Monday, 18 July 2011

nyonya bunga tanjung...

              I have a story to tell you about one Chinese lady who lived around my neighbourhood. She was quite old maybe around 60+ and was quite insane.She was thin, very thin.She would wear her samfoo like what we saw in the Chinese opera, tied her hair in a high pony tail and put multicoloured ribbons on it. I was 12 then.
             I have never heard her voice.Not even once.When I met her along the small road, she would always look straight on and never ever look at anybody.
              She always carried a small basket . A rattan one.I didnt know what was inside. The rattan basket was her trade mark.Always with her anywhere she went.
              There was this pokok bunga tanjung.A big tree with lots of sweet smelling flowers.My kampung people called it bunga mengkula.I love them.The flowers will fall a lot in the early morning.By afternoon the white flowers will turn brown on the ground and so would the sweet smell. gone too...
               I would wake up early on weekends just to collect those flowers on the ground. By 7am the plastic bag I carried would be half full. I would take home and scattered the flowers on my bed...
               One morning I reached there early as usual.But this time someone was already there earlier than me.It was the insane nyonya.Since I have not heard about her harming other people I ignored her and started picking up the flowers on the ground as usual.But this time something happened.
               She caught hold of my hands and said " pi , pi, jangan kacau, pi" her eyes looking into mine. When I did not make an attempt to move she said again, this time her voice shrieked like crazy ( memang la dia gila pun )..
               " Hey, shuh shuh, pi pi . Ni gua punya bunga " and she grabbed all the flowers in my hands and put into her basket.
                I looked around.there was nobody in sight. I stepped backwards and ran home.She was crazy. I was scared she would hurt me. 
                From that day onwards I only admired the flowers from far.The nyonya would always be there under the big pokok bunga tanjung , collecting more and more flowers. She would tie the flowers around her hair, so much so she looked like a walking pokok tanjung...
                  Then one day there was no nyonya bunga tanjung there.One day went to two, three, four....There was no sign of nyonya bunga tanjung anywhere....


                                                 Pokok bunga tanjung or pokok mengkula.

                 Then I heard the nyonya was dead. They found her dead, with the flowers in her basket, not far from the bunga tanjung tree.
                  I was quite happy then (mean of me ). This time nobody would disturb me picking up those flowers..But some friends told me " Hang jangan pi, kemarin depa nampak hantu nyonya tu di bawah pokok bunga tanjung tu"..............
                   I was sad because I love the flowers..I asked my brother to go with me .of course no one would want to wake up early just to pick up those lousy flowers they said...
                  Lousy flowers ? sampai hati..
                  Now when I see pokok bunga tanjung, I will always remember nyonya bunga tanjung...her stern face, her sepet eyes  (  trying desperately to open them wider...) her traditional samfoo and her small voice..." pi pi pi...shuh shuh..bunga gua punya..."
                  

                                                    The sweet smelling bunga tanjung...

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