Sunday, October 11, 2009
Hariraya Openhouse by the Sea
An invitation to a hariraya openhouse reception at Tanjung Agas, Port Dickson, was too much to resist. The name of the place,
Desa Balqis, was so romantic and it triggered in my mind several wishful dreams that I thought the old noggin was already incapable of conjuring. Legend has it that Puteri Balqis was a Princess who ruled over a prosperous kingdom but fearing that her country might be attacked by Nabi Sulaiman paid him a visit to ascertain how big the latter's kingdom and how powerful he was.
The Prophet amazed her by ordering a Jin ( a powerful spiritual being) to bring over the Princess' castle to his kingdom, made some modifications to enhance its beauty, and presented it to her. Did she marry him? The legend did not give an answer but I
believe she did since he knew what could please her the most!
My wife and I arrived at the resort hideout in the evening of 10 Okt., taking the Pedas-Linggi route to avoid going through Port Dickson and Bagan Pinang, where BN and PAS were preparing for a showdown. I heard the traffic jam was terrible down there and some trouble was brewing. By-election has become a war-zone these days. Desa Balqis turned out to be a 3-acre resort area located between the road and a beautiful sandy beach, artistically landscaped with three challets and a 'surau' built from unwanted traditional Malay houses. The beautiful wooden challets equipped with all the modern utilities showed how some of the many traiditonal Malay houses left to rot by the young people who inherited them, can be salvaged and turned into fitting accommodations for tourists and holiday-makers ( see pic). Encik Annuar, the CEO of Multilift Holdings who owns the place, must be congratulated for his novel ideas.
Without doubt the reception which was to begin at 8 pm, began much earlier with guests crowding by the steps leading to the seaside, enjoying the view while there was still a lot of sunlight. They were ships in the sea (see pic) queing for entry to the
PD port. Guests started attacking the food some allready spread out under the specially erected shed, while others were still
simmering in the pots or roasting by the fire, including a whole lamb. When we were invited to the table and begin the chomp-chomp megathon although it was not the official starting time yet, I did not resist. The drive from KL had indeed been
sharpening the appetite and so many guests were already plowing into the succulent spread.
When night fell and the lights were switched on, the place turned into a kind of fairyland. White and multicoloured lights glimmered and dazzled the eyes, highlighted further by the blue background lighting which surrounded us. Spiritted and lively hariraya songs compete with the cool breeze to thrill us, while the scrumptious food tickled out tastebuds. And look around. Hohoho....film and tv personalities were around too, being entertained by the hosts and interviewed by the Press. VIPS keep coming as the night thickened and the crowd grew bigger and bigger. The DJ-MC while dishing out moody evergreens befitting the oaccasion kept wishing everyone welcome , complete with the roar of helicopter engine and the wailing of car sirens to announce the arrival of the VIPS. At one point there was even a salutation fanfare by trumpeters like in a real royal ceremony. At about 9.30 pm there was a burst of colourful fireworks to bring the reception to its climax, as some karaoke singing and live interviews were held. Oh, there was a brief blackout at the reception area although the lights in the challets were still on, suggesting that there must be a supplementary source of power supply around. The organizers have not left anything at all to chance.
What can I say to this hariraya openhouse reception! The food supply seemed endless, the facilities beyond expectation, the
entertainment casual and most amusing, and the hosts most gracious. We left unwillingly for to drive back to KL on a full stomoch was quite a challenge. Especially since my wife who chose to drive had her baby grandaughter clinging to her neck while driving. I didn't volunteeer to take over for a don't like a a backseat driver giving me orders.