Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Sparkle That Was Raya...


The year was 1975. I was 10 years old while my two younger brothers were aged 8 and 1. We were living in Jalan Maarof, Bangsar Park. It was a the eve of Eidil Fitri. The house was a buzz with activities: frantic last minute spring cleaning, putting up the new curtains for the living room, ketupat making and rendang cooking in the kitchen. Mom would be making last minute fittings for the dress she had sewn for me to wear on Raya morning. Dad would be in the back yard, supervising my brothers playing with sparklers. I would join them whenever I could, between helping my mom with all that needed to get done before the crack of dawn.

The sparklers. They bring to mind many memories of my childhood years. They were magical in my eyes. Inspiring awe in me. My brother, Eri and I would spell out our name with the sparklers. Dad would also have those that would shoot little balls of colored flame with parachutes attached to them. He would shoot them skyward and we would watch them come down with our mouths open in amazement. Nahar would shriek with excitement at the wonder of it all. Although far from being storybook perfect, it had its moments that always conjures up happiness and smiles on my face. Nostalgia...

My eyesight is blurring now. Tears of sadness and melancholy. Missing those tiny bits of happy moments. I was 10 then. Now, I'm 44. Raya for 2009 is a few days away but the atmosphere at home is far from what it was back in 1975. No new curtains to hang. No ketupat or rendang to cook. Maybe some last minute frantic spring cleaning. But it has definitely lost its sparkle.

I miss my childhood when things were simpler then. I may have not had autonomy that I have now, but at least I had an illusion of happiness. Oh my poor heart. I can literally feel it breaking. I grieve for the lost joy of Raya. It has never been the same since. It never will be 1975 ever again. I grieve. I grieve.

2 comments:

wan emily said...

Salam Joe!

Nice piece here you wrote. We were all 'there' once... the nostalgic Hari Rayas that is never the same now. How I miss mine too...

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri
to you and your family...

Johana Dato' Johari said...

Salaam Wan Emily,

Thank you for reading this entry and sharing your thoughts about it. Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Fitri to you and yours...