Monday, February 20, 2006

kemasek (part 1)

Kemasek was the little village I was born in and enjoyed for some twelve years before I got shipped to MCKK. It was once an important little town, with a courthouse of its own, a forestry station and a local council. It was the capital of the once Majlis Tempatan Kemaman Utara.

Now, Kemasek was a village lost somewhere between Kijal, famed for its ‘lemang’and Kerteh the oil town. It is a little village on the seaside road one can’t really recall passing. Soon, there will be a highway to Terengganu, cutting through the hinterland. Few will use the seaside road and pass by its decaying village. And it will be all forgotten.

Despite its insignificance, it was a beautiful village with a beautiful beach. The very beach that was once immortalized in the movie ‘Fenomena’ starring M.Nasir and Ramona Rahman. The scene of the foaming waves breaking on the rock outcrops beautifully captured on the screen was the scene I held dear in my heart. How every school holidays, I climbed up Bukit Taping just to be if lucky at eye level with the eagles and to see the white waves below.

Kemasek, to me, lies between two rocky seaside hills. On the south, Bukit Kuala Kemasek and in the north, Bukit Taping. In between along the beach was all there was to the village. Coming along the road from south one passes Kuala Kemasek, Masjid, Sungai Kemasek, Simpang Empat, Balairaya, Pondok Polis (and Pak Long Polis – the village lone ‘mata-mata’), Rumah Tok Penghulu Wan Hamid and then to me nothing more. Next to Rumah Tok Penghulu was Rumah Mak Wan Gayah (oh her unforgettable ‘kueh tak’- jackfruit tart to be exact) with its plentiful ‘jambu air’ where I was born. Across the road from Rumah Tok Penghulu Wan Hamid was Che’ and Aki’s little sundry shop. Our first house next to it. Maybe I should add Rumah Aki Wel, my grandfather on my father’s side at the foot of Bukit Taping with its ‘pokok pauh’ (mango trees)

Am I nostalgic I am writing this?

Kemasek was about ‘nasi dagang’ CheNgah Dayang, sate Pok Daling, ‘paung’ Che Jah and the Chinese New Year ‘kuih bakul’ of Mek Kiat. It was about Tok Bilal Embong, Tok Imam Haji Mat, the mosque officials, the two copra trader Pok Heng Nyor and Pok Mang Nyor, Pok Mat Nyadat the ‘menisang’-man, Tokeh Ah Sa who got the first television in the village, Awang Hitam and Pak Harun the ‘juragan’. Mak Su Che Sek, Mak Su Bunga, all the colourful Man – Mang Porong, Man Ayam, Man Itik, Man Bas (my grandfather), Ah Kuang the bus conductor, Pak De Kapal Selam, Pak De Pistol and maybe I should add Pok Said Setoking.

Those names - I recall them all from my memory, as I note a colourful and memorable past. But this is only a short note. Maybe in freer time I’ll make a longer note of what I recall of the event and individuals. Till then ……

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