WHAT can I say about Deepavali? Only that each time it comes around, I think of my elder daughter Najiah (whom we call N or Ann), simply because she was born on the morning of Deepavali many years ago.
That she chose to arrive amidst the 'muruku' and 'vadeh' and 'idli' amused us all no end, providing fodder for good-natured ribbing over the years. But she sportingly took it all in her stride, although there were times in her childhood when she lamented: "Apasal la mak beranak kat Ann on Deepavali? Kalau Christmas kan best, dapat present!"
Ann is a go-getter who loves adventure; the most appropriate Malay word to describe her would be 'lasak'. She scuba-dives and keeps the goal in futsal. It's a game she picked up while studying in the US, where she kept goal for her university team as well. Last year she won a couple of awards in a local futsal tournament, namely 'The Best Player' and 'The Find of The Tournament'.
Never one to do things by half, I would like to think that Ann has inherited some of my 'ketegaq' traits. For one, she is fiercely independent, doesn't suffer fools gladly, and very loyal to friends and family alike. Unlike her mother, however, Ann is taking the tried and tested path of laying a solid foundation for her career first before settling down, and I am glad.
To Ann, who recently left news-reporting to become a travel writer for an in-flight magazine, and currently somewhere in southern Thailand on assignment, happy 'Deevali' birthday sweetheart! But no 'puri' for you this Deepavali, Ann. We shall wait until you are home and celebrate your birthday according to the Gregorian calendar, which is the 1st of November.
And to all my Hindu friends, Happy Deepavali.