PETALING JAYA - Shuba Jaya, who died in the MH17 crash with her husband, Dutch national Paul Goes, and their young daughter Kaela, lived life to the fullest. She made the most of a career spanning dance, theatre, TV and film.
She acted in local TV shows like Spanar Jaya, Gadis 3 and Sugumana Sumaigal, and on stage in Fourplay, Charley's Auntie and Hungry for Hope.
The Kuala Lumpur-based Shuba, who celebrated her 38th birthday two days before the tragedy, also had movie roles in Relationship Status and Tokak, and acted in Duit Kecil, part of the 15 Malaysia project.
Writer, director and actor Khairil M. Bahar, 34, worked with Shuba on several short films.
He also cast her in his stage play Social Networking, in which Shuba played a student obsessed with the Internet.
"She was never in it for the fame, but always had raw passion for acting and channelled it well on stage," said an emotional Khairil via phone.
"She was an admirable person and had a lot of plans for her career.
"It is extremely difficult to speak of her in the past tense now."
Waheeda Irene Sultan said: "We became good friends after we did a short film together in 2009. She was a friend I looked up to; I admired her spirit in living her life."
In 2010, Shuba and her father Jayaretnam took part in the reality TV show Mari Menari on Astro Ria.
That same year, Shuba married Goes, a director of a Dutch-based company.
Shuba, Goes and the then-newly-born Kaela, who would have turned two soon, were featured for a home birthing story on the cover of Star2 in March.
She and her husband had gone to the Netherlands so that Kaela's grandparents could see their new granddaughter.
Shuba's friends also expressed their shock and grief over the family's demise on social media.
A close friend, Siva, wrote on Facebook: "You were too young to go ... you were so happy in your marriage ... so many dreams and things to accomplish ... and you had your beautiful child to look forward to painting smiles and sunshine every day.
"You just celebrated your birthday on July 15. Kaela's 2nd birthday is around the corner. And now all 3 of you are gone. We miss you dearly Shuba Jaya, Paul and Kaela.
Actor and director Baki Zainal posted on Facebook: "Shuba Jaya, Paul n baby Kaela ... May you sleep peacefully among the clouds ... You are a ball of positive energy full of light Shuba."