Yes its that time of the year again...a time for forgiveness and for the past 7 years it has been the time of the year when my savings account dwindles faster than you can say " maaf zahir batin"due to my long list of little cousins waiting eagerly every raya morning for their " duit raya"*sigh* Each year, the list seems to only be getting longer. It only seemed like yesterday when I was on the receiving end :) which is much more fun.
At this age, I am no longer excited about the new baju kurung for raya or all the yummy raya spread (ketupat, rendang, lontong) Nowadays I hardly bother to buy anything new..mostly due to the time constraint and the thought of having to hustle in shopping complexes gives me nightmares. I used to have my mom to worry about all the buying etc...Now..I am just looking forward of going back to Johor to be with the whole crazy clan. Mi familia that is.. the sounds of the little ones yelling and screaming, running around the house on top of their lungs with their "sampin" halfway down to the knees and songkok tilted sideways with their kuih tat in one hand which on any other day would give me a massive headache but in the spirit of raya..I’ll let it slip :)
And of course, going back to Pontian for Hari Raya would not be complete with the subtle hints by relatives on either two things. Marriage and my weight. I pay tribute to distant relatives whom I only see once a year and each year without fail they would say " you have put on weight! diet la!" Ready, aim, shoot!
I still remember those days in school...waiting eagerly hoping that cute guy would send me a raya card :)And how can I ever forget that when you go for terawikh everynite..its mainly because you actually want to "main bunga api" with all ur friends in the compound of the mosque and its when the guys get to throw those mini firecrackers at you. I think it was one of those weird things guys do to show that they're interested in you :)
Now when my friends are spread all over the country, and I only hear from them occasionally but when a raya card creeps into the mailbox,I get all sentimental and mushy mushy inside because they still remember me.
However, this year will be the first Raya that we will not not be going back to Pontian. No more driving around with my father and sisters in Pontian trying to kill time before buka. No more trying to sneak out and driving off to JB just to run away from the endless chores of dishwashing and countless refills of the kuih raya and stirring kilo’s of sugar for drinks. We will be welcoming Syawal in KL this year. Grandmother is already here. It feels kind of weird though, this being not going back to Pontian for Hari Raya.
But wherever you will be celebrating your Hari Raya, Selamat Hari Raya dear friends..Maaf zahir batin..hope you'll have a good raya with your family. Drive safe you hear?
Selamat Hari Raya.