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Friday, June 23, 2006

Tale of My Parents's Courtship, Appearing In Newspapers!

So, a week has passed since I've returned to Malaysia. Things have been rather uneventful, I've limited the meetings with friends for the time being due to the fact that I'm still toiling away at my (long overdue) screenplay for my upcoming major project, Girl Disconnected.

I tend to keep the personal stuff out of the way in this website, using this more as a place for me to chronicle my musings on stuff related to filmmaking, films and literature, and also a showcase of my creative works (both film and written ones). After all, I want to keep my web life and my actual real life separated. (I'm one of those people who rarely, if ever, make a mention about this site, despite how relentlessly I promote this online) Maintaining a degree of mystery and panache is my preferred style, not turning my own personal life as a full-blown TV soap opera for the public to watch for their amusement and enjoyment.

But I shall make this entry an exception by shedding some light upon my parents' history.

Just hours ago, I woke up and had my breakfast (bread with kaya, a jam made with coconuts and eggs, that is sorely missed when I was in Perth). And then joined my grandmother at the living room to read some newspapers. Sifting through The Star, Sin Chew and then China Press (note: The latter two are Chinese newspapers, where I usually get my daily dose of Asian celebrity gossip, I don't really read the rest of the papers), one of the photos in page four of China Press's Entertainment Section, caught my attention.

Tale of Swifty's Parents' Courtship Appeared On Newspaper

A photo of my mother during her younger days. I felt a surge of mild jealousy and envy.

Why is she appearing in the papers again? And not me?

Of course, my dark emotions gave way to curiosity, because, according to the headlines, it had something to do with my late grandfather (mother's dad, who passed away two years before I was born) unexpectedly helping my mother find a good husband (that's my dad). So, I realized the article will be interesting since it wasn't just some generic interview with my mom or my dad. It would be a tale that features my parents AND my late grandfather, how bizarre!

The article is way too lengthy for me to translate, so I'll just summarize it. It's about how my dad, representing a music label, had to negotiate with my grandfather in allowing my mom, who was a singer, to sign a contract with my dad's music label (as in, the music label my dad was working in, he definitely did not OWN the thing). My grandfather, finally convinced that my dad and his music label were actually really interested in grooming my mom, relented. And thus, my mom ended up becoming a recording artiste in the music label my dad was in. Of course, the most unexpected thing was, my grandfather had no idea the union/partnership between my mom and dad, initially a professional one, would end up becoming a romantic one. My grandfather, shrewd as he may be, had actually helped send my mom into the arms of a man she would marry soon.

My dad was referred to as 'The Wanderer' in the article (a pen name he used in the past, and also a name that would make him grimace til this very day whenever people of the Chinese literary circles call him that). During the fateful negotiation with my grandfather, my dad had just made a transition from journalism to the music industry, and that wasn't really my dad's first meeting with my mom as he had interviewed her before during his days as a journalist. I smirked briefly, knowing that 'The Great Swifty' is a far greater pseudonym than 'The Wanderer'.

But anyway, over the years, from primary school to high school, I've always serenade some of my friends with highly-fictionalized accounts of my parents' courtship ("he was an ordinary member of the paparazzi, she was a rising singer, desperate to win her affections after meeting her in an interview, he struggles to become a better person"), so much that if I could even write a novel of it, like what Gabriel Garcia Marquez did with 'Love In The Time Of Cholera' (a fabulous book I intend to review very soon).

After reading the article, I looked over at my grandmother, and asked whether she knew about this. Of course she knew, it was, after all, the tale of her husband, her daughter, and her son-in-law.

And to see all these being syndicated weekly? I can't help but realize how surreal the whole thing is. The possibility of people throughout the nation, reading about my parents?

I better have a role in this.