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Thursday, January 06, 2005

Rasah Road Revisited

a week or two ago, while on my way to Tampin for my cousin's wedding...we passed by my late gradmother's house in Rasah. i was shocked to see it partially ruined. "ehhh..bukan lambat lagi ke diorang nak runtuhkan?? kajun tak inform pun." we were already aware that the house was to be demolished to make way for a by-pass highway along that road. even my friend was an engineer working on this project. so in a way...i hold him partially responsible. no lah, gurau je...hehhehe. and anyways, my mom and all her 10 siblings have already received partial payment as composition for the destruction of the 80+ year-old house. it was from this that i learned that they pay even higher (almost double) to business premises. should i have known this earlier, maybe i should have made a makeshift burger stand, operating on the weekends for an hour or so. kaya aku....hahhahahaha.
but anyhow, i managed to grab a few shots that afternoon before they demolish it entirely. last i checked during the past weekend, the whole house was down. so maybe i was half-lucky to get some pictures of the house before they tore it down. but even the shots i got was the house in semi-demolished state, with half the house already in ruins. it was a sad sight for a place that holds so many wonderful memories for a lot of people, which included me.
99 Jalan Rasah atau lebih glamour...99 Rasah Road was the place where i grew up on. i actually stayed here for more than a year when i was 10. this was my playground, my shelter, the home away from home. masa aku sunat pun aku duduk sini. i remember walking around naked in the house, coz i hate the feeling of the kain sarong brushing against the skin of my u-know-what. because i loved this place so much, i wanna give a short tour of this house, more affectionately known as 'Rumah Tok Chik' becoz my grandfather passed away when i was 5 and most of us remember the house as my grandma's house, rather than his. i cannot even write a miniscule of the stories that the house has been thru, but since pictures speaks a thousands words..i hope that it at least gives a glimpse of the story...

View depan
this is a view from in front of the house. as u can see from the picture, the house is situated very closely to the road. there's also a railroad track nearby, with a crossing..so u could guess how noisy it would have been. i find it funny that we didn't bother much about the noise then. come to think of it, this would explain why my mother and aunts like to talk very loud when they're together. we call this area 'Depan rumah' (duh!) or more appropriately the living room lah. my cousins and i used to play football in the lawn area here. the goal area would be the stick of grass u can see at the bottom of the picture. i couldn't count the number of times we broke the living room windows because of a great 'sepakan tonjol' in front of goal. this lawn also served as a badminton court, rugby field, aussie rules pitch (due to cousins coming back from Australia), mercun and bunga api pitch, galah panjang and BMX stunt action arena, not to mention countless other mind-boggling games we played back then, which also included making a bomb from some used batteries, lubricant oil, paper and cloth. nothing happened, but u get an idea where the chemical mind comes from....hehe.

View dari belakang
this is a view of the back of the house. see that piece of wood danggling from the tree? that used to be part of a so-called tree house we built back then. it's a so-called tree house becoz it looked nothing like the tree houses u see in movies. it was just a few pieces of wood nailed to a tree, but u could put 3 kids up there. we abandoned the place after my dad got bitten by a centipede when he tried to pick some rambutans. and oh yeah..the tree here gives of some sweet rambutans during fruit season. i remember that we had to utilise 2 kids to handle the galah to pick the fruits. one to hold the galah in place, the other to turn it around.

Tangga dapur
this sad part that's in ruins is one of my favourite spots. it's a picture of the staircase adjoining the house to the kitchen. during Ramadhan, when we haven't yet mastered the art of fasting, those who didn't fast had to sit out of the dinner table to give way to others who were fasting. i would sit here watching everyone talking and eating their meals while waiting for my turn to go. as a kid, u looked forward to the day that u were part of the group eating at the dinner table. it's like a rite of passage, a small sign that u've grown up and started fasting. this staircase also has bit of hitory in me where when i was a little over 3 or 4, i fell down here and cracked my head. it required a few stitches and i still bear the sign on my head till this day. the only memory i have of that day was sitting in the back seat of my late Atuk's Peugeot with blood running down my face.

Toilet Rasah
this was another fun place in the house, the toilet and bathroom. the stairs lead directly to my late Tok Chik's room. this staircase was also notorious in bleeding some of my other cousins in the head. as kids, we loved to play with water, so this was our paradise. we used to bathe together ramai-ramai (the boys la) and swim around in the kolah air as our own swimming pool. mannn..that was really nasty. we would have been killed if our parents knew about this then. i kinda pitied with them now knowing they took their baths and wuduk using 'kid-contaminated' water. Tok Chik's room was another story itself. during my 1 year spell here, i would sleep together with her in this room. she loved all of her grandchildren...though she has favourites, she would never show so. i miss her so much, she passed away 5 years ago in this house when i was in my first year of university. i'm reminded of her whenever i smell the aroma of Cuticura talcum powder and ZamZam oil. how times have gone by...

Bawah rumah
this here is called 'Bawah rumah' becoz basically it's a room underneath the house. it's our own basement, where all the junk goes to. i've never been inside the room as a full-grown adult, but i would imagine it being so small and the ceiling was low. we would love to hand around here as well...being kids u never cared about the dust, insects and other God-knows-what down here.

and finally, as i was looking thru some stuff at the house, before they get their dirty little hands and bulldozers over my Tok Chik's property...i found some interesting items. from left to right:
an issue of a 1970 Time magazine with the cover story of the crisis in the Middle East (after 34 years...what else is new??), an old vinyl record of 2 P. Ramlee songs taken from a movie (i can't recall the title). i'm thinking of auctioning this off on Ebay Malaysia with a starting bid of 100 Ringgit...any takers?, the next one is a gem...a book titled 'Day by Day 1963 Horoscope'. i think if i ever made a book, i certainly would want it to sell for more than ONE year, rite?? i mean...i could always rely on my 'Day to Day 1963 Horoscope' in 2005. 2005 man!! we don't listen to Garfunkel and we don't 'Make Love Not War'. the green book at the far right is a collection of malay proverbs...it has my Pak Long's name in it when he was studying in Kirby. i didn't return it to him though...didn't think he would mind.
and so...a brief tour of 99 Jalan Rasah. if u happen to head down to Port Dickson from Seremban, just after Masjid Rasah, a short distance from the railroad crossing...u would find my paradise. this was the place i grew up on, my kampung in the city, the place where dreams of Yang Yang and Van Basten were played on, where the only worry was tonight's home work and how Tok Chik would nag when we played till Maghrib. and now everything's gone and all that is left is memories. one which will live in me forever.

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