Life For The Past Week Or So…


I have to admit, I’ve been facing a bout of writers’ block lately and that wee bit of laziness thrown into the mix. That should answer why I’ve not been updating this blog for the past fortnight. Anyway, life’s been rather mundane and routine, so nothing much is worth updating except for what happened over the weekend.

This past weekend, even though it was raining almost throughout, I still managed to spend quality time with family. And what better way to spend it whilst watching the beautiful fireworks by the One Fullerton mall??? The annual Fireworks Festival went on on Friday and Saturday (22 & 23 August 2008) and as you all know, being the fireworks suckers that we are, it wasn’t an opportunity we were about to miss so easily. Anyway, this could be our last Fireworks Festival as we’ll be taking a break for about 4-5 years down the road, seeing that Ramadhan is slowly making its way into August. Unless the event happens before Ramadhan next year, I foresee that we won’t be able to enjoy them till Ramadhan ends before National Day. As they say, we’re just enjoying it while it lasts…

Anyway I don’t understand the rationale behind paying $25 just to sit by the floating platform at Marina Bay to enjoy this event, or spending $50 at Esplanade just to qualify from a lucky draw to watch it from its rooftop. The best things in life are meant to be free and this definitely ranks as one of the best in my life. The incessant downpour turned out to be a blessing in disguise. For one, I believe, it turned off many people from coming over to view the fireworks display. Surprisingly too, when I scanned my eyes to look at the crowd, it wasn’t that many as in previous years when even Esplanade Drive was closed and people would pack all the way to the Padang just to view the fifteen minutes’ display. Sure, people stood along the pavements of Esplanade Drive but traffic was still flowing and the road was not closed to the public. Maybe it has lost its essence???

The first night, only AidaSyahindah and me went. It was a great experience for me as I have not taken the MRT along the North-East line for a good 2 years now ever since I had a car. I seemed to forget how fast and efficient it is to get to the city minus traffic jams and ERP gantries. I think I should do this more often so I would save on petrol and rising car park fees, not to mention the ERP as well. Syahindah seemed to attract a lot of attention from train commuters. They can’t help staring and smiling at her, and she was just being her, sitting quietly on her stroller. The fireworks??? Beautiful!!! But we had to wait for 25 minutes or so before they were fired into the sky. Naturally, Syahindah grew afraid during the display due to the loud booming sounds emitted, but she still enjoyed it and clapped when the crowd broke into applause the moment it ended.

We went again on the second night, this time joined by my parents-in-law and maid. Syadiyah was left behind at my parents’ place as it was raining, even when we left home. This time I drove instead of taking the MRT. Thought of parking at the Esplanade but it was already full, likewise at One Fullerton. As it was drizzling when we reached, I dropped the rest at One Fullerton before moving off to park at the NTUC Income building further down the road. There were a lot of parking lots available, even the view to the floating platform was clear, had it not been blocked by the construction works next door. This time round, we came armed with a picnic mat and Pizza Hut delivery menu to while the time away. It was about 8:20pm that we reached the place (the fireworks came on about 9:10pm), so the time spent was best used to have dinner. Syahindah was still quite afraid this time but not as bad as the previous day since she had her grandmother carrying and cooing after the fireworks with her. The good thing was, even though she was afraid, she did not cry or bawl like other kids around us. Maybe it’s in her blood already to appreciate one of the beautiful things in life and she’s had ample training when she was still in her mother’s womb.

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Sunday morning was spent with my maternal family. As I had mentioned a few entries ago, my cousin Ezaad had a supporting role in “Kallang Roar The Movie” currently being shown in local movie theatres. So to lend him our support, we had a family outing just to watch the movie at Downtown East. There were about twelve of us plus two others in the theatre (it was a 10:50am show), so literally we had the cinema to ourselves. I told the rest that when the scene where Ezaad, who acted as Nasir Jalil, scored the equaliser for Singapore, we should stand up and cheer and cheered we did. I jumped up and down my seat and went over to rub his cheeks. The stranger behind us could only watch and grin.

So how did I find the movie??? It was certainly an eye opener for me on what actually happened all those years ago, how our footballers played for the country with pride, without thinking of cash and fame like how certain professional footballers go about living their lives these days. One does not need to serve National Service to feel pride and patriotism, hearing the inspired speeches by Uncle Choo Seng Quee (played by Lim Kay Siu) being delivered were enough to make tears welled up in my eyes. All the more when he gave those speeches knowing he had gangrene. The cast was a riot and even if certain parts were exaggerated, the movie’s substance and essence were kept intact. The intricate homework done by the director Cheng Ding Ann was admirably applaudable. Who would expect him to relive the way the late Dato’ Mokhtar Dahari (played by Rafaat Hamzah) used to celebrate after scoring a goal in this movie or included the Milo tin as a poignant reminder of how Milo was a proud sponsor of the national team in years past before a certain beer brand came along???

Us conquering the theatre… And that’s the star giving us the peace sign…

Anwar Hadi, my junior in polytechnic, did a tremendous job acting as my uncle Dollah. Even if I didn’t know that my uncle was such a joker as portrayed in the movie, the physical resemblance was simply uncanny. In the words of my aunt Faridah, his wife, Anwar really looked like Uncle Dollah back in his heydays. Come to think of it, when Ezaad was much slimmer, me and my friends used to call him “Saiful Apek” and Anwar himself looks like Saiful. Both Ezaad and Anwar can easily pass off as brothers, but of course you can tell the difference.

After the show, we all had lunch at Fresh Bulgoggi, a Halal Korean restaurant situated on the first floor of the new E-Hub Downtown East building. While I did not enjoy the food, the company was great. Aida and I shared the same table as the new star in our family and his wife Julie, who incidentally also had a non-speaking role in the movie as Samad Allapitchay‘s wife and their son Eshaan appearing as Samad‘s son. It was kinda surreal to see the guy I grew up with being a movie star now but his down-to-earth persona made sure that his feet are kept firmly on the ground. Ezaad interviewed me and Aida and asked what were the unbiased and biased scenes in the movie for us. The biased one for us was definitely the pep talk given to him by “Uncle Choo” as it made him one of the leading players in the movie, even though he was not one in the first place. He said that scene was inspired by watching all the World Wrestling Entertainment shows. You should watch the movie to get an idea of the facial expressions he did in that scene. See, who said wrestling was all negative??? As for the unbiased scene for me, it had to be all those powerful speeches being delivered. Felt as though the dead man came to life to inspire us all over again. Over lunch, Ezaad and Julie also shared interesting anecdotes and experiences filming the movie. It was most definitely a learning experience for both me and Aida

Julie ordering food from the touch screen… Cool…

P.S. I would like to take this opportunity once again to thank sis Nona Kirana once again for taking the time to interview Ezaad on RIA 89.7FM last Thursday when she was on duty, in turn helping to promote a local-made product. Me and my family appreciated it very much!!!

Author: Pujangga Malam™

Well-known on RIA 89.7FM as a controversial and sensational critic able to invoke thought-provoking and sometimes, fiery responses from fellow listeners. Have since evolved into a distinguished blogger of reputable claim with takes on the Malay entertainment industry and football-related matters. Brutally honest and believes in only reporting the truth as I see, hear or experience it. Self-styled critic who does not mince his words and is definitely a non-conformist.

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