Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Wedding Song

It was, by any account, a very grand wedding. Held at an imposing, recently built five-star hotel, the guests of honour were a reigning monarch and his consort. Also in attendance were a former prime minister and his wife.

The guest list read like Who's Who in Malaysia - royalty and titled folks, industry captains and celebrities - the women dressed to the hilt in glittering rocks and baubles bigger than your average stone, the men in gold-threaded sampings that sparkled and shone in the evening light.

As Pak Abu and I negotiated our way through the throng to our table, we were greeted by many familiar faces, which wasn't a big surprise really, for the father of the bride is one of Pak Abu's regular golf buddies. In fact, it did seem like the entire golfing fraternity of the Club was present that evening.

The wedding's colour scheme was lavender, right down to the light refreshments and the floral decor on individual tables. The maids-in-waiting looked resplendent in their deep purple songket kebayas and kurungs, and the menu was an interesting mixture of East and West.

A band provided good music while a dance troupe put up a pretty decent show. Good-natured guffaws broke out when the wedding's "How We Met" video clip gave us a fleeting image of the bride's father three decades ago (when he still had a lot of hair!).

There I was, savouring the moment, when the newlyweds' theme song played. I may be a woman of today, but there is a small part of me still living in yesterday where sex (and anything remotely related to it) is taboo in polite company.

The way I see it, a traditional Malay wedding is as polite a company as one can get. Am I being prudish and old-fashioned? I make no apologies, but I flinched at the inappropriateness of the lyrics.

"Tonight I celebrate my love for you
It seems the natural thing to do
Tonight, no one's going to find us
We'll leave the world behind us
When I make love to you, tonight

Tonight I celebrate my love for you
And hope that you can feel that way too
Tonight our spirits will be climbin'
To a sky lit up with diamonds
When I make love to you, tonight

Tonight I celebrate my love for you
And the midnight sun is gonna come shining through
Tonight, there'll be no distance between us
What I want most of you
Is to get close to you, tonight

Tonight I celebrate my love for you
And soon this old world will seem brand new
Tonight, we will both discover
How friends turn into lovers
When I make love to you, tonight"

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