Thursday, December 20, 2007

Hari Raya


Since today is Eid-ul-Adha in Malaysia, I would like to talk about my experiences so far being alone, away from my family. Or should I say my family being away from me. Remember on the night of their departure I wrote that I hope there’s a hikmah out of me being alone, right. Well, I can’t really say I know exactly what it is, but I do know that I have learned a lot since.

I guess what I’ve mostly learned is what it means to be a family. I mean, sure, I love my family and they love me and that’s pretty obvious. But things have gotten a bit …familiar. They go to work, I go to school, and we came home and rest together at night. But since they’ve been gone, I started to see through their eyes and hence start to really understand the feeling of unconditional love. I didn’t actually learn about how to be part of a family; instead I have learned on how it feels to be the head of a family.

“With great power comes great responsibility.”

I started thinking that most children – including me – don’t really appreciate their parents. Some kids think that since they gave birth, they simply HAVE to feed you, clothed you. In some sense, yes, it is their responsibility. But if they decided to just abandon you they hell can do so. But did they? Trust me, till the day you have the house under your feet, you will never know what it feels like to have real responsibilities.

While my parents are gone, I’m the head of the house. Sure, I might be the youngest but it is me that my parents left with their trusts before leaving for Jeddah. If I decided to have parties every other week, I sure can hell do so. Or if I decided that the only food make available in the house is fast food, I can also hell do so. But I didn’t. Because I love my cousins and maid (I don’t like calling her a maid. Let’s call her my housekeeper) very much that I only want the best for them.

~ Most of the time I am the last to sleep as I have to make sure that every gate is locked, the right lights are on and that every TV and computers are off.

~ I actually worry like HELL if my cousins are not back by eleven. Once I slept in front of the TV with my brother’s blanket waiting…just like what my dad did whenever I go out till late at night.

~ I had to take care of my cousins when they were sick. Make sure they got enough rest, well-fed, and see the doctor. I used to wonder how my mum has the strength to come to my every need those days I were sick but now I do. When you love someone, you don’t think, you just do.

~ I had to do the grocery. Okay yeah, I do the grocery even when my mum is home but usually it’s after her shouts of “JA PEGI GIANT!!!!!!!!!” Now, I have to check the kitchen if it’s running out of food and rush to the pasar. (Plus, I have to learn some money management…)

~ I have to get all four of our cars + my dad’s bike engines to start. And I have to take responsibility for…urm…a few scratches…

~ But mostly I have to be the glue of the family. I have to make sure that everybody gets what they want and…just make sure that they are happy so long as they’re under my care. In Islam if the guest stays longer than 3 days, they’re no longer a guest. But a family is forever. Whatever it takes (baking cookies, buying junk food) to see them smile, I’m up for it.

So as you can see, I’ve basically put myself in my dad’s sandals and my mum’s pumps. Now I appreciate every single thing they do to not only keep my happy, but also to keep the family together. It takes hard work but when it is done out of love, you don’t even feel the sweat until they’re all gone.

Today is Eid-ul-Adha in Malaysia. I woke up early and took my cousins to the surau for the Eid-ul-Adha prayer. (My cousins were asking me, “What time will we go to the surau?” “When does the prayer usually starts?” “What are we eating for breakfast?” These are questions I usually asked my parents without really appreciating the answer. You think it is easy to decide stuffs for others? They depend on you no matter how insignificant it is.) After the prayer we had our breakfast, with the lemang we bought last night and the cookies and cake we baked less than 12 hours before. My cousin Kak Yong had to go to work, so I took my housekeeper and cousin, Chor, to our Uncle’s house in Gombak. Then I went to my grandparents’ house in Dato’ Keramat. As I was driving alone just now I felt like crying. On Hari Raya and I am driving alone on the road. I just hang out at my grandparents’ place and ate and ate and ate. My cousins there were asking, “So since your mum is not here, no cakes we guess?” They were surprise that I still brought our famous chocolate cake. I think my friends in INTI don’t know yet how special my chocolate cake is, eh? One day girls :)

But you want to know what really made my day today? Talking to my dad on the phone all the way from Mina, healthy (minus the cough) and out of Ihram already. THAT is the definition of my Hari Raya Aidiladha this year.


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