Each year, everyone in Resaa (Raja Eleena Siew Ang & Associates) waits for Chinese New Year (CNY) with bated breath. CNY in Resaa is a sacred celebration. The occasion marks the giving of the much-anticipated bonuses and long holiday for the staff. I have left the Firm four years ago but the butterflies in my stomach are dancing irrepressibly after receiving the invitation to attend the annual Lion Dance & Dinner at No. 8 Jalan Delima.
The auspicious date for the celebration this year falls on Friday the 2nd of March 2007. 2nd of March 2007, 6.00 pm. Luqman and I were impeccably dressed for the event. After battling mean traffic along Jalan Ampang, we arrived at No.8 Jalan Delima amidst the lion dance. The sounds of the drum and firecracker were deafening. The staff of Resaa and their families were scattered around the bungalow and its lush green lawn, watching the lion dance in amazement, year after year.
I have this thing about lion dance. I love everything about it. I love the way the lion twists and shakes its flexible body. The raucous sound of the drum would make my heart beats faster in excitement. I still could not fathom how anyone can be as flexible as the lion dancers. In my eyes, they look bizarrely boneless. I childishly cheered every difficult stunts performed by the Lion dancers.
The spirits of CNY would obliterate all of the previous year’s differences they have in Resaa. For that one day, they would have fun and forget the law practice. Luqman was ceremoniously passed around from one obliging hand to another. The mood was truly festive. After the lion “ate” the fat angpow from Raja Dato’ Seri Eleena’s hand, the dubbed corporate princess (hey don’t look at me, read the Malaysian Business this month!), everybody attacked the buffet tables. My favourite has always been the barbequed lamb. It is to die for!
After dinner, everyone gathered in groups and all were attempting to speak at once. You could hear a mixture of cantonese, malay and tamil being spoken loudly. An old friend in Resaa saw me and wasted no time to speak her mind (in a true Resaa’s fashion). She berated me “eh friend, I didn’t see my name in your newspaper article that day?” Despite me profusely explaining that her name was deleted by the editor, she refused to believe me. She indignantly accused me of forgetting her in the article.
So here we go Mei Cheng, I hereby express my heartiest love and appreciation to my ex-collegues in Resaa; Mr. Siew Yeow Wan, Mr. Siew Yew Ming (and you are still as good looking as ever, sigh), Tengku, Ms. Ang Saik Hoon, Choo Mei Cheng, Ester Sta Maria, Lily, Penelope, Yoke Mei @ Yuki, chair chair Nancy, Alice, Yan, Kak Ema, Kak Lina, Eida, Ms. Tan, Clara (damn I miss your wicked Nescafe). Not forgetting Abang Mail, Abang Ramli, Abang Shukor and Baba. Thanks for putting up with me.
All in all, Resaa paints a true Malaysian picture. In that firm, your colour is irrelevant. Your race and background are mere information you fill up in your personal file. What counts is the sincerity of your heart to be part of the family. But life has to go on. Reluctantly, I said goodbye to the generous hosts. I am honoured to still be considered as part of this special family. Luqman too sadly waved goodbye with his left hand. Meanwhile, his right hand was clutching a fistful of angpows . What a lucky fellow!