Wednesday, December 14, 2011

In 10 minutes

Note: this blog entry was typed non-stop within 10 minutes. Please forgive any typo you spot

Ok, let's see what I can come up with in just 10 minutes. How many words I can produce in this page, given only 10 minutes? I don't know yet. Let's wait till the 10 minutes is up. I can never write a poem in just 10 minutes. A pantun, perhaps? Nah, I'm not in the mood to compose a pantun. You need to have some motivation before you can compose pantun or syair. Eh, who the hell still write syair these days? I haven't seen any syair being published by the newspapers or magazines for god knows how many years already.
So, do you think our syair is dying? Do our children appreciate syair? Do they know how to compose one? Do they know that long long time ago, people in love would recite syair by the window at night while gazing at the full moon, wishing that their loved ones were near?
If syair is dying, then what ever happened to our seloka and gurindam? I don't know how to compose neither. Pantun dua kerat and empat kerat are the only Malay poem I learned in school. Even then, back in the 90s many of my friends were not interested in composing pantuns. It was difficult when you need to think of pembayang and maksud. Well, the first two lines are called pembayang although they don't membayangkan anything, while the last two lines are called maksud. Those 2 lines are the only thing that matters. Usually the pembayang is full of unrelated things like bunga seroja kembang mewangi, pucuk labu tumbuh melata, junjung sirih teguh kayunya. I still don't understand how we can call that as pembayang. Ah, I'm no expert. I only learned about pantun in the 80s and 90s. Perhaps, 100 years ago, it was taught differently. People really know how to write the pembayang and how to relate them to the maksud of the pantun. These days, some of us have never heard of the objects mentioned in old Malay pantuns' pembayang.
Besides pantun, syair, seloka and gurindam I have no idea what are the other legacies that have died their natural deaths. Language and art are so dynamic and we lost a few things along the way. Just like we never use words such as sahaya, sayugia and even sementelah in our conversation or formal letters anymore. Languages are changing and people too. When was the last time a friend call you up just to ask how you're doing? Everytime the phone rings, I knew that caller was going to ask something from me. It's never just simple 'Buat apa tu?' or 'Apa khabar?'
Well, what to do. My 10 minutes is up! And I managed to put down some ramblings today. Hehe.

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