Thursday, November 15, 2007

And Civilization Commeth

So guess what the big buzz in Taiping is now.
No, I am not kidding.

For all you non-Taiping people, this tiny town has resisted change for the most part of my growing up.

Like when McDonalds opened, it was soft serve salvation from heaven. Finally somewhere decent to date.

Fast forward 10 years and you can just imagine the frenzy Tesco caused when it opened its doors. Located at Jalan Kamunting, apparently it caused a traffic jam (!) on the first day.

So when Giant opened on Deepavali day, we stayed far far away. Yet the allure of fresh plastic bags and long aisles of fast moving consumer goods was too strong. Resistance was futile. Especially if you have a mom like mine.

Ok we kids were homesick for KL. The shameless consumerism soothed the soul.

In any case, it was a good break. In between the hypermart hopping, we did complete our pilgrimage to the usual places of gastronomic worship i.e. the goreng pisang stall, Kuala Sepetang seafood, Green House, Prima et cetera, et cetera.

And it was all good!

I got her eyes

I started this blog a lifetime ago, writing about a grandfather I hardly knew.

This Deepavali, having gone home to visit my grandmother and of course get cozy with her infamous mutton curry, in between mouthfuls, I was a little touched and struck by the independence (perhaps loneliness),kindness and even tenderness of this matriarch.

We don't talk you know. Mainly because I don't speak Tamil and she speaks hardly any English. But year by year, I get by with saying Yes, No and Enough Already. She makes fun of my Tamil and I hang my head in shame. Repeat 20 years.

My earliest recollection of my Grandmother was her sitting in the kitchen with my dad, talking deep into the night, the yellow flicker of the single oil lamp etching shadows on the wall. It was during Deepavali past I think. I was five. We were visiting and we all bunked in my Grandfather's squatter house then. Within its papan walls and zinc roofing, there was so much laughter which due to circumstance and adult foolishness finally ebbed away into nothing. For us anyway.

My Grandmother is ageless and yet, as I grow older, I see her descent into old age and my heart breaks a little.

My Maiden Medical Joke

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Happy Deepavali

Please note that the blogger will be stuffing her face with homemade puri, mutton curry and assorted cookies this festive season as she makes her yearly pilgrimage to her Grandmother's to try to deplete her food supplies.

Happy festival of lights.