Buku Catatan Hati Nik Nur Madihah

Buku ini telah berbulan-bulan diterbitkan tetapi saya tak berkesempatan untuk mendapatkan dan membacanya. Apalah ada pada cerita budak-budak ni, kata hati kecil saya. Cerita biasalah….belajar bersungguh-sungguh, buat nota, beri tumpuan dan tawakkal. Kemudian dua hari yang lepas ada kawan sepejabat menghulurkan senaskah kepada saya untuk derma PIBG sekolah anaknya. Reluctantly I grabbed the book with about the same feeling as before….nothing much in this book. OK lah I agreed to buy one for my daughter Ariefah who studied at the same school as Nik Madihah. Maybe she could learn a thing or two from this girl. I glanced a few pages and stuffed it into my backpack. The next morning while waiting for my dearest to get ready I took another glance and flipped a few pages.. Then I started reading; page after page. It took me not to her house and her life but back to my own home and my own life. Oh my dear I was amazed how her narrations have described the life that I used to live. Difficulty. Poverty. Dignity. SubhanaAllah. My eyes started to get wet and soon they could no longer hold the tears back. I saw myself in those pages struggling to be oblivious to the things happening around me. I did not want my Mak to be sad and Ayah to be worried. I knew how to be a poor kid in a poor family that had nothing but each other .

She talked about “etok” in the book. OMG—-“etok”. How could I explain this rare delicacy from Kelantan. No where else you can find this “etok”. It is a small shell thingy that they harvest out of the riverbed. Mix with lemon grass and salt and left to dry under the sun . So yummy. You can still find this “etok” along the roads in Kelantan. But be warned—it is the food for poor people. I would indulge into this nostalgia from the yesteryears whenever I passed by the “etok” stall. I used to buy them for 10 sen while walking home from the pasar and I would reach my house by the time I finish the pack. My mom always brought home a big pack and ate them with nasi kerabu. And we still do that whenever I go home for a visit.

The picture of her family rented house seems too familiar as I could feel the dried wooden wall tired from the soaring afternoon heat. The planks that made up the floor seem badly battered from greeting the soiled footprints. That’s my house. Those are our stairs. Nik Madihah goes on narrating her life; a uniquely ordinary young girl from Kelantan. She went against all odds and achieved what she has aimed for. That is out of ordinary. She narrated not only her life but mine as well as many others from Kelantan. That is our life in Kelantan to this very day—-we all have one thing in common — poverty. Look at the dilapidated house, the family who lives in there and those around it are the pictures that portray Kelantan and her subjects. But we are happy all around because we believe not in life but the Creator of life.

I wish Nik Nur Madihah a lot of luck because her journey is still long and difficult. But as her life taught her perseverance and a strong sense of determination, she will be okay InsyaALlah. Just like me!

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