This afternoon when dad was having a nap, I just sat beside him and looked at him. I don’t know why but I felt like doing so, there was a strange kind of satisfaction when I saw him sleeping without any tension, without those lines on his forehead, without his eyes reflecting home and work pressures. Maybe these two years away from home in hostel have taught me a lot, those lonely days in the clingy hostel rooms have made me realise what responsibility is, what it is to bear your own responsibility all by yourself. There I got time to think about dad, who had to bear not only his own but me and my mom’s responsibility too on his lone shoulders through all these years and the biggest thing being, all these was without any complaint or frustration.
But a question which I have avoided and I would never want that to come into existence, “Now he is there, but till when?” How far I go, how distant land it may be, but I know that a man is there and would always be for me, to back me, to protect me and guide me through every road of my life. But the only thing constant in this world is ‘Change’. Somehow there lies a truth deep inside me that he would not be there by my side always, I know its very hard on my part to accept it, rather it would be for any daughter. But the truth is always there, keeping a close watch on you from the hide, whether you know it or not, whether you accept it or not.
Maybe dad is well aware of this truth too, that someday he would have to leave my hand at the mid of the sea and then every wave of the sea would appear to be against my flow, which appeared to be taking me with its flow smoothly, as long as he was there by my side. That’s why he keeps on training me to be fit for this world every minute, every second. Be it taking me to the bank to teach me how to handle money related matters, include me in every discussion of the family and count my opinion too, keep everything so transparent to me, discussing health related issues of mom , treats me like a friend of his rather than his daughter 30 years younger . He wants me to explore the world and be a strong girl, and at the same time he wants to save me from those eagle eyes too. I understand his dilemma, he thinks that its time before he leaves me and I would have to sustain all by myself, but he also thinks that ‘if not now then when?’
I still remember those days when I tried hard to ride the newly gifted bicycle by dad. Months passed and I could not get it properly, everyday I used to return back with a heavy heart and tears in my eyes. Dad used to scold me for not able to do such a silly job, but at the same time did not allow me to go riding on the roads with twists and turns, or heavy traffic. Then I thought he must not be having the trust on me to let me go riding there , but now I know why…….because he wanted me to learn but not at the cost of me getting hurt! He wanted me to reside in two worlds simultaneously, one is where I get exposure to every kind of trouble which in a way will beat this raw piece of iron and make it more strong and firm, and the other being the tender and kind world which will let my heart blossom! One day my dad came to the field, and without a word started to come after my cycle holding its back…..guiding me at every step, how to sit on the cycle seat, as if he was telling me how to mark my first impression on the face of the world ;how to hold the handle, as if he was teaching me how to handle every situation in life; how to keep balance in the cycle, as if he was guiding me how to maintain balance between the outer world and home; how to take turns, as if he was making me fit to undergo changes and be with the flow of the time; how to make sharp turns on busy roads, as if he was providing me with the key to handle sharp ups and downs in life; how to dodge the traffic and be on track, as if he was teaching me how to be focused in life even on getting distractions; how to keep balance on the cycle when a stone is encountered on the road and I almost fell, as if he was helping me learn that I should make a comeback every time the world pushes me out of my way to my goal and never loose hopes to carry on ,however big the problem be across my way. And finally after a tiresome day he left my cycle and surprisingly I rode till the other end of the road all by myself. When I looked back at him in the hope to see him rejoicing just like me, what I received was just the same calm and composed man standing at a distance with folded hands ,smiling back at me. Being just a 12 year old I was quite unhappy with that dull reaction of his, but now I realise he was actually teaching me the biggest lesson in life, that no matter how much you achieve, how high you go, there is always a lot more to go before you sleep. So rather than pausing and rejoicing for the momentary success, stay calm and focused to achieve the next in line.
I ,like any other daughter admire dad, and I don’t say this just because he is my dad, I have a thousand reasons to do so. I have never in my life seen a man who is so calm, both at moments full of tensions and when others would go dancing and singing on the roads. He has played multiple roles for me at times, like a teacher, when I was hardly five, and he had all the patience to make me learn 2+2 is 4 throughout the day; like a father scolding me, when I used to be adamant of the ways I prefer to do a work; like a mother when mom was not well and I was no more than a kid to understand the intensity of the issues; like a friend when, I needed one by my side at my crucial times of entrance exams of colleges,like an unbiased guide, who helped me move out of every difficult situation, when my mind was choked with the panic attacks and eyes blurred by the tears…….and a lot more. His love and affection for my mom when she was not doing well and doctors had raised their hands, was the time when I realised that God does exist on earth. He has always been the perfect man for me, a perfect blend of kindness, politeness, grounded nature……he has been the true inspiration to me that how a human being should be. I keep on telling him not to do things, keep on asking him to take me to holidays, buy me this, buy me that, do this- do that…….. but in spite of having this nagging child, he has always put his best foot forward to provide me with the best he can get! If I go on telling each detail of that story, then I might end up writing a novel, maybe its parts too! But I will never find the best words out of my basket to wrap him up completely. If I have to describe him in just one line, it would be,”The man who I want myself to become someday in life.”