"Bang, kita ada wedding hari ini".
Hmmm ... murmuring to myself this morning, "Another weekend and another wedding." But no reply to the wife.
She knew we were reluctant. Without kids, no payback in sight from the contributions to wedding.
"Kita kena pergi, Bang. Jemputan kawan baik arwah Pak Murad dan Mak Cik Pe'ah. Mak pun nak ikut kita."
The "mak" word mentioned means its chaffeur duty for the only son-in-law.
At this age, one gets endless stream of wedding invitations from college mates, friends, former colleagues, business acquintances, politicical friends, NGO activists, and so on.
Had to keep postphoning planned weekend at a cave resort in Perak or ikan patin lunch by the river in Temerloh or overnight at Alam Warisan in Kuala Pilah.
"Masak sendiri, bang."
That is music to the ears. The irresistable and tasty home cooked wedding meals. Hotel and catering food can be rather bland and predictable.
True enough, food were good, simple and ample.
There were nasi beriani with the typical rendang, dalca, ayam masak merah and cucumber pickle.
White rice was served with sambal sotong, jackfruit in coconut milk, salt fish, ulam, and sambal belacan.
Our piece de resistance was the topioca boiled to softness, kelapa parut, ikan masin and sambal sotong. Washed down with cendol.
Simple but exquisite.
The host is a good friend of arwah Makcik Pe'ah. The two family were then traders at the dry section of the wet market.
Our arwah Pak Cik Murad was the one who helped the late Tan Sri Jamaluddin Jarjis and his partner, Azmi the son-in-law the seed to raise capital for their first business break.
Remembered Pak Murad telling how proud he was of JJ when he was TNB Chairman.
"Hari itu, letrik mati. Mamak (uncle in Minangkabau) talipon Jamal. Cepat saja dipasang balik."
It was the only favour he ever seek from JJ. We did tease him, "Patut mintak IPP. Boleh kita partner. Mamak."
"Apa tu IPP?" he asked.
Mamak, and his wife passed on last year. The host's husband passed on too.
Her vision is blurring. So the family and neighbourhood chip in to help with the wedding reception.
The wedding was held at the parking lot in front of an old low cost flat next to Kuala Lumpur's Kampong Datok Keramat wet market.
It's the typical "gotong royong" one find at traditional Malay kampong wedding reception, which is no more typical.
These days it is held in community halls, hotels, and rented halls of commercial buildings.
Last night we saw one akad nikah ceremony held at Mandarin Oriental. We have been invited for a pool-side ceremony before.
Lost are the warmth, casualness, and family and neighbourhood bonding.
Though traditional, the usual bunga telor from the host was non-traditional. It is soy sauce!
The traditional bunga telor had egg as a symbol of fertility.
In Johor, they would offered telor pindang, egg cooked in a bevy of leaves, herbs, and soy sauce that the shell and white turned dark and smell subtly pungent.
The bunga telor these days are substituted with sweets, jelly, chocolate, kerepek and various snacks. Has the symbol of fertility replaced with symbil of casualness?
We have come across home made soap, perfume and glassware as gifts. Don't know what to make of that.
Just guessing that the new husband and wife has preference for darker complexion off-springs. Just kidding ....
Wedding tradition will change with time. Food selection has changed. The manner it is served has changes to buffet style.
One uncle held reception hosted by both bride and bridgroom side of the family. Late grandma, whose fussy in preserving tradition, must be turning in her grave.
Just as wedding tradition change, life in the close knit neighbourhood in an area used to be the peripheral of Kuala Lumpur will change. The warmth and closeness will be a thing of the past.
Back then, Kg Dato Keramat was only a Malay kampong on the outskirt of Kuala Lumpur.
It was one reason we used to love going for Ramadhan prayers at the surau there.
Today, the Putra station is just across the road and it is considered part of the city.
|98-year old Pak Wan is the original.owner of Kedai Emas Kelantan in Pasar Dato Keramat|
The new market cum UTC has been in operation for few years. The wet market is due to close.
Traders will have to move to the new market. They have been resisting and buying time.
The local MP and MoF II, Dato Jo Ghani announced hostel for working young adults will built on the site.
Not sure if the flats and land be acquired.
If not, some developer will one day make an offer the family member inheriting from their parents could not refuse.
Should it happen, it should not be when the aging owners are still alive. Tough to start anew.
Time will determine. Changes are inevitable.
But change should be for progress and for the better.
Government under leadership of UMNO has changed and is continuing to change or it will get changed too.
For the time being, UMNO and BN are still
the better option than PPBM and Pakatan Harapan.
PPBM is the old UMNO and the out-dated agenda which rakyat demanded to change.
The reformasi and change agenda lies with the new improved UMNO under Dato Najib, not with those still screaming reformasi and Tun Dr Mahathir is courting.
Hope they know what they want and not caught with tall poppy syndrome.