This picture was taken the night after Hospitals Beyond Boundaries launched its first clinic in Cambodia. Seen here is my dear fiance holding my cute little nephew, Imtiyaz while we were having a meeting at a Malaysian restaurant in down town Phnom Penh. I remember it as one of the happiest days of my life as we celebrate the launch of our very first clinic.
Life is beautiful when you have someone to share the most meaningful moments in life with. It is the more beautiful when that someone not only understands your passion for a cause, but even being a part of it. The first time my fiance saw me in person was in 2012. I was a 4th year medical student and during the moment that she saw me, I was drenched in sweat, presenting a research study on the epidemiology of tuberculosis in Kuala Lumpur. I did not notice her at the time as I was nervously focusing on the panel of judges, and we didn't get to talk to each other that day.
Few years down the line, fate intertwined our path and we meet again in Sungai Buloh Hospital where we worked. She showed me a picture of my tuberculosis research presentation she took 2 years ago in her cracked-screen Samsung S2 and asked: "remember this?". At that time I was working in the surgical department, and being too long in the world of blood and flesh inside the operating theatre, the picture brought back the memories of how happy I was working on something I was truly passionate about.
She went on reminding me of my "public-speaking for a cause" workshops to raise funds for HBB, in which she registered as a participant but in the end had to pull out the last minute because of unscheduled classes. From that moment on, I knew I would want to spend the rest of my life with this girl. Someone who is not just supportive of my work but always reminds me of my life purpose. With her, I didn't have to compartmentalize any of my life's ambitions: personal love, professional passion or philanthropic mission. They all converged into a single goal.
Like my parents and siblings who are all into HBB, she would be a perfect addition to the family. My parents has been very supportive of our relationship, and all of this wouldn't be possible without my loving mother who did all the engagement and wedding arrangements (remember how I thought 'cincin belah rotan' was to be bought in a souvenir shop? She knows her son is hopeless). Getting engaged is only the beginning, there is still a lot to go through and of course, life after marriage is the real challenge. But I believe with the blessing of our families, we will make it through until our marriage next year, insyaAllah