Friday, September 18, 2009

Raya II

We dugged soil and mixed them with water, cooked on top of 'stove' where we lit the 'stove' with dried leaves and some minyak tanah where nenek used it to lit all lampu raya later tomorrow. We stirred the soil to make sure that it's cooked. Some kids.

When the soil is done, we'll take some peghiyok lama and put the soil into it, and put it in the fridge, old fridge, under nenek's house. Inside, we can see some chicken's eggs. Not bought, but eggs which were from the hen itself. The old fridge used by the hen to lay its eggs, and, maybe because it forgot that it has some eggs inside, so the eggs lay unlaid. Haha.

Scattered under the house were some old junks: nenek's cucuk sanggul, nenek's sofa. All vintage. I was a kid, so I don't think there will be any benefit for picking them up and bring them up to nenek's house. We played all day till it was late afternoon. We as in: Ijah, Emma, Khair, Mie and Ann.

The clock showed that it was 4.30 or so, we got ready to go swimming. My sister and I loved this session. We do have river back in Mukah, but this one will be with cousins. So off we go, to the kalan, bringing together towels that we borrowed from nenek.

This was fun. Clinging to the kalan, with our feet floated in the coffee-with-milk color river. We stroked a bit, changed places sikit. Whenever the kapal balak melintas, big waves hit us and this was the climax. We laughed.

We played in the river like nobody's business. We didn't realise that time was nearing Maghrib. Nenek, with a can in his hands, ready to scare us. We were really, really scared cause he yelled and frigthened us. But, I know he'll never ever can us for real.

Back in the house, I piled up all wet clothes in one basin and ready to take bath using clean water. The water, came from a tank, two of it, was direct from the sky; rain. We had no problem with that, as you know, some villagers would still take bath in the river. Oh, and sometimes we did take bath, washed clothes in the river. Now, it's prohibited.

Mak, Kak Yah, Kak Nor and few other relatives; mainly women, were in the kitchen. I don't how to say, not to say in, because the kitchen and the place to watch tv was wall-less. Everything was prepared, from lemang to manoq pansoh, from ketupat to kuih lapis. Biscuits too. Lemang was nenek perempuan's expertise, she knew when to turn them around and make them fully cooked and tasted nice, too.

The next morning, the deep whisper voice was here again. My dad, would wake us up early in the morning to get ready for Raya. Finally, the day is here. I can hear Takbir Hari Raya sayup-sayup. The Masjid was across the river, so nenek, being an Imam in Kampung, had to be there earlier than the rest of the kampung. We can hear nenek led the Takbir. I was really, genuinely happy, at that time. I know the time nearing us, kids.

When nenek got back from Masjid, he gathered all my relatives around him and the eldest of dad's siblings, Wa Yaman, led the team to kiss neneks' hands, knees, cheeks and hug them. First, kiss the hands, then the knees, then the cheeks, then hug them. I've learned that from previous raya, so it should not be too awkward now. Followed by Wa Yaman's wife, Wa Limah, and down to Ngah Wek and Ngah Ramzi and till the last one, Usu Yot and Usu Usin.

Dad has five siblings including him, so it was not long till it was my turn. I got the green packet, just like my cousins. We were all happy, already start counting the amount we all had. We got it from moms and dads, and older cousins. Suddenly I become rich by below $50. Yeah, it was still $, remember?

When nenek came back from masjid earlier he brought back duit tanggok; I don't know for sure what this was (I'll ask dad later). It was in the form of coins. Called duit tanggok because when they were doing the takbir in masjid early this morning, someone will have his kain pelikat formed like a tangguk and collect all the coins from the villagers. These coins, been put on the floor, ready to be counted. As nenek counted them out with Kak Yah, there we go, running here and there playing. I ran just beside nenek and Kak Yah, with warning from nenek "Iboh dekat gilak, kau tersepak duit tok kelak". I never knew it was possible till I really did kick all the coins which were nicely piled up according to their value. Nasib bait agik kecik, mun dah besar... Hehe. They have to recount back. Poor nenek. Poor Kak Yah.

1st day of raya our relatives who came all the way from Bekenu, Bintulu, Miri and as far as Brunei; would come to nenek's house. Nenek was the eldest of how many siblings I don't recall; seven I guess; so his house will be the 1st priority to be visited. It was packed, really packed. All the mothers just didn't bother what us kids did, but they need to serve the guests.

Everything was just right.... till come 2006.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Raya I

My dad would wake us all up in his deepest whisper voice (to ensure that neighbours don't know that we were about to take off, I guess). At that time, it was pretty annoying to hear to that whispers, be it from my mom or my dad, cos we know, that was the time when our sleep were disturbed. Tapi kinek tok, they don't wake us up anymore, ala grow up la, ada alarm clock. I missed the voice already.

I didn't recall taking bath early in mornings before we took off (everytime), but most probably yes because I remembered once we got off into dad's Liteace Van, we were awake. But most probably too, I didn't take my bath because I vividly imagined my dad would lift us, one by one, into the Van, and onto the floor of the Van, where a thin mattress was laid down for my sister and I.

It was still dark, the surroundings were still very cold and silent. Our immediate neighbour was a young chinese couple, Mr and Mrs Ooi. They were game addicts, recalling that my brother, my sister and I would go to their house and played games with them. They had a dog, which was as tall as me. I didn't know till now maybe I would already have patted the dog. But most probably (yes, again, I don't recall details) I did. My sister and my brother did too.

Taking off in the wee hours like that, had been dad's habit. He was always early and it was easy for him to implement his habit as we were all young and we had to adhere to his instructions. Our things had been nicely packed up in one bag, not forgetting all the baju kurungs that had been sewed few weeks earlier. My sister and I would have the same pair of shoes and socks, but in different color. I guess my mom wanted us to look like twins, but can be recognised.

Back in the van, my sister and I would continue our sleep and my brother would sit at the back of the van, taking the longest chair that he can stretched up. I, being the last, had always been lost in brother-little sister fight over that long chair at the back. But, my place wasn't bad too. I was at the back of the driver's seat, where under my feet was that mattress that I mentioned. Whenever I felt that I needed to stretch up, I will always have that chair, but whenever I want to sleep, there's mattress lying on the floor.

That Liteace Van, was decorated with a pink lace, kira macam langsir omputeh engkah di dapur nya, getah atas getas dibah. Stretched with a flexible wire, covered only back seats. During that hour, that lace was not disturbing. But, when we reached Selangau or after Sibu district, it was already afternoon and the pink lace will somewhat make our eyes squint. Its a pink lace. It should make our eyes squint.

The winding roads between Mukah and Niah were like a sleeping pills for both my sister and I. Most of the way to Niah, we were asleep. When night came, we already reached Bintulu road. My eyes just couldn't send myself to sleep already, as sleep mostly accumulated during the day.

I can feel that we were nearing Niah as the ambience along that Bintulu road, where lampu2 raya and tuntong udah dinyalakan. Nei ndak, kawasan tok ramei orang Islam and orang Melayu, so I guess it was already in Niah district, whereas it was still far.

The van shaked left and right as dad drove the van on the big stones and dust, but mostly were soil. That, woke my sister and I up and lampu raya tepi2 jalan made our heart beat faster. Here it is...

That almost 12 - 15 hours journey ended up arriving in Niah in dark, again. Just like when we took off this morning. I was ecstatic, knowing that we arrived in Niah safely, and knowing that there will be playtime with cousins; Khair, Mie and Ann.

Sampei-sampei jak Niah, mekorang park van dibah pokok seberang jalan. By that time, the road in Kampung Dagang was not tar, nya jalan batu n tanah (from Simpang Ngu masuk ke Kampung). Rumah nenek di seberang sungei, there was no bridge connecting to the other side. Everyone in every house had been asleep, so here, I was listening to that deep whisper voice again from my parents.

To go to nenek's house, kamekorang perlu seghawo (yell) ke sidak di rumah nenek. That time, Kak Yah was staying with my grandparents. So most time she'll pick us up using the motorboat. Perauk ber-enjen. She started and pressed the engine slightly, just to make sure we didn't make too much noise that would make the villagers wake up. We put all things in the boat, and boarded the boat carefully, as you know, it was pitch dark. The crocodile-infested river, Sungei Niah, was cold as I dipped my hands into the river.

Sampei di kalan (pengkalan), kamek semua ngembak barang2 naik ke rumah. I knew, Khair and Mie had been waiting for us! They were asleep before that but they woke up whan heard us arrived. Ngah Ramzi and Ngah Wek, Khair, Mie and Kak Yah's parents, were also there. Ann, and Wa Yaman with her wife, Wa Limah were also there, waiting for our arrival.

Nenek laki n nenek ompuan were at the back of the house, the biggest part of the house. The kitchen, dining hall, my grandparents room, my cousin's (Kak Yah) room and the bathroom were all at the back house. The front part of the house were praying room, Kak Nor's room and the living room. I can guess that the house was 30 metres to the back.

Everyone was about to sleep when we came but when we did arrive, the generator kicked in again and the night was alive, again.
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