Friday, April 17, 2009

kueh lapis

I was down with a slight fever, so I took an mc so that I could sleep through the day.
My aching back had been mercilessly got me curled in pain yesterday, but when I woke up at 11 today, it's all gone.

Like a charm.

Mother would vouch if I'd been given an mc, I'll never stay put at home longer than 11.
True enough, at noon I made my way to Terminal 2 to renew my passport, (Karen had advised me to start queuing from 7 am )but I decided just to gamble my luck.

All done even before 3. Not bad huh?
While waiting, we had lunch at Restoran Selera Pantai Timur,10 minutes drive from the Subang Airport serving mouth watering Ikan Bakar, another alternative for Ikan Bakar Jalan Bellamy.

There it was right before my eyes.

I can't help but to feel nostalgic everytime I see kueh lapis.
It made me miss my Atokne.

When I was little, I thought grandmothers live forever.
I saw her pictures doting my youngest auntie, and for a five year old, that seems a whole lot of a century.

My Atokne was from a blue blood lineage, but despite that, she lived a hard life during the Japanese invasion era and maybe just like the rest of the girls during her time, she never had the opportunity to have proper education.

But this did not hinder her to learn, and I knew she was one of the few who followed "kelas dewasa" to learn how to read. At times I saw her reading newspapers, page to page, not skipping anything.

I would always remember her as the stern-type grandmother, the family house in the village is always a tip-top condition, the leaves surrounding it would be swept clean even before breakfast. But yet food is always kept to the traditional minimum~ a Johorian trait I guess, Ikan asam pedas and some other greens. But that's it.

I remember wanting to eat this cadbury chocolate, but she kept it secured far from my reach.
As a 7 year old, there's nothing more you could be upset about.
That day I kept sulking, though I didn't show this to her (I was afraid of the bigger mess if I made a big issue by throwing tantrums, my was I that obedient?!) but later that day, she secretly called me and gave me half of the chocolate bar. I never understood this.

But I sort of knew she had always made me feel special.
Once, I had been wanting to eat Kueh Lapis so much, and she made it for me.
And this we're talking about someone who have kept food simple and just enough for the day.
She made it even before I woke up but she never said anything about it. When I sunk my teeth to the pink and whites, I could tell you I was almost near to tears.

And sometimes, she would store the best tasting durian tempoyak and the best jem manggis into small plastic containers, as Mother would tell me, Atukne would tell her, "Afzan suka ni".

I never understood her ways, she was always serious, and I was always the tomboy trouble-maker, and not quite the hardworking Johorian type you know what I mean. So we were not really bestfriends of sorts, but when she was bed ridden I could not bear seeing her in that condition, and often I feel envious to my uncle who could serve and treat her so well.
Somehow, I felt my "special zone" encroached.
My heart broke when she died.

I miss my Atokne.
I guess its true that grandmothers live forever, in the hearts of their granddaughters.

Raja Zabedah Raja Ahmad Ambok Ewak.


mr K 17 April 2009 at 22:24:00 GMT+8  

semoga atokne termasuk dlm golongan yg mendapat rahmat Allah. ameen

u always tell me about her, teringin sgt nk jumpa atokne..

Amicus Curiae 18 April 2009 at 00:02:00 GMT+8  

that, we have to be good and then we'll meet her in one of God's heaven.

can't believe it has been 4 years now......macam baru semalam je all this thing happened.

uswah 18 April 2009 at 16:51:00 GMT+8  

huhu sedihnye membace ini... alahai kak af, a granddaughter like u, sapela takmo sayang! hehehe.. alfatihah tu ur atokne

Amicus Curiae 19 April 2009 at 23:43:00 GMT+8  

:;( i was never a good grandaughter..

haundem 21 April 2009 at 12:38:00 GMT+8  

i adore the name, and the person :)

Amicus Curiae 21 April 2009 at 14:10:00 GMT+8  

you mean 'atokne'?

haha classic way to call the granparents like that...atuk atan and atuk ne. no explanation needed :P

yeah.she liked icecreams too :'(

nettea 14 December 2009 at 21:29:00 GMT+8  

She was a really nice person. We used to visit her when Mom (Engku Mahani)was alive.We called her Tok Chik because according to mom, she was my grandfather's younger sister.

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