14 October 2013

Moment to Reflect ( Pt 11 ) – Her Majesty’s little garden


Sleep over a problem and you may see things in a better light. That was what Pakcik did, and something very trivial triggered a change of plan; No longer going into the coconut business and all on global scale!

It was two mornings ago when I heard Makcik hollering at me from our back gardens, what I call our ‘tanah sekangkang kera’ (small plot of ground).

Babah, come down and take some photos of my chilies!”.

At that very moment I was in my library upstairs, totally absorbed in my second reading of Ali Jusoh’s Belahan Mimpi ( read foot-note below on the author,Ali Jusoh ). When I am referred to with the endearment term like ‘Babah’, it means an order from Her Majesty. So hurry up, or you go without dinner!

                                                                  Fajar Bakti 1994

I dropped my Belahan Mimpi, picked up my Leica M’s look-alike camera and rushed down. She was about to pick a few chilies and she wished to keep a photo of her first harvest, beautiful long red chilies. For size she readily obliged to place her fingers alongside a chili - just bare fingers without her royal diamonds, varnish and all

Look how long they are - cared for by tender fingers

I only have 5 fingers on one hand

Having fulfilled my duty, I decided to loiter around, taking snap-shots of other plants growing on our ‘tanah sekangkang kera’. I found myself marvelling at the number of fruit trees, vegetables, flower plants and herbs we had collected over the years. I cannot help admiring Her Majesty’s joy in looking after her plants, as much as the satisfaction I find from the effort I spend on Almanar’s children. Isn’t this a win-win situation? Isn’t this a reason that has blessed our life with joy since we moved here twenty years ago? How naive I must be to even dream of starting something new at ‘taraf antarabangsa’ (world class) at this stage of our life.

Look at some of the few photos of plants introduced over twenty years with minimal assistance from me in maintaining them.

n/b  Please click on pictures to enlarge

I am not made like coconut
With stem to withstand
The force of sea storm

I bend my back
Breaking my neck
To bear a bunch

To ripen for you

Pisang Abu for you

Grow healthy, my lovely Nangka

With smaller siblings near the bvottom

On a tree outside our fence - Namgka (bukan Cempedak) diluar pagar  

Durian Belanda ( Dutch durian?) - fresh from the tree

A younger brother on the plant

Mother plant growing healthy

And from Pak Temuk - Red lady's finger (the Red Okra) 
       We can never thank him enough 

Of course we have Her Majesty's green fingers as well


That is not an exhaustive list. 
Has any one outside Terengganu heard of such fruit plants as jambu arang, buah ppisang (not banana – watch the pp, the Terengganu way) and buah terajang (hard-kick fruit)? We will post some pictures in good time.

In short, let Her Majesty enjoy the produce from her ‘tanah sekangkang kera’ and I the product from Almanar
A happy ending!

I give full credit to the novelist, Ali Jusoh, for his effort to organise the first group of children when I wished to start my tuition class at Amanar twenty years ago, He was then the Headmaster of a school hardly 3km away and has retired a few years ago. He has written some twenty novels one of which is expected to be published soon. To his credit he was a Pemegang Anugerah Sastera for his Bumi Harapan, and a winner of the national Hadiah Sako for his Alor Miang. It hurts me deeply that as the result of his current illness he can no longer transmit onto paper what his fertile mind can still produce. A couple of weeks ago Pakcik took him on a sentimental journey along Sungei Nerus of Terengganu where a number of historical events took place and these events were referred to in his novel, Belahan Mimpi. That prompted me to do a second reading of the book.

 Berkhidmat kerana Tuhan untuk kemanusiaan.


ahmad humairi said...

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

Salam ziarah malam raya Aidil Adha,

Imarahkan 3 hari tasyrik dengan gema laung lambaian kemenangan - "Labbaikallahummalabbaik" - kemenangan kita menjalani kehidupan sehingga kini, dan semoga kan berulang-ulang untuk tahun-tahun yang mendatang.

Berbudi dengan tanah - kemenangan menuai hasilnya. Mudah-mudahan kan berulang-ulang jua....insyaAllah.

Selamat menyambut aidil adha, maaf zahir dan batin.

ninotaziz said...


Selamat Hari Raya Aidil Adha Pakcik, Makcik and family.

I will actively look for the books you mentioned Pakcik. I am actively reading Malay classics now and at this stage in life, am amazed at the depth of meaning and layers of intrepretation.

Anonymous said...

Selamat menyambut Hari Raya Haji to Pak Cik n family.
I love the Durian Belanda.The pisang awak is so striking.


Anonymous said...

Dear Pakcik,
Wow! Makcik has been really busy, eh? Maybe you can add "berkebun" as a new activity for the kids too?
Anyway, we wish you and yours Selamat Hari Raya Aidiladha.

Six kitties and 2 hoomans

kaykuala said...

Dear Pakcik,
Very interesting. I tried durian belanda one time but it didn't sustain. I found it frustrating when the shape did vary from one fruit to the other. Been told good for cancer, especially Prostate cancer. Makcik not only keeps herself busy but also the returns sustain her interest. Kind regards for her too!


Al-Manar said...

Cikgu Humairi,

WAK Salaam.
Lepas satu tahun kesatu tahun kita menyambut hari baik bulan baik. Kalau boleh biarlah amalan baik kita berterusan tidak sematamata untuk masa masa tertentu yang memang ada pula amalan yang khusus.

Bretul kata Cikgu tentang berbudi kepada bumi. Hasilnya memuaskan.

Al-Manar said...


I buy books faster than capacity for reading. But the few old books read bring back memory. In the fifties (1950's) we bought books by post from a couple of bookstores in KL. Unlike today,those Pan Books cost about 1.20 ringgits each - without the high quality paper, colours and binding for which we are paying highly today.

Al-Manar said...

Six kitties and two hoomans,

At this time of the year, in particular, I wonder where their main activities are centred, in a jungle of on an island somewhere. I serve my time in a cosy place, by the sea and surrounded by fruit trees; but some do the hard way that I can never dream of doing.

Makcik has asked and my answer has been brief - they must be busy.

We always have accommodation for the 2 but not the six - allergies!

Wish you well- xxoxxo

Al-Manar said...


We did not know about durian belanda and cancer. We enjoy juice prepared from this fruit, which is, indeed, difficult sustain fruiting. We may not have one in three months. That does not worry us. We can have juice from coconut and kedondong.

Perhaps that banana or the prikly durian belanda, or the more prickly durian kampong can trigger some kind of haiku.

Anonymous said...


Sorry.I am sure u r correct,it is pisang abu.
InsyALLAH,one fine day I'll make a point to visit pakcik n makcik when I'm in KT.


Al-Manar said...

WAK Salaam,
You call that Pisang Awak. There are a number of varieties, some having all seeds. I dare not call what our's is, but it is of the better ones.
It has been some time since you last showed your face - not literally. Have you got a blog which you prefer not to disclose?

ninotaziz said...

Ahhh, those Pan Books. I think I have some of them.

I forgot to mention. I am envious of Makcik's crops…congratulations to her. You did not feature her black pepper which I am sure is one of a kind, in the peninsula.

Al-Manar said...


You stll remember that. We will try to get a proper cutting for you. But with your current activities there will be little time to be potting around your garden as Makcik.

The pictureof this plant will be posted some other time with several other plants around.

Al-Manar said...


Thank you for coming back to point out your possible mistake. But I am not sure myself. You could well be right. Anyway, one day do come around as promised.

madame blossom said...

Salaam Pakcik!

Ever since I have moved to JB, and have a sekangkang kera's plot of land to work on, I've started planting. I've planted bittergourd (trying to make a 'green curtain' at the same time reaping it's fruits), lady's finger, papaya. I'm intending to get a banana tree and jambu air. Can't wait.

Do share pictures of the fruits from your land. :)

Selamat Hari Raya - masih boleh bertakbir hari ni!

Al-Manar said...

Madame Blossom

Waalaikum Salaam,
It is ever so nice to see 'madame' visiting. Gardening is really my love but I thoroughly enjoy walking around to see young flowers, fruit and so on. To add variety to this blog contents I will try to post a picture or two of the produce from our sekangkang kera.

ninotaziz said...

AND I just realisd there was a poem hiding in the midst of all the greens. Ahhh, Sir Hank must have converted you.

Unknown said...

Salam, Pakcik,

Hope it is not too late to wish pakcik and makcik Selamat hari raya Aidil Adha. Hope the celebration had been good. Wish each and every day will always be the best for you.

Take care.

Al-Manar said...


No, that does not deserve to be called a poem - just an off-beat! When you are in a certain mood while walking you may decide to trot about aimlessly for a change. A child does that.

Al-Manar said...


You seem determined to stop. I am very pleased that you spare time to call. Hope you had a good gathering on Hari Raya. There were only two of us here.

Let me know when you decide to start posting again.

Cheqna said...

Assalamualaikum Pak Cik & Mak Cik..

May Allah SWT bless you both & family always..sorry to have missed many of your postings.

Salam Aidil Adha.

Awang Goneng said...

Salaam Abang Ngah! Looking at your harvest reminds me of the radio serial 'Kebun Pak Awang'. All you need now is a few goats and perhaps a cow mooing in the background.

The author you are reading is not one I have heard of, but that's entirely my fault. Can I still get copies of his book(s)?

May Allah keep you well and prosperous.

abdulhalimshah said...

Dear Pakcik,
Soursop (durian belanda) is one of my favorite but it is rarely planted nowadays. I remember during my childhood days, there was soursop tree just next to my grandmother's house and I was the only 'cucu' who plucked the ripened one and ate it with relish as the others did not like the taste. Alhamdulillah, the equivalent 'sekangkang kera' which is really a small patch behind my house is also a joy for my wife to plant her knick-knacks like 'bunga kantan' and 'daun pandan' and other sweet smelling flowers.

Al-Manar said...


Your long absence is understood. If I had that much free time and means I would be travelling the world as well!

But it is nice to see you back visiting, and posting as well?

Al-Manar said...

Awang Goneng,

Yes, only now I am reminded of the pre-TV days when Kebun Pak Awang was celoebrated programme.

I am eagerly waiting for Ali Jusoh's coming novel which according to him covers a lot of the famed Chinese Admiral Cheng Ho's life in Terengganu. He showed Abang Ngah the Cheng Ho memorial building near the river at Telemonng. According to him many believed that the sadmiral, a Muslim, was buried on the river bank not far from the memorial. I am very curious about the content of this book, and will no doubt get a copy for Mi.

Al-Manar said...


I normally make soursop juice, a truly lovely drink. Some years ago someone started making that drink commercially. I am sure they must have run into shortage of supply of fruit. It is very rare to see fresh soursop fruit in the local market here.

No3 said...

I wish mami could be around our garden more... it needs much help!


Al-Manar said...


She loves to be caring for the three angels more than the garden. Of course we can have a separate 'uinderstanding'. I presume you still have that a/c number which can be of help to begin with.