Bik Een binti Sacin with Ikesha
Bik came into our lives in 2006. We were moving to our new home, far away from the madding crowd. Far away from Tok Wan and family. All that was familiar.
Familiar babysitter. Familiar routes. Familiar routines.
So my friend Ain introduced someone heaven-sent. When we first saw her photo, I was delighted because we needed someone a little bit older to keep an eye on four girls ranging from four to thirteen. Toddler to teen. Terrifying. Tender.
And little did we know, a baby too - barely nine months later.
From the first moment we met her at the airport, Ilena immediately felt at ease with Bik. She cuddled close to Bik all the way home from the airport. Soon we forgot life as it had been before Bik came into our lives. She went with us almost everywhere. To the movies. The first movie we took Bik to was Nanny Mc Phee. We went to Kelantan. To Pangkor.
Picnics at the playground.
Bik never allowed the girls to go on the school bus unattended. For five years, at lunchtime, she would faithfully wait outside the house for the girls to arrive. In the afternoon, after the girls have had their lunch and done their homework, they would all walk together to Uztazah's house for Quran classes. Bik would again faithfully wait for the girls. Exclaiming how well Ikesha is doing at the end of the day.
The love of Bik's eye was of course Ikesha. Neighbours talked about how Ikesha and Bik chatted away in the morning after Ikesha came home from kindergarten. They would sit at our infamous [now gone after thieves carried the set away right in front of Bik's eyes] wrought iron garden set, having lunch. Ikesha would then insist on gathering flowers. When Bik went back to Indonesia for Hari Raya , almost a yearly affair, she would be calling Ikesha every other day just to hear her voice.
When Iman moved to college, Bik made sure she had her favourite sambal sotong when we visited. Bik cooked all Inas' favourite dishes when she comes home. I always had tea waiting and sambal ikan bilis and biscuits for that late night snack when I was busy writing. In fact, after work, Bik and I would chat about the day as I prepare the homework for the girls the next day.
Gardening was our shared passion.
A couple of years back, Bik got REALLY ill. We feared for her life. That story was told here. Thank God Bik survived. But we knew then, she was getting weaker and weaker by the year. Her feet not as strong. The stairs became more and more daunting.
In addition, Bik's financial status back home has made her one of the richest ladies in her village. She has paddy fields, orchards and three houses. Recently, she built a madrasah for the children. It was time for Bik to take a rest.
Before she went home for good, Bik's request was that I really take care of her chillies. After years trying, finally the chilly trees she planted are producing lovely and healthy green chillies!
She would be so proud.
She would be so proud.
A few nights ago, Ikesha added this to our nightly doa before going to sleep.
'Ya Allah...Selamatkan lah Bik ku...'