Wednesday, April 14, 2010


Tok Ki Salleh's house

We recently went to Pesagi, an old village in Chenor, Temerloh, where Tok Ki Salleh's dilapidated wooden house now rest in all quietness. A once grand traditional malay house which had witnessed countless family gatherings and activities, full of love and merriment, now stand sad amidst forlorn eeriness. Pesagi in essence is a river village where its houses line the high banks of Sungai Pahang. To access the river, one needs to negotiate the fairly steep slope down the bank to the sandy beach.

Sg Pahang

The house (side view)

Dear hubby has been lamenting about wanting to visit the village and the house, which he is so fond of, since many months ago, but I have literally been the reason for him to push the plan aside , each time. It is one of his 'bucket list' he said. My main qualm was because he wanted to take the alternative old, narrow 'kampong' road that is almost parallel to Sg Pahang instead of the new route. Once during an early monsoon period, we took that road in an impromptu effort, but had to turn back when part of the road was flooded, thus my fear.

This time, we had mistakenly took an early junction which we later found would not take us to Pesagi after all. Turning midway, we ended up taking the highway and exiting through Chenor and via the bridge across Sg Pahang to reach the other side of the river hence to Pesagi.

Inhaling the fresh cool air around, we partly went on foot and partly drove down memory lane of old Pesagi. Due to numerous ravaging monsoon floods that would submerge the whole village each time, most of the pioneers had left for better pasture across the river. The place is now very much deserted without much development and it is as if time had stood still, making it almost ghostly.

As I stood facing the poor abandoned house, I began rewinding back to the time where hubby was a small lad, having a ball of a time, roaming the village, scaling the small lane to the furthest end, frolicking in the cool water of Sg Pahang during the day and sleeping in the spacious hall of the wooden house, enveloped by the stillness of typical village night-life, amidst the constant sounds of crickets.

This old forgotten abode still retains its yellowish tint of paint which in better days must have been a bright fresh fa├žade, making it one of the grandest building, around. According to hubby, it was the only house that had a TV set and on nights when there was malay movie on show, villagers would throng the house, creating a party-like atmosphere.

Sadly, now it stands alone, color all run down, empty and bare. Its compound, thick with undergrowth. From the careless opened windows, I managed to glimpse the dark empty inside and to think that this house once was filled with cheerful family activities!

We had scoured the village, trying not to leave any details. The cemetery where Tok Ki Salleh, his wife and various other kins, rest. The wide river, with sand banks appearing in shallow areas, was very inviting but alas we were not prepared for a river bathing spree. The school, perched on a hill. The jetty that harbors boats to ferry people across to Paya Pasir.

It felt good that we managed to return to a place that holds fond memories with those who have left us. Hopefully when our time comes, we can leave a better legacy for our children to hold on to.


Ikelah said...

alhamdulilah, we did it!!!!

belimbing...n pesagi by road. thanks for the support! insyaAllah we'll repeat the trip but with better preparation..... mandi sungai!!!!

Anonymous said...

Suruh azman repair rumah tu.

Dr. Hasanah said...

Pesagi, namanya sahaja sudah indah..

Don Lambert said...

One of the happiest years of my life was spent in Kp Pesagi. I remember Tok Ki Salleh very well, and in fact have some pictures somewhere of him harvesting rice from Paya Chedong. During my stay, with my wife Fatiah, a Malay from Sarawak, and daughter Cindy who attend Pesagi School, I studied the village economic system. The book I wrote is named "Swamp Rice Farming."

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