Kasigui and a lifetime of stories

My grandmother and my father were great story tellers. Amma has often claimed about reading stories/fairy tales during her lunch break, so she could tell us a new story in the evening when she fed us. I don’t remember a single story. I am not saying that amma was lying..I don’t have any explanation as to why I don’t remember any of the stories purportedly told by Amma, when I can remember every story told to me by others.

I like old people because they have a repertoire of stories and legends, wise from their own experiences while waiting patiently for the end to come with no complaints..
One such old man lived in Kasigui..
I used to meet him most Sunday mornings.He always had a toothless smile..timeless..priceless..each time when he saw me walking in to the restaurant. ..An old kadazan man in his late 70’s or 80’s and an Indian woman in her early 20’s..The regular patrons called me his side kick, for lack of any other explanation for our unusual friendship.
He lived a life worth living..to the fullest..
He like his ancestors worked in the paddy field, grew what he needed . As he became old, he gave the land to his son and sat in the coffee shop..waiting for me..each sunday. He never owned a car or a credit card. He had his land and his land provided what he needed.
Simple life. Extraordinary to the point I envied him. His patience was as high as mount Kinabalu and mine was..what patience?? I never had any.
When he told  me a story, I always tried to hurry him, because I always wanted to know how the story ended and he would laugh..each time I pestered him to tell the story fast. ( I didn’t have all of sunday to sit in the restaurant and listen to the story. I had other chores to do..sunday was my only free day!)
He told me the story of Huminodun
Huminodun was the only daughter of Kinoingan ( god) and his wife Suminundu.
She was beautiful, intelligent and kind.
Life on earth was good and there was enough huvong ( grain) for everyone.
Then one day there was a massive drought. The rivers ran dry, the grounds parched, trees and grass withered and there were no more huvong.
Kinoingan was worried and Huminodun saw the sadness in her father. She offered herself to be sacrificed..
Her father cleared a large section of the land using his magical  power..
Her mother cried and asked Huminodun not to sacrifice herself because she is her only child.
But the lives of people, her father’s people were more important than the grief of her mother.
It was said that when her father sacrificed her, great darkness covered the earth, followed by thunder and rain and from each part of Huminodun’s body a new plant grew.

Huminodun also gave instructions about how to harvest the paddy.
7 stalks of paddy has to be cut first, tied on a bamboo pole and kept in the middle of the field before harvesting. This is followed even to this day..The spirit of Huminodun lives on.. each year in May, Kaamatan festival (harvest festival) is celebrated and Unduk ngadau pageant is part of the festival.

My friend is no more
The restaurant has changed many hands.
The old buildings gave way to new
and I conquered my fear of heights..( only for this time) for my friend..

Moyog river

The bridge..looks solid and constructed well!!


Real solid construction

My strength..my son.. walking right behind.. It costs me two Mathew Riley’s books to get him not to shake the bridge and not to ask me to walk fast !!

My daughters running on the bridge..fear is not their middle name, only their mother’s. See where my youngest is standing!

and yes.. it took a while ..and I survived the walk back..( yes I had to gripe the sides..and took small steps, not once looking down and threatened my son with bodily harm if he as much as attempted to shake the bridge and told him he can say goodbye to the two Mathew Riley’s books I already promised on the way to the other side.)

Friends are the little seeds that are planted in your memory..they live on..forever..
His favourite song.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *