On Saturday, I attended the wedding of my colleague whose kampung is at Sungai Mati in the district of Muar, Johor. After the wedding, I traveled on the Bukit Gambir - Panchor road to access the North-South highway at Pagoh.
This particular road passes through the rice-planting region of Gersik where the spectacular scenery of Gunung Ledang fills the background. It was already almost dusk when I took the photograph shown below. With the very low level of light and without a tripod, it was difficult to avoid camera shake. I didn't have time to scout around for better angles either. How I wished to have a good dSLR camera in my possession.
Gunung Ledang, also known by the English name of Mount Ophir, is famous for the legend of a beautiful princess whose hand was sought in marriage by the Sultan of Melaka. The princess set seven practically-impossible conditions for the Sultan to fulfil before his marriage proposal can be accepted. One version of the fable has it that the first six conditions were met but the Sultan failed the final one... to provide a bowl of blood from the Sultan's own son.
When I was younger, listening to this story always filled me with awe. Nowadays, I've come to realise that it was meant to teach something... that men can become so stupid and senseless upon being enchanted by the beauty of a woman. The princess set all those impossible conditions because she didn't want to marry the Sultan in the first place. In other words, she was trying to politely decline... but the Melaka ruler just didn't get it. To paraphrase it in Malay, tak kan tak paham-paham lagi.
As I said, there are many versions of this folklore. A very good research piece done by Sabri Zain can be read here -> The Fairy Princess of Gunung Ledang.