My 'love affair' with the DIVA was started off by, of all things, a mini hifi system.
I remember way back in 1994, my dad finally decided to buy a new hifi system for the family to replace our aging cassette player. It was to be our first that would be able play CDs: we have finally entered the digital age, hehehe...
What influenced him was this advertisement that has been airing repeatedly on TV at that time: it was for the Sony Truvox hifi system. While he was convinced by the superior hi fidelity audio, I was more intrigued by the stunning voice and beauty of the model featured. I was practically hooked from that moment onwards, never to have guessed that she was a budding star destined for bigger and brighter things ahead.
So when I tagged along with my dad to buy some CDs to test it the system's capabilities, I also decided to buy for myself my first CD, her sophomore album, simply titled 'Ning'. You could imagine my sheer delight listening her sing 'Share My Dream (True Vocal)' on a system that promises to deliver true vocals: utter heavenly bliss... hehe!
The most alluring thing that about the idea of celebrity to me is the element of mystery. I love the fact that, no matter the countless times I see her on TV, in the magazines or even at the concerts... that I'm well aware I do not really know her. Some unabashed diehard fans would go to great lengths to buy every magazine, snap as many pictures, get as many autographs, go to every live performance... all in an effort to get to know her at some higher, subliminal level. For that I salute them. But for me, I like to keep my worship personal: I may not be as fanatical, but in my own little world, I would like to think that I am her #1 fan (then again, don't we all like to think so too?). I would do so with little expectation of anything in return, other than hoping that she will continue to do what she does best, that is to entertain and inspire.
But what happens if the adulation was indeed appreciated, and something was given back in return? That is what precisely happened to me some 10 years ago, when a simple Hari Raya card sent was replied in kind...
She didnt have to reply my Raya card, her busy schedule wouldn't have permitted it. But the fact that SHE DID, and had personally hand written it to boot was like an epiphany to me. It had shattered the element of mystery that I thought I liked and had became something even better: a genuine human connection.
So on this most blessed of days, I am wishing her all the health, happiness and success in the world...
SELAMAT HARI JADI NING BAIZURA!
SEMOGA CITA CITA DAN CINTA KAN TEGUH UNTUK SELAMANYA