Friday, July 3, 2009

My dear old friend, Che Sepachendera

Thank you Google. Today I just found out that my dear old friend’s name was Che Sepachendera.

She was around 90 years old when I first saw her. I was around 6 at that time. She was old, but never frail. We bonded up pretty fast, and she became my bestfriend ever since... until I said goodbye to her when we moved out when I was 15.

You see, my family used to live in a teacher’s quarters on a school compound. Most who lived in the quarters (7 families altogether) were either working in Pejabat Pelajaran or teachers elsewhere. Like my AYAH, who taught in SAHC/KSAH from 1/6/1968 - 31/12/1980. The house that we lived in was a small one-story semi-d. There was a small river behind my house. It was located in the compound of Sekolah Rendah Tunku Abdul Halim, Kampung Baru, Alor Setar - an all-boys primary school. The whole area was fenced up in a 7-8 feet of brick wall.

And Che Sepachendera was my neighbor. The oldest one there, but no doubt the strongest one of the lot. She’d never fail me. She’d be there for me, rain or shine. I'd spend my time with her almost everyday. I adored her so much but I never bothered to know her name then. So ignorant of me.

Sigh.

My sister, brothers, girlfriends, boyfriends and I used to play with her all the time. We’d walk around her, hugging her all the way until we made one complete round. We’d sing songs, play hide-and-seek and tell ghost stories when we were with her. Somehow with her, the ghost stories seemed so real. I guess it was because she was old, and ghost stories went extra-ummph with her around.

I remember one enormous tree in the compound. A Pokok Pukul Lima -which was really humungous. We were told that the tree was hundreds of years old. The roots were so large and protruding that we loved to play on them all the time. On school days, the SRTAH boys would even climb up that tree!

We used to play in our big compound which I think had 5 buildings for classrooms, one canteen, one building for outdoor toilets, a covered space for bicycles/cars, two badminton courts, one big field, two small fields, long/high-jump sand-pit, enormous trees and some climbing areas - where we could play rounders, toi (galah panjang), roller skates, hide and seek, police and thieves, buaya-katak, lumba lari, batu tujuh, jengkek, and many other made-up games.. or simply lazing around.

Oh how I missed those days... when your mind was free and you had nothing to worry about. You laughed, played and played and only came home when it was Maghrib or when your mom called out for you.

And in all those times, this old friend of mine would watch out for us. I knew then that she also watched out for the hundreds of SRTAH boys, whom I believe worshipped her too.

That was my Che Sepachendera....
Istana Che Sepachendera
to be exact.




Pictures taken from here, TQ:) This is the short write-up on her :
"The Sepachendera Palace was an old palace situated at Jalan Kampung Baru, Alor Star, also known as 'Istana Kampung Baru'. This palace was built by the late Sultan Abdul Hamid Halim Shah in 1882 for his first wife, Che Sepachendera upon his ascension to the royal throne. The architectural design of the palace has the influence of Thai architecture".

And I found an entry on her by Kotastar. TQ Pak Non :)

I cried when I first saw the pictures. There she was, looking so old and lonely... and beckoning me. Oh, how I missed her!

42 comments:

yus said...

Ja,I lepas kahwin dgn bgteh baru kenai all their ancestors names, including the che sepachendera.sultan abd hamid kan ramai wives, semua nama unik2 tau. che larasih, che manjalara among them. My FIL comes from line che larasih. so if you happen to see the names of some people ending or begins with those names, tahulah now depa dari line isteri mana, kan? I pernah pergi rumah kuning yg dkt dgn surau istana kpg baru tu. Kalau tak silap itu dipanggil istana kuning.Memang eerie walaupun istana tu ada caretaker.Bilik tidur sultan abd hamid pun I dah masuk.Bilik air dia ada bathtub and shower you!walaupun tiles semua design lama, tapi facilities mcm tu depa dah enjoyed way before us..imagine in the 40's...you must have felt kpg baru as very much part of you,kan? 108,kpg baru to be exact..betui dak?

Dalam Dakapan Ibu said...

Yus,
Yus nak tau dak rumah your hubby Teh dulu yg mana? Our house faced the sides of Tunku Mansor's house. Cuba try click link entry Pak Non (ayah QOTH). Yg rumah kayu baru ganti tangga tu lah rumah Teh dulu.

Teh's house used to be sooo tinggi to me. I mean, the staircase was quite high. Mungkin sebab masa tu I kecik kot, tu yg nampak tinggi. My mom used to see people naik tangga dengan lutut when they visited the house... that was how they gave their respect to Pak/Mak Tunku, sebelum sampai ke atas. Memang rumah tu on stilts dulu. Tempat i dok berlari main aci sembunyi dulu-dulu.

Betui - 108 Kg Baru... the address that I'll never forget!

yus said...

Ya ka Ja? I tak pernah lah lagi tgk org melutut sampai begitu sekali sejak kawin.hahaha..entahka depa tu sakit lutut pa, mana tahu, sebelum ada glucosamine in market :) tapi ada jugak sedara mara yg very2 senior kena jugakla jaga adabtertib ikut cara depa. layan ajelah..nak kata apa lagi...

Dalam Dakapan Ibu said...

Hahahaha... sakit lutut takat nak naik dgn lutut pulak, lagi sakit ada. Kot kena cempung naik teruih..hahahaha...

Anyway, dah tengok dah rumah che abang?

yus said...

yes..yes..nanti nak hantaq kat dia. tentu dia gumbira...thanks Ja and Pak Non :)
Ja, abgteh pernah cerita, dulu masa kat kpg baru mak dia suruh pi beli nyiok nak guna buat gulai la kut.on the way to kedai (kat market koboi nun..), dia nampak kak anim tgh main bolasepak (!) dgn geng kpg baru kat padang tepi jalan tu. dia terus join main,sampai lupa nak beli nyiok. balik rumah pun sebab dah tengahari,lapag nak makan nasi. sampai balik kena sembog dgn mak tunku, pasai gulai duk jadi rempah lagi..hahahha.I think I knew quite a lot of kpg baru's stories.seronok kan childhood memories..?

Dalam Dakapan Ibu said...

Tu dia aih... jadi gulai bola la jawabnya!

Ja dulu2 kalau pi kedai, pi 'kedai belakang'. This is the building sebelah station bas baru tu.. apa nama dia tak ingat pulak.

Yg bestnya kat kg baru ni, compound nak main besaq, jadi memang best gila sebab boleh buat macam2. Lagi pun, besides budak2 teacher's quarters, budak2 kampung baru yg in between SRTAH dgn St Nicholas Convent tu mai join main sekali. Kawan2 punya la ramai time tu. Budak2 sekolah SRTAH pun lagi la ramai.. tapi awat ntah, time tu tak dak la pulak perasan ke apa... padahai semua jantan2 tu!

Lagi satu - my brother Benjie mesti 'jege' bijik mata kalau sapa-sapa nak buat gatai..hehehe...

yus said...

Ja, I ingat dulu I pernah rasa jealous kat you sbb rumah you di tengah2 sekolah budak lelaki. hahah..jealous hapa ke benda tak tau la...mcm la all the boys were yours...
ha,betui2...kalau ada abang memang dia jaga adik pompuan mcm pintu masuk kem askar...top security!
Pak Pin tu pun geng kpg baru,kan? ada menantu dia sorang kerja kat UUM ni.wife hisyam.
dulu kawasan stesen bas tu meriah, kan? now dah takdak apa dah. the whole building yg ada sekolah menjahit Tenaga Murni dan kwsn pasar malam tu semua dah kena demolished, flatenned.

The Wage Earner said...

Ja,
Kompom kita tengah semonel. So, this Che Sepachandra is near my primary school lah kan? Betoi dak? Are you talking about the same pokok pukui lima that I remember... nampak masa duk tunggu mak nya van. Very the gerun.

Queen Of The House said...

Tu dia, depa dah buka cerita lama pulak dah!

Seronok dok reminisce tempat main dulu2 ... balik nanti pi lah visit. Mesti nampak kecik, rendah, etc. All scaled down, somehow.

Dalam Dakapan Ibu said...

Yus,
Pak Pin memang duk between SRTAH & Convent. Memang baik dgn his family.

Laaa... area station bas baru situ dah tak dak? I didn't know that.

Benjie I tu memang kepung kami habis... dari budak SRTAH, budak kampung, member2 dia, budak Sekolah Sains Kedah etc.. Tapi tangan dia dua saja, mana boleh control...boleh keluaq kot celah jari2 dia...hahaha! Adik2 dia pun pandai jugak ;) Betui dak Kak Anim?

Dalam Dakapan Ibu said...

Aziah, betui la tu. Convent kan sebelah pagaq tu saja, next tu rumah kampung dua-tiga bijik.

Pokok Pukul Lima yg hang maksudkan tu mesti yg kat luar pagar SRTAH punya... dekat roundabout kecik tu where bas-bas sekolah & budak2 dok tunggu/melompat. Yang kat dalam compound tu lagi menggerunkan.....

Memang kompom semonel.... takpa, bagi rasa muda sket..hehehe...

Dalam Dakapan Ibu said...

I bet you're right QOTH. Those things yg nampak gigantic masa kita kecik would appear smaller now.

Bila ntah I nak balik A/S.. boleh pi tengok Che Sepachendera and that pokok pukui lima tu balik. Mesti I gheyiau punya.

wanshana said...

Ja,

I can just imagine all those wonderful memories you had of your childhood with Che Sepachendera during her glorious years. Looking at the pics you have here, even though it looks delapidated and rundown, it is still captivating in her own way.

My most vivid memory of my childhood happened to be the times I spent in Taiping - also at a government quarters area. I had made a couple of down-memory-lane visits to that kampung area, and somehow all the houses, all the trees and the field were much, much smaller than I remembered them to be :)

I felt a lump in my throat looking at all those familiar houses and stuff around the area as I remembered how carefree life then was.

yus said...

Ja, I am sure that you and kak anim terror habis to escape from alcatraz..tabik!! tabik!!! hehehhe...lepas ni tiba generasi anak2 you pulak, semua teknik2 melepaskan diri tu semua dah dalam poket la nu? sure takleh bolos dah...ahaks..
BTW, abgteh kata rumah tu beralamat 107, Kpg Baru. sebelah sana sikit 108, kpg baru, rumah kawan mama. I kata kawan sapa?kawan sapa?tolong ulang balik...hhehehe.I suka sakat dia.saja bagi bebulu.

zue said...

Ja,
err, everybdy is refering to che... but I want to say that I love this Song..love bites by Def Leppard. You tahu I suka Def leppard tersngatlah sangat. I fist suka lagu dia Pour some sugar on me, lepas tu mulalah minat all the songs.....

Ibunim said...

Ja/Yus..memeang nostalgia tgk istana lama tu..So much memories there..True..we hardly play girl stuff..mostly we palyed rounders, police and thieves..and all the boys' games..even football..Everytime I passed through the place..I could feel the tug at my heart..I love the place...

yus said...

dear kpg baru gals,nak dijadikan cerita, i bawak balik printout gambar rumah 107 tu dan tunjuk kat anak2.last 2 nite abah depa balik and know what? I buka blog you Ja and tunjuk gambar istana tu kat anak2.depa punya excited nak ajak pi tgk istana tu in real form.nina dgn nini tu suka sungguh haunted2 stories ni, tapi punyalah penakut.so dipendekkan cerita, yesterday when we were in AS, we all pi lah visit the kpg baru areaa tu.tempat tu dah jadi part of KUIN (Kolej Univ Insaniah) dan pagarnya dikawal pak guard. So, dpt tengok dari jauh sajalah istana tu.puaslah hati anak2 nak tengok 'haunted palace'.Ja, i owe you for the down memory lane visit. Tak lupa jugak abgteh tunjuk tempat2 ahem...strategik dia dulu. Ja, I remember the spot where you always tunggu bas Pak Aen dgn kak anim.when I passed by, mesti I jerit2 nama you punya.

Helena said...

wah.... panjangnya naa.. tapi unique. i like..... hehe

ZLAA said...

Salam Ja,Yus,

Hehe,kena bagi salam jugak kat Yus. I ingat juga Che 'apanama' ni.. Selalu akan pass by kalau berjalan dari Convent ke stesen bas baru kalau kena pi sekolah hari sabtu. It's not the same as Istana Kuning right? I dah ingat2 lupa sebab jarang pi area situ dah. Yang selalu pi area SAS (Derga) sebab rumah mak2 saudara kat situ.

Dalam Dakapan Ibu said...

Dear Shana,
Everything must have looked so small when you went back to Taiping. I went to see Che Sepachendera the first in mid 90s... tapi masa tu nak cepat.. so I couldn't linger.

I'll definite ajak my hubby to go bila2 I balik A/S nanti... Nak tengok the old Che Sepa. Mesti sedih gila punya..huhuhu...

Dalam Dakapan Ibu said...

Yus dear,
"108 rumah kawan mama?"... hahahaha.... Sakat Yus, sakat Nizam lagi sebab kecik2 dulu dia suka keghiau...

Pasal escape from alcatraz tu - something 'weird' happened. One SRTAH boy just added me on FB. He still remembers me waiting for my van Pak Aen! He was in Std 6 in 1977 whereas I was in Std 5. Imagine after all these years, lepas I letak entry ni suddenly je dia timbul! Such coincidence!

Dalam Dakapan Ibu said...

Dear Zue,
I too memang super-like Love Bites sesangat... Before that I dok gila Twisted Sister punya lagu.

Eh, don't tell me you penah tengok concert Def Leppard jugak ni? Jealous I!

Dalam Dakapan Ibu said...

Dear Ibunim,
Memang that place was special. Tempat kita membesar... imagine sebelum masuk primary sampai Ja Form 3! Dari kecik dok melompat-lompat sampailah besaq panjang...

I still remember kawan2 Benjie dok lalu depan rumah time tu.. seluar ketat & dok jalan mcm John Travolta... wah..grand betui time tu.. LOL!

Dalam Dakapan Ibu said...

Yus! You went! Alahai bestnya... Nina & Nini mesti suka punya kan? Imagine dpt tengok tempat Abah depa grew up.

I have the picture of us all kat Che Sepachendera. Anak2 Pak Tunku, anak Pak Ahmad (Anuar, Aidi etc) and anak2 Cikgu Halim la. Tapi gelap.. alaa.. camera dolu-dolu. Batang hidung pun tak berapa clear. Nak scan rasanya tak keluar apa...

Dalam Dakapan Ibu said...

Helena dear,
Memang panjang nama dia kan? Imagine I just found out the name... selama ni tak pernah nak amik tau pun :(

Dalam Dakapan Ibu said...

Dear Zlaa,
No, it's not the same as Istana Kuning. Istana Kuning tu situated a bit to the left of the entrance to the school compound. Kiranya yg istana ni dok outside the compoundla.

I tak penah masuk pun Istana Kuning tu.. orang kata berhantu. Padahal time tu Che Sepachendera lagi nampak 'eerie', kan?

cekmekzue said...

Salam Ja, you're not gonna believe what I'm about to write...yes! A BIG YES, i WENT TO dEF lEPPARD'S CONCERT TOO!tersilap tekan huruf besar pulak...best giler Ja...nasib baik tak go crazy. masa ni depa tgh hngat dgn album Hysteria ke? ada lagu tak ingat sangatlah.. love bite, pour some sugar on me( my fav masa tu), hysteria , pyromania dan macam2 lagi...hafal semua lirik masa tu...really happening.....serous, nanti i cari tiket concert tu, rasanya ada simpan lagi...

Dalam Dakapan Ibu said...

ZUE!! Mana aci! Def Leppard, MJ.. lagi apa lagi... Semua concerts you penah pi! Jealous tahap skyrocket I ni!

I tak penah pun pi concerts ni. Masa kat California dulu punyala banyak concerts, tapi awat ntah - tak pi satu pun.. Mcm tak pecaya kan? Ada satu Bon Jovi's concert I nak pi, nak beli ticket tapi dah habis. So gigit jari sajalah :{

cekmekzue said...

Rezeki I Ja, duk kat UK, kumpul duit sikit2, gi concert. U nak tahu, ada satu lagi yang I pegi, tak tahu u minat ke tidak. white Snake. I minat giler kat David coverdale, lead singer dia with his husky and sexy voice and sexy look too...masa tu lah..lagu2 dia best, Here I GO Again, In THe still of the night,dan macam2 lagi. I beli video lagi. Masa concert, siap beli t-shirt, muffler dia, minat habih...Bon jovi suka gak, tapi rasanya tak wat concert kat UK kot..suka tak white snake?:-)

yus said...

Ja& Zue,
I pun pi konsert gak, tapi konsert Hetty Koes Endang & SM Salim ...kat UUM kekekeke.... :p

Zue, psst...dah habeh sketch??

yus said...

Ja and Zeelah,
Salam Zeelah...:p
Istana Kuning yg depan satu line dgn SNC tu Zeelah. Memang org kata berhantu, tapi I masuk takdak la apa2 pun, walaupun memang suspen aje sepanjang kat dlm tu. Ada potret sultan abd hamid very2 huge tergantung kat ruang tengah,mata dia nampak mcm duk renung org je. gerun.
Ja, nini my 2nd girl tu, lepas tgk istana che sepa tu, dia kata apa tau? "I didn't see any ghosts around.." chewah...mcm berani je.
Abgteh cerita, dulu uncle dia pernah balik naik beca malam2, dah le ngantuk, tertidur pulak dlm beca. Tukang beca tu kayuh sampai depan istana che sepa tu. imagine, malam2 buta pi turun depan building tu. Kalau I, I lompat naik atas org beca tu, mcm scooby doo. hahahha..

yus said...

correction ja,
bukan uncle bgteh, tapi grandpa dia (tok jantan). dia suruh tukang beca tu bawa dia ke 'rumah yg paling besar' kat kpg baru tu. hah..hat besar sungguh la .. :)

tireless mom said...

Dear DDI

Laaaa...Che Sepandera tu palace ke? I baru nak suggest cari dia dalam FB.

Uncle Lee said...

Hello Ibu, It is not so much our friends' help that helps us, as the confidence of their help.

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.

The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.

Love that old building. I remember seeing it when I was there back in the '70s. They should restore it, make into a hotel or something. Its a beautiful building.

You keep well Ibu, best regards, Lee.

Queen Of The House said...

Tumpang lalu .. nak jawab comment Uncle Lee. Uncle, the building IS being restored, tapi bila nak start, don't know lah. My dad wrote about it ... their company submitted a tender to restore it.

I hope it will be returned to its former glory. I have a picture of my grandmother standing outside the building. No she's not Che Sepachandra .... but Che Sepachandra and I .... adalah kot bau-bau bacang yang putik, kikikik.

yus said...

Ja,
kalau tak silap I, istana ni dijadikan Kpg Baru Girls School i.e the earlier SAS school. Dalam buku yg ditulis Datin Zakiah Hanum (tak ingat tajuk tapi lebih kurang down memory lane of KBGS lah) rasanya ada gambar2 related to this. Nanti I tanya my TIL (tok in-law)and MIL :)

Dalam Dakapan Ibu said...

Laa Zue - I pun suka lagu Whitesnake.. Agaknya kalau kita dulu satu sekolah, rasanya mesti satu kepala habis!

Ada gambaq dak concert Whitesnake?

Yus - Hetty Koes Endang & SM Slaim tu concert jugak apa :)

Dalam Dakapan Ibu said...

Hahahaha.. Yus! Lawak betui la kisah Tok Jantan Teh. Tak salah pakcik beca tu jugak... memang istan atu yg paling besaq kat Kg Baru... hahahahaha...

Berani no naik beca tengah malam. Nasib baik zaman dulu tak dak penyamun. Kalau zaman la.. hmmhh... tinggai sehelai sepinggang kot.. mcm Jamal Abdillah tu sampai kena buang kat tepi jalan.. siaaan...

Dalam Dakapan Ibu said...

TM dear,
Kalau cari thru FB, sampai sudah tak jumpala.. hehehe...

Dalam Dakapan Ibu said...

Dear U.Lee,
So true.. so true what you said about friends.

Those who share the pain we endure and the wounds we so badly wanted to cure, are the ones with the purest hearts.

One would be so lucky to have at least one person who would stick by no matter what happens.

That's why God created spouses... so that you'll have at least a pair of tender arms to lean on to when the blue skies turn to grey.

TQ U.Lee. You're one of a kind :)

Dalam Dakapan Ibu said...

Dear QOTH,
Bau-bau bacang rupanya Cik Puan kita ni dgn Che Sepa no? Kira sepusat-sepusin dgn Tunku Mansor la ni...

I'm sure Che Sepa will be restored to its former glory. Thnax to Pak Non. Tak sabar pulak nak tengok....

BTW, boleh tengok gambaq your grandma depan istana tu tak?

Dalam Dakapan Ibu said...

Yus.. betui, betui. I tried googling and memang dulu kat situ lah the original SAS.

I asked my Mak about this. She said whe was a student there (around 1954)when she was in Special Malay 1 (lebihkurang darjah 4 or 5). Later, the Kg Baru Girls school punya students kena pindah pi Sekolah Asma (SAS)kita tu. Lepas tu tak sure jadi apa kat Kg Baru.. lepas tu lah changed to Sekolah Rendah Tunku Abdul Halim (SRTAH).

I juz found out that my Mak rupanya, lepas sekolah kat situ, dia pindah Parit Buntar and then balik ke St Nicholas Convent masa Form 3. Old girls SNC rupanya Mak aku!