What Role Models Are Made Of

My dad arrived in the UK as a teen. He’d have loved to have gone to school but he had to work to support his family in Bangladesh. Whatever moderate amount of English he speaks now has been picked up through his career in a grocery store and a never ending string of restaurants. Needless to say, my dad can’t write in English (only his version of shorthand when taking down curry orders – see image, aww!).

My family has a Whatsapp group where we share our daily lives and keep in touch. But because dad can’t text in English, he gets frustrated about not being able to respond in writing.

He just FaceTimed me and asked excitedly if I got his message. ‘See if you can read it,’ he said.

This is the picture I received:

Dad's Bengali

My dad has (roughly) written ‘telephone me’ in Bengali! I knew those weekend Bangla classes would pay off some day!!! Now he just needs to write a little neater so I understand it right away!….

Sometimes I wonder what my dad may have become if he was educated a bit more because, as it is, he’s achieved so much. And I can see why all three of us siblings have turned out with entrepreneurial spirit – he sees a problem/gap and tries out¬†solutions until he succeeds.

‘You must be so proud of him,’ a friend commented today after reading the above. Sad truth is: Yes, but I haven’t always been. When you’re a child or young person it’s easy to think only of yourself and overlook what your parents have done. I’m ashamed to say; it’s only in the last few years, having grown so much myself as a person, that I realise what my parents have done and feel proud of them. I’m blessed to have a mum and dad who are what role models are made of.

© Rabia Bashir 20th January 2014

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