My grandmothers | Photo by Matsuo Amon

We think we may know what is love. Inspired by how his mother lives her life, Izwan Zakaria describes love, as he knows it.

Proton Exora | Credit: Sham Hardy


Recently, mother purchased a new car. Well, it’s not the latest C-Class or a Beemer or anything like that. It’s just an Exora. There is nothing special about the Exora. Perhaps, the only unique thing about the Exora is that it is our first national MPV. The Exora doesn’t fly or prepare you a cup of tea when you’re thirsty or anything. It’s just a car.

The Exora is obviously better than her previous Wira. Her old blue Wira came with a funny radio player. The player will switch off and turn on again while you’re driving and play songs from random radio station, whenever it pleases to. The Wira is not so ‘ong‘ any more, too. The Wira was involved in some accidents (one of them which she still doesn’t know). Perhaps we could skip the power window, since Proton already promised lifetime…

She has been driving the Wira to her school, everyday, for more than a decade.

The Exora comes with a fully functioning radio (and MP3/CD player, too). She’s happy because she paid cash from her savings for her new car.

I’m really happy, too, since the new Exora comes with airbags.

You see, my mother is really one dedicated woman.

The other day, she called me at midnight because she doesn’t know how to convert some scanned documents (her friends helped her earlier) into a Word format. She has to give it out those questions to her students. On the phone, I explained to her that she could attach all the documents in an email so that I can do it for her. I have no idea why but she became angry at me for not being able to be a good helper. So much fuss just to convert some past year’s examination questions for other parents’ kids. She could have asked the technical staff at school to help her out.

My mother is in her late 40s now. Her eyesight is not so good anymore. Last semester break, I had to help her out to prepare some slides for this seminar. She was so excited when I showed her how to put those (silly) animation clip arts and how to make the slide and word move. She told me to slow down because I was going too fast with the cursor.

People say time passes so fast when you’re having fun. What an interesting idiom, isn’t it? My mother must have been having so much fun teaching to a point that she’s even unaware how fast time has passed. And still ticking…

My grandmothers | Photo by Matsuo Amon

My late grandmother (we Kedahans mostly call ‘tok’) told me that my mother wanted to become a doctor. She went for an introductory class but later fainted when she saw blood. After that unfortunate incident, she decided to become a Science teacher.

I have a strong feeling that it was a tough call for her to make. It was the tipping point of her life. Seriously, think about it. Her first car may not have been a Wira. Her new car may not be an Exora. I don’t know. She doesn’t know. We don’t know. Above all, the question of my very existence in this peculiar little planet could be in ambiguity.

You see, certain things in life are not as easy as we think it is.

That’s why I said I have never seen or read about any other persona, quite like my mother.

I could be biased, but wait a minute, aren’t we all?

Everybody is special. We’re all unique. We’re all champions. That’s why we exist.

You see, love is really a linguistic issue.

You think you know what love is. But you just can’t quite seem to be able to describe it.

Okay, perhaps you can. We all can describe what love is. We try our best to accurately describe the meaning of love with words and our actions. Words that we know based on our comprehension of language. Actions, based on those things we see and encounter daily in life.

As a young grasshopper, this is my description what of love is.

Love is an emotion. Love is energy. You cannot destroy or create energy. So, you cannot destroy or create love, too. It is a form of energy where you have strong feeling of emotional affiliation to something. It could be a human being. It could be a thing. Anything. You just love. There is no guideline of what you can love or what you cannot love (none that I’m aware of). You can love your unborn child or even a person who is no more. Love God and love others.

You can also love somebody and that person may not even be within your sight or knows how much you love her. That’s my kind of love.


Have your own love. Please.

Malcolm Gladwell in his book ‘Outliers’ said that, ‘ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness.’ If you put many hours on mastering a skill, you will eventually excel in your endeavour. Aren’t we all mastering love, perhaps?

My mother spent most of her youth teaching. She is now a senior educator recognized with many awards for her excellence. She is a good teacher. Above all, over ten thousands hours (and counting) mastering on how to nurture and raise her kids. She is a good mother, too. My mother knows best. I have a strong feeling that yours may as well, too.

‘Mother is to be respected, not to be argued’.

You are absolutely right, love.

I love you, mama. I love you so much.

I do not know why do we need to wait for Mother’s Day (when is it again?) just to tell our mother how much we love her. Every day is a Mother’s day. Every day should be a special day for our mother. Give your mother whatever she wants because we can never repay back whatever she has done for us.

To my future wife, wherever you are, I love you.


I would like to meet my mother in-law.

I want to tell her that I love her.

I would like to ask for your father’s permission for the golden key to your heart, so that I can make you my wife and the happiest woman in the world.  Love your father like a love song, too!

A guy, who wants to meet with his in-laws, is a guy worth noting.

Oh my God, I’m so full of myself.


Still not too late now … is it?


Recently graduated from law school and now seeking a suitable firm for pupillage. Say hello to him on Twitter at @izwanzakaria. Please mind the gap, it's growing daily here in Malaysia.

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