This is my dad's and his siblings' house. Well,was. Due to its atrocious condition and somewhat sadly, unrepairable state, it was demolished to make way for new developments. Of course for my dad, this house has many meaningful memories and plentiful stories, but for me personally, the house was much than just a house. It was the place where I have the fortune of having the grace and opportunity to have experienced having grandparents. People usually take this for granted. Why do we miss old people only when they are gone? Why dont we cherish them when they are still here with us? I dont know. To each his own.
Both grandparents on either side of my dad and my mum has been kind to me. My jawa grandmother couldn't speak even a single word of Malay, but she was nice and always gave me a smile. My jawa grandpa although toothless (lol) was a very reasonable person. He plays to the stereotype though, wearing Indonesian style songkok and eccentric baju batik, which I find rather awesome. Legends has it, that he was tough as nails and don't really give a rat's ass about anything when he was younger, even chasing a thief who was caught red handed stealing his chicken with a parang, just like a scene out of a Hong Kong triad movie. Well, when you have around 10 children to feed, every little thing matters.
Turns out all his children were sufficiently educated, having been taught our jawa people's humility, hard-work and togetherness. I know since my dad is the de facto head of the family now since he is the first born son, I sometimes think that although I know he is being kind, I just have the feeling that he spoils his little bros and sisters a bit. I don't have to look far than to reflect and see inside myself, I know that I am like that too, perhaps being too nice and too complacent. I'm not much different to my dad, we both know that.
Having said that, I miss that old creaky house. It was simple, cozy, breezy, I had some of the best times there with my cousins, uncles and aunties (maman, wak and bibik as we fondly call them). Jemput-jemput dipped with unexplained spicy sambal for breakfast, lempeng, strong black coffee, nothing can replace them now anymore. If I'm not mistaken, they didn't even have a fridge or proper place to store food and stuffs, such was the condition. My dad's family had their hard times, but it didn't mean much to them, all those worldly possessions. Family comes first. When it comes to my time, it is my responsibility to pay them back too.