My Dad My Superhero

This story is written by Dr. Nidhi Mishra as a Father’s day gift to her dad Dr. Ashok Mishra.

Dr. Nidhi has been actively working towards the promotion of active and healthy ageing in India for the past 12 years in both academic as well as social sector. She strongly believes that along with being a supportive and caring father Dr. Ashok is a perfect example of active and productive ageing, who through his active lifestyle and passion to work for the welfare of the society has inspired her a lot.

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On this Father’s day I want to gift this story to my Dad who has always been an inspiration to me for all the hard work he has done for his family, for the society and for leading an active life and thus encouraging people like me to focus on our passion and contribute in the best way possible towards the welfare of others.

As a Passionate Doctor

My dad Dr. Ashok Mishra, is a 69 year old General Physician (MBBS Doctor) based in Allahabad. For him his medical practise is not only a profession but also a means to do welfare service towards the disadvantaged section of the society. He has been treating patients since 1975 and for him his profession is an essential part of his life which keeps him physically, mentally and spiritually active.

Every day he travels 120 km by road to see his patients and listen to their problems, personal challenges and hardships. Some of his patients are from the economically weaker section of the society who come for free consultation. He treats them with full dedication and never shows any discrimination against them. He believes that this is a part of his professional social responsibility which instills in him a sense of self fulfillment.

As a Responsible Family Member

From an early age my dad was not only a very hardworking and focused student but also being the eldest amongst the siblings played the role of a guardian for them. To fulfill the wishes of his parents he chose to study medicine and become a doctor. He made his parents proud by securing admission in Motilal Nehru Medical College, Allahabad. He finished his MBBS in 1975 and decided to spend some time with the family before pursuing higher studies. Just when he felt that everything was on track, a tragedy struck, my grandfather was diagnosed with advanced stage cancer and within a few months he passed away. It was the toughest time for my dad both emotionally and financially. The sudden death of his beloved father brought responsibility of his entire family on him as all five of his siblings were studying that time. Accepting this as god’s will, my dad decided to put his higher study plans on hold and setup a private practice in Allahabad. Though he felt helpless and shattered inside but except my mother he hardly shared his grief and sorrow with anyone at that time. Since then he has been fulfilling all his responsibility towards his family as a caring son, loving brother, understanding husband and supportive father. He sacrificed many of his dreams and desires for the sake of his family but never regretted it. And in all his endeavours my mother has always been his pillar of strength and support.

Our society always teaches us that men should never cry but I have seen my dad cried like a baby on his mother’s demise and also on my vidai (during marriage ceremony) because he always believes that crying is not an unmanly act, instead it’s the best way of catharsis and is normal for any human being whether a man or a woman.

Despite of his busy professional life my dad has always fulfilled his responsibilities as a father and a grandfather. He has been an understanding, caring and loving father and grandfather, who always has time for his naughty one and half year old grand-daughter.

As an Example of Active and Productive Ageing

Due to his active lifestyle he is an inspiration not only among his family but also among his friends, patients and well wishers. Everyone admires him for his hard work, dedication and passion for his profession, his strong commitment towards welfare of society especially underprivileged people and his fun loving nature.

His professional life and family responsibilities keeps him busy most of the time, however as a doctor he believes that ”me time” is a must for a healthy living. So, everyday he takes out at least 20 minutes from his busy schedule and spends this time listening to classical songs/ghazals from his personal collection or in introspection.

He is an inspiration and a role model who inspires me to be passionate about my work and always encourages me to offer my professional expertise and contribute towards the development of society. Taking this forward I have also started offering free consultation biweekly to institutions and individuals who are seeking advice related to ageing related topics.

In the end I would like to say — “Papa your struggles and achievements have motivated and inspired me more than story of any superhero, so for me you are and will always be my superhero. No matter how old I grow I will always be your proud daughter.”

This story was originally published on www.seniorexpress.in, on the occasion of Father’s Day.