If not for Christine's request, I doubt I would've blogged about this so soon, if at all.
Merdeka this year was a mixed affair. I'd wanted to visit Putrajaya to see the fireworks but was too tired that week and decided I needed to rest. (Kelvin recently told me that the fireworks were somewhat disappointing as the bridge wasn't lit when he was there, thus eliminating the possibility of shooting the bridge and fireworks in the same scene.)
Also, Putrajaya was an opportunity to meet up with Sam, who's returning to India tomorrow. But once I found out that the Merdeka parade would be at Dataran Merdeka this year, that idea also flew out the window.
So I missed Sam and the fireworks. But I don't suppose all was lost. I didn't get quite as close to the present King as I did the previous one two years ago (when I stood within metres of his horse carriage), but I did get to experience a major event from the vantage point of a professional photographer.
Being the muka tembok photographer I sometimes am, I lingered as near as I could to the section of the road facing the royal dais, despite being chased away by a security officer earlier in the morning for not having an official press pass.
Thus I ended up being lumped together with the real press at the MC's booth--the perfect spot to view most of the day's events.
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Kevin and I arrived on the scene early enough to catch a brilliantly-lit Sultan Abdul Samad building against the deep-blue dawn sky, and the yet-to-be-filled royal dais.
Prince Andrew greets Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah while Rafidah Aziz looks on.
The Yang di-Pertuan Agong inspecting the Guard of Honour.
A glorious 'Merdeka'.
An officer enjoying his cigarette break. (I doubt he noticed me despite standing only about three feet away!)
The Masters of Ceremony: Mahadzir Lokman (is there any event he does not emcee?) and his female partner whose name I do not know.
The day kicked off with a musical montage accompanied by those people who lift up pieces of cloth in formation to form words, signs etc... I don't know what they're called! This shot from the last piece says it all: 50 years might be a milestone, but already we're looking way ahead!
War veterans from the Commonwealth nations. I have no idea who the guy in red is, but judging by his uniform, he must've been quite an important figure.
Members of the Home Guard. I wonder if this was merely reenacted, or if they really managed to assemble some of the actual makciks who fought against the communists.
Visions of the future... Angkasawan Negara!
One of my favourite pictures, albeit by accident. ;-)
There were some familiar faces that day...
...and along the way to Central Market, lots of the stuff-that-makes-us-Malaysian!
* * * * *
Again remembering Amirul's words:
Hey guys & gals, Though ive been disappointed by d absence of fireworks display at klcc, and damn, i got d perfect spot.. but thats not what merdeka is about now, is it...
To be 'merdeka' , is to be free from that cycle that you're trapped in, to give up the things you're addicted to the most.
Im sure you all have your own definitions of independence, and so, i'd like to wish you;
Happy Independence Day!