My kampung is called Lebai Akil. It is about five kilometres from Pasir Mas town in Kelantan. This is where my mother and I were born.
My maternal grandmother, whom I call Mok, is 88 years old and still lives there along with my aunties and some of my cousins. My two aunties, Mek and Umi, who live across the road from my Mok’s house, keep her company because she feels lonely when no one is around her.
It takes about 10 hours to get there by car. It should be shorter, but my mother likes to stop for meals and cannot resist stopping to buy local fruits and ‘ulam’ along the way. However, it only takes 50 minutes to fly to Kota Bharu. We then take a cab, which is a drive of about 45 minutes to Pasir Mas.
Raised about three feet above the ground and attached to a spacious veranda and porch, my Mok’s house looks grand from the main road. I remember it being white when I was younger, but it is now a rather bright yellow with brownish trimmings, and there’s a second car porch at the back of the house. We don’t have a problem with parking our cars when we come to visit.
It is very hot when it is not raining, but it gets very cold when it rains. Once, it was raining and I had to pull out some plants with my Mok. I was so happy. But then I put on a slipper that had a hole in it. So halfway through the day, as I was walking, a worm crawled through the hole, and I screamed. Now I am not afraid of worms anymore. I was even game enough to do a science project about mealworms thanks to my teacher Miss Prema.
Hari Raya is usually our favourite time of year because that is when I get to see all my cousins and nieces and nephews in the kampung. There are so many of them, but my favourite is Kak Nurul, who is 15 years old. She taught me how to ride a bicycle. I had a small bicycle with training wheels at the time. I do not need the training wheels anymore. In fact, my brother and I have a bicycle each in the kampung, so we can ride them whenever we are there. I also enjoy riding on a motorbike with my cousin Kak Ju.
So now you know why I get very excited whenever I get to visit my Mok.
By Irina Shamsuddin 9, Selangor