Sunday, 26 July 2009

It's Like She's Still Here

...Has it only been about a year?

Meeting Yasmin Ahmad was one of the serendipitous things that happened since I started working at the new job. Funnybunny and I were at Khadijah's Kitchen, for dinner I think. And as we left there she was, holding court with her husband and a few other people. Funnybunny met her before, while she was filming Talentime in Ipoh.

Then, sometime around November (I think) last year Funnybunny and I got a treat: a private screening of the then unreleased Talentime. I remember the cavernous office spaces at Leo Burnett. Before the screening there was breakfast. I remember lempeng (a kind of pancake), rice, egg sambal and the fiery sotong sambal, among a few other things. All were brought by her sister, who supposedly inspired the name of the main character in Sepet, and later Gubra. I loved the sambal - flavourful, and hot enough to put hair on your chest and set it alight. I lost count after helping number three.

I note with some embarrassment that Talentime was the only film of hers I had seen. There was not a dry eye in the screening room by the time the credits rolled. They'd bought the rights to a Tamil song from an Indian movie that didn't perform very well, and used it in the film - with good effect.

I've said way too much for someone who didn't know her well. There is no way I can tell a story like she does. But I know this would be a boring place to live in if all our voices fell silent.

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