I hurried across town afer the MPH writer's Circle Meeting (another story), parking in Bangsar and then LRTing and Monorailing to Times Square, cursing the unconnectedness of KL transport. Met up with Dina and her friend (she calls him Miyot on her blog, so I will too) who used to be one of my kids at MCKK - 21 years ago. (Can it really be that long?).
At the Starbucks inside Borders, we were joined by Leon, Patrick and Raja Ahmad (who has now lost his pony tail and looks less like an eccentric poet than he did) and we had fun catching up while Dina panicked and shuffled her papers and the two bands (The Sofa Sessions & Rhapsody) did their sessions (very pleasant music, and Rhapsody's Nichole has one hell of a voice).
Dina had a hoard of friends turn up to cheer her on, which is just what you need. Sharanya turned up. And IreneQ. So the Dina Supporters Club provided a reaonable crowd.
Well, she did great despite all her protestations beforehand of "I can't go through with this!". (To which I just think, yeah yeah yeah, heard it all before.) She was much less nervous than before her last reading at Seksen's. Looked lovely of course. Patrick in his best schoolmaster voice told her to sit up straight when she first took to the microphone.
But the nervousness seemed to evaporate and she read confidently and clearly: two of her columns I am Muslim, (as engaging as her fiction) and a short story The King of the Sea from her (forthcoming) collection.
I stayed to watch a documentary about Lomography - and now desire one of those funny little cameras with multiple lenses I've seen when noseying in Wondermilk. Hope I don't feel a new hobby coming on.
Two things strike me. 1) The way that as soon as technology goes leaping ahead making all things digital and perfect, we begin to desire the imperfect, the simple, the analogue. 2) The rules for Lomography are very close to the rules for creative writing I lay out in my classes - don't think, shoot fast, go up close.
My expensive Olympus digital camera pisses me off - I have to constantly remember to recharge it, and I constantly forget, being the blur thing I am, so am constantly having to beg photos off the more organised. Miyot took the photo of Dina above. (Many thanks!) Might have been fun to shoot Dina with a frog eye lense though or to have snapped a multiplicity of Dinas!
Have decided that this branch of Borders is wonderfully squidgy, a nice place just to hangout and meet friends, an excellent venue for KLues's Words and Music.
Bought books (of course). Discovered one had a sticky patch on the back which is one of the perils of letting folks do their "free reading" in a cafe.