“Babies can see our sad eyes behind sunglasses,

Children can see our tired eyes behind all the makeup

and true artists can see beauty in age.”

Last week on the train, I met this young mother holding her young baby girl.  Next to her,  standing tall and carrying a big bag of baby stuff, her older son, not older than 7. The stroller could barely squeeze in between the others standing in the train cart.  The young man sitting next to me got up and gave his seat to the mother: An amazingly beautiful Malay lady. I could not take my eyes off her face: Radiant beauty, a little make up and a navy blue and fuchsia silk shawl.  Her baby girl reached out for me with her tiny soft little hand and gave me a little slap on the arm then smiled shyly and hid her face in her mother’s bosom.

I smiled back.

“So sorry, the mother said to me…she is in a pinching mood these days. She pinches people.

I smiled and tickled the baby’s bare foot: So, you’re” pinchy” huh??  The little princess giggled loudly and showed off her pearly white front teeth.  Just at the next stop the baby reaches for my face again and grabs my sunglasses.  The mother apologizes again and gives me back my sunglasses.

“ It’s ok, I entirely  forgot having them on…” I replied carefully folding the glasses and placing them in my handbag. The baby was now staring at me, eyes wide open with velvety long eyelashes fluttering slowly. She puts her small hand on my arm and caresses me.

It is no secret I love children, but somehow, lately,  I have this strange feeling that they read through me and  I fell a lump in my throat whenever a child willingly takes interest in me.

“ She likes you, the mother said. You are very beautiful.  “

“thank you…I was honestly thinking the same when I saw you… How do you do it? I mean two children and looking like this.

She proudly replied: “ I have lots of help” and smiled at her older son.

Oh, right. Do you want to sit down next to your mother? I asked getting up and  offering my seat to the young boy.

“ No thank you! he dismissed me reclining to the stroller. I am fine. You need more rest than I do.”

Now that made my day. I sat back down into my seat and remembered for a split of a second that I had only slept for  4 hours that night.

“Yeah, you’re probably right I said smiling. Us old ladies need more rest and you are a strong young man.”

“You’re not old! How old are you ? The mother asked.

“Well, I am 33. How about you?”

“I have just turned 35 November 8’th! “

 Feeling her mother’s excitement, the baby girl, felt like getting up on her mother’s lap and starting jumping up and down giggling loudly.

“Wow, she ‘s a happy baby !”

“Yeah, we’re going to the studio. “

“Universal  studio? “

“No lah, the young mother smiled. To my studio.  I’m a designer.  I’ve rented it to a photographer, now that I am busy with her and my husband is in Malaysia for a shooting. He is a Cameraman.”

“Wow, he’s a cameraman and you a designer?! That sounds like great jobs to have . Design… like clothing, or interior?  “

“Movie set.   And sometimes I work for magazines as well. By the way, you should come over sometimes. It would be fun and I can make a portfolio for you. She said leaning towards her handbag and taking out a gorgeous LV wallet. This is my card. Text me, and just come over when you have the time. I’d love to have you in my studio.

Thank you… Hav ‘ve a great day! I shouted as I ran out the train door.

It wasn’t even my stop.  Why did I run? Is it that perfection scares the hell out of people? Or is it just me?

I’d love to see Faridah again, but maybe from a distance. She seemed so perfectly happy.