My Ordinarily Extraordinary Dad..
Let me tell you a little bit about my father…
As of today, he is 59, has greying hair; is devoid of a single strand of any malicious or evil intent and is full of virtuous values and teachings. He is the type of serious man, who in their quietness and good-naturedness, shape and change your life in the most phenomenal way (and I’m not just saying that because I’m his daughter). I have always admired my father, the way he would teach me Mathematics from the basics (“take no shortcuts”, he would say), would help me overcome my weaknesses which meant being open and honest about his, how he insisted on always doing the right thing, his kindness, I could go on.
When I was growing up, all around me daughters were being spoilt rotten by fathers who gave them everything that their hearts desired. My father, on the other hand never incentivized getting higher grades or as far as I can remember ever go out of his way to give me something material. As a child, I would get upset about it and would not understand. But as an adult, I am thankful to him for doing that. I understand the value of money, of working hard, of doing things because it’s just the right thing to do. For instance, I got good grades because I liked my subjects, for the love of it and for my future; not because I would get a swanky laptop or a mobile phone. What he did give me, was far more valuable. He gave my brother and me the gift of time (that he spent with us), his positive teachings and words, his kindness, his open honest laughter (something that my brother got from him), and so much more.
He is a careful, cautious sort of man, my father. He would warily point out things that might go wrong, before I ventured to do something he was worried might not turn out the best way. And would stand by me, and help me through things when I would do it anyway. Like the silent pillar of support, you know you can lean on when the world around you is collapsing.
We have our disagreements, my father and I. It’s because I am a lot like him. I can sometimes see his frustration, when he tries to talk me out of something, trying to ensure I don’t make the same mistakes. But he never forces it on me, he lets me be. If I know myself, and am comfortable in my skin, it is because of this freedom and support from him.
It’s funny how most people (not barring myself) have a heightened sense of self-importance. We pat ourselves on the back, when we win a competition, get a promotion, become famous or achieve a speck of greatness in any way. Often our parents fade into the background, like houses seen from the back of a car, speeding towards its destination. We forget we wouldn’t be where we are, if it weren’t for all the effort and sacrifices made by them.
If I know how to pick myself up when I fall, and face the darkest of times with strength and grace, it’s because my father taught me to do so. If I know how to handle disappointments, it is because of his positive words and reinforcement. If I am fiercely independent, it’s because he encouraged me to be that way. If I am able to forgive, and look at people with empathy and kindness, it is because I have seen him do so.
I might not say it enough, but I want him to know, that the only reason, I am the best version of me is because he has strived really hard for that to be possible.