Friday, December 04, 2009

Curious Case of a Fleeing Bull

It has been a while since I ever updated about my life.

Though not many had happened since I last updated about the happenings in my life, it would be safe to assume that there is somehow a number of occurrences from which I understand is worth telling.

Lets talk about what happened during the recently celebrated Eidul Adha - specifically on how I got advertised to the community by a series of unfortunate events.

* * *

This time around of the year the number of 2-year old male cattle from a single bovine variety for sacrificial purposes in the name of religion was fifteen, increasing by two more Taurus as compared to last year. The cattle were tied to the wall pillars of the neighborhood little mosque next to another just two days before the bloodbath event was to take place.

Since my mom is somewhat a celebrity in our neighborhood area due to her active participation in the women's movement, also her recent success to be appointed as the movement's head secretary that now requires her to show up at every little neighborhood event or so, all the three men from our house had to show up early last Saturday morning in order to assist the rest of the residence in ripping the lives of those bovines and later to chop them apart into smaller pieces in terms of slimy innards, flesh and bones. Since all of us; my father, my brother and I (there are only four of us in our family) had been helping at the mosque's main concourse for two years already by pulling those cattle down and tied them up so that the killing part could be done at ease, this time around my father decided to do something else, and so did me and my brother, because I refused to anymore sustain any type of physical injury from trying to reason out nervous and panicking young male cows with horns they never did afraid to use by means of brute, offensive approach.

Other than the 'tie and kill' section, there were other divisions as well from which the participants could freely join; the skinning & gutting section, cutting & chopping section, weighing & packaging section, and lastly the culinary side which took place at the kitchen area.

"Well lets help at the kitchen side this time," my dad said casually as he tested the cutting side of his one-foot long super-sharpened machete using one of his finger. I knew he's gonna say that.

I just knew it.

* * *

The kitchen.

It is an open area the size of a typical tennis court, only that it is covered from the open sun by a massive concrete roofing system. The relevantly large area was fully utilized by The Aunties (my unofficial term for the usual group of late-fifties housewives who are a common sighting in the hood, entirely known by many for their loud conversations and pitching laughters) who were then cutting chunks of red meat into smaller pieces, along with large amounts of lemongrass, large onions, red onions, garlic and pretty much many other things as well. We, the three of us, will be dominating the smaller area at one of the corner with five large-size gas stoves, long with massive stainless steel pots and woks.

It was not people's perception that I was being afraid of - for having myself being seen doing chores in the kitchen rather than in the open field with other men getting your face and clothes fancily sprayed with oozing bovine blood from freshly-cut veins, from which I supposed is far more masculine than the first duty (nevertheless I did get my share of the bloodbath on my apparels, 'just for the effect') - but The Aunties.

It was made clearly known to all female members of the group by some high-ranked pioneer crews of The Aunties that my mom will be bringing her two sons to the celebration on that particular day. They had seen my brother for many times but never really did see me, because I hardly came back home since the past seven years. It was only recently that I have decided that I will go back home at least twice a month, and it happened that this time around of the year I have been getting some weird attentions from the surrounding community families.

So as slowly moved about and around the kitchen (while trying to hide from the getting anymore closer into the visual perimeter of The Aunties) to prepare the stove to cook the food we were to prepare that particular Saturday, it suddenly occurred to me.

"Haaaaa..! Sampai dah anak bujang mak ni haa!"

Oh God.

* * *

Had I know that she had been locking her eyes on me since the very first minute she saw me there, I would have just jumped into the 100-liter capacity pot full of boiling soup and hide myself underwater just to evade her attacks that usually somewhat will make me stand undefended.

She is a 60-plus in age woman, the sort of woman who appears to be so entertainingly loud that everyone looks forward for her jokes. The sort of lady who laughs so loud as if there was a lemur rubbing her stomach lining from the inside of her belly. Worst, she is the kind of woman from which when she laughs, it is infectious. Have you heard about or met such person? I bet most of you have.

Her commotion that day, that very particular time, that sounded like the horn signal from a bloody kickass ultra-large supertanker that can be heard from five miles away, had caused everyone around the area to stop doing whatever they were, and turned their looks, with the sort of attention school kids give to whoever teacher who had just slammed the thumb-thick rattan stick on the class table, at me who was then standing with the cover for one of the large-size cooking pot in my hand.

I could not decide whether do I hide myself behind the almost 3-foot diameter stainless steel pot cover, or do I smash the cover madly onto her who was then grinning from ears to ears at me. I wanted to pursue with the latter, however did not do it, due to the fact that she was holding a one-foot long cutting knife that shone three-times the teeth shine you occasionally see on Darlie's media commercial, and not only that; this shining knife clearly had blood stains on it.

So I decided to defend myself instead with the pot cover, just in case if she loses her mind and starts to charge in the form of hand-to-hand combat formation, as everyone started laughing and made critical remarks about me being one of the bachelor in the hood - anak bujang mak; anak teruna mak; dah besor dah budak ni ye, bila ngko nak kawen?; alahai hensemnye etc. The Aunties started to laugh so loud that the Keramat AU5 Fun-fun Club was instantly established.

At that point, hiding myself behind the pot was no longer helpful.

* * *

A bull happened to try to evade, and successfully did it, from being surrounded and tied up for execution by a number of merciless men whose in minds was one single objective - to kill the bugger for its juicy meat, and of course the religious call of it.

The black bull nervously fled with its horns pointed forward, causing so much panic in the mosque compound as everyone started running away in every direction in terror, climbing walls and jumping over drains screaming in tears. The Aunties however were somehow having a good time cheering the event, laughing out loud while waving their knives in the air, making the happening somehow looked like a cheerful Spanish matador competition.

My dad who was then just being idle at the side of a cooking pot of soup straight away stood up and marched to the raging bull. For a better, clearer view about my dad's physical, it is safe to picture him as a massive-bodied, 6-foot tall with 200-pounds man; the sort of fella who can easily make a national heavyweight championship competitors look like a joke, the sort of man who could give a cardiac arrest in a cat by stare, the sort of person whom the Demon himself may think twice to mess with, to even have the idea to.

He went to the bull with some other tough guys (I was viewing this from the kitchen area that is walled with 1-meter high stone garrison with a cup of cold syrup in my hand while my brother was looking while squatting by the drain cleaning some chunks of bones quite some distance away) and started the show. He caught the bull by the head while many others pull the big bovine down and finished him off with a deep cut into its neck.

Two TV3 reporters happened to be there to capture the totally accidental scene with their video-cameras, and all of us three men of the family were aired in the prime time news that night on a national scale - the footage clearly shown my dad who was heroically locking his hands that were tied with thick ropes to the bull's head, my brother squatting in the far with his hands holding a chunk of knee-bone, and I standing before the concrete wall, drinking a cup of cold syrup.

* * *

The event that day ended with everyone happy.

I on the other hand, despite the embarrassing incident earlier, managed to clear the air by having myself a decent bowl of oxtail soup and beef curry and rice, among other things.

As I stood at a corner, a man came to me and shook my hand.

"Dah kerja dah?" he asked. He is the UMNO secretary of our local branch.

"Belum. Belajar lagi."

"Belajar apa?"

"Engineering. Sambung master dekat Tronoh."

"Dah kahwin?"

"Eh?" I was surprised with the question but decided to answer it anyway, "belum lagi."

"Ha," he said cheerfully. "Kalau belum uncle ada anak. Hahaha!"

I felt that my cheeks started to thicken. But this did not just end here. A woman, one of the pioneering members of The Aunties, came closer to us and started her speech. She is one of the tough members of Wanita UMNO there too.

"Hey you jangan cakap macam tu tau," the Datin spoke jokingly. "I have a daughter too you know?"

By this moment, The Aunties, led by my mom, started to joke around and as usual ended in laughters so loud it shook the entire mosque, as I stood quietly without making not even a single noise.

The Datin came to me and pat my back. And in front of everyone - The Aunties, The Uncles (husbands to the Aunties, but somewhat less noisier) and The Others (those not qualified to be in any of The Aunties or The Uncles classes) - she said,

"This is our prospect of Ketua Pemuda, you know?"

Oh God.

* * *

I am afraid to go home anymore. Uhuhuhh.


{ yaya } said...

A really amusing story of Qurban and
your father is surely a tough man..hahaha
the 'next ketua pemuda'? not bad,huh?

cik jaa said...

wah..nazmi zaidi sangat diperlukan di kawasan kejiranan!!heheh.

Mohamad Nazmi Zaidi said...

neh i dont have any idea how to be one actually, yaya

cik jaa mengada.

The Belogger King said...

well, brother, thats the dilemma for being single... and good-looking

Mohamad Nazmi Zaidi said...

good looking eh? eh? sudah la kau abuzar.

The Belogger King said...

well, that was honest. ur good-looking.

Mohamad Nazmi Zaidi said...

ahhh bohong