Perfection Has A New Name
Before I even begin, people would think this feature is pretty belated. Agreed, it’s long overdue but I wanted this to co-incide with my late grandfather’s birthday. I am certain wherever he is, he’s happy I wrote it. Believe me, he would have said it’s about time this girl did something she had been dreaming of doing.
If I told you I am trapped in time, would you believe me? You must think I’m crazy. Well, I’m not and I don’t need any saving either.
When I was growing up, my grandfather used to sat me down in front of the television and play me old movies specifically movies which starred Tan Sri P.Ramlee while he took a nap. Either that or he would play songs by R.Azmi in the kitchen while singing and dancing with my grandmother sometimes. What an awesome pair they were. Now after 7 years he’s gone, whatever he had done during those days became a habit of mine. Without fail, I would always watch Tan Sri P.Ramlee’s movies. The way we speak Malay may not be so fluent but when it comes to his dialogues and one-liners, more than half the time they are being used among us cousins. Imagine my excitement when I heard they were making P.Ramlee The Musical.
Due to various commitments, I missed the first season of the musical but was hopeful it would make its way to Singapore. Early March 2008, while my cousins, Naya and Ella were having a sleep over at my place, we went into Sistics website for upcoming concerts happening here. That was when we came across the musical. How ecstatic we were. This was something I was anticipating. I wanted tickets and I wanted them immediately. Unfortunately it was impossible as booking only began on 25th March 2008, 9.00 a.m. onwards. After gathering the people whom I wanted to watch it with especially my grandma, at 9.05 a.m. my tickets were ready for collection. By then I was counting down the days and nights, I was so looking forward. Two weeks after the booking, my 2 cousins and 1 went for the ‘Under The Banyan Tree’ screening at the National Museum of Singapore. Every end of the month, they would screen old movies under the banyan tree in Stamford Garden. We watched Seniman Bujang Lapok. After which, we were getting impatient for the musical. It was still weeks away.
The anticipation came with a slight disappointment when we learned that Sean Ghazi was being replaced. Being someone who is unfamiliar with the Malay film and music industry today (however I am very much familiar with the yesteryears stars, Jins Samsudin & Nordin Ahmad will forever be my 2 favourite heroes) I was bothered with casting. I hate it when I’m clueless.
All that changed on the night of May 17 2008. Not knowing what to expect, we went in and sat through our first ever Malay Musical. Guess what? It turned out to be one of the greatest, happiest moments in my entire 24 years of living. It would have been the best time of my life should my grandfather was around to watch it with us. It was like a blast from the past. From that day onwards, songs on my MP3 were solely meant for P.Ramlee and Saloma, some R.Azmi even up till today.
Firstly, my heart goes out to Musly Ramli. He’s the man, Period. Besides the voice and striking resemblance, he was an outstanding performer. At certain scenes, I thought he was P.Ramlee. I applauded the amazing cast namely Melissa Saila, Chedd, Atilia and Emelda. Next to Musly Ramli, my standing ovation goes to Liza Hanim. If ever there was anything or anyone as brilliant as Saloma, there she was. She played the role to perfection , and sang the songs flawless. Last but not least, the effort put in for the musical was just phenomenal. The people behind the musical deserved as much credit. They were just as perfect. It was a moment for me, the moment I fell in love with theatre all over again. I wrote and directed a play once during college days and ended the affair shortly after. Little did I know, it would return to me. Probably because of my passion for writing.
If you think this feature is done, well, sorry I’m not quite finished. Bear with me. Even I thought my journey with theatre would end after the musical. That was about to change. I met Tiara Jacquelina by chance at the Singapore Flyer, my work place. She took the ride with her family and I took this chance of a lifetime to thank her for this musical. I made it known I enjoyed it. In fact such a blast I had that I decided to head Kuala Lumpur in the next 2 weeks to catch it for the second time. Didn’t see that coming, did you? Neither did I. I must say, Tiara Jacquelina was one of the nicest and friendliest celebrities I’ve ever met. Trust me, I’ve had my fair share of celebrities’ sightings. She was so cool and it made me looked forward to my second stint. This time, it would just be my brother and I. Sure, second times could either make or break situations even changed opinions.
All I have to say is I had another tremendous time just as Tiara had promised. It was even more fantastic the second time round. We met up with some of the cast members and took pictures with them. My brother who was not into musical had a great time too.
After a month had passed, I still have not had enough of the musical. Would they do it again someday? Perhaps in the near future? One thing for sure, all of us agreed that should they do it again, we won’t miss it for the world. I would have a hat trick even though I doubt it’s enough. My cousins and I had our ‘Under The Banyan Tree’ screenings again at the end of June. We saw Madu Tiga and Bujang Lapok back to back at the same place. We had a great time and kept on talking, going on and on about the musical and of course the legend, Tan Sri P.Ramlee. He left us a priceless legacy. No man could surpass the talent he had, the lessons he gave and the laughter he shared.
Until today, his movies I watched without fail, his songs are still sang and heard. His one-liners and dialogues will always remain in my head awaiting the right time to be spoken out.
Did I not tell you I was trapped in time? I’m not planning to return to today’s time, not anytime soon at least. The golden era will always be a part of who I am, a part of what built my character, carved my personality and a part of what my grandfather left behind. Happy Birthday, granddad. I never had the chance to give to a gift therefore this is it. My prayers are with you as well as Tan Sri P.Ramlee and Puan Sri Saloma always. My humble yet undying words will continue to spread for as long as your memories are by my side.
P/S: I would like to grab this opportunity to thank Chedd for featuring this write-up in his blog. Thank you very much for the chance and the space! It’s deeply appreciated. Here’s wishing you and the team of P.Ramlee The Musical continued success in future endeavours. God Bless.
Farah can be contacted through her email or her Facebook profile here.
This posting originally appeared on http://www.cheddyusoff.com/.