Monday, 29 January 2007

When Hang Tuah came to dinner...

Yeen, a new reader of my blog commented that my Taufiq reminded her of Hang Tuah, “ala that Stephen (PGL) guy”. I laughed and told Taufiq about it and then braved the cold to meet another blogger friend, Atok and his daughter, Kakak, at Holiday Villa for what we hoped would be an evening of crab sambal and more importantly, his promise of keropok lekor. ( In the process of a career change – from being an architect of buildings and such likes to an architect of keropok lekor, he made us a vital part in his quality control team.)
Anyway, Lagenda of Holiday Villa was beginning to fill up. Our strong cable to the kitchen meant that we did have dinner of masak lomak ketam.  Kakak who had had an exhausting day in her acting class was feeling quite famished. I was ready to demolish another helpless crab when I noticed a familiar was Hang Tuah himself, well, without his normal regalia. With him was his mother, whom I had met about ten years back and looking twenty years younger!
Well, what do you know! Hang Tuah aka Stephen Rahman-Hughes was there with family and friends to celebrate his 37th birthday. Atok immediately turned paparazzi – how can we miss this wonderful opportunity!
Stephen Rahman and Kakak and her minder.

I didn’t watch Puteri Gunung Ledang the musical but I have heard a lot about it. Stephen Rahman was of course a familiar name well before he morphed into Hang Tuah because he had played Akaash in Bombay Dreams. I watched Bombay Dreams three times but it was always not Stephen Rahman in the lead role. Oh well! I spoke to him on the phone about a possible interview but never got round to meet up with him, until that evening on his 37th birthday!

After the huge success of PGL, Stephen Rahman hung his Taming Sari and is now back in London playing Detective Inspector Vikesh Dasan in the TV series Emmerdale Farm!
But I was more interested in catching up with his lovely mother who came to the UK in the late sixties. It was time for a mother to mother talk. Apart from dying to know how she still looks good, I was also anxious to know how she felt when she saw her son , born and bred in Wales, on stage as the legendary Hang Tuah.
“I cried, I cried!” she said when Stephen appeared in his full Laksamana Hang Tuah costume and spoke his lines in Malay.

“I know, I know,” I empathised, remembering the time I saw my daughter Rehana, as puteri ke lima in her pari-pari costume, dancing the Ulit Mayang.
Stephen Rahman’s Malay was then as good as my daughter’s first few steps of the Lenggang Mak Limah. Born and brought up in these foreign shores, they were more at ease with perhaps Shakespeare plays and as for Rehana, the belly dance! Anyway, they took the plunge and went into the deep end to have a feel of their own culture. And we as parents wept with pride. Needless to say, PGL the musical sold to packed auditoriums both in Malaysia and across the causeway!
“When he told me about the offer to play the lead role, I told him that it was an honour and a real challenge, especially when he didn’t speak Malay at all,” said the proud mum. And Stephen Rahman proved that with his training, his discipline and determination, he could do it. And he did it.
Readers of Atok’s blogs must have known about Kakak’s acting career. She has been on stage plays playing Cinderella, Aladdin and many more. And she has just finished filming “The Golden Compass” with Nicole Kidman in the lead role. I have seen her in the King and I and looking at her now, with her obvious talent, beauty and the same determination and discipline as acquired by Stephen Rahman from acting schools here, I won’t be surprised if in ten years time, Kakak walks the stage at Istana Budaya in the lead role as Puteri Gunung Ledang. My Taufiq, in the meantime, so impressed with everything Hang Tuah during his recent visit to Melaka, had his first silat lesson yesterday. I don’t know whether he’ll make it as Hang Tuah, but by then, I’d be suitably ready and in character as Nenek Kebayan.


Anonymous said...

Alahai Kak Teh....seronoknya jumpa Hang Tuah tu. As someone who was born and bred in UK, his acting as Hang Tuah was extremely good..especially his voice! When he sings, aduhai......masih terdengar-dengar nyanyian nya...

Anonymous said...


ni ada casting for Ibu Mertuaku 2.I am taking lead role as menantu peniup saksafon. depa tgh . call me pls..hehehe


Nazrah Leopolis said...

#1: I'd recognize SM tudung anywhere and you look absolutely FAB in it, darling!
#2: Kakak has definitely come a long, long way.
#3: Howzabout the keropoks? Is it of Losong quality? ATOK...I NAK SIKIT KEPOK BOLEH?
#4: Iteww Heng Tuwah senget yummy yeh?
#5: You have been hooking up with so many long lost friends lately haven't you? Want.More. Stories.About.A.Certain.Valerie.
#6: You will be glad to know that as ahli silat, batman must promise to jaga solat and tak boleh derhaka ibubapa...looks like he's going to be all set!! Alhamdulillah.

mama irma said...

Kak Teh,
Playing the role of Nenek Kebayan??? HA,HA,HA..Kak Teh, it's so funny!!!!...

ManaL said...

Poor welsh-johorean bloke always given indian (asian) role in local drama productions. Or anything exotic.

Tapi he aint that tall sgt kan, kak teh? Afdlin has been promoting him in one of his new movies, Los dan Faun as Dick Johnson (funny name innit? some sort of a euphemism).

Then, msia govt will give him datuk title like michelle yeoh once he reached hollywood level. Can it be more cliche than that? Nevertheless, we salute to the talented ones like this handsome fella stephen.

ManaL said...

Ooo..lupa lak mau cakap...kak teh, u gonna be the most gorgeous nenek kebayan ever to walk on this planet. So go ahead, make our day. Seriously. Or in case of Dr.Bubbles, a kinder version of ibu mertuaku.

NorAiniJ said...

Salam Kak Teh,

Won’t be surprised if one day Istana Budaya is hosting Taufiq Wan as the immortal Hang Tuah..hehe.. Better still, as Hang Jebat maybe?

“…Hang Tuah is slandered by his enemies and the Sultan unthinkingly orders him to be put to death… Hang Jebat, in anguish at the injustice done to his friend, goes in a rampage at the royal palace and the Sultan is forced to flee for his life… Hang Tuah is pardoned by the repentant Sultan and despatched to kill the traitor. Hang Jebat's joy at seeing his dearest friend brought to life turns to despair when his friend lunges at him with a kris, declaring his loyalty to the Sultan and hatred for traitors. In the ensuing clash, Hang Jebat is killed, still declaring his love for a dear friend, while Hang Tuah sadly laments to his dying friend that loyalty to Sultan and duty comes before everything…”

I wonder which character / spirit we would rather be hmmm…


Alamak Kak Teh,
YOu ni always la langkah kanan..heheh..Jumpa stephen pulak tu..memang so the good looking!
I was about to say the same thing about Taufik.Memang si rupawan sesuai jadi pahlawan.hahahah...
So, u malu2 makan the crab la kan?heheh..

Kak Teh said...

norabella, I know that youwent to see the show in singapore, kan? I have heard his singing as well and its fantastic.

dr bubbles, kassim selamat???, kassim selamat? sapa itu kassim selamat? majistret? loyar?

nazrah,you are right with number one, it is SM. and yes, kakak is doing really well. her parents must be very proud of her.
keropok lekor ada sikit tawar and back to the drawing board. that certain valerie is such a lady! and the lastone - Insyaallah.

Kak Teh said...

mama irma, hehehe, dont you think i shd fit the role in ten years time? You can come and be the understudy if you one..but you sure glamorous nenek kebayan one!

manal, yes, i heard that he is in afdlin's production too. so much in demand now, eh?

Kak Teh said...

norainij, methinks Hang jebat suits him well. the setia kepada kawan tu is really in his character. do you know that I've yet to step foot in istana budaya?

pu1pu3, aha, kak teh langkah macam biasa jugak tapi memang rezki nak terjumpa, kan? hehe, nasib baik dah habis makan ketam when he came to join us at our table.

AuntyN said...

Kak Teh ni, tak habis-habis dok jumpa celebriti sana sini no. Tapi seronok baca cerita kak teh bila jumpa depa tu.

baru saja jumpa/baca cerita Taufiq kat bawah tu. Tak pa lah maybe satu hari Taufik boleh jadi Hang Tuah macam Stephen Rahman, but then I would say Taufik would fit the role much better (no offence to Stephen) sebab Taufik punya darah melayu lebih pekat kan.

Kak Teh said...

auntyN, i dont think it matters kan sebab stephen fitted the bill - pekat ka tak pekat. it is the semangatand the talent. kalau pekat macam mana pun tak minat nak buat macam mana.

wonda said...

Kak Teh,
Thank you for introducing these celebrities. Banyak handsome this Stephen Rahman dan cantik Atok's daughter dan juga Rehana. Though my mata blur blur, I boleh nampak one celebrity herself!
Hang Wonda ni macam Hang Jebat, kena tikam oleh Hang Judy. Aduhai! Matilah aku kalau dia baca ni! Here we go again. Kakaka! Kekeeke!

Typhoon Sue said...

(dgn muka tak malu)laarrr..... kak teh jumpa boyfriend saya ye??? hehehehe....

in the beginning, a lot of ppl were unhappy with the fact that Hang Tuah is not played by a Malay actor. I thought that was soooo stupid of them. What does it matter if he is only half malay? what does it matter if he didn't grow up in Msia? Like you said, I agree that it's semangat and talent that matters.

Mama Rock said...

eh eh, ingat kan puteri gunung ledang yang duduk kat far left tu :)

Anonymous said...

Kak Teh, I hope Taufiq can sing and bersilat at the same time. Probably the UK Hang Tuah are more 'bersemangat' than the our local Hang Tuah. My sister bumped into Stephan Rahman when he was in KL, She said 'meleleh air liuq tengok dia. Tak pandang lain dah, pandang Hang Tuah aje, Hang Lekuk kat sebelah terus terlupa.

I love your entry.


Anonymous said...

when I was in high school, we had the same play and i wanted to date the Hang Tuah. But it's good that people who live in foreign shores should get more in touch with their own culture. my son is a chinese banana..everything only in Inggeris wan. Go to Cinapek school. Today the lau-ser told me, "Your son very trouble lah. He dono what we saying" Er...that's your job, low-ser!

cc said...

Hello Kak Teh,
Saw your name appeared numerous times on Judy's blog but didn't have time to visit you here. Now that I have, I am hooked! Really enjoy your writings. Have added you to my bookmark. :)
Mind if i link you?

Kak Elle said...

kakteh jeles lah u jumpa hang tuah tu...his acting is good and die bersilat pun tak kekok lansung.Ni In June hope bolih bump into him:)

Kak Elle said...

ps...lawar minder kakak tu eh:)

Atok said...

tu la KT, the 3rd experimentasi specimen yg dihadiahkan malam tu agak sedikit tawar. experementasi seterusnya akan dijalankan dalam sehari dua lagi. planningnya sampai 5 specimen baru boleh evaluate for the best combination... then baru boleh go commercial :D

nanti KT balik malaya ni, bolehlah praktis jadi nenek kebayan kat gunung jerai tu. jangan lupa, bawa plastik beg harrods sekali, baru kelasssss gitu...

so, how was the silat session? tuang awang dok joing sekali ker?

Ordinary Superhero said...

Nenek Kebayang? Kena sangat lah dengang awang gonang. Wow it rhymes!

Sunfloraa said...

Ok 1st thing first, why didn't you mention to us that we can get ketam masak lemak at holiday villa? Huwaaaaa isshkk isshkk isshkk.

Hmm maybe I should start watching Emerdale now ;)

Kak Teh said...

Hang Wanda and Hang Judy???Hahahaha! This is so funny and I can see both of you bersilat!

typhoon sue, hehe yes, I can see you've got good taste...(dan kak teh dengan muka yang tak malu,) if only i was a few years younger!

mama rock, yang tu puteri gunung ladang!

Kak Teh said...

Yeen, i think mulut you masin laaa! You sebut saja dia menjelma.

marsha, i think because we are away that we try harder. but i still think its not hard enough. I wish my children will do more.

cc, sure you can link me. I will visit you too and thanks for coming.

kak elle, eh minder tu entah sapa...dia tiba2 datang duduk dengan kita saja. tak kenal pun!

Kak Teh said...

atik, kalau kak teh nak kena practise nenek kebayan di gunung jerai dengan ada lift atau cable car. kalau tidak tak larat nak panjat. as for keropok lekor, practise makes perfect.

OSH, nenek kebayang dengan awang gonang? itu cerita lain pulok tu!

sunflora, ala lain kali datang kak teh bawa makan ketam. sambal ketam sumore!

Arena said...

Adoi Kak teh,

kalau saya jumpe stepehen ni in real live gamaknya, ketaq lutut.. hahhaha...

ummisara said...

wahai kak teh,

wajah mu yang manis tuh kenapalah di blur kan??????

ops! gotta to go for a meeting dahhhh...catch up later :)

m.u.l.a.n said...

gorgeous, talented, discipline.. he's the perfect one to play the Hang Tuah role.. oh Kak Teh.. syok nya Kak Teh dapat jumpa Hang Tuah tu..

Kak Teh said...

arena, sapa kata kak teh tak ketark lutut? cuma malu kat kakak saja and more importantly my own hang jebat dok kena control betui laaaa!

edel, kak teh in real life memang blur pun!

mulan, harap-harap nak jumpa lagi laaa...untuk proper interview konon!

Anonymous said...

Hi Kak Zah / Teh, its me tiarararara just wanna tell u i've started my own blog, woohoo! dont know if it'll b as interesting as urs but will try. Drop by ya?

p/s: went n watch d last PLG, yes ppl of WWW Stephen Rahman is HOT!!! n he's 1 hell of a performer!! so kalau KT jumpa dia kim salam rindu, yes? TQ x

Kak Teh said...

hey maha rani, welcome to blogosphere. Kah kah kah kah, your laughter still rings in my ears although you are so far away. Thanks for taking taufiq out while he was there.

Faze said...

Tingginya cheekbones kak teh.. :)

De'Kapai said...

I first met him waktu Dato nazim & Norjuma kahwin.. that hang tuah can sing and his!!!!

A Mature Student said...

Kak Tehhhhh, don't call me MCC but what happened to my comment?
Alice deleted ah? Aiyoh, never mind lah....**walk away, head down, in tears!**

wonda said...

Ampun "Puanku", beribu-ribu ampun,
Sebelum patik mengundur diri, izinkan patik membuat pengaduan yang terakhir. Hang Wonda tidak berkeris sekarang. Hang Kasturi (FH) dan Hang Lekiu (Ilene) asyik berdiri sahaja menengok Hang Wonda ditikam oleh Hang Judy. Kena tikam di sini. Aduh! Kena tikam di sana. Aduh! Hang Wonda kali ini bersalah atau tidak, "Puanku"?

wonda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wonda said...

Sambungan pengaduan patik. Hang Lekir (Vern)juga tidak datang menolong Hang Wonda. Hang Wonda tidak berlarat lagi. Baiklah habis cerita patik. Patik mengundur diri sekarang. Ampun, "Puanku", beribuan terima kasih.

Theta said...

I still vividly remember watching PGL - February 19th 2006 - that was my last BIG formal outing before going into labor!
Steven Rahman Hughes was in his best elements and Tiara held her own on the expansive, beautiful set.
His soprano-like range and convincing 'pyhsique' mesmerized the crowd. To me, he fit the bill as Hang Tuah despite speaking only a smattering of Malay words :-D

Anonymous said...

Adik Teh,

There's nothing that makes parents happier than the love of their children.

I grew up in a big family. There are 8 of us. Our ayah is 83 and our mak is not far behind.

We had our happy and we had sad moments. We are still at it.

I allowed my children -- 5 of them -- the latitude to speak their minds openly and freely. We have our happy and sad moments. Moments of agreement and disagreement.

With your indulgence and the indulgence of your esteemed visitors, I would like to share with you a poem my son wrote to me in 2001 when he was studying in the USA.

"To Dad

Loved you like not other,
Cared for you like no other,
For all eternity.

Never question my love,
Not today,
Not yesterday,
Not ever.

A proud son to a wise man,
That teaches more than he can,
Without expecting much in return,
Kept on teaching with his pen.

Dad I want you to know,
I only want to make you proud,
Yesterday, today, tomorrow,
Since the day that I was born.

I love you,
And this is the end,
Until I see you again."

Adik Teh,

Take it from an older person -- love your children and they'll love you in return.

KopiSoh said...

Kak teh, sayang kak teh, thanks for stepping up to the platform, when you got some time to hop over, dun forget to eat the chocolate, ice cream and cupcake ok, I oso got song dedication for you and your LOVE.

Anonymous said...

kak teh was it OK that I posted it? Sorry, I realize I shud have asked for your permission first. When I posted it my only thought was that it would save you the trouble of posting it.

Yatie Tajudin said...

Kak Teh,
wah.. itu hang tuah byk hensem... bila senyum lagi dok nganga tgk dia.
Nenek kebayan Kak Teh? Hai still too young kot for that particular role, even in ten years time. I imagine nenek kebayan is the kerepot yang amat sgt type of nenek

the witch's broo said...

hello kak teh,
i am a new visitor to your blog.
so interesting.
will be visiting more.


Hi&Lo said...

Kak Teh,

Your chocolates are sinfully delicious.

Abang Malaya's son is equally talented with words. The poem dedicated to Abang Malaya is very touching.

Abang Malaya has truly live life to the fullest to have the knack for rich expression which he inherited from his parents and passed on to his wife and children.

Kak Teh, the compliment is equally for you, too.

You write to express, not to impress. This makes your blog so irresistable and your visitors respond in kind to your warm hospitality.

tokasid said...

Salam to kak teh and all.

Memang masa ada soksek2 Rahman nak jadi Hang Tuah saya rasa dalam paper Melayu ada yg sceptical.Tapi bila baca credentials dia cek rasa dia boleh watak Tuah and I was right. Tapi cek tak la pi tgk PGL pasai Jebatville ni jauh dari Koola Loompoor. Tapi bila tgk PGL boleh bertahan lama di IB maknanya persembahan itu memang baguih. Baik dari segi lakunan, produlsi dan seni muziknya.

Kak teh kalu jadi nenek kebayan akan jadi nek kebayan yg boleh cakap mat saleh dan cakap loghat Kedah.Tapi kak teh kena bejalan bongkok2 dulu macam nak menyapu daun kerin di laman ghumah

Anonymous said...

"You write to express, not to impress" that's what Hi&Lo said. I can't agree more. This is the essence of a good writer, which you indeed are!

Wish I could take up silat lessons too!

Ajzie said...

Wahh seronok dpt jumpa Hang Tuah. Kami tak dapat tgk teater PGL. Tentu hebat.

Kak Teh said...

dear all , so sorry. Was rushed off my feet these last few days.

missie, thanks but I looked at the mirror and tried to locate the cheekbones..tak dak pun, dah tembam!that's what my mak said.

ajie kapai, pasai tak naik pi jadi hang jebat dengan dia?

dr. ve thru - what comment? where?

wahai memanda hang wonda, janganlah bersedih...
nanti kak teh hantar panglima-panglina kak teh ke jepun dengan hadiah-hadiah dari tanah inggeris ini.

Kak Teh said...

theta, aaah, you remember him for all the right reasons. I wish I had gone to see him in Bombay Dreams.

abang malaya, you and kakak are truly blessed. I wish to be able to say it personally to both of you, one day. Yes, we will love them the way our parents shower their love on us.

firehorse, did i say I am touched by all that? Thank you. Nope, I dont mind atall - its an honour.

Kak Teh said...

yatie, thanks for that vote of confidence.

the witches' broo, welcome, welcome and I like what i saw in your blog too. Will go back once this madness is over.

hi & lo, you do say the sweetest thing.

Kak Teh said...

tokasid, hebat juga kalau boleh jadi exported nenek kebayan. sureheboh!

tunku halim, it is an honour to see you endorsing what hi&lo said. thank you.

ajzie, bukan ajzie saja terlepas, kak teh pun tak tengok.

wonda said...

Kak Teh,
Bestnya kalau hadiah untuk "mock-play" ni. Kakaka!

Hi&Lo said...

Kak Teh,

I know you can take compliments gracefully.

Came across your comment in Nuraina's blog. You said you write only mundane things.

You might think you don't touch controversial stuff.

Behind every event and issue, there are lives involved. You never know how far your stories can impact the world. It can tear down prejudices and build bridges.

I pray God will give me the rezeki to do what you are doing.

'A malaysian in riyadh' made you drool for Penang mee goreng? Wished I had the culinary skill to open a warong in the heart of London.

Trying to take a ferry to pulau Tikus made me laugh with tears rolling down my cheek. :)

But then should ask Khor cheang kee the reason Pulau Tikus is called pulau when it is not an island.

Kak Teh said...

wonda aka alice, we can really let our imagination run riot!

hi&lo, penang has a special place in my heart. and mee goreng mamak is just one of the attractions that keep pulling me back.

and yes, thank you for your kind words.

Unknown said...

Hi Kak Teh,

Va va voom! Up close and personal with Stephen Rahman!! Wow! I saw PGL. Stephen has such a magnificent voice. Don't forget so good looking too.

Rehana looked so resplendent in her dancing gear. You have good looking kids as I have told you that Taufik is so handsome.

Ahh..dizzying dizzying..what with this young lady, Kakak, looking so captivating and talented to boot. Did you manage to chew your dinner with all the excitement dear? Ha ha.

Kak Teh said...

ruby thanks...but wait for my next entry!! suspense, suspense!