Tuesday, May 10, 2011


As a child visiting my grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins in Klang, the sounds and melodies of the Middle East were foreign (but not English since we learned the colonialist language in school!) to my ears. But at the same time, the words and the rythms of the Jazirah (and beyond) - its desolate deserts, its magnificent jabals, its dry wadis and its cosmopolitan coastal cities were haunting and sad. As sad and tragic as its soul which has been raped by serial, avaricious conquerors over the centuries.
The songs by Fairouz, Umm Kalthoum and Abdul Wahab sounded soulful and passionate, but I never knew the meanings of the lyrics 'til now. I never understood how one of my amis, uncle on my father's side, could listen to this favourite song of his and others from 'An Evening in Beirut' album for hours on my Siddi's verandah. But now I wish I had shared their appreciation of all things Arabic then ...
'Nehna Wel-Amar Jeeran' (We And The Moon Are Neighbors)
we and the moon are neighbors
its house is behind our hills
it comes out from in front of us
and listens to the melodies
we and the moon are neighbors
it knows our times
and leaves on our roof bricks
the most beautiful colors
many times we've stayed all night with it
in the nights of joy
with the moans
many times on its rising
we've explained the love
with songs and tales
we and the moon are neighbors
when it stepped by and visited us
on the bridges of our house
the corals were spread
songs and reminders
love and stay
in us all night
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------نحنا و القمر جيراننحنا و القمر جيرانبيته خلف تلالنابيطلع من قبالنابيسمع الالحاننحنا و القمر جيرانعارف مواعيدناو تارك بقرميدنااجمل الالوانياما سهرنا معهبليل الهنامع النهداتياما على مطلعهشرحنا الهوىو غوى حكاياتنحنا و القمر جيرانلما طلّ و زارناع قناطر دارنارشرش المرجانغناني و ذكرحبّ و سهر


Sustainable Living Institute (SAVE) said...

Wanted to say that Aji Din must have a very strong mind of his own which could leave imprints on his offsprings! Anyone at Selekoh still?

BaitiBadarudin said...

Oh yes, except for my eldest brother, all four of us had/have our 'independent streaks' which we had/have to rein in. Honestly, I don't know of any relative living in Selekoh now. Our last visit to Kg Gajah was about 10 years ago, when our uncle Ami Kassim was still alive. I should take a trip there one of these days.