Posted by: Ibrahim | 01/06/2010

The Story of a Country Boy

As what I’ve told you in the previous post, I would like to help my parents with farming. Or should I say cultivating? So, two days ago I went to our rubber plantation, and it was a surprise that all of the trees have grown tall. So much taller than me, even. Realising that, I pictured two things in mind. The good thing was that I won’t get my skin burn. The bad thing was, perhaps I have to work harder?

Last time when they were young, we had to fertilize all trees. Starting with digging all around each tree, and then putting the fertilizer in it. This time around, I thank God that we didn’t have to do it all around, only two holes for each. My parents usually brought 2 huge bags. Dad said I was strong, therefore, he added 1 extra bag. I was like.. that was so right. It was so demotivating thinking how long would it take to finish them all.

But I was a good son. I’ve finished the fertilizer. But I completed at 18+ trees. Not even achieved the target of 200 trees. And I was literally taking shower with my own sweat. And I wasn’t the one who dug the hole, mind you. I only buried the fertilizer and I felt like giving up already. I was impressed, and touched that Mom and Dad still retained an indomitable spirit in their 50’s and 60’s respectively.

Talking about that, last time while I was cleaning the bookshelf, I found a diary. Well not really a diary, it’s more to a planner or an organizer so that you can’t accuse me for reading other people’s diary. It was my brother’s. I stopped to an entry where he talked about one morning where he went to another rubber plantation to tap the trees with Mom. My brother who I knew good at village work lost motivation due to tiresome. However, when he saw her never ending spirit (despite of her age), he’s touched and again, rejuvenated!

Back to my story. On on our way back Dad asked enthusiastically, “You must be feeling fresh and alive, right?” but my responded was rather uninviting, “I feel lethargic.” He then questioned, “How are you going to be a modern, successful farmer, then?” I was astounded. I replied, “It has never been my dreams.” And by that I realised that they seemed dishearten. When I was young, I always told me that. I was raised up in a village, loved the serenity and tranquility environment, but I never favoured the village works.

No, they weren’t  discouraged completely by the revelation, but rather the way I expressed it which was a bit repulsive. And I regret it. So I made up by saying that although I disliked cultivating the plants, but I was glad to help them. Thus, Dad said that perhaps I could tend sheep, instead. And I was like, “I love it.” Compare to plants, I have great interest in livestock. I’ve experiences in tending sheep, chickens, ducks and rabbits. And I find them communicable (Call me crazy, but I did actually talk to them at times).

Sometimes I wonder why my parents never asked people to do it for them. They could simply rest at home. Without asking, Dad told me he’d rather live a peace life as a farmer, working the whole morning and evening at farms. At least he doesn’t have to deal with problematic people. Yet, until now in his late 60’s he still has to teach Physics and at the same time worked as a ketua kampung (village head). Contrastingly, I preferred to teach all day long and do admin works rather than spending time at farm, all by myself. Perhaps because I’m still young, or I simply missed one trait of their DNA?

The title is inspired by 2001’s novel by Dawn Powell.



  1. “I simply missed one trait of their DNA?”
    sama la kita 🙂 my mother is very active with netball ever since she was my age but I don’t have her athletic part 😉

    btw, i enjoy reading your blog post 🙂 perhaps u can blog about your sister. hihihi 🙂

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