Childhood Memories


Sunny afternoon breeze,
Padi leaves rustling,
In clear water, gouramis play.

Sepat Haiku
Drawing by Kalthom Omar
I was reminded of a moment when I was young (early 1960s). I often went to our padi field. While walking on the raised path between the plots during the season when the rice plants were about to flower, I could hear the leaves rustling in the soft afternoon breeze. In between the clumps of padi stalks I could see orange and blue gouramis play in the clear water. 

There are many types of gourami fish. The ones found in the padi field are called dwarf gouramis. Bigger gouramis are called ‘Ikan Kaloi” in Malaysia.
While most people will think of them as aquarium fish, in South East Asia we consume them as food.

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