Saturday, October 09, 2004

Sorry guys I have been away in Dubai for a week. I tried to post something from the hotel but there were some server problems and I didn't have the foresight to save what I wrote and everything disappeared. Will try to get round to writing some of my impressions of my Dubai trip in the next few weeks.

I was reading this blog about a friend's experience and somehow it all came back to, that agonizing time.

And it has come again, a dear family member has been placed in the ICU and here we are thousands of miles away. (I was abroad when my friend was in a coma then.) What do we do? Rush home or just pray from afar?

Anyways, this is something I wrote on 5th October 2000, upon learning that my dear friend was in coma and was told by her doctors that her chance for survival was slim. (She is alive and well with us now!! I am so glad!)

Perhaps its all got to do with Allah's will, but I also believe that the prayers and love that we shower on the people around us is important.

Say a little prayer

It is amazing how the Internet has altered my world. Especially so with IRC(Internet Relay Chat). Gone were the days when we had to use a Unix based chat program. Black screen, lots of words. Sometimes the screen scrolls so fast that people have to write programs and commands to freeze the frame so that we could actually read what was being said. Now we have MIRC and PIRCH. Then came ICQ.

Being a student so far away from home, the Internet became the most ideal and least expensive method of connecting with friends. Through IRC I met people from as far away as UK, US and even people back home in South East Asia. Being mostly students, far away from home we shared the common solidarity of sharing our joys and pains. Before scanners were affordable, snail mail became the way by which photographs were exchanged. That was a long time ago.

I met some of these people in real life. Some refuse to give face to the voice, for whatever private reasons they may have. It is amazing to find sometimes that the most obnoxious voice on the net, belonged to the most meek and shy person in real life or vice versa. The impersonality of being in front of the computer in the privacy of our own room and yet with the ability to interact with people across the other side of the world was astounding.

That was how I met Adzleen. A student from Hull when I was in Calgary. She was doing law, and I, Literature. She used to tell us about the times she went to a rock consert, wearing her "tudung" and was greeted by the other Malaysian students there, "Oit! Pakai tudung pun datang rock konset ke?" All she did was smile back and tell the story to us. That was Adzleen.

When I came back to Singapore, I kept in touch of some of my friends from my student IRC days. Not as much as before unfortunately, as we were bogged down by things as mundane as work. A lot of times we do still keep in touch online though. Sneaked to chat from the office sometimes, or at late hours at night. Some has since retired, got married, moved on, but others still do log in, keep touch.

Just recently, I went to KL on an all girls trip. Girls of whom I originally got to know through IRC. Unfortunately our bus was due to arrive at 4 am and the hotel would only let us check in at noon. Without me asking, Adzleen asked if we had anyone fetching us from the bus station or someplace to hangout before we checked in. Of course we jumped at her offer. That is Adzleen. Caring, warm-hearted, with a splendid sense of humour (she uses the nick ldygodiva in irc) and generous. I must admit that I have never been able to meet her till that day, but she was very kind to me all the same. She was in the midst of changing jobs then, her road tax had since expired cause she hasn’t been able to renew it. Yet she was generous enough to fetch us and consequently bring us around. She took the wrong route once, and there was a policeman at the junction. Instinctively, she shielded her face from the policeman, hoping that he didn’t notice the expired road tax. We laughed at her so hard then!!! We told her that the policeman won’t really go after her because of her face but rather her road tax. She smiled sheepishly.

That was Adzleen.

Because we were all girls, we spent a lot of time in front of the mirror. One of the other girls offered to pluck her eyebrows to make them more shapely. At first she refused but finally caved in after we cajoled her. Sportingly she said, "Please do not give me the `surprised' look." We laughed really hard at her.

On Monday I talked to her online. She told me that she may not have the opportunity to visit South Africa because she is in the midst of changing jobs. I congratulated her and wished her the best. Just a few hours ago, I found out that Adzleen collapsed on Tuesday morning. They suspected it to be an asthma attack. Luckily she managed to call her house mate to take her to the hospital before she lost consciousness. Her house mate called 999, but there was no answer. Only after 45 minutes after her call for help that they managed to get an ambulance to bring her to the hospital. She is now on a life support system, in the ICU of the University Hospital. Word has it that the Doctors said that the infection has spread to her kidney and lungs. She still has a fever and she is still unconscious. I really wish her well. This is one of those instances I regret being so far away, not able to visit her myself. Sorry Adzleen. Maybe next time I will visit you!

Adzleen I do hope that you would be able to read this yourself soon. No matter what we wait in anticipation of your company. You said you were gonna bring me to Fatty Crabs. We miss you very much Adzleen, please, please, please get well soon.

Adzleen we love you.

NB TO you guys whose company I enjoy and dearly miss. (you know who you are!) I dont want to lose the oppurtunity to say that I miss you guys too and that I love you. The good days often come to mind even if I am lousy at keeping touch :)

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