Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Meet-The-MP Session

There are some people you talk to who have the ability to dull your senses and mellow your mood after you speak to them. You walk away from the conversation with your head hung low, shoulder drooped and the weariness of one who needs urgent re-invigoration. Well, that wasn't the case for Pamela and I today. In fact, it was quite the contrary.

We don't get many lawyers who leave a smile on our face hours after an interview, much less someone from government. But Indranee Rajah did all that and more and it was wonderful catching up with her again. Indranee who's MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC was last in The Living Room in June 2003. Things were much different then, though in some peculiar coincidence, similar. Back then, it was the height of the SARS epidemic in Singapore and Indranee and two other colleagues of hers from government (Amy Khor & Ho Geok Choo) were on our programme to allay fears and to re-assure listeners that the government agencies and healthcare workers were doing their utmost to contain the spread of the virus. Those were crazy desperate times. Fast forward to March 2009 and we ARE in crazy desperate times once again with the economic gloom, whose dark clouds aren't about to dispel any time soon.

We were amazed to learn how Indranee gets by with four hours of sleep per day and who's still able to effectively contribute in so many high-powered capacities. I can barely get by a day with under 7 hours sleep without feeling lethargic and moody. Maybe for Indranee, it comes down to a mind that's heavily engaged with her myriad of obligations and a body that's driven by her heart's passions to serve others to the best of her abilities.

Yet she admits to being somewhat a solitary being when it comes to staying in shape and keep her fitness leverl up. She's into jogs and runs (brilliant choice since she lives near the beach) but gave up on social dancing some time ago due to a lack of time to keep in step with it. Having said that, Youtube has proof that she still has the moves to do the salsa and the guts to land a death drop.

In every way, Indranee didn't come across as just an interviewee. Had Pamela and I been in Marymount Covenant (okay, maybe Pam), we'd have been great friends. It's rare to feel you have that special connection with an interviewee - the kind that bosom friends have.

And I garnered enough courage (as any dear friend would not be embarrased to ask) to ask Indranee why she'd kept her signature bob hair-do from when I first remembered her entering politics. She leaked that her type of hair wasn't like the types seen in shampoo advertisements - long, silky and that blow out straight when the wind blows. She confessed to having thick hair that would have made the world's strongest rope! And since it was that way, keeping it short would be the easiest for maintenance purposes.

Pamela had described Indranee as 'spunky' on air, but she quickly picked up on the adjective and replaced it with 'funky'. She chipped, "Sorry, there's a lawyer in me and there's a distinction between the two". It was laughs all around the coffee table. We like this MP and hope to see and hear more of her around.

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