20 January 2011

End of the tunnel (Pt 11) – No more nasi dagang

Note: This is a belated posting with Pacik’s apology to Neni in particular.

The traditional 'telor merah' of Terengganu wedding.

Pakcik, anak anak tak beri kita berkedai lagi ( my children would not allow us to operate the stall any longer)”

That was uttered by a fine lady soon after the wedding of her daughter whom we all call ‘Neni’ lovingly - befitting her personality. Neni is no longer that shy little girl who joined Almanar tuition class twelve years ago. She is today not only a qualified nurse but also one lucky guy’s wife.

Neni’s mother was the best nasi dagang cook in our vicinity. For years and years she was the one who would prepare nasi dagang for our Hari Raya and our other special occasions. We would not dream of placing orders from another person. Until the intervention of her children she and her husband had been operating a road- site stall that we often frequented for her nasi dagang. We had to be early to beat the crowd unless, as we often did, we called their house the previous evening to keep whatever quantity we wanted.

Today this lady can draw a sigh of relief that her children chose to stop her and husband from working so hard. She used to be up at unearthly hours, as early as two to start cooking. Her main regret was their inability to attend the morning (subuh) prayers at a surau nearby together with their village community. Now that is all over. She and husband can enjoy the community life. With his husband’s pension and children’s contribution they are living a happy life which they deserve, having raised their children to be better educated than they were themselves.

We are sad to miss our best nasi dagang but our joy is greater, that the parents enjoy a leisurely life and, above all, our Neni has a career and has started to have her own family. Perhaps, her next visit to see us, as she often did, she not only bring her smiling face but her man plus a child. Insya Allah.

This is a typical joy that compensates for Pakcik’s occasional frustrations – to see that all is not wasted.

Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan


Unknown said...

hello Pakcik,

i read this from Ainun's note.. this is such lovely notes. I am a classmate of Ainun back in Sr MGS and very glad to get connect back to old schoolmate through Facebook.


Wan Sharif said...

Ah the typical joy and small mercies that compensates for Pakcik’s occasional frustrations..
May you, kakak and yours be blessed with excellent health always

Al-Manar said...


Trisha,Sr MGS - that would be around the mid 1970's. Isn't it wonderful how modern communication can bring together individuals who were separated 35 years ago. Perhaps Pakcik and Makcik will have a chance to meet you again soon. You must have had a big family too by now.

Al-Manar said...

Ayah Wan,

Itu semua asam garam hidup kan? We cannot expect all is well all the time. Hujan dah berhenti - tak rasa nak balik kampong? P Duyung nampaknya masih ada!

Unknown said...

Hi Pakcik,

That is right mid 70's. I still remember Ainun studying in London and saw her on TV in malaysia once around the Hari Raya period.

I am married about 7 year ago and living with my husband in London now. We don't have any children.


Aishah said...

Teaching is one of the best investment for pahala in life because the reward is endless and can be enjoyed in the after world.

Alhamdulillah, dapat anak yang soleh dan beriman dan berjasa pada ibubapak. And thank you for the story, because it is a continuous reminder for me.

Al-Manar said...

Trisha, life in London is enviable to many, you know. But some Malaysians do choose to come back later in life when 'tropical' bodies can no longer endure the cold weather. I heard it was fun in London early this month

Temuk said...

Assalamu'alaikum Al-Manar

Alhamdulillah, Neni's parents will now have the chance to join the rest of the jemaah for the subuh prayer. And continue to pray for the happiness of their dear daughter's family.

Pengorbanan ayah-ibu dan tuan sendiri, insya-Allah, telah mengangkat Neni menjadi insan yang mampu menyumbang bakti untuk masyarakatnya.

Al-Manar said...


Teaching ought to come naturally to all of us, especially parents. We all start life being taught lovingly and continue to learn and at certain stage begin to teach lovingly the good we hve learnt. It is a natural process - as you wrote of Iqra' - read.

Al-Manar said...


Tuan lebih arif - berpuluh tahun sebagai tenaga pengajar. Tentu banyak detik detik yang tuan boleh kenangkan. Berceritalah sedikit pahit manisnya pengalaman yang tuan telah lalui itu untuk pembaca.

Unknown said...

dear pakchik, you have four of your own but i see you and makchik are parents to so many more. to be able to love and nurture children not borne to you, that is what i find very admirable and inspiring about you both.

kaykuala said...

Dear Pak Cik,
Life's joy that comes from your children's success is the ultimate. Not many is insistent on seeing to their parent's welfare as Neni either. I wish them well.

Al-Manar said...


Isn't it natural if you do not have, or if you do not have enough, you envy the have, and grab at any chances of having some more?

Al-Manar said...

Akhi Kank,

And the degree of success is very subjective, very meaningful to those who have not known much of it - bringing them so much joy that many, so used to high success, cannot appreciate. For a similar reason, your new found skill is truly fantastic - because it is beyond my capability.

ninotaziz said...

Alhamdulillah...A good reminder to all of us.

For me, Mother is hard at work helping me revive old malay folklore and folk songs she remembers from her childhood while she enjoys her Facebook trotting - connecting the large and meandering family and Hindi movies.

She is an inspiration. And I, and the girls, are very very lucky to have her as a guide and ally, a pillar!

Al-Manar said...


How fortunate you are to have your own mother as an inspiration. Many find theirs from without the family, and some unfortunately plod on without one. Yours must be the reason that has made you so exceptionally motivated and succssful in your special pet subject. We have to be grateful for what we have.

nordinmusa said...

I think Nasi Dagang is one of the most delicious meal ever created in this world. Don't worry, whenever you r in KL, let me know and I shall treat you at the best nasi dagang in KL, in a food stall in Keramat AU5. She cook the best nasi dagang in KL and has been doing that for more than 20 years.

My mother also used to cook the best nasi dagang in our kampung and now we no longer let her to do that because of the hours of preparations. And I solute Neni for relieving her parents from that task.

Al-Manar said...


It is nice to know there is one. Take me there one of these days. Tahnks

mHairiemiey said...

salam,,,,pak cik,,,how's great nasi dagang is it,,,hahah...love nasi dagang,,,,however,,i would like to ask your forgiveness for being long time not leave any comment in your blog,,,it doesn't mean that u r forgotten,,,i am still miss u n mak cik,,,,your kindness still in my mind,,,now,,i have my winter brake,,n last week,i went for a trip in German,heaven of europe,,hihihi,,,,it was a very interesting n fantastic journey pak cik,,,mostly peope ther like to smile not like russian,,,hik8,,,n so many thing that impress me there,,mmm,,,saying about russian,,there preffer to ignore people around them ever theie citizen,,,,huhuhu,,mmm,,,now,,moscow is not too cold even though now is winter brake,,,,dunt know why,,hik8,,,but i got cough n runny nose,,hik8,,,,but,,i am still in good health,,hik8,,,,pak cik n mak cik,,how i miss u too,,,i love both of u,,,,(pak cik n mak cik)

Al-Manar said...


Do keep in touch with us. Email us more news about your stay and your studies.

We were happy to see ten of your Almanar friend us for CNY !

Pakcik and Makcik