"Well, for your information we do teach English for business students at the college", responded Syakirah with a smile.
"Yes. May be one of these days we could invite you to give a talk to our students", chipped in Yasmin. They all laughed.
"I may not know about teaching but that sounds good", Ani added and Saleha voiced her agreement.
"Well, to answer your question, Syakirah, we produce and supply home and office furniture", Imran went back to Syakirah's query. He was kind of surprised to see how agreeable the woman was. She was so different from their last two encounters. Imran wondered what changed her but just let go of the thought since he noticed his mother was enjoying herself in the conversation.
Yasmin was impressed to hear the kind of business Imran was in. "A good business I would say, Mr. Imran. Not many Malays succeed in this business".
"It's a family business I guess from the company's name, KS Holdings", Syakirah added.
"Yes, Kamal and Sons. But, my Mom here and my late father were the founders of KS Holdings", Imran smiled proudly with a glance to Saleha.
"Aunt Saleha?", Yasmin said with a surprised look.
"Well, dear, I didn't do much…just lending my ideas. All the hard work was done by Imran's father", Saleha responded in a humble manner. Imran responded with a smile while lighly shaking his head.
"You're being modest, Mom", he said. Saleha told them briefly about the start of the family business and Imran chipped in a little.
The conversation continued and everyone was at ease with each other. Saleha looked beaming with happiness. Syakirah and Imran learned about each other's education background and work experience. Later, at aboout 6 p.m, Syakirah and Yasmin excused themselves to go home. Saleha thought of inviting the young women to have dinner with them but decided to leave the thought aside. She didn't want to ask for too much from Imran. But, to her surprise, Imran made the invitation.
"Would you ladies care to join us for dinner tonight? We know this special place. They serve all traditional cuisines", Imran invited Syakirah and Yasmin politely. Saleha and Ani smiled at the younger women waiting for their answers.
Yasmin responded first, "I can't. I've already made plans with the kids. Thank you anyway, Mr Imran".
"Next time may be, In sha Allah.", Imran said and turned to look at Syakirah. "What about Miss Syakirah?"
"Syira?", asked Ani while Saleha was looking at her anxiously.
"I…I don't know…", Syakirah hesitated. She noticed Saleha seemed hoping to hear her acceptance. She continued, "Well…I guess I could come and join you all,
In sha Allah. After all, it's not always I got the opportunity to dine with a businessman and a businesswoman". She smiled and so did everyone. She glanced at Imran who seemed to nod in agreement.
Imran promised to pick her up at 8.00 p.m. Shortly after, Yasmin and Syakirah left. Saleha turned to Imran and said, "Thank you, Imran".