|Grandfather's house, now belong to youngest uncle|
After attending an invitation in the evening followed by a corporate buka puasa yesterday, we finally reached home in the early morning after an early sahur.
Took a bath, and got some clean cloth. That awaken the missus. She mumbled about the last 10 nights of Ramadhan began and falls back to sleep.
At about almost the same time, one YB posted something in one Whas App group. He said to be done with the topsy turvy current politics and focus on the last 10 days of Ramadhan.
Pray and seek barakah, protection and blessing of peace, harmony and prosperity for the nation, and people as well as family.
The very reason no posting on politics or any corporate issue today.
Without saying much, we immediately did our isya prayer, Terawih and many other stuff.
Thought of keeping awake by reading the Quran to wake the missus for her sahur. But eyes too tired to do any reading.
So we kept ourself by going online to mekahlive.net to hear the Imam in Mekah recite the Quran in their Terawih. Wouldn't it be great to be there in Mekah now?
If not, wouldn't it be great to be at our kampong now?
The tradition in our kampong at my grandparents' home for the last 10 days was to light lampu raya around the house.
With all the houses putting up lampu raya, the whole kampong would brighten up in the night.
You know how the old folks never tell you why they do certain things and maintain a certain tradition. Same here.
We thought it was the build-up towards the coming Raya festivity. It turns out there was a logical reason for it.
The last 10 days is when the old folks would be going to surau for their late sembahyang malam which ends in the early morning.
The last 10 days is supposed to be the holiest period of the holy month of Ramadhan. [Read this posting by IKIM here].
|Old gravel road is not tarred|
Our childhood was in Johor Baru but we spent a lot of Ramadhan with grandfather in kampong at Batu Pahat.
Any time a family member from Baru Pahat stop over our home in JB before or during Ramadhan, we would persuade our paremts permission to hitch back to grandfather's.
We will be there thoughour Ramadhan till the family return for Raya.
As the eldest cucu, we must have been spoilt by grandfather.
We had uncles of same or younger age. But if we were caught together doing something michievous, they get the spanking but not moi.
Compared to the kids today, we weren't lucky enough to have many toys to play or things to do around the house except school work or chores.
We enjoyed grandfather's home because there were lots of books belonging to our uncle and aunts to read.
At 6 or 7, we must have read their secondary school textbooks. Most of them were in art stream and we would finish reading their Malay literature form 6 hikayat textbooks.
Not to mentioned, their hidden collection of Malay soft porn magazines, Jejaka and Romantika. Blame them for not keeping it secret enough.
Come play time, we make do with toys made on our own from rubber fruit seeds, stalk of banana leaves, etc. If not, it would be long hours of swimming in the two large ponds or games like hide and seek, hopscoth or galah.
We were still learning to fast. Grandfather would encourage us by making a special treat everyday for buka puasa.
There is always some drinks he concocted or fruits picked up from the kebun. Late grandma, just passed away last year, would make different bubur or dishes everyday.
|The site of the surau|
Grandfather was one of the Imam for the surau. They take turn to lead the Terawih.
During prayers, the old folks would fill up the first three saf or line. The kids would be at the back.
Whenever it is time to say the ameen for the fatihah in the prayers or the doa in between prayers, the kids voices could be heard embarassingly loud chanting, "Amin! Amin! Amin!" and sniggering.
There will always be that one or two pranksters at the back who would grab our scrotum while in the sujud position. One can hear them sniggering at our shock in surprise.
One thing different between kids in the past and present, we were not noisy or disregard the elders.
The old folks knew we were not serious in our prayers but they did not get angry or upset as parents today with children at masjid and surau.
After prayers, we would play galah panjang at the surau yard while the old folks have their tea and cakes. The kampong version was a bit rough like American football. One has to catch and grab the person to win back your turn be on offense to collect points.
|Home of grandfather's closest brother|
When it happens, the old folks would laugh together sportingly.
One will not find such scene at surau and masjid today. People tend to be too serious and strict.
The old kampong ways may seemed lax but it endears the kids with the surau. As they grow up, they will naturally become more mature and and less playful.
There are times we would play hide and seek. We urban kids lose out. These kampong kids could be hiding at the most scariest of places, even in the nearby graveyard.
We would give up and get jeered for not able to find them.
That is when the Raya mood can be felt. Family begin to return to kampong.
It is no more lampu raya to lit the pathway but there is like a one up-manship to be the house with the best display of lampu raya.
There are ample food as families would exchange dishes.
There is also the tradition of munjung where one family would cook and distribute it for other close families for buka. Its akin to taking turn to cook to save time to do more ibadah and prepare for Raya.
At about that time, Grandfather would have sold his bales of getah and paid off his workers. There is extra money to buy carbide for the meriam buluh. Night time, one can hear bamboo cannon blasting away.
The ladies would be busy sewing raya cloth or making kueh.
Baking has to be done late night when the younger kids are asleep. Or there will be none left to serve for raya.
The men will be busy making (kacau) dodol, getting firewood ready and prepare the yard.
Such beautiful memories of the past.
These days we only buy ready made cloth or kueh. Even visitors during raya hardly look forward for the raya cookies that is available all years.
Commercialism killing off tradition.
Today grandfather, grandmother and one of our playpal uncle are no more around.
It maybe a coincident but most of our family tend to pass away before or after Ramadhan. Father passed away in Ramadhan, the 18th.
These days Ramadhan is a month to commemurate their passing away with prayers held in their memory.
Time for the children and grandchildren (grandfathers' cucu and cicit) to have their moments.
For Bak (father), Yahi-Yahi (grandfathers), Nyai_Nyai (grandmothers), and Cik-Cik (uncle/aunties) ... Al Fatihah!
* Edited 10:50 pm