Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Pictures Painted In My Mind

Hi again

In my last post I uploaded a picture of my sketch which evoke a nostalgia in me. I choked with emotion as I typed the description.

In this entry I cannot help but to continue talking about my childhood days living in an era of backwardness.

People say don't dwell in the past. But I like to tell things which people nowadays don't really know - those who were born so much later when time is easy and all things aplenty.

At the time no matter how bad the living condition it was considered a norm and people just accepted. No taking to the road to protest or anything like that. I think  it was because we were not exposed to anything better so we never could have compared.

We were living under a coconut shell so to say.

Now some people who have attained the finer things of life are ashamed of their humble past. Why. . . ?  Most of us come from the poor and destitute a fact that cannot be denied.

Poverty does not equal to sadness. There were happy times and funny moments. Some got stuck to my mind and never can forget.

Ok some flashback . . .

Those days we helped parents in their work. Whatever work which was not too heavy to carry out.

No child labor.

I liked it very much if my mother offered me to follow her to the padi field during the menanam (replanting) season. At this time the ground would be well submerged in water. Cool and nice to play and if it rained so much the better.

Usually the replanting was done by women. They were expert at using the kuku kambing a special tool used to poke the soil taking together the root into the soft ground. There was some sort of a system which everybody understood.The young plants were planted in rows and the women did it simultaneously stepping backwards in straight line as they went about doing it. They did it so accurately and timely. A rhythmic movement at an easy tempo.

Pictures that stick to my mind
My work was to distribute the seedlings to the ladies

What I overheard was the women all suffered back ache after the season.

After replanting there was nothing much to do but at intervals mother would go and do the weeding. Occasionally I would follow. But I didn't quite like it because I couldn't play in the water anymore. Not allowed lest I might damage the plants

.My work was to pick water convolvulus which grew in abundance along the batas (raised path between the plots). Instructed to pick only the top shoot which we boiled to be eaten with rice. The poor man's veggie.

There were leaches measuring the ground and ready to pick on you. It will stick stubbornly to your skin and difficult to pull it away. It won't bother your jumping and screaming. It will suck your blood out until its body bloated then only it will fall off.

Sometimes naughty people would scare the children bluffing them that the leech will not let go of the victim until the thunder boomed ha ha.

Leeches like to clime higher higher
In our area there were no water leaches according to the elders because cows were not used for ploughing up the land instead the brute force of the men was used.

I would always be alert of leeches.

The harvesting time was of little fun. We children were seldom allowed to follow. The time was hot and dry but windy. Nature's way of allowing the grain to ripe properly.

But there was still fun watching the men bailed out water from the well using buckets. There was not much water anyway leaving inside sludge and mud . . .and fish!

It was more fun if you were permitted to join in catching the fish in the mud.

Male and female force were required to do the work of harvesting . Those time everything was done manually. It was hard work plus the heat and the padi leaves were sharp and cutting.

So miang and itchy.

The women's face, the fair ones became tanned and those dark like mine turned charcoal dark. The sun really burnt. The terendak was not enough protection.

No moisturizing lotion.

No SPF cream.

Now I wonder why they did not wear the ninja style hood or the purdah style face cover.

Poor but carefree people.

After the padi  was separated from the stalk the grain had to be dried before being sold or stored.

Drying was done by spreading the grain on a mat in the hot sun. I was usually assigned to make sure that animals did not come to trample over it. The most boring job ever. Just sit there under the shade and shooed away the cocks and the hens and the cats which purposely will walk over it.

Sometimes we could fall asleep and not aware the chicken were having a feast.

The exposed padi became a real attraction for these ground birds. . .

If the caretaker was sleeping on the job . . .

Better to stop here I don't want my dear readers to yawn.n .n  . . .

Till another entry. . .

Bye. . .

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