Normita: The Ecuadorian Who Never Stopped Believing In Her Children’s Tomorrow
The tales of America’s immigrants are usually the stuff of legends. The story of Norma Yolanda, or Normita, wasn’t as much the American Dream as it was the dream that her children attain what she couldn’t. She loved her adopted country, but she loved her family more.
“Mami used to say: ‘I didn’t come to this country and leave my family and my home in Ecuador, to go through what I went through, for you kids not to make a better life. I refuse to believe that,’” recalls Norma Hanley, mother to Yale scholar Madeleine as well as the namesake daughter to Normita.
The Creative, Quirky Giant of Malaysian Journalism
To instigate the flamboyant narrative of Ahmad A. Talib, this foundational plot has to be established: Mat — as he called himself — was greatly instrumental in the trajectory of many Malaysian journalistic careers, from reporter to editor, in over decades of engagement.
I was so mesmerised by Mat’s searching technique, I method-acted my way the Ahmad A. Talib approach, to the amusement of elder contemporaries, with his brashness, colour and spit – until I sobered up.
As I reach the end of this tribute, I reflect on my time-worn friend, deep-rooted compatriot and quirky mentor: Ahmad Talib was that kind of man despite his flaws, and our differences, disagreements and arguments over the decades. And I’m privileged to tell his story.
The Bridge That Used To Connect Malaysia, Singapore Journalism
Ma’il, as everyone called him, was as astute a journalist as they come — the kind they barely make these days. And his writing style, whenever it appeared in, first, The Nation, and then, in the Straits Times, a Singapore tabloid and broadsheet respectively, was cogent and revelatory.
Ma’il studiously gathers facts, intelligence, nuances, backstory, rumours and other tidbits, coaxing out of people nuggets of information and sometimes, the mother lode, to make up a nice, compelling — and most of all, accurate — read.
And when he was wrong, he was the first to admit it, without rancour.
The Beauty Who Wore The “M” Badge for Motherhood
Harjeet Amber could have passed for a Bollywood actress or even Pakistani model. But she cherished herself as a mother more than anything.
In many ways, Harjeet’s beauty was also her bane. Most troublesome, she found, were men who couldn’t understand that all that mattered to her were her sons and the sanctuary of the home left by her late loving husband.
She lived for her boys and will continue living through them.