Salam Aidiladha, everyone.
I bet most of you are currently at our hometown; enjoying the company of your loved ones. For some reason, people from Negeri Sembilan enjoy lemang during festive seasons. If people from the North are enjoying ketupat daun palas, we would prefer to eat lemang. I have that explanation to you, folks. But we'll talk about that later; since there is another memory lane which needs exploring today:)
I was celebrating Aidiladha in school. If I was not mistaken, we were having our exam at that time and because the raya was a midweek celebration, nobody went home. That was the perks of being a boarding school student; you got to be with friends at the time when parents were not around. The time was enjoyed with their company; even the non - Kelantanese warden was single on the day itself; and food was at its best since the dining hall had no choice but to serve.
When the announcement was made, I was devastated. I wanted to go home very badly since we were allowed to go for weekend holiday only once in a month. I was not being pampered by my parents. Since the food at the dining hall was available and my parents paid for it, I have been given only RM20 per month as my pocket money. Yet, that was the money for my bus fare and I made sure I kept enough balance in order for me to step my foot on Seremban's ground.
But as much as I was not happy about it, my Kelantanese friends felt the utmost frustration. Obviously, they considered that as a predicament since Aidiladha was the day for them. I remember seeing my dorm mates cried when they called their parents, some of them sulked on their bed, and some watched television like nobody's business.
So, everybody minded their own business. Most took the opportunity for laundry and spring cleaning. Me and my gang took the opportunity to paste Backstreet Boys pictures in our scrapbook. Apparently, Kevin Richardson and Nick Carter had this very strong aura which turned me into a "gedik" in today's language.
Nevertheless, there were caring parents who came to school and brought huge containers of food like Laksa Johor, rendang and ketupat. Until today, I'm still grateful to those parents who understood the term called home sick :)
However, there was this group of boys who caught my attention at that time. They sang a better lyrics than "everybody rock your body" called takbir. We had that for three mornings after Subuh and their voice was marvelous.
Well, in normal circumstances, people might sound like frogs but do you realise that when it comes to holy verses, none of that matter anymore?
As an adolescent there were several things which I failed to realise. I missed some of the key points like how committed those boys towards the time to perform the takbir, how much patience they had when the microphone was not working or worst, how to make the crowd participate in the takbir itself. Their challenges were not forgotten. I just realised that I'm appreciating it now than it was before.
I was 14. Too young to understand that world would change. Too naive to accept that people would change too.
As a thirty year old lady, I have to admit that there were times when I wanted to go back to the time when I was more than welcome to join the takbir. I would want to hear the voice of my late grandparents who performed takbir in their lifetime. Of course, I was missing the time when I got excited and exclaimed, "Itu suara atuk!"
My seniors, the ones whom I called, "Geng Alim Ulamak" when I was 14 have obviously evolved since then. I saw one of them in the television, I saw their success in Facebook and newspapers and aye, whenever that happened, I recalled the time when they were devoted in performing something simple and nothing for some people yet important.
This memory lane of takbir reminded me of the days when I have not been appreciative. I have to admit that I took matters quite lightly as I thought that things were too simple back then.
Today, however, I'm appreciating the fact that the house was bought in front of the surau; where takbir is just like school days :)