The Base Commander’s wife I wrote about in my last posting (read here) soon had us eating out of her dainty hands. We grumbled and groaned but we followed her every command. She was always so full of ideas for BAKAT. We had no choice but to succumb to her wishes. She would drive round the quarters every evening after work, busy as a bee. Although in the beginning we would run helter skelter seeking shelter in the safety of our homes at the sight of her approaching car, we overcame our fears the moment we realised her bark was worse than her bite.
I remember the day she returned from attending the BAKAT Udara Central Committee meeting in KL, of which all Base Commanders’ wives were members, and immediately called for a meeting with us. BAKAT was still at its formative stage in1980 and there were a lot of plans, one of which was to stage a cultural performance for some foreign military dignitaries who would be visiting the country in a couple of months. Instead of getting professional dancers, as was the usual practice, BAKAT from all the Bases were required to present something to reflect the culture of the states they were in.
Whether it was part of an austerity drive or just plain ambitious on the part of the people at the top, the show had to go on. An order, a tall one, had been issued, which had to be addressed and delivered in true military fashion, by hook or by crook.
Despite the First Lady’s repeated pleas, not many aspired to be dancers for a myriad of reasons. It was quite understandable for most were saddled with young ones who needed round-the-clock attention. But, for the few of us who dared to take the plunge, (only after much coaxing and persuasion) it was the start of a long and tiring commitment. The journey on the road to stardom had only just begun.