Monthly Archives: July 2008

Connecting The Dots…

Features


July 31, 2008 17:35 PM  

Connecting The Dots…

By Nel Fahro-Rozi

KUALA LUMPUR, July 31 (Bernama) — Was it Steve Jobs or Bill Gates who told a story in a commencement address that life is about connecting the dots?

I think it was Steve Jobs, but regardless of who said that, I believe he is absolutely right. He also said that you cannot connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.

Relating his concept to my own life story, when I look back at everything that has happened in my life, every event and experience actually prepared me for things that will come later in life. As every soul has a story to tell, so let me tell you my story.

When I was a student at San Jose State University in California, USA, I worked 40 hours a week, doing three part-time jobs to supplement my government scholarship because I refused to ask for money from my parents.

Not that the scholarship money could not get me by every month, but it was not enough for the life I imagined to live. I wanted a better quality life, even as a student – so that I did not have to share a one bedroom apartment with four to six other students, and to have money to travel the vast American continent.

I was a lot younger then; and I was a bundle of energy, passion and resilience.

Imagine this. On Mondays and Wednesdays, I would work at the faculty coffee house on the campus, which helped me got to know my lecturers better. I would say that was quite a strategic job.

Although I was just a cashier on Mondays and making sandwiches on Wednesdays, I developed good rapport and made friends with people who determined my grades in class, by serving people with my heart and soul. Believe me, there were dollops of love layered in between my sandwiches.

My classes were mostly on Tuesdays and Thursdays in stretches of three hours each class and would last from early morning to late evening. That way I would be able to work for a full day at the faculty dining room on Mondays and Wednesdays. Friday mornings would be spent on my research works at the library or studying at the beautiful rose garden at the campus.

On my working days, I would study at the library or at the employees locker room between my shifts at the faculty coffee house. During my one hour lunch and dinner breaks I would have a quick bite of sandwich or chips, read San Jose Mercury News and Spartan Daily and then reviewed my course works.

That was a tight schedule, but miraculously I somehow managed to balance everything well. Although I did not make it to the Dean’s List or the Honor’s Roll, I successfully graduated with a good hard-earned CGPA that I can be proud of.

On Friday evenings, I would work at the campus pub and restaurant serving pizza, pasta, chicken wings, chicken chops, lamb chops and steaks to both the faculty and the students.

At the pub and restaurant, I would spend six hours waitressing from 6:00 p.m. – either running around taking orders, serving food and beverages, bussing tables or washing dishes – to closing at midnight. From my job, I made many friends and developed social skills.

After finishing work, I would cycle almost two miles to get back to my apartment. During the colder seasons, I would leave the bicycle at home and walked because it was too cold that my upper and lower teeth would grind against each other amidst the blowing wind.

I was fortunate that my university provided campus police escort to walk me home safely. By the time I reached home, it was already way past 1:00 a.m. I was tired but happy.

I was a lot younger, and I was a bundle of energy, passion and resilience. So, most mornings I would spring out of bed, raring to go for the day.

There were some mornings, however, I woke up thinking, do I have to work again today? Nevertheless, when I thought about having to share a one bedroom apartment with four to six other people, and not having enough money to travel, I would get up and be raring to go again!

Having worked hard for the money during the weekdays; I would usually keep my weekends free and easy. Most weekends were spent studying and doing research. Some weekends I spent recuperating, sleeping in for half the day or bumming around in my apartment watching cable TV endlessly as I did not get to watch TV during the weekdays.

Some weekends, I socialised with the nine other Malaysians, some Singaporeans, Indonesians and a number of other foreign friends whom I got to know from campus and at the pub and restaurant. We would have either a barbecue cook out and picnic or went cross country horse riding at Alum Rock Park, which is San Jose’s first and largest park.

Some weekends I spent on the air, flying in a two-seater airplane which my flight-instructor-in-training classmate and I chartered for two hours. Thanks to my three jobs, I could afford this experience.

Some weekends, especially when the weather is hot, my friends and I would drive two hours up to Reno where there’s snow all year round. We would roll in the thick snow; throw snowballs at each other and tried our hand at snowboarding and skiing (at the beginner’s slope that is).

Some weekends my friends and I drove to the nearby cities where there were Malaysian communities – half an hour to San Francisco, an hour to Oakland, two hours to Sacramento, four hours to Fresno and eight hours to Los Angeles.

Some weekends, because of the opportunity to make more money, I worked at the campus stadium serving hotdogs, nachos and chips to spectators at the football games or rock concerts. Some weekends, I worked as a catering wait staff, serving faculty guests, including politicians, and corporate figures.

I remember thinking how nice it would have been to be in the customer’s shoes instead of being in a waitress’ shoes. Omigod, my good feet were killing me! Well, some days. Now that I am in the customer’s shoes, doing a lot of entertaining for my job sometimes, it is now more like, “Omigod, my good food is killing me!” You know what I hated most about being a waitress?

1. Those table numbers. I never did remember all of them. It took me weeks on the job to figure out how the numbering system works. In the first month, I managed to screw up a number or orders because of it. I eventually learned, the hard way.

2. Those stupid uniforms. The light blue t-shirt, navy blue baseball cap and navy blue apron my supervisors at the stadium made me wear. I thought of the uniforms as an opportunity cost because they repelled many cute guys at the stadium. They were so ugly; I would never want to be seen dead in them.

3. Being mistaken for a Hispanic. Because I had tan from swimming almost every day at the campus aquatic centre on my way home from class during spring and summer, I was being repeatedly mistaken for a Hispanic by some customers, and having to tell them that I do not speak Espanola.

By the way, now that I am back home in Malaysia, I became so fair skinned due to the lack of sunlight having worked in the office from sun up to sun down every day.

Nonetheless, I am grateful for my experience as a waitress. Because I was once in the waitress’ shoes, I have learned a great lesson in humility that has stayed with me in life. Ah well, you may agree or disagree that these are not strategic jobs, but I certainly did learn some good lessons and achieved a thing or two.

1. My biggest achievement of all time: not dropping a single plate or drinking glass or piping-hot pizza or pasta on an angry customer or anywhere near in my over two years of being a waitress.

2. I realised that a tip of a few dollars will not make me rich but it was still something for me to be happy and excited about at the end of the day, back then. The biggest tip I got was 20 bucks and that felt like a lot of money at that moment.

Because of this, now I make it a point to leave a tip, particularly when the waiter or waitress went the extra mile in serving me. I once left a tip of 20 bucks for a waitress who was pregnant and she actually ran out from the restaurant to catch me and thank me for the tip. That was really touching, how a little something can create a lot of things. I would never forget that moment.

3. I have learned that a hungry man is an angry man indeed. If an order is late or is wrong, a customer can sometimes become an irritated “curse-tomer”. I must remember, I was dealing with hungry people after all. So I better not make them angry. Because of that, now I become more sensitive and responsive of the people I serve, like my bosses and my customers.

4. I have learned that a sincere “thank you” or a small compliment from my customer or my boss really made my day. Today, I make it a point not to forget to say my thanks to people who serve me.

5. I learned some words in Spanish because of the customers who kept speaking Spanish to me. Now when I think of the Hispanic actress Salma Hayek, I really did not mind being mistaken for a Mexican Bonita like that gorgeous woman.

6. I learned from the cook how to make good pasta! Not only that, I also make excellent shepherd’s pie, according to my friends, that is.

7. I learned how to set a proper table for a formal dinner and what fork to use for what dish and in which order. This knowledge is very useful when I need to entertain people or attend formal functions.

8. I learned that no matter how rich your parents are, there is no greater satisfaction than earning your own hard earned money.

Oh well, I was a lot younger, and I was a bundle of energy, passion and resilience. Today, many, many moons later, I am not as young as I once was; but be rest assured that I still am a bundle of energy, passion and resilience. My battery is still ever ready, and it keeps going and going.

Most mornings I would spring out of bed, raring to go for the day. Some mornings I woke up thinking, do I have to go to work again today? However, I also learned that 99% of the time, the results I created in my life are about the choice I made and the effective (or ineffective) action I took on that choice.

So when I thought about the hard work I endured being a waitress and student, and how far I have come to be where I am today, I would get up and be raring to go again

–BERNAMA


Build A Life, Not Make A Living

Features


July 23, 2008 12:37 PM  

Build A Life, Not Make A Living

By Nel Fahro-Rozi

KUALA LUMPUR, July 23 (Bernama) — I would like to dedicate an Al-Fatihah to a friend who died in a fatal accident middle of last week.

It was so tragic, and such a tragedy because it was not his time yet. That was what I thought when I heard about his sudden passing. Not that I know when his time was supposed to be up, anyhow.

I was in denial because I felt he was too young to die. He was not only a good friend, but a good man. He was sincere, very helpful and always made time for people. So perhaps that is why people say, “the good die young”.

My deepest regret in our friendship is not spending time to have that chat over coffee with him for the last time before he died.

My friend and I talked about having that chat over coffee for quite some time. Rather than seizing the day, being spontaneous, going for it and making it a certainty, we were always planning for that chat over coffee whenever we talked on the phone. In the end, what has yet to happen will never happen, and that, I know is a certainty.

I did not expect he would die so soon. I did not know that his tomorrow never came, so that opportunity to have that chat over coffee with him is lost forever.

Anyway, yesterday is past. Tomorrow has not arrived. Today is here, so it is the only real moment that we have. As we do not know if we would still be alive tomorrow, today is beyond doubt a priceless gift because we are alive today. Because today is a gift, it is not an irony it is called the present.

Today I would like to make a difference to those of us, including myself, who keep thinking that we have that many tomorrows such that we keep postponing important things in life that matter more to us, because of what we are busy with today.

Really, have we ever sat down and think if the things that we are busy with today are what matters most just before we die? There are many things that people are busy with. I would like to take money as an example, because many people I asked rate money as very important in their lives, and spend a major part of their time and energy making money for themselves and for their loved ones.

Stop for a minute and think.

We work so hard for money – for some, to sustain our living, for some, to improve our standard of living, for some, as a means to an end so they can enjoy life better, and for some, to create wealth or to create more wealth.

Whatever our reasons, considerations and justifications are, most of us work so hard for money, so much so that this colossal effort we put into making money are taking us away further and further from the very thing we work hard for in our lives.

God intended to give us 24 hours a day so that we have eight hours to make a living, eight hours to build a life – religion, self, family, friends – and eight hours to rest and sleep. Do not let our extreme “busy-ness” keep borrowing many hours from the quality time we were meant to spend for all the things in life that really matter to us.

For the most important things in life, if we can do it today, why postpone until tomorrow. Do it now, do not wait until later.

Let us build a life, not just make a living. Appreciate the present moment.

–BERNAMA


Oh maaaaaamaa aku mau kaaaaahwin!

Features


July 22, 2008 12:23 PM  

Oh maaaaamaa aku mau kaaaaahwin!(Oh mama, I want to get married!)

By Nel-Fahro Rozi

KUALA LUMPUR, July 22 (Bernama) — I was just thinking…

If God intended to give us 24 hours a day so that we have eight hours to make a living, eight hours to build a life – religion, self, family, friends – and eight hours to rest, then my life is definitely not a balanced one. It seems my work is always borrowing extra four hours from my personal time. In the end, I’m always making a living, and not building a life.

I wish I can say Thank God it’s Friday, but the truth is, I haven’t really enjoyed my weekend that much. I’m always working even on weekends. If not working on my day job, I’d be doing a freelance project, or if nothing else, I’d be helping my mother run her grocery business. Imagine doing that every weekend…

I used to think, if I did not do all these, what else would I do over my weekends? I mean, I am single, so I have extra time on my hand compared to my married peers. I would be dead bored, right?

I know my mother would not like me to spend time away from the grocery store on weekends. Every opportunity she gets, she wants me to run the grocery store. I would do it, so that I could let my mother have a good rest.

It’s a chicken and egg situation, really. My mother thinks I should spend time running the grocery store because I am single. On the other hand, I think I am single because I’m busy running my mother’s grocery store. Where got time to go dating maaaaaaa!

Mothers are the epitome of contradiction, I think.

My mother has been so busy body asking me when I’m getting married. Yet she is keeping me busy doing things that keep me away from meeting potential dates. I mean, I would have a better chance meeting Mr. Right in a bookstore or café, as compared to a grocery store, right?

If my mother wants me married off sooner, she is going to have to give me a lot of moral support instead of trapping me in guilt trips. The guilt trip tactic is always eating me up, and my mother is good at doing that. For that reason, too, I always ended up going back to running her grocery store on weekends.

I feel like a hamster running on a treadmill in a cage, like the ones you see in pet shops. Keep running and running on empty. Keep running and running like the rabbit in my favourite Energizer battery TV commercial.

Sigh! Probably now I have to find someone as my other half, who enjoys running a grocery store with me over the weekends, huh?

My younger brother is tying the knot in August, which is just next month. By this time, I would be the only singleton in my family, save for my mother as she chose to remain single after she divorced my father. I did not choose to be single, however. I want a very loving, passionate and committed marriage, if such a thing is not a fairy tale, that is.

Huhuhu…I feel like singing that old song they always play in one of the old P. Ramlee or Mat Sentul movies from the 60s. As the lyric goes, “Oh maaaaaamaa aku mau kaaaaahwin!”

I think I need a change in my lifestyle. No, wait! I now remember that I have huge responsibilities and commitments. I am my family’s hero, so to speak, right. I must save the world, like Hiro in the Heroes series. So, it’s unlikely I would do a total makeover. Perhaps, one change at a time is manageable.

Let’s see…

I will do one new thing every day. I can pick up a new book by an unfamiliar author. The stranger the fiction, the better. I can sit in a different chair with my morning coffee, if only to see my house from a fresh perspective to keep my mind alert and my spirit alive and kicking. Hmmm, naaaah, this will make me feel like a centenarian living in an old folk’s home.

I know what I need. I need a radical change. I need a lifestyle makeover. I shall sleep on it tonight!

Meanwhile, if you have brilliant ideas, do share with me. I surrender being single!

— BERNAMA


Build A Life, Not Make A Living

I would like to dedicate an Al-Fatihah to a friend who died in a fatal accident middle of last week.

It was so tragic, and such a tragedy because it was not his time yet. That was what I thought when I heard about his sudden passing. Not that I know when his time was supposed to be up, anyhow.

I was in denial because I felt he was too young to die. He was not only a good friend, but a good man. He was sincere, very helpful and always made time for people. So perhaps that is why people say, “the good die young”.

My deepest regret in our friendship is not spending time to have that chat over coffee with him for the last time before he died.

My friend and I talked about having that chat over coffee for quite some time. Rather than seizing the day, being spontaneous, going for it and making it a certainty, we were always planning for that chat over coffee whenever we talked on the phone. In the end, what has yet to happen will never happen, and that, I know is a certainty.

I did not expect he would die so soon. I did not know that his tomorrow never came, so that opportunity to have that chat over coffee with him is lost forever.

Anyway, yesterday is past. Tomorrow has not arrived. Today is here, so it is the only real moment that we have. As we do not know if we would still be alive tomorrow, today is beyond doubt a priceless gift because we are alive today. Because today is a gift, it is not an irony it is called the present.

Today I would like to make a difference to those of us, including myself, who keep thinking that we have that many tomorrows such that we keep postponing important things in life that matter more to us, because of what we are busy with today.

Really, have we ever sat down and think if the things that we are busy with today are what matters most just before we die? There are many things that people are busy with. I would like to take money as an example, because many people I asked rate money as very important in their lives, and spend a major part of their time and energy making money for themselves and for their loved ones.

Stop for a minute and think.

We work so hard for money – for some, to sustain our living, for some, to improve our standard of living, for some, as a means to an end so they can enjoy life better, and for some, to create wealth or to create more wealth.

Whatever our reasons, considerations and justifications are, most of us work so hard for money, so much so that this colossal effort we put into making money are taking us away further and further from the very thing we work hard for in our lives.

God intended to give us 24 hours a day so that we have eight hours to make a living, eight hours to build a life – religion, self, family, friends – and eight hours to rest and sleep. Do not let our extreme “busy-ness” keep borrowing many hours from the quality time we were meant to spend for all the things in life that really matter to us.

For the most important things in life, if we can do it today, why postpone until tomorrow. Do it now, do not wait until later.

Let us build a life, not just make a living. Appreciate the present moment.


Quiet please, there’s a lady on stage

One phrase to describe how I feel today: on top of the world.

I completed the last leg of my  leadership program at AsiaWorks. What a memorable journey these past three months have been.

I successfully exceeded or meet all the goals in my Declaration of Excellence. Some of them are: I published 8 articles in Bernama.com, out of the 3 articles I declared, I lost 5kg as I declared, I created a new relationship with Abang Zaid, the man I am going out with now, where we are more open in our communication, and we are now more challenging to each other having broken our barriers, I created a new relationship with my step siblings, and I am closer to one of them whom I promised to visit when I go down south to Melaka where he is now studying. I also improved my relationships with my parents.

I was a torch bearer for LP116, too. It was really an honour because not everyone is a torch bearer.

What happened during my third weekend I cannot share, but I can share my cradle song to recapture my moments in LP116.

Quiet please, there’s a lady on stage

Quiet please, there’s a lady on stage.
She may not be the latest rage,
But she’s singing, and she means it.
And she deserves a little silence.

Quiet please, there’s a woman up there,
And she’s been honest through her songs
Long before your consciousness was raised.
Now doesn’t that deserve a little praise?

So put your hands together, help her along,
All that’s left of the singers, all that’s left of the song.
Stand for the ovation,
And give her one last celebration.

Quiet please, there’s a person up there,
Who’s singing of the sins that none of us could bear
To hear for ourselves,
Now give her your respect if nothing else.

So put your hands together, help her along,
All that’s left of the singers, all that’s left of the song.
Rise to the occasion,
And give her one last celebration.


It’s never over till the fat lady sings

Features


July 18, 2008 15:44 PM  

It’s never over till the fat lady sings

By Nel-Fahro Rozi

KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 (Bernama) — Ever heard that popular adage, “it’s never over till the fat lady sings”? Coined by a sportswriter and broadcaster Dan Cook, it was a form of self-assurance (or in denial) in the face of long odd, often muttered when things look grim.

That reminds me of that day two years ago when everything looked a little grim for me. I shouldn’t feel that way, but I couldn’t help my tears when I heard that The Ex-Husband had recently remarried.

I heard he went to Manila in the Philippines to marry The Other Woman. From what I know, they had been having an affair since the year before he left me five years ago. He must be in love with her for remaining with her for those many years, because his two other extra-marital affairs only lasted a month or two.

Jogging down the memory lane, five years ago, I was terribly devastated and deeply hurt by his betrayal. It was my fault that my entire universe revolved around him. When he had forsaken me without a word, except for a short sms to tell me that our marriage was over, I was so devastated, especially after reading what he wrote to in his break-up e-mail to me. He said that his ideal has changed. I was his ideal. Suddenly he realised I was no longer that.

My entire universe collapsed in a heap before my eyes. I really thought I would die of a broken heart. But thankfully, I didn’t die, although at that time I wished I did. Looking back, it was ridiculous to think that I was almost suicidal. I am glad I survived. That was a blessing. Still is.

Nonetheless, I still am a little hurt by how he disposed off me after all these years, perhaps because he is still very much a part of me. I know that because I cried myself to sleep after hearing that news of him remarrying two years ago.

As Sheryl Crow sang, “first love is the deepest, first cut is the deepest…” He was after all my first love, and my first cut.

I guess I had not really let go of him two years ago. Tell me this, how can I throw away 15 years of my life with him, of which seven years I was married to him? That is like almost half of my life. I would be suffering from serious amnesia if I did!

I had not dislodged him from my heart, and it felt like that irritating little fish bone that got stuck in my throat. That was perhaps one of the reasons why in the last few years I could not commit 100% to a relationship with another man.

Not until two years ago, when I realised that I must let him go. I realised that what I should be looking for was not his replacement, and even my ideal, or Mr. Right as people call it, as I have learned from my ex-husband that ideals do change sometimes. There is no Mr. Right; I am just looking for my other half.

I thought, and still think that things would have been a lot easier for me, if The Ex-Husband was man enough to give me a proper closure in ending our marriage. The Ex-Husband never once told me in person he was sorry for what he did to me. He just wrote a two liner apology in a festive greeting card sent to me via the snail mail. Just saying sorry to me in my face would make a big difference to me by leaps and bounds. I guess his ego is thicker than The Great Wall of China.

Guess what, “it’s never over til the fat lady sings” no more. I am not a sore loser. I may lose in this game of love with him, but I did learn great lessons.

Nonetheless, like energy, love cannot dissolve, it just evolves…

So, because we were together for a good 15 years and half of that time I was married to The Ex-Husband, my love for him has grown to become somewhat unconditional, so it cannot be undone. The old love that used to be, had evolved into another form. I would like to eventually call it friendship, and as a friend, I am happy that he is happy with his choice. I’m happy that he has found his ideal, whatever that means. Honestly, I really am.

A belated congratulations, darling!

— BERNAMA


A Room of Familiar Strangers

Features


July 11, 2008 15:49 PM  

A Room of Familiar Strangers

By Nel Fahro-Rozi

KUALA LUMPUR, July 11 (Bernama) — A group of my secondary school friends organised a reunion get-together over the weekend. It was a good trot down my memory lane, unearthing some memories that have been buried for good many years. I did not realise I have forgotten many faces, people and events in my secondary school years.

I was not the smartest, prettiest, coolest or most popular kid on the block but I did have a pretty fun time in secondary school. I may not have a super fantastic time considering I was quite invisible compared to some people. But I did have plenty of pretty good, if not really great times. It was enjoyable nonetheless, and time really flew.

Come to think of it, I was an oddball of sort. I did not fit in anywhere, and yet I fit in everywhere. I had lots of friends – they were all from different groups. So I just went with the flow like a river and drifted from group to group, from the artsy fartsy group to the brainy nerdy group to the elite group to the popular “in” group to the intelligent and slightly eccentric group. In the end, I did not belong to any clique, but I know that I matter.

I adore (almost) all my friends. Yet I was just as happy on my own having my personal space, doing my own things, not having to prove anything to anyone, not even to myself. I steered clear of the politics of group and intergroup dynamics. I was happy and contented with whom I was (and I still am for most part).

Nonetheless, I was slightly anxious at the idea of walking into a room of “familiar strangers”. I do not know why. It felt so odd. For some of us it has been almost 20 years since we last met. What I have are only my mental snapshots of people, faces, rooms, corridors, laughter, voices, and books and moments; all iced up and foggy and deep rooted in 20 years of grey matter. Because time and situation change people, I realised that I do not really know them anymore. So it was like getting to know them all over again.

When I walked into the restaurant, I was greeted by some faces I knew well. Hugs and kisses went all around in abundance. Looking around at the sea of familiar faces, I thought everyone looked so grown-up. They have changed into something more sophisticated and mature, from what I remembered them to be.

Some put on weight. Some lost weight. Some maintain their weight. Some look like aunties. Some look like “Datin”. Some look like fashion models! Some must have had plastic surgery, Botox jabs or boob jobs. Some are toned and muscled from personal training. Some looked like their moms. Some looked like my mom! And some looked EXACTLY the same.

Nonetheless, the reunion get-together turned out to be great, at least in my opinion. We had good food and great company. I quite like the idea of going to reunions because I enjoy bumping into familiar faces from my past, particularly if it evokes pleasant memories. I enjoy discovering the paths people take in life, and where they lead to, after starting out from the same point.

I enjoy listening to people’s stories and gossips. More often than not, in a gathering like this, the juicy stories are the sauce that saves the satay from mediocrity. Some started their own businesses, like The Matchmaker, who is an enterprising businesswoman, running a successful trading business with her husband and partner. She also owns the posh Thai restaurant where we had the reunion lunch get together. I do not know how she manages it but she is also busy finding candidates to match-make me with some other single friends.

Some started their businesses and failed. Some tried again and made it, some don’t. Some are deep in debt. Some just have too much money, not knowing what to do with it. Err…duh! Give to me and I know what to do with it!

Some are famous, like The Actress. Some are still invisible. Some are bored with their jobs, some are overly enthusiastic it irritates me.

Some had traveled widely – and bragged about it too. Some just like to brag about themselves, who they know or who they sleep with. They bragged endlessly, too. Blah, blah, blah.

Some are married to their jobs, like me and Power Puff. Sigh!

Some are happily married. Some are married but are rather unhappy and lonely. Some are married with kids. Some are married, with no kids. Some are married but available. Some are lonely and have extra-marital affairs. Some are happily married and still have extra-marital affairs, despite having goody two shoe husbands. Some keep “anak ikan” or toy boys. Some are forlorn weekend wives – with offshore husbands who come home every week or every month. Some are married to another man’s husband, like The Datin, once a svelte-figured flight stewardess, who is the second wife of a Datuk.

Some are still single like Pearl Jam, who has been a tomboy ever since I can remember. Some are heartbroken and cheated by men. Some are single again and looking, like me. The “familiar strangers” now have become “unfamiliar friends”. Unfamiliar because they are no longer the friends I used to know. Yet, there is one common denominator that unites our feelings – the need for love, to be loved and to give love. This is evident, no matter where we are in life’s food chain, upstream or downstream. No matter how satiated we are in life, we continue to be starved for love. No matter how much we rebuff the idea of love, we still yearn for love. On that note, I have a feeling The Matchmaker will be very busy this year!

— BERNAMA