I met her in Ipoh -- my hometown -- when she begged for money two years ago.
Nini -- my niece in Ipoh -- called me a minute ago to say that she had died.
She had been infected with HIV for many years but the details of her death are sketchy.
I, like many in Ipoh, don't know her name.
She had approached me at the Central Market in Ipoh on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr in 2008 and asked for money. I gave her RM20; she thanked me profusely and went away.
That was my first and last encounter with her.
She was a beauty in her teens but her tragic life turned her into a demented soul, by all accounts.
Apparently she was raped repeatedly as a teenager.
Some allege that the perpetrator of the crime was her father; it is unclear whether he was her biological father or stepfather.
The disappointments and betrayals in her life later forced her into prostitution.
It appeared that everything had conspired to make her life a misery.
I don't know if she had sought medical help for her condition.
According to the Malaysian AIDS Council, an average of 10 people are being infected daily and there are some 87,000 HIV-infected people in Malaysia.
I believe that life's not all gloom and despondency but how do you describe hers?
The brevity of human life. It's a terrifying thought.
But Rumi reminds us that "everyone is so afraid of death, but the real sufis just laugh: nothing tyrannises their hearts. What strikes the oyster shell does not damage the pearl".