The Amaz­ing COCK­TAIL

Marie Claire (Malaysia) - - News - Kim­ber­ley Lau ED­I­TOR kim­lau@bluinc.com.my

Suc­cess­ful women seem to get asked a lot about the women in their lives who in­spire them – I don’t re­ally re­mem­ber men be­ing of­ten asked the same. I sup­pose it’s a thing typ­i­cal (and won­der­ful) of our gen­der; to seek wis­dom from and find strength in those around us. I bor­row mine of­ten from mem­o­ries of my ma­ter­nal grand­mother who raised 13 chil­dren al­most en­tirely on her own – I can barely keep a house plant alive!

On days when I’m quite ready to throw in the towel, I think of the curve­balls life threw her (for one, my grand­fa­ther suf­fered a stroke and re­mained an ill-tem­pered man till the end of his life) and her stead­fast pa­tience and kind­ness de­spite it. Though I am not re­li­gious, her god­li­ness helps me see beauty in her faith – quite re­mark­able con­sid­er­ing my scep­ti­cism on the mat­ter. She is, till to­day, the most amaz­ing woman, nay, per­son, I know.

This leads me to con­sider what makes an amaz­ing woman, amaz­ing. Just take a look at the di­verse group of Malaysian women on Marie Claire’s Amaz­ing Women panel this year. We have Shila Amzah who re­fused to lis­ten to naysay­ers and ven­tured be­yond her com­fort zone. Watch­ing her win crowds over in a lan­guage she com­pletely doesn’t know, was jaw-drop­ping and gave me a se­ri­ous case of pa­tri­o­tism. Then there’s Vivy Yu­sof whose busi­ness be­gan like any startup – small. That gl­itzy Fash­ion Valet shop front smack in the mid­dle of Pavil­ion KL is eight long years in the mak­ing.

What binds these women, be­yond the ti­tle we’ve be­stowed upon them? What does sci­en­tist Dr. Reena Ra­ja­suriar who’s on a quest to de­code the driv­ers of pre­ma­ture age­ing among HIV and can­cer sur­vivors, have in com­mon with Chry­seis Tan, who’s run­ning a busi­ness em­pire and build­ing new ones?

Maybe it’s a cock­tail of pas­sion, courage, and a lit­tle bit of reck­less­ness too – I don’t think great suc­cess can hap­pen with­out turn­ing a blind eye and deaf ear to all the raised eye­brows and wellmeant warn­ings. Maybe it’s be­cause they all had some­one who in­spired them to just get up, do it and keep at it.

I don’t have the an­swer, but some­thing tells me you can’t buy it from the mall.

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