Fantasy and reality


In Bond movies, gals tumble out of planes and land on cloud nine. In real life, they’d probably fall flat on their faces.

I’LL have an apple martini please. Shaken. Not stirred. Hold the vodka. Thank you.”

Salma’s ears prick up at the words. She saunters past, okay rolls past the gentleman in the indigo blue suit at the bar, trying her darnest to not peek. She glides across the restaurant onto the balcony that looks out to the ocean. “How quaint, an apple martini. Minds his Ps and Qs. And ... hang on a minute! Hold the vodka? How novel is that?”

Salma cannot resist. She turns her head towards the bar area and sees apple martini man turn around with glass in hand and walking. Towards her!

She panics. Grabs at her purse to cool-y reach for her lip gloss or at least check her nose! Of course, EVERYTHING falls out of her bag onto her lap and spills all over the balcony. In opposite directions.

Mr Indigo Blue Suit steps out and immediately sees the mess. Places his things on one of the tables and very calmly and coolly rushes to her aid, picking up her little pieces of life.

Not really glancing at her, he turns away to grab up his glass and Salma frantically thinks before he walks: “Err ... thank you ... the clasp on the bag must have broken or something. This is so embarrassing ... i ... i ...” The man stops in his tracks, stands up straight back to her and s l o w l y turns to look at her as he says, “It’s my pleasu....” He stops. Stares at her with his piercing eyes. They look like they are dancing. Pregnant pause.

“I, err ... am Salma. Thank you so much for ...” As she puts her hand out to shake his, she whacks his martini glass in hand, notebook in the other; they all sort of ... fly out of his hands and onto the floor. Taking Salma’s bag with them.

They both flap about, grabbing at the falling things, sometimes flinging them even further out of reach. Knocking each other’s heads as they both bend to pick up the items.

“Nice one, Salma,” she thinks to herself. “Good to see some things just don’t change. Klutzy as ever. And yes. Totally uncool.”

Un-Dreamgirl. Un-Bond girl like. But totally real. And real girls with real feelings get clunky and klutzy when something moves them.

But okay, I’ll admit it. I’ve always wanted to be a Bond girl too! Well, actually, I wanted to be Bond, or the female version of. Like Matahari. That cool, aloof, nothing-can-shake-me kinda girl. Right.

I think the closest I got to that was in Shuhaimi Baba’s Mimpi Moon, where I played South American Miranda Caliente Cordoba, who is actually an NGO member that fancied herself a spy. So what happens?

She gets caught taking photos of landmines in the villain’s room by his sidekick, she avoids him by running around the room, they have a screaming match (she in Spanish) on his hotel balcony, they tussle, she falls off screaming and into a laundry bin which happened to be there, waiting. Hurts her ankle and limps off, whimpering like a pathetic puppy. Ya, super cool, right?

Shumi knows me well. Ever the pudding head I am, I reckon she had to make several of my characters klutzy and awkward too. Because she knows that Ida, the actor’s heart would probably palpitate so much it would pan out that way on screen anyway. I kinda like that though, I think human foibles humanise on-screen characters.

Besides things rarely, if ever, play out the way you imagine. Not in real life, anyways. So, much as we luuuurve the Bond characters, we know it’s highly unlikely Bond, James Bond, would pick us to free-fall onto and go on a high speed chase in a custom-built Aston Martin that will eject us into space for some romance with Mr Suave himself. After which, of course, we’d sky fall onto a bed of soft clouds. Cloud nine, to be specific.

Until you get shot dead by the Russians. Or a previous lover from a different title comes back to life to haunt them. Either way, looks like you’re in for just a routine seasonal fun ride. Err ... ok TQVM, I think.

Seeing the latest has hit the silver screen, I asked around (okay, I asked people on FB & Twitter) to see who was the most revered Agent 007. Mum’s favourite, Sean Connery, wins hands down. Then Roger Moore, who was also The Saint. Daniel Craig ... sigh, yes, he is the new age Bond I think, with just the right balance of emo and emo-tionless. Truth is, when Pierce Brosnan was in Remington Steele, I thought he would be a good Bond but I’m sorry, I got put off after his appearance. Kinda pansy. Pansy Pierce.

Sometimes I wonder what fun You must be having watching us fumble, mumble and muddle our way through our lives. Always trying to keep it exciting and interesting for ourselves and those around us. You give us fantasy silver screen partners who remain detached as they bring you on high speed chases and high-heeled roulette games. But at the end of the day, I now realise what we sometimes miss out on when we are too focussed on the new and exciting is that pure joy in our everyday lives when the lights come on – the walks, the talks, the heart on a platter and yes, even the grocery shopping.

So, which Bond would you rather be? A real, breathing, feeling one. Or a fantasy that dissipates when the Russians hit town? I kinda like keeping my wheels on the ground and let my heart do the flying.

Having put it off for far too long, Ida Nerina has finally surrendered to diversifying herself creatively. She continues to be grateful for life’s small mercies. And short people. You can follow her innocuous ramblings on fakebook and other rampant psycho babbling with that blue bird, as she seems to have become a twit with a camera too.

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