Saturday, November 3, 2007

Marriage Toast

Background:

A rather long speech about how the husband and wife met. I played the part of the matchmaker, so it makes sense for me to present this one. This was one of the most important speeches I have ever presented due to the fact the couple is practically family. It was also one of my hardest. Using a mike in a big hall which had around 300 people from which half of them were scarcely paying attention due to a big language barrier.

Another interesting note is that at the end, I did not have to execute the toast as written which goes to show that a script does not always turn out as it was planned. Enjoy!

Actual Speech:

My name is “Yue Sia Lao Jen” which loosely translated means “Old Man Under the Moon”… The Greeks and Romans call me Eros and sometimes Amor. Indians call me Kama but I am best known universally as Cupid. A real one though. Not the commercial white baby with dimple cheeks and blonde hair with angel wings. Nope, this cupid is tall, dark and handsome. But this story isn’t about me, it is about them [direct to ken and carol]… One a good looking superstar who just finished his studies in Australia and like a conquering hero was returning home to fame, fortune and women. The other was sweet princess who just finished her degree and was about to start a job.

Good evening Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you the story of how Kenny met Carol…

About 6 years ago around this time, I setup a get together with friends from my higher diploma which was Kenny and friends from my degree year which included Carol. At that time I didn’t realize it but it was historical night. It was the night when the fates of two people became intertwined… Thinking really hard back to that night, I remember Kenny shooting occasional glances at Carol who was sitting at a corner. He will deny this but fact is Kenny couldn’t take his eyes off Carol. When Kenny first saw Carol, I think the whole world went into slow motion sort of like those love scenes from a classic Bollywood movie. Only thing missing was trees…

Like a good Bollywood movie, the heroine (Carol), couldn’t be bothered less with Kenny and was more engrossed in her hand phone. And those who knew Carol those days can testify to this. She will always be on her hand phone smsing to just about anyone. There was a joke that was going around in college once that if Carol had something to say to you, she will sms you… EVEN if you were sitting just next to her. I personally thought that the hand phone was actually connected to Carol’s hands. It was only after a few years with Kenny it got surgically removed.

What I learnt much later on though is that the Carol did put her hand phone down for a second and actually managed a decent conversation with Kenny when the night was winding down and they realized that they actually had a lot of things in common. He was from Lasalle PJ and she was Sri Aman girl. It was a match.

Everything was quiet after that. Kenny was never the player type who will pick up girls after just one meeting. He needed help and it came once again through the same tall, dark and handsome Cupid. It was accidental though, Cupid needed a job and who better to help him find one but two of his best friends. And this was the meeting when the sparks really flew. Passion ignited. It was like fireworks. And poor old Cupid was reduced into the role of a tall lamp post! :P

Let me described to you the experience of being with two people who have not realized they have fallen in love. For humans, when we talk. It happens one at a time. One person speaks and another listens but on that day, I for the first time witness two people being able to talk and listen at the same time… And they did this at an amazing speed. It was like two fast talking chipmunks. It was quite cool at first but quickly turned into horror when I realized this form of communication was only for 2 people and did not include anyone else. It was like trying to call Carol’s hand phone. You always get the engaged tone.

The courtship was fast. They were in love since job hunt day. They just had to figure it out. Unsurprisingly, shortly after on 4th April 2002, Kenny popped the “Would you like to be my girlfriend” question and the hand phone princess accepted by putting down her hand phone and taking Kenny’s hand instead.

What Kenny doesn’t know is that before they become a couple, Carol being a girl (a sweet girl but still very much a girl) was confused about him and on one sunny afternoon, called me up during work to get a character reference.

Now, what Carol didn’t know was that the person she was calling up was none other than the President of Kenny Tham Sai Kuen fan club. I am not ashamed to say it but despite being a true blue straight guy I have always an admirer of our handsome groom and have very bias opinions of him. I am glad to say my buttering worked and here we are 5 years down the road…

About a year ago, the couple called me and a bunch of our close friends including Charles, Richard, Jolin and Sui Jin to Starbucks Sri Hartamas. I remember this event quite clearly. He waited for us to sit down around this small round table and he looked at us all sad and serious. I was thinking “Whoa! This looks bad.” Then he said “Guys, I have an announcement… Carol is no longer my girlfriend!”. And he said it really depressed. I remember my heart actually going to my toes. It didn’t occur to me what was going on. I thought this was Kenny and Carol’s break up. And then I saw his face again… It was lighted up like a kid who stole candy and got away with it. He looked me straight in the eye and then said “Carol is no longer my girlfriend but is now my fiancĂ©e!”… I have known Kenny close to 10 years and one thing I learned during this time is that he can really be a cheeky bastard sometimes! :P

Despite his cheekiness though, we have been through a lot together. From killing terrorist to slaughtering demons and launching rockets at each other… In other words, playing computer games. To more serious stuff like growing up, sharing lives and supporting each other in times of need. He is a pillar of rock. Generous, kind and very strong! A credit to his parents. He is the sort of husband that will laugh with you when there are jokes to be cracked, cry with you when tears can’t be held back and best of all, he will stand by you when you feel most alone.

And I am glad that you choose him Carol. I am glad because like Kenny, you are my dearest friend and we have been for many years. In you, I think Kenny will find a woman who is still the same cheerful, innocent and sweet little girl who was in my degree class with her nose always in her hand phone. However, despite your child like innocence, there is a maturity about you. I think it is this maturity which will be vital to Kenny as he sails through life. You will always be his compass, to make sure he never losses his way.

You guys are a great team and I foresee a horizon of filled with love, happiness and a football team of babies. You two were meant for each other and I am ecstatic I got to be the [Yue Sia Lao Jen] in your beautiful love story.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please raise your glasses to Mr. and Mrs. Kenny Tham Sai Kuen… May their love be ever strong and Carol pregnant every other year. CHEERS!

by, Vijay Balasegaram