Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Story of Pak Pandi

I am sorry if the name Pak Pandi rhyme with Pak Pandir. His real name is Affandi. Last week an uncle from Johor, (Parit Imam, Batu Pahat) came for a visit. His name is Affandi, and we called his Pak Pandi. Pak Pandi married Auntie Sarengah back in the sixties, and their first born, Saadon is the same age as me. Pak Pandi was originally from Johor, he was brought to Tanjong Karang by his father after his parent divorced. His mother stayed in Johor with the other children, but he followed his father to Tanjong Karang and lived in Sungai Burung. Back in the sixties he married Auntie Sarengah, my mother's younger sister. In the beginning they set up house at my grandfather's sawah land at Sawah Sempadan, but later they moved to Sungai Burung when new land was opened for rice plantation. Pak Pandi has 3 acres of rice field in Sungai Burung, next to his father's. In the beginning the land didnt have a good yield, but after 4-5 seasons, the rice yield get better. I remember the times back in the early seventies when Pak Pandi would come over visit us. One day back in the early seventies Pak Pandi to us that they were moving to Perak, to a newly opened land. My mother's version; The land was on an island, Pulau Kerang. About two years passed, maybe less, came the news that Auntie Sarengah had passed away. My father, Uncle Rukimin and Nenek Mariam went north to see Auntie Sarengah buried. Pulau Kerang was a bit far from the mainland, the boat ride took ages. The coconut trees that Pak Pandi planted was still young, about 3 feet high. It was gambut land. Pak Pandi and Auntie Sarengah hadnt even built their own hut, but living with an old couple who are childless. Their children, Saadon and Saadiah (remind me if they have any other children) didnt go to school, because school was on the mainland. The old woman told my father thus; "Reti yo le, bocah iki nthino2 kerja ne turut tepi sungi golek ipah, di gawe atep. Atep e di dhol, duit e di ngge tuku beras. De ingi kae de'e balik ngomong barange dhi leboni pacat. Arep dhi gowo nyeberang banyu ne ijek surut, dhadi ngenteni pasang sesuk bar luhur. Urong sempet de'e wes ninggal. Meh sethino sewengi nek kenek kuwi. Mboso uwonge wes mati, pacat kuwi metu, gedi ne wes rong theriji." Translation:Son, let it be known to you that this woman work hard every day collecting nipah leaves along the river to make attap. She sold the attap and used the money to buy rice. Yesterday she came home saying that a leech got into her vagina (leech sucks blood). We wanted to take her across to hospital but the tide was low. so we had to wait until the tide is high after zuhr (about 1pm). She died before we had time to take her across. She had been suffering almost a day. After she died, the leech got out, and it was the size of two fingers. There was not many people on the island, the mosque was one mile away and her grave was the first one on the island. Auntie Normah's version; In the beginning, when they just got married, Pak Pandi and Auntie Sarengah set up a hut at my grandfather's sawah land at Sawah Sempadan. Later Pak Pandi got a three acre plot of sawah at Sungai Burung, next to Pak Pandi's father. It took 4-5 seasons before the rice yield get better. Back around 1972, Pak Pandi's friend encourage him to sell his rice field to make a new beginning in Sungai Kerang, Perak. The land was peat, on top of clay soil. Keladi (yam) or taro in Samoan grew well. But there was alot of leeches who would chase you if you go into water for a bath. Sometimes these leeches get into your private parts. Auntie Sarengah got stomach ache, probably from burst appendix, appendicitis. It took less than 24 hours before she died. After Auntie Sarengah died Pak Pandi came back to Tanjong Karang. Saadiah was adopted by Uncle Husin and Auntie Rukinem. He went to Puchong with Pak Kijat and opened a new land over there. But that didnt last long, coconut took a long time to grow and they didnt have anything to eat. Pak Pandi's mother asked him to go back to Johor. She has a piece of land over where she was living, at Parit Imam, Batu Pahat. Pak Pandi was living in the same house with his mother, but after a while his mother was not happy having kids in the house. so Pak Pandi built a hut under the mangosteen tree. It was small and very basic. The hut was not far from the village mosque according to Auntie Normah. Lately an UMNO big shot man took notice of his deplorable living condition and gave him RM10000 towards building a better house, Pak Pandi has to fork out another RM5000 for the house. I have searched google map, yes there is a place called Sungai Kerang in Perak, but not Pulau Kerang. Looking at this map, its probably on the peninsula across the river, and yes its technically an island, being surrounded by rivers. http://maps.google.co.nz/maps?q=sungai+kerang&oe=utf-8&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&sa=N&tab=wl Anyone want to add anything more?