I have a lot to thank my dad for. He gave me a memorable childhood and no matter what came his way, he kept the family together. But after a severe accident on the sets of Tipu Sultan, I went to meet him in the hospital. I was devastated to see him bed ridden and broken. As I went closer to him, he said, “Don’t worry son, I will complete Tipu Sultan and build the best health spa in the world.” He eventually did that, within seven years against all odds. His strong will has been my inspiration throughout. My dad’s tenacity is something that I want to pass on to my son.
Apart from myself, my dad is one of my biggest critics. If he turns around and says ‘well done’ to me, it means I’ve really done well. He’s been amazing with his evolution of training. For the last nine years, my recovery system has been so wonderful because of him. It has enabled me to play for so long. My dad’s the first one to be by my side when I’ve had a bad match and the last one to wish me when I’ve won a match. By the time I get to him, he would have already raised the bar for me.
My dad loves whatever I do. He is quite lenient with his remarks. On the contrary, my sister and mom are more balanced. I love my dad’s temperament. He had many highs and lows in life, but that never disturbed his mental or emotional equilibrium. Dad was never upset with failure or over the moon with success. He is a very balanced man.
The one thing my dad and I have in common is good memory. He doesn’t forget anything. I can remember even cell numbers by heart. Memory power is one of my inheritances.
My father was a huge influence in my life. Nobody can take the place of a mother, but I really feel orphaned ever since he passed away. He was somebody I could call at 3 in the morning and sing him a tune I had composed. There were things that could have waited till the morning but he never told me to call back later and to let him sleep instead. Any part of the world I was in, regardless of the time, I knew he was just a phone call away. The one thing I’m glad about is that I valued, respected and loved him even when he was alive and I was able to tell him that. He knew that I valued and loved him, and that’s the most comforting thing for me.
My Abba never scolded me. In fact, he wasn’t a man of many words. He hardly spoke in the house or at his workplace. However, whenever he spoke, he was gracious.