Both Amirul and Amira were to perform on Saturday 28th August before the Majlis Ifthar where they served the best Nasi Ambeng I have ever tasted – little discount since it was the fasting month. Amirul was in a sketch while Amira had to perform a musical number – in front of live audience. It was a mean feat for her as she knows that most of her family members were there watching her;
Bak (sitting at Amil’s table)
Tok Abah <- dari jauh datang Tok Chu <- dari jauh datang Kak Kikin <- dari jauh datang For the record, the following were missing in action - for easier reference in future Pak Long - who has to seat with the minister Ho Peng Kee Abg Hakim - unknown Chu Eli - unknown Taboo
Amira cant have people coming up to her to say how good she is, or pester her about what or how she did – even to say that she is so pretty is taboo. So earlier in the week I had to allay this and requested her to perform for me. For the first time, she didnt want to! That was a first. So I was thinking that this is going to be a problem when the day came. I tried again and again over the course of the week especially when no one was at home but to no avail.
The day came. She was saying that she had to go at 5pm. I was thinking ok, no problem. As the deadline got nearer, and after seeing how I prepared the brother who had to go to the mosque first, she came to me;
Amira : Abah, I dont think I can to go later. I feel sick and tired. (she was actually under the weather)
Man it did happen.
Abah : Then you go and sleep first.
In that couple of hours I had to conjure something to make sure she went.
The mother came home and I could hear Amira telling her ummi that she cant go. Ummi was, as always, frantic, in her shrill low shriek voice. I was in the room and called out to her. Ummi came looking flush from the hot sun and now made worse by the daughter’s statement.
Ummi : Whats happening? She says she is not going. (in her excited voice)
Abah : Dont worry about it.
Ummi : She got cold feet is it?
I said what I need to say in a nonchalant way and Amira got ready and left for the mosque together with the granny.
That night I asked her what she was singing about as it was not very clear cos I was at the door. She told me the lyrics etc. Then she said;
Amira : Actually kan Abah, I just did the movement and move my lips. I didnt really sing.
Abah : How come?
Amira : Because later if you shout shout (cheering in a loud voice actually) I cant concentrate. So if I dont really sing, I can concentrate on what I was suppose to do. I dont know how my friends can concentrate.