Our Grandparents’ House

By “our”, I mean Sila’s and mine, on Atok Irfan’s side.

As children, when Sila and I balik kampung, one of the locations we would go to was to visit our grandparents. We would sleep over with our parents here, celebrate Hari Raya here with cousins, and it used to be surrounded by fruit trees. Coconut trees were of course plentiful, but there were mango, papaya, rambutan, jambu air and even nam-nam trees. We used to pick and eat the fruits off the trees. Some required a galah for us to reach, but some were accessible to us.

Under the house, I used to fish for ant lions. Sometimes, I used tall grass or weeds. But sometimes, I used an actual live kerangga.

There used to be a well behind the house, but early on when I was still a youngling, they built a proper bathroom. They also reared chickens and ducks. Sometimes, while I was looking at the trees, I could see hornbills perch in the tall pinang tree behind the adjacent masjid.

My last memory here is after Ain and I were married and we spent Aidilfitri in Sitiawan. It was before Irfan was born. Irfan’s grandparents, Ain and I came to the house, with Ain’s nasi dagang, and entertained visitors for Raya. I remember the nasi dagang was a hit.

When Irfan’s grandparents were voting at their designated polling station yesterday, I took a couple of photos of the old house. It was now abandoned, with all nearby trees cleared. Even though under a brightly shining sun, it was a shadow of what it once was.


Irfan's Great-grandparents' house 01

Twice I accidentally pushed Sila down the stairs here.

Irfan's Great-grandparents' house 02

The outdoors bathroom can be seen on the right hand side of the house.

Posted in Family Pics and tagged , .

Khairul Hisham J. is a tabletop RPG artist, writer, proofreader, translator, teacher, grad student and learner-in-general.

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