My Hero

My dad is a man who believes that whatever you put your mind to is achievable. A man of discipline, a man of wisdom and a man you just don’t argue with, not because he won’t let you but because you’ll never win. A fundamentalist, a go-getter and believes in striving for the best within his capability both for himself and family. Yet despite his strong disciplinary nature, his heart can be softer than a mother’s, his wittiness could make you laugh to stitches and his generosity endless. A responsible son, brother, husband and father… the man of my life.

My dad has always been a perfectionist, a trait that somehow seemed to have brushed off a little to my family as well. At the age of 2 or 3, back when we resided in Singapore, I remember how I was expected to draw a perfect circle. Constantly failing to do so, he’d make me draw another followed by another and another… until my open-looped circles became closed-loops and looked remotely close to a circle. His disciplinary rules have always existed and practiced ever since I was born.

When I was switched from a French kindergarten(more like playschool) to an international school, he spent hours on the computer typing out grammar questions for me to practice on so I would fit in (but then he got addicted to Digger – you remember that game don’t you?). By 2nd Grade, I had memorized all my 12 times tables where I triumphantly earned my very first Sony walkman as he had promised. So on most weekends, I’d be sitting on the dining table, sulking as he made sure I completed my math and grammar exercises.

He is also the reason my love for reading was instilled. I remember trips to WH Smith where he would spend hundreds of francs on books. I would come home truly contented and start reading them all before nagging of going again.

I used to wonder why things rained harder on me compared to my brothers because as the years went by and my brothers were born, he became slightly lenient on them than he was on me. Maybe it was because he got busier or maybe age had caught up with him. But looking back, I’m ever so grateful for all the things he did or I wouldn’t be the person I am today.

You see, my father didn’t come from a well to do family. He sent his scholarship money home whilst studying and even had to forget his dreams of becoming a lawyer as financial support was tight. But he was never visionless. He always knew where he was heading to and what to do with his life. He had aims. Always prepared for the unthinkable yet extremely determined for positive outcomes. Thus whatever he has and earns today is solely based on his efforts and determinations alone.

My dad sacrificed a lot ever since he was young. Being posted to the US at the ripe age of his mid 20’s, he could’ve easily spent away and lived lavishly… but he didn’t. He never failed to put a certain allowance aside for his future family thus why we are able to live comfortably today.

I could go on and on about my hero but still, it would never do him justice. He’s just simply… my dad. Happy Father’s Day Abah.

“Ismail, you’re a genius!” — Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary on my dad.


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