I don't know his real name, but I called him Abah. The old man who first greeted me when I came to his house. It was actually his son's house, and he now lives there. I arrived at his house after dhuhur time, just before Asr. He accompanies me, and we have a long conversation about something hard to draw conclusions about. Yes, we talk about anything without agreeing on a theme just to pass the time on the terrace of the house on stilts
"Uhuk, uhuk," he coughed, clutching his chest. He said that he had not been to the garden for a week because his body was not feeling well. When the conversation paused for a moment, he entered the house and returned with a kettle of water in hand. After placing the kettle next to the wall, he repeated the same thing again. He went back into the house, and this time brought a thermos of hot water with coffee, tea, plus sugar. That's how the people of Cicakal Girang village and its surroundings serve coffee to new guests. That's a short story of my first day at his house.
The second day at Si Abah's residence, my wife and I were mostly accompanied by his daughter. Her name is Teteh. This time we talked more seriously about the condition of the Rakeyan Foundation. In the past, Teteh's late husband was the motor of a foundation that focused on the environment and society in Baduy. Teteh said that after the death of her husband, who was closely known as Wak Budi, the foundation was not doing anything at all. For now, only the house that used to be the foundation's office and the nameplate is attached to the left wall of the front door.
When Teteh was talking to my wife, who was also close to Wak Budi, and even worked together for this foundation, I tried to retreat to the bathroom. Passing through the living room, I also saw a photo of the late doctor sitting with Rano Karno, the main actor in the Si Doel Anak Sekolahan series. Si Abah said, they were close when Si Doel was about to succeed the governor of West Java. For a long time I stared in front of their photo hanging on the living room wall.
Finished in the bathroom, I did not go straight to the terrace. I'm happy to see Abah choosing cubeb, local people call it rinu. I who have never seen Rinu, immediately approached. I watched how Abah and his new son-in-law took the rinu out of the 50 kilogram jute and cleaned the stalks. Slowly but surely they did their job.
These pepper-flavored grains include spices. All these rinu are harvested from Abah's own garden. Only, because Abah was not fit, so the harvest was helped by his son-in-law. Currently, Rinu's selling price is quite high, said Abah, 150 thousand for one kilogram.
To make it a more comfortable position to clean the crops, Abah chose to sit at the door next to the living room. The daughter-in-law and her friend were sitting in the living room. I feel more and more comfortable watching them work diligently to tidy up their crops. After that, Rinu was put back in the big burlap. I just keep watching without helping. Yes, indeed they also do not need help with what they are doing.
I know that Abah is not really fit either, often he can't hold his cough when he moves to sit on the terrace of the house. It was getting late in the evening when we were talking a lot about the life of the Cicakal Girang community and its surroundings. There used to be only four houses in this area, including the one he now lives in. Over time, now there are many people's houses. That said, this is the only village within the Kanekes Village area that is inhabited by non-Baduy people.
Furthermore, the people here do inhabit the area with the permission of Puun, another name for the Baduy King. This has been going on since their ancestors. One of the functions of the Cicakal Girang community for the Baduy community is when there is a partner who must be married. Because the Baduy people adhere to the Sunda Wiwitan which is also known to be close to Islam. But they don't have a penghulu, therefore the elders in this village are the penghulu. On that basis, the people here were given permission to live in Kanekes, the only village inhabited by the Baduy people.
"Uhuk, uhuk," Abah's story was interrupted by a cough. But I can see that he is still eager to share the stories he knows. He also let me make coffee to fill the evening. In front of me was also a cake that he brought from the kitchen. He rolled his cigarette again, as if he didn't give up on the cough that was terrorizing his body. He is really strong at his age. This can be expressed through the gray hair that is already full wrapped around his head.
It didn't feel like the call to prayer had sounded in the mosque in the middle of the village. The time for the maghrib has arrived. Abah and I went inside. Only coffee, tea, snacks and sugar were left outside. Thank you Abah for your time and story.
@pieasant_walking while studying