FATHERS in general are sensitive in strange ways. They take things personally and often to unimaginable levels.
A popular Malay saying among Malaysian fathers, “Kita yang makan garam dulu ...” (literally, we consumed salt first), emphasises that they are more experienced, in all matters. That’s true to a certain extent, but not always.
I remember when my scholarship application to Britain was rejected, dad was very disappointed for me. I knew he wanted me to have the experience of studying abroad; so did I, but it was just not meant to be.
So I made a deal with him to pursue my studies locally, but in a field of my choice. He reluctantly agreed.
I enrolled in a local university and took Communication as my major, with a minor in English Literature and Anthropology. I love to write and I knew this was a field that could take me far and, hopefully, make a difference in terms of how I viewed things.
Dad didn’t quite understand why I chose this field, but he let me.
After four years of studying, I graduated with honours in journalism and secured a nifty job at the most prestigious television station in the country.
The hours were long and unpredictable and the producers were like dragons, ready to breathe fire on and make crispy critters out of you. The industry was also moving at an intense speed.
The best part was that this was a totally fun playing field, different from managing the campus newspaper.
As a broadcast journalist, I not only got people to listen to me, I also let them see what I saw from my vantage point.
Going to work before sunrise and coming home only after sunset also meant less time to go home to see my parents. But on the occasions that I did manage to do so, dad and I would frequent our favourite spot – the Kluang Station, for our usual fix! This was also where he would introduce me to his friends as “the one that works at TV3”. So I knew, in some unspoken way, he was proud of me.