Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Hasnah Haron, A Halim, and M Fadzil

( L-R: M Fadzil, Hasnah Haron, and A Halim )

The following day I met A Halim, Hasnah Haron, and M Fadzil -- all thanks to Dato A Rahman Hassan for arranging for me to meet them together. A Halim picked me up and drove me to Hasnah Haron's house on the other side of town in Johor Bahru. When we arrived, it was getting cloudy and shortly after M Fadzil got there, there was a brief rainstorm. Hasnah Haron gathered us to the table where we ate shrimp and noodles, then she offered us traditional dessert cakes (bright green, and pink - two types) and the most delicious tasting tea. I commented about how i loved the flavor of the tea.. then not long after, two of her grandchildren returned from the local store from buying me a box of that tea. These sort of thoughtful gifts bring tears to your eyes. I have never been treated so kindly in my whole life. Hasnah Haron has been through alot lately - dealing with the loss of her beloved husband, and now recovering from cancer. But she is surrounded by the most beautiful group of grandkids.. all of them running around laughing and chasing eachother around the house and out into the yard. Her daughter has a beautiful baby boy who is just now learning to walk. I really felt so happy to have been able to visit her at her home. Ms. Haron is a very strong lady with a really wonderful sense of humor, a glowing smile, and a kind heart. I feel so honored to have been able to meet her.

Hasnah Haron sang with Les Kafilas, and then later with the Spiritual 70s. One of her songs, Sabar Menanti, which means "wait patiently", is one of the most beautiful Pop Yeh Yeh songs I have ever heard. I could listen to it over and over again and never get tired of it.

A Halim (who sang with D'Fictions) worked in the docks in the days when he was singing - and now runs his own import export business. He's got a very strong character. I had immediate respect for him...very honest and upfront. His wife brought a framed copy of one of his first EPs in the car with her so that I could see it. He also gave me a copy of his latest VCD and also some of his most recent recordings. (The VCD was lost briefly when one of the grandkids took it outside but it was recovered before any damage or frisbee tossing occured. )

M Fadzil (Les Coasters) was yet another incredible artist to meet in person - he was reserved and soft spoken and so polite. Just like Orkid Abdullah and J Sham, M Fadzil was also a schoolteacher for many years.

This was such an inspiring and emotional afternoon for me. My last day in Johor, and I was surrounded by such incredible artists.. just like every day in the past week. Looking back now, I really wish I could have spent more time in Johor. It all happened so quickly.

Hasnah Haron and Les Kafilas - "Sabar Menanti"

A Halim

M Fadzil with Orkid Abdullah in A Go Go 67

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