He was a staunch man. Abah said he once ran amok with a parang in his hand trying to catch the asshole who was stealing his chicken. Atuk also started this tradition of treating his children to eating rojak in Klang. Its a mamak rojak. More factly called, Rojak Gani Klang. Which Abah has now treated me and Nadia to now. Its all rather baffling really, since Klang city and Atuk's house in Jalan Kebun in today's standard is rather far. Nevertheless, the rojak will always be superb.
I remember when we just returned from Belgium, Atuk with his Honda kapcai took me to his kebun kelapa sawit and portrayed his skill as a professional kelapa sawit picker. I tried it once, but it was damn heavy. Well ok I was 10. I hate the biting mosquitoes though. Every Raya Atuk would go to this particular store and buy so many bottles of soda drinks. Orange, strawberry, ais krim soda, and later I would collect the bottle caps and play with my cousins. I was always the butt of jokes of my cousins, as it seems that I am portrayed as a city boy, who doesnt know how to deal with kampung stuffs. But over the years we get along fine with each other.
Atuk smokes handmade cigarette, which he diligently does, cutting the tobaccoes into smaller pieces (they look like serunding, I tell you) and neatly folding them. Its weird to say this, but I rather miss the smell of his cigarette. Its one of a kind. Atuk always had duit raya for his grandchildren. When he knew that I got accepted into Sekolah Menengah Sains Seremban, which he knew was a boarding school, he had all these advices for me. Plus I think he gave me extra money, "Belajar baik2 ya, ilmu hisab tu jangan lupa, Bahasa Inggeris lagi". Although it wasnt much, I was touched because I dont think he treats his other grandchildren as such, I mean with the advices and all. When being a passenger in a car, he would always want the seat beside the driver, with the window brought down, and his left hand holding the handler above the window. Atuk also has his characteristic folded songkok. I remember he was a strong supporter of BN and UMNO.
At every chance he got, he would come and visit our house in Bandar Baru Bangi with my maman (uncles) and bibik (aunties). Oh, and he also got no teeth. Hehe. Every morning the breakfast would be jemput2, with very spicy sambal and jet black kopi o. Although I was still sleeping 9 in the morning, he would always send someone to wake me up and eat breakfast. I guess he was a man who believes that breakfast is important to start your day. Sadly, he passed away some years ago. Atuk is a true Jawa, but his Bahasa Melayu was fluent, unlike Nenek who I couldnt once communicate with. Nenek only knew Jawa, but she was a nice person. Abah was visibly sad whe she passed away, I think I saw him shed a tear or two on that day also. I guess when it comes to your parents, you would always be sad to lose them, even when you are a parent yourself. My Atuk, , a person who instills the belief in me, to bring proud to my family, the same way he did with Abah. Its ok to fall down, as we grow stronger everytime we stand up.
Education is most important.
I dont know why, I just suddenly felt like writing about him.