Wednesday, 1 November 2006

The Raya that was

The precious few pieces of ketupat that I had at a friend’s house is now no more than a fond memory that lingers torturously during my waking hours. I have conquered the fear of making jam tarts, the success of which is evident in the empty airtight container that I bought just for that purpose. Now, with renewed confidence, I feel brave enough to try making pulut for ketupat and for that I may need to go for meditation for a whole forty-four days and emerge when the moon is full and the air is serene. Such is the effect of that ketupat that my life will never be the same again.

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I had a raya with a difference this year and I say so with a certain pride. Afterall, I made jam tarts and biskut almond London when throughout my 26 years of marriage I had never ever attempted such feat. I surfed the internet and found several recipes for biskut almond london and copied two – one on each side of an envelope which had earlier delivered a hari raya card from Malaysia. What a mistake! With such a rush of adrenalin, I soon got confused as to which recipe I was following – the one on the front of the envelope or the one on the back? But as it was Ramadan, my patience was in tact and as if on cue, I heard my Mak’s reassuring voice in the background: Kita yang buat dia – apa kita buat jadi lah!” Such wise words in such desperate moments.

It was also a raya with a difference for on the last night of Ramadan, we all gathered in our front room and did the takbir together. Tell me, how would a mother feel, hearing for the first time the voice of your just adolescent son, doing the takbir? His voice, at times breaking, at times nervous, alternated with that of his father, whose voice was still coarse as a result of a month long cold and cough. This mother felt very proud indeed and for the solat raya, which we had at Mawar, he did a repeat performance and sounded more confident.

It was raya with a difference because there was about fifty percent less tension in the morning as we all rushed for the bathroom. I had ironed everyone’s clothes, found the buttons and the pins and the keronsang and left my Jubbah till the last minute to hem it in. Which was another big mistake of course, because I couldn’t find any thread nor needle. My youngest found one of those things that you iron in and was supposed to stick and stay in place. Big mistake again because the hem came undone as we were about to go harirayaing. So in the front room of a friend’s house, daughter number one sat demurely, needle and thread in hand and hemmed in my hem. Ehem, ehem.

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We are not much of a house hopper during hari raya so we stayed on at this friend’s place until there was only standing room. It was nice to see the younger ones – my children’s generation – getting together in their hari raya fineries. I had bought the girls new kebayas and sarungs but year afteryear, theyinsisted on wearing my old kebayas that had seen better days.Rehana wore my kerawanged kebaya top that I wore during my graduation at ITM in 1978, with batik panjang lipat which once belonged to her Cik Su. Nona wore Kak’s green kota baru which was handed down to me, then to rehana and then to her. With that she wore a matching kain ketat that I had made when my waist was as slim as my wrist. Those were the days. Yes, the children – now all grown ups and some still in university and some working – had all grown up together in this land they now called home. Watching them in that living room, we the parents suddenly feel so old.

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It is raya with a difference too as I discovered http://www.reciva.com/ . And my days and nights are suddenly filled with lagu permintaan raya from Klasik National, kenangan menggamit memori, says the jingle. Thank you RTM 1 for making me feel so at home away from home. I heard Datuk DJ Dave with his Maafkanlaaaah, maafkan laah...and Datin Rafeah Buang with her lagu hari raya and was transported back home to my Mak’s kitchen where I knew the clans were gathering.

Yes, the clans, minus a few, went back to Mak’s place that Pak built. Like I said, Mak insisted on going back first. And I understand her reason. She wanted to be there in her own house, and be the first to welcome her children as there arrive one by one. No one can deny her that pleasure even though her heart broke when she discovered that the roof in the kitchen leaked like a sieve. According to sister number three, pots and pans were more useful to contain the water from the heavy rain, than for cooking. But Mak was in her elements, I was told, sometimes forgetting that she was fasting, offering to make drinks for those who fasted, and even asking everyone to go out for lunch – during the last few days of Ramadan. It doesn’t matter Mak, you have done enough in your life – what is a few days when your memory took leave. Allah understands. And Pak understands that you didn’t even think about visiting his grave. You didn’t forget – it is just that your brain cells are acting a bit funny. Pak understands.

It was raya with a difference because I didn’t cry on the first day of raya. I didn’t even cry when i spoke to mak on the phone even though our conversation was like one badly written script. She answered what I didnt ask and asked what I couldn't answer. But I did cry when I received some raya photos from home.

67 comments:

JoKontan said...

Yeehaa...!

Me Numero Uno this time !!

Can Potong Riben One Maaa !!

Lihatlah Dunia... Ms Irdawaty circa late 70s. Yes !

"Kita buat dia, bukan dia buat kita" OMG,.. that was the exact words from my late mum.... :-(

Hopefully, by 10 years time, I could hear my just adolescent son doing the takbir... Mamat Exist sudah jadi exzos..

Pictures, Ku Tunggu dan Menunggu..



Selamat Hari Raya dan Mintak Mahaaap berbanyak kalau ada terkasar bahasa.

JoKontan said...

Ser lagi !!

Kirim salam pada Sir AG.



Dengang ucapang " Mat Sprong Takdork lagi ker? Habih Doh ?"



Mat Sprong Fan Numor Tujoh

wonda said...

Ah, Kak Teh, finally! I was waiting for your Raya post and finally, got to read it. Beautiful raya with fond memories each time. BTW, what happened to the kueh bahulu? (got the name right, this time!)

X-Matters said...

Kak Teh,
Heavy drama setiap tahun in my household. Kak Long mesti nangis after buka puasa on the last day of Ramadan. Nangis lagi esoknya bila bersalaman, bermaafan. She will cry again when we all leave for the city.
Bila dia nangis, semua orang nangis. Setiap Raya. *sob*

nyonyapenang said...

you and family had a beautiful and great Raya. here's wishing many, many more beautiful ones.

Kak Elle said...

kak teh selamat hari raya .... wah macam ni next year bolih lah order kuih from you eh? Ibu mana yg sebak mendengar anak bujang bertakbir? I am happy for you and reading ur entry of raya.

R2K said...

Change can be good.

Atok said...

this year raya day was quite a non-event for us lah... busy sangat. but we did raya in the evening and last weekend. this weekend raya lagi (kan sebulan).

btw KT, Kakak dah start her 11-day filming of 'Northern Lights' yesterday at the Shepperton Studios. pepagi lagi dah kena ada sana, at 7:30am... 7pm baru habis. balik rumah.. makan, terus switch off.

Vern said...

hi kak teh! believe or not i had one of the most enjoyable Raya's this year as well! i like festivities like these, brings back memories and forges bonds.

p/s: did ya auction any of your cooking on ebay? :P

ikanbilis said...

i had a wonderful raya as well, with Vern too on the 2nd Day. my family isn't househopper so my duit raya is much less this time. tanda sudah tambah umur katakan. haha!

Biskut Almond London in London? =)

Kak Lady said...

SELAMAT HARI RAYA ye Kak Teh...

Memang bangga bila mendengar suara anak kita sendiri bertakbir...

Amboi...glamour nya baju kak Teh....

Lady tahun ni...Almond London pun beli...hubby kata tak payah buat...

Anonymous said...

Ah, what lovely photos. What a good daughter you have to sit there and hem your hem. I can sense a lump in your throat while listening to your son doing the takbir.

Kak Teh said...

Jo, hadiahnya ialah.....biskut almond london!!!!!! yes, insyaallah 10 tahun lagi akan berkumandang suara anak Jo dengan takbir rayanya.
Mat Sprong??? hmmm entah hilang ke mana!

wonda, where got baulu because I am not that ambitious. Perhaps in my dreams, hehe.

x-matters - nangis nangis ni is so infectious. memang tak boleh mula!

Kak Teh said...

nyonya penang, thank you for your kind wishes!

kak elle, memang sebab dengar anak bujang bertakbir..Nak order kueh ?? think twice!

alexm yes, change can be good.

atok, of kakak dah mula start? nanti, will phone for update.

Kak Teh said...

vern, if i auction my kueh, they will pay me to take it off ebay!

ikanbilis, psst, can you keep a secret? actually itis not biskut almond London, it is biskut pecan london! (pecan tastes better than almond.)

kak lady, baju tu tak glamourlah...macam biasa saja. beli kat mekah dulu.

Judy, indeed i felt that lump in my throat. such a wonderful moment for us all.

Ordinary Superhero said...

Kak Teh, dah jengok semalam tapi tak sempat nak komen. If not I could have beaten Jo at the ribbon cutting ceremony.:)

Anyway, this raya for the first time, I gathered my kids around after maghrib prayer on the last day of ramadhan and we did our takbir together. I pray I live long enough to see my Abang lead the takbir.

Peace and prayers to your mum. She reminds me of my late mum's friend, who's now the only old folk left in my kampung.

Has said...

Kak Teh,

Congrats on the biskut raya yang comel lote, macam anak2 dara you and Sir AG.

I ni pun tengah suspense, malam tak leh tidur sangat dok ingat macam mana nak steam nasi dagang satu gantang untuk raya6 pada hari Ahad nih. I have mastered the skill of turning perfect nasi dagang and pulut via microwave oven, but recently came to the conclusion that microwaved food is not healthy for those who consumed as well as the chef; especially if the chef is so vulnerable to cancer.

alinlai said...

masih beraya lagi ke kat sana kak teh? hmmm dulu masa undergrad memang tak pernah nangis masa raya sebab gumbira ria kat sana (zaman muda belia), tapi rasanya kalau raya jauh2 lagi lepas ni, pagi raya banjir gamaknya :(

pu1pu3 said...

Salam Raya KT,
Lovely pictures of your children in your kebayas. Kebaya dulu2 lagi cantik dari sekarang...esp the kerawang.
Also, the pictures from home that you posted are simply lovely.
Glad you didn't cry buckets...alah bisa tegal biasa kot...
take care.

~ GAB ~ said...

What a good Raya for you and family. SELAMAT HARI RAYA Kak Teh!

mama irma said...

Kak Teh,
Congratulations on your Raya cookies feat! There is always a first time, kan? Next year, insyaAllah boleh cuba yang lebih mencabar lagi.....Selamat Hari Raya to you and family.

may said...

the cookies look good! and the photo of daughter number one sewing the hem is quite funny, heheh! any kuih raya left?

great family photo. I'm moved as you are.

Happy Hari Raya!

exchapelside said...

Dah besar si taufik ya. Ever thought one day his brother or two sisters would make you a mum-in-law. Imagine Tok H with his grandchild telling him about a far away land where banyak ikang untuk buat keropok lekor. Fish and chips, grandpa...?

drbubbles said...

sungguh kejam orang itu kerana tak cakap daughter no 1 pandai menjahit. hahaha

Kak Teh said...

OSH, Insyaallah that day will come and he will make you proud. My Mak must be the oldest - easily - in our family tree.

ish Has, apa yang masak guna microwave? In our household microwave is banned and microwave foods must never darken our doorsteps. Will send you the pix.

alinlai, ada sikit-sikit lagi open house over the weekends. Kena tahan perut during the weekdays kalau nak makan banyak during the weekend.

Kak Teh said...

pu1pu3, yes, old kebayas are the best - alas my waistline is just a memory now.

gab, hope you had a wonderful one too with your loved ones.

mama irma, yang lagi mencabar tahun depan? Hmmm that would be biskut sugee.

Kak Teh said...

may, daughter number one sees the photo published in my blog and I am history. Nice knowing you, hehe!

exchapelside, tak aci laaaaa, pls reveal yourself!!! I am now tempted to write abt our chapelside days and the chapelsiders as opposed to eastenders! No, I am not about to be a mother in law. Am still in denial.

dr bubbles - alahai orang yang dua tiga pintu depan rumah tu pun pandai menjahit juga!

bisutulibuta said...

kak oiiii....hehe..raya tu raya jugak..projek kita jgn lupa..tengah pulun nih...nanit siap kalu, saya kasi tau sama akak..

Kak Teh said...

BTB, kalau kurangkan aktiviti dan research di atas sofa, mungkin cepat siap! am waiting.

Ordinary Superhero said...

Good one! (Your reply to BTB, that is). Hah hah ha.

bisutulibuta said...

to whom it may concern

*aktiviti atas sofa ditangguhkan sehingga projek siap*

Ordinary superhero..sibuk ah kau..hehe..

kakteh..Ubat kasi basah ada tak ? idea kering ler pulak

Atok said...

itu... 'Mak Peace' foto manyak cool ooo.

btw, this posting reminds me to repair my dear wife's new baju kebaya. tak sempat last week... mesin jahit pun nak kena keluarkan dulu from the garage. (for years... i nak enroll into dressmaking class, and start buat baju for my girls. lum ada masa + i'm afraid i would be the only man in the class).

blossom said...

kak teh,

kalau boleh ku kirim kan ketupat, sure da kirim.. beratus i buat hari tu :D

Kak teh punya gambar takde ke?

BTB, mana menghilang ur blog?

suriz said...

comel-comel keluarga Kak Teh.

seronok dengar anak lelaki saya (5 tahun) bertakbir raya dengan 'pelat' sendiri. Alhamdulillah

mommy@lif said...

yay to internet! boleh kak teh pilih recipe mana nak ikut :P

as always teringat my mak bila baca part about your mak

salam eid mubaraq :)

Kak Teh said...

OSH, heheh, BTB memang menunggu pukulan tu!

BTB, ish kering idea pulak. Pi rendam dalam kolam tu.

atok, waah, pi enrol in dressmaking so thati can upah you for next year's raya.

Kak Teh said...

blossom, er tu ada gambar kaki kak teh tu...

suriz, yes, i can share your feelings. dan tak terkata sebaknya ibu yang mendengar.

mommy@alif, ingat tak dulu2 orangs embunyi dan lokek nak kongsi resipi...sekang ni satu dunia boleh tumpang, kan?

suriz said...

mungkin saya agak ketinggalan, tapi nak tanya juga. Kampung Kak teh kat mana?

Kak Teh said...

suriz, kak teh berasal dari kedah tapi dah 26 tahun di London..itulah ceritanya. dah lama merantau.

Jane Sunshine said...

Awww...R sewing your hem is such a gem of a pic. I love all the bajus. Next week kita pi makan okay-must capitalise on raya 1 bulan.

simah said...

sebak saya tengok photo clips ni.. i think i can understand how u feel looking at those photos..

ur daughters r all grown up..they r beautiful..and that yaya..comelnyaaaaaaaaa

congratulations for the pineapple tart... berjaya jugak kak teh!! next year project apa pulak??

simah said...

u mentioned rtm..it was u who left that message about rtm link the other day in my blog, right? if it is true..thank u..

Azer Mantessa said...

"Kita yang buat dia – apa kita buat jadi lah!”

woooooo, my mum said the same thing so I made biskut ovaltine ... utk testing2 jer so buat tak byk. sebelum raya jer dah habis ... erks.

selamat hari raya.
maaf zahir bathin.

rubyahmad said...

Hi kak Teh,

You did jam tarts and biskut almond London after 26 years of marriage! Bravo! It's ok, better late than never.

When I was in London, I was craving for authentic curry puffs with real curry leaves and chinese celery and siap kelim tepi. I whipped it up using recipe book of course and am so proud, just the same way you felt, cos they were finger-lickin' good (blowin' my own trumpet)..ha ha ha. But then again, tak lawan jam tarts lah..*smile*

What's our next culinary feat?

sri said...

Salam Kak Teh; Selamat hari raya too... nak tengok gambar raya Kak Teh la, mana aci hanya kaki. Btw anak-anak you dah besar belaka and so cute Yaya! Very nice photo and I dapat bayangkan bagaimana you missed all yr family here. Ya peace to yr mak!

Manal said...

Cerah2 mostly family members kak teh in msia yea. That two girls tu reminded me of ur 1st son, T. No wonder u were mistaken as mek kelate back in ur younger days. Cud be some siam-indochinese-chinese blood run in ur family.

Btw, who taught R how to sew the hem? is that some sort of a pretext before u getting a new "family member"? ;-)

Peace V to mak too....

Count Byron said...

Kak Teh, A beautiful rendition of keinsafan di Takbir pada pagi raya.. and the warmth of your family pervades your posting. Thank you for sharing such raya with a difference.
I love Mak doing a 'peace'. She is a picture of patience and virtues.

Kak Teh said...

jane, yes, makan is a must and let us know we are always available and ready.

simah, may be i did - but do try www.reciva.com

azer mantessa, biskut ovaltine?? tu kena share resipi dengan kak teh!

Kak Teh said...

ruby, i have to prepare from now for my next feat - bukannya senang!

sri - hahaha - bila i tengok mak buat peace sign, gelak pun ada nangis pun ada!

manal - burmese blood adalah! and R belajar jahit kat sekolah kut.

CB, Mak tu mesti cucu-cucu dia suruh buat tu! Diaikutsajalah kerenah depa.

Mama Rock said...

glad that your mak dapat raya in her own home and glad that you had a blast too! ehem ehem..lain kali hem tu ehem ehem, jgn la panjang sangat :)

Kak Teh said...

mama rock, bila lagi nak bully anak suruh jahit baju mak dia, kan? mak dah mata rabun.

Mak Andeh said...

Am sure your Mak will cherish the Raya for a long time to last till the next time.

Raya Peace to all, too.

Kak Teh said...

MA, yes, she will remember and cherish it. After all her memory is so selective nowadays...she wants to remember the good and wonderful ones.

Nazrah said...

lovely photos indeed!the next time you get on video conference with your mom, please convey my salam and tell her i said, "PEACE, mak tok!!" ...

gambar termahal gambar peace sign tu la...

drbubbles said...

pi rumah abg ajie & kak nisa semalam. tanya hilman,

" banyak tak dapat duit raya"

dengan selamba aje dia jawab,

" RM1000!"

(boleh la pinang datuk Siti)

maR said...

Semuanya cantik!
Selamat menyambut Syawal buat kak teh sekeluarga di sana....
Oddly enough, I miss kent *lol*

Kak Teh said...

nazrah, Insyaallah I will.

Doc Bubbles, hehe, I can almost imagine his selamba face when he said that.

Mar, you are missing Kent? Well, I think it is the most beautiful time to be now that it is autumn. you are missing the bautiful colours and landscape. But surely not the weather?

amiene rev said...

alangkah enaknya kueh kueh,

sedapnya rendang itik

kuek kuek kuek...

ooo enaknya....

hari ni semua blog yang saya singgah ada makan-makan...

selamat hari raya.

wonda said...

Ah,Kak Teh, how many cookies did you turn out? More cookies or more comments? Looks like the comments are going to chalk up to 100 every time. Everyone luvs ya and your cookies too! Dah habis makan semua biskut tu?

Kak Teh said...

amiene rev, thanks for the visit and selamat hari raya to you too.

alice, the cookies are nearly gone and i have not had the urge to make some more - may be over christmas breaklah so that we can sit down and munch in front of the tv.

anggerik merah said...

Kak Teh,

almond london...yummy.

The kebaya's which Rehana and Nona had from you still cantik..

MULAN said...

PEACE to you too Kak Teh. Glad you & family had a dandy & cracking RAYA!!! Hope my Zharif'll get the chance to perform Takbir too.. macam anak bujang Kak Teh tu..

~ahni~ said...

Kak Teh, sedapnya nampak kuih almond london tu...
Kak Teh, masih simpan ke baju tahun 1978? Dahsyat nyer, saya ni baju tahun 2000 pun dah tak dak la...

*fizzy* said...

Dearest Kak Teh,

The 'pecan london' biscuits sure look yummmmmmmmy.
Never mind you took 26 years after marriage coz I'm sure it's worth it. :)

And thanks for sharing the slideshow.
Must've been hard not to cry when you're thousands of miles away and seeing those pictures.

Keep on blogging, Kak Teh.
Glad I finally get to read your blog.

tee said...

selamat hari raya kak teh...

congrats kerna berjaya gak buat biskut raya itew.. n the kebaya dress, walaupun dah lama tapi tetap cantik ibarat pepatah - tak lekang dek panas, tak luput dek hujan. (or is it de other way round?) he he...

Kak Teh said...

AM, I treasure them so much and will never, never give them away. The fashion is here to stay tho i cant say the same about my waistline.

Mulan, Insyaallah, I am sure he will.

cik ni , memang betui kak teh simpan!

Kak Teh said...

fizzy thanks for dropping by and thanks for lovely, kind words.

tee, memang betul tu - tak lekang dek panas, tak luput dek hujan, tak lusuh dek washing machine.