Monday 29 December 2008

Thirteen Years Ago - Almost to the Day

Last night, two good friends, Shakila and Mus came to visit us with their son Shazwan, who is now a hulking young lad of 19 (?) 20 (?) but never mind his age - he still laughs like he did 13 years ago, except in a deep baritone range.

While we were talking about acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine, deep laughter interfered with our serious discussion. Shazwan was reading :

Hempa'ti Dempa'ti dudok di-pagar
Hempa'ti Dempa'ti jatoh ta'sadar:
Semua kuda raja dengan semua orang gaji
Ta'dapat angkat Hempa'ti dan taroh balek lagi.

followed by :

Suleman Piatu, beranak hari satu,
Beri nama hari dua, kawin hari tiga,
Kena sakit hari ampat, terok pada jema'at,
Mati hari anam, di-tanam hari minggu,
Itu lah penghabis Suleman Piatu.

He was reading Haji's Book of Malayan Nursery Rhymes by A.W. Hamilton, first published in Australia, 1947. The Preface states these Nursery Rhymes were first published in pamphlet form at the time of the Malaya-Borneo Exhibition in 1922. Would anyone out there be able to offer the original English rhyme? ( Mum's the word Shazwan.) No prizes offered but this
precious book has both versions.

For this I am eternally grateful to Ruth, my mother-in-law. She collects junk like me. (Oh dear, that sentence has a very ambiguous meaning). What I mean is : Like me, she also collects junk but hers is top notch stuff.

'Twas wonderful to catch up with Shakila and her two boys .

If a man does not make new acquaintance as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone. A man, Sir, should keep his friendship in constant repair.
Samuel Johnson.

Maal Hijrah and Happy 2009 to All.

AND I WEEP FOR YOU, PALESTINE. May your sons and daughters keep the faith and the courage.


Kak Teh said...

Ms Hamid, Salam Maal Hijrah to you and family.
Aaah, Hempa'ti Dempa'ti..dont we all know him.
That is a real treasure that you have there.Must look up at my uni library if they have a copy.

mekyam said...

ms hamid,

[angkat tangan!]

[jerit dari belakang]

humpty-dumpty and solomon grundy. ;D

mekyam said...

Humpty Dumpty

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.

Solomon Grundy

Solomon Grundy,
Born on a Monday,
Christened on Tuesday,
Married on Wednesday,
Took ill on Thursday,
Grew worse on Friday,
Died on Saturday,
Buried on Sunday.
That was the end of
Solomon Grundy.

joolee said...

I had that book and I'd forgotten all about it until I read your post. I must look for it at my parents' place. It's a treasure.

Anonymous said...

Humpty Dumpty!
I feel like I've been cheated out of my childhood... Never knew that a book of Malayan Nursery Rhymes even existed.
Perhaps, someone will come up and re-publish this book? I'd want to give 'em to my grandchildren (when I have them).
I grew up with the stories of enid blyton and the like. But there's one Malay (Indonesian actually) book that I truly enjoyed as a kid. It's called SiPitak. It chronicles the adventures of this naughty, botak orphan. Must hunt for this book next time I'm back at tok's.
I've been reading your blog for sometime now and enjoy it.

anak si-hamid said...

Dear All, Thank you for popping in. You are all such brilliant kids, I'll give you 5 out of 10!!!

Lots of room for improvement. I'll be sending you more Tests.

mekyam said...

more tests?

nasib baik esok cuti. yay! :D

happy and glorious new year to you and yours, ms hamid!

thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us. what a boon!

mamasita said...

Hai..this is my first comment at your place.
Happy New Year and may we get better acquainted soon.
Thank you and please drop by my place when you can.