“Bubur lambuk”, I answered to be greeted by a triumphant “YES!” and what must have been a punch in the air too.
I successfully negotiated Krispy Kreme Doughnuts from Harrods. My sugar level is dangerously low, I pleaded. It was an easy deal – bubur lambuk and Krispy Kreme Doughnuts!
Mak never failed to deliver what we, her children, craved for during Ramadhan. Or come to think of it – even outside the month of Ramadhan. On days she couldn’t cook bubur lambuk, or what we in Kedah called Kanji, she’d ask us to bring some food over to the mosque and queue up for the kanji prepared by the tok bilal there. And as far as I can remember there’d always be kanji on the table.
There’d be crab sambal for me, sambal belacan and ulam for Lilah and kari kepala ikan for the others. We all had our own cravings and favourites. One thing about Mak, when one child was away, that favourite food would also be missing from the table. She couldn’t bear to cook them and eat them without thinking that her child had been deprived of that food.
As I prepared the crab sambal that my youngest requested, my thoughts turned to Mak. This year, she might not even realise that Ramadhan is here again. She might have been told, she might have attempted to fast, but at the end of the day, she would have forgotten that she was fasting. During the last Ramadhan, she even offered to make drinks for everyone. Her memory is fast going but I am pleased to hear that she has not forgotten people around her. She repeatedly asks the same questions but she doesn’t forget names and people. And I hope and pray that when I return, I will be greeted with the same “Anak Mak dah balik!”.
Last night Nona, who is spending time in
Nona would have been spoilt rotten had Mak been well and steady on her feet. Even with the language barrier, she would have communicated her love to her grandchild through her cooking. She came to
My friends moaned when she left for
I admit I had conspired with Kak Cik not to let her know that Ramadhan is here. She has her medications and vitamins to take but she’d be worried sick about missing her fast. She’d worry about when she’d be able to pay back the fast. But the positive take about her forgetfulness is that, yes, she forgets what she was worried about.
I missed Mak’s cooking. And somehow this Ramadhan, I missed her waking me up for sahur.