Hari Raya Sakan
The announcement of where we’d be celebrating Raya at, is like waiting for the Pengumuman Hari Raya by the Pemegang Mohor Besar DiRaja on national TV. N as you might have gathered from reading Anedra, is ever so non-committal. He would never say where we’d be hari-raya-ing at until the very last minute. (Observation: Announcements are always made after the real Pemegang Mohor Besar makes his announcements or before takbir hari raya – whichever is later.) Which leaves me holding my breath the two days before Raya - praying hard that it’ll be with my parents. Not because I don’t like my in-laws (this is in relation to his siblings, fate has it that I don’t have parents-in-law anyways), but I'm sure you’ll agree with me, that nothing beats celebrating Raya with your own mom and dad and being able to kiss them first thing on Raya morning. It feels like magic, and the happiness can’t be described. Especially when I see the joy on their faces when they have their grandsons around them.
In the first year of our marriage, we had a little tiff on where we should raya at. I insisted on being with my parents; as I argued, he didn’t have any. N was adamant though that he spend raya with his family in Muar. I should have taken cue from my parents who signed a “pre-nup” that raya will be celebrated on a “take-turn” basis. One year dad’s side, the next - mom’s side. Oh well, too late. He’s the boss afterall, so I had to follow, although everytime I went, it was with a heavy heart. *Sometimes must wallow in self-pity. Syok jugak. Pagi raya minta maaf lah kan? Haha.* However, over the years, I have learnt to deal with it, and it was kinda fun to celebrate raya in other people's way, different from what I was used to. Raya is raya afterall, time to be merry and happy with the ones you love.
The years have also shown me that our in-house Pemegang Mohor Besar DiRaja is really considerate, as for the past three rayas, he has three times in a row “announced” that raya will be in Bangi! Woohoo! I must be a good wife to deserve this aye? (Correction. I must be a damn good wife to deserve this.) Although actually I know it’s mom’s kambing curry that she makes specially for him that brings him to her dining table every Raya morning. And it's partly because most of his family has relocated to the Klang Valley. But, the good wife part is pretty convincing too, no?
This year, the "announcement" was made in his true last minute fashion for whatever reason that we'd be in Bangi again. So raya was with the family, and needless to say, I am a happy camper. The boys, for once kept their Baju Melayus on from morning till evening as I managed to get them made in nice cool cotton. We managed to take civil and presentable Raya photos without having to chase after the boys who never seem to be able to stay put for more than 5 seconds. And although raya this time was without the rest of mama’s siblings who were with Tok in Alor Setar (this year is dad’s turn), Raya was well meriah, as Bangi, as lame an excuse it is for a kampung (according to my eldest, as none of his friends celebrate raya in Bangi, but in Taiping, Melaka, Kelantan instead), has grown in the number of grandmas and grandpas it has produced. All the friends that I grew up with are now with family and their parents homes, as is mine, are now our children’s “kampungs” ” minus the wooden houses on stilts and chickens in lawns. So we had Nek Jah and Atok G come over with their grandchildren and the other friends of mom and dad over. Our little Kampung Bangi family.
Our tummies were on overload mode by mid-day and the visits to my inlaws in the evening only made it worse, not that I made any attempt to stop shoving the raya delights down my throat. Yes, I have yet again, the problem of trying to lose the weight I lost during Ramadhan. What's newlah kan? The trip on the day after to my kampung in Kuala Pilah didn't help reducing my wasted waistline either, of course. But it did put smiles on my boys' faces. A real kampung at last, and in true budak bandar masuk kampung style, they happily spent the day in the hot scorching sun chasing the chickens all over the place.
I thought this raya was bliss and couldn't get any better, when my Pemegang Mohor-Mohor Besar DiRaja announced at the last minute that we’d be traveling to Bali on Raya the third! Now isn't he a bag of surprises?
Bali? Well, that is another story.
All I can say for now is that I’m beginning to love his last minute “announcements”! And yeah..*pat on my back* I must be a damn good wife to deserve this! Oh, and a mighty perasan one too!
p.s Selamat Belated Hari Raya everybody! Maaf Zahir dan Batin daripada Anedra dan keluarga.