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Monday, November 28, 2011

The Ikan Kembung Story


Good day everybody!  Muslims all over the world celebrated our New Year (according to the Islamic calendar) yesterday (Sunday), therefore, today, a Monday, is a public holiday.  Yippie!!!  What's in store?  A recipe?  Nope!  Check out the title...'Ikan Kembung' (in Bahasa Melayu) & in English it's 'Indian Mackerel' and the scientific name for that fish is Rastrelliger Kanagrata (I hope I got the spelling correct).  

I've been very busy juggling my time from home to office, from office to taking care of my mom but I'm grateful that I still have a very strong will to continue blogging for my own leisure (and of course some familiar followers).  This entry is just to share with you a story that my ustaz (religious teacher), Ustaz Dato' Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man,  used to tell me (and the rest in the class) back in college - Universiti Teknologi Mara or formerly known Institut Teknologi Mara (ITM), Jengka, Pahang branch.  

I was very young back then -- very naughty -- all I cared about was to pursue a diploma as a stepping stone to get enrolled in a university to pursue my first Degree.  ITM Jengka was very boring (maybe still is), it's located in a very remote area and the only entertainment available was the 'pasar malam' (the night market).  I went through 2 boring years with only reading (ITM library was wonderful), practicing on my typing and shorthand speed, tennis, and I used to go home fortnightly.  Sometimes we were allowed to go home only once a month, therefore, I had to make do with what ever available there to keep me going and keep my spirit alive...

One thing, though, I'd say, ustaz Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man classes were one of the best things that ever happened during my diploma years.  I will always remember his 'Ikan Kembung' story.  I've passed down the story to my children (my sons) and today, I'd like to share this story with you ...

Ustaz Tuan Ibrahim used to say "Don't be like the fried Ikan Kembung" -- Fishes live in the sea among their respective family.  The matured ones will protect the young ones from danger.  Fishermen are considered dangerous to fish (Alright, save your comment if you think that this story is a little childish!)  So, there was this one particular fish (at his teens) that was very determined, highly adventurous.  Despite of all the guidance given by his mom (mama fish LOL), he decided to swim far astray from his family and explore the world.  Unfotunately, he got caught in one of those fish nets owned by some fisherman.

Along with other marine lives, that young Ikan Kembung was brought to the wet market.  Came one woman, and just like any other woman in the market, bought him for lunch.  She took that stubborn and 'adventurous' Ikan Kembung home...Cut its belly open, ripped off each and every internal organs, washed it, and then slashed its meat to get it ready for the next step - marinate!  

Marinate ingredient - salt and  turmeric.  Salt and turmeric rubbed on to the wound! Lastly, the fish is fried.  While the Ikan Kembung was being fried , the fish thought to himself -- "If only I listened to my mom, I would never have got into this trouble, being caught, cut opened, ripped and slashed, marinated / wound rubbed with salt and lastly fried in this deep hot boiling oil and served"... Imagine that...imagine being the fish...IMAGINE THE PAIN!  

The point is, Ustaz Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man managed to leave an impact in my heart.  After listening to his Ikan Kembung story, I left the class thinking about myself and the rest of the Muslims in the world (at least, my world)... I believe that the 'Ikan Kembung' character was used to symbolize stubborn youngsters -- school dropout or some teenagers who get into trouble, commit sins, and end up in H.E.L.L. = hell!  The place where regrets carry zero value!  Anyway, different people will perceive this story differently...As for me, I'll always remember my ustaz's message / the moral of the story -- "DON'T BE LIKE THE FRIED IKAN KEMBUNG"...Insya Allah

*Years later, Walt Disney came up with the animated movie NEMO :p

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