You can make anything by writing – CS Lewis
Most of us while growing-up look up to our fathers as hero who can take control of any situation, give whatever we want and stand guard against any harm. But it was little bit different in my case. Hang on, don’t run into conclusions until I rest my case. My father like any other did whatever he can to his capacity to give me all my needs and I am blessed to have him as ‘my father’. My relationship with dad is more than just father-son bonding but he is my best friend with whom I learned things about life together.
He is from a not-so-well-to-do-family and had to learn things in hard way being the only son with four sisters. On top of that grandpa passed away very early so he never had the opportunity of somebody looking after him. And then he met my mum and got married a bit too early, in his early twenties because of which he did not had that proper bachelorhood also. Now in this scenario, give a guess what will it be like for a man who is young, had a baby (that’s me) in early twenties, a new job, new place and no experience of life. I am sure that even with the best intentions he would not have been the best father. But I am proud of my dad that with all his shortcomings he tried, even if he missed out in some I don’t have any complaints but respect and more love.
When I say I grew up with my dad it means a lot to both of us. He was experiencing new things with me that he missed out in his childhood and youth. Like going to good school, going away from home for further studies and getting in relationship with the girls. He was more excited than me when I passed my XIIth exam and cried like anything. Boiling angry when I failed, he didn’t talk to me for quite some days. He was more tensed packing my luggage when I was coming to Delhi. He was the one who gave me bike’s key and money to go hang out with girls. More than me he was keen to buy clothes for me and forcing me to wear latest design shoes. Believe it not he still buy clothes for me and thinks that I need to improve my dressing sense. And I can never forget him checking out my non-Christian lady friend with whom we went out for dinner, “How much do you know about Christianity, what do you think about conversion?” and what not.
And on other hand I saw my dad growing up from being a proud owner of brand new bicycle, to second-hand scooter, to new Kinetic Honda, then second hand car and upgrading to brand new car. His excitement when he bought a piece of land and slowly gradually building our house. Sometimes he comes home angrily because he is not good in computers and younger staffs trying to be smart. He made sure that we siblings know few hymnals that he knows even if he is not that good in singing department. While telling me, “Son, don’t drink or smoke they are not good,” he was having his own struggle to overcome them and the peer pressure. He did quit everything like a real man, earning more respect and making me realize that he means it what he says. I remember us crying together when mum was taken into the operation theatre and the joy when it went well. And the punch when I challenged him as a teenager with raging blood, “Don’t you boast because you are my father!” Both of us being the only son make us the only men in the family so many a times we end up being each others support-system.
Today also when we talk we talk more like friends on everything under the sun. Like, “Son don’t worry even if you don’t get a ‘government job’, you can happily sustain with my pension money and live in my house” or on the phone at busy office hour, “Hey son, how do you bring back those songs in laptop which I lost by mistake?” After long and lots of explanations, “Oh that’s easy!” Well that’s my dad who still beats me in badminton match, stronger, smarter, taller, more handsome, everything better than me. The only thing I am better than him is computers and watching movies, he doesn’t have the patience to sit down and watch a whole movie.
Dear dad, today as I look back at the things we did and share together. I am proud of you, not the best but you did the best!! I learn from you that man makes mistake, he has emotion – cries when sad, angry when things go wrong, show chivalry and throw some jokes to the women if needed. Stays fit to think and do things better. And above all you taught me, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
(Published in Seihakhon April-June ’14, Page No. 13)