Sunday, January 02, 2005

Balik Kampung

I went back to Jerantut yesterday. Reached home at about 10.30 a.m. after smoothly driving for 2 hours through Lebuhraya Pantai Timur. Abah and mak nowhere to be seen. Half an hour later they came back. Apparently they went to our family orchard , 12 miles away.

this sunday morning, and old man came to our house asking for 'kelapa muda' for her wife.In front of our house, abah planted coconut trees few years ago and it become perfect landmark for whoever coming for the first time to our house. "Just look for house with coconut trees after you drive past the padang". It become quite popular with the neighbours and passerby who always stops by and ask for its "buah kelapa mawar". Some says the coconut juice help to 'buat kebah demam'.

Back to the old man, Abah invited him for a morning tea. I know him as Pak Khair or Dato' Hj Khairuddin Kawi, a former politician and local historian. He used to be the Speaker for State of Pahang long time ago. I think during the early 80s. Her sister Rahimah Kawi used to be the Assemblywoman for DUN Tahan,Pahang not long ago.

He is about nearly 80 years old, if I am not mistaken. What amazed me most was that his memory is still sharp.

Talking about the tsunami, he told us about his own experience with the disaster long time ago. He was with 32 others visiting neighbouring countries under The Federation of Malaya Volunteers program(This is the first time I know about volunteering during the old days). They were visiting Japan when the disaster hit coastal Japan. They missed the tsunami by half an hour or so after leaving Osaka for Tokyo. Osaka was hit badly that day. Even at that time, he told us that the authorities had been well -prepared for the disaster. tv announcements was aired few hours before the tsunami struck.

They were stranded in Tokyo for 5 days with no money. The ambassador was not around and the embassy left with an officer who are afraid to give them funds. So he asked the officer to call up Tun Razak and he spoke personally to Tun about their predicament. Tun Razak immediately relay funds thru Wisma Putra to them. They got RM50 per day allowance and for that fateful 5 day "extended holiday", they got about RM350, a large sum of money at that time.

" Ah, we used the the money to buy souvenirs!" he remarked followed by our laughter.

He is also known for his vast collection of local history and folk stories. Too bad not many people knows about it. And too bad if this 'walking dictionary' will leave us without passing the knowledge about our heritage to younger generations. For example, who now ever knows how the name of Kuala Lipis originated from? or perhaps how the name of my hometown Jerantut come by?

Well, like that celcom's ads says, " It is all in our hands". So here is my resolution for 2005. whenever I return to my hometown , I will visit him and listen to his collection of stories and ultimately to record it . I am no academician but at least I hope I can share the stories to my children so that they know and begin to appreciate our heritage.
Haa...it is going to be interesting 2005!


2 comments:

Sham said...

Nice one! It is nice to see my 'orang kampung' blogging.:)

Sometimes its hard to find orang Pahang ni.

If you compiled it, can i have a view too.

I got a book by DBP 'Sejarah Pahang' by Haji Buyong Adil.Printed 1984

drbubbles said...

i will sham. :)