Now is the fasting month and with it come things that only appear once in the Hijri or Muslim year. We see what we call 'Ramadan Bazaars' everywhere, selling delicacies again some of which can only be seen once in the Hijri year.
The 'bubur lambuk', a kind of porridge also appear once a year in the fasting month. Some mosques and maybe suraus in the country are giving free 'bubur lambuk'. The Kampung Baru mosque in Kuala Lumpur is famous for its annual 'bubur lambuk'. 'Lambuk' means hoeing, so 'bubur lambuk' means 'hoed porridge' literally. Why is it called by that name I never know.
The Indian Muslim Mosque in Ulu Temiang, Seremban is giving free 'bubur lambuk' every fasting month. The porridge is put in equally sized plastic bags which can be easily passed on to the recipients. It had been my routine to return home after work through Temiang to avoid the traffic jam around the Seremban Lake Gardens. So I passed by this mosque on my way home every day. I wrote about this mosque here and here.
Malays including me do not resist free food, so it was natural for me to drop by this mosque every fasting month to receive my free pack of 'bubur lambuk'. Sometimes there were nothing left for me, the packs being picked by early birds. Now being retired I have to drive against my then usual route to get my porridge. But now I have the advantage of being one of the early birds and thus so far this year my trips to the mosque have never been in vain. But I feel no shame in taking free porridge from this particular mosque since I perform my Friday prayers there.
What distressed me is witnessing the early birds playing truant from work. The mosque put up a notice saying the porridge can be obtained from 4 p.m. every day. But there were men (because I have never seen women in this case) who were waiting like vultures at the mosque's kitchen as early as 3.30 p.m. And most disappointing to me is that they are mostly government servants who should only be leaving their offices at 5 p.m. This also explains why sometimes I missed my porridge previously.
They come in their government vans and lorries. The vans can go right up to the kitchen's front but lorries have to be parked along the main road. Some of them, still with their uniforms on, helped in preparing the packs, for themselves and their friends still in their offices of course. They think they will get the 'pahala' for doing that, but they forget that they are committing a sin by being absent from work.
As I said most of them are government servants. All their offices are are in Seremban town, about 5 kms away since they are no government offices in Temiang. I have never seen private sector vehicles coming until yesterday. But again there was no surprise here. The vehicle belongs to the company providing water for the state. The company's acronym is the Malay word for 'Science'. Most of their workers were government servants too and maybe they had been doing this for years before.
Some things never change.