The most influential person in my life is perhaps not even aware of the things he has taught me or of how much he has affected my existence. He has always been there in my life, right from the day I opened my eyes to the present moment. He is a source of constant strength and support, my partner in crime and the rudder of my ship. He is someone whom I look up to with pride and respect. He showed me the stars and taught me how to reach them.
Well, my father acquired the lessons of his life by overcoming the adversities he faced throughout his childhood and adolescence. Urbanized kids in India have his habit of taking school education for granted. For them, getting into public schools is a cakewalk. But, some 40 years ago, getting into public schools was something that costs quite a lot of money in a country like India. My father is someone who believes in merit rather than reservation. He struggled on his way throughout his childhood as my grandparents didn’t have enough money to send their son into a public school. Since he struggled to get quality education in his childhood, he understands how important education is in order to succeed in life.
I know providing me with quality education is one of my father’s chief concerns When I was a little boy, still in my nappies and our family was not wealthiest of families. I still remember the words my father had said to me: He said everything is going to be okay. I was a child, but knew that everything would not be okay. Well, that was something which did not turn my father into a lair, Instead it was something which made him a father. I have never been a material boy, my father has always told me never to love anything that cannot love you back.
Looking through a wider perspective, I realized that No one is ever quite ready; everyone is always caught off guard. But surprisingly, parenthood is something that chooses you. When you open your eyes and say “ Oh my gosh” and recognize that of all the balls there ever were, this is the one you should never drop for it is not a question of choice. I remember being very dwarf and being embraced by my father. I would try endlessly to put my arms around my father’s waist and hug him but I could never reach the whole way around the equator of his body, he happened to be that much larger than life. And then one day, I finally succeeded in doing it. I held him, instead of him holding me, and all I wanted at that moment was to have it back the other way.
One thing which I have realized with the passage of time is: By the time a man realizes that his father was right, he usually has a son who thinks his father is wrong. Well, I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father’s protection. Furthermore, when a father gives something to his son, both laugh but when a son gives something to his father, both of them tend to cry. Now, this perhaps the biggest of ironies related to the human nature.
Moving further, there must always be a struggle between a father and a son, while one aims at power and the other aims at independence. Once my father was playing with me and my brother in the playground. Suddenly, my mother came and said” you’re tearing up the grass”, to which my father replied: “we’re not raising grass, we’re raising boys”. Well, it is not blood and flesh but the heart that makes us father and son. I strongly believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren’t trying to teach us. We are formed by tiny little scraps of wisdom. Well, my father did not teach me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it……..