Friday, 16 January 2015

Old friend Kumar

There I was, deciding to have a bowl of hokkien mee at a coffee shop in Pulau Tikus - you know, the one at the corner of Burmah Road and Bangkok Lane - and sitting down at any empty table when my ears picked up the end of a conversation at a table next to mine. Not that I was eavesdropping or anything like that, but when the person was speaking loud enough into a mobile it would be almost impossible not to overhear the conversation.

Anyway, it was the end of his conversation and his last few words into his mobile were "old frees association." If you are, like me, a member of The Old Frees' Association, would you not turn your head? That was what I did and what did I see? Three Indians having a mee goreng breakfast. I looked at the Indian guy in the middle, the one who had just ended his conversation. He looked at me. We sort of recognised one another.

"Kumaraveloo," I called out to him. "Seng Sun," he called out to me. Well, well, well, here was someone that I hadn't met in something like 42 years. Old friends, indeed. We were classmates at the Penang Free School but we had known one another even longer: since primary schooldays at Westlands School.

And fancy meeting him in a coffee shop in Penang when all the time, I knew him to be living in Kuala Lumpur. He is a freelance film director and was in town to search for locations for his next project. He had to run for an appointment but we agreed to meet up at the OFA later for some drinks. That's how this picture came about...

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