I have not been in much of a Raya mood lately.
more so when i feel that i have not had a fulfilling Ramadhan. the irony is that i only missed 3 days of fasting (due to you women (and men) know what) which is a record compared to the usual week or more. but other than that, the holy month of Ramadhan has been a blur to me. it seemed to pass through like a Formula One race car, with just a camera captured sight but left me with a perpetually ringing sound in my ears, that inevitably enveloped my subconscious.
not wanting to be dramatic about things - which my hubby would readily disagree - but i do hope i get to see another Ramadhan (insyaAllah) in order that i could perform my ibadah better. even if the niat (intention) is there, when the will is not as strong, i don't think the niat will count as much as some folks contend.
so... on to Raya. which is tomorrow. and i'm slacking at work by writing this.
this year's my turn (me and hubby take turns) to spend the first and second day of Eidul Fitr, that is the celebration for Muslims after a month of fasting, at my mother's side which is about a stone throw away from the Twin Towers. betul!
my mom hails from Kampung Baru. my dad's kampung is in Besut, Trengganu/Kelantan. why the stroke? well, i'll explain in the footnote.
all my life, up until i become a wife, i have been spending most of my Rayas in Kampung Baru. we usually spend it with the usual seeking of forgiveness from the oldest which is my maternal grandmother to the not-so-old uncles and aunts. my nenek is now eighty-eight years of age (her birthday is in November, by the way). i am just glad that despite her fragility and recurring dementia, she is still around for Hari Raya. and thus, i want to be able to spend whatever time i have left with her.
on the first day of Raya, the Kampung Baru clan as i like to call ourselves, would almost always pay a visit to Kampung Pandan, which is my nenek's late sister's main domain, after Asar prayers. later on we would adjourn to Kajang which is my grandmother's late brother's place of residence. we usually pray Maghrib there together before having another feast. we like to eat, obviously!
the second day is another round of visits to my mother's paternal relatives in several kampungs in Selangor. we would start with Kampung Baru Subang for brunch and then we drive for about an hour to Kuala Selangor, where my mother's cousin resides. Their signature dishes for lunch comprising the ikan masak asam pedas and ayam goreng are what we look forward to annually. yummyyyyyyyy!
and then it's another round of glutton fest as we head off to another uncle's place nearby the Kampung Kelip Kelip (Fireflies). i could not recall the exact name of the village but my mother's cousin built a quaint bungalow along with a swimming pool somewhere at the edge of a forest. it might not be a forest to you, but the place is secluded that it is also homey and tranquil to be there. like every house that we go to, this place has fried unripe bananas with brown molasses for dip as its signature dish. there will be another three houses to go to in Kapar thereafter but usually, as i have two small kids, we would only go to only one of them before heading home. my parents would at times host a simple dinner at their house (Pizza time!) after those rounds but this is not the norm for the last two years. i attribute this to 'old age' as most people want to retire at their respective homes after the long journey.
on the third day of Raya, we will be going back to my hubby's kampung in Baling, Kedah. we will be there for a night and then go back to hubby's home in Butterworth. unlike in Kampung Baru, there is no set routine of visitations. i wish i could persuade my hubby to go visit his relatives, but most of them are either having their Rayas elsewhere, or they would have already visited hubby's kampung prior to us coming home.
if it's his turn to have the first and second day, we will be going back to Butterworth first before adjourning to Baling on the eve of Raya. and then it's spending the third day at my nenek's in Kampung Baru as it's the clan's turn to play host to the people whom they have visited on the first and second day. so in essence, even if i don't get to see them on those days, i could see them on the third Raya.
somehow writing all these down has upped my mood to celebrate Hari Raya a notch. yes, writing is a therapy!
i guess i should not beat myself up too much. less idealism doesn't necessarily mean less entitlement to be happy.
i am thankful and grateful for what i have and what i am.
i am also thankful that despite my family's differences and quirkiness, we still love each other.
blood is indeed thicker than water.
therefore, in spirit of Eidul Fitr, i wouild like to seek forgiveness from everyone whom i have somehow inadvertently hurt during the course of the year. i may have this 'foot in mouth' disease, but most of the time, i do not mean any harm. Maaf Zahir Batin.
to conclude, drive safely, consume moderately and hold your tongues... at least until after the duit raya (angpow) has been handed out. hehehe.
PS: with regards to the footnote on Trengganu/Kelantan is that once upon a time, the Sultan of Trengganu and Sultan of Kelantan had made a wager by playing their respective royal cocks in a fight. whomever loses, shall get a district in the other Sultan's state. so to cut to the chase, the Sultan of Kelantan lost and gave Besut to the Sultan of Trengganu. hence why, to this day, all the Besut folks still speak with a Kelantanese accent despite it being in Trengganu. The End.