Remembering Ayah

Ayah was from Kg Tendong Sungai about 15 mins from Pasir Mas. He moved to Pasir Mas when he got married to Mother. Nothing much that we knew about Ayah as he always kept everything to himself. During my rcent trip to Mecca, I met with a friend of him and told me that he was Ayah’s mate when they were at Pondok Bunut Payong, a famous religious school in Kelantan. This friend of Ayah went on to become an ustaz and teaching at the local schools. But Ayah did not follow that path; I heard that he turned down an offer to study at a teacher’s college but he never told us anything about that either. So we just left it as it was and never bothered to ask him anything. All we knew was that he’s a hardworking father that loved his family very much. During the early days of our childhood he would bring us back to his kampong and spent the weekend there. He seemed relaxed and always at ease when we arrived there; as if he’s been missing the kampong life that he grew up. His face would be brightened up glowing with happiness and excitement; and the smile just never went off. I remember to feel so good to see Ayah happy and all because back home he seldom put on a smile. Everyone just treated him so nicely with delicious kampong meals and everything …so just tumpang sekaki (and that’s the truth they really treated him only not his children)..anyway that’s another story irrelevant to Ayah. He would take us to the river for a bath, fishing and just splashing around. During those days everyone used the river to take bath, washing and doing everything else. It was great fun indeed. The most interesting part was to go for some delicious durian in the orchard. We waited for the durians to come falling down and went searching for it. That was awesome. And delicious too. Grandmother had a quite big orchard and we could enjoy the durians as much as we could…but you had to wait and search for it. They had a little barn for people to stay while waiting for the durian to come down. We also could enjoy other fruits as well during the season but you had to climb it yourself and that was no fun … I was not good in climbing, it scared me to death.

But after a while when we grew older the orchards have gone and we could no longer enjoy the fresh fruits anymore. Our trip to grandmother’s also had become less and less. I did not know what happened maybe Ayah got into a misunderstanding with his sisters, I did not know. But the memories at the kampong we treasured it very fondly. Ayah never scolded us at all because if he would his strong hands would spare us nothing.—his hands were so strong , hard due to his daily routines at the train station. But we knew when he was mad and angry; and we would be gone before he could grab us for punishment or anything….most of the time we were faster than him. Her was quiet, shy and on his own way most of the time. He liked reading but never talked about it as far as I knew him. Usually he would read the Utusan Melayu and I remember being around him and wondering what he was reading. I would be sitting on his back and looking down on the paper that I could not read until he got tired and sshhhed me away. The relationship between Ayah and Mak was always good although the difficult life that we had sometime took them through some arguments. I guess that’s common to married folks. Ayah always being supportive to Mother and would try to avoid any confrontations; if things gone bad then he would make that angry face and left.

I wish to know Ayah more but takdir has it that he had to go. He passed away during Ramadhan 2000 with Mother and children by his side. I miss Ayah so much. But I will be okay InsyaAllah because Ayah had taught me how to live, to love and to die. I pray for Ayah to rest in peace.

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