Tuesday, September 13, 2011

To Dad with love…

Being youngest in the family, I always had my siblings around me. Amidst their adorable personalities I almost forgot what a man my Dad is. Also the fact that I have been away from since I was seventeen has played an important role. Today when I spoke to him, I realized how much I admire him.

Papa, as we call him, is man who has led his life by his own ideals and principles, no matter if they are justified or unjustified in the eyes of others. He is someone who can empathise even with an ant (quite literally!) and would try to not hurt even a single creature. It is from him that I and my siblings imbibed the sensibility to have an understanding of others. He is someone who wouldn’t hurt even his biggest enemy and just let the person go with a smile. But if you are unlucky enough to get him angry, you will have the worst slap of your life. He would say “ek ulte haath ka padega” and there you go…you will receive a hard slap on your face (to be true that very very impressive!). I have never seen him stepping back if there is some danger or there is something which he feel to be wrong. And because of this, once he had almost lost his arm when a burglar stabbed him on the shoulder with a sharp daov (an Arunachali equivalent of sword).

He eats mostly once in a day but still has the potential to tire out even a young man with the kind of routine he follows. A person who is in his late 50s, gets up before sunrise, exercise daily when people like us find it so difficult to maintain a simple routine. He in this point of age would go for running competition and reach till the end point when most of us can’t even imagine going for one. He is someone who inspires me in more than just one way.

His commitment towards his students and subjects made me respect the profession of teaching more than I respect any other. He went to Arunachal when the state was still unheard of in many parts of the country. Being a vegetarian, he faced a lot of problems in a place where the staple food is mostly rice and meat. But he never complained. He started schools in interiors of the state like Lumla. He used to be the only person handling the entire school, taking 5 classes at the same time in all the subjects! Not just teaching, before classes he would teach students on how to be clean and give them nutritious food. He would stay in a bamboo house and survive on basic amenities, would cross dense forests in night to get regular supply for schools but never complained. He is someone, who in spite of all these never took even a single gift from villagers but would buy gifts for his students when they scored good marks. Because of all this, he is still called as “saint” or in Arunchali hindi “Sadhu Admi”.

My dad doesn't express his feelings and love out rightly. In spite of that his small gestures use to tell us all. Though never much into playing with kids, he would come and play badminton with me and would always let me win :) I remember he used to become helicopter and take me for rides all across the loan. If I am angry and sitting silently on bed, he would come and say-“helicopter is about to leave and just climb on it” and I would happily do that.

Exceptional observation power of his, he would show me designs and pictures that would appear on walls out of a stain or crack. And would motivate me to draw them and inspire me to become a painter! He would notice even the smallest and insignificant qualities of ours and dreamed big for us. He has collection of our silly sketches and poems which we wrote as kids. He has still kept them with so much of care.

Even now he will call and tell me about the latest happenings and give me suggestions on how to write. When at home he would underline important passages in books and newspapers for me to read. He would collect clippings and give it to me. With extensive knowledge on varied subjects, he still guides us but has never forced us.

In fact I and my father have lots of differences in the way we see our society and in our general approach to life. In spite of all that, he supports me in each and everything, be it a fight with some uncle of mine or questions of career decisions I make, he has never opposed me from anything.