My detectives.


Not so much into secret agencies. Leave that curiosity to Trump, his family, his FBI agents and the Russian spies. It’s more like Sherlock Holmes, Hercule Poirot, Miss Marple, Agatha Christies, Sir Conan Doyle, Pink Panther, Tin Tin, Basil of Baker Street, The Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, or Duffy Duck. Then there’s Inspector incision and the murders of Midsummer, which according to my eldest daughter, shows the decline in the populations of the Midsummer Meadows region. With the population less than 50K (my guess isn’t reliable, but that’s what we call a guess) and murders happening every week, no wonder Mr Barnaby is forever busy. But again, nothing like a fake murder.

Of course, there’s more to the world of solving murders. Bring in the magnifying glasses, hat and of course, tea. Let’s do more for the elementary, dear Watson.

Thankfully, murders were never in my family heirloom though my late grand father would beg to differ. You see, he was a simple man. Not too simple. He was a farmer through and through. He was also a very straight guy. As straight as a die. He was indeed so until the Japs came and destroyed his innocence. First I thought colonisation does that to you but he’d disapprove to this one too. Why you asked?

He was born in 1901, not long before or after Soekarno, the first President of Indonesia. Back then, we didn’t use a birth certificate, my mother reminded us. It was more like, after the third of full moon before the great mansoon, round about the fifth rice harvest of the year. You work it out. Grand father was not involved in politics. Not too much, apparently. He was a humble chief of the village (there’s plenty of politics there, in my opinion but that’s for another time). ‘Humble’ isn’t what I’d call it since he owned lots and lots of forests, lands for rice paddies, candle nut, coconut (not the sorts that clear up the orang utans habitats, oh no!) tamarind trees and other exotic crops which I can’t even remember how to pronounce, as well as tenements. We, the grandchildren took pride in this but it didn’t stay long when my mum’s eldest brother decided to claim a big junks of the inheritance after grand father died. But let’s put family politics to another session.

I have to stick to ‘humble’ grand father since mum prefers it that way. He was related to the aristocracy but decided that the whole air of ‘the king and I’ was of little use to him so Title-ness didn’t attract him. He was always happy to be on his little hut enjoying his self-grown tobacco overlooking his rice paddies accompanied by his dogs. Yes, dogs. He had at least 7 of them. Maybe more. Or maybe just 3. This isn’t a small matter since a lot of Indonesians seem to have a problem with dogs, my brother is one of the sort. It’s more cultural than religious because muslims are allowed to have guard dogs but again, let’s not side track. There were always lots of dogs in grand father’s life as far I could remember. Come to think about it, that’s probably why I’ve always loved dogs. I was bitten by dogs twice and the first one required a little incision at the ER local hospital since the dog was suspected to have Rabies. The funny thing was, the dog disappeared right after the owner found out about my predicament. No, that’s not funny! ¬†The rumour had it that the poor dog ended up in someone’s dinner. Now, that should be against any religion.

The second dog that bit me belonged to a well to do family and the dog was vaccinated so I didn’t have to do anything. The truth is, I never even told my parents about this second dog encounter and I just assumed he was vaccinated so I did got lucky. The sad thing is up to this day, dogs vaccination isn’t mandatory in that side of the world.

Back to grand father and why he lost his innocence. The Dutch took a great pleasure in exploiting his land but that was what he was used to. Being under a dutch colony for three and a half centuries, he knew nothing else. Besides, his lands were all up in the mountains and with little gold or other precious natural resources, the dutch rulers weren’t interested at all. He didn’t mind to part with little piece they took for road building for he was looking into the future and his children should go beyond his mountains, thought he progressively. To him, Dutch were not good at all but he understood very little as to why on earth people from the other side of the world who all seemed to be very rich, having different skin colours and spoke in different tongues would rule his lands. That remained mystery to him and he often shook his head and told us that greed was the only culprit. Imagine, he’d say, they sit in their big beautiful dining tables with expensive plates and cutleries in big huge mansions, yet they came here and where do we sit? On the floor, that’s where we sit. What cutleries do we have? None. Well, we have big spoon to stir the pot. We eat with our hands. Do we have houses with marble floor? No way, we have wooden houses on stilts, and the only marbles we have are the ones for the kids to play with. In sort, those Dutches don’t have any right to be here (Hear! Hear! grandad!).

His wonder grew deeper but he was born with the Dutches being rulers so there was little to what he could do. Would being ruled by his own people be better? He wouldn’t know. He didn’t until the Japs came in 1943. Then, he thought, bring in the bloody Netherlanders, anytime. No! Of course he wanted to be ruled by his own people. But then again, he was the chief of the village and, according to mum and her sister, he was more than contempt with it. Now, what has this got to do with his innocence and murder? All in good times, dear Watson. All in good times.

Let’s call it a day and talk more later. Time to put the little one to sleep.


Author: mary zuchrah Idris

Books, gardens, journal writing, libraries, science, history, tech and my kids keep my brain ticking, my toes wriggling and my heart drumming. You'll discover why when you visit my site. I passed through lots of hurdles. I fall, I cringe, maybe cry a bit, then I get up, wipe my knees (my tears included!) then keep on walking . Going forward is the only option, until the Tardis catches up with me.

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