Sunday, March 7, 2010


When I went back recently to Malaysia, I was reminded by a particular practice of ours which involves air penawar. I remember too, glasses of air penerang hati I drank before each major primary and secondary examinations back in my schooldays. And to avoid me from being benak mengaji, I was asked to drink a glass of water mix with ashes of burned pieces of old Quran, by my ustaz sekolah ugama. Sundae, mocha, latte or cappuccino, were definitely not the thing back then.

I was in my parents house in Sungai Petani and we were having a stream of visitors, friends of arwah abah, who came to ziarah, expressing condolences and takziah. My youngest sister was not feeling well, and was resting. One of the visitors, Puan Y, after a chat with Mak, and upon observing my sister's weak condition said "Kena tegur ni. Kalau nak air penawar saya boleh buat kan". Now, I will usually offered some sarcastic remarks since I am not really into this kena tegur mystic thing, but in this case I held my tongue, out of respect to Mak. And since I thought Puan Y was actually sincere enough to offer help to my sister.

Puan Y took out from her handbag a small bundle of folded yellow cloth, unfolded it carefully and grab out something, (which I cannot determined what it was at that moment). She then asked for a jug of water. Holding the jug with a one hand, she dropped whatever thing she took out from the yellow cloth into the water. She raised it to level with her mouth and started saying something, which words I cannot make out. This is the jampi in process, if you are wondering. After a few minutes, the water in the jug magically transformed to become air penawar or air jampi. Passing it to my sister she adviced "Air ni minum, lepas tu, sapu seluruh badan, Insya Allah, baik la tu". All the while, I was busy taking pictures of the whole process, and I was trying to photograph that thing she put inside the water jug. And Puan Y, realizing what I was doing, expertly covered the thing with her hands.

Frustrated, I finally asked her "Tu apa dia tu?". "Ni saya dapat orang beri, kalau tengah sesak, ada kesusahan macam ni boleh guna". Tempted, I was thinking seriously to asked her whether her thing could be used to change my old Nikon D70s to a Canon 7D, but I thought I was pushing it, so I asked her again. "Batu ke?" She smiled at my question "Yang tau, tau lah, yang tak tau, tak tau lah". Right. More riddles. I gave up after I noticed Mak was doing her jeling thing at me (which was her sign of saying "Enough with the questions already"!) and thanked her for the air penawar. As a token of appreciation and sticking to the the usual practice, I gave Puan Y few ringgits as sedekah for her effort.

The thing is, I am always skeptical about things like batu geliga, air penawar and air jampi, since I dont believe that it have powers to cure. But my arguments was always countered with ala... tak pe kita usaha je. Well, if its me, usaha in cases like this is to go to the clinics or hospitals which doesn't involves murmuring something over weird stones. But what do I know, its not polite to decline offers of kindness in our culture, even if its doesn't make any sense to my logical thinking.

By the way, to lower high body temperature because of demam, it would be more preferable to use the proven air cubadak, than air penawar jampi of weird stone pebbles.

Well, at least for me lah.

No comments:

Post a Comment