So Wednesday night, there we were at Central Market Annexe for the launch of Dina Zaman's I Am Muslim.
Here are the copies piled high ...
Saras took a shine to these handsome young men who were Dina's bodyguards.
Saras again with Shahril Nizam Ahmad who designed the eye-catching cover, and Marisa Misron who was my editor when I wrote for Chrome.
There was an exhibition of art by the artists who have set up stalls in Central Market - and I couldn't resist using some of my favourite pieces as backdrops for photos of some of my friends. Here's Animah of course.
and playwright/actor Kee ThuanChye ...
and poet and publisher Raja Ahmad ...
and a very bulgy MyWordUp founder See Ming posing with an even bulgier lady.
Cool guy Reza, who took care of the sound.
After a prayer to bless the occasion, a performance of Malaysia's traditional martial art - Silat, with a bit of kris waving. There was a spectacular "swirling dervishes" dance performance by Chakra Works.
Peter Schier of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation which sponsored the publication of the book gave a very good speech outlining why he thinks the book is a very important one.
A speech from publisher Raman of Silverfish Books about why he decided to publish Dina's work.
A shy speech from the lady herself in which she thanked those who had supported her.
The symbolic moment of launch ... the banner a bit wonky at first ...
A couple of readings. Here's Chye reading the account of the visit to the weird masseur ...
It was hard to take a decent picture of Dina - she didn't keep still for very long! But at last I managed to get her to pose for one with me. She had told me that the dress code for the evening was white so that we all looked like angels. I dug the only white things that I could find out of my wardrobe. When I showed the pic to Ruhayat X later on, he said that I looked like an advert for ironing!
Dina with her family. I'd heard so much from her about her marvellously supportive mum and dad so it was really good to meet them. I think Dina looks like her mum!
Couldn't resist the opportunity to pose for a Bloggers Are Liars photo with a gaggle of bloggers and blog friends. The tall guy on the far left is of course Ahirudin Attan aka Rocky and one of the two bloggers currently being sued for defamation by the New Straits Times. In front of him Ruby Ahmad, then my blog groupies Animah and Saras then me (towering over everyone) with Chet just in front of me. Then broadcaster journalist Zahara Othman who goes by nom-de-blog Kak Teh, Nuraina A Samad and Zarina (Eliza of the Haberdashery).
Afterwards a group of us dropped by a nearby mamak shop for a drink en route to the LRT.
Here's Animah, Chet, Kenny Mah and Leon, and below Zahara with veteran journalist Aishah Ali who had brought along some of Zahara's press clippings.
Thanks Dina for a lovely evening in the company of good friends! May the book hit the bestseller list soon.
You can read lots of other accounts of the evening on other blogs. Dina of course has all the behind the scenes stories, entertaining stories and great pictures. The most howling funny one though is her account of the naked man when she went to inspect the venue. (Please Dina never take your blog down again. I want to laugh at this every time I feel blue). Madcap Machinist made an excellent job of the sound for the evening and was the latest to get accosted in the men's loo. Here's Ruby Ahmad having a good time and Chet networking with all the bloggers and blog friends. More links to be added as they're written.