How to describe oneself?

  • By one’s day job?
  • By one’s education and employment history?
  • By one’s Briggs-Myers personality type?
  • By one’s hobbies and interests?
  • By one’s political leanings?

Or, put it another way: how to summarize a person – a unique individual in the history of mankind, whose exact likeness has never appeared before and will never appear again – in a few paragraphs? Will even a whole book do justice?

Having said that, I’ll try my best.

My father has a very scientific mind, whereas my mother is a natural at languages, and almost gleefully unscientific. I’m a product of cross-pollination: I like Maths, science, and literature.

I’m a compulsive reader, a bit on the quiet side, non-confrontational, mild-mannered, obliging, and bound by a strong sense of duty.

I’m not very good with children. I don’t mind doing the dishes, but I hate ironing. I don’t like to cook, to the extent of living on beans on toast if need be.

I used to love travelling but nowadays I prefer to stay at home. I’m not particularly interested in sports nor powertools. (I have yet to learn how to use a drill.)

I like bread, cheese, milk, pizza, pasta, and nasi kandar. I adore vanilla milkshakes.

I love cars. I have a database of makes and models in my head. I enjoy driving, but only if it involves the manual changing of gears.

I’m a perfectionist. But as I get older I’m learning to sacrifice perfection for expediency.

My locality and ethnicity? I live in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. My ancestors are of Arabic, Tamil, Indonesian and maybe Persian origin. (My children have it even better: Burmese and Pashtun blood thrown into the mix. Interestingly they look Chinese.) For what it’s worth, I’m defined by the Constitution as being Malay since I’m a Muslim, I speak Malay, and I happen to practise Malay customs.