What If Taenggu Watched The Fireworks With Me That Night

“What was important wasn’t the fireworks, it was that we were together this evening, together in this place, looking up into the sky at the same time.”
Banana Yoshimoto


Just a few minutes before the world counted down to Lunar New Year on 16th February, I was still in the shower at our house in Johor Bahru, Malaysia. Even before the clock struck 12, several loud sounds of “bombing” already began outside. It was the fireworks that the people put off themselves at their houses. It is legal to set off your own fireworks on festive occasions in Malaysia – probably the most extraordinary thing you can do here. But I was pretty much unfazed. I slowly took my time as I came out of the shower. I initially planned to just stay in my own room and continue making my ang baos while the “chaos” went on outside. After all, I had never been enthusiastic about celebrating the Lunar New Year.

It was until when my sister came to ask me to join her at the balcony. Though a little reluctant, I went with her, preparing to take some videos with my phone. I asked Taenggu to join me too. Amid all the deafening loud noises, I wasn’t sure if she heard me.

My father and brother were downstairs. Like the past years, my father already had several fireworks ready (which can be bought in Malaysia), preparing to join in the fun. We, the girls, were more comfortable with just watching while the guys, the brave and playful ones, lighted up the fireworks one by one. What was different this year was that one of the firework sets that my father bought was an expensive one which could shoot up into the air and burst into 49 different fireworks that lasted quite a long time (captured at 2:55-3:44 in the youtube video below). I was caught pleasantly by surprise when it happened because it was my first time seeing such a huge series of fireworks at such a close distance above my head. I became excited and wanted to share my joy with Taenggu. I kept talking under my breath to her. I wondered if she heard me?

Watch this lengthy video of the fireworks I took that were firing all around us from the view of the balcony. It was a crazy, noisy night. 🎆🎆🎆

How I wished Taenggu could really watch all the beautiful fireworks with me that night!

A week later, I was browsing through my phone and came across these old photos of Taenggu that I had kept in my albums. They were taken at Busan One Asia Festival in 2016. I looked at these photos and asked, “What if that was how Taenggu looked like if she was standing next to me watching the crazy fireworks just above our heads to welcome the lunar new year with me when the clock struck 12 that night?”

Another daydream, another what-if.

So I made this little gif video of Taenggu watching the fireworks in amazement with the live sound effect taken from my very own video of the fireworks in Malaysia that night.

Did I manage to make my daydream come alive a little more with that? 💭

A few days ago, I shared this little piece of imagination and daydream of mine on instagram.

That very same night, I went for a CNY dinner that was hosted by a relative with my family. When the banquet was about to come to an end, the song “Firework” by Katy Perry started playing. It was a meaningful coincidence. I took that as an affirmation from the universe that Taenggu had read my post and shared this firework daydream with me. 💜

‘Cause baby, you’re a firework
C’mon, show ’em what you’re worth
Make ’em go, “Aah, aah, aah”
As you shoot across the sky-y-y
Baby, you’re a firework
C’mon, let your colors burst
Make ’em go, “Aah, aah, aah”
You’re gonna leave them all in awe, awe, awe
“Firework” by Katy Perry


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