Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Jamu-Ma'jun Incident - O.. Grandma

During my early years, I always look forward to my grandma's visits especially during long school holidays.

She travels by train, all the way from one end of this country to the other. I adored her and she dotted on me.
Thus we share a couple of "awesome" / "unbelievable" incidents which I treasure till now.

I had written one before this post and I am about to write the other one, now.

In the olden days there were no collagen or facial spas of the sort. Many people fall back to traditional medicinal treatment. And I must say that a few of these treatment, remedies, just cannot compete with our modern-age techno. We still seek/long for those traditional treatment somehow. Massages especially.

Anyhow, back to my story. My grandmother had always emphasised on keeping good health. Cannot blame her, as in those good old days, people really use their energy and work laboriously.

She takes this traditional medicinal concoction (we call it health supplement now) called Jamu / Ma'jun, everyday. 

I, on the other hand would simply call it Traditional Vitamins..

In those days Ma'jun was sold in two forms - liquid and paste rolled up into a ball. 

I love the liquid one, as it is sweet, as sweet as honey and yummy. I take 1 teaspoon every other day, since I was 3 , spoon fed by my grandma.  

I don't like the type which is  paste-like and rolled up into small ball. Apart from they look like bullets, (see photo on the right) the taste is too strong and spicy. 

One fine morning, I was walking along the corridors of our house and found a handful of small blackish, brownish rounded small balls on the cement.

Hey... I said to myself, these looks familiar.. so I went nearer to get a closer look.

I squat down, took one into my hands and looked up, there's a window above me. (exactly like the ones in the above photo but without the flowers underneath)

My, my, I said, Grandma must have accidentally thrown these out or.... may be these fell off the bottle, from the window.  Chk chk chk.. How careless of I shook my head. Just like how she shook hers when I was naughty..  ;-)

So I went back into the house, took the bottle of Ma'jun and went back to the spot. I carefully took the ones on the cement and put them back into the bottle. Grandma's gonna be proud of me. And I ran into the house to put the bottle back on her bedside table.

Somehow, something distracted me and I forgot to inform my grandma about this.

That night just before I dozed off.. I heard a commotion in the visitor hall.. My dad was furious. He called me, very loud, right from where he was and he has never done that before. Terrified, I walked towards him with sleepy eyes..

He asked me, whether I played with Grandma's bottle of vitamins. And I told him in not so many words, of that morning's deed. 

As I was only 3+ years old, I couldn't construct full sentence. So in frustration and in tears, I took my dad's hand and led him to the spot where I found the small brown balls.

At first my Dad refused to barge. But I pulled him with all my might, sobbing and tugging and pulling.  

When we reached the spot, I pointed at the brown balls which were still there on the cement and uttered the word "UBAT",  which means medicine.

Well, guess what happened next......?? 

In the tensed critical moment, I was waiting for a whiplash or mom's soprano voice of endless lecture


I heard a roar of laughter instead.  

Laughter from my dad, grandma, mom and our maid.

Those brown balls which I put back into my grandma's Ma'jun bottle were actually GOAT'S POOP.. (photo above)

O...My.. Goodness.. what have I done...

my 1st good intention gone horribly wrong.

My grandma reminded me of this incident when I was about 5 yrs old. That she almost swallowed those balls if it was not for the stench.. and we both had a good laugh.

And I told her my side of the story and that I was really really really sorry that I did so. That my intentions were nothing other than noble.

I think I got an ice-cream the next day and a treat watching Wayang Kulit ( local shadow puppeteer show, equivalent to open air cinema in those days) sitting on my dad's shoulder, in the early night, on a nearby football field.


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