07
Apr
10

 

ARTY AFFAIR

It was refreshing to listen to two witty and imaginative speeches last Friday afternoon without the standard protocol or political fanfare!  The only reminder of who the VVIP was, was Malaysia Boleh! Oftentimes the protocol and fanfare at launches and launchings overwhelm one’s imagination and render one’s speech witless! Not at this launch of forty paintings and a book on them. The paintings and poetry complemented the commenters!

The first speech was by Professor Dato’ Dr Hashim Yaacob, the host of the event PAINTED AXIOMS OF LIFE EXPERIENCES; the second was by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the guest of honour who officiated the launch of Hashim Yaacob’s exhibition and the book on his art and puisi. Witty and imaginative,  as good-humoured bantering was interspersed with artful commentary about each other’s talents and accomplishments. The good dentist, academician, former Vice-Chancellor, literary man, artist!  The good doctor, politician, writer, former Prime Minister, statesman! Pantun and puisi mingled with paint as clouds and colours mixed in acrylic!

It was refreshing to listen to two Malaysians addressing an attentive audience without having to apologise for their wit and imagination, indeed their talents and achievements- as the Malays often do! It was nice that one can show true humility and pride in one’s accomplishments without the trimmings of false modesty. Oftentimes I wonder why we Malays are always apologising: 

                                                                  Kalau ada jarum yang patah

                                                                  Jangan simpan dalam peti

                                                                  Kalau ada silap dan salah

                                                                  Jangan simpan dalam hati 

Why do the Malays have to be so falsely modest when it comes to our achievements?  Why do we have to apologise when we have hosted an event with the best of intentions and organised it to the best of our ability? If every detail is looked into and every little step taken,  the margin of error will be negligible. Instead, why don’t we invite our guests to share the honour, to celebrate the occasion and partake of its many joys!

As we did at Hashim Yaacob’s function! The guests shared his pantun and puisi as they did his clouds and colours! And they partook of  Tun Mahathir’s shy and demure presence – sans provocation! It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon, revelling in art and poetry! And to be earnest and honest about it!

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