Ramadan in MRSM Seremban
11 August, 2012 Leave a comment
By Guest Writer
Ramadan was a unique experience during our days at MRSM Seremban. For the students who are experiencing their first Ramadan away from Home, it can be overwhelming.
Sahur was early, unlike at home… at home it was around 5.00 a.m. for most of us, some slightly early and some later. At MRSM Seremban, it was a bit early, around 4.00 am. Weary eyed boys and girls would enter the Dining Hall in their little gangs. Tak ada yang mandi… most would don a quick face splash wash in the wash basin and viola! ready for Sahur. No make up one… no time. The boys would walk in their sarongs and their baju tidur. Striped pyjamas and all. But at 4.00 who would notice? Or so they thought.
The food was ordinary…but somehow doesn’t look that appealing at 4.00 am. Enterprising ones would bring in their private rations of budu or cincaluk, laced with chilli provided by private arrangement with one of the Kakak Dapur, as extra “buka selera”. Life was easy then, cincaluk with chilli and onions shared by all at the table was taken for granted. That’s how Penang boys get hooked on Budu, and Kedah boys get hooked on cincaluk.
Ah, the boys would conveniently forget to bring their spoons with them for the kuah. No problem. A slight tilt of the dining tray, and the kuah will flow into the compartment containing the rice. Necessity is the mother of invention. Some woud use their fingers to coax the kuah into the rice compartment. That’s that’s sight to behold. Simply indescribable.
Buka puasa was determined by the azan on the television. The fact that Seremban is not on the same longitude does not matter. The TV’s azan supersedes all other azans. That was tradition and traditions must be kept alive. Another good part of buka puasa was, on certain days, that small cup of ice cream. You know, with the wooden balsa spoon. The ice cream was made by a Seremban dairy company, and was trying to emulate the Walls. Oh, it was the days before Magnum and Paddle Pops.
Seldom would a person walk in alone into the dining hall. If one was alone, one would wait at the hostel entrance hoping to latch onto the next group. Walking in alone would make one the centre of attention, and most times, a big No! No! Anyway, there safety in numbers. The biggest humiliation would be the sound of a dining room tray hitting the floor, to be followed by a rapturous “Woiiiiiii” by all in the dining hall. For the person who fumbled the tray, the wish would be for the earth to open up and swallow him. Happened to me once…
Another disaster to avoid was to slip and fall to the ground in the dining hall. The floors near the serving areas and the entrance ramp to the kitchen is somehow always wet. Danger lurks with every step. Now, the issue with slippers. There were two types of slippers then, both coloured white with blue soles. Now, one is slightly supple while the other is hard. Beware those yang silap terbeli the hard one. That thing is notoriously slippery on wet surfaces. You’ll see some guys trundle along like first time skaters on the ice..
Tarawih was fun time for most students. But somehow, the numbers just don’t add up. 1 Saf = x number of students. Therefore Y number of saf would equal the total Muslim student population, but somehow it never does. Well the girls would have their excuses, but what of the boys? Then there are the righteous ones.
Some students would sneak at night into the Surau in pursuit of Ikhtikaf. Some would read the Quran softly, for fear that their loud recitation would alert the odd warden or two out on night rounds. The Pak Guards though were very sporting… “Tak boleh ni… besok saya kena marah”, he would reason. But as always, Pak Guard would mellow to our pleadings and give in upon the condition “Jangan bising-bising”.
Yesterday I heard over the radio of an MRSM student who called in Radio IKIM telling the Ustaz that his warden would not allow him to stay up and ikhtikaf at the Masjid. I liked the reply the Ustaz gave, “adik masih bersekolah, ikutlah peraturan sekolah. Nanti bila adik dah dewasa, adik boleh tentukan apa yang adik nak buat”. Logical answer by the Ustaz, one that would placate all hostel wardens. But young teens are born to be rebellious, and rebel we did.
The thing is, teens want their own rules. While MRSM Seremban was not overly cluttered with rules and regulations, we found them restrictive. And as usual find ways to circumvent them. The thrill and rush when you succeeded in beating the rules.
What are your Ramadan memories?