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Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Tribute to Uci

"Grandmas hold our tiny hands for just a little while.....but our hearts forever"

Uci Mahani and I, photo taken during Eidul Fitri 2008 by Pak Long Sarji, in Batu Tiga (Temoh), Perak.

Mahani has endured so much pain and turbulence in her life. Now aged 94, she is greatful to Allah for gracing her the strenght and wisdom of a woman. She has endured the greatest fear of a mother when her son and daugther-in-law died in a car crash, less than 1km away from her home. It was very tragic. When the pain of the lost lingers in her mind, she would shed tears, for who could ever endure the death of your child. The bitter sweet memories of feeding your child, changing the diapers and holding his tiny hand when crossing the roads, stab your lonely hearts like a dagger. I know how it feels as I am a mother too.

Uci, as her grandchildren fondly call her, is a Ravanese. I have been told by a friend, who is also a Ravanese, that women of this race are perfectionists. They have also very strong will power and are excellent homemakers. Well, I do not know how far that is true, but it is fair to state here that my Uci possesses all of these qualities. Honestly, I have been so many times reprimanded by Uci for being unladylike, well..what to do, I am only a quarter Ravanese.

Indeed, lessons in life are best acquired through observation. Since young, I have seen Uci managing her family with intelligence and grace. She does not have to be a degree holder to have her children to be very successful in life. She believes in the wholesome goodness of home food and everything homemade. She demands precision in doing house chores as she believes, every virtue starts from home. A mother must sow, in the hearts of her children, the seeds of love and faith to Allah, for that would be the guiding light in life.

I have personally learnt a lot of things from her. Here I would like to share some of them. In order to make it more expressive (as she speaks Ravanese not English), I will try my best to write in Bahasa Melayu with hints of Ravanese.

1. Uci is blessed with beautiful skin, when asked about her secret for having such flawless skin, she replied, "Indo berasio, pakei la bodak sojuk Uci buek ke..". Translation: Mana ada berahsia, pakailah bedak sejuk yang Uci buat tu. Before she became immobile, she used to prepare homemade 'bedak sejuk' . This is done by soaking rice in a clay pot for three years. As she is very particular about cleanliness, she would regularly rinse the soaked rice. Uci's 'bedak sejuk' is perfumed with "Cologne Nyonya Kembar', pandanus leaves and jasmine. She would supply us with her bedak whenever we visit her, but we have to promise not to snack on them. (My mama loves to snack on her bedak sejuk).

2. Never to bathe after 5pm, as she believes it is bad to bathe when it is almost dusk or worst, after dark.

3. On tips to restore the freshness of your vegies in the fridge, she advises, "Kao keno rajen membaluit sayor dongen keroteh, lopeh tu dibungkuih dongen pelestik". Translation: To maintain the freshness of your vegies, you must wrap them up with papers and later wrap them in individual plastic bags. I have improvised this practice by labelling my vegies after wrapping them up.

4. Uci's green coloured syrup is the best in the world. It slates your thirst in so many a hot afternoons.

5. On our effort to reduce sugar and salt in our cookings (in the name of healthy life style), she commented, "Ondek, biya la laki kao maken yang sodop, jangen lah dikurangken gulo atau garom, indo beraso apo-apo teh kao masak..". Translation: You are a lousy cook as your food is tasteless..hahahha. Joking. (Ondek is an expression to indicate surprise).

6. When drying out clothes in the Sun, one must make sure that they are hung according to the types, that is all shirts must be in one line, whereas pants in another. Do not mix everything up. Personally, I do adhere to this. I just hate to see my clothesline unorganized.

7. Leftover rice or pulut must never be thrown away. One must dry it out in the Sun and fry it to become delicious snacks. She believes that it is "berdoso kao membuang nasik".

8. On my wedding day, Uci told me a secret, she said, "Kao Ida, keno bangun copek, toruih mandi, bebodak, jangen kao bagi Sazeli tengok kao bolum mandi rambuit indo bersikek. Potang kao besiop la copek, bilo pulang si Sazeli, jangen memarah..". Translation: Ida, you must wake up early and groom yourself, do not allow Suzalie (my hubby) to see you in a mess. In the evenings, get yourself ready before he is home. When he is home, don't you nag at him. Yea, I am a firm believer in this too.

9. When asked how she maintains such excellent memory despite of her age, she said by reciting the Qur'an daily.

10. Uci cooks the best "ayom masak lomak" in the world. She used to share the recipe, even demonstrated the whole process. But when I tried to cook it at home, it tasted really different..tak sodop..hahaha.

Those are some of the things I've learnt from my Uci, there are other more, but I guess I'd better keep them here in my heart. She has become quite frail now, due to her age. Her memory slips sometimes, but she never forgets me and my hubby. I never get to tell her that I love her so much, the last time I saw her she was down with high fever. Her internal organs are failling, one by one. She is not suffering any sickness or disease, she is holding on to her life like a fighter. This life, she has is a good one, and we are thankful, as she has sown within our hearts the seeds of love that will flourish for generations.


Lyana Mauseth said...

your uci is 94?? wow! mine is i guess around late 70 something..can u believe that? aku tak tau tok aku punya age...durhaka punya cucu haha..

i remember reading about your aunty and uncle in the paper...i was shocked sbb ingat your uncle ahmad sarji sbb itu jelah yg i kenal pun kan...

indeed, old people are very wise and they have special ways of doing things...and everything comes with reasonable reasons too...it comes with the age and also the practice passed tru generations...how about us??

for sure, i pantang kalau sudu yg dah guna masukkan dlm gelas atau cawan!!tah kenapa, i x blh tgk haha

Ida Hariati Hashim said...

Dear Lyana,

No ni bukan my Pak Long tu but my Ayah Ngah yang kat Sungkai..I tak dapat p funeral dia as we were in London.

I pin pantnag tgk sudu dalam gelas..i ingat lagi masa u pegi Waqf IIUM, kita nampak Suzalie taruk sudu dalam cawan, I suruh dia angkat keluaq..Gile rasa tgk kan..apasal la kita ni?

Satu lagi I tak suka nasi di campuq dgn mee or bihun dalam satu pinggan, rasa geli-geleman...am I going to be like Uci?

Kak Teh said...

ida, your Uci is as old as my mum. God bless them. They have so many petua and pesnan, yes? She speaks the language of my late sister-in-law.

Kak teh pantang tengok selipar atau kasut terbalik...memang pantang sangat.

Naz said...

alhamdulillah... i seronok baca cerita about your Uci and her petua-s. thanks for this entry.
do you know that your hang-ups say a lot about you?
jeng jeng jeng!

Ida Hariati Hashim said...

Wow Kak Teh..ur mom is 94? I wonder what's her petua? I also wonder how do these really old people cope with emptinest? Perhaps the love that they share keeps them surviving..

La, Kak Teh pun ada pantang ke? heheheh..I pun tak suka tgk kasut terbalik and if not arranged next to the pair..I rasa kesian dia lonely...hahahhahaa

Ida Hariati Hashim said...

Dear Kak Naz,

Yea, I know that my hang-ups say a lot about me and I am willing to accept the consequences..jeng..jeng..jeng..

Some of my writings are based on my imagination, that is because I just love to imagine myself not being in my status quo..ahhhh, difficult to explain la Kak Naz, I je yang paham diri I...heheheh

Anyway, I ni tak pandai berselindung la..tu susah tu. What you see is what you get. Kalau tetiba org tak mau kawan dgn I, apa I boleh buat....:(

Naz said...

The best thing is to stay true to yourself and try to do the right thing. It is so simple and yet can be so hard. That's life.
Same here ... WYSIWYG.

Lyana Mauseth said...

u kesian kasut dok asing2 sbb takut dia lonely??? OMG, ida u are full of feelings la haha

Lyana Mauseth said...

yes, i pun x suka tgk nasi di campoq dgn mee bihun atau buah..ank2 tiri i kalau i msia mesti depa angkut semua buh dlm pinggan, apa yg ada atas meja, itulah ada dlm pinggan depa..aduiii, bila i tegoq, depa kata, its okay lyana, they will be mixed in our stomach anyway haha...lagilah i nak termuntah bila ingat semua tu masuk dlm perut and then jadi u know whatlah kan..imagination!!!

Ida Hariati Hashim said...

Lyana..tu la u, I believe that everything in this world is created with a partner..tu la if apa-apa benda tinggal satu je I sedih..

Maybe I ni terlampau empathy dgn keadaan sekeliling kot..bayangkan, i boleh nangis bila mengenangkan security guard kat condo i ni kena on duty memalam..kesian anak bini dia tak de org teman kat umah..lepas tu i imagine pulak if i was in the wife's shoes..sedey tau lyana..

Call me a Drama Queen, but that is just me..i tak kacau org lain..hehehhe

mamasita said...

Your uci reminds me so much of my late mum..she loved to remind us of a whole array of good old rules in a marriage ..some I follow and some I try to follow but can't help breaking the rules at times!hahaha

But we must always remember to cleverly adjust some of the advice according to our modern times..kalau ikut the old style, tak terbuat kita.

suzalie said...

Dear Jade Garden,

Uci has shared with me some tips on how to handle you as my wife...hahahahhahaha

You can use all the charms, grace and whatever magic you know, but still I am not telling..hahhaha

Since nowadays you always work, work, work...u leave home very early but comes home late, macamana nak ikut petua Uci ni?

I'd rather have u blogging 24/7 than letting u work and come home half dead!

Ida Hariati Hashim said...

Dear mamasita,

U are right la..one needs to do a lot of adjusting, tak terikut petua-petua orang tua ni..

But I believe in the wisdom of the petua(s).

Ida Hariati Hashim said...

Suzalie sensei,

Arigato gozaimasu for visiting my blog..no wonderlah tadi I nampak u tergelak-gelak sorang2, ingat kot dok chatting dgn sapa tadi...hahahha

Iye ke Uci ada share dgn u? U paham ke dia mengecek Rawo? No wonder la u rajin p urut kaki dia and sembang2 with her rupanya u p korek rahsia..

m00n said...

she look pretty ....

Ida Hariati Hashim said...

Who? My Uci? Thanx Mr. Moon.

Oh yes, tq for visiting..

Mimi said...

I miss my grandma...sob...sob...
Ida..I love this entry part yg dia cakap ondek...hihih..reminds me a lot of my grandma...and she'd repeat that word...ondek-ondek...huhu...

MrsNordin said...

Hi Ida,

I was surprised when I read this posting's title: Uci. I haven't heard that word in a longtime...

My maternal grandmother is orang Rawa juga, and spoke the same slang as yours. But I don't call her Uci, I called her Opah Gemuk (coz my paternal grandmother was Opah Kurus). That's why when I read this posting, it brought smile to my face becoz I could picure my Opah saying those things to me when I was small.

My Opah has passed away many years ago but my mum & aunties still cakap Rawa, and kalau ada kenduri, macam kapal karam! Riuh rendah! My opah's kampung is in Gunung Mensah, Gopeng. I suppose, they must come from the same kampung in Sumatera.

I'm glad to make acquaintance with you. Take care!

Ida Hariati Hashim said...

Ala Mimi please don't be sad..be strong, girl..

Hehe..I can still remember the story u told me "pasai org Rawo bejalen poyi Mokah..kuwet semanget teh.."

take care darling

Ida Hariati Hashim said...

Dear MrsN,

The pleasure is mine. My maternal grandma org Batu Tigo. I think omak nyo namo Uci Khemah sebab my mom kato org nyo tinggi..

Berapo ramai Rawo yang bloggers, huh? Seronok jugak mengecek Rawo ni..memang kalau meet up punyalah bisieng kekadang indo ku pahom teh..

cheers, take care

MrsNordin said...

There's one more: Indo ku podah!

Ida Hariati Hashim said...

Dear MrsN,

Another one: Ondek, bi ati tiku, pelopeh lah..

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Ida, nice posting.
Grandmas hold our tiny hands for just a little while, but our hearts forever.
Gosh, she sure still looking good for her age.
Best wishes to you and grandma, Lee.
Oh ya, kong hei fatt choy.

MrsNordin said...

Err... tak faham. What does that mean??

Desert Rose said...


Gerl, u shuld compile all her petua u know, it will b a trasure and i will surely want a copy of it.

I am like u also,zo does my mom sometimes I wonder whether we have obbsessive compulsive disorder. I sakit hati kalau tgk things disorganise, I will rearrange it again & again. Sama macam sidai baju, tak boleh campur2, makan ati I tgk my Bibik sidai baju, I will rearrange it back sampai lambat masuk opis. And I cuci baju pun ikut jenis, baju kerja, baju rumah, baju anak, towels, undies ha ha ha adakah kita pompuan yg sakit jiwa??????

Kitchen Guardian said...


bunyi macam i jadi nenek i jadi macam uci you aje...sidai baju pun got the cara one...my DH is already complaining that things have to be done my way...the perfectionist way (when it comes to household and stuff)!

but to live until 94, i doalah sangat, i jadi mcm yr uci!

Capt's Longhouse said...

Suggest that you trace your family tree,,,get as much info from your Uci-lah. Family history is valueless so get it b4 long gone n forgotten by the younger generation.
My dad would is 91 can't remember much nowadays but i have been tracing my roots all along from China/India/Thailand/Ache/Kedah/Pahang,,,,
Capt.,,,,,, Salam to yr Uci.

Anonymous said...

hi rawa gal,

i saw this beutiful posting about your uci from sekondakhati, a website on all-about-rawa from ipoh. yours is such a lovely story and i truely could relate things you said about your uci with my mum, also an 'uci' to her many grandkids. she was a perfectionist, got a strong heart and very confident lady. being 'anak bongsu', i miss her so much when she passed away recently...

kunming, prc

Ida Hariati Hashim said...

Hi Rawaboy,

Thanks for dropping by, tak sangka kat China pun ada Rawa..hahha

I am so sorry to hear about ur mum, u must be missing her terribly, ye..Al-Fatihah to the arwah..

Anonymous said...


this is another nice piece abt yr uci. i'll pray to allahthemighty she will be with u for many years more.

i can certainly relate to all those tips given by your uci especially on the part of how the womenfolk should take care their husbands. my late mum took care my dad like he is a king..nasi disendukkan, tilam dibentangkan..
i see the same thing with my 5 sisters, their husbands are too spoiled!

but me...make my own tea in the morning,lipat my own selimut,cook my own food sometime!!!!!!dah nasib badan...lol