Sunday, 17 April 2005

SEPET - Not a review

SEPET finally arrived with a big tub of jam tarts. Just the right combination. Before I start, just a warning that this is NOT a review but a long, long ramble down memory lane.
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Sepet - by Yasmin Ahmad

When SEPET was about to be released, almost every other blog that I hopped on to has the cover picture of the young lovers, Orkid and Ah Loong. Everytime I looked at the picture, my heart did a double take…Sharifah Amani is the exact replica of her mother Fatimah Abu Bakar – my soulmate, partner in crime, sidekick and more during our growing up years in campus and later as journalists in that big building in Jalan Riong.

The last time I saw Nani, was when she and sister Leya visited me in London. I knew that Leya was the one to follow her mother’s footsteps in acting. And of course she did. Then the last thing I heard, the whole family was already into it. Nani used to have long curly hair and looked more like her father. In fact they all do. But with hair straightened and long, the way she smiles and of course those sharp, barbed repartees she directed at one of her classmates in one of the scenes in SEPET, I knew she has inherited her mum’s famous traits!

Donkey years ago, Ena Samad, Fati and I strode into the newsroom to the desk of arwah Pak Cik Dahari Ali to report for duty . We fancied ourselves his Charlies’ Angels. Many a fun time was had there ooohing and aaahing over the likes of James Ritchie and Fauzi Omar, and much in awe of writers like Adibah Amin. Once in a while, we'd sneek a look into Lat's room to see the genius at work. I left in 1983 and last month, Fati packed up and left too. Ena and another close friend, Aishah Ali (mum to Jo of TooPhat) are still there to keep the UiTM Mass Comm flag flying. Now, it is time someone writes about this fine writer and talented actress.

The lass who couldn’t string two complete sentences in Malay when I first met her yonks ago was the Tun Kudu on stage, Maria in Shuhaimi Baba’s Drama Minggu Ini, the dancer in Jentayu and many more. And now I hear, she is one of the mentors in Akademi Fantasia and running a media consultancy, in between ferrying children to dancing classes, acting classes and so on.

While I have no doubt Fati taught Nani and Leya everything she knew about acting, let me enlighten you on some of the episodes that perhaps her children were not privy to.

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Orkid's mum and her sidekick (Mak Cik Blur)

It was fate that threw all of us not only in one class but in one room throughout the three years in ITM. There was Fati, Ina, Tini, Mia, Reza and me. Ena was our squatter from another block, joining our regular bash of country dancing, teasing the boys across the building with mirror reflections from our windows and typing our essays late into the night.

Fati’s talent was discovered early by Normah Nordin and Shuhaimi Baba during our Speech and Drama class. For a little girl, she has a loud voice. She started 'acting' in our advertising class, especially, pretending to be awake, while sleeping. Fati and Ena were famous for sleeping in class, and almost always got away with it. Her first appearance on stage was as Tun Kudu – a production by Shuhaimi Baba. But it was her off stage and off screen talents that I am about to talk about now.

She was a huge success as Tok Bomoh Siam’s assistant in a sting that we staged from room to room which culminated in a grand finale on the 13th floor of the multi storey building.

I will call this drama – Desperately Seeking Toyol, with Moi starring as Tok Moh Siam, as my Siamese accent was quite convincing. We’d hold our sessions in the middle of the night, with accomplices preparing our victims for the moment the toyol was to appear. I’d do my chants in Thai Malay, supported by Fati who could always be relied on to keep a straight face, although we were bursting at the sides. And of course when the ‘toyol’ appeared, screams could be heard echoing through the rubber estates of Shah Alam.

I will not reveal what happened (its in the Tok Moh Siam's Code of Ethics)– but suffice to say it was hilarious and during the grand finale, we were chased right into the toilets by Pak Cik guard.

We did our own stunts too. Once, when the lift to the multi-storey building was not working, we persuaded the workmen repairing the lift to allow us a ride ON the broken lift right up to the 13th floor. Now, how scary can that be?

A versatile actress and certainly very resourceful, our Fati is. Like all buddies, we had our showers together. For years she endured my rendition of “My Eyes Adore You” and never complained that I never knew the rest of the song. But one day, I decided to pull a fast one on Fati as she was hollering away in her cubicle, probably singing her favourite John Denver song. I took away her towel, night gown and everything. I do not know, till this day, how she made her way back to our room…probably wrapped in the shower curtain. But opening my cupboard that evening., there was this long haired creature staring back at me. Fati had hidden in there waiting for the right moment for revenge.

We were quite good vocally too and usually tested our talent in the canteen, singing along the blaring music from the loud speaker. But this was where, as a friend she let me down. Waiting in a long queue to the food counter, we sang along to the song playing on full blast . Penuh bersemangat and full of feelings you… “Just one look, and I ‘m feeing high, high, highhhhhhhhhhhhhh…..” at which point, one of the adiks behind the counter, who must have been watching us, switched off the radio, leaving me on a highnote, highhhing like a hyena all by myself. Eyes were staring at Mak Cik Blur, (who was then, already Blur) and Fati stood there and just laughed, nearly wetting the floor!

Oh dear!

For those of you too young to know, in those days we had Mamakteria just outside the campus, tucked in between the rubber estates, with a slippery lane winding down to the Klang-Kuala Lumpur Highway. We’d have roti telur and teh tarik at mamakteria when money was low but ate in style at the cafeteria when the budget allowed us. Anyway, after the sessions at Mamakteria, we’d make our way down to the highway to hitch a ride to Kuala Lumpur. The boys would usually hide behind the trees as we tried our charms on the drivers. It usually worked. But once Ena tried it alone, and was foolish enough to take the offer by a motorcyclist, who THEN, as they approached a quiet stretch of Shah Alam, asked her politely, if he could have a kiss!!! Seram!

I’d accompany Fati to her rehearsals and I supposed that was when I too was dragged into Drama Minggu Ini. During my stint at RTM, I used to wait for Shuhaimi for a lift home and she’d ask me to read parts supposedly for another actress who didn’t turn up. And so, that was my half hour of fame…a supporting role in Drama Minggu Ini that many people old enough would remember. I once went to visit an accused in the dock of a courtroom, and he asked, “Eh, bukan you Kakak Mior dalam Drama tu?”

We learnt quite fast to cope with being small time celebrities. On one field trip to a Felda Scheme, we were besieged by autograph hunters…waahhhh, macam Cik Siti sekarang ni lah agaknya!

Anyway, we all survived and ended up in the NST. I supposed Dr Nordin Sopiee, (now a Tan Sri?), was wise enough to see that he’d have trouble if he put us together in Jalan Riong and banished me to the Penang Bureau. And then of course, I came here as husband was tasked with setting up another NST bureau in London.

(Yikes – too long! Will end now, promise!)
Anyway, Fati, you have done well with Leya, Nani and all and with your life too. Just to thank you for the couch and your bed that I crawled into early in the mornings after the all night editings with Shumi on my first documentary. Thank you for sticking your neck out when I always, always sent in my columns a little late and last but not least thank you for those words of encouragement when I was so nervous to go out on my first date with that special someone from the office. You said threateningly: You tak keluark dengan dia, you kena!” You know I did and you know that I am still with him.

Fato – I rove you too!
Tok Moh

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The way we were: Ena Samad, Aishah Ali, Fatimah Abu Bakar and Mak Cik Blur


Mutiara said...

Ada muka familar dara berempat tu...termasuk yg blur tu.

Kak Teh said...

mutiara - tu lah...nuraina samad, aishah ali, fatimah abu bakar and mak cik blur! hehe..sadly kini dah tinggal dua di nst! belum cerita habih lagi!

atenah said...

vah vah vah mac cik blur yet glamour ;)

d'arkampo said...

Ni bukan Sepet lagi dah..

Blur the Movie - a trilogy.

Featuring : Kak Teh as Blurred Orchid and Pok Awang as Jeseng.

One Kedah girl, One Terengganu boy, One unforgettable love story.

Jade said...

i love this movie!! and you know it kak teh!! hehe...

Jiwa Rasa said...

Eh, Makcik tu dari muda dulu pun dah `blur' ke? ;)

Kak Teh said...

tenah, ish mak cik blur pun teringin jugak nak glamour! - wait for the textlah!
po: that's a gook wang! Will try that angle!
LadyJade, i love it too...sigh!
jiwa: memang betul jiwa, keluar keluar tengok dunia pun dah blur! he he! Tak apalah, ada jugak orang nak baca nukilan mak cik blur!

Anonymous said...

Help! How to put pix in my blog ha?????

SC said...

makcik blurr punya bone structure baguih lah! mesti awet muda ni...

Jane Johan said...

Kak Teh: may I add "...and D'arkampo The Script Writer". ;-)

Stupe said...

What makes me think is why is jason's mum keep speaking to him in BM...i tau la she minat lagu/seni melayu..but it is kinda funny... :D

Ewok said...

Kak Teh, thank you for the offer to send Sepet. I think Dade Ghost is sending me one, but kalau after 10days tak sampai jugak I will let you know that I want your copy. ok tak?

AuntyN said...

Kak Teh, ni nak tumpang glamer ni. Ka Fatimah Abu Bakar was my senior in the boarding school. She does not remember me I think, but we as juniors remember her. Wah makcik blur dulu pun dah glamer no?

Kak Teh said...

anon: i see that u manage to do it now!
sc: bone structure? awet ,muda..laaa, airbrush tu!
honeytar: betul kampo boleh jadi scriptwriter..and director? honeytar lah!
stupe: yes, i wondered abt that tpp but he dd explain her background , kan? dont want to reveal too much, in case ada orang yang belum tengok, kan?
ewok: sure - just give me the signal..and if you are anywhere near I am - we can meet up.
auntyN: kak teh pun tumpang jugak! hehe,...wait for the storylah!

Uja said...


pai-pai lai dah suspen!
I caught Sepet when it was shown in SG! Very good.

Check out Yasmin Ahmad's blog - the link is on my blog, I think she making another movie called Gubra.How cool is tt!

anasalwa said...

kakteh, itu makcik blur mesti pakai kebaya liku kan? ayu sekali.

shidah said...

jangan buat cerita yang blurr.. blurr ye makcik blurr :)

narfnarf said...

You've got me checking your blog every few minutes to see if the promised text has arrived. :o) looking forward to your cerita, kak teh, so much so i'm on the edge of my seat. hehe.

Kak Teh said...

uja: yes, I know..I wonder how she comes up with such catchy titles. You think if we do something called Tempang, Tuli or something like, we can be as successful as her?
anasalwa: makcik blur dulu memang kebaya girl...sekarang kebarung pun tak fit lagi dah!
shidah: cerita tak blur - orangaje..hehe!
narfnarf: sit back...and enjoy the kuaci first...I have started and I will finish. BUT like I essay is long overdue.. Thanks for visiting!

d'arkampo said...

wah Kak Teh...

Blur the movie.


Khap Phun Khappp...


Blah! said...

Hallo makcik salah..kak teh. Yours truly was just bloghopping when I came across your blog. I enjoy reading your entries! Peace!

Kak Teh said...

Po, boleh buat movie dak?
Yan, thanks for visiting. hehe - mak cik blur memang tera merapu!

CK said...

Nice one, Kak Teh! :)

*haven't seen Sepet, hari tu nak beli VCD kat JB, depa kata dah sold out, kat SG pun sold out, argghhhh!!!*

Atok said...

Wahh...selongkar album lama ke, heheh.

Apa kata kita buat movie Melayu in London, may be title:
- Sesat
- Kabur (taking your blur concept)
- Sengeh
- Lapar
- Lenguh
... amacam? laku tak...

drbubbles said...


fati the dramatist tu sama ka dgn yg kat NST tu?

Kak Teh said...

Ck - must watch cos it is something different
Atok - yaa...kita boleh tambah lagi - tempang, bongkok, pekak tuli
yes..gambark lama memang banyak!
Is: yes - the same one!

narfnarf said...

Whoopee! Wah, your uni life sounds so interesting, full of simple, good times and all. Though of course as life gets harder, things we look back on always seem simpler. It's all relative. (I seem to breathe, sleep and eat that phrase these days)

Anonymous said...

jam tart dah habis, sepet dah tengok, gossip (er.. discussion) kat bayswater dah sudah, essay kenalah siapkan :). tak boleh extend lagi tu !!

thanks for the coffee and a sneak preview of this post.

atenah said...

UWAAAAAAH, it seems that I am the ONLY blogger who has not seen the movie sepet yet, mentang la i ni duduk kat tempat jin bertendang ni......i suppose by the time i watch the movie, everybody else has seen it at least three times during raya reruns.

btw, balik summer last year my nieces dok sibuk eh itu achu le on AF, they said i look like yr friend Fati! i was blur eh apokobondo afundi tu?

Kak Teh said...

narfnarf, yes, it was fun times -but did i mention studying? hehe...and i am paying for my sins now trying to write an essay - trying being the operative word!
anon: i hear you, and i'll get back to it NOW - taking a short break sat!
atenah: really??? send me yr pix lah! You can see her pix here in my blog. ada similarity ke?

anedra said...

Kak teh,
Actually, u and Aunty Fati have not changed have you! (Perangai wise, size got a bit lah!) Its great to have friends like that kan! Count yrself blessed.

U r not the only one who hasn;t seen SEPET, I pun belum tengok lagi and I'm in no jin bertendang place (or perhaps, I'm the jin bertendang??? kena tendang???) Intend do do so this weekend!

MA said...

Kak Teh :

I miss the Mamakteria !

I remember duduk kat situ with my frens, watching the guys walk down the steps - and ranking them - based on ke-hensem-an.

(I guess that is wht they guys are doing too !)

Waahhh...syoknyer masa student. Menyesal tak ambil mass comm dulu.
(but then I have to waste 2 yrs in Form 6 - urg!)

Mutiara said...

Kak Teh
Those days were full of fun huh? Those clean fun. We were innocent, naive and gutsy. Nostalgia

Kak Teh said...

anedra, too late to change lah!
makandeh, yes, favourite pasttimes at mamakteria. many a wonderful relationships bolossomed there.
mutiara, it was indeed nostalgic. I cant remember one bit how I got through the exams!

atenah said...

kt, not in terms of looks actually, though i do wear tudung and glasses like hers. my nieces said its more of the demeanor u, know, kasi nasihat, being wise, ehem ehem

Kak Teh said...

wah...i know what you mean. Like that means we can gang lah! You must meet up with her bila balik!

AuntyN said...

Kak Teh, too much memories lah Kak Teh in this entry. First Kak Fati herself, I remember her, selalu bila dia keluar kat AF tu dok cakap dgn anak2 & hubby that she was my super duper senior at school (tumpang glamer lah ni hehehe). Lepas tu baca pasai multy stories kat UiTM, then the Mamakteria. Nostalgia betul lah ni. Dok ingat masa balik dating dgn bf (la ni hubby) lalu kut tu lah selalu or makan roti sardin kat mamak. Miss those time so much lah ni. Thanks for bringing back the memories Kak Teh

shidah said...

memories... nakai kak teh ni rupa-rupanya (tapi kita ni, paku dulang paku serpih.....)

Jade said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jade said...

gelak guling guling... dushh!! (terlanggaq dinding).
kak teh... i didn't know u have skeletons in your closet!! hehe..
personally, i feel that local movies are going down the drain.. tapi after SEPET, there is still HOPE!! of course.. there were others which are less advertised, known only by oh so few people... tapi semua pun dpt recognition foreignly...

SC said...

dah siap lom homework???

oneEE said...

your story makes me flashback to my own when I was at this junior college. Old memories never dies, don't they? and they'll become sweeter each day. best baca cerita kak teh nih.

Kak Teh said...

auntyN, UiTM nak celebrate 50th anniversary - mai kita buat nostalgic walk down memeory lane in our blog...I have been receiving emails from people contacting past students. U dapat dak?
shidah, nakai - dalam nakai nakai tu dapat jadi ketua block!!
SCCCCCCCC! Spoil lah- orang tengah dok berseronok dok remind pasal essay!!!
LadyJade, hehe - and airing them all out here - my friends will sure cekek me!
Onee- yes, lovely lovely memories and must make sure anak-anak tak ikut jejak mak depa!

shopaholic said...

love your blog !

this is my first time posting here but i've been a lurker !

AuntyN said...

Kak Teh : set Kak Teh nak go down memery lane pasai UiTM tu, tapi nak kena "interview" hubby and kawan2 sikit to have more juicy stories ni.

MobileMom said...

Kak teh,

Ada orang suh I habaq tanya kat you. Are the kak teh or kak Ah?????

Hehe hehe heh jeng jeng jeng...


Kak Teh said...

jeng jeng jeng...tu depending on sapa yang panggil lah! sapa ni???? baik habarkkkk! Budak SAHC ka??