Thursday, 28 April 2011

.What a relief !

   
                                              There was light at the end of the tunnel


           It seemed ages since my last post. I wanted to continue so much but I was busy with my work.Loads of books to marks.Papers to correct.
          I remember when I was offered to train in MTC (Penang) a teacher's training college. It was the best news ever., but another dilemma awaited me.If I accept the offer  then who would take care of my family? It was a very hard decision to make.
          God is great, suddenly my second brother got a job at the local sugar factory in Chuping.My two years in college saw my brother working hard with overtime and extra work to keep the family going.A young boy in his teens working like an adult just to give his big sister a chance to be a teacher as I always wanted.



                            My brother worked here when I accepted the offer to go to college.

     

Friday, 15 April 2011

..Poverty crept on..


                                                               My old house

      50 over years ago my father was seen working so hard to build a small house for his family.He cut some wood he collected himself in the woods nearby.Then he bought some planks for the wall and the floor.With the help of some friends the house was ready within a few weeks.There it was.With only one room and a small kitchen enough to keep a few pots and pans.He was very proud of the house.Maybe because he built it himself. He told me once."Nanti bila hangpa besar, belajar elok2 boleh lah buat umah besar.Rumah batu , nanti ayah boleh tumpang duduk sama."He said as he bent down collecting the nails back into the box.
          The poverty in the family never left even a dream in my mind to have a house like my father has always wanted.But now after that morning helping him to collect the nails into the box, here I am in a house of my own.It is not a big house but it is sure much bigger than the house my father built long ago...
           Ayah if only you are here to witness this....I have fulfilled your wishes to have a good job ,with a good family and a comfortable house to live in.
           Moga Allah rahmati roh ayah di alam barzah.Moga ayah 'senang' di sana di dalam taman-taman indah yang Allah telah janjikan untuk roh2 orang yang selalu menerima doa dari anak-anaknya....Amin.


         This house looks exactly like my house long ago.The tall windows, the veranda where I used to lepak and chat with Mariyani...The difference is my house was painted brown ...


                                                         MY HOUSE NOW.
  





memory lane.... I am a stranger now..

 
      This morning I went to Telok Kacang.I saw the land where my old house stood 40 years ago.I saw the old jack tree still standing tall and proud.I looked across the road and saw the small shop where I used to buy groceries and where I bought the pink kropok to share with Mariyani and Faridah.
      I breathed in the air there slowly like I wanted to gulp in every single memory back into me.I left this place to be where I am now with a family of my own.
      I watched the people passing by.All of them were unfamiliar faces.I am a stranger now to the place.The place that made a different person out of me....

 
 

      The familiar lane I was so attached to .Mariyani's house used to be on the left where that yellow house is.On the right was the grocery shop I used to buy my pink kropok.Opposite Mariyani's house where you can see the banana plant was the place we used to play, sang songs and chatted like there was no tmorrow..

..When cancer strikes..

 
                                                   Ayah..

    I remembered him as a tall and handsome man.Among his siblings he had the good looks.He was a man of few words.He goes out to work very early in the morning leaving some cash to my mum everyday without fail.In his younger days he worked with the JKR.Then when my second brother was born he got himself a stall at the market selling fish.He was a fishmonger only for a few years.Then he bought a lorry and started to be middleman in the same business.He has an assistant to help him.He would go as far as Sg Petani where he got fresh fish to distribute to his friends at the market.Business was good.
        I remembered one day he came home driving a car. We were delighted.He took us for a spin around the neighbourhood.I remembered jadi 'Perak' in the car.Never went for a car ride before .I even asked my brother'Awat pokok2 macam dok lari sama kita ha?
        Food was never a problem.We ate fresh fish everyday, fresh fruits and fresh vege too. When cancer attacked him I did not see the car or the lorry anymore....

Monday, 11 April 2011

..Mirror mirror on the wall

 
                                             My favourite aunt

        I have an aunt .My father's elder sister. I used to like her a lot. She .answered most of my questions when others didnt bother to care.Questions like, "Seronok ke kawin? or where do babies come from?" We Malays sometimes are to shy to discuss things like that with a teenage girl but my aunt never failed to answer me.
         She was very good with her hands.She sewed beautiful embroideries which I admired.She taught me how to sew simple but beautiful embroideries too.
         She had a way with men.She had been married many times.They adored her.Feature wise she was not a pretty lady but her words when she opened her mouth..phuuuh.She was so delicate with her gentle words.
          I wish she is still here so that I can ask her about my encesstors which only she knows the details.
I didnt have the opportunity though.She passed away when I was busy caring about my fourth baby..Suhail   

My Aunt on the left sitting down with my mom on the right

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

What raya meant to me

           After finishing form 5 most of my friends went for further studies.Not me.I never had the slightest idea to do so.My only intention was to find a job to keep having food on the table for the family.
           I got a job soon after that.A temporary teacher with RM 230. per month.It was enough to feed 6 mouth then.I would make sure to buy groceries the minute I got my salary. So at least food was not a problem anymore.At 18 I was the sole breadwinner of the family!....
           Hari raya that year was a merrier one.My siblings had baju raya! They were happy to go round the neighbourhood in their new clothes..Raya meant so much to them...I said to myself.."Ayah if only you could see this."
          We have ketupat and even cookies..and some money in my siblings pockets.....To the rich it was nothing.but to us it was the happiest moments after 3 sad years....

Life after his death

                                                           After my father's death

                   It was three years of miserable hopeless empty days.My second brother was 13,my third brother was 7, and my youngest sister was 2.It was hard to make ends meet.We live on a day to day basis.Maybe we had food for lunch but we were not sure whats for dinner.
                   During big days like hari raya my siblings and I would stay by the windows and watched people passed by in new colorful clothes.We hadn't any.Everybody in the house was strangely quiet.No one complained about anything.Deep in my heart I promised to myself my children will not go without baju raya because I know how it felt .
                   I have the best siblings in the world.They never complained about anything.Lunch or dinner , they just ate what was served to them.
                   When it rained water would be everywhere in the house.The leaking  and holes in the atap roof
caused puddles of water here and there.My mom would would put a pail here, a towel there.We would moved fast to this corner or that corner to keep away from the raindrops.I liked to look up and see where the holes were because when the drops of rain fell on my face nobody would know that I was crying......

Monday, 4 April 2011

.Sob Sob Sob....

                                            My father's last days

   When I was in form one my father suddenly fell sick.He was sick on and off for two years.Sometimes he was ok and sometimes he would lie down in bed for days.He had terrible pain in the stomach that saw him crying so hard.I would run into my room every time he had the attack and closed my ears.Couldnt stand to see him that way.
     Then we knew it was cancer of the liver.since then life was not the same ever again.My mom was a housewife in every sense of the word.She knew nothing of how to work except her daily routine around the house.We had a hard time to make ends meet.
     A year later after a long stay in the ward he was transfered to Penang Hospital for the big operation. Soon after that he was sent back home.Doctor told my mum he had only little time left.
     I stayed by his side day and night.Tried to make up for the time lost when he was healthy and fit.He was not talking or showing any recognition when he opened his eyes.Then he was gone.my siblings and I sat there like statues.My mom just looked into space.There was no tears in her eyes..My father was barely 37 !!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

leaves on the bride's hair ?

        My best friends during childhood were Mariyani and Faridah.They were my neighbours.Mariyani was the eldest of 7 siblings.Every day from 3oclock onwards in the afternoon the three of us were like kembar siam.
        Playing dolls,made from my mom' sarong, or kawin-kawin ( Mariyani would be the bridegroom because I insisted to be the bride  ! ) We would collect leaves and tied them to put over the head like a long veil.Looked beautiful enough. kah kah.
        Faridah would be the wedding planner. She would suggest a place for the bersanding .The other boys and girls would clap their hands and pretend to eat as if food is in front of them .(This part was the most ridiculous).
        When I was in form two Mariyani and her family suddenly accepted the offer as peneroka felda in Pahang.A bus came and take them there with all their belongings.It was so sudden. She was my best friend being taken away.We cried before the bus moved out of my sight.The following days was a misery to me.I still had Faridah to share my days.
        Among the three of us Faridah was the most unfortunate.She came from a broken family.Her father left them when she was still small.When her mom looked out for jobs she would be left with her grandma.
        We had to pay our school fees then every month in secondary school because we chose to be in the English medium school.It cost about RM 7.50.It was a lot of money for the poor ones like us.
         Faridah was a beautiful girl.One of the man teachers fell in love with her and helped her to pay the school fees.I guessed she loved him too.
         Suddenly when we were just about 15 years old in form three, she married a man from a wealthy family.
Her grandma was against the idea.But money took care of everything.
         I missed her dearly.Sometimes she would come back to visit her grandma.That was the time I would see her for a while.Then when the big car came to pick her up I was left with my mouth opened and my eyes wet.
          I filled my days reading from Enid Blyton books to Denise Robins romantic novels.I have few good friends in school but it was never the same without Mariyani and Faridah.I was like a child who lost her mother.


                                My school in lower secondary, within walking distance from my house.

dark dark sweet ..

      .   

         I was born in a small village about 3/4 kilometres from Kangar.Our house was a wooden one room house that my father built himself slowly until it was done. Paddy fields were everywhere. Puyu, haruan and keli were everywhere too.I would fish at every single opportunity dipping my hook in between the paddy plants.
            I was the eldest in the family but my  mother never asked or need my help to do anything.I have no responsibility at all until the later part of my life when the whole thing changed and suddenly I was the one who took charge of everything. 
            My grandparents from my father's side lived nearby .I remember my grandfather as a very handsome man. He was very very fair.They said he was from Acheh.He landed here in Perlis because of a failed relationship back at his kampung.He was very much respected in our village.He was like a bomoh who could cure anything.People often called him  for help.I was proud of him when people came over to his house to reward him with packets of rice  after the patient was cured.
             My grandmother was the opposite.She was dark but I used to hear my grandpa called her "hitam manis mana nasi aku oi"She was the lady of few words. Quiet type.I think I must have followed her to be the hitam manis girl too.he he..