I think we have had enough of dreams, and should step down to earth, and watch the real objects around. I happen to see plants in the grounds of Nuri, our home. Among many plants are pots and pots of a kind, according Makcik, called aloe vera. It sounds exotic enough and I dare not argue with her, not within my area of expertise. But I am certain there must be scientific names which may sound even more exotic.
on the edge of low brick walls and
even on the floor of our verandah.
I presume it all started with one pot many, many years ago. The one plant must have 'beranak', multiplied. (Incidentally I read in the paper that the new edition of Dewan Bahasa Malay dictionary, which is already a kind of English 'rojak', will have many foreign words, enriching the Bahasa Melayu - so it seems. I dare not laugh. If now we are wrestling with poor standard of English in Malaysian schools, we will soon have poor standard of Malay, a kind of ‘global’ Bahasa Melayu, no longer bearing any resemblance to, or traces of the celebrated Wilkinson’s or Pendita Zaaba’s. To reciprocate, I expect the Oxford or Cambridge dictionaries will also adopt many Malay words of 'taraf antara bangsa', like 'beranak' or 'beranuck' , the way they have done with Malay 'amok' , also spelt 'amuck' - I suppose depending on whether it was spoken by Irish or Scottish English inn those colonial days.
Now, let's get back to Makcik's aloe vera. I would like my learned visitors, who are expert on plants (the like of my respected Tuan Temuk), to tell me two things:
a) Can aloe vera be turned into an edible dish instead of just a decoration?
b ) Does aloe Vera have flowers?
I do not ask a third question which concerns uses of aloe vera for its medicinal value as I have noticed a kind of cream in tubes bearing the word 'Aloe ...'. It may even be something to enhance the beauty of old and wrinkled skin. But please tell me about it anyway. At my age I need all the tips to remain beautifully wrinkled and ‘kuat’ ( the latter to run the tuition classes, mind you) - to be in English dictionaries as 'kowhat' or 'quact'.
Till I hear from you, I rest my case.
Selamat berpuasa and Selamat Hari Raya, including my friend Sintaitai.
Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan.