Salam second Syawal everyone.
I have been so absent here I even skipped the whole Ramadhan without writing anything. Honestly, it was ignorance. Or maybe the busy work schedule or the personal turmoils in life I had to deal with since I last wrote made me lost for words. And maybe for a start, maaf zahir batin for not writing in awhile? Forgiven? Settled then!
Last Ramadhan went on in a blink. I don’t think I had time for anything, not even stocking up baju Raya. I only have two this year (alhamdulillah, at least) and even those were thanks to online shopping. I wasn’t ready to go back to Kedah last Thursday with unfinished works in the office. But nevertheless, here I am. I love giving Fakhrul a hard time whenever we have to go back to Kedah but deep down inside he knows I love it here. I enjoy my time being at his home, listening to his childhood stories whenever we pass somewhere and the peace and tranquility I get when he takes me out for a drive at those picturesque spots.
Raya here was the usual drill – major iftar on the last night with all types of meat you can find (seriously, the amount of meat consumed by this family is scarrry!) and cooked anyway you could think of. The next morning was the rush to Atok’s house in Aloq Staq (that’s how they spell it on the map, right?) for in-house Raya prayer a very quick salam-bersalaman. I mean like literally after the prayer they all went to each other and wish the standard thing – “Selamat hari raya lah noo, maaf zahir batin” and they’re done. No queuing nor kneeling, no drama nor sobbing thinking of the past sins. His Pak Usu even joked to his wife, “Halalkan makan minum Abang lah nooo..”. I don’t know whether they’re going to do the real one behind me or when nobody’s seeing but that is kind of the thing for Raya, nooo? Or maybe Raya to them is more than just the show. His newlywed cousin came alone and when I asked where was his wife, he just said “Oh. Dia ghaya ghumah mak dia tahun ni. Besok dia mai lah..”
There’s something about them Northerners. I don’t know how to put it nicely in a way that if they read this they won’t be offended but they are really, truly simple. OK, maybe not just the Northerners – but people in kampungs generally, I guess. Its refreshing to experience that once in awhile I must say. And wouldn’t it be great if Fakhrul had picked up that thing his newlywed cousin has? Hahaha.
After the “formal” photograph sessions we all continued eating and napped because it is really hot during midday here. We took a walk at the back of Atok’s house as every year because of the beautiful background it has – the bendang, the sawah padi, the usual greens and occasional yellow color it brings to our backdrops. I know we go there everytime we came to Atok’s, but it never look the same everytime anyway.
A good Raya after a very testing Ramadhan, I must say.