Friday, April 16, 2010

In Memoriam: Ruby Ahmad

I was having a chat with Rizal of Emmet Garage Sales recently, when I realised we have been pretty quiet on the pop up bazaar front. He said he was excitedly waiting for the next Bijou Bazaar installment, when Bijou Bazaar went quiet. I gave him some lame excuse but not the real why.

Rizal's passion + belief in his idea as well as others like him was the reason why Bijou Bazaar came to life. One thing the experience had taught me was to tell the difference between people who have that fire in their stomachs + those who see ideas primarily to get rich, preferring them who ask, 'How can I make this idea a success?' rather than 'How do I make a fortune?' I've always believed that you need to find the convergence between your passion + what people would want first, the money will come. It's always hard work first, there's no short cut to it. And things aren't always as straight forward as when you are drawing salary from a company.

In building Bijou Bazaar, I had made my sacrifices. This had include me missing my brother's wedding, I tried to attend but the event partner called me back to the venue. Bijou peeps who were at the event would remember me wearing a kebaya that weekend. I went missing from my close friends + family radar too. The journey was full of challenges + learning exeriences, at times it got to me.

After having lunch with an old blog friend, Agus, who started building his carwash business about the same time I started Bijou Bazaar, I realised I was not alone; he made similar sacrifices.

Perhaps, people I met pre-Bijou Bazaar played a strong influence on how it was moulded + the decisions I made.

Hence, the similarity?

Recently, my aunt passed away.

Since, I have been revisiting past friendships, embarking on new ones + spending time with my family, neglecting Bijou peeps ...

*whispers "I'm sorry!"*


The last Facebook wall comment I received from my late aunt Wan Bi, Ruby Ahmad to many, was an urge to "Go for it!" An expression peculiar to her. Even the brief description on her blog simply says: “I’m a ‘go for it!’ kind of person."

The news of her sudden passing took me by surprise, at first it seemed like a bad joke.

During our last few coffee sessions together, she was always imparting wisdoms + I was only happy to listen. To me the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person.

Her funeral was proof of the person that she was. Friends + family all gathered to bid her farewell with quiet pride. Even in her passing, Wan Bi was busy imparting lessons about what is to be valued, about what matters ... a life of service.

While remembering a person of such stature, I mourn the passing of a generation that is ceasing to exist, taking with them the values they held high. It is my only hope that the strong values + motivations she imparted through her blog writings + friendships would live on through us, you + me, who's life she touched + might now touch, through the blog she left behind.


"The only thing you take with you when you're gone is what you leave behind" - John Allston


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