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Story from My Mother V
Last night after dinner I managed to coax more stories from my mother. “Kelmarin masa Kholid ambil saya dari KLIA, dia kata Husin beritahu ada nampak harimau baring kat tangga depan” I said.
“Bila Husin cakap tu? Agaknya dia beritahu pada Kholid satu masa dulu sebelum dia pindah, masa dia tinggal kat sebelah tu” said mother.
For your information, this is not real tiger, but tiger that we thought real, but would disappear in a flash if we say Shahadah, or Astaghfirullah hal Azim. Tiger of our imagination.
My mother said that Husin also told her that he saw a tiger lying down at the road entrance to the house, and she told Husin that it’s just a cat that he had seen, sort of dismissing the story.
I sort of know about this “pagar rumah” since I was a small kid. My first hair raising experience was when I was 7 or 8 years old. Some nights, and not that often, my father would go out to one of neighbour’s place for tahlil or yasin after Isha. This would normally take about 3 hours. Me and my older brother and sister would stay awake, waiting for the leftover nasi ambang that my father would bring home after tahlil. Sometimes we would hear walking at the front yard, or the wooden bridge that the front would rattle as if someone passing in the bike, or someone smack a mosquito on the thigh, “plak”. We knew it wasn’t my father, because he wasn’t due back yet.
After Form 5, in 81, (I went to KL for 4th and 5th form) during a long holiday, I had a habit of going out at night with friends, and back late at night. One night I didn’t go out, but being restless, I went out of the house and walked about on the road and sit at the bridge. When I looked back at the house, I saw burning red ember under the house, (for stilt house, the floor is normally raised 5-6 feet from the ground). It was there for a few minutes, and then it was gone. I sat there mesmerized, and then I walked back to the house and told my father, I thought it could be a thief or someone. My father acknowledge it, he doesn’t seem worried at all.
The next morning my father told me about “pagar rumah”, and that the house as well as the land, there someone unseen keeping watch and guard. That could be the “pagar rumah” showing itself to me.
One early morning, around 7am, me and my father was sitting around in the main hall. My dad was smoking his rokok gulung. Then we heard clear voice came from the front staircase, “wan won!” the voice of an old man. Wan won, is the Javanese greeting in bahasa halus, same as saying salam. We just sat there mesmerised for a couple of minutes, before I asked my father if he heard that. Yes. We look at the front door and downstairs, but we couldn’t see anyone. Yes, someones roh, did visit us that morning.
My mother told me that two of her daughter in laws, Saripah and Ju have seen the tiger at the front. Saripah went out to the car to fetch something after maghrib, she came back inside to tell my mother, “Mak ada harimau kat depan mak!”
“Tak ada lah, itu kucing tu” said my mother. As always, she said it was just a cat that they have seen.
My mother showed me an old bottle, green in colour and dirty on the outside. That bottle of water, don’t throw it away, she said. Whenever she took some, to add to a pail of water to splash around the house while reading Ayat Qursi 41 times, when she looked again, the bottle is full again with water. Also that red cloth on the top shelf in the west bedroom, don’t throw it away.
“Itu yang selendang merah tu ye mak?”
“ Ada satu botol minyak kat atas para tu, dulu nya penuh. Bila mak tengok kelmarin, dah kering, tak ada isinya”
“Masa 13 Mei dulu, ayah mu dan beberapa lagi orang kampong, Pak Ghafur, Pak Kamarudin, Pak Somo (all arwah already) and others went to Perak to take that water and selendang merah from Pak Raikhan at Sungai Sumun? Orang tu dah lama meninggal.”
“Oh itulah yang selendang merah kalau ayah pakai orang lain tak nampak dia tu. Itu yang cerita parang terbang dulu tu ya mak”
“Ya” said my mother.
“Kalau kat Johor, orang Kiyai Haji Salleh pun macam tu juga”
“Ya” said my mother.
“Arwah Mbok Patonah dulu, selepas Pak Somo meninggal, di buang nya botol air dan kain merah tu. Dia jadi tak senang duduk rumah, sebab tu dia pindah ke sebelah tu”
“Ada orang kampong kat sebelah wetan sana selepas suami nya meninggal, dia kena sakit pinggang. Tapi dia panggil bomoh. Bomoh tu kata botol air dan selendang merah tu menyebab sakit dia, padahal sakit pinggang. Maka di buang nya botol air dan selendang merah tu ke laut. Quran kecil yang di tanam di 4 penjuru rumah pun begitu juga, di korek dan di buang ke laut. Dia mula sakit sakit macam macam. Kadang tu muntah darah. Bila di periksa doctor, tak ada apa apa. Lama lama orang tu pun ikut meninggal.”
4-5 years after 13 Mei, my father told me the story of parang terbang. One time, during 13 Mei (ie a few days after the date itself) a parang was seen entering the Chinese houses at the end of the village. There are a few houses there. They all become terrified, getting out of the houses and camp at kebun getah for a few days, until some of the villagers coax them to come back to their houses.
One midnight 2-3 years ago, “that time your father was still healthy and able to walk about”, my mother heard someone yelling for help, “Tolong, tolong!” on the road at the front. My mother got up, and went to the road. “Kenapa?” she asked. “Ada harimau makcik! Dia baring kat situ”
“Tak ada lah, itu kucing tu.”
One time after maghrib, my mother said a couple of cars stopped on the road at the front. The cars from the west also stopped near the entrance to Auntie Mariam’s place. When my mother asked, they said they saw a snake crossed the road. The snake’s girth was as big as the trunk of a coconut tree.
One time my mother went to the kebun at the back, she saw three people, one carrying a bird cage, and another has a gunny bundle on his back. They walked to the west, then double up and walked back to the east. They did this a couple of times. My mother ran back to the house and tell my father.
“Pak, ada orang kat kebun. Tiga orang”
“ Ada duit? Bagi dia orang RM5 sorang, kata buat belanjalah.”
So my mother took RM15, and gave them RM5 each. “Buat belanja” my mother told them. They left behind the gunny sack of coconut and went off.
When Saripah, Kholid’s wife had her second child, Aiman, my mother went to stay at their place for a week. She bring along some of the water from the bottle that is at the kitchen shelf. During the week when she was there, she added the water into a bucket of water. Then while reading Ayat Qursi 41 times, she splashed the water on the ground around the house, circumnavigating the house. A couple of weeks later, Kholid, Saripah and family went away. When they came back a few days later, my mother also came along. There were 3 men in the house, they opened up and scattered Kholid’s belongings looking for money. But the three men were still there. They couldn’t get out. My mother asked Kholid to give them RM5 each. “Buat belanja” she said. And bid the 3 men farewell. Saripah complained,”kurang ajar betul dia orang tu, selerak kan barang”.
“Jangan kata begitu, tak baik” my mother said.
“Ayat Qursi tu boleh boleh digunakan untuk jadi pagar rumah. Baca 41 kali sambil jalam keliling rumah” my mother said.
“Aku buat kat rumah Kholid tu bukan apa, rumah dia di Kuala Kubu Bharu tu kat tepi hutan, takut masuk benda yang tak nampak masuk dalam rumah, maklumlah rumah tepi hutan.”