Friday, 7 April 2006

Of weddings and pantuns...

After last week’s busy schedule, I am feeling a trifle melancholic and just this minute, the reality set in. Last Sunday, in between the April showers and bursts of sunshine, a normally not so busy street in west London came alive with the beating of the kompang by a group of young Malay boys in colourful baju Melayu accompanying the groom along the short walk to the hotel. Inside, the bride was already waiting on the pelamin, and the guests ready seated waiting for the bersanding. I was unnecessarily nervous. I had rehearsed the pantuns several times and when given the cue that the groom and his party were already coming down the stairs, my heart was beating in rythm with the kompang, and even louder! This was my debut as the mak cik kepo, assigned to obstruct the advancing party with pantuns before they were allowed in. It was all in good fun, and I had never even witnesed this in real life. I don’t even know whether in Malaysia this is still done. But here in London, whenever we had a wedding, we tried to make it as traditional as possible, kompangs, pantuns, silat, tarian asyik, majlis merenjis and even the joget lambak. Anything at all to remind us of our roots and at the same time to give our children, a glimpse of our tradition.

It is during occassions like this that we see the Malay community coming together – everyone with an expertise in anything at all will chip in. A group of friends stayed till the wee hours of the morning doing the pelamin, some did the sirih junjung and hantaran, while others prepared the bunga manggar. Although Mak was an expert in all of these, I never inherited any of her skills, so I stuck to what I do best – pantuns and emceeing!

My own wedding was a very modest affair. No silat, no pantuns, not even a pelamin. Just two cushions from Abang’s sofa that was placed on the floor. We sat there facing each other and for the first time, as a wife, I kissed his hands. He, in return, took my hand and held it high in the manner of a boxing champion, causing a lot of laughter, even among the sternest of aunts in the crowd. And that was twenty six years ago, in Abang’s lounge in Bangsar.

Tomorrow, Abang will go through this ceremony again. His second in his lifetime after Kak Piah left him last year. Tomorrow, he will be a husband again and he will have a wife by his side. He had had so many good years with Kak Piah and spent almost everyday of Kak Piah’s last year by her bedside as he watched her succumb to cancer. Kak Piah’s family had been instrumental in searching for someone to bring that smile to his face again. And tomorrow is the the day. And I wont be there. I wont be there to watch the chaos and kelamkabutness in Sungai Merab as Kak Cik delegates everyone around her. I won’t be there to see Abang with his endless smiles or the look of happiness on Mak’s face as she sees her eldest son beaming with joy again. I wont be there to banter with Ajie or Lilah and Kak. I will miss all these. I have been so involved in other people’s weddings – people who have become my family here – but I will miss my own brother’s wedding. I promise, I will be there in spirit!
Pantun untuk Abang
Bunga mawar di atas batu,
Bau semerbak dicium selalu,
Walaupun jauh beribu batu,
Kebahagian Abang adik doakan selalu.
Nasi minyak terlepas lagi,
Simpanlah sikit di dalam peti,
Dengar kata Abang sengeh nampak gigi,
Maklumlah dah jumpa yang berkenan di hati.








31 comments:

maR said...

Oh that is so nice... kak teh upload pictures la kak teh.. It had been awhile since I've been to kenduri...
And the pantun... so sweet...

Nazrah said...

wahh...ingat nak update pasal joet lambak sekali...rupanya ada 3 dalam satu punya cerita.

tahniah "abang" kakteh. semoga berbahagia selalu.

Nazrah said...

joget...bukan joet

MA said...

Isk...apsal ramai sgt orang kawen nih ?

Congratulations Abang Kak Teh - meh semborq-semborq kat chek sikit noo.... ?

:-)

Atok said...

nasi minyak terlepas lagi
kalau disimpan dah tentu basi
adik tak balik janganlah kecik hati
pasal dah bungkus hadiah London mari

akad disambut kedua kali
senyum tersengih berdebar hati
semoga sejahtera bersama sejoli
walau tak kenal ucapan ku beri

kalau ke sini berdua bercuti
sila ke rumah mengenal diri
sungai di belakang penuh misteri
boleh kita menyusur ke Henley

cak pong, cak pong...

sue said...

hang tuah bersilat keris diacu,
rentaknya lincah tidak terperi,
semoga bahagia ke anak cucu,
untuk mempelai manis berseri.

anedra said...

just came back from the "chaos" in Sg Merab. Memang riuh pada tahap maksima with everybody having a hand at "meddling" with the bunga rampai and ogling at the stuff in the trays. In the middle of all this, someone said, "kan best kalau Mak Teh ada?". hehe..You have not been forgotten.

swan said...

congratulations to Abang for managing to tersengeh sampai nampak gigi again...hahahahhaha..

Would love to do the same for my children wedding some day..joget lambak ...balas pantun, silat, etc etc...

anggerik merah said...

So sweet...your spirit is there. Congratulation to your abang. Semuga berbahagia sehingga akhir hayat.

thewailer said...

congratulations to your brother, kak teh! :)

Jane Sunshine said...

Congrats abang kak teh!

Kak Teh said...

mar, gambar tak boleh sebab tak dapat kebenaran pengantin lagi...
nazrah - ish dare not update on joget lambat - tu semua syoks sendiri.
MA - insyaallah - ehem ehem!
atok -ewah atok berpantun...boleh tahan ni!

Kak Teh said...

traveller,
semoga bahagia ke anak cucu,
untuk mempelai manis berseri,
abang memang dah ada cucu,
bertambah bahagia tidak terperi.

anedra - peluk cium everyone for me ...uwaaaahhh - nak balik!!!
swan - for yr children's wedding kak teh pi berpantun...hehe

AM, Wailer and jane - thanks for th ebest wishes!!!

swan said...

Kak Teh, betul ke nih...ish terharunya. Who wont ay! Kak Teh with her beautiful voice berpantun at my son's wedding...alahai...it's a date ok.

Kak Teh I was living in Basingstoke la for over 10 years..cuma tak kenal you aje.,..i was the only malay there so you could imagine kan...
nantilah if i go back to visit my family and friends then we should meet up in reading for a cup of tea ..okies

simah said...

waaa kak teh ada kakak ipar baru....congrats to u n abang... lelaki kalu hidup sendiri tanpa teman memang susah kan?

Ordinary Superhero said...

Masa kahwin ngan my wife, I dah warning awal2 lagi, no pantun and no toll masa I sampai dengan I punya rombongan. Kalau tidak....kita orang balik. Nasib baik semua went out smoothly. Kah2 that was 9 years ago.

Noni said...

congrats to abang kak teh and my doa is that this marriage brings him all the happiness he deserves, desires and more.

Alaaa Kak Teh... No fairlah cam ni.. i oso want u to pantun at kids' weddings... but then swan's kids are younger than mine... I just hafta make sure mine kawin dulu and songlap kepantunan kak the b4 it gets to swan... rebut beb jgn tak rebut...

Kak Teh said...

swan- so u are no longer here?
simah, memang betoi- senyum memanjang!
OSH - aiseymang- pantunlah best!
noni - tak apa - book awal2 -and i will repare different pantuns 2 hehe - by then mesti kena pakai teropong nak baca!

nadya said...

selamat pengantin baru untk 'abang' mak teh. semoga berbahagia dan dirahmati Allh selalu hendaknya.

kalau dah dapat kebenaran masukkan gambar ~ lagi best. :P

About Blogreader said...

Tahniah kepada abang Kak Teh. Although a stranger, I've peeked into his life through the words of his loving family members -- the wheel is turning. That is the incredible thing about human beings. (That, and making up pantuns.)

tee said...

congrats to Abang kak teh...may he found happiness in Kakak too...

bergen said...

Layang-layang terbang tinggi
layang-layang terbang tinggi
Layang-yang terbang tinggi
layang-layang terbang tinggi

You won't get a pantun that matches line by line and word for word like this anywhere.

Saya belajar pantun juga. Kecik2 sudah pandai ini pantun worr. Ada betul ka saya cakap?

bisutulibuta said...

Pantun untuk Kakak

Tiada emas intan kaca atau suasa
Gelita malam berbumbungkan hari kelam
Maka gering satu dunia pada masa
Ketika seorang kakak memberi salam

Jeritan burung tak pernah kata suka
Hati emas sentisa berada dalam debar
Maka girang segala kelam hati luka
Ketika seorang kakak bertanya khabar

Daun ulam makan nasi sama pegedil
Berlayar kita dilautan bersama sipauh
Pantun ini ciptaan unggul diri kerdil
Khas untuk KakTeh dari adik yang jauh.

X-Eyed Jules said...

It's more meaningful when you are abroad kan? I enjoyed Raya more when I was in the UK. No catered food, mercenary kuih raya & kad raya pun buat sendiri.

bisutulibuta said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Kak Teh said...

nadya - insyaallah.
blogreader, u cld have commissioned a few pantuns from me at yr wedding. Cheap one - for friedns - hehe!
tee - thanks. they are off for a honeymoon.
bergen - wah bergen berpantun, thanks.
butatulibisu or is it the other way round? nothing wrong with yr senses i see. thanks dik!
xeyedvision - thanks for the visit and yes, i so know what u mean abt being away!

pu1pu3 said...

KT,
Seronoknya baca cerita your wedding, esp when AG raised your hand macam victory in a boxing match..
So hilarious.
At last your abang will have a companion. ALhamdulillah..

sya said...

Kak Teh.. Sg Merab? sya hari-hari lalu kat Sg Merab bila pi kerja. Sg Merab luar ke dalam?

Yes I know the feeling of not being around during a family wedding. Kaklady was married during my exam week in ITM Terengganu, in Terengganu the weekends will be Friday and Thursday. I cried my hearts out thinking about everybody was there and not me.. :(

Lollies said...

tahniah abang. semoga bahagia selalu

kawin saya berghazal dan silat milat sekali

Kak Lady said...

Kak Teh...moga abang akan bahagia bersama isteri tersayang....dan moga yang pergi akan sentiasa di kenang....

Seronok kan kalau majlis perkahwinan tu penuh dengan adat tradisi Melayu...sekarang kat sini dah banyak yang dibuang...rasa-rasanya kat Melaka yang terkenal dengan joget lambak & pesta mandi-mandi pun dah takde sekarang...

Ajzie said...

salam kenal dari saya.. dan selamat pengantin baru pada pengantin eik.

Wasalam
Ajzie