Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A tale of woe

  The top seemed peculiar; no fan could be seen hanging. The blanket wrapping my body too looked odd and old. A neighbourhood rooster crowed once then twice and then silent, completely silent, indicating that it was already in the morning. Ohhed-ahhed, I straighten up my nerves. I stood on my feet; the cold that I used to feel upon stepping on the floor could not be felt that day. I slowly tiptoed and unopened the door widely. For a minute, I stood in front of the door, no-one else could be seen, neither mum nor dad. The surge of angry, sad and betrayed overwhelmed me that unshed tears occupied my eyes. My face twisted in a grimace of sorrow, a child looking for his parents straight from bed. The clinking of metals can be heard from the kitchen, I stormed to kitchen, burst out crying. Soon after that, pairs of rough, warm hands circled me, calming the aggrieved me. It was a lot of relief, touch of healing. She’d then give me her nice words telling me that mum and dad were gone for work and they will get me something once they returned. The twisted face morphed to neutral. She grabbed my Donald duck backpack which mum had stashed some clothes and toys inside, unbuttoned my pyjamas, and then led me straight to the bathroom which door made of zinc. 

Pails and after pails of water being poured onto my head, accompanied by her singing of ancient, never-heard-of song. The water was really cold that I shivered and my nails turned to slightly blue. I looked up, she was wearing a black scarf covered half of her head unveils some of her greys. She sat me on a chair in front of a mirror then after awhile of make-over session, the image of a geek boy could be seen emerged in the mirror reflecting my image. I was amazed by how she had transformed me from out-of-bed look into this. “Mari make(makan)” she raised her hoarse voice. A plate of fried rice and a cup half full of ‘Teh Susu’(Milk Tea)were readily being served on the wooden table. The table looked exactly like the flotsam and jetsam that had been washed ashore. I took a deep scrutinize into the plate, there were a lot of green leafy veggies and kedgerees could be seen. “Mok, banyok sayur dop sedap!” I groaned of too much veggies and I hated it so bad. There were no chicken frankfurters, eggs just how mum served me in the morning. “Ehh! Tok leh keno make sayur!” She replied. Oh god! I loathed her for luring me into something I hate. 

Whenever my parents go for work, I’ll have to stay with her till night depending on the day. Sometimes I need to stay overnight. Dad and mum seemed so busy with their work. Dad was always outstation, but once he returned, there was no regret, it was always something he bought me home. There was a day, I need to stay overnight and I hated it. She sat closely beside me, munching on the ‘sireh’. My aunt the youngest sister of my mum was still schooling at that time. She was resting on her chest jotting something on her book. I sat leaning to a wall, scanning through every corner of this wooden house. At a distance, puff of smokes could be seen. I always fascinated about the fire or smoke, I was a pyromaniac, but she sternly warned me not to get close to that smoke. It’s poison. It was crucial for it to be kept ignited the whole night, to keep mosquitoes away from us. Sometimes, when I got mosquitoes bite, my skin would swell into florid, and she would spit some of her ‘sireh’ on the affected area. It was seriously disgusting, but there was no effort of removing it, in fact I’ll let it dried and washed afterwards. I continued watching the telly. The programme was ridiculously crap! I loathed it so much. I wished I could go home, sleeping in air-conditioned room, no mosquitoes and most important is that I could watch anything I love. But I was binned here. I was getting sleepy that she led me to her room. There was my Donald Duck backpack close to my pillow where I rested my head. Beside me, it was her pillow where she’d sleep. Her husband would sleep on the bed under the mosquitoes net. He was just like Captain Hook where every child afraid of him, including me. I rarely made eye contact with him, and he rarely spoke to me either. Better in that way cause he was just like a Cerberus when he was angry. The best part finally arrived, when she would lie and began her bedtime stories while at the same time tapping on my hip. It was the same story being told over and over again, magically I never tired of hearing it; in fact there were always lot and lot of questions that I’ll ask once she finished her story. The story would always about ‘Sang Kancil dan Harimau’, ‘Bawang Putih Bawang Merah’, ‘Mat Jenin’, ‘Batu Belah Batu Bertangkup’ and ‘Askar Jepun’. The story was really soothing. There was some days where I purposely told her I want to ‘shit’ though I was not and she would tell me “Oghe dop berak male-male buto nih! Ado bok-bom”. Then she’ll started singing while tapping lightly on my arse,

“Tidur...Jubo tidur
Tidur Dalam Lalang,
Tidur Jubo tidur
Jangan ajar berak malam.

p/s: I’m sorry for the word Jubo(ass).It’s vital to maintain the originality.
I was almost burst out laughing upon catching this song. The song was really ridiculous but that’s the song she sung me every time I asked to ‘shit’ in the night. Well sometimes its work, sometimes it’s not. 

I grew older day by day. I grew a lot mischievous too. Every time dad and mum off to work, I’ll stay with her even after school. The school bus would drop me off in front of her house. From a distance, I could see her in the kitchen busy preparing the lunch for the whole family. She was really a good cook, traditional food I’d say. She sucks at modern cuisine! After school I supposedly to attend religious class organized by a wife of Imam near to her house. Sometimes I’d skip the class, mostly I did. She’d nag at me like hell, and then reported every detail to my parents. I hated her for god sake! There was a time when I purposely disturbed the hens and without realization I broke one of its eggs. She learnt it then she told Captain Hook and the next thing I learnt, I was being kept imprisoned in the ‘Rebang Ayam’(chicken house/coop) behind her house. I was sitting on the ground inside the coop, crying, wishing that my parents would instantly emerge. It was her came to get me. I was so blind, so blind that I could not see her. All I knew was I love my other granny, my father’s mother. She’s rich. She was always getting me things I want and would always give me a lot of money. I solely saw the money, money could buy the happiness. I was so blind, blind that I could not see her.

To be continued...


puding roti said...

sedih sgt kak ha bc..tak sempat kenal arwah mok..kalu dop leh tumpang bermanja..kak ha pun suka dgr arwah tok poh kak ha bercerita.psl zaman perang, tentera jepun, hantu cewwi..jauhnya kenangan boleh bwk kita..

Al-fatihah untuk arwak mok...

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