This Raya will go a long way in our memory, to me and Yati.
It began on a slow note on Day One with only us, the singles, Ajik and Along’s family.
Then Day Two hit with a bang. Full quorum but for Amanda.
The living room of Aki’s house was packed to the brim. The duit raya giving session turned so noisy it’s like a pasar borong. For the day and night dining, lucky we had the ‘khemah’ installed all along since Ramadan.
For me, this Raya began two days before. We took the long trip down to Kemasek. Something I had not done for years lately. Fifteen years ago, when I came back to Terengganu, I made the annual trip to personally hand over the zakat and raya goodies to the deserving. Then they were like 30 of them. Now after like seven-eight years hiatus, only with Ayah standing in as my wakil, they were only a dozen or so deserving people left. Many has passed away. Their once homes dilapidated and empty.
I took this trip to show my children once again what was once their father’s kampong, Mak Wan’s house – where I was born, the beach and Kuala Kemasek.
Funny enough they, Alia especially, remember so well the gerai goreng pisang that Ayah Khir ‘langgor’ some years ago. And Alan parrotting her as though he was there when he was only born years later.
Day Three. The family bowling tournament. Soon to be made an annual raya event. The most unlikely strike coming from Along beating even Julian ... Ha..ha.
And 'longkang' champ - Noyoo. Seems like everyone ended with something to brag about that day.
The finale must be Khir’s engagement to Sarah on Day Four. A first of its kind of reception because I was then forced to be the ‘jurucakap’ – that kind of put me in the 'orang tua-tua' bracket now. Lucky the other side made it really easy.
At least I didn’t have to recite any pantun or bermadah. Like some that was proposed …
Naik jambatan Pulau Pinang
Kami datang nak meminang.
In case it may be needed someday, now with twenty-two and counting anak-anak sedara growing so fast, think I better start practicing now.
To Yati, for all the staying up late getting the food and the house ready for the next day for several days, your tireless single effort to keep everyone fed (not to mention the endless request for mushroom soup, nuggets, sausages and maggie goreng) despite the usual raya fare on the table all day long, all the while keeping yourself looking radiant and beautiful, and your sheer exhaustion at the end of each day, you have been remarkably wonderful.
To all that made this raya so memorable, thank you.