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The forever hero

The forever hero

Fathers are literally the wind beneath their children's wings

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Last Updated : 27 June 2024, 23:01 IST
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The horn would sound his signature tune—one long and one short beep. My brother and I would rush to open the gates of our South Delhi home. And he would carefully manoeuvre the blue Ambassador (the new shade introduced in the late 1960s) into the car park, abutting our ground-floor flat.

The Amby was a snug fit, so our father would carefully open the door and unfold his tall self out of the car. We children would rush to take his official briefcase, and his warm smile would illuminate our world. Just another wonderful evening in our childhood world.

In a world devoid of on-tap entertainment, dedicated children’s TV channels (or even TVs in most homes), smartphones, or iPads that transport you in a swipe to an alternate world, we almost always had to find our own means of entertaining ourselves. At such times, a genial father was a great asset to liven up a dreary hour or two of play.

Rolling over an arm to send a rubber ball to an enthusiastic but unskilled bat, seating us down to tell a murder mystery that had been cracked — yes, he was an IPS officer — or taking us on a whole-day outing to one of Delhi’s wondrous parks — each one was special. And along the way, how  we learned! We learned the details of investigative inquiry, meticulous attention to details, the magic in good story telling, and even carefully judged driving, not the speeding and braking version many road hogs today embrace.

To us children, fathers are heroes, playmates, providers, motivators, champions, and sponsors, but behind that cheerful façade is a father who worries for his offspring, makes many sacrifices for them, ignores bone-wearying fatigue to keep the family home going, and nurtures to keep the family nest safe. Most importantly, they are role models for our impressionable young minds.

Father’s Day, traditionally celebrated in the West, is today a global phenomenon, thanks to the connected world we live in. All of this month, I’ve read and heard folks talk about the impact fathers have had on them and the lessons they taught. And the underlying thread through all of this that I have observed is the enormous amount of time, both in quantity and quality, that impactful fathers have spent with their lucky offspring—how they taught them the most powerful and important lessons of life by simply living them themselves. Which is why nowadays, when I see little ones trundling along with their dadas, if I can, I pause to tell the parent the preciousness and importance of these moments and what a profound influence a father can leave on their world through the wonder that is his child! They have literally been the wind beneath their children’s wings in most cases!

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