All eyes were on the grey sky. 5 helicopters flew past, carrying the Malaysian flags. Against the tallest flagpole in Malaysia, and the largest Malaysian flag, these helicopters looked like miniature crafts. The thousand eyes were Malaysians, joined by a splatter of foreigners. All were celebrating Malaysia's 51st independence. More accurately, it was Persekutuan Tanah Melayu's (Malaya) 51st independence day. I was amongst the thousands.
Moving on, I came to a friendlier crowd. In contrast with the military, some groups were in hot and loud colors. They were eager to be photographed. A happy lot indeed.
But what do you do when a SKALI wants to tumpang "skaki" with the Perodua group? Biarkan lah!
Cycling on, I came across the dog unit of PDRM. These dogs played vital roles in the safeguard of the nation. However, I do keep my distance taking the shot. I would not want to agitate them.
Later, I came across the veteran groups - both from the military and police. Retirement life must have been good.
In parades they used to stand rock still. In retirement, they are allowed to relax.
And medals were the honor they duly deserved and proudly wore on occassions like this.
And when we talked about bangsa majmuk, we have great examples here.
Our future generations were also given the opportunity to share in the excitement of the Independence day. They marched in the orders that only childrens would - carefree, holding hands, talking, laughing, waving, posing, etc. There are lessons in our childrens' behaviors that adults like us should emulate.
I had problem taking shots of these 2 children of the future because one adult lady kept coming into my viewfinder. Tired of posing and not getting their shots taken, this young "engineer" told the adult to move away. She moved away and I captured this shot.
These 2 young graduates were on board "Seri Bijaksana", piloted by a young "Captain". Pray that kapal Seri Bijaksana will not stray into Somalia waters.
On shore, we had this two lovely kids from the Sime Darby float.
And there's also batik galore. What would the parade be without the colors of batik. One team had a very strong brown/black theme.
while another had softer tones. But wearing gloves with baju kurung? A new fashion statement?
And I do have a soft spot for anything TM. These marchers included. I was panning for some familiar faces, but none came to view. Very futuristic. Must be very hot too inside.
In the excitement of the parade, I can't help noticing a gentleman having a feel of the saddle on my bike. He was scrutinizing it up and down and back to front. Aha, a Brooks fan I suspect. He is Encik Ghani from Sabak Bernam. He had an old Raleigh with an old broken Brooks. He "knew" mine was original and enquired where I bought it. He was a bit disappointed that it is not available locally, but showed a sign of relief when he knew what could be the damage. In his heart, he knew it would be wiser to use his damaged Brooks!
I also bumped into an old friend from my former employment. Sdr Latif and his family were amongst the thousands who came by. Syabas Latif! Bersiar-siar dengan keluarga tu satu amalan yang baik.
I won't do justice if I did not feature some of the shots that add additional color to the parade. This is where the telephoto lens came in handy.
Towards the end of the parade, I met 4 other cyclists. They were a group from the Keramat/Gombak/Pandan area. Orang KL la while I was orang PJ. Out of common love for cycling, we became instant friends. We decided to cycle to the famous Nasi Lemak Tanglin stall in the Lake Garden for a drink. I exchanged my contact number with one of them, Zul. His friends said Zul "lives" on his bicycle 24 hours a day. Great. We promised to hook up after Ramadzan and plan some cycling together. Why not. I always loved to be amongst the young ones. Make me feeel young too.
So young men. The drinks were on me.