It’s close to the Ramzan festival when I am in Kuala Lumpur – all over the city, the country, in restaurants, shops, public places, I hear religious (I assume, since my local friend says these are Id-related) songs being played. Quite cheery and festive, somewhat like Christmas carols. Soon I find myself humming along ‘Selamat Hari Raya…’
Festivity is certainly in the air. The long weekend, the entire country seems to be out – there is open house (which means free coffee and cookies for me at the hotel in Taman Negara) all over and everyone is smiling. In all this, the Chinese are qiuetly preparing for their mooncake festival. Shopping malls have red lanterns and free music performances – and the ground floor is filled with small stalls selling mooncakes – my favourite of them being the one called ‘Six Happiness’ – I want all of them!
In all this, I manage to watch Dabangg with friends, one of them being Malaysian Chinese – she follows the movie through the sub-titles. I suddenly find her silently wiping away tears in the middle of the movie – very emotional scene, she blushes as I laugh. Salman Khan has a new fan in Malaysia, lah!
It has been raining since the night I landed in KL – the Air Asia people kindly handed each of us a bright red umbrella to get to the terminal from the aircraft. My first day here is grey and dull and I am a bit disoriented. After dinner, my friend drives me around KL showing me the sights and I am so sleepy I can barely muster enough interest – and then we stop near the Petronas Tower. And I am totally mesmerised. I think of it as beautiful – tall and towering, the bright lights, the buzz around the area. I realize again that I am a total city person – nature, forests, greenery and open spaces are all nice but I’ve always lived in large cities and always want to. Not for me the peace and quiet and slow life (Bangalore is nice, but I still miss Bombay!) – give me the noise, the lights, the traffic, the people, the buzz. Yes, I know, I am a bad person. Go sue me.