My guess was wrong! It was not the act of caring that she was looking for. It was not the apprehension of feeling of insecurity that had haunted her. It was true that I had always at hand when she needed help. It was true that I had acted like a big brother, both at home and at school. It was true that I had protected her from being harassed by naughty boys from the neighborhood. But, to think of it as an important factor in the currently worrisome situation did not go along with the things that had happened in the last six year or more. To say it compendiously, it was just a silly and short-sighted conclusion. There were strong arguments against such shoddy conclusion. Most obvious, why would she felt insecure and wanting my protection of caring, when she had spent six year taking care of herself overseas? It was something else, for sure. Oh My God! I had to go back to the drawing board.
This bewildering ending to the mid-afternoon rendezvous was in total contrast to how we had begun. It was such a nice feeling working with all the details of what she had to do in order to get into the graduate school. As soon as we get into the house she showed me several application forms that she had downloaded from the various universities’ websites. The application forms of the various universities basically require the applicants to fill up the same information. It would not be difficult to fill and then send all of them. But, in reality one needs to apply to only one or two selected universities. Based on this premise I began to enquire her choice of field of study and the place to study.
“What field to do want to study in?”
“I want to study something that will be useful to the people. I want to help the people to upgrade their standard of living.”
“Everything that we study will eventually lead to something that are useful to the people, although some are too basic to be useful immediately. Hmmm… Do you mean you want to study something that can immediately be commercialized?”
“Yes. Something like that. Sort of applied research.”
“The second important question is where do you want to go? Do you want to spend the next three years of life around Kuala Lumpur, Sabah, Sarawak, Johor, Penang or the East coast?”
“I have been too long away from home. I want to study at a place where I can go home during the weekend.”
“The nearest university to Kuala Lipis is Terengganu.”
“That will suit me fine.”