Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lemme Do It.

Call me anytime of day and night to wash up the dead and I'll come running to help you free of charge. I like to do this thing just as I like to slaughter a cow, and help cook a meal for 400 hungry men and women. I like to do these things so lemme do it if you don't have enough volunteers to help you out.
I like to wash the dead because it reminds me that one day I'm gonna be as dead as the next guy too. And I often wonder who'd wash me. And wrap me up and who'd lead the Solat Jenazah for me. And where would I be buried? Would it be at sea where they've gotta attach a weight so the body can go down to bottom of the sea to lie there like a shipwreck. I've lost count how many dead I've helped wash. My first was Pok Mud Nyior who died alone in his hut behind our house in Dungun. He had lived alone, making a living picking coconuts. He died one night, probably in his sleep. I didn't discover him, a friend did. He went about shouting like a mad dog as if Pok Mud would come alive as a ghost. No one volunteered to help and so I did and that's how I learnt a thing or two about washing the dead from Arwah Pok We Janggut. After that it was easy until I had to wash the body of a colleague who died in a petroleum fire. That got me sleepless for a week. You can't wash much because the flesh kept falling off and the bones showed up. And the eyeballs.
And I like to slaughter cows. I consider this my most favorite thing. I like the sound of the knife slicing through the hide until the blade knocks the neck bone to make a 'tuk' sound. My first was a goat, a billy. Aunt asked me to do it because the men in the village, all of a sudden, refused to help slaughter our goat, and our chicken. I got interested in Meat Science this way but then Catherine came along and it changed everything. I slaughter on average, 6 cows per year during Aidil Adha.
And I like to cook. I like cooking for a lot of people, 300 or more. I like the idea of working out the ingredients in kilos. And I like the idea of strong flame firing up the dish. And I like to see men and women enjoying the dish, asking if there's some left for them to take home. Don't worry, ma'am, I usually cook extra.
The thing I like to do. Next time, lemme do it.


Blogger RozIlah Kamarudin ImOlie said...

I am impressed. The first male blog that I actually find interesting.

In my tariqah, I actually have to do this thing called rabitah kubur, where I had to imagine I am dead and people are washing my dead body etc... etc..

Again, I am impressed...

3:22 AM  
Blogger Puteri Kamaliah at-Tarawis said...

Bergen, I never knew this side of you.... now I have to reset my 'Bergen compass' in the light of this (surprising?) discovery.

5:31 AM  
Blogger Fauziah Ismail said...

Salam Bergen
I've witnessed my grandfather and uncle breathed their last but I have yet to help wash the dead.
I hope to do so, at least once, in my lifetime, insya'Allah.

11:04 AM  
Blogger AuntieYan @ Makcik Blogger said...

Salam Bergen,

I once helped to wash my Aunt body and that was my first time. Actually it reminds us a lot of things...especially death.

4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bergen, when my mom died in may this year, my sisters and I, together with our 2 sisters-in-law, bathed and shrouded her jenazah ourselves, under guidance, of course. it gave us a feeling of satisfaction to be able to do these final rites for our Mak.

puteri k

7:04 PM  

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