Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tsui Yong Yong's Ending Essay: SM Inborn Disposition & Willfulness

Steven Ma:  Natural Disposition and Willfulness (生性 與 任性)
My fate with Steven Ma is extremely strong. I recall my first encounter with him was in the mid 90s inside a hotel coffee house. An unexpected encounter, a patch of white before my very eyes …it was his fair complexion against which his lips looked even redder.

A young sapling, once viewed, hard to forget.

The second encounter was inside TVB makeup room. He was standing next to Leon Lai. People said he resembled Leon Lai but I did not see the resemblance. Steven Ma, he is himself.

The third time, heard his voice through his phone call to me. 1999 early October, one afternoon when I was diligently writing for Mingpao Weekly the phone on the desk rang, I picked up the phone and out came Steven’s voice: “Tsui jeh? I would like to do an interview with you."

Apparently Commercial Radio (CRHK) had just come up with a new talk show program and had invited Steven to be its host and, he actually thought of me. I declined his interview invitation, but recalling his sick mother at home (my reporting partner told me Steven had been taking care of his mother who had had cancer for 22 years. I heard it once to never forget…)

“How’s your mother?” I wanted to ask after Mrs. Ma.

Suddenly, a complete silence. After a long pause, heard Steven said: “Mama has just passed away.”

Ah! Felt so bad, did not mean to stir up other people’s sorrows.

But at the same time thought of how he, his father, three elder sisters and one younger sister had taken such good care of the sick mother for twenty odd years, and so embraced in their love she was imbued with a fighting spirit to live.

His inborn disposition had enabled his mother despite her debilitating pain to receive an immense encompassing spiritual warmth, this type of good people and good story should be made known to the latter generation, and toward the readers, a good influence.

Hence, I decided to make my request to Steven: “Why don’t you accept an interview from me instead? I want to do a write up on this heartwarming good story."

Because it was family stuff, he considered my request for a whole month, finally, understanding the motive behind my desire to report this as news, he eventually nodded his head…

After that, I used up a month or so to observe him at work. I noticed that he was extremely serious towards work. Punctual and homework well-prepared beforehand, he was very conscientious towards work.

Without an actual face-to-face interview, I eventually wrote my report with details gathered from my observation. It was also during this long month of being together that I inadvertently noticed a moody person steeped in extreme depression. Steven having just lost his mother was still in pain. I so wished for him to be able to extricate himself from that abyss. I withheld my finished report, instead I read voraciously all kind of books, finally I came upon this sentence from Teacher Tang Jun Yi: “The passing of a loved one is an indelible pain, no philosophy can comfort you as this is part of life that everyone at one time or the other must endure, henceforth, you will cherish even more the people around you.”

I relayed this precious writing to Steven.

And because of this piece of writing, thus began our mentor-friend fate for 10 years and up.   After my write up of Steven’s interview, I developed a better understanding of words. Thereafter, I put more spirit into writing my articles. (see fn)

2002 July 14, Steven established “出色堂出版有限公司” and had me helmed the management, thereafter a kind of both business and personal, mentor and friends relationship officially developed. Traveling the same stormy road, our relationship as close friends cum comrade-in-arms enabled us to confront and handle all encountered problems and hardships with mutual sincerity towards each other.

2012 March 14, afternoon, boarding the plane from Beijing to Hong Kong I had just officially resigned from my long time post of managing editor of “出色堂出版有限公司”, thus, officially discharging my identity as Steven Ma’s liaison. Leaving this comrade-in-arms long time friend, I began to prepare for my next job.

Since there’s fate why part then? I think it all comes down to our “情” (feeling; affection; sentiment; love) that was originally built upon our familial love for our respective families; we both are nature predisposition.  (生性 ).  We both appreciate each other’s responsibility and care towards our own families.

But, his and my personalities are very individualistic: nature predisposition at the same time willful; we are so alike in character.

Those days of us doing battles together shoulder to shoulder, to protect me, this person of a reporter background, he had endured much for me. When countless people told him to get rid of me, how he indefatigably shielded me and protected me from the stormy weathers, my heart totally comprehended. Conversely, all these years I too with all my heart and effort protected and cared for him. I have always appreciated his 100 percent trust in me.

But, the issue of our own feelings did indeed impact our further collaboration. Undoubtedly he is a very decent person, just that he can be a tad too chauvinistic in character. Towards little women like me, no doubt he took good care of me but at the same time he was frustrated that I did not take good enough care of the whole picture.

Ten years of affectionate relationship, I believe I understand Steven well; our friendship’s foundation is deep. Though business relationship is severed, our personal friendship remains.

Nowadays he is unhurriedly advancing his career in mainland entertainment industry; his development smooth and stable.

Here wishing Steven’s career to spread its wings wide and soar to new height.

source: Tsui Yong Yong's book: 義筆蓉情 p 214-218
Translator: Tamaya

TN: I think Tsui Yong Yong was against Steven's setting up the production studio.  Maybe like me, she too thinks that Steven should first concentrate on building up his acting career and reputation in mainland before taking on the behind the scenes stuff. 

Pretty sure among those people who pestered Steven to get rid of Tsui were most probably his ex-manager, Francis Fan, Catherine Tsang, and of course, Virginia Lok. 

related news: 2001 Undaunted I forge ahead

fn: The book below is Tsui Yong Yong's 1st published book - a collection of her past news articles including Steven's interview talking about his mother's cancer.

Source: Tsuiyy weibo: 7/29 - 00:22 In the year 2000, my first published literary work, 《採星記》(Stars' Interviews). Steven came to the Book Fair to personally congratulate me, thus began our ten years of partnership.

eta 7月31日 11:45 蓉蓉細語


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