Monday, 5 December 2011

The girl next door

Even though she presents herself in quite a refined way, Sulastri Ariffin is really appreciates the simple things in life.  You wouldn’t know it to meet her.  Sulastri dresses very well, often wearing fancy earrings and dressy clothes.  Every detail of her appearance is perfect and she speaks with a confident composure.  Under it all though, she strives for a normal life.

On her off days, when she’s not busy working with the Pink Triangle Foundation, Sulastri spends time in her neighbourhood.  She prefers to go to local food stalls for nasi lemak in the morning, instead of spending her time in expensive restaurants with air con and exotic foods.  On a Sunday, Sulastri spends the morning doing some marketing around the neighbourhood, seeing the errands as a chance to connect with people she knows in the area as well as a chance to make new friends.

As part of the Portraits of Perseverance documentary a lot of the women are working towards a goal.  They have been helping make video journals chronicling their lives over the past year.  Watching the videos I have seen them grow and change.  I feel like I’ve gotten to know them.  Sulastri comes off as a real character.  She is so natural on camera.  Her sense of humour resonates with the viewer. 

You would think that considering her charisma and potential, Sulastri would be working towards a performance of some kind as her goal at the end of the film, but Sulastri has something much simpler in mind.  She wants to go fishing.  I guess it makes sense, taking her down home roots into account.  What better way to cap off a busy year than with a nice relaxing afternoon by the water?  It’s a reminder for me to take time to enjoy life’s simple pleasures.

See more on Sulastri’s work on the website for the PT Foundation:

By:  Morgan Reed

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