We discussed my syair and I was very impressed with his input. He did Sejarah Melayu and there were some common grounds there.
In the background, Art Fazil was singing “Anak
Melayu di Kota Inggeris” and whenever he does this, I find it difficult to concentrate on anything else. Thus my plate of rice and mild korma was only half eaten. I must have listened to Art’s wonderful lyrics and composition hundreds of times but it never failed to encapsulate how I feel about being in this Kota Inggeris.
I find myself humming this chorus all the time (that is when I am not singing Alleycats, lah!)
“Pasu bunga berbaris-baris,
disusun oleh si anak manis,
Aku Melayu di Kota Inggeris,
rindukan petai dan sambal tumis!
Anyway, back to my gentleman friend from
Dr T wanted to know how we adapt to life in this Kota Inggeris, the kind of activities we do etc, etc. And who better than Art Fazil, who recently organised the first London Malay Festival, bringing together Malays from Cape Town, Sri Lanka, the Philipines, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Indonesia, Madagascar, Thailand. Dr T should have been around then cos, it was quite an event.
In spite of the fact that they had very little time to organise the festival, Art and co (Ishak and Mimah and daughters and others) did not do too badly. I did my bit by introducing Cik Mat Belanda and his puppets, which were a hit as Cik Mat is our modern day Penglipur Lara who told stories, using his puppets. Cik Mat came all the way from
Anyway, there was a fashion show with models from the Malay world, parading in Malay costumes, silat, dances and many more.
Truly enjoyed that. There was a talk on Malayness and the Malay world by Prof EU Kratz from SOAS. And food, needless to say from Mawar..the festival would not have seen light of day without the final push from Faizal Philip, Mawar's owner! Hat's off to him!
Anyway, I digress...(but this is the beauty of blogging, I can digress whenever I like, its my blog. And i can even have typeos....see what I mean?)
Dr T’s interest made me think. People like us, who have been away for a long time, have now become objects of research. Hey, wasn’t I the one who used to do the research and now I am the subject of research? Art Fazil did mention that by 2012, he’d like to see a Malay museum set up in