The Man who changed Me.
I very clearly remember the squeal I gave out when I accidentally dropped my phone at the roadside at about 8:30 in the morning that day. It had not even been a month since I got my new phone and I had broken it already. I blamed myself and was just so angry and guilty that I couldn’t take it anymore. I went home with a heavy heart and then I realised that I had to inform my mom and dad. Anxious and fearful, I had to confront then. Although, I knew they would never be mad at me, I would definitely hurt them with my carelessness.
Mentally prepared, I went to their room with my broken phone. My parents were reading their daily morning papers and they smiled at me and simply greeted me a good morning. I faked a smile and with trembling hands handed over my phone to them. To my astonishment, mom was all cool about it. She did not say a single word or did not scold me at all! I then looked at my father, guilty eyed. I told him what had happened and his reaction? Well, it is something I will never forget. Yes, he was all fine with it too. But the thing is, my dad understands people really well. So, he naturally understood me at that moment. He understood that I was feeling pathetic about what i did. So, like the million deep conversations we have had, it was time for one more. He told me how it just did not matter. He said that there have been so many times when my mom has made a mistake or he has. But he never felt bad about it. I disagreed and told that it’s not okay, that feeling a bit guilty is natural, everybody feels bad about something wrong that they have done. It sounded as if it is was a compulsion to feel bad after I make a mistake. He laughed and said, ‘but i never feel bad.’ I was still shocked, I checked again. ‘You never feel bad?’ He then explained to me how sometimes situations are not in your hands. Whatever actions we have taken, we are responsible for them. There are simply consequences to whatever our actions are- Good or bad, right or wrong. Like the consequence for me, was paying for my phone from my pocket money. He told me that there was just no point in feeling bad or guilty about it. He also added that we possess a mentality that we should be safe, we should lead a perfect life, nothing bad should happen to us or our things. But then that is not how the world works. There have to be people who break their phones so that the shops, where they are repaired,can have some work to do.
I was zapped by his answer. Amazed by his power of acceptance.
He instantly accepted life and whatever it threw at him and was detached from all those situations, not attaching his emotions to them.
It did hit me then. There are situations in your life which are just not in your hands, like the pathetic traffic or the examination you have next week. There is no point in getting irritated or all tensed about it. You just have to simply accept it and be emotionally detached from it. They should not hold power over your moods and happiness.
This is just one of the deep conversations we have had. I am not just writing this post to thank you dad, for making me who I am right now, but I am writing this to thank you for being YOU. I have learnt so much from you. I still remember one day when we were talking about the purpose of our lives, you told me that you wanted to make women financially independent. You wanted to give them the power of money because that is only when they will actually be free. That is when they will have a voice in our society. You inspire me so much.
Leaving civil engineering for working towards this goal was an act of courage. You showed it. Supporting mom in fulfilling her dreams and handling the whole house and every one of us and making us who we are is a work of patience. You showed it. Handling so many people around you, who look forward to you, helping them and maintaining relationships with everyone, is a work that requires a big heart. You have it.
You are a giver, in a true sense. The way you just give and show your love without expecting anything in return is something so rare. We can find someone like you so rarely. I adore you not just as a great father but as a great human being too.
Tough times do not last, tough people do. An important lesson I learnt from you, I won’t say you are my role model or that I want to be someone like you because I know you would want me to become a better version of me.
I promise you to be one. I know I haven’t told you these things before and also that you do not need to know these things. I know it just does not matter to you. But i wanted to write this on behalf of all those hundreds of people you have inspired and helped. We are who we are because of you. I am so proud of calling you my father. You are 45 years old now, but, are still young at heart. Your vision is still full of dreams, all ready to turn into a reality.