Everyone knows him as Cikgu Fuad the music teacher. Never mind that his last posting was as a Head Master of the local school in Fraser’s Hills. I was known as the daughter of the music teacher and everyone thought I could play all the music instruments ever created by men. Many of his students feared him.
And there I was, wondering what was the fuss all about when all I saw was this quiet man who seldom raise his voice let alone being a fierce teacher.
A simple man that he was, he loved his kampung food. His meals must be hot, and dishes must include some local food. No such thing as fast food for this guy. Once in a while, he wanted to eat his steamed patin fish. This is when we all will bundle into a car to drive the good 1.5 hour to Benta, the sleepy little town near Lipis. And that was all he wanted, rice and steamed patin fish.
Once in a while, he would call me up from Raub to announce his arrival in the evening and wanted some special food to be cooked for him. The usual suspects such as fried lala with soya sauce, or gulai labu (pumpkin curry), gulai telur itik (duck egg curry) or fish head curry, among others. All are very “involved” cooking style….
My dad believed in light travelling. How light you may ask?
He wanted to travel to Kelantan one day. He arrived at my house (I was living in Kuantan, Pahang then). Saw him with a small carrier with a change of clothes. The next morning, he went to the express bus station. No carrier. So I asked him about it. He said he wanted to travel light and he will buy whatever he wanted when he arrived….
In the next few days will be his birthday and I miss him dearly.