Monday, February 19, 2007

Tentang Bulan (About the Moon)

It is Malay film. While most recent local films focus on typical love story – boy-meets-girl kind – this film is some what different. Yes there is element of love, but it is in a different setting. I would say the main theme is friendship, and the ‘growing pain’ that comes with it.

The story revolves around a bunch of friends. The film starts with a beautiful lady in a taxi on her way to a wedding reception. She took out a picture of four boys. We then were brought back to the past.

We were introduced to the boys: Abu a.k.a. Bulat (‘Fatty’) , Asmawi a.k.a. Mawi, Budi, and Ibrahim a.k.a. Ketot (‘Shorty’). Mawi is the clever one. Budi is the asthmatic one. They were about to pose for another ‘rock’ photo, when a girl came riding a bicycle, Shahila a.k.a Ila. The boys didn’t want to take photo with her because they claimed that with a girl, the photo can’t look mean enough for a ‘rock’ photo.

The five of them were the best of friends. Ila was the first went to rescue Budi and Ketot when they were bullied by two older and bigger kids. The boys were truly concerned when Ila bleed after the fight. They sent her home and were sad to see Ila being spanked by her mother. They went to visit Ila that night after she failed to turn up at their nightly religious class. It was during this visit that the five friends made a pack to remain friends forever. The moon was the witness.

Then a girl, Zurina, was introduced to the circle of friends. The dynamics of the friendship changed. Suddenly the ‘girly’ girl became the centre of attention. The boys were ‘in love’ with Zurina (Bulat even had a ‘wet dream’ thinking of her). The result? The boys spent less and lesser time with Ila. Ila realising what had happened, try to emulate Zurina. Unfortunately she was laughed by the boys.

One day after school, Ila cycled to the boys. The boys cycled all their might to run away from her. When she fell off the bicycle, no one stop to help her. Mawi hesitated for a while, but continue cycling to meet Zurina. Ila was actually trying to tell the boys that she would be leaving for KL. By the time Mawi got the news, it was already too late to say goodbye.

While the story unfolds, the audiences would remember the lady in the taxi. At the beginning, we would think the lady is Ila. As the plot progresses, we would think the lady is Zurina. She was the ‘girly’ girl who has the potential to grow into the beautiful lady. And we saw Mawi gave her the photo while on a ‘date’ at the wooden bridge.

We only know who the lady is when the bride called the attention of the four guys (including the groom). She said ‘Ila’ and pointed to the newly arrived lady. Years ago, Ila stopped by Zurina's house to say goodbye. It was at that time Zurina gave the photo Ila. After all these years they re-united for (slimmer and more good looking) Bulat and Zurina wedding.

It is a beautifully crafted story. It managed to embedded a lot of good values into its storyline. The value of friendship. The value of love. The value of compassion. The value of education. And a lot more. You should watch it to value it (no pun intended).

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Central Market

This is Central Market, or CM for short. Earlier residents of Kuala Lumpur would remember buying their meat, fishes, and vegetable there. It was originally a wet market at the centre of Kuala Lumpur. By the time I reach KL, it was already a Pasar Seni. Except for a few concrete tables in side the building, nothing would give any clue of its previous occupants. It has been converted into shoplots.

Even the concretes tables were turned into stalls. I remembered that these stalls sold 'traditional' Malaysian stuff (Chinese, Malays, Indians, Ingenious people). There were food such as 'keropok', 'kerepek', 'maruku', and 'love letters'. There were traditional cakes and cookies. Other than food, there were also art and craft such as batiks, the chinese fan, and all sort of utensil (traditional weapons included).

Then there were stalls selling traditional music instruments. There were drums, flute, sting instruments and some other instruments that I didn't really know what. Occasionally, the fellow manning the stalls would demonstrate the instruments to curious tourist / shopper. What I like most, was that some times, a bunch of guys (I assume the stall owner friends) would gather at these stalls and played an impromptu concert using those instruments. One concert permanently etched in my mind was when they played a 'kitaro'. Back then CM have some sort of 'soul' and you can feel the 'culture'.

After a few years of absence, I drop by the CM last Friday. The concrete tables were no longer there. The interior was renovated. Yes, the air-cond was better, but the impression that I got was CM has become yet another commercial business center or shopping complex. I have no idea where the traditional stalls went.

But all hope was not lost. At the other side of the entrance, I saw this thing. This is two rows of angklungs hanged on a wooden frame. An angklung is a traditional music instrument made of bamboo. It produced a soothing sound when rattled.

Upon closer look, I realised there was a man behind the angklungs. And he was preparing for a show. I decided to wait and I glad I did. He played for about half an hour. He played three song - Malay, English and a Chinese song. When he was in his second song, a passer-by 'jumped' in and sang a verse. The angklung man kept his cool and continued playing. When the song finished the crowd clapped and cheered the unidentified singer.

If you want to catch the angklung man performing, his first show start at 12pm and the last show is at 6.30pm. Each show lasted for about half an hour and followed by half an hour break. With all the rattling, the man need some break. His off is on Mondays.

Me, I need to come back to CM and explore what CM has to offer.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Thank You

Thank you for visiting and making contribution.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Two wheeler

No, I'm not talking about driving my car on only two wheels. Today, after more than a year of pondering, finally I bought a bike. It's from a local or rather a national bike maker. A 'Modenas'. I've wanted to buy a 'Honda'. After talking with a few people, and of course some news recently of stolen bikes being smuggled into neighbouring countries, I decided to buy 'Modenas'. As far as I know, 'Modenas' are only sold in Malaysia. So I guess it is safe to assume that it wouldn't be smuggled into neighbouring countries.

With new mode of transportation, I'm hoping that I will be able to travel to places previously unreachable by car / bus / public transport. Plus, traveling time and cost would likely be lower. Hopefully, I would be able to cover more places.