Fathers are complicated creatures. Maybe I’ll understand them when I become one. They’re like pineapples — hard and prickly from the outside but sweet and sour from the inside. The earliest memory of my father is when I used to get excited on his return from his posting. The 5-year-old-me used to shoot out of my bed and scream out to welcome him from the balcony. The entire block would know that my father was back.
Most kids would ask for what their fathers brought for them from the trip, but not me. I was happy to have him around. The biggest reason was his sense of humor. He’d ensure Sundays were instigated with laugh riots. I think it’s because of his jokes, I turned out to be a funny guy.
A retired civil servant now, my father still has that humorous streak in him. Being an old man, he often forgets that he is repeating the same anecdotes and tales he told me and my siblings 10 years ago. The way he presents them still has an impact and we forget that we have heard the joke once before.
Trained in the Defense Forces, my father was starkly disciplined and inculcated the same values in me. I never had difficulty waking up in the morning because it was pushed into a habit by my father. Like every South-Asian kid, the mischievous me got the mischief beaten out of me. It fashioned me into a responsible teenager.
Yet, I hated him in my teens for being too hard on me. Most of my friends had a big allowance and I was never given any real pocket money. My friends would spend the money on booze, partying, video games, and what not. He denied me those superficial pleasures and I thank him for that. It made me into a trustworthy family man who does not squander away money.
The only thing I think he could have done better was making me more self-reliant. His obsessive love for me kept me confined, chained to the house. I could have done with a little more confidence in the outside world. But then, he gave me a small vice for an inexhaustible list of virtues.
I know I will never be able to repay the debt I owe him. Most of the people don’t even remember they have parents until Father’s Day or Mother’s Day comes along. Instead of clicking pictures with your parents for social media, why not spend time with them sincerely? They’ve sacrificed a lot for your well-being. It’s time to give them something back.
Btw, you can blame this for the sentimental blog—
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