Wednesday, 13 October 2010

..the house where mother stayed..

..not all buildings are pulled down to make way for the new..some are left standing, unattended and forgotten..fading by inches and worn down by the rain and the sun ...corroding gently by gentle time that passes like the relentless flow of the river, where upon its banks it sits..


..no.833, Lorong Gajah Mati is such a house. a house sitting forlorn and alone, hidden by fences and undergrowth, ignored by its neighbours..and forgotten by me, who once stayed there.. it sat by the bank of  Kelantan River..facing death as death comes in stealthy steps..crumbling in little pieces, yet still holding onto memories of a time 40 over years ago..

..and as I stood there on Sunday afternoon, taking in the battered remnants of what was once a house, I was that sapling youth once more, coming back home to my mother..



..it was a house on stilts almost 7 feet high..she peered through her glasses and through the window where she was sewing when he first arrived, huffing and puffing a suitcase full of clothes and books..he rested at the stairs..after almost 20 years, her youngest son, Mamat returned..to a home which was not hers..but for the next couple of years, it was to be his home, too..

..now, 40 over years later, I stood there upon a Sunday afternoon..I saw her face through the window..and I saw mine clambering excitedly up the steps..

..she died 14 years ago..I stood there facing the stairs..and I heard her voice as I kick started my Vespa..

..'Mat...mu make doh ko ?..duk du moh getek gah...:'..as she pedalled on her Singer..Mat, have you eaten?.. can't you stay home once in a while ...as I rode away through the lane of Gajah Mati...



18 comments:

June Malik said...

Pakmat : hse belongs to whom now? repair and stay lah .. its a nice one

Pak Zawi said...

Tatak,
I think I have seen the house. It isn't far from Minah Pulut Bakar's house isn't it?

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Abe Mat,
What a sad looking house...I believe that houses have souls too. You shouldn't leave it alone. purrr....meow!

Grandpa said...

Nostalgia sunggoh...kenangan masa lalu mengusik jiwa

The timber looks sturdy, must be chengal or something

ismi said...

sayang nya rumah ini dibiarkan..rumah antik dan tradisional dgn berbagai kenangan lalu tentu indah untuk dihuni semula.

Nin said...

Pak Mat, I have the same memory of the old wooden house my family used to live in back in the early 70s. The last time I went there (last year), the house had been brought down and the land was bare... the real owner (our landlord) had died and the house had been left abandoned long enough. I felt a tear in my eye for I felt that I had lost the grip on my early childhood memoriesin that house. There is nothing there now to help jog the memory... the stairs that I fell on, the porch where I kept baby goats for pets before the real owner came for them, the kitchen door where I used to stand from while I feed the chickens... haiyah! Cedeyy....

YuinTing said...

Hi Pakmat, that house sure brings back a lot of memories!

As for me, the funny things is that I still manage to "visit" my childhood home many times in my dreams. I just can't understand why I always dream of the living room, kitchen etc of the shop house where I spent my childhood, and not the house I'm currently staying.

Childhood home. What great memories!

Fauziah Ismail said...

Salam Pakmat
I'm planning to rebuild the house my late father built in 1973. The house is still liveable but a little bit run down now.
The design is currently being done, financing being worked out but I'm not in a hurry because the old house reminds me so much of my dad.

Anonymous said...

At least you still have something to look at...my birth house already gone with the wind...

Wan Sharif said...

mm..
Mamat tu meme lagu tu..doh leh doh teme mok dia .. sunyi jugok hidup mok Mamat tu.. kaki dok gateh mesin singer.. tak dok ore nok teme keccek.. alahai..

pakmat said...

..salam friends..they say a house is not a home unless it is filled with laughters, cries and shrieks of little children..this is not the house of my childhood..of which I had vague memories..it was not too glorious a childhood, being posthumous..and I think my mother never really got over the loss of my father..even tho she tried to flesh out as best she could her life after him, being a single mother, as it were..but this is the house of my youth..before I left it behind upon marriage to Audrey..and I like to think that those few years I spent with her as a period of reconcialiation..to a mother she never was..but she was a stoical woman..her second marriage was late..and her second husband also died later..but she bore him a daughter..upon whom she doted on..

pakmat said...

JM..the house has been sold..it was never ours..dibenarkan duduk dengan ikhsan..

PZ..Cik Minah Pulut Bakar was behind this house, along another lane..coincentally, my mother was also Cik Minah..Cik Minah Sulong,who had among her brethren, Dato and Tan Sri's..one recently died..



CiS..of course, houses of souls..voices wafting through the rusting roof and decaying wood..

ismi..bukan kita punya..apa bolih buat..

Nin..we all have that pangs of sadness when we came across buildings and houses of our youth..for we have traveled far and long..and they have a way of bringing us back to those time we were kids..

pakmat said...

Grandpa..yes, it is cengal..along with the wooden walls..even cengal cannot withstand neglect..

YT..childhood homes connect us to the past..but I'm sure yours was a very happy childhood..a doting father and all..

FI..then retain as much as possible the old..and blend in the new..and let those memories of your dad remain intact..I envy you..

pakmat said...

anon..kesian..but you have your memories..and creating them for your children.,.

WS..ore mudo..mano bleh duk umah?...:)

Anonymous said...

NO KOMEN BUT INGIN KOMEN, HOW?

School Of Tots said...

Pak Mat walking down the memory lane. History in the making. A good option to keep history kicking & alive forever is to capture it and post it on the Blog.

Abd Rahim Hussin said...

Dear Pak Mat,

A nostalgic piece. I used to walk through the narrow cement lane to go to Lido cinema. My grandmother house and where I was raised is further down towards the Sultan Yahya bridge. To be exact near the just beside Yunus Sawmill.So your Mum house and all around Lorong Minyak Gas used to be my childhood playground.

If ever, houses also do have soul.

Aisya

pakmat said...

..salam sot..not much history there, sot..just memories..

salam aisya..hmm..you must be the daughtr of arhussin..:)it is loghon minyak gah..and I know the place..and houses do have souls..voices and laughters of distant past are there..like some mist hanging in the air...regards to arhussin..