Kudos to you Nuraina.
Bersahur; pre-dawn - yes! nostalgic nyer bab2 kena renjis air ni. hehehe! Thanks for reminding.
A lot of times, the powers that be expect 100% (if not more) agreement, compliance, adherence and groupthink without questions. I feel objective differences of opinion is not valued enough. The Dr M must be the significant few. Dulu-dulu, mata pena lebih tajam dari mata pisau kan! Sekarang?
Kak Ena, i love reading gila-gila dulu. Siap kumpul/share duit with my brothers to buy it (takut nak mintak bapak duit - to buy what? gila-gila? GILA ke?!! hehehe ...) Actually now pun suka cartoon satires still.
nowadays, visiting popular blogs caused me more stress than anything else, if you know what I mean. I think this place is built for comfort. it's so soothing reading your piece. thanks very much and keep up the nice work.
Reading your entry this time brought back memories of Ramadan 1994. My abah collapsed at home after a stroke attack on Satu Lekor. He became bedridden and couldnt move much. Doctors couldnt do anything about his condition and we thot he could no longer walk...ever. It was very traumatic for all of us but we continued to pray hard, read Quran with him and the surah Yassin when ever we had time. We took turns to take leave from work so that we could relieve my mother of chores such as cleaning him up and attending to his wishes. Then on the eve of Syawal, after maghrib, by the Grace of Allah, he just stood up and walked! Relatives who had visited him 10 days earlier were shocked when he visited them on the first day of Hari Raya. SubhanaLLah.
PS I can imagine Cik Mel's cheeky grin when he sprinkled water on your faces. Abah used to do the same to us, when he wanted us to get up for Suboh.. another tactic, he would knock hard on our bedroom door non-stop (ala knocking when rumah terbakar) until we woke up...Looking back, I thank him for the discipline he had instilled in us. Alhamdulillah .
PPS I love the way you ended your story...i could almost feel the jubilation your family felt when kak ton read the letter.
Sprinkle sounded nice ah kak...Macam drizzle, gitu...me? jirus...really...sure lencun katil dibuatnya...basah kuyuplah!
Kak Ena, what you wrote here really moved me...
Salam to KakTon ya.
Our family shopped at May May in China Insurance Building, too. Another favourite shop was Golden Maid in front of Lin Ho. Those were the days. And shoes, Clarks from Central Shoes in Batu Road.
Sesat: hello, hello, hello...
how's the weather downunder?
caught the Gwen Stefani concert? Now, now, Sesat, if she (as in her music) aint too young for me, then she aint too young for you.
Ok -lah, she is kinda young for my liking though I think she (her music) aint bad.
Can threaten to grow on you. Hahaa..
thanks again, Sesat, for visiting.
Ibu : rupa2nya, ramai bapa2, ayah2 dan abah2, suka merenjis anak2 untuk kejutkan dari tidur.
Ibu, majallah gila-gila memang popular. kedai mamak dekat rumah Kak Ena dulu selalu kehabisan naskhah..
Zainul: If you had read the earlier postings of Tuesdays With Bapak, boleh stress jugak, Not so soothing. Ada yang ngadu menangis giler.
But I know what you mean, The popular blogs have got hot topics.
But dont feel to comfortable here, because I do post some (not-so) hot issues...
Thanks for visiting, zainul.
Raden Galoh: Wah... so nice to hear from you.
How was you Umrah, Alhamdulillah, dah selamat pulang.
Take care... I hope you are well.
Insyallah, I will kirim salam to Kak Ton.
Jasmin: That's the one. The one and the same May May.
I used to make my way to the end of the shop where there were toys. I love the toys. But, of course, my dad won't buy me any toy from May May. Kalau nak beli for me, mesti beli untuk Kak Olin, kak Eda, Azah and Kamal. On reflection, it was good that he did not indulge in us that way.
And yes, Central shoe store was THE shop to buy shoes for girls.
Lina -- (everybody, this is my cousin Haslina Majid from Singapore. Second daughter of Bapak's youngest brother, Allahyarham Abdul Majid Ismail):
Lina -- thanks for dropping by. How is everyone there?
Talking about your Abah (Arwah Cik Jid) makes me so sad, as I remember the time he was staying with us when he got the appointment with Berita Harian in KL.
At that time NSTP was in the old building and BH and NST were located on the same floor.
It was a smaller place. And I would always bump into him in the afternoon as he was in the afternoon shift.
I remember when your mum and you all came over to visit him....the first place you'd always want to go was KFC and Shakey;s Pizza. At that time, I think KFC in SIngapore was not halal.
Remember, I made the pizza and then taught your mum to make it so she could make it at home.
Those were the days when those we love were still alive and those we wish would not grow up into strapping young men, were still cute little boys...(read:Heikal and Hairil)
Kirim salam your mum and everyone back home....
(Lina....any addition to your brood?)
lets start chatting again.
i miss talking to all of you.
i havent heard from auntie mekyam and aunty ton.
and yes, my great grandpa uncle med..for the longest time.
plus i wanna 'meet' aunty sesat.
thank god, aunty shana has her own blog.
p/s: are u going to gwen's concert with shaira and adel?
yes....i think we should start our chatting.
but we have to agree on he time.
i think aunty sesat and mekyam would have conflicting time zones.... one is in the northern hemisphere and the other southern hemisphere.
oh...shaira is not too crazy abou Gwen. She said Gwen is "ok-la". But she liked Gwen when she was in "No Doubt".
Adel is not a Gwen person.
anyway, both of them have got major exams this year.
err...after reading all the comments here you know that your bapak way of waking you all up was not peculiar anymore right??....as for my own kids they have been quite easy to get up even for sahur, like mum like sons kot lol....
that's what I have realised. i really thought it was peculiar, that other people had a kinder way of waking up their kids... rupa2nya, perkara biasa. thank God! bukan lah pelek cara Bapak kejutkan anak2 dari mimpi, whoops, i mean, tidur...
take care, zai..
mmmm....masak apa hari ni..? buat cake? cupcakes?
i always hate the way my dad wake his four girls.
abah has a loud voice and every morning without fail, he would enter our rooms and said "anak abah,bangun sahur,"
when we refused to wake up, he'll start raising his voice and nags. hate it.
bailey: it must have been the nagging that u hated...
just remember not to do the same to your kids..
Being a light sleeper, usually it's not a problem waking me up for sahur. Just switch on the light and I'm awake.
Back in boarding school, I was the one who had to wake my dormmates up for sahur. And God, it wasn't an easy task... macam-macam ragam! Ada yang dah pergi dining hall makan and dah balik sambung tidur; bangun pagi boleh tanya why I didn't wake her up for sahur!! Can you believe it?!
that's great that you're a light sleeper. but then you jadi everyone else's keeper-lah.
i dan imagine everyone's idiosyncracies.
i only became a light sleeper after i gave birth to my eldest...
sekarang ni -- usually-lah - the slightest,tiniest, minutest sound can wake me up.
It has been a coldish winter downunder with occasional cold spells. But it is almost over and spring will soon be sprung, hooray!
Gwen Stefani concert? I think I am getting a bit long in the tooth to be going to pop concerts and trying to out-scream the hyperactive youngsters. But if it is a concernt by an old crooner like Engelbert Humperdinck, I think I just might be able to drag my rear off the couch.
Kea, I too hope I get to "meet" you one of these days.
Sesat: Yeah yeah to the coming of spring.
a-hah! thought not (you and Gwen)! i'll stick to listening to her on the radio and watching her on channel V -- whenever.
Take Care ....and aaah...spring is in the air..
Have been quite busy these last few days. Wan complained of back and chest pains on Sunday, and we rushed her to the Emergency Section, Hospital Pulau Pinang (HPP). The Emergency sign post is not so obvious from the main road, so we had to go round and round a few times, and asked the staff its exact location. The emergency staff performed the ECG, etc etc and the lady doctor (after consulting the specialist) decided that Wan had to be “warded for observation” – someone said this phrase is uniquely Malaysian-Singaporean. So over the last few days, we had been spending our afternoons/evenings at the Wad Kardioliologi, HPP. The ward is so ceria Merdeka - flags everywhere - and the multi-racial patients are so chatty despite their conditions. They are ever ready to share glimpses of their fascinating life and times with complete stranger, at the slightest prodding. We did not meet the Dr on our many visits there, but the nurses that I talked to are nice and friendly. Wan only complained about the food in HPP. Last month when she was warded in Hospital Sultan Abdul Halim in SP, she complained that despite it is a spanking new multi-million ringgit hospital, they do not provide spoon, fork and knife during meal time. When asked why, the honest answer was “semua dah hilang!”. Tell me Sis Ena, have we become a kleptomaniac society? Wan was discharged on Thursday and is now resting at my youngest sister’s place in Butterworth. Her long list of medications include Lipitor, Isordil, Ticlopidine, Ranitidine, Metoprolol and Captopil.
This week’s TWB brought back the fond memories of the joys of having sahur together with all my family members. Wan prepared the simplest yet mouth watering dishes such as telur itik kuah kuning, telur mata kerbau in soy sauce (can't recall the brand) with dollops of raw onions and slices of raw red chillies, and fried ikan bilis with kacang. And also, how my senior (during our A-level days) used to wake me up to perform subuh jamaah prayer. I was given a room at the attic, so he had to climb three floors upstairs, and then he had to urut my upper torso to unlock me from deep slumber (or sleeping beauty, if you like). Very effective, and bless you Bro. Hamidun, wherever you are.
My best memory of puasa and hari raya will always be the time spent with my grandfather mother side in kampung when I was a kid. I was the first grandchild and naturally the favourite.
Grandfather or in javanese we call "yahi" would make the effort to prepare somethign different everyday. He would bring down young coconut and everyday there is always different concoction of coconut drinks everyday, from one with syrup, gula melaka, selaseh, and god there were so many.
To encourage us puasa, nyai (or grandmother) would have different kueh or noodles everyday. I think that must be the last time ever that I tasted laksa johor not served with spaghetti but laksa actually made from scratch. Cendol from scratch too.
Being an active kid, me and my uncles get thristy too easily and we'd be dipping in the kolam for hours. Sometimes, we'd cheat a sip or too masa selam dalam air. We'd justify as oppps ... tak sengaja, tak apa.
Unlike mosque these day that tend to be unfrindly with kids, the kampung surau was extremely friendly with kids. Not only there were ample kueh after terawih, we wud be playing galah or sorok2 with the full view of the elders. Galah kampung style is quite physical and once in a while you'll someoen get thrown into the big parit and the whole jemaah surau woudl be laughing. The surau had ready towels for kids to bathe and clean himself at the surau's bathroom.
I remembered Yahi used to help build a "getek" or raft for us to sail along the parit. Me and my uncle wud be sailing like Tom Sawyer and Huck as in the comic.
WHen it is time to sell getah to the kampung chinese middle men, yahi wud bring home a bag of carbide. We'll be blasting the meriam buluh day and more at night.
Hari raya is a sad affair to me, not becasue of the mintak maaf pagi raya session pagi raya but thats the end of the fun holiday at the kampung. IN few days time, my parents will take me back home. I'd make sure to make my roudn all over kampung for hari raya, coz it will be my fairwell to the whole kampung.
Yahi must be considered the favourite person of my life. Its really too bad he died too early and missed my life's milestones. Everytime Ramadhan I'll be reminded of this childhood memory and live to content with aircon masjid and very stiff jamaah. Why can't the practise of religion be fun like what I had in my childhood?
BTW Thanks Nuraina and I hope baharuddin from dhaharan understand.
you had such a wonderful childhood, I am almost jealous.
I love the story.
I remember saying a few years ago that i was jealous of anyone who had a kampung to go back to.
thatw as after my sister and brother-in-law invited me and my kids to Besut for Hari Raya Haji (korban.
It was so amazing, so fantastic, i loved it. my kids too. macam jakun tengok lembu and pokok kelapa and kambing.
and to reflect on those wonderful childhood when ramadhan and syawal were full of fun, mischief and joy.
Oh my kak Ena , you were the one who taught my mom how to make pizza? And she did make them like forever coz we love them so much. She used to say at the rate she was making them for all 7 of us, she might as well open a pizza parlour...THanks for sharing the recipe and technique with her.
Abt my dad working with BH in KL, although we were sad, we were also relieved that he was actually staying with your family. I think it also helped that you and your sisters actually reminded him of his 4 daughters back home. Whenever he wrote letters to my mum, he would always ask questions about how each is doing..
Q1 hidhir sekolah macam mana?
Q2 linda jangan kasi keluar dengan boyfriend dia.
Q3 lina dah ada boyfriend ke belum?
Q4 aja, ata,haikal, hairil suroh revise kerja sekolah....(or something to that effect)
Whenever he came back home once a month,sometimes i think he missed you and your sisters too. He would point to 3 of us and said 'ni Azah (aja), ni Eda (kak linda) ni Ena (me)...liking us to you and your sisters.
I think we cant thank you and your family enough for looking after him for 5 years. so Thank you kak Ena. May Allah reward you and Cik Mel's family with loads of blessings.
the whole Majid's clan is doing ok. This raya would be extra special coz haikal is back from one-year study in UK, hairil is back from Australia and ata's hubby is also back from 4-year study in UK. so my mom's the happiest woman these days.
i still have 3 kids, Sulaiman, Kamil and Sofia.Sulaiman was born a week before abah passed away....and he looks very much like abah....wavy hair with deep set eyes.
take care kak ena and keep those great stories coming.
yes...that was me. I got the recipe from Australian Woman's Weekly. I always say, if I could make pizza and pasta, anyone could.
I started making the pizza for Irwan (anak arwah Kak Piah), Khairil, Khairena and Marissa (kak Olin's kids).
As you know, when I was single, footloose and fancy-free, I used to take care of my nieces and nephews. And one of the things I loved doing because they loved helping me, was making pizza and pasta.
At that time your dad was with us.
So, when your mum came, she saw me and asked for the recipe.
So glad that it was all well worth it.
Yeah.... those were the days.. So sad just thinking about them.
Good to know that everyone will be around this Raya.
Haikal dah ada girlfriend, ke?
take care and salams to everyone.
How is Wan now? Are you still in the country?
What an experience at the hospital!
aMiR -- i don't know whether we are a kleptomaniac society but i know there are people who think nothing about swiping things from anywhere.
i remember a long time ago, someone seated next to me at a dinner at a posh hotel, slid some cutlery into her bag!
can you beat that?
a PRO i know said that when there was an annual meeting of a political organisation, her hotel staff were instructed to "clean" the alloted rooms of items such as hair dryer and all that because the hotel had jhad enough of missing items.
anyway...hope everything is ok with you.
hoep we all have a blessed ramadhan and syawal.
it always warms my heart whenever Dr.M did something like that.
dont ask me why.. but a compaasionate leader (whomever it may be) is always good, dont you think?
:) saya pun lambat membaca entry ini! hehe
Does haikal have a girlfriend?
errrr...i hope he's not reading this (i know he does sometimes and even posted some messages to you after Arwah kak Eda passed away).
At 33, he must be one of singapore's malay eligible bachelor. Well let's just say he's not seeing anyone 'in Singapore', heheeh. We sometimes tease him...'eh not fair ah, how come you get abah's and mak's best features'. Actually we sometimes wonder where he got his Tom-Cruise look. Agaknya my mom terkenan orang putih when expecting him.But my mom insisted haikal looked like abah when abah was young.Come to think of it there's a hint of resemblance but abah looked more Benggali (or Persian?) while haikal is his ang moh version.
ooh....kawan dari Bumi Kenyalang. How are you?
I dropped by your blog. I love that picture.
I caught a most beautiful sunset in Sabah -- at Shangri-La.
And Kuching is one of my favourite cities in Malaysia.
Yes...compassionate Dr Mahathir was.
Will never forget that.
thank u for visiting.
Yes ..my cousin -- the Tom Cruise look-alike.
Alamak..mesti ramai girfren tu..
I hope Heikal reads this.
Tak apa 33 years-old tu masih muda for a guy....
yep...he does look like your dad. do u know that your dad, in his heyday, was such a hearthrob... i can;t tell you the names...but there were woman (some of whom are familiar names in malaysia) who were crazy over him. ask your mum... she may know.
aaah... parsi side of the family tu...that's for sure.
Salam Kak Ena,
I didnt realise ramai rupanya budak-budak kat luar sana got the water-sprinkler treatment. In my case, water-sprinkler was only phase 1. Me & my big bro, the 'liat' type, so since my arwah abah was quite baran, he switched to 'gayung'. Whoosh! He did that once, and his voices waking us up reached us even before he opens his mouth! And also, the fact that he intended to 'baling dengan kulit durian'. Still, those things doesnt stop me from tertidur masa tengah suap nasi during sahur. I miss that moment. Anyways, takziah to you & family. I had the chance 'belajar' with Pak Samad when he became my lecturer when NST sent a group of us sort of further study. He reminds me of my arwah abah. Mulut je... tapi hati baik.
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