This post is reposted with a few changes..
“Anyone can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a daddy.”
The role of a father is always taken for granted, But we forget that this bread-winner is as emotional as a mother , and yet we so easily wipe him off any outwardly show of gratitude. It is so easy these days in our crazy busy life to remember or think or focus on the things that our parents did not do for us , we have become so selfish in life we think only the negative.. we forget there is so much good that parents have done for us..
Fathers are believed to be tough, strict and all that.. but they are humans too, I am not saying my My father was perfect, no one is but I know for sure that he did his best to raise us And Thanks to him We are where we are and I AM WHAT AND WHERE I AM.
Today I would like to share with you a few things about my father, It is my personal recollection of time spent with my father, I was never very close to my father, I don’t remember any reason why it should have been like that, since he and my sister were so close to each other. Maybe because I spent most of my time in hostel.
He invested so much time in me , when i was studying in Chandigarh, He would come from office and sit with me for an hour or so for my homework from school, I did not feel very happy about it , But on hindsight I think it was so good.
My father was a proud man, he never said it to me but I know when others tell me, his best friends tell me what he talked about , what he thought of us. He was proud of our achievements. He cared so much for everyone , I distinctively remember sometimes him and my mother arguing over the fact that its holidays and he has asked someone to visit us, rather than us going out together for holidays. Most of my cousins stayed with us to study in city at one time we were 7 or 8 kids in the house, He catered for all of us without batting a eyelid.
Everyone in the family for any help would come to him, he did not say no to anyone, I have seen so many people who have stopped visiting us now, or calling us , but they did.
Summer holidays in school would see him making plans where to take us , manali, mumbai, Gujarat… he loved to travel.. see new places Thanks to him I have seen a lot of India, though at that time it felt weird why am i going with my mum-dad when my friends are going together, But now I know , I cherish those visits which most of my friends did not have. I did, the time spent with my father was the best.
I still remember that day when I got the early morning call, my mama ji said hello and immediately i knew something was wrong, very wrong, he just said Come to India straightaway, Papa had passed away.. I did not know what to do .. I remember the shock, the horror, the disbelief, the fear, the complete sense of hopelessness and helplessness brought on, Suddenly, life seemed so finite. All those times we had flashed by in front of me, I remember the horrible time it took to reach Delhi then drive to Chandigarh..
All through the time so many things were going through my mind, I still stop and remember the times.. The times when I use to think what have i done wrong , Why is my father so strict, Why does he stop me doing this, Why wont he get me what i want, Why does he say No always .. So many questions .. But as I grew up I somehow started to understand all he was doing for me.
On the day of the bhog so many people had come to pay their respects, i did not know many of them , A few letters had come from various people , One letter I still have one from a Principle of a college in Punjab who showered so many praises on dad for helping the College where so many students got education.
I also had made a point to ask all his friends to let me know if he had owed anything to anyone so as a son I could pay them back, he did not owe anything to anyone.
There are a few things that comes to my mind immediately when I think of my father , the first one was 1996 the year my dad retired from work, We were all invited by his office people for a small party in the evening, where they gave him some presents and all.. After it got over we were walking towards our car when we saw a few people beating up a man, on enquiry we got to know this guy also had retired the same day , but during his work time he had made life hell for his colleagues so now that he retired he got a beating as send of.. It made me feel proud of my dad at that time.
The other thing that comes to mind is the incident where I had gone to a place called Patiala for Inter college debate representing my college, at night there was a terrorist attack where so many students were killed in middle of night, My father got to know about this and he was there at Patiala in his night suit.. Searching for me in the hospital and when he saw me all covered in blood from carrying the injured he almost cried.. but in his way he told me “I had told you not to come , Now let’s go home”, and when I said to him he will have to wait till all of my friends are found and donating blood, he just sat there waiting..
Cut off time at night was 9pm , I had to be home and if not then he would get so worried sometimes come to look for me , my friend would joke with me that I should go home on time else “PAPA will COME” :)
His pet dialogues “kya Raje”.. or “Kya banega is desh ka ” whenever politics would come up to discuss, how eagerly he would watch the cricket matches , come occasions he would hate when i said I have to go to a friends house to celebrate he would say “Raje Ithe sad lai uhna nu”.. (call them here instead)…
I remember him go so angry one time we had gone to Hazoor sahib , Nanded near mumbai, and he was trying to get a room for us and as usual there too it was corruption give money get a room, and Papa blew his top and asked the guy who demanded money to step out of his office so he could slap him, I was young , suddenly it was all quiet and no one there dared to move, I thought today we would be beaten up, but no one dared and Papa was like telling me, dont worry anyone comes near get him. I saw the look on his face and the guy in the office almost pee-ed in his pants, and lo and behold we got a lovely room without paying any bribe.
He would celebrate my birthday every year , I was a grown up man but no he always made sure 11th Nov he had a few of my friends invited a few of his friends to celebrate and Since he has passed no one has celebrated my birthday as he use to.. I remember his craze for Poori Cholle , he would always order them from sector 17 Chandigarh that was one dish Always on the menu on my birthdays..
Another funny incident was when i had applied for Visa for uk, everyone was saying I wont get it, and I will have to wait etc etc, I remember going to Delhi embassy , my interview took place at about 10am and by 11am i was out with the news that Visa is mine, I should go and get the medical done.. I rang my father to tell him I got the visa and i need to go for medical his words were “No don’t go, come home, for the next few weeks eat Makhan-badaam-gheo , Tagda ho ke Medical devange” ( almonds-ghee- get stronger and then give medical) , I was laughing my head off, and me being me could not wait .. gave the medical the same night ..
When I came to UK my friends would still visit my home and Papa would sit with them and offer them a drink or two always saying that If Bikram was there he would do the same , All these little events I came to know when friends talked they would say I have a cool father.
People often forget to say “I LOVE YOU and YOU ARE IMPORTANT TO ME” I did too all this time, I miss telling him how much he meant to me, How much I love – care for him. I am what I am now cause of his pains, that he took, sacrificing his ideas sometimes to make sure I got what I wanted or threw a tantrum over. I regret not telling him all this when I had the chance, will regret all my life.
THANK YOU PAPA for everything and making me the person I am, tears still swell up and my heart aches Because He was my Daddy and I miss him all the time, I want to take this opportunity now to tell him that
. I remember the hurt in your eyes when i could not get through the IMA so many times , each time you asked me to hold my head high, try again.
. The sadness when I planned to come to UK, You did not stop me.
. The proud moment when I rung you to tell you I have bought a house , My first car..
. The day you came to visit me here. I am sorry for not spending more time with you..
. The day I got sworn in for the forces here.
I remember them all wish you were here to see your son happy. It was all because of you Papa Thank you So much. I hope I am an ounce like my father, If I am then I would do justice to my kids too. I hope and pray you are looking out for me as you always did.
Happy Fathers day to all the readers, Let not just be ON the fathers day that we say I love you to our dad, lets say it every day and make it a father’s day all the days…