I just finished my readings for research so I browse some files to ease my boredom, haha. Got to see some pictures which brought me to memories during our childhood times. My parents had been moving around from north to south due to my dad's job requirement. My elder sisters had lived earlier than me, so they have also their own memories in few different places where they lived with our parents.
Flat Sri Sabah, Cheras
My memory and other two little sisters during our childhood times revolve around Cheras in Kuala Lumpur. Elder sisters were sent back to our state of origin when they reached 13 years old to avoid influences in the city. Cheras is populated by majority Chinese community. I lived amongst them, and I never went to any Chinese school. But I'd been culturally influenced by Chinese and get the language because of the environment around me. We lived in Flat Sri Sabah with two rooms, the housing was provided by Cheras Municipal Council for people with low income.
We were technically poor because we are the villagers who moved into the big city and it sure pressured us, hahaha. Before that we lived in Flat Pekeliling just after we moved from Sungai Petani where I was born. I still can recall, we celebrate Mooncake Festival with Chinese neighbors in Flat Pekeliling. Am not sure whether they are going to bombard the flat because it is not suitable in the urban area anymore. Three years of my early life was spent in Sungai Petani. And the rest seven years in Kuala Lumpur. So I had experience living in PPRT with many kind of people.
I didn't develop close friendship with Malay kids at my area when I was in Flat Sri Sabah. I just remember my classmates when I was in primary school in standard 1 whom are Nordin, Azhar, and Isma'il. Then the next year, we fight with each other and never talked anymore. I don't know what happened to them when I moved to Kedah with parents. They played minor roles in my life but still I remember them. We were also registered into Religious Primary School in morning session.
Basically we went to two schools. The one is under ministry of education supervision and the another is under religious council. I recall that we learned about the God 20 characteristics, Glorious Names of the Lord, some Syafi'ie madzhab practices regarding cleanliness and prayers, Basic Arabic, Morality of Muslims and in my class there were few muallaf (newly revert) kids too whom are the Indian and Chinese. Some of our elders actually had expressed in metaphor that I am potential to be a murid (student) or a tilmidz (disciple) in religious sciences. That is why my parents was advised to send me to a ma'ahad in Perlis. But back then I was a kid, I don't understand what they were talking about.
My name was not even given by my parents but by an elder who was a wazir or the supervisor of state religious education, blessed be his soul as he was a friendly person and he treats me as a little kid well. I felt uncomfortable with the name given as it sounds Chinese and not even normal like others' name. Some people even thought that I had Chinese parentage while listening to my name while the name is actually Arabic. When I was in first year, I had my spectacles broken due to carelessness and when I went to a Chinese owned optometry; they had given me 70% discount for my name although I insisted to pay full, lol. My parents still brought me for ziarah to see the person who gave me my name when I was seven, so I still can remember him.
I was also told by mum that during tahnik ceremony, there were imams who had performed the ceremony for me. Tahnik is a tradition of touching newborn baby lips with sweets and valuable things. My lips was touched by the imam of Sungai Petani mosque, my maternal grandfather who was the imam of Ulu Pauh of Perlis, and the person who gave me my name. They touched my lips with tamr (dates), a ring, and pressed banana. All of them had long passed away, may Allah bless them their souls. I would like to express my gratitude to their souls and may they receive bountiful of mercy from the Lord while resting before the time comes.
I'm trying to understand, what made me like me today. Radically I turned to be an ungodly upset young teenager, an anti-social, being exposed to Buddhism, trying to get away of people's perception on Islamic religious figures that made me unsuccessful in everything that I did and later regret what I had done that I began to search for the path of ancestors. It's not Buddhism to be blamed nor anyone. Might be that it is a test from Allah. I can't stop crying every time I recall this memory.
Pasar Besar Cheras
Pasar Besar Cheras (Cheras Municipal Market) where I used to follow mum buying cooking stuffs. There is also Hassan Wong Cafe which still survive until today. They are the only Muslim Cantonese who serve customers among other Malay hawkers and they serve customers for breakfast. There was also an actor living in Flat Sri Sabah, a comedian from Kelantan. I guess is known as Osman Kering. Third sister love to slip away when mum asked her to help in the kitchen to Osman's Kering house to play Batu Seremban with his daughter, haha.
May Allah bless the soul of those who had passed away. Bless them their souls may they receive mercy and Your love, dear Allah! Sealed with prayers for mercy, love, and peace!