You Have Been A Friend, Philosopher & Guide, Thanks Dad


father day

It takes a toll to manage a son like me and he has done it with perfection. It always helps if your daddy becomes your best buddy and he certainly turned one. Here’s for him with the caveat that not just one day but even 365 in a year is less to celebrate a papa like him. You certainly are the best. 

I was one of those troubled boy kid who was more scared of her mom than anything on the planet. My mom is one stickler for perfection and let me be frank, I was not even close to one. I would say I am still a work-in-progress but in those days I was worse. It was my dad then who would spring out of nowhere to save me from my mom’s wrath when I would not do my homework, not be up-to-date with my class write-ups or do anything wrong. If he could not manage saving me because sometimes it could get tough he would wear his slippers and move out of home because he for one could not see me cry. That is my earliest memory of my dad’s saving me qualities.

Things went ahead and I grew up only to become more naughty outside home. Hitting the ball out of the park and breaking glasses became a habit and so did people turning up to my home asking for a blanket ban on me playing cricket anywhere near their houses. He would though pay up all the time saying “he would play, what he breaks you can repair, take money but he would play”.

I don’t remember ever asking my mom for extra money because I knew she would decline thinking I would misuse. My father always tended the currency to me irrespective of the purpose. I remember asking him for Rs. 5000 during my last week of MBA because I was dating the most beautiful girl I had ever seen (this was what I had said to him) and he sent Rs 10000.

Things came to such an extent that I started discussing things which ideally no boy my age used to discuss with their fathers. My friends and I would go for a smoking joint (I still do not smoke or drink) and my father would know where I am. This was trouble for everyone else because my father would also know who smokes and drinks and who does not.

He never curbed my natural instincts, not even when I said I want to go out of home to prove myself. I am a single son and I know how important it is for him to see me. Till then it was like a routine for him to see me daily and suddenly I dropped a bomb. He though as usual allowed me the experiment and here I am struggling to make a mark even after 5-years of being away from him. He probably knew this and also the fact that someday I would be back with him, to share food from his plate and to take a bite of snack from his hand.

It was not that we never disagreed. The greedy person that I am, we never agreed with his way of business, where ethics and morality always stood ahead than any amount of money. His peers went way ahead of him in terms of money and social respect (which these days is proportionate to the size of the wallet) and he kept talking of good and bad karma. It was only when these great man as I always thought of them because of their come-what-may make money attitude fell, and took with them their entire families, did I realise what my father always meant when he quoted Warren Buffet vis-a-vis my example of Mr. Dhirubhai Ambani.

Today as I am on the verge of turning on the wrong side of the 20’s I sometimes feel could I be a tenth as good as he is? Naah, I don’t think so. I am just not confident I could because the two biggest qualities of his, sacrifice and patience, are things I lack totally.

I could write a book on our relationship but would rather sum it up with this beautiful poem from Louisa Mansfield

DAD,
When i was born,
You were there to catch me when i fall, whenever and wherever.
When i said my first words,
You were there for me,
to teach me the whole dictionary if need be.
When i took my first steps,
You were there to encourage me on.
When i had my first day at school,
you were there to give me advice and help me with my homework.
I still havent finished school,
or walked down the aisle, or had my first child.
But i know you will be there for me through all these times and more, the good and bad.
So i just wrote this to say ‘I LOVE YOU DAD!!!’

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