Friday, October 19, 2007
Now, The Raya-ing Begins...
Thursday, yesterday, on the 6th day of Syawal, emak and I went visiting in Melaka with her sister, makcik Yam and son, Azman. Though Melaka is a small state, you'd be surprised that there are many parts of it seldom heard or visited by not only people from outside the state, but within too! One of these places is a Felda settlement at Hutan Perca, quite near Alor Gajah town. For me, I know of only 2 routes leading this to this still lonely settlement: you either approach it from Gemenceh, Negeri Sembilan, or off a road from Alor Gajah town to Melaka Pindah, emak's kampung.
Its been some so many years since I last visited Hutan Perca, the last some 10 years ago when we my mother's first cousin held a wedding reception for his son. Since then - apart from a new housing estate along the way, and a brand new district Police Headquarters - every thing's still quite the same, including the festival gaiety one would normally find a kampung. Hmm...before one misconstrue the meaning of 'festival gaiety', I do not mean music, bands and dance and what-have-you, which may be the norm in many cases. Here, it means the simple joy of meeting relatives you've not met for ages, and watching their children play games which are not attached by wires. Games, which their parents too once played with joy and gusto. One that helped to bond the children together, but only to be parted with childish stupidity and ego of being an adult, but not an adult wise with age.
Police and thief, Catch, Hopscotch, Batu Sembang, and a variety more, are surprisingly still being played in the backyards of a nation now serenaded as a space-age nation, even when the digital divide grows bigger and harder to bridge, and that there are still people living near Neanderthal-age. But the children knows none of this, or care none about it. The only thing that concern these colour-blind children at the moment I was watching, is how to have fun with their cousins and neighbours. How I envy them.
Soon later, having made our last stop at my uncle's house in Melaka Pindah, we found our way back to KL. Alhamdulillah, the North-South Expressway has been widened to 3 lanes on each side, making our journey back a smooth flow. I dread to think had it not. From the past years experience, traveling during any festive occasion can be a nightmare.
When we left Kota Damansara earlier in the morning, several neighbours had already made it back from their respective hometowns the day before. And by the time we arrived back at my house, we noticed several of the newly returns were already receiving guests. Along the way, we noticed one house in particular - with its door and french-windows wide opened - a group of children crowding a corner. We could not ascertain the reason, but suspect it must be due to an electronic game, or something related to it.
That particular scene we notice, had us in a small talk and laughing in the end. With most of the KL population expected to be back in full-swing by this weekend, many house will be hosting open-houses till the end of Syawal, and some, even spilling 2 weekends after! Ramadhan is now a forgotten memory, and Syawal a food festival than anything else, especially for the adult! For the children who tag-along their parents though, its BONUS TIME! - the time where real 'duit-raya' is collected in earnest. The real meaning of the month of Syawal, and the real joys of it, has been confined to only the the first morning. Now, the Raya-ing begins...