The bell rang and I knew someone was at the gate. As I pushed open the main door a young girl was stepping in through the gate.
“Pakcik ingat saya lagi, tak?” ( Can Pakcik still remember me, or not?)
Her face was beaming with excitement. Of course she was a familiar face; but before I could pick a right name from that long list answer she already answered her own question, obviously so exhilarated to let something off her chest. “ Fiza, Pakcik. Nak bagi kad lah Pakcik.” ( Fiza, Pakcik. I have a card to give.)
A kad (a card). I knew it. It had to be an invitation card for her wedding. So that was it.
Fiza is no stranger to Makcik and Pakcik.(click) End of the tunnel (Part 5 ) featured her elder sister who now has two children, holding a senior position in a private college in Klang Valley. Fiza herself is a nurse at a hospital in Kedah.
A few minutes later, sitting comfortably and obviously relieved after letting off her chest the reason for her visit, she talked about her job and family, a happy family. Her father, now at 61, is still a fisherman and has been one for 46 years. Shouldn’t he call it a day when children have begun to earn good income? I wondered and asked her so.
“ We all have told him again and again that he must stop going out to sea. But can you believe it? If he does not take his boat out for a few days he gets sick – rindukan ombak ( missing the waves)!”
Ten days later we duly attended her wedding, a grand kampong wedding, the second we attended in that particular house. When I looked at the brick house my mind wondered back some fifteen years ago to picture an old wooded house on stilts, often flooded during monoon season. They often needed a small wooden boat to reach the steps of the house from the higher ground around it.
Pak Yas (for Alias), the proud father, the ‘old man of the sea’, was equally excited to see us. “ I told Fiza she must send her card personally to Pakcik.” He stressed the word ‘sendiri’ (personally).
Pak Yas - Standing tall
And before we left the proud fisherman confided, “ I hope you will have a chance to come for a third wedding.” Indeed three daughters were ‘graduates’ from Almanar. Two are married and one to go.
In his pink dress the proud father looked young for his age. The secret cannot simply be the happy ending for his family but it has a lot to do with his 46 years of dripping his sweat in the sun and the storms, and being washed by the sprays of salt water of the South China Sea.
Makcik and Pakcik share the happiness of the family of this master fisherman.
Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan