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Mar 10, 2011

Ketika Aku Kecil...

Warning: long introduction is long.

Blog ini tiada kena mengena dengan lagu Ana Raffali itu. Walaupun kami pernah bersekolah bersama-sama, sekuliah dan pernah menjadi groupmate dalam satu assignment, tapi dia sangat elit bagiku yang sekadar budak kampung dari Sabah ini. Aku begitu kekok apabila berbual dengannya, walaupun secara kasual. Bukan aku benci dia, tapi kami punya vibe bukan satu frekuensi. Dia bahagia dengan rakan-rakannya, dan aku bahagia dengan rakan-rakanku.

Secara peribadi, saya tidak ingin dia menang Juara Lagu lalu, bukan sebab dia tidak pandai berkarya atau saya membencinya, tetapi sebab saya rasa dia perlu masa lagi. Dia akan dibenci kerana perkara remeh-temeh kerana dia muda, cantik dan seorang wanita, dan lagu-lagunya akan dikutuk. Orang akan mendengar lagu puitisnya secara sambil lewa kalau dia menang. 

Tapi kalau dia kalah, tetapi menang pada tahun ini atau tahun depan, itu lain cerita. Orang akan menyayanginya kerana ada usaha yang boleh dilihat, orang-orang tua akan menjadikannya sebagai contoh kepada anak-anak mereka, “Nah, lihat Ana Raffali itu. Dia kalah dulu, tapi sekarang lihat! Dia menang! Walaupun dia muda tetapi dia berusaha. Awak pun harus berusaha seperti dia.” Ah, sayangnya dia menang. Sekarang dia mempunyai masalah untuk membuatkan orang take her and her song seriously. Kasihan, good luck to her.

But I digress. Blog ini bukan mengenai dia. Blog ini mengenai diriku, diriku tika kecil suatu masa dahulu.

Mungkin anda musykil. Si gemuk ini kecil? Bukan saiz ya para pembaca sekalian, tetapi usia. Pada suatu masa dahulu, aku pun pernah menjadi anak kecil yang tidak comel dan nakal. Dan inilah ceritanya…



When I was young I thought I was a typical little girl. At this age, after sharing my story with many friends in one of those “when I was little” sessions, I know that my years growing was not… average. Some find it lacking, some find it extreme. I just take it as normal.

I live in a little kampung (village) somewhere in Penampang, Sabah. It doesn’t even have a cool, unique name like (I dunno) Kampung Ais Box or Bundu Tuhan (both of which are real places, by the way). My kampung’s name is sometimes mistaken with another kampung with the same name but a different spelling. Its called Terawi (without the ‘h’). I once asked my dad if it means anything, he said it refers to an old gambling game. I guess my kampung was a gambling den during my ancestors’ time. They were probably having a bit of fun naming the place after their favourite game.

It was still a proper kampung then. Houses were wooden and on stilts. If there were any concrete or cement used in construction, it meant you’re well off. Some houses still used rumbia leaves for the roof. My grandmother’s house, two houses away from mine, had bamboo flooring. It was very cool because you could see the dirt ground and chickens under it. There were no stairs. What she had was a block of timber with steps carved out of them. It was an adventure, that house. I often go there to keep an eye on my grandmother when my parents were away (actually she was the one babysitting, but my parents told me this so I’d feel importantlah).

You could see animals roaming around my kampung: buffaloes being pulled by their noses, goats being led by their owners, poultry running around, children playing in the dirt. And of course, we had the padi (paddy) fields and fruit orchards. Cars were still something special then. We’d also play hide and seek around parked cars sometimes, during Kaamatan and New Year when families came home for the month-long school holidays. When my teachers or friends ask me where I’m going for the holidays, I’d say that I’m going nowhere. I’m already in my kampung, so balik kampung is redundant.

When you’re a kid, a one-month holiday is like a year. It’s the best time of the year, except for the whole "doing manual labour" thing. I could be digging in the garden, cleaning up pig muck, feeding chickens, or carrying sacks of padi around; it all depended on the whims of my parents that day. In fact, every kid I knew in the village did this. But off-duty, I’m OFF!

I’d be digging for worms, looking for broken pieces of glass bottles (they looked like crystals, you see), ‘borrowing’ my neighbour’s fruits, ‘lastik’ing some birds that were having a feast at my mom’s padi fields; generally getting myself dirty and driving my mom crazy. (Don't know what a lastik is? See the pic below. :3) There was this one time, I don’t remember what I did but it was bad enough that my mom picked me up and put me in an empty oil drum (we used it to gather water). I was a small kid and I couldn’t climb out of it (not a skill I ever got a hang off, it’s because I’m afraid of heights), and all I could do was sit in there while I wait for my mom to pick me up again.

But it never occurred to me to cry in there. I had my imagination, the blue sky was beautiful and I made a hole in the barrel. My aunt dropped by to visit my mum and dropped by to see how I was. She laughed when she discovered I was smiling. I was an irreverent child. She left me there and my mom soon came and released me.

I do get hurt easily, I get scrapes and bruises. I got stung by bees, pecked by angry mommy chickens, bitten by my neighbour’s dog, bitten by mosquitoes, snapped by crabs, poked by thumbtacks. stapled myself by accident, hit my thumb with a hammer. I mean, they didn't all happen at the same timelah, but often enough for me to make my own first aid kit.

When I couldn’t fix myself up, only then would I tell my parents. Like when I accidentally put my feet in a bowl of hot soup and burned myself, I had a week off from kindy for that. Poor mom had to hold me in her lap to give me a bath. So it wasn’t weird if I had Handyplast taped all over myself those days. Some scars, I still have them. Like the scar I got when I played police and thief in kindergarten and I fell and cut my knees on the sharp rocks, or the scar I got when I accidentally stepped on the mosquito coil stand at my grandmother’s house.

I still did what girls were/are expected: sewing, cooking and cleaning. But they were never satisfactory, even till now. The only thing I improved in was my sewing. I still do that every so often.

So in one of the designs for the background image of my Twitter profile, I had my childhood in mind. With my slingshot in hand (which my dad hand-made for me) and a bunch of stones. My favourite rambutan tree, heavy with fruit. A hand-made ladder up the tree. A small bag, to put treasures in. My mom shouting at me, and the family dog beside her (I draw her smiling but she was actually very fierce and we always keep her in a cage). And one of my most favouritest things in the world: the blue sky.

I don’t miss my childhood, but it’s a nice time to visit once in a while. I hope you enjoy the pics! :D

Extra trivia: I use DestroyTwitter as my desktop Twitter app. Geddit? :3

4 comments:

cereal87 said...

Nda sa kalau time budak2 nda calar balar sana sini.

Ms. Cherane Christopher said...

Kan? XD But you see kids today. So snow white, scar pun tiada.

Ganaesh D. said...

While reading this, I instinctively lick my chipped front tooth when I felt down face-first on the tar road masa sekolah.

Heh. Good times.

Ms. Cherane Christopher said...

ITS NOT GOOD TIMES! XO