When I first saw a new magazine on the newsstand called hot with Angelina Jolie on the cover…I was like….ler…muka pompuan ni lagi! Dah tade orang lain le nak letak on the cover…bosan dy looking at her face on cover of every other magazine so I opt not to buy it. The second issue however caught my eye…which is kinda ironic because for the life of me, I can’t remember who was on the cover. Thought hard as I could but…nope…memang can’t recall. Screw the cover because I was hooked on the magazine ever since. I’ve never missed a single issue ever since. To be honest, sometimes, I don’t even read page to page but I will feel something amiss if I don’t get my hands on the latest issue.
What turned out to be awesome was when I finally met the Editor for the magazine. She was like a breath of fresh air. You see…I’m the type of monkey who can’t sit still while attending events. I will somehow make at least one new friend at every event but unfortunately, this ‘new friend’ I make will sometimes make dono of me when he/she see me at another event barely few weeks later. There I will be wondering if I said/did something wrong (I tend to do that!) when it’s actually their own ego ness that prevent them from talking to me. This bubbly girl however has never done such thing to me. She will say the funniest thing whenever we bump into each other and we will burst out laughing in the middle of the crowd without caring what other people think. We would hug each other till people stare and make up stories in their head. Apa kitaorang kisah? We don’t get to meet each other that often but when we do…it will turn into moment of mini havoc!
|Always with a smiling face!|
I will curse her for taking pictures with my favourite artist while she would go… “Hey…but you also always win what?….so fair and square lar babe”. I’m not really fond of being called babe but she makes it sound so special I didn’t mind…in fact I miss it. I can’t recall the first time we met but I know we simply clicked on the spot. From then on, it would be an awesome surprise bumping into each other at events. Few people even asked if we were childhood friends or if we worked together. I wish we did. Would have been fun kan?
Slight confession…despite being a magazine reader, I have never written in to a magazine. Not till after I went to States for the American Music Awards in 2007 and snapped a picture with Bone Thugs N Harmony. I decided to share my experience with the magazine readers about dreams coming true. It was picked as Letter of Week!
|Gangsta Mani with Bone Thugs N Harmony!|
Say whertttttttttttt!!! Fuhyoooo!!! I was over the moon when I saw my monkey face on my favourite magazine! Ehehehehe…that spurred my spirit and I wrote in one more time when I found out Kelly Clarkson was coming over. Guess what? Once again kena pilih jadi letter of the week. Hmm…NICE!!!
The awesomeness of meeting her became amazing when I won trip of the lifetime to attend the 2009 Grammy Awards. While waiting to board the plane, there she was! Lil’ Miss bubbly was also on her away to Los Angeles to cover the event. Damn! I know I won but I wish I was covering the event as well. Little did I know it was a tough job. Ingat senang ke nak cover Music’s Biggest Night? Our friendship developed further after the trip as I would always look forward to seeing her here and there. We never fail to give each other the warm hug while teasing each other moments later. Outsiders would think we have gone mad!
This missy introduced me to quite a number of people in the industry. Our usual event to meet would be during the movie preview’s I won from the magazine. I’ve lost count how many previews I’ve been to. I remember there was this one time, my partner kantoi last minute and I had to watch the movie on my own and post it on FB and she commented, “Don’t ever do that again…you are not alone. Lain kali come sit me ok”.
|Nuts about hot!|
The next time we saw each other at another screening, we would crack a joke going…. “Oi….you stalking me izit women?” There were times when I would beratur quietly to collect my tickets while the wannabes around me would make all kinda of noise with their fake accent going on and on about their holiday in UK, US or some fancy mancy place. She will put them at their place when all of a sudden by going…. “You know who she is? She went to the Grammies with me ok. Grammies!” I would just plaster a smirk on my face tapi dalam hati… “FUCK YEAH! Ko ingat ko hipster sangat lak ek? Amek ko!” Kekekeke…thanks for the boost of ego babe! J
|Makan Mei Ann makannnnnnnnn|
Among all the people I’ve met in my life she is/was one of the most genuine person who truly means what she says. Good, bad, rude or crude. She could stand my antics and never had qualms about being seen together with me. She never fails to introduce me to her friends and does it so wonderfully. Secretly I wish I could lepak with her even more but the short time we spend would make up for it. The longer version would be when I get to attend the magazine’s fun and crazy anniversary events. First thing that comes out of her mouth would be “This is Kanmani. The magazine’s loyal reader”. Cewah…macam dapat certification pulak! Thanks babe! Thank you so much and guess what? You are my favourite Editor! I love your writing, your wit, your humor, your warmth! I love you.
|Rockstar she was!|
Now imagine my shock when I just switched off my house light for Earth hour and check my FB only to see Reta’s posting Mei Ann’s picture. I’ve seen these girls do it a lot and I was just about to comment when I notice the hashtag #RIPMeiAnn. WHAT THE FUCK??? IS THIS A JOKE??? Not from Reta! She would not joke about this! I clicked on Mei Ann’s FB page….more postings saying RIP! NOOOOO WAY WEY! NO FUCKING WAY!!! Tears started rolling down my cheeks. My heart screamed! My vision got blurred. I collapsed on my bed…SAY IT ISN’T SO! IT CAN’T BE! IT SHOULDN’T BE! HOW COULD THIS BE?
|one of my fav profile picture of Mei Ann! Smiling even underwater! :)|
I tried to call Reta and send her a text message to verify the news. I hoped it was just a cruel joke and my babe was doing fine. I FB messaged Gobi…he replied….and confirmed my worst fear. It was not an early April Fool’s joke. She is gone. Really gone. That cheerful, animated, lively babe I know is gone. Once again I lost my composure. Both Reta and Gobi gave information about her wake and upcoming funeral….oh my God….wake and funeral? What fucking cruelty is this? This girl had so much more things left to do but instead she was snatched away from us? What is the bloody hurry God? Why did You get so greedy? There are loads more joke and sarcastic remarks we wanted to exchange between us. What am I supposed to do now? Mourn her loss? WHAT THE FUCK WEY? I was not sure if I was sad or plain angry but I soooooo wanted to punch someone while crying my eyes out. I couldn’t stop my tears. The news slowly started to sink in along with my sinking heart. I cried myself to sleep that night.
The next morning I was off for Captain America: The Winter Soldier preview with my friends. I was trying my best not to breakdown during the movie knowing it was last movie she watched. After the film my mind started to go serabut, my friends were trying get my mind off the news. They helped me to drive to Gui Yan Funeral Parlour to pay my last respect. On the way there I wanted to jump out of the car. It was one of the longest ride ever but when we reached I felt numb. I saw Raasi, making her way out, said hi to her and proceed to enter the Parlour. I’ve never attended a Chinese custom wake so I had no idea what I was going to face. An aunty greeted me and I recognise one of Mei Ann’s sister as I’ve seen her during one of the movie screening. She knew me right away, just like Mei Ann, she hugged me. I conveyed my condolences and the aunty took me closer to the casket. I asked if she was Mei Ann’s aunty. She smiled and replied, “I’m her mother dear”, Murugaaaaaa….how silly of me! I strait away hugged her and started to cry. ‘I’m sorry for your loss Aunty. You had a wonderful daughter. She was a great person’. Every time I talked in past tense, my heart ached. Aunty asked if I wanted to say hi…or actually bye to Mei Ann…now I see where Mei Ann got her sense of humour.
There I stood. Mind went blank. I have never seen her like this. I remember how I felt when I saw my uncle in the same position almost a year ago. I wanted to do the same thing I wanted to do to my uncle. Just yell… “Oi wake up ler! Let’s crack a joke or two! What are you doing inside there?” but nothing happened. She was there….she is gone….my babe….gone…just given 32 short years! What kinda punishment is this? I lit up a Chinese praying stick or something. Said my prayers and bid farewell to my favourite Editor. Mei Ann’s mother approached me again and I just went numb and started crying again. She consoled me. Stupid Mani! You should be consoling her not the other way around! We talked for a while and I sat and chat with her sisters. Her elder sister’s voice sounded so much like Mei Ann’s. I joked with her younger sister. I’ve seen them many times before and I regret it took me this kinda circumstances to finally have a chat with them. I saw few familiar faces, can see they are shocked just as I was. Few people came to join us on our table and just like how Mei Ann used to do it, she sister introduced me. “She went to the Grammy with Ann”. I just smiled. I wish we were still at the Grammies instead of the current situation. How I wish I could turn back time.
|....proud mama with the 200th issue cake!|
|meeting her match in She lah!|
|...appreciated for her hard work|
|rewarded for her amazing job|
|thank you for......you know......thank you...thank you...|
After all is said and done. I know I can’t blame anybody or anything for what has happened. Just like how shaken I was when I lost my Granma, my Uncle and my Boboy. I need to go on living my life with memories of these great people/pet that graced my life. I may not get to see them anymore but I will fondly remember how each and every one of them have touched my life and hopefully I did the same for them too. Every beginning has an ending, we may not like the way it ends but that’s what life is all about. Rest in peace and may/till we meet again. Thank you for entering my life and make me value my life.
I’m sure the haven is lucky to have you just as I was when I got to know you my babe. Bye bye bubbly babe…..for now.
|....gone but not forgotten.|
|Rest in Peace.....|