Friday, September 28, 2007

In Kampong Kepayang, a long time ago

All the way north to Butterworth (my kampung is on the right side of this railway line)

Reading Pak Cha's childhood antics of long, long time ago on his blog Nginap Srengenge reminds me of my own childhood days in Kampong Kepayang, Ipoh.

Kampung Kepayang is a traditional kampong right smack in the middle of Ipoh city. It is a gazetted Malay Reserve Area surrounded by ever-encroaching urban development on its peripheries. The kampung is bounded on its west by the KTM railway line which runs all the way to Buterworth in the north, and Singapore down south.

To the north is the Tasek Industrial Estate (famous for producing, among others, the Tasek Cement) as well as the North South Highway which links Ipoh to Kuala Kangsar and farther beyond.

To the south is the Ipoh town proper -- the Ipoh Anderson School and Cator Avenue school compounds and Fair Park, to be exact.

The kampung has not changed much since my childhood days.

Its area size has not grown bigger. On the contrary modern housing schemes are forever knocking on its door, so to speak. The total number of population seems to have stagnated, too.

Those days it used to have a lot of dusun buah-buahan (fruit orchards) with durian, rambutan, nangka and cempedak trees.
One of those dusun belonged to my Nyang (my grandmother's father). It was located in a lembah (valley) close to the Kinta River. The dusun had a neat dangau for us to sit when enjoying our durians. The dangau also provided a very comfortable and cooling resting area whilst waiting for the durians to fall from the trees around us.

The dusun is still there. But the dangau is no more. The big durian trees still stand tall. But one could tell that they are well past their 'service life' and not producing fruit anymore.

The woods around the kampung were our playground. My brothers and I used to spend hours in there looking for "fighting-spider", cutting down rattan plants, searching for woods to make hockey sticks, catapults and so on.

Sometimes we'd get a sting or two, or bruises here and there. But the lure of the kampung surroundings was too great for us to resist.

Putik durian Kampong Kepayang

I remember once during one of my outdoor excursions a black snake slithered and crossed the path right in front of me. I froze. And the snake did enough to make me retreat (ok, actually I dashed home in panic) and promised myself not to wander too far away from home next time.

But of course I broke my own promise! Ha, ha.

Boys will be boys. What's more, any kampung boy worth his salt is not going to be intimidated by the mere sight of one Mr. Snake, is he?

You know, sometimes I feel sorry for my own kids for not being able to do and enjoy what I did and enjoyed. The freedom to roam all over the kampung. To stay out and play in the rain when there is a downpour. To wander in and out of the woods at will.

Perhaps I am partly to be blamed for this too. Over-protectiveness. Yes, that's the problem with us parents nowadays. For example, a light pitter patter of the rain drops would hear parents hollering all their kids to "masuk rumah, hari nak hujan!".

But then again, I wonder if my kids would be interested at all in all those things we used to enjoy. By the look of it, they are more into computer games, internet (mySpace, friendster etc.), television (Astro), music (mp3 players) and going on an outing to downtown KL with friends to catch the movies or merely time-wasting window shopping .

*Sigh* how times have changed.



No regrets , yang berlalu dah berlalu.I had much of my life as an african 'kunta-kinte'.

So are my children , they have different envoirenments . And whenever I tell them about my past,they just 50-50 ,to believe it or not .That was before merdeka .Half-a-century is a long span of time .

Mereka cukup gerun bila cerita pasal bersunat.Tidak ada ubat kebas dan sebagainya . Mereka kata itu cara "Abu-Gharibb".I always give a big laugh.

I shouldn't write too long .This is just a comment .


Count Byron said...

Wowwww... lovely rendition of a childhood memory that lives to this day.. almost intact. I love them all.. I love the details..
Thanks for sharing Azizi.
My classmate hailed from Kampong Kepayang.
When I heard of the place the first time.. it conjectures someone love smitten.. mabuk kepayang. But that was 38 years ago heh

khalid salleh said...

haha... i was brought up in kampung kepayang too! i spend quite a number of years in my grandpa's place (the white house in front of the 'old school' post office)
although i am miles away in the UK now, whenever i think of peace and tranquility, my mind always whisks away to that place. the cool morning. the clear air. the distant drumming of cars... i used to like reading in my late grandad's old study. all the books from the 50's were there. a heaven for a self proclaimed history buff!

Azizi Ahmad Termizi: said...

Sdr Khalid

Once a kampong boy, always a kampong boy. Nice to know that you still have your kampong close to heart although you are in glitzy UK.

Btw, is yours kepayang fair park, or kepayang sg raya?


Islam In Us said...

Last Friday I took Spg Pulai exit. After the toll, turned left and found a small but special Masjid Ahmadiah. This the same Kg Kepayang as yours?

The masjid named after Sh. Ahmad bin Idris or soembody else, do you know? One of my most memorable Friday solah ever. Thank you.

Azizi Ahmad Termizi: said...

Islam in Us

The Kg Kepayang you mentioned is Kg Kepayang Sg Raya located to the south of Ipoh.

My Kg Kepayang is right smack in the middle of Ipoh city. It is called Kg Kepayang Fair Park, located close to the state football stadium.

Our mosque is called Masjid Al Khairiah. It is smallish but has the kampong charm of its own. But maybe not for long. I heard it's going to be redeveloped and expanded.

Anonymous said...

kampung kita sama...
kg kepayang fair park.... rindu sgt

Azizi Ahmad Termizi: said...

Sdr Anonymous

sebenarnya ramai juga orang Kepayang yang keluar merantau di KL dan lain2 tempat.

bila Raya semuanya balik menjenguk kampong halaman...tak banyak yang berubah. tetapi lama-kelamaan mungkin akan hilang juga.

so enjoy it while it lasts.

Anonymous said...

Sdr Azizi..

terima kasih mengingatkan saya..
photo yang sdr paparkan ni semuanya kenangan bagi saya semasa kecil...
(kita sekampung..sezaman.. tapi corak kehidupan je yg berbeza)

Anonymous said...

Sdr Azizi
that is also my father's kampung. He is the grandson of the late Abdullah Sani. Their ancestors founded the kampung.Maybe we are related?

Azizi Ahmad Termizi: said...

Sdr Anonymous

If your father is the grandson of the late Abdullah Sani, then we are definitely related! For I am a great-grandson of Nyang Abdullah Sani.

I wonder who your father might be...