Every year on Father’s Day, I am in a dilemma. I ponder long and hard over what I should buy for the man who means the most to me in this world and every year, I am at a loss of ideas. I know my father is extremely fastidious when it comes to clothes and perfumes’ so buying either of these without his approval is a risk of a very grave sort. To this end, for the last few years now, I have taken the safer road and chosen to pen down my thoughts regarding his importance in my life. This year, I decided to profess my love and appreciation for my father (‘dad’ henceforth) on my blog so I could share my sentiments for him on a public forum.
As Dad’s youngest child and only daughter, I have been extremely pampered and a (self professed) ‘daddy’s little girl’ in the truest essence of the phrase. But dad’s pampering did not just extend to buying expensive gifts for me; rather he chose to pamper me with knowledge, with his unconditional love, time and patience. I come from a somewhat conservative family; in terms of their thinking, my grandparents are very old school and orthodox. In such an environment, my dad who is both liberal and secular stands out as a rebel. He inculcated the same fighter and never-say-die spirit in me and my brother and taught us to stand up for our rights and principles, even if it meant gaining disapproval from others. On many occasions dad urged us to be stubborn and unrelenting where the situation demanded it and I have a constant, unfaltering reassurance that come what may, one maelstrom after another, I will always have my father’s support and encouragement. He will always stand behind me like the pillar of strength he is in my life and keep nudging me forward.
Speaking of which, I don’t think I have ever seen a father in my life who is as expressive as my father (I may be a little biased but I’m not exaggerating right now). Dad never misses an opportunity to tell my brother and me that he will always support us in whatever we choose to do in life. Day in and day out he reminds us that he loves us and will continue to do so no matter what happens. Every single time either one of us talks to him on the phone, the last thing he says before shutting the phone, is ‘I love you, beta’ and by habit, we reply ‘love you too, dad’, without realizing the effect his three parting words have on our lives. Hearing someone confess their love for you is the most beautiful feeling in the world and I have to thank my dad for making me experience that feeling several times in a day.
I told my father many years ago that he’s not a ‘cool dad’ – an allegation he has taken to heart and hence, tried his level best to alter my opinion. Today, I am taking this opportunity and clarifying what I really meant when I said that: My dad was never a “cool dad” in the way that fathers often try to be “cool dads.” He’s just a “cool” person whose “coolness” happens to spill over into his dad-ness. I’m not sure I’m able to get the message across, but in a nutshell, all I’m trying to say is that my father is a pretty darn awesome person and he incorporates that into his role as a father.
Honoring a Father on Father’s Day is about more than a Dad who brings home a paycheck, shares a dinner table, and attends school functions, graduations, and weddings. It isn’t even so much about spending time together. It’s more about unconditionally loving children who are snotty and stubborn, who know everything and won’t listen to anyone. It’s about respect and sharing and acceptance and tolerance and giving and taking. It’s about loving someone more than words can say and it’s wishing that it never had to end.
So on this day, I want to thank my hero, my mentor, my inspiration - the one man who always knows how to put a smile on my face. Thank you for everything. Here’s to the best dad anyone could ever wish for.