“ 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
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.