Thursday, November 10, 2016

The Girl from the Coast 2.

Gadis Pantai - Pramoedya Anantha Toer; I have been referring to this literary work a couple of times, but i have never had a chance of reading it. Not even once. I really like the title and the story. So I am reusing this title to tell the story of my late grandmother, Mariam binti Joyowarso, a 7 year old girl, whose mother died, and her father remarried. Shen then was adopted by her cousin and her sisters. They then migrated to Selangor fron Pekalongan. In the past week, my bother Basiron has set up a group through Whatsapp chat of the grandchildren and great grandchildren of our ancestor Haji Daud Marhakim/ Mat Karmin and Mariam Joyowarso. I am surprised that the extended family lives all over the country. Seeing names that are familiar from those old days, and new names of nieces and second and third cousins is overwhelming. Some of the asked, what was my grandfather Haji Daud look like. Well, he was tallish, even when he was ld as I remember him. He look like Uncle Rukimin Haji Daud. I was about 10 yrs old whe he died. One or two months before he died, me and my older sister visited him and grandmother Mariam. I remember him telling my sister Kak Salmiah to take care of herself, be good etc. That was basically his last sermon to my sister. A year or so before that my grandfather was hit my a car while crossing the road to the masjid at Batu Enam. He was hospitalised for a few days at Tg Karang. I remember this because I also visited him after school. He has never been healthy after that accident. As for my grandmother, Mariam, she was shortish, about 4.5 foot tall, dark complexion. She look like Auntie Nik, Rukinem Haji Daud. Last week, my brother met our cousin Asbiran bin Sarbini who lives in Kg Pandan, Kuala Lumpur. He is one of those whom we have heard of his name, but has never met in real life family cousin. When I was 6 years old, my parents took me on a bus trip to Parit Tiga, Sungai Burung Tanjong Karang. That was the first bus trip that I remember. My mother told me that Kang Yan (Asbiran) get married. It was an exciting trip, my uncle Rukimin, Auntie Normah, grandmother, Nasir and Saring, Kak Sal, Kak Salmah also came along. Uncle Sisar (Sarbini) house was a cute malay style house, painted pastel green within view from the main road. To this day I dont remember what Uncle Sisar look like, I probably have met him, but then I probably not, So I dont remember. I probably didnt pay much attention to the elders. The marriage reception was conducted that mid morning. I remember Kang Yan 'bersanding' in the front yard, close to the front stair of the house. He wore white tunic military style uniforn, just like you see one of the officer's uniform of the British Navy. Kang Yan was a robust size man, and by todays estimation about 80-90kg size, about 6 foot tall. His bride was skinnish, with skin complexion like a Chinese girl. The bride and groom also 'bersanding' inside the house, and peek through the open window. We were serve food afterward, rice and chicken curry, which was a luxury in those days. While we were eating, there was a bit of ruckus, a local boy had stepped on chicken shit (tahi lencong). I think I remember that local boy face, he was speaking Malay, skinny. Years later he was my friend in high school, Sekolah Dato Harun and Sekolah Teknik Kuala Lumpur. His name is Abdul Mutalib Ismail. Here it is, excerpt from "The Girl from the Coast" Title: The Girl from the Coast Sorry Bapak Pramoedya Anantha Toer, this is just the title, as you wrote about your grandmother. I also want to write stories told by my late maternal grandmother Mariam, and yes I don’t even remember my great grandfather’s name. She didn’t know how old she was, maybe about 6 year old, maybe older. She couldn’t tell me much about her family, only that she and my paternal grandmother, Rosni binti Mustapha are cousins. She told me that she came from town called Kalengan, by the coast of Jawa Tengah. (Later talking to Indonesian friends, they said its Pekalongan, a town on the northern coast of Jawa Tengah, I cross checked with her Ponorogo dialect, spoken by people in the vicinity). Her village was about 7 miles from town, in her own words, “from here (Batu 7) to Parit Tiga (Batu 12)”. In those days, probably circa 1925, there was weekly market in town, so her parents used to bring village produce to town. She used to tag along her parents on foot to town, starting at 1am; her parents sold village produce like tapioca etc. to buy rice and other stuff. Poverty was rife in those times, parents married off their young daughters, simply because they couldn’t afford to feed them. That year my paternal grandmother was about 16, she was married off to my paternal grandfather Kusni. (I do not know my great grandfather’s name). Another one of her cousins, Suci was married off as well. Mariam was given off to her cousin Rosni, to be taken care off by her two cousins who just got married. The bridegrooms and their young brides sailed to Port Klang on a kapal layar, sailing ship maybe about 20metres. During the voyage the two cousins, my grandmothers resign to the fact that they were leaving their homeland for good. Suci cried day and night, ruing the fact that she will never see her parents, family or her homeland ever again. It took about a week to arrive in Singapore, where they stopped for a day or so for provisions before continuing to Port Klang. From Port Klang to Tanjong Karang might have taken 2 days on kereta lembu. In those times, the government opened tracts of land in Tanjong Karang for padi and coconut. When Mariam was old enough, about 13, she was married off to my maternal grandfather, Daud bin Marhakim. Life couldn’t be better in Selangor, padi land to grow rice and coconut land for cash crop of coconut and bananas. The river also teemed with freshwater fish like sepat, keli, puyu, haruan and udang galah in those days, replenished with annual monsoon floods. According to Auntie Mariah, my grandfather used to grow tapioca and keladi on road reserve land near their house. There were a few fruit trees around their house, jambu, breadfruit and ciku among them, some of them survived until my childhood in the seventies. My paternal grandfather Kusni died when my father was 2 years old, leaving grandmother Rosni with two young children to feed, my father and Auntie Mariah, relying on the goodwill of her fellow immigrant neighbours. Presumably they were just 5 years in Selangor back then. If I could turn back time, I could have taken my grand mother Mariam on a tour back to her homeland. THE ORAL STORY kata mak, embah mariem di ambil adik angkat olih tiga beradik embah esti. embah suchi dan embah rosni. dia kecik lagi, telah ditinggal mati olih ibunya. bapaknya kawin lain. sebab itu dia merantau ikut embah esti tiga beradik. kata pakgendu bapaknya bernama joyowarso. emak kata, embah mariem tak tau nama bapaknya sendiri sebab tu masa nak buat kad pengenalan di ambil nama mustafa sebagai nama bapanya. kata pakmin embah daud bapanya matkarmin , ibunya taktau sebab neneknya mati dia masih kecil. embah daud ada empat beradik. abangnya bernama samsi. duduk di batu 9. kahwin dengan mbah esti. embah mariem tolong jaga anak embah esti. lepas tu dijodohkan dengan embah daud.lepas tu emak dan bapak dijodohkan sebab embah rosni tu adik embah esti. embah daud adik embah samsi. adik embah daud namanya embah sarmi. dulu duduk dekat rumah arbangi/ sidek/rahman. bolih jadi kalau di korek siapa joyowarso tu bolih dapat info dari sana. juga matkarmin, mustafa . bolih jadi kampung dia orang berdekatan di pekalongan. kalau ada tugu kerana ternama di pekalongan , maka bolih di selidik. tapi kalau cuma rakyat biasa . susah le. dulu pernah terdengar cerita, embah daud yang pengkor kena gigit ular tu , dan abangnya, katanya lari ke tanah melayu setelah membunuh penyamun yangmenceroboh rumah mereka. penyamun tu cuba naik ikut lubang di lantai yang bila terjongol saja kepala , arwah embah tu cekik dengan menolak tampah pada batang leher penyamun tu. sampai mati. lepas tu dia orang takut ada orang balas dendam , dia orang cabut lari. Hj Basiron says: anak embah daud. rukiah.rukimin. rukinem. kamsaton.kembarnya. lupa tanya.rukinah. saringah. supingat. abd razak. misilah. pak sarbini kawin dengan rukiah dan rukinah . yang pertama dpt kasbiran dan asmuni. yg kedua dpt asraf dan rahimah. one day i nak cari kang kasbiran. duk kg pandan.. taktau alamat.i pun tak dapat imagine rupa dia. rukinah adalah adik mak. kembar mak taktau nama. kalau taksilap dia mati kena timpa buah kelapa masa umurnya 12 tahun . atau sembilan tahun. itu pun i tak tanya dengan wak min, lupa.rukinah mati kena langgar lori masa ambil jemuran pandan kat tepi jalan besar.