Wednesday, May 18, 2005
Flash Fiction: Memories of Mother
"Why do you spend so much time making that? Can't you just buy it from Aling Siony?"
Carding always asks me that question each time I go through my weekly ritual. It's not so much petulance, I think, as it is concern. Boiling rice over our woodfire stove, pounding ginger, adding a dash of chocolate and pinipig.... It's a long process, molded by years of tradition.
I say nothing, though, I only smile, and Carding shuffles off to another household chore, as if to show what else I could be doing. I calmly wrap the rice in the banana leaves and put it on the clay pot.
But I know in an hour's time, when the fragrance of the sticky rice wafts through the house, his mood will mellow down. When I remove my work of art from the pot, he will be at the table waiting silently.
Then he will say: "Ah, Neneng, this brings back memories of mother you know. Aling Siony could never really get it right."
And I know it will all have been worthwhile. Suman latik, just like mother used to make.