This photo was taken on last EidulAdha. The lady is my old teacher - Tok Guru Ngaji - who taught me to read the Quran when I was 11 years old. Accept for bending back, she looks the same after 38 years. I lost count of how many children she has. Her eldest is five years my junior and her youngest is many years younger than my own.
I left my village at the age of 12. Went to a boarding school in Kuantan, went on into teacher training college in Melaka, posted to schools in Kelantan, Perak and N9. Went on to further my study in England and finally came back home to settle down while getting married and divorced, and raising up two children in between.
It's been seven years since I came home and every year I would meet my old Tok Guru Ngaji who never failed to visit my parents every eid.
I came to know that my Tok Guru Ngaji suffered post natal blues towards her later birth givings. Perhaps the stress of too many children and her late husband, a self employed man who preferred to spend his time with his 'Dikir Barat' group. Because she gave birth almost every year, she seemed to be perpetually in the condition. The villagers came to accept her in her confused state. One of her sons married a teacher and stayed with her. She still goes out to peddle her garden produce and local cakes she made to the estate workers in the neighbourhood.
A dear, kind hearted lady.
My Tok Guru Ngaji.