As the month of Ramadhan kicks off in full swing (soccer matches included), today is a different kind of Sunday. A Sunday of subtle reflection. Yes, subtle. Ramadhan is never the same outside the parameter of no2, Lrg. Raja Udang2, KingFisher Park. As the Balik Kampong song began to conquer national radio stations, the celestial robustness of the violin entre screeched at the very presence of me. It screeched through and out of me with no resistance. And on its way out, it slicked the exit with dispensable memories.
Raya is never a truly happy occasion. Birthdays are more enjoyable as anniversaries are meaningful. Both events are uncomparable of the hollowness of Raya. Yes Ladies and Gentleman, Raya is hollow and empty in every sense as it was misdirected from the beginning.
Raya that I'd experienced were puffed with duit raya, baju Melayu and rendang, sweeatened by the scent of baby cousins and peppered by the elderly presence. No more no less. Raya I'd lived through are results of a month's hardwork of buying new curtains and 70% bargain carpets. Raya I'd gone through are endless niblings of chocolate coated cookies and pineapple tarts. For me, no matter how glorious the front of celebration presented by everybody it was just a celebrated sketch where everyone stretch their cheeks and beamed their tired eyeballs. No more no less. But it's not to say that I didn't truly enjoy Raya. But it was a different kind of enjoyment and it had only lasted for a few minutes.
As Allah had firmly put it: I will not change the situation if you don't change yourself, today is a reflection of the true meaning of Ramadhan. Neither soccer nor sorcery will make the engagement of this holy month a meaningful one. As a humble servant of the Lord, I vow my faith to His rules and affection. As a son, I will embark my vision of Raya valiantly and responsibly. As a rakyat, I will accept raya with grace and affection.
Afiq steps into the house with a heavy heart. So heavy that the crevices of it leaked blood. His throat stiffened and froze. Afiq's cheeks is as hot as the whistling pressure cooker that hails the liveliness of the kitchen. He carved a smile when a familiar head nudged his cold fingers. Afiq looked at his brother Putra intently and whispered "Pergi cakap dekat ayah Selamat Hari Raya". He streched his face to its fullest extend to persuade the four year old. Afiq's heavy heart is now thumping and racing, stopping a beat whenever Afiq swallows.
And there she sits, her face unprepared and pale in exhaustion of last night's preparations. Her expression was animated; tired yet excited. She burried her lips when Saiful's sampin slipped off his thin figure. The more Afiq's heart race, the more placid his movements. He sat uncomfortably beside his mother, feeling the warmth of his mother through the sofa. "Abang belum lagilah!" Hadi shouted from afar.. "Umi kena mintak ampun kat Ayah dululah!" His cracking voice neared.
Afiq lend his right hand shyly towards her and trembled "Umi.." she couldn't hear a thing but his curling posture reminded her greatest fear, Afiq's sudden collapse when he was younger. He seemed weak and futile. She supported his fall and held his back only to find out that it was unusually warm. Afiq burried his head to her hands and in a flush of moment, his hearts dampened. Afiq's mother could feel cold continuous tears on her hands. Puzzled for a second, she grabbed Afiq's hand harder and burried her head to Afiq shoulders out of comfort. It was like the first time I held my first child, she realized. Afiq then lulled on her soft shoulders, his cold tears mixing with his mother's. Like the becoming of teh ais. His hands grasped the beginning of his life. He is back to his origin. He is as near as he could be before he was released from her woumb. And all the ruckus of Raya faded like washed watercolour paintings. All the decorations, the angpaus, the fresh Ketupat. Everything.
Afiq's mother took hold of Afiq's shoulder and declared proudly "You are my first son, how can I not love you!" She trembled and hugged Afiq slowly and softly. Afiq grabbed her back and cried loudly but soundlessly.
And as the crying subsided, Putra snugged in between Afiq and his mother's union and whispered in his clear sincere tone "Selamat Hari Raya!"