I #angkatrumah to go #urbanscapes

A journey painted with the colour of muhibbah moved a house to a scene that was of gaiety.

Art was the testimony for the day where music, literature and fashion camped in a sanctuary of culture known as Urbanscapes.

It was my first. A painful experience that was guided throughout the way and I woke up to an intense soreness the day after. That is of course because before I reached climax on that Saturday, I had to angkat rumah. Literally.

To appreciate the work on a canvas one must learn of the labour involved. A number of 300 unpaid labour carried a ‘rumah kayu’ from Sekolah Kebangsaan Sentul Utama to KL PAC that was located 1km away. The house weighed around 1 tonne! It took 4 hours with rotations between us. Once the house reached the festival grounds at KLPAC, it was converted into an open stage for those who wanted to perform.

The project was planned out by Liew Seng Tat and ‘geng’ with support from Five Arts Centre after reading the story of Abu Hassan Ahmad, a farmer who decided to move closer to his mother-in-law in order to care for her poor health. A total of 150 villagers carried his house half-a-kilometre to the new location. Such feat was a common practice in the older days, especially in rural areas and small towns.

Obstacles were of nature and a riot of non believers grew as more and more overlooked trivialities appeared along the way. It reflected badly on the organisers, but the catastrophe took a twist at the melody of ‘Rasa Sayang’. Our morale was uplifted and I believe it was the collective ‘semangat’ that moved the house on that day.

We overcame every blunder together and I was certain that the lesson on ‘gotong royong’ for all of us that day left a bigger impact than any million ringgit campaign!

It was One Community. It is important to view the micro picture of unity to strengthen the weakest link of a nation. Tolerance means negotiating your fear over differences. Understanding means you know better why there is a conflict.

The day proceeded to its second chapter with the highlight of things I did in a numbered format to spare you from the bore of reading a narration of an Urbanscapes virginal experience.

  1. Took a photo with Yuna which I will be using as my FB profile for a week to show how much I love her songs. If I had a jukebox, she would fill every song list.
  2. Bought a BB cover which was apparently overpriced so technically I got conned. Citing my friend Aris, “who buys hp cover at Urbanscapes? Memang kena tipu la”
  3. Discovered ‘SayaBangsaMalaysia’ group which had booths to help register voters. A very democratic exercise I may add and I will definitely do a follow up on them.
  4. Set up an illegal corner offering ‘A poem in a minute’ for RM 5 at the lobby.  I offered the service for just 20 minutes and a girl by the name of Sarah bought 2 whereas another person had only shown interest. I also met someone gorgeous and smart =)
  5. Met some old friends and realized how great it feels like to remember their names and say it first before they remember yours =)

I conclude my entry with a poem;

The day was near but the past was present,

Losing one’s chance against a memory retention,

A lesson not taught until one gets caught,

By the bug with a name that need no further mention.



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