Our Pak Long Bakar is a true hero of Kampung Chepor, Lenggong, Perak. He is invariably funny and outrageous, and at the same time always lovable and kind. He is not our real uncle, but a very distant cousin of my paternal grandmother. :)
Pak Long Bakar has been married to Mak Long Zah for almost 50 years with 4 sons and 4 daughters around. Once they started bed-sharing, they always sleep facing each other. Err, that is what my Mama said. I wot that but too well, I'm still in my childishness affair. Just don't deliver any more, mama. *phew
So last week, we went to his house for a visit since the last meeting was long ago. We could see there were construction works as an addition to that existing house. Pak Long Bakar was standing between the bricks, smeared by mixture of sweat and cement, he was seen too old for that.
"Kesian Pak Long kan Ma?"
"Kesian kenapa? Dia kaya tu. Memotong (menoreh getah) sehari dapat dekat beratus ringgit. Tu siap boleh tambah rumah. Kita pun tak pernah tambah rumah."
I knew Mama fathomed it very well, just taught me not to make the 'it's a pity' phrase into my style. Lives of every person is different. We might say people who stay in kampung are low-lived and not well developed as we can see those high skyscrapers ramp our big cities, besides the more buildings built, the more preservations for us in term of job opportunities. White-collar workers are everywhere either you can find them in luxury imported cars when confronted by a traffic jam, or the fragrance of branded perfume pierced your nose while huddling each other in the train. A shabbiness to admit boasting yourself with that 'urban'.
Rural people are not distressing themselves to go to work everyday. Moreover, the groceries are too far cheaper in 'Pasar Pak Mat' or 'Kedai Runcit Ramu Baba' compared to air-conditioned fresh market in town. It's luckier if you have your own farm, what you have to do is plucking without a cent. Since the worldwide enacted the extensive needs in using the rubber, people in kampung could sip more cozy lives which is worth the lure. Right?
My sister and I were lounging on the couch watching TV that night when suddenly Pak Long Bakar appeared from the kitchen.
"Moh le makan. Tak lapor ke kome?"
I stood up next to Pak Long Bakar and gave a smile to him.
"Angah, rupa kome macam arwah Opah kome. Serupe, senyuman tu."
I couldn't react of any-out-of-the-blue statement like that. What I did was just, smile. :)
Fast forward to 11 p.m, Pak Long Bakar asked Abah a random question which was surprising everyone in the house.
"Malam ni ade ke bola nye, Awang?"
"Ada rasenye, Manchester lawan Barcelona. Kenape Abang Bakor tanye?"
"Aku idak pernah tengok bola dengan kome. Aku tido dengan kome lah Awang malam ni."
I turned to Mak Long Zah as quick as everyone did. That was stupid anyways and surely Mak Long Zah wondered what with everyone's face, which of course, except Pak Long Bakar's.
"Abang nak tido dengan Awang? Saye bawak keluar toto bentor depan TV. Saye tido dengan budak-budak ni."
What happened that night was something unforgettable. It was like watching the chronicle of the greatest love on earth between Pak Long Bakar and Mak Long Zah. She looked so uneasy and for every 15 minutes, she ferreted out the truth not used to sleep alone by spying his husband watching the game. It was funny yet I felt sorry for her. Could you imagine after 50 years of marriage that was the first time they split for six hours from the regular basis of bed-sharing. The strongest evidence isn't that night but the eight number of children. Hehe!
Mama, you were so true with the fact. :')