We all loved Ramadhan at Desa Tun because of so many reasons. The wardens and teachers were nicer than usual, minimum Detention Classes (because everybody behaved??), no morning ‘riadhah’, no house games, no PE, accelerated time tables and the list went on and on.
The funny thing is I can’t remember what was served during ‘sahur’. Can you? Maybe it’s because we all had ‘sahur’ half awake. I usually just shoved whatever food was put on my tray into my mouth. We rarely had any conversation going on at the dining hall. The only objective was, ‘eat fast, so that can go back to my beloved pillow A.S.A.P’. Usually I couldn’t recognize most people during ‘sahur’. Yeah, all STFians looked different during the wee hours. Maybe they’re all like me, never really bothered to comb my hair or splash water on my face, hence the half shut eyes.
The sleep after ‘sahur’ was usually really deep that chances of missing the first morning period were high. Thanks to all the school prefects who would make rounds at the hostel blocks to ensure nobody was getting less education. Hehe. However, there were cases of sudden migraine that forced some of us to drag our feet to the sick bay (and continued sleeping – if there were beds available, lah), only to be awakened by the fierce Kak Normah who would usually ask, ‘Ni apa kena ni?’ Her thundering voice was enough to inspire us to hurry back to the dorm, showered, get dressed and rushed to class. Forget psychological approach and diplomacy, Kak Normah’s voice was more effective.
The accelerated time table was to allow us to take longer naps in the afternoon. Bedtime again, baby! At least that’s what I thought back then. Only recently I realized that when we fast, our concentration period shortens but gets more intense. This is based on my own unofficial research done on myself when I was in Uni. Remind me to elaborate on this in another posting.
The afternoon prep hours during Ramadhan were meaningless (to me, lah). Who could concentrate on the books and finish homeworks when your tummy was busy singing ‘Keronchong Untuk Ana’? Those were my least productive hours during the day.
Surprisingly, there would be surge of energy when it came to ‘round compound’ time! This was when you could see all the happy, pale (hungry) faces walking around the school compound in groups, waiting for ‘break-fast’ time; definitely not discussing school work and exam questions. Haha. What we discussed, I couldn’t really remember but we didn’t do any gossiping or bitching back then. Ah, such pure hearted young ladies. Yes, STF is filled with Gadis Melayu Ayu Pemalu. :)
I could remember ‘break-fast’ menu quite well. There’ll be the dessert: either bubur cha-cha, bubur pulut hitam or bubur kacang; then there were dates; sirap selasih or cincau as the thirst quencher; steamed rice served with the usual ‘lauk pauk’. Thanks to our ever creative ‘AJK Makanan’ from each class and of course, Makcik Dining Hall.
Maghrib prayers were performed at the hostel blocks’ praying rooms, usually late, as we’d take really long time at the dining table to ‘lick-clean’ all the bowls. We all loved the Makcik Dining Hall so much; we helped to ease the ‘doing the dishes’ part.
The highlight of a Ramadhan day had to be racing in our white ‘telekung’ to the gym to get the best ‘saf’ during Isya’ and Tarawikh prayers. Yes dears, those were the times when we performed our ‘solat jemaah’ in the gym. That was before the beautiful surau was built. We usually lost about 5-8 kgs during Ramadhan because of the fasting and the nightly ‘sauna’. The gym was hot, okay… and the fact that the Dewan Besar was so ‘besar’, it blocked all the night breeze from entering the school gym. However it didn’t deter the Ramadhan spirit in us to complete the 8-rakaat of tarawikh plus 3 witir. The spirit would soar even higher if our ‘toings’ were in the nearest saf or better still, if they’re next to us. Waaaa weeeee….. ‘tak larat’, okay. Tengah rukuk pun boleh sengih sorang-sorang.
The second race for the night (this happened during weekends only) will be from the gym to the school canteen. Back then, the Pakcik Kantin sold fish cakes, fish balls, kupang…. You know… all the ‘cucuk-cucuk kat lidi’ stuffs dipped in chili sauce. So, we’d sit at the canteen benches, enjoying the food and chit-chatting until Pakcik Kantin ‘tutup kantin’. Can’t really remember what time the lights went out during Ramadhan, but we usually ended the nights with another round of supper at the dining hall. Buruk lantak or what? Hahahaha. Hungry, what to do….
Oh yeah, during my senior years, we stayed up even on Ramadhan nights. I can’t remember what we were doing. We were either finishing our homeworks (that were supposed to be done during those unproductive afternoon prep hours) or studying for test (only if the test was on the next day, lah…) If the warden was in a really good mood, we’d watch movies on Singapore TV. (To current students, please don’t tell your warden we used to watch late night movies, okay. Hehehe.)
So, obviously the reason why the nap after ‘sahur’ was so deep was …. (please fill in the blanks. I’m sure you know the answer by now.)
Ramadhan Al Mubarak to all Srikandis – wherever you are.
SK Dayang '91