This posting is specially for Hisham, Mahzan, Maria, Hidayah, Shaharuddin, Mariam and Hana - the grandchildren of Hamid and Kamisah. I ask for indulgence from readers other than the family because today I realised how I have committed a grave oversight for not putting my mother in the picture.
As children, we do take mothers for granted because they are always there, quietly getting on with the day to day tasks of keeping the home and hearth together. Father was the bigger picture because we were always reminded by mother that he puts the food on the table. So should it be but that should not diminish her devotion.
We had lunch with a book reviewer today and she talked about how as a child, her mother would always read her a book before she goes to bed. My mind then clicked and I exclaimed suddenly that as a child I was the one who read to my mum! It was because my mum was illiterate I explained. But that is a wrong word to describe a bright intelligent woman with a fantastic memory and who could inform you about the latest world and local news. Besides that she also looked after the family's finances without jotting down a single number. I could think of other words like unschooled, untutored, uninstructed, unlettered, uneducated, unread and so on. I think my dear ole mum is unfathomed and unrecognized. As a mother she resorted to her basic instincts and natural good sense. She was brought up by a stepmother who she loved immensely and it was difficult for her in her later years to be reconciled with her natural mother.
Most afternoons when I was about 8/9, my sister and I would take turns to have our lice, or nits picked from our hair. It was a laborious task for my mum. But it brought her a bit of joy because I had to read her a story from Cherita Jenaka while she got on with the job. Here are two pages from that book.
This is the inside cover of the book. The front is a mess because it has been in my keeping for years. It has travelled from Singapore to UK and back to KL .
You can see it is well read and well loved. Sometimes I would have to keep on reading even after her 'nit picking' was done. Those were the days sans TV !!
Righto kids, here are some pictures of your Atok 'Mok.
That's Atok 'Mok on the right with her elder sister Salmah taken in would you believe it, Geylang ! She was 17 in 1940.
On the back of this photo was written Mr and Mrs Hamid, Royal Air Force, Kuantan, 1941.
Kamisah was expecting her first child, Maznah - her expectation is barely visible.
My favourite picture of her - taken when she was 45/46 ?
All I can say to a wonderful lady:
O, Bulan ! Mana bintang ?
Atas puchok kayu ara ;
O, Emak ! Mana hilang ?
Kita orang rindu senantiasa.
Ms Hamid, a beautiful tribute to your mother and what wonderful photographs. My mother couldnt read too, but I remember her telling us about Panji Semerang and singing some syairs - which is why I think in my autumn years, I have gone back to studying syair.
We do take our mothers for granted. I could never reconcile the person she is now with who she was before, a pillar of strength.
Yes I have seen that book - Cherita Jenaka - what a treasure!
Hi Mak Ngah,
I had dreams of her once in a while. The last was when you put up her pic in your 30th Nov blog.
And whenever I pray at or pass by Masjid Sultan, I'll always think of her.
The kids owe you one for that posting.
Allow me to quote what I wrote in one of my comments on re-building our kampung house in your blog.
"• Yes—Abah was the brain and Mak (bless her also) was the supervisor – supervising the workers (us that is) because I remember being really told off by her for coming home late to help "
Yup---she ran the house efficiently and effectively.
Looking at her photograph when she was 17, I never realised how beautiful she was.
I remember Abah talking and informing her (and us)and keeping us up-to-date about the local and international current affairs, how she never missed the news ( be it on TV or the radio).
Yes --she's our superwoman.
Oh--by the way , you really went to town with the scanner ya !
What a wonderful recollection of your mum. Yes, most mothers are contented to stay in the background, making sure that things run like clockwork around the house that we sometimes take them for granted. Ya, I am guilty of that too.
We had that book Cherita Jenaka too - maybe in both sets of my grandparents' houses. Don't you just love the old spelling? My kids are baffled when they see how BM was spelled back then.
I miss her too...!
The conversations i had with her,her lovely hati rendang and her chats with suzy...!
Hey Jendol, i miss you too...
How supercalifragilisticaspialidocious to hear from you !!! Come back - we MISS you.
And Thanks for remembering Macik.
Lots of Love from the Other Jendol
I miss you guys loads too...!!
How i wish it was 1977 all over again and time stood still !
Had my first puff of Dunhill at Jurong Hilltop during that enchanting December..
Remember Tanjung jara? Kota Tinggi?Genting and cameron ?...still owe you for that trip!
So, klab jendolan in the making!?
Good to hear from Ben again after all this while. Bagero punya budak. And Ms Hamid, a lovely piece on a lovely lady.
Btw, Kak Teh .. I lost your last e-mail or sms about Anak si Hamid ni. Please resend. Salam to Awang Goneng.
So Ben, are you going to blog again? Your last posting was about losing electricity supply (power). Lama betul putus lampu ...
If you are going to recover your power to blog, let me know so I'll put you back on the blogroll.
Ooops...this is family time
Allow me this little pantun
Riang ria sanak saudara
Gurau senda bersama keluarga
Alangkah indah hidup bermesra
Gelak ketawa hilangkan duka
I'm green with envy ...
Thank you for the kind comments. For us who do not and still have our mothers, we have to remember to treasure them.
And Omong, yours is no intrusion - I love and appreciate your pantun.
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