"Thank you Yani for coming. How are you?!" That was the first question asked by my former lecturer-turned-colleague, Dr. Kushan, as soon as he saw me. Just him mentioning my name made my heart filled with joy. I could feel my presence was acknowledged by this kind man. "I am good, Dr. Kushan," I replied while smiling at him. I could see how excited his eyes were, sparkling with the same joy and excitement whenever I saw him back at the university. Dr. Kushan used to teach me plant physiology during my degree years and we became work colleagues when I worked at the same university after I graduated. He invited me and Rosie to join the rest of his colleagues at the same table at Anjung Saujana restaurant. Suddenly, the cold air that me and Rosie felt as we entered the door of the Brunei International Airport became warm. And there we were, sitting with the rest of the expat lecturers, at the same table. It was an enjoyable night. Everyone was having a good time, laughing over some academicians' jokes. I find it really interesting to have a laugh over the topic of Brunei's traffic lights and how the 3 colored traffic lights are related to drivers' behavior and decision making. It was amusing to look at different perspectives of chemists, biologists and a mathematician as they argued about it. And as I sipped my hot chocolate, I listened to them exchanging ideas and sharing their personal experiences. As best as I could, I embraced the beautiful moment. It was a special night as we were sending off Dr. Kushan back to his good country.
I held back my tears as I watched Dr. Kushan exchanged hugs with his colleagues minutes before he entered the departure gate. Though they came from different countries but they spoke the same language. Academicians and scientists who left their own countries to serve other people in another country. When it was my turn, I shook hands with Dr. Kushan and wished him good bye and take care. And at that moment, I knew, it would be my last time to see this good man :') (Tears running down my eyes at this time). We all waved him the final good bye just after he passed by the security post. And with heavy hearts, me and Rosie together with another colleague left the airport. I was told, he did not want to be paid for his February salary to make things less complicated before he left for good. It shows how sincere and passionate he was as an academician at the university; he was there not for the money, but for his passion as a scientist. Hearing that, I felt so touched. And speechless at the same time. At that moment too, my brain was recalling old memories at the university; how he had contributed so much to the university and how conscientious he was as an administrator back then. I feel so blessed to have the chance to meet this good man and be part of his life. I really am so glad to have known him, as my lecturer and as my work colleague. I wish Dr. Kushan, and his family the greatest happiness and joyful life.