Thursday, April 16, 2009

A Father’s Devotion

We at Prayas to date have successfully admitted and processed more than 35 children to a better state of academic schooling than what they had previously. Recently, during one of those admitting sessions, we had compulsorily asked the parents to join their children to the school for the process. Five children along with their mother and father came along even though it was already time for the parents to go off to work.

The admission process began with a few questions about their family and other details. One excited child stood there, as she was asked questions by the principal, clutching onto and playing with her skirt. She stood there part smiling and part confused while she abruptly glanced at him. Then, I noticed him!

There stood a father, next to his child. From his expressions I noticed that he could have been deeply contemplating and calculating the outflow of his monthly wages towards his child's education, the bills, the food, etc. In the moment that froze in front of me, his eyes wandered unsure & perplexed while he picked up the 100Rs notes and started looking empty.

I stood there frozen, looking at him flip through the few hundred rupees in his wallet and I could not help but reminisce some difficult moments in the life of my own family. He reminded me of a time, when my father had to loan and plan hard to pay off the monthly school fees at our school. This was even after having a friendly discount of fees at the school which was run by a good friend of Dad. And now, here is a person who is a slum-dweller, not by his personal choice, but because he could not afford any better. He still had the same flame as my Dad, to be able to have a good education for his child.

My Dad has worked hard in his simple job as a Bus Driver for 25 years, as it has been now. There was a time when he had to work two jobs in shifts - one from 7AM-5PM and another from 10PM-4PM, 5 days a week to sustain the money flow to keep us afloat. When, he returned home after his first shift I used to see him rushing upon dinner to catch up a nap before he left. An unconditional devotion that I have revered since the moment I realized it and to date more than any God or person.

The child on the other end picked up her glossy new books and copies. The twinkle in her eyes was similar to what I had felt when I got my new books for the year. An innocent admiration splashed her face with a smile growing as she flipped through each colorful book. I was suspended in time in that moment of nostalgia and then a reminiscent deep gratitude for my Dad. I could notice a tear forming in my eyes but then I held it back for I wished not to ‘make a scene’.

The father-child relationship in our society is one that is rarely talked about, compared to a mother-child or other family relationships. I feel it is somehow presumed that fathers are strong and emotionally in control and their expression of angst at a child's low grades, annoyance at small home issues and other daily concerns, is an expression of establishing control? And thus, not worthy of an emotional expression but can only be a more logical, need based expression!

A father’s devotion to his responsibilities is a silent expression of what is most important to him. He is not emotionally expressive other than in anger. But then I feel, we should respect his silent devotion and ‘cut him some slack’. His everyday is a fight with the world and its numerous frustrations to sustain his family with his best efforts.

And so, with this I conclude my little ode to all fathers – good or bad, but still devoted to their responsibilities. I love you Dad!

5 comments:

selva ganapathy said...

:) nice write up....
Its always nice to read about fatherhood... at least in my case I love to hear from my friends about their father because I've missed what I should have got from my father...

Greato!

Rix said...

:)...its really a touching note...
I second you for the comment "The father-child relationship in our society is one that is rarely talked about"...
And at same time i feel most of the people has thr bit of "pride" abt thr dad...which is rarely talked again...nice to see you spoke...

And hats off to all those great fathers...Am lucky god gave me one.

In Serch of ...... said...

should i call it gratitude... ?? :)

i dnt know very much of english to express whatever i am feeling after reading it.. But this article touched very deep down in my heart.. Somehow i feel that father-child relation even doesn't need an exnernal recognition as well .. if i am struck somewhere and i have to get out of any sitution then after trying every single possible way,my final rescuer is always my father and both of us (me & papaji) gives this relation the best recognition :)

one more thing is that the sense of responsibility towards their kid's education in the community came after efforts of many people like you ..

SO i respect those efforts ...

very wonderful writeup ..

Darshan

geetu.ahuja@naukri.com said...

very nice post... :) honest and touching.

Raj said...

Thanx guys !! :) I am grateful for your appreciation and thoughts !!