Tuesday, May 12, 2009

.: The strangest day :.

Can you spot the common barn owl?

Earlier this morning, as I was about to leave for work, I found it in front of my house gate, eyes on me. Perplexed to find it there, I called my aunt to confirm its presence. There is a possibility I was hallucinating things since I haven't been sleeping right for the last few weeks. A manifestation, maybe. Just what are the odds for anyone to find an owl outside their house in this part of the city? Or elsewhere in Malaysia for that matter? The only ones I had seen were kept in captivity in the zoos.

Clearly, I wasn't imagining things.

I thought by the time I'm back from work, it'd be long gone. That was until I came home and my sis asked whether the owl is still there.

And I just had to hunt for it. :)

It was a piece of cake. There it was, perched on top of the potted plant in our little garden. As I edged nearer to it, its' eyes followed me closely, mindful of my movements. Armed with my camera, I snapped a few shots. I wasn't able to get a good one as I was afraid I might scare it away. However, it was inexplicably tame. Then again, I didn't want to risk anything.


While we're under this area of discussion, in Malay literature, there is a prevalent Malay proverb that uses the common barn owl as its main subject;

"Bagai pungguk rindukan bulan"

Direct translations :: Akin to a common barn owl missing the moon.
Description :: The feeling of longing one has for something beyond his/her reach.

The context is also applied in other branches of Malay literature i.e. the syair [a type of poem]. For the benefit of the readers, I'll do a quick summary of the interpretation. The overall depiction of the poem is the intense affection of a man; "Pungguk" [common barn owl] towards a woman; "Bulan" [moon]. Although he realizes that circumstances do not permit them to be together, the man persisted in uncovering ways to be with her, while doing so he yearns for her from afar. If anyone wants the flowery English translations of the poem, drop me an e-mail and I'll work it out for you. :)

Syair burung pungguk

Pertama mula Pungguk merindu,
Berbunyilah guruh mendayu-dayu,
Hatinya rawan bercampur pilu,
Seperti dihiris dengan sembilu.

Pungguk bermadah seraya merawan,
"Wahai Bulan terbitlah tuan,
Gundahku tidak berketahuan,
Keluarlah tercelah awan."

Sebuah tilam kita beradu,
Mendengarkan pungguk merindu,
Suaranya halus tersedu-sedu,
Laksana orang berahikan jodoh.

Pungguk merawan setiap bulan,
Sebilan jitun berlompatan,
Bulan mengandung disebelah lautan,
Mendengarnya bersambut-sambutan.

Di atas beraksa berapa lama,
Gilakan cahaya bulan purnama,
Jikalau bulan jatuh kerama,
Di manakah dapak pungguk bersama.

"Pungguk bermadah seraya menawan,
Wahai bulan terbitlah tuan,
Gundahku tidak berketahuan,
Keluarlah bulan tercelah awan."

As I'm typing this entry, it's rather weird that there is a connection between the syair and the things that are happening outside the virtual realm. The owl is still outside my house, with its head tilted to the sky and its eyes literally mesmerized by it. Then there's the clashing of thunder [guruh], and the moon is slowly revealing itself behind the clouds. Creepy...

Will it greet me tomorrow morning?
8.36pm Malaysian Time
Post a Comment