Saturday, March 6, 2010

Reminiscence of Another Morbid Incident

After reading the sad love story in China and shared this story with other fellow producers yesterday, my closest producer in the office (geographically and emotionally), Iris Tan, suddenly brought, again, of the story of one of his then speakers who also had a tragic experience a little more than a year ago, up.

After talking about this for a while, we both ended up wondering - How is the husband doing now?

It was a late November 2008. That morning, when I reached the office, I told a story that I read in the newspaper early on to Iris Tan. It was about a 28-year-old  Singaporean lady who was held captive at the Oberoi Trident Hotel in Mumbai by some terrorists. She was due to deliver a presentation there and in the end, was shot to death instead. She was the first terrorists Singaporean victim ever.

Then, Iris Tan, who sits right in front of my cubicle, suddenly said "Oh yeah, I met her before at one of the conferences few months back. Her husband was one of my speakers for my Legal Counsel Conference. It's so creepy right? At one time, I met her and now she is dead." I replied, "Huh? You did, really?".

"Yes, I even exchanged emails with her a couple of times as her husband wanted to bring her along as his guest at my Conference. I can show you my email exchanges with her." "Oh my God, how was she? Was she a nice lady?" "Yes, yes, she was a very bubbly person. So poor thing, huh?"

Next thing we know, we found out that her husband has now moved on from the law firm where she found him.

When I read this story right after this tragedy happened back in November 2008, I was rather shocked and sad learning that this young woman, Ms. Lo Hwei Yen, who flew to Mumbai to deliver a speech on legal issues in maritime industry had to end her life like this. All the chronicles of the story was really heart-breaking and unbelievable.

I think, now and then, all Singaporeans and those who live in Singapore were really touched and concerned about the stories of this young woman. How she informed her husband and closest friends on her last few final hours of her life via text messages about her condition under captive and how much she loved them. How she told them that she needed the Singaporean government's and police's help as soon as possible. How in the end, she was shot in the head and her husband flew all the way to Mumbai only to find his wife's lifeless body. How her husband described that her loved ones immediately went nuts when they found out that this lady was one of the captives held. How they described that there were 150 miscalls found in her cellphone when her handbag was finally returned to her husband in the morgue. How her husband described that his world has shattered once she, his entire life, was one of the dead victims. And most importantly, how her husband coped with her passing after wards.

This story was more touching and the impacts were felt so real to Iris Tan and me than ever as we both were somehow indirectly linked to them professionally through the Conference industry. We develop the kind of the conferences that both of them spoke on.

I did not know them nor have met them personally but Iris Tan did. In fact, the reality that Iris Tan knew them even made this horror story more real and heart-felt to me. It's just weird to notice how the industry we both dwell in works. You meet lots of people, almost on monthly basis. Mostly strangers you do not even know at all and those whom you maybe just recognize from the media. When something bitter happens to one of them, you immediately get the shock too. You give them extra sympathy as you  feel that you know them, though technically you do not really know them.

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