Inside the Funeral Hall. (News Photo)
Reflections of April and December: Anita Mui and Leslie Cheung’s Passing (The last part: 16)
I stared and could not work out which was the coffin. I couldn’t work out where she was. I couldn’t see how that white display in front of me, with plates of star fruits, grapes, apples, oranges, piled high and perfectly, a ceramic tray burning incense topped with a black and white photo of her in a hat, looking beautiful, could possibly be connected to the large than life, stage persona of Ms. Anita Mui I had met previously. Where were her high heels and bleached hair, her sunglasses and cleavage, with her long legs dangling just under her rail thin body? Where was the voice? The voice which boomed, morphed, announced her presence right next to me, even if I was hundreds and hundreds of feet away. And here she was right next to me, but there was no sound.
The crowd complied. No one called her name, no one sobbed.
The funeral director instructed us to bow: “First Bow, Second Bow, Third Bow”. “Family Thanks You.” We turned to our left and Bowed towards the family of Anita Mui.
In the dozen of unfamiliar faces of what must be her nieces, aunts and uncle included Nicolas Tse (Tse Ting Fung) and Andy Hui (Hui Zi An), both exquisite creatures in their own right. And in their sadness, without the usual cocky boy star persona and ego bouncing, they looked human. They looked like two beautiful man who had lost a sister.
And it reminded me once again, how the famous are exactly like us. Not who we like to think they are because they also die, and they also feel the pain of human existence. And that I didn’t go to pay respect to the woman’s body. I came to pay respect for her body of artistic work, and the good she did for our city.
And as I left, I glanced back at the display, and had a distinct feeling she had already dissipated and was she was not even here to watch over the events. Anita Mui had already moved on to the next thing, just as she always did, one step before the rest of us.