Saturday, July 21, 2007

Bota Kanan memories

Last Sunday, on my way to Lumut, I stopped by at Bota Kanan, a small town located close by the Perak River. Bota Kanan is where my family used to reside during my pre-school age.

It is quite amazing how this old town has managed to maintain its charm and character even though it has now been four decades since we stayed here. The town still has its two rows of shop houses along the main street. Although many of the shop houses are now rebuilt in concrete, the total number of shops have remained except for the addition of a Lembaga Tabung Haji building. In fact, some familiar shops from yesteryears like Kedai Ahmad Radzi are still standing. The Kedai Ahmad Radzi still retains its all too familiar bamboo blind in front of the shop, with the old style Bata shoes advertisement etched on it still visible.

From the town, I proceeded to our old house located close to the Ipoh-Lumut road and the Bota-Parit road staggered junction.

The house is still in its original condition, except for an iron grill attached to the main front door, that is. It is a sign of the modern times, I suppose. Those days, if we are in, Mak could leave the doors ajar all day long without a single worry about thieves or burglars sneeking in.

A quick survey of the house brought the good old memories flooding back.

There, on the front main staircase, was where my brothers and I would spend time climbing up and down the sidewalls. We had a few photos of ourselves taken on the steps as well by Apak.

The verandah. Oh, yes…another favourite play area. Sitting surrounding our Nyang (great grandmother), that was where we would intently watch her light up her rokok daun. Mmm...I can still smell the aroma. Occasionally she would bring out her gobek sireh. And that’s when my brothers and I would fight to do her the favour of preparing her sireh.

Under the house was where we used to play the more active games like kad gambar, kayu tiga, rubber band and the likes. It provided a good shade from the elements. I remember Apak used to park his bright red Toyota Corona (plate number: AF 8166) here too.

Sometimes a serkap ayam or two could be found under the house also. Mak used to rear chicken and ducks. I remember her going around the house compound looking for the duck eggs under the small trees or behind the bushes and shrubs. Those ducks never liked to lay their eggs in one place. Must have been pretty smart ducks, I suppose. Obviously they've heard the saying "never put all your eggs in one basket"! Nevertheless, it was good fun for us kids. It was like a treasure hunt of sorts for us.

As I stood there, in front of the house, I could also remember all the rooms inside the house. One room for my brothers and I to sleep in. One for Apak and Mak. And then there was one small room where Apak used to keep his work stuffs and our new set of encyclopedia, i.e. the New Book of Knowledge, published by Grolier, New York (1966). I used to sit on the floor flipping through the pages, enjoying the pictures and graphics. Sometimes, with the help of Mak, we would try to do some of the origamis illustrated in the volume “O” of the encyclopedia.

The living room was where our brand new black and white television set was located. I can’t remember what brand it was. But I do remember that it only had a couple of knobs on it used to switch it on and control the volume. A far cry from our flat screens today. Oh, there was another, bigger knob, used to change the channels. Very important to have this, in order to make one’s choice and switch between the many channels available back then; RTM1 and RTM2!

With Star Soccer being a favourite program of Apak those days, the living room was also where I was first introduced to English football. I also remember watching programs like the Land of the Giants, The Samurai and Wrestling from Great Britain. One of the cartoon programs way back then was the Gigantor. Pretty cool stuff.

Yes, those were the days. The carefree, days of early 1960s. How time flies. But alhamdulillah, praise be to AlLah for those good memories.

Bota Kanan main street

Town mosque

The local football filed at the Rais Bakar Stadium, which serves as a flood playground whenever the Perak River bursts its banks those days

The old Post Office, still standing




I read many times .Saya ada banyak kekawan orang Parit . To mention just one : The previous wakil rakyat ...Ismail Hasbullah .I doubt whether he is still around .

ummi zufayri said...

salam perkenalan.
came across your blog while searching for bota kanan. kg saye kat bote. and i'm a manchester graduate as well (well, UMIST actually).
nice to see the familiar scenes in your blog. can't wait to balik kg wkend ni! :)

Azizi Ahmad Termizi: said...

Ummi zufayri

thanks for taking time to read the blog and posting ooment.

nice to hear from a fellow manchester graduate, too.

btw my father's kampung is layang kiri. but we stayed in bota kanan when he was headmaster of sek men kampung gajah.