Father’s Day Special-Never Give up





(Loose translation-From across the seven seas, from the wonderland, get me a doll papa. Don’t waste time on buying the doll, come home as soon as you can)

My first memory of my father- recording this song in me and my sister’s voice so that he could remember us while sailing in the sea. As a sailor in the Indian Navy, my father used to be away from us for half of the year at a stretch. With no letters/phone calls allowed, he had invented this ingenious way of being in touch with us. He had gifted my mother with a tape recorder and used to tape his voice on a dicta phone and post us the cassettes from wherever he was. And we used to follow the same practice. Once, we did not meet him for a year or so, neither did we hear his tapes. We kept wondering when he would return. One mid-night when I heard his voice and woke up, I was disappointed to see a stranger with long beard playing with my sister.  That was him.

As we grew up, he made sure that every moment spent together was memorable. When he dropped us to school on bicycle, took us to the zoo/beach and when he told us the bed-time stories. He taught us to peel the mangoes, eat C-shaped water- melons and clean the chicken for curry. On a Rakshabandhan day (a Hindu festival for brothers and sisters), when we asked what sisters with no brothers do, he said “I am your brother; tie your Rakhis on my wrists.”

In spite of his rigorous routine, he made sure he never missed any of our milestones. From our first stage recital to my SSB interview to my daughter’s birth; he was always there. He considered us his equals and let us read, write, think and form our own opinions. He was always ready to discuss, but once decided, rules were to be followed. Whenever he was angry with us, he used to scold us, punish us severely. And then at night he used to tell us how sorry he was for doing that but rules were rules and they had to be followed.

The climax of the movie Dangal reminds me of one similar incident in my life. During one summer vacation we went on a family picnic to a place called Paithan near Aurangabad in Maharashtra. There is a smaller version of the Vrindavan garden in the city where there are large flower beds and water tanks with musical fountains and dancing lights. I was so excited to wear a new ghagra choli, with elaborate mirror work my aunt had got from Vadodara that I didn’t realise when I tripped over the hem and fell into one of the water tank. I didn’t know how to swim then and started to drown. While I was desperately trying to look for some help, I saw my father sitting quietly at the corner of the tank and telling my mother, “Let her try first!” He let me kick a few legs and hands before he finally pulled me out. I was exhausted, angry and sulking when I came out. My new ghagra was all wet and heavy. And then he told me, “You are the only person who can help yourself, so face the challenge and fight. Your father will not help you always.”

He taught me to face adversities and make my own decisions.

He made sure I chose the right father for my daughter too.

Happy Father’s Day to my fighter Baba and my daughter’s Achiever Papa!

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About vidula

I am a retired short service commission officer of Education branch of IAF. Training and educational administration are my forte. Presently enjoying being a mother to my 8 year old prodigy{daughter}. Love music,movies and my daily walks...Love of writing made me land here!

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