“Behind every great daughter is a truly amazing father.”
I don’t know if I have been a great daughter or not, but I do have a truly amazing father!
Whenever I reminisce my childhood, I remember my dad in a lot of ways than one! His affectionate smile , his silly jokes, his anger when teaching me Math, (when I didn’t understand the fundamentals of the Math problems),our arguments ( we always had different views on a lot of topics in life), his love for the family, his confidence in me, and of course, through the journey, till this date, his encouragement in whatever I do.
I remember how he taught me to ride a bicycle, in the summer after my fourth grade. He would take me out with the cycle and hold it while I tried to balance. He not only taught me how to balance the bike, but he also taught me to have a balance in life. Like he did! Yes, he always knew how to balance between work and family, between my mom and his kids, between relatives and friends.
He wouldn’t think twice to give me permission to go biking to my friends’ house, even if I was all alone or even if their house was a little far away. He always knew that I could take care of myself and knew that he didn’t have to hover around to protect me. That confidence he had in me, made me a confident and brave person I am today.
He never differentiated between my brothers and me. He loves us equally and he has always provided everything equally for us. I never ever heard him say, “You are a girl, you can’t do this!”. Instead, he always encouraged me by saying, ” Why do you think that girls can do it?! I have faith in you, you can do it!”
At an age, when you don’t know what you want to become, he told me his dreams of making me an engineer. He wanted me to be the first girl engineer in my family! But I didn’t meet his expectations, couldn’t fulfill his dreams as I didn’t get through the engineering entrance. But he didn’t lose hope or discourage me ever. He just moved on without a hue and cry.
At one point of time, when I had finished my bachelor’s in science and was not happy with it, he asked me about my dreams, my aim in life. When I said my heart lay in English literature, he encouraged me to follow the path. After my Masters’ he was the one who made me realize that maybe Ph.D. in Literature would be a good idea. I always knew that I could blindly count on his ideas, as he knew me better than I did, perhaps!
Whenever he reads something I write, he says ” You should be utilizing your talent more!” Since the day he read some of the short stories I wrote, he has been after me to write novels and publish them. He thinks I am just a few steps away from the “The Booker Prize”. Booker prize or not, yes, someday, very soon, I am sure I will fulfill his dream of seeing me published!
He believed in me, he encourages me, and he made me grow up into a brave girl. I was not taught all these things; I saw him and followed his footsteps. I learnt how to be honest and brave like him. I learnt how to be nice to people around me and gain their respect and support. Be it in school, college or any place of work, I tried my best to be nice to everyone around me and earn their love and respect!
My dad was also the first person to believe in my decision, when I chose my life partner. Without any presumptions or prejudice, he was ready to meet the boy and talk to him. More than that person, he was confident on my choice! He knew that he could count on me, as he knew very well that I do take time to trust and like a person. I have always been grateful to my dad for believing in me and getting me married to the person I love!
Well, that brings me to the second father in my life that I love and adore-the father of my kids, my husband!! They say that all women end up with a version of their fathers. There could be some truth in this if not all!
He is a great father to my kids, and whenever I see him interacting with my daughters, I am reminded of how I interacted with my dad. The way he jokes, the way he gangs up with them to tease me…. his invariably pampering them with gifts and money, silently fearing what kind of man with sweep their feet off….. one word for everything-nostalgia! Just as my dad was a pillar of strength for me, my husband is that strength for our daughters!
There is a saying- “The most important thing a father can do for his children is to love their mother.”-Theodore Hesburgh
My husband does that and more. He loves me, inspires me, encourages me and entertains me with his stupid jokes too! He has always been supportive of my decisions and encouraging of my endeavors! He is not only a great father to my kids, but a great husband to the mom of his kids!!
Father’s Day celebrations may be over, but the love for my dad, and the love for the dad of my kids, will go on and on! I leave you all with these beautiful words I read somewhere-
“A father’s tears and fears are unseen, his love is unexpressed, but his care and protection remain as a pillar of strength throughout our lives.”