How do you sum up a person in 500 words? I’m not sure, but I’m going to give it a shot nevertheless. My father is perhaps the youngest looking 57-year-old I know. He sports long curly hair and a mustache. He has had people tell him he looks like a hippy. But he is far from that. Wearing his factory uniform and a pair of Ray-ban sun glasses, he goes to my mother’s office on his 1985 model Royal Enfield, to pick her up, every single day.
My father is a simple man. He has followed the same routine for over thirty years. He works until five, comes back with my mother at six and stays in his garage until nine, after which we have dinner at the table. He is a workaholic. There is nothing he enjoys more than fixing bikes and cars. It baffles me to think of how long and testing his journey has been. Once a part time auto driver, he is now the Senior Manager of his department at BHEL.
There are days when he has a faraway look in his eyes and tells us about his childhood; about how he failed few subjects some times and how he got a double promotion sometimes; about his love for gasagase paaysa and how he had once poured some into his pocket hoping to drink it later. Silly appa! My sister and I never tire of listening to his stories, but the opportunity to do so is rare.
It’s strange how my father never ceases to amaze me. For a long time I thought my father was not a family man. Of course he loves his family and my parents are a very happy couple. But he rarely displays any emotion. It might seem silly, but a few weeks ago I was wondering if my parents had, at least once, said “I love you” to each other. During the same week came an instance when my mother was out of station and my dad was very ill, in a hospital, with just my sister and me to nurse him. Just listening to his shaky voice when he spoke to her over the phone and seeing the expression on his face when my mother came back was enough for me to tell how much he missed her. Relationship, I thought, was the last thing my dad would advise me about. But somehow, without saying a word, he passed on a valuable lesson to me. Flowery words and dramatic gestures don’t make a relationship strong. All you need is strong mutual understanding, and along with that, comes unconditional love.
My father has taught me to strive for what I want and make sure I get it. It’s very difficult to be like him. He extracts the best out of life. I’d like to think that I’m a lot like him. I like being told that I look like my father or that I behave like him. I like to think I get my love for animals, my short temper, my tomboyishness and my lust for life from him. My mom, sister and I adore my dad. He brings the most boring places to life. His very presence instills a sense of security and completion in us. I hope my dad stays exactly like this forever, young at heart, energetic and immensely passionate about everything he does.
I wrote this a whole ago as part of an assignment in my journalism school.