Hari Raya Aidil Fitri 2012

Pada hari raya tahun ini aku cuma beraya dengan anak-anak aje. Beberapa hari sebelum 1 Syawal aku sudah pulang ke rumah kakak keduaku di kampung. Pada malam raya, kakak sulungku pulang dari Dungun, Terengganu. Pada pagi hari raya aku pergi solat sunat raya di surau Kampung Gaung dengan abang iparku. Selesai solat aku pulang ke rumah utk menikmati juadah raya dan bergambar dengan anak-anakku.

Kemudian aku dan anak-anak membuat lawatan ke rumah kaum keluarga. Rumah pertama yang kami jelajahi ialah rumah ibu tiriku. Di sini kami makan mihun goreng. Selepas itu kami pergi ke rumah ibu saudaraku. Dia menghidangkan mihun sup pula. Kemudian aku pergi ke rumah abangku. Di sini tidak ada juadah berat cuma air oren dan biskut raya sahaja yang ada. Selepas itu aku ke rumah bapa saudaraku. Malangnya,dia dan keluarga tidak ada di rumah. Jadi kami balik ke rumah dan singgah di rumah jiranku yang bernama Mak Adik. Di sini kami makan tapai pulut. Setelah itu kami pulang ke rumah kakakku untuk berehat kerana hari sudah panas.

Pada lewat petang aku pergi menziarahi pusara ibuku yang telah meninggal dunia sepuluh tahun yang lalu. Setelah membaca surah Yassin dan doa, aku dan anak-anak pergi ke bandar Machang. Di sini, anak-anakku ingin bermain di taman permainan. Jadi aku terpaksa melayan kerenah mereka. Tak apa, asalkan mereka bahagia. Setelah letih bermain, aku membawa anak-anak ke kedai 7-11 untuk membeli Slurpee. Setelah selesai minum, kami pun bertolak pulang.

Demikianlah aktiviti aku dan anak-anak pada hari raya yang pertama. Raya tahun ini terasa kurang meriah kerana aku melalui peristiwa yang hampir menjahanamkan hidupku. Tetapi syukur kepada Allah kerana Dia memberikan ku kekuatan untuk bangkit kembali untuk meneruskan sisa-sisa kehidupan ini. Alhamdulillah. Aku percaya Allah tidak akan memberikan cabaran kepada hambaNya sekiranya hambaNya itu tidak mampu menanggungnya. Wallahualam.


Raya, yesterday and today


YESTERDAY, I was eight. Back then, at this time, I wouldn’t be indoors writing this. I’d be out there on my grandparents’ lawn, running around with my cousins in the bright afternoon sunshine in Kampung Laut, Kelantan.

Today, I’m 27. It’s 9.40am on the second day of Syawal and I’m parked in front of the computer. Trying to pin down the magic of Raya; the youthful exuberance that has lost its energy; the excitement I may have left behind, together with the songkok I blew up in 1991. (More on that later.)

Yesterday, Raya was the most eagerly awaited time of the year. Even before Ramadan, I’d ask my parents if we’re going back to Kelantan (my father’s side) or staying back in Kuala Lumpur for Raya (in Kampung Pandan, my mother’s side).

Travelling to the East Coast meant that I would have to brush up on my Kelantanese, or endure the taunting of my cousins, who would laugh mercilessly whenever I fumbled on the dialect. As a kid, the approval of cousins your age meant the world.

Today, the most eagerly awaited time of the year is the English Premier League. Raya is just a few days’ leave from work for me to regain the weight lost during the fasting month. So that I can fit back into pants that are getting loose, and not have to buy new ones.

Yesterday, Raya meant new clothing. From top to bottom. New songkok, as my head was getting bigger. New baju Melayu – just like the women folk at Malay weddings, I couldn’t be seen wearing last year’s colour. New sampin as I tore last year’s in a makeshift tug-of-war. And new shoes as the lifespan of an eight-year-old boy’s pair ends well before you can walk to the cash register.

Today, I’m typing these words in a Pagoda T-shirt and kain pelikat. Not quite the attire you’d see in a Raya commercial on TV. In fact, you’re more likely to see a flying sled.

Yesterday, Raya was a source of income. Not being a member of the Hilton family meant that I didn’t have a steady allowance to support my “needs”, such as X-Men figures and Tamiya cars. But thanks to the beautiful tradition of duit Raya, I was able to gather enough funds to last me until the following year.

(Statistics show that no more than 2% of children nationwide save their duit Raya in the bank. The other 98% splash it all by the third day … unless the toy stores open on the second day.)

Today, I live in a parallel universe. Instead of raking in money, the ringgits start flying out of my wallet even before I can reach my sandals after Eid prayers. Kids flock to you that early.

Perhaps that’s why the baju Melayu is designed with all those pockets. For children to keep their notes and coins, and for adults to gather dust.

But all is fair I guess. I squeezed money out of their mums and dads when I was younger. That’s just how our economy evens itself out.

Yesterday, Raya was a time for war. That’s right. It was when children headed out to the battlefield, armed with fireworks (bought legally back then). We’d set up our arsenals on the field and attempt to out-blast the other kids in the neighbourhood.

Being the youngest among my cousins, I was more of the Sergeant General Observer. But when it came to preparing the fireworks, there was no question of whose songkok would be used to place the fireworks in position. My way of saving Private Ryan, I suppose.

Today, Raya is still a time for war. A different kind of war. You’ve got the Battle of Seremban or Dungun, Muar or Pekan, Tawau or Jasin, as couples criss-cross the country to head home for Raya.

While the winners of the balik kampung battle may triumph, they may still have to sit through their spouses’ long face throughout the journey. Hence the old Malay advice, “Cari yang dekat. Senang balik beraya” (meaning, “Look afar, and prepare for war”.)

Yesterday, Raya was great fun. Mainly because I had nary a care about everything else that was going on in the world.

Raya meant looking sharp in new clothing at 7am and having it all smeared in rendang by 10. It meant running around the house chasing chickens and goats for no reason before they chased us back.

It meant staying up past my bedtime because we wouldn’t let the other kids beat us with their fireworks, even if it meant a temporary loss of hearing. Today, Raya is, well, a bit different. The euphoria and non-stop excitement are simply no longer for me. Thing are quieter. Maybe it’s time to adjust myself and get into the groove of things – as an adult during Raya.

Then again, oftentimes these days, Raya is when adults sit at the hall and look at their cellphones while the children strangle themselves to get a hold of the PlayStation controller.

Alas, Raya yesterday or today, those dreadful movies you see on TV are here to stay.

Hari Raya 1430H

Hari Raya comes again. As for me this festival is to be celebrated with my family in the village since I am unable to mind my three girls singlehandedly. I was pretty sure that this Hari Raya would fall on Sunday based on the Hijri calendar.
On the first day of Eid Fitri, I went to perform my Raya prayer at Limau Hantu Mosque, located about 1 km away from my sister’s house. When I arrived home, my eldest sister had already served breakfast for that day and on the dining table, I could see an array of tantalizing and mouth-watering dishes and delicacies waiting for me. I had ‘nasi minyak’ and ‘ayam kurma’ as I found this could make my stomach full until noon.
Then, I went to visit my father who’s now residing at my stepmother’s house. My first two girls tagged me along. We were there for only half an hour before I drove away to my auntie’s house and after spending about 40 minutes there, I moved to the next destination, my second uncle’s house. Here, I had ‘nasi dagang,’ but I didn’t eat much as I had to spare my potbelly for other food.
After that, I went to visit my late mum’s grave that passed away on the third day of Aidil Adha seven years ago. After reciting the Al-Fatihah and Yassin, I decided to take a break since it’s almost 1.30 pm.
On my way back, I dropped by at my late first uncle’s house as my other siblings were already there. At this point, I parted with my two girls since they wanted to join my elder brother’s children to make their Raya rounds. My girls only came back to my side on the third day of Raya.
Below are a few photos taken on the last Hari Raya. For me, Hari Raya is best celebrated when you’re small as you could collect as much money or ‘duit raya’ as possible. In addition, children get the chance to wear new clothes but I even didn’t buy one for myself as I always buy at least a shirt in a month. Thus, I still have some new shirts to wear.

The last day of Ramadan

Believe it or not! I have lost 3 kg and my waistline is now 36 inches. It used to be 37 before Ramadan. My current weight is 74kg but I am afraid I cannot maintain this figure as I have a tendency to have two sessions of breakfast daily! I don’t eat much, but I eat often. Does this habit make me my belly bigger than what I am supposed to have? Featured here are my latest photo on the last day of Ramadan together with my daughters’. 

Eid ul-Fitri (Eid Mubarak) from Daddy Zuki

During the weekly assembly this morning, the principal of my school, Madam Sabariah Abdul Samad declared that tomorrow as a holiday in conjunction with the upcoming Eid Fitri. Wow! That’s great. At least, I can sleep after my Subuh prayer so that I can gain my depleted energy while fasting for 14 hours.
However, I have already set a plan for tomorrow. I will try to complete my students’ answer scripts since I cannot celebrate Hari Raya in peace until this task is done. Then, I will pay a visit to a local bank in my hometown to get some small change for ‘duit raya’. As usual, I can only afford RM5 for my nephews and nieces. In total, they are eleven of them, but the eldest one got married last June, so I can save RM5! Hehehhee
In the evening, I will pick up my three daughters from their nursery and later we will depart for my village in Machang to break my fast with my sister’s family. My other two sisters will follow suit and I am sure this big house cannot accommodate this big, extended family. Never mind, we rarely have a gathering like this, except during Hari Raya.
Oh! My boss also did mention about my being promoted to ‘Guru Cemerlang’ this morning. As expected I received a lot of congrats from my students and they also asked me to give them some ‘duit raya’ despite being told that I just got the promotion, not extra allowance. It’s Well, should I get my arrears by Aidil Adha later, I will certainly buy them something. God Willing.
Lastly, I would like to wish all of you, Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, Maaf Zahir dan Batin from Daddy Zuki and family.
To you, wishes and greetings
I wish you lots of good things.
May I ask for forgiveness
If I have caused unhappiness.
A grand day like this comes but once a year
I wish you