Eizan just posted a nice picture of our boss (Dr Zaf) through our department's secret WhatsApp group.
It makes me remember something.
The first time I saw her was on the telly. Astro Awani was covering a seminar in PWTC entitled "Bangsa Melayu Induknya di Sini". She was among the speakers for the event. I remember watching her confidently addressing a crowd of reporters with her scientific claim that Malays are the original inhabitants of this Nusantara region. It was a direct and specific claim, backed by DNA evidence.
For a large part of my life, I've been debating (mostly online) that Malays are the original occupiers of this blessed Tanah Melayu. But for reasons that were politically motivated rather than common sense, a sizable segments of non-Malays were harping (and believing) that Malays originated from Yunnan. And Hang Tuah was a Chinese. And worst of all, they had the audacity to claim that Malays actually do not exist at all. If Malays don't exist, so what am I?
Dr Zaf, as she is fondly known of, almost single-handedly steamrolled all these wild and stupid claims with her scientific findings. Her research was verified and backed by a prominent researcher from Oxford, making her finding a lot more credible. She came out of nowhere to quash all the slanders and render all those stupid claims invalid. That made her an instant icon for me. She struck me as an extremely intelligent and confident woman.
I remember, deep within my heart then, I hoped to be her student. But I knew that wasn't to be. She was a full time lecturer in USM Kubang Kerian, while I was only an unsettled student with a severely ravaged confidence in Sarawak. No way I could learn under her tutelage unless some things of a miracle's proportion happens.
But, as they say, miracle does happen.
I am currently under her watch and if God's permit, is on the way of becoming her next full time post-graduate student.
How the hell did that happen?
Well...it was a long story.
Right now, for reasons that are not related to academics, I am thoroughly downed with chronic depression. Everything seems to break and fall into pieces. I just hope that everything will turn back right.
That is what we all should do.
Keep the hope.
And keep the faith.
Somehow, everything will turn out all right.