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Archive for the ‘Bibik’ Category

Sepenanak Nasi

Buah cempedak si buah salak,
mari dikaut dek orang kota;
Akal menidak jiwa menolak,
hati terpaut dek kata-kata.

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Mujur lah patik terbaca pantun lama patik ini, Tuanku. Dan mujurlah pantun patik langsung tak ada kena-mengena dengan perasaan patik yang benar-benar merajuk dengan Cik Dayang Istana Mesra. Sampai hati Cik Dayang kita tak bertanak nasi untuk santapan malam, Tuanku. Sungguhpun patik tak berasa lapar dan cuma berhajat untuk meratah ikan goreng yang ada, apabila patik dapati tiada walau sebutir pun nasi untuk dijamah, patik merajuk sampai menitis airmata hiba.

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Sekautan nasi Tuanku...

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Patik tahu patik boleh saja bertanak sendiri. Beras sudah siap bertampi, tungku pun sudah siap berkayu api. Sementara sepenanak nasi, boleh saja patik karang pantun barang tujuh rangkap. Sepenanak nasi, boleh saja patik turun bersiram di perigi biru. Tapi patik… memilih untuk merajuk juga. Kalau tidak kerana nasi melukut dan sayur keladi, entahkan jauh sudah patik bawa diri.

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More Than Words

The more I deal with difficult challenging people, the more I learn about myself. About my patience and about my capacity to restrain myself from saying something outrageously smart, or more often than not… painfully obvious.

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The Kangkung ChallengeJust yesterday… I learned that I am actually very particular when it comes to cooking vegetables; leafy green vegetables, specifically speaking. Not many of them need cooking much anyway, except those that are exotic like tapioca leaves, the edible ferns and the pumpkin leaves.

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Kailan, bak choy, spinach and kangkung are among the very delicate green vegies that wilt very quickly. That was why when I bought the three ‘ikat’ of kangkung at Mercato yesterday, I knew what I was going to do with it. Tumis belacan or taucu. And I was going to do it my way.

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But when everything was ready and prepared by my helper, she started talking about how she would usually cook kangkung dishes back home. Like this lah, like that lah. And since she doesn’t eat my cooking much – I noticed, perhaps she doesn’t like my Chinese-style cooking – I decided to let her do it her way.

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So my helper cooked the kangkung her way.

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Halfway through, I reminded her to not let it simmer too long or the leaves would wilt. She added COLD water for more ‘kuah’, waited for the kuah to boil and turned off the heat, put the lid on and let it sit.

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I took a very very deep breath, said nothing, and went on YouTube to look for a soothing song like “Didn’t I Tell You” by Rumi. It was actually a poem with a background instrumental song I have grown to love over the years. I so needed some distraction! This kangkung challenge was really making me think of how to make my helper realize that she was overcooking the vegetable!

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It wasn’t her. It was me. I don’t speak my mind very well. I either cut like a knife or burn like wildfire. But I remained silent.

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Little that I knew… God was listening. And He did all the speaking to my helper when she was scooping the kangkung from the pot into the serving bowl. “Kelayuan ini kangkung, Buk. Malah kebanyakan air. Nanti kalo masak ini lagi, saya coba, jangan kelamaan di api. Saya tuh senang sama yang kraok kraok kraok kalo dikunyah.”

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I just smiled.

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I thanked God last night – more than usual – for the strength He gave me to hold my tongue.

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Kembali

Lama saya dakap dia erat-erat dalam pelukan saya.

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To tell her that I know exactly how she feels is just a plain lie. I was not raised by an aunt. What do I know about being raised by an aunt and not my own mother. But then again… a mother is a mother – whoever she is – an aunt, a sister, a stranger.

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Losing a woman who fed our hungry mouth when we were too young to feed ourselves, who sang us to sleep and told silly stories just so we got tired and fell asleep, who wiped our tears, our bottom, our head, our toes and everything else in between… would be the greatest loss ever known to women.

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Though I felt for her and I cried with her, I didn’t say I knew how she was feeling. I was lucky to have the last ten days of my mother’s life. She wasn’t. So I just held her in my arms for the longest time. All I could say was, “Dah sampai waktu nya Bik. Tuhan Maha Penyayang.”

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Putus sudah kasih sayang...

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Al-Fatihah and prayers for the aunt of Bibik Caskinih who returned to The Maker on the evening of February 19, 2013. Semoga tenang bersama orang-orang yang Tuhan kasih.

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Be Back Bibik

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Bibik home-going to Indramayu on Friday made me and me Monchies feel very lost. So lost that we didn’t want to go home. We put up a night at Monchies’ yee mou’s place where I got to sleep all night and sleep all day the next day. And Saturday night, we made our way home after taking the longest route possible.

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Monchies were doing their bathroom routine before bedtime later that night when suddenly I heard both of them crying like anak ayam kehilangan ibu. I ran to their bathroom and discovered me Monchies in tears.

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What’s the matter babies?

Bibik left her toothbrushhhh! Booohoooo!

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I knew Bibik purposely left her toothbrush and toothpaste. She has another set waiting at her Indramayu home. But I decided to join me Monchies crying anyway. 😦

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