The Lure of the Bright Lights

This is a short story about a dreamer, or rather it’s the beginning of a story about a dreamer. It comes from backstage at the Chinese Opera, a place where I often lose myself in romantic ideals of the itinerant theatre. It hints at the possibilities, for the subject of these images is a hard worker, appears to understand her role, and plays it well, as far as I could see.

Our encounter in Pekan Sungai Pelek was our second. This opera troupe, with actors from mainland China, was performing in Sg Petani at the Nine Emperor Gods festival when I visited in 2017. In fact, our dreamer is still wearing the yellow string on her wrist. I might have missed her in amongst the flashy antics of opera divas that is backstage, but our dreamer exuded a quiet determination as she went about her important tasks. She seemed happy to be responsible. In that, she very much reminded me of my daughter. Here’s a glimpse of her and my wish for her prosperity so that all her dreams may come true. If she sees this, maybe next time we meet (and we will) she will tell me her name!