Friday, 30 January 2009

Mama Mia and Hairspray Moments

It was one of those unplanned gatherings; a phone call here, an sms there and a holler everywhere but about twenty of us turned up. The condition was simple; no husbands allowed. It was an all girls affair with sons under ten only to be allowed in attendance.


The occasion was simple; a friend wanted a haircut, another wanted a trim and many wanted the extra blow dry, but there were several reasons for the reluctance to visit the hairstylist. One, the credit crunch had dictated that we do not spend more than necessary for anything as trivial, two, a student at a local hairdressing school wanted models to practice her skills on and earn a little pocket money. Three, a mass hairdressing session with like-minded friends was not an occasion to be missed. It was to be an evening being pampered, grooming ourselves while enjoying Laksa Kedah and roti canai, quite unheard of in any hairdressing salon in this British capital.


So, there we were in the lounge-cum-hairdressing salon at a friend’s house somewhere in North London. The haircuts produced oohs and aahs with a lot of silly jokes and banters flying about. It was a casual and a relaxing few hours when we let our hair down, so to speak, but as the evening drew to a close, it transcended into a stocktaking session, with reminiscence and nostalgia taking over the banters.


Most of us in that lounge had known each other for more than two decades since we made this city our home. Away from the extended family, these are our sisters and aunts with whom we have shared our joys and sorrows as we met each other and made this journey together in this foreign land.


It wasn’t by design that we remain here this long. Work had dictated that we extended our initial three-year stint here and before we realised it, almost three decades had passed. Looking at my ‘sisters’ in that room, I knew they had their reasons to be here and they have marked their presence here and contributed to the society that we live in. They have their own niche.


While for some it was a matter of a natural progression; after studies and straight on to getting work offers kind of thing, for others it wasn’t as smooth sailing. There was one who took matters in her own hands when all around her collapsed, her marriage included. She came here in the seventies and saved enough money working in nursing homes, to send for her children to join her here. Being away from probing eyes and getting the breathing space she needed, she gathered enough strength to rebuild her own life and start her own roaring business.


Another sister lost her husband when both came to study here. She was a young bride left on her own in a city that could be cold and lonely. But she found solace in this small community of ours. Being left on her own gave her that energy that she didn’t know she had.


Others had their own stories to tell about how they made their journey here; some with blessings of the families back home while some were somewhat alienated because of their choice in marriage partners. We looked back on our respective journeys, sharing the trials and tribulations, joys and celebrations as the hair on our head began to dry and the curls began to take effect. Most of us had indeed come a long way.


Our children have grown up together and are now etching their own niche in this community, straddling across two cultures. We now look on as they embark on their own journey, having held their hands this far.

(PS This is a recycled/rehashed piece. Brain on strike.)



52 comments:

NanaDJ said...

Kak teh,
Its always nice to have 'girlie sessions' every now and then. Female bonding is such fun. My class of '63 made it a point to have such session at least once a month. Like you and your 'sisters' we too shared our laughters and tears, joys and sorrows...
Are the children still in Malaysia?
Salam.

Pi Bani said...

Enjoying Laksa Kedah and roti canai in a hairdressing salon?

I'd say it's unheard of in any hairdressing salon in any part of the world lah...

tireless mom said...

Dear Kak Teh

I love the demonstration of camaraderie amongst the sisters in the room. Sometimes this kind of bonding could not even be found between blood brothers/sisters.

I did ask once what made you all stayed on and tak rindu ke nak balik Msia? This entry added on to your reply and some other bloggers' yg di perantauan who shared the same. Touched my heart.

If dapat selalu "hairtrim and hairspray" ocassion macam ni kan best!

Life for Beginners said...

I love this piece... rehashed/recycled or not. I kinda felt that way when I was living in Europe... not for too long, but now I'm back in Malaysia... a part of it stays on with me, always. :)

Bustaman said...

Belt-tightening activities aside,"Mamma Mia" was the best-selling DVD in UK for 2008. It was by far the most played DVD in my house and I am still shaking off the songs from my brain.
Salam,
Pokku

melayudilondon said...

Ahhh I wish I was there, kak! did it end with another karaoke session?

ray said...

Komen Pak Malim kucing ray yg alim.

Saya rasa kagum dengan perjuangan dan pengalaman Kak Teh dan rakan2 dlm mengharungi liku2 kehidupan di rantau orang, kata Pak Malim sambil memegang parang. Mesti kena banyak sabar, kan, kata Pak Malim sambil menggoreng ikan.
Oh, nak perkenalkan, ini girlfren saya, Milah a.k.a Minah Terpa @ Minah Terjah. Kalau Kak Teh balik M'sia, jaga2. Dia suka terpa dan terjah orang, kata Pak Malim yg masih memegang parang.

mamasita said...

How nostalgic and enjoyable.Such occasions make you all so much closer and concerned for each other.
Great 'sisterly' relationships.
Moulded and nurtured out of necessity and huge concern for your sama2 merantau friends.

D said...

It's great to have an all girls' day out kan? So tell me, what did you do to your hair?! :)

MrsNordin said...

I would love to have a session like that with my girlfriends! Enjoy your new hairdo!!

Naz said...

Kak Teh,
Let me guess....you curled your hair? Wah! sungguh vavoom Kak Teh kita!!

Maya said...

I would have added some line-dancing or even joget lambak to end the eveing with zero calorie uptake :)

I am sure you girls must have great fun! And planned some more jamming sessions in the coming months, right?

It must be especially wonderful to have this little yayasisterhood togetherness away from 'home', eh?

KT, am sure some of the stories would beg awards when told by you. Get started lady!

Kak Teh said...

NanaDJ, Yes, we have thisonce in a while. I missed a session that they had an inai painting sesssion. I heard there was tarian gelek as well.

Oh the children are back - they were in KL for only 4 days. Thanks for the offer though . Very kind of you.

Pi Bani, hehe - that salon is one of a kind - very unique. Boleh tambah2 lagi and selepas tu ada Wii Fit session.

Kak Teh said...

TM, it is the friendship and the silaturahim that makes it bearable to stay away this long. I dont think I can survive living in isolation, although I do know that there are people who would rather not
mix around.

Kenny, I am sure you have such moments too and how we treasure them. Sometimes even during travelling, we make friends and that friendship we cherish for a long time.

Kak Teh said...

Salam Pok Ku, during one moment of weakness, I too bought the DVD and watched it again and again, But did i tell you I watched the musical three or four times?

Melayu di London,
next time you are here - this June, we must arrange one such session. Leave the boys/men to their own devices.

Kak Teh said...

Pak Malim pun ada camaraderie dengan kawan-kawan, kata kak teh sambil membasuh cawan. Insyaallah nanti kak teh balik jumpa depa, pesan kat depa jangan dok terpa, kata kak teh yang mudah lupa.

mamasita, that's the 'adopted' family that we have here. We dont need to live in each other's shoes but we are there for each other, alhamdulillah.

Kak Teh said...

D, my hair is a non happening area of my body. Nothing I do can make it look better. So, i just enjoyed the laksa and roti canai!

Mrs N, my hairdo - like i said above is nothing great. As long as it behaves itself under the tudung, I am fine. But i do enjoy these sessions.

Kak Teh said...

Naz, can u imagine me with my hai curled? macam David arumugam alleycats! hahaha!

Maya, joget lambak is usually impromptu, like karaoke. We must do this when I go back, okay?

Kama At-Tarawis said...

Bestnya kak teh ... I am soo not 'happening' lah... terperap depan laptop at home. when are you coming back to visit?

Kak Teh said...

Kama, I am so not 'happening' as well. Been quite busy doing not happening things. Children are back now, alhamdulillah - but i really dont know when I am going, though I know I shd be going soon to see Mak. But will certainly let you know.

Ms B said...

KT,

The (adhoc) gatherings are something that I cherish most. I found solace through this sisterhood and I'm sure the lil one feels the same as well. From the inital 1 1/2 yrs, it has now been almost 5 years for us.

I wonder how long this journey will last.

Madam Tai Tai said...

Hi Kak Teh,

Could you please give me your email address? I would like to include you as one of my blog readers. Currently I've decided to limit its viewership.

I would appreciate your continuous visit and being able to share your words of wisdom.

kay_leeda said...

Wooo Kak Teh, this hair salon definitely beats any star rated hair joints in town. Best kan, having an all gurls outing, more so meaningful in a sisterly togetherness and ambience as yours.

Have not had the chance to get something like this going with my girlfriends. Masing-masing so busy, work & family obviously became the top most priority.

Fauziah Ismail said...

Salam Kak Teh
I wished I could do the same with the other half's sisters-in-law ... dressing up, makan2 and lepak dengar music outing but the other half and his brothers nak ikut juga ... so how?

[danial][ma] said...

hej! kak teh...what a great all girls outing...reading through just give me a great feelings of good and great friends around away from homeland, sharing great life adventure...just like Waiting to Exhale...;-)

Kak Teh said...

Ms B, Ours was supposed to be 3 years, and look how long it has been. butwithout the friendships, it would be one tough ride, I think.

MTT, of course, it is zwan_uk@yahoo.co.uk

Kak Teh said...

Kay, sometimes we do get too busy to do these things. But these are friends that I also meet at the surau weekly. and once in a while we have to stop to smell the roses, no?

Fauziah, give them a few ringgits and some sweets and ask them to main jauh-jauh! :)

Kak Teh said...

Danial, am sure you have such friends too - people whose friedship u treasure . take care.

simah said...

it is always a nice feeling to know that u r not alone...

i can imagine betapa gamatnya masa tu...

what a pity there is no possiblity for us to see the styles of the let down hair :0)

akak apa khabar? sihat?

masterwordsmith said...

Hello Kak Teh,

How lovely that you have real nice people with whom you can share wonderful times...Take care!

cheers,
Paula

Zubli Zainordin said...

Papa pia.

At my age, and I am as old as the one and the sea, what is left to spray, even if I have many moments to spare...

Adeh!

Bak mai rasa choc satu...

Kak Teh said...

Simah, I can promise it - it was gamat! Tersangat gamat and we enjoyed it. I am not too bad, Alhamdulillah, Simah. Just a tad busy at the moment, thus not very active blogwise. Thanks for asking.

Kak Teh said...

Paula, we have to create our own amusement indoors when it is cold and so, I think that was a brilliant idea. Some people got their hair cut, trimmed and some of us stuffed our faces with laksa. That was enjoyable too.

Kak Teh said...

Zubli, I like that...Papa Pia and Mamma Mia. Can be quite catchy! and perhaps a title for a new movie or musical.

Zubli Zainordin said...

Musical, Kak Teh,

Musical!

Please come back home and direct this.

I can assist shinning the main spotlight. Whereever you say, and whenever you say. I stop when you shout, cut!

Ya betul, fingernails I belum sempat cut. Any advice, for a special cure place?

Musical!

Yet if Tiara Heroin, I don't mind ler being the Hero.

Of course, upahnya chocolate Lah kan. Kan?

Chocoearly orso fine with me.

Hehehehe...

Tie said...

Wah...tak sangka ada yang ditinggal hubby di luarnegeri gitu...Tapi ia benar2 buat ibu2 tunggal tu tabah, kan... Syabas buat mereka..

Kak teh, kalau ada kelapangan, sudikanlah datang ke blog Tie ambil friendship award, ya...

Argus Lou said...

Hi, Kak Teh. I'm still alive but barely. Managed to host a CNY-eve dinner party but that's about it.
Nice, warm-hearted article, by the way. Love the idea of friends having their hair done together -- plus delicious taste-of-home makan too. :)

Kak Teh said...

Zubli, who says I want to direct? I am of the right age to be the main star! I can find a pair of platform shoes and bel-botts somewhere.

Tie, thanks, kak teh dah jenguk pun ke blog Tie dan terim akasih banyak.

Kak Teh said...

Argus, was wondering what happened. I left FB - think its not my cup of teh tarek - so I bungkus and closed shop and back to blogging.

Zubli Zainordin said...

Mama Mia Papa Mia

Tepi skit Mia Furrows.

Nope, this is not Peyton Place.

Yeehaaa

The Stars found!

Borned from Level 13, Multi-Storey, Intekma.

Well, apart from the a pair of platform shoes and bel-botts I still have, yes, kept from the wonderyears of 1978...do I have to cut my fingernails, and spray my hair I do not have?

Let me see. Suggestions only yes?
Yes!

Maznah Noordin - Director.

Sujiah Salleh script and screen play. Don't play-play. I ask her first.

Aboi (Dr Baharuddin Aziz) Stage and Production Manager.

Hahahaha...

Chonot?

There are more...soon!

Kak Teh said...

Zubli, you are funny! But since we have started this merapuing, let us continue. Whenever I watch Mamma Mia, I have always thought of Fati(mah A Bakar) and Nuraina - cos three of us can really cook a storm. We can be mamma. I can be the short and fat one.

And dont forget Shuhaimi Baba as the Director - let's rope in Azizul Kalahan as Executive Producer - he has the money.
Conot cannot cos he is into politics. Aishah Ali or Kudu must certainly feature in this.
Hey, I have a mamma mia visiting London from Malaysia, my senior - Safiah Kajai - she can be the guest star.

Zubli Zainordin said...

Kak Teh,

One of these days I hope to be known as Bang Kopi.

All set it seems.

Just one more question to broad the way up this Mama Mia Papa Pia - The Level 13 Movie...

What role is Sankaran Ramanathan.

See what I mean..?

Yes!

I case my rest...

Kak Teh said...

Sangkaran!!! well, he can be props manager and tea boy.

Dalam Dakapan Ibu said...

Dear Kak Teh,
Jealous I... you have such a strong bonding with the girls...

It must be an exciting get-together, sambil makan boleh melawa-lawa lagi :)

Bila nak balik Aloq Setaq?

Kak Teh said...

Dalam Dakapan Ibu,

Ahamdulillah, extended and adopted family away from home.

kalau boleh nak balik la ni jugak. The snow is so unusually heavy last night and today. trains and transportation disrupted, sekolah tutup, nothing works. so am going back to sleep.

J.T. said...

Hi Kak Teh

It seems that I am not able to comment on your post - Winter Nostalgia. So, I will do it here.

I agree that in life we find that adversity brings opportunity. It gives us an chance to explore other doors that have been opened (but ignored it for a while) or opening new doors to discover another path in life.

I was surprised to hear that UK had snow. Then I realised it is the first time in 18 years. That is quite a celebration isn't it? The last time UK snowed, I had my own share of misery (relationship). But with the closing of that chapter, a new one began - a life lesson on finding myself. :)

Kak Teh said...

Hi JT, I wonder why you couldnt comment in that entry. Blogspot works in mysterious ways.

Well, we had had snow - but not in the amount that we had recently. We had enough to take pictures for the album and make snowman and throw snowballs. But this time, the condition was quite bad, i was watching the heavy snowfall from inside the house and could only go out when it stopped. so for us londoners it was quite bad.

GUiKP said...

Kak Teh
Am facing the same problem as JT too, plus Wintry Feb. has disappeared! Please check.

Kak Teh said...

JT and GUiKP, I think I know the problem. This happens when you use Internet Explorer - i checked with I E just now and true enough, one missing entry and the layout was a mess! I was puzzled when GUiKP said Wintry Febriary was missing - and in IE, yes, it was missing. I use Firefox and it seems fine. I wonder why.

Thanks anyway.

Kama At-Tarawis said...

Kak Teh, apa dah jadi dengan latest entry punya your comment page? Gambar for this Hairspray entry for dah lesap...

Kak Teh said...

Puteri, are you using Internet Explorer? I think that's the problem..i used IE and I had the same problems. But when I use Firefix, it is okay. Entahlah technology ni. Sesetengah orang boleh pulak.

Kama At-Tarawis said...

yeah, I am using explorer. takpa, i'll check with pak abu ..