Mimpi Pari

"The two hardest tests on the spiritual road are the patience to wait for the right moment and the courage not to be disappointed with what we encounter"

Location: Malaysia

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Wedding of The Year

As a divorced guy, I don't really like attending weddings. It's like watching a joyous occasion, through glasses with scratched lenses.

It's not quite the same when your own belief in your own "happily ever after", gets marred by your own personal experiences.

I can't seem to fully enjoy the sweetness of a matrimonial celebration or get carried away with the romantic vibes, words and expressions of the wedding ceremony, anymore - without remembering that I once announced those very same words to the world, at one time.

The most annoying thing is to have your own mind, sprinkle an involuntary pinch of salt, on every expression of romantic love, spoken between the couple. Even though they're not me and they're more likely to succeed in their marriage.

But heck, this entry is not about me. This entry is about the wedding of the year.


Every once in a while, you get an opportunity to attend a wedding that knocks your socks off and leaves you breathlessly impressed.

I was at that wedding last night - where we celebrated the union of the dashing Ruben Emir Gnanalingam, an old buddy from my university days (and the son of the Westport doyen, Tan Sri Gnanalingam) and the lovely and eloquent Ms. Shirieene Hajamaideen.

It was obvious that much thought, detailed preparation and tender loving care had gone into this wedding reception. And it was great seeing everyone in the family and their close friends chipping in, to make it a huge success.

It had all the ingredients of a great Malaysian wedding - a great location (Mandarin Oriental), well-dressed people (in suits and dresses - the guests were dressed to kill and there were so many glamorous looking women, I felt like I was attending the Academy Awards!), a unique concept (all the tables were named after movies), an outstanding dinner, fantastic videos and slides to entertain (lots and lots of details about the married couple, their family and friends), good music and singer selection (I don't think I could have chosen better people than Noryn and Camelia for last night's event), entertaining, humorous and heartfelt speeches (the ones by Tan Sri Gnanalingam and his son, Surin, particularly stood out. And Rekha Sen was stunningly beautiful!), a guest list that reflected the diversity of Malaysia and just the right blend between formality and informality.

And most of all - the event was filled with warmth, love and good wishes all round for the married couple and their families.

And I realized that with some families - it's not wealth, education and achievement that truly distinguishes them - it's the down-to-earth good values that they've inculcated in their children, that make them such well-rounded human beings.

That's the mark of true class and good breeding.

Tan Sri Gnanalingam was not kidding when he said that his 3 main achievements in lfe were Ruben, Surin and Shaline.

I had personally known Ruben, since our university days in 1995 - and he's one of the most straight-talking, warmest and sincerest friends, I know. He's an absolute gem of a human being.

And my takeaway for the night, was a quote that Tan Sri Gnanalingam had quoted in his speech. Apparently, the wise words came from the late Earl Woods who related it to his son, the young golf legend Tiger Woods - and it goes something like this:

"Be a good golfer, but more importantly, be a great person"

Congratulations to you both, Ruben Emir and Shirieene - may your lives together be a joyous and blessed one. InsyaAllah.


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