Lessons taught by dad

Lessons taught by dad

When my father discerned that I was showing a lot of keen interest in writing, he encouraged me to no end

Representative Image. Credit: Pixabay Photo

Once I read an article that had a quote that many teenage girls can relate to. A mother says, “A daughter will always love her father for she knows that he is the only man who will never hurt her and whose love for her is absolutely unconditional.” Yes, a father protects his offspring and makes huge commitments and sacrifices. 

Indeed, my own father was a pillar of strength to me. When he was abroad, he used to write well-researched notes on topics from history and literature. He then used to go to the post office and send it to me by snail mail, as was done in those days. Not once did he complain nor were there any complaints from me! He regarded this huge bout of sacrifice as his parental duty and did it though it was not incumbent for him to do so. 

When my father discerned that I was showing a lot of keen interest in writing, he encouraged me to no end. When my middle articles were published in Deccan Herald, he would cut them out, xerox them, and proudly send them to his lawyer friends. His words of advice were like pearls of wisdom that spoke to me.

He said, “Write to express and never to impress. Be simple and do not unnecessarily use bombastic language. Write what you mean, and mean what you write. And, finally, even if your article does not get published, keep going. Do NOT quit and never give up."

With these wise nuggets of advice, my writing improved and in course of time, I inferred that it perhaps was my life’s calling. 

Years passed. My father retired from his job abroad and returned to Bengaluru where he joined the National Law School of India. However, due to the vagaries of age, his health slowly deteriorated. Then came New Year Eve on 31st December 1998 when after being admitted to a hospital, he began vomiting thick red blood. 

My mother called me and my siblings to the hospital where we spoke to my father. He said to me, “Beti, it doesn’t matter that you didn’t become a doctor or architect. You followed your dreams and became a unique writer who writes from the heart. You are my very own diamond.”

Later that evening, one hour before midnight, he breathed his last. I cried uncontrollably. 

I asked God, “God, you knew that my father was the only man who ever loved me and who never rejected me. Why did You take him away from me?” 

My mother hugged me and said, “Heera, your father is gone forever, but we all are here for you. Don’t grieve too much, for now, your father is in a place where he is not in pain. And every time you feel overwhelmed and ask God, "Why?", think of the following beautiful quotation, “Don’t cry because he is over. Smile because he happened.”

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