A Letter to my Father: Things I could never say! has been edited by Suraj Zala.
It has been a long journey from “Respected” to “Dear” and I know there still are miles to go. “Best dad in the world” is a phrase used too often and sounds devoid of any real meaning or passion, but you are the best dad in the world.
Thank you for always being a dad I could always rely on. From most of the TV series I watch, I learned, not everyone has a father. A person they can always rely on, a person who they can go to when they hit a roadblock, a person who loves them unconditionally. Thank you for setting the clocks at least 15 minutes early. The 14-year-old procrastinator in me learned his lesson in punctuality.
And those who do, not everyone is as lucky as I am. A thank you does not even start to thank you for a million reasons and more.
You do not always get enough credit for what you do. We all have different relationships with our dads, but that does not change the fact that they are nothing less than a blessing in our lives.
As a father, one of the toughest things to do is to be the bad guy.
Everyone says that your father is your best friend, but sometimes it was necessary for you to be the baddie. Though I might not have understood at the time why you were mean to me or refused me things I desired the most, an older me now appreciates the lessons.
Loving someone can come in many forms, and you had your ways to show your love for me. Being a good parent is the best way to tell your child you love him. There are so many times where I compared you to the Führer. And it was not just me who was afraid of you, my friends were too.
I still remember the first time when I failed. You looked at me like I had sinned. You gave me that 43-minute lecture on how I should have performed and what I should have done. That was the day I decided not to fail. Not that I did not want to disappoint you but I feared that if I did, you would disown me.
I remember the time when you scared the crap out me when I hid my mark sheet from you (which you found out eventually). You said you would send me off to a hostel which unleashed an army of cockroaches on kids who do not wake up at 6.
And I still remember the time when I conquered one of the biggest exams of my life, and the shine in your eyes when you saw the result. You threw a party to celebrate my victory. Danced as if it were yours. You abandoned all your work, took that dinged up Activa to colleges miles away from our home. Not because you had to, but because you wanted me to get in the colleges I deserve.
I remember when I nearly failed in mathematics in 7th standard. Even my Maths teacher said “Class, take a long look at Mihir. I bet you he will fail the next semester.” I do not know if it was fear or the promise that I made you that brought out the best in me. For the day the results came was the day I looked at her and said, “Good Morning Ma’am,” in the most sarcastic way I could manage.
I remember every Sunday morning when you made me listen to R. D. Burman, Mohammed Rafi, and Kishor Kumar. Because of this, I, as a 9-year-old, learned to appreciate good music. I was told about the sleepless nights you had when I myself couldn’t sleep because of my Asthma. How you cradled me in your arms and strolled around the society until I fell asleep, even though you were exhausted from working all day.
I remember the time when I saw a picture of a kid on your desk and asked you who she was, and you remained silent. Little did I know you were sponsoring a child who was not even yours. On that day, I learned how to be humble and charitable at the same time.
I remember the day I failed in my college. I was scared. I was hyperventilating when the doorbell rang. And I was scolded. But you did something I never expected. You hugged me, after the scolding ended, and said, “Beta, Jeevan maa aavu thatu reh. Have vichar, aagad shu?” (Things like these happen. What you need to think is, what now?). And that was the day I saw your true face. The face hid behind the tough, emotionless facade. For from that day forward, you never fail to stand up for me.
Let us get this clear, I will not grow up. EVER. Even after your constant-“Tu kyare moto thais?” (When will you grow up?) But, because of all the values you instilled in me, I have become the man you see. I know I was a tough kid to raise. Toughest one ever, but you never gave up on me. For that, no amount of thank you would be enough. But on this Father’s day, This is my one try to say THANK YOU, PAPA, For being there with me. For not giving up on me even when you had reasons to. For loving me and encouraging me in your own weird way. For teaching me how to be a man. And most importantly, Thank you for being my dad.
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