Saturday, March 20, 2010

Joy and Sorrow in March 2010

The elegant and dignified Peninsula Hotel Hong Kong meets her match in Ruby Ahmad, an exceptional Malaysian who breathed her last on Monday March 15, 2010. Our deepest condolences to her family.

Last week during the one-week school holiday, my parents, my sister and I were in KL to attend a family wedding at the Subang Golf Club. My brother could not join us as he had to spend time at his college with his Robotic team to make the final preparation for the 2010 First Lego League (FLL) Malaysian Open Championship.

We spent our weekend at Wan Cu’s house in Cheras.

Immediately after the wedding of Wan Long's and Tok Long's youngest son on Monday night, we left KL and drove back up north.

On the way back, we made a stop-over in Ipoh and stayed at the Majestic Station Hotel aka The Taj Mahal of Ipoh.

On the wall of the hotel’s vintage lift is a sticker of a grand grand-pa pleading “Hi Dearest Girls & Boys… So Lovely Girls & Boys …” to treat him gently and kindly.

The next morning, we had breakfast at the hotel’s huge verandah, and were quite surprised to see the kind of clientele the hotel attracts.

Before we left Ipoh on Tuesday, despite all the hassles, Papa could not resist the opportunity to take a photo of me with the impossibly handsome St Michael’s Institution in the background.

As we were leaving Ipoh, my brother and his Robotic team were travelling the opposite direction to KL. On Wednesday and Thursday, the team competed in the FLL at the Pusat Sains Negara. Although the team did not win any prizes, it was a good exposure and learning experience for them. In Facebook, LET'S MAKE KOLEJ SULTAN ABDUL HAMID "SEKOLAH BERPRESTASI TINGGI" BY 2015 has this to say:

Today is a sad day for the College Robotics Team. After 2 days of grueling competition in the FIRST Lego League Open Championship at the National Science Center, the team ended their challenge without collecting a single award. Sixty schools from all over Malaysia participated in this championship organized by SASBADI. It was clear that our team was outclassed on all fronts - team spirit, robot performance, teamwork, project, and robot design. Kudos to the students for giving their level best, but at the end of the day it is all about true preparedness and good management of the team. CLEARLY THE COLLEGE TEAM NEEDS HELP.

On reaching home, Papa learned the sorrowful news that the vibrant and unpretentious Ruby Ahmad had passed away on Monday. Many loving tributes instantly poured in from fellow bloggers. To Papa, she is the epitome of beauty, a gracious lady with beautiful heart and mind. The last time they exchanged ideas was on Feb 4, 2010 when the frightfully clever and incisively perceptive Ruby challenged the authorities to consider changing their silly ways:

Dato, Dato', Datuk, Datin Paduka, Datin, Toh Puan! Can't there be a move to standardise? It is a constant headache for letter writing & sending out invites, as people can be sensitive to spellings & accuracy of their titles …arghh ... so standardise lah, boleh?!

In November 2008, she wrote this profound reminder:

One should know, we are here only temporary.
One should know death is inevitable.
For, that, we continue slogging, as long as our integrity is intact.
There is no point, reaching a certain wealth status, when all one did was dipping into coffers that don't belong to you.
Better the sweat & toil, but, we did it with dignity.
The ONE above is All Seeing.
So grieve. But don't regret the good that one is doing.
Get busy living for the good of many.
Don't with this grieve, make society lose you.

You have done a world of good. Rest in peace our dearest Ruby Ahmad. Al-Fatihah.