Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Raya di Jalanan

How do you like ketupat, taken here against the the backdrop of the chasing light
by Akmal, on the night of the first Raya in Taiping before they were
all devoured by this writer?
It is a most satisfying Raya this time around, albeit spending the first day on the highway - which is a first for us, although I am sure, to many, this would not be best way to celebrate Raya.

And no, we did not go and stay at hotel or go on holiday during the Raya this year. We have never done that and we will never celebrate Raya that way, insyaAllah. t is too Mat Salleh for my liking. Unfortunately neither did we entertain any group of ‘assalamualaikum’ kids who would normally go around the neighbourhood and came avisiting (and there was none this time around.)

This time around, it is our turn to go visiting. And visiting we did with zest this time around.

Normally I would be just way too lazy to stay vertical after pekena sebatang lemang. The pulut in the  lemang normally made me too sleepy lah! So in the end, we just lazed around on the first day of Raya, waiting for people to turn up.

Three houses on the first day - albeit at least 100 km apart from each other, six on the second day, and another five on the third day. On the fourth day six households in 5 cars and over 30 people came to our house and to top it off, we visited one.

It may not sound too impressive, but considering that we spent about 8 hours on each day meeting relatives and friends and chatting, I believe it was quality time at each location. It was not a whirlwind raya visits, like what I used to do when I was a student. We took the time to chat, and  catch up on each others.

And all in all, over 120 people I have met this Raya.

By 6 am on the Raya morning, we were driving to Tasik Puteri and reached my inlaw’s by 7.15 am. It is abnormal for us as we would by this time around be at Tekah visiting bapak, mak ngah's, pak long's, tok adam's and pc usop’s graves.
Taken at 10.30 am right after Raya prayer at Tasik Puteri.
The baju raya is recycled from last year. It seems like a waste
to buy new ones just for the sake of buying new one.
It is a break from tradition for us to be praying in a strange location and with no grave to visit. So I was ready for a duller Raya to be honest.

Aren't they adorable?
But the antics of the nephews and nieces made raya more fun, I guess.

Especially once you take out the camera.

They would start posing. Kids will always be kids.

By 12 pm, we were on our way to Taiping, thinking we could say our Friday prayer in Bidor. But the traffic on Raya day itself is heavy, and we ended up spending quite a bit of our Raya hours on the hiway.

In some sense, we were left wondering if we had made the right decision to travel on the first raya, thinking that no one would want to travel on Raya day itself. But I guess, our thinking were like others too. The jam for people trying to avoid the jam.

Eventually we arrived in Bidor at 2.30 pm - a good one hour later than plan, and visited PC Ya and family. He was also having a quiet Raya as both his son and daughter in law were working on Raya day.

Pak Cik Ya. Three generations of the Babs. But his size is
only half of ours. He does resemble his dad, Tok Bab,
who is my grandfather. He was a favorite uncle when
we were kids (in Lenggong) as he was quite
generous with his nieces and nephews.
It has been quite sometimes since the Hariri last visited bapak's younger brother. In my case, this is my second visit in two months. I certainly would not want to have any regret later for not visiting my elders.

"Thanks for coming," he said, as a matter of factly, "this could be my last Raya." I stared hard at him and said, "No, we are going to celebrate more Rayas together."

I was not having this kind of talk during Raya time. 

And then off to Taiping and reached home by 5.10 pm.

Only Mak was there. Funny family of ours; for a mother having 13 sons and daughters, she spent say two good hours on her own, alone on a hari raya!

With no one at home, the time was ripe for me to devour ketupat and more ketupat, and lemang and mihun sup.

Did I mention we brought back dalca from Rawang, though unfortunately the briyani was not ready by the time we left Rawang for Taiping?

However, by 8, another bro arrived from Sg Petani with his family, and it was as close a resemblance to a normal Hari Raya night as one can get, albeit one with only grown up kids.

No kids fighting for their Raya fire crackers for sure that night.

On the second day of Raya, we were out from 10 am and did not return home until about 7 pm. All in all, we only visited 5 houses in Batu Kurau. So I guess, on average, we spent at least an hour per house, and you can’t get more quality time than that.

After all, Raya time is the only time for us to meet up, or if we are lucky, during a wedding, so it was catch up time.

Rumah Pak Su Majid
Paksu Majid is heading for Haj this year eventhoug
his turn for haj is 2024. After we had our meals, another set
of relatives who are cousins to the wife, dropped by, so it
became a big family gathering. Here we had rendang
ayam piru. You can't top that I guess.

Rumah PakCik Mat
Pak cik Mat and MC Nah with their children
and grandchildren. MC Nah is recovering from her
stroke and yet we had our lunch here with sop
tulang and ikan pekasam!

Rumah Pak Long Malek
We went to this house twice, since there are two
houses side by side here.

Rumah Pak Ngah Yusof 
The (PakNgah) Yusuf's at the back
of his house which is a well maintained dusun. Ayu, her daughter
is also studying in Melaka like Arif. While we were talking
the ladies were cooking lontong.

Rumah Paksu Ee
His house was the first of house we went to in Cheruk
Pelandok in Batu Kurau.

On the 4th day, we have 6 families visiting us at one go, overwhelming us quite a bit, that we ran out of food! Would you believe that? It was an embarrassing moment for us for we did not anticipate the sheer number of the entourage.

Cucu cicit Tok Adam and Nenek Bulan aka our cousins visiting their auntie aka
Mak. This is a yearly affair for them. With 4 cars and anMPV and
two bikes this time around, we were a bit overwhelmed as we did not prepare
this time around. You don't get any closer than the families of the
Mahmuds. Seia sekata, sehati sejiwa, although theirs are as big as ours.
But I am glad my cousins decided to visit us - actually we have been waiting for them since the first day of raya, and to pay back for their deeds, we immediately visited another cousin of ours (another of their brothers) who just had his leg amputated (to the knee) due to diabetes. We tried visiting him 4 months ago, but could not find his house.
Mind you, these are just snippets of the first and 3rd day of Raya. All in all, I travelled more than 400 km for this purpose. 
Anak bulan Syawal as captured by 
Akmal last night while traveling 
back to KL. That's a fifth night anak 
bulan, though it surely does look like
a 6th or 7th night anak bulan. Come to think
of it, may be we should have celebrated
raya a day or two earlier!

What the heck, raya hanya setahun sekali.

And the syawal moon is still an anak bulan, so we still have time to do more visiting.

Anybody with open house this Malaysia day holiday and this weekend?

1 comment:

  1. Great activities indee. btw I like the last line.. as per moon picture, I always did that, and somehow found that we always miscalculated the raya or perhaps the puasa date? This year I think the Raya should be on Thursday like in China and Saudi Arabia :)