Every banker's child probably understands the harrowing time fathers have managing the year end closures in March. Somewhere in the midst of the loads of messages and calls that my dad made each day,each hour to check on me while I was counting my last days in my marital home, I mentioned to him about my Annual company day that was being held in mid March. Not wanting to return back to an empty house, I had enrolled myself for a multiple of dance performances for the annual function that gave me a chance to stay back in office longer. The thing about annual days is that they are also "bring your family" days. It hadn't struck me yet that may be I would miss the privilege that year. But then I had forgotten that I am too special to miss out on joys like these. So Dad jokingly quipped, "Missing out on you performing a Rekha's Salaam-e-ishq is not something I can afford to regret about. And there needs to be someone to protect you from the audience going berserk. I am catching the next train from Baroda to Mumbai". I didn't have to say anything and in spite of the work load, there he was- cheering every time my face popped up on the screen- a man so proud of his family always that you can never imagine being alone.
It is in the self revelation of his imperfection and not perfection and in his failures and not successes that we have understood the greatest lessons of life. His lack of focus due to which he had to discontinue his M.A. (Eco) in DU and pursue it further in Sambalpur University, his nervousness that couldn't get him past the RBI interview, his inability to understand the suffocating creativity of a housewife, his frustration of not being able to balance work and personal life are all stories that I have heard from him. His innocence in elaborating his own follies and the pride in elaborating our achievements underplays what he has made of us. The man handpicked rotten vegetables (what else will be available at 10 pm) and took her to the same movie "Sharaabi" thrice in the year (what else would be available on Housefull Sundays without pre-booking) but he ruled his woman's heart (to name a few) with his simple "Thank you ", fascination for her poetry and indefatigable support (even vocal sometimes) for her decisions. He couldn't ever make it to my PT meeting but he compensated for it by waking me up at 4 am everyday to practice Tables, Mental Maths and listening to my Lesson memorizations all through the night during ICSE. His fundamentals in Economics are crystal clear and till date, he spends hours discussing the subject with me. My dad never wrote the Scale 3 bank exams since his passing the same would mean a promotion. The promotion was not an opportunity for him to advance his career but a ticket for transfer that would take him away from his family. We are all so self conscious and self obsessed that I wonder how a species like him has managed to survive on this planet.
If you have a father like him, you will understand why the idea of manipulating dads as shown in certain recent ads is not cool. If you have a father like him, you will understand why the movie "The Pursuit of Happyness" is on your all time favorite list. If you have a father like him, you will understand why it is time for a big hug to thank him for being him always.
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