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.