Saturday, June 03, 2006
My Dad ...my Hero
Today I’d like to talk about my Dad.
Once, when we were small (my sister and me), we fought over some trivial thing. I exactly don’t remember what it was; something about pencils or so (it was way back; maybe when we were in the 7th or 8th !! ). Then our dad came; he saw us fight. Instead of chiding us for fighting over such trivial things, he gave us a little talk; and that changed me for life. Before I get to that, I want to give a brief glimpse into his past.
Dad was born as the 5th child to my grandparents; and his dad died when he was only 4 or 5 yrs old. He has no vivid memory of his dad. He was the 1st boy in the family. Naturally the responsibility fell onto his shoulders very early. His was not an easy childhood. And he never told us about it; until that small ‘tiff’ between us.
That night as he began talking, the power went. In that dark night, by the aid of an emergency light, he told us things; of his past....
He told us about his childhood; he told of times when he was provided just ONE pencil (then they used slate and pencils). He had to use till it became so small a stub that he couldn’t even hold it in his hands. Of how he used to attend classes after looking into the chores of the house. He told of times when ‘fish’ curry to him meant having just ONE fish to cook and apportioning that one, itsy-bitsy fish among all the members of the family. He talked of times when he had no money to pay for bus-fares, of not having clothes to wear to college; and many more.
By the time he finished, we were in tears. Right then, us fighting for some pencils seemed so very petty. And I thanked dad in my heart for that ‘little’ talk. It changed my perspective of life. My dad, let me specify, is the kind of person who never shares any of his problems with us. His heart may be in turmoil, but he never lets us know it .
[This may seem a figment of someone's fertile imagination to some. It may seem fictitious; or rather something straight out of a story: the protagonist being this poor lad who makes it big one day....but this IS the truth. My dad has risen out of abject poverty by his own will and determination. Not that I am saying we are 'filthy rich'. But our dad provides for us well !]
And that day when he told us about his past, it was a revelation of sorts; because I hadn’t imagined until then that he had such a childhood. He has had a tough life since then as well. But he has never let us feel inadequate in any sphere of life. Because of his childhood experience, he was pretty adamant that we should not lack in anything. If we ask for one pencil, he would buy 10 !
Then I realized how strong my dad is at heart. He has been through a lot. And he has taught many things through his life, which I’m grateful for. He has taught me the value of education, of perseverance, of hard work and many more. Hence, from that day onwards, we both realized the value of the things we had. He also taught us to be content with what you have. And that day, by the time he finished his talk, the power came back; and indeed, a 'new' light had dawned on me.....
That is why my dad is, was and always will be my hero.
Thought for the day: “First deserve; then desire.”