Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Please, Sir, Could You Slaughter This Chicken For Us?

1ST DRAFT - World Without Men.

How am I supposed to tell Aunt that Bilal Rahim (not his real name) won't slaughter our chicken today and how am I supposed to enjoy chicken curry if this chicken is not slaughtered first before Aunt can boil it to remove the feathers, cutting this poor bird into bite size so she can work on it cooking it in a pot so we can all have a nice chicken curry for lunch and knowing Aunt, she'd fry the drumstick for me, the same kind of drumstick you see people in the movies eat on a grand table watching fire-eaters and magicians perform their tricks for the kings and queens.
Take your chicken back to your house of sins and don't ever come back to ask me to slaughter your chicken ever again, you hear? So you are not going to slaughter this chicken for us today? Don't you understand, stupid boy! No! Go home, before I chase you with this parang!
I am walking home holding the chicken by the legs with its head dangling a few inches from the ground. I am thinking while trying to remember everything about the things Bilal Rahim has just said about our house being the place of sins and I'm thinking what it all means and how to tell Aunt the same way it was said by Bilal Rahim complete with the part he'd chase me with the parang if I stayed a minute longer holding the chicken, standing by the steps of his house hoping that he'd slaughter the chicken for us since he's done it for us countless of times that I forget how many of our chickens have died in his hand. One thing I know for sure that Aunt won't be happy with me and she'll probably start on me with being stupid in the head to come home with the chicken alive and healthy and how is she going to cook this stupid chicken if it is alive and healthy because you can only cook chicken if it is dead and all dressed and cleaned.
I can let this chicken go and tell Aunt that it got away and I've tried to chase it but there's no way I could get to it because it is the fastest chicken in the village and it might take someone who can run faster than me to catch it back in. Knowing Aunt, she'd say, you are coming with me to help me catch it back in. And she'd put on her selendang panjang, to cover her face with it in a half coil to expose only the part just above her nose, eyes and forehead. And we'd walk every inch of the village looking for this chicken and everyone in the village will say, look at those two, looking for the chicken as if they've lost a pot of gold. And my friends may start to tease me the next day calling me, chicken chicken chicken, or something like that.
I am walking...


Blogger k.d said...

Good start there Mr.Bergen..I am intrigued and will stay tune to read on..

1:43 PM  
Blogger podgykat said...

Truly a great start here! Upon reading this piece, I could identify with those feelings you felt as a child back then. Many of us have similar experiences in our childhood and the memories of which we carry on through our adulthood.. Harsh words can really hurt a little heart and almost always, they're delivered by an insensitive, crass adult. As children we can't verbalise those feelings, so we tend to want to act it out, sometimes only in our minds, like you do here. This is good. Forget about those creative writing classes; delivered straight from the heart is better. Keep on writing, you've so many fans on this blog rooting for you & eager to read the next line that you churn out! Cheers.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Ms. Blabs said...

I like the flow. Can't wait for the next instalment.

6:25 PM  
Anonymous Ol Lady from the Green Mtn said...

Great story-tellers and writers are born not made. You can teach someone the basics of writing but what you cannot give them is the gift to tell a great story -- that is a talent only God can give.

You are a story-teller, Bergen, so keep on writing ...

9:23 PM  
Blogger tokasid said...

Salam to Bergen.

I'm shocked to the words uttered by Bilal. And since he had sembelih lots of chicken for your family, I wonder what made him refused and made a comment like that. He must have heard people talking at the Sg Udang masjid about Aunt Su.But he should know better to investigate what ppl said are true or just rumour monggering( if that is what really happened).
But most of the time, the Melayu are quick at believing to rumours.

Maybe you will tell us why Bilal suddenly tak mau lagi sembelih your chicken.

4:45 PM  
Blogger Clark Gable of Pulau Duyong said...

Dear Bergen,
Such a beautiful piece
Good luck ,you gave me inspiration for me to write on my childhood too.Not so much to be published as a literature piece but just a reminder to my kids when they grow up and needing to know more about their dad...

11:11 AM  
Blogger bergen said...

K.D: Getting it started was easy. Keeping it going, is tough work. But I've started it, might as well work it through.

Podgykat: I reckon the hard part of writing this down has just began. It's been keeping me up all night to get the next one in.

Ms.Blabs: I hope you don't have to wait too long for the next entry.

OLFTGM: You give me strength, ma'am.

Tokasid: Aunt in this story is not Aunt Su. Aunt is dead but Aunt Su is still alive, living out the years remaining at an old folks' home right here in P.J. Aunt is Grandma's daughter, but Aunt Su is grandma's distant relative. I used to live with her in Penang. At time she (Aunt Su) was married to Pakcik Syed but this husband of hers left home one day and never been seen since.

CGOPD: Glad this entry gives you the motivation to begin writing about your childhood. Kertih is even more quiet than Dungun in the 70s. I'm sure there's a lot of stories underneath all that serenity.

To everyone who dropped by for a visit, thank you coming.

4:40 PM  
Blogger bergen said...

It should be ...has just begun, right? It's present prefect tense, right?

4:42 PM  
Blogger podgykat said...

hehe,PPT- I guess but what the heck, the finger's faster than the brain sometimes! Keep on writing!

5:30 PM  
Blogger maklang said...

clap..clap... a good start there...

10:27 PM  
Blogger Anak Mami said...


11:33 PM  
Blogger norainij said...

Salam Mr Bergen,

It’s my first entry here, although I have been reading your entries for quite a while.

Can’t wait to find out whether you actually managed to have chicken curry and fried drumstick that day itself! Carry on writing ….

By the way, you are not gonna put that Sofia Jane-look alike as the cover are you? An attractive and immaculately dressed young lady as the story teller of a world without a man, sounds a bit ironic, don’t you think?

Anyway, it’s just a 2-cent from an onions & garlics, and pots & pans mind.

2:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm happy to see (&read) that the 'old' (in a kind way ya) bergen is back. Tak kisahlah whatever (lots it seems) happened in between so long as you keep on sharing your experience with us. -rad-

8:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i was also wondering why bilal rahim refused to do it when he had done earlier on. cinta bilal rahim ni penah kena reject dengan aunt su kot?

10:23 PM  
Blogger Kak Teh said...

keep it up! will be back for all those interesting episodes!

11:42 AM  
Blogger demonsinme said...

Master Bergen:

a gift for you -

The Chairs, The Table And The Cloth We Dine On
(my gift to those who are fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters)

On the chairs, the table and the cloth we dine on,
mama serve a sumptuous meal,
a sumptuous meal made from the hunt that papa kill,
the hunt that papa brought back on heavy old wheels.

On the chairs, the table and the cloth we dine on,
papa carved the luscious veal,
while mama kept our hunger vigil,
so that our little tummies feel no shrill,
till we have the night’s fill.

By the chairs, the table and the cloth we dine on,
papa stood on the site with his pipe lit,
cleaning blood that his hunt has spilled,
and chasing out the winter’s chill,
so that we feel no gritting frill,
after we had our night’s fill.

Round the chairs, the table and the cloth we dine on,
mama walks with a clean white cloth,
cleaning our mouth from filthy froth,
while kissing the sleepy eyes under the brows.

To the chairs, the table and the cloth we dine on,
we haste a bow and a cheery bye,
and wish the leftovers tomorrow they will dry,
that tomorrow again on you we dine,
with the meals mama made so fine,
made from the kills that papa find.

O chairs, table and cloth we dine on,
we trust that tomorrow would also be fine,
there you’ll wait for us to dine,
when we wake after the sun comes to shine.

12:15 AM  

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