I lost mine two weeks ago. My sister and I were very close to him. He was very different from most fathers of his generation. A father who completely trusted us and our ability to take decisions. A father who shared and discussed his value system but never forced it on us. One who let us develop our own identities and personas. A father broad minded enough to tell his daughter leaving for higher studies to not commit to her boyfriend but keep her options open.
A hands on father – he packed our lunches all through our school lives. One who made the perfect glass of milk – the perfect temperature, the right balance of Horlicks and sugar and no lumps left after mixing. 🙂 Even now, he was the one who gave us our night glasses of milk!! (Have been skipping milk now for most of the last two weeks).
We discussed everything under the sun with him – science, the big bang, evolution, history, geography, Agatha Christies, politics, religion, sex, relationships – you name it. Our relationship with our parents was highlighted by its openness. Not once do I remember ever having to lie to them or to hide anything from them.
Anyway. My meandering mind will keep dredging up memories and this blog will end up becoming about just one father. I wanted to write about fathers and fatherhood. No expert on parenting or relationships, I just wanted to write about how fathers have added meaning to their relationships. And I feel it is especially important in today’s context, as more and more fathers are becoming hands on parents. Many of them will not have similar reference points from their own childhood.
- Be yourself. A cliche but true. The person one is, will define the kind of father he will be. Don’t try to be something different as a father. No point being a disciplinarian, if you are someone who lives life by the moment. Just be yourself, and let the child evolve into herself.
- Respect – Before love, care or anything, the emotion that comes first is respect. I believe, that the foundation of any relationship, is respect. And if you respect those around you, your child learns the same. I think that was one of the first values we were taught at home.
- Love with all your heart – Traditionally men have been conditioned to restrain their emotions. No need to. My husband is one of the MOST soppy fathers I have ever seen. And he is not ashamed. And his kids absolutely love it!
- Keep your promises – One of the most vivid memories my husband has from his childhood is when his father kept his promise of buying him a bicycle. His father worked in a different city and he took a special leave just to come back to his home town and buy his son the bicycle on the promised date. You keep your promises – your kids will learn to keep theirs.
- Fun time – I once stayed at a relatives’ place. The next morning, I woke up to see him and his kids excitedly getting ready for a walk. The amount of excitement, energy and fun there was in the air, will forever remain etched in my mind. Making the mundane and the trivial fun is an art. And fun is what makes our memories bright and sunny.
- Labour of love – Its not only the mom’s job to do all the physical work. Bathe your baby, feed him, clean him, oil his hair, cook for him, help him with homework and crafts and basically everything. My brother in law does it all. Respect.
- Alone time – Just have some daddy – baby time together. Go and eat out. See a movie together. Chill out at places you both like. My son loves this time he spends with his dad.
- And the list can go on….. But I don’t plan to do all the work. Please share your own experiences with your dads or as dads yourselves. Would love to hear from you. So Long!
A mom writing so vividly about a Dad is definitely worth a read. I can completely relate to what you have mentioned in the blog especially regarding the bicycle gift. These surprises get imprinted in our mind and make this relationship all the more special. (There seems to be a typo in the paragraph which talks about ‘Labour of love’. I presume you meant ‘Oil his hair’.)
Thanks Kundan! and thanks for pointing out the typo! corrected it!
I randomly recollected this memory. It was in class 2 that my dad had promised to gift me a bicycle (it was an ATLAS cycle) if I had scored more than 85%. I remember I was not able to reach the threshold marks, yet my dad gifted me the bicycle. I have so many memories associated with that bicycle.
Sakshi! I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. I’m thinking of you and sending lots of love your way. Like you- my dad and I share a very special bond. His openness and respect has enabled my mom, me, my sister and every peter person in his life to be who we are and to unapologetically go after what we want. I learned respect and strength from him. He was not the “my daughter is dating and I’m going to scare the guy off with a shotgun” kinda person. He is more the, “my daughter thinks highly of this guy, let me get to know him for he must be awesome” kinda guy. Here’s to dads who are the golden standards. Much love!
I am so sorry about your loss. It’s a touching piece and a beautiful tribute to a very worthy father… I can completely relate to everything you wrote about your dad. My father has been much the same to me and my sister… blessed to have fathers who were not the typical patriarchs.
Beautifully penned thoughts Sakshi, it’s absolutely amazing how you have weighed each word you have written. There isn’t an extra word in it and it conveys everything you want to day precisely.
Maybe you could do one blog about Uncle… yes he was a great person and very different from most. Infact I personally enjoyed reading the part about him more, brought tears to my eyes. Although he was yours’… reading about a dad brings us closer to ours… I am already thinking about mine.
May he RIP.
Sorry to hear about your father Sakshi. May his soul rest in peace. Very well written and thanks for sharing. Can relate to many as a father and as a son and lot to take care of.
Loved reading this piece. That bit on keeping promises was very touching. As a father of two girls, I got some useful insights on becoming a better dad and a better person… Keep on writing👍👍👍
Sakshi. At times it’s only words, and words is all one have to take the heart away. Beautifully written. I will ensure not to miss reading your blogs. Take care.
Extremely eloquently put!! But I will not speak about your style of writing as I may sound repetitive. I have mentioned that in my previous comments and all of that remains true for this blog too!!
But the X-factor of this blog is the topic- Fathers and fatherhood!! It’s a topic which is seldom talked about in India and more needs to be written or spoken about. And I am so glad that you have mentioned that!!
My early memories of my father was that of a Superhero ( there was a gender bias in the Superheroes of the comic strips during our times) – a hero who can fight all evils!! – I think this is true for most of the kids. I feel that’s why a role of a father becomes extremely critical as they become role models for the kids. As Uncle Ben says, “with great power(in the kids’ imagination) comes great responsibility(in real life)”. I believe fathers responsibility includes instilling values, creating confidence in the kids’ abilities, in walking the talk, in instilling “grit” and “perseverance”. It is okay for Spider-Man to have a bad day, but what is important that he evolves as a better human being the next day!!
WRT the present context, it is a must that Fathers help in sensitizing especially our boys, so that their Emotional Quotient is more developed than their Intelligence Quotient!!
[…] this discussion, I think of my dad. He was a very bright mind -an inventor who must have developed dozens of products, patented some, […]