Last week I turned 37. Mind you, neither 35, nor 40. 37.
Why am I writing about it? Or why am I writing about my dad, as the title suggests. No reason. It’s just that this was a birthday I spent alone. The better half, along with the kid was with my parents at the native place. I know, relaxed travel restrictions gave them a chance to go away from me. So I spent my birthday alone and it got me thinking. Am I a good dad? Am I doing things right?
My dad had always been strict, or so I thought. Till I was around 15-16, I lived in his fear. Not that he was a frightening dad, but just that we had never been close and so as I knew him less, I feared him more. Moreover the teen angst in me made me feel that my father just doesn’t get me and I have hurt him with my words a couple of times growing up.
There were then the years 18-25, where there was a new dynamic forming but I wasn’t still clear on how to move ahead with him. We have had disagreements and I remember him asking my cousins to do his bidding when I wouldn’t listen to him. Now that I remember that, it seems funny.
As soon as I turned 25 and started my job, I realized that all things he wanted me to not do was his way of guiding me away from his mistakes. I guess things have turned out to be much better now that I have started listening to him.
So, what did I learn from him?
I learned the one most important thing in my life. If you do the right thing, you will never have to live in fear. Fear of second-guessing every decision of yours. I have seen people take the short cut because it’s easy but then they regret it later. I will say this, the longer route might be painful now, but I know I am going to walk on it with my head held high and that’s what matters.
I hope, growing up, my daughter looks upto me the same way I look upto my dad now. Thank you , Papa!