Today I’m here to write about how I feel about my father and how my perception of our relationship has changed over years.
It’s hard, to sum up, a man in few words. If I could, I’d probably be able to write a book about him 🙂
My dad, a man with fewer words, a silent observer who watched and learned. He has silently shown me what hard work really is.
My father was born in a poor family. His mother raised 9 children and his father was a musician. He grew up being a domestic help to another family. I very well know his childhood days weren’t the good old days that he could cherish about, but no matter what his experiences were, he never commented or complained about it. It’s very heartening to know he had to complete his graduation on his own earnings.
In my early childhood, all I wanted from my dad was to buy me expensive toys, clothes, and gadgets, and when my father refused to buy them for me, I wondered why my father couldn’t afford such expenses. However, never once my dad hesitated to lend a hand, be it fix my bicycle or fix my toys.
My father did all he could do to afford a good education for me and my elder brother. He worked seven days a week, from 5 am to 8pm most of his life. But he never lost his joy of life and the humor. In fact, not one day did I see him whining about life.
When our demands increased, he started working part-time as TV repairman. I remember me going to his part-time workplace where I watched movies on big screen TVs (big screen as in 20 inch RGB TVs)/ Videotapes.
He later got a job as an Electronics teacher in a high school. Every one of his students loved him. I remember him create an R2D2 with his students that could talk n move around. There was an article published about it in Deccan Herald newspaper . He was quite innovative.
He started his first venture on manufacturing gadgets. He created something called ‘Steam mix’ – A handheld Steam Steam Vaporizer. It was an instant hit in nearby beauty parlors.
He also started a part time business – Marketing/selling food and snacks.
His hobby was using a Ham Radio – He often used his ham radio to talk across town, sometimes around the world. He used to take us to ‘Foxhunting’ – An activity involving tracking radio signals using Ham radio and decoding secret messages that were being broadcast.
He even worked as a special police officer and worked on a few cases . (I got to know about this very recently.)
He would take us out at least once in six months to classic movies like BenHur, Ten Commandments.
During my high school days, he started his own telecommunications company where he would build networks in schools. He also invested in real estate. But as in most of the business, he incurred losses after which he lost probably most of his savings, and he just got back to the regular 9-5 job. It just so happened I was a teenager back then and I sometimes feel bad for not being there, not caring when he needed me.
My father would withdraw all of hid PF (401K) just before I had to pay my college fees and this is why I graduated as an Engineer with no student loan on me.
When I got appointed as a computer engineer, and when I got my paycheck, I was happy to spend all of it on myself and for buying gifts, (I did buy a watch set for my parents).
I was very moved when I heard my father talk to his friends how proud he was about me, and that he felt very happy for me that I started my career at a salary which is higher than his salary at the end of his career.
He is currently 67 and he refuses to retire, he works as an Organic Farming survey officer. And whenever I call him, he says come back to India and “Have a drink with your old man, be somebody” – (Like in Nebraska)
My father has taught me the importance of hard work and sacrifice not by only his words but through HIS actions.
My father taught me that no obstacle is too large to overcome. On the road of life, there are often many ups and downs, but they are part of the journey and experiencing them makes us who we are.
There’s an old saying you can choose friends but not your family and I’m happy I have had a wonderful family.
Thank you, dad, for being a hero for teaching me to be a good man and never every putting me down, and most importantly, for backing me .
I’d like to end my speech with a Sanskrit saying-
मातृ देवो भवः Maatru Devo Bhava पितृ देवो भवः Pitru Devo Bhava पिता स्वरग् पिता धर्म Pita Swarga, pita dharma पितहि परम् तप पिता सर्व देवता Pitahi param tapah pita sarva devata
Meaning Mother is considered like Goddess, Father is considered like God. Father is Heaven Father is Dharma(religion) Father is ultimate sacrifice