when i was small, my dad paid for the van driver to pick me up from home to send me to school. more often than not, i would wave to the driver with my chubby hands and say "no, today my baba is sending me to school".
then i would poke my dad and say to him "OK baba, it's time for you to send me to school" while he was fast asleep, groggily brushing me away. he had to send me to school. i had missed the school van.
my dad was always my hero. he was this super giant, and i always believed he could save me. he was the one who picked me up, who found me, who swam with me, who made me laugh when I didn't get the toy I wanted.
this was our old house. one dad, my baba bought one of those old plastic pools you can get for 50 bucks at the home depo store. everytime he came back from work, he would see my brown butt sticking out from the pool. it didn't matter that it was shallow with rocks, sand and dirt. i would be paddling in that pool of seven inches in my snorkelling mask. that was when he decided to move to a condo with full amenities, and three swimming pools. ohhh boy, was i happy. i never felt more alive, swimming in the hot sun. my baba did that just for me.
my dad always told me, everytime i was in the car with him i would have this kind of puppy dog look, full of excitement. i guess i was just happy being in the company with my old man. and today, doing just the simplest thing, like frying ikan masin (salty fish) or stirring kari ayam (chicken curry) with my dad, is still the best memory. thank you baba for everything.