Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer


Monday, September 06, 2004

"Life is filled with secrets. You can't learn them all at once " -Dan Brown "The Da Vinci Code"

My father, for one reason or the other, did not want to live with the rest of the family. I heard whispers that he was miffed at not being found a wife like what they did to his younger brother. Or it might be that he fell into disfavour for not giving in to the repeated requests to follow his grandaunt cum grand stepmother to Mesir (Egypt) and learn how to be a hafiz and reader. The real reason is buried with my father in the compound of Mesjid Sultan Zainal Abidin or better known as Mesjid Putih (White Mosque).

The family was earlier in Kota Lama where the Standard Chartered Bank and other commercial establishments are now. Then they moved to Dalam Kota Istana Maziah. Even that house was removed and its remaining occupants are scattered all over or beyond Kuala Terengganu.

My father, as a government employee, moved too much to have a permanent base of his own. So, except in places where there were departmental quarters, my father lived in rented houses.

At least two of the houses were in the area behind Mesjid Putih. One was nearer to the mosque and the other further down in Kampong Datuk Panglima Perang. We also lived in Kampong Paya Tok Ber, a stone's throw from the mosque. I am not sure if my father paid rent for this house because it belonged to my mother's sister whose family also lived there.

I tried very hard to remember the exact location of the first rented house behind the mosque. All I can remember are two things. I was in Standard One in Sekolah Melayu Paya Bunga and I was in the afternoon session. One day I had unfinished business in the outhouse (no indoor plumbing then) when I heard the zohor call to prayer. My panicky wailings brought my mother rushing to the jamban (the aforementioned outhouse). She probably thought I fell inside. I was just scared that I was late for school.

The other thing I remembered was being tied to a clump of banana trees in front of the house.

It was Hari Raya Raya Haji. It wasn't a big deal to my mother then because she wasn't a hajjah yet. We went to the well and I had my bath while my mom proceeded with her laundry. By the time I finished putting my baju melayu, sampeng and songkok, my mother have not finished washing clothes. I was bent on painting the town red or whatever colour a Standard One Pupil could at that time and wanted my raya money. My mother told me to wait. My father was away at work, even though it was a public holiday.

I waited for a while, sitting on the steps of the house, my chin cradled in the palms of my hand. It was a long while to a young boy. I couldn't wait any longer. I went inside the house and found my mother's handbag. It was a green patent leather handbag. I rummaged inside and retrieved one ringgit in coins.

I made my way to Kedai Kohtong, a coffee shop at the other end of a row of shops housing Kedai Pok Loh Yunang, Kedai Fernandez, and Kedai Yamada etc. I ordered and had a breakfast of chicken satay. It was my first time on my own in a food place of any sort.

I came home, very much later, to face my mother's Spanish Inquisition. My protestations that the money was due to me anyway were pronounced irrelevant and duly rejected. "Wait till your father gets home" was a promise and not a threat. My father did get home, told of my misdeed and led me down to the nearest clump of banana trees and tied me there. My friends got wind of my predicament and came to gawk. They looked sad but did not dare untie me. Like good Malaysians, they didn't want to get involved.

To this day, I dare not take anything that isn't mine. I also studiously avoid green patent leather handbags.

| 1:02 AM :: ::
11 CommentsOldStyle:
  • I think I'll never look at a green leather handbag the same now Mann :)lol...Jackie

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:52 AM  
  • Alamak Pok Ku! Ada kerengga tak? Hehehe... And how long were you left there for?

    By Blogger DaisyBoo Blacksheep, at 6:55 AM  
  • kena ikat kat pokok pisang? that's better daripada a parent in Ummiku Sayang e-group who ttok her kid to the police station.:)

    By Blogger Nectar, at 11:26 AM  
  • I am so glad you started a blog -- all these rich stories!

    And being tied to a pokok pisang! And we thought being locked out of the house was bad enough :)

    By Blogger mokciknab, at 12:10 PM  
  • Those were the days. I did time with my cousin, locked in a bathroom, for half a day. Crime: Bombing old Eng Seng's shop with stones because he stopped feeding the deities behind his shop with oranges and apples. We missed the fruits.

    By Blogger Kri, at 1:08 PM  
  • pakcik,
    saya dulu pernah kena ikat dengan papa saya waktu duduk di berek polis Kota Bharu. Katanya saya ni kuat berjalan sangat masa kecik-kecik. Mujur tak patah kerusi rotan tu dek saya meronta-ronta sangat. But later when I grow up to be a young man, I eventually dont wander around like other teenagers do. I only go out when I need to go out, for programs, usrah, listening to ceramah and academic purposes only. I guess I learnt my lesson from that experience kot.

    But yeah..it's nice to know your story, especially from one sexy old man..hehehe..


    By Blogger Orang Kita, at 2:37 PM  
  • The satay must have tasted really good that day. I used to have a friend called Tengku Abdul Rahman who lived behind the Bangunan MARA whre they sell all the kain batek and kain songket. His sister makes tat nangka for sale. I just wonder she is still in business. The tat nangka is of soft dough with nangka jem (cooked herself). The size of the tat is about the size of a mini pizza.

    By Blogger Tio Awang, at 4:35 PM  
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