Racket Boy – An autobiography by Philip George

Italian Connection in Malaysia

Fellini, an Italian restaurant in Petaling Jaya, KL, owned by the charming Tony Anastasi from Lazio, witnessed a set of vibrant personalities sharing stories spanning generations. It was an evening that brought together a diverse group of friends with over sixty-five years of collective history and memories.

As we gathered around the table, a blend of experiences and backgrounds came to life. Tony’s Italian culinary delights, paired with exquisite wines, served as the backdrop to reminisce, rediscover, and revisit past life events, each story more enchanting than the last.

Our host was a Hindu Nair rubber estate planter, a relic of the 1950s, regaling us with tales of Malaya’s glory days and the tranquillity that once enveloped the Orient. His words painted a vivid picture of a bygone era, capturing our imaginations.

For star quality, we were graced by the presence of a charismatic Malay dancer, an icon in traditional Indian dances, who’d performed with the legendary Rudolph Nureyev and who had once shared the stage with Margot Fontaine herself. His stories transported us to the worlds of the performing arts, spirituality, and mysticism.

Then there was an old school friend whose academic prowess had once earned him the coveted front-row seat as the teacher’s pet. On this evening, however, he appeared at a loss in the face of the vibrant conversations swirling around him, as his wife observed the contrasting tales with a keen eye.

Amidst this diverse group, Racket Boy held court, sharing his experiences, failures, and the stark differences between the East and the West; his stories a source of discussion and laughter.

Savouring the scene was a deeply attentive Tony. To him, this gathering of animated personalities at his establishment was a gift from heaven that added a vivid splash of colour to the ambience. The Italian couldn’t believe his ears when he discovered that Racket Boy was a former Malaysian living it up as a resident of Italy, while he himself was happily hitched to a Malaysian and savouring life in Malaysia! What were the odds?!

In the words of Franki Valli, “Oh, what an evening” it was indeed! Of memories, laughter, and vibrant conversation to be cherished by all who were fortunate enough to be part of it.

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